| Author Nick Johnson
Esports Weekly News Brief: April 3 – April 10, 2019
Welcome to the ESTNN Weekly Brief! Here’s your rundown of all the esports news for the past week on April 10th. This week, we've got pros quitting the Overwatch League, a shiny, new LCK trophy, and a whole host of roster moves across esports. Let's dive right in!
Weekly Esports News Recap Video
League of Legends
In League news this week, Riot Games has unveiled a brand-spanking new LCK trophy. Riot will award the trophy this weekend to the winner of the matchup between SK Telecom T1 and Griffin in the LCK Finals. I mean, look at this thing – it’s beautiful. I just want someone to finally drink champagne out of one of these like they do in that one sport where they race cars around a track.
In playoff news, the LEC is all set for the Spring Split final which will see Fnatic, fresh off a win against Origen, face off against G2 Esports.
Over on the American side of the pond in the LCS, Team Liquid will face off against TSM. Who will take home the trophy? My money’s on Team Liquid, but TSM has handled TL in the past, so it’s going to be a great matchup for fans of NA League of Legends regardless.
In patch territory, Riot blasted Morgana with some nerfs on the most recent iteration of the PBE. After buffing her in 9.5, Riot has nerfed the AP ratios on both her Dark Binding (90% to 75%) and her Black Shield (70% to 40%). These changes seem to push Morgana into pure support territory, but we’ll have to see if these changes make it to the next public patch.
TSM Cloud9. I had a whole mess of TSM jokes prepared for this article. Look at him – Licorice knows what C9 did to me. #BlameJarvanIV2019
There are some tournament troubles over in Dota 2, where ESL One Mumbai has seen several different teams drop out of contention to focus on instead on a tournament that award DPC. A total of five teams have withdrawn from Mumbai, including Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Gambit, Chaos EC and J.storm. ESL One Mumbai ends only a day before the start of OGA Dota Pit 2019, forcing the aforementioned teams to withdraw in favor of practicing for Dota Pit.
There’s also some roster news to go over, starting with Natus Vincere. Na’Vi has announced they will play with a stand-in at both ESL One Mumbai and the Birmingham Invitational. The CIS team has replaced SoNNeikO with Misha, only saying that “certain issues” necessitated the switch. Quite vague, but my Russian isn't what it used to be. Na'Vi have looked rough the past couple of months, and this certainly won't allay and of it's fans worries.
Team Aster has lost two of its players, namely Chai “Mushi” Ye and Fu “Q” Bin. They haven’t been benched, but instead decided to leave on their own accord. Peng “88” Jin & Weiwei “Amazons” Liu will take their place, according to Team Aster.
Overwatch’s next PvE Archives event, Storm Rising, is coming out next week. According to Blizzard, Storm Rising takes place six years before the present day in Overwatch lore and will run from April 16th to May 6th. The event is sure to come with some great new skins and cosmetics, rumored to number over 150, in addition to new PvE activities. The roster for the event is likely to be Tracer, Mercy, Genji, and Winston, at least according to a teased audio file posted on the official Overwatch Twitter.
In other news, the burnout from Overwatch League is apparently quite real, at least for the players that suit up for it every week. In the past fourteen days, four individual players have retired from the Overwatch League. If the OWL was five years old, this may not come as much of a surprise. That said, players have only played one full season of the Overwatch League, so this is definitely a cause for some concern. Kotaku reports that “Dohyung “Stellar” Lee, Dallas Fuel star DPS Hyeon “Effect” Hwang, and Dallas Fuel tank-player-turned-assistant-coach Christian “Cocco” Jonsson” have all left their respective teams. The report suggests that burnout associated with the length of the season and the vast number of games played in the League are to blame.
In unrelated Overwatch League news, fans have gotten to see some awesome DPS compositions come back to the League in the opening weekend of Stage 2! It’s not really news, but I’ll take any excuse to be happy that I can watch DPS players again and no longer have to tweet such gems such as this ever again:
JEFF KAPLAN PLEASE
— Nick Johnson (@Lesona_) February 15, 2019
Counterstrike: Global Offensive
There’s been a flurry of Counterstrike news this week, mostly dealing with rosters. Let’s recap them quick.
Dennis has returned to NiP after his brief R&R, sending Draken back to free agency. Draken played both StarSeries Season 7 and Blast Pro Series Sao Paulo with NiP.
Renegades have added Owen “smooya” Butterfield to the roster to replace Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai for the time being as the Australian AWPer works out some Visa issues. Smooya will play with Renegades to start ESL Pro League Season 9, which kicks off on April 12th.
Team LDLC came back with a vengeance this week, shutting down rumors that the French CS stalwart was done for good with the Counterstrike scene. A mere week after releasing its roster, LDLC announced an new five-man unit, including newcomers Engin “MAJ3R” Küpeli and Rodolphe “roden” Bianco. Three other members have all been on LDLC at one time or another; Alexandre “xms” Forté, Christophe “SIXER” Xia, and Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer round out the group.
In tournament news, Blast Pro Series Miami starts this weekend, Friday, April 12th, and features a whole host of top teams. Astralis, Team Liquid, Na’Vi, FaZe Clan, Cloud9, and MiBR will all face off against one another in a series of Best of one’s in order to reach the Grand Final. The Blast Pro Series features a Single round-robin format, making it easy for fans to get a quick fix of competitive Counterstrike.
In Fortnite news, Epic is giving Fortnite players a new bomb in the upcoming patch for the massively successful battle royale game. Called the “Shadow Bomb,” the new explosive was datamined, like they always are. Look for it to arrive in the next update.
Plus, you can’t have bombs without planes! Fortnite is bringing back aircraft for a special, limited-time game mode.
Finally, Epic removed a particular fan-made creation from The Block this past week after some players remarked that the scene was a bit too grisly for the cartoonish battle royale.
That’s all for the ESTNN Weekly Brief for Wednesday, April 10th! 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!
League of Legends Photos VIA: Tina Jo/Riot Games
Dota 2 Image VIA: ESL
Overwatch Image VIA: Blizzard Entertainment
CS:GO Image VIA: Blast Pro Series