“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.
Sack the team. The whole team. What a fall from grace this is. Steve Smith, the subject of not unreasonable debate around whether he is the greatest Test batsman since Bradman, is now a cheating captain who lacked the decency to fall on his sword after being caught.
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” ― Stephen Hawking
‘Feed free February’. It alliterates, so it must be worth doing, right? My wife and I both decided we’d skip the random scrolling down our social feeds for the four weeks of February and see how it felt. And, mostly, it felt great.
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.
Echoing the grooves of a vinyl record alongside the ebonised ash wood base structure, this high-end turntable design is a stunner.
And looks really do matter when it comes to showing off electric cars at the peak of their powers.
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.
Dean Ayala. Restaurant Consultant. In that other, darker timeline, we don’t have the Dean Ayala we know from the Hearthstone Game Design team. Thankfully, Ayala found his way into Blizzard, and we thought we’d explore a little of his heroic journey into game design and what others might learn from his path.
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?