Welcome United States esports gamblers!

Finally, a 1992 federal law that prohibits betting on sporting events in North America has been overruled by the US Supreme Court. It’s no clean victory though, from now on each state can regulate sports betting on their own.

The probability that at least a few states will allow sports betting is big. There is a lot of tax revenue to be earned from gambling, so the traditionally progressive states will welcome sports betting no doubt. There is another but; there can be a distinction between esports- and sportsbetting. So different rules could apply to betting on the League of Legends World Series than on the Super Bowl, for instance.

“Today’s decision opens the door for regulated esports betting in the U.S., but the question remains of how each state will treat esports,” Eilers & Krejcik game industry analyst Chris Grove explained in a note to GamesBeat. “In Nevada, for example, esports aren’t handled like traditional sports for the purposes of sports betting. Each state will have to make their own decision about whether to lump esports in with traditional sports or to treat it separately.”

Optimistic

We are optimistic, even though not all bridges have crossed yet. This is a first step to bring U.S. players to the esports betting scene; and we welcome you! We expect a lot of competition to win the heart of the new U.S. players and we’ll meet this competition heads high and with good bonuses and conditions. Betting platforms originating from the United States, like Unikrn will find out if their alternative crypto/skin deposit model will be able to compete with cold hard cash. Being American, they do have the chance to reach out to the newly found playerbase without stretching. On the other hand, established esports betting sites (MasterMazuma😉 do have an advantage in experience with esports betting. Whatever the US players prefer, only time will tell!

Shout out to the traditional sports

Without the lobbying of the NCAA, NBA, NFL and all other major leagues, we wouldn’t have had this change. In a way, esports is hitchhiking on their success. It will only be a matter of time before esports will be big enough to stand on their own feet and return the favor. But a big shout out to all hard work done by these pioniers!

mobile esports are coming; what to expect?

Jup. Mobile esports are becoming a thing. Even though at first sight the games and devices don’t lend themselves for competitive gaming, the market is just to big for companies not to exploit. And so they do.

Two examples of this are the recurring Mobile Masters events organized by Amazon. This year feautering a prize pool of $100.000 and consisting of games like Power Rangers Legacy. Amazon invested in a service called GameOn that allows developers to integrate tournaments on different devices. Allowing players to compete cross-platform.

Another ‘proof’ of mobile games getting competitive is the forming of a Clash Royale team by GenG. You might not be familiar with the name, but you soon will be. Gen G is short for Generation Gaming, formerly known as KSV Esports. The team rebranded itself and went further than just changing the team name. The latest generation of gamers is no longer exclusively bound to the PC Master race.

Future of esports (betting)

Only last year people would thought I’d be joking when taking mobile games into account of future esports. Now, I’d feel stupid to leave it out. Vlash Royale, Vainglory, Summoner War; they are all titles that are attracting a vast number of viewers (resp. 50-200.000 on average). Not to mention Hearthstone, that is in the twilight of being a mobile esports or a traditional one. Mobile gaming is around 42% of the entire market and will increase to 50% in 2020. It generates more money than traditional games and is worth multiple billions of dollars. If Fortnite is released on Android and develops a competitive scene, it will mean the definitive breakthrough for mobile games as competitive esports.

A new generation of esporters will rise and it will be a wild west for the betting community; betters and bookmakers a like. It will take some time before teams are formed and talent is scouted. Most mobile games are not initially designed for esports, so chances are players initially will find glitches to abuse certain tactics.

Exciting times!

This is a good time for betting on League of Legends!

Remember a couple of years ago? You had Telecom T1 with their Messi of Lol, midlaner Faker. You had Team SoloMid with Bjergsen and G2’s Perkz. Greatness existed on midlane and whoever got out on top on that lane had a good chance of carrying their team to victory.

Things have changed.

There is no Faker, no Bjergsen and no PerkZ in the Mid-Season Invitational of 2018. We are entering an age where the AD Carry will determine the outcome of a game. It’s the dawn of the marksman. The Meta will shift to bottom lane. The four regions that are automatically qualified for the main event group stage that consists of six teams, namely South Korea, North America, Europe and China, have all brought forth their ruthless sniper.

Meet the gamemakers of this years season

Kingzone’s Kim “PraY” Jong-in, Royal Never Give Up’s Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, Fnatic’s Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Team Liquid’s Yiliang Peng are the names that not only rival for the trophy, but for the honour of being the most skilled ADC as well. Of these, we expect to see the most from Pray. This HAS to be his big year. Qualifying yearly for the World Championships with his trusted support GorillA, he never got to take home the prize. Always standing in the shadow of Telecom T1. But that team doesn’t participate and PraY’s Kingzone is now the only Korean team to contend. There is much at stake, which can be a good thing or a bad. Time will only tell.

Follow PraY in mid-season for world championship betting!!

