Dota 2 Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Dota 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Dota 2: What Is Behavior Score and How to Check It https://www.gameskinny.com/cf1jk/dota-2-what-is-behavior-score-and-how-to-check-it https://www.gameskinny.com/cf1jk/dota-2-what-is-behavior-score-and-how-to-check-it Mon, 17 Jul 2017 11:05:35 -0400 stratataisen

Dota 2 is a free-to-play MOBA that was developed and published by Valve Corporation. It is the stand-alone sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a community-created mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. The development of Dota 2 began back in 2009 when IceFrog, the lead designer of the original DotA mod, was hired by Valve to create a more up-to-date version of the game.

In Dota 2, there's a stat called the "behavior score" that basically evaluates what sort of player you are. And in this short guide, we're going to break down what this score indicates and how you can check it for yourself. 

What is the Behavior Score in Dota 2?

The behavior score is pretty much what it sounds like -- it's a score for your behavior in the game. It's a lot like those grades you received for your behavior in preschool or elementary school -- N for Naughty, G for Great, or something along those lines. It's the same concept here.

If you are a mean or toxic player, you’ll have a low behavior score. If you’re a nice and friendly player you’ll have a high behavior score. The max behavior score is 10,000. No one knows precisely how the game calculates this score, but more than likely it has something to do with commends and reports.

Valve uses this behavior score to match players together when they queue up for games. So if you’re determined to be a toxic player have a low behavior score, you’ll be grouped up with similar people.

How to Find Your Behavior Score in Dota 2

Finding your behavior score requires having the console enabled if it isn't already. To do this, you'll need to:

  1. Open your Steam Library
  2. Right-click on Dota 2
  3. Right-click on Properties
  4. Click Set Launch Options
  5. Type “-console” (without the quotations)
  6. Click OK

Once you have the console up and running, you need to use a specific command within it in order to see your exact behavior score, as there's no place in the game's base UI to find it. Here are the steps you need to follow:  

  1. Start up Dota 2
  2. Open console (the default key for this is “\”)
  3. Type “developer 1” and press Enter
  4. Type “dota_game_account_debug”
  5. Look for “playerbehavor_score_last_report: #####”

Hope this is helpful for you! What's your behavior score in Dota 2? Got any tips for raising a low behavior score? Let us know down in the comments! And stay tuned for more Dota 2 guides here on GameSkinny.

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More Than Just Players: These Unsung Heroes of eSports Deserve Love, Too https://www.gameskinny.com/1zjqz/more-than-just-players-these-unsung-heroes-of-esports-deserve-love-too https://www.gameskinny.com/1zjqz/more-than-just-players-these-unsung-heroes-of-esports-deserve-love-too Mon, 10 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 tofuslayer

Whether you're streaming an eSports tournament on Twitch, watching on television, or attending in person, you know that there is a lot of work that goes into putting on these huge events. All eSports fans know that the main attraction is always the players, but its easy to forget just how much manpower it takes to put together any tournament.

From start to finish, there are people at every eSports event working long before the start of the event and behind the scenes on the day to make sure that everything runs as seamlessly as possible for the audience. To honor these people, here's a list (in no particular order) of heroes in eSports who may not be behind the screens, but are just as important in making an event happen.

1. Coaches

Another position in eSports that is often overlooked are the coaches. Just because they're not sitting in those fancy ergonomic chairs behind the screens, doesn't mean they don't deserve any of the glory too. Players seem to understand the importance of coaches, but when it comes to the fans, sometimes it seems that their contributions get overlooked. Coaches are very skilled individuals who are veterans of the game. They have to watch all their players screens and make callouts that the players might not see in the heat of the moment. Coaches are just as focused on the game as the players during a big tournament, but often don't get the same appreciation from the fans, so give them some love the next time you're watching an eSports event!

2. Coordinators

While administrative activities are not one of the most glamorous aspects of the eSports world, coordinators play a critical role in putting on an eSports event as well as making sure the league runs smoothly. Coordinators' responsibilities range from communicating to event organizers to overseeing licenses for tournaments. Many of the day-to-day necessities (as well as long term) for any eSports league fall into the purview of an eSports coordinator. Just because you don't often see them, doesn't mean they're not a big part of the eSports events you enjoy.

3. The event team

The event team arrives to an event long before the spectators arrive and are there long after everyone is gone. Whether you're at a huge stadium for Counter-Strike or a smaller venue for Halo, every chair and table at these events has to be placed there by a person. Basically everything that isn't a permanent part of the venue is part of the event team's job. This includes moving any furniture that's already there to set up for the event, loading and unloading trucks, hanging banners, and setting up information tables. Additionally, every vendor present including team gear and food is usually coordinated by the event director. It's a big job that often times goes unnoticed. Next time you're at a tournament or streaming online, take a moment to appreciate how big of an endeavor it is to set up (and break down!) an eSports event.

4. eSports writers

I might be a little biased here, but journalists and other writers who cover eSports are people who love the game and have a passion for eSports. Whether it's for the news or for social media or even press releases for upcoming events, eSports writers work very hard to bring you the content about your favorite games. We may not be doing the heavy lifting that the event team does or have as much at stake as the coaches, but we still make an effort watch a whole event, take notes, and bring all the exciting details of the tournament to the fans.

5. Peripheral developers

We all know that the pros don't use the standard controllers and hardware that come with our consoles or local stores. At an eSports event, players use special controllers or gaming mice/keyboards as well as state-of-the-art headsets made by the best peripheral makers in the gaming world. The people who design these accessories and provide the support for them need them to be at their best before they make it to the stage to be used in a tournament. It's an exciting thing if an accessory you made is picked up by professional players or leagues. If the peripheral developers don't put their best work out before a big event, the players and the fans won't have the best eSports experience they possibly could.

7. The production crew

Arguably, the biggest part of any eSports event is the production crew. These are the people who set up all the technical equipment, set up the stream, and make sure that all the visuals and sounds are correct. Basically anything you see on a monitor or hear from a speaker at an eSports event happens because of the production crew. They are responsible for everything from the players' monitors to the lighting. Even the professional images and videos you see on social media during and after the event come from this team. Often times, it is a job that's taken for granted. It's easy to grumble and complain when there are delays in any live stream or event, but the production crew is often the first to get blamed for these problems and has all the responsibility to get them fixed.

Let's give them a round of applause, shall we?

It's easy to get swept up in the hype of the awesome narratives of the teams and players, but it's easy to forget that there is so much that goes into making eSports as great as it is for the fans. Just because the people in the aforementioned positions aren't the ones under the spotlights, I think we can all agree that they deserve a little more love from us fans.

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Dota 2 Just Launched a Massive Update https://www.gameskinny.com/k65qk/dota-2-just-launched-a-massive-update https://www.gameskinny.com/k65qk/dota-2-just-launched-a-massive-update Mon, 12 Dec 2016 13:05:31 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Mark this date, December 12, 2016. After today, your experience playing Dota 2 will never be the same.

Valve has released the massive 7.00 patch for its free-to-play MOBA, and it presents players with massive changes to the game -- including a new hero and many alterations to the mechanics and visuals of the experience.

And The changes don't stop there.

Valve listed the new content under four categories: a new hero, new interface, new pre-game mechanics and new gameplay elements.

The New Hero - Monkey King

Monkey King is a hero that focuses on melee attacks -- but if things get tricky on the battlefield, he also counts on his “escape” and “disable” skills. His ultimate ability consists of spawning a group of monkeys to assist him in combat.

In addition to the new hero, Valve is also selling a map terrain based on the new hero, for $12.99, as well as Arcana skins. As the official website states, when equipped, the Arcana grants the following upgrades to the new hero:

  • New base model and texture 
  • Custom particle effects for Monkey King's Primal Spring ability 
  • Dynamic Style that changes according to the level of Wukong's Ultimate 
  • A cloud-riding run animation when travelling vast distances in a short period of time 
  • Altered Voice and additional voice responses for style changes and cloud animation 
  • Custom Hero Portrait 
  • Arcana Loading Screen 
  • Custom Taunt 
  • Custom Emoticon 
New Interface

The interface of the game has been fully redesigned, including new selection screens, a new animation before the matches, and several changes to the HUD, as shown in the image above.

New Pre-game Mechanics

Valve has offered to players an easier way to pick their heroes and tactics before their matches commence. As the official website clarifies:

"With a staggering number of possible heroes to choose from, and endless new combinations and strategies to discover, there's a lot to consider when preparing a squad to take down an Ancient. Now players have more tools to help find the right heroes and plan their early-game attack as a team, all while the game loads seamlessly in the background so it's ready when you are."

Gameplay Mechanics

The experience of the game changes significantly in the 7.00 patch. The features added include “backpack slot”, “hero talent”, changes to the maps, and various small adjustments.

The patch includes a talent tree that gives bonuses to heroes at the 10/15/20/25 levels. These are special bonuses or skills for players to use in combat.

The backpack gives to players the ability to carry three more items in combat.

These are the most important changes the 7.0 patch brings, but there are dozens of other minor alterations that influence the experience of the game -- including community-authored bots, remodeling of some heroes, dynamic grass, windblown trees and a lot more.

For more details, be sure to chek Dota 2's Official Website.

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Gift Guide: Perfect Products for the MOBA Fan in Your Life https://www.gameskinny.com/vrutd/gift-guide-perfect-products-for-the-moba-fan-in-your-life https://www.gameskinny.com/vrutd/gift-guide-perfect-products-for-the-moba-fan-in-your-life Fri, 18 Nov 2016 06:00:02 -0500 Lydia M

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/b/a/mba-c98ca.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/b/a/mba-c98ca.png","type":"slide","id":"141440","description":"

What do you think about these choices? What will you pick up this year for the MOBA fan in your life? Let us know!

\n

As versatile as these three MOBAs are, there's no doubt you'll be able to find something unique for the League, Dota, or Smite fan in your life.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/i/smitehat-4d1e4.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/i/smitehat-4d1e4.png","type":"slide","id":"141315","description":"
SMITE Game Logo Adjustable Snapback 
\n

Price: $6.00

\n

Buy It: Amazon

\n

This slick snapback is perfect for you SMITE friend that needs and addition to their cap collection. As snapbacks are fairly popular in the gaming community right now, this cap will certainly make them standout.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/i/smitegems-c2c99.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/i/smitegems-c2c99.png","type":"slide","id":"141311","description":"
SMITE Gems Giftcard
\n

Price: $7.99-$99.99

\n

Buy It: Amazon

\n

Don't understand SMITE? Not quite sure what to get? Well, you can never go wrong with Gems. The in-game, money is a perfect gift certificate to get so that your giftee can choose whatever they would like to purchase to better themselves in-game!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/i/smitejacket-bf486.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/i/smitejacket-bf486.png","type":"slide","id":"141309","description":"
Hooded SMITE varsity jacket
\n

Price: $64.99

\n

Buy It: Smite

\n

This slick cotton fleece varsity jacket displays the SMITE logo front and back, and is exclusive to the SMITE website. This version is very similar to a varsity jacket sold last year! Be quick, though, it's currently available for pre-order!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotamousepad-b2a7f.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotamousepad-b2a7f.png","type":"slide","id":"141303","description":"
Large Dota 2 Mouse Pad
\n

Price: $12.16

\n

Buy It: Amazon

\n

Not sure who your friend or relatives favorite character is? Do they love to play (sometimes a little too much). This large Dota mouse pad is great for the tride and true Dota fan and hardcore player.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotabelt-0bcf0.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotabelt-0bcf0.png","type":"slide","id":"141300","description":"
Dota 2 All Pick Belt
\n

