Aug 07 2015

eSports Weekly (Week of 8/3-8/9, 2015)

There’s a lot of esports action this past week and leading into this weekend, so there’s no time to waste, it’s eSports Weekly!

Dota 2: TI5 Main Event Recap, Finals Preview

dota 2 ti5 stage*This section was written before the matches began on Friday, August 7th*

With only a few teams remaining in the main event of the International, this fifth iteration of the largest tournament in Dota 2 has produced a handful of surprise results, including early eliminations of favorites and impressive runs by some underdogs. Two of the favorites, Invictus and Team Secret, met in the second round of the lower bracket, and Team Secret would emerge victorious, send one of the better Chinese teams home early. But Secret would prove not to be invincible, as Virtus.Pro would upset the international favorites in a 2-1 series. Despite being invited, VP were not considered a favorite to make it this deep, but despite a lackluster showing in the group stages, they’ve excelled in the lower bracket of the main event, knocking off Fnatic, compLexity, and now Secret. Their next big challenge is LGD Gaming, one of the top teams out of China. Even if VP finally falls here, they’ll take home 5th/6th place and over $1 million in winnings. The other surprise team is CDEC, the Chinese team that earned its spot in the International main event via the Wild Card qualifier. CDEC had a strong group stage, tying Evil Geniuses for points at the top of their group. In the upper bracket, CDEC would continue to play well, defeating Cloud 9 and LGD to ensure a spot in the winner’s bracket finals and at the very least a top four finish. Their opponent will be Evil Geniuses, the American team playing their hearts out in front of the home crowd. Both teams will be playing for a spot in the grand finals, and a chance to hold up the Aegis of the Immortals.

In the lower bracket, Vici Gaming awaits the winner of Virtus.Pro vs LGD, and the winner of that match will face the loser of EG vs CDEC for the final spot in the grand finals, against the winner of EG vs CDEC. Will one of the three Chinese come out on top for their country two years in a row? Will the European team continue the pattern of champions? Or will Americans finally lift the Aegis in front of their home crowd?

CS:GO: ESL Announces Dubai Invitational Participants, IEM Season X Play Begins

20292938316_4f813d6945The past week has not been kind to Team SoloMid. It began during the main event of the Acer Predator Masters playoffs. TSM, who were widely regarded as the favorites of the tournament, were bounced into the loser’s bracket after a 2-1 defeat to E-Frag eSports Club, and then were 2-0’d by HellRaisers in the loser’s brackets, sending the Danes home just two days and two matches into the main event. Salt was rubbed in the wound days later, when it was revealed that TSM was not one of the five European teams invited to the ESL Dubai $250K Invitational announced earlier this week. This decision was based on the global rankings released by ESL soon after, which placed TSM at #6, behind Fnatic, Virtus.Pro, Na’Vi, EnVyUs, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Cloud 9, who are ranked #7, were invited because they are the best NA team.

Any CS:GO fan can tell you that TSM is not the #6 team in the world. Most would agree that they are at least top three, with some saying #2, and a few even saying #1. The reason TSM are as low as six is because the rankings, which are based on the past year of competition, split the overall score between player points and organization points. So a team like Virtus.Pro, who have kept the same roster on the same organization, have all their player points and all their organization points. But while TSM have all their player points, they’re missing a portion of organization points from when they competed as Dignitas, including and before the MLG Aspen Invitational. Because of this, TSM gets a lower rating despite having one of the top three rosters in the world. If TSM got to keep their points, TSM would be ranked second, and EnVyUs, who also made an organization change at that time, would be ranked third instead of fourth. Additionally, the current Dignitas team, who haven’t accomplished much, are currently ranked 10th because of the TSM’s roster’s old points. Still convinced it’s not flawed? Assume that today, the Fnatic roster left their organization and started a new one. And assume Fnatic brought on five people who had never played CS:GO. Under this system, the new Fnatic roster of nobodies and the roster widely accepted as the best in the world would be tied on the global rankings. For seventh.

The rankings have appropriately drawn a great deal of backlash, from members of the TSM lineup, personalities like Duncan “Thooorin” Shields and Richard Lewis, and many other members of the CS:GO community. ESL’s VP of Pro Gaming, Ulrich “theflyingdj” Schculze expressed that the rankings are open to feedback and altering, and that extending the tournament to eight teams is a possibility. Assuming ESL wants to avoid anymore negative feedback, this seems like the likely solution.

While the rankings mess is being sorted out, the two teams who have lost points due to organization switching, EnVyUs and TSM, are competing at the IEM Season X event at gamescom, the first time CS:GO has been at IEM at some time. An interesting format is being used, as the six teams are given four lives at the beginning, and a loss in a best-of-one format costs a team a single life. There’s no playoff: a winner is crowned once the rest of the teams have lose their lives. EnVyUs had a strong first day, defeating TSM and mousesports, losing no lives. Both TSM and EnVy had a perfect day two, while both CLG and Renegades struggled, each down to one life after two days. Three teams were eliminated on the third day. CLG were knocked out first by TSM, SK were beaten by TSM twice, and mousesports were beaten by EnVyUs twice, despite beating the French squad. Renegades did not play day three, and thus barely remain in the tournament with one life, while TSM and EnVyUs each have three.

Radar Blips

  • Halo: Microsoft announced at gamescom this week that they will feature a $1 million prize pool for the Halo World Championships this winter. This pool will include a crowdfunding option, similar to the International for Dota 2. Gamescom also featured a Halo 5: Guardians Invitational tournament, and Epsilon came out on top over Supremacy in the grand finals to win.

What to Watch

There’s a plethora of esports action to watch this weekend.

  • The Dota 2 International Grand Finals. The matches leading up to grand finals will be taking place during Friday and Saturday, but the final champion-deciding series will take place Saturday at 16:00 EDT, 13:00 PDT. You can watch on the International Twitch channel.
  • The final day of the IEM gamescom CS:GO event. As described above, a winner will be crowned once all the other teams have lost their lives. Not their literal lives, but you know what I mean. Unfortunately for us Americans, the next match starts at 10:45 CEST, which means the wee hours of the morning for those on the western side of the Atlantic.
  • The LCS Playoffs Round One. As the biggest Dota 2 events nears its close, the road to the LoL World Championships begins this weekend for European and North American teams, with round one of the LCS summer split playoffs. Saturday and Sunday will each feature an EU game and an NA game. Saturday will feature H2k vs Giants, and Team Impulse vs Giants. Sunday will pit the Unicorns of Love against ROCCAT, and TSM vs Gravity. You can of course watch on the Riot Games Twitch channel.

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