Category Archives: eSports
The longest active StarCraft competition has come to an end. KeSPA has announced that the StarCraft ProLeague, a Korean team-based league that started in 2003 with Brood War and ran for fourteen years, would discontinue operations effective immediately. This announcement was made simultaneous with the announcement that five top Korean SC2 teams would also disband effective immediately.
With the explosion in popularity of eSports viewership worldwide, people have been wondering if eSports will make the jump to TV. We’ve seen ESPN take an interest in major eSports competitions of late with broadcasts of The International and Heroes of the Dorm on ESPN2 with the League of Legends World Championship streamed on ESPN3 along with a newly-founded eSports news division.
Now, a report from PVP Live suggests that ESPN’s presence in the eSports community could expand. They’re reporting that Riot Games and ESPN have been talking about a TV broadcast deal for LCS.
I’m not sure I could have picked a worse week to get back into the eSports weekend calendar. LPL is taking a short break so it’s a light schedule on the League of Legends front. Dota 2 is mostly qualifiers and small regional events. SC2 is all qualifiers. At least CS:GO and Hearthstone have a couple of big tournaments this weekend.
One of the top stars in professional StarCraft has been arrested under suspicion for match-fixing. Life, who was the 2014 StarCraft World Champion, was formally arrested over the weekend by the Changwon District Prosecutor’s Office and certainly turned the StarCraft world on its head.
When a gaming company gets into the MOBA space, they will inevitably try to grow an eSports community around it. The perception from the developers has always seemed to be that there needs to be a competitive to get interest from gamers. After all, League of Legends is massive and its World Championship has viewership that many sports leagues would be envious of.
While Blizzard has been trying to grow a competitive scene for their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, since the game was in invitation-only beta, they are making their biggest eSports push ever for Heroes of the Storm in 2016. They announced their Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Circuit which will feature a cumulative prize pool of over $4 million for the year.
There’s a whole lotta eSports going on this weekend. Chief among the action are the two big MOBAs. Over in Dota 2, the jointly produced StarLadder Star Series and IMBAtv i-League season comes to an end with their playoffs and some top teams still in contention. Meanwhile, League of Legends starts league play this weekend worldwide. All five of the big leagues have games over the weekend so we can see who gets off to a hot start.
Elsewhere, there is various StarCraft action in Korea. The Heroes of the Storm Gold Series continues group play ahead of next weekend’s playoffs. And CS:GO has their first January Minor event in the Americas. That doesn’t sound too impressive but it’s worth $30,000 to the winner and an invite to the final eight qualifier for February’s MLG Columbus Major.
It’s a quiet weekend in the world of eSports. League isn’t back until next week so MOBA fans will have to make due with the qualifiers for March’s Shanghai Major. Otherwise, there’s a little bit of Hearthstone, SC2 and HOTS for you to take in.
The biggest name in North American eSports is now the property of the biggest game publisher in North America. Just prior to Christmas, MLG’s Board of Directors approved the sale of “substantially all” of its assets to Activision Blizzard for $46 million.
There are a few events happening this weekend to give some of your favourite eSports stars a couple of extra dollars in spending money right before Christmas. The stars of League of Legends are split between China and Germany. The big teams are in Cologne for a stop on the Intel Extreme Masters tour while China plays host to World Cyber Arena. Also at WCA are Hearthstone and Dota 2 which isn’t listed below because I can’t find times for anything beyond the group stage.
My focus will be on StarCraft II this weekend. The semi-annual HomeStory Cup is taking place this weekend. I believe that this one will be the first HSC from Take’s new studio rather than his apartment. Hopefully this won’t change the atmosphere of the event. HomeStory Cup is my favourite tournament series in SC2.
If you’re looking something to watch on Twitch this weekend and are in the Americas, this is a good weekend for you. Dota 2’s The Summit 4 wraps up this weekend with the eight-team playoff. ESL and ESEA conclude their CS:GO pro league. And StarCraft II’s Nation Wars continue this weekend. Canada is in action on Thursday and Friday so I’ll be watching to see if Scarlett, HuK and desRow can bring Canada to the Round of 8.
For those on the West Coast or those up late elsewhere, Riot is holding the 2015 All-Star Event featuring the international regional all-star teams and the 1v1 tournament. Put a pot of coffee on if you want to see the finish of those.