Sep 26 2016 - 5:41 pm

EnVyUs takes NA title at Overwatch Open, will play on live television Friday

We now know the first team that will compete on primetime television in Overwatch this Friday
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

We now know the first team that will compete on primetime television in Overwatch this Friday.

The NA half of the Overwatch Open at the ELEAGUE studios finished yesterday, with EnVyUs winning the day and securing a spot in the final set to be televised on Sept. 30 where they’ll face the best team Europe has to offer.

Things started off with group stage finals where NRG eSports and Cloud9 managed to beat teams that bested them a day prior, securing them berths in the semifinals. There, though, they ran into group winners EnVyUs and Fnatic, who both looked solid in their semifinal games.

EnVyUs beat Cloud9 in a 3-1 series where the teams played four Escort maps in a row. Cloud9 managed to secure the second on Hollywood after holding their final point for over four minutes, but on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and their final map selection, Route 66, EnVyUs looked dominant.

Fnatic swept NRG eSports in the other semifinal in a series that opened with a surprising map selection: Eichenwalde. The map in Overwatch is a bit of uncharted territory, seeing little play in competition so far, but it seemed like Fnatic had it better understood. They put Casey "buds" McIlwaine in position to succeed and he delivered with Reaper. NRG eSports then pulled out Dorado, and they snowballed the first two points instantly thanks to some solid Mei play from Brandon “Seagull” Larned. Fnatic, though, managed to stall long enough on last to give them a fighting chance in the next round, and they scored a close victory. That sent the series to Hanamura, where it took a last-ditch effort from Fnatic to grab the first point on their first attack, eventually securing them the match and the series.

The NA finals pit EnVyUs—a team of five Europeans transplanted to North America to train and build off their legacy as the world’s top Overwatch team in online competition—against the Fnatic team who has emerged as the next best team in the region since they donned the Fnatic tag.

EnVyUs were the clear favorites, but it was Fnatic who struck first on King’s Row. They held EnVyUs on the first point of the map, something incredibly difficult to accomplish against a top team, and scored the first win in the series.

It was all downhill from there, though.

EnVyUs took the match to Lijiang Tower, and they overpowered Fnatic on the Control game types with stronger teamfight coordination. Dorado came next, and EnVyUs pulled out the recently out-of-favor Pharah and Mercy combo, taking advantage of Zenyatta falling a bit out of favor in the new Ana meta, to put together a formidable attack. EnVyUs then closed out the series on Nepal, showing that they’re the more dominant team in the Control game type.

Cloud9 and NRG eSports took home $18,000 for their efforts, while Fnatic earned a cool $24,000. The big money, though, will come in the grand final, where the immigrant team EnVyUs will face a European rival with $100,000 on the line. While EnVyUs was a heavy favorite to take home the NA title, in Europe the field is wide open. Rogue, champions of the Atlantic Showdown at Gamescom, face stiff competition from Showdown finalists REUNITED and Misfits, whose new look lineup seems to be firing on all cylinders heading into the biggest event of their careers. The European group stage kicks off tomorrow morning, and you can catch the action live on Twitch.

Today - 11:07 pm

How to Watch the ESL Hearthstone Trinity Series: Players, Format, Times, and More

It's the biggest team league the game has seen in over a year.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

It's been well over a year since Hearthstone last had a major team league in the West—something fans have been crying out for. Tomorrow the wait ends, and the ESL Trinity Series begins.

Eight trios, flying the banners of some of the biggest franchises in esports, will compete in best-of-11 matches until Mar. 2. The top teams will advance to a live finals at the ESL studios in California, with $75,000 up for grabs for the winning team.

This is a big moment for Hearthstone esports. After growth slowed in 2016, this league could get 2017 off to a big start as the major players in the scene attempt to stabilize and consolidate their positions.

Here's everything you need to know about the league, the teams involved, and how the matches will play out.

What is the format?

For each match, the teams will submit nine decks—one for each class in the game. Each team will ban out two of their opponent's decks, leaving seven decks from which the teams pick a final lineup of six.

The teams then play a best-of-11 match in the Last Hero Standing format—once a deck loses a game it is locked for the rest of the match, and you lose when you have no decks left. Unlike the Archon Team League Championships where each player was assigned a couple of decks to play, all six players will be playing every game of every series. They will do so with open communication, which viewers will be tuned in to throughout the broadcast.

The format requires a huge amount of strategy, deckbuilding skill, and team work. The teams will have to argue out each individual play, make their move within the short timeframe of a turn, and try not to fall out in the process. Matches will be long, and real-life fatigue will play a part.

