Welcome to the ESTNN Weekly Brief! Here’s your rundown of all the esports news for the past week of May 1st, including a new League of Legends champion, an in-depth recap of the Overwatch League Dallas Homestand, and a mysterious Fortnite… erm… mystery! Let’s dive right in.
League of Legends
In League this week, Patch 9.10 is headed down the tracks towards release. The patch brings with it a boatload of balance changes and Yuumi, the “Magical Cat.” Previous updates indicate that we’ll see Patch 9.10 sometime in the middle of May, but let’s take a quick look at Yuumi and do a run through of the other balance changes.
Yuumi’s passive is called “Bop n’ Block,” granting her a shield and mana restoration for any attacks she makes against an enemy champion.
Her Q, Prowling Projectile, looks like a skillshot that Yuumi can maneuver if “attached” to a friendly champion. How does she do that, you ask? With her W, “You and Me.” Using Yuumi’s W, players can attach themselves to a friendly champion with a dash, “following her partner’s movement.” This ability looks like it turns Yuumi in a shoulder-mounted cannon on a friendly champion, which should be awesome.
Her E, “Zoomies,” is a heal and movement buff. It functions over time for Yuumi herself and effects an attached champion immediately. Finally, her R, “Final Chapter,” is a channeled ability that launches 7 “waves.” If the player manages to hit a champion with three or more waves, that champion is rooted for 1.75 seconds.
Honestly, she seems like a blast to play.
The rest of the patch includes changes to Master Yi, Riven, and Teemo, along with a nerf to Vayne. It looks like Patch 9.10 also adds some anime-styled skins, including Battle Academia Ezreal, Jayce, Katarina, Lux, and Battle Professor Graves and Yuumi.
In other League news, MSI officially kicked off today with the Play-in Stage and will continue tomorrow. After that, the stage takes a small break to accommodate the Vietnamese national days of mourning for former Prime Minister Le Duc Anh. Play-ins will resume on Sunday.
In Dota 2, Valve has officially announced the dates for The International 9. After the Vici Gaming leak, we already knew the dates, but Valve has still made its announcement, proving the leaks correct. According to the tweet, Valve still hasn’t made tickets available for sale.
The International 2019 will be taking place on August 20th through the 25th. We are still finalizing details that are required before tickets can go on sale, but we expect to be able to do that in a couple of weeks.
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) April 25, 2019
In Overwatch news, the Dallas Homestand took place last weekend. You can read our deep dive on the fan experience here, but let us just tell you it was everything it could have been. There were a few hiccups, including a power loss at the venue and the live stream suffering from lag, but otherwise, the event went off without a hitch. The Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws faced off in the Battle for Texas, which saw the Fuel take home their first win against the Outlaws ever in their hometown. The Outlaws now lead the series all time 3-1.
In other news, Blizzard has finally addressed the Grandmaster matchmaking stacking that has been plaguing the upper ranks for a while now. Starting with Season 16, “Grandmaster players (… SR>4000) will no longer be able to queue for competitive matches in a party size larger than two.”
blizzard has reduced overwatch grandmaster play to only solos/duos. This is a great step forward for the future of competitive overwatch.
sources tell me that this is the first of several bigger changes to overwatch, many of which I have talked about. It's about time. pic.twitter.com/tZ5q18XrUX
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) April 30, 2019
Games like League of Legends already have a system like this in place, and Blizzard foresees the change helping to reduce matchmaking times and make matches fairer.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive
Counterstrike got a patch yesterday that was mainly focused on CS: GO’s battle royale mode, Danger Zone. The update features a new map, Sirocco, and adds several features to the mode, including different skin for teammates, a ping system, the ability to pinpoint weapon crate locations, and the choice to modify a starting loadout.
The patch also added an item called “Exojump,” similar to Baptiste’s crouch-jump in Overwatch. Valve also showcased a new item, the Bump Mine, that is basically a direct ripoff of Octane’s ultimate in Apex Legends. The mines have the ability to launch the player (or an enemy) in whatever direction they’re moving when they trigger it.
In competitive Counterstrike news, the Group Stage at IEM Sydney is well underway. NRG and Mousesports knocked out FaZe Clan and the home team Renegades, respectively, while MIBR took a win against Fnatic and BIG eliminated MVP PK.
IEM Sydney continues throughout the weekend, meaning there’s tons of Counterstrike left to watch. With the Dallas Homestand last weekend and IEM Sydney this week, we’ve been spoiled as esports fans.
Heads up, Fortnite players! You only have a few more days to merge accounts from two separate platforms into one mega-I’ve-got-all-the-skins-loser account! Starting May 6th, Epic will suspend account merges permanently.
The Account Merge feature will be coming to an end on May 6, 2019. Be sure to submit a merge request prior to that date for any eligible accounts.
Note: Any "In Progress" Account Merge requests will be completed as long as they're submitted prior to May 6 https://t.co/PkxLcl5WnR
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) May 1, 2019
We’re nice people here, so if you need to merge an account, just go ahead and click here and fill out the form. Easy-peasy.
It looks like Epic has revealed another vaulted weapon that players can choose to bring back to Fortnite! The Tactical SMG is now showing on a Loot Lake monitor, making it the fourth vaulted item or weapon to appear on the screens, joining the Bouncer, Drum Gun, and the X-4 Stormwing.
Many players believe that, when all of the items on the monitors are revealed, they’ll have the option to vote for the one they want to return. This, of course, is all speculation and hasn’t been confirmed by Epic.
That said, I vote for the plane.
Apex Legends got a sneak peek at what may be coming to their Battle Royale this weekend in a Reddit update by Respawn. The developer provided an update on the slo-mo servers, basically saying that, at this point, they have no idea what the root cause is. They know that its due to a certain server handling too much traffic, but they don’t have a fix as of yet.
The post also promised an update to the cheating problem sometime next week, and also teased a look at Season 2 at the EA PLAY event in early June.
That’s all for the ESTNN Weekly Brief for Wednesday, May 1st! Make sure to head on over to ESTNN.com to catch up on all of the latest news and check back here next week for another edition of The Brief!
League of Legends Image VIA: Riot Games
CS: GO Image VIA: Intel Extreme Masters