Esl Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Esl RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Final Settings for Halo Summer 2017 Pro League Announced Sun, 30 Apr 2017 11:24:50 -0400 tofuslayer

We're less than two weeks away from Halo Championship Series Daytona on May 12-14, and HCS has officially released the final settings for the Summer 2017 Championship. After a heated battle at Worlds back in March, many Halo eSports fans are excited to see what this season holds. It's always interesting to see the new changes in settings from season to season, and we're all looking forward to seeing how this changes the game for our favorite players.

Summer 2017 Kicks off at HCS Daytona

HCS Daytona marks the start of the Summer 2017 season for HCS, where teams will compete for an opportunity to win $75,000 in open 4v4.

In case you missed it, these are the seven teams slated to compete in HSC Summer this year:

  • OpTic Gaming
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Team Liquid
  • Str8 Rippin
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • TMMT Crowd Pleasers
  • Evil Geniuses

The last team will be decided at the NA Last Chance Qualifier in light of Team Allegiance disbanding and losing their spot.

Final Summer 2017 Settings

To see the full list of changes, click here

One notable change is the reduction of ammo in the Railgun on Rig by one clip. Many players have wondered if its level of devastation caused an unfair advantage. Apparently, the people at Halo thought so. And while this may not cause a huge change in the type of plays we see on Rig, it will undoubtedly reduce the weapon's power. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out at HCS Daytona.


Are you looking forward to Summer 2017? Who do you want to see win the LCQ? Let us know in the comments below! 

ESL Announces Halo Pro League Return this Summer 2017 Sun, 16 Apr 2017 11:20:42 -0400 tofuslayer

ESL and 343 Industries has announced that the Halo Championship Series: Pro League is returning for its summer 2017 season starting May 24. Teams will have the opportunity to collect over $150,000 in prize money throughout the course of the season. ESL also announced that they will be crowd funding extra prize money to be added to the prize pool at season finals at DreamHack Atlanta in July.

The announcement from ESL also revealed the lineup of teams for the North American Pro League:

  • OpTic Gaming
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Team Liquid
  • Str8 Rippin
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • TMMT Crowd Pleasers
  • Evil Geniuses

In a surprising turn of events, the eighth seeded team, Allegiance, disbanded and lost their spot this season. In the wake of these events, the final team set to compete this season will be decided at the NA Last Chance Qualifier.

The top six NA teams will compete at Finals at DreamHack Atlanta at the end of the season. With OpTic returning to the HCS Pro League as the 2017 World Champions, it'll be interesting to see how the season plays out!

Who are you rooting for this season? Let us know in the comments below!

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.

OpTic Gaming Wins $1,000,000 and Undisputed Halo Supremacy After the World Championship Finals 2017 Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:43:19 -0400 tofuslayer

All around the world, Halo teams fought through the qualifiers for a chance to be part of the ESL Halo World Championship 2017 Finals. The 12 teams who made the cut met at the ESL campus in Burbank, California, for three days of intense competition. The aim? To find out who would emerge with $1,000,000 and the title of Halo World Champions.

All 12 Teams Come Out Strong for Day 1 of Finals

In the first day of competition at Finals, teams fought for seeding points heading into the double elimination bracket. Though no one would be eliminated, Day 1 was a chance for each team to start the weekend strong and set the tone for the rest of Finals. As many predicted, the North American teams dominated the rest of the world to kick off an exciting first day, with OpTic Gaming and Team Liquid leading the pack in the winners bracket.

Str8 Rippin vs. TMMT Crowd Pleasers

In an incredible end to Day 1, Str8 Rippin and TMMT Crowd Pleasers met in the final losers bracket match of the day in a heated Best of 7 series. Str8 won the first three games of the series, taking the third win in CTF after APG landed a ground pound with less than 10 seconds left on the clock.

CP retaliated with three straight wins in an attempt to execute a reverse sweep and signaled a choke after the third win. The crowd was going wild heading into Game 7, and the room completely divided. With the series tied 3-3, Str8 managed to stave off CP and take the final win of the series on Regret Slayer and move on to the winners bracket.

Str8 Rippin wins 4-3. 

Everything Heats Up for the Second Day of Finals

At the end of Day 2, only four teams would move on to the final day of competition. Despite an impressive performance from Fab Games esports, the last European team went home midday.

EnVy vs. Luminosity Gaming

After taking a harsh loss to Splyce that landed them in the losers bracket, EnVy began an incredible winning streak all through Day 2. Everyone on the EnVy roster was playing at a high level, making great call-outs and executing clutch plays as they unapologetically eliminated team after team. In their last series of the day, EnVy continued their reign of terror against Luminosity Gaming.

