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LA Thieves Drazah Moved Back to Starting Roster

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Cody Perez
in Call of Duty | Apr, 6th 2021

It is time once again in the Call of Duty League for some significant roster changes. This time around, it is the next major change for the Los Angeles Thieves, which might be surprising given that they just switched things up considerably in the last couple of weeks, but this time, it involves Drazah. 

LA Thieves Bring Drazah Back


The LA Thieves announced that it would have a new starting roster for the upcoming Call of Duty League Stage 2 Major. The four players leading the Los Angeles team in the tournament will be slightly different from what it was for most of the second stage. 

The four players on the main LA Thieves roster will be joined by the bench player Drazah who will be coming out of the Challengers division that he has been competing in for a while now to help the Thieves out when it comes to this Stage 2 Major tournament. 

Of course, that means the addition of Drazah will result in the shift of the current roster to allow for him to be there. In this case, it means that one of the existing starting players will now be moving to the bench for the time being. 

While you might expect someone like Venom who just joined the team for the second stage or someone like that, it isn’t the case. One of the main starting players who the LA Thieves are known for will be moving to the bench to allow Drazah to shine. 

Slasher Moves to the Bench


That player is none other than Slasher. The popular and beloved LA Thieves player will be moving to the bench for the Major tournament to make way for the long-awaited return of Drazah. The young now former Challengers player will once again have a chance to show his skills. 

But this decision has been met with controversy from the fans in the LA Thieves community. Many aren’t too happy with the loss of Slasher to the bench now. Some think that it should have been handled in a very different way with this roster change. 

After all, both Slasher and Drazah were once part of the same team together during the inaugural Call of Duty League season last year. That was when the Thieves were known by the OpTic Gaming LA name and had a complicated history that isn’t too far off from the current one. 

Though the OpTic Gaming LA team started the season with a mixed performance, they improved over time and eventually was one of my favorite teams of the year. Not to mention, they had one of the strongest performances during the playoffs last year to end things. 

Moving Drazah to the Bench Was a Bad Decision in the First Place


Part of this was due to the newcomer Drazah’s performance, who complemented Kenny, TJHaLy, and, of course, Slasher. So, it was a pretty poor decision, in my opinion, when Drazah was relegated to the bench for this season in favor of bringing in Temp. 

That was a pretty poor decision where Drazah would have been a great addition to the team as he was one of the best players near the end of the 2020 season for OpTic Gaming LA. As we have seen recently, the rookies are the ones who are changing up the competition this season. 

It remains to be seen how the return of the young rookie — perhaps no longer a rookie? — will affect the LA Thieves moving forward. But no matter what, they need some serious shifts now to recover and get back to being one of the best teams this season. 

They are currently ranked fifth in the league, which sounds great, but is met with controversy given that they have lost an overwhelming number of matches in Stage 2. Despite being arguably a top-three team in the first stage, they have failed considerably since the end of the first Major. 

This led to the sudden decision to bring in the rookie Venom from the Challengers division and bench Temp, but it wasn’t enough for the team to recover. They still lost two more matches with Venom on the team, being the only team to make major roster changes that didn’t improve when compared to the London Royal Ravens and Minnesota Rokkr. 

It didn’t help that Kenny had a non-COVID-related medical emergency that had to be dealt with recently, resulting in Temp returning suddenly, and the team likely not be ready for that. They were then swept by the LA Guerrillas for a second time this season. 

LA Thieves Have a Tough Major Ahead of Them


These mistakes can’t keep happening, or else the team will quickly lose their fifth place soon. Here’s hoping that Drazah can, once again, help the team improve like he did last year when he and Hollow were added to the roster the first time. 

Fortunately, the roster will be complete during the Major with Kenny’s return and the already existing players of TJHaLy and Venom. They will need to bring their all as the second Major begins this week, with the Thieves starting in the first match of the eliminations bracket. 

They will face off against the Paris Legion in their first match of the tournament. The team who loses there will be immediately eliminated from the competition and not receive any prize money. The LA Thieves have a long road ahead of them if they wish to get a solid placement in the Major. 

