Posted in League of Legends, World Championship

League Of Legends Worlds 2017 Opening Ceremony

Here’s a preview of the opening ceremony. Enjoy. 

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Posted in Dota 2, ESL, Team Rankings

ESL One Hamburg 2017: What does the ‘letters’ say?

When the eight qualifying teams reached Hamburg, they met with a sweet surprise; one Mercedes-Benz car for each team, with custom team logos. When they reached their official residence for the event, they were greated with another sweet gesture: a personalized letter for each team from the ESL management, highlighting their journey so far. Though there were other customized goodies for each individual player, this letter signified how far ESL is ready to go for its players. Are you interested to know the content of each of the letter? Well, then you can find all the eight team-specific letter below. Happy reading.😁

Team Liquid

Team Secret

Fnatic

Evil Geniuses

Newbee

Keen Gaming

SG esports

Virtus.Pro

Posted in PUBG

Why PUBG can probably be the Next Great Esport

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It’s no secret PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has given rise to a turbulence —the Early Access “battle royale” shooter has been raking in sales and drawing new players at an incredible rate. It climbed ahead of CS:GO in player count (over 500,000) a month ago, and then it claimed a perhaps inevitable victory: surpassing Dota 2 in terms of player count, making it the top game on Steam ( The above pic shows that it is leading by a huge gap in terms of current players).

The PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Gamescom Invitational, conducted in August 2017, presented by Bluehole Studio and ESL was the first major tournament the game has had since its launch on Steam early access six months ago. It spanned four days, each featuring a different game mode in a Best of 3 format, with just one objective: SURVIVE.

Though it sounds simple, but as any one of the game’s millions odd players will tell you – not so much. PUBG nails the ‘easy to pick up, difficult to master’ formula that so many esports titles have been gunning for, since this balance is not only crucial to building and sustaining a player base, but it enables the casual and hardcore fans alike to enjoy it as an esport. ( In fact, as per one of the videos released by IGN, you’re twice as likely to be stuck by lighting than win your first game of Battlegrounds).

Combine this with some of PUBG‘s other qualities, and you get the next major esport in the making.

1. Huge Viewership

Before we discuss about the merits of PUBG as an esport, we should address how the game performs from a numbers perspective. While viewership alone won’t create that special formula for a  popular esport, it’s the best way to measure if one is/will be successful.

Day one viewership during the PUBG Invitational was high because of the fan’s hype around seeing PUBG as an esport, simple as that. The 175.2k peak CCV on the main channel shows the viewership is enormous – those are numbers that many pre-existing esports league and events would be overjoyed with. Though the camerawork was erratic and the broadcast was dull, the fact that the max CCV remained well above the 100k mark throughout the event is a great sign.

2. Spectacular Entertainment Value 

Exploding cars, boat battles, gun fights, fist fights – there is no denying the game’s sheer recreational value. One of the main advantage of PUBG is how easy the game could be to ingest, as a viewer doesn’t need to have in-depth knowledge about the game. The game’s physics and the visuals represented are relatable, meaning that the untrained eye will be able to track what is happening and understand it at the same time.

Once PUBG contains a fully optimized spectator mode, the options are nearly limitless: split screen fights, free-roam camera, or replays of missed action that was happening elsewhere on the map. They could have multiple broadcasts, and fans could focus on following their favourite player, or tune into the main channel NFL Red Zone.

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3. Organised Chaos

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is not the only game in the aptly titled ‘battle royale’ (BR) genre. The creator of the game, Brendan Greene, is also the founder of the entire genre and has been at the heart of every major BR release since he created the first battle royale mod for Arma 2 in 2013.

Although this new genre doesn’t have the symmetrical pacing of a game like CS:GO, it does have naturally occurring crests and troughs in the action that enable casters to flow between play-by-play commentary and game analysis. It has an early, mid, and late game in which players are constantly forced to conceive and alter their strategy depending on what is happening in the game. This ever-present butterfly effect is what makes the game so captivating. The game is all about weighing the odds of survival in your favour by every possible means, and that’s the reason of it being so appealing to both play and watch.

