News

Tobi Lutke, Shopify CEO, Turns Out To Be An Esports Fan

Several days ago, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted this message: I just realized that my favourite Starcraft tournament is this weekend near Berlin. I love Starcraft and esports - so I’ll double the prize pool to 50k. Tune in at https://t.co/Oi40n6NMJ4 this weekend to watch some amazing matches. (also, organizers, please contact me 😂) — Tobi Lutke 🌳🌲 (@tobi) November 21, 2019 What Does It Mean for StarCraft As an esport, StarCraft and StarCraft 2 are not even nearly as popular as they were some 7-8 years ago. With the rise of other, more entertaining esports, such as Dota 2, League of Legends and so on, a highly technical game such as StarCraft was bound to lose ground and most of its player base. Because of the delicate situation it finds itself in, StarCraft could obviously benefit from any kind of divine intervention from the outside world. Because the scene itself is quite limited in what it can do to compete with today’s esports giants. The difficulty and brutality of the game (trust me, going 1v1 against someone in SC2 is a form of intellectual MMA) make it far less appealing than a game like Fortnite. Which is one of the reasons why Fortnite has over 250 million players while StarCraft 2 only has hundreds of thousands. What Does It Mean for Esports Events like this remind us of something that will turn out to be truer and truer as the years go by: esports has a lot of fans around the world. And as those fans age, some of them will hold quite a bit of power in society. And guess what that will mean for an industry that already has over 450 million fans around the globe. Of course, Tobi’s intervention may not mean much for the scene in the short run, but it does signal a possibility that many are not even taking into account. Which is this: if things don’t naturally happen on their own, people with power can make them happen. Examples include Valve’s 2011 decision to offer a prize pool of $1.6 million for the first edition of The International. Or Epic Game’s decision (although it’s only speculation) to ask Drake to help a streamer like Ninja and draw a massive amount of attention to their game.

Who Will Win the PUBG Global Championship Grand Finals?

The PUBG Global Championship Grand Finals is the most important PUBG competition of the year, providing a great show for viewers and numerous PUBG betting opportunities. With almost 3 million dollars in prizes and 16 teams in the race, this is an absolutely massive event for an emerging esport such as PUBG. By comparison, most of the other PUBG events throughout the year offer just tens of thousands or at best a few hundred thousand dollars in prizes. PUBG Global Championship Grand Finals Favorites The winner of the tournament gets one million dollars, while the runner-up gets $300.000. With such incredibly high stakes, the teams will undoubtedly fight hard to take advantage of the opportunity. The main favorites for winning PUBG Global Championship Grand Finals are Tempo Storm and Lazarus. The first of these teams won 5 different trophies in 2019 while the second one has shown exceptional tournament form during this event, winning the Semifinals with 106 points. Two other strong teams are FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere. Of course, not all of these teams performed as well as they should have in the Semifinals. FaZe Clan for instance, just barely qualified from the 16th place with 60 points. Na’Vi was also only 12th, with a performance that was considerably weaker than what we had become accustomed to. But in spite of that, these are still top teams with excellent results over the few years they’ve been around since the birth of the game. And at a competitive level as high as this one, it’s usually the veterans who succeed. We're really ecstatic about what happened yesterday at #PGC19! @FaZeClan went from being the worst performing group of the day to putting themselves in 16th and in the Grand Finals! Take a look at our recap of yesterday and relive the hype! 💥 READ📋 https://t.co/A9sGMPwSCW pic.twitter.com/ThCqVORUb7 — PUBG Esports (@PUBGEsports) November 19, 2019 Keep in mind that in the global rankings, FaZe Clan is number 1, Na’Vi is 3rd, Tempo Storm is 4th, and Lazarus is 9th. And while that assessment is of course debatable, it’s a matter of fact that you should either rely on tournament form or overall form when assessing who the best teams are. PUBG Global Championship Grand Finals Semifinals Results To get a better idea with respect to tournament form, here’s what happened during the Semifinals of this event. 1st place: Lazarus: 106 pts. 2nd place: QM Gaming: 97 pts. 3rd place: 4AM: 96 pts. 4th place: TSM: 86 pts. 5th place: GEX: 82 pts. 6th place: VC Gaming: 79 pts. 7th place: WClick: 75 pts. 8th place: Tempo Storm: 74 pts. 9th place: Gen.G: 74 pts. 10th place: OGN Entus Force: 73 pts. 11th place: OGN Entus Ace: 69 pts. 12th place: Natus Vincere: 67 pts. 13th place: Genesis: 65 pts. 14th place: The Rumblers: 65 pts. 15th place: T1: 62 pts. 16th place: FaZe Clan: 60 pts. Looking at this list, you can quickly see that the big favorites did not necessarily get the best results. However, they’re still likely to make a big comeback in the Grand Finals and show us once again why they’re held in high respect. In particular, FaZe Clan has a good chance of climbing all the way up to top 3. It may sound difficult, until you look at their history and see what they did at previous events.