They will need to take down Paris and London Royal Ravens after that. If they can do that, they guarantee some prize money but will have to fight against one of the upper bracket teams, most of which have been amazing lately. It will be a tough fight for the LA Thieves, so stay tuned to find out what happens for them as the Major will be kicking off tomorrow when writing this. 

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Source: https://www.esportstalk.com/news/la-thieves-drazah-moved-back-to-starting-roster/

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Sumail’s absence; A gap year or fall from grace?

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Dota 2 Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani

Is Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan’s absence from the DPC 2021 season a cause for concern for fans or just a gap year for the undisputed NA alpha player?

He was named as one of the 30 most influential teens of 2016 by Time.com. Charisma, swagger, talent, and a long list of accolades he has it all. Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan should be considered Dota 2 ‘s most eligible and desirable bachelor core players. 

Known for his Storm Spirit and aggressive Aegis steal attempts, for years SumaiL has continued to demonstrate his exceptional raw talent, instinct and focus. He is explosive, fearless, and a terrifying opponent.  He is short-listed as one of the best NA players of all time, and perhaps even from around the world. 

But in 2021 this King has gone from red carpet rollouts to all but vanishing from the radar. 

He’s been spending his time dinking around other games and still stomping around the NA pubs —a far cry from the arduous grind and commitment that propelled his ascension to the top. 

How is it possible that he is still not competing in the DPC? How and when did things go terribly awry? How did a once illustrious career fade into the shadows?

Suma1L and the Evil Geniuses Era

Image courtesy of ESL

According to his TI5 player profile, at an age when most children are playing hopscotch and learning how to read and write, SumaiL was already toying with dreams of a competitive gaming career. In Pakistan, where he lived for almost his entire life, gaming resources were not as readily available. He didn’t have his own computer so, in order to be able to go to the Internet Café and play, SumaiL, his cousin and other friends would often pile up on a small motorbike built for only one person. He even had to sell his bicycle once, to keep his dream alive.

I lived in Pakistan for 15 years. Growing up, I wanted to play so bad that I sold my bike just to be able to play for more hours.

SumaiL took his career very seriously. He practiced for at least nine hours a day and is grateful to his father, who has worked very hard to get him and his family over to the United States.

He joined EG in 2015 as a 15-year-old who had started to gain recognition in NEL, the North American Elite League. The addition seemed rather unconventional but would soon prove to be spectacular as the young player grew into one of the most legendary and famed core players in the world, winning TI5 at just 16 years old.

Hassan had become the youngest champion in the history of The International, earning the highest paycheck ever awarded to a Dota 2 player, $1.3 million. The International 5 total prize pool reached a total of over $18,300,000 and The International 5 champions, Evil Geniuses, walked away with over $6.6 million.

For five years he grew in more ways than one to become NA’s ‘King’ — rising in fame and collecting many trophies and accomplishments.

In the post-TI9 shuffle, he left EG on rocky terms and that’s where his career begins to sputter and stall.

Suma1L Post Evil Geniuses Era

After TI9 Suma1L moved to the inactive status for three months before heading to Quincy Crew to play alongside his brother Yawar “YawaR” Hassan.

Only a few hours after qualifying for the first minor of the season, QCY Manager Jack Chen announced that Suma1L had left the roster amid what seemed to be contractual and legal issues, and had been teamless for another three months once again.

It was at the start of the new year that new hope was on the horizon as the young NA player had announced he would be joining the OG lineup for the rest of the season. Fans were overjoyed.  The ‘King’ was now able to compete at the highest levels of Dota 2 once again and he, himself, has said –

“I am just very excited. The most I have been in my entire life.”

It seemed like the perfect dream team to head into TI10 with, but it never really came to fruition. It was barely two months later that the Coronavirus shook the world including esports and all LAN events and most top-tier competition came to a halt.

With players scattered over the world, the organization – like many others, was forced to field temporary and alternate lineups for the regional online events that followed. Even once able to play together as a team, players like Sumail were playing with high ping or odd hours. 