The Mid-Season Invitational will be the perfect opportunity to see if PraY can handle the pressure. If he shines this tournament, you want to place your bet on Kingzone in the World Championship. PraY has proven to have the skills, dominating with Kog’Maw many times as a solo carry.

A good AD Carry must above all have a lust for gold. So let’s see the art that is last hitting into action during the following weeks! Expectations in his words: ‘World Championship, nothing less.

These were the best april fools day gaming jokes!

Looking for pranks on april first is like asking a woman if she’s pregnant when your in doubt. There are a lot of patches and releases to go around, and some are so sketchy it’s hard to tell if they are real or a joke.

Waking up on april 1’st, we immediately fell for joke number one that popped up on Twitter: ‘it has been a long road to this, but we finally decided on printing the reserved list.’ Wizards of the Coast gave us a ‘YES! Dual lands!!’ moment, just to let us feel depressed afterwards. From that moment on, we approached every newsitem regarding games, regarding everything actually, with caution. This is what we came across:

Pokemon GO will get nostalgic 8 bit graphics

Some of the youngsters might have gotten a culture shock, while the elderly among us felt utter joy when this update went live. Though not all Pokemon got a revamp, it was announced that the update would give the Pokemon a look ‘previously unimagined.’ “Experience Pokémon GO like never before with cutting-edge 8-BIT GRAPHICS! Registering approximately twice the definition of 4K, the chunky squares of each pixel provide realistic detail and unbelievable definition”. This was the foreboding of the hilarious patch. Some players might be disappointed that there is no option to keep their beloved 8-BIT Pokemon.

HALO Battle Royale?

(photo 343 industries)

With all the Fortnite and PUBG hype going around, it’s only logical that one of the biggest shooters follows with their own battle royale. 343 Industries spared no effort in providing details on how the game mode would look like. “Players will gain REQ Points as they complete games and prove their skills, and will be able to progress through ranks to receive rewards like armor, weapon and vehicle skins, grenade explosion effects, armor pieces, new drop pods, and even legendary Characters seen in previous Halo titles.” Unsurprisingly, the fans got hyped and Reddit threads were all over the place.

League of Legends: Proximity Chat

(photo: Riot Games)

One of the most popular games has one of the most vile community (sorry guys). Even RIOT knows this and that’s why they came up with the announcement that there would be proximity chat on all games. In other words, you would not only read your alles flame at you, you could actually hear it as well! This joke was not hard to believe since only recently RIOT introduced voice chat for premade groups. But most players will be relieved that they didn’t push this one!

Streaming on Facebook? Youtube and Twitch are about to get some serious competition

A good indication of how popular a niche is becoming, is looking for big companies to adapt that niche. Even though eSports can hardly be called a niche anymore, the uprising of worldwide mainstream popularity is still relatively young. Today one of the biggest companies of worldwide mainstream culture is opening up to all developers to broadcast their games Live. Yes, we are talking about Facebook!

So should we all go to our Facebook accounts and watch the Overwatch League there from now on? The surprising answer is; you could. The clever heads of Facebook figured that their platform offers something to streamers that Twitch for instance does not: a ready audience. If you are tired of streaming for 2 viewers, switching to Facebook seems like a good step since that platform comes with 100, 200, 300 or a 1000 virtual friends ready to watch. So instead of luring streamers with benefits, Facebook figured, we lure viewers.

Or better yet, we let streamers lure viewers by giving the option to add promotions like in-game items to their stream. For instance beneath the comments you could find a promotion that says: ‘Watch XXXX streams and get a chance to earn loot to use in-game.’

This could be big

Though the audience might not be as dedicated to gaming as the traditional channels, there is a potential of a lot more viewers. Maybe a whole new audience that is about to discover the excitement of watching streams. Facebook in turn gets to hold visitors on their platform for a long duration of time, which opens up possibilities for advertisement.

But the Facebook algorithm opens up a lot more opportunities for streamers, viewers and developers alike. For example, Facebook already has a well developed analytics tool that can be used to reach potential viewers. And there is an existing friend finder that can simply be enhanced by adding games as a parameter.

Though Facebook is kinda late to the party, the massive funds to their exposal make that they can enter this party like a rockstar and have some heads turning. Already they are making deals with CS:GO and DOTA tournaments about the broadcast rights. And a ‘tipping tool’ is currently experimented with.

Mainstream enough?

Streaming on Facebook means people open up about their love of gaming. Question is if the world is ready to really accept gamers for who they are. Until now people went to designated, anonymous places like Twitch of the corners of Youtube to show off their skills. It’s a paradox of Facebook being late on the scene, but on the other hand maybe being to early. Could it be they found the momentum and we will all be watching streams on Facebook from now on? We can’t wait to find out!

Fortnite is rising in popularity. How is Blizzard gonna react?

