Esports Nutshell Weekly | May 6, 2016

Welcome to Esports in a Nutshell Weekly having fun with the world of Esports one week at a time.

 

I am your host Mark Register and the guy to my left your right is Brian DiBiagio.

We’ve got a fantabulous show for you. First we’ll get into the news like Valve’s VAC ban, Starcraft’s new visual novel, and the Free Leffen movement.

Then we’ll ask those hard questions like should non Esports people run Esports organizations, will Vegas be the year round destination for Esports, and at what EVO score do I unlock a girlfriend.

Kontrol Freek CEO Ashish Mistry will shed some light on the world of Georgia Esports.

We’ll watch the best moments of the Counter Strike CEVO Gfinity Pro-League Finals between SK Gaming & Tempo Storm.

And to wrap it all up we’ve got a Free Leffen parody song that is completely ridiculous but so much fun.

So without any further a doo doo here’s the news.

 

  • Esports Nutshell News everything in the world of Esports in a video nutshell
  • Echo Fox replaces Moe with Shahzam.
  • NaVi drops their Heroes of the Storm roster.
  • Vantage hosts the first Esports Strategy and Analytics Conference August 27th.
  • Echo Fox signs Street Fighter V player Julio Fuentes.
  • Ultimate Media Ventures launch their Esports apparel brand.
  • Astral Authority acquires Heroes of the Storm team Gust or Bust.
  • Street Fighter V offers their new ingame purchase of an oldie but goodie, Guile to their line up.
  • Gfinity Esports GTV player now broadcasts up to five different video and audio perspectives to choose from.
  • Echo Fox appoints former Warner Brothers Executive and Monolith Production founder Jace Hall as CEO.
  • Redbull lists the top three Hearthstone player lifetime competition winnings: number three Kolento at $120k, number two Tiddler Celestial at $135k, and Firebat at $218k in competition winnings.
  • Ninja’s in Pajamas training academy Area08 announce they’re hosting international students for a 3 day bootcamp in Stockholm Sweden to be trained by coaches and meet NiP players.
  • Fallout Gaming’s Major All Stars Dota 2 tournament has not paid Invictus Gaming their $50k prize for over a year now…but they did get a free tee shirt, so there’s that.
  • Blizzard allows in game coaching starting with their Summer Global Championship and will now require players to reside in a region for one month prior to playing a tournament in that region, it was 6 months before.
  • Optic Gaming announces Turtle Beach as their new sponsor. With their other sponsor Turtle Wax they now have 2 of the 4 turtles leaving the team’s sights on collecting Turtle from Entourage and Master of Disguise Turtle Dana Carvy to unlock their sponsor bonus sponsor Splinter Works Furniture which will then allow them a chance at their final sponsor Iron Mountain Shredder.
  • French Numeric Esports law goes through the French Senate with a 322-1 vote, next up the French Parliament! If you’re curious about the Esports Federation Association’s founding members who will be representing the interest of economic operations, professionals, and amateurs in Esports, here’s the list –
  • Team EnvyUs constructs a new Esports facility in North Carolina for their team to train and call home with a studio and arena for tournaments thanks to their multimillion dollar investment deal with SierraMaya360 which is expected to close in a month. Showing the trend that more Esports organizations will tie their brand with cities like the LA Renegades.
  • Bradenton Florida based IMG Academy starts their first Esports bootcamp with Complexity Gaming being their first two day class. The academy trains athletes in physical and mental conditioning, nutrition and lifestyle education, and leadership development. The academy’s alumni includes pros like Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Cam Newton, and Tim Howard.
  • Thailand based Team Signature.Trust loose thier trust worthiness when their team manager posts a video of the team playing in the Manila Majors Southeast Asian Qualifiers showing a spotter ghosting or watching a 5 minute delayed twitch stream of their match to see where their opponents were placing wards and shouting it out to the rest of the team. No, no, no.
  • NaVi is chased by pitchfork carrying Dota fans for having a partnership with streamer Ybicanoooobov who uses Boost25 a Dota boosting service. V1lat urges Valve and Twitch to get boosters and deboosters banned.
  • UGC player Miggy acquires the Laughing My Arse Off Box source code from GitHub, and emails it to Valve development team member Eric Smith on March 25th then from March 28 – April 11 Valve flags thousands of accounts then permanently Valve Anti Cheat Bans or VAC bans all of those players flagged which totaled over a thousand accounts. Soon after the VAC ban the developer of Laughing My Arse Off Box announces development for the $20 cheat is no more. Shaneeee thank you for the just the story tip 🙂
  • StarCraft Visual novel “Don’t Forget Our Esports Dream” is set to follow up the previous title SC2VN is in the works driven by writer TJ Huckabee who will show the more realistic side of the Esports pro gamer life highlighting that most of the time you’re losing and failing which is tough and demoralising. He further explained that if there’s 32 people in a tournament one person destroys 31 people’s dreams, it’s a winner take all world in competitive gaming. One of the main protagonists Bolt will show the vain nature of chasing a dream in Esports and how it can tear your life apart. It seems a little heavy so to lighten the mood let’s say he falls in love with a League of Legends player then they have children who become pros in Smite and Halo bringing all the Esports communities together where we all live happily ever after.
  • #3 ranked Super Smash Brother’s player William Hjelte Leffen is denied a US Visa because Super Smash Brother’s Melee is not considered a legitimate sport, he then makes a video with Red Bull Esports reading his rejection letter wrapping it up with saying “this is bullshit”. A Petition with the hashtag FreeLeffen began but before it got the 100k signatures needed, Leffen received a temporary P1 Visa to last him till July. Problem solved! For two months.
  • Downtown Grand Casino announces plans to be a year round Esports destination. Seth Schorr chairman and CEO of Downtown Grand, the movement’s champion, is hoping when larger tournaments are hosted in Vegas that players stick around before and after. The Casino is already becoming a player in the space with the LA Renegades Counter Strike team doing a two month residency at the hotel in November, hosting Wargaming.net League NA Season 2 Regional Finals for World of Tanks in February, the 2016 Madden Community Championship in March, and a watch party for IEM San Jose. In January Las Vegas tourist numbers increased 3% but gambling decreased by 7%. As far as creating Esports gambling machines to line the casino floor, GameCo’s video game gambling machines are currently going through the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s application process. When they get approved Seth Schorr can finally go, ca-ching.
  • Well that’s it have a great week 🙂

