Category: Esports

Dota 2 Betting Picks for Week 4: DPC CN Division I 2023 Analysis

Week four in the China region will decide who will be the final four teams to qualify for the first major of this DPC season, the Lima Major. While the tour has been completed in other regions, the China region took a break in the third week. The winter tour’s final stage, in the CN Division I, will be played the following week.The current standings are as follows: without a single series lost, team Aster is currently sitting in first place with a perfect score of 5-0 and has already secured a spot at the Major. Knights and PSG.LGD are tied for second place, both with 4-1 records. Xtreme Gaming is currently fourth with a score of 3-2.On the other end of the table, we have two teams, Dawn Gaming and Aster.Aries. They haven’t won a single series yet, with a score of 0-5. Both teams have only a slight chance to stay in the top division; after the final week, they will almost certainly be relegated to Division II for the next tour.PSG.LGD vs. Xtreme GamingOne of the most exciting and deciding matches of the DPC week. PSG.LGD and Xtreme Gaming will face each other on January 31. Last year’s statistic for this matchup was 2-2.PSG.LGD made significant roster changes before the start of the season, with Ame taking a break from Dota and Faith_bian retiring, they lost their two biggest stars. PSG.LGD doesn’t look as convincing with two new players as it did with the old, unstoppable roster.While Xtreme Gaming also made some changes, they appear to be much more stable now. They’ve already faced Knights and Team Aster, two of the region’s best teams, and in both series, Xtreme Gaming managed to win a game and force a third map.This series will be extremely close, and we believe it will go the distance, with three maps being played. We think Xtreme Gaming is slightly better right now and will win this series.Prediction: Xtreme Gaming to winKnights vs. EhomeEhome is in an interesting position, currently sitting in 5th place with a score of 2–3. They are still in the race for the last ticket to the Lima Major. However, to force tiebreakers for fourth place, they must win both of their series this DPC week.Ehome will play Knights on February 2nd. This will be their second series in 24 hours. After facing Aster.Aries, Ehome will play against a much stronger opponent, Knights.Knights, on the other hand, have a chance to secure second place in this series. This team is the biggest surprise of this tour, a squad made of mostly unknown players managed to take down giants such as PSG. LGD, Xtreme Gaming, and Invictus Gaming. With the series dropped only against Team Aster, Knights really look like the second-strongest team in the region.We think that Ehome will struggle against their opponents. And the Knights will two-zero Ehome in a convincing way.Prediction: Knights to winRead more about esports.

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5 Expert Tips For Betting on Esports

As esports continues to grow, so does esports betting. It’s one of the most exciting things to bet on, so it’s no wonder that it’s growing increasingly popular. It’s a great way to spice up a game and make it even more thrilling. If you’re really good at it, you might even make a buck doing this. If you want to become a better bettor this year, you should check out these five expert tips for betting on esports.1. Do your researchIt’s really important that you start out doing extensive research. Nobody ever becomes talented at something without knowing anything about it. So, you should start out researching how betting works, how bookmakers set odds, what are the different pros and cons of the various types of bets, etc. Then you obviously also need to know as much as you can about the esports that you want to be betting on. You should read up on the teams, the players, the games, the statistics, and so on. You can start your research by reading much more about betting on esports at 2. Read reviews to find the best online bookmakersWhen you’re ready, you’re going to find yourself a bookmaker. You obviously want the best one on the market. One that has the best odds and is trustworthy. This is why you should spend some time reading reviews before you make your choice. Reviews will give you valuable insights into what to expect from a bookmaker. And as it is, you should actually get yourself more than one bookmaker. It’s always a good idea because it allows you to shop lines. Line shopping helps you to ensure that you always find the best odds and make the most of your money.3. Develop a strategyThen it’s time to develop a solid strategy. All successful bettors have a betting strategy, so of course you need one as well. Figure out which types of games you want to bet on and why. Always plan your strategy based on your own strengths, and analyze every single game before you bet on it. When you’re very specific about your strategy, it will be much easier for you to use your knowledge to place smart bets instead of making hasty decisions. 4. Keep a budgetAny successful bettor has a solid and realistic budget. A budget will make sure that you spend your money in the best way possible. It will also ensure that you don’t end up spending more money than you wanted to. You should never spend more than you can afford to lose. It’s essential to remember that betting should be a fun, leisure activity for most bettors. It should not be a black hole swallowing your money. So, to avoid this, keep a budget.5. Bet liveThe last little expert piece of advice in this round is to explore the possibility of live betting. Live betting is not only fun, but it also allows you to potentially beat the odds and make more of your money. It does require you to be talented at analyzing the games. If your predictions are correct, you might get some good odds on betting before the bookmakers make the same analysis. This could potentially be profitable – and also, live betting is just fun.