Price: $20

\n

Buy It: Valve Store

\n

This unique belt is a great accessory if you're not sure what to get your Dota fan. Being reversible, it adds a versatile style to how it can be worn! And at a fairly decent price it could even be used as a stocking stuffer!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotabag-7d05b.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotabag-7d05b.png","type":"slide","id":"141299","description":"
Dota 2 Duffle Bag
\n

Price: $70

\n

Buy It: Valve Store

\n

This unique Duffle Bag is great for any Dota player that enjoys a good workout in between matches, or even for someone that simply enjoys traveling! Features include a zippered side pocket and even a removable Velcro pocket perfect for your cell phone.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotaleggings-4f713.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotaleggings-4f713.png","type":"slide","id":"141296","description":"
Robbobin Ragdoll Dota Leggings
\n

Price: $26.50

\n

Buy It: Valve Store

\n

Have a female Dota fan family member or friend? She'll LOVE these comfy Dota leggings. The unique design covered in heroes will certainly make her stand out in the crowd.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotaswag-de4a2.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dotaswag-de4a2.png","type":"slide","id":"141295","description":"
The International 2016 Swag Bag Kit
\n

Price: $40

\n

Buy It: Valve Store

\n

Not able to make it to The International this year? Neither was your friend? Don't worry! You can get the swag bag that was given out at TI6! This stocked back includes a t-shirt, water bottle, journal, sunglasses and so much more! Perfect for the hardcore Dota esports fan!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/a/leaguebracelet-1f2b3.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/a/leaguebracelet-1f2b3.png","type":"slide","id":"141294","description":"
League of Legends Silicone Bracelets
\n

Price: $4.85

\n

Buy It: Etsy

\n

As a wonderful stocking stuffer, or gift to share with friends, these bracelets can be given out to your fellow teammates or to just your buddies to display which position they prefer the most.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/s/l/eslrshirt-75bb2.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/s/l/eslrshirt-75bb2.png","type":"slide","id":"141293","description":"
League of Legends 'Eat, Sleep, League' Shirt or Tank Top
\n

Price: $12.95+

\n

Buy It: Etsy

\n

When fewer words need to be spoken to truly express the level of dedication to your League addiction, this t-shirt comes in handy.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/l/lolmousepad-196f1.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/l/lolmousepad-196f1.png","type":"slide","id":"141291","description":"
League of Legends All Hero Logo Mouse Pad
\n

Price: $9.99

\n

Buy It: Amazon

\n

This oversized mouse pad is a great gift for even the casual League player. The material of the pad allows for better control of mouse speed along with the non-stick backing perfect to hold in place during big in-game moves.

\n

It's also stain and water resistant, making it durable no matter where you use it. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/l/lolbackback-39c39.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/l/lolbackback-39c39.png","type":"slide","id":"141280","description":"
League of Legends Backpack: Champions
\n

Price: $50

\n

Buy It: Riot Merchandise

\n

This versatile backpack is perfectly sized for school books or even a laptop. You carry your team on your back anyway, why not represent it on your backpack?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/a/leagueart-aa7f2.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/a/leagueart-aa7f2.png","type":"slide","id":"141278","description":"
The Art of League of Legends: Volume I 
\n

Price: $75

\n

Buy It: Riot Merchandise

\n

Anyone has a deep love for League of Legends also has a deep love and respect for the artistry that goes into the creation of this MOBA. The Art of League of Legends is a perfect collection of how the art of League has developed throughout the years.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/l/lolcollect-3ebb2.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/l/lolcollect-3ebb2.png","type":"slide","id":"141277","description":"
League of Legends: Collectibles 
\n

Price: $15-$65

\n

Buy It: Riot Merchandise

\n

Does your friend or relative just LOVE Teemo? Can't get enough of Figma? Check out the adorable (and awesome) collectibles available from the Riot store. With the variety of plushies, figurines and statues, this can be a gift idea to come back to for every holiday!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/s/g/gsgiftguide-845be.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/s/g/gsgiftguide-845be.png","type":"slide","id":"141389","description":"

MOBAs have been around for quite some time now and they continue to grow more and more popular especially with the evolution of eSports. 

\n

If you have a friend or relative that's a gamer, there's a good chance they enjoy playing one of the top MOBA games right now.

\n

We've picked out some great gifts for the League, Dota, or Smite fan in your life.

"}]]]>
25 Most Addicting PC Games on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/3qorl/25-most-addicting-pc-games-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/3qorl/25-most-addicting-pc-games-on-steam Tue, 26 Apr 2016 06:47:30 -0400 StratGamer48

Steam is a large video game distribution platform. Its anti-piracy functions and allowing quick and easy updates for games attracted many developers to sell their game on Steam. With Steam's variety of genres and games, it had attracted more than 125 million active users by 2015. Some games have higher qualities and "replayability" (or replay value).  Here is the list of games with the highest replay value by today's metrics.

What are the top 25 then?

Ranking Game

Biweekly Median Playtime 

 Genre  Icon
25  Total War: Attila 12:33 Strategy
24

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege

12:27 Action
23 Neverwinter  12:29 MMO
21  NBA 2K16 13:45 Sports
21  Stardew Valley 13:45 RPG
20  Warframe 13:51 Action
19 Elite: Dangerous  14:19 MMORPG
18 Sid Meier's  Civilization  14:36 Strategy
17  Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 14:55 Action
16  Rust 15:27 MMORPG
15  Factorio 16:32 Strategy
14 Grim Dawn  16:54 Action RPG
13  Arma 3 17:23 Action Strategy
12 Clicker Heroes  17:44 RPG
11  Europa Universalis IV 18:24 Strategy
10 Shake and Fidget  18:40 MMORPG
9 Path of Exile  19:48 Action MMORPG
8 ARK: Survival Evolved  20:38 Action MMORPG
7 Tree of Savior (English version)  21:08 MMORPG
6 Tom Clancy's The Division  21:56 Action RPG
5 DOTA 2  22:38 Action Strategy
4 Football Manager 2015  25:54 Sport
3  Dark Soul III 31:11 Action RPG
2 Football Manager 2016  31:20 Sport
1 Knight Online  46:07 MMORPG

 

This list may be different in a few months, or even just weeks, as the rankings are dynamic. The stats are determined by how long players actively play these games.

How many of these games do you play, and for how long?

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Bud Light entering the world of eSports https://www.gameskinny.com/cgcye/bud-light-entering-the-world-of-esports https://www.gameskinny.com/cgcye/bud-light-entering-the-world-of-esports Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:05:13 -0400 Taranis8

Bud Light announced today that it will be sponsoring its first eSports program. The beer company is building a roster made up of players from various titles, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. They will announce the preliminary choices for athletes on May 7 at the DreamHack Austin event.

Which players make the final roster will be decided by the fans via a voting process that will take place on a yet to be determined date. On June 14, during E3, the five athletes with the most votes will be officially named to the Bud Light All-Stars.

"This is such an exciting area for us. The growth in (eSports) is huge and this is really the right time for us to get in. We have identified it as a great space because, similar to how we identify in the NFL with fans, eSports fans have that same passion." ~ Jesse Wofford, Bud Light's digital sports marketing manager.

The Bud Light All-Stars will compete in a three-round elimination tournament at TwitchCon 2016 in October. Leading up to the tournament they will host Twitch streams throughout the summer, participate in eSports events, and appear in a behind-the-scenes series from Machinima.

 

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ESL One Manila Dota 2: Final results https://www.gameskinny.com/98ac1/esl-one-manila-dota-2-final-results https://www.gameskinny.com/98ac1/esl-one-manila-dota-2-final-results Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:49:39 -0400 Seth Zulinski

It was the final day of the ESL One Manila 2016 Dota 2 tournament, and only four teams remained to battle it out for the lion's share of the $250,000 prize pool. While the easy money was on the Shanghai Major finalists Team Liquid, it was actually the underdogs of Wings Gaming that would take home first place -- and the $100,000 paycheck that went along with it. 

Match 1 - Fnatic vs. Wings Gaming (Wings 2-1)

Game 1

Radiant: Fnatic
Picks: Enchantress, Beastmaster, Spectre, Pugna, Vengeful Spirit
Bans: Bounty Hunter, Io, Witchdoctor, Alchemist, Drow Ranger

Dire: Wings Gaming
Picks: Chen, Nature’s Prophet, Lion, Windranger, Necrophos
Bans: Invoker, Batrider, Gyrocopter, Puck, Disruptor

The powerful Fnatic squad has been crushing most of their competition lately, and they started the series off no differently -- picking up first blood a mere 5 seconds into game 1. While a trade up top evened the score to 3-3, Fnatic soon roared ahead again with a triple kill -- all before 5 minutes on the clock.

The teams traded tier 1s in several lanes, but by 10m the Chinese lineup of Wings Gaming had lost map control and every tier 1 tower. Fnatic pulled ahead to a solid 9-5 lead, and widened the gap even more by 15m, scoring twice Wings' kills at 12-6 (though their own tier 1 line had fallen in the meantime). 

Fnatic's lead grew despite losing Roshan, as they claimed a 2-1 trade in the Pit, followed by a homerun fight in the midlane that gave them another 5-2 trade and kept the snowball rolling to19-9. By 22m, Wings' entire map had collapsed, and Fnatic was knocking on their front door, claiming bot tier 3 but getting pushed off before they could crater the barracks. 

The killing calmed for some time until Fnatic formed up and scored a double in a midlane skirmish, downing Chen and Necrophos before turning the advantage into a free Roshan and his Aegis of the Immortal. Wings fired back with a pick and a tower, but when push came to shove around 31m into the game, Wings got shoved hard, suffering five casualties for no kills. Fnatic jumped on the opportunity and claimed victory at 32m. 

Winner: Fnatic

Game 2

Radiant: Wings Gaming
Picks: Bounty Hunter, Witch Doctor, Doom, Phantom Lancer, Spectre
Bans: Nature’s Prophet, Batrider, Gyrocopter, Pugna, Medusa

Dire: Fnatic
Picks: Enchantress. Beastmaster, Death Prophet, Lion, Sven
Bans: Io, Invoker, Dark Seer, Queen of Pain, Venomancer

This game started quietly, with first blood coming at a "late" 2:28 after Fnatic found a 3v1 against Wings' Doom. They pulled ahead again early, grabbing onto a 3-1 lead by 4m, though they lost Death Prophet soon after. A series of skirmishes broke out and saw trades all over, though Fnatic managed to keep their lead 7-4. 

Eight minutes into the game, the match asked "Who ganks the gankers" as a surprise attack by Wings Gaming turned into them being surprised. But they were able to grind back to 6-8, and eventually brought it to an even 8-8 at just after 10 minutes with a series of well-timed picks and ganks. 

The Chinese team pulled ahead by a single kill soon after, as Fnatic found themselves constantly hunted down and picked off one by one. It was soon 10-8 as the usually hyper-aggressive Fnatic lineup played reactionary -- and was punished for the misstep. 

Fnatic did find their war faces though, grabbing two tier 1 towers for their effort, thus sweeping the entirety of Wings' tier 1s as well as a toplane tier 2 just before 18 minutes. 

War broke out as Fnatic kept up the charge, and while they forced a buyback, Wings pushed them off and kept their 14-11 lead before they lost any in-base structures. Not having any of this aggressive sass, WG brutalized a team engagement 3-1 and claimed the bottom barracks of Team Liquid before being run off. They added to their pile of kills 23-14, though, as Fnatic's defense fell and they headed back into the fray -- claiming the midlane barracks as well for their trouble. 

Wings finally backed out, resetting and claiming the rest of Fnatic's outside towers before pushing into Fnatic's toplane. While Fnatic raised their shields and attempted to defend their base, it was too little too late, and Wings claimed their first victory of the set 29-15 at a rather quick 25 minutes. 

