League of Legends

League of Legends' World Champions Suddenly Can't Stop Losing

Image credit: LoL Esports/Flickr After this week’s League Champions Korea matches, the reigning world champions of SKT T1 have gone 0-8 in the last two weeks. It’s an unprecedented slide for a team that has been the de facto best in the world. SKT T1 is a three-time world champion, whose roster includes not just the god of mid lane Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, but a long list of superstars. Though the team delivered a 16-2 record in the spring season, SKT has faltered in summers past. A third-place finish in 2016’s summer season was tough, and this certainly isn’t SKT’s first brush with defeat. In 2014, Faker’s team failed to qualify for the world championships in a 3-1 finals against NaJin White Shield. A heartbreaker for sure, but the team recovered, merged into what became the modern SKT T1 and forged ahead. Advertisement But at this point of the year, SKT should be gearing up for a potential Worlds four-peat for Faker. A stumble over a top-ranked team is one thing, but eight straight games is worrisome. The sudden losing streak has many questioning what’s going wrong, or if SKT might actually be in danger of not making it to…

League of Legends

New Pentakill Album Hinted At in New League of Legends Teaser

kotaku core

League of Legends player Nightwind42 has a hobby: cataloguing and ranking every single one of the bu

League of Legends player Nightwind42 has a hobby: cataloguing and ranking every single one of the bu League of Legends player Nightwind42 has a hobby: cataloguing and ranking every single one of the bugs that afflict Mordekaiser, one of LoL’s champions. And there are a lot of them. Luke Plunkett is a Contributing Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

League of Legends

Market Analysis Predicts China Extending Lead as World’s Largest Gaming Market


Inside The Growing Coaching Industry Supporting League Of Legends Teams

Image credit: LoL Esports/Flickr  Competitive League of Legends has grown past just the five-player line-up. Coaching staff and more people in charge of training, guiding, and managing players are becoming necessary for a successful team eyeing a spot at the top of the League Championship Series. Or so says the coaching staff for the Immortals, who spoke to me over Skype about their process, structure, goals, and ambitions as one of the largest support structures in the North American LCS. We reached out to them after a commenter inquired in April about what a coach for an esports team actually does. In most ways, the dynamic between players and coaches isn’t unlike what you’d see with traditional sports teams—just maybe with a little extra life management. Advertisement Immortals’ League of Legends team has seven players: five starters, two subs. Its coaching staff is composed of five members, including head coach Kim Sang-Su (known as SSONG), team manager Jun Kang, coach Robert Yip, head analyst Brendan Schilling, and analyst Nick Luft. It’s a stark contrast to the early days of League and even modern esports teams in other games like Dota 2, which READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

2017 summer split

Clutch Baron Steal In League Match Is Almost Better Than Winning

GIF Securing a Baron kill can often swing a game of League of Legends in either team’s favor. In today’s matches in the League Master Series in Taiwan, ahq e-Sports’ jungle player made a flashy play to take the advantage for himself. In a best-of-three against Flash Wolves, ahq had lost their mid player and were trying to contest Baron Nashor, the large purple beast that grants a boost in power to whatever team manages to take it down. Waiting patiently in the bushes, jungle player Hsue “Mountain” Chao-Hong waited until the most opportune moment to strike. Taking advantage of Lee Sin’s mobility options and his Smite spell, Hsue zipped in and stole the Baron for his team. Lee Sin is a very mobile champion, as he can both dash to enemies using his Q ability and to allies or wards using his W. Combining that with Flash, a universal spell that allows players to teleport a short distance, Hsue was able to dash in from afar, before Flash Wolves’ jungle player was able to use their own Smite to secure the Baron kill. Advertisement Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


If They Don't Want To Get Screwed, Esports Players Should Study MLB History

Photo credit: AP As more and more money has flooded into the esports industry, player rights have been a hot topic across multiple games. Careers in esports can be extremely short, making it all the more important to ensure that players receive their fair share of the profits their work generates. With that in mind, Riot Games, producer of League of Legends and proprietor of the wildly popular League Championship Series, recently announced a plan to create and fund a player’s association, a group that will perform many of the functions associated with a union and will be the first of its kind in esports. According to Riot’s description of the plan, the company will be “providing pros the resources to set up a Players’ Association.” The players will vote on representatives who will take part in league decisionmaking. (Riot says players will be choosing from “a short list of representatives” that will be presented to the players in June, and the players will have the option of rejecting any and all candidates provided and electing whoever they like.) Once formed, the association will provide legal help, career-planning advice, and represent the players in what Riot calls “tri-party” READ FULL…

college esports

Inside The University Of Utah's First-Of-Its-Kind Varsity Esports Program

Compete’s video team headed to the University of Utah to check out their varsity esports program, which began as a student-run League of Legends fan club called Crimson Gaming and has since grown into an official scholarship program for budding pro gamers. The University of Utah is part of the Pac-12 conference, and according to Robert Kessler, executive director of the school’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering program, the Pac-12 has “been talking about the idea of having a conference-wide league for esports. But it hasn’t been able to get everybody to agree to all the details. So we decided … we might as well jump into this.” Advertisement Compete also spoke to Angie Klingsieck, the Executive Director of Crimson Gaming, as well as Crimson Gaming’s Competitive Director Jordan Runyan, about the student-run organization’s growth over the past few years. The school’s devotion to League of Legends caught the attention of Riot Games as well as University of Utah’s administration. According to A.J. Dimick, the director of operations for University of Utah Esports, the “grassroots movement of these students” led to the eventual foundation of the school’s program, which they hope will inspire similar programs READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Dota 2

