The biggest event on the annual Blizzard games calendar, Blizzcon, is right around the corner. So to kick off The Scrapyard, we’re taking a close look at all six games in the stable to think about the year so far and what we expect from the big show.
The beauty of sport is that it doesn’t matter your language, you can share a love for the competition that transcends communication barriers.
Today, I was reminded that esports do the same thing. And that emotion and fan energy is the glue that binds us in that moment.
I love watching any sport played at an elite level. Seeing the best of the best go head-to-head is its own reward.
But every sport needs its commentators. Even the Go tournament between Lee Sedol and AlphaGo was brought to exciting life with the help of some amazing commentary that brought us into the sport and explained the beauty and creativity of what was happening in the game.
Esports is no different. It takes a skilled commentator to follow the chaotic action of a MOBA or team shooter and present the excitement to both devotees and the less initiated.
Thankfully, Mitch ‘Uber’ Leslie is one of the most energetic and vivacious casters around, plying his trade across a range of major titles before now shouting up a storm full-time in the Overwatch League.
Click through for my exclusive interview.
“They’re ready. You’ve got about eight minutes, sorry.”
These are stolen minutes in a hectic schedule at the Blizzard Arena. But I’m lucky to get two for the price of one.
Scott ‘Custa’ Kennedy – a support main – had just two days earlier been traded from the Dallas Fuel to Los Angeles Valiant. Which is the team where Jordan ‘Gunba’ Graham has been on the coaching staff. A real-world support main.
Order is the new esports org on the block in the Australian scene, but they bring a very different pedigree – and team financing concept – with them. After qualifying for the premiere IEM Katowice CS:GO tournament inside the team’s first six months of existence, a poor performance at the event delivers some happiness and some hurt.
We chatted to Jay ‘liazz’ Tregillgas in Katowice about the good and the bad of the IEM performance, the outlook for IEM Sydney, and what it’s like to be part of a team that is exploring a fan-funded model for team ownership.
If you’ve been tired of the long, slow road to the middle of the table, there’s good news afoot. In a blog post – complete with Ben Brode video update – Blizzard’s Hearthstone team has announced some significant tweaks to the ranked ladder, with a big focus on keeping you closer to your ‘natural’ ranking after each month’s reset.
Matt Wyble is one of the leaders behind the scenes of Hearthstone esports. A man who has pursued serious sport himself at the highest levels (trialling for the Olympics in Modern Pentathlon), he’s been helping to guide the card game’s esports scene since its earliest days.
We had a chat at the Hearthstone World Championships in Amsterdam about his perspective on what sets the elite players apart, how the sport has evolved for those who pursue it, and what anyone chasing the dream should be doing to take their game to the highest level.
How do you build an esports empire that builds a good business AND creates the chance for everyone to have a shot at a pro contract?
With Gfinity Challenger Series underway, we spoke to the leaders of this new esports operation. Hit the link for our full conversation with the leadership behind Gfinity Australia.
I recently interviewed Nate Nanzer, Blizzard’s Overwatch Commissioner for all things Overwatch League, for this story in the Australian Financial Review. Stories like that only use a handful of quotes from a lengthier discussion, so, with permission from AFR, I’m sharing the full transcript of the interview here for those eager to get every drop of info from Nanzer on what’s happening in Overwatch esports.