It was in this series where Huke had what was arguably the greatest play of the whole championship. He flawlessly executed a vicious Killing Frenzy with the Needler in Game 2 on Rig Slayer, before Snip3down took a carefully aimed headshot to secure their second win of what ultimately became a 4-0 sweep to send Luminosity home.

EnVy wins 4-0. 

Team Liquid vs. OpTic Gaming

The last series of the day was between Team Liquid and OpTic Gaming. Liquid, even after coming out of NA Qualifiers in second place, was considered an underdog heading into Finals. The months-old roster, who had never won a tournament together, were proving their doubters wrong with every winners bracket match they won. In the final winners bracket of the match, they faced OpTic to enter the final winners bracket match of Day 3.

OpTic were dominant heading into the series against Liquid by winning their first three games. They were looking to continue their winning streak in Game 3 on Truth CTF. Liquid fought hard and won their first game of the series with a clutch ground pound from Rayne to bring the score to 3-1.

However, the last effort push was not enough to stop OpTic from more than doubling Liquid’s points on Empire Strongholds, ultimately to end Game 4 with a score of 100-44 -- to secure their spot in the Grand Finals match.

OpTic Gaming wins 4-1. 

By the end of Day 2, OpTic Gaming, Team Liquid, Team EnVy, and Str8 Rippin would be the last four teams to see Day 3 of Finals.

OpTic Looks to Take it All in Day 3

Day three of the ESL Halo World Championship Finals 2017 was arguably the wildest day of the tournament. Let's take a quick look at some of the highlights. 

EnVy vs. Str8 Rippin 

EnVy and Str8 met in first the losers bracket matchup of Day 3. EnVy had battled through the losers bracket and was on a 12-game winning streak going into their series against Str8, who had come back from a 4-0 loss against Liquid to eliminate Splyce from the tournament. If Str8 won the series against EnVy, they would be able to get their revenge on Liquid in the final losers bracket match of Finals. However, EnVy was not about to let that happen.

Maintaining their momentum from Day 2, EnVy won two close games against Str8 before securing an amazing 100-36 win to bring the series to 3-0. Str8 looked like they might come back when they capped their first two flags within the first minutes of Game 4 on Truth CTF, but EnVy came back after Huke and Mikwen both got Overkills and capped three flags in a row to eliminate Str8 and move onto the second losers bracket match.

EnVy wins 4-0. 

EnVy vs. OpTic Gaming

Despite Liquid ending their winning streak, EnVy looked to continue their aggressive offensive campaign against the 2016 World Champions. However, OpTic was not about to let the EnVy take the win so easily. Tensions ran high, both sides were on vicious killing streaks as they both attempted to break a 2-2 tie in Game 1 on Coliseum CTF before the game went into overtime. Frosty capped the flag for OpTic in the first minute of OT to take the first win of the series. In Game 2 on Plaza Slayer, OpTic took a slim lead in the last two minutes to secure their second win in a row against the Fall 2016 Champions.

After taking two losses in a row against OpTic, EnVy started Game 3 by taking the lead on Rig Strongholds. EnVy had picked up a 48-0 lead before OpTic nearly stopped EnVy in their tracks and took the game 100-63. In CTF in Game 4, OpTic was ready to take the whole series home, capping one flag. But it took all their offensive energy to suppress a full-court press from EnVy. In a fast paced game, OpTic focused everything on keeping EnVy from regrouping as they played every second of the clock, not even realizing they had won until the room exploded with cheers when the last seconds ran off the clock.

OpTic Gaming wins 4-0.

After their amazing journey throughout the Halo World Championship 2017, OpTic Gaming came out yet again as World Champions and proving that they are this year’s greatest Halo team in the world.

Before the champions took their trophy home and got some well-deserved rest, I was able to ask Lethul a few questions in an interview that was originally published on the ESL website

Here's to next year! 

ESL Halo World Championship Pro League Series Starts Today Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:37:38 -0400 tofuslayer

After an intense series of qualifiers all over the world, the top 12 Halo teams in the world will meet in Burbank, California at the ESL campus to fight for undisputed Halo supremacy. As well as a share of the $1,000,000 prize pool.

