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.

Ex-Riot Games Developers Bring Vainglory MOBA to iOS

If you thought the only time you’d be playing MOBAs was when you were at you desktop, and that moving around in the car, train, plane, couch or toilet were safe from your addictions to MOBAs… think again.

Super Evil Megacorp, a bunch of ex-developers from Riot Games, Blizzard and Rockstar have formed their superpowers together for this new studio, with their first game being a MOBA named Vainglory. Vainglory will be hitting iOS devices later this month, and uses the typical MOBA formula by shrinking the team size down to three – versus the usual five – and limiting the matches to just 20 minutes.

There’s only one lane to concentrate on, and the game’s controls are done through your iOS-powered touchscreen. For those living in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Vainglory is free. Europeans will have to wait until November 13 to get their hands on this new MOBA, with North America, South America, the Middle East and Africa receiving it on November 18.

China, Japan and Korea currently have no release date – which is strange, as those markets would be huge for this game. You’ll require an iPad 2 or higher if you want to get in on the Vainglory action, or an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus to play it.

Source: Joystiq.

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.