Origen's xPeke on returning to the stage: 'I think by Summer Split for sure'

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Origen ends Week 4 of the EU LCS 1-1, maintaining their standing in the middle of the pack. Following their match against GIANTS! Gaming, Origen's owner Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño Martínez took the time to talk to Marcel "Dexter" Feldkamp about the team's current struggles, returning to professional play and the potential for expanding the organization to other games.

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Hybrid leaves Origen

by 4d ago

Glenn "Hybrid" Doornenbal has left Origen and is looking for a new team to join, the player announced Monday.

Hybrid joined Origen in May after he was replaced on his former team, G2 Esports, with former Origen support Alfonso "mithy" Rodriquez.

In his tweet, Hybrid stated that the 2016 EU LCS Summer split was a “real disappointment in every way possible.” Origen finished ninth in the regular season with a 2-8-8 record, only beating last-place Team ROCCAT twice. Origen held on to their 2017 LCS spot following a close 3-2 win over Misfits in the Promotion Tournament. However, the team is out of contention for this year’s World Championship after a 2015 appearance that saw them place 3rd-4th.

Hybrid put up a 2.92 KDA across 36 games this split, mostly playing Braum and Karma. According to Oracle’s Elixir, Hybrid had the second lowest KDA and the least number of assists among supports in the EU LCS this season with just 245 assists.

Origen made a handful of roster and management shuffles over the course of the Summer Split, bringing in former mid laner and team owner Enrique “xPeke” Cedeno Martinez to replace Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou at AD carry. Later on in the season, Augustas “Toaster” Ruplys replaced xPeke for a handful of games.

The team also went through several coaches, beginning with xPeke replacing Nicolai “Hazel” Larsen, then Nicolas “NicoThePico” Korsgaard replacing xPeke and finally, Alvar “Araneae” Martin Alenar replacing NicoThePico.

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

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Tryndamere responds to community: Riot is working to improve revenue sharing, will release patches earlier

by 2d ago

Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill has followed up on his initial response to Team SoloMid owner Andy "Reginald" Dinh's comments on the sustainability of League of Legends esports with a new TwitLonger that addresses some of the concerns expressed by members of the community.

"This may surprise some, but I actually agree with a lot of the points Andy makes about sustainability in the LoL ecosystem," Tryndamere said in his post Wednesday. "League esports (in its current form) doesn't provide the long term security and sustainability that we ultimately aspire to for teams and pros."

Throughout the debate that began on Monday with Reginald's interview and Tryndamere's Reddit response, the TSM owner has argued that Riot has demanded more of players and teams without increasing stipends or other league-controlled revenue streams, or giving them access to outside sponsorship opportunities.

"Over time, LCS has become more demanding and restrictive and the dynamics of a mutually beneficial relationship have become more one-sided," he wrote on Tuesday.

In his response Wednesday, Tryndamere acknowledged that team costs are rising while revenue stays mostly stagnant, saying that it is the "short-term reality of growing a young esport."

"Building a self-sustaining global sport requires more revenue generation opportunities for all parts of the ecosystem, and we know there’s more we can do to further unlock the value of the leagues for owners and pros," the Riot executive wrote.

He said that in 2017, Riot plans on releasing additional team-branded in-game items that will provide teams with additional revenue, and they are also looking to sell more physical merchandise through their online store, both concessions that Reginald and other team owners have requested.

"These are just a couple of examples and we’re exploring a lot more major steps, like league sponsorships, franchising, media rights, etc.," Tryndamere wrote.

Sharing sponsorship revenue with teams and broadening opportunities for teams to feature their own sponsors are both issues at the heart of the debate. Though Riot's events and online streams have not generally been sponsored, League of Legends leagues and tournaments have attracted major outside sponsors in the past. Coca Cola currently sponsors the LCK (which is run by OGN and sanctioned by Riot), and also sponsored the 2014 World Championships and the 2015 North American Challenger Series. The LCS itself has never been sponsored.

Tryndamere did not go into detail about what sponsorship revenue-sharing might look like, but rather stressed the complexity of the problem from Riot's perspective.

"As we build additional revenue streams for multi-esport organizations, what mechanisms should we put in place to help ensure that the right amount of revenue is shared with their League pro players?" he wrote. "Who decides what is the right amount? Is it even fair for Riot to influence these third-party teams in this way? There is no road map for this, and we need to continue to learn together with our partners the way we have since we started on this esports journey back in season one at Dreamhack."

The post does not discuss increasing player stipends, which have remained at $12,500 per player per split since 2013, or growing the LCS' prize pools, which have been stable at $100,000 per split since the LCS was founded. (However, Tryndamere said in a previous Reddit comment that Riot was "open to revisiting the Worlds' prize pool," which has also remained relatively stable at close to $2 million since 2012.)

Addressing the criticism that Riot releases game-changing patches too close to major tournaments — in particular this year's lane swap patch, which Reginald and others have complained came out too close to regional playoffs, robbing teams of the time to practice — Tryndamere said it will "do a better job of communicating sooner" and plans to ensure that patches that deeply affect the competitive meta "happen earlier on in the split to give players more time to adjust."

RELATED: Get good: Worlds patching and the myth of meta-resistance​

However, he stuck to his guns on Riot's decision to enforce standard lanes in the latest patch. "Our laneswap changes once again didn’t give teams much time to prepare, but we moved forward believing it will lead to better games and a better viewing experience for fans," he wrote.