WoW Maltese Star Jokerd Got Released from Method’s Streaming Team

World of Warcraft player Daniel “Jokerd” Gobey rose to Twitch prominence after he succeeded in becoming the first player to reach level 60 on WoW Classic, beating multiple top stars from Method, who were also trying to win the race. Jokerd managed to achieve this on a gnome mage. At Method, we're all about World Firsts. So this? It just makes sense! A huge welcome to @Jokereed! We're thrilled to have him on board. Help us give him a warm welcome to the team!https://t.co/r51HylMTXr pic.twitter.com/SVDi9K5jwu — Method (@Methodgg) October 30, 2019 Getting Signed by Method Not long after his accomplishment, Jokerd was signed by WoW’s largest esports and streaming roster, known as Method. However, just two weeks after his signing, he got involved in an incident and was immediately released from Method, which cited offensive actions on his part during a raid on one of WoW’s US servers. The Incident The online incident in which Jokerd messed up according to Method involved a WoW raid where he was given the opportunity to “ninja” (or steal from the group) an extremely rare and powerful reward received for beating Ragnaros. The item is called Staff of Dominance. Right before he stole the staff and claimed it as his own reward, Jokerd made some rude remarks and then left the raid party’s voice chat. His explanation following the incident was that his actions were smart not only for him, but also for his raid group called Power. When asked whether or not he expected to get kicked out of Power as a result of his actions, he said that in fact, he expected them to see the brilliance of his move and actually promote him. “Power just became stronger for me ninjaing. Think about it for a second, if you’re Power. Do you want some random guy to get Staff of Dominance? F*ck no! You want someone in Power to get more powerful, and guess what? That’s what happened. I’m going to get promoted to officer in Power because of this. There was a member of Power in this raid, George, and he instantly told the rest of them what he did and you know what they said? “Nice one! Good job, f*ck yeah! Congrats Jokerd!” they said, because it’s an upgrade to Power.” Method’s Reaction However, the general manager at Method, Shanna “Darrie” Roberts, saw the situation very differently and stated the following: “Method has been made aware of the situation that recently occurred involving Method streamer and WoW Classic influencer Jokerd. In response to Jokerd's actions, we have removed him effective immediately from our Twitch Team, and he has been suspended from Method pending further investigation into the future of his contract.”

