$3 million in prizes and 12 tournaments in 2020 — welcome to Apex Legends Global Series

Just over three months ago, the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational tournament took place in Alvernia near Kraków. The name of the competition itself, as well as information provided by Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment seemed to confirm that we will soon see more esports moves from the developer. Reality strongly verified these expectations, and the fans had to be patient. In the end, however, the developers of the game decided to reveal plans for the future, which, no matter what is here, are really ambitious.

In 2020, the participants of the Apex Legends Global Series announced today will compete for as much as $3 million dollars in prizes, and EA plans to also play as many as 12 events throughout the year. The start of the season has been announced by the game developers as well, at the season is set to begin on January 25. Then the first of several online tournaments will start. However, this is not the end of good news, because the inaugural competition will take place on new, dedicated tournament servers.

The whole gameplay system is a bit complicated. The basis of the games will be the online tournaments in which players from over 60 countries from around the world can participate. Some of the online struggles will lead straight to the Major, and so to the competition already being thrown. In the middle there will be Premier rank tournaments as well as for the Challengers — in both cases, the best teams will also have the opportunity to get a pass to larger events. The culmination of the entire season will be the Apex Legends Global Series Championship, which is the event aimed at selecting the best three players in the world.

The first Major will be held in Arlington on March 13-15. The prize pool for this event will reach $500,000 US dollars. More information about the Apex Legends Global Series can be found here.

Fortnite Winter Royale is back with a $15 million prize pool

Epic Games announced the return of Fortnite Winter Royale. Interestingly, the upcoming competition will take place this year, and their prize pool outshines virtually all other tournaments organized by the creators of the game except the World Cup.

This year’s edition of Winter Royale will be designed to fix a slip-up that occurred a year ago. The organizers did not remove the Infinity Blade sword from the game until the start of the competition, which gave its owner a very big advantage. The prize pool of the event, which will take place in the third week of December, will be as much as $15 million, which in this respect places it in the hierarchy just after the world championships. Every day players will be able to get as much as one-third of the abovementioned amount.

Fortnite Winter Royale 2019 will include three separate tournaments played from December 20-22. Each of them will have a separate score and prize pool. Participants from all regions and platforms will be able to participate in the event. It is important that each competition will have a platform assigned. Players playing on consoles will not be forced to fight those playing on computers and vice versa. The event will also be available to every player. How to play in Fortnite Winter Royale and participate in other esports events will be found here.

Epic Games has not yet revealed the exact format, rules, or invited players. The organizers will provide more details in the near future.

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PUBG Mobile esports scene set to explode in 2020

Tencent will significantly subsidize the esports program for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile scene in the coming year. Already in the coming months, we will see new tournaments where the best players will be able to fight for their share of a five million dollar prize pool.

Last year, PUBG Mobile players spent an average of $140 million monthly on, among others, visual enhancements for characters and seasonal passes. In addition, this title is the first of the battle royale genre, which in the mobile version has achieved revenue exceeding one billion dollars. A few days ago we also learned that the abovementioned over 600 million people have already downloaded the game! It is no wonder that some of the Chinese giant’s revenues will be allocated to the development of a professional ecosystem.

James Yang, the esports director of PUBG Mobile, gave details of the previously announced Pro League for Southeast Asia and announced that two additional leagues will be created for both the Americas and Southeast Asia. The changes will also include the qualification system — from now on the best teams from individual countries will be able to advance to the highest level of play, i.e. the World League.

The World League will take place in May and October of the following year and will end with the World Championship. There is no doubt that the actions of the developers of PUBG Mobile will have a positive impact on the popularity of this title. The mobile version of PUBG already flaunts an impressive player count with more than 200 million active players worldwide, with over 30 million active daily players.

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Contract dispute between FaZe and Tfue — what happened and who is to blame?

Contract dispute between FaZe and Tfue — what happened and who is to blame?

On May 20, it became known that Turner “Tfue” Tenney, one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, sued his organization, FaZe Clan. He wanted to terminate the contract with unfavorable conditions. We collected the entire chronology of the conflict, looked into what happened and who is to blame.