After publishing the post today, Tryndamere again responded to community comments on Reddit. He defended his initial, terse response to Reginald's interview on Reddit, saying that it was in line with Riot's communication philosophy of being "unfiltered."

"We prefer to be 'unfiltered' / 'raw' because we are deeply immersed in the game and hate the high level generic corporate speak that says nothing and plays it safe," he wrote. "The downside of these attempts to participate in general community discussions when we occupy this seat and there are tens of millions of players around the world is that it's hard to speak like we know you guys in a casual / comfortable way. ... I infinitely prefer interacting with players than with our PR team (yes we have one) and struggle to engage in the way that I did in 2011 and earlier. Think we need to continue to grow and adapt to our size, scale and the associated expectations."

Since Tryndamere's TwitLonger was posted, Reignald has responded with a short statement of his own, writing that TSM and other NA LCS teams have signed a "detailed proposal" that is being sent to Riot with suggestions for changes to the structure of the LCS.

Several teams have explicitly stated on Twitter they are part of the petition, including Counter Logic Gaming, Team Liquid and Cloud9, while other teams and personalities from NA and EU have voiced their support using the #LCSForever hashtag. The content of the proposal is not public.

Last updated at 7:04 PM on 8/24/2016.

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

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Top 5 Plays from G2 Esports vs. Splyce

theScore esports Staff 13h ago

Contrary to Europe's reputation for being unpredictable, the finals of the 2016 EU LCS Summer Split playoffs will see the Top 2 teams from the regular season face off.

While G2 had kept a tight hold on the number one spot throughout the season, Splyce surprised many and followed close behind.

This Sunday's match will either give Splyce their first title or once again, affirm G2 as the best team in EU.

Until then, here are the Top 5 plays from all the matches these two teams had played against each other this year.

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HTC eSports: 'It is becoming difficult to justify our investments into the [LoL] scene'

by 1d ago

HTC eSports is the latest organization to comment on controversial statements made by Riot Games President Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill and other Riot officials earlier this week about the long-term sustainability of League of Legends esports and its attractiveness to outside sponsors. In a statement on Facebook, HTC said that largely because of Riot's policies, it is becoming more difficult for mainstream sponsors to justify sponsoring teams in the LCS.

The post specifically addresses a Reddit comment made Wednesday by director of esports Whalen "Magus" Rozelle, which said Riot was opposed to a sponsor YouTube video made by Team SoloMid and HTC. The video shows TSM's LCS team playing the HTC Vive game Raw Data.

Magus said in his comment that the video was "a [tacit] advertisement for another game." "This is against LCS rules because LCS isn't a platform for other game companies to advertise on," he wrote. "Yes, this means there's a category that teams don't have access to but for any sport, letting quasi competitors advertise on the league doesn't make sense."

Rule 3.7 of Riot's official LCS rulebook states that teams are completely unrestricted in terms of what sponsors they are allowed to secure. Rule 3.7.6 lists "products or services from direct competitors" as one of the sponsors that are restricted in terms of being displayed by players at certain times, however the rule lists those times as: "the use or play of LoL, adjacent to LoL related material, the LCS, or any Riot-affiliated events."

While the rule does not explicitly ban players from participating in a video affiliated with what could be construed as a competitor, it does state that "LCS officials have the ability to update the category list at any time."

HTC said in its post that Riot threatened TSM with a fine if the video was not removed. The sponsor wrote that it was not "strategically trying to circumvent" Riot's policies, and that the video was part of a series which featured TSM's players playing various Vive games, which they claim the team chose themselves.

"Survios, the creators of Raw Data, did not make any financial investment into the production of the video, nor did they approach us to get it made," HTC wrote. "TSM selected Raw Data themselves after reviewing a list of Vive games as they felt it would resonate most with their fans."

HTC did admit that it is logical that Riot does not want LCS pros to bring attention to their competitors. However, they asked for a clarification of what Riot's policies explicitly prohibit. As an example, they asked what the difference is between an LCS player streaming Deus Ex and an LCS player making a YouTube video of them playing a Vive game. According to HTC, those kinds of questions are making it more difficult to justify their sponsorships in the League of Legends space.

"If Riot does not want us making videos that feature our sponsored players playing other games, we do not have many options for showcasing our products," HTC stated.

"Sponsors are now very limited in what we can do to market our brand and products while still supporting the League of Legends scene."

HTC also noted that the r/leagueoflegends subreddit does not allow HTC to post their LoL-themed ads, though Riot has no official affiliation with the subreddit, and their policies are outside of Riot's control.

"As one of the first major non-endemic sponsors in the West, we believe we have helped pioneer marketing in esports, and we’ve loved every second of it," HTC stated. "But with less avenues for advertisement in League of Legends, stemming from the restrictions on the teams and players, restrictions on the subreddit, and the lack of available marketing opportunities at competitions, it is becoming difficult to justify our investments into the scene."

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

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Top 5 Plays from Unicorns of Love vs. H2k-Gaming (2016 EU LCS)

theScore esports Staff 1d ago

Although they both joined the EU LCS in the spring of 2015, H2k-Gaming and the Unicorns of Love have only crossed paths in the playoffs once before, in Summer 2015.

One year later, these two EU LCS mainstays look to write a new chapter in their history. Before H2K and UoL take to the Rift, we look back on their games from this past year's matches and admire the best moments, counting down the Top 5 Plays from UoL vs. H2K.

For more video interviews and highlights, be sure to subscribe to theScore esports on YouTube.

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