 

So a couple question arose from those stories specifically should non Esports people lead Esports organizations, can pro players survive of Hearthstone winnings alone, will every Esports organization tie their brand to a city or college, should cheat bans be permanent, and will Vegas ever be a year round Esports destination?

Such good questions…I know they are because I made them.

But let’s kick it off with Gfinity.

 

  • Gfinity Esports GTV player now broadcasts up to five different video and audio perspectives to choose from…What is the ideal Esports viewing experience?
    • GTV’s and YouTube’s choose your own adventure camera and audio allows you to feel more engaged because you’re actively switching between sources. For broadcasts you’ll usually have a dozen cameras, dozens of audio sources and you have a Technical Director and Audio Engineer mixing and compiling all of those sources into a single feed for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy. But if you like playing Technical Director and Audio Engineer it’s pretty fun to have those options. The other experience that’s coming, 360 which is like Virtual Reality but in a single position and 2 dimensions. YouTube has some great 360 content where if you don’t have a headset device you can just use your phone and move it around like this and it’s like your mobile device is a window into an alternate universe. And good news, right now you can broadcast and watch in 360. So if you want to get out of your comfy chair and do stuff while watching you now have multicam, multi audio, and 360 to choose from.
  • Echo Fox appoints former Warner Brothers Executive and Monolith Production founder Jace Hall as CEO…Why are Esports organizations appointing more non Esports business leaders to lead their organizations?
    • Because you’re not going to hire a trumpet player to build a house. It’s important to have leaders who are experienced in the world of Esports as key figures in Esports organizations. It’s also important to have business women and men do what they do best, business. Using their rolodex of contacts to bridge new contracts with non endemic sponsors, grow the organization with the right positions and people, run operations, and think about all the things that have nothing to do with the game which means the players and coaches get to focus on what they do best and get more structure, money, and time to do so.
  • Redbull lists the top three Hearthstone player competition winnings: number three Kolento at $120k, number two Tiddler Celestial at $135k, and Firebat at $218k in competition winnings…Is there enough money in the space for Hearthstone players to survive on prize winnings alone?
    • Yes but not more than a dozen players. Blizzard Activision, ESL, and others are upping their prize pools dramatically this year so that will help expand the pool of full time Hearthstone players. But right now Esports organizations are signing players to their teams and are able to keep more players’ proverbial financial boats afloat and steady their waters by procuring additional revenue streams like sponsorship deals.
  • Team EnvyUs constructs a new Esports facility in North Carolina for their team to train and call home…Will every Esports organization tie their brand to cities and colleges?
    • Most will. Rob Lee Leonyx from LA Renegades talked about this more and you can see that in our Interview playlist. It’s a smart move because you’re gaining fans by simply associating your identity with their identity. No one would ever watch the Detroit Lions Football team if they were just the Lions because they are terrible, but talk to anyone from Michigan and they identify with their team, the Detroit Lions. They may hate their team but it’s THEIR team because they share a home location. The rub here is a concentration of teams in cities like LA & Seoul where there are dozens of top tier teams and they can’t all tie their brand to their home city.
  • Valve does a permanent VAC ban on thousands of accounts using the Laughing My Arse Off Box hack… Should cheat bans be permanent for casual and competitive players?
    • Yes and no. You should be able to opt in or out of cheat modes because it’s fun to have unlimited ammo, super accuracy, see through walls, be able to fly, play with skins, and having an outlet for that kind of gameplay will increase player satisfaction with the game. When it comes to competitive play be it casual or professional there should be permanent bans because otherwise it ruins the game. Imagine playing a pickup game of football where Slippin Jimmy is covered in vaseline and it’s almost impossible to tackle him, has rockets for shoes so no one can catch him, and sticky bandit gloves so he catches every pass. Don’t get me wrong Slippin Jimmy’s going to have a great time obliterating everyone, those being obliterated will hate Slippin Jimmy and will quit the game. Don’t be Slippin Jimmy, and if you are Slippin Jimmy we will ban you and your vaseline covered, rocket shoe wearing, sticky bandit butt.
  • Seth Schoor chairman of Downtown Grand Casino is making moves to become the year round destination city for Esports…Will Las Vegas be a year round Esports destination?
    • Yes it will continue to be a destination for large scale Esports events and players and fans will stay a few days before and after to enjoy the city. No it will not be an Esports destination on off times but when Seth Schorr and his merry Esports casino give gamers around the world an excuse to go to Vegas they’ll take it. “Honey I’m only going to Vegas to play video games and maybe if things get crazy who knows may go see a Circ show” Wink, Sniff, Poke.

