Esports Nutshell Weekly | June 17, 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. We have a wonderful show for you with this week’s top stories: Drama between CSGO Diamonds and Moe & EA’s Esports game plan. We hit every Esports News story of the week, answer the big questions of the week. Give a play by play of the EU LCS Summer Split match between Fnatic v Unicorns of Love, and show highlights from Overwatch, Dota, Hearthstone, Counter Strike, and Mortal Kombat with the musical backing of Brian DiBiagio. Now…

 

For this week’s top stories

 

  • Will Green at Esports Betting Report reports that Counter Strike Gambling Site CSGO Diamonds provides player turned Turner ELeague Caster & Echo Fox Co-Owner Mohamed Assad aka Moe with the outcomes of virtual rolls so he can win on camera.
  • CSGO Diamonds allows customers to sell their Counter Strike skins for their virtual currency called “Diamonds” then wager the Diamonds on variable odds outcomes based on dice rolling. Customers can then use the diamonds to buy skins on the site marketplace.
  • CSGO Diamonds and Mohamed Assad partner up in an agreement where Moe would broadcast himself playing on their site for a minimum of 110 hours a month for 10% of the site’s profits with free Diamonds to play with but can’t withdraw them for cash.
  • In order to increase the entertainment value of the streams and get more attention the site gives Moe the roll numbers ahead of time so he can win on camera. This goes on for a while and he accrues $26k worth of Diamonds with this set up.
  • After a while Moe’s casting time drops below the minimum agreed upon 110 hours per month in their contract, they reach out offering a renegotiation or severance payment to end the sponsorship but Moe wants more, he wants to cash out the $26k in Diamonds he made from their rigged system and keep 10% of the site’s profits. Moe tweets out quote “So I had 26k in diamonds on that site and i tried to withdraw and they telling me I can’t…. CSGO Diamonds you have 24 hours before exposed”
  • CSGO Diamonds terminates the sponsorship and in a twitlonger explains their side of the story and said they made a mistake in providing Mohamad Assad with advanced knowledge of game outcomes in order to make the streams more entertaining but they learned their lesson.
  • Will Green points to a study from Narus Advisors and Eilers & Krejcik Gaming that says the skins gambling market in 2016 will have a total of $7.4BB in transactions .

 

  • Paresh Dave from the LA Times reports Electronic Arts announce they will set aside $1MM over the next year in prize pools for Madden 17 Tournaments with a three year plan to build Challenger, Premier, and Major level tournaments. Part of this plan includes providing scheduling software for college students and amateurs to organize their own tournaments. EA will work with Tournament Organizers like ESL & Gfinity, have their own EA Major Tournaments, and run a charity initiative called Play to Give donating $1MM to charity at the end of the week.
  • In last month’s investor presentation, EA made it clear Esports will not be a significant source of revenue for EA in the near term.
  • EA also announces EA Originals essentially their indie label to help fund small developers starting with the release of their first game Fe from the developer Zoink.

 

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.

 

