Tempo Storm acquire Games Academy

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Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore eSports / Tempo Storm

Tempo Storm has returned to competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by picking up the Brazilian squad, Games Academy.

The entirety of Games Academy's roster will be moving over to the North American organization, which includes the brothers, Henrique "hen1" Teles and Lucas "lucas1" Teles, the team's AWPer and entry fragger respectively, Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves, the team's lurker, and João "felps" Vasconcellos, the team's secondary entry fragger.

Last but not least is former Luminosity Gaming player Ricardo "boltz" Prass, a Majors veteran and the team's support player. The team will also keep their in-game leader and coach in Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu.

The team formerly known as Games Academy recently clutched the Americas Last Chance qualifier and will be competing in the upcoming qualifier for the MLG Major Championships: Columbus.

Tempo Storm's first foray into CS:GO was on March 31 when they picked up the North American squad Ascendancy, a team that was full of unknown but promising players. They ended the ESEA Season 18: North American Premier Division with a flawless 16-0 standing, however they were outclassed when they entered competitions with the top tier teams. They went through a number of roster changes before dropping the team on Aug. 13, following poor performances.

Ahead of the MLG Major qualifiers, the team took the time to speak to theScore eSports, talking about how being part of Tempo Storm will motivate them, their expectations at the MLG Major and their continued connection with Luminosity Gaming's Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo.

For those who may not be familiar with your lineup yet, can all five of you introduce yourselves and tell us what your role is on the team?

Henrique "hen1" Teles and Lucas "lucas1" Teles: 20-years-old twin brothers, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2014 and they are former players of Kabum.TD. Hen1 is the main AWPer and Lucas is our main entry killer.

Ricardo "boltz" Prass: 18-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2015, former player of Keyd Stars and Luminosity. He's the support on our team.

João "felps" Vasconcellos: 19-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2015, former player of Keyd Stars. He's our secondary entry killer.

Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves: 18-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2015, former player of Games Academy. He's our lurker and also secondary support.

Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu: 27-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2010 and is a former player of Team Yeah and ProGaming.TD. He's the captain in-game and our coach.

What made you choose Tempo Storm to be your new home? Why not stay with a South American organization?

After a couple months of hard work in the USA, leaving our family and friends behind in Brazil, we found a “new home” for us and it's a huge pleasure to represent a well known and big organization as Tempo Storm, together with all their sponsors.

Unfortunately the CS:GO scene in South America is not as huge as it is in NA and Europe nowadays. There are not many organizations that could give us the support that we need to play at a high level and compete against the best teams in the world.

That's why we have been with Games Academy since 2015 and we are very thankful for all the support that they gave to us until today, because without Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, Ricardo "Dead" Sinigaglia, Camila and all the Games Academy staff members, nothing of this would have happened.

We are very prepared and motivated for the upcoming events to show all our potential with our new organization.

Now that you are represented by Tempo Storm, what are your chances of being invited into Turner’s ELeague?

Playing Turner's ELeague would be a dream coming true for us, just like it is nowadays to qualify for the upcoming Major. Being invited to big tournaments depends on our next results as a team, we know that we still have a lot of work to do with this new lineup and we are already working hard to be able to compete at these important tournaments.

Turner's ELeague will be the first televised league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

What changes, if any, will come to the team now that they are part of Tempo Storm?

We always took the game seriously and played as professionals and being part of Tempo Storm just gives us a lot more motivation and more support to play.

We know that now being part of a professional organization means that we have more responsibilities and we need to represent them well. That's also a big part of our goal now, show Tempo Storm that they made the right choice on picking us and that we will give our blood to represent them well and to achieve our goals.

Can you describe to us in your own words what Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo brought to the Games Academy team? Will he remain as a mentor now that you guys are part of Tempo Storm?

FalleN is important and means a lot to us. He's the owner of [Games Academy] together with Ricardo ("Dead") and Camila (Ricardo's wife), they are the ones that gave us the opportunity to grow as a team and to be professional Counter-Strike players.

FalleN always helped us, especially at hard times; he always believed in us. We hope that he's still gonna be able to keep helping us because he has a lot of experience together with his team and since we live close to each other that helps a lot so we can share experiences and practice together.

Luminosity Gaming's Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, as the CEO of Games Academy, has served as a mentor to the players and may continue to do so

When Lincoln "fnx" Lau and Tacio "TACO" Pessoa left the team to go to Luminosity Gaming did you foresee their success?

Definitely yes. Both have a lot of talent, love the game and wants to get better and better everyday. TACO is really dedicated and he's going to improve even more in LG, with some time and more experience he's gonna be a key player for LG.

Talking about fnx, he's a guy that never gives up on his wishes. Everyone knows he has a lot of talent since CS 1.6 and once he says that he wants to be the best, you have to believe this guy because he has a lot of passion for this game and he is already proving he is very important and responsible for LG's great performances recently.

What does Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu as a coach bring to the team? How does he compare to Wilton “zews” Prado?

