Aug 5 2016 - 9:43 pm

Qualifiers announced for $3.7 million nation-based esports tournament

With a prize pool of $3
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports

With a prize pool of $3.7 million dollars, the new World Electronic Sports Games looks to become one of the biggest esports events of all time.

The competition features national teams from four separate games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone, and StarCraft 2. Twenty-four teams will apparently be competing in each game at the tournament’s grand finals, which will be held in Shanghai, China, this December.

Qualifiers for the competition will begin on Aug. 13, and will feature a total of nine separate stops across the world.

Organized in cooperation with StarSeries and Imba.TV, the tournament is funded primarily by Alisports, the sporting initiative of Alibaba, one of the biggest e-commerce sites in the world. Having made a push in the big red country in the past month, on Jul. 27 Alisports also invested $150 million into the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF).

One detail has, however, made members of the community raise their eyebrows: Any team looking to participate has to feature a roster from one nation, severely complicating matters for CS:GO and Dota 2 teams, as several top rosters will not be allowed to compete at the colossal event.

In an official news release, StarLadder’s executive producer Stepan Shulga stated that the reason for implementing the rule is that it "could help esports to be recognized as official sports and potentially included in the Olympic Games."

The concept of a world championship is not unprecedented in esports, with tournaments such as the now defunct World Cyber Games and Efrag’s World Championship. Neither of those events have, however, been considered major events in the past years, while WESG looks to be one of the biggest in all of esports history.

Jan 15 2017 - 8:00 pm

FlipSid3 take home DreamHack Leipzig title

The team didn't drop a single map throughout the tournament.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Flipsid3 Tactics claimed the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive title in the organization's history, dominating their opponents at DreamHack Leipzig.

Without dropping a single map throughout the event, FlipSid3 emerged as champions of DreamHack Leipzig after a convincing 2-0 victory in the event's grand finals. But despite its impressive record the team, which features CS 1.6 legend Yegor "markeloff" Markelov, did struggle at certain points throughout the final series against crowd favorites BIG.

While the German favorites were able to take eleven rounds in both maps of the series, FlipSid3 were always one step ahead. This was particularly obvious in regards to the team's latest recruit, Denis "electronic" Sharipov. The Russian player dominated in terms of statistics, as he tallied the highest number of kills in the grand final, earning him an ADR (Average Damage per Round) of 102.

While FlipSid3 finally taking home an international LAN is a big story in and of itself, BIG's performance at the event is almost an equally as notable achievement.

Having only assembled the roster on Jan. 2, DreamHack Leipzig was BIG's LAN debut. The roster, which contains names such as in-game leader Faith "gob b" Dayik and recent AWP star Kevin "keev" Bartholomäus impressed throughout the tournament. The team's 0-2 defeat against FlipSid3 was far from one-sided, as BIG were consistently able to impress against the Eastern European team.

BIG had upset Group A winners Heroic in the semifinals, taking a 2-1 victory, while Flipsid3 had swept aside the challenge of French side LDLC.

Flipsid3 will look to carry this momentum into next week's $1 million ELEAGUE Major, where they will face FaZe Clan in their first swiss stage clash.

Despite not being the most competitive event, DreamHack Leipzig brought a considerable amount of excitement and has already set 2017 off to a flying start.

Jan 15 2017 - 5:34 pm

EnVyUs crowned WESG champions

The French CS:GO team's victory earned them an astounding $800,000.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

In the first major Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event of 2017, French side EnVyUs picked up a huge win—and an even bigger purse.

The French squad barrelled through surprise finalists Team Kinguin in two extremely one-sided maps. Following their decisive victory, EnVyUs took their place on the podium and will be leaving China $800,000 richer.

Few spectators, however, could have imagined that Kinguin would be one of the teams competing in the finals of this massive $1.5 million event.

The day started out with an incredible upset, as Polish super-squad Virtus pro were eliminated from the event after a surprise defeat in the semifinals to their countrymen in Kinguin.

The match was over in only two maps. Kinguin fought a close game against the favorites on Dust2, and closed the series out with a decisive 16-5 victory on Mirage.

Not even EnVyUs' participation in the grand final was guaranteed, however, as the French squad fought a three-game series against Turkish representatives Space Soldiers. Known primarily for its 21-year-old star rifle player Can "XANTARES" Dörtkarde, the entire Turkish squad battled the French team across three maps.

EnVyUs escaped elimination narrowly, and took the final map of the series, winning 16-14.

With the ELEAGUE Major just around the corner, EnVyUs will be riding a wave of momentum, while Virtus Pro will have to regroup and refocus.