  • Cloud9 shuts down their Heroes of the Storm division.
  • The latest Overwatch patch nerfs McCree’s bullets from 70 damage to 45.
  • Splyce launches their Overwatch division signing team “Fine, I’ll go McCree”
  • DC Comics fighting game sequel Injustice 2 is shown off in their new trailer.
  • XBox announces XBox Arena where people can sign up, compete, and watch tournaments.
  • OG wins Valve’s Dota Manila Major and $1.1MM, Liquid goes home with a meager $405k.
  • Paresh Dave makes a list of the top Esports franchises you can take a look at some of that over here.
  • Esports Observer appoints Chris Hana as their new CEO and gives us a peek at their new analytics page.
  • Lupe Fiasco hints at competing against Zero in Smash 4 using Street Fighter 5 character Ryu at EVO in July.
  • In Korean PC Bangs, League of Legends takes up 29% of all hours played and Overwatch gobbles up 24%.
  • ESPN2 will air the finale of Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 16 Championship June 14 which boasts a $50k prize pool.
  • Gamurs acquires Esportspedia and relaunches the site as EsportsWikis and dramatic rumours continue to surround Azubu.
  • ESL announces their Overwatch Atlantic Showdown Tournament with a $100,000 prize pool to take place August 20 & 21st at Gamescom.
  • IceFrog continues to orchestrate his organized chaotic masterpiece in Dota patch 6.88 with 126 changes to Heroes, Abilities, and Items.
  • Team Secret & Evil Geniuses don’t make the cut for The International 6 Invite which is at a $11.5MM prize pool and counting. Evil Geniuses won the tournament last year winning $6.6MM.
  • A Danish man scams two buyers of Counter Strike Skins for around $750 which he is forced to repay the men he scammed, do 40 hours of community service, and go to jail for 30 days for his crimes.
  • Last month Australian physicists set up an AI machine that recreates Nobel Winning physics experiment – the creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate, which is gas cooled down to 1 microkelvin, a millionth of a degree above absolute zero, from scratch in under an hour.
  • GINX Esports TV joins the Sky platform June 23 while giving Sky & ITV minority stakes in the business to support the channel’s growth. Content will include major tournaments, independent programming and content partnership deals with Riot, Activision, EGL, and Gfinity.
  • Football club Manchester United makes an offer for a European Overwatch team, Fnatic makes a counteroffer, Manchester makes another counter offer, and given Fnatic is worth $42MM and Manchester United is worth $3.3BB Fnatic only stands to inflate the sale for Manchester United, good news for the Overwatch team being sold.
  • Team YP acquires an all woman League of Legends team. With the announcement they say quote “The uphill battle that women face in the industry is still a reality: being a woman in this cutthroat business means you need incredibly thick skin and strength of character on top of admirable skill and talent.” …Pornography, helping women in that uphill battle of equality one click at a time.
  • Atlantic City’s Revel Casino opens their Esports Lounge even though they are still waiting for their final certification for Esports Betting from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The Revel Hotel Casino was built in 2012 for $2.4BB, went bankrupt, then Glenn Straub bought it up in 2014 for $82MM which is 3.4% of the original cost 2 years prior. He also is planning to spend $500MM to revitalize the tanking city.
  • After an 11 year break between titles, Quake Champions is announced and hopes to regain a seat in the Esports table as it is one of the founding games of Esports. Fun fact in 1997 John Carmack co founder of ID Software put up his Ferrari 328 for Quake’s Red Annihilation tournament, Dennis Fong won the prize. Suggestion, try a 2v2 or 3v3 format for a refreshing change.
  • Blizzard explains if you are a leaver, aka your percentage of quitting before a game is over, is above a certain threshold you will get a 75% reduction in Experience gain until you remedy the situation. If you don’t shape up after that they will stick a bar of leaver in your mouth until you learn your lesson, and if it happens enough times you may even go blind from leaver poisoning.
  • In the last 10 months on Twitch, Esport Tournaments and their rebroadcasts have totaled 803MM hours of watch time. Of that 573MM hours have been from the original broadcasts. From that pie, Riot has claimed 160MM hours of watch time, ESL claims 130MM hours of watch time while 283MM hours are split up between Dreamhack, Valve, StarLadder, MLG, Beyond the Summit, and “Other”
  • Gamer Sensei gets a seed investment led by Boston Seed Capital and Accomplice for $2.3MM. Gamer Sensei is an algorithm based platform that matches players with “senseis” or coaches for training. The company has a partnership with NRG Esports organization as well. In the gold rush, the people who struck it rich for the long haul were the businesses that sold tools and services to the prospectors mining for gold. But that can be expensive so if you can’t afford the whole sensei thing I’ll give you the two most important sensei lessons
    • “Never put passion in front of principle, even if you win, you’ll lose”
    • “Lesson not just Esports only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”

 

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.

 

  • Will Green at Esports Betting Report reports Counter Strike Gambling Site CSGO Diamonds provides player turned Turner ELeague Caster & Echo Fox Co-Owner Mohamed Assad aka Moe with the outcomes of virtual rolls so he can win on camera. What really happened in this messy situation?
    • Mohamed Assad Moe is no stranger to controversy as reddit can confirm he has been accused of cheating in Counter Strike before. To be fair, the current industry is a game itself outside the literal game. Moe and CSGO Diamonds went full force into the grey area which is a natural thing to do with new industries and they hit the border of no no. Both parties are consenting adults who signed up for shady dealings and that’s ok they knew what they were getting into. When Moe wasn’t holding up his side of the written contract he was offered severance and a goodbye. Instead he wanted the $26k he “won” from the fixed outcomes with digital currency that he was told he couldn’t redeem. So he threatens and follows through with exposing CSGO Diamonds for wrong doing but ended up throwing himself under the same bus. If either wants a chance at redemption they both need to publically express regret and understanding that what they did was wrong and why better than they have so far. But most likely what’s done is done, they’ll get a slap on the wrist and keep on with business as usual.
  • Gamurs acquires Esportspedia and relaunches the site as EsportsWikis and dramatic rumours continue to surround Azubu. So what’s up with Azubu?
    • Azubu is a company that is a direct competitor to Twitch that in 2014 took $34MM in Equity funding and $59MM in Debt financing at the end of 2015 most likely they are starting to see the end of their financial runway. Although they have a great product they aren’t bringing in the revenue to be self sustaining so either they will have to cut back their overhead significantly which is part of what we saw with Esportspedia, get more money from their money buddies, or sell to another company for a fraction of what was invested in the company and scrap most of it except the parts seen useful to the buyer.
  • Australian physicists set up an AI machine that recreates Nobel Winning physics experiment – the creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate, which is gas cooled down to 1 microkelvin, a millionth of a degree above absolute zero, from scratch in under an hour. When will AI be able to learn how to play Esports games and school us all?
    • In 5 Years. In the last few months Google DeepMind beats the top Go boardgame player in the world and learns curiosity and reward to complete the video game Montezuma’s Revenge. There are more variables in Esports titles than most of the simple games being played right now by DeepMind. Hearthstone could be the lowest hanging fruit and could be mastered in a year or two if focused on today given you plug in all the cards abilities and run the scenarios. A MOBA game like League of Legends will take much longer, there are so many variables that in order to run enough scenarios to effectively learn how to play it we would need to figure out a different approach or wait until quantum computing comes to fruition and badabing it would take a second to master not only any MOBA Esport but pretty much anything in the world.
  • Splyce starts an Overwatch division, Football club Manchester United bids on an Overwatch team, Overwatch announces their $100,000 prize pool tournament – Overwatch Atlantic Showdown Tournament, and Cloud9 shuts down their Heroes of the Storm division. Is it safe to say Overwatch is taking off and Heroes of the Storm is on the steady decline?
    • Heroes of the Storm isn’t on the decline, the bubble of competitive teams joining popped because there’s not a lot of money in it for for-profit businesses but the collegiate level which is awarding scholarships for students is just beginning and will continue to steadily grow, as well as it’s casual user base, as long as Blizzard continues to fund Heroes of the Dorm.
    • Overwatch on the other hand is getting out of hand…in a great way. It’s the new hot thing in Esports that is a breath of fresh air for specifically MOBA players looking for a break from their daily grind. To be fair to League of Legends & Dota players have been playing the same game for 4 or more years and Overwatch is brand new. Overwatch has another 6 months of exponential growth then will continue to grow healthily for another 18 months after that.

