After four months on the bench, Richard “Xizt” Landström decided to end his adventure with Fnatic. The experienced Swedish leader today has definitively split up with his former organization with which he has worked since May 2018.
Landström’s second signing with Fnatic was hardly successful. The 28-year-old was supposed to bring the team the tactical stability they needed and bring fresh ideas to the line-up, but eventually it became a symbol of Fnatic’s fall. It was under his leadership that the legendary team for the first time in their history lost the status of a Major Legend, and then failed to qualify for the next Major, which has never happened before for this organization.
Throughout his entire time with the team, Xizt managed to bring his squad to just one success, to victory at the not-so-prestigious PLG Grand Slam 2018. At the end of August last year, he became a victim of a small personnel revolution and landed in reserve.
“The time has come for me to move on. It was an honor for me to play for Fnatic again and I would like to thank the management, players and other people associated with the organization,” Landström admitted in a short statement. However, if you believe the rumors that have been around for some time, he should not remain unemployed for too long. Much was said about his potential transfer to Dignitas, where he would meet three of his former colleagues from the time with Ninjas in Pajamas, i.e. Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Adam “friberg” Friberg and Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund.
As a reminder, the composition of Fnatic is currently as follows:
Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson
Jesper “JW” Wecksell
Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin
Robin “flusha” Rönnquist
Maikil “Golden” Selim
Andreas “Samuelsson” Samuelsson – coach
If the rumors become reality, Dignitas squad will be:
The American League of Legends scene has been struggling with problems for a long time and cannot compete equally with the best regions in the world during international tournaments. There can be several reasons, but the most frequently mentioned is certainly the lack of young and prospective players who could bring a fair amount of freshness to the league. And although we would like to see new faces, each time the true legend of a given region decides to hang the mouse and keyboard on a stake, we begin to wonder if this is really a good step.
Last night, one of the most successful botlaners on the American scene decided to suspend his professional player’s career. Of course, we are talking here about Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, a long-term representative of Cloud9, who we will not see in the near future in the role of actively participating in any games. Not so long ago, Sneaky was replaced in C9 by Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and did not have the slightest intention of fighting him for a place in the main formation, competing in the struggles intended for the academy. And although for some time Scuderi was associated with the transfer to the LCS Dignitas returning to the franchise, ultimately nothing happened, because in the end, wearing the yellow-black leotard in the 2020 season there will be a youngster — Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen.
So it’s no wonder that when Sneaky didn’t find a new home for himself in the 2020 most important league in North America, he decided to take a break and suspend his career for an indefinite period. The 25-year-old botlaner, however, does not intend to remain idle and step aside completely, because in the near future he will continue to work as an independent streamer, he will still be one of Cloud9’s shareholders, and in addition, he has assumed the position of advisor in the organization. For those who are worried that they will probably never see Scuderi again in professional LoL games, we have good news. Sneaky in his statement assured all fans that he still wants to compete, however, he wants to look around for the best option for a possible return.
We would like to remind you that the former Cloud9 botlaner has appeared on all editions of the LoL World Championships since the 2013 season. And although every year American teams significantly disappointed the expectations of lovers of the struggle, Sneaky and his companions repeatedly gave them reasons for joy. The C9 with Scuderi in the composition was able to be in the Worlds quarterfinals four times, and in 2018 it even reached the semi-finals, surprising all enthusiasts. In addition to international successes, Sneaky has also made several important trophies from NA LCS, including two championship titles.
Just a few days ago we were informed about the merger between the LDLC and one of the most recognizable sports clubs in France — Olympique Lyon. As a result of the cooperation of both entities from now on in La Ligue Française, which is the most important League of Legends competition in France, we will no longer watch the LDLC Team, but LDLC OL. The first fruit of the popular club’s partnership with the esports organization is the return of legendary support player, Bora “YellOwStaRa” Kim, to active participation in the LFL.
YellOwStaR is without a doubt one of the most recognized and titled players of the European League of Legends scene. It was he who contributed to many of Fnatic’s successes in 2013-2015, among which we can distinguish the five-time European championship and twice reaching the World Championship semi-finals. Later, however, YellOwStaR’s career certainly did not go his way, because both joining TSM and subsequent return to Fnatic was not abound in glorious triumphs.
