Category: Esports

The Exciting Updates From The Nintendo Direct Livestream

Nintendo Direct is over. With forty captivating minutes of Nintendo reveals, news, and gameplay, there are going to be many new exciting games and characters coming to the Nintendo universe. Kazuya Joining Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Fight Starting with a wonderfully crafted trailer, Kazuya from the legendary Tekken series is finally joining the Super Smash […]
The post The Exciting Updates From The Nintendo Direct Livestream appeared first on Knup Sports.

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OpTic and New York SWEPT as Call of Duty League Returns to LAN: Day One Recap

The Call of Duty League returned to LAN for the first time in 15 months Thursday afternoon with four matches in the Stage Four Major at the Esports Center in Arlington, Texas.
Seattle Surge vs London Royal Ravens
The first match of the day featured the last-place Seattle Surge and 11th-place London Royal Ravens in a Loser’s Round One matchup, with the loser heading home and the winner living to fight another day.
Seattle proved too much for their European competition, dominating them in respawns and winning 3-1 behind an inspirational performance from Sam “Octane” Larew. Octane’s last full season on LAN culminated with a runners-up trophy at the Black Ops 4 World Championships and the unofficial title of “best assault rifle player” in the game. Seattle’s main AR had a 1.8 kill/death ratio in the series, while his AR partner Gunless had a 1.4.
The Surge is still not getting the production it needs from submachine gun players Prestinni and Classic to pose a real threat to top-half teams, but a 250-89 win on Checkmate hardpoint to close out London shows how dangerous they can be when they are in their rhythm. The Surge will take on the Paris Legion Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET for a chance to take on OpTic Chicago in the following round.
Battle of Los Angeles: Thieves vs Guerillas
Thursday’s second matchup was a battle for Los Angeles between the Thieves and Guerillas— the drama started about an hour before the match when news that star player Huke would not be eligible to play due to a missed COVID test. The Thieves substituted in Drazah, who was benched two weeks ago and played with him in place of their young talent.
The match was very back and forth, with the Thieves winning both hard points, but it was the Guerillas that closed out their inner-city rival in a map five Search and Destroy on Miami, 6-3. Only one player on the Guerillas (Chino) posted a positive K/D for the series compared to three for the Thieves, led by SlasheR’s 1.3, but their clinical S&D play saw them over the line. LAG is 18-17 on the season in this game mode, and it is the only one that they have a winning record in.
The Guerillas’ next match will be Friday at 4:30 p.m. against the Florida Mutineers.
Dallas Empire vs OpTic Chicago
The third match of the day was a rivalry contest between the Dallas Empire and OpTic Chicago, who were 3-0 on LAN against their rivals. OpTic Scump and Dallas’ Crimsix squashed their beef at the start of the new year after being on bad terms for the Modern Warfare season, ending a feud stemming from Scump’s decision to separate from his longtime teammate that he had won a world championship with. OpTic FormaL, another former teammate of Crimsix during the championship run, chose to follow a different path and reignited his tension with Crimsix earlier this week, setting the stage for an epic showdown during the return to LAN.
Crimsix and the Empire ended up laughing at their favored opponents, winning the series in a clean 3-0 fashion. OpTic struggled to keep up with Dallas’ coordination despite nearly matching their slaying power for stretches, though they fell in the end. The Empire’s sub duo of Shotzzy and Vivid finished with K/Ds over 1.3 while the only player with a positive margin on OpTic was Dashy, who finished the series with a 1.15.
Dallas plays the Toronto Ultra in Winner’s Round Two tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. while OpTic will face the winner of the Seattle Surge and Paris Legion at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.
Minnesota Rokkr vs New York Subliners
The final match of the first day back on LAN featured the Minnesota Rokkr and the New York Subliners: Minnesota has had a relatively disappointing season after they appeared to have a good offseason while New York has been on fire lately, though they were forced to play without usual starter Asim who could not obtain a visa to travel from his native Canada to the United States to compete.
The Call of Duty League returned to LAN for the first time in 15 months Thursday afternoon with four matches in the Stage Four Major at the Esports Center in Arlington, Texas (File photo).
Asim was replaced by former Seattle Surge-flameout Decemate, who was given less than a week to practice with his new teammates before flying out to the event. New York’s usual cohesion and team play were greatly reduced by their new arrival, and it showed in their performance, ultimately dropping the series 3-0 to Minnesota. Standy led the way for the victors with a 1.47 K/D, while HyDra was the only Subliner to get more kills than deaths in the series.
Minnesota will play the Atlanta FaZe, favored to win the whole event, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while New York will play the winner of the Florida Mutineers and the Los Angeles Guerillas.

Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.

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MLB the Show 3rd Inning Program

The 3rd inning program for MLB the Show 21 has been out for a little over a week now. Just like the first two programs, the third inning program again is xp based. The more you play the game, the more rewards you will receive. Let’s take a look at the choice packs you will receive as well as what else is new in the game.
100,000 XP
Once a player has accumulated 100,000 xp in this program, they will be rewarded with their first third inning diamond choice pack. In this pack, the first option for the player to choose is the 86 overall 2nd half heroes Keith Hernandez. THis card has a primary position of first base, bats left handed and throws left handed. The best part of this card is the 90+ contact from both righties and lefties. With minimal power, and minimal speed, this card will more than likely only be see on theme teams.
The next player is the 86 overall all star catcher Yasmani Grandal This switch hitting card has 57 contact and 75 power against righties and 65 contact and 95 power against lefties. While those numbers are not the best, if you play this game, he definitely plays above those attributes. Another positive is his diamond defense. The biggest negative is the 13 speed.
The final option is the 86 overall 1948 rookie Richie Ashburn. This card is a primary center fielder, with a secondary option of the corner outfield spots. This card, a lot like the Hernandez card, is a contact demon with 95+ from both sides. He is also lightning fast with 88 speed and 76 steal. Biggest downsides to this card is the lack of power and the 70 fielding.
175,000 XP
At 175,000 xp, the player will receive the third inning classics choice pack. The first card is the 89 overall 2017 postseason Didi Gregorious. This card plays shortstop and does not have a secondary position. The left handed swinging Gregorious is a right handed pitching killer. With 85 contact and 89 power, he is great if the pitching is coming from the right side. From a lefty, he only has 69 contact and 50 power.
The next option is the 89 overall 2019 postseason relief pitcher Blake Snell. For baseball fans, Snell is most notably known as a starting pitcher. In 2019 however, he was sent out to make relief appearances in the postseason. The best part of this card is he is left handed. There is a definite shortage of lefty options to come out of the bullpen, so this card fills a role many players need.
The last option is the 88 overall 2019 May monthly awards Rafael Devers. This card swings from the left side, throws right handed and plays first base, with a secondary of first base. This card is a hitting machine. Against righties he has 105 contact and 83 power. Against lefties he has 92 contact and 87 power. With only 57 defense, there will be several players who have budget teams that can use this card off the bench.
350,000 XP
At 350,000 xp the choice pack will contain the 3rd inning bosses. The first option is 97 overall 30/30 club center fielder Grady Sizemore. This is another righty destroyer with 92 contact and 106 power. Against lefties he only has 62 contact but does get 83 power. This card is also an elite defender with 94 fielding, 82 arm power, and 90 reaction. He also has 86 speed and 95 stealing. If you do not have the collections done, this card will make a great addition to your outfield.
The next option is the 97 overall signature series closing pitcher Dennis Eckersley. A four pitch mix of slider, sinker. Four seam, and curveball, this card will get the job done. One of the first signature series cards that is easily obtainable, this Eckersley card is a solid choice. He also has great attributes, with 106 H/9, 113 K/9, and 107 BB/9. The biggest downside to this card, on a normal year, would be the lack of velocity. However, in this game, there are several starters that throw overly hard, so the change of speed may be beneficial.
The final option is a new legend, 97 overall silver slugger Troy Glaus. WIth primary third base, Glaus can also play shortstop. This is a very solid hitting card, with 79 contact and 107 power against righties. He also has 125 contact and 125 power against lefties. He has 97 fielding, 86 arm strength and 83 reaction. While the defensive numbers are not the best, he definitely makes up for it with great offensive statistics.
Ranked Seasons
The competitive game mode has just restarted. In the quest for the World Series, there are also two new players in the world series pack. First is 99 overall starting pitcher Vida Blue. The other option in the 98 overall silver slugger David Justice. These are the two highest rated diamonds that have hit the market. While the world series is not the easiest thing to accomplish, the rewards make it worth grinding for.
MLB has the best content team in all sports games. There is so much new content each week, that it is almost tough to try and get these things done in a respectable amount of time. Make sure to check in next week as we go over any new content delivered by San Diego Studios.

