Overwatch and League of Legends are running neck and neck in the rankings for the most played game at South Korea’s internet cafes.
Last week, Overwatch starting making a move to overtake League of Legends, the reigning PC bang (net cafe) king. As tipster Sang points out, Overwatch edged out LoL late last week by a mere 0.19 percent for the most played game according to respected tracking site GameMetrics.
But look at GameMetrics today, and you’ll see League of Legends takes first place with 29.08 percent, while Overwatch comes in at second place with 28.36 percent. To give you an idea of how big these games are at Korean net cafes, third place is Sudden Attack at 8.89 percent, fourth place is FIFA Online 3 at 5.48 percent, and fifth place is Lineage at 2.99 percent. (Don’t worry, Starcraft is at number six, while Diablo 3 is at number 9!)
As of today, MultiClick, a rival tracking site, has Overwatch at first place at 30.84 percent, while League of Legends is at 29.74 percent. These are razor thin margins, and the real test will be whether or not the Overwatch can win the weekly crown.
According to GameMetrics, League of Legends hasn’t yet been knocked from the weekly top spot. It has been the most played game for 204 weeks straight at Korean net cafes. If any game is going to surpass LoL, it could be Overwatch.
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A 23 year-old Australian man has avoided a prison term over his role in a series of hacks targeting League of Legends and its player database.
The ABC reports that Shane Stephen Duffy, while found not to have been directly involved in the original 2011 hacks themselves (which contradicts earlier claims that he had been), has been found guilty of a range of offences related to them, including:
Operating a business which sold the account details of hacked players (he made 194 transactions which earned him AUD$32,000).
Hacking the Twitter account of Marc Merrill, president of League’s developer Riot Games.
Sending “threatening emails” to Riot Games.
While an Australian court found him guilty and sentenced him to two-and-a-half-years in prison (with a further 18-month suspended sentence), he was immediately allowed out on parole.
Duffy has been diagnosed with autism, and had been been home schooled since the fourth grade (his mother was “fearful of having him medicated”). Because of this, his defence lawyer argued “he was unable to comprehend the consequences of his actions”, and that “he is an offender who has less moral culpability.”
Riot Games last Friday filed a lawsuit against LeagueSharp, a cheating software for League of Legends that automates gameplay, locates enemies and boosts accuracy, allowing players to gain experience at an inhuman rate. In the lawsuit, filed in California, Riot alleges that its 67 million LoL players per month are disadvantaged by LeagueSharp, an “enormous threat” that they say has drawn tens of thousands of players.
LeagueSharp “injects assemblies,” or scripts, into LoL for a $15 subscription fee. For $50 a month, LeagueSharp’s botting service quickly levels League of Legends players’ characters. The lawsuit also accuses LeagueSharp of attacking Riot’s servers, teaching LoL players how to cheat without being caught and advising them how to fraudulently dispute transactions in-game.
Riot attempted to negotiate out-of-court, but says that LeagueSharp representatives were unresponsive. They are suing for copyright infringement, which Riot believes was necessary for “reverse-engineering” League of Legends and creating the cheat software. Large sums of money have been spent adjusting League of Legends and policing the community to ensure players aren’t using hacks like LeagueSharp.
Four defendants are named in the lawsuit. Three are Germany-based LeagueSharp affiliates. One is a Peruvian company that reportedly owns the LeagueSharp software copyright, leading Riot to believe that it is a “shell corporation created solely for the purpose of evading liability.”
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the lawsuit is Riot’s allegation that LeagueSharp affiliates “disseminated personal and non-public information about a Riot employee, threatened that employee, and posted offensive comments on the employee’s social media.”
Neither Riot nor LeagueSharp representatives returned requests for comment by press time. We will update with new information.
League of Legends earned publisher Riot Games $1.6 billion in revenue last year, but a public debate between community leaders is shedding light on how the game’s competitive players are financially vulnerable. Arguing over who deserves blame, Riot Games’ co-founder and a prominent League of Legends team owner are duking it out on public forums this week.
