WE to use alternate roster for Katowice

Thumbnail image courtesy of OGN / OGN screengrab

Chinese representatives Team WE will be using an alternate roster for the IEM World Championships in Katowice, ESL confirmed to theScore today.

The alternate roster, as featured on the Intel Extreme Masters website, will replace their current LPL mid laner Noh "Ninja" Geon-woo for current substitute player Su "Xiye" Han-Wei.  Former Jin Air Green Wings AD carry Jin "Mystic" Seong-jun will replace current LPL AD carry Qu "Styz" Zi-Liang.

The move has been speculated inside Chinese circles for a while, with many stating that Seong-jin's high ranking on the Chinese Ionian server as one of the reasons for this change.

Seong-jun was previously the AD Carry for the Jin Air Green Wings Falcons and additionally played for Team WE's sister team, WE Academy, as a jungler in the 2015 LPL expansion tournament. 

Han-Wei previously played for WE Academy as their mid laner prior to their LPL qualification in Summer of 2014. He only played six Best of 2s for WE Academy before being replaced by high ranking Korean solo queue player, Son "Mickey" Yong-min. Xiye returned to the roster after the LPL season to play the 2015 Expansion Tournament, but was replaced again by Bae "dade" Eo-jin when the team was sold off and renamed to Master3.

WE currently sit at the bottom of the table in the Tencent LoL Pro League with a overall Win-Draw-Loss record of 1-6-8 and many Chinese fans have lamented the fact that WE will be the only team to represent the LPL.

ESL has confirmed with theScore that this will be the roster that WE will be using at Katowice. It remains to be seen if this will be the roster WE opts to run in the LPL afterwards. 

WE's IEM Katowice roster will be:

  • Zhenming “Aluka” Peng (Top)

  • Dayun “Spirit” Lee (Jungle)

  • Su “Xiye” Han-Wei (Mid)

  • Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun (ADC)

  • Zhe “YuZhe” Zhang (Support)

Sandbox mode on the horizon: Riot Games begins work on "single-player training mode"

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Riot Games

Riot Games have begun work on the much requested in-game practice tools, or sandbox mode, for League of Legends, starting with a "single-player training mode," according to a joint blog post from Andrew “Riot Aeon” Brownell and Rowan “L4T3NCY” Parker posted on Friday.

Riot's proposed practice tool will allow players to have infinite gold, reset their cooldowns, lock their level and freeze minion spawns. A full feature list is still in the works, but they have stated that they're "currently not looking to develop a multiplayer training tool for organized team drills or pro-play specifically.

"Once we get the first version out, we’ll pay close attention to see if we missed anything in terms of how to become better by yourself," Aeon and L4T3NCY said in their blog post.

The news comes a year after Riot's blog post where they stated, "we never want to see a day when a player wants to improve at League and their first obligation is to hop into a Sandbox." In Riot's recent blog post, they admit that their initial thoughts were not in line with the rest of the community.

"A year ago, we shot ourselves in the foot with our first attempt at Riot Pls," Riot Aeon and L4T3NCY said in their blog post. "Back then we said that a practice tool — an environment where you could train solo, without restraints — wasn’t something we wanted to do. You disagreed, and we heard you."

No timeline is stated for the release of Riot's Practice Tool, but further updates are promised throughout the 2017 pre-season.

Here are some initial community reactions:

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

PSG AMA: YellOwStaR hopes to fill out Challenger team with fresh talent and two Koreans

by 8h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Lee Smith / Action Images via Reuters

French football club Paris Saint-Germain may have just announced their entry into esports last week, but head of esports Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim is already hard at work planning what kinds of players he wants on the team in 2017.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread, YellOwStaR said that although Europe has a strong base of talented players, the team believe they will need a few South Korean veterans to round out the squad. PSG are planning on bringing on younger rookies from Europe, he said, and they hope they will be able to find some more experienced Koreans to guide them.

"When it comes down to players — to be original, I would like to work with 2 Korean players that would 'lead by example' and young players that are willing to prove themselves and make their own name on the scene," he explained.

"Having a lot of discipline is necessary to constantly improve — work ethics, respect and being humble in any circumstances. Korea is still dominating the scene in these matters even though we have an extreme amount of talented players [in Europe]. We are living in a world where it is easy to get distracted, temptation is always here and the hardest opponent is probably [ourselves]."

He said that he didn't think that being an EU Challenger team, rather than an LCS steam, will prevent PSG from being able to find Korean candidates.

PSG announced their purchase of Team Huma's spot in the 2017 EU Challenger Series Spring Split on Friday, naming YellOwStaR their head of esports at the press conference. The former Fnatic player will also be in charge of scouting members for their LoL roster, though he says that his hopes for the season are relatively simple: he wants to make it to the LCS by 2018.

"Our main goal is to qualify in LCS this season," he said. "It's not an easy task, so we will try to build a team with some experienced players that could help the youngest to grow and prove themselves along enabling their full potential."

A spokesperson for PSG said the organization has been looking into esports for three years, and investigated LoL for a year before making their move.

"For a big organization like us it always take a bit of time to have everybody on the boat, but we are now very thrilled to be part of it," the spokesperson said.