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LAN Returns to the CDL Stage Four Major this Weekend

For the first time since March 2020, the Call of Duty League will return to a local area network at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas to compete for $500,000 at the CDL Stage Four Major.
Offline gaming has been notoriously more important to players and less biased, due to the lack of ping-based discrepancies online. While fans will not be allowed to attend the event and teams will not have the support of their fans behind them, this is the closest that the CDL has been to normalcy in over a year.
CDL Stage Four Major Set for LAN Action
The Stage Three champion Atlanta Faze is the favorite to take home their third title in four tries this season after going 5-0 in group play. Their main competition will be the Toronto Ultra, which has won 12 straight maps after falling to the Florida Mutineers in the first match of Stage Three.
Ultra has been a terrifying team ever since they replaced the veteran Methodz with 21-year-old Englishman Insight, and currently find themselves in fourth in the season standings and 25 points out of second place.
The New York Subliners sit in second in the season rankings but will likely be without submachine gun player Asim, who has failed to obtain a visa to travel from his native Canada to the United States for the event.
Asim was begging teams to sign him onto their bench for a low salary in the offseason and has become one of the shining stars in this game, posting a .99 kill/death ratio despite his incredibly aggressive and fast-paced playstyle.
The pressure that he applies allows his teammates to look over open lanes behind him and freely move throughout that map due to the information that he obtains during his rampages.
Asim’s replacement for the major is suspected to be Decemate, an amateur player who played in one stage with the Seattle Surge before removing himself from the lineup. Decemate maintained a .91 K/D during his time in the CDL, ranking him 51st of 61 players to appear on a lineup this season.

New York on the Rise
New York has thrived because of their teamwork and understanding of the game and are set up to fail with a fill-in regardless of that person’s talent. Their first match will be in Winner’s Round One against the Minnesota Rokkr, who they have not played since defeating them 3-0 at the end of February.

OpTic Chicago made the news for two very different reasons last week, falling in Game Five fashion to last-place Seattle Surge and then annihilating the Los Angeles Thieves in three respawn modes right after they had brought Slasher and Huke back into their lineup.
OpTic Envoy said during an interview Sunday that his team thinks that they have the worst internet in the league and are excited to return to LAN to test their abilities in a fair environment.
With Scump and FormaL leading the charge, it is hard to say that OpTic does not perform on LAN: their two veterans won a world championship together in 2017 during Infinite Warfare, young star Envoy broke onto the scene after dominating pros on LAN during Black Ops 4, and Dashy won MVP in his first appearance in a championship bracket.
These players will be chomping at the bit to prove that their current fifth-place standing is not representative of their abilities, and they are the best team in the game offline.
Bottom-Four Worries
It is unlikely that any of the bottom-four teams will manage to gather enough points at this tournament to leap into the top eight and put themselves in a position to qualify for the World Championships, although if there is one team that has a chance, it is the Seattle Surge.
Not only did they beat OpTic last week, but they have one of the most talented assault rifle players in the world in Octane and a former world champ, Prestinni. The Surge will start their march through the bracket against the London Royal Ravens and will take on the Paris Legion after that if they can win their first bout.
At the end of the day, this major is Atlanta Faze’s for the taking. All four of their players are top-10 in the league in overall K/D, they are 27-4 in matches this season, and they have no weaknesses in their game.
Any team that takes them down will have to match the slaying talent of their front-line subs (Simp and aBeZy) and the discipline of their ARs (Cellium and Arcitys) for an entire series and potentially still have to face them in the grand finals, should Faze complete a run through the loser’s bracket.
The first match at the Stage Four Major is slated to take place on Thursday, June 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET between the Surge and the Royal Ravens. Call of Duty fans around the world, get ready to celebrate— the players are back in a competitive environment, where they belong.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.

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Latest Updates to MLB The Show 2021 Released

Last week MLB The Show 2021 continued to update rosters, player ratings and continued to update the Diamond Dynasty game mode with the updates.
The regular updates to the Diamond Dynasty come every two weeks and last week produced several new diamond-rated players. Here is what you need to know about the newest round of player ratings across MLB The Show 2021.