 

We’ll be right back with game highlights from Counter Strike CEVO Gfinity Pro-League Season 9 Grand Finals SK Gaming vs Tempo Storm.

 

And we’re back! Let’s watch the meat and potatoes of this industry…the tournaments.

In Counter Strike CEVO Gfinity Pro-League Season 9 Grand Finals, SK Gaming and Tempo Storm fight for a piece of the $125k prize pool let’s break it down.

 

  • Coming into this match HLTV.com gives us the stats on SK Gaming with a KD ratio of 1.05 & their top player Magiskboy with a 1.13 rating go up against Tempo Storm with a KD Ratio of 1.08 and their top player Hen1 with a 1.16 rating but those are just numbers let’s watch the good stuff.
  • In Map 1 Felps seeing it’s a cloudy day outside sulks in his little corner MODDII says “hey let’s go play,” Felps says “no leave me alone! Pimpp stop making noise over there, screw it I’ll go out,” Friis says, “playtimes over Felps.”
  • MODDII just taking a nice relaxing walk into Felps’ side dish of lead.
  • Lucas mows down Magiskboy and Pimpp, friendly fires on Felps, “sorry,” but makes up for it when he gets Acilion.
  • Felps gets the whack a mole award on Magiskboy.
  • Friis gets a beautiful high ground opportunity on Hen1 instead shoots the ground, “rats,” Hootie and the Blowfish “makes everyone go blind,” Friis apparently of the mindset that if you don’t see someone they don’t exist, Hen1 brings him “back to death, back to reality” with a flick of his knife.
  • Hen1 jumps out screaming “here’s Hen1,” Friis says hello and goodbye.
  • Acillion…contemplating life, looking to the heavens asking the big questions of life like “who am I, why am I here, what am I supposed to be doing, “oh right grenade, fire in the hole!” Tempo Storm taking Map 1.
  • In Map 2 Felps like a boss in the pistol round comes up the ramp and onto Acillion and Friis.
  • Shoowtime picks off MODDII & Pimpp, gets Friis to 50% and Hen1 finishes off the last 50% with a headshot that’s what teammates are for 🙂
  • Acillion jumps around like he can’t catch me, hot potato, Lucas makes french fries with his hot potato.
  • Lucas1 nervous as heck dancing back and forth until Friis and MODDII come for him but Lucas1 pulls the double kill and brings Tempo Storm the win for the round, overtime, and Map 2.
  • In Map 3 Felps headshots Friis, Pimpp, almost gets Magiskboy but Magiskboy pops a squat to save his life and take Felps’ instead.
  • Felps creeping in the shadows sees MODDII’s shadow and says “your shadow days are over, your shadow days are over now”
  • Lucas1 defusing the bomb, Friis running “wait, wait, wait, don’t do it, I’ll be right there!” Bam Friis gets the headshot 40 milliseconds after Tempo Storm wins the round, sad day for Friis 🙁
  • “Pimpp is big pimping shootin Lead, it’s just that pimpin man takin out Shoowtime, Lucas1, and Hen1.”
  • Friis defusing the bomb while Hen1 with his knife stabs the air, “I’m helping, I’m helping!” but his help is useless as SK Gaming takes Map 3.
  • In Map 4 Friis plants the bomb and wins the round, Lucas1 butt hurt wants to get a cheap shot in, but BAM rejected boyahkasha!
  • Pimpp on a warpath, catches Hen1’s rear flank dropping the bomb, Lucas1 attempts to stop him, Pimpp puts an end to him, wounds Shoowtime then kills Shoowtime winning player of the round.
  • Acillion alone and scared in a three on one you can feel how cold the stone is around him as his body joins the stone while Tempo Storm joins the winner’s circle with $55k and the tournament win. Whoo!

