Mar 11: Fortnite dance lawsuits face setback, League of Legends gets its ranked reset, Apex cheaters banned and Artifact’s designer let go

Good morning all! I am.. super late today, so I’m just going to quickly hand off below. Hope we all had a great weekend, let’s make it an even better week!

Fortnite dance lawsuits face setback

The Supreme Court has ruled that you cannot sue for copyright infringement if your work has not been registered with the US Copyright Office. This strikes a blow to the artists currently suing Epic Games over Fortnite’s emotes, as the copyrightability of dance moves is a contested topic. One of the plaintiffs, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, recently saw his copyright application for the “Carlton” dance shot down in court, which seems to suggest Epic may be out of the woods on this one.

League of Legends gets its ranked reset

After much hand-wringing, Riot Games’ latest League of Legends ranked experiment is coming to an end. Starting March 13th the positional ranking system, which was newly introduced this year, will be phased out. Players’ new rank will be set to the highest they’d achieved on any position. Riot will also be resetting ranks for players in Diamond and above. Positional matchmaking, in turn, has been deemed largely a success and will continue on.

Respawn takes on Apex Legends cheaters

In its latest check-in on Reddit, Respawn Entertainment has detailed the banning of a further 355,000 cheaters, after ridding itself of a “mere” 16,000 last month as well. The increase seems on par with the game’s growing popularity and the developer has pledged to keep similarly scaling up its anti-cheat team. A reporting feature is coming to the game shortly as well.

Excelerate CEO apologizes, new squad announced

Excelerate Gaming CEO Justin Tan has done an interview with VPEsports, addressing last week’s accusations that the organization’s been blackmailing and not properly paying its players and apologizing for his part in it. The allegations surfaced as Excelerate dropped its then Call of Duty roster, which it’s now replaced with a new squad. The latter includes 2 players carried over from the original team. Meanwhile, similar claims have been laid at rival team Midnight Esports’ feet. Presumably they’re sorry as well.

ECS returns to Twitch

After community urging, FACEIT’s CS:GO Esports Championship Series will finally be broadcast on Twitch again. This ends several seasons of YouTube exclusivity for the series. It joins ESL’s offerings which, as reported earlier, are leaving a similar deal with Facebook, giving CS:GO viewers a more centralized way to watch the title’s various competitions.

NVIDIA states the obvious

Graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA has published statistics which suggest that higher FPS gives you a better kill/death ratio in battle royale titles. I’m going to further classify these findings as higher FPS giving you a better *chance* at said K/D, but otherwise they don’t seem like a huge leap.

NoxFire League match-fixing allegations

The NoxFire League, a 16 team European Counter-Strike competition, is under fire after accusations of match-fixing arose against its admins. Results in the league’s games are alleged to have been manipulated using the odds for bets placed on them and an insider source is said to have stepped forward corroborating this.

Artifact’s designer let go by Valve

Last week a relatively small number of layoffs at Valve were reported, which I didn’t think much of at the time as they seemed mostly centered around the company’s VR endeavors. Now, however, it turns out they included Artifact designer Richard Garfield. It’s the latest setback for the game, whose fans are getting desperate for any word from Valve regarding its future.

EA restricts FIFA Icon usage

EA has updated the rules for its FIFA 19 Global Series, restricting how many Icon cards players get to use in competition. The move is intended to even out the disparities between players who own the best (paid-for) Ultimate Team stars and the rest of the field. While everyone’s mostly in agreement that the move is better for the game, some have expressed concern regarding its timing as matches are halfway through qualifiers.

GamersOrigin increases warchest

French esports organization GamersOrigin has raised funds to the tune of €3M. The money will be used to fuel its growth. (On a sidenote, this is likely the last org raising money I’ll be reporting on for a while. I do have plans regarding news from the business side of esports oft neglected here, but I’ll elaborate on those at a later time.)

Event news

  • Twitch Rivals is hosting another Dota Auto Chess competition. 32 invitees will be competing for $25,000 USD on March 13th. This is double the prize pool of the platform’s first go at the popular Dota 2 mod. As before, the competition will be split across the North American and European regions.
  • The UK’s Insomnia Gaming Festival has announced a set of esports tournaments for its Bring Your Own Computer LAN. There’ll be £3,500 worth of Rocket League winnings available, as well as £10,000 for both the League of Legends and CS:GO competitions and £12,000 for the Overwatch one. This is aside from the usual community-ran tournaments. Insomnia64 takes place in Birmingham from April 19th to 22nd.
  • Blizzard Entertainment will be organizing another season of the Korea StarCraft League. Played in the Remastered flavor of the original game, this ~ $71,719 USD competition is open to all players, with registration now available.

Roster changes

Call of Duty

  • Saints, Blazt, Parasite and Lacefield to Midnight Esports
  • Attach to join Evil Geniuses on loan from FaZe Clan
  • Enigma6 replaces Kade with Chino
  • Excelerate announce new roster (see above)

CS:GO

  • Panda take in CyberZen four
  • Nordavind sign four new additions as well

League of Legends

  • Counter Logic Gaming bench Stixxay in favor of Auto

Game updates