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How did the Dota Pro Circuit Develop?

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Once upon a time, a long time ago in a faraway land, where metas were fun and heroes were balanced, the legends of Dota were born.

Today, we tell the tale of how the DPC came to be – the problems in Dota, the storylines along the way, and the ultimate evolution of a competitive circuit. For esports fans new and old – this is for you.

Five years ago, Valve announced The Majors, the beginning of what would become the DPC as we know it today.

No esports scene is perfect, and while Dota has plenty of ways to improve, let’s take a look back at the scene in 2015

Problems in Dota 2, Before the Majors

Rosters shuffled constantly, and there were no RULES around it. The only unwritten rule was that TI invited rosters were set in stone. Fnatic fought to compete with Xcalibur, rather than Era in TI4, with nothing other than emails from Valve to determine who was allowed to compete

Era ended up playing at TI4, and Fnatic came in 13th-14th place, forced to stick with the roster that was invited to TI

And while we are on the topic of invites… guessing who would be invited to TI was a FUN GAME FOR FANS – less fun if you were one of the players wondering if you would need to play qualifiers or if you were already in. And the system for invites? A closed Valve decision, with zero transparency.

As one article put it “While TI shines like a beacon for everything good and glamorous about competitive gaming, it only lasts for a few days in the summer. Once its bright lights have been shut down and the massive Seattle venue has been emptied out, players are left to their own devices for the rest of the year.”

And ultimately, little to no communication from Valve was the unfortunate standard of care for the Dota 2 scene.

And so – the majors were born. This gave teams an idea of the schedule to expect, pumped in tons of prize pool to the scene (3 million per major), and added somewhat clear and rigid roster rules to look to protect players

Before we jump into the Majors, we have to acknowledge DAC 2015, the event that was clearly the testing ground for the higher prize pool and hjigher budget majors to come – featuring over 3 million in prize pool, a dedicated compendium, and the almost debut of now superstar SumaiL

The Dota 2 Majors

Now, into the actual majors! Frankfurt, presented by ESL, was the first event to roll around. OG claimed their first title, starting a legacy of success that no one could have predicted.

Shanghai was next up, with Team Secret winning their first Valve title. Unfortunately for their legacy, few really focus on their succes and instead… remember a few other things from that major

Not only was Shanghai the source of IMMENSE production and event failures, the roster aftermath was bloody – to say the least. Arteezy and Universe left EG to join Secret, Bulba and Aui 2000 left DC to join EG, and DC picked up w33ha from Secret’s kick. All in the space of a week or so due to the harsh constraints of the Major roster rules.

Secret and EG ended up in last at the Manila Major, leaving an easy field for OG to roll over everyone and grab another title. More roster chaos ensued, with the deadlines imposed by Valve pushing both EG AND Secret through the open qualifiers for TI. That’s right, TI5 champions and Shanghai Major winners had to play open qualifiers to make it into TI6.

And then the team they both poached from ending up in second place…. go figure.

So… after the first year we were left with three majors that took about a month each, far too rigid roster locks, and multiple week long qualifiers for the next Major.

All of that meant that third party tournaments suffered, teams made forced roster change decisions, and last minute kicks could mean some players were unfairly left team less. So then they cut it down to two Majors for the next year.

It wasn’t just one less Major to free up the schedule, majors also got condensed, moving into a single elimination (rather than double) format – making way for one of the best story lines in the history of Dota – Ad Finem. OG won that event, but Ad Finem’s performance, and enthusiasm, will always be what is most remembered. OG felt that three Major titles weren’t enough, so they picked up a fourth at the Kiev Major. But even with this system, we still lacked invite transparency, and the guessing games of who would make it to TI continued. And with this, the Dota 2 Pro Circuit was born.

The Dota 2 Pro Circuit

A series of Majors and Minors, with half the prize pool contributed by Valve, would be run by third party tournament organizers.

Majors were worth more points than minors, and at the end of the season, the top 8 point earning teams were directly invited to TI. Points were attached to players rather than rigid roster deadlines, with penalties for roster moves outside of approved trading windows

While this season was fun – it was messy. ESL and Starladder DMCAs threatened viewer access to tournaments, while drug testing and player safety concerns meant that one major got downgraded. Teams traveled and played non stop, and minors meant for the T2 scene got flooded by tier 1 teams stacking up loads of points, and some TOs dissapeared without ever paying out their prize pool or talent fees.

With no clear guidelines on what teams could be invited and what formats could be used, this system lacked the tier 2 support that Valve was pursuing,

And that is how we landed on the 5 majors and minors system that most current Dota fans are most familiar with.

Qualifying points moved to sitting with teams rather than players, and even less rigid roster locks resulted. Minor winners earned themselves a spot to the Major, and most of the qualifying points came from those Majors. Unfortunately, open qualifiers started RIGHT after the Major ended, leaving teams with little to no time to make roster changes, fly home, practice – anything. The schedule was too full, and players suffered.