4. Game creators’ commitment

Though the game is still imperfect, and plagued with numerous player bugs and epic fails, by now, it is clear that community’s passion for the game is huge. And so, the PUBG team doesn’t only value their players and understand the importance of community, they wear their heart on their sleeve to such an unadulterated extent that you can’t help but appreciate their authenticity. At Dreamhack Atlanta this year, Brendan Greene was slated for one hour on the show floor to greet fans. He ended up sticking around for nearly three hours, stood in the same spot, excitedly answering questions and chatting with every player that wanted to meet him until the queue was finally at its end. Fans recognise that kind of mentality and they absolutely love it. This has already been proven by the fact, that PUBG beat it’s second place record less than a day after the conclusion of the Invitational tournament.

Just in case, you were thinking that the idea of PUBG being a esport being far-fetched, the games’ creator, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, has himself expressed an appreciation for the game’s future as an esport:

“I want to create spectacle in esports. I want 64 people sitting in the centre of an arena with a stadium full of people watching. And then each player has to get up and walk off [as they’re eliminated]”

– Brendan Greene in Rolling Stone, April 7, 2017

Posted in Esports Players, League of Legends

Pro tips from ‘Rekkles’ : What it takes to get to the top

Image result for rekkles

Each gamer has this thought one time or the other: How do I become successful as a esports player in this game, that I am playing?

Well, how about some tips from a professional player himself.

Fnatic’s League of Legends ADC player MartinRekklesLarssen has shared his views on what he thinks are the important qualities, what we need to inculcate to become a pro.

  • First and foremost, possessing a competitive spirit is important. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun while playing the game; it just shouldn’t be your main goal. People need to think of when they want to go pro, and take the plunge with all readiness.

“I’ve always had this competitive spirit coming from my youth with sports, I couldn’t just play for fun.”

  • Secondly, climbing the ladder shouldn’t be a goal, it should be something that just happens with the other goals. Playing the game a lot and putting 110% into every game is the first thing of ever becoming something.
  • Another important thing is to be really open minded. It doesn’t mean, you should try to play a whole lot of champions. Even when you’re playing a certain champion you can’t tell yourself you’re doing the best you can possibly do, you need to always look outside of the box and try to find new ways of playing the game. That’s how you grow the fastest, even though you might only be playing a few champions.
  • And another important thing, but usually overlooked, is learning patience. It can be used in your favour inside the game, because there are many moments where it’s really tense, like if four people died on each team and it’s one on one. If you don’t have that patience, you’re going to lose that last duel which you wouldn’t have otherwise.

It is going to take you time to get somewhere. In fact, Rekkles himself played the game for almost two years and he was gold before he started climbing the tiers. If a player don’t have the patience to go through this phase, he would surely given up before leaving any mark.

If you’re willing to give 110% of your time and focus, you can get anywhere. It’s not just League of Legends related either, it’s anything in life. So you really need that drive – that’s the main thing you need to be looking for. You can actually force yourself to have that drive, I don’t think it’s something you can be born with, it’s something that you almost teach yourself through life.

– Rekkles

Posted in CS:GO, Dota 2, FIFA, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, The International

Forget dancing horses, surfing and BMX- the Olympics Games need eSports

If we have learned anything from the previous few Olympics, it is that the Games are going through an identity crisis. Rocked by a doping scandal and with an older audience than ever, the International Olympic Committee is attempting to rehabilitate its image by appealing to a uninterested youth.

With sports such as BMX freestyle and baseball taking their place alongside archaic remnants from the age of imperialism, like modern pentathlon and dressage, it is difficult to know what or who the Olympics represent anymore. If the IOC is serious about joining the brave new world that seems to have passed it by and more importantly if it wants to keep its sponsors happy, it needs to make serious changes – starting with introducing eSports.

Described by the organising committee as an opportunity “to inspire new generations and become a turning point and a model for future Olympic Games”, the decision to include events such as surfing and climbing in the programme for the 2020 Games comes across as a desperate and cynical ploy by an organisation that is clinging on to what relevance it once had by including sports they believe will address flagging viewership amongst the under-30s. The inclusion of skateboarding especially smacks of a decision made in a focus group run by a man who uses the word “dude” unironically.

