Esports Nutshell Weekly | June 3, 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 leading the music division is Brian DiBiagio. We have a wonderful show for you. We have the top stories including the SK & Luminosity contract debacle & the reality of Heroes of the Storm’s situation. We have a rapid fire list of everything in the space to keep you ahead of the curve. We have a breakdown of big questions for the week. And we have highlights from League of Legends LCK Summer Rox Tigers v Samsung Galaxy and succinct highlights from the best matches in Dota, Counter Strike, Hearthstone, Mortal Kombat, and Overwatch. Now…

For this week’s top stories

  • Jacob Wolf at ESPN reports managing director of SK Gaming Alex Müller poaches Luminosity’s players and staff who signed contracts with SK Gaming while still under their Letter of Intent Contract with Luminosity.
  • It starts back in December 2015 when the players sign a letter of intention with Luminosity to sign their 2 year contract within the next two weeks. In good faith, Luminosity’s Steve Maida starts paying the long term contract rates. Fallen expresses the players are somewhat disgruntled with the organization.
  • SK Gaming’s managing director Alex Müller shoots Fallen an email about hiring him, Fallen replies “we’re under contract but if you want to you can talk to Luminosity CEO Steve Maida.” Alex continues talking with the players of the team as the players push off the signing of their 2 year contract with Luminosity, Fallen told his teammates what they were doing was wrong even though he wanted to leave LG and create his own team at moments.
  • The whole team decides to sign with SK Gaming and start July 1st, Alex promises to pay for any legal trouble that may arise.
  • The players bring up the situation to their boss Steve after they sign. Steve says “Alex Müller propositioned, bribed, manipulated and conned my players, of whom only a few speak english, and did so with no legal representation. He manipulated my players into thinking LG was the devil, and coached them on how to break their contracts with false information and lies, all while telling them he would protect them if LG took legal action, by paying for any legal fees. He even went so far as to personally write the communications to Luminosity for the players.”
  • After talking with Steve they decide to stay with Luminosity. Fallen says “We realized we wanted to stay building the history we have been building this entire year with LG…we feel proud to be part of it. That’s why we wanted to stay where we feel comfortable.”
  • SK Gaming says they will pursue litigation if the players do not start on their team July 1st. Everyone lawyers up, Bryce Blum representing Luminosity Gaming, Ryan Morrison representing the players, WESA commissioner Pietro Fringuelli representing SK Gaming who is replaced with “my Konstaintin” Ewald. Founding member of SK Gaming and ESL Ralf Reichert sells his shares in SK Gaming to get out of the pressure cooker.
  • Given there are no anti-poaching rules in Counter Strike tournaments including ELeague, ELeague commissioner Min-Sik Ko tweets out “There are no plans to sanction either team. We look forward to having SK Gaming compete in Week 3 and Luminosity return for the playoffs.”

 

  • Callum Leslie & Dylan Walker report Gwang Bok Kim manager for top Heroes of the Storm team MVP Black tells Korea’s DailyEsports “there are no tournaments outside the Blizzard sponsored ones. I don’t know whether MVP Black’s players will continue playing Heroes after this year… You don’t earn much even if you win all the international tournaments. My players are still young, so they still have opportunities to play in different games. Both my players and I are sad by the reality we have to face despite being best in the world.” Top teams average less than $1k a month. With Blizzard’s release of Overwatch they are cannibalizing their Heroes of the Storm player pool as many are moving over to the new game. When asked for comment major teams that have already dropped their Heroes of the Storm divisions including EDG, SK Gaming, G2 Esports, and Complexity respond with “Morhaime, stop trying to make HotS happen, it’s not going to happen”

 

And now here’s the rapid fire rundown of everything that’s happening in Esports to give you a table of contents if you’re feeling scholarly or a cliff notes if you’re feeling…nah.

