This Week in Gaming is your definitive weekly guide to the biggest stories and controversies behind the latest esport and gaming headlines. This is everything you need to know about the week that was, but on steroids.
It’s finally here guys, the mother of all announcements.
In a totally unexpected turn of events, Thursday finally saw Riot announce their plans to bring a franchising model to the NA LCS, which may go down as one of the worst kept secrets in esports history.
But seriously, for a full report on the announcement make sure to check out Josh Bury’s article on it, and for a further discussion on what franchising means for LoL and esports in general, make sure to watch our emergency episode of The Nexus Podcast where Bury, Gabe Zoltan-Johan, and Ryan Stratton have an in-depth discussion with Team Dignitas’ chairman on the matter.
For those of you that don’t want to educate yourselves on the matter, don’t worry, I gotchu. TL;DR: Relegation is gone but teams can lose their spot, prospective and current teams need to formally apply for a spot in the league, and, oh yeah, the buy-in is listed at a bargain $10 million. Sure, there are other points like revenue sharing and the end of the Challenger Series as we know it, but I’m not going to tell you everything about that in here.
The Meme Team
If you thought the NA LCS’ franchising announcement was the biggest League of Legends story of the week, then you clearly underestimated the esports landscape. So what can possibly top an entire esport undergoing a massive structural change? A meme of course.
On Friday, Echo Fox announced that they signed Michael "Imaqtpie" Santana, Marcus "Dyrus" Hill, William "scarra" Li, Joedat "Voyboy" Esfahani and Danny "Shiphtur" Le to their challenger roster.
Yes, this is real life. No, I can’t believe it either.
Will LoL’s most popular streamers find success in the challenger series? Maybe. We’re just hoping that Echo Fox have plans to do a reality series featuring their newest players.
We Don’t Like…
Twitch playing the Stock Market
I’m going to be very upfront about this — I have no faith in Twitch.
No, not the actual company, but the users that inhabit the darkest corner of the internet otherwise known as Twitch chat. So with that said, it should come as no surprise to hear that I wouldn’t let Twitch chat decide how to invest my money, but luckily there’s some poor soul out there who has more faith in them than I do and has let them invest $50,000 in any way they collectively choose. Think Twitch plays Pokemon but with the stock market.
So how’s that working out? Well, at time of publication, Twitch appears to be up some money, but like many things on the internet, this success may be short lived. At the very least, it’s fun to watch, but we don’t like how much money this person trusted the internet with.
We’re Unsure Of
Origen’s Diamond Founder Program
One of Europe's newest challenger teams posted an interesting, if cryptic, tweet Friday morning that seems to hint at the creation of a hyper exclusive diamond founder card.
What will this probably exclusive diamond founder’s card entail? I have no clue, and instead of
doing my job reaching out to the team to ask them about it, I thought it would be more fun to guess the purpose of these cards. After all, ignorance is bliss. So without further ado, here’s what I’m 100-percent-totally-convinced these cards will almost probably be used for ... maybe:
VIP access to all of Origen’s matches for the rest of your life (including live EU CS, EU LCS and international matches)
Front of line access to the Riot store (both online and in-store)
Keeping the organization cashflow positive for decades to come
Free Gillette products for life
Come to think of it, your guess is probably
better as good as mine.
All trains to feature the sweet sounds of Final Fantasy
It's no secret that commuting is one of life's biggest pains, be it a 15-minute bus ride or hour-long train ride. But some Japanese subway stations may have found a way to make your commute a bit more bearable.
According to Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft, a number of subway stations are playing a variety of Final Fantasy songs when trains either leave or arrive at certain stations in celebration of the franchise's 30th anniversary.
There's admittedly not much more to this story, but think about how soothing your daily commute would be listening to FF's soundtrack without worrying about the possibility of an intense boss battle. If you ask me, playing Final Fantasy music in subway stations across the world should be a high priority for everyone.
Sean Tepper is the Senior Supervising Editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.