Sumail told GosuGamers before Bounty Blast 

Personally, for me, I’ve been playing on a really weird schedule for two months so I’m a bit exhausted. I’m taking a few days off and then after that we’re going to be scrimming a lot and hopefully we’ll get our form back by the time the event comes around. 

He even mentioned that he was considering moving to Europe for this – to move to Portugal with N0Tail.

But those plans were thwarted when six months into his tenure, OG announced yet again some changes to their roster, parting ways with the king himself in July 2020. 

Becoming a part of the star-studded roster of Just Error was short-lived, it was over before the DPC season even started,  and he never did seem to find a home for the first or second season of DPC 2021.

There are no open qualifiers for TI10. There are no unexpected cinderella stories for those looking to emulate OG in their TI8 run. Now unless he joins up with a team as a replacement for another player, there is little to no hope to see SumaiL competing at TI10. 

QuickPoll

Will we see SumaiL make a return in time for TI10?

Yes, of course!
Thank you for voting!

Nope, it is over for him
Thank you for voting!

Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani

Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2

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Source: https://www.gosugamers.net/dota2/features/54233-sumail-s-absence-a-gap-year-or-fall-from-grace

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Fortnite: Epic Vaults Rocket Launchers, Cuddlefish & Explosive Bows From Competitive

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Epic drops a bombshell of changes ahead of FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 6.


Epic Games has announced the removal of three controversial items from Fortnite’s competitive loot pool today. The Rocket Launcher, Cuddlefish and Mechanical Explosive Bow are no more. While no explanation followed the announcement, Fortnite’s competitive scene will welcome this change with open arms. This loot pool adjustment follows Epic’s removal of the Shockwave Bow last month. As the competitive possibilities narrow, players are actively preparing for this season’s Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS).

Also Read: DreamHack Postpones Open Duos Tournament for “Integrity Concerns”

A Welcomed Change in Competitive Fortnite

Cuddlefish, Rocket Launchers and Explosive Bows each have their respective issues in Fortnite, mainly from a tournament standpoint. Many players earlier this season discovered the true power of Cuddlefish, which could be strung together and eliminate opponents through fully built structures. They also made our list of five changes that would make Season 6 more competitive.

Rocket Launchers have been a topic of controversy since the dawning of competitive Fortnite. Their removal is a significant and welcomed change in Season 6 that balances out the landscape even more. Like Rocket Launchers, players could abuse and spam Explosive Bows, albeit for far less damage. Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see Epic making such critical adjustments before the FNCS commences next weekend.

Also Read: DreamHack Cash Cup Extra Europe & NA East Results

The developer’s recent Primal Shotgun nerf and general weapon balance changes show that they are taking the competitive scene more seriously. If this trend continues, Season 6 tournaments will be top-notch.

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Source: https://estnn.com/fortnite-epic-vaults-rocket-launchers-cuddlefish-explosive-bows-from-competitive/

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Overwatch League 2021 Day 1 Recap

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After many months of waiting in the Overwatch League offseason, esports is back and Day 1 of 2021 OWL saw big winners in today’s teams.

OWL Day 1

Today’s games started with a showdown between the two Texas-based teams. Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel played each other in a heated five-map series. Houston took the first map on Busan but from there, it was a back and forth. Jung-woo “Happy” Lee, the DPS for Houston Outlaws, saw a particularly good game with huge multikills on his McCree. In the end, the Outlaws defeated the Fuel in a close 3-2 match for Day 1 of 2021 OWL.

Following that, back-to-back Overwatch League Champions San Francisco Shock played the Los Angeles Gladiators. Although this matchup was not as volatile as the first, it was still just as exciting. Most notably, Minki “Viol2t” Park, one of powerhouse players for San Francisco, swapped roles. Normally playing flex support, he flexed to DPS today and made big plays with it. Despite hard work from Indy “SPACE” Halpern, the Gladiators couldn’t keep pace. Day 1 for the 2021 Overwatch League wrapped up with the Shock coming out on top 3-1.

Overwatch League 2021

In a four-month-long regular esports season, the 2021 Overwatch League sees many teams change up their 2020 performances. Teams like Washington Justice and Hangzhou Spark made massive changes in their rosters and facilities to make comebacks.

