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Watch the Red Bull Battle Grounds Dota 2 playoffs live

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Watch the Red Bull Battle Grounds Dota 2 playoffs live

With Red Bull Battle Grounds’ first Dota 2 tournament’s grand final less than a week away, the five regional champions have been battling it out today in the Playoffs, which will conclude tomorrow. 

Take a gander at the stream below, where Invictus Gaming will soon be duking it out with HellRaisers. The CIS/Russian team has just challenged their Chinese opponents to a game of table tennis, as well, which might be a chance for the losing team to regain some of its honour. 

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The sports world's divergent reactions to Heroes of the Storm on ESPN

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The sports world's divergent reactions to Heroes of the Storm on ESPN

When cultures collide, the results are often contentious, a little bigoted, and sometimes downright hilarious. That was definitely the case Sunday evening when the Heroes of the Dorm final aired on ESPN2, a channel normally reserved for traditional sports... and whatever the hell other competitions ESPN has the rights to.

Nevertheless, once a video game was featured in the sacred Olympian space that is ESPN2, there were a lot of unhappy people. And a lot of confused people. And they all wanted to let the world know about it.

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Heroes of the Dorm finishes strong on ESPN

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Heroes of the Dorm finishes strong on ESPN

After all its problems, Heroes of the Dorm succeeded where it most needed to: the final, which were broadcast to a bemused ESPN2 audience late on Sunday night. People who were just tuning into Heroes of the Dorm, or who had not followed the tournament’s messy opening stages, saw a close-fought, five-game series between two of the best teams in the tournament, each representing major colleges that are familiar in the context of sports, if not eSports.

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Valve massively revamp competitive Dota 2, announce Dota Major Championships

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Valve massively revamp competitive Dota 2, announce Dota Major Championships

There’s been a lot of angst in the Dota 2 eSports community this year. Valve’s hands-off approach to the competitive scene allowed for a ton of well-regarded, grassroots tournaments series to pop up... but nothing that really caught on the way The International has. Dota 2 is a game with almost nonstop competition year-round... but none of it is particularly important or popular outside of the month or two leading up the The International.

Valve have heard the complaints and the fears, and today they’ve made another massive announcement: Dota 2’s competitive calendar will now include four official “majors" a year, one for each season.

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The price of eSports legitimacy can't be cable network restrictions

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The price of eSports legitimacy can't be cable network restrictions

Among Heroes of the Dorm’s other issues, one huge problem that afflicted it this past weekend was the fact that a large portion of its international audience couldn’t actually tune-in to watch it.

That’s because ESPN3, despite being an online streaming service, isn’t available to a lot of online viewers due to the subscription fees ESPN charges. That left Heroes fans, particularly in Canada, out of luck even as some of their own teams were competing in Heroes of the Dorm.

All for the sake of four letters: ESPN.

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League of Legends Championship Series' spring split ends with series of tie-breakers

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League of Legends Championship Series' spring split ends with series of tie-breakers

After a spring season full of some unexpected twists and turns, the EU and NA LCS divisions concluded regular season play with the usual suspects back on top: SK Gaming finished their redemptive 2015 spring split atop the EU LCS — by far — while Fnatic concluded their maiden voyage with a radically altered roster with a solid second-place. Over in NA, meanwhile, Team Solomid finished with a clean first-place, while tie-breakers played out to determine who would be going to the playoffs, and who would get second-place and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

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YouTube Live could be relaunched as an eSports and game streaming platform

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YouTube Live could be relaunched as an eSports and game streaming platform

While YouTube hosts countless gaming channels and more Let’s Play videos than anyone could possibly know what to do with, when people want to watch streamed content and eSports, chances are they’ll be watching it on Twitch. Google even tried, and failed, to buy Twitch in an effort to get more than a piece of that streaming pie.

Not content to admit defeat, YouTube now might be poised to relaunch YouTube live, its streaming platform, this time with a focus on gaming and eSports. 

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NetEase and Blizzard launch new StarCraft 2 league, Gold Series Pro League, to replace WCS Challenger

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NetEase and Blizzard launch new StarCraft 2 league, Gold Series Pro League, to replace WCS Challenger

For a dead game, StarCraft 2 leagues sure are multiplying in Asia. Chinese internet conglomerate NetEase just announced that they will be operating their own WCS-style tournament, the Gold Series Pro League (GPL) later this year as a part of the WCS system. This will give Chinese players a high-profile domestic tournament of their own that will seed into WCS.

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Nvidia are holding a Hearthstone tournament. Sign up for a chance to nab some of the $25,000 prize pool

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Nvidia are holding a Hearthstone tournament. Sign up for a chance to nab some of the $25,000 prize pool

Nvidia have announced that they they are holding a Hearthstone eSports contest. The Pro/AM Tournament will be host to game played by professional and amateur players who will be looking to grab a share of the $25,000 prize pool, as well as qualification points for the Hearthstone World Championship. 