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Immortals Announce 2023 LCS Roster

Coming off one of their worst years in organizational history, Immortals (IMT) are looking to rebound in 2023. With a record-breaking—not in a good way—9-28 record this year, Immortals were outperformed by every other team in the LCS, including a Dignitas that went 3-15 in the Summer Split.Although it is unfortunate for the scene as a whole, the reduced interest and decreasing viewership this year has caused a holistic decrease in the purchasing power and player salaries in North American League of Legends.This is beneficial to weaker teams like Dignitas and Immortals as they can “afford” higher tier players for their rosters. This was shown to be true when Dignitas signed Santorin and Jensen from Team Liquid and Cloud9 respectively.Unfortunately, it looks like we might see another year where Immortals bottom out.IMT 2023Despite retaining two of their players, Immortals are tied for the most changes of any organization this year. Alongside FlyQuest, Immortals have made a total of nine changes. Unlike FlyQuest; however, these changes are all signings. FlyQuest, on the other hand, made two positional changes alongside seven signings.On the coaching side of things, IMT are looking to improve their systems significantly. Releasing both Gabriel “Invert” Zoltan-Johan and Tomáš “Nightshare” Kněžínek from the primary coaching positions (both were the Head Coach at some point during the season), IMT have signed on four additional coaches to help guide the struggling team to find success.Starting in 2023, Joshua Alan “Mabrey” Mabrey; Jake Kevin “Xmithie” Puchero; Mervin-Angelo “Dayos” Lachica; and Richard “Draxyr” Yuan will be joining the organization as the Head Coach, Strategic Coach, Systems Coach, and Positional Coach respectively.Alongside these new coaches, IMT has employed the help of James “Tonington” Kandel and Parth “Parth” Naidu as their new General Manager and Consultant. With such heavy emphasis on their systems, it appears Immortals are focusing on developing their players rather than scouting external talents.This is seen in their most recent roster changes as well. Focusing on what works, IMT retained Revenge and Kenvi to rebuild their roster around. To fill their vacancies in the mid, ADC, and support positions are Ablazeolive, Tactical, and Fleshy respectively.Will Immortals Be a Contender in 2023?Looking at the rest of the LCS rosters, 2023 is not looking great for IMT. They have arguably the worst bottom lane in the league. The only other teams with comparable bottom lanes are TSM and possibly Dignitas. While Chime performed well for TSM last split, Dignitas favored their academy ADC over Neo.To his credit, Neo was a top performer for a terrible Dignitas roster, but he could not compete with the best ADCs in the league.Together, these two will have a lot to prove for TSM next split. Dignitas are a little more difficult to pinpoint. Spawn has had some bright spots and shows a lot of potential for them with the help of veteran players like IgNar, Santorin and Jensen; however, IgNar is coming off of one of his worst career performances in history with Immortals.If they can find some stability with their veterans, Dignitas has top 6 potential; however, this remains to be seen.In the mid lane, Ablazeolive is undoubtedly an upgrade from PowerOfEvil; however, he is one of only six mid laners from 2022 to remain in the LCS. The additions of Haeri, VicLa, Diplex, and Gori to their respective rosters makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly how well Ablazeolive will do next year. It does not help his case that he was one of the worst performers in 2022.The jungle is arguably North America’s strongest role. With top tier players like Closer, Inspired, Santorin, and Spica remaining in the LCS next year, Kenvi is likely to be one of the worst junglers in the league. His LCS debut in 2022 was tainted by the meta forcing him onto tank and scaling jungle picks.This playstyle was completely opposite to what made him so special in the academy scene; however, the recent meta changes are leaning more towards the carry junglers that he is known for.Unfortunately, it appears the only other jungler worse than him is Bugi. With Pyosik, the 2022 World Champion jungler, entering the league, the jungle pool is only growing stronger. This will be a big year for Kenvi to prove himself among some of the greatest NA junglers to ever do it.Looking at the top lane, things are potentially positive for IMT. Revenge is by no means a “bad” or “weak” top laner; however, he is in a very similar position as Kenvi. The top lane pool in the LCS is looking very strong. With names like Ssumday, Impact, Summit, and Fudge competing next year, Revenge will have to do a lot to carry against some of the top tier teams.There is some hope however, as players like Armut, Tenacity, Licorice, Dhokla, and Solo are unproven, weaker, or on a similar level to Revenge. Despite the heavy hitters listed previously, Revenge has potential to push into the top 5 this year.Read more about the LCS.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Changes Coming to the LCS in 2023

The LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) is set to return for its 11th year in January 2023. The LCS is North America’s professional League of Legends league and is one of four major regions to compete internationally. Behind Korea’s LCK, Europe’s LEC, and China’s LPL, the LCS is the fourth strongest league in the world, rounding out the upper echelon of the various competitive leagues across the globe.Following the conclusion of the World Championship, the largest international League of Legends event of the year, rumors began to swirl around the community about the status of the LCS in 2023. While it is true there has been a steady decline in viewership over the past few years, Riot Games are actively trying to “save” the league through improvements in scheduling based on viewership metrics.LCS and VCT CollaborationSince its release in 2020, Riot’s tactical shooter VALORANT has taken the world by storm. Consequently, the professional VALORANT scene has grown tremendously, bringing in massive viewership and warranting further expansion. As a result, Riot created three franchising leagues across the major regions of the world to help draw more viewer attention, with thirty recognized teams to support.Like the LCS, VCT Americas League—the North/Latin American franchising league—is based in Los Angeles, California. To consolidate resources and promote viewership overlap between the two games, Riot has announced that the VCT Americas League will share the LCS Arena with the LCS when it kicks off its inaugural season in 2023.The LCS Arena will be renamed the Riot Games Arena to promote a more cooperative and inclusive environment between the two games. To boost publicity for the arena name change as well as the upcoming League of Legends season, LoL Esports is hosting the Global Kickoff Event, Riot’s latest international League of Legends event. Stay tuned for more information about the event.Major Schedule Changes in 2023Over the past few years the LCS has had a consistent time slot on Saturdays and Sundays. Each weekend, the LCS would stream the week’s 20 games as their target demographic, a growing age group since 2013, had the most retention and viewership on these days. Occasionally, on extended weekends known as “superweeks”—weeks that featured 30 games—the LCS would also stream on Fridays; however, these weeks were very infrequent.Despite their relative scarcity, the data from these days has been very important in Riot’s decision making regarding the 2023 LCS season. Accommodating VCT Americas and new data, the LCS will officially be moving both its time slot and start times in 2023. Previously, the LCS started at 4:30 PM EST on Saturdays and 3:30 PM EST on Sundays. Next year, the LCS will take place on Thursday and Friday at 3:00PM EST.This change has received mixed, but predominantly negative reactions from the community. Long-time viewers have expressed their concerns with their inability to watch the LCS due to it now taking place on weekdays. This, in combination with the earlier start times, has made viewing the league very difficult for one of its long-time viewers who now work full-time jobs.These dedicated fans are not the only ones concerned about the new start times. Casters and behind-the-scenes workers for the LCS have also been outspoken about their concerns with the new start times. Citing a lack of logic in favor of seemingly illogical data, these LCS workers have unanimously agreed that, on paper, these time changes feel detrimental to the health of the LCS rather than beneficial.For more information about the new time changes as well as the full Spring Split schedule, visit the official publishing on the LoL Esports website here.