Whatever nostalgia we may have about the Games, the simple truth is they are no longer a celebration of the world’s greatest athletes but rather a corporate exercise in mass marketing. And therein lies eSports’ greatest strength. eSports generated $493m (£386m) in revenue with a global audience of about 320m people in 2016, the eSports website Newzoo reported last year. Purely from a financial standpoint, advertisers are missing a potentially massive opportunity to reach new audiences. There are estimated to be over 100m League of Legends players worldwide, and unlike surfing or softball, it has proven its mass viewing appeal, with 36m unique viewers tuned in for 2015’s League of Legends final between Koo Tigers and SK Telecom, exceeding the 31m people who tuned in to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers, inspired by a virtuoso performance from LeBron James, defeat Golden State Warriors in last year’s NBA Championship decider. Incidentally, that figure is also higher than the average of 27.5m American viewers for the Rio Games.

The Asian Games, the second largest multisport event after the Olympics, is set to feature eSports first as a demonstration event in 2018 as part of the run-up to eSports’ official inclusion as a medal sport in the 2022 Games in Hangzhou, China. This should come as no surprise because of the enormous popularity of eSports across the continent, and especially in the far east. Seoul’s Sangam Stadium, which hosted a World Cup semi-final in 2002, was sold out for the 2014 League of Legends World Final which was broadcast to a global audience of over 27m in 19 different languages. The popularity of eSports is not solely confined to Asia though, with Sweden’s DreamHack, the world’s largest digital festival, hosting a variety of tournaments including games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Street Fighter V, and Heroes of the Storm.

Perhaps one of the main peculiarities of eSports competitions is that they rarely feature sports games. Despite their global popularity, football games such as Fifa lag behind the likes of Dota 2 and Hearthstone, with last year’s Fifa Ultimate Team Championship Final providing the first lucrative opportunity to play the game as it featured a $400,000 prize pool and was broadcast on traditional gaming platforms, YouTube and Twitch as well as BT Sport.

Football teams are slowly starting to embrace the growing trend of global tournaments, with Manchester City, West Ham United, and Wolfsburg all signing professional eSports players, while other teams such as Valencia and Schalke have gone beyond Fifa – the former have a Rocket League team and the latter a League of Legends roster.

Football’s involvement should provide the IOC with the encouragement they need to incorporate eSports onto the Olympic schedule. Its global appeal far outstretches nearly every other sport in the world, while it also makes commercial sense. For the naysayers who claim it will devalue the Olympics to have skinny, pasty, nerds smashing buttons and pretending to shoot one another, just remember – at least it’s not dancing horses.

COURTESY: The Guardian

Posted in League of Legends, Player Rankings

THE SIX BEST LEAGUE OF LEGENDS PRO PLAYERS FOR EACH ROLE

Like me, many of you must have looked for the list of the best players in League of Legends, but none of them were too satisfactory. Most of them either contained players from a certain region more, while ignoring the other regions or compared the players playing in differ roles on the basis of a common criteria which is completely odd. Some other lists were biased, and had personal favorites included, to a great extent.

So, we have tried to make a new and complete list, which includes the top 6 players, for each role. This was quite an audacious task, and proved to be too daunting. So, after looking through all the player profiles, their achievements as team as well as individually, how much significant is their role in the team’s victory and their efforts to prove themselves in the upcoming season, we were able to come up with this list (with all efforts to be fair and well-informed, keeping out personal preferences and favorites). The players have been mentioned in no particular order, as we aren’t deciding their world rankings (their tournament earnings till date, has been mentioned just for information purpose).

(P.S.- Long list ahead)

TOP LANERSTopLaner Icon.png

Top lane is one of the most diverse roles in League of Legends, as it can house everything from resistance-stacking tanks to high damage assassins, and every player has their own unique idea on how the lane should be played. Though playing as top laner is often considered an easier role by most, the best top laners in the world can swing the tides of battle completely, when they get involved.

  • ·         Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho
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Current Team- KT Rolster

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 21

Most Played Champions- Maokai, Rumble, Jayce

Tournament earnings- $209,099

Best known for his Yoric and Riven plays, he often wins his lane against the other team’s top laner during matches. He has back-to-back South Korean MVP awards, and he shed the stigma of being a second-place finisher by starring in the Tigers’ win over KT Rolster in the summer 2016 LCK finals.

He got the first pentakill by a toplaner in Champions history (Scored a pentakill with Riven against Jin Air Green Wings in 2015 LCK Summer Split.)

  • ·       Seung “Huni” Hoon Heo
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Current Team- SK Telecom T1

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 19

Most Played Champions- Maokai, Rumble, Gangplank

Tournament earnings- $210,787

He is well known for important teleport plays to help his team gain the lead. Moreover, he is known for playing unorthadox top laners, such as Cassiopeia. He does have a few achievements under his belt, such as scoring pentakills with:

1.      Quinn in their match against Team Liquid in Week 6 of the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split.

