Elderly Women In China Seen Praying to League of Legend Character

League of Legends is a world-famous game, with characters appearing all over. So what happens when you put a giant statue of one of the games most famous characters outside your door? You probably don’t expect to see an elderly women praying to it.

Caught on a security camera, the image appears to reveal an elderly women kneeling and offering an incense before praying to the statue. The statue is of famous League of Legends character Garren and was taken outside an internet cafe in China, hence the statue.

The reason for the mistaken prayer? It could be, and is most likely, that the women mistook the figure as Lord Guan Yu, a famous general during the Three Kingdoms period. Guan Yu is now often considered a god by many, so the mistake could be honest.

People have been responding with support for the women, with comments going along the line of:

“I feel really sorry for her, probably her family ran into some unexpected trouble, and she is looking for help,” one netizen sympathized.” and

“As long as your beliefs are sincere, then the true god will help you”

While it could be an honest mistake it’s nice to see people supporting the women, and hopefully she found comfort no matter who heard her prayers.

eSports Events Dramatically Increase Game Purchases

The rise of eSports has been nothing short of revolutionary and transformed talented gamers into household celebrities. Not only that, players in popular games like League of Legends compete in events with huge prize pools watched by millions around the globe. These individuals are under intense pressure and hone their craft for long periods each day. I’ve always been fascinated to see the impact of competitive gaming events on viewer purchasing habits. According to the latest research from NPD, the eSports industry has encouraged large audiences to spend money on game purchases. More specifically, the report suggests nearly 70 percent of people watching have purchased the game in question or some form of DLC.

On another note, the study found that 44 percent of US gamers watched a formal eSports event or enjoyed competitive streaming in the past six months. Furthermore, the average viewing time is pretty substantial at just under three hours. 18 percent of those surveyed watch eSport content on a daily basis while 46 percent watched contests once a week. When it comes to elite play, viewers appear to be more interested in the game and not the level of prize money on offer:

“It’s the game being played that consistently attracts viewers. Watchers are most influenced by the game, followed by the quality of the commentators and the team/players,”

Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group explained the results and said:

“eSports may have seemed like a niche phenomenon in the past, but it has clearly taken off with strong activity and engagement with consumers,”

“This is positive for the gaming industry on multiple levels, not only bringing excitement from the events themselves, but also from a marketing standpoint as consumers learn and can then potentially spend on games featured at eSports events.”

Two-thirds of those watching already own the game which isn’t surprising because they simply want to see the best players in the world and improve their strategy.

What is your favourite competitive eSports game?

Top 10 PC Games Revenue Destroys Consoles During 2015

The demise of PC gaming and its impending doom is a common misnomer which doesn’t reflect how well the platform is doing financially and in terms of total players. For example, earlier this month Steam managed to hit an astonishing figure of 12 million concurrent users. According to a NeoGAF thread, the most played title during the peak period was Dota 2, with 940,373 concurrent players. New research from SuperData has tracked the total revenue by platform and makes for some very interesting reading. As you can see, the top 10 console revenue results pale in comparison to the PC and exemplifies how profitable the platform is. Unbelievably, League of Legends managed to amass $1,628 million during 2015, which is more than four times the amount from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Not only that, the top PC results actually outperformed the mobile sector, which is a surprise given the financial benefits via microtransactions. So what do these numbers actually mean? While the console market is still more popular, it’s not as financially successful and PC gaming revenues continue to rise at an impressive rate. The yearly research explains:

“Despite a heavy industry focus on mobile gaming, the combined earnings of digital PC games for the top titles came in higher, totaling $6.3B in sales compared to $6.18B for mobile. PC-based gaming–consisting of free-to-play MMOs, subscription-based games like World of Warcraft, social games and PC downloadable games–earns over $32 billion annually, well above the $25.1 billion generated by mobile games. Three of the year’s top five digital PC games (Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3) were released in 2015, indicating that PC gamers have made significant progress transitioning to purchasing games digitally.”

Clearly, the modern gaming scene has changed substantially and the PC is a very profitable platform. Furthermore, this is down to an increased player base which illustrates how promising the future is for PC gaming as a leading platform.

League of Legends 2016 Ranked Season Begins Soon!

League of Legends’ popularity is difficult to exaggerate and showcases the viability of the free-to-play business model. When MMOs were still primarily opting for a subscriptions, Riot Games decided to implement free access with various micropayments. This worked superbly for the company and League of Legends is one of the most successful MOBAs worldwide today. More specifically, as of January 2014, over 67 million people played League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours. Not only that, the prize pool in 2014 and 2015 are some of the largest ever seen in eSports history, amounting to 2.3 million dollars. Even though I’m not a seasoned League of Legends player, this success has caught my attention and encouraged me to give the game a try!

The 2016 ranked season is scheduled to begin on January 20th and here is a complete rundown of the key changes:

Seeding

As usual, you’ll have ten placement games to fight through before settling in to your tier and division, ready for the climb. Your placement is still heavily influenced by where you ended up last season and what you accomplished during preseason. If you’ve never played ranked, then your placements will be all that matters!

Preseason brought some substantial changes to the game (learn more about preseason here, so we’re again running a soft reset before placements kick off. As with previous years because of the soft reset, you’ll likely place lower than where you ended last year.

