Did you miss anything from the last week in esports? Swamped with work or school? Somehow slept through the amazing IEM Katowice? VPEsports’ Stories from the Week brings you all the biggest headlines you might have missed.
There was no bigger story in the world of Dota 2 than Valve’s announcement of the DPC 2020-2021 schedule. Next season, Dota 2 will have three mini splits, each featuring a regional league play, followed by a Major. Regional leagues will take place in six regions, and are aimed at nurturing the Tier 2/3 competitive scene — more than the current Minors ever accomplished.
Valve have already outlined the schedule for tournament organizers to submit their proposals to host a Major or a Regional League. TOs will have until March 31 to provide their pitch, and on April 21, Valve will assign the Majors and the Leagues to the chosen TOs.
This is not a good season for PSG.LGD. The team is yet to play a single Major or Minor this season and have zero DPC points to their names. In late February, the team also lost their coach QQQ, who helped them to a 4th, 2nd, and 3rd place at TI7, TI8, and TI9, respectively. And now, their captain and legendary position 4 player Fy might be out the door too.
According to a whiff of rumor from Agressif’s stream, PSG.LGD are in search of a new position 4 support which, if true, likely means that Fy will either switch teams, retire, or swap to another role within LGD. Being a position 4 all his career, though, leaves only the first two options as realistic. If this is the case, it means even more commotion for China’s most consistent team, especially when one also accounts for their position 1 troubles.
In Dota land next door, Valve’s auto chess Dota Underlords is finally out of early access. The game officially launched on Feb. 25, ushering a new season, new rewards, new hero rotation, new items, and three new Alliances.
So far, the game is doing well, averaging 27-30K players each day — triple to what it got used to in the past few months. There are still no signs of growth beyond this number, however, but at least the game is having a heartbeat once again.
Riot Games’ long-teased first person shooter Project A finally has a name: VALORANT. A squad-based shooter with player roles and abilities, VALORANT aims to combine the best of CS:GO, Overwatch, and Team Fortress traditions, and draw in a diverse crowd.
From the little we’ve seen, the game looks clean and readable, which is always a must if it wants to be a successful esport. Riot are targeting a launch for Summer 2020, which is perhaps sooner than expected, but a welcome competition on the FPS market.
Natus Vincere wont he CS:GO tournament at IEM Katowice, pulling off a dominant, almost speedrun-esque performance. S1mple put on MVP-winning numbers for his team and his showmanship and master of the game drew a peak of 1M concurrent viewers, making IEM Katowice the most watched non-Major CS:GO tournament of all time.
NaVi now look forward to contesting the Major trophy in Rio in May and if they keep this form, not even the Astralis’s and Team Liquid’s of the world might be able to stop them.
Last Wednesday, the Shanghai government made an official statement regarding the coronavirus outbreak in China and the affect it has on esports. The spread of the virus has so far delayed the LPL by more than a month, cancelled many Overwatch League homestand games, forced a delay on MSI 2020 announcement, and even forced major tournaments outside China, like IEM Katowice and Korea’s LCK, to be played without audience.
Shanghai has it especially tough, as the city is penned to be the host of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. While the government stated that it will do “everything in our power to host Worlds 2020”, if the coronavirus outbreak is not contained and eradicated, Riot might have to look for a different venue for their crown event.
The recently concluded DreamHack Anaheim was supposed to be a big weekend for Warcraft 3: Reforged, as it hosted the first major LAN tournament for the game. After Reforged launched to a myriad of bugs and missing features, and spawned a massive wave of community discontent, the Anaheim LAN, stacked with some of the biggest pro players in Warcraft 3, was a chance for the fans to get their minds off of all the issues.
That didn’t happen. Although the grand finals were a great series between Night Elf legend Moon and Orc veteran FoCuS, Moon’s triumph came amidst a plague of technical issues with the Reforged client, including numerous disconnects all through the tournament.
“This is gross incompetence by the team that made Reforged,” NA Warcraft 3 pro player IncInerator commented.