  • Twitch streamer Summ1t gambles away $98k whoops.
  • Bleacher Report launches their Esports app “Estream.”
  • Astro announces a June 7th launch for their Esports channel.
  • Behemoth Comcast Xfinity sponsors ESL and Evil Geniuses.
  • Panda Global goes to bootcamp in Las Vegas at the Downtown Grand.
  • HyperX sponsors Gordon Hayward to wear their headsets when he streams.
  • French TV Station TF1 posts a twitter pic of their plan of attack on the Esports Market.
  • TSM hires Esports psychologist Weldon Green as their League of Legends assistant coach.
  • Australia’s largest sporting event for University student-athletes Unigames makes League of Legends a sanctioned sport.
  • CCP Games’ Project Arena shows off their Tron like full body VR and motion controls game showing that the future of competitive gaming could incorporate more physicality.
  • Cloud 9 wins Dolby’s Agents Rising Overwatch LAN and $5k and nice work to Clutch at 4th. The event’s peak concurrent viewership hit 45k viewers on Twitch.
  • Former 100Thieves players Johnny and Examples team up with Miyagi and Mochila to compete at MLG’s Call of Duty open bracket tournament.
  • Thiemo Bräutigam reports new Counter Strike Tournament Organizer SKYLLA pits all male and all female teams against each other with a $17k prize pool.
  • Chinese conglomerate Qihoo 360 hosts their Clash Royale tournament on 5kong TV & Wang Sicong’s Panda TV with HKEsports CEO Derek Cheung battling it out with Wang Sicong hitting 200k viewers.
  • Games Academy who joins Tempo Storm in February, is turned down for ELeague, looks for a buyer and finds one with Immortals who makes them their new Counter Strike team under the Immortals’ banner.
  • EU Call of Duty World League match Splyce v HyperGames is postponed after being hit with DDOS attacks, their North American league match between EnvyUs & Elevate is postponed due to server issues, and another in their Australia/New Zealand league as well.
  • Veteran charity organization Operation Supply Drop brings Stephen Ellis Snoopeh onto their advisory board, who also serves as Facebook’s Strategic Partnership Manager, co-founder of Player Resource Center, and sleeps 20 minutes a day.
  • ELeague’s first broadcast ropes in 500k concurrent viewers on average for the TV broadcast and peak concurrent viewership on Twitch Tuesday through Friday at 92k peak concurrent and 4.3MM non unique views beating out ESPN’s Heroes of the Dorm with an average of 96k concurrent viewers.
  • Esports Observer reports Supercell, maker of Clash Royale with Cheese, is not Tencent’s first mobile game move as they bought minority stakes in mobile game companies Glu Mobile and Pocket Gems.
  • After years of integrating Physics and collision detection in their titles, Madden 17 has the most realistic life like handling of balls ever. Fun fact, when playing as the New England Patriots you will have the option to choose your ball inflation levels.

 

You’ve been waiting for me to answer your big questions of the week, and I’m here to deliver. Let’s get to it.

  • Jacob Wolf at ESPN reports managing director of SK Gaming Alex Müller poaches Luminosity’s players and staff who signed contracts with SK Gaming while still under their Letter of Intent Contract with Luminosity. Who’s in the right, who’s in the wrong, and what can be done next time to avoid this debacle?
    • Just like in all relationships this is a two way, or rather many way street. Alex Müller should have gone through Luminosity’s CEO Steve Maida and made a deal to buy the team like the Immortals just did with Tempo Storm. Luminosity players and team captain Fallen should not have pushed off signing their contract with Luminosity and Steve should have put his foot down and made them sign given he was fulfilling his end of the contract. Now with the lawyers in place, the best course of action, step away from the situation and move on. Another solution to this problem will come when more money is involved. Agents and Managers. It’s the Jerry Maguires of the world that are built to deal with situations like this so their clients don’t have to. Players spend most every waking moment honing their craft not learning and navigating through contracts. So yes the players messed up and yes they shouldn’t be involved in that mess in the first place.

 

  • Gwang Bok Kim manager of top Heroes of the Storm team MVP Black tells Korea’s DailyEsports there’s not enough tournaments or money to convince him and his players to stay in the competitive scene. Why isn’t Heroes of the Storm taking off as an Esports title?
    • Heroes of the Storm is built for the casual user, it’s built so you can pick it up and have fun immediately. DOTA is so competitive because it’s built that way. First the metagame is constantly changing, it’s difficult to master, and if one of your team members are not pulling their weight your team loses. Heroes of the Storm patches are minor, it’s easy to master, and if one of your team members are not pulling their weight your team can still win as kills and objectives are pooled rather than attributed to one person.
    • Heroes is still a very popular game just not for Esports but Blizzard will continue to organize and pay out prize pools because it’s advertising for the casual user, the only downfall…the lack of money will lower the quality of top tier teams.

 

  • EU Call of Duty World League match Splyce v HyperGames is postponed after being hit with DDOS attacks, their North American league match between EnvyUs & Elevate is postponed due to server issues, and another in their Australia/New Zealand league as well. Are these attacks every organization faces and are they rogue attacks or strategic attacks?
    • Everyone faces DDOS attacks on a daily basis, it’s an ongoing battle that requires skilled engineers to constant adjust their infrastructure and security measures. Because conspiracy theories are fun let’s have fun with it…
    • What if ESL or Valve are going into digital back allies and paying a mercenary or one of the many DDOS attack for hire sites to knock out their image of stability so they get CoD players who are sick of servers crashing to go play Counter Strike. Of course that’s not true…but maybe.