 

And now for the good stuff the games.

In League of Legends EU LCS Summer Split Fnatic v Unicorns of Love.

  • Round 1 Hylissang & Veritas hiding in the top lane brush get the jump on YellowStar and Rekkles, while Vizicsacsi TP’s in to help finish the YellowStar Kill.
  • Same spot on the map, Gamsu goes bowling and bowls a gank on Vizicsacsi with help from Spirit.
  • Gamsu and Spirit again pushing on Vizicsacsi in the top lane but this time Vizicsacsi has a tower and minions on his side so even though he goes down he takes Spirit with him.
  • In the jungle Fnatic pushing into Unicorns of Love, YellowStar catches Move in a bubble, Febiven dishing out Tides of Blood, Hemoplague, Sanguine Pool Slows down Unicorns. Rekkles falls, Febiven takes Move, Vizicsacsi takes YellowStar, Febiven falls, Spirit takes Veritas, then Hylissang falls in this costly exchange.
  • Exileh has some cohonas as he charges into a tower and Gamsu but gets overwhelmed when Spirit joins in to take him down.
  • In the top lane Exileh gets a three on one gank flashes away but not fast enough, he dies.
  • Unicorns pushing the bot lane, Rekkles takes Exileh, Spirit takes Move, YellowStar takes Vizicsacsi, Veritas takes Rekkles, YellowStar dies, Veritas falls, and Fnatic keeps their lead.
  • Fnatic pushing into Unicorns base through the bot lane, Unicorns of Love’s defense and champions melt away as Fnatic takes round 1.
  • Round 2 Unicorns in a 2 plus tower vs 3 turns 4, Veritas and Hylissang try to hide under the protection of their tower but both fall to Fnatic.
  • Rekkles and YellowStar hungry for some Unicorn meat chase down Hylissang & Veritas in the bot lane.
  • In the bottom river, YellowStar & Rekkles chase down Hylissang and pick up the quick gank.
  • In the upper river, Fnatic pushes into Unikorns of Love, Exileh with the fake out, moves north but flashes south with distortion trying to run away from the three members of Fnatic, Vizicsacsi and Veritas reinforce, YellowStar throwing the tidal wave, Rekkles gets taken down, Spirit takes out Move.
  • In the mid lane Fnatic pushing forward slays Vizicsacsi and Exileh but loose Gamsu in the making.
  • Spirit gets caught in the honey trap and gets ganked by Exileh and Move.
  • In the jungle Spirit takes Exileh, Unicorns retreat back to their base, Fnatic pursues, Unicorns push back once they reach their base and get Febiven down to almost nothing stays alive, finding safety once he reaches the river, Fnatic swings back around to take the offensive taking Veritas and Move as Unicorns retreat after their loss.
  • Fnatic and Unicorns of Love meet in the mid lane carefully but with full force, YellowStar takes out Veritas, YellowStar throws the tidal wave, Exileh and Move get taken out at the same time, Hylissang gets flattened under the Fnatic steamroller towards Unicorn’s base and Vizicsacsi is the last man to go and once he does they get the ACE and there’s nothing standing between Fnatic and Unicorn’s unmanned base except for the turret which they take down, then another, then an inhibitor, both Nexus turrets, then Unicorns of Love’s Nexus giving Fnatic the win for the round and the match against Unicorns of Love, congratulations Fnatic on your win.

 

Now here are highlights from Overwatch, Dota, Hearthstone, Counter Strike, and Mortal Kombat with the musical backing of Brian DiBiagio.
Well that’s it! We hope you learned and laughed a little and we’ll see you next week.

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