Call of Duty World League, ESL, NBA2K, DOTA 2, Mortal Kombat & more!
Today we are going to start off with the results from CWL, ESL Pro league, eSports champions series, and NBA 2k league as well as all the latest news on League of Legends, DOTA 2, Mortal Kombat 11, Blazblue, and updates on all the newest games set to hit shelves as we move deeper into 2019.
First up, let’s talk some scores recaps, as the CWL continued with day 3 of week 8 last night.
FaZe Clan opened up our day with a match against Evil Geniuses that just about set the expected pace for all of our matches, as it went the distance.
Ultimately, FaZe Clan proved to be the superior team as they took the series in game 5, with a 3 - 2 scoreline.
UYU 2 - 3 Reciprocity
Midnight 0 - 3 OpTic Gaming
Gen.G 3 - 1 Luminosity
With only one day left of regular Division A play, everyone has their attention on the top four, as OpTic are now well and clear of any competition from Gen.G with both teams still comfortable with one game remaining. FaZe Clan are in a close 3rd place at 10 points, with Midnight in 4th at 9 wins, and Reciprocity just past that at their own 8 wins. Each of these teams will be playing on this last day, so there is a lot of possible movement up and down, and we’ll have a clearer picture after the results of today’s games, as FaZe are playing their neighbors in the standings of Midnight, then
Evil Geniuses vs Reciprocity
Gen.G vs UYU
Luminosity vs OpTic Gaming.
Those games start at 3PM EST, Noon Pacific.
Looking at the European round of things first, we started the day with Na’Vi vs Big, in which Na’Vi went 2 - 0.
Afterwards, Heroic challenged North, in the unofficial winners match of yesterday’s games. North cleaned up the series with a 2 - 0 win, and made it look easy.
Looking at the Americas, eUnited played in our first game, losing 1 - 2 against Ghost Gaming, and after that, Cloud 9 defeated Infinity Esports.
With the standings as they are, both Cloud9 and Ghost Gaming are at 2 - 0, in this stage of groups, and they’re set to play each other today. As this is the Americas region, only one team can get the ticket to the next round of the ESL Pro League, so the rules are simple. Two teams enter, one team leaves. Tragically for fans of eUnited of Infinity Esports, there are no ways in which either of those teams can advance to the next stage after both suffering losses in this current round of play.
Looking back at Europe, there are two tickets available to the next stage, and up first we’ll see Heroic challenge Na’Vi, and after, we’ll get North vs BIG. Currently, North lead the standings as the only 2 - 0 team, and by the nature of their opponent, there’s no chance they’ll miss the next stage. The final spot up for grabs is in between Na’Vi and Heroic, and with both teams at 1 - 1, it won’t be a bo3 that you’ll want to miss.
The semifinals for the Esports Champions Season 7 took place yesterday, in both Europe and the Americas.
Looking at the Americas region, we saw MIBR vs Cloud 9 today, which I know Sierra certainly enjoyed.
MIBR look as dominant and passionate as ever, taking a clean 2 - 0 over the Cloud 9 squad, with a 16 - 10 and ensuing 16 - 7 just afterwards. As such, they have advanced to compete in the Grand Finals, tomorrow evening. Their opponents haven’t been decided yet, as today we’ll get that match, with INTZ vs Team Liquid, and for those of you who don’t know, there’s a rivalry starting to brew between those two teams, which could make for an intense finals, if Team Liquid are able to overcome INTZ.
In Europe, our Bo3 went the full distance, with Fnatic going 2 - 1 over Avangar to advance to the finals.
Our next event saw us returning to the NBA 2K League, with Week 6 tipping off last night.
We has a total of five games, last night, with three teams playing double ups in the Mavs, Pistons, and the Blazers.