MLB The Show 2021 | The New Diamonds
For players to be classified as diamond status they need to have an overall rating of at least 85, otherwise, players fall in either the gold or silver categories. As the 2021 season has progressed, more players have been added to the diamond category.
The first update featured just two players moving up to diamond status, but the update from June 11 saw six new players added to diamond status.
The newest group of diamond players includes Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman and White Sox starter, Lance Lynn.
Some of the game’s best performers this season also saw upgrades to their overall rating, including Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer and Brewers starter Corbin Burnes. Vladimir Guerro Jr., who leads Major League Baseball in home runs as of Monday, also saw his overall rating increase.

Although, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, Washington starter Stephen Strasburg, Milwaukee reliever Devin Williams, and Cleveland starting pitcher James Karinchak falling out of diamond status after failing to meet expectations through the first half of the season.
Diamond Dynasty Rating Changes
The Show is regularly monitoring how players are playing throughout the season, so they can make updates to the players’ ratings. In the most recent update to the player ratings, there is a change in the top-15 Diamond Dynasty players. Here is the current top-15 players with the rating changes in the most recent update:

Jacob deGrom, 95 overall (+2), New York Mets
Max Scherzer, 90 overall (+1), Washington Nationals
Corbin Burnes, 88 overall (+2), Milwaukee Brewers
Freddie Freeman, 88 overall (-2), Atlanta Braves
Vladimir Guerro Jr., 87 overall (+1), Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Woodruff, 87 overall (+1), Milwaukee Brewers
Matt Olson, 87 overall (+1), Oakland Athletics
Juan Soto, 87 overall (+1), Washington Nationals
Liam Hendricks, 87 overall (+2), Chicago White Sox
Yuli Girriel, 86 overall (+2) New Diamond, Houston Astros
Walker Buehler, 86 overall (+1), Los Angeles Dodgers
Tyler Glasnow, 85 overall (+2) New Diamond, Tampa Bay Rays
Kevin Gausman, 85 overall (+2) New Diamond, San Francisco Giants
Lance Lann, 85 overall (+1) New Diamond, Chicago White Sox
Chrisitan Yelich, 85 overall (-3), Milwaukee Brewers

The entire list of player attribute changes can be viewed here.
Adding a Hall of Famer
The Show has continued to roll out new features for the 3rd inning program, with some of the newest player programs now being included.
Giants Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal is one of the newest players to join the game mode. Marichal also spent time with the Red Sox and Dodgers during his career, which was highlighted by his dominance in the 1960s.
Marichal won more games than any starting pitcher in the 1960s and finished with 244 career complete games during his 16-year career. With that many career complete games, Marichal’s stamina rating is an incredible 111.
So if you’re looking for a starting pitcher to give you a long outing or need someone to give you several innings, Marichal is worth keeping.
There are several different ways to unlock Marichal’s card in Diamond Dynasty and they can all be read about here.

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Madden 22 Ratings | Rookie QBs Predictions

Madden 22 will be released in just two months, and one of the biggest reasons for players buying the new version on a yearly basis is the new rookie players that are added. It is hard for a rookie quarterback to come into the NFL and have a huge impact on their team right away, but this is one of the most QB-heavy draft classes we have seen in a while.

Even former cover athlete @thepeytonhillis didn’t see this coming…
🐐 6.17.21 | 10am ET 🐐 #Madden22
— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) June 14, 2021

That said, join us as we guide you through the rookie QBs Madden 22 ratings predictions!

Trevor Lawrence (1st Pick)
Trevor Lawrence is one of the most talented quarterbacks we have ever seen play college football. Trevor never lost a regular-season game in which he started throughout both his high school and college career.
Last year number one overall pick Joe Burrow was rated just a 76. I think as far as attributes Lawrence is going to be on a higher tier than Burrow.
Trevor had a 65.8% completion rating in 2019 and threw 36 TDs to just 8 INTs. I think his accuracy ratings are going to be higher than Burrow. His arm strength is amazing and he is also mobile.
I think the hype over Lawrence and the fact that he has proven to be a once-in-a-lifetime talent will drive his overall rating high as far as rookies go.
My Rating Prediction: 81 OVR

