Aug 2 2014 - 8:31 pm

Problems plague first day of Gfinity

This weekend, hundreds of the top professional gamers in the world descended on London to compete in Gfinity G3, an international tournament featuring Call of Duty: Ghosts, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and StarCraft 2
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

This weekend, hundreds of the top professional gamers in the world descended on London to compete in Gfinity G3, an international tournament featuring Call of Duty: Ghosts, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and StarCraft 2. The highly anticipated event features more than $200,000 in prizes and berths in majors like the Esports World Cup for Counter-Strike and World Champions Series points in StarCraft 2.

So it really is a shame that fans had so much trouble watching Gfinity on the first day of the event.

Production problems, technical difficulties, and organizational issues plagued the first day of the tournament, as stream quality and the broadcast schedule prevented fans from seeing many of the most anticipated games. Some level of problems are expected at an event on a newer circuit, but at such a high-profile tournament, featuring world class players and world class commentators, the issues are disappointing.

The Counter-Strike community is angry after the U.K.-based Gfinity decided to monopolize their stream with local team FM Esports, a lower tier squad, instead of a world class power like iBuyPower, the top North American squad who trekked across the Atlantic to compete in Europe. In some ways, it makes sense for the event to show the local team on their main stage, but providing no other venue for fans to watch the top-billed games was a mistake that cost the tournament viewersjust 10,000 people tuned in for the FM Esports match, compared to 50,000 for some more exciting matchupsand good will.

Fnatic tied iBuyPower in a close match that no one will ever see, because Gfinity did not broadcast the match or require a demo of the match for later release. Same for the game between Ninjas in Pyjamas and Epsilon, where Epsilon pulled off an epic upset.

Star French player Richarc “Shox” Papillon of Epsilon put together a ridiculous 25/15/7 KDA against Ninjas in Pyjamas, leading his team to a surprising upset victory. But we’ll likely never get to see the standout performance from a player in the conversation for being the world’s best. 

Other games at the event weren’t immune to problems either, as a number of technical difficulties ruined the experience for many spectators.The Call of Duty stream was down for hours at a time, replaced by a black screen with the text “censor also,” leading many fans on Twitter to use the phrase as a sarcastic hashtag denouncing the tournament.

But the biggest complaints were leveled at Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward, whose failure to fix a bug that sometimes prevents players from planting or defusing the bomb in Search and Destroy mode has had dire consequences on the tournament. The very first match of the event, between Epsilon and Exertus, featured the bug, but it wouldn't affect a tournament result until later in the day.

In the final match of a five-game series that would decide which of Curse Gaming and Exertus Esports would advance past the group stage, Exertus lost a round due to the bug preventing a bomb defuse. Curse would go on to win the SND map and the series.

Gfinity scrambled to implement a rule to handle bugged situations, replaying certain rounds affected by the bug, with teams starting down players who were dead at the time the bug occurred. But that’s a terrible proxy for the game situation at the time of a bug occurrence, only adding fuel to a fiery situation for many players.

StarCraft 2 also experienced some stream downtime due to hardware issues, with fans complaining about stream quality and Twitch chat moderation. One fan jokingly blamed the “NASL sound guy,” a StarCraft meme started due to the famously garbled audio in North American Star League broadcasts of 2011.

So far the quality of play at Gfinity has been superb. Upsets and standout performances litter the brackets of every game. It’s a shame that the fans have not been able to experience the event on the same level. The Gfinity organizers have made progress towards rectifying the issues, and any newer tournament is bound to run into difficulties, so Saturday night and Sunday may be better.

It’s great to see the communities of three disparate esports united with regards to Gfinity 3. It’s just too bad it’s not for positive reasons. But if the matches continute the way they've been going, people will likely have forgotten by the end of the event.

Screengrab via GFinityCSGO/Twitch

Jan 23 2017 - 9:43 pm

Summit1g to compete with Mythic in 2017

It will be the streaming star's first competitive venture in more than eight months.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Image via DreamHack | Remix by William Copus

One of the biggest streamers on Twitch is returning to competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Jaryd "summit1g" Lazar, who is rated as one of the most influential broadcasters on Twitch, revealed on his stream that he will be competing with North American-based squad Mythic in the upcoming tournament season. The announcement puts an end to the players' nearly year-long hiatus from competitive CS:GO.

Summit1g's most recent competitive outing came in 2016, when he was asked to fill in for Splyce at DreamHack Austin due to the team's former rifler Andrew "Professor_Chaos" Heintz not being able to attend the event. Unfortunately for summit1g, the LAN ended in disaster for the player, as he accidentally prolonged what looked like a won match against CLG by accidentally dying to his own molotov on match point. This led to CLG successfully staging a comeback on the first map of the series. Splyce subsequently lost the second map of the series and were eliminated from the event.

The Mythic roster features former Team Liquid in-game leader Eric "adreN" Hoag as well as former Winterfox rifler Alexander "LeX" Deily. AdreN in particular stands out as the most established pro player on the roster, as he competed for Team Liquid between 2014-2016 at multiple international events. This included a semifinals performance at the MLG Columbus Valve Major in 2016.