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Team Vitality Announce 2023 LEC Roster

After the “LEC Superteam” failed to make the Summer Playoffs this year, it appears that Team Vitality are looking to make some major changes for 2023. Consisting of Alphari, Perkz, Carzzy, Labrov, Selfmade, and Haru, Vitality’s superteam missed the mark by margins similar to that of Team Liquid in the LCS.The Superteam That Couldn’tWith Selfmade as their starting jungler, the team narrowly made the Spring Playoffs with a 9-9 record. Unsurprisingly, they were eliminated in the lower bracket by G2 Esports, who went on to become Spring Champions. Identifying Selfmade as their weakness, Vitality released the former Fnatic star and signed Bo and Haru from the LPL and LCK respectively. Haru earned the starting spot for the Summer Split and accomplished about as much as Selfmade. The team once again went 9-9; however, they lost their tiebreaker against Excel and failed to make the Summer Playoffs.Although Haru performed much better than Selfmade, the team as a whole lacked the coordination and consistency to compete with the likes of Rogue, G2 Esports, and MAD Lions at the top of the table. Left out of the Summer Playoffs, Team Vitality were afforded an early, albeit unwanted, start to the offseason. Given this head start, Team Vitality have crafted a very strong roster for their 2023 redemption tour.Headed into 2023, Team Vitality have wasted no time undoing everything they had built in 2022. Although it is not clear if every one of their moves was motivated by underperformances, Alphari’s departure has been confirmed to be of his own volition. Stating that he had lost motivation and had experienced burnout during the 2022 season, Alphari opted not to join a team for Spring 2023, and to instead embrace the offseason until at least Summer. Outside of his exit, Team Vitality released three other players: Carzzy, Haru, and Labrov.Fixing the Jungle ProblemOnce again building their roster around multi-regional superstar Perkz, Team Vitality are hoping to silence their jungle issues once and for all. After being benched in favor of Haru, Bo will finally be making his LEC debut as the starting jungler for 2023. Bo had briefly played as a starter for FPX in 2021; however, his time in the LPL was cut short after he was plagued by allegations of match fixing. He proceeded to take a year off from professional play before accepting a position with Team Vitality last Summer. Although his time in the more competitive LPL was cut short, Bo reached rank 1 in the European server in just 32 days. This level of performance has left many people with the impression that Bo will make a tremendous impact for Team Vitality in the LEC next year.Promising, but Proven, Young Talent in the Bottom LaneDespite acquiring one of the best ADCs in the league from 2022, Team Vitality had a very obvious problem in the bottom lane that became obvious as the 2022 season came to a close. Alongside a rookie support from one of the German ERL leagues, former MAD Lions ADC Carzzy failed to perform at the same level as he had in 2021, when MAD Lions won back-to-back championships in the Spring and Summer Splits. Alongside Labrov, who made his LEC debut last season, the two made for a poor combination that could not effectively produce leads for their stars in the middle and top lane.Despite the failure of this same approach last season, Team Vitality are once again doubling down on a young bottom lane; however, both of their new bottom laners proved themselves in the LEC last year.Defying all expectations last year, a young and overlooked Misfits roster managed to make back-to-back playoff appearances over teams like Vitality and MAD Lions. This young core placed 3rd and 4th in the Spring and Summer Splits, respectively, and demonstrated much higher levels of play than were expected from such inexperienced players. As a result, Vitality have acquired former Misfits ADC Neon to lead their bottom lane in 2023.Alongside Neon, Vitality looked to sign a qualified and proven support that was not going to break the bank. Realizing the potential in the Summer 2022 First Team All-Pro LEC Support, they signed Kaiser to help guide Neon in the bottom lane.Gambling On An Import Rookie Top LanerOnce again gambling on younger players, Team Vitality have signed one of the best top laners from the LCK’s Challengers scene: Photon. Photon has been playing professional league since 2019, when he signed with Gen.G Academy, the academy team of one of the strongest teams in the LCK. After a year with the team, he was promoted to the Challengers league, where he signed with Liiv Sandbox Challengers. Although his team was not very good, he was a top performer, garnering the attention of T1 Challengers. After earning a spot on the Challengers team for the most accomplished and prestigious organization in League of Legends history, Photon became the best top laner in the league.With the second-highest KDA in Spring and the highest KDA in Summer, Photon showed enough promise to capture the attention of Team Vitality. Although he likely received offers from weak LPL and LCK teams, Photon chose to sign with Vitality for the 2023 LEC season.