The next season of the DPC remained mostly the same, but with more space between the end of Major events and the qualifiers, and a single qualifier for both the minors and the majors. This iteration didn’t get to finish, but we did have some fun memories along the way.

This system has starved out third party tournaments from the schedule and still failed to properly support a healthy t2 scene. Now, we wait to see the next iteration of the DPC, where we return to three Majors and see regional leagues that hopefully develop and prop up the tier 2 and 3 scenes

And there is the tale of the evolution of the DPC system – with iterations and changes every year in the hopes to sustainably support the Dota 2 ecosystem. Players, teams, tournaments and Valve all battle to find a balance. Perhaps regional leagues will be the happily ever after Dota 2 has been looking for

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Source: https://www.rivalry.com//esports/how-did-the-dota-pro-circuit-develop

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Levi’s Finds Partnership With NRG Esports is a Good Fit

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Levi’s is taking its biggest step into gaming yet after signing a new deal with NRG Esports that marks its first esports partnership in the U.S. 

The deal was announced on Friday, with terms unreleased, and will center on the iconic jeans brand outfitting NRG players and streamers with its garb, as well as co-branded content projects. 

Levi’s will have a presence at NRG’s Hot Pockets Castle gaming headquarters in L..A., where there will now be a style lounge that incorporates the jeans brand and lets visitors personalize their apparel. NRG will also create a content series showing NRG influencers living out a typical day in their life (presumably while wearing Levi’s products). The co-branded content will appear across NRG’s YouTube and Twitch channels among other platforms.

Levi’s, the American brand that was founded in 1873, has had limited involvement with esports partnerships to this point, with only a couple international deals. Those include one with the DACH Prime League of Legends competition in Europe and one with the U.K.-based university esports organizer The NUEL. Levi’s also did a collaboration with Nintendo around its famous video game characters.

Levi’s VP/Marketing Stacy Doren in a prepared statement noted esports “have become such an important part of today’s youth culture, and with NRG being one of the biggest players in that space, they were an ideal partner to help bring Levi’s into the world of gaming.”

NRG President Brett Lautenbach added that company execs “wanted to work with Levi’s for a long time.”

NRG owns the San Francisco Shock of the Overwatch League, Optic Chicago of the Call of Duty League and also competes in Valorant and Rocket League. Other partners of NRG include Hot Pockets, Popeye’s, T-Mobile, Turtle Beach, and Mountain Dew Game Fuel

The organization has also been in the market trying to find a title sponsor for its Rocket League team.

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Source: https://esportsobserver.com/levis-jeans-nrg-esports/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=levis-jeans-nrg-esports

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Lakeland University Partners With Bucks Gaming for the 2021 NBA 2K League Season

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Lakeland University, the Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, private liberal arts university, is now the official partner of Bucks Gaming for the 2021 NBA 2K League season. Lakeland’s esports program is headed up by former Green Bay Packer Ahman Green.

While financial details of the partnership were not released, the partnership will include a “Strive for Success” digital program that is focused on driving awareness and supporting recruitment to Lakeland’s esports program.

Additionally, each month, Bucks Gaming and Lakeland University will get together to promote the school’s esports program in a variety of ways, which include live streams on the Bucks Gaming’s Twitch channel with Green and members of the Lakeland esports program, and appearances by Bucks Gaming players and staff on The Ahman Green Show podcast.

The two have already seen the partnership come together as Bucks Gaming helped prepare Lakeland’s NBA 2K teams for the Eastern College Athletic Conference playoffs.

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Source: https://esportsobserver.com/bucks-gaming-lakeland-university/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bucks-gaming-lakeland-university

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Gamers Club and Riot Games Organize Women’s Valorant Circuit in Latin America

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 Immortals Gaming Club-owned gaming platform Gamers Club and Riot Games (through its Game Changers initiative) are organizing the Gamers Club Circuit: Gêneses Protocol, a women’s tournament in Brazil and Latin America. The competition will be divided into four splits which will qualify one team for the Valorant Game Changers Series.

Each of the splits will have a $20K BRL (roughly $3.6K USD) prize pool, making a total of $80K BRL (roughly $14.3K) invested in prizes. The tournament is open to teams to register, as the Game Changers initiative seeks to create opportunities for women to enter the professional esports scene. Some of the main local organizations competing in the circuit are Gamelanders, INTZ, and Vivo Keyd.

Gamers Club is one of the main investments from IGC in the region and one of the main competitive gaming platforms for various esports in Brazil and Latin America. The platform is also part of the Brazilian Circuit for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CBCS).

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Source: https://esportsobserver.com/gc-riot-valorant-circuit-latam/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gc-riot-valorant-circuit-latam

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How to play League of Legends’ newest champion Gwen

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Gwen has finally made her entrance in League of Legends as the newest champion and players are hungry to play her on Summoner’s Rift. 

The Hallowed Seamstress was revealed only a few weeks back and since then, players have had the chance to test her out on the Public Beta Environment (PBE). Now that she has made it to the live servers, players will have to figure out the best way to play the new skirmisher and start to climb the ladder. Right from the start, it looks like Gwen will be strongest in the top lane but that might change as Gwen and her kit is explored further. 

While the perfect way to play Gwen is still getting figured out, there is no doubt that she will be able to cut through opponents on Summoner’s Rift and potentially be a new headache for top lane players to go up against. Here’s a look at how to play Gwen. 

How to play Gwen in LoL

Gwen is a champion that relies on quick combos and correct positioning. As an ability-power skirmisher, Gwen isn’t the beefiest champion out there and will be vulnerable to burst combos or crowd control. This means that Gwen has to choose her fights carefully and only jump in when the timing is perfect.

Playing Gwen in big team fights can be difficult and will often require patience to find the right spot to enter the fight. If Gwen gets a good flank onto the enemy backline or waits until big cooldowns are blown, she can enter a fight and turn it around on its head. 

Starting from the early laning phase, Gwen doesn’t want to play scared. Gwen wants to engage in skirmishes and be a bully in the lane, but not without considering potential ganks or bad trades. When moving in for a trade on Gwen, make sure to have Snip Snip! (Q) fully stacked. If this ability is stacked up and hits the opponent in the center, Gwen is almost guaranteed to win out on the trade. 

After gaining a few levels, Gwen can start to pull out quick combos that many tanks or bruisers can’t keep up with. Start out by using Skip’n Slash to get in range of the opponent and start dishing out damage with its empowered attacks and Q. While completing the combo, Gwen can pop Hallowed Mist (W) to gain extra armor and magic resist to win the trade. Hallowed Mist will also enable Gwen to get away while dodging attacks, especially against ranged champions. 

When hitting level 6, Gwen will gain access to Needlework (R) and be a real threat in skirmishes and even team fights. When using Needlework, Gwen wants to auto-attack the champions in between casts to get maximum damage output. Needlework applies Thousand Cuts (P) and will help Gwen chunk through enemies with bonus on-hit magic damage.   

How to build Gwen

Gwen is an ability-power champion that relies a lot on auto-attacks. This is fairly unusual for an AP champion, so Gwen’s build will likely include items that many players aren’t used to. 

For the first item, Gwen wants to get a mythic item. The best option so far will be Riftmaker, which provides Gwen with ability power, ability haste, and omnivamp to empower her kit. The Void Corruption passive on Riftmaker is also a great fit for Gwen, as she will build up extra damage the longer she damages an enemy champion. This has great synergy with her Snip Snip!, which also needs time and continuous attacks to stack up. 

For boots, get Sorcerer’s Shoes for extra penetration. Right after, Gwen wants to go for her second item where Nashor’s Tooth is a great option. As mentioned earlier, Gwen relies a lot on auto attacks and on-hit damage and Nashor’s helps with both of that. Gwen can also go for more aggressive burst-heavy items such as Hextech Rocketbelt and Luden’s Tempest, but those choices will likely require a lead to pay off.  

Later on in the game, Gwen can go for Lich Bane to get even bigger empowered auto attacks. With Lich Bane as a third item, Gwen will be very squishy and easier to focus down so it is with high risk. For a safer route, Zhonya’s Hourglass is the way to go with a potential follow-up of Banshee’s Veil as a fourth item. To round out the build, go for either Rabadon’s Deathcap or Void Staff. 

Runes to use on Gwen

The rune options for Gwen aren’t as straightforward as with many other champions. So far, there are a few options for viable keystones when playing Gwen. This gives Gwen players even more flexibility depending on which lane Gwen is played. 

It’s expected that Gwen will be seen in the top lane most often, where the Conqueror keystone is the most logical choice. With Conqueror, Gwen will be able to take part in skirmishes as she is designed to do. Against beefy opponents, Conqueror will help Gwen chunk through resistances while sustaining. 

In more aggressive matchups, it’s also viable for Gwen to pick Press the Attack. With this keystone, Gwen will be able to trade effectively with quick auto-attack combos. For the secondary rune tree, Gwen can go a defensive route with Revolve or be even more aggressive and take the Domination tree.  

Space Groove Gwen 

What role is Gwen? 

Right from the first reveal of Gwen, it was clear that Riot Games wants to work with Gwen as a top laner. As Gwen hit the PBE, it was also clear that she fits perfectly in the top lane as an ability-power skirmisher. Gwen’s damage and mobility make her a nuisance against tanks and even bruisers. There is a chance that Gwen can work in the jungle or mid lane in certain matchups, but she will likely need more time on the live servers for players to figure out the best fit.  

Is Gwen out in LoL?

Gwen was released to the League of Legends live servers on April 15, only a few days after Riot introduced patch 11.8. Gwen arrived with a Space Groove skin and a special Space Groove Gwen icon. The newest champion can be bought for 7800 Blue Essence or 975 RP.

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Source: https://win.gg/news/7894/how-to-play-league-of-legends-newest-champion-gwen

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