January marks the return of League of Legends

January marks the return of League of Legends

The first week of the first 2019 League of Legends season is approaching. The years pass, the scenario evolves, new leagues arise and more and more games are played.

Following all leagues is practically impossible, so we selected the five best competitions to follow in the first Split of 2019.

CBLOL – Beginning January 12th:

The Brazilian Championship of League of Legends will start off the 2019 season. If killing the longing is not enough, I have two reasons for you to watch CBLOL this Saturday.

The first is the new format, announced on December 6th. Now CBLOL has ten weeks and all matches will be just a single map. This result is a pleasant experience for the spectator, but that affects the competitiveness of the teams. And, unfortunately, we can only know the impact of this change on future international championships.

Another important change happened during the transfer window. The first stage of 2019 will be the most competitive edition of all time. Eight of the forty-five players registered (18%) in the tournament are foreigners, surpassing the 12% mark in 2014 — the previous high.

LPL – Beginning January 14th:

The LPL has always been a fun championship. Matches are marked by epic moments and teamfights are constant. Teams are willing to take risks and the result is exciting games. The sum of these factors makes, in my opinion, LPL the most friendly league for casual League of Legends fans.

However, the conference model seemed to be a barrier to the arrival of new fans. In 2019 the LPL will be simpler and easier to understand: all teams face each other in best-of-three series and the top eight qualify for the playoffs.

The combination of solid structure and good games is the formula of success for any league, but the LPL has a card up its sleeve. If you do not know, Invictus Gaming has maintained its world championship winning line-up for the year 2019. On the 14th we will have the first of many chances to review the champions in action against the world’s best teams.

LCK – Beginning January 16th:

With no changes to its format since 2015, the big highlights of the LCK have always happened within Summoner’s Rift. Despite this, the Korean league will have a major change in 2019: a new home. The LCK leaves the studios of the OGN and goes to LOL Park, one of the venues of the 2018 World Cup.

On the other hand, the failure in the Worlds 2018 has resulted in great changes in the equipment of the first and second division of Korea. New seedlings generate new narratives and the Spring 2019 LCK promises to be a generation shock. On the one hand, SK Telecom veterans are looking for more trophies for the most successful organization in history. On the other hand, Griffin and DAMWON Gaming are willing to show that they are not only the future but also the gift of the LOL elite.

If you like good narratives and even better games, do not miss the LCK.

LEC – Beginning January 18th:

The League of Legends European Championship is the perfect tournament for those who are fans of news. With a new name and visual identity, the LEC marks the arrival of the franchise model and newcomer organizations in the Old Continent.

But do not be fooled, European teams have not lost their competitive potential. The maintenance of players like Bwipo, Caps, Rekkles and Perkz indicates that we can expect good performances from Fnatic, G2 Esports and other teams in future international tournaments.

Europe is unlikely to give up its spot as one of the best regions in the world anytime soon, but the 2019 season will show just how much stronger they can get.

That alone is reason alone to watch the debut split of the new LEC.

LCS – Beginning January 26th:

If I had to choose the LCS soundtrack, my choice would be Pink Floyd’s Money. That’s because even after a year of underperforming and overall unimpressive results, most organizations opened their wallets and reinforced their positions for the upcoming split.

Great players are attracted to regions with greater financial potential, not very surprisingly. However, it is surprising to say that five former world champions will play in North America in 2019. The LCS has always been marked by its main characters and this season has leading players. If you want to follow the next chapters in the history of Crown, Bang, Doublelift, Bjergsen and Sneaky, just watch the most popular league in the West.

North America’s LCS once again establishes itself as the most expensive league, but will that help them get results on the international stage?

 

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Bly: “I think I can count on at least TOP-8 at the WESG finals”

Bly: “I think I can count on at least TOP-8 at the WESG finals”

After winning in the Ukraine WESG qualifier, Aleksandr “Bly” Svysiuk packs his bags for the World Finals in Chongqing next year.