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Riot Games Announces New North American League of Legends Professional League

The North American League of Legends academy scene is getting its first major overhaul since 2018. Read more about the big changes and improvements coming to the league here. Riot Games Announces New North American League of Legends Professional LeagueSince its inception in 2014, the North American League of Legends academy league has undergone quite a few changes. Designed to provide a pathway for unsigned players to join the LCS, the academy scene was originally referred to as the NA Challenger Series (NACS).Prior to franchising in 2018, the LCS was based on relegation and promotion, where the weakest teams from the LCS were replaced by the winners of the NACS because those competitors “wanted it more.”This relegation system forced teams to stay competitive to keep their spots. While this provided fans with a competitive and exciting viewer experience, the frequent shift of well-liked players in and out of the league hindered fans’ ability to support certain teams or players.As a result, the 2018 franchising system allowed teams to buy spots in the league. Similar to traditional sports, franchised teams had to pay a hefty commission upfront but were guaranteed a spot in the league until they either sold their slot or the league disbanded.Under this new franchise system, the academy scene was rebranded to the “NA Academy League” (NAAL). Although it has undergone multiple format changes since its inception, including the addition of college/university teams to the league, the academy scene has operated as the NAAL ever since.However, Riot Games has recently announced that the NAAL will be revamped once again, with major changes set to launch next year. Starting in 2023, the NAAL will become the NACL (North American Challengers League). What is the NACL?In their official post, which can be found here, Riot stated that the Tier 2 (Academy) scene saw significant growth and improvement in 2022. Looking to build upon that growth and help facilitate future expansion, and to elevate North America to be more in line with the level of competition seen in the other major regions, they have decided to invest a significant number of resources into the league ahead of 2023.Starting next year, the NACL will host a total of 16 teams. Like in the NAAL, 10 of those teams will be the respective academy teams of each of the 10 LCS teams (“Fixed Teams”). However, the remaining 6 teams, called Provisional Teams, will feature the amateur (collegiate and amateur LCS teams) from 2022. At the time of publishing, the 6 provisional teams were not announced. Since then, the following 16 teams have been locked in for 2023:Fixed Teams100 AcademyCLG AcademyC9 AcademyDignitas AcademyEG AcademyFlyQuest AcademyGG AcademyIMT AcademyTL AcademyTSM AcademyProvisional TeamsAOE EsportsCincinnati FearCLG FaithFLY FAMTL FirstWildcard Gaming How Will the NACL Benefit North American League of Legends?While the formatting for the NACL will be largely the same as its previous iterations, there is one major addition. To promote a high level of competition, the NACL will feature a Promotion and Relegation system in the form of two 32-team Open Qualifiers.The top four NACL Qualifier teams will compete against the bottom four Provisional Teams to fill the last four spots in the NACL via the NACL Promotion Tournament. The NACL Promotion Tournament features a double elimination bracket and is not open to fixed teams as they cannot be relegated.This system allows players that are not recognized or scouted by the LCS organizations to have the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and show their potential. Similarly, the contracts of NACL players in the GCD (Global Contract Database) will have access to the Notification of Interest System.This system, which is intended to notify players that the LCS organizations have an interest in them, allows the LCS teams to officially state their interest in players contracted by another team.

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Dignitas Announces 2023 LCS Roster

