Apr 1 2017 - 5:17 pm

The best and worst of esports April Fools' Day jokes

Its the worst day of the year for grumpy news writers.
Weekend Editor
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

April Fools' Day is a tough day for news. It can be hard to tell what is real and what is not—unless those attempting to pull the prank are particularly bad at it.

As organizations and individuals try to pull pranks and make fake online announcements, esports has been getting in on the act. From Reddit transformations, to unlikely player transfers, to fictitious content releases, the web has been a minefield this morning.

Here are some of the best and worst esports April Fools from around the internet.

The esports-related game subreddits have almost all gone with some kind of hilarious re-skin for the occasion. R/LeagueofLegends has been reimagined as a shrine to Riot founder Marc Merrill, while r/Dota2 is paying tribute to legendary pro Artour "Arteezy" Babaev. R/Esports has been rebranded as R/EskillsCompetitions and r/Hearthstone is commemorating the Pirate meta that is coming to an end—hopefully—very soon.

Perhaps the best Reddit re-skin is r/GlobalOffensive, which his been redesigned to look exactly r/Overwatch. Over at r/Overwatch, who have opted not to do anything to make April 1, fans are just bemused.

Away from Reddit, fans have had to negotiate some fictitious announcements, and measure their excitement accordingly. Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono announced a brand new game for the series: Street Fighter Academy. In one of the most impressive efforts this year, the game is a fully playable Street Fighter trivia game—of course only available on April 1. If it's real, does it count as an April Fool's joke? Who knows, but it's pretty cool.

Immortals have kept things traditional, with an outlandish news release announcing a partnership with Elon Musk to develop technology to allow their players to live forever. Get it? They'd be immortal!

Blizzard had a mixed bag of attempts. This Overlord announcer pack spoof for StarCraft was pretty fun, but the Hearthstone team might be guilty of the worst attempt at an April Fools' gag in many a year.

With all the latest expansion, Journey to Un'Goro, revealed just yesterday, the official Hearthstone Twitter account claimed to reveal a brand new card. Not only was it more broken than most fan creations, it had a minion type that doesn't exist and didn't have the legendary card model. You'd think the developers of the game would be able to create a card that at least looked aesthetically correct—but apparently not.

April Fools' Day has just a few hours left, depending on where you live. And it can't end a moment too soon.