 

  • TSM hires Esports psychologist Weldon Green as their League of Legends assistant coach. Why is hiring a psychologist as a coach a good idea and why is there a high turn over for TSM?
    • Esports are a game of the mind. You don’t need to do suicide sprints and deadlifts to keep up, you need to meditate and talk out your issues with your teammates. That’s in the realm of a psychologist. Why is there a high turn over for TSM? Andy Dinh’s brothers have come and gone, players, leadership…Andy has a very hands on approach to his organization and it can be overwhelming to the point of burnout. Andy did an amazing job of building a brand that attracts a loyal following, sponsors, and top talent. If he lets go of the reigns and lets the talented staff he hires do what they were hired to do, TSM will flourish.

 

We sit down with Dylan Fraley, Chris Evans, and Shane Osborne from Esports Initiative…Here’s a link to the FULL INTERVIEW.

 

 

In League of Legends LCK Summer Rox Tigers v Samsung Galaxy

  • ROX Tigers looking like the clear winner from Oracle’s Elixir showing a kill to death ratio of 1.74 & going 37 and 7 for the Spring Season compared to Samsung Galaxy with a kill to death ratio of 0.95 and going 22 and 22 for the Spring Season…but those are the numbers let’s watch the action.
  • Game 1 In the bot lane Gorilla getting aggresive finally 11 minutes into the game brings the heat on Ruler pushing him and Wraith back with Pray on their front and Smeb coming in from the rear to surround them, with decrepify and torment wearing him down making Ruler the first blood of the game.
  • Ambition meets up with Gorilla in the river, both sides get reinforcements from Peanut and Wraith then Kuro and Crown then Pray and Ruler, Gorilla goes down in the river, and Tigers go tit for tat taking Crown.
  • Samsung working on the Mountain Drake, Tigers wanting them to come out and play and they do but they like to play rough taking out Gorilla who’s death is justified by taking out Ambition.
  • Peanut jumps into the Mountain Drake layer and says “I…immediately regret this decision”
  • Gorilla on the retreat from the mid lane into the river, flashes away and hits his ultimate but he’s done for, and poor Smeb he gets tied down by Cuvee so the rest of Samsung can gank him, he puts up a decent fight but gets taken down in the gravity field.
  • Smeb teleporting into the Jungle matched by Cuvee’s TP to join the war, Smeb gets overwhelmed to death, Tigers retreat and split in the river, Pray flashes away and heals but Crown is on top of him to his end.
  • ROX & Samsung meet smack dab in the middle, Wraith, Gorilla, and Crown go down quickly, Samsung on the retreat, Peanut takes Ruler and Cuvee takes Kuro.
  • Samsung surrounds the Tigers in the lower river, Smeb gets picked out from the herd, is surrounded, and taken out, Kuro is the next stray getting killed, giving Samsung an even bigger lead.
  • Kuro the only man left standing is ¾ of the map away as he and his dead teammates watch Samsung take their Nexus and Game 1.
  • Game 2, Ambition in the bot lane enjoying throwing his spears from a distance gets up close and personal with a 4 man gank.
  • Cry in the mid lane gets locked down, flashes away but not far enough.
  • Smeb TP’ing into the lower jungle to hit Wraith on either side with Gorilla…Wraith gets the death by Jaws.
  • Smeb not the brightest crayon in the box hits Samsung’s flank before his teammates are there to help and he pays the price for it followed by Peanut and Pray giving Samsung the 4/2 lead.
  • Tigers take a magical journey to the other side getting the surprise kill on Ruler, Pray takes Wraith, Crown takes Pray keeping the score even 6/6.
  • On Gorilla’s retreat, Ambition is ambitious and follows him up the river, spears him, Gorilla stuns him, magical journey’s away, but Ambition takes the same magical journey to finish him off on the other side.
  • Ambition…nice spear throw into the Gorilla.
  • Samsung on the retreat in the top lane, Crown takes Gorilla, Samsung starts to push back, Cuvee takes Smeb, Crown takes Peanut and Samsung commands the game with a 12 to 6 lead.
  • Tigers get a little comeback when they gank Ambition, take Ruler, they loose Gorilla but take Wraith in a 3/1 kill battle.
  • Samsung pushing into Tigers’ base, Smeb pushes too far into the beast and gets eaten alive, Samsung pushing further in takes out Pray within his own walls, Tigers back off as Samsung takes their mid tower and inhibitor and decide it’s a good time to push forward to take a Nexus tower. They loose Crown in the cocoon but Cry goes down with him, Samsung retreats to battle another day.
  • Tigers making a comeback with Cry taking out Ruler in the bot lane, pushing into the jungle to take Wraith, pushing hard into Ambition, Cuvee hits the Tigers’ flank to give relief to Ambition and takes out Peanut, Ambition eventually falls, Cuvee takes out Gorilla before he goes down, and then Crown takes Pray.
  • Samsung all up in Tigers’ base with no towers left, takes out an inhibitor, Cuvee takes Pray, Ruler takes Cry, and Gorilla goes down with his team’s Nexus. Samsung Galaxy takes this game and the match. Nice work.

 

Well that’s it! We hope you learned and laughed a little and we’ll see you next week.

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