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.
eSports will be an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in China, in the boldest step yet toward mainstream recognition of competitive gaming.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has announced a partnership with Alisports, the sports arm of Chinese online retail giant Alibaba, to introduce eSports as a demonstration sport at next year’s games in Indonesia, with full-fledged inclusion in the official sporting programme at the Hangzhou Games in 2022.
The OCA said the decision reflects “the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.”
The Asian Games, which are recognized by the IOC, are billed as the world’s second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics. Forty-five national delegations and about 10,000 athletes took part in the most recent Asiad three years ago in Incheon, South Korea.
The IESF is one of two organizations, along with the British government-backed International eGames Committee (IEGC), that submitted a request to the IOC last year to obtain information on how to gain inclusion for eSports in the Olympic programme. While that prospect remains distant, the incorporation of eSports to the Asian Games will offer a highly visible testing ground.
While initially popular as a spectator sport in Asia – more than 40,000 people attended the 2014 League of Legends World Championship finals in Seoul – competitive gaming now draws tens of millions of spectators to online platforms and real-world venues, including New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.
Two college students Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe created a total overhaul mod using assets from Valve’s Half Life 2. Le did all the programming and Jess worked with the community of players. What started as an experiment, attracted Valve Corporations, who in turn gave a commercial release to the mod also known as Counter Strike. These digital weapons, players and maps led to the booming of then unknown territory called the ‘esports’.
esports, an online competitive gaming tournament played between pro-gamers on a computer machines has taken the industry by storm as gaming community has started recognizing it as a career option and branded it as a real sport. Getting into the debate of whether esports is a sport or a farce will yield no results, hence I would like to reveal some statistics which will make things more transparent.
According to Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence across gaming, esports and mobile gaming released its third edition of esports report which highlights that esports economy will grow to $ 696 million this year. The report also added that Brands will play a major role in shaping the esports economy and by 2020, the growth will reach to $1.5 billion dollars. Further to add, US and China will generate $362 million dollars in 2017, followed by Asia-Pacific regions which will take 51% revenue share.
Why is esports becoming so popular?
esports games are divided into different genre and the most popular being fighting games ( Street Fighter ), first-person shooter ( Counter Strike Series), real time strategy ( WarCraft 3 ), and multiplayer online battle arena ( League Of Legends and Dota ).
Just like any other sport, esports has managed to garner a wide range of spectators across the globe. The overall operations of esports is similar to that of any other sporting event like NBA, NFL, Football and many others. A team consists of 5 members having individual skills which can be executed during the game. The team is managed by an esports expert who oversees players salaries, housing, office space, healthcare and sports staff. The players go through rigorous training and practice for hours to reach the pinnacle Esports tournaments are held on a grandeur level and the level of intensity and cheerfulness seen among gaming fans is similar to that seen in a football or a cricket fans. These tournaments are live-streamed on mediums like Twitch and YouTube which have millions of followers.
The popularity of competitive gaming is testament to the fact that Intel Extreme Masters which was held in Katowice, Poland drew 173000 fans to the stadium event. Online, the event was watched by 46 million unique viewers, more than Trump’s inauguration TV audience of 30.6 million viewers.
Pro Gaming Scene In India
Pro Gaming Scene in India is at its nascent stage, but it is evolving and growing at a fast pace. Hardware companies like Asus, GigaByte and NVIDIA are bolstering the esports mania by organizing Dota 2 and CS:Go tournaments across gaming cafes and events. Many startups and gaming companies have jumped into the scene to promote esports culture.
In January, USports, a ₹100 crore league, announced by the founder of UTV Group, Ronnie Screwvala, will take its course this year.
In February, Nazara Games announced that it will invest INR 130 crores in a new esports league in India over the next five years in the league, which will include PC based games DOTA 2 and Counter Strike : Global Offensive.
Last year, Mountain Dew launched Dew Arena Gaming Championship with a prize pool worth INR 10 Lakhs. Many brands followed the bandwagon by announcing individual leagues and tournaments, thus encouraging and boosting the gamers and esports scenario.
Talking about the role of a team manager and esports scenario in India, Eklovya Dutta, Captain and In Game Leader of upcoming esports team FEROCIOUS believes that the role of the team captain is to make sure that there exist a discipline, cohesion, and structure within a team. As the team captain himself , he sets fixed goals to every member and encourages them to focus on playing the game and improvise while doing so. Esports is a massive industry and is gradually growing in India. However, lack of infrastructure, support and topsy-turvy management and self-pride can impair the esports scenario in India.” In order to compete with the International players, its important to focus on team game-play rather than changing the team member.”
The pro-gaming scene will further strengthen its hold in the Indian market considering the situation of Internet is improving in India. From 105th position and 4.1 Mbps speed till three months ago, the country has risen to 97th position on a global level with 5.6 Mbps of average connectivity speed.