MFA and GMR Entertainment Team Up to Announce Malta BOV ePremier League

The Malta Football Association and GMR Entertainment have announced the inaugural Malta BOV ePremier League, an official EA league with multiple qualifications and competitive stages. The event is based on the FUT version of FIFA20, where Maltese PS4 console players are invited to join and prove their skills at a professional level. “EA SPORTS FIFA is one of the most popular video games worldwide and we’re very pleased to team up with Electronic Arts in this partnership which will lead to the creation of the first Malta BOV ePremier League.” –  Dr. Matthew Paris, the Malta FA Vice-President “These are exciting times for the local esports industry. We are pleased to see that gaming is being more accepted and appreciated in Malta. “We’re delighted to be partnering up with the Malta FA as this gives our industry more credibility in the eyes of the general public as well as opening new doors to local players.” –  Kersten Chircop, Founder GMR Entertainment Our partnership with the Malta FA gives players the opportunity to realise their dreams of competing on behalf of their favourite clubs at the highest level of competition. We see the Malta BOV ePremier League as the perfect connection between virtual and traditional football and this engagement will accelerate local fandom.”  –  Sam Turkbas, Competitive Gaming Deputy Commissioner EA SPORTS FIFA Malta BOV ePremier League Dates The qualifiers for Malta BOV ePremier League (2019 – 2020 season) are scheduled to take place on the following dates: November 21st - 3 Players Qualify November 28th - 3 Players Qualify December 5th - 3 Players Qualify December 9th - 4 Players Qualify  The Qualifiers will commence at 19:00 CET and the check-in process starts at 17:00 CET. The rules regarding team requirements will be available in the qualifiers’ rules section. These 13 players will join the 2018 – 2019 top Maltese PS4 EA Global Series Player, Christian Spiteri. So in total, 14 participants will take the start in the tournament. The official unveiling of the participants will be done on December 15th, 2019. The Malta BOV ePremier League match dates are the following: January 23rd January 30th February 6th February 13th February 20th February 27th March 5th KO Finals date: March 28th March 29th Malta BOV ePremier League Rewards Those who perform well in the Malta BOV ePremier League, will earn EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series points. These points are used to qualify for the FIFA eWorld Cup. Two of the participants will also be selected to represent the nation in the 2019 – 2020 FIFA eNations Cup. Malta BOV ePremier League participants who also want to be eligible for these points, must register on FUTChampions.com between January 16th – 31st and be FUT Champions-verified. Register now for the chance to be crowned Malta's best!

Dr Grandayy, The First Maltese To Reach 1 Million Followers On Twitter

If you’re a meme addict, you’ve probably heard of him. Grandayy is a meme and content creator with almost 2,5 million YouTube followers and over one million Twitter followers. He is the first Maltese to reach 1 million Twitter Followers and he certainly seems to enjoy being an entertainer. YouTube and Twitter Activity Although his YouTube videos are usually extremely short (under 2 minutes), they get a lot of views and likes and are generally high-quality for the meme genre. His channel has over 500 million views. On YouTube, Grandayy posts regularly but not that frequently (around once a week). However, this combination of posting rarely and keeping the videos short but powerful has helped him gain a substantial number of followers, who are eager to watch his next video. On Twitter, Grandayy is a lot more active, tweeting at least several times a day. Unfortunately, even with his latest achievement of reaching 1 million followers on Twitter, he is still not verified. An Unexpected Turn Of Events Grandayy was born on June 1st 1994 (age 25). He has a medical degree but does not practice medicine, preferring instead to be a content creator and, well, a memer. In that sense, he’s a lot like PewDiePie, except he finished his studies before dedicating himself to his hobby. - I learned most of my editing skills on my own and from the internet. - Yes I am actually a doctor with a medical degree (but I don't work as a doctor). -Grandayy, YouTube (About) The "Grande" in his username comes from a RuneScape account that he created when he was just 11. chose Grande Milan since I used to support AC Milan (emphasis on 'used to'). When I went to create a YouTube channel, the name Grande Milan was taken, so I went with the founding year of the club instead, 1899 -Grandayy, Lovin Malta interview. The Memer's Success In 2018, Grandayy became the first Maltese YouTuber to reach one million subscribers. And then, just half a year later, he surpassed two million subscribers. With such a quick rise to prominence, he certainly seems to know how to create quality content that gets people’s attention. Grandayy does a lot of note block covers in addition to memes, and as you can check for yourself on his second YouTube channel (grande1899), they are pretty cool. Prior to creating these covers, he had no musical experience. He simply learned everything as he went along. You keep going Grandayy, meme us proud!

