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OpTic, EnVyUs, FaZe and Immortals Search for Identity at ECS Finals

With Esports Championship Series Season 2 Finals this weekend, some of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s best are headed to Anaheim, California, to compete for a sizable chunk of the $750,000 prize pool.

But as the last premier tournament before the ELEAGUE Major in January, there’s a lot more riding on a LAN win in California.

For OpTic, EnVyUs, FaZe Clan and Immortals, taking the ECS title would mean a chance to prove that 2017 will be different, that their young or rebuilt roster is something to consider in the new year.

Read full article on Bleacher Report esports.

What an ECS Finals Win Means for CS:GO’s Top Teams

With Esports Championship Series Season 2 Finals a little under a week away, some of CS:GO’s best are headed to Anaheim, California, to compete for a sizable chunk of the $750,000 prize pool.

But as the last premier tournament before the ELEAGUE Major in January, there’s a lot more riding on a LAN win in California.

For SK Gaming, Cloud9, Astralis and Dignitas, taking the ECS title would mean a chance to end 2016 on a much-needed high, going a long way in solidifying their own end to a whirlwind year of Counter-Strike.

Read full article on Bleacher Report esports.

NA LCS Semifinals: Legacies on the Line For NA’s Top 4

Has there ever been NA LCS semifinal matchups with so much riding on the line?

Yes, it’s the Summer Split, and Team SoloMid, Immortals, Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming are all looking to secure their 2016 World Championship berth early.

But (however important legacy may be in light of a Worlds spot) TSM and C9 are looking to become the first team to ever win more than two splits, while CLG is looking to become the first team to win three straight. And although their consistent level of top play hides it well, Immortals still want to make their stake in NA’s elite with their first ever split win.

Read full article on Bleacher Report esports.


Mad Men: “New Business”

A large part of Matthew Weiner’s genius is his ability to gain miles out of a simple “I love you” on Valentine’s Day, or a dinner at a fast-food restaurant between three work colleagues.

So when Mad Men lays its themes on thick like in these two opening episodes of the final season, it feels very unlike Weiner.

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Team Liquid and the Not-So-Problematic Piglet Problem

On the back of a wins against Team Solomid and Counter Logic Gaming with substitute Yuri “KeithMcBreif” Jew, Team Liquid decide to give former World Champion and starting AD carry Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin another chance in week seven of the LCS. Piglet was previously benched after one week of play due to internal team differences.

“It’s only fair for us to give Piglet another chance,” said Team Liquid analyst Mark Zimmerman. “When we benched him we gave him this big list of things we wanted him to improve on. When we started scrimming with him in the morning blocks, he had improved on them.”

Under such circumstances, Team Liquid fans were cautiously optimistic going into the week against Team Impulse and Team 8.

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How WildTurtle got his groove back

This piece was originally posted to the Daily Dot Esports.

In the last Super Week of the 2014 Summer Split, Team Solomid was in bad shape. After finishing 1-3 without any particular standout performances, Jason “WildTurtle” Tran’s iconic smile had turned into a scowl. The losses weren’t directly his fault, but his contributions had been mediocre. It was a shell of past performances.

For most of the Summer Split, WildTurtle failed to find his rhythm. People talked of a slump. It was hard to find anyone who believed in his ability to carry Solomid.

Fast forward six weeks into the 2015 Spring Split, and WildTurtle is entering the second half of the season as one of the League’s most threatening AD carries. And he’s become much more consistent—a description that in the past would have only been said in jest.


In every victory, just as Solomid begins to transition from an early game lead amassed by Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s domination, WildTurtle finds his groove. And it’s thanks to his team’s insistence on getting him on the late-game comfort picks he’s found success with in the past.

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Humility isn’t boring: Why fans should welcome the new TSM-CLG rivalry

When I talk to people who have no background in gaming or eSports about League of Legends and the LCS, I (probably like many others) often rely on easy, sometimes reductive comparisons to traditional sports — comments like how the LCS is some chimeric hybrid between the NFL and any European football league, and how the El Clasico is Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming.

It’s a rivalry spawned out of exciting, irrational, and sometimes immature trash talk, as is par for the course when it comes to any good rivalry. To the fanboys of Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming, it’s a way to vent their misguided frustration about their rivals. To the fans of both teams, it was a way to have fun on Reddit, while also masking their insecurities about their team’s overall strength.

Over the years, the rivalry has grown, once from a place of probable jealousy and dislike to a presumed way to generate hype about their upcoming matches. It was and is everything that is expected and great about sports rivalries.

But this year it’s changed in a way that likely blindsided us all.

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Why TSM’s former support is one of the most important players in eSports

It was on the latest episode of Richard Lewis’ League of Legends talk show, “First Blood,” that former Team SoloMid support and current substitute Nicholas “Gleeb” Haddad casually mentioned he was in the emergency room two days ago because of sleep problems. He showed Lewis and guests Ram “Brokenshard” Djemal and Joshua “NintendudeX” Atkins his admittance wristband and laughed it off.

The amount of public attention dedicated to mental health issues come and goes, like most other issues in a 24-hour news cycle. We like to address the real severity of mental health and the tragic stigmas that lead to a trivializing of the problems. We like to share our stories struggling and coping with anxiety, depression, or any other debilitating mental disorder. But far too often, the conversation stops, and we move on — thankful that we got the opportunity to share and read stories of the mentally ill in hopes that things will get better now that everything is out in the open, that that’s how stigma dies.

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Once A Day

In a before-bedtime jaunt around Reddit, I stumbled upon a thread titled “What should you do everyday?” on /r/AskReddit. Before the thread exploded in true Reddit fashion with each comment and reply reminding others the central tenants of daily activity — flossing and masturbating — in addition to the other gems, I was struck with how simple the advice was.

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The Amazing Situation: A Letter To TSM’s Former Jungler

One of my favorite birthday gifts in the last five or so years was a poster of TSM TheOddOne, dressed in a general’s uniform, saplings at the ready.

TheOddOne was a very important player to me. He’s the reason why I jungle, and, more importantly why I love this game. But when he retired — although I was consumed with nostalgia for the TSM glory days of old, the Season 2 domination that made me believe in the Baylife — I never once was upset with you, Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, taking his place on the team.

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