To conclude, the competitive gaming market is growing at an exponential rate, media giants like ESPN are broadcasting the tournaments and competitions, and brands like NBA and YouTube are jumping into the world of esports. The positive synergies between companies, pro-gamers and developers can surely make esports the greatest sporting event.
As you climb the MMR mountain you’ll meet many players – give these ones a shove.
Once Dota 2 gets its hooks into you, there chances are it will be hundreds, if not thousands of hours before you get anywhere near theupper echelons of the MMR scale, and even then most won’t make it past 3-4K.
While the quality of play and understanding of the game may increase as the MMR count rises, there are some things that every Dota player will experience, regardless of if they are in the 1K bracket or pushing to hit 9K. There will be throws, incredible comebacks and loads of Invokers (at least while 6.86 is still around). However, the one thing that Dota players will experience more than anything is other players, and these are 10 of the most common types you will find.
Whether you want to hug them as they save you from a gank or curse them as they tilt their way to another victory for your opponents, you’ll have encountered each and everyone of these in pubs.
The perfect player
Quite possibly the most annoying type of Dota 2 player in the world, the perfect player truly believes that nothing is their fault. If they go for the first bounty rune alone and die, it was because the team wasn’t with them. If they get caught out in the opposition jungle while farming, it was because there weren’t any deep wards. When the team gets wiped it’s because the supports didn’t lock anyone down. Their delusion is so bad that if they give up first blood they assume there is no way the team can win without their star player being ahead from the start, and will call “GG noob team” in all chat. Then if the team manages to win, they tell everyone it was all because they did so well, despite ending 2-12-3 with only boots and drums on Spectre.
The slightly disappointed support
The nice guys of Dota, the disappointed support has a mindset of “I will pick a hero that the team needs” and always ends up having to pick a support as the other four players have selected four carries and are currently fighting over who goes mid. Disappointed supports dream of the day where their team-mates pick a good support pair straight away and leave them to be the position one, but the chances of that happening are less than the chances of Arteezy and Kuroky joining forces to win The International 7.
The rage against your machine
Dota is a game that makes even the most rational of gamers act in irrational ways. Someone who is by all accounts an amicable person face to face can turn into the most angry person in the world when they load into a game, even if things are going their way. “OH MY GOD! WHERE WERE YOU TEAM?” will boom through your headset as the angry one gets picked off in an unavoidable situation that won’t change the outcome of the game. What makes them worse is that even when a teamfight seems to go perfectly, they will take umbrage with the fact that one of the supports got a single kill, stealing it from them.
The tower diver
Anyone who has even played one full game of Dota knows that towers hurt, especially in the early game, and should generally be avoided. Now, there are times where diving behind a tower to secure a kill is a good idea, but the tower diver takes this to a new extreme, running past a tier-three tower at six minutes to secure a kill on a position five Crystal Maiden. Unsurprisingly, things generally don’t go well in this situation, but instead of learning from their mistakes the diver does exactly the same thing four minutes later. Regardless of how the game goes chances are they will have more deaths as a result of diving towers than due to the other team playing well.
The god of gamblers
There is a time and a place for picking a random hero when playing Dota, but randoming as a last pick in a ranked game when your team already has positions one through four locked in is seldom the best idea. Inevitably the other members of the team will ask why they randomed, and the only response they will receive is “I need to learn all the heroes”. Well that’s great and all, but some people actually want to occasionally win a Dota game, and hitting that random button and locking in Meepo when you have never played him before really screws your team over. Unless you are actually a god, in which case, fair play, but we’ve not seen many of those on mere mortal pubs.
The journeyman jungler
While Chen and Enigma are two of the most effective junglers in Dota, the journeyman jungler will pick heroes such as Axe and Legion Commander, because they only play carries. That’s how hot they are. Of course, if they had their way they would be in the safelane farming, but being left with the fourth of five pick meant they had to pick a jungler because supports are boring and having more than one support is pointless when there are neutrals in the jungle to farm. Sometimes their pick will work out, but often they will show up to mid-game fights with boots and an Iron Talon, or won’t show up at all because there are still neutrals to kill.
The ping spammer
One of the most important mechanics in Dota is the ping. When used effectively it can convey almost any piece of information, but the ping spammer seems to value a ping more than destroying the ancient. If a hero is spotted going for a rune, they will ping, if a hero leaves the lane for a second they will ping the lane instead of saying the hero is missing and if they want Zeus to ult they will ping the hero, despite there literally being a chat wheel option for “Zeus ult now”. By the end of the game you will most likely have tinnitus from the pings still ringing in your ears, and expect to hear one whenever you see a person walk round a corner on your way to work the next day.
