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Posts tagged “esports”

This weekend’s ESL Pro Tour event has no arena audience after health authorities revoked the license

This weekend, the ESL Pro Tour Masters Championship stops at Poland's Spodek arena for three days of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II matches in the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020. The arena can hold 11,500 spectators but while IEM Katowice sold out, it has no crowd. Last night, barely 15 hours before the event started, Polish authorities revoked its mass event license due to…

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Overwatch League cancels South Korean matches in midst of coronavirus concerns

Blizzard have cancelled a series of Overwatch League matches that were set to take place in South Korea over the next few weeks, "in order to protect the health and safety of players, fans and staff". This comes just a few weeks after they announced they were cancelling the games scheduled for China amid coronavirus fears. Blizzard have said they'll be trying to reschedule the…

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Rocket League was down for ages over the weekend after issues with a server upgrade

If you couldn't get into a game of Rocket League over the weekend, you're not alone. Because of some weird technical difficulties, players were removed from the game's servers while it was put into "maintenance mode" on and off over the last few days. It couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time either, as the issues caused a bunch of official esports matches to…

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Blizzard cancel Overwatch League matches in China over coronavirus concerns

Blizzard have cancelled Overwatch League matches scheduled to take place in China in February and March, owing to concerns about the new coronavirus going round. First identified in China in December, the virus has now killed 170 people. A Chinese League Of Legends tournament also recently was cancelled due to the virus. Blizzard say they plan to return OWL to China later this season.

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Dota 2’s International 2019 documentary lured me in as a non-sports watcher

"They're like monkey business men", says Team Liquid member Kuroky, "they will GO". Liquid are gathered around for a quick smoke before the Dota 2 International 2019 finale, about to face Team OG. They're visibly nervous, despite Kuroky's repeated insistence that they should "feel free", and treat this like a scrim. Another team member insists that it IS a scrim, and Kuroky immediately reneges on…

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Google nab the right to stream Activision esports exclusively on YouTube

You snooze you lose, Twitch. Activision Blizzard this week announced a multi-year deal with Google to stream future esports events solely through a plucky little website called YouTube. By nicking exclusive rights to broadcast big-hitters like the Overwatch and Call Of Duty Leagues, Hearthstone and such, Google hope to kick-start their struggling attempts to kickstart streaming on YouTube and topple Twitch's reign over the medium.

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Blizzard’s president apologised on stage at BlizzCon for Hearthstone Hong Kong omnishambles

Blizzard could announce Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, a new WoW expansion, and Hearthstone Auto Chess live on stage at BlizzCon--and they did--but none of that would sit right if they didn't address the cloud over this year's fanfest. Their decision to harshly punish a Hearthstone pro player for declaring "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!" in a post-match interview has upset many over the…

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US Congress members ‘concerned’ over Blizzard’s Blitzchung ban

Blizzard’s dropped ball over Hearthstone pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai voicing his support for protesters in Hong Kong continues to roll downhill at alarming speed. Now joining the players, casters, and Blizzard employees making their discontent heard are members of the United States Congress from across the political spectrum. Incredible job, Blizzard.

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Riot Games warn League Of Legends pros away from political issues

Riot Games have said "we want to keep our broadcasts focused on the game, the sport, and the players" in a public statement preemptively warning against political protests in their tournaments. The League Of Legends 2019 World Championship is currently underway and Riot doubtless want to avoid 'doing a Blizzard'. You know, like how after a Hearthstone player voiced support for Hong Kong's pro-autonomy protests…

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Blizzard’s statement on Blitzchung’s ban digs them deeper [Updated]

Update: Blitzchung has responded with a statement of his own. Details below. Blizzard Entertainment have, after several days of silence, released a statement about this week’s chaos. It all began when they, by their admission, “reacted too quickly” to pro Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai saying “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times!” during a post-match interview. It has escalated since then, with casters…

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Veteran Hearthstone commentator quits Grandmasters over ban

A veteran Hearthstone player and commentator is pulling away from Blizzard after they banned pro player Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai for voicing support of Hong Kong's pro-autonomy protests in a post-match interview. Brian Kibler has commentated several official Blizzard tournaments but now he's pulling out of casting this year's Hearthstone Grandmasters finals at BlizzCon. "I will not be a smiling face on camera that tacitly…

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LoL’s new World Championship song is nice but no Warriors

A big League Of Legends tradition is to drop a new song for each year's World Championship, a battle anthem evoking the drama and dangers of clicking on wizards. A big Rock, Paper, Shotgun tradition was for Pip to squint at the new video and say "yeah, but it's not as good as the Imagine Dragons one, is it?" It is in tribute to my…

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Feature: Turn page

Know It OWL: End chapter

With a few minutes on the countdown until the Overwatch League grand finals, I realised I had a problem: I didn’t know who I was supporting. Neither San Francisco Shock nor Vancouver Titans are my team, but usually in any matchup there’s a narrative I like more, players I’m fond of, some quirk or another that’ll push me in one direction. But Shock and Titans…

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Feature: Two teams remain

Know It OWL: Dawn of the final day

I had a different opening paragraph for this article until I went looking for a header image. Now I've deleted it, and instead I'm going to talk about why I'm in love with this picture of Park "Saebyeolbe" Jongryeol. This is my 22nd and penultimate entry in this column, and choosing a lead photo is always one of my favourite parts, because there are also…

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Feature: The beginning of the 2019 season was 6 decades ago

Know It OWL: into the playoffs

The regular season of the Overwatch League is over, wrapping up with a local event in – well, in Los Angeles, where it usually is, but in a different bit of the city. Just a few weeks of playoffs to go until we crown a victor. Then we’ll get to thinking about next season, when teams will be shipped all over the globe for similar…

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Feature: Embrace not knowing what on earth is happening

Know It OWL: Giving in to the clownery

With just a couple of weeks left in the Overwatch League, the simulation is falling apart. Sure, things have been unpredictable throughout, but I’m currently staring at the stage four standings and it says Washington Justice are first. First! They’ve won five games in a row after just two in the whole of the rest of the season. It’s almost as though making giant structural…

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Russia wins Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Nations Cup, UK manages not to come last

Competitive Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a strange beast. Teams rack up points across multiple games for eliminating others and being one of the last few left alive, in various amounts depending on the tournament. That usually means that you can tell who’s going to win before the end, but not this time. Home team South Korea had pulled ahead early and stayed there – until the…

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Evo 2019’s best storyline is a wholesome Dragon Ball FighterZ rivalry

Dragon Ball FighterZ is not supposed to be the main event at fighting game tournament Evo. But at any event like this, it’s the best stories that rise to the surface. In the fighting game community of late, those stories often involve Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, and, when it comes to DBFZ, his rival Goichi "GO1" Kishida. This year, it was GO1 who triumphed – but…

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