Winner: Wings Gaming

Game 3

Radiant:  Wings Gaming
Picks: Beastmaster, Witch Doctor, Lone Druid, Outworld Devourer, Treant Protector
Bans: Batrider, Invoker, Puck, Nature’s Prophet, Doom

Dire: Fnatic
Picks: Enchantress, Spectre, Vengeful Spirit, Pugna, Nyx Assassin
Bans: Bounty Hunter, Io, Alchemist, Phantom Lancer, Chen

First blood came at 1:17 as Fnatic found themselves on the winning end of a 2v2. But the tables were soon turned. After a brawl down bottom and a greedy grab for the mid tier 1, Fnatic suddenly found themselves down 2-6. While Wings was eventually forced to deny a tier 1, Fnatic did likewise to their first tower topside. 

Fnatic kept the demolition coming, though, claiming bottom lane's tier 1 and picking up two kills in the struggle. As they tried and forced the issue up top, however, Wings made them pay for nothing and pulled ahead 8-4...9-4...10-4 -- then took the fight to Fnatic's midlane tier 1. Fnatic held and claimed a kill of their own, but the powerhouses were on the back foot 10-5 at 14 minutes in.

More kills and towers went Wings' way. Fnatic's weakness when playing from behind really started to show, as their entire mid and bottom lanes were cleaned out just before Wings claimed a relatively uncontested Roshan. At 20 minutes, Wings drove up the midlane, though they were forced out after claiming most of the structures there. Fnatic's top tier 2 tower fell, and the noose began to tighten. They pushed Wings off their top structures twice, but the third time was the charm as Wings came out ahead 19-5 and destroyed everything there was to destroy topside. 

With nearly twice the gold, Wings seemed unstoppable as they claimed defender after defender, and barracks after barracks by 26 minutes. With mega minions coming and most of their defense destroyed, GG was called as Wings pushed up and onto the Ancient at 26:27, winning the series 2-1. 

Winner: Wings Gaming

Match 2: Team Liquid vs. Team Empire Dota 2 (Team Liquid 2-0)

Game 1

Radiant: Team Liquid
Picks: Beastmaster, Lone Druid, Rubick, Lycan, Winter Wyvern
Bans: Enchantress, Bounty Hunter, Spectre, Sven, Tidehunter

Dire: Team Empire Dota 2
Picks: Doom, Puck, Vengeful Spirit, Nightstalker, Phantom Assassin
Bans: Nature’s Prophet, Earth Spirit, Invoker, Death Prophet, Tusk

Don't let their team graphic fool you. Liquid, finalists in the Shanghai Major, were anything but the dark horse headed into the tournament -- though you'd be hard pressed to tell as a 1-1 exchange just over 5 minutes into game 1 gave Empire the first blood. Another kill was Empire's 3 minutes later, but the Liquid squad picked up a mid tier 1 to rally back. 

After a losing exchange 2-4, Liquid picked up a top tier 1 at around 13 minutes -- though it was in exchange for the Roshan that Empire grabbed uncontested. Soon after, Empire claimed a solid 3-1 trade, pushing themselves up 8-4 and claiming two outside turrets while they did it. 

At around 18 minutes, Liquid managed to come away up a kill, as a midlane brawl turned out 4-3 their favor. A greedy hunt from Empire paid off, but Liquid made them answer for it, and soon narrowed the score to 11-12, favor of Empire. 

The Empire struck back as Liquid got a little greedy themselves, and though they managed to keep almost even at 15-17, they came ahead way up as nearly all of Empire's outside towers fell. 

The next battle broke out just shy of 28 minutes, and Liquid pulled ahead on kills 18-17 with a huge pick. On the back of their momentum, they brought the fight to the Empire, pulling ahead 24-17 as they assaulted the base from the midlane. Empire defended their Ancient about as well as the Death Star, and at 30:25 Liquid took it. 

Winner: Team Liquid

Game 2

Radiant: Team Empire Dota 2
Picks: Nature’s Prophet, Spectre, Crystal Maiden, Batrider, Legion Commander
Bans: Doom, Bounty Hunter, Lone Druid, Lycan, Queen of Pain

 

Dire: Team Liquid
Picks: Beastmaster, Witchdoctor, Shen, Anti-Mage, Death Prophet
Bans: Earth Spirit, Enchantress, Zeus, Puck, Enigma

A much earlier first blood, Empire found a kill on Witchdoctor at a minute and a half. Liquid's Death Prophet died soon after -- but not before picking up a triple kill of her own, and after a few more trades the score was set at 3-6 by 7m. 

Liquid found an earlier tier 1 top tower, as the majority of the squad battled Empire down in the bottom jungle. Liquid was punished quickly, however, and Empire scored some much-needed gold as they brought the score back to 7-7 a little after 10 minutes in. The message was clear: Empire was going to make Liquid bleed for every inch of the map. 

A few minutes later the tides turned, as Liquid's seemingly indestructible map crumbled a bit, their tier 1 top and entire midlane getting wiped off the face of the map by a strong push from Empire. The same push propelled Empire into a 9-8 lead. 

A massive fight at Roshan broke out, and at 18 minutes Liquid claimed a 4-1, bringing the score back into their favor 12-10. Empire tried for Roshan again at 23m, but backed off to push different objectives -- a decision that would come back to haunt them as Liquid turned a pick on Batrider into an Aegis of the Immortal, and a 12-15 lead their favor. Empire lost 2 more bodies topside just after 25 minutes, and while their top and mid lanes had been totally cleaned out, Liquid claimed more than a few structures of their own -- finding Empire's entire tier 1 finished by 27 minutes. 

A two-prong push forced Empire to group bottom (and forced a deny on one of Liquid's few remaining outside turrets), but they couldn't stop the push as Liquid destroyed their bottom lane tier 2. While Empire claimed a top lane tower themselves, they also soon forced out Liquid's bottom lane offense. 

Two more Liquiders fell by 31 minutes, leading to the death of their last outside turret as Empire's rushed the bottom lane, keeping two towers ahead. Unfortunately, they were still two kills behind at 17-19, favor of Liquid. 

Liquid grabbed another Aegis at 34 minutes, finding a few picks as they climbed to 17-22 before driving down toplane and turning a knock on the door into a full-fledged wrecking ball as Empire's defense fell 0-5. The GGs start rolling across chat, and the Radiant Ancient died at 36:33 as Liquid claimed the set 2-0, and moved on to the finals against Wings Gaming. 

Winner: Team Liquid

Grand Finals: Wings Gaming vs. Team Liquid (3-0 Wings Gaming)

Game 1

Radiant: Wings Gaming
Picks: Bounty Hunter, Batrider, Queen of Pain, Phantom Lancer, Keeper of the Light
Bans: Enchantress, Earth Spirit, Death Prophet, Lycan, Earthshaker

Dire: Liquid
Picks: Beastmaster, Nature’s Prophet, Vengeful Spirit, Lone Druid, Enigma
Bans: Invoker, Doom, Witch Doctor, Spectre, Winter Wyvern

Wings started the show off strong, showing no fear in the face of the Shanghai Major finalists. They scored first blood as Vengeful Spirit fell to a 2-man gank just above midlane at 2:24, and the Chinese underdogs blazed out of the gates to a 4-1 lead only 5 minutes into the game. 

By 10 minutes, the story was the same -- Wings exploiting their lead to claim Liquid's top tier 1 and scoring a few picks as they murdered their way to a 10-5 score, though they'd lost two tier 1s of their own. 

Liquid wasn't about to go quietly, though, and roared back, claiming Wings' entire bottom lane and Roshan by 16 minutes. Though Wings Gaming had only two of their outside turrets left, Liquid remained way down in the kill count at 8-13 as Wings' mid-game dominators ran the show.

A rumble in the jungle found Liquid losing nearly all of their defenses, and tier 3 towers traded on top and bottom -- though Wings Gaming claimed a melee barracks and two kills in addition. 

Liquid started their rallying Roshan just before 30 minutes into the game, but Wings was ready, and claimed three kills as they rushed to defend -- as well as the Aegis of the Immortal. 

By 35 minutes, things were looking grim for crowd favorite Team Liquid, as their base had suffered heavy losses and the squad was more or less trapped inside. The siege went long until 38 minutes when the teams collided, and while Wings suffered several buybacks, so did Liquid. When Wings was up ten kills, 28-18, they pushed the 5v3 fight for Liquid's base, claiming several more structures, kills...and the game at 31-18. The Ancient fell at 39:16.

Winner: Wings Gaming

Game 2

Radiant: Wings Gaming
Picks: Invoker, Beastmaster, Earthshaker, Slark, Bane
Bans: Nature’s Prophet, Bounty Hunter, Outworld Devourer, Doom, Shadow Shaman

Dire: Liquid
Picks: Earth Spirit, Phantom Lancer, Tidehunter, Lone Druid, Enigma
Bans: Batrider, Enchantress, Sven, Anti-Mage, Disruptor

It was Liquid's turn to claim first blood, just before 2 minutes, showing Wings that they weren't going to go quietly in this set. Picks happened around the map, trading one for one for one for one, and by 10 minutes the score was a dead even 4-4, as Liquid's Earth Spirit pulled them back in from a slight early deficit. 

A rumble in the top lane around 12 minutes finds Wings pulling way ahead, coming to an 8-5 lead and claiming the tier 1 mid tower soon after. Not bad for underdogs. 

Though Liquid tried to defend, Wings found both a few more kills and the tier 2 top tower by the midgame at 16 minutes, and though Liquid was keeping in the game, their map control is crumbling quickly. 

Wings certainly had a game plan -- react, and let Liquid make mistakes. The plan seems to pay off, as by 21m Liquid had lost nearly all of their outside towers, and found themselves on the losing side of a 17-10 scoreboard. 

Wings claimed Roshan's Aegis at 26 minutes into the match, and were up 7 kills (19-12), and had lost only a single tier 1 tower. Liquid defenders fell mid lane, then top lane -- and while they bounced back to defend their turf, they were soon down even farther at 23-17. 

Wings regrouped and pushed up mid lane. Liquid was waiting, but the Cinderella story wouldn't be stopped, and Wings Gaming claime the entirety of the mid lane base structures to complement their total destruction of Liquid's top lane before being forced away.

Another Aegis at 37 minutes and three kills deeper by 40, Wings seemed unstoppable. Liquid's bottom section of their base crumbled, leaving their last line of defense destroyed. Wings Gaming swooped in for the kills, and carried off their second victory as Liquid packed it in for Game 3 at 41:31. 

Winner: Wings Gaming

Game 3

Radiant: Liquid
Picks: Doom, Outworld Devourer, Witchdoctor, Dark Seer, Spectre
Bans: Beastmaster, Invoker, Lone Druid, Death Prophet, Lycan

Dire: Wings Gaming
Picks: Bounty Hunter, Batrider, Tusk, Venomancer, Alchemist
Bans: Earth Spirit, Nature’s prophet, Oracle, Ursa Warrior, Ember Spirit

Team Liquid claimed first blood before the countdown's even finished, though Wings quickly fired back, leading to a tied score at 1-1 before 10 seconds into the game. Soon the lead widened 3-1, favor of Wings, as Liquid pushed up into the mid lane and was mercilessly punished. 

It was bloodbath in what would be the final match of the tournament, as a series of skirmishes and battles left the former series favorites Team Liquid up 7-6 by 4 minutes. 

While the game quieted for a few moments, the bloodshed soon picked back up as Liquid lost their tier 1 top lane tower, though they punished Wings for still having all their buildings. Soon enough, the score was 11-8 as Wings' Alchemist fell to a roving killsquad.

Deaths and kills never seemed to stop, as Liquid climbed to 12 kills, then 9 deaths, then 13 kills as they were forced off of Wings' tier 1 mid tower. The body count rose higher and higher, ending 17-12, favor of Liquid, by 15 minutes. And they'd even claimed two of Wings' towers for their trouble. 

