Mar 8 2014 - 2:26 pm

Blizzard's WCS moves to Europe

Blizzard’s premiere StarCraft 2 tournament, the World Championship Series (WCS), has hit a snag yet again
Ferguson Mitchell
Dot Esports

Blizzard’s premiere StarCraft 2 tournament, the World Championship Series (WCS), has hit a snag yet again. The producer of the North American section of their tournament, the North American StarLeague, is backing out of their role, according to an announcement posted late Friday.

If the news seems all too familiar, it is. Last year, Major League Gaming did the exact same thing. And several months later, MLG dropped StarCraft 2 from their championship event altogether.

The North American StarLeague stepped up in MLG’s absence to run the majority of the tournament, with some help from Blizzard. In NASL's statement at the time, the group said that “when the opportunity arose to become the official partner for [WCS North America], we were elated.” The community welcomed the NASL with open arms, and by all rights the rest of the year was a success for the scene.

But now, it looks like NASL’s involvement with StarCraft 2 is over. The reasons provided are vague: “Fate has scouted our fast expand, and our time broadcasting StarCraft has come to an end,” NASL’s statement says, using a bit of in-game terminology.

Blizzard’s response was to immediately find a replacement. It handed over the season to the Cologne, Germany-based Electronic Sports League (ESL).

The ESL, producer for the European side of the tournament, have a lot more stability, and have had no problems running WCS Europe, along with Riot Games’ League of Legends tournament, the League Championship Series.

The strangest twist is that for now, it looks like the plan will be for the players to go to ESL, instead of the other way around. “The WCS America Round of 16 will be... played live at the ESL studio in Cologne,” Blizzard confirmed, “[We’ve] already begun working with players to assist with the new travel requirements to Germany.”

The American tournament will likely return to home soil at some point, but Blizzard gave no specifics in its announcement.

Photo by Deiby/Flickr

Jan 15 2017 - 10:59 pm

Staz bests Orange in WESG Hearthstone final

It's the first major win for an SEA player.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Screengrab via Starladder_HS_en/Twitch

At the first major Hearthstone event of 2017, Euneil “Staz” Javinaz bested European star Jon "Orange" Westberg to win his first title—and the first for his region.

Staz and Orange went the full seven games in the stunning final set, trading games back and forth before Staz eventually came out on top 4-3. The final game was a grinding affair, a Reno Mage mirror that played over close to an hour.

Representing the South East Asia region, Staz is the first player from that region to win a major title.

Staz reached the final after beating out a pair of Europeans—Orange's countryman Elliot "Fluffy" Karlsson and the impressive Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer—arguably having the toughest road through the bracket stage.

Orange's run was no easy feat either as he had to take out Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert, one of the most successful players of 2016 playing in his first tournament since joining Counter Logic Gaming.

The loss meant that Orange was unable to string together back to back major victories, after winning his second Seat Story Cup title in December.

For his victory Staz takes home a whopping $150,000, one of the largest prizes ever awarded in Hearthstone. For second place Orange will have to make do with $70,000.

Jan 15 2017 - 10:31 pm

Kinguin and Fnatic Academy secure spots in European Challenger Series

The two teams made short work of the opposition.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Riot Games

Fnatic Academy and Team Kinguin qualified for the European League of Legends Challenger Series, taking themselves one step closer to the game's premier competition.

In rather emphatic fashion, the two teams completely decimated their opposition. Both teams were able to secure quick 3-0 victories, and will now be competing in the upcoming season of the EU CS league.

While both teams fell short of first place in the qualifiers group stage, the teams made up for it in spades in the tournament finals. The Polish Kinguin roster were the first team to qualify for the league, as the team completely decimated opponents on Nerv.

Despite featuring former EU CS players such as mid laner An "SuNo" Sun-ho, as well as support Christophe "je suis kaas" van Oudheusden, it seemed as if Nerv weren't able to find any opening against the Polish team.

The final series of the day saw Fnatic Academy, in equally as dominant fashion, defeat Team Forge.

The academy team's display in the three games was incredible impressive, in particular the performances of mid laner Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer and former FC Schalke AD carry Rasmus "MrRalleZ" Skinneholm, as both players only died once throughout the entire series.

With the qualifiers over, Kinguin and Fnatic Academy now join FC Schalke, Paris Saint-Germain, Millenium and Misfits Academy in the 2017 Spring Season of the EU CS.

The 2017 League of Legends season gets underway next week, when all regional leagues begin their spring seasons.