Busy week! (and not because of work)

Well, this week was way more amazing than I originally expected. I honestly have been a bit out of the loop recently with new-ish job and searching for something better, so imagine my surprise when I realised that the Overwatch League pre-season has now started. I’ve been waiting for this for a while and now that it has launched I will be following it fervently. However, the majority of the matches are at times that I just cannot be awake for due to time difference, so I will be viewing the VODs the next day; 2am is not a time I can do on a work night!

So far, I was actually surprised with what I saw. Teams looked rusty by comparison to some of the matches I have seen before in tournaments such as APEX in South Korea, or even some of the matches from Contenders Season 1. With added context it makes a lot of sense for some teams, such as the Shanghai Dragons who didn’t have one of their primary dps players in the country until the day before their match against the titans in Seoul Dynasty. Also, I find myself in a difficult position of wanting to support London Spitfire, but I have been a long-time EnVyUs fan after they went to Korea won APEX season 1; my attentions are therefore split between the London Spitfire, as my local team, and Dallas Fuel as the team I have already supported all this time.

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But this week didn’t stop there. I also came to the realisation that Kobolds and Catacombs released this week for Hearthstone as well. Now, I’m not a huge Hearthstone player, mainly just using it as a game to play during the morning and evening commute, however I will say that I love this expansion. As a filthy casual who loves my PvE content, I have been loving the dungeon runs so far and somehow managed to succeed on my first try as paladin. I don’t even play paladin much in Hearthstone, but amusingly I main a paladin in World of Warcraft, so maybe that’s why I decided on impulse to make my first dungeon run as a paladin; either that or I just decided I really felt like having Liadrin as my hero. Always loved Liadrin as a character…

My hammer burns with holy fire!

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CS:GO ELeague Major group stage ends

The Counter Strike: Global Offensive ELeague Major group stages came to a close yesterday after some incredibly tense matches.

Quarter finals will start tomorrow at 10am Eastern / 3pm GMT, all streamed on the ELeague Twitch channel, where Na’Vi will face Astralis to kick off the show. If the group stage is anything to go by, we’ve got a superb weekend of Counter Strike ahead of us!

The group stages themselves saw some excellent Counter Strike being played and featured many upsets! Both G2 Esports and EnVyUs fell in the group stages, with rumours of a shuffle in the works for both French rosters. I feel this shuffle is needed as we saw some excellent play by some members of the French rosters, such as Shox and KennyS who really delivered some great plays over the group stage matches, and I feel those players that really showed up deserved to make it past the group stages. Optic Gaming had a tough run in the group stages too and were knocked out after facing a tough draw without an answer to such opposition.

The results of the group stage is as follows:

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Screen-capped while I was having internet issues. Twitch TV buffering for authenticity!

Some teams, despite scores, did not seem to play at their peak during the group stage. Virtus.pro, despite going 3-0, felt good, but not that high level we’re used to seeing from them, and North, formerly the Team Dignitas roster and certainly a team we expect to see high level play from, only scraped through the group stages 3-2.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the quarter finals as the group stages were so close. With the increased stakes as the teams get closer and closer to that $500,000 first place prize, I am hoping that the quarter finalists will up their game and deliver some terrific Counter Strike over the weekend. Bring on the finals!

Trouble for North American Counter Strike: Global Offensive Teams Continues

The Professional Esports Association has released an open letter in response to Scott Smith and the North American Counter Strike: Global Offensive players he represents.

The players were not happy over the PEA’s decisions, specifically over the limitations placed and that players would be forced to pull out of the ESL Pro League.

The players said: “When the PEA and our owners first spoke more openly about their ability to tell us where we can and can’t play, we asked them what gave them the right. Their response was very direct: It’s in your contract.”

However, the PEA have responded, explaining their decisions and giving the reasons why they have come to their conclusions, as well as apologising for making the players feel left out of the decision making.

Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals, said: “I believe every author of the player letter wants to participate in the PEA league, as well as EPL. Unfortunately, that option is not on the table.”

Mr Whinston continued: “I sympathize with the players’ sentiments around not feeling more included in the decision-making process and I acknowledge that we could and should have done better. That’s why, in good faith, we’re going to give this decision to them.”