New Champ Select and Dynamic Groups

Now each player chooses two positions (or fill!) before queueing up to find a team. We’ve also replaced the solo/duo queue with a dynamic group queue, where you’ll be able to climb the ladder with any number of teammates. You’ll still need to be of similar rank to your queue-buddies, and we designed the system so groups will almost always play against similarly grouped opponents. We’re watching this very closely, but we’re confident this change makes it easier to compete with friends of similar skill levels and better emphasizes the team nature of League.

Check out more on new champ select and dynamic groups at the Season 2016 update.

Promo Helper and High MMR Queue Time Adjustments

Promo Helper means when you’re in a division lower than Gold 1, if you lose a promotional series, the next time you enter your series, you’ll start with at least one win.

We’re also optimizing high-level matchmaking to identify epically skilled players faster and widen the MMR range for finding games at the pinnacle of amateur competition.

Learn more about Promo Helper and high MMR adjustments here.

Rewards

This year we’re exploring new possibilities for ranked rewards, but we don’t have anything ready to share just yet.

Do you play League of Legends extensively or find the skill barrier is too high?

eSports to Join the Curriculum in a Norwegian High School

It seems like such a great profession, being paid sums of money to play games all day. Much like being a real athlete, becoming an eSports player requires far more dedication and practice than many are willing to put in. Recognition of the skill and effort required to play at such a high level has allowed a number of considerations given to traditional athletes also offered to cyber athletes. Garnes Vidaregåande Skule plans to do something no other school has yet to try: add eSports classes to their core curriculum.

The school located in Bergen, Norway, won’t be making the subject mandatory yet, being only an elective subject, but it is a bold move. The course will contain at least 5 hours of study each week in the game specialisation of their choice. I’m sure plenty of people would be excited to play games at school for 5 hours a week, sadly for them, this is not the case. It has been confirmed that as well as playing and learning an eSports game, the classes will contain physical training to help concentration and reflexes as well as nutritional and lifestyle advice.

Some of the games planned to be on offer as part of the course are Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well as others, comprising a shortlist, with students able to suggest new games and vote on the list of those to be offered. At first, they will offer only two games as part of the course, for logistical reasons, but I’m sure that if it is a success that more will be made available. Petter Grahl Johnstad, Manager of the Science Department at the Garnes Vidaregåande Skule told Dotablast that they planned to work closely with the eSports community to be able to improve their courses, hoping to have both regular teachers for the subjects and Skype based seminars with professional eSports players. He hopes that the course will be about more than just gaming to the students, with crucial aspects being teamwork, motivation, cooperation and tactics, as well as skill in-game.

Garnes Vidaregåande Skule could lead the way for other schools, both in Norway and around the world to offer classes in eSports alongside those in traditional sports such as football. Whether it catches on, however, it is hard to tell, but at the rate the eSports scene is growing, it isn’t hard to imagine more and more young people entering it. At the very least, students studying this course get supplied top of the end hardware to play on, including Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti graphics cards. I’m jealous.

Research Finds In-Game Usernames Correlated With Anti-Social Behaviour

According to the latest research, it turns out the names we pick in game are a good predictor of how we behave in-game. By looking at the usernames of player in League of Legends, researchers were able to correlate anti-social tendencies in game with both age and the choice of username.

Rating names based on Anti-Social Naming Tendency (ANT) and Age as derived from the username, researchers correlated this data with Riot’s in-game reporting system. Not surprisingly, players with anti-social usernames tended to have more reports and complaints. It also found that younger players tended to have a much higher amount of reports sent and received, well in excess compared tot he amounts for older players.

Players with more neutral usernames tended to receive less reports and were more willing to give out “honor” or a positive report of other players. The same held true for older players who sent out honor 6% more often and received it 2% more frequently.

While we might think of older gamers are those in their late 20 and 30s and even beyond, it turns out that going up to 22-25 years of age was enough to see positive impacts. The researchers chalk up the age differences as due to cognitive development of the young male demographic. The anti-social naming is more self-explanatory, with real world personality being the driver. Interestingly enough, those with anti-social names tended to do very slightly better on average. With more research, it will be interesting to see the interaction between our real world and in-game personalities.

BBC Three to Livestream League of Legends World Championships

Mainstream media outlets like the BBC have ignored gaming for a substantial amount of time and often produced inaccurate hit pieces to discredit the industry. However, it’s impossible to ignore the dramatic rise of eSports and the huge prize total during major competitions. Unbelievably, many of the leading players in Starcraft 2, DOTA and League of Legends are on a salary beyond our wildest dreams. Finally, the BBC has decided to cater to the roaring popularity of eSport events and broadcast for the first time ever, the League of Legends World Championships.

However, please note that this isn’t major television coverage as the event can only be accessed online. It’s unknown if this was an intentional measure or simply falls in-line with BBC Three’s online future. Additionally, it seems a sensible strategy as the majority of eSports coverage is watched via Twitch or other streaming platforms. Whatever the case, it’s a headline moment for eSports which shows even the major non-gaming media outlets are taking events seriously.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three said about the announcement:

“We jumped at the chance to collaborate with BBC Sport and bring this massive UK event to a wider audience. BBC Three will always experiment with new ways to deliver content that young people want, in ways they want. I think this is an exciting way to cover something millions of young Brits love, in a BBC Three way.”

