Oct 27 2014 - 4:01 pm

We have a new Call of Duty champion

Major League Gaming closed out its Call of Duty: Ghosts season with the $70,000 pro league playoffs this weekend
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Major League Gaming closed out its Call of Duty: Ghosts season with the $70,000 pro league playoffs this weekend.

Team EnVyUs became the last MLG Ghosts champion, winning the MLG Call of Duty: Ghosts Pro League by beating Noble Gaming in the final 3-0 to take home $30,000 at the MLG.tv Arena in Columbus. EnVyUs took home $30,000 in prizes, while Noble earned $15,000.

The top eight teams from the three-month long league descended on Columbus in an event that marked the debut of MLG's new esports arena, which the company launched specifically constructed to host live events. If one team was the favorite, it was likely EnVyUs, but recent results in the league and at the last few live tournaments showed the title was up for grabs. EnVyUs won Gfinity 3 in August, but Denial and FaZe took UMG Dallas and Nashville, respectively—it was anyone’s game.

This weekend, though, EnVyUs was back in top form. No one came close to beating them as their immense slaying power and individual talent ran roughshod over the competition. EnVyUs swept two of their four series, and only dropped a single map in the other two.

Matt “FormaL” Piper was again in MVP form, making a case for being the best Ghosts player as the game’s life cycle comes to a close. Piper posted a 1.34 kills per death in respawns with 30.4 kills per round. In Search and Destroy he was dominant, with 1.61 kills per death. Piper became the first ever player to win both a major Halo and Call of Duty title when his team won Gfinity 3 in August. Now, it’s clear that Call of Duty title was the first of many more to come.

Their toughest challenge didn’t come from Denial, FaZe, or even one of the OpTic gaming teams, all considered contenders heading into the tournament. Two cinderella teams, who established themselves midway through the league season, gave EnVyUs a run for their money.

Noble Vanquish and Most Wanted burst into Season 3 midway through the league, replacing defunct teams with new, young lineups and surprising the league. Most Wanted qualified for the playoffs on the last day the competition, narrowly beating out perennial champions Evil Geniuses to reach the playoffs. Noble purchased an 0-8 team and replaced them with a lineup that went 19-15 to narrowly reach the playoffs.

Now, no one can say their runs were undeserved. Noble Gaming placed second at the tournament while Most Wanted took third, showing that online results perhaps do have more bearing on live placement than many professionals want to admit.

Noble beat Rise Nation, Denial, and Most Wanted to earn two chances against EnVyus, but they fell short both times. Most Wanted had to survive a harrowing tournament bracket to reach third—EnVyUs knocked them to the lower bracket in the first round of the tournament by beating them 3-1, but Most Wanted responded with an amazing run through the bracket.

The team beat FaZe and Denial back-to-back, eliminating the two most recent Ghosts LAN champions. Then they swept fan darlings OpTic Gaming before finally falling to Noble Gaming.

The tournament ends Major League Gaming’s run with Call of Duty: Ghosts, as their next event will be the MLG Columbus tournament on Nov. 28 featuring the next edition of Call of Duty. Advanced Warfare drops on Nov. 3. Teams are already starting to gear up for the all-important tournament: rosters in place at Columbus will decide lineups for the next league season.

But while most of the scene looks towards Advanced Warfare, there’s still one last Ghosts tournament. The Electronic Sports World Cup next weekend will pit the best teams in Europe and some from America, including EnVyUs and Evil Geniuses, in one last hurrah for the tired game. Evil Geniuses enters with the top seed as the defending ESWC champion, but three of their players have already declared free agency after a disappointing MLG season where they failed to reach the playoffs. Team captain Patrick “Aches” Price says the lineup will give it one last go in Europe. But the favorites must be the Piper-led EnVyUs. They won the last major tournament in Europe, Gfinity 3, and look to be in top form after a dominating win in Columbus.

Call of Duty: Ghosts was one of the least popular titles in the storied franchise among competitive gamers, but it’s finally giving way to the next generation—just as the next generation of Call of Duty pros are taking over the scene.

Screengrab via MLGCOD/YouTube

Jan 20 2017 - 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.

Jan 20 2017 - 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.