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ESL increases prize pool for ESL One Dota 2 series to a million dollars

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ESL increases prize pool for ESL One Dota 2 series to a million dollars

The eSports producers at ESL, having brought their Dota series, ESL One, to major sports arenas around the world, have just announced plans to increase the prize pool for each of the ESL One events in the future. That brings the total prize pool for the ESL One 2015-16 season to a million dollars, starting with a $250,000 pool for the upcoming ESL One Frankfurt this June. 

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The Score sports website releases the first eSports mobile app

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The Score sports website releases the first eSports mobile app

One of the things I’ve always complained about in eSports was that keeping track of them is basically a nightmare. You’re either into the scene enough that you hang out on all the forums and wikis and figure out what events are happening and where you can watch them, or you’re missing a ton of important stuff.

Enter Canadian sports website The Score, a mobile-focused sports website. They just released a mobile eSports app that will provide eSports news, track scores, and even live event coverage.

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More allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting activity in pro StarCraft

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More allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting activity in pro StarCraft

A couple weeks ago, betting site Pinnacle Sports voided all bets on a Proleague match based on what they deemed suspicious betting patterns that made them think some bettors had some foreknowledge of the match’s results. Now, over this past weekend, Axiom eSports manager Olivia Wong vented on Twitter that match-fixing has become endemic in the Korean StarCraft 2 scene.

She implicated several tournaments in her comments, and suggested that some pro players were even working with bettors to fix match-results.

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S.K.I.L.L. increases eSports commitment; offering at least €56,000 in prize money

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S.K.I.L.L. increases eSports commitment; offering at least €56,000 in prize money

Gameforge have announced plans to expand on their eSport events, starting with their first person tactical shooter: S.K.I.L.L. – Special Forces 2. Teaming up with the ESL, Gameforge is pouring at least €30,000 euros into the top tier ESL S.K.I.L.L. Pro League, spread across two seasons. The Pro League will also be broadcasted on Twitch.tv via ESL TV.

Counting other ESL leagues and cups, the total prize money up for grabs totals at least €56,000 euros.

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Valve confirms CS:GO match-fixing allegations, issues bans to seven players

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Valve confirms CS:GO match-fixing allegations, issues bans to seven players

A little-noticed upset in competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive last year has been confirmed as a fixed match involving numerous pro-players and thousands of dollars in wagered money. Now Valve has taken action, placing bans against seven people involved in the scandal and directing that partner organizations bar them from participating in any CS:GO events that Valve has sponsored.

It’s another in a growing list of incidents in CS:GO and eSports that highlight problematic standards of behavior and the increasing stakes involved in eSports wagering.

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Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

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Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

A sports betting site has thrown some serious match-fixing allegations at Korean progamer Kang "San" Cho Won in the wake of his defeat in Proleague early on Tuesday. Claiming that “the bet placement pattern clearly indicates that the match was not played on a fair basis," Pinnacle Sports voided all bets.

It’s an ugly accusation for a Korean StarCraft community that is finally on the rebound, and an unwanted reminder of the darkest chapter in the sport’s history.

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NA LCS Expansion tournament concludes this weekend

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NA LCS Expansion tournament concludes this weekend

For the last four teams hoping to join the North American division of the League of Legends Championship Series, this weekend represents the moment of truth. A mix of eSports hopefuls and veteran League of Legends players are fighting for two spots in the 2015 spring split.

For some of them, it would be a dream come true. For others, it would be a last chance to get it right.

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The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

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The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

Following eSports sometimes feels like going to Hell’s Ironic Punishment Division, where you’re force-fed your favorite things until you go mad. “You like eSports, Homer? Have all the eSports in the world!" This weekend, with three major StarCraft tournaments concluding on the same day, is one of those times.

But eSports scheduling clashes are nothing new. What’s surprising this time around is that these tournaments all have championship implications for 2015. Less than a month after StarCraft crowned its world champion, the 2015 campaign has already begun.

I’m not sure I like it.

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Why pro StarCraft 2 has rejected the classic maps

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Why pro StarCraft 2 has rejected the classic maps

If you tune into any StarCraft tournament this month or next, you’ll note that everyone is playing on the same map pool we’ve had since midsummer. In fact, just last week, the DreamHack Open Twitter account reassured viewers that DreamHack winter would be decided using the Season 3 WCS map pool.

What’s striking about all this is that every single tournament organizer has rejected Blizzard’s Season 4 ladder map pool, which was compiled via fan vote from a list of StarCraft 2’s oldest and best-known competitive maps. While fans might wax nostalgic about the days of Daybreak and Ohana, the pro scene seems to be saying that the past is best left to memory.

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