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Last chance to make the finals: Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit has begun

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Last chance to make the finals: Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit has begun

Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit kicks off today after last month’s event in Atlanta. Once again, 128 StarCraft II players will send their forces against each other in hopes of making it to the final in Washington DC this September. 

Seven players have already secured their slots from the previous Battle Grounds, including last month’s Atlanta winner, Choi “Bomber" Ji Sung. You can watch this weekend’s fights below.

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Spend the weekend watching Red Bull Battle Grounds Atlanta right here

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Spend the weekend watching Red Bull Battle Grounds Atlanta right here

Red Bull Battle Grounds is in Atlanta for the weekend, seeing competitors duke it out over three days in StarCraft 2. The victor gets a spot in the Battle Grounds Grand Finals in Washington DC this September. 

A whopping 128 players will be whittled down to one across the three day event. It’s a diverse bunch of players, too, as it was an open registration format, welcoming old pros and new competitors alike. Take a gander below to watch the stream, and come back each day for more StarCraft 2 battles. 

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eSports Titanics and financial icebergs - What ESGN's problems mean for eSport

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eSports Titanics and financial icebergs - What ESGN's problems mean for eSport

Last week, OnGamers broke the news that the ultra-ambitious eSports venture ESGN (eSports Global Network) has run into massive financial difficulties after less than a year of operations. With staff still waiting for overdue salary and a possible strike looming, the future looks shaky for this much-hyped organization that promised eSports their first sports network.

But the truth is, ESGN’s difficulties say little about the health about eSports and a lot more about the types of ventures eSports attracts. From the first, ESGN were another eSports Field of Dreams. Now, with the promised audience yet to materialize, that dream is in danger. In eSports, reality must always have its due.

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Back to terra with a thump: Blizzard sue "insidious and harmful" StarCraft 2 cheat devs

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Back to terra with a thump: Blizzard sue "insidious and harmful" StarCraft 2 cheat devs

Blizzard make a point of fortifying all of their games on battle.net, keeping them online even when they don’t necessarily need to be. That seems to make life tricky for would-be hackers, who for the most part are kept at bay by the developer’s server walls.

It turns out they’re the lucky ones. The hackers that do slip through, who manage to sell software that throws the competitive founding of games like StarCraft 2 into disarray - they’re the ones Blizzard take to court.

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Blizzard's sorting out your friends list in the latest Starcraft 2 patch

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Blizzard's sorting out your friends list in the latest Starcraft 2 patch

Awww yiss: "New chat tabs should no longer appear when continuing a conversation with a player who has logged in and out of multiple games."

Not every Starcraft 2 patch can be thrilling, but if your friends list was looking a little scrappy last week, this week's 2.1.2 update will see to it that your buddies will arrange themselves appropriately from now on. It's a bug fix special!

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There's no rush: Blizzard test tentative Zerg balance tweaks for StarCraft II

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There's no rush: Blizzard test tentative Zerg balance tweaks for StarCraft II

Oversized insects were heard joyously clattering their mandibles together last night, as Hydralisks had their anti-air capabilities upgraded. As the other bugs partied, however, the organic turrets remained inconsolable at their stations. The Spore Crawlers had no legs to dance with, for one thing, and had lost a portion of their own power to boot.

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Even esports had a montage: watch the Katowice 2014 highlights

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Even esports had a montage: watch the Katowice 2014 highlights

Katowice, Poland played host to one of the biggest esports events to date, recently. Intel Extreme Masters World Championship finals featured both Starcraft II and League of Legends, while the EMS One finals pit Counter Strike: Global Offensive players against each other for a prize of $250,000. It was won by Virtus Pro, who walked away with $100,000 of the sizable prize pool. 

If you missed the live streams, you can catch up with the highlight reel ESL has put together. Take a gander below. 

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Heroes of the Storm: "a triumph"

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Heroes of the Storm: "a triumph"

Blizzard call Heroes of the Storm a hero brawler. Others call it a MOBA. We call it a triumph. It is Blizzard’s version of what Dota and League of Legends do so well: a compulsive mix of strategy gaming, timing, 5v5 teamplay and ridiculous shoulderpads. Even now, in it’s early alpha stage, it feels a complete blast. 

Here’s why.

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Starcraft 2 senior game designer not comfortable with making big changes

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Starcraft 2 senior game designer not comfortable with making big changes

Starcraft 2’s senior game designers David Kim just finished up a Reddit AMA on Heart of the Swarm balance. 

He managed to answer a lot of questions, and covered a lot of ground. But for anyone hoping that the team will start making bigger updates or big changes when the new expansions drops will be disappointed. 

The point reiterated the most during the AMA was that Blizzard’s Starcraft 2 team are unlikely to ever change their minds about the effectiveness of large changes. And Kim seems quite risk averse, unwilling to make a change unless it’s “completely awesome."

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NASL bids farewell to Starcraft 2, Blizzard, and the WCS

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NASL bids farewell to Starcraft 2, Blizzard, and the WCS

The North American Star League have announced they’re parting ways with Blizzard and will no longer support competitive Starcraft 2 and the World Championship Series.

“Alas, fate has scouted our fast expand, and our time broadcasting StarCraft has come to an end," the team write. “To all of our partners, sponsors, friends, and especially our fans, thank you."

