Apr 15 2014 - 6:22 pm

This futuristic cyberpunk soccer game was the best new esport at PAX East

It would have been easy to miss the best new esport at the annual PAX East video game festival
Patrick Howell O'Neill
Dot Esports

It would have been easy to miss the best new esport at the annual PAX East video game festival. Tucked away in a small booth, Project Cyber hardly would have stood out—if not for the delighted shouts coming from anyone who sat down to try it out.

The indie game, described by the developers as “three on three co-op soccer with super-powers,” has been building a small but dedicated fanbase since it began public development in January.

The game’s creators took a unique approach to developing the game, both streaming the process on Twitch and soliciting viewer and player feedback. That collaborative process yielded something really special.

No video does the game justice

The game caught my attention as I walked around the convention floor thanks to its eye-catching, neon-bright graphics. I sat down at an open computer next to two teammates who were already frantically fighting a losing battle. They’d been at a two-on-three disadvantage and had given up two early goals. In the first minute of my play, I gave up two more as I learned to play.

But Project Cyber (working title) is very easy to learn. Another minute in, I was playing goalie with as much skill as the other newbies in the game. However, unlike any goalie I had seen before, I had weapons and super powers. One button dashed, another projected a wall in front of me, and a third input launched the ball away like a rocket. There was more—I think I dropped a bomb at some point—but it only took those fundamentals necessary to compete with other novices. My team began to crawl back into the game.

Without realizing it, we’d all been cheering with every kick and goal, lost in the game. A loud buzzer sounded, ominous red lights flashed and sudden death overtime began. It took another 60 second struggle to force the ball into the opposing net. My teammates and I jumped up off our seats in celebration.

The game is inherently competitive, like soccer. But it has other things in common with the beautiful game as well: Speed, coordination, snowballing excitement, and the deep satisfaction of doing something right.

This is an esport not in the vein of StarCraft or FIFA. Instead, its peers are indie sports games like Hokra and Frozen Endzone, titles that stretch sport into a fantastic future. And I couldn’t help but notice the similarity to Nintendo’s long history of great competitive party games like Mario Strikers: Clean, smart, and deep.

Project Cyber is still a young title with a small community. But there's already enough polish and fun in the game that has the potential for a bright esports future.

You can sign up to get the game for free here.

Image via Project Cyber community

Jan 21 2017 - 10:55 pm

Contractz shines as Cloud9 topples TSM

Cloud9’s rookie jungler made a big splash in his LCS debut
Xing Li
Dot Esports
Photo via Riot Games

Cloud9’s Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia didn't just make an impression in his LCS debut. He blew away all expectations, and showed himself to be a force to be reckoned with.

Contractz was the last cut from the Players to Watch list we wrote before the League Championship season. We weren’t sure how much priority Cloud9 would give him, especially with so much talent elsewhere on the roster. Still, we felt uneasy--someone not on the list was almost guaranteed to break out.

We just didn’t know that it would happen in the very first series.

In a rematch of last summer’s LCS Finals, Cloud9 and TSM clashed on the rift. And despite the star power that this matchup brings, much of the focus was on Contractz. He was a major focus for C9, almost a win condition in themselves.

Let’s see how he did it.

Jungle Priority

Due to the changes Riot made to the jungle in the offseason, priority has risen for junglers. More experience and more ganks means a good jungler can more easily carry a game. Cloud9’s coach, Bok “Reapred” Han-gyu talks about priority all the time.

Priority is a League term that indicates which lane has a strong matchups and should be a focus for jungle ganks. The player or lane with priority gets earlier picks and more attention from the rest of the team.

In a bit of a role reversal, C9 picked jungle to have priority in game one. That meant C9 players actively played around Contractz’ Kha’zix and made plays to get him ahead. In one telling instance, AD carry Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi burned his Ashe ult so that Contractz could invade and secure red buff.

Contractz rewarded that allocation by killing TSM ADC Jason “WildTurtle” Tran for First Blood. Cloud9 picked a risky comp that required Contractz and mid laner Nicolaj Jensen (playing Fizz) to snowball. Aided by some questionable team play from TSM and baffling itemization from WildTurtle, they accomplished that.

How would TSM react in game two?

A Lee Sin God

Cloud9 continued to give Contractz priority by first-picking Lee Sin for him (only one jungler, Rengar, was banned). This time, he lived in TSM’s red side jungle, playing around pressure from Jensen and top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong.

A well-executed gank gave C9 First Blood again, this time on Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. C9’s duo lane kept their own red-side safe, allowing Contractz to clear and run to the top lane to kill Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell.

For much of the series, Cloud9 exhibited superior team play and coordination, and Contractz was at the center of big plays. He is an aggressive, carry-oriented player and C9 enabled that aggression extremely well. Even when TSM jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and the rest of the team was there, it was often C9 making the right moves, faster. Following a decent TSM dive in the bot lane, Contractz responded with kill after kill.

It’s still very early in the season, but this team has come together very fast. Their communication was superb as was the shot calling. TSM had poor performances from Turtle and Svenskeren, but this victory was still more about C9's macro-oriented team play, rather than individual performances. They will have chances to come back, just like C9 will have to keep their play high by continuing to aid their jungler.

Contractz just dominated what was the best team in NA. Keep this performance up, and he’ll find himself on another one of our lists: the end of split awards.

Jan 21 2017 - 10:50 pm

Soccer legend Ronaldo invests in Brazilian esports team CNB

The two-time World Cup winner is making a move into esports.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via [Fotos GOVBA[(https://www.flickr.com/photos/37885263@N05/6717662659) (CC BY 2.0)

Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima has joined the throng of sporting figures investing into esports, purchasing a stake in a Brazilian esports team.

Ronaldo has invested in CNB e-sports Club alongside poker pro André Akkari and Igor Trafane Federal, CEO of the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP), with the trio buying 50 percent of the organization.

The club's original founders, brothers Cleber “Fuzi” Fonseca and Carlos “Fury” Júnior, retain the other 50 percent ownership and remain responsible for the management of the team.

The news was announced through myCNB, the news portal owned by the same parent company as the team and now also owned by the new investment group.

According to the report Akkari, a close friend of Ronaldo, was the driving force behind the investment after visiting a number of team houses early last year.

CNB finished second in the 2016 CBLoL Stage 2 finals, a remarkable run of form after finishing bottom of the table in the Stage 1 season earlier in the year. The team they lost to in that Stage 2 final was INTZ e-Sports, who competed at the 2016 World Championships and IEM Oakland.

Ronaldo is arguably one of the biggest sporting figures to put their money into esports to date. A three-time FIFA player of the year, Ronaldo won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and 2002. He played for some of Europe's best teams in an 18-year career, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan.