Counter-Strike: GO gets a massive update prior to DreamHack this weekend, and the competitive Hearthstone scene continues to grow. This and more in this week’s eSports Weekly.
CS:GO: New Massive Game Update Prior to Back-to-Back DreamHack Events
One of the most highly anticipated updates to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has finally made its way onto our servers. The highlight of the update that came out on Tuesday is the long-awaited changes to player hitboxes, as well as finely-tuned changes to player animations. One of the most important changes regarding hitboxes is the location of the headshot hitbox on a player climbing a ladder, which up until now was about a foot away from the model’s actual head. The most instantly notable changes though are the player animations. Switching weapons and throwing grenades now have crisper, more responsive animations. When switching weapons, players now properly reach for the area where their weapon is located. Walking, running, and crouching all have been improved, and when players climb up ladders, they no longer glide to the top. Bomb defusing has also been altered, as the defuser now utilizes cables that connect from a defusal kit to the bomb. The cables appear regardless of whether or not the CT player has purchased or picked up a defusal kit. Remember kids, don’t be a loser, buy a defuser.
Regarding gameplay, the issue of gun barrels poking through thin walls and doors has been resolved. There are a couple of fixes left to be made, such as the vents on Nuke, but the progress that has been made is incredible. The M4A1-S has received a price drop of $100, now down to $3100, same as the non-silenced M4A4. But the M4A1-S has also had its armor penetration and rate of fire reduced. The Zeus x27 stun gun has now been dropped to $100, and the Dual Berettas have been buffed with increased armor penetration and range.
The next two stops on the DreamHack Open Tour in the next week will feature these new changes. This weekend is the DreamHack London event, the fourth stop of this year’s tour, and will feature eight teams duking it out for $40,000 in DreamHack’s first ever UK event. EnVyUs will look to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the ESL ESEA Pro League Invitational that sent the French squad home early. TSM will look to recover from a loss to Virtus.Pro in the grand finals of that same tournament. Next week, the bottom eight teams from ESL One Cologne, as well as a collection of qualifier teams, will compete at DreamHack Stockholm for spots at the next DH Major, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Apart from notable teams such as Titan, Dignitas, and HellRaisers, we’ll also see some of the premier North American teams in Stockholm, including Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming, and Team Liquid.
Hearthstone Continues to Expand Months After New Expansion
Less than two months after the release of the Grand Tournament expansion, the competitive scene of Blizzard’s arena card game continues to grow and grow at an unprecedented rate. This doesn’t come as too big of a surprise, as all the way back in January, even Blizzard admitted that the popular reception of Hearthstone had surpassed their highest possible expectations.
But this week alone has seen a plethora of new developments in the competitive Hearthstone scene. Abios, the group behind the Abios eSports Match Ticker, a very popular web app and Chrome extension used to track live eSports events, have announced the unveiling of the Abios Grand Tournament, the organization’s first eSports tournament. The tournament will be single-elimination format, and will feature 16 players and a $5K prize pool. Additionally, DreamHack announced that they were bringing back their open-Swiss format to their DreamHack Winter event at the end of November. There are no official group stages or brackets in the early parts of the open-Swiss format, players are randomly matched against each other. After a few rounds, players with similar records are matched against each other (someone who’s 2-0 faces someone else who is 2-0, etc.) This continues for some time, and then the top four or eight or sixteen advance to a normal single elimination bracket. For this year’s DreamHack, more than 128 participants will be fielded in the tournament, and the single elimination bracket will field sixteen finalists. Lastly, Na’Vi announced the signing of three premiere European Hearthstone talents, Ostkaka, Hoej, and Xixo. These players are three of the top eight earners of Hearthstone World Championship points in the European qualifiers, and are currently competing in said qualifiers. You can view these matches on the European PlayHearthstone Twitch channel.
- LoL: Riot releases Patch 5.18, the patch that will be used for the upcoming World Championships. Riot says that this patch marks an attempt to promote and return to diversity when it comes to making picks and designing strategies.
- LoL: Dignitas announces that Rico will step down from the head coaching position of their NA squad, as he’s electing to stay in his home country of France to pursue another career. Rico joined midway through the 2015 spring split that saw Dignitas narrowly avoid relegation in the following promotion tournament. Dignitas rebounded in the 2015 summer split with the addition of Helios at jungler, going 10-8 and finishing in sixth place, but were swept by Team Impulse in the first round of playoffs. Additionally, EU LCS #3 seed Origen has announced Hermit as their new head coach.
- Smash: The Abios match ticker, mentioned above in the Hearthstone section, has expanded their coverage of eSports titles with the addition of Super Smash Bros.
- Dota 2: Team FIRE emerged victorious in the North American qualifiers for the ESL One New York Dota 2 event, and will compete at Madison Square Garden during the weekend of October 3rd for a shot at $100K. Seven of the eight teams have been determined, with only the winner of the ongoing Chinese qualifier remaining.
Image credits: DreamHack.