2.      Ekko in their match against Team Impulse in Week 9 of the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split.

  • ·         Tong “Koro1” Yang
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Current Team-  Royals Never Give Up

Country of Birth- China

Age-23

Most Played Champions- Jayce, Poppy, Maokai

Tournament earnings- $245,956

One of the underrated top-laners, he has shown consistent performance in the Demacia Cup tournaments and LPL Spring playoffs, first for Edward Gaming and then for Royals Never Give Up.

  • ·         Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
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Current Team- Team Dignitas

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Gnar, Ekko, Shen

Tournament earnings- $79,375

Known for playing Tanks and Bruisers such as Renekton, Riven and Shen, he is considered as a very dominating top laner, often killing the enemy, even when in a disadvantaged position himself in fact, he is widely considered as the best top laner in Korea, alongside with Looper.

  • ·         Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok
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Current Team- Echo Fox

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 24

Most Played Champions- Trundle, Rumble, Maokai

Tournament earnings- $346,307

Known for his exceptional use of Teleport., he gained popularity for his Singed plays, and is regarded as one of the best Dr. Mundo players in the world. He was awarded the Best Top Laner in the 2016 Demacia Cup, while he was a part of Royals Never Give Up.

  • ·         Lee “Flame” Ho-Jong
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Current Team- Immortals

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 24

Most Played Champions- Poppy, Gangplank, Nautilus

Tournament earnings- $79,362

Flame is well known for his ability to seamlessly dive on to the opponent’s priority targets even if they are protected by a strong front line(‘The Flame Angle’), and his ability to consistently dominate his lane opponent both in kills and farm, usually outfarming his lane (‘The Flame Horizon’).

He is also called the “Pilot” because of his ability to hard carry his team to victory. He was even awarded Best Top Laner at 2013 Korean e-Sports Awards.

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One of the hardest role to play in LoL, a jungler moves around the whole map, from lanes to lanes, ganking the enemy champions when they are at a disadvantage, while harvesting gold in between from the neutral creeps. Constant vigilance on which lane cab be turned to their advantage determines how good a jungler is. Here are the junglers who clearly deserved a place amongst the top six.

  •  Han “Peanut” Wang-ho
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Current Team- SK Telecom T1

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 19

Most Played Champions- Rengar, Lee Sin, Kha’Zix

Tournament earnings- $267,665

He is the one of the most talented upcoming junglers in the recent times, and has won the KDA Leader (Jungle) awards repeatedly in the recent LCK Spring tournaments. In his first season, he was nicknamed the “Battle Ward”, for his play being all offense with little anything else, and proving that the blood of his enemies is the best way for his team to see the map.

  • Ming “Clearlove7” Kai (previously called Clearlove)
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Current Team- EDward Gaming

Country of Birth- China

Age- 23

Tournament earnings- $356,843

Considered to be the number 1 jungler even before he  joined Team WE in Season 2, he averaged the most kills of any jungler in the league with the least amount of deaths. There are a lot of up-and-comers each year, yet Clearlove remains as solid as Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok at the mid lane position.

  • Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
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Current Team- Team SoloMid

Country of Birth- Denmark

Age- 21

Most Played Champions- Rek’Sai, Gragas, Nidalee

Tournament earnings- $104,955

Svenskeren is the most aggressive jungler in North America. His favored champions are those who can counter-jungle effectively to outfarm the enemy jungler, such as Lee Sin and Graves.

He even  performed a baronsteal with Gragas against LGD on his first game with TSM.

  • Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong
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Current Team- Samsung Galaxy

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 24

Most Played Champions- Rengar, Kha’Zix, Graves

Tournament earnings- $220,797

Known for his consistent performance and un-emotional playing style, he is one of the upcoming junglers in the recent times. In fact, he is considered the most consistent Mid-laner of all of Korea, which was his previous role.

  • Choi “inSec” In-seok
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Current Team- Royal Club

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 23

Most Played Champions- Zed, Zac, Evelynn

Tournament earnings- $124,944

Known for playing carry junglers like Zed or Evelynn, he was considered by many pro players to be the best jungler in the world. He is also well known for his Lee Sin play (considered the best in the world due to his incredibly good mechanics).

  • Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov
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Current Team- Gambit.CIS

Country of Birth- Russia

Age- 24

Most Played Champions- kha’Zix, Lee Sin, Rengar

Tournament earnings- $104,424

Starting his professional career with 1800 elo (relatively low in the pro scene), he has revolutionized the jungle with counter-jungling methods and unorthodox Champs, such as Karma, Dr. Mundo, Nasus and Hecarim. He is also known for his early-game aggressive play with Lee Sin, Shyvana and Udyr.

MID LANERSMidLane Icon.png

Going head-to head, a mid laner does the crucial task of defending the mid lane, as the game is usually lost if this lane falls too early. Choosing the top six for this was rather easy, as there are a few favorites, of all the LoL fans around the world, who clearly prove they are a class apart and definitely deserve a place amongst the world best.

  • Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
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Current Team- SK Telecom T1

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 21

Most Played Champions- Orianna, Corki, Ryze

Tournament earnings- $1,047,606

Widely considered the best League of Legends player till date, he has earned numerous nicknames over the years, such as “God”,”Lionel Messi of League of Legends”, “Michael Jordan of League of Legends” and “The Unkillable Demon King”. He has won the awards for ‘Best League of Legends Player’, ‘Korea Esports Player of the Year’, ‘Most Popular Player’ and ‘KDA Leader (Mid)’ numerous times, and is currently the only player who has won over one million dollars as prize money. Well known for his hyper aggressive play style, he holds the record for most kills in a World Championship at 209.

  • Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
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Current Team- Team SoloMid

Country of Birth- Denmark

Age- 21

Most Played Champions- Zed, LeBlanc, Azir

Tournament earnings- $157,711

He is Riot’s youngest featured Streamer and is said to have recorded 70K viewers on his first stream after joining Team SoloMid, in Nov 2013. If it isn’t proof enough, he is called the “Western Faker” because of his deep champion pool and his famous Zed play, and has won numerous MVP awards in the NA region.

  • Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten
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Current Team- H2k-Gaming

Country of Birth- Netherlands

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Azir, Vladimir, Viktor

Tournament earnings- $90,030

Currently known as one of the strongest current mid laners in the EU LCS (and previously considered the best mid laner on NA) , he gained popularity with his solokills on Faker.He is also the first player who reached Challenger in Korean server at the 2015 Bootcamp after 8 days, having 75% win rate.

  • Heo “PawN” Won-seok
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Current Team- KT Rolster

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Ryze, Orianna, Ahri

Tournament earnings- $405,041

He proved himself as the one of the most consistent player with Edward Gaming, before he moved on with KT Rolster in Nov 2016. He got the name “The God Slayer” as he solokilled Faker (“God”) multiple times in season 4. Known for his Yasuo, he is considered the best Yasuo player (alongside with Dade) and a 1 vs 1 duel specialist.

  • Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang
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Current Team- Flash Wolves

Country of Birth- Taiwan

Age- 19

Most Played Champions- Vladimir, LeBlanc, Ryze

Tournament earnings- $151,258

Recording back to back victory in the IEM Season XI – World Championship and 2017 LMS Spring, Flash Wolves is a Taiwanese team to watch out for. Maple is one of the most versatile mid laners around and has already proven to be practically unopposed in the LMS region, where he led all mid laners with a 6.9 KDA during the regular season.

  • Lee “Crown” Min-ho
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Current Team- Samsung Galaxy

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 22

Most Played Champions- Ryze, Viktor, Syndra

Tournament earnings- $150,351

One of the upcoming team hailing from Korea, who can give stiff competition to SKT, Samsung Galaxy has usually held the second position, just after SKT in the world championships. Known for his flawless Zed and Riven plays, he often plays an important role in the team’s victory.

AD CARRIESADCarry Icon.png

The winning or losing of a match, is usually said to depend on the AD carry, how well he could outfarm the opponent and get kills, to create a clear gold advantage, and come up with their builds at the earliest. Weak in the early game, and too buffed up in the late game, their progress determines the outcome. Choosing the top six among so many finest players around the world was quite hard, but we do think we were able to determine the best six.

  • Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu

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Current Team- KT Rolster

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Ashe, Varus, Ezreal

Tournament earnings- $268,446

When we discuss about the world’s best AD carry players, Deft’s name usually crop up amongst the top few. When he was in the Edward Gaming rooster, he was the driving force behind its top performance. Known for being excellent at creating the most efficient mastery and rune pages, and amazing Ezreal and Lucian plays, he had been awarded the MVP award and Best AD award  in the 2016 Demacia Cup.