There were a number of significant rumors circulating around the LCS this offseason; however, none were more surprising than those around Dignitas. While rumors such as Doublelift’s return, FlyQuest’s superteam, and Team Liquid’s (TL) affectionately titled “TLCK” all-Korean roster were all very shocking and crazy in their own ways, the news surrounding Dignitas’ attempt to build a competitive roster raised the most uncertainty from the community.After all, Dignitas quit half-way through the 2022 Summer Split, promoting the majority of their academy roster to the main stage and selling their star jungler to Golden Guardians. At the same time, there were rumors going around that Dignitas was looking to sell their LCS spot. With these actions seemingly indicating Dignitas’ exit from the scene, the rumors around the organization going “all-in” in the offseason seemed very contradictory and therefore untrustworthy. It appears, however, that Dignitas may very well be competitive this season.Out With the OldStarting in Week 4 of the 2022 Summer Split, Dignitas began to make drastic roster changes to try and see if they could produce better results. While these changes were not comparable in scale to the voracious TSM, they were put in place for the same reason: to win more games. Unfortunately, after the complete overhaul in Week 6, Dignitas would only manage one more win, bringing their record to 3-15 at the end of the split. With the organization clearly and admittedly abandoning a competitive roster, rumors about their exit from the LCS became a topic of conversation. Although it is now clear that they will not be exiting the league, they have made some significant changes from 2022.The final roster they fielded in 2022 consisted of the following players:Top: Lee “Hoon” Jang-hoonJungle: Lawrence “eXyu” Lin XuMid: Ersin “Blue” GörenADC: Trevor “Spawn” Kerr-TaylorSupport: Vincent “Biofrost” WangWhile it is typical for teams to abandon unsuccessful rosters, the players on Dignitas’ final roster from 2022 were given an impossible task. Although they were not expected to win, the 3-15 record ended the season with looms over their shoulders. Fortunately, Dignitas recognized this, and relegated the majority of the roster back to their academy team: Dignitas Academy.Hoon, eXyu, and Gamsu have all reunited on Dignitas Academy. Blue, on the other hand, was released earlier this year to explore his options in Europe, where he was imported from in 2021. Similarly, Biofrost was released. Like Blue, he was not picked up by any teams in the offseason.In With the NewAfter seeing a few bright spots from him during his brief stint with the team in the 2022 Summer Split, Dignitas opted to retain Spawn in the ADC position. They also signed three LCS veterans to help facilitate his growth. Joining Spawn on their 2023 lineup is Santorin, Jensen, and IgNar. Importantly, Santorin has played with both of these players before. He played with IgNar for two splits on FlyQuest in 2020. He played with Jensen for four splits from 2020 to 2022. While Jensen and IgNar have not played together, their synergy with Santorin should prove to be very helpful.Of course, these three LCS veterans can only fill three of the vacancies, leaving an opening in the top lane. While he drastically underperformed in the LEC in 2022, Dignitas have decided to fill this vacancy with former MAD Lions top laner Armut. Armut was an integral part of the MAD Lions squad that won back-to-back championships in the 2021 LEC Spring and Summer Playoffs; however, his recent performances forced MAD Lions to move on in favor of a more promising player.Together, Dignitas’ 2023 LCS roster is:Top: İrfan “Armut” Berk TükekJungle: Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer LarsenMid: Nicolaj “Jensen” JensenLCSADC: Trevor “Spawn” Kerr-TaylorSupport: Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun

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Fnatic Announce 2023 LEC Roster

After being unable to reach their expected potential last split, Fnatic is looking to win with a different strategy this season. Their previous roster iteration from 2022 debuted some of the best players in the LEC from 2021. Joining Upset and Hylissang, Fnatic signed Humanoid from a MAD Lions team that won both the Spring and Summer Splits. They also took a chance on a young jungler from an over-performing Misfits roster in Razork. Alongside those two rising stars, Fnatic reached deep into their wallets to sign the best top laner in the LEC, stealing Wunder away from G2 Esports.What Went Wrong in 2022?Despite constructing a team of the best players Europe had to offer, Fnatic’s 2022 season was disappointing. In the 2022 Spring Split, the “European superteam” did quite well, finishing the split just behind Rogue with a 13-5 record. However, the team was constructed to win the LEC in both Spring and Summer. While they came very close to taking over in the Spring Playoffs, they fell short in the Loser’s Bracket Finals to the eventual winners in G2 Esports. Now out of contention for the European MSI seed, the team set their eyes on the biggest prize: winning the Summer Split and a spot at Worlds.Intending to grow as a five-man unit, the team refrained from making any roster changes in the midseason. The other contending LEC teams like MAD Lions and Misfits, on the other hand, made big pickups, raising the level of competition around Fnatic. As a result, Fnatic drastically underperformed expectations, falling to 5th through a string of three miracle wins over Astralis, Team Vitality, and Misfits.While they had managed to rally and secure themselves a spot in the LEC Summer Playoffs, it was not pretty. Throughout the year, the team struggled to find an identity. With stars in every role, it became unclear who Razork needed to play through to win. It was not until their miracle finish that the true star of Fnatic rose to the occasion to decimate their opponents. Although Hylissang continued to disappoint, Upset stepped up tremendously. Putting the team on his back, Upset handily defeated his opponents, and gave Fnatic a clear strategy for success that allowed them to defeat Excel, Misfits, and MAD Lions to earn their spot at Worlds.Despite being one of three teams to take a map off of eventual Worlds 2022 Runners-Up in T1, Fnatic fell short in the group stage, forcing the organization to reevaluate their roster in 2023.FNC 2023After he failed multiple times to assess and properly deal with multiple draft threats from opponents in critical matches, Fnatic’s first priority became replacing their head coach, YamatoCannon. Yamato had proven to be a valuable asset since they acquired him in 2020, however, internal discussions led the organization to take their roster in a different direction for 2023. Replacing him, Fnatic have signed Hiiva from Misfits to act as their Assistant Coach alongside Crusher, their new Head Coach who they promoted from their academy team: Fnatic TQ.Curiously, Fnatic have opted not to keep Upset for 2023. Unfortunately, the way contracts and buyouts work in the League of Legends scene have made finding a new team for the star problematic. While he is not on their active roster for 2023, Fnatic refused offers from other teams interested in him in the offseason, relegating him to what many players refer to as “contract jail.” Leaving the roster with him is their longest-tenured player in Hylissang. After being outperformed by almost every support he laned against in both the Spring and Summer splits, Fnatic rightfully decided it was time to move on. After nearly five years with Fnatic, Hylissang will be joining MAD Lions for the 2023 season.Recognizing the talents of their remaining players, Fnatic has opted to retain Wunder, Razork, and Humanoid. While this trio struggled to cooperate throughout the year, their upside was proven by their individual performances on the biggest stage of the year: Worlds 2022. Alongside academy stand-in Rhuckz, Wunder; Razork; and Humanoid were able to take a game off of the likes of T1, the second best team in the world.With Upset and Hylissang out for 2023, Fnatic did not have to look very far to find their new support. With very little practice, Rhuckz made an immediate and noticeable impact in the bot lane, allowing Fnatic to sail through play-ins and put pressure on elite teams like EDG and T1.Alongside Rhuckz, Fnatic have signed LEC veteran and fan-favorite ADC superstar Rekkles. Rekkles had previously played for the team for five years from 2015 to 2020. Given Upset’s incredible performances this year, his return has shocked many, but has also excited an equal amount of die-hard fans.To see this new roster in action, be sure to tune in when the LEC returns with their first-ever Winter Split in January 2023.

