Mar 6: NBA 2K League rounds out teams, Russian Dota 2 players stopped at the border and WESG sees more CS:GO teams withdraw

Good morning. Half way through the week! The loot box debate continues, with Eurogamer covering the state of things at the UK front. Richard Lewis, meanwhile, had an interview with NRG Esports’ CEO Andy Miller in which the latter raised some concerns regarding Call of Duty franchising which, frankly, sound pretty valid. We also have more visa trouble and the 2K League draft results, for which I kindly refer you to below.

NBA 2K League draft results

The NBA 2K League held the draft for its upcoming second season last night. 198 players were eligible for pick up by a team and we now know who among those made it into this year’s competition. The list includes the league’s first female player Chiquita Evans, who was picked up by Warriors Gaming. It does not include Kings Guard Gaming forward Timelycook, who was suspended for the entire season after violating the player code of conduct on social media.

Russian Dota 2 players stopped at the border

Dota 2’s visa issues continue, with two teams of Russian players denied entry into Ukraine for the StarLadder ImbaTV Kiev Minor. Teams Gambit Esports and Old but Gold were denied in full and OG player ILTW was barred entry as well. StarLadder staff is said to be working to resolve the issues. The Minor is set to play out March 7th through 10th, so they’ll have to work fast.

CS:GO teams withdraw from WESG

Several CS:GO teams have withdrawn from Counter-Strike’s 2018 WESG Grand Finals in China, including recent Major grand finalists ENCE Esports. The reasons range from family issues to scheduling and visa trouble, but it leaves the tournament with the strange situation where its Group C consists of only two teams, which are now both guaranteed advancement. There are also reports of WESG lagging on paying out prize money, which will undoubtedly not have helped the tournament’s case.

Event news

  • We finally know when the European PUBG League PEL will commence, with PUBG Corporation announcing the kick off of phase 1 to be on March 21st. The best teams from all 3 phases of the competition will qualify for the game’s $2M USD Global Championship. PEL was originally set to start this January, but was reportedly delayed by financial and venue issues.
  • The qualifier information for the 2019 World Cyber Games has been made available. Registration will open March 11th for international players, with Chinese options still to be announced. WCG will be held in Xi’an, China, this July.
  • The W3iL is a community organized and funded Warcraft 3 team league, which features some of the games’ biggest international names. We now have a schedule for it, setting the start date at March 17th.
  • YouTuber MrBeast is hosting a real-life battle royale at an undisclosed Los Angeles location today. Players will use airsoft guns and compete for $100,000 USD. That’s about the extent of what we know, but I’m sure we’ll hear more as things progress.

Roster changes

Call of Duty

  • Faccento retires

CS:GO

  • mousesports in talks for woxic and frozen?
  • DeadFox benched by HellRaisers?
  • LOGAN to 3DMAX
  • Grayhound bench sterling
  • Sico leaves ICON Esports (formerly Tainted Minds)

League of Legends

  • Kasing and Mystiques swap teams for a week on Excel

Overwatch

  • Seoul Dynasty acquires Contenders Korea players ILLICIT and Highly

PUBG

  • ENCE sign o1ne roster

Game updates

  • Dota Auto Chess releases update, but no mobile version (yet?)
  • Dota 2 adds a new hero and gives Drow Ranger a remodel
  • League of Legends reworks Kayle and Morgana in patch 9.5