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It is Monday and that means we are taking a look back the most important events in eSports. We hope you enjoy our eSports News Update January!
This time we are going to focus on the most popular games including Dota 2, LoL, and CS:GO. Additionally, we will cover some important events and updates for Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Starcraft 2.
The week has been a high for Dota 2 with the first major tournament of 2017, the ESL One Genting. The event was a spectacle for the viewers.
A lot of squad changes have happened recently with the spring shuffle deadline on 9th of January. So let’s get started. A grueling final day at the ESL One Genting came to an end with the North American team, Digital Chaos, securing the win in an intense BO5 series against Newbee. Starting with a 2-1 lead for Newbee, Digital Chaos took the last two games in confidence, earning the champion title of the first premium Dota 2 tournament of 2017.
Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi had played the carry role for the past ten months for Vega Squadron, but he was dropped from the roster last month when the Spring Shuffle began. Yesterday, Team Empire welcomed him aboard along with Vladimir “Chappie” Kuzmenko, who has been standing in for the team since November last year. With Chappie officially becoming an Empire member, fn will switch from the carry role to the mid lane position.
In other news, Team Onyx was formed at the start of 2017 by Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosal, Mason “mason” Venne, Kim “DuBu” Doo-young, and Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho, and will compete in the NA region. After announcing his departure from Execration on the 30th of December, Abed joined Team Onyx on the 6th of January, 2017, but will be replaced by Francis “FrancisLee” Lee as a stand in while he finalizes his move to the United States.
With the 2017 League of Legends season right around the corner, teams are locking in their rosters to take onto the Rift. Many have made upgrades, others have had on-paper downgrades, while some have huge question marks lingering over their heads.
You absolutely cannot talk about roster swaps in the 2017 offseason without talking about KT Rolster. The League of Legends’ new super team looks to be one of the most impressive rosters ever put together. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, considered by many to be the best top laner in the world, comes from the now-split ROX Tigers roster that earned a finals spot at 2015 Worlds and a semifinal berth in 2016. Trio of legends Heo “pawN” Won-seok, Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong are all coming back from stints in China to regain their thrones at the top in Korea. Capping it off is Go “Score” Dong-bin, the only returning member of KT’s 2016 squad who is also in the process of securing a spot in history as one of the best junglers of all time.
As always with super teams, though, their success is dependent on their ability to put egos aside and do what needs to be done. Every player on this revamped KT Rolster roster has been the star player on their respective teams for years and will have to learn to not be the sole voice on the Rift. If this KT Rolster comes together as a unit, they could be just the team to bring down the SK Telecom T1 powerhouse.
Speaking of SK Telecom T1, in a reverse “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” move, SKT has picked up two of the players that have given them the most trouble in the past couple of years: jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho and top laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. For those who don’t recall the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational, Huni and the rest of Fnatic shocked the world by taking SK Telecom T1 to five games in the semifinals in a matchup that nearly no one expected to be competitive.
Huni was key to their success, making plays and carrying Fnatic on more than a few occasions. Since then, he’s remained in the conversation as one of the best playmaking top laners around, helping NA LCS squad Immortals to two incredibly strong regular season splits in a row.
Peanut, on the other hand, is a more recent bane of SKT. In his rookie split, he established himself as a top two (if not the best) jungler in the world, and he did it on his own terms. His scrappy, hyper-aggressive style allowed him to mechanically outplay his opponents, and he did it nearly every time. Throughout the entirety of 2016, he was a massive thorn in SK Telecom T1’s side, giving them trouble at every stage of the season. So, in order to rid themselves of those threats, SKT grabbed them both. They also happen to still have Faker on the roster, immediately making them World Championship contenders once again.
This week CS:GO has all been about the roster changes. Denial’s roster was down to four after the team released Christian “Spitfire” Shiölde following unimpressive results at several qualifiers for prestigious events. The team announced that their roster is completed this week with the addition of Max “maxie” Lönström, who was last seen playing for Publiclir.se.
In more news, Counter Logic Gaming is down to the only original member of the roster they signed in 2015 following the team’s announcement this week that their in-game leader James “hazed” Cobb will be leaving in search of greener pastures.
Overwatch players have discovered a potentially game-breaking bug that will need an update on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Overwatch developer Blizzard will need to respond to a video posted by one
Overwatch fan on Reddit. The video shows a game-breaking scoring bug that incorrectly awards the losing team points. Despite the fact that the score should have ended at 3-0, the game suddenly awarded the losing team the victory. Worse still, the scoring bug happened in a Competitive match and wasn’t an isolated incident. Needless to say, Blizzard will need to update the game to fix the bug, or risk upsetting a large percentage of the Overwatch fanbase.
OmegaZero became China’s first major champion for the New Year. The Blizzcon finalist – together with XHope, LovelyChook, and Lvge – will represent his country at the two upcoming major LANs in the next months: The CN vs. NA Challenge and the 2017 HCT Winter Championship.
The first HCT Championship of the New Year is slated for March 23-26. The tournament will determine the first four players to win berths at the next World Championship, which itself is scheduled for early 2018. Another first is the tournament’s venue; where last year’s championships were mostly held in Blizzard’s studio in Los Angeles, HCT Winter 2017 is going to the Bahamas. The exotic Melia Nassau Beach will be where the sixteen players from the four regions will meet.
And lastly, Athen’s football club, Panathinaikos, has shown interest in Blizzard’s card game and will officially open a card slinging division. Hearthstone is the second confirmed discipline the Greek team will invest in after League of Legends, and according to GosuGamers sources, the roster is to be announced in the next two weeks or so.
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn has made it to the oldest and most prestigious StarCraft 2 league. StarCraft 2 fans will have something special to look forward to next year. For the first time in four years, a foreigner will compete in GSL, the game’s premier tournament on Korean soil.
In other news, EG will no longer operate a StarCraft 2 division coming into the New Year.
After transferring ownership from Alex Garfield to former Dota 2 captain, Peter “ppd” Dager, in a move that saw EG become a player-owned organization, the team has released several key members, including Chris “HuK” Loranger and Geoff “iNcontrol” Robinson.
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