The smurf is clearly too good to be playing in your MMR bracket, so they must be on a smurf account. Or, you know if we think about it, they could just be having the game of their life. Either way they will carry any team to victory, and ruin their opponents day, ending with some ridiculous KDA on a difficult hero. More times than not they will be humble about it, but as they sit there admiring their stats post game you can’t help but be annoyed by them; after all, you wanted to be the centre of attention when you joined the game and they took that away from you.
The panic attack
We’ve all misclicked and accidentally popped our 10 second BKB while fighting against kobolds in the small camp – but it was an accident and a rare occurrence. For the panicker though, this happens all too often; once they sense danger or a fight kicks off their fingers become uncontrollable and mash every key possible. This usually results in all their abilities going off on the wrong target and accidentally starting to TP when they wanted to blink. Often their mistakes can be forgiven, but when they finally hit the perfect five man Black Hole only to self cancel it because they panicked, the inevitable facepalm emotes are more than warranted.
The silent support
“We need wards” is the bane of the silent support’s life. Every game they pick a support and every game they buy and place wards, yet “we need wards” is still constantly spammed in the chat, even though there are four of on the map and none left in stock. But despite the constant reminders to buy wards and questions of why they got picked off when trying to place a ward they remain silent throughout, choosing to avoid conflict and keep the team as peaceful as a pub team can be. They may feel annoyed inside but when they ‘accidentally’ stun the enemy carry a second too late so he can kill the person who has been demanding wards, everything feels much better.
Some of esports’ biggest players, including ESL and ActivisionBlizzard, gathered under the umbrella of Germany’s most influential lobbying group for digital entertainmentearlier the year. Now, ahead of the federal elections set to take place in autumn this year, they’re making some serious noise.
The group had formulated 10 claims to pressure German politicians from all parties to further support the games industry. Most notably, they’re demanding the recognition of esports as a sport. This way, esports would receive a multitude of benefits, ranging from tax relief to easier visa processes for its athletes. Several ministries, members of the parliament, and party experts received the list of demands in December.
The lobby, which goes by the bulky German name Branchenverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (BIU), represents 85 percent of the German video games market, according to its own statements. The association is a joint organizer of the annual video games trade fair gamescom, and partner of the Deutscher Computerspielpreis, an annual video games award donated by the federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure.
In June, the BIU announced the formation of a dedicated esports initiative, named eSports.BIU, to further establish esports in Germany, fight for its recognition, and ease visa procedures. It includes developers like Activision Blizzard and Riot Games but also esports-focused organisations like ESL and Freaks4U Gaming. The six members of its board are representatives from Microsoft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, ESL, Freaks4U, and Wargaming.
In the past, several attempts to recognize esports as an official sport in Germany failed. Policy follows the guidelines set by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (GOSC) when it comes to whether esports are sports. And in the past, the GOSC has been pretty clear: they’re not. The reason? Esports lacks “its own motoric activity.” In other words: using mouse and keyboard or handling a controller isn’t considered to be a defining action, something every form of sport needs to be recognized following the Olympics ruleset.
Political forays to recognize esports, to date, were mainly supported by small regional factions like Berlin’s Pirate Party or Hamburg’s liberals, both of which were neglectable attempts.
If the BIU can increase the pressure on Germany’s political landscape ahead of the federal elections remains to be seen. Admittedly, when big games companies like Activision and Tencent unite under one banner, they’re a force to reckon with.
It’s unlikely, however, that esports’ recognition as a sport will become a big election issue, if it becomes a topic at all. While being an important business location for international esports—ESL’s headquarter in Cologne, Riot Games EU in Berlin, the Frankfurt Dota 2 Major, etc.— Germany’s political and public awareness clearly lags behind.
I think it might be every guy’s dream (and increasingly the dream of many girls as well): getting paid to play video games for a living. Forget training to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer: for far less money (no college degree necessary), you can train yourself to earn big bucks playing games on your PC, Xbox One or Playstation 4. In a few years the Superbowl itself my pale in comparison to some eSports tournaments and finals; people are already filling arenas and tuning in online in droves to watch the world’s best video gamers go head-to-head, battling for prizes that can earn them millions of dollars per year. But even if you don’t rocket into the upper echelons of gaming, you can potentially earn a steady salary as part of a sponsored team (in the $25-50k per year range). Or you can stream games from home and earn money off of ads and/or donations. And who knows, maybe all your experience will someday suit you to be the next Bobby Kotick (Activision Blizzard’s CEO; responsible for developing StarCraft, a very popular game among pros).
So are you wondering how to become a pro gamer? Or which games are the most popular (or can earn you the most money)? Are you looking to get on the fast track to earning a video gaming salary or sponsorship? Well you’re in the right place. In this roundup I’ve collected everything you need to get started as a professional gamer — from articles with the best how to information to places you can watch gamers who have already achieved legendary status t0 a few random resources you’d never find on your own.