The 29-year-old Ukrainian had a rough 2018, changing teams several times. He transferred from team expert, where he spent two years, to Tollenz Lions. Lions dropped their Starcraft, FIFA, and PUBG teams last week, leaving Bly teamless.

He didn’t have to stay a free agent for long. Right before the WESG Ukraine finals he joined his fellow countrymen DIMAGA in Team Blacer.

This weekend Bly successfully qualified for WESG World Finals, where he will compete for $240,000 USD in prize money.

Following his victory against Kas, Bly spoke about his expectations for WESG, Serral, the next year and the future of Starcraft.

You have won the Ukrainian WESG for the third consecutive year, how difficult was it for you to win this time? 

Given the format, given that I did not have the advantage of the Winners, I was afraid that it would be difficult. The organizers made it so that in the grand final it was necessary to play the match BO7 and there was no advantage for Winner. In principle, I knew that I played the best of all the others. I was sure that if I played at least more or less, I should win, even in close 4-2 or 4-3 games, but I understood that I could play very well and then I’ll generally be.

Has Kas surprised you in the final? How difficult was it to play the final?

It is always difficult with him. He surprised me by playing very well today, usually, he plays worse in online tournaments. Sometimes the game was so naughty that only intelligence could understand what was going on. Then I ran in – I killed SCV, then he killed drones, we did not have time to control, multi-front, etc. 

It was difficult, it was very difficult. He pleasantly surprised me with how well he played. According to my feelings, I did not play well in terms of the brain. His hands worked fine, but not always what happens in the game, it turned out to analyze — how many troops he has, what mix, etc. In general, I played more on intuition.

Did you assume that it is with Kas that you will meet in the final?

I thought I would play with HellRaiser. The Protoss in principle is now imba and I thought that the Protoss would crush Terran, but Kas arranged such a strong-willed victory, the commentators there just yelled, it was very cool. Kas deserved this victory and outplayed the young player. The old guard, that’s what it is. 

In TOP-4, there are three players in this tournament who have been playing for so many years. Are you surprised that new players do not appear? Why is this happening, why is this your old skill so invincible?

Yes, we are very old. I’m with Kas from Warcraft, Dimaga from the first Starcraft. 12 years already we are engaged as pro-gamers, therefore we are very old school. Most likely, there are no young talents because we have not very developed Starcraft scene in CIS and we have all young people going to Dota or to CS because there is good money, there are a lot of spectators and a huge community. 

If it’s not a secret, how much can a progamer of your level earn on Starcraft in the CIS or Europe? Does it even make sense to break into Starcraft Professional right now?

If you play well, you can earn a prize of 20-30 thousand dollars a year. WCS pays good money. It takes a lot of stops and even for 16th place gives $ 2,750. Last year there was a tournament, where they gave $ 6,500 for eighth place, with only 16 players. I just went there and already received $ 3000 for the trip. 

Money in Starcraft is there and it’s good. If you look at WESG, you can win $ 150,000 for first place. Of course, there you need to fight with the Koreans and Serral, but if you play not bad, then you can try. There are still teams’ salaries. In Ukraine, in general, you can live perfectly, of course, Dota 2 players can live perfectly anywhere, however.

How do you comment on the sensational domination and victory of Serral at the World Championships this year. What did this give Starcraft 2?

He showed that it doesn’t matter where you live. The main thing is how you approach the process, and Serral approaches the process of training very painstakingly. He did a great job on himself psychologically. So much to train, to sharpen a lot of things to do everything perfectly — it is necessary to break everything in yourself and build in such a way as to become the number one of the world. Serral could do it and I think that he would be the best in any game. He is one of those people who can. 

Is there more persistence and perseverance, or is he just a uniquely talented esports athlete? 

He is a unique talented athlete with perseverance and more perseverance. Without this set, TOP-1 WCS does not shine, especially in such a complex game like Starcraft, where the smallest nuances are solved and the slightest mistake leads to loss.

Do you think he will last a long time at the top? 

I think next year he will win everything in principle. I am familiar with him and as far as I know him, he is as focused and minimally emotional as possible, and he will continue to live with God for a very, very long time. 