Zach Wilson (2nd Pick)
Zach Wilson is going to be interesting as far as attributes go. Zach is somewhat mobile, but did not run as much as a guy like Justin Fields in college. Wilson also decided to not run the 40 yard dash because of a hamstring tweak which may hamper his speed.
Wilson showed out at his pro day. He made a few throws that had people wondering if he was a magician. Wilson threw an off balance pass 50 yards down the field. The pass was accurate and he was on the run. This is definitely going to boost his arm strength, long pass accuracy, and throw on the run.
Wilson is somewhat comparable to Tua who was rated a 73. They both have strong arms and can run when need be. I think he is a step up from Tua skillswise and I think his talented arm will reflect in his overall rating.
My Rating Prediction: 76 OVR
Trey Lance (3rd Pick)
Trey Lance is the big mystery in this draft class. We have limited tape on him, he is coming from an FCS school, and the 49ers traded up to pick him even though many thought he would fall lower in the round.
In 2019 Lance had unreal stats. He threw 28 TDs to no interceptions, and also ran for 1100 yards and 14 TDs. It is going to be interesting to see when Lance plays. Many people are predicting we won’t see him at all this year unless Jimmy Garoppolo really struggles.
Lance has all of the attributes to be a skilled quarterback in the NFL. He has huge arm strength and is one of the most if not the most mobile quarterback in this class.
He does not always stray away from his first read and is not one to stay in the pocket for a long period of time.
I think Lance will get solid ratings from the Madden crew similar to Justin Herbert who was rated a 70 to start last season. I think Lance’s extra mobility will give him a step up on Herbert.
My Prediction: 74 OVR
Justin Fields (11th Pick)
What a pickup this was for the Chicago Bears. The Bears have struggled drafting a quarterback, and have caught lots of heat from their fanbase for it.
Fields is an extremely fast player. He ran a 4.44 forty yard dash at his pro day. His speed and throw on the run stats are going to be off the charts in Madden.
Fields also has a cannon of an arm which will make his arm strength high. Fields accuracy and decision making are two of the main parts of his game that scouts have seen holes with. Fields often finds himself throwing into double coverage or missing an open pass.
Fields is going to have to prove he can throw the ball at a high level before he can get himself to a higher rating.
My Prediction : 70 OVR
Mac Jones (15th Pick)
Mac Jones fell further than many people thought he would. There was speculation he was going to be picked 3rd when the 49ers traded up.
I do not think we will see much of Mac Jones this season. Bill Belichick will want to develop him before throwing him into the fire.
Jones is not very mobile and does not have the biggest arm. This will keep his throw on the run and arm strength ratings fairly low.
Mac is a very accurate passer and a great decision maker, the perfect mold for a Belichick offense. I think Mac will hold a similar rating to Jacob Eason. They have some similar attributes, but Jones is definitely a more skilled passer.
My Prediction: 68 OVR

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DoorDash Delivering the Goods to Gammers

With the rise of ESPORTS/Gaming in not only the United States, but around the world, outside industries are looking to tap into one of the most up and coming “sports” today. 
Gamers worldwide practice for hours and hours a day, to improve their play and compete amongst the games best. It is considered their “full-time job” which is why they cannot even leave their chair most of the time.
DoorDash and Oceanic League of Legends (LCO) Agreement
Food delivery company DoorDash took full advantage and reached an agreement with Oceanic League of Legends competition, the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO), to become a full naming rights partner. The league was previously operated by ESL Australia but will now be called the DoorDash League of Legends Circuit Oceania (DoorDash LCO) for the remainder of the year.
The DoorDash logo will be seen across LCO broadcasts in a number of new segments, and will be able to reach the young, tech-savvy gamers/esports fans in the surrounding area.
Head of Commercial for the DoorDash LCO, Greme Du Toit, had this to say about the exciting news, “We are elated to be partnering with DoorDash. They’ve been greatly supportive of our vision for the league and I’m excited to see what we can do together in both the short and long term. “Convenience is critically important for our audience, and we’re looking forward to leveraging DoorDash to improve the LCO experience for our fans. Hopefully, that spills over into DoorDash making their lives more convenient outside of match days too.”
The convenience aspect of the deal is something that is essential which I believe gamers will love and appreciate. For example, in the middle of gaming, they will have the option to order lunch/dinner straight to them from their controller. They will not have to get up from their seat or even use their phone to place a food delivery order.
Senior Manager of Consumer Marketing at DoorDash, Michael McCash also had this to say about the deal,
“We’re really excited about sponsoring the League of Legends Circuit Oceania. Gaming and on-demand delivery go perfectly together. DoorDash prides itself on its high-level convenience offering for food, groceries and alcohol – perfect for players and spectators that are often engrossed in long gaming sessions.”
Due to DoorDash’s willingness to strike first in this industry over their competitors such as Postmates and UberEats, I suspect their stock to increase exponentially and eventually become the worldwide leader in food delivery. It will not be for long for the word to spread about their professionalism, convenience, and simplicity especially for a company that has already built a good reputation in the United States up to this point.
The excitement is ramping up, and gamers/esports users should be thrilled at this incredible partnership. By the looks of it, both sides are heavily committed to one another which is why I will not be surprised if this turns into an eventual long term deal. 
Stay with Esports All Star for more news from the Esports industry!