I’m fascinated to see how professional the coverage is and the overall viewing figures. Clearly, BBC Three’s younger audience is suited to gaming livestreams, and this could bring fans into the eSports genre.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

League of Legends Developer Cuts Ties With Key Reseller G2A

Grey Market key selling websites have become a controversial topic in the last few months as questions arose about the legality of their activities. Originally, Steam’s incredibly aggressive sale strategy meant the majority of purchases were conducted on Valve’s own client. However, this has dramatically altered as sale discounts dwindled and third-party sites offered significantly better pricing. As a result, many consumers simply purchase a Steam code from sites like G2A.com, and insert this into the client.

While there are trusted alternatives such as GamersGate and GreenManGaming, many acquire keys through suspect behavior. For example, Ubisoft revoked a wide array of keys for being stolen and were traced back to G2A. Whether or not they were complicit in this activity, it does raise a great deal of questions about G2A and other key resellers. Strangely enough, many YouTubers, Twitch streamers and even game developers have allowed public sponsorship from G2A.

This seems absolutely bizarre considering the unscrupulous key resellers are actually hurting each developer’s sales and profit margins. In all honesty, you cannot blame consumers for trying to find the best price, but there needs to be better protection to avoid games being suddenly removed without any notice. Thankfully, things might be turning a corner as Riot Games has publicly banned G2A as a sponsor in lieu of primary evidence regarding stolen keys. The developer released a statement which reads:

“We’ve already formally banned them as a sponsor as of September 18th, and have no plans to reconsider the decision at this time.”

“This was NOT a decision we made lightly, and came after many weeks of back and fourth conversations with G2A to find a resolution, which we were not able to reach an agreement on. We do not at all enjoy affecting the income of the teams, but the LCS rules include guidelines specifically against this sort of thing. We did however keep teams in the loop during the process in an attempt to avoid any surprises.”

“To clarify, it seems the wording I used was a bit ambiguous on “an agreement”. Rest assured, “Remove all account selling an [sic] boosting-site links” was indeed our request. We weren’t going to compromise our values on that one in the sake of preserving the sponsorships.”

To clarify, I believe market competition is an essential component to the open nature of PC gaming. Although, sites engaging in proactive marketing who acquire keys for a pittance and exploit regional deviation for profit shouldn’t be encouraged. Regional pricing exists due to the huge gap in wages between various countries. I wouldn’t be concerned if the worst offenders like G2A folded because they are inherently anti-consumer despite the cheap and cheerful image they try to portray. More specifically, I’ve spoken to Tomáš Duda, from SCS Software, the team behind Euro Truck Simulator 2. His experience alone should be enough to stop people buying from G2A, and help protect the industry from companies who could lead to the death of many indie or Triple-A studios.

Have you ever used G2A?

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Find out How to Get Access to Supernova’s Closed Beta

Have you wanted to try a new MOBA for a change? Well, now you can. If you like MOBA and got fed up of League of Legends and Dota 2, you know have the chance to try out a new sci-fi MOBA title called Supernova. From the looks of it, it has a potential, while also breaking away from all the mystical magic you see in the well-known MOBA games today. Take a look at how NVIDIA describes the title on their blog.

It is mankind’s distant, space-faring future. Having tamed their own solar system, the human race has ventured forth into the cosmos to find a universe in peril. Ancient and mysterious portals have brought humanity face to face with vast, unrelenting alien legions, set to wage war across the galaxy. In this time of universal chaos, human and alien races alike must rely on their most skilled commanders to lead their forces in the fight for galactic dominance while uncovering the secrets behind the strange portals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuD6URImaYM

It looks like the title is made by Bandai Namco in collaboration with Primal Game Studios and they are offering GeForce owners a chance to get one of their closed beta keys to try the game before it hits open beta. So stop thinking about it and head on over to NVIDIA’s website and get one today! AMD owners can also have a chance to sign up for the beta on the game’s website. More information about the game and how to sign up can be found on their official page here.

Overclockers UK Enters the eSports Arena

Overclockers UK is well-known for the online shop full of great hardware and gaming systems, but they aren’t content with just supplying all the gaming components, they want to part of it. Not surprising when you have a company basically made up of gamers and for gamers, those who want the best and most out of it.

They have now formed their own professional League of Legends team in order to take on the online gaming community. Team Overclockers UK is sponsored by Cougar and will be competing in the Challenger Series and various tournaments with the aim to qualify for LCS, the biggest eSport league in the world. Being heavily involved in eSports, streaming and gaming internally with members of the staff, a professional eSports team was the next natural step.

The Overclockers UK team consists of the following people:

  • Marek “Libik” Kręgiel (Team Captain)
  • Kuba “Kubon” Turewicz
  • Wojciech “Tabasko” Kruza
  • Rafal “TakeFun” Górniak
  • Pawel “Celaver” Koprianiuk
  • Fryderyk “Veggie” Kozioł (coach)

The next match is on June the 30th against Team Dignitas and the reverse match will be played the next day, on Wednesday the first of July. The next team they’re up against will be Denial eSports on the 7th and 8th of July.

Permanently League of Legends Ban for Profanity in Just 15 Minutes

This was bound to happen sooner or later since most players I’ve seen on either League of Legends or Dota 2 gain faster profanity skills than any other game-wise skills. Thankfully, Riot Games shares the same vision and wants to keep League of Legends a fun and welcoming place.

