IEM drops League of Legends from its 2017 schedule

League of Legends

League of Legends [official site] has been dropped from Intel Extreme Masters pro-gaming events as it is no longer viable to try to work around LoL developer Riot’s own pro-gaming calendar. IEM is a professional gaming tournament season run by the ESL organisation. It features a varied lineup of games and hosts high-profile LAN competitions in various locations around the world. The huge shindig in Katowice, Poland, where the season culminates in a world championship is potentially the best-known.

Now, according ESL’s VP of pro-gaming, Michal Blicharz, who takes care of IEM, League of Legends is being benched for the 2017-18 season because it’s simply too hard to work around Riot’s own leagues, competitions and team transfer periods. Read the rest of this entry »

League of Legends: The MSI 2017 winners are…

LoL MSI 2017 crowd

PREAMBLE BEFORE THE JUMP BECAUSE SPOILERS BLAH BLAH BLAH AND REMINDER THAT THE MID-SEASON INVITATIONAL IS THE CROSS-REGIONAL TOURNAMENT BETWEEN SPRING AND SUMMER. IT’S A TOURNAMENT IN ITS OWN RIGHT BUT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE DOING WELL AT MSI HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOUR SEEDING FOR THE WORLDS CHAMPIONSHIP ETC ETC!

The winners of the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational 2017 tournament are: Read the rest of this entry »

Why OG winning their fourth Major isn’t bad news for professional Dota 2

OG winning Kiev

Four of the five Dota 2 [official site] Major tournaments have gone the way of team OG. But does that mean the professional Dota 2 scene is becoming predictable? Our James argues not…

Fans of professional magician-punching were treated to a familiar sight at the recent Dota 2 Kiev Major: team OG, suddenly $1 million richer and lifting yet another first-prize trophy.

As an organisation, OG now holds the enviable position of being four-time Major winners. That’s a pretty ridiculous achievement considering there have only been five total since the format was introduced in 2015. The European Dream Green dream team aren’t the only ones with an impressive record at Valve-sponsored events either; Evil Geniuses, in addition to winning The International 2015 outright, have placed at least top 4 at TI6 and all but one Major. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »