Last Week in E-Sports: Fighting games enter the spotlight

The fighting game community was very active last week in e-sports. We saw the introduction of new circuits, huge pot bonuses being donated to smaller games, the re-introduction of Red Bull’s Proving Ground series, and plenty of results from major tournaments. In addition to major fighting game news, we also saw a conclusion to Riot’s scripting lawsuit, the creation of a brand new e-sports academy, and plenty of big winners from tournaments such as IEM Katowice and the various divisions of the LCS.

Marvel Gets Its First Year Long Circuit

While the Marvel VS. games have always been a mainstay in the fighting game community, they have never had a yearlong circuit of their own. Well, that’s all about to change with the announcement of The Curleh Circuit, so named after the infamous Curleh Mustache meme coined by Marvel figurehead IFC_Yipes.

The Curleh Circuit will track results from weeklies, regionals, and other major events across North America. Standings will be kept in a leaderboard, and the top placers at the end of the season will be invited to a new tournament, the Curleh Mustache Finale. Points will be given based on tournament placing. Top 8 finishers will gain points on the leaderboard, with more points being determined by the “class” of the tournament (based on how competitive it is). Official rules and a full tournament list can be found on the circuit’s page.

EVO Providing $1000 Pot Bonus to NorCal Regionals 2017 Pokkén Tournament… Tournament

The Pokken community is determined to show that the game isn’t dead. NorCal Regionals, one of the biggest fighting game tournaments on the west coast, will be hosting a massive competition for the slowly fading game. EVO has decided to step up and help them out, in reward for their considerable efforts in charity donation during the Make-A-Wish foundation drive. They will be kicking in $1,000 in pot bonuses for NorCal Regionals, and $10,000 in pot bonuses in total spread across Pokken Tournament competitions in 2017. This will be the second bit of cash EVO will be donating to the Pokken Tournament scene, the first being a $2,000 pot bonus for the Dreamhack Austin competition.

Malaysia Has Opened a New E-Sports Academy

The Asia Pacific University, along with eSports Malaysia, has opened up a brand new e-sports academy. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a higher education program in e-sports. Courses will be offered in DOTA2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and FIFA Online. More games may be added over time. The courses will focus primarily on fostering the skills of budding professional gamers, however further courses will be offered in order to teach coaching and managerial skills, and even about streaming and casting events.

Red Bull Continues its Proving Grounds Series

Red Bull has announced that its Proving Ground series will return, bringing a whole new crowd of Street Fighter V players into the tournament scene. This year’s theme, however, will be regional rivalries. As before, players will earn points in competitive events through the spring and fall seasons. The top three from each region in each season will advance to the finals. However, instead of fighting in 1v1 competitions, the top 3 finishers will compete in three player teams.

The grand prize is $6,000 and the top eight finishers from the competition will receive trips to compete at larger events, such as EVO and the Capcom Pro Tour North American Last Chance Qualifier. The first competition will take place on April 1.

Riot Wins Big in Scripting Site Lawsuit

Riot Game’s recent lawsuit against scripting site LeagueSharp has come to a close, entirely in Riot’s favor. They have been awarded a $10 million payout, complete control over LeagueSharp websites, and a full court-ordered ban of LeagueSharp from Riot games in the future. Riot accused LeagueSharp of violating the DMCA since its product evaded Riot’s anti-cheat software. They also accused the company of hacking its servers and leaking private info about Riot employees.

This Week’s Winners

  • AW|Nemo took Topanga League 6’s Street Fighter V tournament over major competitors Mago, Fuudo, and Haitani.
  • Prestige World Wide has won the DOTA2 SEA Champions Cup… because they were the only team to sign up. This gives them a free pass to the regional qualifier.
  • Team Dignitas has won the HGC Western Clash at IEM Katowice last weekend, proving that Heroes of the Storm isn’t dead and that major teams are still willing to push for huge prize pools. Dignitas is currently the only team to have been at every major Heroes championship since the first world Championship at Blizzcon 2015.
  • Astralis took home the gold in CS:GO at IEM Katowice after a back and forth set against FaZe Clan. They took home $104,000 for first place.
  • TSM and Cloud 9 have solidified their positions at the top of the NA LCS, triumphing over teams like Dignitas and FlyQuest.
  • G2 Esports continues their undefeated streak in the EU LCS, now sporting an impressive 8-0 record after winning against Vitality.
  • Liquid, Virtus Pro, CompLexity and Luminosity have progressed to the Hearthstone Trinity Series finals. They will head to the finals on the weekend of March 16 in California to play for $75,000.
  • The 8 teams that will compete in the first DOTA2 Valve Major of 2017 have been announced. They are OG, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Wings Gaming, Ad Finem, Digital Chaos, Newbee, and VG. J.

The Roster Shuffle

  • Tugay "TuGuX" Keskin has announced he has joined up with CS:GO team Dark Passage after coming back from a short hiatus.
  • Origen has announced the departure of Aleksi "Hiiva" Kaikkonen. They are currently looking for a new support for their LoL team.