The final lineup for the ESL Halo World Championship Pro League Series is as follows:

North America

  • OpTic Gaming
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Team Liquid
  • Str8 Rippin
  • TMMT Crowd Pleasers (Formerly Pnda Gaming)
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • Splyce


  • Fab Games eSports
  • Supremacy
  • London Conspiracy


  • Team Immunity 

Latin America

  • SoaR Gaming (Formerly Shock The World)
Group A: TMMT Crowd Pleasers, Supremacy, OpTic Gaming

Obviously, OpTic Gaming has been looking sharp throughout the qualifiers, after finishing in first at the Las Vegas Qualifiers and is favored by many to place high. However, the rest of Group A shouldn’t be brushed off. Many did not see TMMT finishing in the top 6 for NA, the addition of Danoxide to the roster plus a solid performance in Las Vegas earned them a spot at finals. I’m personally very interested in seeing TMMT’s performance at Finals after watching them play through the Las Vegas Qualifier. Supremacy shouldn’t be counted out just yet either. After adding Solar to their lineup, the French team beat out many favored U.K. teams to qualify for Finals.

Group B: London Conspiracy, Team Liquid, Luminosity Gaming

London Conspiracy returned to the Halo Scene with a vengeance after acquiring the Team Vibe roster. LC was beat out of the EU bracket at the hands of Sy, but after their performance at the EU Last Chance Qualifier, it’ll be interesting to see how they compete against some of the top NA teams, especially in their match against OpTic. In addition, new Liquid roster asserted themselves as a dangerous opponent against OpTic during the qualifiers, and anyone who doubted the new Liquid roster after the St. Louis Qualifiers definitely saw the potency in this new lineup after they secured their second place win at Las Vegas. Finally, like Liquid, LG did not perform their best at St. Louis, but returned to Las Vegas with an aggressive performance that earned them their place at Finals. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Group B does at Finals.

Group C: Splyce, Team Immunity, Team EnVyUs

Splyce was very close to qualifying for Worlds before Luminosity eliminated them at Las Vegas Qualifiers. They managed to come back and become the final NA team to head to Finals after winning the Last Chance Qualifier by taking out CryptiK in a second BO7. It’ll be exciting to see how the young roster performs against EnVyUs, the Fall 2016 champions, in the first match on the main stream. Pistola of EnVyUs had an absolutely deadly performance at Las Vegas, and I’m personally going to be keeping my eyes on his feed at Finals. The Australian team iM will also have their first match against EnVyUs, and after iM’s total domination at the ANZ Qualifier, I’m anticipating a solid performance from the Australian team against the top ranking NA team.

Group D: SoaR Gaming, FAB Games Esports, Str8 Rippin

SoaR asserted themselves as the top Latin American team at Mexico City Qualifiers, but many are doubting the roster’s ability to stack up against the top EU and NA teams. After SoaR’s performance at the LA Qualifiers, I think they’ll put up a fight against the German team, FabE, in their first match at Finals. FabE also struggling against the notion that EU teams aren’t a competition for the top NA teams in Halo, but after their first place win at London Qualifiers, I see FabE putting on a great show to prove those stereotypes wrong. I’m anticipating a great match between FabE and Str8 after the NA team’s tenacious performance in the NA Qualifiers where Str8 came back from the losers bracket in Las Vegas to make it to Finals.

Who are you rooting for? Do you mind that global teams are allowed in the finals? Let us know in the comments below!

Twitter Teams Up With ESL & DreamHack To Deliver Live eSports Fri, 03 Mar 2017 04:24:52 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today it was announced that Twitter, ESL, and DreamHack have a new partnership to provide eSports to fans.

The deal among the three companies will be to livestream events, and produce exclusive original content together.

Fans of professional gaming will have the ability to view tournaments for ESL & DreamHack via Twitter. The first event to be streamed will be Intel Extreme Masters Katowice tournament on March 4.

ESL will be producing live content for Twitter, including a 30 minute weekly show. The show will include highlights and a look of behind-the-scenes. DreamHack events will be streamed starting in April.

As shared by Anthony Noto, Twitter's COO, the deal was born out of the growing presence of eSports; the fandom and sponsorship surrounding it.

“Esports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content. By partnering with the leading esports companies like ESL and DreamHack, we look forward to bringing the best of esports live video and conversation together on Twitter.”

The events will be viewable across all devices with access to the Twitter platform. Fans of eSports can look forward to seeing their favorite professionally played games starting this weekend.

