Guild Wars 2: Major League Gaming Invitational Tournament

Not to have their international competitions end at PAX Prime 2013, GW2 is now part of MLG and the next tournament begins today.


MLG Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament on September 27

Our friends at Major League Gaming are hosting an invitational tournament on September 27, 2013 at 2:00pm PDT. Eight of the top Guild Wars 2 teams will be battling for prizes and fame! For complete details, head over to the MLG tournament page today!

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PAX Prime 2013 Hosts $1+ Million eSports Prizes (GameSpot.com)

Though these prize amounts don’t begin to rival DOTA 2’s nearly $3 million in total cash awards, if Major League Gaming has it’s way, they soon will. Several games, including Guild Wars 2’s PVP tournament, will find either their national or international championship bouts fought at PAX Prime this year. At first glance, it seems PAX is ready to see over $1 million dished out to deserving teams.

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Halo 4, League of Legends Championships lead eSports at PAX

$300,000 on the line for Halo’s first-ever Global Championship, with $200,000 going to the winners.

The Halo 4 Global Championships, League of Legends Season 3 North American Playoffs, World of Tanks International World Finals, MLG Call of Duty Invitational, and Smite North American Invitational will all be held at PAX Prime this weekend.

Several former Major League Gaming Halo champions are competing, including Michael “StrongSide” Cavanaugh, Eric “Snip3down” Wrona, and Faisal “Goofy” Khan. A schedule and live stream information can be found on the official official 343 site. An interview with Frank O’Connor, Development Director for the Halo franchise at 343 Industries will be available this weekend.$300,000 is on the line for Halo’s first-ever Global Championship, with $200,000 going to the winners. The tournament will be held at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, the same location Valve used for the Dota 2 International Championships.

Last week at Gamescom, three European teams–Fnatic, Lemondogs, and Gambit Gaming–qualified for the League of Legends World Championships in October.

Now another $100,000 is on the line and four spots for the North American teams to the World Championships. With North America’s win over Europe at the All-Star game, the region gets an additional spot at the Finals.

Teams Cloud 9 and Vulcun wait in the wings, as fan-favorites Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, Curse, and Dignitas battle it out in the opening rounds. A schedule and live stream information can be found on the official Riot eSports site.

Major League Gaming and Turtle Beach are hosting an 8-team $10,000 Call of Duty Invitational featuring Anaheim Champions Complexity, EnvyUs, Impact, Unite, Kaliber, Soar, Faze, and Bad History.

Teams were invited based on their 2013 Call of Duty Championship and MLG Pro Circuit performances and the MLG Pro Points Rankings. The broadcast schedule can be found onMLG’s site, and the stream can be watched on MLG TV.

The world finals of the World of Tanks Open tournament will be on display, with $100,000 up for grabs for the best teams from North America, Russia, Europe, China, South East Asia, and South America. Twitch.tv will be broadcasting the tournament on Sunday, September 1 at Showbox SoDo in Seattle.

Upcoming eSports Competitions For 2013 (DigitalTrends.com)

I’m not sure this is “all” the upcoming trends, given the author didn’t include the ArenaNet Guild Wars 2 $10K Invitational, the finals of which will play out at PAX Prime, but it is a rather astounding list if you weren’t closely tracking the eSports industry.

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Gamers compete at the recent MLG championships

It’s not easy keeping up with the competitive world of eSports. There are several tournaments held throughout the year, and many of them are unique to one game. More are introduced as the demand requires, and others are simply parts of bigger events.

To help remedy that Digital Trends has compiled this list of all the major eSports events remaining this year and into the beginning of next, from League of Legends to World of Tanks to Call of Duty: Black Ops II and more. It’s by no means comprehensive, but it’s close. If there’s anything important missing make sure to say so in the comments, and it will be added.

MLG PCs

League of Legends

Hot6 League of Legends Champions Summer 2013 Grand Finals

  • South Korea Aug 28 – 31
  • League of Legends

Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series Season 3 World Championship

  • TBA
  • League of Legends

Garena Premier League 2013 Playoffs

  • TBA
  • League of Legends

StarCraft II

Dreamhack Open Valencia ’13

  • Valencia, Spain July 18 – 21
  • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Major League Gaming Summer Invite

  • New York July 20 – 28
  • StarCraft II

MLG watching

Red Bull Training Grounds Orlando

  • Orlando, FL July 26 – 28
  • StarCraft II

ASUS Republic of Gamers Assembly Summer 2013

  • Helsinki, Finland Aug. 1 – 3
  • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

North American Star League StarCraft II World Championship Series America Season 2 League Finals

  • Santa Monica, CA Aug. 10 – 11
  • StarCraft II

Dreamhack Open Bucharest ’13

  • Bucharest, Romania Sept. 14 – 15
  • Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Dreamhack Open Winter ’13

  • Jönköping, Sweden Nov. 28 – 30
  • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

MLG Announcers

League of Legends and Starcraft

Electronic Sports League Intel Extreme Masters Season 8 New York Comic-Con

  • New York Oct. 10 – 13
  • League of Legends, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Electronic Sports League Intel Extreme Masters Season 8 Singapore

