Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of April 13, 2020

PUBG Corp announces replacement for canceled 2020 Global Series

TL;DR - PUBG’s Global Series was canceled this week by parent company PUBG Corp. However, the company was quick to follow with an announcement for a new PUBG Continental Series. The new competition will be a multi-regional, fully virtual series between Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. The $2.4M prize pool will be divided evenly amongst the regions, and will kick off in May with the PCS Charity Showdown - a $400K event with an additional $400K going to charity. Subsequent events will take place from June through August. Full details are still pending but expected in the coming weeks.

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Facebook Gaming Tournaments feature enters early access this week

TL;DR - The social network’s newest feature aims to make it easier for those stuck at home, gaming and streaming, to compete against each other in loosely organized events. With Tournaments, Facebook Gaming users can spin up events quickly with registration, brackets, and a scoring system straight out of the box. Formats supported include round-robin, single elimination, and double elimination. Fundraising is optional as well to make it easy for organizers to raise money in conjunction with the matches.

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Full details revealed for Hearthstone Grandmasters 2020

TL;DR - Blizzard dropped the complete details on the first season of the Hearthstone Grandmasters 2020 competition this week. Naturally, the event will be fully virtual, with seven new contestants added to the event’s roster. The first full season kicked off on April 17th and will run for two months, every Friday through Sunday. Matches will be exclusively streamed on YouTube Gaming, per Blizzard’s agreement with the platform which was announced earlier this year. The first three weeks will follow the Swiss format leading into the Group Stage. Weeks 4 - 7 will be round robin within the two divisions of each region. And week 8 will host the playoffs, with one player per region advancing to the World Championship at year’s end.

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Riot makes VALORANT drops available to all Twitch streamers

TL;DR - Riot Games has made it possible for all Twitch streamers to enable VALORANT closed beta drops, however the number of keys actually available has not increased. Twitch viewers can now watch any VALORANT stream on the platform and potentially score one of the coveted keys - not just the core contingent of top streamers. All that’s required is that a viewer watches for a few hours. The drops can even be rewarded if the viewer is offline, as long as that viewership threshold is met.

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Activision unveils $250K Call of Duty League Challenger Cup series

TL;DR - The Call of Duty Challengers competition scored some love from Activision this week as it announced a new competitive series for the amateur league. Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific will compete online for a chance at $250K in prize money. These Challenger Cups kicked off on April 18th, and consist of five events across all three regions. Competitors can earn Challenger Points, with the top teams taking home 5,000 points per player. Activision has yet to explain what those points actually mean, but it’s safe to assume that’s coming soon. Events will have their own dedicated broadcasts on Sundays throughout the life of the series, presumably on YouTube Gaming given Activision-Blizzard’s exclusive deal with the platform.

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Teamfight Tactics official competitive series announced

TL;DR - Riot Games announced this week an official competitive series for its hit auto-battler, Teamfight Tactics. With a prize pool of $200K, Teamfight Tactics: Galaxies Championship will span Brazil, China, Europe, Latin America, North America, and South Korea. The series will feature a merit-based system for qualifying, along with regional events for highly-skilled players to score a spot. Riot also shared community guidelines for any third-parties looking to organize their own tournaments.

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