Dec 27 2013 - 3:35 pm

Chess will outlast eSports, says world's greatest chess master

On a trip to the World Youth Mindsports Fair in Seoul, South Korea, one of the greatest chess grandmasters of all time weighed in on this new-fangled thing we call eSports
Patrick Howell O'Neill
Dot Esports

On a trip to the World Youth Mindsports Fair in Seoul, South Korea, one of the greatest chess grandmasters of all time weighed in on this new-fangled thing we call eSports.

It was fitting that Seoul provoked eSports pontifications from Garry Kasparov. Even there—a city known as the Mecca of eSports—Kasparov sees a day when Chess and Go surpass current eSports stalwarts League of Legends and StarCraft.

In fact, he sees a time limit on League’s popularity. If that sounds crazy, consider that StarCraft: Brood War once attracted hundreds of thousands of people to fill arenas. Now, the game has faded.

Did better “slightly better graphics” kill Brood War? There’s an argument to be made that StarCraft 2, which admittedly has way more polygons on screen, killed Brood War. If that’s the case, a multimillion dollar marketing machine from Blizzard killed the original king of eSports and graphics were only a small part of that death.

Barring an unlikely popular sequel to chess, that’s something the game of kings never has to worry about.

What will kill League of Legends?

Any eSports die-hard getting offended really ought to try chess. It’s a beautiful game. Even if your eSport of choice has beauty too, it’s hard to deny the awesome power of a game that’s attracted competitors for a millenium.

But Kasparov isn’t being disrespectful toward eSports or even other board games.

Kasparov doesn't have anything gainst games per se. He’s credited as a designer on Kasparov Chessmate. In fact, he’s looking into a new one now.

If you need more proof that Kasparov isn’t ignorant of the world of eSports, remember that he recognized and met Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen years ago in an airport when Schenkhuizen was the greatest Warcraft 3 player in the world.  The two talked games as the cameras rolled. Kasparov’s recognition of Grubby was likely aided by the fact that Kasparov’s son is a Warcraft “expert" (according to Kasparov himself), among many other video games.

After the tweets, Kasparov engaged in a friendly back and forth with his followers.

As eSports matures, it will be interesting to see what happens as great minds from games like chess weigh in on the new competitive frontier. In the meantime, Kasparov will keep learning.

Yes, Koreans are the best. That’s eSports lesson #1, Garry.

Photo via AceKindred/Flickr

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Jan 18 2017 - 9:07 pm

Yes, SKT played Ziggs ADC in a competitive game—and they dominated with him

The current League world champs show us all how OP bot-lane Ziggs can be.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

ADC Ziggs has been spreading like the plague (a really, really annoying plague) through ranked games in League of Legends over the past few weeks, and SK Telecom T1 reminded everyone why they’re the World Champions by taking him into a League Champions Korea game—and destroying their opponents with him.

Jin Air, the team that fell at the hands of the mighty ADC Ziggs in the LCK earlier today, probably thought that SKT’s Bae ‘Bang’ Jun-sik was joking around when he hovered over Ziggs in Champ Select. Surely Ziggs is only a troll pick that streamers play to entertain their audiences or that Bronze players choose because they saw Shiphtur do it once, right? Right?

Wrong.

The irritating, familiar sound of Ziggs saying “This’ll be a blast!” rang loud as Bang locked him in, ready to take the AP terror down into the bot lane. It was a bloody sight to see, as Bang dominated his lane opponents. At the end of the laning phase, Bang had 3-0’d his adversary as the explosive-crazed Yordle. He won trades, outplayed tower-dives, and showed us all just how possible it is to take an AP mage into a role overrun by Marksman champions and thrive.

Was it because Ziggs is OP in that particular position? Was it, perhaps, because the state of ADCs is so pathetic that you can take any old champion into that role and do better than a traditional ADC? Actually, it’s a little bit of both.

This Ziggs pick may begin a trend of meta-breaking within professional play, and because of that casual players will follow suit. Soon, we may see more mages in bot lane, more marksmen up top, and even some supports pick Janna in the jungle.

Ziggs is an important lesson for the future of League. Playing him in the highest level of competition suggests that there may be more instances like this Ziggs game—where pro players figure out ways to use unorthodox champion picks to their advantage.

Sometimes, the meta doesn’t have to be followed—if you can find another champion to play a specific role well enough. A few seasons ago, after all, you’d dodge a ranked lobby if you saw a Rumble lock the jungle role, and now you wouldn’t bat an eye.

Love him or hate him, Ziggs is here to stay, and since the god-team of SKT has now played him in a pro game, you can expect even more ADC Ziggs appearances in your Bronze ranked games. He even has the second highest win percentage out of any other ADC, according to League stats website Champion.gg. Don’t worry if you’re having trouble winning against him, you could always go ADC Syndra.