[Written By External Partner]
2020 has been a particularly challenging year for the esports industry, with global coronavirus related restrictions forcing many events to be postponed or cancelled. It’s been forced to adapt to keep players and fans safe whilst still broadcasting the fervent competition the circuit is known for. There’s still plenty of action happening across the world, but the live events themselves have been relegated to Twitch streams for the most part. In reality, this probably isn’t a big change for most of us – after all, the biggest percentage of esports views come from internet streams anyway – but the excitement of a live event, with players duking it out for huge sums of money in front of a roaring crowd seems like a thing of the past now.
Here’s a few recent esports news highlights to keep you in the loop – there’s still plenty going on to get excited about, and players are still pushing the limits the world over.
Complexity Limit get World First Mythic clear of Castle Nathria
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launched last month, and the usual race to world first kicked off. On the 23rd of December, the prestige was claimed by Complexity Limit, beating UK organisation Method to the post yet again. Method has downed eight bosses out of ten, lagging behind some of the premier European guilds.
This is the second World First in a row for Limit, who downed N’zoth first back in February, becoming the first North American team to get a world first in a decade. World of Warcraft’s game director, Ion Hazzikostas, took to Twitter to congratulate the team. “Congrats @LimitGuild on another fantastic performance! Extra impressive watching all the slight tactical refinements and composure even with very strong competition getting close to a kill too. A rough couple of days for Larries everywhere. Enjoy some well-deserved holiday rest!”
DOTA 2 EPIC LEAGUE fourth most watched DOTA event of all time
The Epic League second division ran from November twelfth to December thirteenth, with Virtus.pro and Alliance coming out on top of their best of five match-ups. The tournament itself claimed a spot on the most-watched DOTA events of all time, coming up fourth on the list. The first, second and third spots are all claimed by previous iterations of DOTA 2’s beloved The International annual tournament, which was unable to proceed this year after multiple delays.
The English broadcast scored seventeen million views with five hundred million minutes of broadcast time, and the Russian equivalent got over thirty million views and more than seven hundred million minutes respectively. Those are some crazy numbers all put together. It’s hard to say whether or not the event would have been as successful had The International been able to proceed, but one thing’s for sure – The DOTA 2 scene is booming in spite of the global pandemic. Looking for CS:GO and DOTA bets? Look no further than SBR.
CS:GO HAS YET ANOTHER MAJOR CANCELLATION
The CS:GO Majors have suffered this year. First, the earlier Major was rolled into the later one, resulting in a very promising combined prize pot. Then it was cancelled outright, with the promises of a tournament in early 2021. Now Valve have announced that the Spring Major, originally intended to go ahead from May 10th-23rd, has been cancelled too. It really looks as though organisers across the world keep running into this same roadblock, obviously walking the line between managing realistic expectations in a world facing unprecedented challenges whilst keeping money coming in. Given that DOTA 2’s International is currently on an unofficial hiatus, it’s no surprise that CS:GO has followed suit.
The next Major would be the Fall Major, currently scheduled to take place in November, 2021. This means that fans have had to go almost two years without a single Major, and that’s quite a harsh prospect considering how dedicated CS:GO’s audience is. Looking at the trends across this year it’s simple to see that the coronavirus pandemic has simply dropped far too many obstacles in the path of live event organisation, and the risk to the health of the public is simply too great to run these tournaments in any way.