Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of October 14, 2019
Riot announces all new lineup of games based on League of Legends lore
TL;DR - During the 10th anniversary celebration for its wildly popular League of Legends MOBA title, Riot Games took the opportunity to announce a series of new projects based on the game’s deep lore. Riot will go toe-to-toe with Blizzard with Legends of Runeterra, a digital card game similar to Hearthstone. LoR will be coming to mobile and PC platforms next year, but there’s a closed beta planned for early 2020. Projects F, L, and A will be RPG, fighting, and tactical shooters games respectively. Project A, the planned shooter, will be something entirely new, based in a “near-future Earth”. LoL: Wild Rift will be a port of vanilla LoL meant for mobile and console platforms. Riot also announced plans to bring it’s popular auto-battler title Teamfight Tactics to mobile next year. The company will make the leap into more traditional media in 2020r with an animated series called Arcane, based on the League universe.
Legends of Runeterra launch captures impressive viewership share for Riot Games
TL;DR - While technically just a limited release, Riot Games’ Legends of Runeterra card game managed to capture 2.5M hours watched on its first day on Twitch. Riot announced the game would be available for full release in early 2020, but streamers with early access are pushing the game hard to their viewers during this limited window. Shortly after going live, streamers had attracted more than 230K viewers, with some streamers even increasing their typical averages with the hype around new game.
Twitch ratchets up battle against viewbotting and fake engagement
TL;DR - Twitch announced this week that it’s implemented changes to the platform that will “better detect and remove artificial views” from streaming channels. The company was quick to clarify that lurkers can still lurk, and even went so far as to attach a clearer definition around what lurking actually entails. People who are watching without chatting, or have muted the stream or the browser tab, or those watching more than one stream at once should still have their viewership recognized. Twitch is specifically targeting anything that artificially boosts a channel’s stats, especially through the use of third-party applications.
Epic Games announces $5M prize pool for the first season of Fortnite Chapter 2 competitive play
TL;DR - Aspiring flossers now have five million more reasons to hop into the competitive Fortnite scene. Epic Games shared this week that season one of Fortnite Chapter Two’s competitive series will be capped off with a $5M prize pool spanning all regions. Players will earn Hype in the game’s Arena mode, climbing the competitive ladder all the way to the Champion League. Once there, they’ll unlock the ability to compete in the Fortnite Champion Series. And, for four weeks beginning November 1st, squads can compete in a three-round event to qualify for the season one finals. Epic also has plans for platform-specific events, separating PC and console players into their respective silos. The season one finals are set for December 6 - 8.
Activision announces Call of Duty League format and formation of Challenger League
TL;DR - The new CoD League format will have all twelve teams hosting two multi-day events in their home regions during the spring and summer splits. At each of these events, a handful of teams will be competing, however the league itself will be hosting a Midseason Weekend event between splits where all twelve teams will participate. The championship series will be a double-elimination system with two wild card slots, all of which will occur during the Championship Weekend next summer. The CoD Challenger League is meant to provide a path for amateurs and semi-pros to make it into the big league. Activision is putting up $1M in prize money for its Challenger League to entire participation. And the Call of Duty League City Circuit will pit locals against each other in 2v2 matches, with winners joining their cities at the League Championship Weekend.
The Washington Post tackles esports coverage with new Launcher feature
TL;DR - Through a partnership with GEICO, The Washington Post went live on the 15th with Launcher, its dedicated esports news coverage feature. With Launcher, WaPo aims to cover gaming on the whole, with a focus on esports leagues and events, going so far as to offer streaming tips as well. It plans to cover popular AAA titles alongside promising indies as the community dictates. Launcher will have its own social media presence across most familiar platforms. The Launcher team includes folks with backgrounds at ESPN, Polygon, and Game Informer.
Twitch finally adds subscriber support to iOS app
TL;DR - The long-awaited feature is now live, and viewers are able to subscribe to their favorite Partners and Affiliates via the Twitch mobile app. But nothing can be that simple, can it? Of course not - we’re talking about Apple here. Viewers have to purchase a “Sub Token” through the Twitch app which can then be redeemed for a Tier 1 subscription to any eligible channel. Subscription renewals will each require an additional token, which can be redeemed in quantities up to twelve at once. Most notably, Sub Tokens cost $5.99 “to account for mobile app store fees”. Twitch is doing a promotion through October where viewers can purchase two tokens for $8.99.
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