  • Bae “Bang” Jun-sik
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Current Team- SK Telecom T1

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 21

Most Played Champions- Ezreal, Ashe, Varus

Tournament earnings- $781,027

By now you would have guessed, that if someone belongs to SKT, he would be amongst the top 6 here. After all, SKT wouldn’t have been the best team, if they didn’t have the best players.

 He has the highest KDA of all time in a Premier tournament of 71 after the Groups Stage of 2015 World Championship. Moreover, he scored his 1000th kill this year, after killing Mata during their match against KT Rolster in Week 6 of 2017 LCK Spring.

  • Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao
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Current Team- Royals Never Give Up

Country of Birth- China

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Ezreal, Varus, Ashe

Tournament earnings- $240,632

Considered one of the best, if not the best AD carry of season three and four, with only Deft and Imp to rival him, he was the first player in the history of League of Legends to make to two World Championship Finals back to back.

Known for his excellent mechanics, he believes that the sole measure of worth of an ADC is how hard he carries the team and most specifically how much damage he deals. The ADC needs to be a robotic brick, never wavering, and always at the absolute peak of perfect micro play.

  • Martin “Rekkles” Larsson
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Current Team- Fnatic

Country of Birth- Sweden

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Sivir, Ezreal, Jhin

Tournament earnings- $111,627

In the initial years of LoL, Fnatic was one of the best team in the world. Now they are trying to reclaim their old glory, by rebuilding their team around Rekkles, which explains his actual worth. One of the youngest players ever to play in competitive play, he is one of the most popular player in EU region. Holding the record for fewest deaths during an entire LCS split, he has scored numerous pentakills and known for his superb Jhin plays, amongst his peers.

  • Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
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Current Team- Team SoloMid

Country of Birth- United States

Age- 23

Most Played Champions- Kalista, Jinx, Sivir

Tournament earnings- $93,815

The player with the most pentakills in the competitive scene of League of Legends (10 pentakills), he is widely regarded as one of the most mechanically skilled AD carries in NA. Very driven to maintain this title, Doublelift’s pride and practice schedule are legendary in the NA scene.

  • Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
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Current Team- G2 Esports

Country of Birth- Denmark

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Sivir, Lucian, Caitlyn

Tournament earnings- $166,350

All around the world, many LoL competitive scene followers believe, the only team that can dethrone SKT is G2 Esports. Their consistent winning in this year’s tournaments (either 1st or 2nd position), proves the point. Having won two EU LCS titles in a row, he is the force behind the team. He got the most Double Kills during the 2015 Summer Split across EU and NA LCS, and doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon.

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Anyone who knows about League of Legends, knows how much the team’s performance depends on the player, playing in the support role. Contradictory to the other players in the team, the support dedicates his time to healing, buffing, warding and helping the carry get extra kills. A good support can change the tides of the game, by helping a fellow teammate at a crucial time. Here are the top support players, whom we thought deserved a place here amongst the top six in the world.

  • Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong
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Current Team- KT Rolster

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 23

Most Played Champions- Karma, Zyra, Lulu

Tournament earnings- $382,369

Considered by many players to be the best support player in the world, he is the reason behind Deft’s outstanding performance. He became known for being so incredibly talented on Thresh, that his fans say “If MadLife is God, then Mata is Buddha”.

  • Hong “MadLife” Min-gi
MadLife.jpg

Current Team- Gold Coin United

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 24

Most Played Champions- Thresh, Blitzcrank, Alistar

Tournament earnings- $106,055

Regarded as one of the best support players in the world in terms of both aggressive and passive play, he is known as a god within the community (for his ‘godlike’ support play). Often praised for his ability pull off complex and difficult plays, he possesses a deep champion pool with no known support champions that he is weak with.

  • Tian “meiko” Ye
Meiko.jpg

Current Team- Edward Gaming

Country of Birth- China

Age- 19

Most Played Champions- Braum, Tahm Kench, Thresh

Tournament earnings-$193,599

Known for his very good Annie play, he is one of the youngest support player in the pro scene and has been with Edward Gaming since Dec 2014. He was awarded the Best Support in the 2016 Demacia Cup, and his team has been the most consistent one in the Chinese competitive scene.

  • Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Jie
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Current Team- Flash Wolves

Country of Birth- Taiwan

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Alistar, Braum, Thresh

Tournament earnings- $154,725

Considered one of the best supports in the world during the 2015 World Championship and 2016 Mid-Season Invitational, he has been in the pro scene since season 3. Known for his stellar Alistar and Thresh play, he scored a KDA score of 30, with Karma in the recent 2017 LMS Spring Split.

  • Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez
Mithy.jpg

Current Team- G2 Esports

Country of Birth- Spain

Age- 22

Most Played Champions- Karma, Tahm Kench, Bard

Tournament earnings- $191,062

He has climbed the competitive scene ladder playing only Supports (mainly using Sona, Blitzcrank and Alistar), which proves how suited he is to this role. Whenever G2 Esports performs too well, it means Mithy has been an excellent support to Zven. He is very suited to Zven’s playstyle, and G2 Esports doesn’t want to let go of this winning pair.

  • Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan
Wolf.jpg

Current Team- SK Telecom T1

Country of Birth- S. Korea

Age- 20

Most Played Champions- Karma, Nami, Miss Fortune

Tournament earnings- $785,528

Having numerous KDA Leader (Support) titles and Most Popular Player awards to his name in S. Korea, he is one of the best support players in the recent times. LoL is a team game, where each of their players needs to be at their best for a perfect record, and Wolf seems to well suited as support to Bang.

These were the best pro players depending on the role they perform in their team, according to us. Everyone has their own criteria of judging them, and you may not agree to all of them. So, we would like to know who do you think deserved a place in this list (but please state who amongst the above should have been replaced too, as we are just considering the best six players).

(This being a long post, some errors may have creeped up unintentionally. Please do let us know and we would correct it at the earliest).

Posted in CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, OverWatch, SMITE

How Professional Athlete Education Is Becoming Crucial for Esports

Esports is already massive, and will continue to grow even faster. No expert would contradict this: esports is already overtaking ice hockey, and now even competes against flagships sports such as football. However, what is often forgotten in the conversation are the athletes themselves. Pro footballers are highly educated model athletes who leave nothing to chance. Clubs command entire armies of coaches and advisors to help their players cope with the various challenges on and off the field. Comparatively, esports athletes live the life of an amateur.

Football clubs command armies of coaches and advisors. Comparatively, esports athletes live the life of an amateur.

Weekly training schedules with given exercises? No way! Nutritionists, mental coaches, fitness trainers or other specialists? They simply do not exist for most professional esports athletes. While investors and sponsors have smelled blood and are pumping more and more money into the esports market, the professionalisation of esports athletes lags behind.

A career as an esports athlete begins and ends much earlier (in most cases) than the majority of other careers as professional sportsmen. Competitive gaming careers often end in the mid-twenties as the human brain and reflexes no longer react as intuitively to high-speed attacks from the opponent. Therefore, most gamers have to turn pro at the age of 17, or even younger – a rather short time to learn how to live like a pro. The foundations for a successful career as a gamer therefore lay in one’s youth. If a gamer wants to get to the top of his game, he must invest early on.

However, at the start of their esports career, most of them are miles away from a professional way of living – compared to young elite footballer players. Through systematic education and established support systems, footballers not only learn technique and tactics, but they internalize having a professional lifestyle at teenage age. That is exactly what is missing in esports. Only the high-talented gamers manage to get from their bedroom as a child to the top of the esports business.

This is why most recent esport moves of different European high schools are quite interesting. Since last year, the Norwegian school“Garnes Vidaregåande Skule” in Bergen, for example, offers esports as a school subject. In addition to traditional classes, where pupils write exams, their abilities as a team player or their skills in communications are evaluated as well as their performance in game strategy and tactics. On top of gaming exercises there are athletic training, nutritional counseling and special exercises to improve the reflexes of students. Overall, it’s a very popular project, and some High Schools in Sweden already apply similar concepts. Rumors say that schools in the United States and South Korea are also thinking about offering eSports as a subject.


Training and educating esports athletes will need to happen in a professional sports environment.


Universities are also slowly waking up. For example, several US-American and Asian universities offer scholarships for gamers. In England, the University of Staffordshire announced a new bachelor’s degree in esports. Tencent, the largest e-game developer in China, recently announced plans to build a whole city dedicated to esports, which will host a university.

