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Report: China Has Closed Down 12,000-Plus Internet Cafes Since 2020 




China has closed down more than 12,000 internet cafes since 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the China Business Journal (CBJ). Over 3,600 internet cafes were deactivated by the government, and 9,250 were closed willingly. CBJ also pointed out that China still has more than 120,000 internet cafes operating in the country. 

The report gave two reasons for the closures: the negative economic impact of COVID-19 and the rise of mobile esports and esports viewing habits in society.

“On the one hand, the younger generation would like to play mobile games on smartphones, instead of playing PC games in internet cafes,” CBJ commentator Chunwei Zhang wrote. “There are also a number of esports enthusiasts who like to watch esports competitions rather than just playing, so they would purchase esports-related projects, such as esports hotels.”

Zhang also reported that China has more than 8,000 esports-themed hotels in the country. With esports and mobile games becoming more mainstream in entertainment, industries like property management have shown interest in adding esports elements to their businesses. In Shanghai, Chinese esports organization Edward Gaming (EDG)’s parent company SuperGen Group put over $1.5B USD in building its esports complex park, including a 6,000 seat esports venue, as well as a “five-star” esports-themed hotel.

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Dota 2 patch 7.29: Impact of Outposts, Water Runes and other major general gameplay changes




Dota 2 Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar

A detailed look at the general changes from patch 7.29 that are bound to have massive effects on the game of Dota 2.

Whenever a new Dota 2 patch is released, the spotlight always falls on the new hero and the item and hero changes. But general gameplay changes play a significant role in shaping how the meta develops, because of the fact that they have an effect on each and every game played, irrespective of the draft and item choices. Let’s take a deep dive into some of the general changes brought about by patch 7.29, and take a shot at how they will be factors in shaping the new meta. A few of the changes will only have an impact on pubs, while a few others will impact professional games. Majority of the changes through, will affect both.

1) Water Rune

Added Water Rune. Spawns at both Power Rune locations only at minute 2 and 4. Instantly restores 100 health and 80 mana when used. Can be used to fill bottles. Starting at 6 minutes, Power Runes spawn as usual on one side.

Introduction of the Water Rune will add a lot of parity to the mid lane, which could tilt completely in one direction based on what rune a player got at the 4 minute. This was an issue for a long time and quite a few players voiced it, so IceFrog got rid of the 2-minute power rune. But even with that change, the 4-minute rune could have game-altering consequences, especially if it were a rune-like Double Damage or Arcane, which can give a hero the ability to force his/her counterpart out of the lane and snowball out of control.

With the Water Rune spawning at both locations at minutes 2 and 4, it gives heroes the ability to play with lane with more of a risk factor, but the outcome will depend on skill, not luck. There is now also a lot of incentive to start the game with a bottle, even though Bottle has been nerfed, because there is an extremely high chance of getting at least one of the Water Runes at minutes 2 and 4, ensuring a full bottle every two minutes.

2) Talents after level 25

Level 30 no longer grants all remaining talents. Instead level 27/28/29/30 will grant you the remaining level 10/15/20/25 talents.

This gives a gradual increase in power to heroes from level 25 to level 30, instead of one massive power spike at level 30. The XP required to gain every level after level 25 is significantly higher than that required for the previous levels, and with a talent available at each level, there is a small improvement in a hero’s abilities for the massive amount of XP acquired. It also gives players the ability to forgo a talent in the small set of scenarios where a talent might be detrimental to the strategy being executed by the team.

3) Outposts

Outposts no longer give XP at the 10/20/30/etc minute mark.

Outposts now provide XPM while controlled (XP = 2*Minute). No extra XP granted when controlling two outposts, similar to the existing rules.

The Outpost experience curve will now be smoother with the change in patch 7.29, rather than sudden chunks of XP every 10 minutes. The previous model was beneficial for teams on the front foot, where they could get the tier 2 tower and capture the Outpost for 10 seconds when it mattered. With the new model, teams losing their Outpost don’t need to be too concerned and the team capturing the Outpost will have to make continued efforts to keep it in their control to deny the opposition experience every minute. The decision between fighting for Outposts and taking other objectives elsewhere on the map is bound to introduce some interesting dynamics to the game.