In an interview about a LoL patch considered disruptive to the competitive scene, Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh briefly touched on Riot’s pay structure for the League of Legends Championship Series. While LCS players receive a salary of at least $12,500 from Riot, the job isn’t year-round and prize pools aren’t guaranteed. “I would like to see higher prizing and more infrastructure for the players,” Dinh told the interviewer. “A huge issue is the revenue opportunities for the teams.” LoL’s volatility as a game, due to its sudden and unpopular patches, makes its competitive scene challenging for team owners like him invest in, he added. Dinh then changed the subject, hesitant to discuss it at all.
Riot’s co-founder Marc Merrill, however, heard him loud and clear. On Monday, he fired back with a Reddit post accusing Dinh of, essentially, perpetuating a system in which LoL team owners unfairly compensate players: “Love me some Regi, but if he’s so concerned about the financial health of his players, maybe he should spend some more of the millions he has made / makes from League of Legends on paying them instead of investing in other esports where he is losing money.” Merrill continued, noting that it is not Riot’s obligation to “determine market pricing for players.” His post is now edited to reflect that Riot has always been concerned about player compensation, a point that Dinh apparently contests.
The question of whether Riot or LoL team owners bear the burden of adequately compensating professional players is at the heart of Merrill’s and Dinh’s public debate. As competitive LoL players are being asked to participate in more matches, with unpredictable opportunities for sponsorship support and increasing housing costs, they are having trouble making ends meet, Dinh says.
On Twitter, Dinh responded with a level-headed takedown of Merrill’s Reddit post. Team SoloMid, he explained, has spent millions of dollars on League of Legends content, staff and players in support of the LoL Championship Series—more than he’s invested in DoTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, games respectively earning their publishers $221 million and $238 million (7x less than LoL). His reasoning for investing in other esports is that League of Legends’ gameplay volatility casts a shadow on its attractiveness as an investment. Dinh could invest all the money SoloMid makes him back into League of Legends and its players, but diversifying his investments, to him, seems wiser.
As a result, Merrill’s post, Dinh contends, conveys “an out-of-date perspective which doesn’t take into account the current state of the esports ecosystem.” Ouch. He added that Riot provides few opportunities for LoL players and team-owners to generate revenue, referring to the LoL Championship Series’ apparently restrictive approach to sponsor-player relations:
Over time, LCS has become more demanding and restrictive and the dynamics of a mutually beneficial relationship have become more one-sided. LCS told team sponsors, which are a necessary source of revenue, that they can’t even go backstage to watch the players compete. Teams can’t have sponsor branding on beverages or hats. Logitech is one of our greatest and most supportive sponsors and they simply can’t get visibility through us competing in LCS because we can’t wear their headsets while competing. We had to push endlessly to get permission for our staff simply to be able to film backstage.
The question of financial responsibility is an interesting one, as it’s becoming increasingly clear that U.S. esports, projected to grow 43% in revenue since last year, are young and still developing a sustainable infrastructure.
Update—5:45 PM: On Twitter today, Marc Merrill published a new statement in response to Dinh’s. He acknowledges the challenges to esports’ financial sustainability that he and Riot Games are processing. Merrill also expressed respect for Dinh’s role in paving LoL’s future, agreeing with Dinh that “League esports (in its current form) doesn’t provide the long term security and sustainability that we ultimately aspire to for teams and pros.”
“Our 2017 plans include new in-game team-specific items with revenue-sharing for teams and pros,” he explained, “as well as smaller steps like working with teams to sell more jerseys. . . These are just a couple of examples and we’re exploring a lot more major steps, like league sponsorships, franchising, media rights, etc.”
In an unexpected announcement from Frederike Striecker of Insel Games players today learned that the MMORTS/MOBA/RPG hybrid Trinium Wars has reached the end of its journey as the developers announce the upcoming closure. Trinium Wars released under Steam Early access earlier this year and enjoyed several huge content updates but despite its early popularity the activity of the player-base has dwindled to a level that no longer makes the games further development viable.
The news comes in an announcement from Frederike Striecker in which he apologizes to players and also informs them at Deluxe or Collector’s Edition owners will be given a free key of their next game while Starter Edition owners will receive 25% in compensation.
I can confirm, that the decision has been made, that Trinium Wars will be shut down August 31st. The game has already been taken off the Steam store and we have published the announcement on Steam as you may have noticed.
