Jan 3 2017 - 2:54 pm

Ex-Dignitas join NORTH, a new esports org launched by FC Copenhagen

Team Dignitas’ former CS:GO roster will be the first team to compete under the NORTH banner.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via North

Denmark’s largest soccer club and one of the largest media organizations in Scandinavia have created a new major esports organization called North.

Aiming to become a leader in terms of esports in the Nordic region, North’s first division will consist of the former Danish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster that represented Team Dignitas in 2016, confirming an earlier report on Dot Esports. The roster will debut at the ELEAGUE Major on Jan. 22. The team has been signed for two years, and features the same roster that won the $500.000 EPICENTER event in Russia this past October.

Speaking on the investment in a press release, Allan Mathson Hansen, CEO of Nordisk Film, said that expanding into esports is “a natural extension of Nordisk Film’s existing business areas of film, cinemas, games and gift services.”

The team’s new base of operations will be located at F.C. Copenhagen’s home court, Telia Parken, which will now also serve as an esports training facility for the CS:GO team.

“This is a major boost for eSport in the Nordic region,” said North’s new director of esports Jacob “Maelk” Toft-Andersen, who previously worked as manager for Alliance, Elements and FC Schalke ´04’s League of Legends divisions. “The level of ambition and organization is extremely high and with the support provided by F.C. Copenhagen and Nordisk Film, North will have the strong platform needed to compete with the very best.”

In 2016, several major football clubs in Europe made forays into esports. But while the majority of the teams, which include Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke ´04 and Manchester City, have primarily centered their investments around titles like League and Electronic Arts’ FIFA franchise, North is the first organization headed by a soccer team to field a roster in CS:GO.

When the Danish CS:GO roster (which includes Mathias ”MSL” Lauridsen, Kristian ”k0nfig” Wienecke, Ruben ”RUBINO” Villarroel, René ”cajunb” Borg, and Emil ”Magiskb0Y” Reif) announced it was parting ways with Team Dignitas at the start of 2017, speculation was rampant as to where it would be going. Especially considering the fact that Team Dignitas was recently acquired by the major NBA team Philadelphia 76ers.

In an interview with Duncan “Thorin” Shields, TSM CEO Andy “Reginald” Dinh claimed that NORTH is offering the roster a of $20.000 per month salary. If true, it’s hard to argue with the idea that North is looking to become a major player not just in the nordic region, but globally.

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Jan 17 2017 - 4:42 pm

Ambitious CS:GO mod aims to capture the spirit of the Wild West

Did someone say Classic Offensive?
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Screengrab via JarroRus/YouTube

Two ambitious Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players want to take the game in a whole new direction.

Going by the names Jarro and CTX, this successful modding duo (who have released popular custom maps in the past), are looking at developing a fully functional and expansive add-on centered around the Wild West. This will be based on the foundation of Valve's extremely popular first-person shooter title CS:GO. Complete with brand new features such as combat on horseback as well as larger maps, the two developers have taken to crowdfunding in order to guarantee that CS:GO Western Add-on, as they have dubbed the mod, will be released within the next 6-8 weeks.

While the team's crowdfunding campaign is set at $1,000, Jarre and CTX have also set two other campaign goals at $400 and $700. The first two goals are centered primarily around necessary features such as dedicated servers for constant game testing, and introducing more unique assets and expansive maps to the mod.

If the two developers reach their crowdfunding goals, the mod will be completely free of charge and distributed via the Steam Workshop. Valve encourages enthusiasts and modders to produce their own custom games based off of the company's intellectual property. The most notable example being Counter-Strike itself, which started out as a mod of Valve's inaugural title in the Half-Life franchise.

For the time being, the mod is looking to feature three separate game modes: A standard player vs. player mode, team-based hostage scenarios, and finally a linear game play map featuring cut scenes and co-op game play.

If the wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 and the second season of Westworld is killing you, the Western Add-on should keep you occupied until then.