4) Bounty Runes

Bounty Runes after the initial set are reduced by 10%.

Bounty Runes no longer spawn in the river. The amount these runes gave is now provided automatically over time through GPM.

Bounty Runes now spawn every 3 minutes in the respective jungle area (total rune count reduced from 4 to 2).

Bounty Runes no longer disappear when new ones spawn, they now spawn alongside the previous one if it isn’t picked up.

At minute 0, Bounty Runes spawn in the jungle and at the power rune locations (4 total at the start of the game).

The changes to Bounty Runes will impact quite a few things in the game. The first change will bring a bit of equilibrium – with the two bounties removed from the game and the gold added as GPM, both teams will benefit equally from it and not just the team with map control and the ability to secure all the Bounty Runes.

With more frequent rune spawns and that too at minutes which are multiples of 3, teams will have to alter their playstyles slightly and check where they are positioned on the map every three minutes to ensure they make the most out of Bounty Runes.

With the additional Bounty Runes at the start of the game spawning in the river in the place of power runes, we are bound to see early game skirmishes before the 0-minute mark.

5) Roshan drops

Aghanim’s Scepter: Roshan drop now requires you to activate it to consume it (has no effect until consumed).

Aghanim’s Shard: Now drops on the second Roshan kill, and only that one (has same activation mechanics as the Scepter drop.

Before patch 7.29, the Aghanim’s Blessing dropped by Roshan would get consumed by the hero picking it up (unless it went into the bag pack). This would be bad especially in chaotic fights in the Rosh pit, as all heroes would pick up whatever they could get their hands on and the team would not be able to make a choice about which hero they would prefer the Aghanim’s Blessing to be on. With this change, all those problems have been put to bed.

The second Roshan dropping an Aghanim’s Blessing will make it more important and highly contested. It is a 1400 gold invent you would get for free; who wouldn’t want it? There is bound to be at least one hero on every team who would benefit a lot from an Aghanim’s Shard; especially supports, for whom farming it isn’t the easiest thing.

6) Teleportation Scrolls

Heroes now start the game with 1 TP scroll rather than 3.

Heroes now gain 1 TP scroll on death.

TP Scroll cost increased from 90 to 100.

Supports will be celebrating this change. It is the support heroes who tend to die more often as compared to cores, and dishing out 90 gold every time (100 now) is not the most comfortable thing to do for position 5 heroes. This change, in a way, tries to make things easier for teams on the backfoot. A team which is dominating will have fewer deaths as compared to a team getting destroyed, and will have to spend more gold to buy TP scrolls.

7) Hoodwink enabled in Captain’s Mode

Hoodwink added to Captains Mode.

Season 2 of the DPC Leagues is just around the corner (begins 13th April) and Hoodwink introduced to Captain’s Mode, along with her new Aghanim’s Scepter and Aghanim’s Shard upgrades, will add a bit more spice to the league games.

8) Courier vision inside Roshan Pit

Couriers no longer have vision when inside Roshan’s pit.

Not something that used to happen a lot in pub games (maybe high level pubs), but couriers were used extensively for scouting Roshan respawns in professional games. With every player having their own courier, couriers are much more expendable now and vision inside Roshan’s pit can be the difference between winning and losing a game. Well, it seems teams are going to have to come up with other ways to scout out if Rosh has respawned and if the enemy team is lurking in there. Suddenly with this one small change, Beastmaster’s Hawk has gained a lot of importance.

9) Teleportation to buildings

Increase building teleportation range from 575 to 800 (affects TP scrolls and Boots of Travel).

Outpost teleport base channel time reduced from 6 to 5 seconds.

The additional 225 range will be a big help for heroes teleporting in to defend towers, giving them more of a buffer between their teleport location and the enemy heroes attacking the tower. In the mid lane, for heroes teleporting to the tier 2 tower to defend the tier 1 tower, the teleport will be closer to the tier 1 tower by a distance of 225, which is 0.5 seconds walking time for a hero with 450 movement speed and 0.66 seconds for a hero with 340 movement speed. It might seem like a very short amount of time, but that might just be the difference between getting the perfect Ravage or Blackhole and totally whiffing your big team fight ultimate.

