esports arena Kirill Bashkirov
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The search for a game to unite all esports fans

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The genre-bending competitive games releasing in the next year have the potential to bring the usually divided fan bases of esports together. Many see esports as the next $1 billion sport, but getting there depends on a savvy intertwining of new titles and their diverse fan bases. If new gaming titles such as Blizzard’s Overwatch, Gearbox’s Battleborn and Epic Games’ Paragon are going to succeed as esports, industry insiders believe these titles have to evolve beyond popularity. “There is sort of a secret sauce when it comes to esports,” said Marcus Graham, Twitch’s director of Programming.…

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Feature

The loneliness of the professional gamer

If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Sutak, producer and director of The Foreigner, a new documentary about professional StarCraft II (2010), you can take solace in knowing that you’ve probably seen some of his work. Not, mind you, the two independent dramas—Up The River (2015), a romance, and Don’t Worry Baby (2015), a comedy—he’s produced; you haven’t seen those. What you have seen are the many trailers and TV spots he’s edited, for films as far afield as Everest (2015) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). If not exactly a Hollywood insider, Sutak nevertheless approaches filmmaking from the perspective of…

Intel Extreme Masters
News

What happens to the young, retired stars of esports?

When Dennis “Thresh” Fong was growing up, there was no such thing as a ‘professional gamer’. He was sixteen when he started playing DOOM (1993), but wasn’t competing for anything other than the thrill of victory. Aside from hustling chumps at the local arcade, nobody was making money by playing games. “A professional gamer is anyone who makes money, even winning 10 bucks on a Street Fighter game at Seven-Eleven,” joked Nick Allen, the panel moderator of “The Professional Gamer” at GDC 2016. That notion should seem quaint; at the Capcom Cup in 2015, the final prize pool for Ultra Street…

CourtesyIntelandHelenaKristiansson
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Does eSports Have a Drug Problem?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the aftermath of one professional player’s admission to using Adderall, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) is cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs by instituting a new set of standards and tests, positioning the league as a role model for professional sports leagues of all stripes. When Oakland Athletics homerun slugger Jose Canseco released his tell-all biography Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big in 2005, it landed like a bombshell. The book sparked one of the largest drug scandals in the history of professional sports.…

splatoon
Feature

Splatoon makes a splash in Japanese esports

Japanese players embraced Nintendo’s colorful, team-based squid shooter Splatoon with open arms (or tentacles) in 2015. Featuring half-squid, half-human creatures who can swim through the ink that blasts from their guns, Splatoon is a fast paced and accessible game making a mark on Japanese esports. Following its release in May, the game moved over 800,000 copies across the country and boosted Wii U sales. Japanese players are spending more and more time with these squids, too. In fact, many U.S. Splatoon players now express dread at facing off against competitors from across the Pacific because they are just too good…

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Feature

Rocket League blasts into the world of esports

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The easy-to-learn “cars playing soccer” game brings the spectator-friendly accessibility of traditional sports to the technological world of competitive gaming. Anyone who’s had to suffer through watching a friend or significant other play “just one more round” of a videogame will readily admit that most titles aren’t such thrilling spectator sports. While slaying enemies in Halo 5 is exciting for the shooter, it’s a snooze-fest for any player without a controller in hand. One game, however, seems to have cracked that code. Psyonix’s Rocket League not only pulls spectators into the action, it achieves the sought-after…

indiaesportslead
Article

Can India become an eSports powerhouse?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The eSports fever that has taken the world by storm is largely driven by its popularity throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. But there are still billions of people on the sidelines in countries where competitive gaming has yet to take off. India, the second most populous nation on the planet, for instance, is one of the more prominent holdouts. As of the time of this writing, there are exactly zero players residing within the country who play eSports for a living. While pro players elsewhere in the world can bring in a…

halo5esportslead
Article

The push to make Halo 5 the next big eSport

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. For an entire generation of players, there is nothing sweeter than scoring the winning kill in a Halo death-match and leading your team to victory. With the first-ever Halo World Championship, Microsoft is making a concentrated effort to get these good vibes out of the living room and into a giant eSports arena. But does Halo 5: Guardians, the franchise’s latest installment, have what it takes to make it as the next major eSport? Halo 5’s executive producer Josh Holmes certainly thinks so. Holmes recently told the gaming site Polygon that…

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13:  Jamelle Jimenez, George Krstic, Moby Frank, Mark Yetter, and Curtis Churn speak at the Tribeca Games Presents The Craft And Creative Of League Of Legends on November 13, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Tribeca Games)
Article

League of Legends and the problem of online communities

If you liked what you read, why not back us on Kickstarter? Early last Friday, just before the opening remarks of “Tribeca Games Presents: The Craft and Creative of League of Legends,” I sat next to a young man named Will, who told me he had come all the way from Daytona Beach, Florida. I asked him if it was a business trip; this was the first time Riot and Tribeca Games had ever put on an event like this. There were a few hundred people present; it’s not the sort of thing I would expect fans to pilgrimage over. “No,”…