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FlyQuest Announce 2023 LCS Roster

FlyQuest has finally announced their 2023 LCS roster. Read more about their changes from 2022 and outlook in 2023 here.FlyQuest Announce 2023 LCS RosterIt’s official. FlyQuest has become the ninth of the ten LCS teams to announce their roster for the 2023 season. Ahead of them, 100 Thieves; Cloud9; Team Liquid; Evil Geniuses; Immortals; TSM; Golden Guardians; and Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) have already publicized their starting five.Unsurprisingly all but CLG have made roster changes. What is surprising; however, is that three teams have replaced four or more players from 2023. Interestingly, all three of these teams were within the top five last split. Both 100 Thieves and Team Liquid rebuilt around one player (100T Closer and TL CoreJJ), replacing four of their starters. FlyQuest, on the other hand, have replaced all five of their starters to make a title run in 2023.What Happened to FlyQuest 2022?FlyQuest’s starting lineup for 2022 was as follows:Top: Philip “Philip” ZengJungle: Brandon “Josedeodo” Joel VillegasMid: Loïc “toucouille” DuboisADC: Johnson “Johnsun” NguyenSupport: Zaqueri “aphromoo” BlackTwo of these players have already received and accepted offers to play elsewhere in 2022. Both toucouille and Josedeodo will return to their respective regions, EMEA and LATAM. Josedeodo will join Estral Esports in the LLA while toucouille will compete for Team GO in the LFL.Both Johnsun and aphromoo will not compete professionally in 2023. This marks the first time since Summer 2013 that aphromoo will not be on an LCS roster. Philip, a fan favorite, will return to play for FlyQuest in 2023; however, he will be competing on one of their two NACL (North American Challengers League) rosters: FlyQuest Academy or FlyQuest FAM.FLY 2023With Philip being given time in the NACL and the remainder of the 2022 lineup being released, FlyQuest initiated a complete rebuild around young Korean talent and proven LCS veterans. In the top lane, FlyQuest turned into a resident World Champion who led Evil Geniuses to their first-ever LCS title in Spring 2022.Replacing Philip, FlyQuest acquired the statistically strongest (by a long shot) top laner in the LCS: Jeong “Impact” Eon-young.Alongside Impact, FlyQuest wanted to have a strong LCS jungler to remain competitive with the current top junglers Inspired and Closer. Fortunately for them, TSM had just released the 2021 LCS Spring Split MVP. Filling in for Josedeodo in the jungle is none other than Mingyi “Spica” Lu.As each team is afforded two import slots to compete alongside three North American players, FlyQuest have signed the best overseas talent available.Replacing toucouille in the mid lane and Johnsun in the bot lane are two of the LCK’s best upcoming players: Lee “VicLa” Dae-kwang and Lee “Prince” Chase-hwan. VicLa has spent the entirety of his career (roughly two years) with KT Rolster where he recently played for his first-ever full split in Summer 2022. Prince, on the other hand, has played for a few more years across multiple LCK teams.He rose to prominence this year after carrying Liiv Sandbox to the LCK Summer Playoffs.Finalizing their roster, FlyQuest signed former Team Liquid Academy support and “second best support in the LCS” according to CoreJJ: Bill “Eyla” Nguyen.Community sentiment is largely optimistic, with many believing that this lineup could bring FlyQuest a title this year. Title or not, FlyQuest will certainly be at the top of the table, giving known contenders like Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses a run for their money.

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G2 Esports Announce 2023 VALORANT Roster

G2 Esports are one of the most well-known gaming organizations in the world. The self-proclaimed “most entertaining esports organization in the world” hosts professional teams in nearly ten different games, including League of Legends, VALORANT, Rainbow Six Siege, and Rocket League.The organization was founded by former League of Legends professional player Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez Santiago, and is best known for its thriving European League of Legends team. Despite their successes across multiple games this year, G2 Esports attracted the most publicity following a social media post by Santiago with controversial figure Andrew Tate. After coming under fire from the public, Santiago doubled-down, preaching that the people had no right to “police his friendships.”At the time, Riot Games, the creator of both League of Legends and VALORANT, were still determining which teams would enter their partnered leagues (international leagues) for the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) in 2023. While most mainstream organizations were excluded for financial or internal leadership reasons, the negative press garnered by Santiago cost G2 Esports a multi-million dollar deal with Riot Games in their EMEA League.Left without a franchising spot for VCT 2023, G2 Esports set their eyes on the tier two VALORANT scene: VALORANT Challengers 2023.What is VALORANT Challengers?Similar to amateur leagues in other games, the Challengers aims to provide a pathway for non-partnered organizations to compete for a spot in the partnered leagues. Currently, there are three partnered leagues: Americas League, EMEA League, and Pacific League. These three leagues encompass a total of thirty teams that compete at the highest level to be crowned regional and world champions.The Challenger Leagues, however, are much more expansive. Starting in 2023, there are 21 different Challenger Leagues competing across the three major partnered league regions. The competing Challenger Leagues are as follows:Americas:North America (NA)Latin America North (LATAMN)Latin America South (LATAMS)BrazilEMEA:Northern EuropeSouthern Europe (Spain, Italy, and Portugal)France and BeneluxDach (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland)TurkeyEastern EuropePacific:South Asia (including India)ThailandVietnamMalaysia and SingaporeKoreaJapanChinese Taipei and Hong KongPhilippinesIndonesiaOceaniaEach year, the teams from each of the three Challengers territories (Americas, EMEA, and APAC) will compete in Challengers Ascension Tournaments—the formats of these tournaments are still under development—for the opportunity to “ascend” to the international leagues. Only one team from each territory can be promoted, meaning one team will be added to each international league. Further information about VALORANT Challengers can be found on Riot Games’s website here.G2 Esports 2023After it was announced that G2 Esports would be offered a spot in VALORANT Challengers, the organization quickly put together the most skilled team they could find using unsigned players from both North America and EMEA.Their team for 2023 is as follows:Shahzeb “ShahZaM” KhanMichael “dapr” GulinoMaxim “wippie” ShepelevErik “penny” PennyFrancis “OXY” HoangAfter both of their star players, Auni “AvovA” Chahade and Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho, opted to leave the organization to join partnered organization Team Heretics in the EMEA League, G2 were left to completely rebuild their roster. Two of the remaining three players departed to play for Giants, another team in the EMEA League, while the last player was released to explore his options.Both ShahZam and Gulino were acquired from Sentinels, the most popular North American VALORANT organization, after the organization parted ways with the two in favor or former LOUD and current World Champions pANcada and Sacy, as well as former XSET players zekken and dephh. Both ShahZam and Gulino were members of Sentinels when the team won back-to-back VALORANT Masters tournaments in North America and Reykjavík, Iceland.Joining the two established names are some of North America’s most underrated players. Both wippie and penny are arriving from Version 1, a top-tier North American VALORANT team, a team where they showed tremendous potential but found very little success. Alongside them, G2 Esports enlisted the help of a successful player from the tier two scene: OXY. In 2022, OXY won four amateur tournaments and came in second in five others. Across multiple amateur teams, OXY proved to be a very reliable and skilled player, earning him a spot on what will be one of the most competitive tier-two teams in 2023.

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EXCEL 2023 LEC Roster Announced

Prior to the start of the global League of Legends free agency period, there were massive rumors swirling around the Excel 2023 plans. After it was announced that their 2022 starting Jungler and Support players, Mark “Markoon” van Woensel and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle would be leaving for SK Gaming and G2 Esports, respectively, Excel were quick to initiate a complete rebuild around one of their remaining three 2022 starters.The starting lineup heading into the offseason this year was as follows:Top: Finn “Finn” WiestålJungle: Mark “Markoon” van WoenselMid: Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik HolmADC: Patrik “Patrik” JírůSupport: Mihael “Mikyx” MehleWhat Remains of Excel 2022With both Mikyx and Markoon leaving for more competitive contract offers, Excel were left with mostly mediocre players. While Patrik had a standout performance alongside Mikyx in the bottom lane, both Finn and Nukeduck were rather average players by the end of the year.Originally, Excel fully intended to keep Finn; however, KOI’s (formerly) Rogue decision to release star top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, left Excel with an opportunity they could not pass up. With eyes set on someone else, Finn was given the opportunity to explore his options in the LEC.It was not long before Astralis found a spot for him after releasing their veteran top laner Vivicsacsi. Not long after, Nukeduck was released from Excel and opted to join 100 Thieves as their new Assistant Coach. It is unclear as of now if Nukeduck intends to retire completely from competitive play or if he will make a return in the future.With only one starter left on their roster, Excel put into motion their rebuild for 2023. Centered around ADC Patrik, who showed significant promise in the 2022 Summer Split, Excel have invested entirely in players who played in the LEC in 2022.Excel 2023Retaining Patrik for 2023, Excel dipped into the rosters of their opponents to find players that could facilitate his playstyle. Looking at the Support position, there was one clear option available. Although he is only entering his second year in the LEC in 2023, former G2 Esports support player Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé was the best available active player in the free agency market.Ironically, his availability was only brought about by G2 Esports interest in Mikyx, who had previously played for them for three years starting in 2019. Although this has not been confirmed, the rumors surrounding their interest in Mikyx suggest that their latest ADC pickup, former Rogue star Steven “Hans sama” Liv, specifically requested to play alongside him. Eager to make an upgrade in their own bottom lane, G2 obliged and released Targamas.With their bottom lane now complete, Excel looked to strengthen their mid lane, a position that quickly became a liability to them headed into the 2022 Summer Playoffs. With Nukeduck taking a position in the LCS on 100 Thieves, Excel opted to spend big on a player who had proven himself to be one of the best in the league. Joining Patrik and Targamas for 2023 is none other than Spring Split MVP Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié.Although he had been with Misfits Gaming (now Team Heretics) since 2020, Vetheo made a name for himself this year after carrying Misfits to the playoffs, not once, but twice. Although he had many terrific plays this year, his standout performances include a comeback from a 10,000 gold deficit against Spring Split Champions G2 Esports.With the sudden arrival of Odoamne to replace Finn, Excel only needed to fill one position. Although Markoon had been their best performer across the year, SK Gaming left Excel in a difficult position after they acquired him for 2023. Opting to get the best bang for their buck, Excel finalized their roster with the best “under the radar” jungler of the 2022 Summer Split: Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir.Although they finished bottom two in both the Spring and Summer Splits last year, Xerxe’s emergence in the Summer had a drastic impact on their win rate. As opposed to their 3-15 finish in the Spring, Xerxe managed to single-handedly carry the bottom-tier team to a 7-11 finish in Summer. At the same time, he consistently maintained a top three spot in the jungle behind established names like Jankos and Elyoya.With five strong and proven players on their roster for 2023, Excel could look to make a huge splash this coming split. To catch them in action, be sure to tune in to the LEC when it kicks off in early January 2023.Read more esports news.

