Welcome to the ESTNN Weekly Brief! Here’s your rundown of all the esports news for the past week on April 17th, where we've got League Spring Finals results, AI beating pro Dota 2 players, and a pet-friendly surprise in Fortnite. Let's hop right in.
Esports News Recap Video
League of Legends
First off in League of Legends news, we’ve got our Spring Split Champions for both the LEC and LCS leagues! Across the pond, G2 esports absolutely dominated Origen in the Finals of the Spring Split 3-0. G2 looked absolutely amazing, even on off meta picks. It wasn’t as hard of a stomping as the final score suggests, though. Origen played well, especially in a Game 1 that could have gone either way.
In the LCS Finals, Team Liquid managed to take down TSM in a five-game reverse sweep, giving the advantage in the trophy count department in the Doublelift-Bjergesen rivalry to the Team Liquid botlaner. After going down 0-2 to TSM, Team Liquid clawed their way back into the series and won three games in a row to take the Spring Split trophy. Team Liquid has now won three Split Finals in a row.
In patch news, it looks like ARAM is returning to the Howling Abyss map as Butcher’s Bridge is shown the door. Additionally, Riot is removing the experimental ban feature in ARAM. Riot cited player feedback and internal discussions as the reason for the removal. The patch is also full of champion changes and tweaks, so be on the lookout for our patch roundup when the update drops.
Weird things are happening in Dota 2, and this week’s news might be the weirdest of all. Two days ago, OpenAI’s Dota 2 AI defeated TI 2018 champions OG in a best-of-three match. The creators of the AI have opened up registration to actually compete against their machine creation.
Also this week, iG.Vitality player Su “super” Peng accused teams of cheating during their second-place run at the China Future Cup. Peng took to social media to elaborate, saying that several teams avoided ganks that should have been successful and had early games that implied they had more information about iG.Vitality positions then they should have had. As of now, none of the teams that Peng accused have issued statements.
Free to play alert! In honor of its most recent event, Storm Rising, Overwatch is going free to play for a limited time. From now until April 23rd, players can jump into Overwatch free of charge and see what all the ultimate-slinging, shield-breaking hype is about.
Speaking of Storm Rising, Overwatch’s most recent PvE-Archives event went live yesterday. The limited-time event features classic Overwatch characters Winston, Mercy, Tracer, and Genji as they fight through the streets and warehouses of Havana in pursuit of an Omnic fixer named Maximillien. It’s a pretty good time, but as our resident Overwatch writer Charlotte August points out, Storm Rising is a little short. Either way, the event comes with over 150 new cosmetics, so jump in and get those loot boxes before the event goes away forever.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive
Blast Pro Series Miami wrapped up this weekend in the Counterstrike: Global Offensive tournament cycle, ending with an unexpected FaZe Clan win. FaZe rolled over Team Liquid in the Grand Final 2-0, showing that when all of their star players are on at the same time, they’re incredibly hard to beat. FaZe was helped by Team Liquid rifler Russell “Twistzz” Van Dulken, who posted his lowest rating in the series since July 2018. Interestingly, Astralis, the number one ranked team in the world, uncharacteristically dropped all of their matches on the second day of the tournament. The losses spawned a ton of “iS tHiS tHe EnD oF aStRaLiS” memes from people tired of seeing the Danes winning, but let me tell you this. No. They’ll win the next one.
Not much else going on in the scene currently but remember that as we move closer to the summer, we move closer and closer to the next Counterstrike: Global Offensive Major in Berlin. Where we get to see Vertigo. Maybe. Probably not, honestly, but a man can hope. While most teams will probably instantly ban it, we’re likely too see the map come up as a pocket pick in the qualifiers. Only time will tell.
Continuing the weekly “what is Fortnite adding this patch” trend, Epic games has announced that Air Royale will return to the battle royale as a limited time event. The event features the oh-so-powerful planes, but this time there’s a twist: if a player touches the ground in the Air Royale, they die.
In “features that no one asked for” news, Epic is also adding the ability for players to pet the many cuddly animals they’ve added to the game since Fortnite’s Season 6 Update last September.
New: Following an update, you can now pet the dog in Fortnite pic.twitter.com/U1nkfHIHSr
— Can You Pet the Dog? (@CanYouPetTheDog) April 17, 2019
I’m not sure what this adds to the insanely popular battle royale, but it adds something! I think.
We’ve got a patch update for Apex Legends. Unfortunately, Patch 1.1.1. doesn’t fix any of the hit registration issues or the slow-mo servers, it does give some of the game’s most underutilized characters some buffs!
Respawn added a new passive, called Fortified to Caustic and Gibraltar, giving these characters a 10% damage reduction from incoming damage to compensate for their larger than average hitboxes. Additionally, Respawn buffed Gibraltar’s gun shield health and Caustic’s ultimate received increased range. Additionally, Caustic's gas now does higher damage per tick. Will this buff mean that players will see more of these characters in the coming weeks? We don’t know, but Caustic’s gas is super scary now.
In other patch news, the Wingman and Spitfire got a magazine size nerf across the base guns and their extended magazines. Sniper Rifles and DMR’s got a buff, however, increasing leg shot damage and lowering recoil to help players hit long-range shots. You can read all about it in our patch breakdown here.
That’s all for the ESTNN Weekly Brief for Wednesday, April 17th! Make sure to head on over to ESTNN to catch up on all of the latest news and check back here next week for another Episode of The Brief!
Images VIA: Riot Games, WESG, Blast Pro Series & RFRSH Entertainment, and Respawn Entertainment