So far the team isn't scheduled to compete at any online or offline events, but it's safe to assume that summit1g will look to redeem himself in the coming months.

H/t theScore

Jan 23 2017 - 2:52 pm

GODSENT surprise, ELiGE is world class, and other storylines from the first day of the ELEAGUE Major

We're only one day into the ELEAGUE Major and things are already heating up.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Valve’s CS:GO Majors bring out some of the most exciting and tantalizing storylines in esports. And only after one day of competition, it’s safe to say that the ELEAGUE Major is delivering.

Favorites have already tasted defeat, while teams with little fanfare behind them have risen to the occasion in dramatic fashion. While the group stage is still far from over, here are some of the most noteworthy and interesting storylines from the first day of the ELEAGUE Major.

GODSENT pull a fast one on Astralis

For the better part of six months, GODSENT has been considered something of a joke. Consisting primarily of the legendary former Fnatic roster, the team struggled all throughout 2016 without achieving any kind of noteworthy results. Instead, GODSENT dropped series against opponents with far less firepower behind them, sometimes in even spectacularly embarrassing fashion.

But on the first day of the ELEAGUE Major, GODSENT upset the order and defeated tournament favorites Astralis in one of the most one-sided games of the event so far. In only 22 rounds, the Danish favorites were schooled completely by GODSENT’s T-side on Train, with only three rounds to their name after the first half.

As fate now would have it, GODSENT will now be facing Gambit in the upcoming round of the Swiss format group stage, while Astralis face their Canadian rivals OpTic Gaming. Suddenly, the tournament favorites are in anything but a sweet spot, and it is all because of GODSENT.

Virtus.Pro look fierce after battling OpTic

The battle between Poland’s Virtus Pro and Canada’s OpTic Gaming was one of the highlights at the ELEAGUE Major’s opening day, as both teams looked to assert themselves as the top competitors at the event.

While OpTic’s recent performances have put them closer to the spotlight than their Polish contemporaries, Virtus Pro’s uncanny ability to seemingly always perform at Valve Majors should never be understated.

Following a solid first 9-6 half for OpTic on Cobblestone, where OpTic’s Will "RUSH" Wierzba continued to showcase his status as one of the continent’s entry-fraggers, Virtus found their way back. The Poles’ answer, as is often the case, was the play of star player Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, who sniped down the Canadian opposition constantly.

The Poles already found themselves looking to be one of the favorites heading into the event. After dispatching OpTic in this fashion, it certainly looks as if the hype was warranted.

ELiGE is world class

Despite losing its first game of the tournament after a triple-overtime to what is, presumably, EnVyUs’ last run, Team Liquid’s Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski continues to perform on a level far above other North American players.

The centerpiece of the North American roster since the departure of Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev in May last year, ELiGE put on display on Cache that was pure CS:GO godliness. With an ADR (Average Damage per Round) of 111, the 19-year-old North American averaged roughly one kill in each of the 46 rounds that were played, resulting in a scoreline of 48 kills and 33 deaths. Combined with several noteworthy multi-kills and clutches, there can be no missing who the star on Team Liquid is.

Where's NiKo

While being far from favorites in its first match-up of the event, the sheer magnitude of the beating the Eastern European supersquad Na`Vi administered to the German-based mousesports roster was made all the more bitter by the continued decline of mousesports’ star Nikola "NiKo" Kova?.

Widely considered to be the most skilled CS:GO player without a title to his name, the Bosnian only succeeded in netting nine kills throughout the game, resulting in one of his worst performances in his career. Granted, the game was over in only 19 rounds, and mousesports were consistently put under economic stress throughout the game. But even so, NiKo was surpassed by all but one of his teammates in terms of frags and impact.

After spending the majority of 2016 firmly placed among the top competitors in CS:GO, a collapse at the ELEAGUE Major would be a disaster for the young Bosnian.

Today’s hottest matches

SK Gaming vs. FaZe - 12:30pm ET

Since the addition of former Astralis in-game leader Finn “Karrigan” Andersen, FaZe is looking to assert itself at the top of the CS:GO hegemony. At the same time, even an SK Gaming with a stand-in is still one of the scariest opponents any team can face.

OpTic vs. Astralis - 4:15pm ET

By the end of today, one of the tournament favorites will be hanging loose: Both OpTic and Astralis faced each other in the grand finals of the two latest significant LAN events, and delivered exciting matches on both occasions. But neither of them can be measured in the potential implications of today’s confrontation, where another defeat could mean the difference between advancing onto the playoffs, or going home from the first Valve Major of 2017.

G2 Esports vs. Virtus Pro - 6:45pm ET

If there is one thing has proven time and time again, it’s that you can never count them out. No matter what, the Poles will find a way to dig themselves out of the deepest hole no matter the circumstances. But given the performance of G2 Esports’ Richard “shox” Papillon against Fnatic yesterday, there’s a considerable chance for things to get really interesting.