The king of nearly any genre has one regret: moba. Heroes of the Storm was to little to late, with League of Legends and DOTA 2 already firm in the sattle. The worst thing of all, DOTA was a mod on Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 for a long time; waiting to get picked up and to be transformed into a game. Now it seems Blizzard missed another hypetrain, that off Battle Royale.

Knowing Blizzard, it’s not the question if they are gonna release their own Battle Royale game, but when. The following question is, like with Heroes of The Storm, will the game be on time and good/unique enough? Quality is what sets Blizzard apart. That’s why there games top multiple genres like RTS (Star- and Warcraft), MMO (World of Warcraft), online CCG (Hearthstone), hero shooter (Overwatch) and ARPG (Diablo). But those games were created without being seriously contested and therefore without time constraint. So, can Blizzard deliver when they are given little room for manouver?

Different roads for the same goal

Blizzard has multiple options to catch up. We like to go over them, but our prediction is that Blizzard will never choose the easy road. So some of these options can’t be taken seriously (it’s Blizzard!)

First off, they could simply make an Overwatch mod. But that will be unlikely to compete with the likes of Fortnite. They could also make a third person shooter based on Overwatch, seeing the graphics resemble those of Fortnite already and Overwatch is already really popular. The only problem with this solution is that they won’t bring anything revolutionary to the table. And Blizzard always likes to go one step beyond.

That is actually the reason why I am writing this article. What revolutionary aspect is Blizzard going to bring to the Battle Royale genre? We could see a melee/caster/ranged-ish version where you can choose your path and each has it’s strenghts and weaknesses. Resembling it more a WoW battleground maybe.

Another thing we imagine Blizzard doing is creating a map that interacts with the players even more than in Fortnite and PUBG. Maybe adding locals that you can convince you to rally to your cause, or an erupting ground that swallows players. The possibilities are endless and so are the funds Blizzard has to it’s disposal. In other words: we can’t wait!

Team Vitality Gears up with Renault: Enter Renault Sport Team Vitality

After years of providing engines for Formula 1 and cars for rally racing, Renault strengthens its ties with sports once more. This time they set their eyes on eSports, and once they have their eye on something the teeth usually follow. This is no exception. The French eSports Team Vitality and the car brand team up on a new eSports team called Renault Sport Team. The three team members will compete in Rocket League, a car-based football game with over 25 million players worldwide.

  • Philip Paschmeyer – Paschy90
  • Victor Locquet – Fairy Peak!
  • Sandro Holzwarth – FreaKii

Based in France like Renault, Team Vitality seems to be the perfect partner for the manufacturer. Formed in 2013, Team Vitality has had success in tournaments of games like League of Legends, Call of Duty and FIFA, among others. Though starting with Rocket League, chances are that the team will compete in the eFormula 1 in the future as well.

It’s all about hard work

Venturing in eSports is a logical step for a company that has tight bonds with competitive sports. “The ties that exist between motorsport and gaming are obvious. Both call for mental strength and physical fitness in a highly competitive environment,” said Cyril Abiteboul, General Manager, Renault Sport Racing. “Last year’s exciting launch by FOM of the Formula 1 eSports Series has accelerated the convergence of these two worlds and created opportunities for collaboration. Our drivers, and especially those who form part of the Renault Sport Academy programme, and Vitality’s own champions will be able to trade best practices. In this area, as in F1, our objective is to build a team for the long term that is both respected and feared by its opponents!”

A whole new audience

The merge of Renault and Team Vitality opens up a whole new audience that could not be reached before this date. It gives eSporters a chance to practice in the famous Enstone Factory. With professionals who are accustomed to working in a high pressure environment. Hence giving them the skills to dominate whatever platform they choose. Though McLaren won’t be far behind, after a successful ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ program.

Like eSports divisions of football teams like Ajax and Manchester City, this step of Renault is one in a series of development where sports en esports get more and more intertwined. Creating an audience that might have been primarily not been interested in eSports.

Fabien Devide, Team Vitality’s founder and chairman, sees the new cooperation as fertile ground for future ambitions: “Vitality’s DNA is to be seen as a French front-runner that is competitive in the international arena. Our partnership with Renault is a natural match, not only because we share the same values and colours but also because we all want to make it to the very top of the European and international scenes. At Vitality, we stand to learn a great deal from Renault Sport Racing and how it prepares for Formula 1 races. At the end of the day, many of its methods are the same as those we employ in eSports, namely data and performance tracking, physiotherapy, fitness training and mental training.”

Japan Welcomes Esports and Pro Gaming

Why is the father country of gaming unsuccessful in esports and how are they planning to solve this?

Though further research on the subject might be neccessary, there are strong allegations against a decades-old law preventing the Japanese from participating in gambling, but indirectly targeting professional esports tournaments as well. Resulting in poor competitive players over the long run.

