/FNATIC HITS GUCCI MENSWEAR SHOW
Whenever a big brand like Gucci even dares to brush up against the esports world, it makes the news. In a notable recent encounter, Fnatic brought their swag selves to (sit next to) the runway as invited guests at the most recent Gucci menswear show. Fnatic was represented by members of their LEC roster, decked out in Gucci gear, to enjoy a sneak peek at the design company’s fall 2020 collection. Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek, Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov, and Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek were the lucky few to hang around some of the biggest names in fashion and entertainment for one night.
From the inside: Partner Development Director for Fnatic, Craig Santicchia, told Esports Insider a bit about the visit: “We’re extremely proud to have been invited by Gucci to attend the Milan Fashion Show as special guests on what is a cross over between the new world sport and fashion. Gucci has always been an innovative brand, pushing the boundaries, much like ourselves at Fnatic. Disrupting the norms and opening up new possibilities.”
What’s to come: There’s no telling where this relationship will go as there are no publicly-known plans for a collaboration, but Louis Vuitton took the plunge at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, so there’s always a chance we’ll see Rekkles wearing some specially-branded Gucci gear sometime soon.
/PRESIDENT TRUMP USES LEAGUE OF LEGENDS-RELATED MUSIC IN AD
Speaking of brushing against big names, President Donald Trump’s media crew leaned into the music world and picked out a popular League of Legends-related song to use in a campaign ad. The song in question is “The Throw Down” by Gregg Lehrman, who is known for his scores for The Avengers, Avatar and Mission: Impossible. This track was used in the 2017 World Championships, and became an iconic track for League fans ever since. When Trump’s “PROMISES KEPT” ad went live on Twitter on Friday, it caused a stir with fans and esports figures alike who recognized the music, including Rod “Slasher” Breslau, who subsequently called for a DMCA takedown.
A better explanation: While the president is no stranger to call outs from the music world, this particular incident was not a case of copyright infringement or lack of permission from Riot Games. LEC Broadcast Producer John Daniel “Riot Triaged” Depa, tweeted out that Riot and LEC “both use our own original music, license music from 3rd Party ‘Production Music’ sources, and more.” Whether or not this is an infringement on any rights that Lehrman has to his music is still to be determined, but for now the esports-pride takedown can be called off.
/MARYVILLE GRABS NO.1 SPOT IN COLLEGE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS PRESEASON POLL
It’s a big week for collegiate esports as the opening round of the College League of Legends regular season begins today. ESPN polled coaches across the country to create a preseason power ranking to help fans get situated before the first games of 2020 are played, and Maryville University had the honor of placing first. MU took the CLoL championship in 2019 by besting Western University 3-0 in the grand finals hosted by Riot Games, making it their third championship in four years. They received 24 votes in the polling, the largest margin by far. With a consistently-strong roster and accolades to match this team is definitely the one to beat.
Other schools to watch: Columbia College and Harrisburg University place right behind MU in the rankings, both strong teams with strong institutional backing. Other mainstays like UC Irvine, Western Ontario, Robert Morris and British Columbia make the cut as well.
Keep your eyes on SlashShout for more as the spring CLoL season takes off for more results and rankings.
/BLIZZARD EXPLAINS WHY THEY WON’T BE ISSUING AUSTRALIAN FIRES CHARITY SKINS
Over the past few weeks, Overwatch fans have been vocally calling for Blizzard to release skins to help support the Australian fires relief efforts. Heroes Roadhog and Junkrat, both Australian in the game, were targeted as the perfect cases for charity skins. However, recently Blizzard had to go public stating why charity skins will not be happening anytime soon.
Why skins won’t be in: It’s all due to how the game’s developers process designing these new skins. In short, the development cycle takes too long for a release to happen in an effective window of time. Overwatch Contenders North American Lead Kayla Glover said: “In-game skins aren’t planned, designed, tested, and implemented that quickly in any quality dev cycle.” She did state that Blizzard started matching employee donations to relief efforts, which is at least a measure of good will.
For Overwatch fans that feel strongly about aiding Australian wildfire relief efforts, they should support established charities instead of waiting for new skins to drop.
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/FORTNITE STREAMER BOWL DUOS ANNOUNCED
NFL players do have hobbies outside of football, you know. Many of them enjoy playing Fortnite, and the NFL is on board with bridging the gap between traditional sports and esports by taking part a Fortnite Streamer Bowl to air on January 30th in Miami. NFL players and Fortnite streamers will be teaming up to win for charity, with a sizable $500,000 prize pool.
The pairings were recently revealed, and one of the most exciting is Bugha and Juju Smith-Schuster, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver who has been a vocal Fortnite fan. Maybe he’ll even use skins to create his own likeness in game thanks to some of the NFL skins available.
/INDONESIA CREATES ESPORTS GOVERNING BODY
It’s no secret that gaming is huge in Indonesia. And now, the esports industry in the country is represented by a new government body which aims to bring about more infrastructure and oversight to the industry. The governing body will be meeting soon to draft esports regulations and guidelines to help national players and teams compete at an international level.
They also plan to build a state-of-the-art esports training center. This is likely thanks in part to the momentum from to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, which saw the first esports competition. The recent SEA games also saw two Indonesian teams take home silver medals — with more support, the country make be taking in gold soon enough.
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/FEARLESS RETURNS TO SHANGHAI DRAGONS FOR OWL 2020 SEASON
Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok will be returning to the Shanghai Dragons’ roster for the 2020 Overwatch League season starting in February. Fearless was the team’s former starting main tank, but dropped in early 2019 from the main Dragons roster due to health concerns.
He went on to play in Contenders league for the Dragon’s Team CC squad, and it was decided that it is time for Fearless to return to the main lineup after two successful Contenders seasons with them. This should be the final roster announcement of the season for the Dragons, as they now have a full 12-man lineup. Overwatch League starts again on February 8th.
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/ESA NOW OFFERING ESPORTS SCHOLARSHIPS
The Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization representing United States video game publishers, is now offering esports scholarships. It has been issuing scholarships for 20 years, but this will be the first year that esports is represented as an aspect of the pool of recipients.
These scholarships are intended to help American women and minorities who are actively competitive and pursuing careers in the world of video games. Applications for the scholarships are open until March 2, 2020.
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