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Time to Panic for T2P and OpTic Chicago

OpTic Chicago fell to 2-2 in Stage 4 and 17-13 on the season with a loss to the last-place Seattle Surge Thursday afternoon.
OpTic entered the season as a clear top-three favorite alongside the Atlanta Faze and Dallas Empire, but are yet to finish above top-four at a major this season. A loss to the Surge is a new low for the squad, who had portrayed a more positive appearance on social media and claimed to be improving their teamwork and results in practice sessions.
OpTic out-slayed Seattle by +14 over the course of the series but lost the decisive map five Search and Destroy on Raid after falling behind 0-3 in the round count. Dashy and Scump were on the verge of forcing the eleventh round after “The King” popped a two-piece on the defending side of the map, but Prestinni and Gunless succeeded where their teammates fell and closed OpTic out 6-4.
This team had been projected as one of the best in the history of competitive Call of Duty, given the overwhelming talent of Dashy and Envoy, the best sub-machine gun player ever in Scump, and a top-three assault rifle player in FormaL. However, as determined as the group of friends may be to improve their fortunes, it may be time to think about making a roster change either at the end of Stage Four or in the offseason.
Dashy has the second-best kill/death ratio in the entire CDL, trailing World Champion and former league-MVP Simp. “Bruce” is also within the top-10 in K/D across all game modes, but has surprisingly low numbers in metrics that measure engagements and pace of play. Dashy is considered to have the best shot in Call of Duty history and is at his best when he is let off the leash and can control lanes and central portions of the map, though the numbers suggest that his impact is being lessened by his current role.
Envoy broke onto the scene in Black Ops 4 with Midnight Gaming and was immediately recognized as having a natural feel for the game and a knack for coming up with clutch plays, whether they be late-round kills in search and Destroy or timely flanks in respawn modes. “The Prince” was an MVP candidate in Modern Warfare last year but has drastically underperformed this season, posting a 1.02 K/D for the season. While this number is not bad, especially for a title that has an AR-dominant meta, they are not what the other young superstars have put up.
Envoy’s case is a tricky one to figure— while he seems like the most obvious choice to drop from the team if the decision is made, OpTic has branded him as the man to carry the torch once the older veteran decides to retire. The Green Wall must also be careful not to lose a player with his talent, even if he has a bad season. The Dallas Empire made a move of similar circumstances by dropping Huke and picking up FeLo, and it hurt their performance immediately.
Scump is virtually untouchable at OpTic: he has been the face of the most successful CoD team for nine years, is the most popular figure in the scene, and is considered to be a top-five player of all time. Scump is sitting at an even 1.00 K/D for the year, only .02 behind Envoy, and is also second in overall Search and Destroy K/D. His presence on the team alone drives viewership, brand recognition and sales for OpTic and the CDL as a whole, and he is one of the three players that will never be allowed to be dropped in their careers.
The final member of the team is FormaL, a former World Champion, World Championship MVP and a multiple-first person shooter champion. The second half of T2P, a duo he formed with Scump before the CDL was created, has come into question for his slower style of play in a game that is centered around quick movement mechanics and flying at enemies. FormaL has an abundance of leadership qualities and can still shoot laser beams, but he does not seem to be able to dominate other top ARs such as Octane and Cellium.
OpTic’s recent loss adds a dark layer to the reality of a disappointing Cold War season. Whereas they had only struggled against better teams in the past, going 3-8 against top-four teams and 14-5 against lower-tier teams, they now appear to be floundering and running thin on excuses.
The Stage Four major will be taking place in a localized area network, the first since March 7-8 2020. If OpTic cannot produce enough performances to carry them into the top-three finishing positions, the whispers will only grow louder.
Unfortunately for the Green Wall, there is not an abundance of talent available on the market. Sib is regarded as a talented up-and-comer but has been reprimanded for character issues, and without a clear sense of what role needs to be filled, OpTic would struggle to find where to even begin its search.
A potential swap could come from the free-agent pool: a popular choice would be Samuel “Octane” Larew, who led the lobby with a 1.28 K/D in Thursday’s match between Optic and the Surge. Octane teamed up with Scump for the latter half of the World War II season and could slot into the main AR position, should OpTic choose to take FormaL off of the starting lineup.
The most obvious way for OpTic to quell the roar of the fans would simply be to win, which is what their roster was formed around. Storylines will become clearer after the result at LAN and the removal of ping-based discrepancies online.
The Green Wall has one match left in week three of Stage Four against the Los Angeles Thieves at 6:00 p.m. ET; after that, it is do-or-die for everyone on the roster.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.