Blazers opened the day with a 61 - 53 game against the Raptors
Mavs 59 - 45 Bucks
Kings Guard 60 - 50 Pistons
Celtics 48 - 56 Blazers
Pistons 59 - 81 Mavs
What really stands out about last night is that the Mavs have now broken a record, for the best start to a season. Their 2 - 0 day against the Bucks and the Pistons puts the Mavs as the clear best squad in the 2K league, and while they’re not completely unbeatable, it’ll be an upset no matter which way you shake it by the time they finally lose a game.
The Blazers are just behind the Mavs in the standings, at 8 - 1, and their own 2 - 0 day will help them keep pace with the best team in the League, though if they lose stride, it’ll be an uphill climb if they hope to catch back up to the Mavs. Finally, the Pistons took a 0 - 2 with their Wednesday, which isn’t quite what we’d have hoped for. Though one of their opponents were the Mavs, they’re still clearly at the bottom of the standings at 1 - 8, and have a very, very long way to go if they want to give a challenge to anyone other than the Lakers.
Tonight, we won’t be getting any double ups, with
Heat Check vs Celtics
Raptors vs Lakers
Knicks vs Cavs
Bucks vs Warriors Gaming
Matches start at 6PM Easter, 3PM Pacific.
Featuring 17 premiere titles, and more classic arcade titles, this is a huge scale event that allows for fans to enjoy any fighting game that might catch their fancy. If you’re in Chicago, or nearby, and feel up to checking out one of the biggest Fighting Tournaments out there, this is a great place to be. And for you esports fans, Combo Breaker is a stop on the CapCom Pro Tour, for Street Fighter, acts as the official start to the Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition, on the 24th, participates as a stop on the Tekken World Tour, and more. The long and short is, if you do the fighting games thing, this is for you. We’ll be bringing you the highlights of the event on Monday when Combo Breaker has concluded.
Following up on our report from last week, Riot has announced the board members for its Riot Scholastic Association of America, which will be handling all high school and College level esports for League. The board members are as follows: ig Ten Network VP/Marketing Erin Harvego; Mountain West Conference Senior Associate Commissioner/ Government & Legal Affairs Carolayne Henry; Intersport Executive Director/Esports Kurt Melcher, who also leads esports at Robert Morris University; UC-Irvine Director/Esports Mark Deppe; University of Utah Director/Esports Operations A.J. Dimick; and MIT Professor T.L. Taylor, who also is director of research for the diversity advocacy group AnyKey. The main goal of the board will be to establish League as a long term presence on campuses throughout the US. Michael Sherman, head of the college arm of the organization says that this is not a direct response to the NCAA’s decision to not have any presence in the esports field, and that Riot had always intended to take charge of its own game at campuses across the country. Had the NCAA decided to further its esports goals, the RSAA would have worked with the NCAA as much as possible to make sure the two governing bodies were as compatible as possible. The board will hold its first meeting today to coincide with the League College Championships begin.
The finals of the ELEAGUE Mortal Kombat 11 series will be held this July at Rooster Teeth’s RTX Expo in Austin, following six online qualifiers each held by a top Mortal Kombat player. While details are scarce at this time, ELEAGUE will reveal more information during the lead up to the finals, including the prize pool, and the grand finals will air live on Twitch with a highlight show of the event airing later this summer on TBS. Rooster Teeth will also be producing Mortal Kombat 11 to help promote the online qualifier events in the lead up to the finals.
Razer and Evil Geniuses have partnered together once again for a two year deal that will have the team using Razer’s products in all their tournament appearances. EG had partnered with Razer back in 2013, but then signed up with SteelSeries in 2015.
This new partnership will have all Team EG members using Razer headsets, keyboards, mice, and mouse pads for both tournaments and training purposes. This new gear will surely come in handy for EG’s DOTA 2 team which is qualified for The International 2019, essentially the world championships for DOTA 2.
