This Week in Esports
Dates: November 2nd-November 8th
South Korea Wins The 2018 Overwatch World Cup
I don’t think this came as much of a surprise that South Korea won the Overwatch World Cup, even with the hype around some of the other teams. South Korea absolutely dominated the entire tournament winning 8 straight matches, 6 of which they won every game. Their final game record ended up at 28–2. This makes South Korea three-time champions and according to support player, JJoNaK, “without cheating, no one can beat us.” To be honest, that’s pretty hard to dispute after these World Cup matches. What’s amazing is that South Korea, after being so dominant for so long, wasn’t even expected to win the World Cup. All eyes were on Team USA and Team France; even after they were eliminated, fans turned their attention to Team China. South Korea may very well be in a league of their own.
Invictus Gaming Wins The League of Legends World Championship
Invictus Gaming was the clear cut favorite from the beginning and they did not disappoint. Even with Fnatic coming off a dominating performance against Cloud9, the championship match didn’t end up very exciting unless you’re an Invictus fan. With both teams coming off 3–0 victories in the semis we didn’t expect another blowout but Invictus Gaming took the win 3–0. This was nothing like the group stage matches where both teams played exceptionally and made for championship like games; if only those were the actual championships. All Fnatic could do is stand in disbelief as Invictus hoisted the trophy. According to ESPN, “It was the quickest worlds final in history, the overall combined game time of the three games barely cracking over 85 minutes. None of the games went over 33 minutes, and the longest of the bunch, game two, was extended through casual misplays from China’s representative. iG was playing with their food on the largest stage in the sport.” Probably not what anyone expected, nor did any esport enthusiasts hope for, but it’s what we were given and there’s one thing we know for sure: Invictus is the real deal.
PUBG is Going Pro
It’s hard to believe PUBG was the title that couldn’t figure out the professional landscape in 2018 and ride the Battle Royale wave. But with continued criticism about the state of the game, popular streamers moving to other games like Fortnite and Call of Duty, and an almost complete inability to get traction from esports organizations it’s not a surprise. It looks like PUBG is finally making strides to be esports ready as they are laying out plans for 2019. PUBG corp is even quoted saying “PUBG esports is about to get serious.” PUBG corp is offering up $2M in prize money starting in January and will have nine(North America (NPL), Europe (PEL), Korea (PKL), China, Japan (PJS), Chinese Taipei/Hong Kong/Macao, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Oceania) independent regions with their own tournaments. According to the press release, “All of the nine pro regions will be given an opportunity to send their top-performing teams to the Global Championship at the end of the season, which will have a prize pool of at least 2 million dollars.”
Esports One Partners with Riot Games
Esports One is a real-time game analytics company that has now partnered with Riot Games to offer real time stats and analysis for League of Legends in Brazil. According to VentureBeat, “The goal is to help solve one of esports’ biggest challenges: The action unfolds so fast that it’s hard for spectators to know what’s going on in a match. So Santa Monica, California-based Esports One will provide the data and analysis so that broadcasters and fans can follow what is happening more easily.” This is a step in the right direction since the ability to actually know what’s going on in some of these intense esports competitions is one of the larger barriers for new viewers. The viewership for esports is already impressive but the fact that there are 2.6B gamers and only 400M viewers means that this is only the beginning for esports and hopefully making the competitions easier to watch can help bring more of these gamers into the esports community.
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