The “Act Against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations,” was passed in the early 1980’s, as a way to solve the issue of organized crime using gambling as a money maker. The infamous Yakuza made alot of profit from video poker during these days. Regulation the gambling business, prize money was capped under $1000 by parlement.

Though with esports making rise in popularity and a likely candidate make its debute as a Olympic sport in Paris 2024, government starts to realise their old law is doing the country more harm than good.

Captain Hindsight strikes again! But it’s not to late to prepare for a succesfull eSports Olympics. The law changed, prize pools are increasing and a start has been made last weekend in the Game Party Japan 2018 in Chiba. It was a great event, focussing on fighting games with Street Fighter V Arcade Edition, Tekken 7 and Monster Strike. The latter had the biggest bounty on it’s head with a prize of $73,000. It was just a portion of the total of $300,000 that could be won during the weekend. All provided by game publishers.

First step to something beautiful

“This is the first big step,” said the Japanese Esports association’s vice president. “What’s really important for the esports movement is whether our players can become stars. And I think that’s coming.”

Japanese has always been a center of gaming. Headquartering companies like Nintendo, Sega, Namco, Capcom, and Konami, among others, it is surprising Japan has next to no eSports culture. Despite championing gaming, Japan was a late bloomer in esports. Home audiences prefered solo console games, though the paradigm starts to shift.

And chances are coming about fast. A recent report revealed that Japan is the fastest growing esports market in the East Asian region, as more than 80 percent of the fans first encountered esports less than two years ago. Though being the fastest grower, usually means you are the one catching up. Hopefully changing the law is the beginning of a new era in a country with a rich gaming culture!

Female Players make Historic Week for Esports

Breaking male hegemony ; recent female success

eSports is booming, but it remains a male dominated realm. Though indications of change are out there, and this week they were hard to miss out on. Only last week Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon had been signed to an Overwatch League team. Starting off as rumors, ESPN was quick to confirm that Kim has been signed to the Shanghai Dragons. A team craving for success.

“Kim will be a critical figurehead for many female esports aspirants to look up to.”

Though Blizzard tries best to make Kim the center in numerous mainstream reports, there efforts not yet seem to have the desired results as the player pool is predominantly filled with male players. Though with her new role comes new visibility and Kim will be a ciritical figurehead for many female esports aspirants to look up to.

 

Luckily for Kim, it’s not all on her shoulders.

Just a day after the announcement of Kims carreer move, Sasha Scarlett Hostyn became the first female StarCarft 2 player to win a championship. She did so at IEM Pyeongchang. Not only is she the first female player, but also the second non-korean player to ever win a championship in Korea. A country that considered SC2 as a national sport at one point.

“In her six-year career, Hostyn has been an active and successful player that has won over many fans.”

A bright future?

The IEM Pyenongchang could be a forecast on what’s about to happen in Paris 2024 when eSports might make its debute as an olympic sport. Sasha sure made her statement as one of the contenders for the future gold. Defeating 4 pro players, among which 2 World Champions. Making her instantly the record holder for best earning female esports player.

Kim and Sasha are the ambassadeurs for a future of esports in which female players may play a much larger role than they do today. Many factors contribute to the lack of female players in the current competitive scene, we can only hope gradually the balance gets better as these women prove to be very skilled, by no means less than their male counterparts.

CS:GO creator arrested for alleged sex offenses

Counter-Strike co-creator allegedly solicited sex from minor, and recorded sex acts without consent.

The Seattle Police Department arrested Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe on Thursday, following a nine-month investigation for alleged sexual exploitation of a minor.

In a period from april to june 2017, Cliffe had at least three sexual encouters with a (then) 16 year old girl. This has been confirmed by the police authorities. Furthermore, Cliffe allegedly recorded their last encounter with his mobile phone without her consent. Supposedly they met online on a dating website that had an age restriction with a minimum of 18 years old. Therefore Cliffe was unaware of the girl’s age, according to his attorney in court.

After an anonymous tip regarding sexual exploitation of minors, the Seattle Police Department opened up investigation. After interviewing the girl, warrants were served on information from the online dating site and Cliffe’s phone provider. Which led to further investigation of the messages between Cliffe and the girl.

The CS creator was arrested at the Southwest Precinct of the Seattle Police Department and was brought to the King County Jail the day after. His bail has been set at $150,000 and been paid for the same day. Though he is yet to hear formal charges, Cliffe will be expected in court before the end of the month.

Cliffe’s current employer, Valve Corporation, suspended Cliffe from his job. They issued a statement on the case to multiple news organizations:

“We are still learning details of what actually happened,” a Valve representative said in a statement. “Reports suggest he has been arrested for a felony offense. As such we have suspended his employment until we know more.”

Cliffe has no criminal record, though he has been arrested for assault in 2013. though that case never made it to court.