What Is It About Rocket League That's Making It Dominate Steam and PS4? Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 Henri Herrera

Rocket League is a vehicular soccer video game developed and published by Psyonix. It was first released for Microsoft Windows and PS4 in July 2015, with ports for Xbox One, OS X and Linux being released in 2016. Soon after release, Rocket League became an official sponsored eSport, joining ESL (Electronic Sports League). In September 2015, Major League Gaming (MLG) announced the first season of the Pro Rocket League, which was held in September through early October.

During the reception, the game got mostly positive reviews and got a lot of players in a small amount of time. Psyonix got 120,000 players when they were expecting around 30,000. Design director, Corey Davis said in a GDC talk:

"I didn't know if we were going to cover server costs. Steam covered everything and they pay very quickly, which was important. I can't really imagine what we would have done if we'd shipped only on PlayStation 4 and got that many users."

No one can argue that Rocket League came out of nowhere, and allowed us to play with friends. Imagine playing with three other friends and just laughing at the TV, even if none are Soccer or Racing games fans.

Psyonix never spent a dime on traditional marketing, instead they sent copies of the unreleased game to Youtubers and Twitch streamers. Since 2008 we've seen Twitch streaming and YouTube gaming channels take over, with both now attracting huge, incredibly influential audiences. Davis said:

"Reddit was absolutely massive for us. The PS4 subreddit picked our game up during the beta and that's what blew us really wide, we think. The GIFs took over. We think that's where it all basically started"

Rocket League is a game where you can see one GIF and automatically understand what's happening, even if you've never used a computer or console. Unlike for example a MOBA, where you need to understand the characters, items, and skills to know what's going on. Just like with Soccer, you don't have to play the game yourself to appreciate a skillful shot, or a clever bit of teamplay.

Early versions of Rocket League included a crafting system, which had players collecting resources that were then used to craft various parts for their vehicles. It's not clear if these we're ever intended to be anything other than cosmetic changes (Rocket League, even now, is all about hats), but the system was being designed primarily with monetisation in mind. Davis said:

"Critically, it freed us up to focus on the game and not free-to-play systems. We felt like developing a game as free-to-play was turning us into monetisation designers and not game designers, we weren't really focusing on what was best for the player, but what was best for monetising the player."

Dropping the system made them delay some more months. Rocket League was originally set to release in either November or December 2014, but thanks to a new party system, dedicated servers, the team's desire for 60FPS and the drastic change in business model, it wouldn't appear until early July 2015.

The extra time also allowed the implementation of the party system, which was a new idea for it's developers. Corey Davis said:

"I don't know how to imagine Rocket League without it being easy to party up with your friends and queue. That's a big part of the appeal."

Dropping a bad idea and making sure to have one game that would make them proud of their work really paid off. It allowed Psyonix to deliver the entertaining and fun game that Rocket League is. It really doesn't matter if you're not a soccer or racing fan you can enjoy Rocket League and have a lot of fun.

Now you know the story behind this amazing game, and how a soccer game with small cars, that came out of nowhere, became a dominate force on Steam and PS4. Do you want to play with friends and have fun online or all sitting on a couch? Do you want to play competitively? Or is it more appealing  for you to have a game to play casually in that small time off? Then this game is for you.

Past having some basic familiarity with controllers or keyboards Rocket League is easy to learn for anyone, but to truly master the game and play competitively you will need a lot of time to learn the game though. This is what makes the game so special, the ease of pick up and play and understanding in what is happening. So if you're up to have some fun with a simple, well made game, hurry up and get Rocket League.

Sony Announces Partnership With ESL For PS4 Tournaments Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:50:50 -0400 Angie Harvey

Sony has announced that they've officially partnered with ESL to bring competitive tournaments to the PS4. So now fans can compete directly from their consoles.

To celebrate the beginning of the NBA season, NBA 2k17 will be the first major tournament that players can participate in. The tournament will run from October 27 to November 26, with Major Cup rounds occurring every Saturday. Sony has revealed that prize packs will be available for the top three winners, with items such as a DualShock 4 and PlayStation gear on offer to win.

If NBA 2k17 isn't for you, you can participate in any of the following upcoming tournaments:

  • FIFA 17
  • WRC5
  • Project Cars
  • Madden 17
  • Mortal Kombat XL

Sign-ups are currently open and can be accessed via the Events app that is featured on your PS4's system menu. Keep in mind that if you are interested in signing up, you will need to own a copy of the game, have PlayStation Plus membership, and also have an ESL account. ESL accounts can be created at when you sign up if you don't already own one.   

At this time, tournaments will only support 1-on-1 matches. However, Sony is committed to enhancing the feature in the future. 

Will you be participating in any tournaments? Let us know in the comments section below!