What does Starcraft has in the future?

I hope that Starcraft will be at a good level for another five years, as it is now in terms of the number of viewers and the community. The community in the old man is now really big and it is not falling, but growing, so I believe that, perhaps, Starcraft will live for a very long time.

Would you like a new version of Starcraft or for example a new Warcraft? 

I’ll be very old by then. Another 2-3 years, and I will, like Dimaga, come to the tournaments and comment, because cognitively suffers, and in Starcraft, if you do not have 450 apm, when you need it, then move on. 

They used to say that after 25 you need to leave esports, now they say that after 30. Maybe everything is not so bad and they will soon start saying that you can play even before 40, there are no examples just yet. Now, in Warcraft III, Moon, who has been playing for a hundred years, destroys everyone, in Quake 30+ players dominate, in Starcraft in Ukraine, 30+ players are in the top. What do you say to that? 

In Starcraft reactions are key. In Warcraft, the reaction decides less. Now Maru won WCS and Serral or, for example, Raynor – and how old are they? They are very young and, playing with them, I understand that I do not have time. Looking at Raynor’s game, I’d seem to understand everything he does, but there are times when he managed to evaluate and react, but I haven’t yet managed to evaluate. I can replay with brains, I can replay with experience, but in cognitively, I lag behind the young and begin to fall behind even more. I felt it especially strongly about two years ago, and every year I feel it more and more.

How do you evaluate your chances in the final, which will be held in China? 

This year I set myself the task of making a breakthrough, because already age, etc. I will train more than ever and I already do it. I train a lot. If I could play the qualifiers, as I play on the ladder, then all the scores would be 3-0, but even with such an experience as mine, my nerves decide very much. I still sometimes can not turn on the brain during the game and play on intuition. All this nerves, they interfere. But if I keep this pace, then I think I can count on at least the TOP-8.

What is more important for players now – to win the WESG or win the WCS?

WCS much more important than WESG, because it gives you points that allow you to pass the next season, you are invited to tournaments, you are higher in the sowing rating, etc. This is a whole system, because WCS is much more important.

What do you have now with sponsors, do you represent some kind of team?

Today I went to the stage wearing a Team Blacer T-shirt. We are signing a contract. This organization is tied to cryptocurrency and they have a good idea. If it develops, it will capture this market. I looked at the project and decided – why not join? In principle, the team already consists of Ukrainians including Dimaga and Avers – it will be more fun. At the award ceremony, I was already in a team shirt.

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149 million dollars in prize money awarded in 2018

149 million dollars in prize money awarded in 2018

In 2018 almost $149 million dollars were paid in esports tournaments. We take a look at the biggest esports tournaments this year.

For the fourth year running, leadership in the most rewarding tournaments is held by The International for Dota 2. If in 2014 the prize fund was $11,000,000, in 2018 $25,500,000 were played in the main tournament of the year (although the prize fund compared to 2017 increased only by 1 million).

Following DOTA 2 is the League of Legends world finals with $6,450,000 in prize money. At the WESG 2017 finals in Dota 2 and CS: GO, a total of $ 3,000,000 was awarded.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had a total of $22,000,000 awarded in prize money this year.

In 2018, Denmark’s Astralis dominated the pro scene. The Danish five for the year won the seventh and eighth season of the ESL Pro League, the fifth and sixth season of the Esports Championship Series, ELEAGUE CS: GO Premier, FaceIT Major London 2018 and took one million dollars in the Intel Grand Slam. Each player has earned approximately $730,000 (prize money only) in the tournament year.

The second place was occupied by the Swedes from fnatic (250 – 280 thousand dollars), who did not have their best year, but won World Electronic Sports Games 2017 and Intel Extreme Masters XII.

Following them are Stewie2k and tarik (273 and 250 thousand), who, as part of Cloud9, won a major in Boston, and then won several prizes for mibr. However, in the near future, players plan to leave the Brazilian organization. Stewie2k plans to join Team Liquid, and Tarik will be sent to the transfer market.