VKLiooon Writes History As First Female Champion At The Hearthstone Global Finals

VKLiooon, a female Hearthstone player from China, has won the Hearthstone Global Finals and $200,000 by defeating bloodyface in a very one-sided match. The final score was 3 – 0 and with this victory, VKLiooon managed to gain the attention of esports fans from around the world. Unfortunately, it’s not very often that we see women compete at the highest level and win a truly important title. Your #HearthstoneGlobalFinals Champion!! pic.twitter.com/YHv3DObYSc — Hearthstone Esports (@HSesports) November 2, 2019 What This Means for Women in Esports Unlike traditional sports, where women have many options to choose from if they want to compete at the highest level, esports offers women very few chances of proving themselves and playing in a league of their own. Right now, their only real option seems to be the one that VKLiooon took: to compete with men and actually be better than them. If you look at very popular esports such as Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO or Overwatch, women are a rarity and tier 1 competitions that involve teams of women are pretty much inexistent. With VKLiooon’s success in the Hearthstone Global Finals, we may see at least a change in attitude toward women in esports. It’s still not very likely for them to be taken seriously by sponsors and tournament organizers, but if more of them show up and start to compete at a high enough level, more people will start to pay attention. Comparison to Traditional Sports Given the popularity of female competitions in sports like tennis, gymnastics, volleyball or handball, it’s quite obvious that people do in fact watch competitive events disputed between women, as long as the quality of those events is high enough. But that implies not just one solitary woman who’s the exception to the rule, but rather a decent amount of female competitors who are interested in an esports title and set out to master it. By nature, competition seems to be in men’s blood. But we rarely attribute the desire to compete to women, even though they too are obviously engaged in that sort of thing both socially as well as professionally. And as we were saying earlier, traditional sports is already clear proof of women’s capacity and desire to be top performers in sports or esports for that matter. The only thing that needs to be done is to create opportunities for them, to find an audience that would enjoy watching them compete and then incentivize them to get more involved in esports. We're here to support #WomenInEsports.

Kurt0411 Gets Banned From EA Sports FIFA Global Series

According to EA, this incident decision has been the unavoidable outcome of a series of repeated Code of Conduct policy violations on the part of Kurt0411. Allegedly, he spoke in a vulgar way about the company and its employees, as well as other people involved in FIFA20 and its professional scene. EA’s Statement In a recent statement following this decision, EA had this to say about the incident: “Kurt0411 received a two-month, five qualifier suspension on October 18, 2018, for an inappropriate video posted online. Next, on March 25, 2019, Kurt0411 received a Final Warning for new Code of Conduct violations. We shared at that time that if policy violations continued, our actions would escalate. After the vulgar videos posted on October 10, 2019 and October 19, 2019, we disqualified Kurt0411.” EA Statement regarding Kurt0411 disqualification. pic.twitter.com/2Wgf3EG5CO — EA SPORTS FIFA Competitive Gaming (@EAFIFAesports) November 1, 2019 According to what we know, these last two videos included scenes in which Kurt insults the company and spits on their logo. This is the VOD that Kurt got banned for, I am all for freedom of speech but this is disgusting behaviour. How are you going to spit on the logo of a company that you want to be a professional esports athlete for. I know I am going to get stick for this but he deserves the ban. pic.twitter.com/oJmlifBFLU — DrJarba (@JarbaFifa) November 1, 2019 Kurt0411’s Statement Kurt responded to EA’s accusations and decision to ban him from their tournaments by stating very clearly that he does not deny his actions. He simply doesn’t regard them as being completely inappropriate and unjustified, as EA claims. On November 1st, Kurt took to Twitter to clarify the situation and his views. Among other things, he had this to say: “They have rules they enforce on whoever they want for whatever they want. The only way for me to not get banned was to not make any videos and never stream again. A tyranny doesn’t like it when someone says something they don’t like and holy shit, I’ve said plenty they don’t like.” Then he goes on to detail some incidents in which he used vulgar language against an opponent and harassed an EA staff member. In Kurt’s view, the incident has less to do with his actions and more to do with EA trying to protect their image and prevent him from participating at the next big FIFA20 tournament, for which he had already qualified. According to him, their fear was that by having him there and giving him a chance to speak, he might insult the brand in an even more public way than he already did. pic.twitter.com/2F5XJVjVGE — Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) November 1, 2019 “The part that’s toughest to take is that they banned me after I went through hell and successfully qualified for their event. The “incidents” happened 2-3 weeks ago and I even spoke with them last week and no mention of anything. Once I qualified they panicked.” After the tweets above the community came rushing to Kurt0411's support, stating that the community is after him and that EA should switch their aim to cheaters who are still allowed to compete in global events. On the other hand, some stated that Kurt should take a breather before he speaks as these episodes are landing him in trouble and jeopardizing his pro career. Could this be a lot to ask from a strong personality such as Kurt0411? We think so.

