Subject: General Tech, Displays | September 22, 2014 - 08:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: esports, asus, vg248qe
I am a little torn about the term "eSports". Yes, I've used it. It is the accepted name. According to the definition, it mostly fits its role. Grammar and language are also fluid concepts, too. They can mean different things as time passes. I guess my real problem is that it attempts to snuggle up to "sports" for acceptance, but maintains a single-letter divider (unlike golf and, to some extent, curling). In my opinion, it is either a sport or it is something else entirely (a game, maybe?).
Apparently they support StarCraft, too.
Also, it should be considered legitimate. Spectator sports are for entertainment, and "eSports" are entertaining to watch. Sure, it is not for everyone -- but neither is any other sport.
Two organizations that do consider it legitimate is ASUS and Robert Morris University (RMU). The college has recently announced scholarships for the top League of Legends players. After all, a sports scholarship is just an advertisement expense from the university's view. That applies to any sports scholarship. The point is to lure students to your campus and spectators to sporting events. Consistent winnings and great players gets your name out there on both fronts. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as they uphold a high standard of education, too.
Today's news is that ASUS partnered with RMU to provide "over three dozen" monitors to the university. Specifically, the VG248QE 24-inch, 144Hz display. This is almost $10,000 USD of hardware at current retail price. The press release is unclear whether ASUS donated the panels, or if they were sold at a discount. I reached out to the university over Twitter for clarification.
Honestly, I find this interesting and an innovative extension on old practices.
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2014 - 11:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Starcraft II, WCS, blizzard, blizzcon, esports
The StarCraft II World Championship Series is Blizzard's official method of conglomerating numerous tournaments, including their own, into a canonized ranking system. Players get points for winning various Intel Extreme Masters, Red Bull Battle Grounds, DreamHack events, GSL seasons, and so forth. Beyond the prize money of each event, points are awarded to sort a global standings list. These points, beyond bragging rights, lead to an invitation to the year's final tournament at BlizzCon.
The system has drawn some criticism, however. One specific complaint is that players are allowed to partake in any region of their choosing. This seems to lead to tactical placement of players relative to other ones, rather than actual geography. Moreover, this allows players to join in servers that they are not anywhere near to, introducing lag in the online components. If I remember correctly, the rules stated that, unless both players chose to play on a server that was outside the region (ex: a South Korean server for two competitors in WCS America), the server would default to the region (America in the previous example). For 2015, Blizzard is requiring that all players must be legal residents of the region they choose to play in. The reasons for this decision do not seem to be publicly explained, but it should discourage the shuffling of players for logistical advantages.
The other, major change is that all participants of WCS 2015 need to qualify. Previously, if I (again) remember correctly, while points were reset, some placements in leagues carried over. This time, if a player is in any given league, they fought to get there from the very bottom. If anything, I expect this became necessary when the decision was made to change residency requirements.
WCS 2014 isn't over yet, though. It will close with BlizzCon on November 8th.
Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2014 - 12:22 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Starcraft II, esports
Movie studios are beginning to take video game tournaments seriously. MLG secured an ad deal with Relativity to promote their movies across its channels. Lionsgate, a more scrappy company known mostly for Michael Moore films until they took a risk on The Hunger Games, decided to one-up them and sponsor a whole tournament.
Actually, about three tournaments.
The first tournament will be run by Twitch and commentated by Nathanias and by NASL's RotterdaM and MrBitter (NASL is the company responsible for broadcasting WCS America since Season 2, 2013). It will have a $7,000 prize pool to be split among its 16 competitors. The tournament will be called, "Twitch Ender's Game on Blu-ray Tournament". Catchy.
Just a couple of days later, MLG will host the aptly titled, "MLG GameOn Ender's Game on Blu-ray Tournament". Its casters will be Team ROOT's Destiny and Catz, which is quite odd because both are competitors in the first tournament run by Twitch. Its prize pool is not yet announced. Other notable players include Scarlett, MajOr, MaSa, and Hitman.
The third "tournament" is actually a showmatch between the winners of each previous tournament. The two contestants will play a series against one another for a 70/30 split of $10,000 dollars.
It makes sense. The cost of running a StarCraft II tournament, including the prize pool, is probably significantly lower than most other ad campaigns. It just takes a company to think outside the box enough to actually do it. Lionsgate, of all the major film studios, is essentially the underdog as we alluded to earlier. Let's see how effective it is.
The Twitch tournament is currently on now and will run until February 9th. The MLG half will begin on the 11th. The Championship showmatch will be streamed by Twitch on February 22nd.
Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2013 - 09:43 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Starcraft II, esports, bitcoin
Update: The main series prize pool was increased to 14 BTC in addition to 1 BTC for the intro match.
