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ESPN "delighted" by Dota 2 viewing figures; expect more eSports coverage in the future

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ESPN "delighted" by Dota 2 viewing figures; expect more eSports coverage in the future

While there were a few people who tuned into ESPN’s coverage of the Dota 2 International and became distressed, confused and, in some cases, downright angry, the sports broadcaster was “delighted" with how the coverage went. 

The apparent success of ESPN’s International schedule has, a source close to the broadcaster told The Daily Dot, led to it looking to expand coverage of eSports.

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IeSF opens male-only Hearthstone tournament to all genders, changes policy for good

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IeSF opens male-only Hearthstone tournament to all genders, changes policy for good

The wider news world tends to discourage public u-turns by punishing politicians for ‘flip-flopping’. But a turnaround at the right junction can be a win for all: the replacement of a gross negative with an unmitigated positive.

So it is here: the South Korean eSports organisation which previously prevented women from competing in Hearthstone has revised its rules. Its designated male-only tournaments will henceforth be open to all - and they’re keeping their female-only events in an effort to “improve representation".

If you're some how not playing the elegant CCG, you should read our Hearthstone review and find out why you really should.

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Dota 2 tournament ESL One Frankfurt had over 12,500 spectators in the arena each day

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Dota 2 tournament ESL One Frankfurt had over 12,500 spectators in the arena each day

ESL One Frankfurt 2014, the recent Dota 2 tournament, was the largest eSports competition in Germany and one of the largest worldwide. More than 12,500 spectators crammed into the Commerzbank-Arena to watch the matches each day, while ESL says millions more watched the streams.

We really do need more of this sort of thing in the UK, something Jules championed in regards to League of Legends live events earlier today. As someone who only goes to see the occasional rugby match, I don’t often find myself getting the chance to enjoy passionate crowds roaring and cheering as teams and players clash.

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2.4 billion hours were spent watching eSports in 2013

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2.4 billion hours were spent watching eSports in 2013

eSports saw significant growth last year as more time was spent watching the likes of League of Legends, Dota 2 and Starcraft II battles. Despite mainstream news and sports coverage in the US, it’s still presented as fairly niche outside of the industry, but a report from IHS Technology claims it is anything but. 

The report states that hours spent watching eSports rose from 1.3 billion hours in 2012 to 2.4 billion hours last year. This includes watching eSports online through platforms like Twitch as well as on TV. 

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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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EA know eSports isn't stopping - and want to get involved

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EA know eSports isn't stopping - and want to get involved

Sports! The generalised, foam hand-waving, anything-with-a-ball sense of the term. That’s the world new EA CEO and triathlonite Andrew Wilson came up in, as chief custodian of FIFA, Madden and the NHL games. It’s a world he understands.

But now somebody’s gone and stuck a new vowel to the front of the word, and it’s become an entirely different beast. Companies who aren’t EA are filling LA stadiums with baying video game fans, and Wilson and friends would like a slice of that pie chart to show to their shareholders, please.

To that end, the CEO is eyeing up the publisher’s series’ as potential eSports candidates - and not just the ones about men in shorts.

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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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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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Let’s check the replay: GOM eXP are releasing three years of eSports for free

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Let’s check the replay: GOM eXP are releasing three years of eSports for free

Do you remember exactly where you were during the WCS finals of 2011? Or perhaps that blindingly great match during the GSTL in 2012? Now you can relive those moments thanks to GOM eXP’s YouTube channel, which is now home to every season of eSports they’ve covered for the last three years. And whatsmore, you won’t have to pay a penny. 

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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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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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Riot fine League of Legends pro Bjergsen $2000 for poaching another team's players

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Riot fine League of Legends pro Bjergsen $2000 for poaching another team's players

Remember that whole fiasco between progaming teams Ninjas in Pyjamas and Lemondogs as they attempted to trade an LCS spot between them, only to have Riot quash it with a rules change?

Today, Riot added a new twist as they fined Ninjas in Pyjamas’ former mid laner, Soren Bjerg, $2000 for his role in the affair. They found that he was guilty of poaching members of the Lemondogs team, which is odd because it’s usually teams and not players who do the poaching. So how did Bjergsen find himself in the middle of all this? Hint: eSports aren’t always wildly professional.

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

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

Ko "HyuN" Seok Hyun is a tremendous professional StarCraft 2 player who enjoyed an incredibly successful 2013, during which he won DreamHack Valencia, finished second at MLG’s spring championship, and racked up a slew of semifinals appearances in other major tournaments. He should be be at the top of the world right now, except that he may never see a dime of the $23,000 he earned in prize money and salary. Now, with his Quantic team unraveling and his CEO gone missing, one of the best Zerg players in StarCraft may be depending on the kindness of strangers to continue his career.

What’s surprising about this story is that it’s happening to a major player in StarCraft 2. But when it comes to the basic storyline — an absent manager, vanished prize money, financial defeat from the jaws of progaming victory — Hyun’s story is a depressingly familiar one in the world of eSports.

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Shakeups in StarCraft as star players Bomber and MC leave their respective teams

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Shakeups in StarCraft as star players Bomber and MC leave their respective teams

In a pair of ambiguous announcements, Choi “Bomber" Ji Sung announced that he was departing the StarTale StarCraft 2 team while SK Gaming revealed that they were parting ways with their sole StarCraft 2 star, Jang “MC" Min Chul. Neither player’s plans are entirely clear yet, and it’s just the kind of news that will have people guessing about their own intentions and the overall health of StarCraft 2 eSports.

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Discovering Infinite Crisis - How Turbine are building a superhero MOBA with a soul of its own

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Discovering Infinite Crisis - How Turbine are building a superhero MOBA with a soul of its own

Over lunch, Turbine’s Adam Mersky, director of communications, puts it this way, “We have a little experience of going into markets with 800-pound gorillas."

He’s making the case for why Turbine are ready to to succeed in a MOBA market dominated by Valve’s Dota 2 and Riot’s League of Legends. Turbine have historically been an MMO studio, never the team behind the genre-defining smash hit of the day, but surviving several booms and busts with highly-regarded games that speak to a passionate fan base.

“Everyone called characters in Lord of the Rings Online ‘toons’ [old WoW slang for player-characters] for like, the first eight months. But then once they play, they understand and ...start forming their own culture around it. But at this point, you need a point of reference, right?"

Infinite Crisis’ point of reference, for both its potential audience and often for its own developers, is League of Legends. But its guiding inspiration is the the DC Comics universe. It should be a match made in heaven, but first Turbine need to find a way to reconcile their two major influences. Infinite Crisis’ first battle is being waged daily by the development team, as they attempt to define it on its own terms.

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