Miami Heat buy stake in Misfits

Thumbnail image courtesy of Misfits / Miami Heat

The National Basketball Association's Miami Heat have purchased a stake in esports organization Misfits, the organization announced Tuesday.

The release calls the arrangement a "strategic partnership," saying that it "is unique as it calls for the HEAT to assist in all duties including marketing, branding, promotion, retail, digital and sponsorship activation on behalf of the franchise, and to cross-promote the HEAT and Misfits."

Misfits owner Ben Spoont confirmed to theScore esports that the purchased stake does not represent a controlling interest in Misfits, though other terms of the deal are confidential.

“The Miami HEAT pride ourselves on being innovative in all aspects of sports and business,” HEAT Chief Executive Officer Nick Arison said in a press release. “For us, it made perfect sense to partner with Misfits, a young and ambitious franchise in a sport that is blazing a trail in terms of 21st century recreational competition amongst Millennials.”

Misfits was formed in 2016 by Ben Spoont, and began as a League of Legends team in the European Challenger series that went on to qualify for the EU LCS. The organization has since signed a Heroes of the Storm team, an Overwatch team, several Hearthstone players and one Super Smash Bros. player.

The Miami Heat was formed in 1988 as an expansion team, and have since won three league championships. In January 2016, Forbes valued the organization at $1.3 billion, the tenth-highest NBA franchise on their ranking.

Misfits have expanded rapidly over the last year, beginning with their LoL team, then moving into Overwatch, where their roster recently took first at DreamHack Winter and the Overwatch Open. The organization has only moved into Hearthstone and Super Smash Bros. Melee recently, but has signed strong free agents in both scenes.

“One of the things that really intrigued us about the Misfits is that there are a lot of similarities between the Misfits and the Heat,” Miami Heat executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Michael McCullough said in a video attached to the press release.

“The Misfits just took first place in the Overwatch [Open], they compete at the highest level in League of Legends, and they also compete in Super Smash Bros. They're looking to be known as one of the best teams, one of the best organizations in all of esports, and that's we look to be in the NBA. So we thought bringing these two organizations together, where both of us want to win and compete at the highest level, was really going to create a great marriage.”

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

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

Big Bluff Charity Poker tournament will see NA LCS owners sling cards for charitable causes 6d ago

The owners of the ten NA LCS teams have banded together to hold a charity poker tournament that will see them compete for $11,000 for their charity of choice. The event, produced by Next Generation Esports, is set to begin Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. EST. Donations from stream viewers will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Former Tainted Minds coach alleges team was mistreated by org, players reportedly in contract dispute

by 16h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Tainted Minds

Former Tainted Minds coach Nick "Inero" Smith has alleged that the organization severely mistreated some of its League of Legends players, telling PVP Live's James "Obscurica" Chen that it attempted to bar them from leaving the org.

According to Inero, the team house was often without power over a period of two months. Other complaints included bad computers that crashed too often to play on, a lack of air conditioning and mold growth in the house.

Inero told PVP Live that the team missed two weeks of scrims because of the computer issues. The team then allegedly contacted a lawyer to legally terminate their contacts, before reportedly being told by Tainted Minds on Feb. 17 that they were still under contract to the org.

A representative for Jessep Entertainment and Sports Lawyers confirmed for theScore esports that the firm is representing a group of players in a contract dispute against Tainted Minds, but was unable to provide further clarification on the specific players involved and the nature of the dispute.

Inero told PVP Live the players' lawyer has told them that their contracts are legally terminated, and that they are "are not bound to represent Tainted Minds any further." However, all players who have played for Tainted Minds this split are still listed as being signed to Tainted Minds on Riot's Global Contract Database.

While PVP Live's report does not specify which players are in the dispute with Tainted Minds, Ryan "ShorterACE" Nget, Aaron "ChuChuZ" Bland, Tristan "Cake" Côté-Lalumière and Andrew "Rosey" Rose did not play in any of Tainted Minds 2017 OPL Split 1 Week 5 games.

Inero told PVP Live that on Feb. 18, Tainted Minds had 13 players signed to the org on the database, despite Riot's official rules stating that teams can only have 10 players signed to the roster.

Inero also claims that after the players' lawyer contacted Riot Oceania's head of esports with regards to Tainted Minds' alleged breaches of contract, Riot updated the Global Contract Database to put Tainted Minds in the right.

The database currently only lists 10 players on Tainted Minds, and states it was last updated on Feb 19th. Inero told PVP Live that this is a sign that Riot is covering up for Tainted Minds, as he claims to have a screenshot of the database from Feb. 20 that says it was last updated on Feb. 16.

Tainted Minds has yet to make a public statement on the matter.

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

Mid Season Tanks Update - Maokai 20h ago

After Sejuani's changes were discussed in a previous post, Maokai has been announced as the next tank rework slated for the Rift. Game Designer Beluga Whale took to the forums to discuss the incoming changes:

"Why hello there. It's time to turn over a new leaf for Maokai, the next champion in our Tank Update! We choose Maokai for a slot in this update because we felt that there was a great opportunity to push this champion as a whole into a really good state. With fairly modern visuals and an updated lore courtesy of the Harrowing, there were only a few major flaws remaining."

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Patch 7.4 notes | League of Legends 20h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

The latest League of Legends patch is bringing nerfs to a handful of very strong champions, as well as a big change to catch-up experience.

Maokai and Corki are getting nerfs, with a severe reduction to Corki's missile damage, and Maokai's laning phase getting harder. Additionally, Jhin's ultimate slows less. Aside from that, it'll be easier for under-levelled players to catch up to their team thanks to bonus experience that will kick in when you are below your team's average level, up to four levels behind.

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Watch: How to Build and Play Caitlyn

theScore esports Staff 1d ago

Caitlyn, the Sheriff of Piltover.

This champion is an ever-present pick in solo queue, useful for her long range and high carry potential. Here's a basic guide on how to get started with her.

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