While schools and other academic institutions increasingly discover the relevance of gaming content in their curriculums, training and educating esports athletes will need to happen in a professional sports environment. At least in Europe, pro football clubs entering the scene with dedicated FIFA or LoL teams could play an important role. The gamers can benefit from their coaches and infrastructure, and profit from their expertise in marketing, sponsoring or even scouting. Some clubs already offer academies or campuses to train their employees. Why not open them for professional esports teams?

Scouting esports talents currently takes place mainly through game-specific ranking lists by the developers/publishers. However, a simple update in the game software can completely mix up rankings from one day to another. Accordingly, the contract periods are short. Gamers are usually signed for not more than two splits – high fluctuation within a team is normal. Thus, for football clubs it is important to recognize future stars early on and tie them to the club. Here, Schalke 04 led the way last year with the so-called “Scouting Days”.


Gamers are usually signed for not more than two splits – high fluctuation within a team is normal.


However, discovering talent is only one side of the coin. Developing them is the other. Gamers do not enjoy structured career plans, they did not attend any eports junior performance center or university, and they did not benefit from regional or national support centers. Even if the eSports organization “Penta-Sports” has recently opened the first professional eSports academy in Berlin, this was only a first move. Many more have to follow.

Although linking professional football clubs with esports seems to be a win-win situation, it is still a long way for both sides to benefit from each other. One thing should be clear: the professionalization of esports athletes must go ahead if they want to keep up with the rapid growth of the industry and if they want to keep up with the expectations. Education is crucial, first and foremost.


Posted in Uncategorized

Are SKT gods?? (Is SKT’s dominance good for League of Legends?)

SK Telecom T1 won another League of Legends tournament.

The number of people surprised: 0.

The number of people who actually watched the ‘world champion’ defeat Europe’s G2 Esports in a surprisingly close final at MSI: possibly millions depending on how many tuned in from China and South Korea.

Unless SKT internally combusts in its LCK summer split or Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok decides to quit pro gaming to become a full-time gardener, the three-time world champion and back-to-back winner of the event will be heading off to China in October as the heavy favorite to win the next tournament.

We’re living in SKT’s story. They’re all the main characters, and all of us, including their rivals — internationally and at home in South Korea — are cannon fodder or side characters at best.

It’s impossible to hide the fact we’re in the midst of the SKT dynasty, so it’s time to ask the question: Is it bad for League of Legends as an esport, or is it a good thing?

SKT’s dominance can get tedious and, quite frankly, a bit boring. That’s the beauty of how SKT has played the game under coach Kim “kkOma” Jung-gyun. When SKT is at its best, the game isn’t fun to watch. It’s like watching a 30-year-old father playing with his 4-year-old son in basketball. The father will let his son get a couple of baskets, have a few laughs, and keep the score close; but you know, as a bystander, that all the 30-year-old has to do is raise his arm in the air to win.

But even though the games aren’t always the definition of exciting, SKT’s clear place above everyone else is what makes each international tournament more heated than the last. Each team, big and small, wants their shot at SKT, Faker, and kkOma, regardless of how futile it may seem on paper. If SKT as an organization was lazy or simply toying with the competition at all times, it might be an issue, but the reigning world champion is playing for perfection. As others teams chase SKT wanting to overcome the titan, SKT chases something less tangible — it chases mastery of the game itself and the ultimate feeling of being content with its work.

SKT’s search for something that might be unreachable pushes teams to go further in their preparation. Teams across the world are investing more money and resources trying to keep up with SKT, and that’s only a good thing for the longevity of League of Legends. Team SoloMid and G2 Esports, champions of their regions, aren’t satisfied with being the throwaway villain in SKT’s tale of conquest. KT Rolster, SKT T1’s biggest rival in South Korea, created a super team for the sole purpose of dethroning SKT.

Riot might prefer to have said dynasty of SKT in North America, where the dev is based, or in China, where there are the most fans. But SKT T1 has broken through regional pride to become a must-watch whether you live in South Korea or not. Faker has transcended esports and is ever so slowly becoming a name to the general public.

People tune in to watch history unfold in front of them. Like all dynasties, one day, SKT will be toppled. But for now, with each win Faker and the team acquire, the house of cards only gets higher and higher with each possible defeat creating an even greater spectacle than the last. One side building toward something they can only see in the distance, and the rest wanting to see the castle come crashing down.