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Hard times for Protoss in latest StarCraft 2 balance patch

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Hard times for Protoss in latest StarCraft 2 balance patch

Blizzard’s latest balance patch for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm attempts to address the disparity between Protoss and Terran, which has become one of the biggest issues in the game.

In keeping with Blizzard’s cautious approach to balance, they’ve made some significant tweaks that will hopefully address the major problems without radically overhauling the way the factions play. Still, there’s no getting around it: Protoss are hit hard with this patch.

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How Gfinity are trying to level-up UK eSports

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How Gfinity are trying to level-up UK eSports

The UK is not generally known as a major eSports hub, but the young Gfinity eSports company are hoping to change that with an ambitious set of eSports events in 2014 and regular broadcasting to go with it. While Gfinity have mostly worked with Call of Duty in the past, they’re now getting into the broader eSports market with Dota 2, Counter-Strike, FIFA, and StarCraft 2.

We talked with Gfinity’s COO Paul Kent about who Gfinity are, why they’re trying to make the UK an eSports hub, and how they’re going to succeed.

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Hive Keeper is Dungeon Keeper by way of Starcraft. It’s free, too

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Hive Keeper is Dungeon Keeper by way of Starcraft. It’s free, too

You may be feeling a little burned by EA’s recent Dungeon Keeper mobile release. It’s the first new game in the franchise for 15 years and by all accounts it’s a soulless, microtransaction-filled grind. Boo to you, EA. Boo to you.

Happily, in the complete opposite end of the marketing spectrum, Andrea Mauro has made a Dungeon Keeper clone with Starcraft 2’s modding tools. He’s released it through the Arcade so anyone can play it, whether they own Starcraft 2 or not.

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End of an e-ra: World Cyber Games halt tournaments and events after 14 years in eSports

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End of an e-ra: World Cyber Games halt tournaments and events after 14 years in eSports

This year, World Cyber Games Inc. won’t be running any tournaments and events, including the World Cyber Games finals in Kunshan - for the first time in 14 years.

This is no Glastonbury-style break to let the sticky convention hall floors recover and the Counter-Strike pros graze for a few months, sadly. Rather, it’s the moment we “say goodbye to the WCG".

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IdrA leaves the game he hates: No more Starcraft II streaming from Greg Fields

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IdrA leaves the game he hates: No more Starcraft II streaming from Greg Fields

Greg "IdrA" Fields today revealed his intention to stop streaming Starcraft II and go back to school. "Over the last 6 months or so streaming revenue has been nearly nonexistent, in part because of awful ad rates and in part because of continually declining viewership," writes Fields. "Casting sc2 tournaments pays very poorly, when considered a significant part of a full time job. A couple thousand dollars for a weekend of talking about a game seems nice, but when it happens maybe once a month it is not a good way to live."

Although he might get involved in e-sports again, for the time being he's taking a break. "I'll be going back to school. I have no plans to stream dota, or any other game right now, as I get very few viewers for it and I feel dumb inviting people to watch me be bad at something."

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Starcraft II tournament being sponsored by Ender's Game on Blu-Ray, of all things

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Starcraft II tournament being sponsored by Ender's Game on Blu-Ray, of all things

Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment are sponsoring an upcoming Starcraft II tournament to plug the Blu-Ray and DVD release of sci-fi romp Ender's Game. It's a first, a movie studio sponsoring an e-sports event, and it's a little bit peculiar. 

The tournament, awkwardly titled "The Ender's Game on Blu-Ray Tournament", will be broadcast on Twitch and MLG.TV between February 5th and 22nd with 32 participants and $20,000 in prize money up for grabs. You can vote for the final 4 of 16 competing in the MLG leg of the tournament between February 3rd and 5th.

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Everybody stream: Blizzard award the best of Twitch in 2013

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Everybody stream: Blizzard award the best of Twitch in 2013

It was Hearthstone’s closed beta last year that cemented Blizzard’s place at the throne of Twitchdom. Oh, sure - StarCraft II and its fascinating metagame had been there for the streaming site’s founding, and the eminently watchable Diablo III a year later. But only when a digital collectable card game immediately began hoovering up featured slots on Twitch’s front page did it become clear that Blizzard’s future would be on film.

That’s a fact Blizzard have recognised themselves in their inaugural Stream Awards - a chance to shower fame and cash on the most dedicated and entertaining public players of their games.

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It's a Starcraft II custom map free-for-all

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It's a Starcraft II custom map free-for-all

Starcraft II's big 2.1 update is a rather significant, almost free-to-play, deal. It went live today, and along with it the ability for owners of the free Starcraft II Starter Edition to play as any of the three races.

But that's not the big deal, nope. The update gives access to all of the custom maps and modes for free, as well. That's a bloody great big slice of content. Anyone, absolutely anyone, can play on the custom maps.  

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Pages

Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
How Gfinity are trying to level-up UK eSports

Dota 2

How Gfinity are trying to level-up UK eSports

As progaming team Quantic implode, a new installment of a sadly common eSports story

League of Legends

As progaming team Quantic implode, a new installment of a sadly common eSports story

2013 in review: eSports' growing pain and growing gains

Dota 2

2013 in review: eSports' growing pain and growing gains

2014 WCS changes - How Blizzard are improving professional StarCraft 2

Esports

2014 WCS changes - How Blizzard are improving professional StarCraft 2