Posts Tagged ‘esports’

Oh, Canada! Dota 2 International moves venue

The International 2017

In the period of my life where free time basically equated to Dota time, I’d have loved nothing more than to go the International – especially if it was the one where my friends managed to get themselves trapped in a lift with Blitz. No doubt to avoid a repeat of that incident, Valve are moving this year’s main Dota 2 tournament to Canada, where every elevator comes equipped with a button that summons Justin Trudeau himself to sort things out.

So, Seattle is no longer the seat of the largest esport event in the world. Sorry, Seattle.

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Rainbow Six Siege Invitational’s Quarter-Finals are live

And boom goes the dynamite

It took a lot of tactical face-shooting to get here, but the virtual bloodbath that is the Six Invitational is in its final days. Down to just 8 teams, the final few matches will be playing out over the course of today and the weekend.

At the time of writing, Brazil’s Faze Clan are in a very close-fought match against US-based Evil Geniuses. The high stakes match is being broadcast live via Ubisoft’s official Twitch stream, and if the action unfolding tickles your fancy, there’s a free weekend for Rainbow Six Siege running alongside the tournament.

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Japan’s esports players can now earn money, despite country’s gambling laws


Despite holding some of the first televised videogame battles back in the ‘80s, esports has been all but nonexistent in Japan. This is due to the cheerily named “Act Against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations,” a law which was chiefly aimed at curbing the growing Yakuza interests in video poker but which had the side effect of making it extremely difficult for players in the country to earn a living.

Now that’s all about to change thanks, in part, to the Olympic games. With talk of esports becoming an official Olympic event in 2024, an industry group under the name of JeSU announced plans to issue licenses exempting top esports players from the country’s gambling laws. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch launches $5 Overwatch League team kits

Blizzard’s swanky Overwatch League kicks off on Wednesday, with 12 teams representing cities across the globe, and what sport would be complete without flogging expensive merch? Blizzard today launch “jersey” skins, letting Overwatch characters wear your favourite team’s clobber for $5 each. Five dollars! If you just like pretty skins, hey, Blizzard are letting all players buy one outfit for free so pick yourself something nice. Just remember: no team colours allowed in pubs on match day. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve pull support from major Philippines Dota 2 tournament, citing privacy concerns

Valve have stopped supporting an upcoming Dota 2 tournament over concerns that the Philippines government would make “unreasonable infringements on the privacy” of players entering the country. Valve don’t elaborate on why they’re dropping the Galaxy Battles 2018 tourney, which was due to run January 15-21, but it seems mandatory government drug testing for esports players is likely to blame. The tournament might continue in some form, but it would be without Valve, not as an official ‘Major’ on the Dota Pro Circuit, and not with all the teams. Read the rest of this entry »

I am bad at Tekken 7 – so I sought help from a pro

I have Tekken so many hits

I keep getting beaten up by strangers. Tekken 7 is as traditional a fighting game as they come. You punch, you kick, you get shredded to pieces by a robotic woman’s saws-for-arms. At recent games show EGX, I saw two fighting game pros facing off in front of an audience, knocking seven shades of showmanship out of each other. I sat down to watch, enthralled by the speed at which they pulverised one another. I thought: hey, I could do that.

But I cannot do that.

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Statespace: the neuroscientists who want to improve your gaming skills

Aim Lab

With the proliferation of esports and the potentially huge sums of money involved if you make it to the top tier in some games it’s not surprising that there are so many third-parties carving out a niche by offering to help improve your performance. One which caught my eye recently was Statespace [official site] which is being set up by Wayne Mackey and Jay Fuller. The pair have left their academic research positions at New York University to focus on this neuroscience-based tool for developing the skills associated with competitive gaming.

The software and the first product, Aim Lab, is only just launching into beta and this is hardly the first email I’ve had about a project aiming to help aspiring pro players improve their gaming BUT I had so many questions when faced with the idea of what Fuller suggested – “you could think of it like the NFL Combine or perhaps FitBit for gaming” – that I couldn’t resist finding out a bit more: Read the rest of this entry »

London team confirmed for Overwatch League

eSports organisation Cloud9 will represent London in the Overwatch League [official site], Blizzard have confirmed. The team won’t have an official stadium until after 2018, but when they do I’m envisaging half-time pies, coloured scarves and chants of Overwatch is coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming etc etc (I know that’s not accurate at all, but it’s the first England-specific football chant I could think of, okay?).

They’re the first European team to be announced, and were confirmed alongside a team in LA – the city’s second – that will be owned by the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group, who own Arsenal FC and NFL team the LA Rams. It takes the total number of teams for the game’s official eSports league to 9 following the announcement of 7 teams across the US and Asia last month. The competition is due to start later this year.