The developer wants to make an automatic world-wide banning system for players who use verbal harassment in the game. The system is said to have rolled out for the European Union, but should the tests prove to be successful, it will roll out in the rest of the regions soon enough.

The system works by sending notification cars to players who have used verbal harassment in matches, providing an evidence of the latter and an appropriate punishment that will take effect. The player can be punished in two ways, with either a two-week ban or a permanent ban, after exiting the match. It takes only 15 minutes after the match ends for the system to register the verbal harassment and deliver the ban.

Riot states that the player behaviour team is looking over all verbal harassments being reported and if the test goes as planned, the system will be available worldwide shortly. But this is not all that it brings. The new system will also keep players who reported others up to date with the process status and rewards players for positive gameplay. Personally, if the system gets rid of all annoying players out there, it might even tempt me to join the MOBA community. How about you? What are your thoughts?

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

HyperX, Intel and Overclockers UK Open London Pop-Up Store for Immersive Gaming

Kington’s HyperX division of today announces its “Meet the Pros” exclusive Pop-Up Shop launching in London’s Soho from 27-31 May.

HyperX doesn’t do it all alone and they joined forces with Intel and Overclockers UK to create a fully immersive gaming experience where game enthusiasts and visitors can go head to head with professional gamers and compete on the newly released Project Cars game.

You can’t just see how you measure up against some of the best, there will also be daily prizes for the fastest lap times, composed of gaming peripherals and accessories. The grand prize is worthy of the name is it is a complete custom gaming rig that is up for grabs on the final day of the competition.

The League of Legends global champion Snoopeh will headline the event and there will be a meet and greet for fans on Thursday, 28th May.

8Pack is one of the highest acclaimed and known overclockers in the world, and he’ll be attending on the same day, giving fans a chance to meet the record breaker and gain first-hand expert advice.

The event is open to the public from 27-31 May at 27 Peter Street, London, W1F 0AR.

  • Wednesday: 3pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 10am-5pm
  • Friday: 10am-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 8pm
  • Sunday: 10am- 5pm

A full array of HyperX products will also be available to view and purchase, and you can also get expert advice along with it.

New eSports Betting Site Unikrn Launches

Over the last few years, we have seen the rise of esports with it taking shape of what should become a massive industry. Now the veil has been lifted on Unikrn, a platform to facilitate spectator betting on esports around the world.

There are now many ways to bet online for various sports but there hasn’t been a great platform for betting on esports, like League of Legends. Today that will change for Australian citizens and soon for other countries regions around the world thanks to Unikrn. The company will be the esports partner of Tabcorp, the large Australian wagering company.  This may explain why the bets are first being accepted in Australia. The betting will be legal and will only accept bets placed from locations that it is legal to do so. Having the foot in the door with other countries and areas will definitely help the site as they aim to become the leader in esports betting.

Unikrn CEO and co-founder is Rahul Sood, longtime computer gaming industry veteran. Rahul was founder and president of Voodoo PC, CTO for HP Gaming after the company acquired Voodoo PC, advisor to the board of directors of Razer, and left his position as global head of Microsoft Ventures to start Unikrn. The company name seemingly is a nod to Rahul’s previous job, with unicorns being startups that hit a billion dollar valuation in fundraising.

eSports Star Retires Aged 22 Due to Wrist Injury

An eSports star, captain of a top League of Legends team, has been forced to retire from professional gaming at only 22 years old. Hai Lam will no longer be eligible to participate in team games, according to the website of Cloud9, his former team.

It seems that years of high-intensity gaming have left their mark on Hai, who cites a wrist injury as the cause of his retirement. He has been playing with the injury for some time, but it has grown so serious that he can no longer ignore it, with the condition affecting his ability to play at the level he desires.

This is not the first time Hai has been sidelined by injury – he was forced to pull out of an All-Star event in Paris last year after suffering a collapsed lung – but his potentially chronic wrist condition has forced a permanent exit from the sport dedicated much of his young life to. Last month, The Daily Dot published a story about Hai developing tendinitis of the wrist, though it is as yet unconfirmed whether this is the same condition that has forced his retirement.

Repetitive strain injuries are common in even amateur gamers, so there are concerns that as eSports grows in stature, that the demands it puts on competitors could see stories like that of Hai Lam become commonplace.

Following his retirement, Hai will adopt a new role as Chief Gaming Officer for the Cloud9 team, which will see him seek out new gaming talent and strike up relationships with partners and sponsors.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.

League of Legends Player Reaches Diamond Tier with Exactly 3,439,140 Mouse Clicks

The Diamond tier isn’t the highest level in the League of Legends title’s ranked mode, but it still is near the top and very hard to achieve. Players who want to climb up the ladder all the way to Diamond (at least) are said to put a lot of effort and time into the game, like three years and around three million clicks, according to a player’s statistic.

League of Legends and redditer r3as0n has reached the Diamond V level, the lowest of the top five tiers that Riot uses to separate each of the seven separate ranks.

Diamond is said to be the third rank, falling short behind Master and Challenger, making it a respectable level to achieve, even with the game’s big community. The redditer has even kept track of the total number of times he clicked the mouse in-game during rank mode and until reaching the Diamond rank.

