Jun 21 2014 - 1:10 pm

This is why you ban Kassadin

Letting Kassadin through champion select was almost a deadly mistake for LMQ this week in the League Championship Series
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Letting Kassadin through champion select was almost a deadly mistake for LMQ this week in the League Championship Series.

Last split, Kassadin was a permanent ban, a champion so feared no team risked letting him into the game. Since his rework in March, tuning down his mobility but upping his defense, he’s slowly started to make his way back into competition, with middling results.

But for Cloud9, Kassadin proved to be just what slumping team captain Hai Lam needed.

Lam obliterated LMQ with a quadra kill twenty-three minutes into their NA LCS, allowing his team to take Baron and take control the match. Lam used the champion’s teleport to deal massive damage and pick off the players trying to escape destruction, narrowly missing out on a pentakill as LMQ mid laner Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian barely managed to escape thanks to the slow from his Orianna ball.

While Cloud9 would quickly squander their advantage by pushing into a bad position in the river at dragon, allowing LMQ to wipe them with a couple well-placed ultimates, Lam showed that Kassadin is still a weapon to be feared in the LCS.

Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube

Today - 7:00 pm

Collegiate League of Legends headed to Big Ten Network

Are college esports about to take off?
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Image via Riot Games

Collegiate League of Legends is coming to television for the first time, thanks to a new partnership between Riot Games and the Big Ten Network.

A dozen of the Big Ten's schools will compete in a new league, which gets underway Jan. 30. The finals will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network itself, the conference's television station available in up to 100 million homes across North America.

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin will be competing in the league. The teams will be split into east and west conferences playing best-of-three round robin matches, with the top four teams in each conference competing in single elimination playoffs.

Though no details have been released about any kind of prizepool, all 72 players in the league will receive a $5,000 scholarship payment for participating in the league.

The league will be broadcast online by both the Big Ten Network and Riot Games on their respective online platforms. Teams will play from home up until the finals themselves on Mar. 27.

The extended partnership between the two parties follows the BTN Invitational at PAX East in Boston last March, where Ohio State took on Michigan State.

The partnership between BTN and Riot is just the latest development in the growth of collegiate esports, and will be the second televised event after Blizzard's Heroes of the Dorm was broadcast on ESPN2 in both 2015 and 2016.

Collegiate Starleague, one of the biggest organizers of college esports, currently operates competitions across eight games, most recently adding Madden to its lineup.

Today - 5:57 pm

Astralis secures Audi sponsorship

The deal is worth just shy of $750,000, according to sources close to the situation.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Image via Valve | Remix by William Copus

The biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive franchise in Denmark has just secured a massive deal with German auto-giant Audi.

Astralis, one of the favored teams competing at the upcoming ELEAGUE Major from Jan. 22-29, just unveiled that it has been sponsored by Audi, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. The size of the deal isn't minor, either. According to sources close to the situation, the sponsorship is valued at just below €700,000 ($750,000).

This sum puts the deal at roughly the same amount as banking service Visa's recent sponsorship of reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming. With two high-profile companies investing heavily into esports, it's fair to say that the industry has grown tremendously in the last year.

"It's fantastic news for esports and a validation of our world, that a non-endemic brand like Audi chooses to work with Astralis and Counter-Strike," Astralis' founder Frederik Byskov told Dot Esports after the announcement. Considered a veteran within the esports industry, Byskov founded Astralis in late 2015, along with the five Danish CS:GO players that made up TSM's former CS:GO roster.

Now, just shy of a year later, Astralis is positioned as one of the biggest brands in CS:GO. "I've been in esports for more than 10 years, and we only created Astralis a year ago. It's a fantastic way to celebrate the anniversary today. I'm very thankful for the work RFRSH Entertainment has put into this, making it a possibility for Astralis to enter a partnership with Audi," Byskov said.

Additional reporting by Thiemo Brautigam.