Kojima Productions Announces Death Stranding for PC

Kojima Productions, the famous Japanese video game development studio with almost 15 years of experience in the industry, recently announced via Twitter that they will be bringing Death Stranding to PC by next Summer in 2020! In the immediate future, the company will launch its game on PS4. This is scheduled to take place on November 8th. The publisher of Death Stranding is Sony. Historically, Sony’s important games have stayed on the PS4 but that has finally started to change. Thanks to all of you who have been supporting #DEATHSTRANDING! DEATH STRANDING release on PS4 is November 8, 2019!! Furthermore, KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS is happy to announce that DEATH STRANDING will be coming to PC in early summer of 2020!!#kojimaproductions #deathstrandingpc pic.twitter.com/Sk4clWWY1X — Kojima Productions (@KojiPro2015_EN) October 28, 2019 About Death Stranding Death Stranding is an upcoming game belonging to the action genre. Its developer, Kojima Productions, will be releasing in on PS4 on August 8th and everyone’s waiting for the first ratings and reactions. The gameplay is centered around the goal of reconnecting isolated cities and a fragmented society. The idea, while not entirely unique, is quite appropriate for our world, in which keeping people out of our little tribe has become a common theme. Death Stranding has been in production for almost four years, so everyone is looking forward to playing it. The YouTube trailer, released at the end of May, has over 8 million views and an excellent like/dislike ratio with some 380.000 likes and just 9.000 dislikes. By the looks of things, the gaming community is super excited to see what Kojima has been doing over these past 4 years. A quick look at the trailer reveals a game filled to the brim with gun fights, explosions, tense moments of drama and even horror and other elements that will make the fans of action games thrilled. Conan O’Brien, the famous comedian and talk show host, has called the game one of the most anticipated titles in years. Conan is known to be involved in the gaming industry and his assessment of the situation underlines quite clearly what everyone’s been talking about these past few months: that a breakthrough title is about to be released. Hopefully, it will be as good as people hope for. Everything about it screams action and high quality, from graphics to story, from world design to sound effects. Keep in mind, Death Stranding comes on PS4 on November 8th. If you’re into action games, give it a try and tells us what you think. Our guess is you won’t be disappointed by what could turn out to be one of the best video games of the year.

Artificial Intelligence Gets 20.000 CS:GO Players Banned

Killer robots and other apocalyptic AI systems might be a thing of the future or perhaps a pure SF element of human imagination. However, until we get to the distant future, we’ve got some other applications of artificial intelligence that have already produced results. More specifically, some 20.000 CS:GO players got banned in six weeks because a new chat AI system called Minerva has found them guilty of breaking certain rules of conduct. In addition to banning all of these players, Minerva issued 90.000 warnings and marked 7 million messages as toxic. So as you can imagine, only the ones that persisted in their actions succeded in getting banned. Which is a general lesson for life too. “Who’s responsible?” – Sarah Connor, “Terminator 2” FACEIT and Google Working Together The companies responsible for this purge are FACEIT and Google. Together, they’ve developed a new way of detecting spammers and flamers that use FACEIT to play CS:GO and decided to terminate them (I mean their accounts) if they don’t behave. If you think China may have gone too far with their social credit system, just get a load of this. Impact of This Experiment During the 6-week trial, in the months of August and September, when FACEIT has employed this latest chat AI system, the number of toxic CS:GO messages dropped by 20% while the number of unique players sending such messages dropped by 8%. Future Implications The implications for the world of CS:GO are massive. Today it’s FACEIT who does this. Tomorrow might be Valve itself. As you probably know, CS:GO and esports, in general, is an international activity. And as a result, you get to learn new languages, just because you have to. Well, with Minerva watching people 24/7, a lot of kids will no longer get to learn any Russian or at least the basic curse phrases used in English. From now on, they’ll have to curse in their own language when they get angry and as a result, the world has lost a wonderful means of expression that had been previously shared by everyone. Just imagine telling someone from France “Rush B cyka!” in 2050 without them having any idea what you meant. I guess one of the big questions regarding this system is the following: if the community doesn’t give up on their standard approach (i.e. flame everybody all the time), how much will FACEIT be willing to lose users of their platform in favor of helping young people assimilate all those lessons they didn’t learn from their moms?