As the brawl continued mid lane and Liquid widened their lead 20-13, then 25, it seemed as if resident heroes Team Liquid may run away with the game. The hope grew as they climbed to 29-15 by 30 minutes in, though Wings' tier 2s were still holding strong. 

As for the Chinese squad, they'd been waiting patiently amidst all the deaths, and found a way to punish Liquid 3-0. The Wings began to fly high as Liquid's push up into bottom lane was successfully defended, giving them 3 more kills and a free Roshan (as well as several other objectives), leaving Liquid only two outside towers as the comeback continued. 

Wings' Alchemist soon went on a rampage straight through the Liquid base, claiming a kill near Liquid's tier 4 towers as his squad continued the destruction just outside. Though the kill count was 31-25, the Chinese line-up seemed to control the entire map as Liquid bled structure after structure, teamfight after teamfight. 

Wings came to the bottom barracks on Team Liquid's side of the map, and claimed what they came for before rotating mid. The Liquid squad showed up to defend, but the kill count rises to 33-30 (favor Liquid) as Wings claimed the mid lane barracks as well. 

At 40 minutes, and Liquid was making a last stand. They finally downed the nearly unstoppable Alchemist, but not his buyback. As defender after defender fell, Wings finally pulled ahead 38-40 just before they finished dominating the Shanghai Major finalists Team Liquid, and won the third (and last) game of the series at 42:50. 

Winners: Wings Gaming

And with that, you have it - and the new champions of Dota 2's ESL One Manila tournament:

Wings Gaming!

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Virtual Reality - Where is it heading, and what does that mean to us? https://www.gameskinny.com/tf7z0/virtual-reality-where-is-it-heading-and-what-does-that-mean-to-us https://www.gameskinny.com/tf7z0/virtual-reality-where-is-it-heading-and-what-does-that-mean-to-us Sun, 24 Apr 2016 07:58:12 -0400 Chrisator

If you've been keeping track of PAX East this weekend, you would've noticed the fact that VR is a subject that is mentioned quite often. Whether within one of the panels, at some of the booths, or through some of the demos available, VR has been a hot topic. This is in large part because some serious contenders for the VR market have released -- or are releasing -- their device this year. But what does this mean for the average gamers?

The possibilities of VR

One of the most talked-about topics when it comes to VR, is the potential uses for it; be it full-on gaming, spectating esports and even traditional sports, educational and therapeutic purposes, controlling drones and other vehicles or even something as simple as VR chat, the possibilities are endless! And of course, don't forget VR entertainment, and even porn.

With the hardware largely available to developers now, VR is more about content than it is possibility. As was mentioned in "The Cutting Edge of PC Gaming with Newegg" panel today, what VR really needs right now is that 'killer app' or new content that drives the interest in VR from a want, to a must-have. And if the trend is to continue in its current direction, that is very likely to become a reality relatively soon.

Virtual Desktop

One very interesting implementation of Virtual Reality is seen in Virtual Desktop, an application that allows you to make use of your normal desktop, in a VR setting, and so much more.

Available on Steam for $14.99 (£10.99), this is certainly a great motivator for purchasing a VR headset.

Spectating E-Sports and Sports in general

There are however other amazing possible implications when it comes to VR. With the popularity of e-sports in modern gaming, and with Valve attempting to bring DotA 2 spectator mode to VR, there is a growing likelihood that other forms of e-sports could be viewed in a Virtual Reality setting. In fact, this technology wouldn't even have to be limited to gaming; traditional sports such as Baseball, Basketball and Football could as easily be seen within a VR setting, with immersive content and the possibility to watch a game from the sidelines. While this would likely come at the cost of a pay-per-view model, who wouldn't want the chance to watch a match from just a few feet away, but still be in the comfort of their own home?

Military Implications

VR is already being used by the U.S., and likely other nations', Armed Forces, to train troops and prepare them for real world combat and tactics. While they do make use of their own hardware, there isn't a great deal of technical difference between their tech and that seen in most gaming VR devices. This technology also has likely uses in the piloting of drones and other unmanned aircraft.

 

Other likely uses for VR

VR could also provide some great opportunities in the field of education; what if instead of explaining a famous battle in history, your teacher took you see it? What if you could see an atom in front of your eyes, at a thousand magnification? Or a star light years away?

The possibilities don't end there however; whether in architecture and real estate, civil engineering, art and design, and really any form of work that requires some kind of outline, VR can be extremely useful, especially when it comes to the small details. Seeing yourself within a building you've designed would be a fantastic way to troubleshoot some of its flaws and improve upon them.

Retinal Resolution; the way into the future

An amazing concept that was discussed within the Newegg sponsored panel was the notion of Retinal Resolution; the resolution and FPS within which your mind would not be able to differentiate between Virtual Reality, and reality. At this resolution - namely 16,000 by 16,000 resolution per retina at 240 Frames Per Second - you would quite literally think what you are seeing from your VR device, is actually real. This could make the technologies seen in movies such as Surrogates and the Matrix a real possibility.

In the end, the potential is endless; VR Skype, VR gaming, VR porn, VR movies, VR exercises, VR therapy, really any activity with the word VR inserted behind it is becoming a possibility. What does this mean to the gaming world however, is something that remains to be seen. If you're interested in buying a VR device, check out our In-depth comparison of upcoming VR Devices: VIVE, PS VR, Oculus Rift, and more. and our first looks at the Steam VR/HTC Vive.

So what are your thoughts on VR? Are you more/less likely to buy one after seeing what's in store for the future? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Dial M for MOBA: Why battle arenas are replacing MMOs https://www.gameskinny.com/pjquw/dial-m-for-moba-why-battle-arenas-are-replacing-mmos https://www.gameskinny.com/pjquw/dial-m-for-moba-why-battle-arenas-are-replacing-mmos Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:07:34 -0400 Seth Zulinski

If there's one formula we're familiar with as players and fans of video games, it's this: gain levels, get gear, and go whomp on people and things that need whomping on. From Dark Souls to Dark Age of Camelot to Dota 2, anything with an even remotely RPG element tends to abide by this basic formula. We've come to know it. We've come to embrace it.

For many of us, months of years of our lives have been dedicated to it. Not so long ago, Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (or MMORPGs/MMOs) were the talk of the video game world. Millions of hours worldwide were dumped into Runescape or Ragnarok OnlineEverquest, and of course the biggest of them all - World of Warcraft

Now, sure - I've dinked around in Elder Scrolls Online a bit lately. I've been the very best Cricket I could be for a week or two in Blade and Soul, and I'd at least watched a stream or two on Black DesertBut something has changed since those years of Friday Night Molten Core runs. Something has led me away from the pizza box and Monster Energy filled basement of my youth - from the endless grind of new epic loot and (once again) defending the Arathi Basin from the fury of the Horde. 

I hadn't hit a raid in years. On a quick check, neither had most of my online crew. None of us had really felt the desire to, either. "What changed?", I wondered. 

It hit me when my Ranked queue popped. 

Online gaming's new M.O.(BA)

"Get stronger, roll face into keyboard." 

Once championed by the MMOs, this basic formula has propelled the next evolution of the genre to fantastic heights. There's differences, of course - MOBAs are undoubtedly a more competitive genre than their M name predecessors, and have flipped the script on the PvE/PvP focus of the older days. What once was the sidebar to massive PvE encounters is now the main event, with the bosses and creeps of old relegated to the bit parts in the jungle.

But that core philosophy of survive and smash is still there - and while the MMO legions may still be around, it's hard to argue that MOBA isn't the new face of the online grind. Every day more and more MMO players fall off, to return only casually (if at all), and MOBAs are growing stronger than ever.

It seems many of us have swapped our Ashbringers for Infinity Edges, and we're not looking back.

But why?

The Clone Wars

One of the major reasons for the slow decline of the MMO and the rise of the MOBA is something most of us old guard MMORPG players are familiar with - the attack of the clones. 

Now in the beginning, the MMO frontier was close to the Wild West. Everyone was trying new and exciting things, each company and brand had its own personal take on the Swords and Sorcery (and eventually Scifi) genre in a massive multiplayer world, and things were new.

Things were different

Didn't like the straight Dungeons and Dragons feel of Everquest? Then you could try the more complicated Realm vs. Realm combat of Dark Ages of Camelot.  Wanted an actual second job? EVE Online. Something recognizable? Final Fantasy XI. 

Then everything changed when the World of Warcraft nation attacked. 

WoW did something no other single title could manage to do in the brief history of the genre - it provided a single, profitable standard for the MMO. Massively profitable. It kept itself on top of the pile not only by having both easy to pick up but hard to master gameplay (for an MMO, anyway), but by constantly updating itself with the new and best ideas from other offerings. For a long time, whatever you wanted in any other MMO was eventually added to Warcraft's repertoire. 

The success of the genre was never higher than at this peak - World of Wacraft literally grossed more income than small countries. It was a known entity even among those who didn't game themselves. Talk shows had days dedicated to the "problem with addictive games", and WoW was front and center in most of them. 

When South Park dedicates an episode to you, you know you've hit the big time. 

Of course, the evolution also kind of stopped here. Whatever gimmick or design your MMO had - whether it was the keep-based RvR system of games like DAoC (then modeled to Wintergrasp), the loot rarity system of Everquest's ilk (since WoW's inception), preset character classes, anything - World of Warcraft would add it to the amalgam. It was the best of the best because it was a hodgepodge of everything good about every other MMO. You couldn't beat WoW, as an MMO, because you were WoW

So you didn't try. You did your thing, or cloned their formula, because there was now a standard bearer for everything the genre was doing - a gigantic posterchild for "how to make a successful MMO". 

So WoW set the pace for the whole industry - grind. Days, weeks, months. Raid and PvP. Grind. Level. Become stronger. Whomp things. Grind. Whomp bigger things.

Every game, every title after it just was it, or close enough. Why play "pretty close to WoW" when I could just spend my years in WoW

So we got complacent. We fell into a routine. We were still logging hours and hours, sure - but we were getting bored for hours and hours. This iteration of the formula had gotten stale after hours and hours of the same old WoW or WoW clone.

Incidentally, "hours and hours" brings us to the next step in the fall of Rome...er...MMOs -

Powering up

If you've played MMOs, or know someone who has, you are more than likely familiar with the following conversation, or something close to it: 

"You coming out tonight?"

"Can't, in a raid." 

Maybe there's more, but that's the core of it - MMOs, especially large Guild-based events like raids - were about time. Time put in. Time invested into your specific character or characters. You couldn't get strong enough to whomp the next big thing that needed whomping unless you put in the hours. 

The short story is, there were a lot of Friday nights I spent in my room with delivery rather than anything else because as an MMO player, and as a Guild member, I'd made a commitment. That commitment took time

Now, try this one: 

"You coming out tonight?" 

"Sure. I'm in a game right now, but I should be out soon." 

Sounds better, right? A little newer, a little more flexible? That's the sound of the MOBA, and the single strongest siren call of the genre over the MMOs that came before. 

I can leave if I have to, or want to, much more immediately than I could previously. My commitment was down to 20-60 minutes at a time, usually, rather than whole nights. I could walk away and not suffer for it - because every game, every match, you started back at square one. Your only requirement to experience the content to its fullest was (outside of the Rune system of League of Legends) clicking the "Play" button. 

MOBAs, in stark contrast to the MMO world, were less of a commitment, and took less of my time. I start from scratch every match, way back at level 1 - but so does everyone else, every game. It took months of MMO playing to max out and acquire reasonably powerful gear, but 15 minutes into a MOBA, I've already gone from plinking at mudcrabs minions to...well, this: 

Pictured: Fully built hypercarry

What all of this amounts to, really, is that the lessons we learned as gamers and game developers in the MMO days are the exact things that led to the slow decline of the genre - MOBAs give us that same feeling of power, that same satisfaction of "gain levels, gain gear, and go whomp people and things that need whomping", but they do it much faster and with much less commitment. 

In much the same way that WoW took and adapted what we liked about other MMOs, MOBAs like League of Legends took what we really liked about MMOs - getting stronger, whomping things - and boiled it down, refined it, and gave it to us in bite sized chunks. 

Most importantly, MOBAs let us whomp in new and different ways - we aren't just spamming various Rend clones on various Bandit clones anymore. Core philosophy aside, the most prominent MOBAs are still fairly unique in identity despite having obvious leaders. While Dota 2 and League of Legends are certainly the front runners, companies are still putting out unique content and gameplay mechanics like the third person MOBA SMITE - and that's not even mentioning the recent MOBA-esque/FPS mergers like Overwatch, Paladins, and Paragon, among others. 

It was the biggest question on the net, and in the gaming community for a long time. "What can beat WoW?", "Is [insert title here] the WoW-killer?", "What can possibly top MMOs?" 

Now, years later, it seems we finally found the answer to these questions, and our new order along with it:

The MMO King is dead. 

Long live the MOBA King. 

 

 

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Steam VR, the HTC Vive, is finally here! https://www.gameskinny.com/sicir/steam-vr-the-htc-vive-is-finally-here https://www.gameskinny.com/sicir/steam-vr-the-htc-vive-is-finally-here Sat, 09 Apr 2016 05:37:26 -0400 Chrisator

HTC have finally released their much anticipated Virtual Reality system, and it looks quite amazing! If you checked out our In-depth comparison of upcoming VR Devices: VIVE, PS VR, Oculus Rift, and more, you'll certainly be quite familiar with the device, so I won't bore you with too many of the technical details. I will show you the awesome looking teaser, however!

The device will run you $799.00 (£689.00), and can be bought directly from HTC's website, right here. There are a plethora of games already available for the device on steam, with Job Simulator, Google's Tilt Brush and Fantastic Contraption all included with the device. There are also quite a few free and in development games you can get your hands on. All in all, there are currently 159 VR specific games available on Steam.

You will also remember the Steam Desktop VR feature we discussed in our article, which basically allows you to play all your Steam games in a VR setting with the use of the Game Theater option. Steam have also announced some cool looking features for their own games, with a spiffy video of a DotA 2 being viewed in theater mode.

If you're still on the fence about this cool new hardware, check out the full details and a bunch of great videos, including the ones above, on the SteamVR main page.

If you're thinking of buying the game, or are lucky enough to have one already, let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.

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What makes a game an eSport? https://www.gameskinny.com/9snqp/what-makes-a-game-an-esport https://www.gameskinny.com/9snqp/what-makes-a-game-an-esport Thu, 24 Mar 2016 07:50:57 -0400 Kevin Cobban

Here at GameSkinny, we love our eSports. We cover tournaments, write player profiles, and offer advice to players looking to go pro. But what makes an eSport? How does a game transition from casual multiplayer to professional competitions with teams, analyst desks, and massive prize rewards? Well we have the answer. In order for a game to become a successful eSport, the game needs to be competitive, have a large player base, and be well funded.

So lets start with competition.

If you break down eSports (sports in general), it is players competing against one another. That is why you see teams from around the world competing to prove who is the best. Thus, a game cannot become an eSport if it isn't competitive. For example, we will never see Minecraft as an eSport. The game is extremely popular and has a huge player base, but Minecraft isn't about who can build the biggest fortress, or who can collect the most rotten flesh in 15 minutes. A good eSports game needs to have a clear winner and loser. 

Another quality eSport games need is a large player base.

Having a healthy eSports scene is impossible unless you have enough players. It is regular players who will watch Twitch streams, read interviews, and attend tournament events, so you need players to drive the game and community forward.

There are several games that could have become eSports, but lacked players. Take Hawken for example. The game has a high skill cap and is incredibly competitive. The only issue was that the game didn't have enough players to establish a professional scene, so the original developers went bankrupt.


The most important quality a game needs to become an eSport is proper funding.

While eSports make a ton of money, they also cost a lot to maintain. Companies need to pay for casters, video and sound technicians, writers, venues, add additional staff, and advertise, as well as provide tournament prizes. None of that is possible unless a game has money. 

Ever wonder why every Blizzard game is an eSport? It is because they have enough players and money to do so. Blizzard could probably make a game where players throw digital rocks at each other, and it would become an eSport.

 

While there can be other factors that determine if a game is an eSport, the qualities listed above are absolutely necessary for all successful eSports. Just take a look at major eSports such as SMITE, LoL, or Dota 2. I guarantee that they all have these qualities. Comment below on what you think great eSports need.

 

 

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This eSports analytical model can predict which team will win https://www.gameskinny.com/ugqm2/this-esports-analytical-model-can-predict-which-team-will-win https://www.gameskinny.com/ugqm2/this-esports-analytical-model-can-predict-which-team-will-win Sun, 20 Mar 2016 08:00:58 -0400 Teevell_6844

While math might not be on the minds of most gamers while they’re holding down mid lane or saving their ADC’s life (again), eSports analytics is important to both the professional scene and game developers. This month a group of researchers presented an analytical model that not only evaluates player performance, but can predict which team will win the game.

The researchers analyzed 412 DOTA 2 games, dividing them into encounters between players, and collected data such on who won the fight and rate of experience gain. One of their experiments examined the likelihood that the team having more gold after a certain amount of time would win the match. Turns out, the team that has earned more gold after the first 5 minutes of the game has a 70% chance of victory. That shoots up to 90% after 15 minutes. The research also shows that 82% of experience and 79% of gold gain are earned in fights between players, and how much of an impact a particular player’s actions had on a victory or defeat.

This model could be an additional tool for developers to visualize how their game plays, or to use when designing updates. Its value to professional players is obvious, but non-professional players would enjoy a program that could analyze replays of their games and give tips on where they could improve. Although the team used DOTA 2 for their initial research, they hope to investigate its usage in other MOBAs such as League of Legends or SMITE in the future.

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DOTA2 introduces the Custom Game Pass https://www.gameskinny.com/spj6w/dota2-introduces-the-custom-game-pass https://www.gameskinny.com/spj6w/dota2-introduces-the-custom-game-pass Thu, 17 Mar 2016 11:02:53 -0400 Teevell_6844

As part of the DOTA 2 Reborn patch last year, Valve added the ability for players to create Custom Games that other members of the community could queue up for. They’re excellent for players who don’t have time for a full game, don't have a full team to queue up with, or those looking for a change of pace. Just as game developers can monetize their creations on Steam, Custom Game creators will also be able to get paid for their creative work. On March 15th, the Custom Game Pass was announced on the DOTA 2 blog. Custom Games will remain free to play, but the Pass allows the creator to include special extras that players can buy to enhance their experience.

The first game to have a Custom Game Pass will be Roshpit Champions. This is a survival game for 4 players trying to defeat waves of enemies that grow stronger over time. With the Pass, which will cost $1 for 30 days, players get additional stash and character slots, as well as other perks. At the end of the 30 days, the player can choose whether they want to renew their subscription or not. The 30 day time period encourages creators to provide ongoing support, and allows players time to reassess whether they want to continue supporting that game.

Not every Custom Game will be given a pass. The DOTA team will be in charge of the program and will choose which games will be eligible. They state in their FAQ that they want, “games which have already established a sizeable community and are mature enough to offer good value to customers.”

Getting content creators paid is a good thing, and could help expand the Custom Game community. Do you have a favorite Custom Game you hope gets a Pass? Let us know in the comments below.

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Top eSports rookies to look out for in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/babyl/top-esports-rookies-to-look-out-for-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/babyl/top-esports-rookies-to-look-out-for-in-2016 Fri, 11 Mar 2016 08:10:49 -0500 Kevin Cobban

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/d/k/tdk-45d06.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/d/k/tdk-45d06.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106808","description":"

That's the end of our list for top eSports rookies to look out for in 2016.

\n

It can be fun and rewarding to follow a player from their roots so always be on the look out for new names in your favorite eSport. Also, let me know what you though of our list, or perhaps if there is a player you think deserves some recognition.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/n/pandacat-5e587.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/n/pandacat-5e587.png","type":"slide","id":"106822","description":"

Max "PandaCat" Yanevich

\n
SMITE
\n

Another SMITE rookie, PandaCat is one of two rookies recruited by Team Enemy. He was signed early this month as the team's Hunter, just in time for the Summer Split. 

\n

\n

PandaCat gained attention from his performance in ranked and success in the SMITE Pro League. His first professional appearance was playing for Legion of Carrots during the SPL Summer Split, but the team didn't place well. It wasn't until taking first at SPL Fall Challenger with team NeilM that he was recognized as a great Hunter.

\n

As previously stated, PandaCat's first major tournament playing for Enemy will be at the Summer Split. So many will be watching to see if he can compete against the best Hunters in the world. Check out SMITE's homepage for more information

\n

Also, If you want to see what PandaCat is up to, then follow him @TheePandaCat.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/h/tahsin-527x614-b8a63.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/h/tahsin-527x614-b8a63.png","type":"slide","id":"106805","description":"

Tahsin ‘tahsiN’ Broschk

\n
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
\n

With Valve introducing Regional Minor Championships, we can expect rookies like Tahsin ‘tahsiN’ Broschk to get more coverage in 2016. tahsiN currently plays as an entry fragger for Penta Sports

\n
Just by looking at his tournament records, it is easy to see why tahsiN deserves more attention. 
\n

Since leaving Killerfish for Penta Sports last year, tahsiN and his team took first in the 99Liga S2 Div. 1ESL Meisterschaft: Winter 2015, and ESL Polish Championship 2015, which are all Major tournaments. But don't think that he is being carried by his team. In this video, tahsiN surprised everyone with an outstanding 4v1 against HellRaisers.

\n

\n

It just goes to show that you should never underestimate players at this level, even if they are rookies.

\n

Feel free to check out Penta Sports homepage to see how the team is performing, or watch tahsiN on his Twitch stream.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/m/sumail-dota-090ee.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/m/sumail-dota-090ee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106804","description":"

Syed "Suma1L" Hassan

\n
Dota 2
\n

Out of all the rookies named thus far, Suma1L has had the most explosive eSports career. He started out by achieving top ranks at in-house NA events and making some noise in the Dota 2 community. It was enough because in just one year, Suma1L was picked up by Evil Geniuses to play in the Dota Asian Champions.

\n
At the age of 15, Suma1L shocked the Dota scene by getting signed on to a tier one team with so little professional experience.
\n

EG's manager recognized Suma1L's raw talent and knew he could be the next big Dota 2 star. His transition into professional eSports went better than expected. Despite efforts by enemy teams to shut him down, Suma1L rose as a dominating player during the tournament and helped his team take 1st place. 

\n

\n

With so many great performances so far, it will be interesting to see if Suma1L can precede his reputation in future tournaments.

\n

Follow Suma1L @SumaaaaiL, or watch him play on Twitch.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/o/moon-nrg-11c79.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/o/moon-nrg-11c79.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106803","description":"

Galen "Moon" Holgate

\n
League of Legends
\n

Rising up from the Challenger Series, Moon is the newest Jungler for NRG Esports. He played for Team Imagine last year and did considerably well. Although Imagine lost their promotion into the NA LCS, Moon's performance was so good that NRG manager, Gerard Kelly, singed him on as the team's primary Jungler.

\n
The decision seems to be working out as NRG is tied for 5th with Team Liquid in the NA LCS.
\n

\n

While Moon's stats aren't the best, he has proven that he can go against top-tier junglers like Rush without breaking under the pressure. NRG's next match will be the against the Immortals so I am eager to see how he will fair against Reignover, who is considered one of the best Junglers in NA.