The top also got players from Natus Vincere. Electronic earned about $262,000, and other players of the Ukrainian organization about $235,000. The reason for this was his third place at the WESG 2017 in the Russian team. The Ukrainian national team, not for the first, but not the last time, refused the finals, although it won the European qualifier.

Dota 2 saw a record $41.2 million awarded this year.

The breakthrough of the year from European Union OG (Ana, Topson, 7ckingMad, Notail, jerAx) at The International 2018 put the players in first place in terms of earnings. Each player has earned $2,290,000 this year.

JerAx and Topson will give approximately 60% of the prize money from the main tournament of the year as taxes. This is how the system works in Finland, but the quality of life there is at the level. It is also worth noting that both players attended a reception in honor of Independence Day in Finland, to which they received an invitation from the President of the country. In November, Ana left OG, and his place was taken by former Natus Vincere player Pajkatt.

China’s PSG.LGD finalists also earned a million dollars each. The Chinese squad showed good results throughout the year, including a victory in EPICENTER XL and MDL Changsha Major.

The top three also included players of Russian Federation representing Virtus.pro. The roster went through the majors in 2018 (Katowice, Birmingham, Bucharest, Kuala Lumpur and second place at Chinese Dota2 Supermajor).

Unfortunately, at The International 2018 Virtus.pro took only 5-6th place, losing in the losers’ grid to the Evil Geniuses team. On average, players earned $ 840,000 in prize money, not counting the Mercedes for MVP on the majors. Ukrainian Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko earned less than other players in the line-up, as the Russian team won the 2017 WESG final against Brazilians from paiN Gaming.

Fortnite came in third with $ 20 million in prizes up for grabs in 2018. Not left behind and the most popular game of the year. The developers of Epic Games conducted a series of tournaments with huge prize pools.

The top seven positions in earnings in the Battle Royale took the residents of the United States (Tfue, Cloak, Bizzle, NateHill, Poach, 72hrs). Players earned from 250 to 450 thousand dollars each. The developers do not plan to stop sponsoring new tournaments with millions in prize pools.

However, the most famous streamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blave, receives invitations to the most popular show in the US, streams with rapper Drake, and also plans to hold a New Year’s stream marathon in Times Square.

The top also included such games as League of Legends, PUBG, Overwatch, HoTS, Hearthstone, CoD and Starcraft II. Unfortunately, in 2019, Blizzard decided to abandon the esports series HGC and other supported tournaments.

Serral dominated StarCraft II on the professional scene. The Finnish player won about seven WCS tournaments, and most importantly, the WCS world finals. In this case, the player bypassed six Korean players, and earnings in 2018 amounted to $479,000 — not far off the biggest esports titles.

With esports booming, the next year should bring even larger prize pools and even more tournaments. Within the current projections, we could see upwards of $200 million dollars given in prize money in 2019 alone.

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Justing: “Blizzard said they would make us Superstars”

Justing: “Blizzard said they would make us Superstars”

Less than a week ago Blizzard announced they would be closing down Heroes of the Storm Global Championship and pulling all esports funding for the game effective immediately.  

With no prior warning to the teams, players, or even the staff, Blizzard shut down all their efforts to further promote Heroes of the Storm (HotS) competitive scene. The next season, that was supposed to come in less than a month from now will not happen. Leaving dozens of players, support, staff and anyone else involved with the league, jobless. 

Justin “Justing” Gapp, team captain for North America’s top HotS team Simplicity, opened up about their struggles with the dying game, big promises from Blizzard that never delivered, and the abrupt ending to it all.

In retrospect, he figures, the signs where there all along. “The overall quality of the second summit was SIGNIFICANTLY lower in general down to every single detail. The first year we each got backpacks with HGC “Swag” — Hat, Thermos water bottle, Even a pin. We each got a box of limited edition “Ragnar’os” cereal with Rag and the skin code and jackets with our names on them. The next year we got a plastic water bottle that leaks if you put any liquid in it, a fake varsity style jacket and one player from each team got a big metal thing for an HGC banner because they didn’t want the viewers to see we were all living in our parent’s house.”

