eSports News

Mountain Dew is finally (what took so long?) wading into the eSports space announcing a partnership with veteran organizer ESL. They will be creating an amateur competition named the MDL (Mountain Dew League). This bridge league will give thousands of gamers who fail to qualify for the ESL Pro League another chance at qualifying for the big leagues.

About 2/3 of the way through the funding period (when compared to last years 101 days), the DOTA 2 International 2016 has surpassed last year’s prize pool record. The prize pot currently sits at $18,580,479 compared to the grand total of $18,429,613 raised last year.

Team Fortress 2 is getting a competitive mode and matchmaking. The update is dubbed ‘Meet Your Match’. The ranked matches will be six on six with no weapon or class restrictions. Best of three or best of five series will be the format for Control Point type maps while Attack/Defense maps will follow a stopwatch mode format. The ranking system will follow in the footsteps of CS:GO with 18 ranks to be earned. To compete, you’ll need a premium TF2 account — basically you need to own a purchased version of the game or have previously bought something from the Mann Co. store. Another option is to purchase a Competitive Access Pass which will probably run you about $10.

Activision Blizzard Media Networks thinks one of the biggest problems hindering the growth of eSports right now is the viewing experience. That’s something they want to fix as soon as possible. Their solution is EVE (Event Viewing Experience). Mike Sepso, the senior vice president of the media division of Activision Blizzard thinks this UI is one of the key pieces of the puzzled that will help make the eSports a $100 billion industry. That’s ambitious, considering the eSports market is worth about $463 million today. Numbers aside, I think a more compelling UI that can better highlight the players themselves and action that integrates well with announcers would certainly help push eSports further into the mainstream.

The Winklevoss twin’s bitcoin exchange Gemnini signed a partnership with eSports organization Echo Fox. Gemini, with the help of Echo Fox, will work to get Bitcoin integrated into payment systems into the gaming industry while Echo Fox gets a sponsorship in return.

Game News

  • The big news this month is Valve moving to choke off the massive gambling ecosystem that has sprouted up around CS:GO. It has got messy, with big Twitch personalities involved in promoting some of the sites such as CS:GO Diamonds. All the ruckus has culminated in Valve issuing over 20 cease and desist orders to CS:GO gambling sites. ESPN and PC Gamer both have write ups about the nitty gritty details.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Legends card game will attempt to give Hearthstone some hearty competition. With deck sizes ranging from 50 to 70 as compared to Hearthstone’s 30 the greater scope for creative deck building may be mighty attractive. It is currently in beta but is due for official release towards the end of 2016.
  • Trove, a moderately popular PC MMO from Trion Worlds will be released to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this year.
  • Kerbal Space Program arrived on PlayStation 4 July 12th.
  • Rock Band Rivals, a paid expansion for Rock Band 4, will add huge chunks of competitive and storymode content to the game. It is slated for an October release.
  • Overwatch’s latest patch was aimed to fix leaving problems in competitive matches. You can read more about the patch here.
  • Gravity Rush 2, a PS4 exclusive will be released in December.

Hardware News

  • Arguably, 4K still isn’t ready for prime time. Read about one gamer’s experience with playing in 4K with the $600 GTX 1080.
  • Xbox One S will launch on August 2nd.

Recommended Reads:

  1. PC Gaming Is Still Way Too Hard – Emanuel Maiberg – Motherboard
  2. 7 Reasons PC Gaming is Not Too Hard – Matthew Murray – PC Magazine
  3. Renegades, Riot and the danger of absolute power – Jacob Wolf – ESPN
  4. Chatting about Pokemon Go with some of the top mobile game designers – Andrew Webster – The Verge