Peace, as we call him, brings a lot of confidence for our team by releasing pressure on us and studying our opponents since he is not only coaching but our in-game leader as well so we trust him a lot. He's been a player for a long time with a lot of experience so he's helping us a lot to improve our game style and to calm us down during our matches.

Comparing him to zews is pretty hard, both of them know a lot about the game and it’s just a matter of time till [peacemaker] becomes as great a coach as Zews already is; peace is already on his way more quickly than we thought.

Ricardo "boltz" Prass is a veteran of the Luminosity Gaming lineup, how does his experience (having attended and placed Top 8 at the Majors) play into your team’s confidence and what kind of leadership does he bring to the squad?

Boltz is a key addiction to our team, he's a young talent with a lot of potential and after all that happened to him he seems more motivated than ever to work harder for our team. His Majors experiences, together with a lot of practice against the best teams in Europe, helps us a lot to improve our game play. It's like taking a shortcut to success and we are very happy with his attitude and performances lately.

Former Keyd Stars and Luminosity player, Ricardo "boltz" Prass, now finds himself representing Tempo Storm

Many consider your lineup as one that has the potential to rise to the top of the Americas CS:GO scene. Do these expectations put any pressure on you guys to perform immediately?

These expectations don't affect us at all, we know where we are and where we want to be in the next months.

Put some hard work together and find chemistry in the team and you will achieve your goals sooner or later, that's how it works with us.

How strong do you think your team is when comparing yourselves to the top North American lineups?

Even though this is a new lineup, we don't fear any of them and we think that we are very prepared to compete against any of them. In the next tournaments, we will show what kind of damage we can do to them.

How does the team feel going into the MLG Major qualifier? Do you believe you can achieve a Top 8 finish to compete in the Major itself?

Honestly, nobody ever thought or believed that we would win the Last Chance Qualifier, not like we care about it, but we feel good that nobody believes that we can do things, just gives us more motivation to achieve our goals.

We are feeling confident and working hard to compete against any of those teams at the qualifier, but we also know that it’s gonna be a lot harder than any other tournament that we ever played before, so we have to play our A game and then we will see what happens.

What preparations are being made for the qualifier? Are you guys trying anything new?

We are practicing around five hours a day against teams and the rest we watch our demos together, discuss new tactical things, study our possible opponents and the rest of the time we take care of our individual performances and relax some. We will always have an ace up our sleeves to try to surprise our opponents.

What is the one team you don't want to face in the qualifier?

We don't fear anyone, all the teams have a lot of potential and deserve to be there, but based on the recent events, Dignitas proved to be playing their A game, winning against some of the best teams in the world, so if we have to face them I think that it would be a hell of a match!

Team Dignitas's Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye at the ESL ONE Cologne European qualifiers

Luminosity Gaming has been one of the "Legend" teams at the Majors since ESL One: Cologne 2015, does that motivate you guys to achieve the same?

Of course, they shared with us their experiences about how they became challengers since the beginning with Keyd Stars. That helps us to know how we should act and what we need to do to succeed as they did.

Your team is the only South American team in the MLG qualifier, but if you achieve top 8, there will be two SA teams (along with Luminosity) at a Major for the first time ever. Does that motivate the team also? What could that achievement bring to the SA scene?

We know how important it is for the growth of Counter-Strike in South America, to give them more investments, tournaments and opportunities in general. South America's community is huge and completely loves the game, the fact that [we could be] the second Brazilian and South American team able to qualify for the Major is already very important.

For us it would be a dream come true; we know how important this qualifier is and that's one of the reasons why we're working harder than ever.

What are your goals for the 2016 year? Are there any tournaments/leagues that you would like to be apart of?

Our main goals for 2016 is to qualify for this upcoming Major, then we want to be in ESEA Pro League at next season. We also want to play all the important tournaments around the world like DreamHack's, IEM's, FACEIT Finals, PGL's and every other tournament that we're able to compete against the best teams in the world.

If we got the opportunity to compete at Turner's E-League this season, or in the next, it would be a dream come true for us; we will work hard to get there as well!

Dennis Gonzales is a news editor for theScore eSports who enjoys whiskey, Dungeon & Dragons and first-picking Timbersaw Windranger Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle. You can follow him on Twitter.

Cloud9, OpTic Gaming to play at IEM Katowice

en.intelextrememasters.com 1d ago

Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming will be representing North America at the IEM Season XI World Championships this March.

The two teams join Virtus.pro, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis and SK Gaming at the tournament. IEM Katowice will run from March 1-5 in Katowice, Poland, and will feature a $250,000 prize pool.

Click here for the full article via en.intelextrememasters.com

YouTube Gaming purchase ESL Pro League English-language broadcast rights

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Thumbnail image courtesy of YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming has purchased the exclusive English-language broadcasting rights to seasons five and six of the ESL Pro League for an undisclosed sum, ESL announced Friday.

"YouTube is happy to announce our partnership with WESA to distribute the upcoming seasons of the ESL Pro League," YouTube's head of gaming content Ryan Wyatt stated in the press release.