PlayStation Partners with ESL to Bring Tournaments Feature to PS4 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 04:49:24 -0400 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

Sony has just announced a new Tournaments feature for the PS4. Partnering with ESL, the feature will deliver numerous ESL organised tournaments to a wide variety of games. You'll be able to sign up to these tourneys directly from the PlayStation 4's Events menu, and the system will automatically prompt you when it's time to play your matches.

The feature is set to go live immediately with an NBA 2K17 tournament slated to run from October 27 to November 26, with major cup rounds taking place every Saturday. Signups for this event open today. More events will follow in the near future, with titles such as Mortal Kombat X and Project CARS already stated to be joining the ranks.

Global integration is confirmed, with 15 languages already supported. At present, the feature only supports 1 on 1 matches, but updates and enhancements will be sure to follow. Be sure to check out your Events menu on the PS4 to see it in action.

The official PlayStation statement has been posted on the official PlayStation blog.

What kind of games would you like to see receive this tournament support? Let us know in the comments.

ESL One New York Sets Digital Engagement Record Fri, 07 Oct 2016 08:23:03 -0400 Glitchieetv

ESL, the world's largest eSports organization, brought a record-setting event to New York's Barclays Center. Featuring live music, virtual reality, and top-tier competitive Counter-Strike Global Offensive and Street Fighter V matches, the event on October 1st and 2nd generated a record-breaking amount of digital engagement. 

Kicking things off with 8,500 fans attending each day of ESL One New York in person, the event generated 20 million unique online viewers. 80,000 Twitter accounts joined the conversation, generating over 182,000 tweets. Between Facebook and Twitter, 122 million impressions were generated by seven million fans. Most of the content itself came from ESL, including backstage coverage and highlights. These numbers all equal to ESL One New York being the most talked about ESL event ever.

What made the event so discussion worthy?

This was the first eSports to utilize VR technology and stream it around the world. used its LiveVRCast to broadcast what Wonderland VR captured at the Barclays Center. Not only that, but the live music featured Krewella and an apperance by Ice-T.

All this, combined with ESL's dedication to offering highly skilled competitive games with top-of-the-line event experiences, made it the most talked about ESL event in history.

The ESL Overwatch Atlantic Showdown is Live! Sat, 20 Aug 2016 08:07:38 -0400 Sweat___

The ESL Overwatch Atlantic Showdown has begun! August 20th and 21st, at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, 8 teams will play for their share of the $100,000 prize pool.

Some of the best Overwatch teams in the world are playing including EnVyUs, Cloud9, REUNITED, and CompLexity Gaming (formerly Team SoloMid). With names like these in the tournament there's bound to be some intense games.

Qualifiers for this event have been ongoing over the summer starting in July. The final qualifiers, which decided the competitors for the Atlantic Showdown, took place on August 3rd and 4th. Twitch sensation, and popular Overwatch player, Seagull, and his team Mixup (who had just signed to NRG eSports) were eliminated at that time.

This is the first international Overwatch event, featuring 4 qualifiers from NA and 4 from EU. The tournament will be being broadcast from the Alpha stage this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday. If you, like many others, are unable to catch the event in person you'll be able to watch the games live through ESL or on Twitch on August 21st and 22nd.

Overwatch Tournament With Over $100,000 Prize Pool And Open Qualifiers At Gamescom Cologne Sun, 26 Jun 2016 07:45:06 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

ESLGaming will be hosting the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown at this year's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Gamescom will take place on the weekend of August 18th-21st. 

The tournament will feature open qualifiers which start the first weekend in July and take place on each subsequent weekend for the rest of the month. The 8 teams that make it through qualifiers, 4 from NA and 4 from EU, will jet off to Germany to compete for a six figure prize pool. 

Overwatch's upcoming Competetive Mode will be used for the tournament. In order to have some variance in what maps are played, there will be a rotation of six maps that shift weekly with at least one of Overwatch's four game modes in each set. There will be no map vetoes, but the loser of the first game in best of three or five formats will be able to choose what map is played next.

For a game that has only been out for a month, a six-figure prize pool is a good deal of money, but it isn't extremely surprising because of how much hype the game's received around the world and the amount of marketing that Blizzard has done.

If you're interested in signing up for Overwatch Atlantic Showdown, you can check out ESL's North American and European websites for the tournament.


ESL One Heading to the Barclays Center in October Wed, 04 May 2016 09:55:40 -0400 Cresta Starr

ESL is teaming up with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY to bring one of the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions to the East Coast. The leading eSports company will host the games on October 1-2, 2016.