Its a sad day for the developer and the publisher as well, but we feel it was the correct decision. Frederike Striecker, Insel Games
Bethesda is proud to announce the next stage in development for the highly anticipated online strategy card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, as the award-winning developer launches the title into Open Beta. It was last week that Bethesda lifted the lid on the NDA for The Elder Scrolls: Legends but today players can stop reading, stop watching and dive directly into the game.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now available to download and play entirely for free.
Since we lifted the NDA for those in the closed beta, we’ve seen so many fans battling it out in streams and discussing the game in our forums, and we’re very excited about the response it has received. Now everyone has a chance to experience the Elder Scrolls universe in an entirely new way. If you haven’t seen much of the game yet and are wondering why you should jump in, here are just a few of the ways Legends distinguishes itself from other card games to offer a more varied and strategic gameBethesda
The Elder Scrolls: Legends isn’t simply another online card game. Instead the developers have implemented a variety of unique and exciting mechanics that help set it apart from other titles in the genre including dual lanes in which you place cards, unique and individual power-ups for each card and a deep narrated story offering a new insight into The Elder Scrolls universe.
Activision-Blizzard today hosted their Q2 quarterly call with investors as the company reveal hugely impressive numbers put forward by massive levels of success across the board with their top titles such as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and Overwatch. Year-over-year revenue is up to a record $1.14 billion, a 50% increase on last years expected numbers.
Blizzard also announced that they have supported over 33 million monthly active players across their titles in quarter 2 of 2016, up 13% on last years numbers. The success is attributed to a record-breaking quarter for Hearthstone as well as a massive surge in players since the release of Overwatch.
Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history, with MAUsA of 33 million, up 29% quarter-over-quarter and 13% year-over-year. This reflects the successful launch of Overwatch® and strength across the broader portfolio, including Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™, which had record quarterly MAUsA, and World of Warcraft®, which had double-digit MAUA growth quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.Blizzard
Players have spent about 500 million hours playing Blizzard’s Overwatch, with additional content updates ahead.Blizzard
Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft had record total quarterly time spent with the launch of the Whispers of the Old Gods™expansion.Blizzard
Nexon and WeMade Entertainment have some really exciting stuff in the pipeline for Riders of Icarus as today players are treated to the first details on a big new update coming to the game in a few weeks. Expected to launch at the end of this month the new content for Riders of Icarus will include a variety of new features, mostly aimed at encouraging players to get more involved in PvP and offering those already involved more variety and rewards.
The forthcoming update will expand the current PvP continent, inviting players of level 28 and above to dive into the Exarahn Badlands. The new zone will see all explorers within instantly marked for PvP, making every moving player a potential target. This dangerous new area will be filled with tons of new content including quests and of course, brand new mounts for players to encounter and tame including Nightmare and the Profane Apocalypse
Guild members will also be happy to hear that they’ll be getting some love in the update as Rank 3 guilds and above will have the opportunity to band together and participate in huge PvP battles against other players.
For more information check out our Riders of Icarus first impressions video or the official website at the link below.
Psyonix, the independent developer behind smash-hit Rocket League, and leading social video platform Twitch, will be holding the first Rocket League Championship International this weekend as the greatest teams from around the world compete for a share of $55,000.
Fans are invited to login and watch 8 teams competing on the official Twitch.TV Rocket League channel throughout this weekend, with events beginning at 10am PDT on both Saturday and Sunday. The event will be hosted live from the Avalon Hollywood.
The North American teams competing are Exodus, Genesis, iBuyPower Cosmic, and Kings of Urban while the best of Europe is represented by Flipsid3 Tactics, The Flying Dutchmen, Mock-it eSports EU, and Northern Gaming.
Saturday, August 6
10 am – Broadcast Begins
10:15 am – Northern Gaming vs Genesis
11 am – Exodus vs. Mock-it eSports EU
12 pm – Kings of Urban vs. The Flying Dutchmen
1 pm – Flipsid3 Tactics vs. iBuyPower Cosmic
2 pm – Resulting matches begin to play out
7 pm – Show closes
Sunday, August 7
10 am – Broadcast Begins
10:15 am – First Matches
12 pm – Rocket League special world premiere announcement
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