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. We have a wonderful show for you. We have the top stories including the events that led to the sale of Tempo Storm & Buffalo Wild Wings the new Esports battleground. 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. We talk with Esports Performance Psychologists Dan Himmelstein & Alyson Calman. And we have highlights from League of Legends Team SoloMid vs Counter Logic Gaming NA LCS Summer Split and rapid fire highlights from the best matches in Hearthstone, Counter Strike, Mortal Kombat, Overwatch, and Dota. Now…
For this week’s top stories
- Tempo Storm owner Andrey Yanyuk “Reynad” who has since sold his team to Immortals explains the reason why he sold was because they didn’t get into ELeague, the reason he didn’t get into ELeague was he hung up on WME reps abruptly on their first and only skype call. The reason… he thought WME was just another acronym in a sea of acronyms and when Simon Abitbol, formerly of GEM agency alongside Tobias Sherman jumped on a skype call with Andrey who heard bad rumors about the pair from the Hearthstone community, so he decided not to do business with them and abruptly end the call. So in turn WME decided not to business with Tempo Storm keeping them out of ELeague leading to the team’s sale. Andrey has since talked to ELeague’s commissioner to smooth things over but now every call with Andrey ends with… “no you hang up, no you hang up.”
- Buffalo Wild Wings a sponsor of ELeague shows the newly formed Esports tournament across their chain of sports bar restaurants who’s tagline is “Wings. Beer. Sports.” Many patrons excited about the news come to the restaurant to watch the games. Others are not and request the games be turned off. Managers of the restaurants are caught in the middle and find themselves in an escalating war as it triggers a chain of events starting with sports fans upending tables, breaking TV’s with their beer glasses, looting the restaurant, then setting the whole thing on fire. This causes a disconnect between store managers and corporate. A few managers go so far as to go on record saying… Luckily there was no harm to any individuals just property and some shaken up employees who were comforted when the Unicorns put out the fires with their rainbows.
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 just the cliff notes.
- French Cable TV Network Canal+ sponsors Team Vitality.
- EVO registration for Smash 4 breaks the 2k entrants mark.
- Call of Duty Player Alec Schmidt Tiptoe commits suicide.
- Strategy card game Faeria announce their monthly $3k prize pool tournaments.
- Gfinity announces their Pro Evolution Soccer tournament Gillette Championship with a $22k prize pool.
- Gfinity announces their London Call of Duty Summer Masters Event with a $20k prize pool.
- FaceIt announces their first Hearthstone tournament sponsored by Comcast’s Xfinity with a $15k prize pool.
- Chris Higgins lists out the top three Smite earners tied at $305k MLCst3alth, Barraccudda, and Andinster.
- Overwatch has a total of 7MM players in the first week of launch and with it Blizzard bans 1,500 pumpkin eater accounts based out of China.
- Forbes lists the top 100 sports athlete earners this year with Serena Williams in 88th at $29MM, Phil Mickelson in 8th with $53MM, Cam Newton in 7th at $53MM, Roger Federer in 4th at $67MM, Lebron James in 3rd at $77MM, and Cristiano Ronaldo in 1st at $88MM.
- Spanish football club Valencia CF announces they will add FIFA, Hearthstone, and Rocket League players to their organization.
- Paul Chaloner “Redeye” says there is a UK football team creating their own Esports division as we speak.
- Street Fighter Pro Player Noel Brown gets a one-year ban for grab assing. Literally grabbing a woman’s arse.
- Panda Global Gaming signs Mortal Kombat player Brad Vaughn Scar but says he can’t do Fatalities one of the defining features of the game…but then says…no just kidding fatality away.
- Copenhagen Wolves are no more after a 7 year run due to both owners Diglife being tied up with Ninjas in Pyjamas and Jakob Lund Kristensen being tied up with Astralis.
- Capcom reverses their decision to ban players with adult content sponsors but restricts them from having their sponsors’ logos on any official Capcom Pro Tour affiliated streams and social media.
- Travis Gafford puts together a “I hate dynamic que” video montage including DoubleLift who says he will lose 80% of his annual revenue because he’s not able to stream on NA Tournament Realm when they practice.
- Ecommerce site Flipkart announces their first India based tournament the Flipkart Online Gaming including FIFA, Counter Strike, League of Legends, and Dota running from June 3 through July 11 with a $4,500k prize pool.
- Rick Fox announces he will produce a reality/documentary Esports series with producer Mark Koops with help from Propagate & INE Entertainment.
- The Russian government announces Esports will be added to the “Register of Sports” next week after first being included back in 2001 but falling off the wagon in 2006.
- Hearthstone team Hearthlytics disbands after an 18 month run due to conflict between players and management over fulfilling sponsorship requirements. So come and get it, fresh Hearthstone players for the buying.
- Optic’s Mixwell tweets out Quote “I don’t get the ‘best NA team’ discussion. All NA teams including us are far from winning Major events. Who cares about online matches?” End Quote…owtch.
- SK Telecom T1’s Bang says quote “I got sick of playing League of Legends two years ago.” end quote. Furthur solidifying the theory that you should not hate the player, rather hate the game.