10) Ability to deny allied wards

Wards can now be denied from full health by any allied player if the ward is placed in a spawn camp box.

Griefers blocking your own jungle camps with sentries? Fear no more! The change also gives players the ability to rectify their mistakes in case they plant a ward and block a camp by mistake, which is something that can happen in team fights when you are frantically dropping sentries everywhere to make sure that Riki doesn’t get you.

11) Buyback

Buyback cost reduced from (200 + (Net Worth/12)) to (200 + Net Worth/13)).

The buyback formula has been changed to make it slightly lower for a particular net worth. The change isn’t too significant, with a hero at 30,000 net worth now requiring 192 gold lower than before (2508 instead of 2700). However, Dota 2 is a game of such small margins that every small thing makes a difference. There will be games where heroes will be marginally over the buyback requirement when necessary, which would mean they wouldn’t have enough gold with the old formula.

Dota 2 patch 7.29 is a patch with a multitude of changes, whose effects we can hypothesize, but they will probably become clearer as the players experiment with the game. With the DPC Leagues Season 2 about to start next week, we will be able to witness the experimentations at the top rungs of Dota 2.


Do you like the general gameplay changes introduced in patch 7.29?

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Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar

A Mechanical Engineer who is as interested in the mechanics of DotA 2 as every machine he studies. Pursuing his Master’s at the Michigan Technological University.

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Code S RO16: Maru & Dream advance to RO8




Maru marched one step closer to winning a fifth GSL Code S title, dispatching his round-of-sixteen opponents in Group B to advance in first place. After flexing his late-game TvZ prowess against Solar, Maru fought off a spirited challenge from Dream in the winners match to secure his first place finish.

While Maru taking first place was a largely expected outcome, the second place race delivered a surprise as Dream took two series off of Cure to secure a playoff berth. Proxy-Barracks shenanigans were rampant in the matches—Dream even managed to win his initial match against Cure in under seven minutes of total game time.

After the matches, TY appeared to give his final sign-off as the color commentator on the Korean stream. JYP is set to return to his old seat, having recently completed his military service (TY had originally joined the commentary desk as JYP’s replacement).

Code S will continue on Monday, Apr 12 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00) with Group C of the round-of-sixteen, featuring Rogue, Zoun, INnoVation, and Dark.

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Match Recaps

Initial Match #1: Maru vs Solar

Game 1 – Deathaura: Maru opened with blue-flame Hellions from two Factories, successfully masking the build and nabbing a few Drone kills as a result. Maru followed-up by attacking with Hellbats, following up again with Drilling Claw Mine drops. While Maru was unable to do any game ending damage, he succeeded in keeping Solar pinned down on his side of the map. Meanwhile, Maru’s growth was almost completely unhindered, and the Team NV ace set himself up beautifully for his preferred, half-map-split style of play.

But instead of suffering a slow and painful death, Solar found a way to break through his opponent’s turtle stance. As Maru looked to secure his rich-Vespene expansion, Solar launched a beautiful enveloping maneuver with Lurker, Banelings, and Vipers. The attack took out two Terran expansions, and set Maru scrambling to reestablish his defensive lines. Solar didn’t give Maru the time he needed to recover, finding the weak spots in Maru’s stretched-out defense line and attacking with more waves of Zerg. Maru was unable to fully stabilize and eventually GG’d to Solar’s relentless attacks.

Game 2 – Romanticide: Despite sending out an Overlord to look specifically for proxies, Solar just barely missed discovering Maru’s 2-Rax cheese. Still, Solar managed to pull off a good initial defense, using his Drones to prevent a Bunker from going up and chasing off the Marines. However, Solar let his guard down too soon, and paid the price for cancelling a Spine Crawler when Maru launched an off-tempo attack with more Marines. Maru microed his way to a great trade against Solar’s Queens and Lings, putting himself ahead in the low-econ game.