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Ravens Announce Gaming League

On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens announced a new gaming league, the Ravens Gaming League. 
The Raven’s gaming league hopes to unite fans of the Ravens and the NFL through different video game competitions and activities. Starting on June 25, Raven’s gaming league is hosting a Fortnite tournament. Following the inaugural Fortnite tournament will be a Madden NFL 22 tournament to be held on a later date this summer. 
As part of the launch of the Ravens Gaming League, the Ravens joined into a multi-year partnership with Esports Entertainment Group as the tournament provider for the league. 
“Our esports tournament platform continues to gain strong traction among top-tier professional sports franchises,” Esports Gaming League GEO Grant Johnson said. “We are delighted to add the Ravens as our first NFL partner to live on our platform.” 
Esports Gaming League was founded in 2005 and helped forge the direction of the world behind Esports. The goal of the league is to create an online arena where players have the ability to compete in leagues that are ideal for their skill level for the best experience regardless of platform. 
The winner of the tournament will be awarded $500 in cash, a Ravens VIP home game experience, which includes hotel, transportation, and Ravens gear, as well as an opportunity to play video games against a Raven player. 
Joining a Trend
The Ravens are the latest of many professional sports organizations to fully enter the esports industry in the last several years. The Ravens join fellow NFL franchises, the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and New England Patriots as partners with the Esports Entertainment Group. 

The Eagles were the first NFL team to partner with Esports Entertainment Group in December, also as a tournament platform. It is expected more teams will follow in the Eagles, Broncos, Patriots, and Ravens footsteps. 
“We are excited to launch this new initiative and explore the benefits for our fans,” Ravens senior vice president of marketing Brad Downs said. “The gaming and esports industry offers unique opportunities to engage with our fan base, in addition to Ravens Players who have shown interest in gaming and esports.” 
Registration for the Fortnite tournament opened on Monday, with the first 500 players to register receiving an official Ravens headband and prizes and giveaways to be awarded throughout the tournament. 
A Growing Interest in Popular Games
Fortnite took a stranglehold on the gaming industry in 2018 as one of the esports most competitive games. Since 2018, Fortnite, a battle royale-style game, has been able to create a strong following among sports fans through different sports-themed skins that characters are able to wear.
In 2020, the NFL and Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, extended a partnership to bring the NFL-themed outfits. The agreement also brought NFL branding to Gridiron Gang and NFL content to the popular remote control car soccer-based game, Rocket League. 
While Fortnite has gained popularity in recent years, EA Sports Madden NFL games have long been the leader in professional football games. Madden debuted all the way back in 1989 and was able to outlet competitors like Tecmo Bowl and the 2K Sports branded NFL games of the early 2000s. 
Madden tournaments have been a regular form of competition in tournament form for sports gamers dating back to the mid-2000s. However, in recent years fans of the franchise have complained about a lack of innovation in the game, with many game modes not experiencing many changes or alterations. Still, though, Madden has been able to sign regular contract extensions with the NFL to continue producing games. 
With esports becoming more popular across the country, more professional teams are expecting to brand with the growing industry.
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