  • Singapore November
  • League of Legends, StaCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Electronic Sports League Intel Extreme Masters Season 8 Sao Paulo

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil Feb. 2014
  • League of Legends, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Electronic Sports League Intel Extreme Masters Season 8 World Finals

  • Katowice, Poland March 14 – 16 2014
  • League of Legends, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

World of Tanks

Wargaming.net League North America Season 1 Finals

MLG crowd

  • Las Vegas August 17 – 18
  • World of Tanks

Wargaming.net 2013 TanksAsia Season 1 Finals

  • Sept. 7
  • World of Tanks

DOTA 2

Valve’s The International 3 Finals

  • Seattle Aug. 7 – 11
  • DOTA 2

Multiple Games

 UMG Atlanta / Arena Gaming League 9

  • Atlanta, GA Aug. 9 – 11
  • Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

MLG Audience

European Gaming League EGL 10

  • Sheffield, England Aug. 10 – 11
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, FIFA 13, Halo 4

Electronic Sports World Cup

  • Paris Oct. 30 – Nov. 3
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, DOTA 2, Shootmania, Trackmania 2 Stadium, FIFA 14

Major League Gaming 2013 Championship

  • Columbus, Ohio Nov. 22 – 24
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, StarCraft II, League of Legends

World Cyber Games 2013 Grand Final

  • Kunshan, China Nov. 28 – Dec. 1
  • Cross Fire, FIFA 14, League of Legends, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, World of Tanks

Guild Wars 2: Invitational Tournament!

After several years of major Guild Wars PVP competitions, Guild Wars 2 has tossed its hat into the ring. This is a 64-team tournament that will include up to 320 players representing both Europe and North America. The 5-man teams will compete in best 2 out of 3, single elimination matches. The final match will be played during this year’s PAX Prime on August 31st in Seattle, WA! The winning team receives $10,000 in cash!

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Announcing the Guild Wars 2 Invitational and Regional Qualifying Tournaments

We’re proud to announce the very first Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament on August 31, 2013 at PAX Prime!  We’re teaming up with our partner MMORPG.com to host an exciting PvP tournament where the top North American and European teams will face off in a best-three-games-out-of-five match with a cash prize pool of $10,000 on the line.

To determine which teams from each territory will qualify for the Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament, teams of five players from Europe and North America will compete in regional qualifying tournaments hosted by MMORPG.com and Mist League.

The European regional tournament will be on July 27-28 and the North American regional will take place on August 3-4.

Both regional qualifying tournaments will have a maximum of 32 teams. The format will be five vs. five single elimination matches, and the winners of each match will be determined by the victors of two out of three games. After the qualifying tournaments are complete, the winning teams will be hosted on August 31, 2013 during PAX Prime for a competition between the two best Guild Wars 2 teams.

We’re very excited to be working with both MMORPG.com and the Mist League on this tournament, and we can’t wait to see the incredible competition at the regional qualifying tournaments and to host the Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament during PAX Prime 2013.

Registration will open next week, for players that live in Canada, United States of America, Mexico, and European Union countries and are 18 years of age or older, so solidify your team and watch GuildWars2.com for more information about registration, rules, and eligibility requirements.

Original GW2 Article

OUYA? The Little Console That Could – Maybe

If you’re like me, you’d never heard of OUYA until last week when the cops were called to the convention to settle a dispute over the legality of OUYA showing up outside of the convention hall and offering their own booths. The publicity did nothing but excite folks about OUYA and give it a ton more press than it would have otherwise received. Go competition!

So, what is OUYA and why all the fuss?

Hands-on with the Ouya destined for store shelves

Eurogamer.net offers an extensive review of the OUYA. Below are a few excerpts of their review.

Kickstarted to the tune of $8.5 million, the Ouya console is one of crowdfunding’s high-profile success stories. Depending on who you listen to, it’s also the system to pull the rug from beneath Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo and forever shake up the video game industry as we know it. It liberates players, empowers developers and creates a brave new world for interactive entertainment – or so we’re told, at least. The hyperbole that has been written about Ouya would make the most seasoned spin doctor blush, but before you allow yourself to become too swept up in the hype, it’s worth remembering that when all is said and done, Ouya is just Android in a set-top box – and we’ve already spoken about how potentially disappointing that particular reality could be.

In purely physical terms, Ouya is small. The first thing likely to strike you when you open the packaging and remove the touching “Thank You” note inserted by the team behind the console is just how diminutive the system is. Compared to traditional gaming hardware, it’s absolutely tiny, although at 300 grams it has a heft which makes it feel solid and expensive. Béhar’s design is destined to divide opinion: the minimalist appearance ensures it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb when placed next to your Blu-ray player and surround system, but a little more pizazz wouldn’t have gone amiss. Still, there’s a subtle, almost understated beauty to the machine, thanks to its glossy black top and sand-blasted aluminium casing. Around the back, you’ll find an array of ports and outputs. HDMI, USB, Micro USB, Ethernet and power cables all dock here.

