Call of Duty is one of the most popular franchises in the industry, but when it comes to eSports, the shooter still lags behind MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 on Twitch. That wasn't the case this past weekend, though.Putting a cool million dollars and a world championship on the line will do that. Find out who took home the 2015 title in Los Angeles, as well as updates on Super Smash Bros and Dota 2 in this week's eSports Report.
No Denying Denial at CoD World Championship
The 2015 Call of Duty World Championship was a three-day event, split into three different phases with competition within Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. 32 teams from around the world earned their spot through qualifiers that began back in January. Friday's group stage cut the teams in the competition down to 16, and the biggest casualty was when European champion Epsilon went down. Call of Duty has long been dominated by North American players in the same way that, say, Starcraft II is dominated by Koreans, and Epsilon was viewed as perhaps the only international squad capable of making a serious impact at Worlds, but it was not to be. Team Optic Gaming dominated its group stage matches and was in position as an early favorite going into Saturday's knockout round.
The knockout round was double elimination with a winner's bracket and a loser's bracket set up after Friday's matches. Team Denial made a huge impact early by knocking Optic Gaming out of the winner's bracket in their match. Optic Gaming was then sent home thanks to a 3-0 loss to Faze Red in the loser's bracket. Optic Gaming had one of the largest fan bases at this year's tournament and the sight of them losing was the big shocker of the day.
It's worth noting that one of Team Denial's players James "Clayster" Eubanks, is a former member of Team Optic. Eubanks played lights out the entire tournament and many felt it was the skills of one of Optic's former roster members that played a large role in sending them packing. After all was said and done, Denial and Faze Red were able to use the momentum from their big victories over Optic to advance to the final day, along with Team Revenge.
Championship Sunday set up like this: Denial and Team Revenge were the last two teams standing in the winner's bracket while Faze Red had defeated all comers in the loser's bracket and was awaiting the loser between Denial and Revenge.
Denial and Team Revenge's first series of the day saw drama early. The teams traded wins back and forth in the best of five, with Denial winning game 5 to send Revenge down to the loser's bracket. Revenge had no time to pout about its loss, as Faze Red was waiting. But the players showed their mettle and handed Red its second loss of the tournament, 3-1, locking them into 3rd place and sending Revenge back to face Denial once more.
Team Revenge seemed ready for the rematch at first, managing to get to a 2 to 1 lead in the best of 5, and putting Denial on the ropes for the first time all weekend. But Denial eSports won both the Capture the Flag and the Search and Destroy matches to take the crown and the $400,000 award for first place.
Project M Still Going Strong, Releases Trailer for Next Update to the Smash Bros. Mod
Project M, the mod for the Wii's Super Smash Bros. Brawl that makes it play more like Super Smash Bros Melee from the Gamecube, first started development in 2010. The hardcore Smash community jumped on board with its initial release in 2011, but there were plenty of questions about whether this project would really last. 5 years later, there's a pretty clear answer.
The Project M team has released a bevy of welcomed changes over the years, including support to emulate the game on PCs and run the game in high definition. Now, the team has released a trailer for its latest update, Project M 3.6.
New features include brand new stages, more HD upgrades for older stages, new alternate costumes, and new music and sounds, including a new announcer.
Project M may never make it into an official tournament sponsored by Nintendo, as the company prefers not to lend support to a mod instead of the original game, but it's definitely interesting to see what a passionate community can do for a game it loves, even many years after release.
Dota 2 The International 2015 Sells Out in 10 Minutes
Friday was a red calendar day for Dota 2 fans, with tickets for The International 2015, the game's biggest championship of the year, officially getting put on sale by developer Valve.
Hopefully any fans who wanted tickets also set their alarms in addition to marking the day on a calendar. That's because the tickets were gone in about as much time as it takes for the average Dota 2 match to get started.
Tickets were sold in two batches; the first sold out in six minutes, the second in about four. The $99 general admission ticket price did nothing to stop the stampede of those seeking admittance to Seattle's KeyArena on August 3rd through the 8th.
This is the fifth year of the tournament. Last year's sold out in about an hour, so it's not like anyone was expecting to be able to take their time this year, but the fact that tickets were gone so much faster goes to show just how much Dota 2 continues to grow as as an eSport. Last year's tournament was watched online by more than 20 million people and had a prize pool of more than $10 million.