/GAMBIT BENCHES GPK FOR REFUSING TO ATTEND BOOTCAMP
Gambit Esports has chosen to bench their Dota 2 midlaner Danil “gpk” Skutin due to the player refusing to attend the team’s bootcamp. This means that during ESL One Major Los Angeles qualifiers, they’ll be missing out on gpk’s talents that would certainly have contributed to the team’s overall success. However, they’ve instead turned to journeyman Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi as their new stand-in.
The amazing gpk: Although Gambit managed mediocre results throughout the 2019 Pro Circuit season, gpk remained a consistent threat to any team faced. The budding superstar was recruited from Vega Squadron during a very impressive run at The International 2019 qualifiers. His phenomenal performance has not escaped the notice of other teams, but his future at Gambit remains questionable as he is contractually obligated to the team until 2021.
Not all players know how to play nice with others.
/WARCRAFT III: REFORGED DEVELOPERS RESPOND TO CRITICISM
While Warcraft III: Reforged was released to a great deal of anticipation, that anticipation changed to anger and frustration as the game was revealed to be full of numerous bugs and glitches that negatively impacted gameplay. From cutscenes to coloring to bugs to customization, nearly everything felt like it needed significantly more work. Fans saw this as Blizzard releasing an unfinished product and many called the developer out on it, even going so far as to demand refunds.
The response from Blizzard:Devs recently responded to the barrage of criticism on their forum and attempted to explain the reason why some controversial decisions were made. The explanation effectively “fell flat,” with majority of comments showing frustration (or jubilee for those that received refunds). For many, the post still felt like a non-answer.
Not a good day to be Blizzard. Then again, those days are few and far between…
/MONDAY NIGHT LEAGUE VIEWERSHIP HAS BEEN “DISCOURAGING”
Riot Games’ new Monday Night League program hasn’t been terribly successful in terms of viewership for the first two weeks of the 2020 LCS Spring Split. While this is to be expected for any new viewing program, Riot expected higher viewership than it is presently averaging.
The numbers: The viewership numbers on Twitch for the last two MNL broadcasts have been described as “discouraging.” This past Monday, the LCS stream had a peak viewership of 73,000 people, whereas its average concurrent viewership floated at around 46,000 for the day. This is a small drop from viewership numbers for the pro games themselves, which peaked at 15,000 on Saturday, February 1st.
What’s going on: MNL was marketed as a marquee day for North American League fans, but it’s apparently been anything but that. Many fans just don’t watch games that late on a weekday, and this is especially the case when the matchup isn’t perceived as “good.” The timing is also quite bad for European viewers, typically taking place at the crack of dawn for EU fans. NA had to reschedule and reformat how the season was played as a result of this, so Riot may need to rethink the current strategy for LCS.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up incredibly early to watch League?
Sea’s Garena acquires Dauntless game maker Phoenix Labs (VentureBeat) — Sea’s ($SE) digital entertainment division, Garena, announced the acquisition of Phoenix Labs, the company behind popular free-to-play RPG, Dauntless. While deal terms were not announced, this certainly qualifies as a strategic acquisition for Garena, which is likely to leverage its global distribution footprint to take Phoenix’s games to the next level. Garena is best known for its mobile titles, while Phoenix is PC and console driven.
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/ESPORTS TOURNAMENT HELD AT REFUGEE CAMP
For the first time ever, an esports tournament has been held at a refugee camp. The Refugees Esports Cup, run by UEFA Foundation for Children and Libraries Without Borders, was held at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. This area is home to people fleeing the conflict from neighboring Syria.
The event itself: More than two hundred teenagers took part in the event, playing the football video game FIFA 20. The tournament lasted a week and had supporters such as Facebook and PlayStation, who helped to train the youths since December 2019. The event cost approximately €100,000 (£84,700/$110,000).
CS:GO: Team Dignitas took the Close Shave of the Week moment during the ELS Qualifiers for the latest major, going into triple overtime.
/REKKLES ON LEAGUE CHAMPION BALANCING
Aphelios and Senna are the latest-released champions for League of Legends and have created quite the meta uproar. The community has issues with these characters due to their perceived power creep and current “ridiculous strengths.” While this may be an issue of them simply being “broken,” the two marksmen have reigned over the pro scene despite receiving myriad nerfs.
Players want new: Rekkles compared this to Kai’Sa and Xayah, saying, “they were twice as good as every other AD carry in the game and now they are not even played… just because they released the new champions.” At Worlds 2019, the two champions were the most-picked bot laners with Xayah sporting an 83.1% pick/ban rate and Kai’Sa with 80.5%. However, they’ve since fallen out of favor since Senna and Aphelios were released.
The current meta: Senna and Aphelios both currently have an 85% pick/ban rate or above in LCS and LEC. In comparison, Kai’Sa hasn’t been selected for the last two weeks of competition. Xayah’s synergy saw less of a drop in usage, falling to 35% in LCS and 55% in LEC. Rekkles indicated that he wasn’t sure what Riot Games’ theory was since every new champion introduces an immense power creep, meaning “people will just never play anything that’s not newly released.”
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