“I use a Razor Naga MMO mouse for league of legends because i’m not a big fan of shift clicking + Ctrl clicking,” the ranked League player told Kotaku in an email this morning. “I like having the extra 12 buttons at my disposal for key-bindings.”

“I’m reluctant to say that the mouse is the MVP,” he added, “but i’ve had this mouse since 2010 and I’ve never had any issues with it.”

After the last successful qualifying match that placed r3as0n in Diamond V rank, the counter indicated a number of 3,439,140 mouse clicks. This statistic is not just numbers, it also shows how long players are required to play the game in order to just scratch the surface of the upper-most competitive high ranks.

The redditer also admits that he formed a lot of reflexes during his time spent in-game, helping him make quick-judgement and take swift actions during battles.

In the end, given the statistics captured by r3as0n and the high number of League of Legends players, we will probably not see a lot of Master or Challenger ranked characters in the title.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information

Lizard Squad Take Down Twitch and League of Legends

Game streaming service Twitch.tv and online game League of Legends have been hit by notorious hacking group “Lizard Squad”, leaving both services offline for gamers and spectators alike.

The hacking group, or what ever we should be calling them, launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in the early hours of the morning. The first attach hit Twitch and shortly after the team took down Riot Games League of Legends services.

https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/504416785194434562

I’m not sure what’s with this idiots ruining gaming services for people, but it was only last weekend that the same team took down the Sony PlayStation Network. PSN has since been restored, but is still suffering some minor network issues.

https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/504454145584427008

What ever will come next? Seems it is pretty common these days for online games and services to be bumped offline and there is little to nothing we can do about it.

Thank you Gamezone for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gamezone.

New Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth CLG Edition Keyboard

Razer has presented a new version of their Blackwidow Ultimate keyboard, a special version made in cooperation with the League of Legends team Counter Logic Gaming. Razer already made a CLG version of their DeathAdder mouse last year, and now the time has come for the keyboard.

The changes are purely cosmetic from the looks of it and the keyboard is matching the team colours black and white. Instead of the green back-lighting we have it in white and where the original keyboard was completely black, this one has the team logo at the bottom right part of the keyboard.

“The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth has been my keyboard of choice for years, simply because everything else is trash.” said Peter “Doublelift” Peng, AD Carry for Counter Logic Gaming. “Now with the new CLG design it is also on par with my stunningly good looks.”

There is no doubt that the Blackwidow Ultimate is a great keyboard, but it is a matter of personal taste and preference if you like it and in this black and white style.

Thank you Razer for providing us with this information.

Images and video courtesy of Razer.

Raptr Reveals The Most PC Played Games, They Are…

Which PC games were the most popular in June 2014? Well it is impossible to say for all PC gamers in the world, but using the Raptr statistics as a barometer reveals some interesting results. At number one is League of Legends with a staggering 16.76% of all PC gamers, that’s more than twice the share of second place game title DOTA 2 which has 8.15%. World of Warcraft, Counter Strike Global Offensive and Diablo III make up the rest of the top 5. The biggest gainers are WildStar, Watch Dogs, Battlefield 3 and PayDay 2 while the biggest losers include The Elder Scrolls Online, ArmA III and Star Wars: The Old Republic who all dropped significantly.

These figures compare fairly similarly to Steam’s Statistics, although many of the games in Raptr’s list are not counted in Steam’s statistics so making the comparison is difficult. Steam’s top 5 includes Dota 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Team Fortress, Football Manager 2014 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Raptr is an online gaming platform with 22 million users in over 100 countries. Raptr recently signed a partnership with AMD to provide the backbone behind the “AMD Gaming Evolved” app.

Source: Raptr

Image courtesy of Raptr

Major Graphics Update to League of Legends – a Fresh Look into Summoners Rift

League of Legends is set to go through a major graphical update with an upcoming patch receiving positive reactions from community members.

Being released in October 2009 the aesthetics of this highly popular F2P MOBA were starting to age, but the question then begs many of its target audience – what will the new PC specifications entail? It’s widely known that League of Legends can currently be played on rather low-spec computers or laptops, utilizing simple technologies such as on-board graphics or outdated CPU models. But will this major graphics overhaul exclude many that are so fanatical about their favorite gaming pastime?

In Riot’s announcement FAQ they have stated:

“At this very moment, the new map is more memory (RAM) intensive than the current map, however we’re optimizing like crazy and we’re committed to performance parity with the current Summoner’s Rift. You will not need to upgrade your PC or Mac.” Which is a very positive indication towards internet cafe’s and those unable to upgrade their machines.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e_N4WpqH5o[/youtube]

Although this teaser video doesn’t delve into much detail, you can see some of the graphical changes Riot Games have been working on for its latest release. They’ve decided to keep their vibrant colourization and lighting style with including new models for things such as shrubbery and neutral creep placed in the ‘jungle’ amongst new spawn animations.

There have been changes made to the ‘dragon’ and ‘Baron Nashor’ pits along with some other changes to thickness of the jungle walling. Riot has stated that these graphical changes will not affect any gameplay in their previous announcements FAQ, also stating in the comments that the new special animations will not effect gameplay what-so-ever.

