Dec 23 2013 - 1:00 pm

For Cosmo Wright, no game is too hard to beat in record speed

This was the biggest year ever for eSports
Patrick Howell O'Neill
Dot Esports

This was the biggest year ever for eSports. Competitive gaming has more players, a bigger audience, and a brighter future than ever before. Over a period of 10 days, the Daily Dot will profile people who've fueled this unprecedented growth, from top players to industry visionaries. 

In earlier pieces, we looked at Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn, the 20-year-old StarCraft 2 phenom from Canada, and Rod "Slasher" Breslau, the hardest-working journalist in eSports news. Today, we're meeting Cosmo Wright, the fastest gamer on the planet.

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Over 100,000 people follow Cosmo Wright’s Twitch channel, making him one of the most popular eSports streamers on the planet.

But there’s a catch. Wright’s competition for that crown are players in games like League of Legends and StarCraft 2, blockbuster titles with millions of dollars in game design, tournament prizes, salaries, marketing, and more, fueling their success as eSports.

On the other hand, Wright's signature game is Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a 1997 Nintendo 64 title that wasn’t exactly designed for competitive play. Cosmo speed runs it daily anyway, striving for world record after world record in front of his massive audiences.

Speed running has been a competitive subculture for decades. In the past couple of years, it’s really begun to explode in popularity. In the last three years, the genre’s marquee event, “Awesome Games Done Quick,” has raised over $1 million for charity while building an audience of hundreds of thousands of fans.

The biggest star of that event, and of speed running as a whole, is undoubtedly Wright.

As a player, his talent in picking apart every pixel in Zelda, Castlevania, and Mario games would earn him a spot in a competitive gaming hall of fame. Though it's worth noting that, at present, he doesn’t currently own a Zelda world record right now--despite it being his signature game. Two weeks ago, a rival beat Wright’s top time. However, Cosmo has set over a dozen world records this year across about half a dozen titles.

As an entertainer, Wright’s ability to not only perform well under pressure but to simultaneously communicate the subtlety of every move he makes is unmatched. It might be difficult for other players to gain a following when they’re beating the same single player game again and again. Cosmo has the ability to turn every run into a story that fans can’t turn away from.

His legendary Ocarina of Time run from Awesome Games Done Quick in January 2013 has almost a million views on YouTube and has turned an entire new generation to the art of the speed run.

If that was it, it might be enough.

Wright is also the co-founder of Speed Runs Live, a well-designed website that serves as the central hub for speed running’s explosion in popularity. He’s united a previously divided community across hundreds of titles into one website. Better yet, he’s dedicated to making the website and community better with up-to-date record keeping that will be an incredibly important step in bringing world class speed running to a bigger audience.

Photo via Cosmo Wright

Today - 10:55 pm

Contractz shines as Cloud9 topples TSM

Cloud9’s rookie jungler made a big splash in his LCS debut
Xing Li
Dot Esports
Photo via Riot Games

Cloud9’s Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia didn't just make an impression in his LCS debut. He blew away all expectations, and showed himself to be a force to be reckoned with.

Contractz was the last cut from the Players to Watch list we wrote before the League Championship season. We weren’t sure how much priority Cloud9 would give him, especially with so much talent elsewhere on the roster. Still, we felt uneasy--someone not on the list was almost guaranteed to break out.

We just didn’t know that it would happen in the very first series.

In a rematch of last summer’s LCS Finals, Cloud9 and TSM clashed on the rift. And despite the star power that this matchup brings, much of the focus was on Contractz. He was a major focus for C9, almost a win condition in themselves.

Let’s see how he did it.

Jungle Priority

Due to the changes Riot made to the jungle in the offseason, priority has risen for junglers. More experience and more ganks means a good jungler can more easily carry a game. Cloud9’s coach, Bok “Reapred” Han-gyu talks about priority all the time.

Priority is a League term that indicates which lane has a strong matchups and should be a focus for jungle ganks. The player or lane with priority gets earlier picks and more attention from the rest of the team.

In a bit of a role reversal, C9 picked jungle to have priority in game one. That meant C9 players actively played around Contractz’ Kha’zix and made plays to get him ahead. In one telling instance, AD carry Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi burned his Ashe ult so that Contractz could invade and secure red buff.

Contractz rewarded that allocation by killing TSM ADC Jason “WildTurtle” Tran for First Blood. Cloud9 picked a risky comp that required Contractz and mid laner Nicolaj Jensen (playing Fizz) to snowball. Aided by some questionable team play from TSM and baffling itemization from WildTurtle, they accomplished that.

How would TSM react in game two?

A Lee Sin God

Cloud9 continued to give Contractz priority by first-picking Lee Sin for him (only one jungler, Rengar, was banned). This time, he lived in TSM’s red side jungle, playing around pressure from Jensen and top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong.

A well-executed gank gave C9 First Blood again, this time on Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. C9’s duo lane kept their own red-side safe, allowing Contractz to clear and run to the top lane to kill Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell.

For much of the series, Cloud9 exhibited superior team play and coordination, and Contractz was at the center of big plays. He is an aggressive, carry-oriented player and C9 enabled that aggression extremely well. Even when TSM jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and the rest of the team was there, it was often C9 making the right moves, faster. Following a decent TSM dive in the bot lane, Contractz responded with kill after kill.

It’s still very early in the season, but this team has come together very fast. Their communication was superb as was the shot calling. TSM had poor performances from Turtle and Svenskeren, but this victory was still more about C9's macro-oriented team play, rather than individual performances. They will have chances to come back, just like C9 will have to keep their play high by continuing to aid their jungler.

Contractz just dominated what was the best team in NA. Keep this performance up, and he’ll find himself on another one of our lists: the end of split awards.

Today - 10:50 pm

Soccer legend Ronaldo invests in Brazilian esports team CNB

The two-time World Cup winner is making a move into esports.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via [Fotos GOVBA[(https://www.flickr.com/photos/37885263@N05/6717662659) (CC BY 2.0)

Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima has joined the throng of sporting figures investing into esports, purchasing a stake in a Brazilian esports team.

Ronaldo has invested in CNB e-sports Club alongside poker pro André Akkari and Igor Trafane Federal, CEO of the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP), with the trio buying 50 percent of the organization.

The club's original founders, brothers Cleber “Fuzi” Fonseca and Carlos “Fury” Júnior, retain the other 50 percent ownership and remain responsible for the management of the team.

The news was announced through myCNB, the news portal owned by the same parent company as the team and now also owned by the new investment group.

According to the report Akkari, a close friend of Ronaldo, was the driving force behind the investment after visiting a number of team houses early last year.

CNB finished second in the 2016 CBLoL Stage 2 finals, a remarkable run of form after finishing bottom of the table in the Stage 1 season earlier in the year. The team they lost to in that Stage 2 final was INTZ e-Sports, who competed at the 2016 World Championships and IEM Oakland.

Ronaldo is arguably one of the biggest sporting figures to put their money into esports to date. A three-time FIFA player of the year, Ronaldo won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and 2002. He played for some of Europe's best teams in an 18-year career, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan.