xPeke to stand in for PowerOfEvil in Week 8

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Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño Martínez will be the starting Mid Laner for Origen in their Week 8 games of the EU LCS, because Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage is feeling under the weather, according to a tweet from the player.

The last minute substitution comes at the tail end of the 2016 EU LCS Spring Split, where Origen are currently sitting in sixth place with a mediocre 7-7 record. This is a far cry from their performance last season in the 2015 EU LCS Summer Split when they finished second place with a 12-6 record.

Origen were eliminated on the first day of IEM Season X World Championship Katowice this past weekend after losing to Royal Never Give Up and Team SoloMid. theScore esports' Lisa Doan interviewed xPeke in Katowice, asking him about Origen's loss. The player, who is also the team's owner, mentioned he will likely come back to the roster for the Summer Split, with the possibility of playing during the Spring Playoffs.

In the seven weeks PowerOfEvil has played in the 2016 Spring Split, he's averaged a 3.38 KDA across 14 games. His most-played hero is Ahri, with four games, but his most successful has been Lulu. He played and won two games on the Champion, never dying once and averaging a monstrous 25 KDA.

Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage

However, xPeke averaged a 5.61 KDA over 18 games during the 2015 EU LCS Summer Split. His most popular Champion was Vladimir, playing it five times and averaging a 7.5 KDA.

In Week 8 of the EU LCS, Origen will face Unicorns of Love on Thursday and ROCCAT Friday.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, Dungeon & Dragons and first-picking Timbersaw Windranger Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Hybrid leaves Origen

by 6d 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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HTC eSports: 'It is becoming difficult to justify our investments into the [LoL] scene'

by 3d 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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MonteCristo on the LCS revenue debate: Riot's 'like some sort of f***ed-up tyrant Santa Claus'

by 5d ago

In a lengthy video posted Tuesday morning, OGN LoL caster and Renegades co-owner Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles weighed in on the debate that has broken out between LCS team owners and Riot Games about how teams and players earn revenue in LoL esports.

MonteCristo, whose LCS team was forced to disband earlier this year after Riot ruled it had inappropriate connections with Chris Badawi and Team Dragon Knights, was not shy about his frustration with how Riot's current policies have affected organizations' ability to generate revenue and pay their players.

"There has been no sponsorship revenue sharing for the league," he said. "The sponsors are tapped out. The endemic sponsors, they're not going to give any more money for League of Legends. Most teams are losing money, maybe one or two teams are making a razor-thin profit from LCS."

He claimed that Riot's policies about how and where an organization's sponsors can be featured has not only limited investments made by current sponsors, but has also made the LCS an unattractive option for potential new entrants.

The debate over how Riot's esports policies have affected team owners and outside investors broke into the public spotlight yesterday when Riot co-owner Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill replied to an interview with Team SoloMid co-owner Andy "Reginald" Dinh.

RELATED: TSM's Reginald responds to Riot's Tryndamere: 'It’s irrational to invest even more money into LCS, given how restrictive LCS is'

Reginald argued in the interview that Riot's decision to release a major patch after the LCS regular season, but ahead of playoffs and the World Championship, has hurt the high-level competitive environment. He said the constant reinvention of the game makes it hard for players to find consistent, healthy employment with a competitive organization.

Tryndamere countered in a written response on Reddit that Reginald had the power to decide how his players were reimbursed, and accused him of shifting profits to investments in other esports rather than paying more for LoL players.

MonteCristo rebuked Tryndamere in his video, saying that the money team owners use to pay players is ultimately controlled by Riot and that, in situations where Riot already provides money to players, they've chosen not to increase that amount.

"Maybe if you're concerned with the financial health of the players, Tryndamere, you should pay them more money," he said. "Maybe you should raise a stipend. You haven't raised a stipend for the players since 2013."

The Renegades owner argued that the rules surrounding sponsorships need to change to enable more outside investment, and that Riot should consider a revenue-sharing proposal that would see teams and players benefit from Riot's sponsorships. His video doesn't go into detail about what a solution might look like.

MonteCristo also claimed that the threat of relegation already forces teams to offer as much as they can to acquire the best players, so that they do not lose their LCS spot and forfeit their investment. "In a system where relegations exist, teams will always be trying to pay the players the maximum amount that makes sense, because otherwise you lose everything," he said.

He called Riot and Tryndamere hypocrites, claiming that they were telling teams to spend more on players while underpaying their own broadcast talent. MonteCristo and his fellow OGN casters have raised the issue of unfair treatment by Riot in the past, for example when they boycotted the Mid-Season Invitational for allegedly offering substandard wages. In a Tweet Monday morning, he said the current debate gave him more reason to believe a caster's union is needed.

In Tryndamere's original Reddit post, which he later edited, he suggested that Reginald and TSM were "losing money" by investing in other esports. MonteCristo attacked this statement in his video, saying there was no way for Riot to know whether teams were turning a profit from titles like Counter-Strike or Overwatch. (Renegades has an active roster in CS:GO.)

"I don't know how Riot got this idea," he said. "They never asked me, as a team owner, how I was doing, where my sponsorship money was coming from. And I would have told them that — for me personally and I think this is true for a lot of teams — that sponsorship in CS:GO and the potential of Overwatch was much more exciting for sponsors. And it was getting increasingly difficult to field good sponsorships and make good money off of an LCS team."

MonteCristo took special issue with a section of Tryndamere's response in which he separated teams into those with "good guy" owners like Reginald, and others at the "bottom end of the ecosystem."

"I hate this about Riot," he said. "They’re like some sort of f***ed-up, tyrant Santa Claus, where you get put on the naughty or nice list for all-time, and they decide ‘he is good, he is bad. I guess Regi’s one of the good guys. I don’t really know what that means in this context."

MonteCristo is unlikely to be the last to weigh in on the debate. Reginald posted a full response to Tryndamere's comments Tuesday, and commentator Duncan "Thorin" Shields has promised a video response in the near future.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury kindly asks you not to feed the Volibear. You can find him on Twitter.

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MarkZ on why he quit coaching: 'A lot of players in the scene have very bad attitudes'

William "scarra" Li 4d ago

Mark "MarkZ" Zimmerman has been busy since his departure from coaching Team Liquid, creating his own show, "The Blame Game," and often appearing as one of the main guest analysts for the weekly NA LCS broadcasts.

After Team SoloMid's 3-0 sweep of Counter Logic Gaming in Sunday's semifinal, William "scarra" Li chatted with MarkZ about why he's happier than ever since leaving coaching behind and get his prediction for the upcoming third-place and grand final matches.

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

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Re-Ward Here: A Guide to Toronto for the NA LCS Finals

by 4d ago

For those who don’t know, theScore esports is based in Toronto, Canada. So with the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split finals taking place in our city, who else would be better to give you some tips to get around?

We present to you our guide to help you make the most of your trip to Toronto.

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

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