What didn’t Tfue like?

Initially, the incident became known from third parties. The Hollywood Reporter portal published an exclusive material, which initially stated that FaZe appropriates up to 80% of Tfue’s revenues. What is important, the lawsuit does not specify the details — it is not known how often and for what activities the club appropriated a part of the money to itself.

The THR article also mentions other Tfue claims: according to him, the organization forced him to live with other streamers, and before he became an adult, to drink alcohol and participate in gambling. He also noted that the organization entered into a contract with an 11-year-old gamer and “forced” his parents to lie about their son’s age — with this Tenney also applied to the labor protection commission.

Tfue’s requirement is to terminate the contract between him and FaZe. He already tried to break the contract unilaterally in September, but he failed. Tenney wants to work with sponsors on his own.

But Tfue has long been in FaZe, how could this happen?

Tfue has long been in favor of FaZe — since April 2018. During this time, he has become one of the most popular Twitch streamers (regularly included in the top 10). He also ranks second in terms of prize winnings in Fortnite — more than $500,000 dollars to his name. All this happened during the period of his appearances for FaZe.

Tfue and the club did not advertise the situation with the contract, so for most of the audience, the conflict became completely sudden. Moreover, the representatives of FaZe Clan claimed to be surprised as well.

How did FaZe react?

The first was co-owner of the club, Richard “Banks” Bengtson, but he was quick to criticize. The fact is that in the first post on Twitter, Banks stated that the club did not take a single cent from Tfue’s prize winnings, but this money was not mentioned in the Tenney’s lawsuit — this discrepancy was noticed by the journalists.

Later, FaZe Clan made an official statement, where the organization mentioned that Tfue received 100% of his revenue from prize money, Twitch, YouTube and other media platforms. The club admitted that it “took” 20% from Tfue’s sponsorship deals (in total — $60,000 US dollars), while the American “earned millions”. By the way, the same $60 thousand club donated to the prize fund of the tournament in Fortnite, the team claims.

On May 21, Tfue’s Fortnite partner Dennis “Cloak” Lepora commented on the situation. He did not take sides, but called on Tfue’s fans not to insult the owner of the organization Banks.

Bengtson himself seems really upset about the Tfue situation and even recorded a video on this. He also joked that he feels stupid, because on his body there is a tattoo with Tfue code for Fortnite, which is used to support bloggers and streamers.

Tfue лично бил тату со своим кодом на теле Banks

And what do they say in the industry?

Representatives of the industry considered that a precedent could become very important for all esports. For example, Alan “Nahaz” Bester and Paul “Redeye” Cheloner talked about the fact that it is important for players to assert their rights and to contact lawyers in a timely manner.

Others began to criticize FaZe Clan — among these was the general manager of eUnited, who in general does not like “sniper clans” [organizations that grew on the wave of Call of Duty popularity].

The situation was commented by the CEO of 100 Thieves, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, because of which he first quarreled with Banks, and then apologized to him.

What will happen next?

Completely incomprehensible. FaZe Clan explained their position, and Tfue continues to remain silent in social networks. Even if Tenney did not speak out on the situation, much will become clear after the authorities’ verdict.

If they recognize the contract between FaZe and Tfue as null and void, then the truth may change the standards of contracts between esports teams and players, but such conclusions are still very far away.

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PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Corp is announcing a series of initiatives to support the professional esports teams associated with PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, including profit-sharing on team and league-branded digital items, direct support of team operating costs, and event sponsorship.

This multifaceted approach will help support the growing PUBG competitive scene by lowering the barrier of entry for dedicated players looking to engage with the professional leagues and helping established teams thrive.

“We are nothing without our teams and players, so it’s critical that we develop these programs to support our competitive scene and help teams build their brands,” said Richard Kwon, CMO, PUBG Corp. “In addition to building a popular esport that caters to our PUBG fanbase for years to come, we want to create a financially viable environment for players to sustain themselves and profit from their hard work.”

To directly bolster team participation in PUBG’s North American (National PUBG League; NPL) and European (PUBG Europe League; PEL) leagues, PUBG Corp. will help offset expenditures associated with team operating costs. These expenses will include costs associated with team travel, housing subsidies and local transportation fees.

