In this post-E3 edition of eSports Weekly, we preview this weekend’s Dota 2 action in the ESL One Frankfurt finals, we once again recap and preview the respective European and North American LCS action, and take a look at how the world of esports might change after E3. This and more in this week’s eSports Weekly!
Dota 2: ESL One Frankfurt Main Event Preview
This weekend marks the start of the finals for the ESL One Frankfurt event. After months of qualifiers, group stages, and seeding brackets, eight teams will meet in the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt to fight it out for the biggest portion of the $250,000 prize pool. But a nice cash prize, a big trophy, and bragging rights aren’t all that’s on the line. With The International just a couple of months away, these teams will use this tournament in Germany to get a good look at each other, and try and go into Seattle with some momentum. In the first round, heavy favorites Team Secret face off against Fnatic, formerly Team Malaysia. Secret have proved they’re not fazed by Asian competition, just look at their 15-0 performance during the Dota 2 Asian Championships. Fnatic are led by their star player Mushi, and certainly have their work cut out for them against Secret. Virtus.Pro match up against Alliance, who are not participating at the International, the first time a former champion is not competing in the main event. VP have been on a roll, their last four games have all been victories against Na’Vi, Cloud 9, Vici Gaming, and Secret. Not a bad collection of teams to defeat consecutively. Additionally, Cloud 9 will face Invictus Gaming, and Evil Geniuses will square off against Vici.
LCS: Fnatic Still on Top, Bottom Teams Build Momentum
In the premier match-up of week four of the European LCS, Fnatic and Origen faced off at the top of the leaderboard. Both teams were neck-and-neck at 5-0 before day two of last week, when Fnatic defeated Giants, but Origen fell to ROCCAT in their first defeat, thus denying the fans the perfect record showdown they were hoping for. The actual match-up wasn’t as close as people hoped for either, as Fnatic were in control for almost all of the game. Niels picked up six kills for Origen, but not a single other Origen player notched any kills during the game. YellOwStaR picked up sixteen assists during the game. With Origen’s second loss, and H2k’s victory over Copenhagen Wolves, H2k ended day one in the second place spot, bumping Origen to third. Some of the bottom teams finally got some momentum going the first day, as SK Gaming, Elements, and Gambit all picked up much needed wins. For SK, this is their very first win of the split after starting 0-6, and for Elements, it’s just their second. Elements defeated ROCCAT, who replaced Woolite with MrRalleZ at the AD Carry position during the week.
ROCCAT’s struggles continued into day two, losing to SK Gaming in the day’s first match, and falling to 2-6, now tied with SK at the bottom, who are finally building some momentum. Fnatic furthered their winning streak to 8-0 after a victory over Copenhagen Wolves. H2k secured their second place spot with a victory over Giants, their sixth win in a row.
In North America, the team to watch this weekend is Counter Logic, who are competing with stand-in Stixxay at AD Carry, as Doublelift is out with a basketball-related finger injury (warning: gross picture). Luckily for CLG, they play the 0-6 Team Dragon Knights on day one, and then a struggling Cloud 9 team on day two. They look to take advantage of Liquid’s tough schedule (day one vs TSM, day two vs Dignitas) and push into the sole first place spot.
E3 Recap: eSports Edition
If you keep your finger on the pulse of video gaming, or at least check to make sure it’s still breathing, then you’ve probably been keeping tabs on E3 this past week. From Bethesda’s unmatched opening press conference, to Sony’s nostalgia trip, to Ubisoft’s strange presentation, to Microsoft’s uncomfortable on-stage interview with Pele, it’s been an interesting E3 this year. The spectacle began with the return of the Nintendo World Championships, and it wasn’t the highly competitive eSports competition that some might’ve expected. It was more a collection of YouTubers, streamers, speedrunners and Nintendo personalities coming together and enjoying Nintendo games, but it was still entertaining and enjoyable. Many potential esports titles showcased gameplay during E3, including a couple of MOBA titles from some big developers. 2K has entered the fray with Battleborn, developed by Gearbox, who are best known for Borderlands. It’s similar to Overwatch in that it’s a hybrid of MOBAs like LoL and Smite, but includes shooter elements from games like TF2, and Battleborn prides itself on its variety of heroes. Microsoft is also taking a crack at this style of MOBA, with Gigantic, a Microsoft exclusive developed by Motiga. Star Wars and Elder Scrolls are both stepping into the strategy card game arena with their own versions of Hearthstone. Elder Scrolls: Legends was teased during the Bethesda conference, and a Star Wars strategy card game was briefly mentioned before EA started talking about their microtransaction-filled Despicable Me mobile game. Ubisoft showed off a third-person multiplayer fighter game called For Honor, which looks very interesting, hectic, and promising.
But one of the most interesting developments revolves around two already established shooters: Call of Duty and Halo. During the showcase for the upcoming Black Ops III, Activision revealed that Sony and Playstation would now be the primary platform for Call of Duty going forward. This honor usually fell to Microsoft and Xbox. With this transition comes the realization that many CoD tournaments will now be played on Playstation. What this means is that many CoD players who are dedicated to Xbox may not make the switch, and instead turn to another series that’s competitive scene is struggling: Halo. The eSports Guru explains…
- CoD: Speaking of Call of Duty, ESL has announced Open League play for aspiring competitive players, with Modern Warfare 1 and 2 on PC, and Advanced Warfare on PS4 and Xbox One.
- CS:GO: Fnatic emerged victorious at DreamHack Summer last weekend, defeating Na’Vi 2-0 in the grand finals to secure first place. Fnatic defeated NiP 2-0 to earn a spot in the grand finals against Na’Vi, who needed three games to beat Titan in the semis.
- Starcraft: Jang “MC” Min Chul, the 24 year old Starcraft II legend on Protoss, has announced his retirement from competitive play, citing a lack of confidence in his play. MC is the highest earning player in the history of Starcraft, earning nearly $500k in winnings across five years.
- CoD: Former world champions Denial have unveiled an entirely new lineup after the remaining players from the world championship team departed for FaZe.
Streams to Watch:
- Dota 2: ESL One Frankfurt playoffs. First match is Virtus.Pro versus Alliance, at 10:15 CEST (03:15 EDT/00:15 PDT). Watch on ESL Dota 2 channel.
- CS:GO: StarLadder Season XIII round robin play. Ongoing. Watch on StarLadder Twitch channel.
- LoL: North American LCS Summer Split week four. First match is Dignitas vs Team Impulse at 21:00 CEST (15:00 EDT/12:00 PDT). Watch on Riot’s Twitch channel.