 

We sit down with Kontrol Freek CEO Ashish Mistry who also happens to be the managing partner of BLH Venture Partners an Atlanta based private investment firm specializing in early stage companies, and is a board member for almost a half dozen other Georgia based companies.

When we got down to what his company is and the state of Georgia Esports he had this to say.

 

  • Ashish Mistry – Yes. I think in some ways. It doesn’t have the gravitas that LA or Belgium does in having lots of press and stalwarts there.
  • In some ways it’s a good theater market for activity and so you’ve got the guys at Turner that have the CS GO stuff that they’re working on across the street from where we are, the guys at High Rez with Smite are up the road.
  • As a result you’ve got companies with decent scale that are not too far from one another that have really good relationship that are in one way, shape, or form working to better and advance what Esports is going to be about.
  • So yes in someway, it’s not the Mecca by any means yet but it’s definitely a city that should be on the map when it comes to Esports.
  • Mark Register – How do you find and help develop in people in Esports companies to success in Georgia and then how do you encourage them to stay in Georgia?
  • Ashish Mistry – I’ll flip the question a little bit.
  • We find those people…our office is on the Georgia Tech campus so we put a sign out front that says hey want to work for a gaming or Esports company and then we get resumes.
  • But ultimately, finding the talent is difficult but it’s easier when you’re located in proximity to one of the best universities in the country, especially on the engineering side.
  • So lots of gamers, lots of computer programmers play video games.
  • Secondly you convince them to stay here because Atlanta’s a great place.
  • Having gone to University here myself and stay here I can tell you there are lots of opportunities and the things that you want to do as a young professional exist here in spades.
  • There’s lots of great nightlife, a city oriented atmosphere, there’s great outdoor activities, so you can do a lot of it without making minimum wage and paying your 50% sort of taxes in California.
  • You can live pretty large for a good salary here in Atlanta.
  • Mark Register – What is Kontrol Freek and why is it important in the world of Esports?
  • Ashish Mistry – Kontrol Freek is an Esports enthusiast providing accessories.
  • We started the company in 2009 and as a result of our efforts, really early on in Esports before it was even called Esports states side by providing equipment, in this case thumbstick extenders and grips to pro and enthusiast gamers looking to improve their gameplay.
  • We existed to provide a specific benefit to gamers and as a result of the product of being sort of good and the community really driving our adoption we found ourselves to be sort of in the middle of a lot of interesting opportunities and Esports being one of them.

 

Well that’s it! We hope you learned and laughed a little and here’s a song in the key of Esports because it’s all a game and this is us having fun with it.

 

Hugs from the Egirls, pounds from the Mango

Seen my man Reggie that I knew from the SoloMid

Said he had a game, asked me if I had my visa

Form I, 129 I do not

Holler if you need me Reg I’m on the run

Wave and dashin’ see what the Smash is all about

United States, Citizenship, and Immigration Services, I’m a BAD BOY

Visas wanna front, who got your back? RedBull!

Visas wanna flex, who petitions? SmashBros!

It ain’t hard to tell I’m the big six smasher brother

Hungrybox scared you’re supposed to

WestBalls I told ya, put fear in your heart

I used to play Yoshi but then I got wise

Government scared they tried to block

This is bullshit and a petition broke out

Yo Leffen what’s up! Sign the petition, 100k what’s up!? Yo Chill man, Chill!

Can’t we just all get our Smash on?

So we can see me take on the Armada

Get him edge guarded like a boss

And it’s on, and I’m Smashed

that’s that.

Smash Bro this is Bullshit

Here we go go come on

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