\n

Follow up on NRG's LCS standing at LoL eSport, and make sure to watch NRG vs Immortals March 12th to show some support.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/t/matty-smite-89d35.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/t/matty-smite-89d35.png","type":"slide","id":"106791","description":"

Matthew "Mattypocket" Paquette

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SMITE
\n

Although Mattypocket is better known for his Twitch stream and influence in the SMITE community, he began getting attention in SMITE eSports after getting signed as a Solo laner for Team Allegiance. Fans expect a great season from Mattypocket because of his experience in the competitive gaming, and knowledge of the game. 

\n
Prior to joining Team Allegiance, Mattypocket had a long history in SMITE's competitive scene
\n

He played for multiple teams in 2013, including Reason GamingJuice Gaming, and ROOT Gaming. After being kicked out of ROOT for bad behavior, he went on to coach one of the most successful SMITE teams, COGnitive Gaming. With Matty as head coach, Cognitive Gaming went on to win the 2015 Smite World Championship.

\n

\n

With so much experience as a coach, it will be interesting to see how Matteypocket will perform this year. 

\n

You can follow him on Twitter @Mattyp0cket or check out his infamous Twitch stream.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/n/pinpingho-0d860.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/n/pinpingho-0d860.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106790","description":"

Ho "Pinpingho" Kow-ping

\n
Hearthstone
\n

Lets continue on Hearthstone rookies with a personal favorite of mine, Pinpingho.

\n

A Taiwanese player who has been around since beta, Pinpingho got some attention during qualifications for BlizzCon 2015 by playing an unconventional Shaman deck. Yes, you read correctly. He made it through BlizzCon by playing a class considered useless by every other professional Hearthstone players. He even defeated Purple, who is considered one of the best Hearthstone players in the world. You can watch the match up below (Shaman play starts at 48:40).

\n

\n
By winning with Shaman decks, Pinpingho proves that he understands the game just as much as other professionals
\n

In an interview with LiquidHearth, Pinpingho shared why he chose Shaman at BlizzCon.

\n
\n

I didn't bring Shaman just because of me being Pinpingho. I put a lot of thought into what decks to bring. I could just bring the standard lineup like Patron, Druid, Handlock, or maybe Secret Paladin; but since other people will also bring the same lineup, what advantage would I have? It will basically be a coinflip. Especially against someone who is even more skilled.

\n
\n

This kind of thinking shows Pinpingho's ability to think of creative strategies in order to surprise his opponents, and explains why he deserves to be on our list. Lets hope he keeps bringing out more Shaman play, because it is so much fun to watch.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/r/surrender-7ab8d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/r/surrender-7ab8d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106703","description":"

Jung-Soo "Surrender" Kim

\n
Hearthstone
\n

Although less popular here in the West, Surrender is well-known in South Korea as one of the best upcoming Hearthstone players. Surrender has played Hearthstone competitively since 2014, but it wasn't until his success last year that he got noticed. He took 1st and 2nd place in the OGN Hearthstone Masters, which is a prestigious Korean Hearthstone event. Surrender has also done well this year by finishing top 5 in the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Finals.

\n

\n
Although the clip above shows Surrender playing a Control Warrior deck, he is also know for his RenoLock deck.
\n

For those not familiar, the deck lets you tap out to almost no health, then instantly gain full life again with Reno Jackson. However, Surrender alters the deck by throwing in some aggressive early game cards such as Knife Juggler and Flame Imp. 

\n

To see his decks in action, head over to Surrender's Twitch channel.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/y/s/mystic-26e5d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/y/s/mystic-26e5d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106702","description":"

Kristoffer "Mystic" Michelsen

\n
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
\n

Popular in the Norwegian CS:GO scene, Mystic has been making an impression with his stellar pistol and rifle play. He showed his skills during the FragBite Masters, where he pulled off two quad-kill holds for LGB eSports. It is quite impressive.

\n

\n

Mystic's rifle play during FragBite was enough to get him signed on LBG as a full-time member. However, he was only on LBG for a little while as he switched to the British CS:GO team, London Conspiracy. Mystic put on great performances and helped his team take 1st in the D!ngIT Weekly Cup #2299Damage Arena 16, and 99Damage Arena 17 near the end of 2015. He left the London Conspiracy in January 2016.

\n

He currently plays for Panters, but given his rifle and pistol skills, I'm sure he will do well in any team he is on. 

\n

Follow Mystic on Twitter @mysticLC.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dardoch-cover-5a77d.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dardoch-cover-5a77d.png","type":"slide","id":"106699","description":"

Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett

\n
League of Legends
\n

Signed on by Team Liquid just before the NA LCS Spring Split, Dardoch has been getting attention for his stellar jungle play and confident attitude. He replaced "IWDominate," and is showing the professionals that he has what it takes to compete in the LCS.

\n

Prior to Team Liquid, Dardoch played on several teams in the Challenger Series, including Storm, Magnetic, and Team Liquid Academy. TLA was actually considered one of the best teams in Challenger because of Dardoch's performance, and the team suffered when he left.

\n
Dardoch's Rek'sai pentakill vs Team Frostbite was one of his finest moments.
\n

\n

Aside from his obvious skill, Dardoch is incredibly confident and ready to take on the best. In an interview with LoL eSports, Dardoch mentions he wants to play against C9 after the team told told Summoning Insight that Dardoch wasn't world class.

\n
\n

Yeah, I really want to play against C9. [laughs] I want to smash them

\n
\n

Currently, Team Liquid is 7W-7L in the NA LCS, but maybe Dardoch can help carry the team against CLG on March 12th.

\n

Until then, fans can follow Dardoch on Twitter to see what he is up to.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/m/immortals-cover-23bed.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/m/immortals-cover-23bed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106693","description":"

Unless you are completely submersed is eSports, it can be difficult to keep track of all the players. Established professionals dominate highlight clips, player interviews, and award ceremonies, while rookies struggle to make a name for themselves. 

\n
This article is for all the upcoming eSports talent who deserve some time in the spotlight.
\n

By scouring player statistics, reading profiles, and using some of my own eSports knowledge, I have compiled a list of eSports rookies to look out for in 2016.

\n

 

"}]]]>
Mastering Dota 2: Does experience really matter? Follow-up https://www.gameskinny.com/6wjdt/mastering-dota-2-does-experience-really-matter-follow-up https://www.gameskinny.com/6wjdt/mastering-dota-2-does-experience-really-matter-follow-up Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:56:50 -0500 Review Yobo

A while ago, I wrote an article investigating how a player's experience affects their skill in Dota 2. Some of the keenest readers pointed out a couple of flaws in my methods, some of which I already considered and one that caught me off-guard. In this article, I would like to bring out some new data and address those criticisms.

Examining the MMR

The key pitfall of my previous analysis was not considering the effect of the matchmaking system. You see, although the Dota wiki does say this:

"...over time, win-loss ratios will naturally settle around 50/50 for all but the very best players..."

It is clear that, overall, the win rate is not an accurate proxy for a player's skill. Following this line of reasoning, the best proxy for skill is in fact the matchmaking rating (MMR). More games played should translate to a higher MMR, right?

While there is not too much data on the MMR around, I was willing to put in the effort for the sake of sound science. With this in mind, I collected data on the MMR and amount of matches played by 46 players out of the European leader board and Dotabuff. Here is the end product - a small sample, but with quite a bit of variation.

The next step was to plot the data. I put the amount of matches played on the horizontal axis and the MMR rating on the vertical axis.

And what do we see? Unfortunately nothing. I had high hopes for this one, but it is quite apparent that there is no statistically significant relation. While kind of a let down, it is at least in line with the previous article. Mind you, this is the data for top players with 2,000 to 10,000 matches played (1-5k hours), and it is expected that the learning curve flattens out with time.

The real learning curve probably looks something like this.

As a result, the regression in the 2,000<10,000 matches played region actually shows no significant relation. This could be because at this level of skill, there can only be so much variation in MMR over the course of games played. The best of the best don't really have to improve. But unfortunately, low MMR player data is not easily available.


If you would like to contribute to figuring this out, add your data to this sheet (can be anonymous), and I will run the numbers once we reach 50 players with less than 4,000 matches of experience (no smurfs, please).

Brief account of early analysis

A couple of my friends filled in their Dota 2 stats, and here are the early results for the mid MMR player analysis.

Even with a few mid-MMR players, the early learning curve starts to become more apparent. The logarithmic pattern is a guess -- I would not like to start drawing conclusions just yet. It is, however, obvious that players with <3,000 matches played are more likely to have a lower MMR.

Conclusion

The goal of my last two articles has been to figure out if extra experience increases a Dota 2 player's skill. I've considered a couple of proxies from top players (Win rate, KDA ratio, MMR) and they all lead to the same conclusion - there is no significant relationship between the time spent playing and the player's skill. When also considering average players however, one can see a hint of a steep learning curve pattern.

Data from the top players teaches us that after the first 4,000 matches, simply pouring more time into Dota is not the way to become a better player. Whether it is talent, team work, methodical study, or organized practice, it is crucial to keep in mind that, aside from time, there are many other much more important factors improving your play.

Given that people pitch in with their numbers, future articles will consider the mid-MMR learning curve in depth. I am also interested in examining what differences there are in the distribution of Solo MMR and Team MMR. Is it the case that players learn how to play alone faster than mastering teamwork? Can we distinguish players in types according to individualistic or team preferences? There are many good questions to have a look at.

I hope this addresses the criticisms brought forward by the Dota 2 community. If you have ideas to share - leave us a comment!

Review Yobo

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A leaky Valve: Tightening up for the sake of eSports https://www.gameskinny.com/p22b0/a-leaky-valve-tightening-up-for-the-sake-of-esports https://www.gameskinny.com/p22b0/a-leaky-valve-tightening-up-for-the-sake-of-esports Mon, 29 Feb 2016 12:53:04 -0500 Seth Zulinski

This was originally intended to be an article about the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors: one of the biggest eSports tournament of the year, with some of the best players in the business fighting it out over their share of a $3,000,000 prize pool. It was intended to be a rundown of the stories that unfolded there. Who came out on top? Who fell to the opposition?

Ultimately, it was intended to be about who won, who lost, and why. 

We suppose it still is. 

If you've been following us as we explored the drama unfolding at and around the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors, then you know the focus of this tournament by the community and participants has been on almost everything about the event, except the games. If not, go on and get yourself up to date. We'll wait.

Because there's more. In a (currently) seventeen-page long response to Gabe "Gaben" Newell's personal Reddit post calling him "an ass", James "2GD" Harding takes offense at what could be a personally and professionally devastating call-out, but responds more or less in kind: bringing to light some questionable decisions by Valve, LLC over the last few years. If you don't want to sift through nearly twenty pages that read like dictation from a fever dream, never fear -- the gist is essentially: 

1. James alleges that the "issues...at previous events" are actually him lobbying for the casting talent of The International (TI from now on) 4 to receive some form of base payment, instead of their compensation being wholly based on sales of in-game items. And, in the case of TI2, arguing for any of the casting talent to be paid at all. While other casters have corroborated the TI4 information, it seems that it was applicable only to the Non-American casting talent as fellow caster Kevin "Purge" Godec recalls the American sector having base pay.

2. "2GD" goes on to explain that he believes his firing mid-broadcast of the Dota 2 Shanghai Major was due to either a personal transgression against a Valve employee circa TI4, or essentially "for being himself," which he was told to do. Granted, "being himself" here was making a pornography joke near the beginning of the show, but his argument that this is his "brand" of commentary, and exactly what he was told to do by extension, isn't totally without merit. 

So how did this happen, and why do we care?