The prize pool for The International this year has already reached 13 million thanks to mostly crowd funding, and is on track to surpass last year’s 25.5 million prize pool. In more sponsorship news, Riot games has extended their partnership with insurance company State Farm for an additional three years. The company became the North American circuit’s first sponsor in 2018, and will stay with League Championship Series through 2021, in addition to sponsoring the global World Championships, Mid-Season Invitational, and all All-Star events. Not to mention returning as the presenting sponsor for the League College Championship starting today. This deal will allow the LCS to keep the State Farm Analyst Desk, and on the English-language feed of Global events, as well as three in-stream content segments: Assist of the week, I’m Helping, and Level-Up. This is the first time State Farm has pushed this hard in the global market, and is a strong sign of their faith in Riot and League as a long term investment. Big news for female fans of CSGO as Dreamhack announces a partnership with gaming hardware brand ZOWIE and the grassroots player platform Esport-Management to create an all-women CSGO tournament.Online qualifiers will be held on June 8th and 9th for North America and Europe respectively, with the finalists moving onto the Dreamhack Showdown set to take place at Dreamhack Valencia on July 5th-7th to battle it out for a 100,000 dollar prize pool. This large scale collaboration is the first of its kind and Dreamhack hopes it will help elevate CS:GO players and provide equal access to competitive support for women in the industry. It is also intended to provide guidance and inspiration for all female players. Valve has announced that it is developing its own version of DOTA 2’s Auto Chess mod. Further details were not provided by Valve, but assured us that more information will be dropping “very soon”. Valve issued a statement that it had reached out to Drodo Studios, the team behind the original mod, in hopes to collaborate with them on this project, but a deal could not be made for “a variety of reasons” according to Valve. Valve said in its statement that: “We had conversations, but we both came to the conclusion that Valve and Drodo could not work directly with each other for a variety of reasons. We ended up agreeing that we’ll build our own stand-alone version of the game and support each other to the fullest.” Valve also flew the team from Drodo out to America in February to discuss collaboration with each other on the project. Whatever the reasons for being unable to work directly together, it seems that both Valve and Drodo will at least agreed to work on their own standalone games and support each other moving forward. This news may also tie into a trademark registered by Valve on May 6th entitled “DOTA Underlords”, as this may be the title for Valve’s version of the game. We will be sure to give you more details as they become available. Sales for the Yakuza spin off game “Judgement” have been announced to resume on July 18th in Japan after the game was pulled from store shelves when the famed actor Pierre Taki was caught up in an alleged drug scandal. Taki plays a prominent role in the game, even using his likeness for the character he voices. Japan’s zero tolerance on drugs caused Sega of Japan to remove the game for sale entirely until Taki could be removed from the game and remodeled/revoiced. A trailer was released to coincide with the change as you can now see Taki’s replacement. The change is not expected to affect the Western release of the game due out in June. It would be a safe guess that the Western release will come with a Day 1 patch to remove the old character model and voice of Taki. Judgement was received critically very well in Japan on release, with numerous 9 and 10 out of 10 scores, and is expected to do well in the West as well, especially with the resurgence of the Yakuza series in the West after the success of Yakuza Zero. The beta for Mario Kart Tour, the mobile spin off of the Mario Kart series, has just started for those that registered and were selected for early access. While footage is not supposed to be shared online, this of course hasn’t stopped users from posting videos and screenshots from Nintendo’s upcoming mobile title. While the gameplay is very simple and just has the karts moving forward automatically while players swipe left or right to make turns, what has people concerned are the microtransactions. Acquiring characters, karts, and gliders requires players to purchase a loot box with in game currency. An energy system is in the game to prevent players from completing races too quickly, and certain characters will do better and obtain better items on certain courses. This news comes to us just after Nintendo announced it was removing two of its other mobile titles, Animal Crossing: Pocket World and Fire Emblem Heroes, from Belgium due to their anti micro transaction laws. It is safe to assume that Mario Kart Tour will not release in these regions, or regions with similar anti micro transaction laws. Hopefully Nintendo will take this to heart and not make the micro transactions too heavy when the game finally releases for everyone later this year.