Leonard From The Big Bang Theory Will Star In An Esports TV Show

Johny Galecki, the actor who plays the role of Leonard Hofstadter in the famous series called The Big Bang Theory, will star in an upcoming esports comedy centered around a group of friends who play esports and have an interest in competitive gaming. The show will be called The Squad and it will be produced by NBC. One thing that makes a lot of people excited about it is the fact that its writer will be Anthony Del Broccolo, the same man who wrote The Big Bang Theory. Implications for Esports As an industry, esports has already surpassed the one billion dollar mark and the number of people who have had some interaction with it is getting close to 500 million. Just League of Legends alone is played by more than 100 million people worldwide. When something starts to appear on television and becomes mainstream, a lot of people start to endorse it and from that point onward the snowball effect does the rest. Given the current transformations at the level of our societies and the fact that newer generations are more and more accustomed to video games, it’s only a matter of time until esports become as popular or even more popular than traditional sports. The Most Likely Evolution of Esports Over Time For the time being, it’s hard to imagine how esports could become something so massive because there are a lot of people in the world, 35 and older, who haven’t had the chance to play the brilliant video games that shaped a generation and follow the rise of esports in genres like MOBA, RTS or FPS. But in 10-20 years, when the generation of the nineties will be 40-50 years old, you can be pretty certain that almost everyone below 50 will have at least heard of esports. At that point, this industry will likely be larger than almost any other traditional sport we have today. No doubt, football, basketball, tennis and a few other sports will retain their popularity, simply because they’re so fascinating to play and watch. But many others, which exist today simply because there’s not enough competition from other places, will likely be gone or reduced to a tiny community. As a whole, video games are played by over two billion people. Board games, such as chess, are also played by large numbers of people. Chess alone has over 600 million players. And from chess or casual video games to esports is just one step, because the need to compete is in our blood. We are Gamers after all.