Home to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders, this world-renowned venue will provide a stage for ESL’s signature event series.The top 8 CS: GO teams from around the world will compete in a double elimination group stage. Single-elimination, best-of-three matches will follow on the main stage.

With more games still to be announced, ESL One wants to give fans a first class event. This time around the prize pool is $250,000 USD, and this intense two day CS:GO competition will be in line with the ESL One tradition of great tournaments. In addition to the action packed-games, there will be fan activities for the spectators of the games to enjoy. This includes: pro player autographs, virtual reality experiences, the ESL Shop, and much more!

Tickets will go on sale May 17, 2016. for more information about tickets and the event please visit the ESL One website.

Xbox is trying to Break the Internet but, in a good way Sun, 20 Mar 2016 13:33:41 -0400 JunaeBenne

Electronic Sports League and Microsoft band together to bring tournament software to Xbox Live, Xbox Live Tournament Platform.  

ESL's new partnership with Microsoft is an innovative step to facilitate more than Call of Duty or Halo tournaments. The Xbox Live Tournament Platform  will allow Xbox to branch off into news games and to run tournaments from the actual console. Chad Gibson, group program manager at Xbox Live stated, the app could be used by gamers to create Rocket League tournaments. The Platform will support both Xbox One and Windows 10.

Not only is Microsoft trying to dive into cross platform gameplay they are trying to bring a solid method of hosting those games, which makes perfect sense; why would you make Blu-Ray players and not make Blu-Rays? You wouldn't! Microsoft has created an esports league for Halo.

There isn't any mentions of a beta or preview for this app but, continue to look forward to a message on XBL asking you to be the first to preview it. 

Is Drug-Testing necessary in eSports? Tue, 23 Feb 2016 04:15:10 -0500 Eric Adams

The eSports industry is growing day by day. It's not surprising to see that, after a generation of people playing Mario and other video games, professional video game playing is becoming a valued commodity. Now that TV networks are looking to cash in, it only seems fair that we take eSports seriously in every way. This includes banning those who cheat, and handing out discipline to people who gain some type of unfair advantage. So how does someone gain an unfair advantage while playing a video game?

Adderall and Other Drugs

Remember the film Limitless? Bradley Cooper decides to take a pill and all of a sudden he can use his entire brain. He becomes the smartest guy alive, only to crash when he is off the pill. Well, the real-life alternatives to such a drug are popular medications such as Adderall, Vyvanse and plenty of other drugs that allow you to focus for extensive periods of time.

What does this have to do with the ESL (Electronic Sports League)? Well, imagine you're playing Halo while on Adderall and everybody else is just playing for fun -- without the help of substances. You most likely will have the sharpest focus of everyone playing, along with better reaction time. That's an unfair advantage. This is why drug testing is needed in eSports.

 During an interview last year, Cory "Semphis" Friesen admitted to using Adderall, and it did not surprise the interviewer -- nor did it surprise many fans. In the interview, the interviewer remaked that everyone at ESLN was on Adderall, which Friesen confirmed.

The fact that many fans expect these eSports professionals to use amphetamines is the problem. When Friesen made the comments, it put the spotlight on a large issue for the ESL. Although the new drug testing laws will prevent people from using performance enhancing drugs, it will do nothing to penalize those who have used before.

 Pills are not the only drugs being tested for. The ESL announced a long list of the stimulants, narcotics, and cannabinoids that it will be testing for. The list is based on the list of substances tested for in the Olympics. One noticeable omission is marijuana. The ESL has stated that the only time they will be testing for marijuana will be on the first and last day of tournaments.

Taking a Stand

 For eSports to be taken seriously and be viewed like any other sport, they needs to be treated like any other sport. This means that the drug users and cheats of the sport need to be disciplined if they violate the rules. Allowing people to take a performance-enhancing drug in order to gain an unfair mental or physical advantage would take away from the sport's credibility.

 The ESL is a growing company that is bringing in millions of viewers each year. The 2014 League of Legends championship attracted more than 27 million viewers, making it more popular than Game 7 of the 2014 World Series of Baseball. It is officially time to take eSports seriously, and that means holding competitors to a higher standard. Drug testing will allow the ESL to move forward in a professional manner, and do so credibility. We're looking at the start of a global gaming phenomenon; the cheaters need to be left behind.  

ESL releases Aftermovie for One Cologne 2015 Wed, 14 Oct 2015 07:24:57 -0400 Auverin Morrow

Over 11,000 fans watched the intense CS: GO action in Germany during the ESL One Cologne 2015. Now, ESL has released the official Aftermovie, which highlights some of the best moments from the tournament.

In a fierce head-to-head competition, Swedish eSports behemoth Fnatic defeated the French team EnVyUS and took home a huge chunk of the $250,000 prize pool. This victory cemented their place as the world's best Counter-Strike team, as they've already won two major titles for the game - a world record in itself. Congratulations, Fnatic!

Gears of War makes the plunge into eSports by partnering with ESL Sat, 22 Aug 2015 08:42:51 -0400 Marshall Jenkins

When we asked if Gears of War had a place in eSports this week, it seemed that an answer was being brewed by the employees of The Coalition and ESL. At their competative showcase yesterday that showed off multiplayer gameplay from top players. The companies announced the formation of the Gears of War Pro League. The league, which launches in October, will be an attempt to return to form for the series, which had a brief stint in the MLG circuit a few years ago. 

"This league will be the premier place for the best Gears of War teams in North America to compete at the highest level of play. Starting in September, ESL will be running 8 preseason cups to allow players to refine their skills, prepare for the Pro League and compete for a $500 weekly prize pool."

 Footage from yesterday's competitive showcase

This is just the beginning. Starting in October, the best teams that have refined their skills in the September preseason will be working towards a worthy end goal. With a grand final set for January 2016, the best teams in the league will fight for a slice of the $50,000 prize pool, with 1st place receiving $20,000. 

The Coalition has their work cut out for them. Along with the upcoming release of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on August 25th, game balance will be the defining issue for the league. What weapons will be overpowered or underpowered? What mechanics will need to be tweaked? What maps are worthy of a competitive spotlight? We shall see if the mere weeks after launch will be enough for them to answer these questions before the league begins in September. 

ESL announced details of anti-doping policy, but did they miss some things? Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:57:54 -0400 Samantha Wright

In July Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Kory "Semphis" Friesen admitted that he and his team used Adderall, a drug used to treat ADHD, during the Electronic Sports League event One Katowice held in March. The confession stirred outcry and the ESL responded by saying they would team up with NADA, Nationale Anti-Doping Agentuar, and WADA, World Anti-Doping Agency, to ensure fair competition in future events.

ESL has now released the details for their new policy.

The ESL is banning all substances under the prohibited list on WADA's website. They will be using a saliva test, contrary to the skin tests they announced using previously.

The tests will be performed at their discretion, at any point in time during the event, in a designated testing area. The tests will be randomized, and could easily hit all or the majority of players.

The ESL will make exceptions for those with a prescription for a certain medication like Adderall as long as the player notifies the ESL before the first match is scheduled to start. 

If a player tests positive, punishment will range from prize money/tournament points deducted to disqualification and a two-year ban from all ESL events. Each case will be evaluated individually.

Some substances are hard to trace.

However, despite some fans encouraging the ESL for moving in the right direction for fair play, others are already criticizing the policy. One Redditor is convinced this will solve nothing:

"This simply won't stop players who want to use stimulants from using them. There's countless research chemicals available legally that will not show up on any test. I can think of 3-FPM, Ethyphenidate, Isopropylphenidate, MPA and there's tones of others." -homogenized_milk

These drugs are often referred to as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) or "legal highs" which, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine, means drugs that are molecularly altered to get around laws while mainting the same effects. Not only are these drugs technically legal because they change so often the government can't keep up, they don't often show up on drugs tests. Though according to Crew Enterprise, a UK based drug agency, just because the drugs have a lower chance of being detected, doesn't mean they can't be detected; there is a risk of being caught with such drugs, but it's much less likely.

The test method is under fire.

Others are complaining that randomized tests are worthless. There's no guarantee that someone on these medications will actually get caught. If they don't appear that they are on drugs, the ESL could completely pass over them.

Yet the list of complaints strings further. Another Redditor spoke out against the saliva test itself:

"Let it be known saliva tests are by far the easiest tests to mask against." -Babarski

According to Omega Labs, a leading company in drug testing, various adulterants have been tested but none have proven to affect the results of saliva tests. However, the U.S. National Library of Medicine tested something a little different than adulterants. Foods and techniques that produce more saliva, like chewing gum, can alter the concentration of the drug. If done properly, there is no guarantee drug use would show up on a saliva test. The National Library of Medicine also states that the effectiveness of the test is based upon how much saliva can be gathered. If enough saliva can't be gathered then the test can't be conducted. Low levels of saliva can be impacted by a range of physiological factors which includes drugs use itself.

Though the ESL is aiming for fair play in e-sports, they still have a long way to go before their methods are perfect and fool proof.  

The full announcement can be found here

Competitive gamers set to face tournament drug testing Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:26:37 -0400 Callum Wiggins

ESports have taken a step towards comparability to established sporting competitions recently, due to suffering the negative publicity of participants relying on performance-enhancing drugs in the pursuit of victory. The Electronic Sports League (ESL) have taken strides to work alongside the World Anti-Doping Agency to ensure fair play among the gamers.

This follows the revelation that Counter-Strike professional gamer Kory Friesen, aka Semphis, admitted that he and others in his team had taken ADHD medication Adderall in a tournament back in March. Adderall increases a player's concentration, awareness and initiative, making it an ideal performance-enhancing drug in the realm of eSports.

This revelation has led many experts within the video game and competitive gaming environment to believe that drug use is becoming a widespread problem within the competitive gaming environment.

Considering the massive popularity of many eSports tournaments on streaming sites, and subsequently increasing the prize money pools, drug use could become a major problem without tougher restrictions

The ESL released the following statement regarding the new drug testing regulations set to take place in their tournaments:

“In order to maintain the fair play spirit of our sport, ESL has partnered with NADA (Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, located in Bonn, Germany) to help research and determine an anti-PEDs policy that is fair, feasible and respects the privacy of the players, whilst simultaneously providing conclusive testing results. Additionally, ESL will meet with WADA (World Anti Doping Agency, with headquarters located in Montreal, Canada) to actively involve them in the making, enforcing and further internationalizing of this policy to regions like the US, Asia and Australia.”

The company have stated a desire to introduce skin-testing at its next big tournament in Cologne in August, although as of yet a list of banned substances have yet to be released. Also, initiatives have been put forward to educate professional gamers of the dangers of drug use, as well as coping with the mental pressure of competitive gaming.

This is a necessary and good step in the right direction, but still is only the first step of many more required going forward.

Currently, the ESL is the only eSport organization to have made plans to introduce drug testing at events

Other organizations like Major League Gaming (MLG) have yet to make announcements in this vein.

Furthermore, due to the costly nature of drug testing within any sport or enterprise, it is questionable as to how far these regulations will reach. Indeed, ESL have already told sources that testing will only take place in large tournaments, and not for qualifiers for such events. This could prove just as damaging, as numerous teams and gamers progress might progress to the finals of tournaments on the back of illegal drug usage.

Still, it is important to send the right message of playing fairly and safely going forward. Of course, this is only the first step of what will hopefully become a wider phenomenon of strict policies in the upcoming months and years. But, this is undoubtedly a necessary occurrence, and one that will be valuable in building the legitimacy of competitive gaming in the long-term.

The ESL says "NO" to performance-enhancing esport drugs Thu, 23 Jul 2015 07:35:09 -0400 CallSignDriver

Oh, eSports, you're becoming more and more like traditional sports every day! Your athletes enjoy celebrity status, your largest events fill stadiums with thousands of cheering fans, and now you've got your very own "doping" controversy!

Adderall is a psychostimulant amphetamine used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) by improving focus and alertness. If you've ever been to college, you're also probably aware that Adderall is frequently abused, sold, and traded to individuals without prescriptions to assist in late-night cramming sessions. Now it seems that abuse has crossed over into the competitive gaming circuit, where 25 milligrams of extra focus could make all the difference.

When Cory "Semphis" Friesen admitted to using Adderall in an interview last week, it didn't come as much of a surprise to many fans--and that's the problem.

2.6.4 Drugs and Alcohol

To play a match, be it online or offline, under the influence of any drugs, alcohol, or other performance enhancers is strictly prohibited, and may be punished with exclusion from the ESL One.

Now that Friesen's statements have brought this issue into the spotlight, it appears that The ESL is finally taking action to prevent further incidents. Responding to an email from Motherboard, ESL Head of Communications Anna Rozwandowics announced that the ESL will be taking "steps to move forward with drugs policing, education, and prevention among participants of [its] competitions."

While this means the implementation of a new policy, this does nothing to penalize those who have so frequently broken the rule in the past--including Cory Friesen.

"We have no way of knowing whether Semphis, despite what he said, has actually taken Adderall or not. We can't punish someone if we are not 100 percent sure he is guilty. And as we have no way to test it anymore (we're four months after the event), we won't take action in this specific case."