So Bitcoins are becoming popular and a legitimate currency. TotalBiscuit decided to create a StarCraft 2 tournament where they are the prize. At the time of the announcement, the 12 Bitcoin prize was valued at about $10,000. Currently, after a little issue in China, it is worth about $7000 to $8000 USD. The English casters are TotalBiscuit and IdrA with several other languages provided including Portuguese and Vietnamese.
The headlining act is Scarlett versus NaNiwa in a best of 7 matchup. Also, they just announced an opening act for a single Bitcoin prize: iNcontroL versus Destiny in a best of 3. The latter pairing are two very comedic personalities. iNcontroL was a prominent player in the Starcraft: Brood War era while Destiny got popular in the StarCraft 2 Beta through Wings of Liberty.
Still no MULEs to mine Bitcoins though.
The stream is running now at TotalBiscuit's Twitch account.
Read on after the teaser break for spoilers as we update throughout the event. Update: The match is now over. The full article contains summaries of each game.
Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2013 - 11:03 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: world of tanks, nvidia, esports
SANTA CLARA, CA - August 15, 2013– NVIDA’s first ever GeForce eSports World of Tanks Open Tournament will culminate with its world finals at the close of PAX Prime on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 7:00 pm PDT at Showbox SoDo in Seattle, WA. Brought to you live by Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, and Wargaming, a new world war will be staged – with finalists from China, South East Asia, North and South America, Europe and Russia competing for their share of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600-series graphics cards and $100,000 in cold hard cash! Matches will be broadcast live on Twitch and available on–demand.
“Now more than ever, competitive gaming is pushing players and hardware limits to extremes,” said James Grunke, manager of the GeForce eSports program at NVIDIA. “We at GeForce eSports are committed to upping our game by delivering the gear gamers demand to win. We’ve got a rock star team of partners in Wargaming and Twitch to execute this fierce global gaming war.”
Following the intense epic battle, NVIDIA along with their tournament partners Wargaming and Twitch, will host Party of 3, the mother of all PAX parties! The celebration begins at 9:30 pm - immediately following the global tournament, also at Showbox SoDo. Sure to be the ultimate party of PAX, the event will rage on until 1:00 am and feature meet-ups, complimentary drinks and food, and the chance to win high octane prizes.
“Twitch is known for having a major presence at PAX, so every year we are looking to raise the bar with the events we drive or take part in,” said Amber Dalton, director of marketing and events for Twitch. “By live streaming the World of Tanks Grand Finals at an event co-hosted by NVIDIA and Wargaming, that bar has definitely been lifted. With eSports trending in the news now more than ever before, this showcase will illustrate its competitive spirit and spectator appeal.”
“We’re going to see the best and brightest World of Tanks players in the world in Seattle for the NVIDIA GeForce eSports World of Tanks Grand Finals,” said Caleb Fox, head of eSports at Wargaming. “Getting so much talent in one place and competing for great prizes and cash is going to be a truly memorable event.”
NVIDIA, along with their partners and sponsors, EVGA and Razer, will give away cutting-edge products, such as GeForce GTX 660 GPUs, WG gold, gaming mice, PC accessory packs and much more!
General admission for NVIDIA GeForce eSports World of Tanks Grand Finals is free but interested gamers need to RSVP at http://wot100kopen.eventbrite.com/ and will be admitted onsite on a first come, first serve basis. Doors will open at 6 pm Sunday night for a World of Tanks Community Meet-Up Event. The first attendees to arrive will receive free drink tickets.
World of Tanks is a team-based, massively multiplayer online game dedicated to armored warfare in the mid-20th century. With more than 60 million registered users worldwide, World of Tanks is a fast-paced PC shooter game with in-depth weaponry, economics and robust eSports tools such as spectator mode and replay file support.
Official GeForce eSports World of Tanks Open Tournament rules and regulations are available at http://esports.geforce.com.
Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2013 - 12:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, esports, Chao Dracco, thermaltake
With the obnoxious variety of headphones available companies seem to be struggling to stand out in the crowd. Audio quality comes a close second to the aesthetics of the headphones, with bright colours and logos dominating the audio section of any retail store. Thermaltake's eSPORTS Chao Dracco is no exception, though they are very uniquely pink. That doesn't mean that they neglected the sound as they have used 50mm drivers with a respectable 10Hz to 22K Hz range. Read Bjorn3D's impression of how that translates into your ear in their full review.