“The first year they had a party with an open bar, the second year we went to an expensive bar and had to buy our own drinks. Basically, every aspect of the summit was worse, I even had to pay 25$ at the airport to check my bag, apparently this year that wasn’t in the budget.”

The budget cuts weren’t that unexpected. Every player could see the viewership couldn’t compete with the likes of League of Legends or DOTA 2. Blizzard, however, disagreed and claimed the viewership for the game was “owning”. “They told us we did amazing, our numbers were through the roof and above all we were OWNING on Disney XD where we were getting supposedly hundreds of thousands of viewers. Not only that but they said 2018 would be even better, we would have loads of opportunities to make more money and Blizzard would make us “Superstars”. We assumed they would promote HOTS pros in the launcher but they only did that for content creators and Tempo Storm.”

As it turned out later it wasn’t just the outside world that wasn’t watching the HotS Global Championship. Some Blizzard employees had trouble identifying what it was too. “We did a tour of the Blizzard campus with everyone wearing their HGC 2018 shirts, Overwatch employees saw us and literally asked “Who are you guys” and “What is the HGC”. Before ducking out into a top secret OW area. “

“They expected us to be full time players with the 20k salary while making it very clear we were not Blizzard employees (i.e. no benefits). But with the promise of promoting our brands/streams and making us “super stars“. It has been painfully obvious they purposefully promoted a specific handful of players/teams,” Justing added. It was no secret that Blizzard promoted Tempo Storm almost exclusively, leaving every other team out in the cold. 

“Cloud 9 saw the danger and left the scene immediately after 2016, a smart move that took foresight and I’d expect inside information,” the player speculates. “Last year Blizzard/Twitch/Organizations split the revenue from bits 33/33/33, why multi billion dollar corporation Blizzard needed to take a cut in bits and advertise it as “support the players, support the teams” is misleading at best. “

It is no surprise, that the best event most HotS players had to attend wasn’t even organized by Blizzard, which was heavily cutting costs. “Gold Club was the best tournament I was ever a part of. Words cannot describe how great it was, it was the one event where you felt what it was like to be a professional gamer in a serious esport. This was the one event hosted by NetEase in China. Unfortunately, halfway through the tournament, we were told that Blizzard had released a major content patch so we had to play a different game halfway through the three-week tournament. “

What was even more shocking (or maybe expected, after all?) was the radio silence in the past few months. Blizzard adamantly refused to share any information with any involved parties. Until the very last moment they were kept in the dark. And when all the players and teams found out they would be losing their jobs was at the same time as everyone else — after reading a press release, innocently titled “Thank you, HGC fans”.

“As a team owner, I have asked Blizzard for information regarding HGC since September, as well as more recently asking for information on November 18th. I was told I would be given an update within two weeks. I wasn’t. I received my update at the same time as the public and we negotiated our contracts with Simplicity with 0 information for 2019 while we were under the impression organizations had signed NDA’s. “

But Gapp insists it wasn’t all bad. “Overall I had a good experience as a pro player as it was always my dream. I am however not surprised for these reasons and more that it came to such an abrupt end.”

Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm Global Championship is second developer league to be shut down in 2018, following Daybreak’s H1Z1 Pro League. What will it mean for the future of these games is yet to be seen.

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Beyond the breaking point: mental health in esports

Beyond the breaking point: mental health in esports

 When it comes to esports and mental health, one of the most common terms is mindset. Players, coaching staff, and the community itself often refer to it as fundamental to better performance. But what does this word really mean?

To develop this idea, you first need to think about some characteristics of athletes in the sport. For example, a professional player is not someone who plays with the same motivation as a casual player, i.e. the game, in this case, becomes an occupation or a career option, which means that the relationship with the playing activity itself transforms.

 There is a need for training, practice and balance between one’s physical and mental health. Moreover, since the game is tied to a “financial life,” it is clear that there is a change in engagement, and the motives change.

 Some studies attempt to examine the motivations of players. In particular, an academic research by Peter Vorderer of the University of Mannheim shows that two aspects are fundamental when it comes to motivation to play: interactivity and competition.