Essentially an Android device without a screen, Ouya is based around Nvidia’s ageing Tegra 3 chipset, featuring a 1.7GHz quad-core CPU and GeForce graphics processor, encased in a small, fan-cooled cube-like package. Retailing for just £99/$99, it’s cheaper than your average entry-level Android handset, but lacks the same app and game support offered by other Android devices.

The controller is powered by two AA batteries, fitted behind metal panels which clip onto the main body of the pad via a set of magnets. The interface arrangement mimics that of the Xbox 360 controller, with the left-hand analogue stick raised slightly higher than the right-hand one in order to accommodate an eight-way digital pad. The face buttons adopt the now-standard diamond layout, and across the top there are four shoulder buttons – none of which offer analogue control, which could limit the machine’s suitability for hardcore racing simulators and FPS titles. The middle of the controller has a small capacitive touchpad which acts as a mouse pointer and can be used to negotiate certain menus, but it’s awkward to use and rarely provides the degree of accuracy you desire. Finally, there’s the Ouya button, which can be held down to jump back to the main menu from any point. It’s worth noting that by default, the Ouya is designed to run one application at a time – exiting back to the main menu will terminate the current game, so saving your progress is vital.

The Ouya pad’s design certainly isn’t unappealing, and it’s comfortable to use. There are some minor niggles to contend with, however. The “O” button sticks slightly when pressed down hard, and while the analogue stick dead zone issues are mostly resolved, the sticks themselves are still rather heavy to use, making precise aiming rather a chore.

Because it’s an Android device, adding peripherals to Ouya is blissfully easy. Bluetooth keyboards and mice can be paired with little fuss, making it much easier to input text and navigate menus. Additional Bluetooth gamepads can also be linked to the system, such as the official OnLive pad. OnLive is partnering with Ouya for the official launch, and while the unit we reviewed didn’t have the app pre-installed (it’s also absent from the Ouya store), we were able to sideload it onto the system and jump into a game of Batman: Arkham Asylum with the minimum of effort. By adding a USB hub, keyboard and mouse functionality is easily added and it’s here that Ouya surprises as a pretty neat little browsing device – a world away from the world of hardship, endurance and woe encountered when using the Raspberry Pi.

The console’s online store offers a selection of games, all of which are free to download and play, thanks to the manufacturer’s stipulation that all Ouya content offers gratis demos or free-to-play elements. For example, endless-runner Canabalt HD has a credit system which is renewed each day, with additional credits awarded for reaching 5000 metres in-game. Paying cash for the full version removes this limitation, as well as offering other bonuses, such as a different soundtrack and “classic” 2D visuals. It’s a mechanic which means you can jump straight into the action and decide for yourself if a game is worthy of your cash, but there are issues here, too. There’s no indication on the store listing page of how much each game costs – you only become notified at the point of purchase within the game itself. This is partly down to the fact that many of the games don’t expect you to shell out for the full version once you’ve sampled the demo, because you’re already playing the full version, and are expected to throw money at in-app purchases which grant more credit, items or time.

So, generally good stuff. Unfortunately, while the OUYA offers an extremely accessible entry fee of $99 and has solid Kidstarter funding and some positive press, I believe there are two major issues ahead for the OUYA.

First, it’s already got less than half the processing power of smartphones launched earlier this year. Phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One have a ton more processing power than the OUYA. A 1GHz processor is so…2011. A console has to launch with enough power to play the latest games and give developers reason to continue launching games on your platform. I think the OUYA is already struggling in this regard.

Second, consoles need incredible games to convince players they “need it”. While OUYA boasts support for 150 games (it dinged up from 149 earlier today), are any of those games individually reason enough to buy an OUYA? Here’s the official list of games supported by OUYA. However, given it’s an Android OS, that does mean OUYA can run regular smartphone apps, streaming, etc.

All that 1080p goodness isn’t just for gaming. OUYA brings all your favorite apps to the big screen, streaming shows, movies, and music directly into the living room. We’ve already partnered with Twitch.tv, Crunchyroll, iheartradio, TuneIn, XBMC, Plex and Flixster and are adding more to our list daily.

Unfortunately, without a HALO or Mario or The Last Of Us or real support from the major gaming studios, I don’t have a ton of confidence in the OUYA’s success. According to OUYAGamingSource.com, the best games at launch will be The Ball, Saturday Morning RPG, and Polarity, none of which really excite me. Just one of the blockbuster titles or franchises could mean a world of difference for OUYA.

That said, it’s not really all doom and gloom. Engadget’s hands-on last week left them with this:

Our latest experience with the Android-based gaming device has us feeling optimistic. While there’s certainly work left to be done, not the least of which is convincing consumers this is the console they need, it’s obvious that the company is taking customer feedback seriously. And that’s not something most companies can brag about.

What do you think? Are you looking to drop $99 just to investigate the hype? Is the low cost of entry something that makes OUYA more appealing? I’ve always been a fan of competition and usually root for the underdog. I think the concept is great, but to get me to drop off my PC gaming, I need more incentive. I’m definitely interested in how OUYA’s launch goes on June 25th. You can pre-order yours here.

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