Maru then applied more pressure with Hellbats and Banshees, keeping Solar on his toes and preventing him from droning up. When Maru finally brought Tanks and Stimmed Marines for a dedicated push, Solar simply didn’t have the army or economy to handle it and tapped out.

Game 3 – Pillars of Gold: Solar finally got off to a good start in the series, establishing a strong economy after shutting down Maru’s attempts to harass with Hellbats and Banshees. Predictably, Maru went into super-turtle mode (which he may have done anyway off a good start), leaving Solar to spread Creep and take expansions unopposed.

Perhaps due to the loss on Deathaura, Maru played his turtle-style even more patiently than usual, sticking to five bases for as long as possible before trying to extend his defensive line to take additional bases. This seemed to work out for the most part, with Solar’s Lurker-Viper-Baneling swarms unable to find the same kind of game-winning opening as on Deathaura.

Despite playing excruciatingly slowly and ceding map control to Solar for most of the game, Maru seemed to have his win condition firmly in mind: Don’t let Solar take any of the expansions on the Terran half of the map. Maru cautiously pressed forward when Solar tried to ‘steal’ expansions, and ultimately succeeded in maintaining the 50/50 balance of expansion control. Slowly but surely, this put Solar on a timer. As the resources on his side of the map were drying up, he couldn’t find a way to take any engagements that didn’t put him at a terrible resources-lost deficit. When Solar tech-swapped to Brood Lords and Infestors, Maru simply added Thors and Vikings to his composition to continue the standoff.

Maru stayed fully committed to his turtling approach, refusing to move out even after Solar had mined out all of the expansions on his half of the map. Eventually, Solar had no choice but to dive directly into the teeth of the Terran defense, something Maru had been waiting for all along. Superior spellcaster usage helped Maru take a decisive victory, sealing his 2-1 series win.

Initial Match #2: Cure vs Dream

Game 1 – Deathaura: Cure went for a full 1/1/1 proxy build while Dream built one Barracks in his main and a second one out on the map. Cure’s decision to go for a Reactor on his Barracks resulted in him getting completely destroyed in build order rock-paper-scissors, with Dream’s 2-Rax Reapers entering Cure’s completely undefended main to take a three minute win.

Game 2 – Lightshade: Both players sent out SCVs early to proxy again, which resulted in them meeting briefly in the middle of the map before going on to carry out their cheesy plans. Once again, Dream got the build order advantage of 2-Rax Reaper versus 1-Rax 1-Factory, netting him another free win.

Winners’ Match: Maru vs Dream

Game 1 – Pillars of Gold: A normal-ish TvT was finally played, with Maru going for Medivac-Tank harass while Dream played a defensive Cyclone build. Maru’s superior micro allowed him to win a skirmish at Dream’s ramp and place his Tank in a painful position for Dream, killing off a Reactor and forcing a Barracks float. Dream seemed to pay Maru back by sneaking a Raven into Maru’s territory, killing off a decent number of SCVs with autoturrets. However, it ended up being an unwise use of energy, as Maru would soon launch a frontal attack with a handful of Tanks and two of his own Ravens. Maru’s autoturrets ended up playing a crucial role in the fight, allowing him to crush Dream’s army and force the GG.

Game 2 – Jagannatha: Proxy Reaper tomfoolery resumed in game two, with both players building one Barracks in their mains while proxying their second Barracks out on the map. A mutual test of multi-tasking ensued, with both players trying to harass and defend against harassment at the same time. The skirmishing went surprisingly evenly early on, with neither player taking a meaningful advantage in army or worker count.

The game ended up being decided by the two players’ choice in follow-ups. Dream continued to crank out Reapers while looking to double expand behind it. On the other hand, Maru only made a single additional Command Center while looking to transition out of Reapers and go up to Starport tech. Dream’s superior squad of Reapers hit Maru when he was weakest, just as he started adding Hellions to his army. Dream took out a ton of SCVs before Hellions could clean up the Reapers, leaping ahead with an enormous advantage. Instead of trying to vainly play the game out, Maru cynically conceded defeat after scanning Dream and realizing how far ahead his opponent was.