Later, however, YellOwStaR decided to accept the offer from Paris Saint-Germain, then working as an esports director and abandoning the player’s career. After all, after a year in PSG, Kim joined the LDLC Team, taking over the role of head coach of the formation participating in the French competition. Under the leadership of YellOwStaR, LDLC triumphed in both editions of LFL 2019, thanks to which it took part in the European Masters twice. There, however, the French players were unable to advance further than to the quarter-finals.
Kim will be joined by the jungler Kristian “TynX” Østergaard Hansen, previously of Movistar Riders and GamersOrigin. At the moment, no official information has been given about the rest of the LDLC OL lineup, so it’s difficult to assess whether this team will be a real threat to the already established and solid Misfits Premier or Vitality.Bee formations.
During the closed beta, you didn’t have the opportunity to play Legends of Runeterra? Don’t worry — you will have the opportunity soon. And this time you will not need to follow the streams of Riot Games partners to gain access to LoR. The American studio announced the open beta of their card game, which will start in January, and more precisely on Friday, January 24.
In a short video published today on the game channel on YouTube, representatives of Riot Games responsible for the card game from the LoL universe, Jeff Jew and Andrew Yip stated that they initially intended to continue giving out invitations to the closed beta. However, after feedback from the community, it was clear to them that it would be better to share it with everyone. By the way, they told a bit about the functionalities that await players after gaining access to the game.
For those who want to get into the game as early as possible and test their skills against other players, we have good news. Ranked games will be launched already in the open beta phase, and their system will be similar to that available in LoL. By winning games we will be able to earn ranking points and after getting enough of them we will be promoted from the Iron circle to the Championship. The second similarity is the constant change of gameplay to prevent weariness — get ready to view the patch descriptions!
In addition to ranked games, we will also have the option to challenge your friends. And you won’t have to search for them again — thanks to LoL and LoR’s activities as games of the Riot Games brand, in the card game client you will find all the friends you also had on the list of the flagship American studio production.
The pain of many card games is the compulsion to spend real money to at least partially improve your deck. However, this will not be an issue in Legends of Runeterra — card packs will not be available for purchase. This does not mean, however, that there will be no store in LoR. For money, you will be able to purchase various visual enhancements, such as the appearance of your part of the playing field, or Guardians, i.e. your avatars in your game, sitting quietly next to the virtual table.
And what about the most important element of each card game, i.e. … cards? Jew and Yip announced that they will be introducing many sets to the game this year, each one dedicated to a different Runeterra region, but also adding heroes to other regions. “You will see popular items from each region, but it is possible that you will be pleasantly surprised by new heroes who will join Legends of Runeterra this year,” said Jeff Jew.
You can watch the whole video above. We remind you that the open beta will start on January 24, so it is less than two weeks until the launch. We can expect the official premiere of the game in the first half of this year, both on computers and mobile devices.
2019 was an amazing year for the esports world — it continued to grow and this year there were nearly 5,000 tournaments with a total prize pool of over $230 million dollars. In 2018, prize pools totaled $163 million dollars, so this year they grew by 29 percent. This year’s record was set when the Dota 2 World Championship handed out $34 million to The International 2019 players. This is the biggest prize-winning tournament in the history of esports.
This fan-generated prize pool won over even the steepest Fortnite World Championship, which handed out $30 million dollars. It was a real hassle to get into the top ten esports games this year and most of the games on this list have been on the list before. But there were three new esports disciplines on the charts and for the first time in many years, we had a new first-place winner.
# 10 – Rainbow Six Siege – $ 4.1 million (2018: 14th place, $ 1.9 million)
This first-person shooter released by Ubisoft based on novels by author Tom Clancy. We can see this name for the first time in the top ten. The main reason this game went up several positions was their professional league prize pool increase from $162 thousand to $292 thousand dollars in 2019. Of course, the biggest weights were the Six Invitational in Montreal with a prize pool of $2 million dollars.
# 9 – Arena of Valor – $ 5.8 million (2018: 8th place, $ 5.1 million)
Another year as we see this esports discipline on the charts. The game is played five on five on a given map, released by the huge Chinese company Tencent. This year, they boasted big tournament prize pools: the King Pro League Spring Tournament and the Honor of the Kings World Championship Cup handed out $ 1.3 million and $ 2 million, respectively.
This mobile game is very popular in the Asian regions, but it is not successful in Western countries. This year, rumors spread that Tencent would no longer support the game in North America and Europe due to declining players in those regions. This has not happened yet, but it is possible in the coming months of 2020.
