Last Week in E-Sports: Speedruns for Charity
Last week in e-sports we saw Games Done Quick bring speedrunners together on short notice to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We also saw PUBG break records yet again, teams advance past their regional championships to go to LoL Worlds, and yet more developments in the ongoing saga that is e-sports in the Olympics.
Olympics Refuse to Consider Violent Video Games as E-Sports Potentials
Recently we have heard a lot of news about the International Olympic Committee considering the inclusion of e-sports in the 2024 games. Unfortunately, even if this does happen, it’s not going to be any e-sport that has gained mainstream appeal. According to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, any video game that features violence will not be considered, and the list up for consideration pretty much only includes sports games.
"We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people," Bach told South China Morning Post. "This doesn't match with video games, which are about violence, explosions, and killing. And there were have to draw a clear line."
E-sports fans have, understandably, been upset by this decision. The most common argument heard so far is comparing e-sports to the martial arts, fencing, and wrestling competitions hosted at the Olympics. If seeing two athletes punch each other in the real world is somehow a mature display of sportsmanship, but two athletes punching each other in a game such as Street Fighter is excessively violent, it appears that this standard of anti-violence is somewhat hypocritical.
But aside from philosophical and moral quandaries surrounding the issue, there is simply a pragmatic one. The only sports game with a large enough following to even be considered for Olympic inclusion is FIFA, and even then it pales in comparison to games such as CS:GO and LoL. If the committee’s goal is to draw in the younger audience with the inclusion of e-sports, then they are certainly going in a counter-productive direction.
Impromptu GDQ Raises $200,000 for Hurricane Relief
Games Done Quick is well known for raising money for charity with their speedrunning marathons AGDQ and SGDQ. The speedrunning organization recently came together for an impromptu third event, raising over two hundred thousand dollars to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The event went down last weekend and, unfortunately, was not well marketed, which limited its draw. Nevertheless the runs were astounding, featuring some of the biggest titles in gaming, from Breath of the Wild to Undertale. They even kept to the GDQ format, running Super Metroid as the second to last game and ending with an RPG, Final Fantasy IV.
If you missed the marathon, all the runs are available as videos on demand on GDQ’s Twitch channel. If you enjoy the runs, consider donating a little even though the marathon is over, to help raise funds for a good cause.
PUBG Breaks Records Once Again, Beating League of Legends on Twitch
It appears that there is a challenger to League of Legends’ Twitch throne. Last month, Playerunkown's Battlegrounds ousted LoL from its seat at the top of the twitch charts, breaking LoL’s thirty one month streak as king. Not only that, but PUBG has surpassed DOTA2 for having the highest concurrent player count on Steam, breaking 900,000 players and heading close to a million. If it wasn’t clear that PUBG was one of the fastest growing e-sports before, it certainly is now.
Riot Prevails in Lawsuit against EloBuddy
Riot Games just won a lawsuit against EloBuddy, one of the largest scripting servers for League of Legends. While full details on the lawsuit haven’t been released, a Discord post by the creator of EloBuddy has revealed that the service has been completely shutdown. This is the second big name anti-scripting lawsuit that Riot has won, the first being a 10 million dollar lawsuit against LeagueSharp.
The Big Wins
- Edward Gaming defeated Royal Never Give Up 3-2 in the Summer LPL Finals, bringing home their fifth LPL title victory.
- Samsung Galaxy swept KT Rolster to qualify for the 2017 LoL World Championships.
- Team WE will be the LPL's final team at Worlds 2017 after defeating Invictus Gaming Regional Qualifiers.
- Team Solo Mid defeated the Immortals 3-1 to secure their thirst straight NA LCS title.
- G2 Esports has won their fourth consecutive EU LCS title after winning against the Misfits. Their CS:GO side also defeated North to win Dreamhack Masters Malmo, bringing home $100,000.
- Fnatic's ADC Martin "Rekkles" Larsson has been named the 2017 EU LCS Summer Split MVP. Meanwhile, Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg took home the 2017 NA LCS Summer Split MVP award.
The Roster Shuffle
- Yet another Overwatch team falls this week. This time Team Singularity has disbanded, but unlike many other Overwatch hopefuls, they aren’t pulling out of the sport. A new team will step in to replace them, however a lineup has not yet been announced.
- Team Expert is not so lucky, as their Overwatch roster has been released and the team will be pulling out of Overwatch as a whole.
- The Helsinki Reds have fleshed out their final Overwatch roster by adding three more players, Veikka “Talisman” Laine, Matias “Lalli” Kivimäki, and Aleksi “Akke” Kivimäki formerly of Alfa Squad.
- Former Selfless Gaming DPS Jay "sinatraa" Won has supposedly signed with NRG Esports' Overwatch League team in a $150,000 contract.
- OpTIc Gaming has signed Kevin “HS” Tarn, formerly of PENTA Sports as the fifth player of its CS:GO lineup.
- Team Allegiance has decided to reverse its decision to leave e-sports and return to the scene for the next Call of Duty season. "After the impressive finish by the ALG Call of Duty squad in Orlando, we received many inquiries to revive Allegiance," general manager Connor Hall said. "Today we are excited to share we have received backing from a private group to continue our professional esports journey. Allegiance's first talent acquisition is one of the rosters that was under the brand prior to closing."
- Clinton "Fear" Loomis has returned to active duty on the Evil Geniuses DOTA2 roster after his tenure as coach. It is unclear who will be taking his place in the coaching position.
- Zhang "LaNm" Zhicheng will be stepping down from his coaching position to become part of ViCi Gaming’s new DOTA2 lineup.
- Xu "fy" Linsen will be joining LGD Gaming’s DOTA2 team to replace Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei.
- Na’Vi will be signing Ukranian player Vladislav "Crystallize" Krystanek, and former Team Empire member Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosian to their DOTA2 squad in preparation for the new season.
- Shaving brand Gillette has decided to throw its weight behind Team Solo Mid, becoming the second non-endemic brand to sponsor their League of Legends team.
- H2K has announced that they will be leaving the EU LCS unless some changes are made. "H2K ownership has made the decision that we will no longer financially subsidize Riot and will not continue in the EU LCS beyond the 2017 season unless Riot creates a new financial and operating structure," said team ownership in an open letter to the community.