How will the league be broadcast?

The broadcasts will be presented from ESL's studios in Burbank, California, with TJ Sanders and Brian Kibler slated to call the action.

The players themselves will be playing from home, adding another level of difficulty to the communication, until the league reaches its final stages.

The matches will be played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting tomorrow, with two matches per day. Games will start at 1pm ET (10am PT) for the duration of the seven week season and will be aired on ESL's Hearthstone Twitch channel.

Who are the teams?

The lineup features some of the biggest brands in esports. Two Hearthstone world champions, over a dozen tournament winners, and some wildcards too.

G2 Esports are easily the favorites to win it all. The trio of Dima "Rdu" Radu, Thijs Molendijk, and Adrian "Lifecoach" Koy is the most decorated in the game, with the Archon Team League Championships title also under their belt. The weight of expectation is firmly upon this European trio.

Although the team is relatively new, having just brought on a third member in time for the league, Alliance will be one of the teams to watch. The Swedish organization picked up a trio of players to represent the team and their country in three-time major winner Jon "Orange" Westberg, 2015 world champion Sebastian "Ostkaka" Engwall, and consistent journeyman Harald "Powder" Gimre.

Virtus Pro will be a force to be reckoned with. After starting out as rivals at the 2016 European Winter Championship, Artem "DrHippi" Kravets, Ole "Naiman" Batyrbekov, and Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer have formed a formidable unit. The team has been represented in countless major tournaments this year, with DrHippi finishing second in the world championship.

CompLexity will be looking to turn potential and underdog determination into results. Jan "SuperJJ" Janssen was impressively consistent throughout 2016, but did not win a major title. Simon "Crane" Raunholst has long been considered one of the best minds in the game but he has also not borne this out with results, while perennial prospect Tugay "MrYagut" Evsan will be looking to show just why he was so highly touted for so long.

The only all-American lineup in the tournament, Luminosity Gaming will also be hoping to live up to their billing. Branded a U.S. "super team" when they were formed last year, DreamHack Austin winner Keaton "Chakki" Gill and the experienced Paul "Zalae" Nemeth will be partnered by top young talent Frank "Fr0zen" Zhang.

The experienced but somewhat out-of-favor hand of Peter "Gaara" Stevanovic will look to guide Tempo Storm's young prospects David "JustSaiyan" Shan and Victor "Vlps" Lopez to success, while the veteran Team Liquid trio of David "Dog" Caero, Jeffrey "Sjow" Brusi, and Yevhenii "Neirea" Shumilin will aim to prove the value of experience.

Speaking of veterans, 2014 world champion James "Firebat" Kostesich, early leader Cong "StrifeCro" Shu, and 2014 World Esports Championship winner Andrew "TidesofTime" Biessener will round out the lineup for Cloud9. With Firebat having casted more than competed in 2016, StrifeCro having made just the odd appearance and TidesofTime having spent the past two years struggling with whether or not he loved the game anymore, this lineup will now have to deliver on a big stage.

Though 2017 is only a few weeks old, the ESL Trinity Series promises to be one of the most entertaining and competitive events of the year. The players will be tested to the limits of their skills—and Hearthstone fans will finally have another team league to get invested in.

Today - 10:33 pm

These are the first four teams confirmed for the IEM World Championship

Eight teams will be competing at one of the largest international League of Legends events.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Riot Games

Half of the teams slated to compete at one of League of Legend's largest international events in 2017 have been announced.

The IEM World Championship will once conclude at IEM Katowice in Poland in March after roughly four months worth of competiton across three international events. Eight teams in total will be attending the event. Earlier today ESL revealed the first half that are slated to compete at the event.

The first four teams that will attend are Europe's H2K and Unicorns of Love, North Americans Cloud9 and lastly the Eastern European M19 squad, which was formerly known as Albus NoX Luna.

A majority of teams attending the event have been invited based off of their performance in the 2016 League World Championship. Additionally the victors at IEM's events in Oakland and Gyeonggi, which were won by Unicorns of Love and Samsung Galaxy respectively.

Reigning world champions SKT T1 and Chinese supersquad EDward Gaming have also secured invites to the event after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2016 World Championship, but have not confirmed their participation yet.

Eight teams will be competing at the event in total, though the final contestants are yet to be decided. None of the competitors representing the East Asian League Master Series were able to advance from the group stage. They also failed to qualify through IEM Oakland or Gyeonggi.

The IEM World Championship will take place from Feb. 22 to 26.