Jul 20 2014 - 5:14 pm

Evil Geniuses' Clinton 'Fear' Loomis: 'This is a team that needs to win'

Clinton “Fear” Loomis is a Dota legend
Cody Conners
Dot Esports

Clinton “Fear” Loomis is a Dota legend. One of the stars of Valve’s critically acclaimed documentary Free to Play, Loomis has been playing Dota professionally for nearly a decade. Months before this year’s International, Valve’s $11 million dollar super tournament, this icon was sidelined by an arm injury. Eager to take advantage of his encyclopedia-like game knowledge and experiencem, Evil Geniuses gave him a position as the squad’s coach.

His coaching must be working. Evil Geniuses is in the top three of The International, with $1 million of prize money to their name already. They will face the one team to emerge from the lower bracket tonight in a match that will determine who reaches the grand finals and who competes in a match worth nearly $4 million.

We sat down with him for a quick interview about his new role as coach of Evil Geniuses and what he thinks of this year’s International.

Daily Dot: If I had to take a guess, I’d think this would be a bittersweet year for you. Last year Evil Geniuses didn’t play at the International—they fell short in the qualifiers. This year the team has been looking great, but you’ve been sidelined by an injury. How does it feel attending an event this big and not being able to compete?

It definitely feels really weird. I’ve gone and played at almost every event. But the injury did happen, and I’m just happy to be here. Not being able to go at all would have been devastating. Being able to come as a coach and help the team still means a lot.

Is it frustrating playing such a big role in the formation of the current squad and having to watch them play? The rhetoric that was used to describe the last two Evil Geniuses lineups is that these players were all hand-picked by you.

It’s frustrating building a team and then not being able to play in the end, but injuries happen in every single sport. There’s nothing I can do about it but try and make the best of it and make a difference by being a coach.

You’re one of the older and most experienced Dota players. You’ve been around forever. The EG squad is actually very young. How much does your experience in the Dota scene, and then just being an older guy, play into your role as a coach?

I definitely think my experience has helped them out a lot, especially with the younger players. Universe is really experienced too. PPD is older and experienced in his own way. Even though he hasn’t been in the Dota community very long, he knows what to do as a captain. But Zai and Arteezy—the younger kids—they need more guidance on what to do in a lot of situations. I like to think I bring a lot to the team in that way and just help them out as much as I can.

The EG performance thus far has been interesting. In the first series versus DK you guys just shred them. Then in the games versus Newbee you really struggled to sink your teeth into the series. How did the team deal with that loss? Was it strange being so dominant in the first series and then falling short in the second?

It’s weird for us when we win convincingly and then lose immediately after. We don’t take losses very well. We need to win. This is a team that needs to win. If we lose we definitely play worse the next game, probably more so than many other teams. I think that it affected us a lot after we lost our first game. Our draft was good, it was mainly just bad play. That carried over into the next game. We just have to win. If we take losses it makes things very hard for us.

You started your International with that interesting Ursa and Enchantress pocket strategy. Do you think from here you have to play standard and to your strengths or do you think this event requires teams to cook special things up?

I think in this meta it is best to come up with what you called pocket strats, I guess. You need something unique, something that people won’t expect, and that is what works best.

You guys get to watch all the teams compete before you play. Do you think that’s going to help a lot before you go into your next match?

Oh yeah, definitely. The more you get to see from other teams, especially at this tournament, the better. The background knowledge you had on all the teams before this tournament is no longer relevant because everyone had such a long time to boot camp. It was like a month where no one played in any tournaments for the most part. Everyone came up with new strategies. The more we get to watch the less strategies they’ll have and the more we’ll know about them.

Screengrab via Valve

Today - 5:28 pm

Combo Breaker announcement may imply the end of auto-qualifiers for Capcom Pro Tour

Capcom may be trying to simplify its 2017 Pro Tour.
Steve Jurek
Dot Esports
Image via Capcom

A big change is coming to the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour, but yesterday's announcement may have hinted at an even larger change—a possible end to players winning automatic qualification into the Capcom Cup through Premier events.

The Street Fighter V tournament at Combo Breaker is being upgraded to a Premier event for the 2017 Pro Tour, Capcom announced via Twitter. The event, which will take place in the Chicago area over Memorial Day weekend, served as a Ranking event in 2015 and 2016. Its spiritual predecessor, the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament, filled the same role in 2014.

