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eSports Zone No. 2

We’re back in the zone again for eSports, for round two of news from the competitive gaming world (we hope) you can use. There’s never a shortage of stories in the fast-paced and fast-growing segment of the games world, so let’s get to it!

ESL Bringing eSports Action to gamescom 2016

If you’re attending the upcoming gamescom 2016 and you love eSports, you’re in for a treat. ESL Arena should be a massive sprawl of competitive gaming during the run of gamescom, from August 17 to 21. Including among the many titles to be contested, some with sizable prize pools on the line, are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Elsword, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Lawbreakers, League of Legends and Overwatch.

Red Bull Proving Grounds Early Rounds About to Begin

Regional qualifiers for the Red Bull Proving Grounds are about to kick off, up until mid-September. The main objective is to win against rivals in Street Fighter V and ultimately earn a spot with the pros at the Capcom Pro Tour North American Finals at the Red Bull Battle Ground, from November 4-6 at the Seattle Exhibition Hall. Rather than tell how the process works, this handy-dandy YouTube video shows how anyone can enter, anyone can compete and anyone has a shot at moving up the ladder.

Here’s the lowdown in the upcoming schedule itself:

  • Atlanta – Aug. 27, Sept. 24
  • Los Angeles – Aug. 20, Sept. 17
  • Chicago – Aug. 28, Sept. 25
  • Seattle – Aug. 13, Sept. 10
  • Philadelphia – Aug. 13, Sept. 10
  • Toronto – Sept. 10

Kingston Technology Sells One Million HyperX Headsets

Why is a million-sales headset product getting a hat tip in an eSports news post? Firstly, HyperX, the gaming product brand (which includes headsets) from Kingston Technologies, sponsors more than 30 eSports teams globally and is the main sponsor of Intel Extreme Masters. It would seem HyperX’s embrace of eSports might help some gamers decide to give the product a try. Launched in 2014, the HyperX line of headsets covers 10 products and is sold through 10,000 stores in 80 countries, so that broad availability can’t hurt sales either.

Oakland, California to New eSports Arena

The San Francisco Bay area, home to many game development and eSports-related companies, is about to see a dedicated arena for competitive gaming established in Oakland, California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Backed by Chinese and entertainment industry money, this eSports-dedicated 1,000 seat facility will be called the “ESports Arena: Oakland”. This facility will be one of only a few in the world and the first in the area, is expected to be set up by year’s end or early 2017.

eSports as an Olympic Sport (Take Two)?

We briefly took a look at this question back in eSports Zone #1, but now the 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing in Rio and it remains an open question whether eSports will be able to join that particular pantheon of games. The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) has submitted paperwork whether eSports belong in an upcoming Olympics, and are expected to hear back by December on that petition, according to a story on the topic by Mashable. Further, it looks like the IeSF is doing all it can to step as a governing body to be seen as an enforcer within, and promoter of, eSports.

“The e-Sports World Championships are kind of like IeSF’s own version of an esports Olympics. The championships are hosted in a different member country every year, and  member countries can send teams to compete in different games each time like Starcraft II, League of Legends, Street Fighter and more.

IeSF has also been working to legitimize esports by making partnerships with titans in the sports world, including the International Association of Athletics Federation and becoming a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

Hopefully by the end of the year, there will be an update on where the petition stands to join an even larger world stage for competitive gaming.

Thresh Second to be Inducted in eSports Hall of Fame

At QuakeCon 2016, pioneering competitive gamer Dennis “Thresh” Fong was formally inducted as the second pro gamer into the eSports Hall of Fame. If you know Quake, Thresh is almost as big a name as the game itself and is likely a familiar name to you. If not, to sum up some of his accomplishments: Fong was well-known in DOOM, but far better known in Quake. In id’s 1996 first-person polygonal shooter game, he never lost a tournament, and was known for popularizing WASD key bindings, controlling game pace, armor or ammo tactics, and leveraging sound as clues in game combat, as mentioned in an article by PVP Live.

Fong’s induction follows that of Emil ‘HeatoN’ Christensen, who was an ex-professional Counter-Strike player and founder of Ninjas in Pyjamas.

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