Last Week in E-Sports – A surprisingly active year’s end

Considering we have only 3 weeks until everyone starts ringing in the New Year, the e-sports scene was surprisingly active last week. Let’s see what our favorite players got up to before they pack up and head home for the holidays.

DOTA2 Major to be Held in Kiev

The 2017 Spring stop on the Dota2 Major circuit will be held in the Ukraine this year. The Kiev Major will be held in April 2017. The tournament will feature a three million dollar prize pool with one million dollars going to the eventual winner. This will bet the first major to be held in the CIS region, and the first to be held in Europe since the Frankfurt Major in November 2015

Will Ferrell to Star in E-Sports-Based Comedy

It looks as though e-sports are now mainstream enough to get parodied by Will Ferrell. The currently untitled film will have a similar tone to Talladega Nights, and the plot will see Ferrell as an aging prodigy in the e-sports world, surrounded by much younger players. Michael Kvamme and Jordan Dunn will write the script, and both the Evil Geniuses and Fnatic are in talks to have cameo appearances in the movie.

Undefeated Adopts PlayStation 4 Version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as Tournament Standard

Arizona tournament series Undefeated declared that their Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 events would be run on the PlayStation 4 version of the game. The Xbox 360 version used to be the tournament standard, primarily due to a strange amount of button delay that the PS3 version seemed to introduce. According to organizer Angelic, extensive testing was done with the PS4 version to ensure that it is stable and responsive for offline play. If problems emerge, the tournament will revert back to the Xbox 360 version.

This does present a problem to any Marvel competitor who is used to playing on an Xbox 360 controller, or who has an Xbox 360-exclusive stick. While this likely doesn’t include much of the current professional base, there will be some users affected by the switch and it’s rather late in the game’s lifecycle to expect players to purchase a last-generation arcade stick at this point.

Casters Removed From Latin American Broadcast of League of Legends All-stars

After Diego "Vendetta" Ramirez and caster Bastian Guzman appeared to mock Chinese speech patterns on air, Riot pulled them from the broadcast of the 2016 League of Legends All-Stars Event. Riot's LAS broadcast manager, "Catador", posted an apology on Reddit saying, “We'd like to apologize for the comments made on the LAS broadcast earlier today. We're extremely disappointed in the behavior of those two casters, and have removed them from the remainder of the broadcast. This kind of language is unacceptable, and we apologize to all of our fans, players, and teams.” It is unclear if the two casters in question will continue to broadcast for events in the future.

End of Year Victories

  • Team Ice were the decisive winners of the League of Legends All Star event. Ice, which was comprised of China's LPL, the European LCS, and Taiwan's LMS, finished with 1050 points to just 750 by Team Fire, made of Korea's LCK, the North American LCS, and the GPL of South East Asia.
  • Two-time European champion Thijs Molendijk won the Hearthstone tournament at the Esports Superstars event in Germany, claiming €12,500 in prize money. This marked the first major LAN of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan meta.
  • Astralis defeated OpTic Gaming 2-0 to win the Esports Championship Series (ECS) CS:GO finals in Anaheim, California. They took home $250,000 for their victory.
  • OG came out on top during the DOTA2 Boston Major, beating Ad Finem 3-1. This marks their third DOTA major victory.
  • Choi “Saint” Jin-Woo won the King of the Iron Fist global finals in Tokyo, Japan last Saturday. This marks Saint’s second Tekken title win of the year after his victory at EVO.

The Roster Shuffles Continue

  • Immortals have signed LoL rookie AD carry Cody Sun to a two-year contract. "I understand that I’m a rookie player and this is the first time playing in the LCS, but I hope you guys follow my journey through LCS and I can make you guys proud," Sun said in a statement.
  • The Immortals have also signed Lee "Flame" Ho-jong as a replacement for Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon. He will be joining Sun, jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, and mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park on the new roster.
  • Team ROCCAT has signed jungler Nubar "Maxlore" Sarafian and top laner Ambrož "Phaxi" Hren. This report comes from ESPN Esports, though an official statement from the team has not yet been made.
  • Team Dignitas have signed former KT Rolster top laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho and former Longzhu jungler Lee "Chaser" Sang-hyun. They will be filling the empty slots left by Jeon "Ray" Ji-won and Lee "Shrimp" Byeong-hoon’s departures.
  • Jason "WildTurtle" Tran has officially joined Team SoloMid. He will be taking up a slot as their starting AD Carry.
  • Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage has been signed to the Misfits. Marcin "Selfie" Wolski will no longer be competing with the team.
  • Former ROX Tigers’ mid laner Lee "Kuro" Seo-haeng will be joining up with Afreeca Freecs. He is the first player that the Freecs have signed for their 2017 lineup.
  • Longzhu announced their signing of Song "Fly" Yong-jun and Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong. They will be joining the former ROX Tigers bottom lane duo, Kim "PraY" Jong-in and Kang "GorillA" Beom-hyeon in the new lineup.
  • Team Revenge has reentered the Call of Duty scene after a two-year absence. Their new roster will include Adam "KiLLa" Sloss, Marcus "MiRx" Carter, Chance "Maux" Moncivaez, and Jamal "Whea7s" Lee.
  • Smash player DaJuan “Shroomed” McDaniel has parted ways with Winterfox following the expiration of his contract. “DaJuan has, since his signing, been a signature part of Winterfox, and I'm heartbroken to see him move on," Winterfox founder Brian Cordry said in a Facebook post. "Across the five esports that we've been part of, I haven't met a player that's easier to work with or more consistent in his performances. We at Winterfox want to thank him for rocking the purple and white so well, and wish him nothing but success on his newest ventures."
  • Dominique "Sonic Fox" McLean has left Team Critical Reaction. Known as one of the best Mortal Kombat and Skullgirls players in the biz, Fox will be continuing in the FGC as a free agent.
  • FC St. Gallen, two-time Swiss national champions and the oldest existing football club in mainland Europe, signed its first e-sports player today, FIFA player Sandro “Neysk11L” Poschinger. “Esports’ development is impressive and moves ahead rapidly. Until recently, it was still uncharted territory for us but after we had talks with eSportsReputation in the last couple of weeks, we are highly convinced of the potential. We are even more happy to take the lead in Swiss esports,” Pascal Kesseli, CEO at FC St. Gallen Event AG, explained.