 The first is related to the opportunity to communicate and cooperate with other players in the online environment; already the competition is the mechanism by which the players are able to compare themselves to the others.

 Few studies have so far sought to investigate the motivations of professional players, but it seems striking that competitive motivation, in the case of these sportsmen, is one of the main factors of engagement. A recent research by Yuri Seo of the University of Auckland sought to ascertain the elements of the sport that make pro player career attractive; the reasons why players want to pursue this career opportunity and how players progress to transform their identity in order to acquire a professional identity.

In this investigation, players revealed that the main elements that attracted them to this career were: a “celebration” of mastery of their individual abilities, search for self-promotion and the importance of justice, fairness and mutual respect. In the latter case, they referred mainly to the formal institutional rules and the norms and codes proposed within the esports infrastructure.

However, a more recent research titled “An Exploration of Mental Skills Among Competitive League of Legend Players” by researchers from the University of Denver has identified some of the skills and mental techniques used by athletes in achieving “ideal” performance in highly competitive gaming environments. Nonetheless, the researchers also investigated barriers to performing well.

Firstly, they noted that to get a good performance, players need to: have knowledge about the game; think strategically, make quick and intelligent decisions; be motivated to move on, which indicates avoiding thinking about past performances; be able to separate personal life from professional life; avoid distractions and maintain focus; dealing adaptively with harassment; maintaining a growth mindset (positive attitude); warm up physically and / or mentally before the performance. Other factors have also been marked as the ability to adapt to opponents, communicate adequately with teammates and rely on their abilities.

In addition, they must be able to develop themselves and their staff (i.e., they must engage to improve their skills, analyze their own performance) and define various types of goals (short term, long term and the process itself). Regarding performance barriers, some were identified as confidentiality issues, inadequate coping strategies for anxiety, past achievements and mistakes, harassment, lack of personal and team development (e.g. knowledge about the game, team dynamics, communication, individual skills), difficulty in separating personal life from the career.

All of these aspects are related to what the community has referred to as “mindset”.

For Natália Zakalski, the psychologist for the Brazilian League of Legends powerhouse CNB, mindset is “a set of attitudes both inside and out. That is, to prepare for the game, to train and to play in itself, demand an adequate mindset, a mindset prepared to face whatever it is.”

For her, for excellence in the game, whether in esports or in traditional sports, one must prepare the mind for each moment: “The moment of training requires concentration and focus on learning, so the mentality for this moment is different, it must prepare the mind to meet these demands.”

“Already in the context before a decisive match, the mentality should be focused on levels of activation and anxiety, so that these are at optimal level and can have high performance,” Zakalski added. “During the game, one turns to the need for concentration and focus, but together, there must be a level of anxiety and activation that leads to action and decision-making, as previously said, for high performance.”

Natália also emphasizes that mindset does not fit only in a specific context, but in a global way: “To look for attitudes of preparation and action within the mental spectrum, is also to seek a mindset, but a mindset within a larger context, which will dictate the attitudes of everyday life. This is intrinsically linked to the motivation of the individual who acts. Therefore, someone who seeks to improve mentally, seeking to activate their mentality for the right moments, with the right feelings and the right thoughts, is structuring a mindset not only for the game but for their everyday life. “

Another point addressed was the issue of depression in professional gamers, which is something that is fundamentally linked to motivation and mentality.

Zakalski tells of one of her players, Gustavo “Baiano” Gomes, who recently announced that he would not play the League of Legends Super League with CNB due to the diagnosis of depression.

The topic got more attention than usual after it was reported that Brandon “Saintvicious” DiMarco, head coach of North America’s FlyQuest, has resigned after angry reactions to his comments about the depression.

He described depression, anxiety, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as “fabricated nonsense.” He later issued an apology stating, “I was surprised to realize how uninformed I was about mental health, especially since it’s an important part of my coaching responsibilities.”