“We’ve made a number of quality-of-life changes around readability, but you won’t be fail-flashing because of the new map. Flashable walls, turret ranges, lane sizes, brush interaction and ward placements are all exactly as they are on the current map. Dragon and Baron feature reworked design and art, driving them toward feeling more intimidating and powerful. From a purely gameplay perspective, we focused on clarity, eliminating randomness in their attack patterns so skilled players can predict and avoid the monsters’ attacks.” Listed here.

There is nothing to be said for their other maps – The Twisted Treeline, Howling Abyss or The Crystal Star however, but one can assume all will overgo this update in due time.

As far as a release date is concerned Riot games have chosen not to pinpoint an exact time, claiming:

“We don’t have an exact date right now. We’ll be squashing bugs, ensuring great performance and listening for player’s feedback throughout the update’s stay on the PBE. All the work ahead makes a firm date tough to pin down.” Also located in their FAQ.

Stay tuned for what this MOBA heavyweight will bring out next.

Image courtesy of lol.stratics.com

Razer Add Sponsorship Support For Insomnia 2014 Gaming Festivals

Multiplay have just revealed that they’re now working with legendary peripherals manufacturer Razer for the duration of 2014’s Insomnia gaming events. The new deal will see Razer server as the official Tournament Sponsor for League of Legends at all Insomnia festivals in 2014. The new deal will start with Insomnia51, which runs from April 18 to April 21 at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, this partnership bolsters an on-going relationship between Multiplay and Razer, which began with Razer’s sponsorship commitments with Insomnia last year. It also guarantees some of the largest League of Legends prize pools in the UK for the year.

There are 70 million-plus registered players and more than 32 million daily active users playing League of Legends, making it one of the most popular games in history. With generous prize pools for the Razer League of Legends Challenger Cup at every Insomnia event, this year’s Festivals underscore the combined commitment of Multiplay and Razer to its vibrant and wide reaching gaming communities..

Minimum prize pools for each Insomnia festival are currently as follows:

  • Insomnia 51 £5,000
  • Insomnia 52 £7,500
  • Insomnia 53 £5,000

Insomnia 52 gets the biggest fund given that will be the much larger Summer LAN event, which will see two large gaming halls open to the public, instead of the usual one hall. Not forgetting that there will also be other areas of the event such as the exhibitors hall.

“After an incredible 2013, we were determined to raise our game further still in 2014, and we couldn’t be happier to be partnering with Razer for every Insomnia Festival in 2014,” said Craig Fletcher, CEO & founder of Multiplay. “Razer’s energy, drive and strong brand resonate with our customers, and this partnership allows us to further expand our plans for another fantastic year ahead.”

Min-Liang Tan, co-founder, CEO and creative director of Razer, said: ”We here at Razer take our Motto, “For Gamers. By Gamers,” very seriously, especially when it comes to the highest levels of competitive gaming and the gaming lifestyle. Partnering up again with Multiplay on an event series such as Insomnia was a natural decision for us based on our common interest in eSports and the success of last year’s Insomnia Festivals.”

Thank you Insomnia for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Insomnia.

PC Gaming Is Leading The Way With eSports & Video Streaming

This Saturday will see 15,000 spectators descend on the Staples Centre in LA to watch the League of Legends World Championship Final Event. Gaming as a professional sport has been around for a long time and has enjoyed mass popularity in Asia for years. Now the phenomenon is breaking out of niche status in the West as well, attracting millions of game enthusiast followers. Sudden mass uptake over the past year has made game videostreams the fastest growing content on the web, including YouTube and specialized destinations like Twitch, who raised $20 million this week to support its explosive growth and global expansion.

While Western press focus their attention on the nextgen console battle between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, PC Gaming is leading the industry in eSports and video content as well as in number of gamers on a global scale with around 900 million players. From a screen perspective, games played on the computer screen also gross more revenues than games played on TV: $27.6bn or 39% versus $25.4bn or 36%. Worldwide that is. The PC platform continuous to shape trends and lead innovation in the industry in terms of game genres, free-to-play business models and now… eSports and video content. The new consoles Xbox One and PS4 will provide integrated functionalities allowing console gamers to follow the path originally carved out by PC gaming. Console-based eSports leagues do exist but not on the same scale as the PC franchises such as Starcraft, Dota2, World of Tanks and League of Legends.

Games played on a PC will generate $27.6bn this year, 39% of the total games market. This includes money spent on casual websites and social networks. Without these “casual” segments, the global PC/MMO market is worth $21.0bn. Approximately 40% of the 900 million PC/MMO gamers worldwide spends money on, or rather within, these games.

  • This year, American gamers account for $4.3bn in spending on PC/MMO games or 20.3% of the global PC/MMO market. The Asia-Pacific region represents $11.0bn or 52.6% of the PC pie.
  • Of all PC/MMO gamers worldwide, 19% or 230 million can be called an enthousiast or core gamers, based on a combination of variables such as time, spending behavior and genre preferences. This group of consumers is largely responsible for the growth of eSports and game video content.
  • Over 100 million Americans play PC/MMO games, almost two thirds of all gamers. 21% or 23 million of these gamers can be considered to be enthousiast or core gamers. Using the same variables for console gamers leads to a number of 24.1 million Americans. There is an enormous overlap between these two groups: 18.7 million gamers can be considered both console as PC/MMO game enthousiasts.
  • Game video community website Twitch saw its unique viewer audience grow from 3.2 million per month in June 2011 to over 44 million in August this year.
  • Early this year, Youtube reported that time spent viewing gaming content more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, making it the fastest growing content category. Almost half, 47%, was spent on content generated by consumers.
  • The largest international eSports league, the ESL, reports that 33 million hours have already been spent this year watching their eSports video content, up almost 100% since last year. Over 750,000 gamers visited ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters Series 7 events.
  • Global prize money for the bigger eSports events will be over $12 million this year, four times higher than in 2010. An increasing number of non-gaming companies are jumping on the opportunity to become partners of eSports events, including RedBull, Logitech and Plantronics.
  • The worlds’ largest payment service provider for games, GlobalCollect, reported that the fastest growing countries from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 in terms of online payments for PC/MMO games were Malaysia, Thailand and Korea, each with over 100% growth.