- Chris Lombard organizer of the Dota 2 Stars Arena and Solid Dota 2 Challenge tournaments owes $9k in prize money payouts, ProData Gaming owner Maxym Dyakonyuk says quote “Unfortunately, there is nothing to say. Everything is crystal clear – it’s just simply fraud.” end quote.
- Italian sports betting data solutions provider Betradar announces gambling operator SNAI is the first company to be authorised by Italian gambling regulator ADM to introduce real money betting on Esports in the country starting with Dota & League of Legends.
- Blizzard will integrate Facebook Live streaming into all of their games so you can just hit the “go live” button and you can shout out, “we’ll do it live!” Also you can login into Facebook through Blizzard games allowing for social functionality in all of their games. These features will be implemented at the end of the month.
- Japan has a general election to determine the most popular Pokemon. After the half million votes are collected the top 5 Pokemon…Sylveon came in at number 5, Pikachu at number 4, Mew at number 3, Arceus at number 2, and Greninja winning the popularity contest at number 1. So no Pikachu we don’t choose you.
- Genvid Technologies founder Jacob Navok announces their alpha test of their broadcast technology that allows developers to place and control cameras in the game like a full live broadcast production would. In NFL broadcasts, smaller games have 10 cameras, Monday Night Football games have 20, and the SuperBowl has over 30.
- In related news NVidia’s built in software Ansel allows anyone with a new GTX card to have free camera motion in video games, filters for grading, stereoscopic 360 view capture, and allows for a still image export with a resolution 1000x larger than a 4k image.
- FORG1VEN dropped from Origen’s lineup due to ‘motivation’ issues, comments on the situation saying quote “After numerous talks we had I thought something needed to be changed so I made the decision to take an indefinite break from League, since I was playing more Overwatch than the game I was being payed to play” end quote. Forg1ven, maybe the best bet is acting school where asking…so what’s my motivation? is expected and encouraged.
- NBA 2k Road to the Finals culminates in HLZ Drewkerbockers winning the $250k first place prize. The event is hosted by Rick Fox, Paul George, and Kobe Bryant, or as Ben Lieb would say, “Kobe! My man!” Kobe said on air quote: “Can I just say one thing, I’m standing here looking at sports legend Rick Fox, and if Rick Fox wants more Esports, we should probably give him more Esports. I’d be doing myself a disservice and every member of the NBA a disservice if I didn’t invest the hell out of this. Guess what…I got a fever and the only prescription is more Esports.”
Each week some questions rise up around the Esports industry and each week I like to swat them right back down to the ground where they belong.
- Tempo Storm owner Andrey Yanyuk Reynad abruptly hangs up on WME’s Simon Abitbol & Tobias Sherman causing his team to be blacklisted from ELeague forcing the team’s sale. Was WME’s reaction out of line?
- No not really. Andrey chose to hang up on Simon & Tobias because he didn’t want to do business with them after hearing rumors that put them in a negative light. When it came to launch ELeague Simon & Tobias kept Tempo Storm off the list because they had a first hand unprofessional experience with Andrey. In an industry that is fighting to instill professionalism, people who conduct themselves in unprofessional ways will be excluded. But mercy is important to avoid becoming cold blooded lizards so when Andrey reached out to ELeague commissioner Min-Sik Ko and explained the situation they made amends and now everything is all good.
- Buffalo Wild Wings managers and customers push back on turning ELeague on in their restaurants. Should managers be forced to put on the ELeague broadcast given their sponsor ties to ELeague?
- No. Bee double dubs is a business that wants to attract customers not repel them away. When customers asked for it, they put it on. When customers asked them to turn it off they turned it off. The managers want to make their customers happy so their restaurant does well. Imagine we go out with our friends to go see the new Marvel Action Movie and instead AMC did a sponsorship deal with the studio making Nicholas Sparks movies to do a double feature so we had to sit through the Notebook before we got to see Captain America. What would we do? We would leave the theater and grab beers at B double dubs. But then they would have that god awful video game crud on so we would go to the place with…what’s that place you like to eat at with the mozzarella sticks and all the goofy shit on the walls?…shenanigans.
- Street Fighter Pro Player Noel Brown gets a one-year ban for grab assing. Literally grabbing a woman’s arse, however one might say it was more like a lobster nip. Does he deserve a one year ban for what he did?
- Was it inappropriate yes, should you be aware of where cameras are, yes, have we all been gropped like that or much more than that on a crowded subway car, yes. Should he be banned for one year, no. Capcom’s rise to power in the Esports limelight includes the heat that comes from the rising position. Things that didn’t matter or weren’t seen are now under the microscope. Capcom has to make a strong statement on this in order to set the tone and precedent of how they run their tournaments, well organized and respectable. But just like their ruling on Team YP they need to revisit the ruling and make a statement, not squash a player’s potential earnings for a year. Instead he should do the apology tour with Justin Trudeau.
- FORG1VEN gets dropped from Origen’s lineup due to his passion for Overwatch. Doublelift and others have also talked about how much they love the game in passing. Will there be an exodus of League Players to Overwatch?