Game 3 – Oxide: Both players went for Tank-Medivac openers, with the opposing Medivacs briefly meeting up in the middle of the map before continuing on their ways. Maru opted to drop his payload in Dream’s natural, forcing a float and halting SCV production for a while. On the other hand, Dream dropped Maru’s main, taking out a Reactor but not affecting Maru’s economy. This trade ultimately ended up working in Maru’s favor, as he took an economic lead. Maru jumped further ahead with his Banshee follow-up, sacrificing it to kill off a number of SCVs.

Feeling the need to get something done, Dream moved out with a force centered on 3 Tanks and 2 Ravens. However, Maru wasn’t lacking in Tanks or Ravens on his end and ended up crushing Dream’s troops with ease. Maru then counter-attacked to complete the 2-1 victory and stamp his playoff ticket.

Losers’ Match: Cure vs Solar

Game 1 – Romanticide: Cure went for a greedy double-expand build off a Reactor-Barracks, while Solar pulled off a successful blind counter with a 16 Pool before Hatchery. Solar’s initial six Zerglings arrived in a completely undefended Terran base, managing to kill a handful of SCVs and disrupt mining significantly. Seeing that Cure had gone for a risky double expand build, Solar followed up with a Roach-Ling all-in to get a quick victory.

Game 2 – Jagannatha: Cure opened up by going for Hellion-Banshee, getting a decent return of six Drone kills. Cure stayed on the offensive, attacking once he had a single Tank and a handful of Stim-upgraded Marines. This attack did a surprising amount of damage, with Cure’s Tank positioning and good micro allowing him to take a fantastic trade against Solar’s Zerglings and slow Banelings. Solar couldn’t replenish his defenses in time to handle the next wave of Terran invaders and GG’d out.

Game 3 – Pillars of Gold: Solar gambled on a 16 pool build again, this time against Cure’s Reaper expansion. Solar’s Zerglings managed to dodge the path of Cure’s first Reaper, and snuck into the Terran base to kill three SCVs and delay Cure’s expansion.

Cure decided to go for Hellion-Banshee play once more, but was unable to inflict any damage this time around. On the other hand, Solar went for a sneaky fast Spire, looking to catch Cure by surprise with Mutalisks. This tactic almost worked for Solar, but Cure’s Hellions just barely caught sight of Mutalisks flying across the map. This resulted in Solar barely doing any damage to Cure—an unenviable position for any Zerg who’s gone fast Mutas.

Once Cure had 1/1 infantry upgrades, he moved out with his Marines and Tanks to lay siege to Solar’s fourth base. Despite having later upgrades and a weaker army than he would have liked, Solar managed to survive and defend his fourth base against several waves of Terran attackers. However, Cure’s economy and production was continuing to grow unimpeded, while Solar was still left playing in catch-up mode. As is often the case in TvZ, the Zerg player just couldn’t survive the Terran’s inevitable 3/3 power spike, with Solar being overrun before his own 3/3 upgrades or Ultralisks could make an impact.

Decider Match: Cure vs Dream

Game 1 – Oxide: Dream continued the proxy wars, going for another 2-Rax proxy Reaper strategy. Even though Cure played a normal 1-Rax tech build this time around, Dream’s good Reaper micro managed to net him a decent number of unit and SCV kills. In any case, neither player gained a major advantage, leaving them to build up relatively passively for a while.

Dream decided to go on the offensive again once he had three Tanks and two Ravens, setting up a siege just outside of Cure’s base. Cure took the risk of splitting his forces up, going for a backdoor Marine drop while attempting to defend at home. This chaotic exchange ended up going in Dream’s favor, gaining an army lead at the cost of minor economic losses. While Dream couldn’t push into any of Cure’s bases, he was able to use his advantage to seize map control and place his Tanks in advanced positions on the map. And, more importantly, he was able to add Vikings to his army sooner and take control of the skies.