First off, it's important to understand Valve. How it works. While it's not quite a total holacracy, Valve is what's known as a flat organization -- as their onboarding site says, they pride themselves on "working without bosses". Flat organizations tend to work in smaller, autonomous circles or groups that do their particular work how they see fit, and then try and piece it together with what everyone else is doing. To be fair, some of their results have been pretty good

Then again, sometimes the left hand isn't totally aware of what the right is doing, and you get unpaid casting talent, strangely vague wording on supporting your favorite broadcasters with compendium sales (when what you're actually doing is crowd-funding their pay), or the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors - all incredibly unprofessional strikes during iterations of (or in Shanghai's case a lead up to) one of the most prestigious eSports events in existence, and all without anyone to directly call to account for these mistakes. 

This, of course, brings us to why we care that James "2GD" Harding was fired mid-broadcast: 

Which is, of course, that we don't. James Harding, the person, isn't that important.

Hiring and firing of personnel is, as always, up to the people shot-calling a business's decisions - which, in Valve's case, amounts to "kind of a lot of people, though some more than others". At the end of the day, if James wasn't correct for the broadcast, and Valve chose not to work with him again, then that is absolutely their decision.

But they didn't wait until the end of the day, did they?

It was the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors - the second outing in Valve's attempt to add prestige, hype, and class to what is already one of the biggest eSports tournaments in the world. 

But on top of hiring a production company that had already given older broadcasts issues (KeyTV), Valve hires a media personality they have worked with before, summarily cans said personality for doing what they paid him to do, then asks him to keep talk of the goings-on "on ice" until the CEO and Managing Director of their company personally slams said caster on a public forum. 

James Harding's inclusion, his firing, his exposure of the payment structure for TI2 and TI4 originally mirroring the words every aspiring artist or performer fears ("do it for the exposure"), Valve Time being a well-known meme - these all matter not only to Dota 2 fans, or even Valve fans, but eSports fans. All of us.

Whether you're in with Riot's League of Legends or Hi-Rez's SMITE, a CS:GO player or Call of Duty professional, we're still under the same banner. While eSports is certainly out of its infancy, it's still an adolescent or awkward teenager at best. As debacles like GamerGate and similar show, our industry is still in a constant fight for credibility, recognition, and identity. 

Valve is currently running the biggest money tournaments in the eSports world, and as such are one of the premier faces of eSports. For example, League of Legends' world championships are around 2/3 of the payout for the Dota 2 Majors leading up to their big game, The International. Whether or not you play Valve games isn't relevant -- they're one of the biggest names in gaming, they set an example in the industry, and they're one of the biggest fronts for gaming to the outside world. 

This isn't really about James Harding at all

With that in mind, James Harding's firing and the circus that ensued is important not because of James Harding, but because the handling of it was sloppy and unprofessional. How can eSports, as a community and an industry, ask for professional treatment if our biggest flagship companies don't act professionally? The Dota 2 Shanghai Majors fiasco is important because it brings to light how much Valve needs to "tighten up" -- not only for its own sake, but for all of ours. 

Players and fans, writers and readers. The professionals and the casuals. If you're an Invoker, a Viktor, or an Agni. Whether you're an AWP-er or a Barrett .50 Cal fan, whether you call in Titans or bring Goliaths online -- we're all still in this together, and we can't afford another public, unprofessional blasting of James Harding (or possibly even his employment). We can't afford hiring people and paying them in "exposure," and we can't afford some of the biggest tournaments of the year to be barely watchable, if they're watchable at all. We are all invested in Valve upping its professional game, because when the rest of the world looks at Valve and its eSports productions, it sees gamers as a whole.

Since they're looking at us: as gamers, as people, as a community, and as fans of eSports, one thing has been made abundantly clear:

We can't afford another incident like the Dota 2 Shanghai Major. 

Can we? Let us know what you think about Valve, its tournament scene, or the Dota 2 Shanghai majors below. After all, we're all in this together. 

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Mastering Dota 2: Does experience really matter? Comparing players with 500 vs 3500 hours played https://www.gameskinny.com/98u1j/mastering-dota-2-does-experience-really-matter-comparing-players-with-500-vs-3500-hours-played https://www.gameskinny.com/98u1j/mastering-dota-2-does-experience-really-matter-comparing-players-with-500-vs-3500-hours-played Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:30:49 -0500 Review Yobo

They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill and no doubt this is also true with video games. However, does sinking more hours into Dota 2 really raise your chances of being a great player? Here we will have a look at a sample of casual Dota 2 players and see if we can separate fact from fiction. All data is gathered from Dotabuff.com and takes into account players with 500 to 3500 hours of time played.

Is more actually better?

To figure this out, let's take the stats of the 100 top rank players listed on Dotabuff and do some simple analysis. To start off, though, I want to have a little example, so the method is clear. Let's take those same 100 players and plot their win rate (% of games) with respect to the kill, death, assist ratio.

So, in the graph we can see a clear relation between the two - the more kills and assists the player realizes per death, the bigger the portion of matches he or she wins. The math works out at around a 1% increase in the win rate for each point of KDA. So that's straight forward - on average, the better you are at killing, the more likely it is that you'll win.

Now, what about the link between the win rate and the total amount of hours the player has spent on Dota 2? Surely, the more you play, the better you get at the game, especially in the first hours, when you are learning the ropes. However, does this extend into the later stages of the learning curve? Well, let's have a look.

Can you see it? I certainly can't. Upon examination, it becomes painfully obvious that the variation in win rates can not be explained by the players experience. One can see players with win rates exceeding 80% all the way from 500h to 3500h of experience.

One might say that the win rate is far from a good proxy for the overall skill of the players. The key critique here is that the win ratio depends a lot more on the teams performance and a lot less on the individual players skill. Moreover, this method can not take out the effect of smurfs (players creating extra accounts, thus presenting themselves as less experienced). With that in mind, let us examine our other handy proxy - the KDA ratio.

Unfortunately, the numbers here show a similar situation.. While there is a small increase of the KDA, associated with more experience, the overall effect seems negligible. Moreover, the players with less than 1000h of experience obviously can have a relatively high KDA ratio. Presumably this is due to concentrating on individual rather than team play. However, there is next to no indication that spending those extra 3000h on Dota 2 will make you any more efficient at massacring enemies. The drawback to this data is that Dota 2 has many roles. A hard carry position is likely to get many kills, while a support, even with a pro at the wheel, will possibly have no kills at all.

I was not happy with this result, so I decided to get another bunch of data, this time the people who have played the most amount of matches according to Dotabuff. Here is what I got from this bunch of 100 players:

Nothing. Virtually no relation what so ever...

The inconvenient truth seems to be that after around 500 hours, or 1000 matches of practice, the direct return of those hours grinds to a complete halt. Even if you sink another 3000 hours in the game..

I will revisit this conclusion at the end, however now I want to do some numbers that might actually help you guys. So - there must be some actual relations we can find in the players data, right?

Well - here is a good one. According to the numbers, more experienced players are likely to finish their matches faster. Here is the relation:

What we can see is that each thousand hours of experience reduces the length of the players average match by around 70 seconds. This might seem like a very slight reduction, however the trend is quite noticeable. If you compare a complete newbie and guy with 3500h under his belt, the difference will be around 4 minutes or 10% of the match. So here is a little top tip - if you want to learn from the best, learn to cut the games short.

So, experience does not matter?!

Well. Surely it does. Every hour you spend playing let's you learn more strategies and master more skills for more heroes. However, when looking through the averages, there seems to be next to no indication that more experienced players are necessarily better at playing, in terms of match wins and KDA ratios. The lesson here then is that how much time you spend playing matters precious little. If you want to get better at Dota 2, immerse yourself in the game and be methodical.

Concentrate on developing your strategies and play with improvement in mind, rather than just clicking away, hoping for fairy pixies to come and improve your play after 10,000 hours.

If you found this interesting, leave a comment with any extra questions you pondered. If not - tell me where I went wrong!

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A wild Gaben appears: Valve CEO responds to Dota 2 Shanghai Major backlash https://www.gameskinny.com/yik79/a-wild-gaben-appears-valve-ceo-responds-to-dota-2-shanghai-major-backlash https://www.gameskinny.com/yik79/a-wild-gaben-appears-valve-ceo-responds-to-dota-2-shanghai-major-backlash Fri, 26 Feb 2016 16:51:26 -0500 Seth Zulinski

If you've been paying attention (or read about it here), you know there's big trouble in Dota China. As the on-going trainwreck that is Tournament Drama Island: Shanghai (or the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors) continues to crash, our friends and fellows over at the Dota 2 subreddit have just received a response from on high in the biggest return of the king since the Tolkien movie.

Gabe "Gaben" Newell, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Valve, LLC (and the father of Valve and Steam as we know it) took a moment to personally comment on the total travesty on-going situation that is the 2016 Dota 2 Shanghai Major. 

Not a "mere" Valve employee. Not someone writing a faceless, nameless clean-cut business response to an incident. Gaben himself took time, came to Reddit, and gave us his personal response to what's been happening in Shanghai. 

Currently, the subreddit, Twitter, and nearly anyone who watches Dota 2 (as well as even some who don't) are going mad over the response. Though reactions are still split, with users responding with anything from "thank f*cking god you are firing that production company" to the slightly more emotionally confused, "I feel like my dad just came home after abandoning our family, kissed my mom, slapped her, then took the dog and left", two immediate things keep popping up --

1. What exactly do you have to do to get booted from a broadcast in the middle of the tournament, and receive a personal reprimand from a multi-billionare CEO of the very company that made the game you're casting? That has to be an achievement unlocked, whatever it is. 

2) Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for saying that the production company (Perfect World, or more accurately Perfect World's affiliate KeyTV) is done before the Main Event of the Shanghai Major -- and hopefully done with Valve events for good, as this is actually the second offense: the Nanyang DotA 2 Championship event, while considerably less horrific than Shanghai Majors, was also riddled with its own issues. 

At any rate, while the exact nature of James "2GD" Harding's transgressions are still up in the air, the good news is this: coverage of Dota 2 events will be much better moving forward, and the company in charge of "production" in the region fired -- hopefully never to return.

The Gaben has spoken. 

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Valve's 3 biggest secrets for a successful eSports broadcast https://www.gameskinny.com/jyeot/valves-3-biggest-secrets-for-a-successful-esports-broadcast https://www.gameskinny.com/jyeot/valves-3-biggest-secrets-for-a-successful-esports-broadcast Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:06:46 -0500 Seth Zulinski

The Dota 2 Shanghai Major rolls on, and teams continue to battle it out for their share of the first multi-million dollar Dota 2 prize pool this year. And from the looks of things, Valve has been doing an excellent job of putting on a professional broadcast. Really.

Our friends and fellow eSports fans over at the Dota 2 subreddit and on Twitter have been chomping at the bit with feedback. They've congratulated Valve for "f*cking up a huge event" and even asked for refunds on the compendiums they bought to support the event, so things are clearly going well. Given all this success, we've taken a close look at how Valve has handled this broadcast and compiled three of their best strategies for hosting such a beloved competition. 

So take notes, aspiring eSports broadcasters and producers. If you want to bring your production game to new heights, all you need to do is...

Bring in a fan-favorite caster...then boot them

If the constant Twitch memeing of "Giff 2 GD" (complete with shiny eyes and squishy hug hands) hasn't tipped you off yet, what viewers of major eSports events love more than anything is when companies bring in fan favorite commentators like James "2GD" Harding - then summarily give them the boot after a single day. 

