Feb 14 2014 - 2:00 pm

Major League Gaming is expanding to Brazil

Major League Gaming, the biggest esports league in North America, is going to Brazil
Patrick Howell O'Neill
Dot Esports

Major League Gaming, the biggest esports league in North America, is going to Brazil.

The 12-year-old company announced today it has established its first international franchise, MLG Brasil, as part of a partnership with Grupo Águia, a major sports entertainment and tourism company best known for providing hospitality, food, and transportation services at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The new MLG franchise will see its first competitive games played at the Call of Duty Championship Brazilian Online Qualifiers on Feb. 16 and 23 on MLG.tv. MLG Brasil expects to run major in-person events, in 2014 but no specific schedule has been planned so far.

“We plan to announce additional global operations throughout the year,” said Mike Sepso, MLG co-founder and president. The MLG’s roadmap includes “many international franchises," Sepso said.

Brazil is the fastest growing games market in the world in terms of total consumer spending, according to video game market research firm Newzoo. Brazil also boasts an Internet population of around 80 million and over 100,000 LAN houses, where as much as half of all Brazilian Internet access takes place, including quite a bit of gaming.

Brazil’s esports history stretches back over a decade. Ten years ago, the Counter-Strike team Made in Brazil (known as mibr) gained worldwide fame through shocking upsets over teams like 3D from the more well-established regions of North America and Europe. Mibr won the hearts of fans all over the world and took home over $125,000 in prize money over five years of play.

Plans to build the Brazilian operation have been in the works for the last year. Leading the venture will be CEO Paulo Castello Branco, the current CEO of Travel Brazil, executive president of the Grupo Águia management team, and “an esports fan,” according to Sepso. “His passion for sports and gaming and strong history with major events in Brazil make him the perfect person to spearhead the MLG Brasil operation.”

Paulo Castello Branco, photo via mercadoeeventos.com.br

MLG Brasil will work under the guidance of MLG’s executives in New York City to create a league uniquely suited to the Brazilian market, through the specific games to be featured has yet to be determined. Sepso added, however, that MLG’s global games will likely still appear in addition to games unique to Brazil. Recent MLG North American events have featured games like Call of DutyDota 2, and StarCraft 2League of Legends, one of Brazil’s most popular games, has not been featured at an MLG event since early last year.

MLG’s international expansion is the latest in a series of big announcements at the start of 2014, making it already something of an eventful year for the group. Last month, the company announced it was closing in on profitability for the first time ever thanks in large part to their new MLG.tv streaming service. This week, MLG partnered with a major Hollywood studio to launch the first in a series of advertising campaigns.

When discussing Grupo Águia’s prominent role at the World Cup, new CEO Branco spoke about the importance of changing the perception of Brazil in the international community. Sporting megaevents may represent a watershed moment in Brazilian history, he said, and have the potential to change the legacy of Brazilian tourism.

“Brazil is now an interesting country,” he told Radar, “it is a country that is seen, the country in fashion.”

Of course, MLG is hardly the first international esports company to set down roots in Brazil. Intel Extreme Masters ran their annual tournament in Sao Paulo just two weeks ago. Before that, esports heavyweights like the World Cyber Games and Cyberathlete Professional League ran annual tournaments as well.

But none of those companies set up a permanent base in the country, making MLG’s expedition something new and interesting to watch.

“As the fourth largest market in the world, we know there is enormous potential in Brazil and an appetite for competition,” Branco said.

Photo via AK Rockefeller (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Jan 20 2017 - 9:02 pm

The Blood Moon hangs in the sky—and Blood Moon Jhin could be League’s next skin

In an eerie tweet, Riot hints at the next champion in the Blood Moon skin line.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Images via Riot Games | Remix by William Copus

The latest skin in the League of Legends Blood Moon skin series, Blood Moon Jhin, could be in the works.

Earlier today Riot tweeted out a teaser, in which the crimson moon can be seen through an archway of sorts with Jhin’s gun suspended in the air, making it almost certain that he’s the next champion to receive a Blood Moon skin. The red haze covering the scene really adds to the creepy factor.