#8 – Call of Duty – $ 6.51 million (2018: 25th place, $ 640K)
The Call of Duty World League was a game-changing tournament with leagues in the United States, Europe, Asia. Teams shared cash prizes based on their performance at each stop. This model ensured that the teams had a steady income, but the biggest cash value was the CWL Championship, where teams shared $ 2 million. and CWL Pro League Finals $ 1.2 million dollars. It is planned to create a franchise league in this discipline in 2020, to be run by Activision Blizzard. There will be $6 million in this league’s prize pool.
#7 – Magic: The Gathering – $ 8.89 million (2018: 42nd place, $ 200K)
This year saw the game Magic: The Gathering Arena, a revitalized card game for 25 years with new designs and changes to the rules of professional play. For the first time in history, Wizards of the Coast and their parent company Hasbro have invested multimillion dollars in professional stage development and digital product development. With this new format came new investments in the esports scene. This has revitalized the game’s viewability on streaming platforms. With all these changes and a stable platform, we can expect great results from Magic in the coming years.
# 6 – League of Legends – $ 9.02 million (2018: 4th place, $ 14.5M)
The first member of the 2018 Big Four to be listed this year is League of Legends. The game has been around for ten years, but it continues to beat records. The League of Legends World Championship 2019 has seen as many as 44 million live views at one time. Also, looking at these numbers, it seems like the game is not dying, but rather growing to new heights.
Also, Riot Games is expanding its gaming universe and preparing to release new games in various esports genres. Everyone was also surprised by the announcement that a mobile version of the League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics will be created, which will pull many players into the Riot Games ecosystem. The League of Legends prize pools may not be the fastest-growing in esports, but the expansion of this company will mean that in general they will only increase their influence and place in esports.
* At the time of publishing, the amount to be added to the World Cup prize pool, which includes revenues generated by in-game skins for game players, was not announced.
This year Blizzard has risen to one position and is in fifth place. Blizzard added at each stage of the 2019 league, raising $ 3.5 million dollars throughout 2019. But the Contender League, which aims to grow talent and serve as a lower division in a franchise-based professional league, has attracted the most attention. Millions of dollars invested in the Contenders League, China has handed out $500,000 in the first and second seasons winners, while the North American, South American and European leagues’ general fund totaled $1.6 million dollars.
This is the last year we will see this particular game, with the release of a new part of this game in 2020 — Overwatch 2.
The Battle Royale genre did not disappoint us in 2019 either. It continues to grow the community of esports and the game itself. PUBG Global Championship raised $5.9 million dollar prize pool. The World Cup was the last event of the 2019 World Championship series where we were able to watch the 32 best teams in the world in this discipline.
The finals were held at Oakland Arena, California. 2020 looks even more exciting as the league announces the addition of three new events to accompany the World Cup.
#3 – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – $ 21.1 million (2018: 2nd place, $ 22.6M)
The leader of the FPS (First Person Shooter) genre has fallen by one position since last year. The main reason is the decrease in the overall prize pool and tournaments throughout the year. There were 832 tournaments in 2018 and 612 this year. The biggest tournaments handed out similar amounts of money as last year, but there were definitely 220 lost tournaments in 2019. While the game is criticized for its principle and some graphic images, which may seem brutal, it continues to be one of the leaders in the entire esports industry.
After losing their lead, Dota 2 still has something to be proud of as their World Championship this year had the largest prize pool ever in the esports industry, with 34 million dollars. Also, this year’s Dota 2 reached the highest annual viewership in game history. The World Cup was the most-watched event in the history of the Dota game series.
The five members of the OG team that won the World Championship immediately rose to the top of the most earning esports players of all time.
The new season of Fortnite 2019 was clearly the year of the Fortnite game created by Epic Games. When the game’s developers announced that their game will receive as much as $ 100 million in prize money, most esports organizations have begun to look for their place in the Fortnite world.
The four-day World Cup, which crowned the winner of Solo Championship winner Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who brought home $ 3 million dollars. This young man became a big star in a second and was well received by traditional media. In addition to the $ 30 million set up by the World Cup prize, Epic Games handed out millions in other tournaments: Fortnite Champion Series, Skirmish Series, Twitchcon, etc.
Also, the Winter Royale Duos tournament, which attracted $ 15 million, has just ended. Given the game’s growing popularity this year, big prize pools are expected to continue to surprise next year as well.