Blizzard Blunders, Riot Games Capitalizes

After 10 years of refining League of Legends and turning it into the most successful esport in the world, Riot Games has finally started to show everyone that they intend to conquer more than the MOBA genre. After all, their player base of 100+ million might want to enjoy a card game or a good FPS when they start to get bored of leveling up champions and destroying the enemy team’s base. And what better time to make these announcements than immediately after another big blunder from one of their rivals? The Blizzard Scandal Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably learned by now about the mess that Blizzard’s been involved in these past few weeks. Blitzchung, a Hearthstone grandmaster, decided to show his support for Hong Kong after a tournament and showed up with a gas mask on-air, screaming something along these lines: “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times!” Given Blizzard’s deep ties with China and Tencent, it was only a matter of time until the player received his punishment in a clear and totally unnecessary show of force. “You have done well, Marius. Now I think you should have your reward!” – Baal, “Diablo 2, Lord of Destruction” What Blizzard failed to consider, however, was the community’s reaction to their gesture of squashing a tiny insect with a ballistic missile. And in fact, not just one insect but three of them. Because the casters also got punished severely and were fired after the incident, even though they had nothing to do with the player’s actions. Initially, the poor soul lost all of his earnings from the tournament, was excluded from Hearthstone’s Grandmasters and was banned for a year. But shortly after their ruthless decision, taken most likely just to appease China, someone at Blizzard started to feel pity for Blitzchung. Or maybe it wasn’t pity, just the need to respond in a smarter way to a furious community that felt like Blizzard’s been changing for the worst over the last few years. From their famous “do you guys not have phones?” to ruining the career of two casters and a poor soul that dared to stand up for Hong Kong’s independence, the company has slowly but surely moved over to the dark side.  “It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance!” – Frodo Baggins, “The Lord of the Rings” After some careful tactical considerations, Blizzard finally decided to give Blitzchung his money and reduce the penalty to six months. “Am I not merciful?!” Commodus, “Gladiator” Riot Games’ Announcements And while all this was going on, someone at Riot Games did not want to miss the opportunity and so they rushed to the phone and said: “We need to reveal our plans to conquer all of esports right now! No more delays!” It’s quite obvious and you can tell from the YouTube presentation videos that the whole thing’s been rushed. Nevertheless, Riot did insist on showing a disappointed community of gamers that they’re ready to replace or at least compete with some of the company’s they’ve started to hate, by revealing their hand very early. And what did they reveal? Two upcoming games. Project A You can tell from the name (or should I say its placeholder) that nobody was expecting this early announcement. Project A is practically an upcoming FPS game designed to turn into an esport that will challenge both Valve’s CS:GO as well as Blizzard’s Overwatch. And from what can be seen it’s going to be a mixture of both, borrowing mechanics and ideas but becoming something rather different in the process. It’s still too early to tell but hey, why not try your hand at a new thing if you have a massive player base that’s ready to diversify as well? Normally, you’d think that after 20+ years of Counter-Strike and probably 5+ years (by the time it’s going to be released) of Overwatch, the FPS niche doesn’t have room for another wannabe esport. But apparently, Riot has decided to riot against the established order and declare war on Valve and Blizzard alike. Legends of Runeterra This is the second project that just got announced by Riot Games and it’s a card game like Hearthstone. Not much can be said about this project either, except that it has its own flavor judging by the first video that got released. However, this is another saturated market that’s brimming with titles. So again, one must ask: why make another clone of something that has been around for years? Why not try to bring something new? And the answer is obvious: because the model’s been tested and generates a lot of money. And Riot knows that their player base is loyal enough to switch to their upcoming game if they make it good enough and show their support for it, just like they’ve done with LoL.

Fortnite Is Down, Again!

Millions of people from around the globe are currently experiencing what alcoholics call a moment of clarity. Just kidding. They’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms because Fortnite is down and everyone’s addicted to it. But how long will it last? To put your mind at ease, just remember that this is not the first time it happened. At the end of season seven, earthquakes and a big volcano (inside the game, of course!) announced the end of the season and the imminent start of the next one.  Just a Marketing Move The black hole that people are currently experiencing in the game is likely nothing more than a marketing move. It’s a way for the developers of the game to attract a monstrous amount of attention from the Fortnite community as well as other, totally unrelated sources, for the sake of making their creation even more popular than it already is. Right now, thousands of people, perhaps millions, are staring into the black hole that has swallowed the Fortnite map. And everyone’s wondering “what’s next?”. The answer to that is quite simple: “Season 11”. Celebrities Joining the Craze As soon as the horror show began, gamers and celebrities alike have started to either troll or simply ride the wave of this strange phenomenon that has been carefully engineered to do exactly that. For example, Elon Musk tweeted this ridiculous thing and got 400,000 retweets and over one million likes. Had to been done ur welcome pic.twitter.com/7jT0f9lqIS — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2018 Others, such as the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, have commented on the issue because, well, there’s a black hole inside the game and that’s his speciality. Having sold a lot of copies of books on topics such as Astronomy and Physics, he had to say something about the situation and let everyone know that this can happen in real life too. And in fact, it does. Did your @fortnitegame suck you & everything else into a black hole? Can’t help you there. But death-by-black-hole is a thing, and there might even be an entire universe on the other side.https://t.co/Toio6gpgdv — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 13, 2019 A Metaphor Perhaps? The black hole at the centre of Fortnite might also be looked at as a metaphor for the millions of hours that people pour into this game. It’s still a mystery why such a recent title has proved to be more successful than others that have required 10 or even 20 years to get to where they are today. And while any game has some utility to it because it trains your mind and creativity just like any other serious discipline, one cannot but ask: why this one?