For now, PSG's esports division only has a spot in the EU CS with no signed players, plus two FIFA pros, August "Agge" Rosenmeier and Lucas "Daxe" Cuillerier. The organization said that they've discussed entering other esports, but they want to understand the market before pushing in any further. One comment hinted that they were considering Overwatch as an avenue for expansion.

Throughout the AMA, PSG reiterated that no matter what happens next LCS season, they are dedicated to esports and here to stay. "We have some experience with sport disappointment, so don't expect us to surrender if things don't go immediately in the good direction," the org wrote.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. He's here to talk about Joyce and chew bubblegum, and he's all out of bubblegum. You can follow him on Twitter.

Report: Paris Saint-Germain invested €20 million in esports

by 17h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of REUTERS/Regis Duvignau Picture Supplied by Action Images

A report from French-language broadcaster TV5 MONDE claims that Paris Saint-Germain has invested €20 million in their entry to esports.

"€20 million invested and one promise: to win all video game matches. It's why Paris Saint-Germain presented its new recruits with great pomp," a TV5 Monde news anchor says at the beginning of a television segment on the team.

The report, which is credited to Bastien Borie, Guillaume Gouet and Alexandre Ageneau, does not cite a specific source when discussing the €20 million figure.

In a response to a question posed on a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread, a PSG spokesperson said that the the team did not release the €20 million figure and that that amount of money was not invested into their EU CS team. The spokesperson failed to clarify whether or not the figure was related to the organization's general esports budget.

"We never gave any number to anyone, but well this is far, far away from the truth," PSG stated. "We have a pretty decent budget for an European League of Legends team, but we are as for now here to learn. Our main goal is to qualify for LCS"

On social media, G2 Esports founder Carlos "ocelote" Rodriguez reacted to the the TV5 MONDE report saying that the €20 million figure was false.

PSG made their official entry to esports on Oct. 20, where they revealed that Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim would manage their esports division and announced an EUCS League of Legends team and the signing of two FIFA players.

RELATED: Paris Saint-Germain enter esports partnership with Millenium's parent company

Even if the sum represents an initial investment and not an annual operating budget, it's unclear how exactly that money would be (or has been) spent. When ESPN esports' Jacob Wolf reported that PSG had purchased the team's Challenger Series spot from Team HUMA, the reported cost was $70,000.

While PSG have not directly commented on the report, they did however respond nebulously to a tweet discussing the €20 million figure.

Interest in French esports has exploded in recent months. ESL, CANAL Group and Vivendi inked a partnership to develop and broadcast new French esports leagues less than two weeks ago, while the increased competition recently drove Melty esport club to close its doors, citing "an explosion of costs" that forced them to bow out.

This article was last updated on 10/24/16 at 3:32 PM

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

YellOwStaR to manage Paris Saint-Germain esports

by 4d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Twitch.tv

Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim will head up Paris Saint-Germain's new esports division following his retirement from professional League of Legends earlier this week.

PSG announced their esports team in a live stream on Thursday with the acquisition of Team Huma's spot in the 2017 European Challenger Series Spring Split. Huma disbanded in August amidst allegations that team owner Behdad Jaafarian was unable to pay players and team staff on time. Jaafarian then put the team's EU CS spot up for sale.

RELATED: YellOwStaR retires from professional League of Legends

In his role as the head of the esports division, YellOwStaR will be in charge of scouting new players for PSG's League of Legends roster, and will be living with them in their gaming house in Berlin. He will not be the team's coach or an active player.

YellOwStaR will have a clean slate to work with in building the new team, since Huma did not have any players signed when their spot was purchased. YellOwStaR said in the press conference that having the team house in Berlin will help the fledging Challenger squad by letting them scrim with EU LCS teams.

"The main objective of 2017 will be go to the LCS, the first League of Legends division," he said.

YellOwStaR is considered one of the best European League of Legends players of all time, as well as one of the most accomplished Western LoL players in the game's history. YellOwStaR has participated in five World Championships with three different teams, and has qualified for seven LCS finals across two regions — winning five of them — in his six-year career.

Paris Saint-Germain is a French soccer club that fields a roster in Ligue 1, the highest tier of French professional soccer. The organization was founded in 1970 and holds a total of 31 titles, including six domestic Ligue 1 titles as well as two European titles, the 1995-1996 UEFA Cup Winner's Cup and the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

During the press conference, PSG also announced they were signing two-time FIFA world champion August "Agge" Rosenmeier and former Epsilon FIFA player Lucas "Daxe" Cuillerier.

"It's a huge difference because I really feel that I get recognized," Agge said at the conference. "I'm very proud and honored to be a part of PSG. It's a huge huge relief for me, and I'm very happy. I will do my best, of course."

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

Watch: H2K turn around the Ashe/Miss Fortune combo

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games Twitch

Samsung Galaxy and H2k-Gaming were neck and neck through the first game in the semifinals, with SSG taking a slight gold lead. Hoping to extend their lead, Ruler's Ashe and Corejj's Miss Fortune combined their ultimates to annihilate Vander in the mid lane — a combo that ran rampant in yesterday's semifinal. But rather than retreat, H2K pressed forward and caught SSG off guard.

With the well-timed flank from Odoamne's Kennen, H2K secured a four for two trade that shifted momentum in their favor.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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