Imagine Dragons and Riot Games worked together on a rallying cry for the League of Legends Championship Series. The song, which can be downloaded here, accompanies an animated video charting the journey from amateur to flashing light in the sky. Riot Games and LoL organizations all over the world have been trying to get eSports recognized by the mainstream sporting press as a “real” sport and break into the greater consciousness. Is this video helping them out?
ESPN may have aired Dota 2's $10 million International championship, but don't expect the network to be embracing the esports anytime soon. ESPN president John Skipper recently downplayed Amazon's $970 million acquisition of Twitch in an interview, stating that his network was more interested in "real sports." Ouch.
Well, after a whirlwind of a day, rife with rumors and speculation, it has been officially announced that Amazon has purchased Twitch.TV for a whopping $970 million. There's obviously a lot of speculation going around still about just what this means for Amazon, for Twitch, and for the gaming community as a whole. Let's break down the facts and make some guesses, shall we?
Riot Games has finally revealed the schedule, format, and prize pool for their annual League of Legends World Championships, which will take place across Asia, culminating in the finals in South Korea. Due to the timezone of this new venue, fans in North America are probably looking at some pretty late nights if you want to watch the entire event.
It's not exactly surprising news, but Valve's big Dota 2 tournament, The International, was a smashing success for everyone involved. The competition, which featured a prize pool of almost $11 million (the largest in esports history by far), attracted over 20 million unique online viewers.
Evil Geniuses' Patrick "Aches" Price has been suspended by Major League Gaming "due to "repeated harassment of MLG employees and conduct detrimental to the league." As a competitive Call of Duty player, Price will subsequently be barred from four MLG Pro League Matches and the NA 2K Tournament.
After four days of epic battles at Seattle's KeyArena, Chinese team Newbee has beaten out the competition to win the fourth annual Dota 2 International tournament. For their efforts, they've taken home an impressive $5 million grand prize, with runner up ViCi Gaming netting $1,475,699.
Esports have just taken another huge step into mainstream legitimacy. ESPN has announced that they will be broadcasting all of the four remaining days of The International, as well as a preview of the finals on Sunday night.
Dota 2's The International is, by a wide margin, the most lucrative esports tournament of all time. So far, the community has contributed over $10 million to the prize payout, with over $4 million going to first place alone. It's undoubtedly a huge success for Valve, who developed the game and also manage the competition, so it's no surprise that they're considering how to branch out.
A pro Counter-Strike player's game got a little bit too real when actual police officers showed up at his house mid-stream. They were apparently called by an anonymous tipster as part of a (very illegal) prank known as "swatting."
Esports might be getting a whole lot... sexier? According to a recent tweet, YouPorn (you know what YouPorn is, don't make me explain) is considering sponsoring competitive League of Legends, Dota 2, or Hearthstone players, and wants to know what fans think of that.
We are smack dab in the midst of the biggest esports tournament of all time (overall prize pool of over $10.5 million and counting!), but for those who are a bit newer to the game, watching the streams can seem a bit daunting. There's the advanced tactics, the pro-level strategy, remembering what all of the items and abilities do, and perhaps most confusing, all of the Dota-lingo. Luckily, one stream is looking out for these people, providing commentary on the matches that keeps things newbie-friendly, while also explaining some of the game's nuances.
Gender issues continue to plague gaming, most recently stirring up controversy in the world of esports. The International e-Sports Federation, a league based in South Korea, has a policy of dividing their tournaments along gender lines. This recently became an international issue when a Finnish Reddit user posted a Hearthstone tournament announcement for a qualifier in Europe. Due to the fact that participants would be qualifiying for an IeSF event, and the IeSF has no women's Hearthstone division, female gamers were being barred from entering.
The past half decade or so has seen a meteoric rise in popularity for eSports events. The top pros across a number of different games are now able to rake in some serious cash, with Dota 2's $10 million International prize pool as a pretty good indicator of the trend. Soon however, even dedicated amateurs will be able support themselves through competitive gaming, with Robert Morris University becoming the first college in North America to offer eSports scholarships.