After some sporadic Marine skirmishes, Cure made a decisive move that would kick off the ending sequence of the game. Taking advantage of Dream’s forward position, he airlifted a large detachment of Marines behind enemy lines to attack some of Dream’s bases. This move caught Dream off guard, allowing Cure to kill off a large number of SCVs and take down some Command Centers. However, Dream wouldn’t give Cure any time to convert that economic advantage in an army advantage. Adding Liberators to his army, Dream finally set about ending the Tank standoff to push into Cure’s bases. Unfortunately for Cure, he couldn’t find an answer for Dream’s methodical Tank-Viking-LIberator advance. Eventually, he was forced to take a desperation fight into Dream’s entrenched army, after which he GG’d.

Game 2 – Pillars of Gold: Dream opened with 1-Tank 1-Medivac harassment while Cure opted for a fast Banshee instead. The two harassment tactics ended up being a wash, with both players able to kill six SCVs. Cure looked to get some further harassment done with his first Raven, but only really succeeded in wasting energy and giving Dream a window to push with his own Ravens and Tanks. However, Cure managed this difficult situation well, stalling Dream’s Tank push while sending a backdoor Marine drop to raze Dream’s third base. Then, after consolidating some defensive forces at home, Cure dislodged Dream’s encroaching tanks to take a solid lead.

Cure wasn’t in a position to finish Dream off, but managed to keep him semi-contained as both players looked to build up for the late-game. Cure’s initial advantage seemed to slip away as the arms race continued, with both players maxing out and building multiple Starports to make a late-game air transition. However, Dream’s decision to go to Battlecruisers ended up costing him against Cure’s choice of mass Ravens. When it came time to clash in a decisive battle, Cure’s superior Raven count allowed him to prevail and extract the GG from Dream.

Game 3 – Nautilus: Game three saw Dream take an advantage in terms of both build order and starting position luck. While Cure went for a Factory-before-CC build, Dream opened up with a Reaper expansion that gave him a slight economic edge. Furthermore, Dream spawned bottom-left while Cure started top-left, meaning Cure’s base was exposed to all sorts of harassment by air. Dream quickly capitalized on this, going for a Hellion drop and killing off a few SCVs. On the other hand, Cure couldn’t get anything done with his fast tech, with his Tank-Raven push getting stopped by a timely Bunker from Dream.

While Dream was in position to slowly snowball his lead, the game took a chaotic turn when the two Terran armies clashed in a mid-game fight. Cure’s Interference Matrixes made a much bigger impact than Dream’s turrets, allowing Cure to edge ahead in Tank count despite being behind in army supply overall. This was further exacerbated as Dream went for a big drop in Cure’s main, which ended up being another dubious exchange of Tanks for Marines.

With a considerable Tank advantage, Cure pushed forward to try and lay siege to Dream’s bases. Dream made the daring decision to respond by launching yet another big drop into Cure’s exposed main base. Caught in an awkward position between two bases, Cure decided to push on ahead and start a basetrade. Unfortunately for Cure, that race started with his Barracks being immediately camped by Dream’s Marines, while his own forces still had significant ground to cover before they could affect Dream’s production. Dream had more than enough troops to defend his main by the time Cure arrived, forcing the production-less Cure to GG out.

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Dota 2: Patch 7.29 Analysis Of Top Changes




We bring you a detailed break down all the info from Dota 2’s latest major update.

Dota 2 received a major update with the release of Patch 7.29, including the new hero and several map changes. The 7.29 update, also known as the Dawnbreaker update, introduces various changes to the game. Including a new durable hero — Dawnbreaker, plus map modifications, and of course buffs and nerfs to items and heroes.

New Hero: Dawnbreaker

Dawnbreaker is a melee, carry and durable hero with an amazing ultimate ability that allows her to teleport globally. All the other abilities include damage dealing properties while one of them is also able to stun her enemies.

For more info on Dawnbreaker, check out our first impressions here.

Map Changes

Most of the area in the jungle and around towers has changed as it aims to create more juke paths while decreasing as many open spaces as possible. This can be a huge positional advantage to ranged heroes who prefer to take cover of the trees. The positions of neutral camps have also been changed to accommodate fast farming and easy stacking.

General Updates

There’s also been some big changes to runes which we’ll take a closer look at here.

Water Power Rune

A major general update includes a new rune known as Water Power Rune that spawn only at minute 2 and 4 and the Power Rune locations. It can fill bottles and restore 100 heath and 80 mana.