"Tt eSPORTS Chao is about culture, and technology advances this culture to create massive individuality. It’s about fashion. Whether it’s hippies, punk, gothic, or hip-hop, you are Chao. - Tt eSPORTS. This is a great aggressive catch line from a relativity new company. Let’s find out if they hold up to it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ozone Rage ST Gaming Headset @ techPowerUp
- SteelSeries Siberia V2 Cross-Platform Headset Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Steelseries Flux In Ear Headset @ LanOC Reviews
- Antec Mobile Products iso Headphones & gain Headphone Amp Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II Review @ TechReviewSource
- Eagle Tech Arion Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- Scythe Kama Bay Amp Pro (SDAR-3000) & Kro Craft Speakers Rev. B Review @ Madshrimps
- Ineo Alienvibes W601 Speaker Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- A.M.P. SP1 review: newcomer in Bluetooth speaker dock @ Hardware.info
- Finis SwiMP3 X18 2GB @ XSReviews
Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2012 - 05:45 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: prizes, lan, gigabyte, gaming, event, esports
Last month we reported that Gigabyte would be hosting its first eSports LAN party in North America. Running from June 15 to June 17, the GESL event will feature tournament competitions, a bring your own computer (BYOC) LAN fest, case mod competition, event raffle, and a number of presentational speakers.
The Gigabyte eSports LAN will be offering up various pieces of hardware including Gigabyte G1 Sniper 3 motherboards, graphics cards, and memory (among others). StarCraft II and League of Legends are the two games that will be used in the tournament competitions and Gigabyte is offering up $11,000 and $10,000 prize pools respectively. The case mod competition will feature custom computers from participants of the LANFest, and CPU Magazine will be recognizing the winner in its magazine.
And because that was not enough gaming goodness, the MadCatz will be hosting its own Street Fighter X Tekken tournament below the GESL main event. The tournament will run throughout the weekend, with a championship tournament on Sunday. They will be providing fight sticks and winners will receive prizes from MadCatz and Dolby. The event requires gamers to have a LANFest or spectator badge ($15), but is otherwise free to enter.
Further, Odyssey Gaming will be holding a GESL pre-party with several professional StarCraft II players. While space is limited, gamers with spectator badges are welcome to attend and there are also a few slots open for those that wish to play some StarCraft II. The pre-party event attendees will also get a pre-party raffle ticket, extra GESL raffle ticket, and free photo booth access. For those that wish to play, they will need to purchase a GESL Pre-Party Gan Pack with includes 4 hours of gameplay time and will cost $20. Otherwise, gamers with spectator badges are welcome to attend free of additional charges. The professional players on-site will include viOLet, DeMusliM, Clide, Ryung, and Alicia.
The GESL Pre-Party will be held on June 12, 2012 from 6pm to 10pm PST. The location is about 15 minutes from the main GESL event (California Polytechnical University in Pomona, California) at the Odyssey Gaming cyber cafe.
The is coming up fast, so those interested in attending should purchase a spectator badge as soon as possible (which will cost $15). For those interested in the LANFest but cannot make it to the show, Gigabyte will be streaming the event in HD for free. In case you missed the details in our earlier article, the GESL will be held at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. More detailed information on finding your way around the university can be found on this FAQ.
In addition to Gigabyte, co-sponsors of the GESL include Kingston and Cooler Master who will be giving away some swag and computer hardware to attendees at the show. More information can be found at the GESL website at thegesl.com. Will you be attending the LANFest? Are you at least excited to watch some Starcraft II? Let us know in the comments below!
Subject: General Tech | December 8, 2011 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, in-ear, gaming headset, thermaltake, esports
For some people having a band across the top of the head to keep their headphones on can be a problem, being uncomfortable or too distracting when making videos or any other reason. Thermaltake have come up with a solution for anyone who wants unobtrusive earphones and microphone with their eSPORTS Isurus. It features in-ear headphones and an inline microphone as well as a carrying pouch and several in-ear plastic moulds. XS Reviews was a little disappointed that they needed to play with their equalizer when switching from gaming to music and between different styles of music, but after the adjustment the sound was quite good. For under $30 the Isurus seems like a good deal for those searching for this type of product.
"Similar to the recently reviewed Azurues mouse, the Isurus gaming headset is part of the Tt eSPORTS lineup, the range announced by Thermaltake at CES in 2010 to provide additional gaming peripherals for the “world e-sport gaming area” due to “constant request” from distributors and end users."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Shure SRH550DJ Review @ TechReviewSource
- SteelSeries Gaming Headsets Overview Dec 2011 @ HardwareHeaven
- Arctic Sound E461-BM Earphones Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- TRITTON AX Pro True 5.1 Surround Headset Review @ Real World Labs
- Ozone Onda 3HX Gaming Headset @ Rbmods
- Arctic Sound P321 USB Headset @ Overclockers Online
- Steelseries Diablo 3 Gaming Headset @ Funky Kit
- Pure Chronos iDock Series II Review @ Tech-Reviews
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