Considering this context, Zakalski commented: “The sport is very new and here in Brazil, we are very raw yet. In Korea there are trainers who have really studied to handle these situations. Already here everything is very new, it is difficult to find someone who is trained to be a coach. We have studied a lot about the role of the trainer within the athlete’s performance.”

“The role of the coach is very important. We have studied a theory called Self-Determination Theory. This theory says that the coach provides elements that favor self-esteem, the athlete’s autonomy — thus better preparing the athlete to deal with these pressures,” Zakalski explains. “Here the coach still does not play as strong a role as in traditional sports, but this is getting more and more professionalized and coaches are learning more and more. But you still lack the ability to deal with it.”

Even so about the role of coaches in their relationship with athletes, she added, “I’m trying to apply a model that is proven to work in traditional sports to see if it works in esports. Within this theory I study, if a coach fosters athlete autonomy, he contributes to the development of a smarter athlete in terms of technique and tactics, as well as the player’s commitment to practice and good social relationships. They need to feel safe, welcomed and connected in the environment they are. If there is no such connection, especially in LoL, where the boys live in a house, away from the family, with unknown people, of course they would miss their family.”

“The environment created within this house has a very strong impact on the athlete’s emotional processes, and this element is key to the quality of the sports involvement of these athletes. So sometimes we think it’s the player who needs the therapy, but it’s often the coaches themselves and staff members. It is common to see non-player members of the team who do not want to attend therapy sessions because they think only players need it. Coaches need guidance on how to handle it, because that makes a huge difference. The idea of my studies is to understand better the function of this environment created by the coach, the environment that they are inserted.”

Finally, about the elements that would be linked to this distance from the players, she added: “The environment they are inserted makes all the difference in this. So sometimes the problem is not even something like ‘let’s treat that particular athlete with therapy, bring psychologist’, sometimes it’s not that. I strongly believe that the environment is important and has a very strong impact on these emotional processes, being the key to the quality of their income. We already have surveys that show that when coaches act in a controlling and authoritarian, coercive way there is a very high probability of failure. In short, the coach is primarily responsible for the performance of his athletes, the influence he has on the actions and decisions taken is very great. It’s also no use just treating the player and not looking at the environment in which he lives.”

It is of paramount importance that the teams within the esports have adequate psychological support that is able to contribute to all members, not only to the players. Above all, further research is needed in this particular area so that it is possible to delve into the reality of esports psychology.

It is essential to recognize the importance of the environment in this process, which is a key factor in the team’s future success as well as the wellbeing of their players.

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SonicFox: “I’m gay, black, a furry and the best esports player of the year!”

SonicFox: “I’m gay, black, a furry and the best esports player of the year!”

On the night of December 6th, Los Angeles hosted the fifth annual award ceremony of The Game Awards 2018. Among dozens of nominations, a separate category was dedicated to esports.

Winners were determined by secret voting of the jury (90% of the assessment) and voting of the viewers (10%) in social networks, Discord and on the website. This time around, fans could even vote via their Alexa device. The esports jury was made up of representatives from 17 leading publications covering video game competitions. Among them are ESPN, DotEsports, GosuGamers and even Forbes.

Best esports team – Cloud9 (LoL)

They did not win the World Cup, as OG did in Dota 2. They did not earn many titles, like Astralis in CS: GO. They did not even make it to the final of the 2018 World Championship, unlike Fnatic. But they were still called the best esports team of the year. In addition, their mentor received a statuette in the nomination “Best Coach of the Year.”

For the American League of Legends scene, their story is just a fairy tale. In the fifth week of the summer split, the team ranked 10th in the LCS. After several substitutions, they managed to break through to the second line of the standings and reach the playoffs. After losing the regular season finale, Cloud9 defeated TSM in the regional qualification finals and reached the world championship.

In South Korea, they landed among teams, which they called the “group of death.” The audience waited for failure, and the Americans were able to break through to the second round, where in a tough match against Gambit they won with a score of 3: 2. They made history later, when they got into the semifinals of the World Cup. Prior to this, the American team submitted a similar result only once – in 2011.

However, maybe what earned the favor of the jury and the fans wasn’t the the story of Cloud9, but cosplay from Sneaky instead?