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100 Thieves Go 3-0; Cloud9 Falters: Red Bull Homeground #3 Day 1

Red Bull Homeground #3 is officially underway. Read more about the tournament details and Day 1 results here. 100 Thieves Go 3-0; Cloud9 Falters: Red Bull Homeground #3 Day 1While the official 2023 VCT season does not kick off until January, seven VCT teams were given the opportunity to show off their VCT-ready rosters in Red Bull’s Riot Games affiliated tournament. The third iteration of this sponsored event is held in Manchester, England, and offers a $100,000 prize pool to be distributed across the eight competing teams.The first place team secures $50,000, while the second place brings home $20,000. The remainder of the prize pool is segmented into placement tiers due to the structure of the tournament stages and the absence of 7th, 5th, and 3rd place matches. As a result, the 7th-8th place finishers bring home $2,000. The 5th-6th place finishers bring home $3,000. And the 3rd-4th place finishers bring home $10,000. What is Red Bull Homeground #3?While the previous versions of the tournament have included many more teams, a smaller prize pool, and invited exclusively EMEA teams, Red Bull Homeground #3 opened its wallet and borders. This time around, the tournament was reduced to eight teams. Complications with the dissolution of teams following the announcement of Riot Games’s partnered VCT initiative resulted in the invitation of seven teams to accompany the sole remaining qualified team.Although FUT Esports and BIG had both earned a spot through the Turkish and EMEA qualifiers, BIG’s roster dissolved after it was announced that professional VALORANT would be transitioning to a partnered format.FUT Esports (a partnered EMEA team from the EMEA League), however, joined the partnered program and debuted their roster alongside the following seven invited international teams:100 Thieves (NA, Americas League)Cloud9 (NA, Americas League)Team Liquid (EMEA, EMEA League)Team Heretics (EMEA, EMEA League)Team Vitality (EMEA, EMEA League)KRÜ Esports (LATAM, Americas League)FOKUS (unaffiliated)Although FOKUS is not a part of Riot’s partnered VCT program, they are expected to compete in the Tier 2 scene and were invited alongside the seven partnered organizations.Similar to its previous iterations, Red Bull Homeground #3 is a two-stage, single-elimination tournament hosted across three days. It is split into a preliminary group stage that ends in a bracketed playoff stage. The first day of the tournament encompasses the entirety of the group stage, allowing the bracket to be laid out for the second day.The group stage splits the eight competitors into two groups of four. Each group plays a single round robin, and the three teams with the best records move on to the playoff stage. Their placement in the playoff stage is based on their record, and ties are determined by round differentials. In other words, between the tying teams, the team with the higher round win-loss differential takes the higher seeding.The second and third day of the tournament break the playoff stage into two sections. The second day hosts the quarterfinals, a best-of-three, single-elimination matchup between the second and third place teams from opposing brackets. In traditional bracketing style, the higher (2nd place) seed from the first group plays against the lower (3rd place) seed from the opposing group.Day three pits the advancing quarterfinals teams against the first seed from each group. These matches are also a best-of-three and the winners advance to play the grand finals shortly after. Unlike the previous stages, the grand finals are best-of-five, and the winner takes home the $50,000 cash prize. Day 1 OverviewWhile the group stage went largely as expected, there were quite a few surprises. The results of the group stage are as follows:Group ACloud9 (2-1)Team Vitality (2-1)FOKUS (1-2)KRÜ Esports (1-2)Group B100 Thieves (3-0)Team Liquid (2-1)Team Heretics (1-2)FUT Esports (0-3)Surprising many, FOKUS managed to defeat KRÜ Esports, and move into the playoff stage. While KRÜ Esports does not offer the most talented lineup, they are a part of the Americas League. FOKUS, on the other hand, are a Tier 2 Turkish team, who were expected to go winless in this tournament.What makes this even more incredible is that FOKUS’s win comes over Cloud9, the roster with some of the biggest names in the North American VALORANT scene. Although C9 rallied to secure the top seed in their group, their lost opener to FOKUS showed some glaring weaknesses in their perceived impenetrable roster.Looking at Group B, 100 Thieves managed to be the only team to end the group stage without a loss. Although their wins were close, their losses were similarly close. Notably, their 2-1 victory over Team Liquid was only against three of TL’s starting members. Both Redgar and nAts were absent from the tournament following VISA issues.

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