Bounty Runes

4 Bounty Runes spawn at the same place at the start of the game but later on they stop spawning at the river and the time of spawn has also been changed to every 3 minutes.

Item Updates

As always there’s been adjustment to items across the board. ESTNN take a look at the top 10 item updates from patch 7.29.


This item and all it’s upgrades have been completely removed from the game.


Stacking tangos has been disabled and any shared tango will expire after a duration of 40 seconds. This will force mid heroes to rely more on their own healing items.

Abyssal Blade

Will no longer allow a hero to blink towards his target. This is a major setback to all the melee heroes who required an ability to close the gap. This change will now keep ranged heroes a little safer than before.


Increased the mana regen amplification from +24% to +50% which will be a tremendous boost to heroes like Storm Spirit, Puck and Skywrath Mage who heavily relied on mana regen.

Helm of the Dominator 2

This item will now be known as Helm of the Overlord with an ability to dominate up to two units.

Divine Rapier

A massive change to this item is that it will no longer provide true strike. This change will hurt comeback situations of a desperate team that used to rely on Divine Rapier as their last hope to provide heavy damage with true strike while eliminating the need of a Monkey King Bar. With this change, the hero will have to buy Monkey King Bar if the enemy has evasion items or abilities.


Instead of a full random teleportation, Flicker will now teleport the hero in forward random direction. This will definitely increase a hero’s escape chance.

Trickster Cloak

The neutral item that used to allow a hero to be invisible for 6 seconds while providing extra magic resistance will now not interrupt any of its own hero’s channeling abilities. This is great for heroes like Crystal Maiden and Witch Doctor who wouldn’t need to rely on Glimmer Cape for extra protection while channeling their abilities.

Book of Shadows

This neutral item’s cooldown has been reduced from 15 seconds to 8 seconds which is a major change as it can now disable ally or enemy hero more frequently. It causes the target to become untargetable while removing all of his abilities to attack or defend as it silences, mutes and disarms the target for 3 seconds. This item can be exceptional against heroes such as Bristleback and Timbersaw as they are such enemy heroes that a team wants to avoid focusing on during team fights.

Force Staff

Now provides +150 Health. This is not a big change but a helpful change to the position 5 supports who can barely buy a couple of items and require mobility with some durability. In the previous patch it used to provide 2.5 HP regen which turned useless after the mid game.

Hero Updates

There was a slew of nerfs and buffs in this balance patch. We take you through the top 8 Hero changes.


Among many small changes on this hero, one is a massive change. Buying an Aghanim’s Scepter will now provide two charges of Dark Rift. This ability can completely turn the game around as Underlord can now Dark Rift his entire team back to the fountain, heal them and re-engage the team fight easily by relocating anywhere on the map.

Skywrath Mage

Shard upgrade rework on this hero now gives him the ability to gain +5 intelligence and +1 armor for 35 seconds duration every time he casts an ability. If the hero has Octarine Core, he can cast 25 spells in 35 seconds approximately which would provide a total of 125 intelligence and 25 armor. With such a high amount of intelligence, Skywrath can deal 500+ magic damage using his ability Arcane Bolt after Ancient Seal.


Hoodwink has been granted Aghanim’s Scepter and Shard bonus. Scepter will now provide a new ability known as Hunter’s Boomerang that acts as a debuff of movespeed slow, extra spell damage and reduces status resistance. Shard will also provide a new ability known as Decoy that sends a decoy illusion and upon receiving a hit, coverts into a tree and causes Bushwhack to disable nearby enemies.

Chaos Knight

Chaos Knight has received a huge upgrade in his level 15 talent as it now provides +35% Cleave instead of 14% Cooldown Reduction. CK was already a strong 1v1 hero but with this change he will even be able to fight illusion producing heroes such Phantom Lancer and Terrorblade.

Crystal Maiden

Aghanim’s Shard now allows Crystal Maiden to move, cast, and attack while she is channeling Freezing Field. This will be a huge asset as Crystal Maiden can now disable the enemy for a longer period of time. All while dashing out an incredible amount of damage using her ultimate.