Best esports tournament – LoL World Championship 2018

It seems that League of Legends takes awards in this category almost every year. The biggest stadiums, the most ambitious show and the biggest numbers of views.

According to Newzoo, in 2018, viewers watched 81.1 million hours of content from the World Championship on Twitch and Youtube. And the peak number of spectators of the tournament was almost 2 million people, and that’s excluding Chinese platforms. LoL even managed to step over the 1.1 million viewers on Twitch at the same time.

This year, the League of Legends World Championship was hosted by South Korea. The tournament started from the Play-In stage in Seoul, then moved to the group stage in Busan (the quarter-finals were organized there), the semi-finals were held in Gwangju, and the grand final was held in Incheon at Munhak stadium.

The audience occupied half of the arena with a capacity of almost 50 thousand people and watched the show with The Glitch Mob, Mako, The Word Alive and Bobby from iKON and the virtual group K / DA. By the way, the latest clip has already exceeded 100 million views on YouTube.

Best esports moment of the year – underdogs Cloud9 defeat FaZe Clan at ELEAGUE Major 2018 Final

A little more glory to American esports. This is not an incredible breakthrough of OG for The International and is not the exchange of Nexus in the KT vs. IG match. Cloud9 managed to snatch a victory in the Major of CS: GO in the second overtime of the third final map.

And this is after losing the first Mirage card, which was their pick.

On Inferno, the first half ended with a score of 8:7 in favor of FaZe. Then rivals managed to bring the game to 15:11, but Cloud9 at the last moment equalized the score. Then the Americans held out the first overtime and only on the second try were able to snatch the final victory.

Best esports game of the year – Overwatch

Well, time to listen to another bite of grumble on the insolvency and unpopularity of the Overwatch League. However, the jury and organizations that invest millions in the purchase of slots, franchise league obviously liked.

Yes, the viewing figures were hardly impressive for those who are already accustomed to the millions on Dota 2, LoL and CS:GO broadcasts. At its peak, OWL gathered at the monitors a little less than 350 thousand spectators excluding the Chinese audience. According to Newzoo, YouTube and Twitch viewers watched a little over 5 million hours of content, which is incomparable with other disciplines.

But the genuine interest of large investors and a significant expansion of the league in the new season suggest that the Blizzard project was a success at least at this stage.

Best esports player of the year – Dominic “SonicFox” Macklin

This guy in a recognizable blue cap and with a tail behind him managed to circumvent Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev and Jian “Uzi” Ziao. He is not so famous outside the fighting game scene, but it is impossible not to admire his achievements there.

Dominic is one of the most versatile players capable of achieving success in almost any game. At EVO, he won in Injustice in 2014, in Mortal Kombat X in 2015 and 2016, and in 2018 became the champion in Dragon Ball FighterZ. And while he managed to participate in competitions and other games of the same genre.

This year, Macklin won the Injustice 2 Pro Series, won first place at the Canada Cup in two disciplines, and at SoCal Regionals 2018 entered the top 3 in three games at once. His main victory this season was the fourth EVO league title, after receiving which he promised to give $10,000 out of his prize to another player, Curtis “Rewind” McCall, whose father has cancer.

But at The Games Awards, Dominic will be remembered not only as the best esports athlete but also as the author of the most impressive speech. Of course, he came out on the stage in his Sonic mask and with a blue tail, sincerely surprised at his victory, thanked all those involved and then openly declared:

“For those who might not know. I’m supergay. I want to say hello to all my LGBTQ friends. I’m gay, black, furry – in fact, everything Republicans hate so much – and the best esports player of the year!”

At the same time, the guy’s sincerity touched the community enough that the ESPN journalist called this speech the best moment of the year in the gaming community.

It should be understood that esports is rather a pleasant addition to the main award of The Games Awards. Some nominations were announced just one after another, and some of the viewers decided that they needed esports only to attract new viewers.

So do not be discouraged if your favorite team or player did not get a statuette. Champion titles in their game are certainly much more important for them.

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