Last Week in E-Sports: Gwent gets major tournament, gaming-themed cruise revealed to be scam

We have a bit of a grab bag of news for you in this week’s Last Week in E-Sports. New tournaments are getting announced, new sponsorships are getting signed, and we have a scandal involving a gaming tournament, a cruise ship, and e-sports betting.

Gamescom Will Host The First Major Gwent Tournament

Gwent is quickly establishing itself as one of Hearthstone’s major competitors in the digital card game market. It’s been in the open beta stage since May, and has grown quickly since then. Many competitors like it because it is a card game that is not random. All your cards will be played over the course of a Gwent match, and there is very little variance to speak of.

Now, we are seeing Gwent enter the e-sports arena with a new tournament at Gamescom this August. 25,000 dollars will be on the line and anyone can sign up, although only seven will be chosen to compete based on their Gwent rankings. The eighth and final competitor will be determined by a series of qualifiers.

Blizzard to More Severely Punish Toxic Overwatch Players

It’s no big secret that Overwatch has been having a problem with player toxicity recently. The massively popular arena shooter has a player base 30 million people strong, and there’s bound to be a few bad apples in that bunch. Luckily, Blizzard is on the side of the little guy here, and have recently revealed that they will be “issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior.” They count “anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing” as toxic behavior. Players may be silenced, suspended, or permanently banned for these infractions in the future.

The Gamer Gauntlet Was Likely a Scam

Video games on the high seas. It’s a dream I know I have personally had, and it seemed like it was coming true with Gamer Gauntlet, a gaming-themed cruise. However, this might be one dream that is too good to be true, as recent allegations point toward the event being little more than a scam.

MoneyMatches, an e-sports betting company, has recently pulled their support from the cruise. Their CEO, Zach Smith, has accused organizer Curtis Smith (no relation) of falsifying information regarding the Gamer Gauntlet event. Supposedly, the event never had several of the sponsors that it claimed to have, nor did many of the celebrities it advertised as attending actually agree to attend. In fact, it wasn’t even clear that the event had a boat! Supposedly, the event’s official website was taken down after a cease and desist letter was issued from Royal Caribbean, the owner of the ship that was advertised as the home of the event.

For now, anyone who bought a ticket to the event will be getting a full refund.

Madison Square Garden to Invest in Counter Logic Gaming

CLG’s first major investor is also a big one. They will be backed by the Madison Square Garden company, owners of the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks. The deal includes fronting the 10 million dollars to afford becoming a permanent partner with Riot Games and get a permanent spot in the North American League of Legends Championship Series.

The European Speedrunner Assembly Had 70 People Run Super Mario 64

If you thought the summer’s speedrunning marathons were done now that SGDQ is over, you are wrong! The ESA, or European Speedrunner Assembly, held their own marathon, and they featured one of the most amazing speedruns yet. 70 people doing a 70 star run of Super Mario 64 – one person to each star. It was the first speedrun of its kind and we hope to see more relays like this come out of the ESA in the future.

Gfinity Buys CEVO

Gfinity has recently acquired e-sports service firm CEVO for a whopping 2.7 million dollars. CEVO provides a number of e-sport services, including anti-cheat software and tournament and league management.

"We are delighted to have acquired one of the most reputable esports technology players in the in the industry, which further strengthens our position as a market leader in esports technology," Gfinity CEO Neville Upton said in a press release. "It also demonstrates our determination to become a leading global player in the industry having previously delivered events in the UK, France, Mexico and USA since the start of this year."

Groups for the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship have Been Decided

The playoffs are over, the qualifiers are done, and the teams have been decided. We now know what 32 teams will be playing in the Call of Duty World League Championship. The tournament will be split up into eight groups and four pots, distributed as follows:

The CWL championship will kick off on August 9.

iDom Score Big Win at Defend the North

Now that EVO is over and done with, the rest of the year’s majors are all a lead up to the Capcom Pro Tour. A recent major at Defend the North last weekend saw Derek "iDom" Ruffin win his first major tournament victory. Why is that news? Well, for people familiar the New York scene, iDom has become known as “Stoop Kid.” Hey Arnold! fans might get the reference. iDom is a fantastic player that, with no sponsor, has no ability to travel the world outside of his hometown of New York. And who did Stoop Kid take down? Everyone’s favorite second place finisher, Punk. Perhaps this first place finish will get Stoop Kid noticed and allow him to finally leave his stoop.

The Roster Shuffle

  • Ronin Esports has decided to drop Halo veteran Tyler “Spartan” Ganza from their team. He has become a free agent for the fall season.
  • Phoenix1 have picked up Marcin "SELFIE" Wolski for their League of Legends team. As of now he is only a substitute player, though provided his performance matches up, he might find himself in a position to become a full-time roster member.
  • Team Liquid have added David "Insanity" Challe to their roster. He will be joining Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett as one of the team’s newest acquisitions. They have also signed a new mid-laner, Son "Mickey" Young-min.
  • Tempo Storm have been the latest company to quietly drop out of professional Overwatch. An official announcement has not been made, however all record of their Overwatch team has been deleted form their website. Former Tempo Storm players have also confirmed their release.
  • MVP will also be dropping one of its Overwatch rosters, but won’t completely drop from the competitive scene. They will be releasing Lee "Insanity" Ji-seop, Kim "Bianca" Dong-wook, and Kim "Fuze" Tae-hoon into free agency.
  • Lee "claris" Keon-ho has been released from Lazer Kittenz’ Overwatch team. "After receiving interest from teams already in the Overwatch League, claris has communicated his desire to pursue those tryout opportunities," Laser Kittenz said. "As such, we have decided to release him and wish him the best in his future."
  • Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and Denis “seized” Kostin will both be leaving Na’Vi’s CS:GO team after a recent string of unsatisfying performances.