Newbee is a powerhouse when it comes to Chinese esports, especially Dota 2. The organisation already has a youth feeder team to pull from and was looking exceptional after taking second at Malaysia's ESL One Genting 2017 just over a week ago. But it's the most recent team to form under the Newbee banner, Newbee Boss, that has everyone talking.
China has been building ghost cities, constructing man-made islands in the Pacific, and more recently diving head-first into the world of competitive gaming. When it comes to esports, the World Electronic Sports Games are entirely next level thanks to gigantic prize pools, unusual rules, and inconsistent live streams.
In the waning hours of the Awesome Games Done Quick charity marathon, player grandpoobear raced through Super Dram World, a game designed to torture speedrunners.
The Counter-Strike players for the esports organisation Team SoloMid have all left following a dispute with owners over which leagues they could play in. Instead, the squad have all joined with Misfits, an organisation that just this week announced its new partnership with the Miami Heat.
Cooperation Cup, a long-running Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament, returned to Japan this past weekend. Now in its 15th year, the event again provided the world with some of the best 3rd Strike competition around. This time, Alex player Genki's winning performance was more than just a personal victory: It was a landmark for the Street Fighter community as a whole.
During the holidays, a hashtag titled #310さんおめでとうコンボ started proliferating among fighting game fans. The tweet identifier, which roughly translates to "310 congratulations combo," celebrates the wedding of Hikaru "310" Sato, a Japanese competitor known for his play in Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-. The challenge: perform a combo dealing exactly 310 damage on Sato's preferred character, the pool ball-slinging Venom. The hashtag has become a phenomenon that now spans multiple games.
Earlier this year, a new esports league, The Professional eSports Association (PEA), burst onto the scene. It was unique in that it was owned by bigtime esports teams, rather than a third party. Immediately there were worries of impropriety. Now, in the wake of a recent controversy, the PEA has suspended its Counter-Strike league.
In 2016, esports experienced even more highs and lows than the previous year. That's what it means to be growing. But while the industry surrounding competitive gaming continues to expand on the backs of enthusiastic investors and hype-men, it's important not to forget why anyone actually watches it in the first place: the people playing are really damn good.