2017 was the year that we finally got to play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the year where Blizzard had to take back their ‘you think do, but you don’t’ and the year that Vasilii lost it on Twitch and got banned from the eSports scene. Before we tell you what you can expect in 2018, we made a list of what we think were the eSports highlights of 2017. Let’s go over the plays and tournaments that we will remember 2017 by one more time!
1. SSG wins the League of Legends World Finals at the expense of SKT T1
For years, League of Legends has been the most viewed game on Twitch. The League of Legends World Championship had staggering total amount of 60 million unique viewers, making it the best eSports event on the planet. Just for that reason, this tournament deserves a spot in our list. But something special happened during the finals that will make us remember this particular tournament for a long time. SK Telecom T1, winner of the last three editions, lost without a chance to SSG: 0-3. SK Telecom’s iconic player Faker, burst into tears when the last Nexus fell. Statements of support were heard from around the world. The fall of midlaner Faker, was initiated by a Varus flash followed by a well placed ultimate. Already one of the most memorable League of Legends moments in history. Earlier in 2017 Faker was responsible for another highlight when his livestream on Twitch got a record of 245,100 viewers at the same time. The greatest amount to date.
2. The best plays, ganks and bizarre RNG
Many keyboard combinations that were thought to be impossible spawned on the screen in 2017. Accompanied by the most dirty ganks and unlikely RNG on crucial moments. With impressive nerdrages as a result. That’s why ‘the must see plays’ of 2017 form the second highlight on our 2017 list. Naturally you don’t have to go scouring the internet to find them, we’ve put them in a single file for you to enjoy in this article.
3. Marbles and gems
2017 was the year of recordrewards being paid out at eSports tournaments. The most lucrative tournament was Dota 2’s The International 2017 hosted in Seattle, containing a prize pool of 24, 787, 916 dollar! The german player KuroKy got the most out of the year with over 2,5 million dollar prize money just from playing tournaments, excluding sponsor money and other revenue. Also the salaries teams pay their members skyrocketed to new heights. In South-Korea, eSporters are earning as much if not more as baseball and football players. Again Faker leads the pack, with his employer SK Telecom paying him 2,5 million dollar. The best earning gamer so far.
4. European reign continues
It’s slowly becoming the American curse. Their most beloved virtual world, that of World of Warcraft, has been under european reign for over years. On this years Blizzcon, it seemed for a moment that the Americans finally got to call themselves lord and ruler in the 3v3 Arena of Azeroth. Global Panda qualified for the finals and the outcome of the other semi-final looked in favor of the Americans as well. In the end it wasn’t. Europe’s ABC qualified for the Finals and showed no mercy with their unconventional composition, wiping up the floor with Global Panda: 4-0. MVP was Alec, that proved a true master of Arcane when he managed to keep out of the grasp of the hyper aggressive Global Panda like a true Houdini. It’s worth looking the finals if you’ re a fan of World of Warcraft. You can find the link here.
5. Formula 1 goes virtual
What we think is a highlight for eSports in 2017, is the continuing integrating of gaming in the physical world. Already football teams hired gamers for their FiFa teams, but last year the Formula 1 entered the scene as well. McLaren looked for world’s fastest gamer in the equated project WFG. 30.000 gamers competed until only two were left, the Dutch Freek Schothorst and Rudy van Buren. Rudy won the finals and got offered a contract for a year at McLaren, working for the development team of the ‘real’ Formula 1 car. The simulator demanded the same physical efforts as the actual car, could this be the future where eSports breaks itself free from the limits of two dimensions?
Fast forward to 2018!
Will 2018 promise just as successful as its predecessor? We like to think so! We have great expectations from some titles anticipated to be released in 2k18. A honorable mention goes out to Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, that is promised finally to hit the shelfs this year. Another anticipated title is Anthem, a game that for years was known by its codename only ‘Dylan’. This co-developed title by Bioware and EA is destined to continue the Mass Effect legacy, which is gonna be a hard task to put it lightly. Although the visuals look promising in the trailers, we hopefully get to see some intelligence in the gameplay once it releases.
In imitation of Fifa and Formula 1, NBA is the next big sports organization to create an eSports league. The widely popular NBA 2K will serve as the virtual playground for future tournaments to come. Big American eSports teams like Cloud Nine showed their interest, but over 30 major basketball teams as well. With already over three actually creating their team to play in the coming eLeague. Keep an eye out on Twitch for what promises to be a spectacle game!
We from Master Mazuma also have some new year resolutions that we like to share with you. Like 2017, we will continue to offer you to bet on the largest selection of games and all noteworthy tournaments. Like last year, we keep providing you the most accurate odds in the eSports scene. Naturally with our live bet feature! So what are our resolutions for 2018 then? Well, even more promotions for our loyalty players for starters. But we will also focus on delivering you more relevant informative content on games, players and tournaments. Giving you more inside insights to base your bets on!
We can already give away that you should definitely keep your eyes on the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship at the end of February, hosted in Katowice Poland. On this massive gathering, top teams from Dota 2, StarCraft 2 and CS:GO will compete and set the bar for the next tournaments to come. It’s the first real strength measurement and will give you a lot of information on which teams you have to keep an eye on in 2018.