eSports

Vainglory — the largest touchscreen eSport game — just found a big endorsement from none other than Amazon. More specifically, the Amazon Appstore will be the main sponsor for the Summer 2016 Vainglory eSports season. The tournament action will run until September 11th, with top American and Europe teams facing off every other weekend. You can catch the action on Twitch and participating players can earn discounts and Amazon Coins throughout the tournament. To cap off the season, Amazon will be hosting a giant championship event and we will post those details when they come available.

Rick Fox, whose involvement in the eSports scene continues to grow, made a statement that he believes the next big eSport will be H1Z1. The action survival game pits up to 150 players against each other on a large open map. Participants actually get parachute dropped into the action and must quickly make decisions about whether to hide, find resources, or go on the offensive (Hunger Games and Battle Royal come to mind here). Certainly, the potential is there and it would be great to see another genre strike it big alongside the FPS and MOBA giants.

Valve has announced the team invites for the DOTA International 2016 tournament. You can find the full list and more info at PC Gamer.

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Nemo a Pro Street Fighter Player

Street Fighter eSports player Nemo received a sponsorship from Alienware. This is a boon for Alienware who is trying to gain traction in the Japanese gaming market but has also enabled Nemo to fulfill his dream of having a pro gaming career. Nemo commented on the Street Fighter scene in Japan, “I would like to work with the youth in the FGC. When we look around, we don’t see many fans in their teens or early twenties. This could be detrimental to the longevity of the scene. As I get older, I’m now in the position to invest in the youth. I’m going to a local college next week outside of Tokyo for an expo. It will be a good opportunity for me to act as a mentor and to talk about my professional life as a system engineer, while pursuing my dream.”

Razer signed its 20th eSports team this month. Denial Esports will now be rocking Razer keyboards, mice, mouse pads, headsets, and other such goodies. The company also plans to supply Denial players video and audio equipment for their personal livestreams.

Earlier this month a new gaming industry body launched, the Esports Integrity Coalition. They aim to squash corruption, herald higher standards of ethical behaviour, grow sportsman like conduct, and other such lofty goals. Anything that can cut down on match fixing, DDoS attacks, and software hacks such as aimbots is certainly a good thing for the sport. ESIC rides onto the scene in a timely fashion, after the gaming world was ignited over the controversy caused by the CS:GO scandal where streamers failed to declare links to a gambling website focused on the game.

White House comes through with obligatory response to the ‘Free Leffen’ petition. The petition received the required 100,000 signatures to warrant a response from the Obama Administration. The petition came about in late April after the Swedish Super Smash Bros. Melee star William ‘Leffen’ Hjelte was denied a P-1A Visa (a type of visa that allows an “Internationally Recognized Athlete” to temporarily enter the US to perform at an athletic competition at an “intentionally recognized level of performance”. Unfortunately, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) declined to make any changes to its visa policies for eSports competitors.

Games

  • Microsoft promises Gears of War 4 will look incredible on Xbox and PC. All the game’s content has been authored in 4K resolution. I’m expecting the Unreal Engine 4 won’t disappoint.
  • A PC game favorite of many, Kerbal Space Program, launched on July 12th for the PlayStation 4.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved received a large update (update 737) earlier this month. Giant redwoods and titanosaurs are a couple of the highlights.
  • Rolling Stones featured a great piece about how Quake ‘changed video games forever’. Get hyped for Quake Champions later this year.

Hardware

  • Microsoft manufacturers its 1 millionth Xbox One Elite Controller. Not bad for a $150 controller some critics thought would never sell.
  • Check out Cnet.com’s E3 Xbox vs PlayStation scorecard if you missed the live event.
  • PGS Portable is a handheld that promises portable PC Gaming. The Kickstarter has about $320,000 pledged of its $100,000 goal. The unit will retail for about $320 for the ‘Hardcore’ version.
  • ASUS has claimed the throne of the most popular brand among gamers in the U.S. according to data from Overwolf.