Watch wizards: Dota 2’s Kiev Major is now go

Monday can be a slow, quiet day but I’m certainly invigorated by the yelling and explosions of competitive Dota 2 [official site]. Valve’s second big tournament of the season, the Kiev Major, kicked off its Group Stage this morning. This is two days of Swiss group battling to determine brackets for the Main Event, which will start on Thursday. How’s it going so far? Well! I can tell you that there were wizards, then the wizards fought other wizards, then there were fewer wizards. As ever, the competition is streaming on Twitch and Dota 2’s ace in-game spectator system. Read the rest of this entry »

YouTube lands another competitive CS:GO exclusive streaming deal

If you want to watch the competitive CS:GO action of the Esports Championship Series this weekend, you’ll need to fire up YouTube. ECS organisers Faceit have signed a multi-year partnership with Google to streamed ECS games exclusively through YouTube, taking them away from Twitch. Even if you’ve no interest in CS:GO or digital sports at large, it’s interesting to see YouTube try to become an active broadcaster which curates and creates content rather than waiting for it to be dumped through their letterbox. Read the rest of this entry »

League of Legends taking Worlds 2017 to China

Worlds 2017

League of Legends’ [official site] developer, Riot, has announced the 2017 season’s main event locations – the Mid-Season Invitational will be setting up shop in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro while the World Championship will be spending a month moving around China to top off the season. There are also some structural changes which are interesting if you follow the professional LoL scene like me so read on for a bit more. Everyone else can go make a cup of tea and I’ll catch up with you later. Read the rest of this entry »

League of Legends: Pro draft to get 10 champ bans

Hello! So here’s a bit of League of Legends [official site] news which might not sound big at first, especially if you don’t play or don’t watch the pro scene BUT it is a big thing and I will try to explain a little about why. The news is that League of Legends is finally expanding the ban bit of the pick and ban phase you get before competitive matches. Instead of three opportunities to remove a champion from the selection process teams will now get five. Ten bans overall – three each at the start of the phase and then a further two each after some of the champions have been picked. Here’s why I’m excited: Read the rest of this entry »

Smite Season 4 brings new pantheon, new map

The Morrigan

Along with all the new game announcements/closed beta phases and whatnot, Hi-Rez’s god-themed MOBA, Smite [official site] is getting its annual overhaul. The Season 4 changes include a Celtic-focused event to mark the first character from that pantheon (The Morrigan), an Egyptian-themed Clash map, item updates, changes to ranked play, integrated voice chat, multi-queueing and the addition of Rituals to name just a few.

Here’s a rundown of the main points.

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Dota 2 Boston Major: Highlights and must-see matches

Boston Major

Another multimillion-dollar Dota 2 Major tournament has come to a close this weekend as top teams from all over the world battled for the Boston Major‘s Eaglesong trophy and a share of the $3m prize pool. Would OG be able to defend their title with a remixed lineup or would some feisty newcomers be able to snaffle it away? In case you’re still avoiding spoilers all of this will be revealed after the jump, as well as the must-watch matches so you can condense your viewing into a single action-packed evening! Read the rest of this entry »

How to watch Dota 2

Dota 2 [official site] begins its next season of multi-million dollar Major tournaments in earnest on December 3, with the Boston Major set to take over the lavish Wang Theatre. While only a relatively small number of viewers will be able to fit inside to see the ridiculously monied spell-storms up close, potentially millions more will be watching via stream – including you, if you so desire.

Indeed, watching top-tier Dota can be even more entertaining, and significantly less aggravating, than playing it yourself. Yet surely you’d need at least a decent amount of hands-on experience with the game to derive any understanding, let alone enjoyment, from spectating others?

Fret not. It is a remarkably complex (and ever-changing) game, but it’s also surprising easy to pick up the basics when it’s just ten heroes duking it out, while a team of casters and analysts spell the action out over mic. Better yet, read this guide – a primer on both the essentials and the intricacies of a game of Dota 2, beamed through the prism of pro match viewership like Tinker’s Aghs Q! Read the rest of this entry »