Sonic Fox has released what he believes to be the tier list for Mortal Kombat 11 to be now that players have had a month to get used to the game. Sonic Fox is the most successful NetherRealm player in the world, having won multiple championships, including multiple EVO titles for Mortal Kombat 9, 10, as well as Injustice 1 and 2.
Sonic Fox has already won the Summit of Time tournament, as well as multiple other smaller events, so he is setting himself up to be a major competitor in Mortal Kombat 11 as well, so his word does have some major clout behind it. Sonic Fox has Sonya, Geras, Erron Black, and Cassie Cage as the best characters in the game, with others like Jacqui and Scorpion just behind them. The biggest difference in Sonic Fox’s tier list compared to others we have seen from top player recently is that he has Kotal and Shao Khan ahead of the generally agreed to be better character Sub-Zero, arguing that the Khans are better than most people are giving them credit for.
Sonic Fox has been using his old mainstay Erron Black since release, while also pulling out a pocket Jacqui and Geras when the situation calls for it.
The Mortal Kombat news doesn’t stop there as The NPD Group has released its sales data for the month of April and not only is Mortal Kombat 11 the best selling game of April, it is the second best selling game of the year behind Kingdom Hearts. Also interesting is that MK11 was the best selling game in April for every console it was on, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. This is the first time a third party game has been the best selling game on the Switch since Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle way back in September of 2017.
At long last, fans of Blazblue Cross Tag Battle will now be able to play as the four New DLC characters that were announced way back in February. Teddy from Persona 4 Arena, Naoto from Blazblue, Seth from Under Night In Birth, are joined by Heart Aino from Arcana Heart, the first character from the fifth fate to join the cast. These characters also come with a new balance patch, bringing it to the most current version of the Japanese arcade version of the game. Not only that, data miners were able to find announcer voice files for multiple characters not yet in the game, including characters from the Senran Kagura series and the 2007 indie fighter Akatsuki Blitzkampf. Senran Kagura has been rumored to be an addition to Cross Tag Battle for months now, and considering Arc System Works has already confirmed the addition of a sixth fate down the line, this might be more confirmation that it will actually happen.
While Akatsuki Blitzkampf is not directly related to Arc System Works, its main character Akatsuki was a guest character in Under Night In Birth, one of the original four fates included in the game.
Some depressing news as Sega recently unveiled two new slot machines for their Virtua Fighter and House of the Dead franchises. Virtua Fighter Battle Genesis and House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn Battle Genesis were revealed at G2E Asia 2019, an expo in Vegas that deals with the Asian entertainment market. While fans of both series won’t exactly be happy about this news, maybe this means that Sega realizes people still care about these franchises and we can see a new entry in each sooner rather than later. The last entry in the Virtua Fighter series came out WAY back in 2006.
Racing fans will be happy that Codemasters has announced a new entry in the Grid series, but not Grid 4. This is a complete reboot of the series, slated to release on September 13th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The series will be going back to its roots and what made racing fans love the series in the first place as players can race across four continents in some of the most recognizable city and race circuits in the world. Realistic damage is a huge focus for the new entry, as too much damage on your car will begin to affect your performance and handling, encouraging controlled and precise driving. Also too much contact with any specific AI racer will cause them to see you as an enemy, and they will start targeting you in future races. Former F1 racer Fernando Alonso has been brought on as race consultant, as players will attempt to defeat and his team in what is presumed to be the game’s new campaign mode. The game will launch with a standard and deluxe version, the latter containing the first three seasons of DLC content, but no pricing information was given at this time.
In our last bit of gaming news, the team behind the hit horror game Until Dawn has announced the release date for their next game “Man of Medan” the first part of the “Dark Pictures Anthology” which is planned to include multiple standalone cinematic horror games. Players can expect more of Supermassive Games’ trademark narrative style and the game promises to have over twice the amount of death scenes that and multiple ways to unlock the different narrative paths of the story. Man of Medan releases on August 30th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.