This week’s eSports Report covers the retirement of the captain of the most popular U.S. League of Legends team, and has the details on some ridiculous prize pools for Dota 2 and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Let’s get to it.
Hai Lam, one of League of Legends Biggest Stars, Retires Due to Wrist Injury
Cloud9 is mostly regarded as one of the best, if not the best, U.S. eSports team when it comes to League of Legends. That team has been led by its captain Hai Lam for a while now, including at last week’s North American Championship Series. But now, Lam has let it be known that he’s getting out of the game due to a repetitive strain injury.
In a blog post on the Cloud9 website, Lam explained why he’s retiring, saying that the wrist injury has made it difficult to keep up with teammates, not to mention other competitors. Lam will continue with Cloud9 in a role as a “Chief Gaming Officer” and will seek to recruit and mentor new players.
Archon to Launch New Hearthstone League Worth $250,000
Jason “Amaz” Chan is best known as one of the most popular Hearthstone streamers on Twitch, but he’s also in charge of Team Archon, a group of professional Hearthstone players who support each other and take on tournaments together.
Now, Archon appears to be taking its business to the level, as multiple top players are reporting that the group will soon launch a weekly league with a prize pool worth $250,000. Why is that so newsworthy? If the dollar amount is correct, this new league would have the same prize pool as the official Hearthstone World Championship, which is sponsored by Blizzard.
More details will come out soon, but the league is expected to be invite-only right now, and will recruit the best players in the world. Archon has reportedly reached out to Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh, Cong “StrifeCro” Shu and defending world champion James “Firebat” Kotesich, among others.
If this pans out, it will be a big boost for the Hearthstone competitive scene and possibly set the game down a path to one day compete with the million dollar prize pools of games like Dota 2. It might even pressure Blizzard to eventually increase its own prize pool for the World Championship.
Dota 2‘s Compendium Now on Sale, Aims for $15 Million Prize Pool
League of Legends might be the most popular eSport right now, and Hearthstone may be easier to get into, but there is no doubt which game is the king of the eSports prize pool.
Dota 2 made headlines even in the mainstream press last year when The International featured a prize pool in 2014 of nearly $11 million. That number was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign launched by Valve called the Dota 2 Compendium. Now, this year’s Compendium is on sale, and Valve is aiming for a prize pool of at least $15 million for The International 2015.
The Compendium is a $10 interactive digital booklet that fans can buy and 25 percent of each sale goes into the prize pool. The booklet breaks down the players and teams in the tournament, but the reason most fans buy it is for the exclusive in-game rewards. As the prize pool increases, everyone who purchased the Compendium will gain access to new in-game items. This year features new emoticons, a dragon courier, and and a desert skin for the game’s jungle map, among others.
Players can also tackle Compendium specific challenges in their own games, which will unlock Compendium coins which can be used to purchase additional rewards.
The International 2015 will take place in Seattle August 3-8. Valve also recently announced The Dota 2 Major Championships, which will see at least three other major tournaments sponsored by the company over the next year.