Sep 14 2016 - 1:40 pm

Rogue, NRG eSports invited to APAC Premier, China's big Overwatch event

The international invites for the first Overwatch live tournament which features teams from three continents are now revealed
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

The international invites for the first Overwatch live tournament which features teams from three continents are now revealed. The APAC Premier, announced two weeks ago with a nearly $200,000 prize pool, will bring together teams from Asia, Europe, and North America for a blockbuster event in China.

Rogue will represent Europe, NRG eSports will champion North America, South Korea will send Afreeca Freecs Blue and Lunatic-Hai, and Japan enters DeToNator and Unsold Stuff Gaming. Joining them will be six teams that survive an extensive qualifying round from China. The teams will clash in Shanghai in mid October.

It’s no surprise that Rogue, the reigning international Overwatch champions after winning Gamescom in August, received an invitation, though it only came after EnVyUs reportedly turned down an invitation due to visa issues. Rogue narrowly topped EnVyUs, which features a lineup of one American and five European players, but relocated to the United States to train, at Gamescom, but EnVyUs remains the most consistently dominant team in Overwatch online. Rogue, though, will receive another chance to show that they are the live event champions.

NRG eSports may be an odd choice to represent North America, considering their results since the game’s release have lagged behind domestic rivals Cloud9, EnVyUs, Fnatic, and even Complexity. Fnatic and EnVyUs, however, feature lineups of both European and American players. More importantly, they don’t start Brandon “Seagull” Larned, the most popular streamer and competitive player in Overwatch, who managed to build a large audience in Asia thanks to his high-level play on stream during the Overwatch beta. Plus, NRG eSports has the experience to survive an international event, with most of their players experience at LAN events with international competition in Team Fortress 2 and World of WarCraft. Cloud9 and Complexity dropped the ball at their first international showing at Gamescom, so perhaps NRG eSports will perform more solidly in China.

Both Rogue and NRG eSports will have a chance to showcase their skill in the LAN environment starting Sept. 25 when they head to Atlanta for the Overwatch Open finals hosted at the ELEAGUE studio.

The headlining Korean invite is certainly predictable. Afreeca Freecs Blue—formerly known as MiG Frost—is one of Asia’s most successful Overwatch teams. They took the Nexus Cup Recall Season championship in July in convincing fashion, though they’ve recently an influx of talented teams from China and Korea challenge their supremacy, like in last weekend’s Nexus Cup China-Korea training event, where Chinese team NGA Club bested them in the finals, despite Blue’s unbeaten group stage record.

Joining them will be Lunatic Hai, another Korean team with a strong track record, placing second in the Overwatch Power League which ended earlier in September.

Japan’s entries feature DeToNator, the nation’s top esports organization, and Unsold Stuff Gaming, who have both won multiple events in Japan’s budding Overwatch scene.

Overall it’s a field of talented teams and should give a window into just how strong Asia’s Overwatch teams are compared to their Western rivals. So far many in the West feel that their superior shooter mechanics, honed through years of competing in games like Quake, Counter-Strike, and Team Fortress 2 will give Western teams the advantage, but it’s never smart to count out Asian pro gamers.

Jan 15 2017 - 10:59 pm

Staz bests Orange in WESG Hearthstone final

It's the first major win for an SEA player.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Screengrab via Starladder_HS_en/Twitch

At the first major Hearthstone event of 2017, Euneil “Staz” Javinaz bested European star Jon "Orange" Westberg to win his first title—and the first for his region.

Staz and Orange went the full seven games in the stunning final set, trading games back and forth before Staz eventually came out on top 4-3. The final game was a grinding affair, a Reno Mage mirror that played over close to an hour.

Representing the South East Asia region, Staz is the first player from that region to win a major title.

Staz reached the final after beating out a pair of Europeans—Orange's countryman Elliot "Fluffy" Karlsson and the impressive Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer—arguably having the toughest road through the bracket stage.

Orange's run was no easy feat either as he had to take out Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert, one of the most successful players of 2016 playing in his first tournament since joining Counter Logic Gaming.

The loss meant that Orange was unable to string together back to back major victories, after winning his second Seat Story Cup title in December.

For his victory Staz takes home a whopping $150,000, one of the largest prizes ever awarded in Hearthstone. For second place Orange will have to make do with $70,000.

Jan 15 2017 - 10:31 pm

Kinguin and Fnatic Academy secure spots in European Challenger Series

The two teams made short work of the opposition.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Riot Games

Fnatic Academy and Team Kinguin qualified for the European League of Legends Challenger Series, taking themselves one step closer to the game's premier competition.

In rather emphatic fashion, the two teams completely decimated their opposition. Both teams were able to secure quick 3-0 victories, and will now be competing in the upcoming season of the EU CS league.

While both teams fell short of first place in the qualifiers group stage, the teams made up for it in spades in the tournament finals. The Polish Kinguin roster were the first team to qualify for the league, as the team completely decimated opponents on Nerv.

Despite featuring former EU CS players such as mid laner An "SuNo" Sun-ho, as well as support Christophe "je suis kaas" van Oudheusden, it seemed as if Nerv weren't able to find any opening against the Polish team.

The final series of the day saw Fnatic Academy, in equally as dominant fashion, defeat Team Forge.

The academy team's display in the three games was incredible impressive, in particular the performances of mid laner Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer and former FC Schalke AD carry Rasmus "MrRalleZ" Skinneholm, as both players only died once throughout the entire series.

With the qualifiers over, Kinguin and Fnatic Academy now join FC Schalke, Paris Saint-Germain, Millenium and Misfits Academy in the 2017 Spring Season of the EU CS.

The 2017 League of Legends season gets underway next week, when all regional leagues begin their spring seasons.