Thank you Newzoo for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of eTeknix.

Riot Brings LoL Season 3 World Championship To The Staples Center On October 4th

Riot Games today unveiled plans for the Season 3 World Championship, the premier event for League of Legends professional esports on a global stage. Beginning 16 September, the best teams from each region around the world will descend on Southern California for a month of intense action, including semi-finals held at the Galen Center, the site of last year’s final. Once the dust settles, competitors will head downtown for the World Championship at the prestigious home of pro sports in Los Angeles – the Staples Center.

Taking place Friday, 4 October, the World Championship will be the pinnacle of pro League of Legends play this year, with the sport’s preeminent athletes battling in front of more than 10,000 live fans, plus millions more online. The winning team will be crowned the Season 3 world champion, walking away with the Summoner’s Cup and $1 million in cash. Tickets go on sale soon at lolesports.com and other associated ticketing outlets.

The road to the finals will not be easy. In the coming weeks, professional teams in each region will play in qualifier events around the world. The top 14 teams from North America, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and an international wild-card will then head to Southern California for the World Playoffs. After a group stage and two critical single-elimination rounds, the two remaining teams advance to the Staples Center for an epic showdown.

League of Legends World Championship facts:

  • Every match counts: Top teams from around the world will compete during qualifying events throughout the summer, with regional dominance and a trip to Los Angeles on the line
  • Eyes of the world on LA: With thousands of seats filled and millions of fans watching from home, the World Championship closes out a historic season for professional esports
  • Millions of dollars on the line: October’s $2 million prize pool rounds out the Season 3 total to more than $8 million across the globe
  • Viewership during the inaugural League of Legends All-Star event peaked at over 18 million unique viewers
  • Fans around the world casting more than 50 million votes to determine the event’s star players.

Thank you www.lolesports.com for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Competitive Gamer.

Justin Carter Out On Bail After Anonymous Person Posted $500,000 Bail

When does your online life become your real life? Always, apparently. As a bonus anything you do in your life, especially any felony actions will stay to haunt you forever! Justin Carter, 19 and a gamer at heart was placed in jail and given a $500,000 bail for making a comment.

“Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head,” “I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.” Making this comment on Facebook after a League of Legends match.

Not only is the comment considered a “Terroristic Threat” or “Criminal Threat” in some places, it can carry a 10 year prison sentence. Carter has already spent nearly four months in jail awaiting trial. Making a comment, sometimes even taking a single action could place the title of Felon over your name for the rest of your life in the United States, there are no second chances.

For those of you who are gamers, most likely know that what he said is just trash talk, and anyone in their right mind would likely know that he was not serious. After making the comments Carter supposedly followed the comment with “lol” and “JK”, which stand for Laugh Out Loud, and Just Kidding.

Much trash talk from gamers or anyone online for that matter, many times consist of homophobic, racist, threatening and sexist remarks. While many websites, and even games give you a feature to report said comments, or even posts, someone felt the need to report this comment to the police.

For those of you who have heard about this before, and are following the case, you might be interested in learning that Carter has been released from jail. According to Kotaku an anonymous person posted the $500,000 bail. If found guilty, Carter could spend up to 10 years in prison, and carry the lifetime title of felon, not a title that you earn from a video game, but a title you earn in real life. One that will likely haunt him for the rest of his life. If he does earn this title, he will likely be forced to work a dead end job, and be judged by everyone he meets for the rest of his life.

In the State of Texas a “Terrorist Threat” is a third-degree felony.

Do you feel that Carter deserves to earn the title of a felon, and serve a lengthy prison sentence. Or do you think he should be free?

Image courtesy of Christian Post.

MMO Gaming Mouse Roundup

Over the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to use many of the best gaming mice on the market, putting them through their paces in many of today’s leading MMO games, trying to find out which offers the best performance, value for money and feature sets, in the hope that I can guide you to making a better purchase.

Like knights of the round table I am surrounded by awesome examples of what a gaming mouse can be, as you can see in the image above I have a fair few to choose from and those of you who keep a close eye on our reviews will realise that we’ve reviewed every single on of these mice in the past, some of the quite recently too. All of these products have proved themselves to be award winning, premium products that are worth your cash, but that doesn’t help you decide which one is best for you or your game.

In the collection today I have:

  • Steelseries World of Warcraft Wireless MMO
  • Steelseries World of Warcraft Legendary Edition
  • Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO
  • Mad Catz M.M.0.7
  • Razer Naga Molten
  • Razer Naga Hex
  • TteSports Black Element

A fine selection indeed, a solid mixture of low, mid and high-end solutions with the appropriate budgets to match, in a wide range of style choices, button configurations and specifications, so lets not hang around and we’ll get stuck into the good stuff.

Full details of each mouse and more extensive testing can be found in their full reviews, links provided at the bottom of each page that will open a new tab.

MLG Breaks Attendee Records With Largest Competitive Gaming Event In MLG History

Major League Gaming (MLG) has shattered previous records with more than 21,000 competitors and fans attending the three-day Spring Championship in Anaheim, CA. From June 28-30, hundreds of the world’s best players competed for $105,000 in prizes with FXOpen eSports (League of Legends), CompLexity (Call of Duty: Black Ops II) and Polt (StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm) taking home the first place titles. During the event, MLG announced the next Pro Circuit Championship will take place in Columbus, Ohio, from November 22 – 24. Additional details will be announced soon.

In an MLG first, top professional athletes joined video game players on Saturday to showcase their skills in an All Star Showdown. Dwight Howard – Los Angeles Lakers, Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys, Ty Lawson – Denver Nuggets and DeJuan Blair –San Antonio Spurs competed in front of thousands. Howard also joined MLG’s Chris Puckett and Mike “Hastro” Rufail in the casting booth to help commentate.
VOD of the MLG Spring Championship can be accessed at MLG.tv and photos are available online.

MLG Spring Championship Winners

League of Legends :

  • 1st – FXOpen eSports – $20,000 and a spot in the LCS Season 4 Spring Promotion Tournament
  • 2nd – Complexity – $5,000
  • 3rd/4th – Curse Academy, Aware Gaming – $2,500

Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Xbox 360:

  • 1st – CompLexity – $20,000
  • 2nd – Icons Impact – $12,000
  • 3rd – OpTic Gaming- $7,000
  • 4th – Curse – $4,000
  • 5th/6th – FaZe – $2,300
  • 5th/6th – Unite Gaming – $2,300
  • 7th/8th – IcoNs ConqueR – $1,200
  • 7th/8th – vVv Gaming – $1,200

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm:

  • 1st – CMStorm Polt – $10,000
  • 2nd – Quantic HyuN- $6,000
  • 3rd/4th – Liquid Hero – $3,000
  • 3rd/4th – Alliance Naniwa – $3,000
  • 5th/6th – StarTale Sound – $1,000
  • 5th/6th – STX Soul Dear – $1,000
  • 7th/8th – EG Jaedong – $500
  • 7th/8th – ROOT Sage – $500

MLG is growing at an incredible rate, as too are many other of the major gaming events around the world from Multiplay, Intel and MLG to name but a few. Even for those that don’t compete, it’s clear that pro gaming is currently top of its game. The next MLG Pro Circuit Championship – November 22-24 in Columbus, Ohio and if you’ve never been to one and you’re a gaming fan, it might be worth checking out the show.

Thank you MLG for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Team Dignitas.

League of Legends Freljord Patch Released

For the last few weeks I have been getting lost in the world of League of Legends and while I’ve been getting a lot of entertainment out of the game, I have noticed that it lacks one major feature, maps!

This latest patch has been eagerly awated by the League of Legends fan base for some time now and Patch 3.6 has finally gone live on the Riot Games servers for you to download/auto update to.

The new patch doesn’t just fix bugs and make tweaks as a patch would imply, this is pretty much a DLC pack too although DLC is a difficult term to use for a game that is at its core, free to play. With this new patch comes the Freljord map that adds an all mid lane battle ground to the mix.

With Freljord comes a new allegiance system where can can align with one of the three tribes of Freljord, a brand new map called Howling Abyss, and lets not forget the triumpant relaunches for both Trundle and Sejuani.

There have also been some fixes to the matchmaking system and combat, which will hopefully resolved some of the issues with dodgers by using a re-roll system and issues with being a melee team vs a range team, helping keep the game more ballanced and competitive throughout.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9nVa8sbFuuY[/youtube]

MLG and OGN Partner for League of Legends Online Winter Championship

MLG has teamed up with Ongamenet (OGN) to give seven top Korean League of Legends teams a chance to compete at the MLG Winter Championship in Dallas, Texas from March 15-17. On Saturday, March 2, OGN will hold a single elimination bracket featuring NaJin Sword, LG IM, KT Rolster A, SK telecom T1, MVP, KT Rolster B and NaJin Shield.

The winning Korean team will advance to the International Exhibition at the MLG Winter Championship where they will compete against three other teams for a chance at $15,000 in prizes and a first place prize of $10,000.

On Monday, March 4 beginning at 3pm ET, MLG will broadcast up to four matches, including the final, in English on www.majorleaguegaming.com and www.twitch.tv/mlglol. Following the broadcasts, VoD will be available at mlg.tv and youtube.com/officialmlglol.

For more information about the League of Legends tournaments at the MLG Winter Championship click here. To watch the tournament LIVE in person, purchase a VIP or Spectator Pass now.

QualifierMLG to Broadcast Matches on Monday, March 4 beginning at 3pm ET on www.majorleaguegaming.com

Winning Korean Team Advances to International Exhibition at the MLG Winter Championship in Dallas – March 15-17 to Compete for $15,000 in Prizes

To find out more about OGN’s leagues and broadcasts visit www.facebook.com/OngamenetGlobal and follow @ognglobal.