The Blood Moon skins have been pretty awesome—even the early iterations of the series like Akali’s Blood Moon skin. The Blood Moon skins are all colored red in some way, and feature demon masks based on “The Red Demon”—a version of Japanese “oni” which is a spirit that brings strife, disease, disasters, and deceit. In addition to Akali, there have been five more skins in the series: Thresh, Yasuo, Kennen, Kalista, and Shen. Jhin’s will hopefully be no exception to that pattern of awesomeness.

If the skin turned out to be a dud the community wouldn’t take it too kindly. Why? Well, two reasons. First of all, the community has been asking for another Jhin skin since his launch in January last year. He has only had the skin he was launched with, High Noon Jhin, since he actually came out. It is a pretty cool skin, but fans want more. If they finally see Jhin get his new skin and it sucks? Well, I’m sure you can imagine how that would go down.

With ADC mains sending death threats to Riot staff over not enjoying ADC gameplay, imagine what they’d do if their favorite champion received a bad skin. And that brings us to the second point. Jhin is one of the favorite ADCs in the game right now.

Jhin sports almost an 18 percent rate of play, which means he is in nearly one-fifth of all ranked games. In the ADC role, there are only three other ADCs that compete with that play rate out of nearly 20 ADC champions: Vayne, Caitlyn, and Ezreal. I know you were expecting me to say “Ziggs,” but Ziggs isn’t played all that much in the bot lane (yet).

Fortunately, Riot’s skins have been very cool lately. Just look at the Worldbreaker skins, and even the new Lunar Revel set. With the track record of those awesome skins and the previous Blood Moon skins, we’re hoping Blood Moon Jhin will be as badass as it deserves to be.

Jan 20 2017 - 1:25 am

Get your Red Envelopes ready—the Lunar Revel event in League starts today

Riot is kicking off the 2017 Lunar Revel with some slick new skins.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

The Lunar New Year is a sacred, historic holiday that is celebrated by nations in the far east. It marks the beginning of the year based on the cycles of the moon. There’s dancing, festivals, parades, but much more importantly: A special League of Legends event. Why is that so important? Because you can get sweet new skins, of course!

The Lunar Revel Event is a yearly occurrence in League that features shiny new goodies to buy in-game. The event was announced and started today, so after you update the client, you’ll be able to take part in the festivities.

1) Free Icon

That’s right, for the small cost of going to the official Lunar Revel web page, you can claim a free Summoner Icon! The interactive home page acts as the hub for the Lunar Revel event, and you can click through the menu to see all the features. There’s even some lore tying each of this year’s Lunar Revel skins to their respective champions.

2) Champion Skins

There are three skins coming out for the Lunar Revel event this year: Garen, Azir, and Vi. Each has a matching Summoner Icon available in the store.

Garen’s sword and rad man-bun make this skin what it is: Awesome. When he spins to win, a green dragon swirls around him. When he ults, the giant sword that falls from the heavens... well, it’s green.

Azir seems to be more of a themed skin specific to this year, as it’s the Year of the Rooster—and Azir is as rooster-like as any League champion gets. His soldiers are also made to match his skin, sporting golden armor.

Vi’s theme is “the green demon” and when she ults, a big green dragon swirls up into the air and slams back into the ground as she does. This one’s our favorite, but mostly because it’s the only time we’re ever going to see Vi in a ponytail.

Not only are those three new skins available now, but past Lunar Revel skins and bundles are in the shop as well.

3) Crafting

A brand new Lunar Revel crafting system will also be in the client until the end of the event. It uses the same crafting page as usual, where you open chests with keys you earn from playing games and combine shards to form skins and champions. You can buy a Revel Red Envelope for 250 RP and visit the crafting page in your client to turn it into a skin shard and one random relic.

The relics come in three types: the Pauldron Relic, the Golden Relic, and the Gauntlet Relic. Once you have all three, you can combine them into Epic Skin Shards (1350 RP skins), random skin permanents, Gemstones, or Hextech Chests and Keys.

4) Merch

Finally, you can visit the Lunar Revel merch store to check out some IRL event goodies. Want a shirt featuring each Chinese Zodiac with League champions instead of the usual animals? Well it’s in the merch store, as well as a collectible figurine of Lunar Revel Azir.

The event is running from now until Feb. 2, so be sure to log into the game and check it out!