Mobile Gaming Made over $15 Billion Dollars Last Year

The mobile gaming industry has exploded over the last few years and is no longer a novelty genre for the casual gamer. According to a report by Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm based in Asia, the mobile gaming industry made 15.3 billion in revenue last year. The mobile esports market already has a larger player base than PC and console gaming combined. The report also stated that mobile gaming will be the primary area of growth in the digital games industry over the next five years, which is huge news as this will allow mobile gamers to join the esports world. A 15.3-billion-dollar sector of the gaming industry will not be overlooked, and bigger games will continue to port and create games specifically for this market. PUBG, Fortnite, and Minecraft have already stepped into this area of gaming, and other games and developers will definitely follow in their footsteps. When bigger games such as Call of Duty eventually make a mobile-specific title, a competitive scene will grow around it and give the best players on this format an opportunity to showcase their skills in tournaments. With the continued growth of the mobile esports market, this will expand the scope of the current high-profile tournaments and allow a rise of a larger number of open tournaments across different titles.   Mobile gaming also has less barriers of entry when compared to PC gaming and console gaming. PC and console gaming can be more expensive than playing on a mobile device, and the average consumer already owns a gaming compatible mobile device. Most mobile games are also free to play, which eliminates the cost of purchasing a full game, which is the norm on consoles and PC. Mobile gaming exclusives such as Clash Royale, Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends are also filling the void of major titles such as League of Legends and Counter Strike who have not made the jump to mobile yet. Major brands and companies have already begun to enter the esports world, and this growth in the mobile sector will allow this trend to continue. The mobile esports industry will also promote more healthy competition between the different formats that already exist between consoles and PC. It will be exciting to see this market continue to grow and expand, and how mainstream brands and consumers embrace the booming mobile market.

Ninja Becomes First Professional Gamer Signed By Adidas

Tyler “Ninja” Belvins is the first professional gamer to be signed by the giant sportswear company Adidas. This is not the first step into esports territory for Adidas as they already sponsor other teams, but it is the first time they have sponsored an individual.  Ninja recently made headlines when Twitch accidentally promoted porn on his old channel when he made the jump to Mixer. He left the popular streaming platform Twitch for its Microsoft backed competitor Mixer, where he has almost accumulated almost 2 million followers. In the past few weeks, Ninja has been seen wearing Adidas clothing to various events, but nothing was made official until he revealed the partnership on his Twitter account. Adidas recently told Endgadget that they committed to “Supporting creators who show dedication to excelling in their field”. It is clear this is only the first step for the powerhouse brand into the esports world. Ninja signed on for a multi-year deal and claims Ninja inspired apparel or content is on the way. On his Mixer stream, he stated: “I can’t say specifically what is in the works with Adidas but use your imagination”. Ninja is one of the biggest names in gaming at the moment, and this partnership with Adidas is one of many recent lucrative deals, but it definitely might be one of the biggest. The king of Fortnite has his own toy line on the way and was recently paid 1 million dollars to stream Apex Legends. He also recently teamed up with Samsung for their #TeamGalaxy campaign and has had a long-running sponsorship with Red Bull. Other Sports Companies Are Jumping On The Esports Hype Train Adidas is not the first clothing company to dive into the esports world. K-Swiss recently put out a limited-edition sneaker for gamers known as the “One-Tap”. Nike has also recently sponsored the professional Counter-Strike team Furia, a Brazilian esports organization. On the other hand, American sports company Champion recently put out an esports clothing line inspired by popular esports organizations. Large brands are starting to see the potential in the billion-dollar industry known as esports, and this will definitely not be the last time a sporting clothes company sponsors gamers and athletes on the digital battlefield. It will be exciting to see how this partnership between one of the biggest brands in the world and one of the most popular streamers in the esports scene plays out over the next few years.

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