What Makes Hooks So Damn Good In Competitive Video Games

GIF The hook is a simple but effective tool in games: a chain, thrown accurately, pulling enemies back to their likely doom. But in the realm of competitive games, hooks seem almost ubiquitous. The reason why a hook is a near-necessity for any competitive game, is simple: They’re the biggest moments in games, boiled down to a single throw. Ed Boon’s yellow ninja may be one the of the earliest examples (as long as we’re not counting Bionic Commando), but the hook really seemed to stick in most with the MOBA crowd. Starting with Defense of the Ancients, a mod for WarCraft III that popularized the concept of pushing lanes and destroying ancients, there was one character that stood out from the rest, a sack of flesh and guts called Pudge. Pudge was modeled after the Abomination unit, and alongside being able to rot the air around him and chop up enemies, he could throw a hook. This hook, if it landed, pulled back whatever unit it hit. By itself, it was a strong tool for displacing enemies; combined with his powerful but short-ranged skills, it was a brutal means of picking off heroes. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Riot Games Is Franchising Its North American League At $10 Million A Spot

Image credit: LoL Esports/Flickr The North American League Championship Series is restructuring to become more like the NFL or NBA with 10 established teams locked into place rather than an ever-shifting lineup of teams each season. Riot Games announced all of this today, and in an interview with Yahoo Esports confirmed that the buy-in for a spot in the league will cost $10 million. If you’re a player on one of those teams, your new minimum salary will also kick up to $75,000. These changes will kick in next year and are the biggest alterations to the pro scene around one of the world’s biggest video games—played by tens of millions of people a month—since the game’s championship tour was started in 2013. Advertisement Currently, a spot in the LCS is not guaranteed to last. In past splits, teams had to climb their way through various tiers of tournament series to get a chance to knock off one of the lower-rung teams in the league. Starting next year, those tournaments won’t happen anymore—at least, not in North America. Spots in the NA LCS will be much closer to permanent, establishing a consistent roster of ten teams in the league, akin…


Lung Collapses Are A Surprisingly Common Esports Injury

Art by Jim Cooke. Over the last seven years, at least six high-profile esports players have been struck with a debilitating and serious medical condition called spontaneous pneumothorax—a collapsed lung. Some had to withdraw from matches. A couple kept playing, even though it probably wasn’t a great idea. Why is this, of all injuries, common in esports? A spontaneous pneumothorax, in layman’s terms, is a collapsed lung that occurs suddenly, rather than as the result of specific physical trauma. It’s a severe injury that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly, though it varies in severity, and sometimes people recover on their own. Initially, those suffering from a collapsed lung typically feel sharp pain in their chest or shoulder regions, as well as extreme shortness of breath. This occurs because air has escaped from inside the lung and filled the space around it, putting pressure on the lung and preventing it from expanding as it should. If it’s particularly severe, it requires immediate medical attention. Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander (source). In March, LuxuryWatch Blue Overwatch player Song “Janus” Jun-hwa was rushed to the hospital with a collapsed lung, and had to miss his team’s last match in READ FULL STORY AT…


SuperData Digital Sales April 2017: FIFA 17 No.1, Persona 5 No.8; PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Made $34 Million

EA’s FIFA 17 tops SuperData’s digital sales charts for the month of April, while PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds racks in an impressive $34 million. …Read More The post SuperData Digital Sales April 2017: FIFA 17 No.1, Persona 5 No.8; PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Made $34 Million by Tyler Fischer appeared first on DualShockers.


Report: Korean League Players Say Team Isn't Paying Them

According to a report from Inven Global, players and staff members say that for several years, Longzhu Gaming has not beenpaying them on time. A member of a Korean League of Legends circuit called the LCK, or League Champions Korea, the Longzhu Gaming organization has, players and staff claim, held back tens of thousands of dollars in payouts. Several players, including Bontaek “Expession” Gu and Jinhyun “Emperor” Kim, came forward with their stories of their pay being withheld without prior notice. Some, like a staff member who talked to Inven under the condition of anonymity, say they eventually received salary. Others, like Emperor, have only been paid part of their contractually obligated wages. Advertisement “I was not paid a single dime while I was on contract,” Emperor told Inven. “If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have joined Longzhu Gaming in the first place. The issue affected my performance as a player, and my relationship with the team. How was I supposed to focus on the game?” When Inven contacted Longzhu head coach Hirai, he confirmed many of the allegations brought against the organization. Contracts were not being signed on time, READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Reigning League Champs SKT Scrape Past Challengers To Win Mid-Season Invitational

GIF SKT T1 has long been the most dominant force in League of Legends, winning three Worlds championships. Given the results of today’s Mid-Season Invitational finals, it doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon, as SKT T1 beat G2 for the MSI title, 3-1. The South Korean team as the top seed from their region, after a 3-0 victory over KT Rolster. Boasting some of the best players in the world in every role, SKT T1 looked dominant coming into the grand finals, but European squad G2 Esports were hoping to topple the titan and prove that this year’s Worlds wouldn’t be a sure thing for SKT. Faker Keeps His Throne In Korean League Finals This weekend marks the final week of playoffs for every region in the League Championship Series,… Read more Right out of the gate, G2’s mid lane player Luka “PerkZ” Perkovic established himself in against the intimidating Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. Throughout the early game, G2 kept pressure on Faker, repeatedly attacking his lane and killing him to prevent him from getting too much gold and experience. Despite the early lead on SKT’s star mid laner, the rest of the team READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!