Additionally, NPL and PEL-specific in-game items will be created starting with Phase 2 of each league. Twenty-five percent of all in-game item sales will go to each of the teams in their respective leagues, further incentivizing league participation and offering fans a way to support their favorite teams and regional leagues.

Financial support will continue with world-class competitions hosted by official PUBG partners later in the year. Each of these events will host top teams from each regional league. To give greater incentives and rewards for participants, exclusive in-game items will be created for each of these global events and 25% of sales will go directly to the participating teams.

Additionally, PUBG Corp. will be matching each organizing partner’s prize pool, effectively doubling the reward opportunity for each of these events. More details for each of these international events will be shared at a later date.

PUBG’s 2019 esports activities will culminate later this year at PUBG Global Championship, bringing together the greatest players from around the world. To celebrate this, PUBG Corp. will create a PUBG Global Championship item. More details on this in-game item will be shared at a later date; however, 25% of its sales will be added to the championship prize pool, raising the stakes for the competition.

Exclusive team-branded items will also be created for each of the participating teams in the PUBG Global Championship, along with a celebratory item for the eventual champion. Once again, 25% of team-branded item sales will go to each of the teams while 25% of sales from the champion’s celebratory item will go towards the winners and all teams from the same league.

National PUBG League will start on February 1st in OGN Super Arena in California and it will feature a $200,000 prize pool. PUBG Europe League will be following closely and will lauch just two weeks later in Berlin. 

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Drainys: “It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess”

Drainys: “It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess”

Former Natus Vincere PUBG player Svyatoslav “Drainys” Komissarov shared his opinion on the state of the battle royale game, the professional scene, and why he left NaVi.

About the state of PUBG

“It’s hard to say, because the game doesn’t change at all. On the competitive stage, everything is also doubtful: cheaters, PEL-leagues from PUBG Corp … That is, they made a separate league for pro-players and closed all tournament operators — be it ESL, GLL and everyone else. It is not clear whether PUBG is alive anymore.

Why I think that it is more alive than dead — there is nothing else to play. There is Fortnite, and there is PUBG. There is no alternative. There is no game you enter every day, and it delivers fun. Fortnite and PUBG are two games that really bring pleasure. Therefore, despite all the problems of PUBG, including technical ones, this game is not dead — it lives. But as soon as an adequate good alternative appears, there will be tough competition. <…>

I would like PUBG to be made by some other developer, like Valve. But it is unreal. It seems to me that the Korean team and who are responsible for the development of the game they just kill the game more and more. All that is possible, they spoiled. When the game had HYPE — remember the same Gamescom — at this tournament there was a lot of crashes, a lot of lags.

All the same things that didn’t allow this game to move further as an esport. In the end, it all became so ridiculous that people simply turned away from the competitive part of PUBG and went somewhere else. The same can be said about streamers. It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess.”

NaVi PUBG

About salaries in PUBG

“If in Counter-Strike we have wages of about $10-20 thousand in top-shooting teams — that is, a lot of money — then in PUBG the salary of the top player in the European top-tier team can be $1,500 USD. That’s good money, but it is not big money.

One and a half thousand, that’s it. Some maybe get more. Maybe FaZe Clan , Team Liquid or Pittsburgh Knights, maybe they can receive $3,000 but I wouldn’t bet on it. I have no information here. It seems to me, either way, not much at all, compared to the likes of Counter-Strike and Dota 2.”

About Natus Vincere

“I don’t know if it was a positive experience overall. In fact, we did win in a few tournaments but there were a lot of difficulties within the team, within the organization. Therefore, I would say that this is a more or less a neutral experience. It’s great, of course, to play for a big org. Understand how this all works. But objectively it was hard. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. There were difficulties, but experience is experience.

In fact, I cannot objectively answer the question why I left NaVi, out of respect for the team members and the manager. I can say that there were difficulties both within the team and with representatives of the management team. As elsewhere there are difficulties — this is all part of the ride.”

You can watch the full interview in Russia here.

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