Legion Commander

Legion Commander has received a few nerfs as the Scepter now doesn’t grand spell immunity and immunity from non-duel participants is also reduced from 100% to 50%. This means that Legion Commander will now have to be much stronger than before to win the duels.


Jakiro has received a few changes. These will help him disable a hero for a while longer and deal pure damage that pierces spell immunity much earlier in the game. The helpful disable is his ability Liquid Frost that now grants a 0.4 seconds stun. Plus a purchase of scepter now grants pure damage instead of waiting for level 25. Players can now aim to buy Aghanim’s Scepter as early as possible to deal a massive amount of damage in the team fights.


In an unexpected change, Broodmother’s abilities have been swapped. Spawn Spiderlings is now an ultimate and Insatiable Hunger is now a basic ability. This can be seen as a buff or a nerf depending on the lane. Now Broodmother won’t be able to create Spiderlings until she reaches level 6. But it will now be able to fight better during the early period of the game. The swap in abilities will even enable Broodmother to perform better at offlane or safe lane.

With Season 2 of the DPC set to start next week, patch 7.29 is surely going to shake up the pro meta. Stay tuned to ESTNN as we bring you all the action and fresh analysis from each region!

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Dota 2: New Hero Dawnbreaker First Impressions




The most awaited new Dota 2 hero is finally out. ESTNN takes a brief look at important aspects of Dawnbreaker.

The release of the new hero Dawnbreaker was like a cherry on top of the 7.29 patch. The update included vast changes. You can check out the top changes here in a quick & digestible format.

Dawnbreaker is a strength based hero whose base health and mana pool are 720 and 315, respectively. She also has 3.3 armor which is decent considering her good health pool. After a short analysis of her abilities, it is safe to conclude that Dawnbreaker is a semi-support hero. Although initially most players will try out the hero as a core, it may fall off after a few balancing updates, very similar to Snapfire.

Ability Guide

Each of Dawnbreaker’s core abilities have their pros and cons on paper. But there’s always more than first meets the eye in Dota, so here’s a preliminary run down of what you can expect to happen when you hit the keys.


The Starbreaker is an AOE physical damage and stun ability which seems great when used in conjunction with other heroes. The skill itself does not provide high damage to severely damage enemy heroes, unless Dawnbreaker builds damage dealing items.

Celestial Hammer

Celestial Hammer is a mobility, damage and slow spell. Dawnbreaker throws an axe which damages enemy heroes, it also leaves a trail of fire which slows down the enemy and deals damage overtime. The axe lands and comes back to Dawnbreaker after a two second period. Dawnbreaker can recall the hammer, pulling her half way towards it.

Strength heroes usually lack mobility and get kited easily. Celestial Hammer is a great spell to have on a strength based hero like Dawnbreaker. It can work well with items like Blink Dagger or Overwhelming Blink.


Like most other heroes in Dota 2, Dawnbreaker has a passive ability which charges up with each attack the hero does. After three attacks, Dawnbreaker hits with a critical strike. The damage of her attacks depends on the level of Luminosity and items Dawnbreaker has.

Solar Guardian

Solar Guardian is Dawnbreaker’s ultimate ability. Upon its use, the hero channels 1.7 seconds creating pulses which heals allies and damages enemy units. Dawnbreaker then flies in the air for 0.8 seconds and lands stunning and damaging enemy units in the ultimate’s radius.

Solar Guardian is a team fight ability which clearly has high cooldown and mana cost. It will be most useful when followed up by other hero abilities.

Item Guide

Apart from her abilities, Dawnbreaker is a mana hungry hero. She needs a Soul Ring to use her abilities. Power Treads and Phase Boots are the most common boots of choice on the hero. However, an Arcane boot which players can later upgrade to Guardian Greaves is not a bad idea. Especially considering her mana and ability usage to stay viable in fights.

Mid game items include Sange and Yasha, Blink Dagger and Black King Bar. Late game items may depend on the game and are highly situational.

Stay tuned to ESTNN for a more in depth look at Dawnbreaker and her skills in the coming weeks as the Hero settles into play in pubs!

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