- If Blizzard builds it, they will come. By it I mean a sustainable league that allows them to be payed the same if not more than what they are making in the Riot League. League of Legends is leveling out at its peak popularity and players like Doublelift and Bjergsen who recently complained that because of Riot’s Dynamic Que they are missing out on 80% of their income recognize they themselves are the product that can generate revenue. So if they move to a game that’s on the rise like Overwatch they can migrate their existing audience, gain a new audience, and play a game that is more enjoyable to them while making more money.
We sit down with Dan Himmelstein & Alyson Calman Esports Performance Psychologist Consultants. For the full interview, there’s a link in the description below, I recommend it. When we hit the topic of building confidence under pressure they had this to say.
And now for the good stuff the games.
- In League of Legends Team SoloMid vs Counter Logic Gaming NA LCS Summer Split
- Game 1 In the mid lane Huhi getting his rear flanked by Bjergsen, completing the TSM sandwich is Svenskeren taking out Huhi for the first kill of the game.
- Poor Huhi again in the mid lane gets taken out in a 2 on 1
- Hauntzer in the bot lane has the heat turned on him with Darshan on his tail, flashes away, but Xmithie has other thoughts on that as he joins Darshan in taking down Hauntzer. Svenskeren and Bjergsen find a way to pay their respects by taking out Xmithie, tit for tat.
- In the top lane, Aphromoo forgets about the buddy system leaving his buddy to be drowned in the river by Doublelift and Biofrost. Hauntzer gets Aphromoo within an inch of his life but backs off, Xmithie, Darshan, and Huhi come in as reinforcements taking out Hauntzer. Biofrost runs but he can’t hide from the CLG’s tidal wave giving CLG the chance to catch up with him and take Biofrost out.
- Huhi gets a quick ganking from Svenskeren, Biofrost, and Doublelift in the top lane.
- Stixxay gets tethered up by Biofrost and taken out in the jungle.
- CLG on the Baron, TSM takes a gamble in an all out team fight, CLG disperses as TSM chases down and kills Darshan with Xmithie trying to hurt them as they take out his teammate, he gets out of their way as their sights get set on Stixxay who doesn’t last long and finally TSM takes out Aphromoo taking control of Game 1 to win it.
- Game 2 Svenskeren applying pressure in the bot lane to Xmithie, falls back when he comes under the range of a turret and see’s Aphromoo closing in on his left flank. Darshan and Huhi TP in to make it a 3 on 4 team fight, CLG leaves with bruises and the first death of the game their comrade Darshan.
- Darshan falls in the top lane in a 2 on 1 against him.
- Stixxay throws out a trueshot barrage and it’s going, going, it could go all the way to hit Hauntzer…and it does! But not for the kill, still, nice shot.
- Svenskeren looking like he’ll take the kill on Xmithie but gets double teamed when Huhi reinforces killing Svenskeren before Biofrost can help.
- In the bot lane, Aphromoo and Stixxay on Biofrost and DoubleLift, Biofrost on the retreat dies from ignite. DoubleLift trying to take back control of the fight, can’t fight off the double team and Double Falls.
- TSM pushing on the bot lane, CLG falls back, Svenskeren and Hauntzer hit CLG’s flank but it’s TSM that starts to fall with Doublelift and Bjergsen, they take Darshan to even the score and even more so with taking out Stixxay, then CLG gets the last kill on Hauntzer.
- Hauntzer and Svenskeren hit Darshan hard in the top lane, taking him out. They move on to Huhi but Hauntzer splits off leaving Svenskeren to his death in the jungle.
- Both teams meet up for an all out confrontation in the bottom river, CLG take a beating losing Huhi to the war, TSM looking beat but not dead retreat, CLG wants more so they take out Svenskeren then take out Doublelift, but loose Stixxay, and slowly but surely lose Bjergsen as well.
- In the top lane CLG & TSM volleying back and forth in a 2 on 2, Darshan gets taken out, CLG on the retreat as TSM keeps the pressure on landing the battle in the river taking out Stixxay and Xmithie in the water, Aphromoo gets out to dry land and makes a run for it, Hauntzer runs circles around him with hits, but Aphromoo flashes and wins the Forrest Gump award for that run. CLG losing their lead in Game 2.
- In the bot lane, TSM on a warpath melts Aphromoo like butter into nothing, Bjergsen almost goes down but recovers, Xmithie goes down instead, CLG with little fight left on the retreat losing Huhi.
- TSM on the Baron, Darshan TP’ing in, Xmithie, then the rest of CLG come in for the fight, TSM claims the Baron. Xmithie is the first to fall, then down goes Darshan, Stixxay goodbye, TSM loses Svenskeren & Biofrost but TSM gets the last laugh as they take Huhi, Aphromoo running for dear life almost takes out Hauntzer but his big brother Doublelift squashes Aphromoo like the last CLG cockroach alive completely taking out CLG’s army winning the battle, the game, and the match against CLG. Congrats.
Now here are highlights from Hearthstone, Counter Strike, Mortal Kombat, Overwatch, and Dota.
Well that’s it! We hope you learned and laughed a little and we’ll see you next week.