An eye for talent and the realities associated with it is paramount to keeping broadcasts fun and engaging -- but isn't drama more fun than any of that? Try to spice things up during your event by benching one of the more popular and enjoyable commentators after Day 1, and add bonus points if the general consensus is that he's one of the few things keeping a broadcast afloat at all. You really want to keep the action flowing and focus on the dramatic, because that's what attracts viewers, not engaging personalities. Which brings us to our next tip for Major event coverage...

Try Not to Focus on the Players

We know, we know, "Highly Rated Professional Player X" -- you're really glad your team could go out there and give 110% and score a touchdownball, and everyone played really well, and you had to overcome some incredibly tough adversaries by skill and wit. We get it. You're soooo gooood. What about that guy behind the guy with the camera, though? Or the people in the sound booth? What's their story? What's going through their heads?

Luckily, our friends at the Shanghai Major were wondering the same things, and have gracefully given us looks (or rather, listens) at plenty of non-player participants. As the above interview shows, one of the best things you can do during an interview with players from professional team competing at your event is to turn their mic down as low as possible, and instead give us the day-to-day goings on of random workers or passersby. Aren't they the real heroes, after all?

In fact, as our last tip goes to show, we'd much rather you just...

Barely Show the Games at All

If you want to really keep your viewers on the edge of their seats watching events as huge and important as the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors, be sure to...well, not let them do that very much. Try to find major stream outlets that will broadcast to entire sections of the globe, and then riddle your broadcast with as many technical issues as you possibly can.

Slow your in-game cameras to a crawl (or freeze them entirely), try to start as few matches on time as you can manage, cover in-game teamfights with replays, and occasionally just cut the stream altogether. Bonus points if you can do any of these things during pivotal, critical moments in the actual game or tournament. I mean, why would we be tuned in if we actually wanted to watch eSports games with sky-high stakes and some of the best players in the world? 

Since we've already started bringing the axe down on commentators, why not just mute some of the survivors at seemingly random intervals as well? When you're shooting for as awe-inspiring broadcast heights as the DotA 2 Shanghai Major, you have to be willing to go the extra mile. 

Now you'll have a Perfect Major broadcast

Now that you know what makes a Major broadcast of DotA 2, you've got the three tools they used during today's Shanghai Majors. Stick to these, and your very own tournament stream will surely have singles, or perhaps even tens of people watching in no time!

Be sure to make time to come back to us, though, and tell us the tips and tricks you've learned in steady production values. If we all hold hands and work together, we too can soon be living in a Perfect (Broadcast) World. 

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The biggest names in eSports: Who is on top and who is on the rise https://www.gameskinny.com/19cyt/the-biggest-names-in-esports-who-is-on-top-and-who-is-on-the-rise https://www.gameskinny.com/19cyt/the-biggest-names-in-esports-who-is-on-top-and-who-is-on-the-rise Mon, 22 Feb 2016 17:59:16 -0500 Kevin Cobban

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Janc 'MC' Min Chul

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Starcraft 2
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I couldn't write an eSports list without including Starcraft 2. SC2 and its predecessor helped make professional gaming a reality. So with that, I present one of the best, and most-liked SC2 players: Jang 'MC' Min Chul

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MC is widely known in the eSports community as the best Protoss player in the world. With a record spanning over four years of competitive play, it would be difficult covering all of MC's accomplishments. But among his best victories are winning the Global Starcraft 2 League twice, 2011 DreamHack Stockholm Invitational, Copenhagen Games Spring 2011, HomeStory Cup IV and IEM Season VI - World Championship. A record like that explains how MC earned over $500,000 during his career, which is more than any other SC2 player.

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Although MC retired in 2015, SC2 players can still learn by watching his gameplay.
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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/e/a/team-secret-players-red-bull-13ce5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/e/a/team-secret-players-red-bull-13ce5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103979","description":"

Team Secret

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Dota 2
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Since the Dota 2 pro scene is so intense, it is tough to decide who is truly the top team; However, given Team Secret's performance in 2015, it is safe to say they rank as one of the best teams in Dota 2. Team Secret took first in five premier tournaments (which all had a prize pools greater than $200,000) and were runner up in The Frankfurt Major 2015. That's some serious cash.

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While Team Secret's rise to the top has been quick, it isn't that surprising.
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The team consists of players that used to belong to Fnatic, Natus Vincere, and Alliance so each player has experience in eSports and playing competitively. But don't take my word for it because their gameplay speaks for itself.

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Team Secret's website is currently under reconstruction, but they still provide links to all their social media, so don't worry.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/a/t/natus-b28fe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/a/t/natus-b28fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103977","description":"

Natus Vincere

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 
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Another upcoming CS: GO team to look out for is Natus Vincere. According to ESL's world rankings, Natus Vincere ranks second best in the world, just below Fnatic. The rankings are decided based off placements in tournaments, as well as individual player performance. 

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The rankings don't lie
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Natus Vincere has had an impressive run since last November. The team took several tournaments, including first place in Dreamhack Open Leipzig 2016, and Intel Extreme Masters Season 10 San Jose.

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Moreover, Natus Vincere ranks in top for most earnings in CS: GO with a total just short of $600,000.

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While Fnatic remains the dominant team in CS: GO, Natus Vincere is still a team to look out for in upcoming tournaments.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/e/a/team-enemy-smite-9dcbb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/e/a/team-enemy-smite-9dcbb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"104067","description":"

Team Enemy

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SMITE
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Continuing with the SMITE pro scene is Team Enemy. Despite poor performance in the 2015 Spring Split, Enemy deserves recognition for their stellar gameplay during the the 2016 SWC. Even thought Enemy was considered the underdog, they managed to make it all the way to the finals, where they lost to Epsilon Esports. 

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If you missed SWC, here is game one of Enemy vs Epsilon
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Team Enemy has an interesting history behind them because much of the original team is gone. After losing the several games during the split, team captian, PainDeViande, made last-minute roster changes and replaced every member of Enemy. This decision created a backlash from the community, but the results were worth it. 

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After the roster changes, Enemy demonstrated their new strength. They beat TSM and EnVyUS during the Super Regionals, and secured a spot in SWC 2016 as second seed for NA.

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Proving themselves as a top-tier team, Team Enemy is a team to look out for in future SMITE tournaments. For a more detailed team history, visit Team Enemy's official website.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/p/s/epsilon-smite-7d8d2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/p/s/epsilon-smite-7d8d2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103951","description":"

Epsilon Esports

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SMITE
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In you follow SMITE's eSport scene, then Epsilon Esports should be a familiar name. They may not be the most profitable team, but their recent success has placed them at the top of EU standings.

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The team had an explosive season during Fall of 2015, where they went almost undefeated with an impressive 27-1 record. No other other teams came even close to that record. Epsilon also managed to win the 2016 World Championship in January.  Even more impressive, they swept Team Enemy during the finals with a 3-0 record. 

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With head coach, Youngbae, guiding the team and offering support, Epsilon Esports shows no sign of letting up. 

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But what better way to learn about a team, than to hear them for yourself.
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For more news and updates, check out Epsilon's official website.

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Ostkaka

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Hearthstone
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While not as experienced as other big-name Hearthstone players, Ostkaka earned his place at the top of our list because of his recent triumph at the 2015 World Championship. Using Oil Rogue, Grim Patron Wrarrio, and Freeze Mage decks, Ostkaka took first place in the Championship and earned his first major victory (and a $100k reward).

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This is quite the accomplishment considering the fierce competition. Ostkaka managed to beat Hearthstone veteran, ThijsNL; which was a surprise to many. Below is small clip that demonstrates Ostkaka's quick thinking and ability to create unique strategies. 

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Prior to the Championship, Ostkaka had little tournament experience so he is still new to the pro scene. He is definitely a player to look out for in future competitions.

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If you want to see more of Ostkaka, you can always subscribe to his Twitch stream or follow him on Twitter @NaViOstkaka.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/t/imt-8ed63.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/t/imt-8ed63.png","type":"slide","id":"103944","description":"

Immortals

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League of Legends
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Much like the image above, the Immortals (IMT) are a new, mysterious group that has emerged in the League of Legends pro scene. When the team was founded at the end of 2015, the announcement stirred up the NA region. IMT is made up of an all-star line up, and is expected to be the strongest team coming out of NA this year. Every member of IMT is an experienced player, and many have come from top-tier teams such as TSM, CLG, and Fnatic.

\n

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However, what makes IMT so interesting is their performance in the NA LCS. They exceeded expectations by going 10-0 during the Spring split and took out NA's best teams with ease. Perhaps they will be the next team to take on other region's best like Korea's SKT1 or China's LGD.

\n

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NA is known as the weakest region for LoL eSports, but IMT wants to prove otherwise. 

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So follow IMT's standings over at LoL eSports and show some support. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/fc8d99ac34b3bafa2c7ba9cd497ed776.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/fc8d99ac34b3bafa2c7ba9cd497ed776.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7592","description":"

Fnatic

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
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While olofmeister isn't the only member of Fnatic's CS:GO team, it is hard to deny his impact on his team's success. Named best CS:GO player by PC Gamer, olofmeister is one of the game's most versatile players. He is labeled as Fnatic's secondary AWPer, but olof has proven himself to be effective with all weapon types. 

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As for the rest of Fnatic, they remain the top team, earning almost 1.2 million dollars in over 90 tournaments. This should come as no surprise, since Fnatic took first in the last 10 tournaments. 

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Like previous teams on this list, every player on Fnatic is scary in their way. Each member has the skills needed to reach the top of the leaderboards, and they continue to improve -- both as individuals and as a team.

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For team highlights, players bios, and everything else you'd need to know about them, visit Fnatic's website.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dota-988ff.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/t/dota-988ff.png","type":"slide","id":"103866","description":"

Evil Geniuses 

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Dota 2
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With over 10 million dollars of tournament earnings -- more than double the next highest team -- and winning the Dota 2 International Championship in 2015, it is easy to see why Evil Geniuses (EG) makes the cut as one of the top eSports teams.

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Continuing their success, the team also took 1st place in The Summit 4 tournament last December, and Captain's Draft in January. With an undefeated record thus far, EG shows no signs of slowing down.

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Here is clip from Captain's Draft game 4 vs Vega, showing just how strong EG is.
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EG no doubt attributes their success to their mix of excellent leadership and mechanics. The team also consists of a good balance of veteran Dota players such as Clinton 'Fear' Loomis and Saahil 'Universe' Arora, and fresh talent like Syed Sumail ' Suma1l' Hassan. 

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Not only does EG have a strong team, but each individual member is incredibly skilled on their own. Many members of EG top the leaderboards.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/t/sktt1-bef5b.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/t/sktt1-bef5b.png","type":"slide","id":"103865","description":"

SK Telecom T1

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League of Legends
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It is almost impossible to discuss League of Legends eSports without mentioning SKT. They absolutely dominated the 2015 World Championship by only losing a single game, and remain the only team to win two championship titles. SKT is well known throughout Lol eSports as the strongest team, and for good reason. With power players like Faker and Marin in mid and top lane respectively, it is hard for any team stand against SKT.

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Check out this highlight video from 2015 Worlds to see just how skilled Marin is.
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Even teams who manage to shut down one of SKT's star players often lose to superior strategy, and the overall strenght of SKT as a team. There is no doubt that SKT will remain on top until other regions step up their performance.

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You can follow SKT on twitter @sktelecomt1, or visit their website for tournament updates and player information.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/a/league-legends-world-championship-starts-october-1st-41638.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/a/league-legends-world-championship-starts-october-1st-41638.jpg","type":"slide","id":"104074","description":"

With the world of eSports rapidly expanding, it can be difficult to follow all the teams and keep track of tournament results. Plus, teams are created, disbanded, and changed every season making it even more complicated.

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Don't you worry though; I have you covered.
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By looking at tournament rankings and team earnings, I have made list of all the top teams across multiple eSport games to find out who is on top, and who to look out for.

"}]]]>