"Entering their 5th Season, ESL’s ability to continue to produce the highest quality content at the pinnacle level of competitive play is unrivaled. Professional Counter-Strike fans and viewership has been growing at such an explosive rate and we are excited to continue sharing this passion with our gaming viewers."

This news confirms a Jan. 6 report from Slingshot’s Jarek “DeKay” Lewis.

Season five of the ESL Pro League will begin on Feb, 7, while the offline finals will be held in Dallas, Texas from June 3-4. Previous seasons were streamed on Twitch, though it is unclear if there was an exclusive deal in place regarding broadcasting rights.

An ESL spokesperson said that "YouTube will broadcast English stream only exclusively, with all other languages remaining available on Twitch."

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

IEM Katowice details revealed

en.intelextrememasters.com

IEM has revealed the format for IEM World Championship Katowice 2017, with twelve teams set to compete for a $250,000 prize pool.

Eight teams will receive invites to the event, while there will be four spots to be filled out through three EU and one NA qualifiers. Teams will be divided into two groups of six for the best-of-one group stage, with the top three teams advancing to the playoffs.

The group stage will run from March 1-2, while the playoffs will be held from March 3-5 at the Spodek arena in Katowice, Poland.

Click here for the full article via en.intelextrememasters.com

Report: EPL Season 5 to be streamed exclusively on YouTube Gaming

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Thumbnail image courtesy of YouTube Gaming

ESL Pro League's fifth season will reportedly be streamed exclusively on ESL's official YouTube channel instead of Twitch, according a report from Slingshot Esports' Jarek "DeKay" Lewis.

Citing anonymous sources, DeKay says that the move is the result of a partnership between the World Esports Association and YouTube. WESA is a partnership between ESL and seven European CS:GO teams including Fnatic, G2 Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

On Thursday, independent journalist Richard Lewis reported that WESA would enforce league exclusivity on EPL teams beginning in 2018. The association later released a statement stating no decisions have been made on league exclusivity beyond 2017, but that teams would not be allowed to play in other leagues on the days of their EPL matches in 2017. Lewis has since made a tweet in which he claims to have sources that support DeKay's claims regarding YouTube Gaming.

The report comes on the heels of a vote by North American players to remain in EPL instead of participating in the Professional eSports Association's league. It is unknown if players were aware of WESA's alleged partnership with YouTube when they voted.

As a result of the vote, PEA decided they would suspend their plans to hold a CS:GO league, stating that there isn't "sufficient financial support in the ecosystem" for another major online league in the CS:GO ecosystem.

theScore esports has reached out to WESA, ESL and YouTube Gaming for comment.

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.

WESA denies 2018 exclusivity allegations

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Thumbnail image courtesy of World Esports Association

The World Esports Association has denied allegations that the organization will demand that WESA teams only play in WESA-sanctioned events in 2018.

In a public statement, WESA's executive chairman and commissioner Ken Hershman said that WESA team's players will not be permitted to play in any other leagues on any day they have to play in the ESL Pro League, but have made no decisions regarding league exclusivity beyond 2017.

"On the days of their pro league matches, WESA teams are not going to play any other matches in 2017," Hershman said. "WESA has not required any of its teams to drop any other leagues either in 2017 or any subsequent years. While no decisions have been made regarding league participation beyond 2017, any decision will be a joint one by all WESA members, including the players. We strongly distance ourselves from any suggestions saying otherwise.”

On Thursday, independent journalist Richard Lewis published a video in which he cited anonymous sources telling him that WESA was looking to make WESA teams exclusive to WESA-sanctioned events beginning in 2018, among several other allegations related to WESA exclusivity.

Among the allegations, Lewis claimed that ESL told popular CS:GO caster Alex "Machine" Richardson that if he accepted a job with the PEA league, ESL would "strongly consider" not hiring him again for an ESL event. WESA did not respond to theScore esports' requests for clarification regarding this allegation.

WESA was formed in in May as a partnership between ESL and eight European CS:GO teams, and aimed to "create an open and inclusive organisation to oversee standardized tournament regulations, player representation as well as revenue sharing for teams." Shortly after forming, FaZe Clan left WESA, leaving the organization with seven teams.

WESA is currently made up of Fnatic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team EnVyUs, Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere, G2 Esports and mousesports. If WESA were to demand exclusivity from those teams, they would be unable to play in the Esports Championship Series and ELEAGUE among other events, should they not be sanctioned by WESA at a later date.

Discussions of exclusivity in the CS:GO scene have been rampant of late due to a dispute between the Professional eSports Association and the players that make up its member teams' rosters. The PEA planned to run a North American CS:GO league in which its teams would participate, but which would conflict with ESL Pro League, claiming that the players' contracts allowed the teams to choose which events the rosters attended. The PEA eventually permitted the players to choose between PEA's own league and the ESL Pro League, citing a lack of consistent communication on the part of PEA about their league plans. Earlier this week, players voted to stay in the EPL and PEA suspended their plans to run a CS:GO league earlier today.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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