Last Week in E-Sports: Want to be a Hearthstone caster?

As we head into the holidays, we find major e-sports news winding down. That being said, competitors are still hard at work grabbing a few year-end tournament victories. Catch up on the latest roster changes and the biggest wins in this edition of Last Week in E-Sports.

Riot Signs a Deal with BAMTech

Riot Games has recently signed a seven-year deal with BAMtech, the wing of MLB Advanced Media responsible for streaming services, granting the company exclusive streaming rights for League of Legends. According to Riot, the partnership is intended, “to grow revenue in our sport through various means, including sponsorship and advertising,” as well as to utilize BAMtech’s “best-in-class technology” to provide a premium streaming experience to fans of the sport.

BAMTech will pay Riot $50 million a year, guaranteed, but will keep the first $50 million of generated revenue. All profits beyond that will be shared between the two companies. BAMtech will be launching a LoL streaming app for PCs and mobile devices in 2017, and will further handle the distribution of content to platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.

Hearthstone Is Looking For Casters

So, you think you can make it as an e-sports caster? Here is your chance. The Hearthstone e-sports division is looking for casters to cast games during the Tespa 2017 Collegiate Hearthstone Championship Tour. To apply, Blizzard is asking would-be casters to download a match and cast over it. The match is completely fabricated, and Blizzard even created a backstory for it to help inform your color commentary. After that, just post the video, tweet it to @Playhearthstone using the hashtag #HScast2017, and see if you make the cut.

The Roster Shuffle

  • 24-year-old Ryan Edens, son of Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens, will be heading up a new team. Wesley Edens paid $1.8 million dollars for Cloud9 Challenger’s LCS spot and will be signing four of the five players. Ryan is a relatively new figure in e-sports and much information about this team, including its official name, has not been revealed.
  • French League of Legends team Vitality has singed Ha "Hachani" Seung-chan, formerly of KT Rolster, to play jungler for the team in the 2017 season. While we had rumors about this acquisition circulating around as early as the beginning of the month, the team has now officially confirmed.
  • The Unicorns of Love have added jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir to their ranks.
  • Team Dignitas has signed two Korean League of Legends players, Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho and Lee "Chaser" Sang-hyun. This marks one of their first major acquisitions since the team was purchased by the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Kory “Semphis” Friesen and Pujan “FNS” Mehta will not be competing with Team Solo Mid in 2017. In their place, TSM has signed Sean “seangares” Gares and Shahzeb “ShahZam” Kahn, formerly of Echo Fox.
  • Former NRG jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen has signed on with the brand new North American LoL team Gold Coin United. NRG released Santorin in August this year.
  • Paris Saint-Germain have revealed their 2017 League of Legends roster. The team will consist of Etienne “Steve” Michels, Hampus “Sprattel” Abrahamsson, Thomas "Kirei" Yuen, Jin “Blanc” Sung-min, and Hyeong-gi "Police" Park.
  • Korean jungler Lee "KaKAO" Byung-kwon will be joining the Misfits for the upcoming 2017 season. He will be joining Barney "Alphari" Morris, Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage, Steven "Hans sama" Liv, and Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun.
  • Counter Logic Gaming have announced that they will be diving into Overwatch for the 2017 season, and they unveiled their new roster during MLG’s Overwatch Invitational last week. Their team roster includes the full lineup of the team formerly known as The 1 Percent. It includes Joao Pedro "Hydration" Goes Telles, Adam "waffletastic" Syndor, Bryan "iShiny" McCarthy, Nathan "Miso" Lui, Michael "The" Kuhns, and Daniel "Mikado" Yamikoski.
  • Real Betis Balompié, otherwise known as “Betis”, will be joining the Virtual Football Organization. The club is currently taking applications for their FIFA team. Players and captains have not yet been announced for the upcoming 2017 season, though it does appear as if the team may get into other e-sports as well.
  • Former player Peter “ppd” Dager is living the dream. He has been promoted from an e-athlete to the CEO of one of the biggest brands in e-sports: Evil Geniuses.

Big Wins

  • Team EnVyUs absolutely dominated in the MLG Vegas Overwatch Invitational last week. They had a near perfect run to victory, beating out FaZe Clan in the grand finals. This was after notable player Timo "Taimou" Kettunen's had travel issues, landing him in Vegas a day after the tournament began. Prior to the tournament, Taimou made a promise on Twitter that his team would take home the $40,000 grand prize. After the tournament, his only comment was, “I never lie.”
  • The final three spots in January’s ELEAGUE CS:GO Major have finally been claimed as the last qualifier ended this past weekend. EnVyUs, G2Esports, and Hellraisers will be moving onward. This marks the first major qualification for Hellraisers since March 2015.
  • Jon "Orange" Westberg won the Hearthstone Seat Story Cup last weekend. This marks his second time bringing home the victory along with the $10,000 grand prize. This was one of the final Hearthstone tournaments of the year, and it was notable that Pirate Warrior began showing up much less prominently in the meta.
  • The final Intel Extreme Masters event happened last week and Korea came out on top in every game featured. Samsung Galaxy won their first international title in the League of Legends competition. Underdog’s LW Red picked up the title in IEM’s first Overwatch competition. Finally, Starcraft was won by veteran Lee "INnoVation" Shin Hyung, formerly of SK Telecom T1 but currently a free agent.