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The International 2017: Three teams standing, two new heroes, and one TERRIFYING AI

Dueling Fates update

The final day of The International 2017 looms, with only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young (LFY) and Team Liquid still in the running to win pro Dota 2’s highest accolade – yesterday saw both Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming eliminated in surprisingly one-sided lower bracket matches.

But first… new heroes! Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Five Dota 2 teams remain – who are they and how are they doing?

Dota 2

Four days into the main event and The International 2017 – Dota 2’s $24 million world championship – is down to its final five teams. Only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming remain, the other eleven squads to grace the main stage of Seattle’s KeyArena having fallen from the lower bracket and out of contention for the trophy. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2: Everything you need to know for The International 2017 main event!

The International, Dota 2

The main event of Dota 2’s premier mega-tournament, The International 2017, kicks off today – and the first round of matches has been decided by a group stage full of surprises. Here’s everything you need to know to get you up to speed (or to bluff your way through a conversation with Dota-loving friends!) Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s $23.3m tournament kicks off!

The International 2017

1. The International 2017 – the seventh annual Dota 2 [official site] megatournament has just started and there’s a noteworthy $23.3m prize pool at stake.

2. I forgot to tell you that before it got underway because I was having a capslock conversation with Alice about how DEREK ACORAH AND PAUL DANAN ARE IN THE CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER HOUSE TOGETHER RIGHT NOW.

3. There is a whole amazing guide to all the teams in the running for slices of that prize money pie by our James which will help fairweather fans get a handle on proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Your guide to the biggest tournament in professional Dota 2!

The International, Dota 2

The International, Dota 2’s biggest competitive event (as well as esports’ most moneyed), returns to Seattle this week. This is the culmination of Dota’s year-long season schedule – all of it, all the Majors, third-party tournaments and rosters shuffles, have led to this 18-way showdown where over $23 million is up for grabs. Here’s our James to explain what you’re watching and give you crucial backstory for all of the teams! Read the rest of this entry »

BBC Three showing live esports for next six weekends


Well, East me Enders and Pano my Rama: live Esports is coming to to the BBC this month. BBC Three (which is now online only) will broadcast the new Gfinity Elite League Series One, which means four hours of Rocket League, CS:GO and Street Fighter V on iPlayer every weekend for the next six weeks.

There’s a proper schedule and everything: Fridays at 9pm is for Street Fighter, which in a massive programming screw up clashes with Gardener’s World. Saturday nights from 9-11 is CS:GO (no Casualty for me then), and Rocket League is happening Sunday afternoon from 5. It’s all coming live from the Gfinity Arena in West London, with eight organisations taking part.

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What I learned playing Dota 2 with a professional player

Beat the Legends

Our James ventured out of unranked solo queue and ended up on a Dota 2 [official site] team captained by a professional player and being streamed to thousands as some of the most famous casters in the scene commentated his efforts. No pressure, then! Here’s a little account of what happened and some advice for if you ever find yourself in this not-at-all-highly-specific situation…

Last Thursday, Dota 2 production studio and general community hub joinDOTA hosted Beat The Legends, a rather unusual showmatch: while both teams would be led by a bonafide professional player, the remaining eight positions would be filled by members of the Dota-playing public, or at least those who entered and won the random draw. The pros would be Crescendo captain and on-again, off-again analyst Troels “SyndereN” Nielsen, and Henrik “Admiral Bulldog” Ahnberg, champion of The International 2013, former Alliance offlaner and Europe’s most popular streamer.

One of the randomers would be, unfortunately for everyone else, me. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 newcomer stream returns to megabucks tourney

The International 2017

With mega Dota 2 [official site] competition The International 2017 on the esports horizon, Valve have gone into more detail about what fans can expect from the tournament. There’s a new host in the form of Sean “Day9” Plott (you might know him from his work in the pro StarCraft scene, the Hearthstone scene, or the pro Dota 2 scene, or for hosting cheery fanzine PC Gamer’s E3 event) some scheduling details and HOLLER TO ALL OF YOU WHO WANTED IT BACK because the newcomer stream is happening again. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine Dragons. Go on. Imagine them.

Imagine Dragons

Sometimes I don’t think we make the most of being a blog and thus less formal than our online counterparts. I mean, I was thinking about it today and there’s… nothing stopping me from writing a news story just to announce that Warriors by Imagine Dragons is still out there and I’m still listening to it and that it’s still the pinnacle of League of Legends’ transmedia pro gaming metanarrative output. Read the rest of this entry »

How Valve’s Majors and Minors can heal pro Dota 2

Dota 2 pro season changes

With the biggest event in the competitive Dota 2 [official site] calendar – The International 2017 – due to take place next month, it might be a little early to start thinking about The International 2018. Unless, that is, you’re Valve, who have revealed a massive overhaul to how the entire next professional season will play out.

Here’s an in-depth look at why these changes are so promising for the pro scene. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »