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Dec 18 2015

eSports Weekly (Week of 12/14-Forever): Goodbye Edition

In a very sad, final edition of eSports Weekly, we look at why Valve reverted the changes in the update it made last week, and the newest controversy surrounding last September’s Gaming Paradise event. This and more, including my parting words, in this goodbye edition of eSports Weekly.

Valve Removes Controversial CS:GO Update

csgo basicJust over a week ago the CS:GO community was rocked by one of the biggest updates in the game’s history. On its initial release, the main features were the introduction of a horrifically overpowered pistol, the R8 revolver, as well as accuracy nerfs to almost all pistols and the three most heavily used rifles, the AK47, the M4A4, and the M4A1-S. Specifically, the moving inaccuracy values for all pistols except the Desert Eagle and the Glock in burst-fire mode were doubled, making run-and-gun strategy less effective for pistols. For the rifles, the AK and M4A1-S received increased crouching inaccuracy, and all three rifles received increases to the recovery time, essentially making spraying less effective, because it takes more time for inaccuracy to decay away. Within a couple of days, Valve released a much-needed nerf to the R8 revolver, effectively turning it into more of a pocket Scout than a pocket AWP, and fixed a number of game-breaking bugs that were included in the update.

Despite the quick fix to the new pistol and the bugs, a large portion of the community was still up in arms about the nerfs to pistols and rifles. While the rifles’ nerfs were intended to limit the effectiveness of spraying at certain ranges, it effectively reduced the ability to tap, burst, and spray with all three weapons, making it more of a complete nerf than a specific one. The intention was to try to promote balance, and encourage players to use the AUG and the SG-553, but it backfired immensely. So this past Tuesday, exactly a week after the massive update came out in the first place, Valve released an update and an announcement that they were reverting the changes they had made to the rifles and pistols. Valve admitted that their intention was to promote tapping and bursting over spraying with the rifles, but didn’t realize the effects their nerf would have on the tapping and bursting. The data collected also showed that most players elected to use sprays despite the nerfs. They also admitted that with the new pistol, all the nerfs, and the changes they made to round and C4 detonation timers, they “likely changed too much too quickly.

The updates Valve chose to implement and their corresponding responses indicate some things both good and bad about their processes. On the plus side, it’s nice that Valve are at least trying new things, but are taking responsibility if and when those new things don’t work out. Something they did in Tuesday’s announcement that I wish that they would do more often is discuss what their plans and goals are when they are making an update. However, something must be said of their testing system if they allowed such an OP pistol and so many serious bugs to be added in their initial update. But the dark days of the nerfed rifles and pistols are behind us, and now we can frag our way through the holidays.

Gaming Paradise Won’t Pay Tournament Winnings, Likely to Go Bankrupt (Good Riddance)

hltv kinguin GPYou all remember that Gaming Paradise event from back in September, right? No? Oh that’s right, you blocked it from your memory like I assume most of the attendants did. Well G2 Esports certainly haven’t forgotten, and released a statement earlier this week claiming that Gaming Resorts, the organization behind the disastrous event, had not yet released the prize money. They also said that Gaming Resorts had informed G2 that the outstanding prizes “will probably not be paid.” Gaming Resorts claims that their company holds no assets, meaning that they will automatically declare bankruptcy in the next three months, meaning G2, and the runner-ups in Na’Vi and Titan, will likely not see their prize money. G2 blasted Gaming Resorts for their complete lack of professionalism, and said that tournaments like theirs “damage the image and integrity of esports, and stand in the way of having a stable scene.

If you followed the Gaming Paradise event a few months ago, you’d have a very hard time disagreeing with G2. I used the word “disastrous” above, but that’s putting it lightly. The Dota 2 event wasn’t even held at GP, it was cancelled days before it was supposed to begin. But that was a blessing in disguise for the Dota 2 players, as they didn’t have to experience what the CS:GO players had to. The event suffered from delays up to 12 hours because the van that supposedly held all the computers and gear was “stolen,” and the players were forced to play on sub-par machines, many of which lacked sufficient video cards, or any video cards at all, resulting in further delays. Furthermore, the organizers hadn’t paid for any hotel rooms or food costs or really anything, resulting in the police showing up and confiscating player passports. Many of these players were trying to leave for the ESL Dubai Invitational as well, which obviously would require a passport. There was also a food poisoning incident that required some Titan players to be hospitalized. The teams that remained in the tournament only agreed to continue after signing an agreement with Gaming Resorts that ensured that Gaming Resorts would pay out the prize money. Clearly, that agreement won’t be honored.

In an interview with Aftonbladet, Gaming Resorts CEO Sasa Bulic described the inability to pay out prize money as “a minor setback in our plans for world domination. We plan to comeback in gaming in few years, after debts are taken care of.” He also released a statement on Facebook, explaining what went wrong and asking for PayPal donations. I’ve read the statement, and what went wrong is that this guy clearly doesn’t know when to give up despite numerous indicators that going through with the tournament would be a disaster. A real setback would be letting these guys organize a tournament ever again.

Radar Blips

  • LCS: Fnatic announced the additions of Gamsu, Spirit, and NoXiak to their League of Legends roster. The new roster will debut on Saturday, in the semifinals of the IEM Cologne event against Qiao Gu Reapers, a Chinese team that defeated Dignitas in the quarterfinals.
  • LCS: The LCS just got a whole lot more fox-y. ex-NBA player Rick Fox, who most notably played for the Los Angeles Lakers, has bought Gravity Gaming’s LCS spot for around $1 million, and renamed the team Echo Fox. Fox is a notable avid esports fan, appearing at the NA LCS playoffs and on national television promoting esports. The roster for Echo Fox has yet to be announced.
  • Dota 2: Patch 6.86 came out this week. Highlighting the patch is the new hero, Arc Warden, who has an ability that combines a vision ward with a nuke. He can also spend health and mana to split into a second version of himself. The patch also includes four new magical items, and many changes to hero abilities. You can read the full notes here.

GG: The Dreaded Goodbye

Well, this is it. With HalfBeard’s HUD shutting down at the end of the calendar year, this will be the last installment of eSports Weekly with next Friday being Christmas. Best of luck to Matthew and D’arcy with whatever they do next.

Doing this column for the past year and a half has been tiring at times, and it’s never been perfect, but a lot of my growth as a writer I can attribute to the three and a half years I’ve spent writing content on this site. It’s helped me appreciate and redefine my love for games, and helped me realize that a career in esports is the career I desire more than anything else, and while I go into the unknown not knowing what and for whom I’m going to write next, the things I’ve learned here will guide me to the right place.

Thank you to Matthew for giving me a chance to write here way back in 2012, and for working yourself to the bone day in and day out, good luck at Evolve. Thank you to D’arcy, Matthew S., and all the other people who’ve come and gone here at HalfBeard’s HUD. Thank you to the members of the r/esports community for giving me a place to post this column, and thank you to each and every one of you for reading each week.

So without further ado, when it comes to the holidays, next year, and the rest of your lives: good luck and have fun.

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