Jan 20 2014 - 10:56 pm

An online game you've never heard of made $1 billion last year

CrossFire, a South Korean first person shooter by SmileGate, took in nearly $1 billion in revenue last year, making it the most lucrative free-to-play game online, according to Super Data Research
Patrick Howell O'Neill
Dot Esports

CrossFire, a South Korean first person shooter by SmileGate, took in nearly $1 billion in revenue last year, making it the most lucrative free-to-play game online, according to Super Data Research.

Yes, it even beat out international juggernaut and current competitive gaming king League of Legends.

Image via Super Data Research

CrossFire was first release in South Korea in 2007. The game took Counter-Strike’s tried-and-true fundamentals and slightly expanded upon, adding dozens of maps, game modes, weapons, and characters.

Despite its massive financial success, CrossFire has had mixed global impact on the global competitive gaming scene, at least relative to its overall sales. Tencent handed out $180,000 in prizes last year and runs regular competitions through the site Esports Genesis.

Part of the game's huge financial success surely rests in its pay-to-win structure, which allows players to purchase their way to greater power—essentially rewarding money over skill. For instance, players must pay to even be equipped with body armor, a gross imbalance in the eyes of many traditional esports fans. To make matters worse, online competition is marred by the fact that CrossFire suffers from a cheating pandemic.

League of Legends comes in second on the list with $624 million earned in 2013. World of Tanks, World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike Online round out the top 10 with each earning well over $100 million during the last year.

H/T Polygon | Screengrab via Play Free Online Games

Jan 22 2017 - 9:12 pm

Hearthstone's NA vs CN event ends in controversy

The Chinese players were coasting to victory, but their final win provoked minor outrage.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

China's best Hearthstone players turned back a team of the best North America had to offer—but the event did not end without controversy.

In the final game of the event series, China's "Lvge" made a play that seemed to defy logic. He played Dirty Rat on turn two, risking pulling a hugely advantageous early Tomb Pillager or Gadgetzan Auctioneer for his opponent Keaton "Chakki" Gill.

However, according to the American players the Chinese casters and Lvge's teammates were screaming to play the Rat when he picked the card up, and with no white noise in the player headsets Lvge could likely hear the noise and take the cue.

The play promoted a furious series of tweets from Tempo Storm founder and Team NA player Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk—though the tweets were later deleted.

Chakki and other players have also commented on the controversy, claiming that they raised the issue of players being able to hear the casters. The other members of each team were also watching the stream of the game, meaning they could see the hands of the opposing player.

There was little that could be done to address the controversy unless the admins immediately halted the game in progress, as the game was tournament point for the Chinese side.

Despite the controversial finish, team China had run away with the tournament to get into that position. Thanks to two wins by "OmegaZero" and "Lovelychook" over the two day event, Lvge was left with only Chakki left to beat.

China had also won the first of the three showpiece events, before Canada's Julien “Cydonia” Perrault had single-handedly won the second for team North America.

Jan 22 2017 - 10:55 pm

EnVyUs survive Team Liquid comeback for overtime win

It was the closest game of the Major so far.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via Turner Sports

Team EnVyUs survived a mammoth comeback attempt from Team Liquid to chalk up an overtime victory in their first match of the ELEAGUE Major.

Despite Team Liquid fighting back against eight match points, the French side were able to hold on and win in triple overtime in the closest game of the Major so far.

Drawing a relatively even map of Cache, the two teams were evenly matched in the early going. EnVyUs put up four unanswered rounds but Team Liquid didn't let the French run away with it, and drew it back 4-4. The teams remained relatively inseparable throughout the first half as Liquid defended well, allowing EnVyUs just a three round lead at half time.

However once the second half got started, the French side went off. EnVyUs AWPer Kenny "kennyS" Schrub was in top form picking off his American opponents, and it took a superhuman effort for Liquid to even get a T round. That came in the form of a sniper quadkill from Josh "jdm64" Marzano, who almost single handedly dragged his team back into this match.

The quadkill came in the nick of time, as EnVyUs were leading 15-7 and were just one round away from sealing the match.

Liquid rallied, eating into the lead of their French rivals. In a comeback that looked unfathomable Liquid managed eight rounds in a row to take it to overtime as the score hit 15-15.

After the teams were inseparable in the first period, a second overtime was called for. This time it was EnVyUs who needed to mount a comeback, as Liquid took it 20-18 and a match point of their own. They put themselves ahead at 21-19, but levelled things up once again.

In the third set of overtime rounds, EnVyUs were finally able to put the Legend side away. The French team put together four straight round wins to win the match at 25-21—a match that very nearly slipped away from them.