Overwatch esports will see lots of excitement this year as star players look to flex their roles. OWL 2021 Day 1 is over now but the action resumes tomorrow as the Guangzhou Charge face the Shanghai Dragons. Because tomorrow’s games are in the Eastern Conference, they start at 2 AM PST on April 17.

Written by Justin Amin

If you’re interested in seeing more of Esportz Network, follow our social media at Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We have daily podcasts at the Esports Minute and weekly interviews at the Esportz Network Podcast. Anyone can also join our community on Discord and chat about your favorite games, esports, and more!

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Source: https://www.esportznetwork.com/overwatch-league-2021-day-1-recap/

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C9 White Keiti Blackmail Scandal Explains Sudden Dismissal

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Dustin Steiner
in Valorant | Apr, 16th 2021

Something struck fans as odd about the situation surrounding the dismissal of Kaitlin “Keiti” Boop, a rising female Valorant player that joined up with C9 White in the run-up to Riot’s Game Changers event. She was part of a six-woman roster that competed in the event. Keiti was also a part of the roster for the VCT Stage 2 Challengers 1 Qualifiers, too. It seems that these concerns ended up being valid. While C9 did not give a reason for her dismissal at the time, a Valorant observer known as Melanie_mhs has come forward with allegations that a member of our team confirmed via a recorded discord call – that Keiti blackmailed this observer with releasing lewd photos that were obtained through a mutual friend. 

The Allegations of Keiti’s Blackmail

Strap in, because this is a wild ride. 

I thought that was extremely nice of her to do, especially because I never really knew Keiti personally, never interacted with her,” she continued. “I kept talking to her in the DMs, when it finally clicked to me. Two years ago, she was in the Siege community, and I found out she was friends with M. I started asking her about that time, because I was curious, not knowing that’s where the leaked nudes happened.

Apparently, this conversation continued, until now-former C9 ace Keiti confessed that she was the one who made the burner account used to engage in blackmail over a Discord call (which Esports Talk has independently verified.) The reason? She said that she ‘wanted to be friends with” Mel, something that likely could have been achieved through means far easier than blackmail – especially given that both of them were participating in the same scene and likely could have been introduced if they really wanted to.

The same day that night, she kept messaging me. She wanted to talk to me about something important. I joined a voice call with her when she confessed. She confessed to me that she was behind the burner account, threatening to leak my nudes,” she concluded. “Her reasoning to me didn’t seem malicious, but many of my friends told me she was trying to manipulate me. I’m not very well with reading my own emotions, I was quite honestly in shock. She threatened to leak my nudes to me, because she wanted a reason to reach out to me on her main account. She wanted to be friends with me. She’s said many things in the recording which made me almost forgive her. But, I shouldn’t have to go through the stress and frustration just because someone wants to be friends with me. She did say she would seek help. And I really hope she does.

This led to the Cloud9 situation. Melanie says that she wanted the reason for all of this to be kept quiet, but did want C9 to know that a member of their team, Keiti, was involved in the blackmail of a member of the community. This is why Cloud9 kept the situation quiet, according to her. However, it seems that the community’s support for this person scarred her greatly, but that she most of all feels guilty for the other players on Cloud9.White, who weren’t able to participate in Valorant Champion Tour qualifiers. 

The overwhelming support of the community for someone that has traumatized me greatly, still hurts me deeply,” she said. “I’ve been struggling with dark thoughts in the past, and since I’ve joined VALORANT. I haven’t had that problem in a while, except for last week. And it scared me. I didn’t want to tell my parents or my siblings again that I was suicidal. I didn’t want to be a failure to them. Seeing everyone speculating about what happened to C9W was an immensely triggering experience for me. All I feel is guilty. Guilty they’re not able to play in the VCT Quals. Guilty there’s so many disapproving eyes on them. Guilty Cloud9 got a lot of flake for something that wasn’t their fault.

Esports Talk reached out to Keiti for comment on the situation but did not receive a reply before press time. 

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Source: https://www.esportstalk.com/news/c9-white-keiti-blackmail-scandal-explains-sudden-dismissal/

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