Last Week in Esports
Look, it’s not easy to keep up with every news article that comes out. Teams make their announcements at odd times due to time zone differences, some days are busier than the Las Vegas Strip, most weekends have multiple tournaments going on at once, and you’ve got better things to do than sit around waiting for news. That’s why, today, I’m going to be introducing Stream.me’s weekly esports roundup: Last Week in Esports.
Last week was a busy week in the world of esports (now officially “esports” thanks to our pal AP Style Guide!) for pretty much every major scene but, today, we’re going to be talking about the scraps of news that really made headlines and caught our eye.
Shortly after receiving their invite to The Kiev Major, Ad Finem revealed that their roster had gone and left the organization to play on their own. No one truly understood why, given that The Boston Major was their first major win as a team and leaving a dedicated organization is pretty perilous, but it happened. Ad Finem, as an organization, was acquired and merged into PENTA Sports but, for a while, it seemed like ex-Ad Finem would be drifting about on their lonesome indefinitely.
This is when mousesports swooped in to sign the Greek team to their organization, marking the organization’s return to Dota 2 since they bowed out of the scene mid-2015. The announcement was made on the mousesports flagship last Friday, where they also introduced their team staff.
“Dota is one of the most exciting games in esports with a huge and very dedicated fanbase, amazing events, and the biggest prize pools,” said Cengiz Tüylü, CEO of mousesports, “We couldn’t wait to get back into the Dota community and I believe we found the perfect group to take this step.”
The team is currently bootcamping in Germany in preparation for the upcoming Major.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
If you’re a Counter-Strike fan and don’t know what ELEAGUE is, I welcome you as you emerge from whatever rock you have been residing under. ELEAGUE quickly made a name for itself in the CS:GO scene as the rest of the esports world watched in curiosity, bringing some of the scene’s top talent and toughest rivalries to mainstream television. No longer is the ESL Pro League the only contender in the biz, and ELEAGUE is being recognized for taking CS:GO by storm. ELEAGUE has been nominated for a Sports Emmy in the Outstanding Studio Design/Art Design category and, although it goes without saying that it won’t receive the award, it stands testament to how ELEAGUE has helped with ensuring esports’ recognition as a legitimate part of sports media as the gap between esports and traditional sports rapidly closes.
League of Legends
So this was technically a little ago, but I was out of town so it was impossible for me to cover this. While a number of people were focusing on FlyQuest’s impressive 3-2 victory against CLG in the semifinals, which was an absolute nail-biter, what part of the NA LCS that stood out to me was the way Team Liquid scrambled their way out of relegation.
In a last minute move to improve their gameplay and avoid being bumped into the NA CS, Team Liquid made a number of roster changes that included benching parts of their starting lineup to make room for talent borrowed from other teams on top of shuffling parts of the team into new positions. Bringing in Team SoloMid’s Yilian “Doublelift” Peng and Phoenix1’s Adrian “Adrian” Ma was met with harsh criticism, despite the move not being contested by Riot as illegal, as both fans and personalities accused Team Liquid’s Steve “LiQuiD112” Arhancet of abusing his position in esports to narrowly escape relegation on someone else’s merits. Regardless, it worked. Team Liquid snagged wins off of both Gold Count United and eUnited in 2-0 sweeps, returning to the NA LCS in what many perceive to be a tainted victory.
You know, for not being a huge Overwatch fan, I find myself talking about it quite frequently. That’s probably because the iconic casting duo Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist have been leading the charge for its competitive scene, which they are now leaving South Korea for.
It was recently revealed that the duo would no longer cast the LCK, both due to what they felt was an instability with Riot and long term sustainability with Overwatch, but it seems that OGN won’t be the forever home that they felt it would be. OGN’s grand finals, championed by Lunatic-Hai, was the final match for MonteCristo’s and DoA’s as casters, as they will be leaving South Korea to North America in order to cast Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch League.
“Obviously we will serve as broadcasters for the Overwatch League once it begins in Q3 of 2017, but we’re also excited to serve as consultants to Blizzard as the broadcast and shoulder content takes shape,” MonteCristo told ESPN in an exclusive interview, “One of the most compelling aspects of moving back to the States is the opportunity to help build a show from the ground up that resonates with fans as an authentic esports product rather than overreaching into outmoded models from traditional sports.”
In their stead will be Chris “Papa” Smith, Seth “Achilios” Kind, and Max “Atlus” Anderson, who will ensure that the English broadcast of OGN will continue on.
This doesn’t fall into a specific field, but it’s still pretty big news. We all know that esports has been a sort of gold rush for a lot of traditional sports teams and icons, which has caused quite a few of us to lose interest in news regarding organizations that have been invested in or acquired by these brands, but Fnatic has announced that they have received an enormous $7,000,000 USD from a number of investors, including the owners of AS Roma and Boston Celtics. Director of the MIT Media Lab Joi Ito and CEO/founder of Fractal Design also participated in the funding round.
Fnatic formed a partnership with AS Roma back in February when they began managing their FIFA team. Boston Celtics has also dipped their toes into esports, in a sense, when Celtics players Jonas Jerebko bought Renegades last year in August after Renegades over Chris Badawi was banned from owned a League of Legends team.
This puts Fnatic in a comfortable financial situation as they look to expand their reach into esports, namely the Chinese scene. Fnatic partnered with Chinese esports agency B.O.O.T last month in what they feel will allow them to “bridge the gap and close the distance between Western and Eastern esports.”
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai