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Counter-Strike DreamHack Championship bolstered by $250k crowdfunding-enabled prize pool

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Counter-Strike DreamHack Championship bolstered by $250k crowdfunding-enabled prize pool

A little more money in progaming can only do good. For our athletes between tournaments, it can mean more time playing, less time fulfilling advertising contracts. And for us, the viewers, higher monetary investment means greater personal investment. It was money, lots of it, that turned this year’s Dota 2 International into the “eSports Super Bowl" - and now a similar crowdfunding initiative is working its magic for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

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Blizzard reshape competitive StarCraft 2 worldwide with 2013 World Championship Series

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Blizzard reshape competitive StarCraft 2 worldwide with 2013 World Championship Series

This evening at a press conference in Korea, Blizzard announced the new format of the 2013 World Championship Series, substantially revising how competitive StarCraft 2 works around the world. The restructuring places the US’s Major League Gaming, Europe’s Electronic Sports League, and Korea’s GSL and Starleague inside Blizzard’s overarching WCS. It is a major step toward Blizzard’s longstanding eSports goal of creating a sensible international tournament series that can credibly identify the world’s greatest player.

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DreamHack Open Stockholm sign-ups and tickets now available

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DreamHack Open Stockholm sign-ups and tickets now available

On the weekend of April 26, Stockholm will play host to the first of five European Heart of the Swarm events spread across 2013. Over the course of two days, a gaggle of nascent victors will come to the fore and claim four places in the Grand Finals. And perhaps one of those signing up today will be declared this year’s DreamHack champion once Winter comes.

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Building Better eSports, Part 1: the simple things

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Building Better eSports, Part 1: the simple thingsAs the new year gets started and we all return to work, I’ve been working on setting coverage priorities for eSports and trying to set a calendar of events that I want to follow. It’s harder than you might think: eSports features a ton of different tournaments, leagues, and formats that can make it hard to identify and stay on top of the major events.

I’ve only covered eSports for about one year, and at some point this will all probably become second nature to me. But I’m also no fool, and yet it still took me about three hours this weekend to find all the info I wanted on tournaments taking place through March. Tellingly, a writer at another site got in touch to ask for help with the same thing. Even for people who watch a fair bit of them, eSports can be frustratingly obscure and hard to love.

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack - the final: how No Tidehunter became the most exciting Dota 2 team on the planet

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack - the final: how No Tidehunter became the most exciting Dota 2 team on the planet

What a final. The Dreamhack Winter Dota 2 final was easily comparable to The International and Dreamhacks Summer counterpart. Three days of five on five glorious action came down to those last three matches. Both EG and No Tidehunter gave it their all, but only one managed to make the crowd roar with ecstasy. It was a stunning match.

No Tidehunter is my new favorite Dota 2 team. Here’s how they won Dreamhack Winter 2012.

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DreamHack Winter concludes with a Team Liquid StarCraft 2 final as HerO sweeps TaeJa, CS:GO ends with a rout, and other eSports news

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DreamHack Winter concludes with a Team Liquid StarCraft 2 final as HerO sweeps TaeJa, CS:GO ends with a rout, and other eSports newsHow bad was HerO’s beat-down of his teammate TaeJa in the DreamHack Winter StarCraft 2 final? Afterwards, as my friends and I sat staring at the screen where the returning champion HerO was being soundly defeated by a champagne cork, one of my friends turned to me and asked, “Was that a thrown match we just saw?"

For the record, nobody at my DreamHack viewing party seriously thought that Yoon “TaeJa" Young Suh or Song “HerO" Hyeon Deok, or anyone from Team Liquid for that matter, would intentionally fix or throw a championship match. But it was also hard to believe, after the normally-superb TaeJa was beaten soundly in four straight games, that he’d contested the DreamHack Winter title nearly as intensely as he had the DreamHack Valencia title or any of his GSL attempts. For one of the world’s top Terrans to lose to his teammate’s Stalker compositions in every game beggared belief.

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack - day two highlights

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack - day two highlightsWhat a day for Dota 2 at Dreamhack. Every single best of three hasn’t gone beyond the second game. The teams at Dreamhack know how to capitalize perfectly on their first victory, sealing the deal in the second game. And while big names have been knocked out, the upstarts from No Tidehunter continue to blow our minds.

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack Day One: Fresh blood take on the champions

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack Day One: Fresh blood take on the champions

Dreamhack Winter 2012 feels different to its summer counterpart. Major teams have vanished from the scene. Some weren’t able to stand being defeated at Valves International, while others just needed a break. Well known teams such as Na’Vi, Evil Geniuses, Absolute Legends and Team Dignitas are facing fresh blood from the likes of No Tidehunter, 4 Friends + Chrille, Out Of Tangos and We haz Asian.

It was a great start for the tournament, quelling most peoples fears of a one sided competition. Even if Na’Vi won all of their games, unsurprisingly, we have seen some great potential coming from the newer teams.

And everyone loves the underdogs, right?

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eSports peace in our time: MLG, DreamHack, and ESL form partnership for 2012 / 2013 seasons

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eSports peace in our time: MLG, DreamHack, and ESL form partnership for 2012 / 2013 seasonsMajor League Gaming, DreamHack, and the Electronic Sports League have announced a partnership for next year that “aims to unify and align DreamHack, ESL and MLG’s eSports activity on a global basis to further competitive activity, benefit players and spectators, alleviate the taxing event schedule, eliminate confusion about global standings and help nurture the development of North American and European players," according a joint press release.

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Team Acer dominates DreamHack Bucharest StarCraft 2 tournament as Nerchio defeats teammate Bly to win final

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Team Acer dominates DreamHack Bucharest StarCraft 2 tournament as Nerchio defeats teammate Bly to win finalDreamHack Bucharest proved a triumph for Team Acer, as Acer teammates Arturo “Nerchio" Bloch (Polish Zerg) and Aleksandr “Bly" Svusuyk (Ukrainian Zerg) took first and second, respectively, and guaranteed themselves placement in the DreamHack Winter tournament next month. They also earned the €7,850 and €4,500 first and second place prizes.

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DreamHack Bucharest StarCraft 2 tournament this weekend offers a big opportunity to European pro community

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DreamHack Bucharest StarCraft 2 tournament this weekend offers a big opportunity to European pro communityA field of mostly European StarCraft 2 pros compete in the DreamHack EIZO Open Bucharest tournament this weekend, the final DreamHack open event prior to the big season-ending DreamHack Winter in Stockholm. It begins tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 AM UK / 4 AM Eastern and will stream free via DreamHack.tv.

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DreamHack Valencia recap and the best games of the weekend

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DreamHack Valencia recap and the best games of the weekendOver this last weekend, DreamHack Valencia played host to some outstanding professional StarCraft 2 as Yoon “TaeJa" Young Suh took first place, and $10,000 prize, and an automatic slot in the DreamHack Winter Grand Finals.

If you missed the Valencia tournament, however, you can get caught up thanks to the replay videos available for free via Dreamhack.tv. There were some great matches you won’t want to miss, particularly an instant classic Game 1 between TaeJa and Ilyes “Stephano" Satouri on the first day of competition.

After the jump, we’ve got links to our coverage and the videos. We also highlight some matches worth checking out, with time stamps to help you find them.

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TaeJa comes back from 0-2 deficit to take first place at DreamHack Valencia

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TaeJa comes back from 0-2 deficit to take first place at DreamHack ValenciaAfter losing two matches in a row to fOrGG in the DreamHack Valencia final, Team Liquid’s TaeJa rallied to win three consecutives games and take the tournament victory and a $10,400 prize.

It was a dramatic ending to a final that briefly seemed like it would a foregone conclusion, like a number of the matches in the last half day of DreamHack Valencia. Both TaeJa (Yoon Young Suh, Korean Terran) and fOrGG (Park Ji Soo, Korean Terran) got the final following decisive 2-0 semifinal victories over TargA (Kristoffer Marthinsen, Norwegian Zerg) and TheStC (Choi Yun Sik, Korean Terran), respectively.

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DreamHack Valencia Day 2 update: a slow start and a shocking turn

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DreamHack Valencia Day 2 update: a slow start and a shocking turnThe second day of StarCraft 2 competition at DreamHack Valencia opened with a largely unsurprising round of 16. Most of the tournament favorites dispatched their opponents to move onto the round of 8, which is ongoing an DreamHack’s Twitch channel.

One early surprise, however, was VortiX’s (Juan Moreno Duran, Spanish Zerg) decisive takedown of Korea’s Kim “ViOLet" Dong Hwan. His brother Pedro, the Terran LucifroN, did not fare nearly as well, falling to TargA 1-2. Fully half of the round of 16’s matches, however, were decided 2-0.

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TaeJa beats Stephano at the end of DreamHack Valencia Day 1, ViOLet and VortiX to start tomorrow

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TaeJa beats Stephano at the end of DreamHack Valencia Day 1, ViOLet and VortiX to start tomorrow

The first day of DreamHack Valencia’s StarCraft 2 tournament ended on a high note with a bitterly contested best-of-three between Ilyes “Stephano" Satouri and Yoon “TaeJa" Young Suh. The Korean Terran take the higher seed over the French Zerg for tomorrow’s round of 16, where they will play alongside stars like ViOLet, VortiX, SaSe, HerO, and LucifroN, to name a few.

The initial round of 64 group play threw up few surprises, but also left some great players facing a very hard road to the round of 16.

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DreamHack Valencia StarCraft 2 tournament begins tomorrow, Valencia eSports Congress today

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DreamHack Valencia StarCraft 2 tournament begins tomorrow, Valencia eSports Congress today64 international StarCraft 2 pros compete for a $10,000 first prize this weekend at DreamHack Valencia, the latest stop in the DreamHack EIZO Open series.

Reigning European StarCraft 2 champ Ilyes “Stephano “ Satouri looks to continue his incredible year and build on his victory last week at the Blizzard World Championship Series European finals. He’ll be competing once again with many of the European stars he just bested, including the Spanish brothers Juan and Pedro Moreno Duran, respectively the Zerg VortiX and and Terran LucifroN, who finished 2nd and 3rd behind Stephano last week.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament coming to DreamHack Winter 2012

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament coming to DreamHack Winter 2012Swedish digital festival DreamHack Winter 2012 is to host a large-scale 5-on-5 tournament for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

16 of the “very best" teams worldwide will fly in to shoot each other in the mug; some invited, others to be decided through online and LAN qualifying rounds. All of this for a prize pool of 300,000 SEK - £28,500 or so.

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mTw take home the Dota 2 Vengeance trophy at Dreamhack

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mTw take home the Dota 2 Vengeance trophy at Dreamhackmortal Teamwork have come away from this weekend’s Dreamhack with the Dota 2 Vengeance trophy after a three game marathon against Natus Vincere. Losing the first match, they managed to pull it back in the second to go on to win the third in an upset that’s unseated Na’Vi as the premier Dota 2 team in the world. This now sets the stage for them to meet again in the International this August, with a score to settle.

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