Premier events award more Capcom Pro Tour points to top performers compared to Ranking events. A yet-to-be-announced number of the season's top points earners will earn a spot in the Capcom Cup, the season's championship event. Premier events also offer a Capcom-provided pot bonus. The figure has not yet been confirmed by Capcom, but it is believed to be $15,000.

In previous years, a player who won a Premier event received an automatic berth in that season's Capcom Cup. Thursday's announcement, however, may have implied that this is no longer the case.

An update on Combo Breaker's website stated that placing well at the event "will earn you valuable ranking points that put you well on your way to qualifying for the Capcom Cup!"

Notably, the statement makes no mention of an automatic berth into the Capcom Cup, something that every Premier event winner has been awarded since the Pro Tour's founding in 2014.

The statement does not necessarily confirm that auto-qualification into the Capcom Cup has been eliminated. It does, however, fall in line with statements made by Capcom esports director Neidel Crisan. In conversations with both Yahoo! Esports and EventHubs late last year, Crisan mentioned the possibility of eliminating auto-qualification berths in order to simplify the qualifying process.

A player had three ways to qualify for the Capcom Cup in 2016; winning a Premier event, placing high in the global Pro Tour points standings, or placing high in each region's Pro Tour points standings. The system confused fans, commentators, and players alike.

We may not know how qualification for the Capcom Cup will work in 2017, but we do know that the tour itself will look a bit different than it has in previous years.

Combo Breaker will presumably fill a gap left by Stunfest, a French gaming convention that that served as a Premier event on the Pro Tour in each of the last two years. Organizers of that event announced a "pause" for the convention late last year with plans to return in 2018.

The tour will also be without Cannes Winter Clash, the other French event that was part of the 2016 tour. Organizers of that event, which will take place during the last weekend in February, announced the change last week in a Reddit post. The event had served as the Pro Tour's season opener in both 2015 and 2016.

"Obviously with Cannes and Stunfest out there will need to be at least one French replacement event," Samad "Damascus" Abdessadki, a competitor and commentator who is involved in the organization of the Cannes Winter Clash, told Dot Esports. "[Capcom] can't leave France out of [the Capcom Pro Tour] when it's arguably the biggest community in Europe - and maybe [the] strongest."

France is the only European country that has sent two players to the Capcom Cup in each of the last two years. It is also home to Olivier "Luffy" Hay, the only player from outside of Asia to win a Street Fighter IV Evo title.

One event that will return is Final Round. On Wednesday, Capcom announced that Final Round will serve as the first Premier event of the season for the fourth straight year. That event, now in its 20th year, will take place in Atlanta during the second weekend of March.

Capcom will announce full details of the 2017 Pro Tour in late February.

Disclaimer: The author of this article has worked as part of the volunteer staff at Combo Breaker/Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament since 2014.

Today - 9:49 pm

IEM Katowice’s CS:GO tournament is going to be awesome

The final two invites went out today, and the tournament's guaranteed to be exciting.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

The final two teams to be invited to one of the year's biggest events have been announced.

FaZe Clan and Danish soccer club FC Copenhagen's esports venture, North, will be attending IEM Katowice's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals from Mar. 1-5, ESL announced today. The teams, which showed impressive form towards the end of 2016 at multiple international LAN events, will be competing against some of the best teams in the world.

The two teams are also the last to receive invitations to the event, as four teams will be added after a series of online qualifiers. In total, three more European teams will be attending IEM Katowice, as well as one North American team. With an already-stacked ensemble of teams ready to attend, such as Brazil's SK Gaming, Polish hometown heroes Virtus Pro, and Denmark's top team Astralis, the four teams that will be advancing through the online qualifiers will be making an already-competitive event all the more fierce.

In October 2016, the current North roster, which was signed to Dignitas at the time, took home the $500,000 EPICENTER event in Moscow. Aside from being one of the biggest events of the year, it had all the top teams in the world in attendance. Since then, however, North has struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon them, and have recently fallen short at nearly all events they have attended since.

The opposite can be said about FaZe, since the team picked up former Astralis in-game leader Finn "Karrigan" Andersen. Since Karrigan's arrival, FaZe have had their best results since the team's inception, and have looked stronger at each event they have attended.

Taking place roughly one month after the ELEAGUE Major, which begins on Jan. 22, IEM Katowice will likely be the debut tournament of several new rosters—so make sure to keep an eye on what could be one of the biggest CS:GO events of the year.