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.
The G.O.A.T. getting the Madden cover treatment
Let’s get one thing out the way: Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time and is very much leading the argument for being the best player to ever grace the gridiron.
So the fact that EA put the G.O.A.T on the cover of their highly popular football game seemed like a no-brainer and a fitting way to pay tribute to the first ballot hall of famer’s incredible Super Bowl win. So long as you don’t believe in long-running curses. More on that in a bit.
The most surprising part about this news though is that it will mark the first time that Brady has appeared on the cover of a Madden game. How did it take so long?!
Sticking with all-time greats getting the cover treatment, we’d also like to shout out to legendary centre and NRG esports investor Shaquille O’Neal for getting the cover of NBA 2K18. Take my money Gamestop.
We Don’t Like…
Players voting their teammates out of a job
Have you ever played a game with a guy that you’d heard so much about, only to be so disappointed by their actual skill level that you want to delete them from your friends list?
Well, according to a report from Inven Global’s Byungho "Haao" Kim, that’s kinda what maybe happened with China’s Vici Gaming, as the team reportedly kicked Bae "Bengi" Seong-woong off the squad because of his poor spring split.
Before we go any further, it’s worth mentioning that Inven Global’s article is based on revelations from Vici Gaming’s Warcraft 3 player Zhuo "TeD" Zeng’s stream and at the time of writing this, there hasn’t been any official word on the matter.
Still reading on for the spicy drama? Ok awesome, because according to TeD, Vici asked their players to vote for the player they thought performed the worst throughout the split (Vici Gaming were recently relegated to the LSPL) and the team unanimously voted for the three-time world champion which led to his rumored dismissal for the team. Talk about gutless.
Sorry Bengi, the tribe has spoken.
The Madden Cover Curse
Following up on our earlier point, we absolutely HATE the curse that Madden covers seem to consistently bestow on their cover stars. Be it a down year or, heaven forbid, an injury, we’re praying that it doesn’t strike Tom Brady this season.
The good news, though, is that Brady himself doesn’t believe in such silly things.
“The cover is a great honor for me,” Brady told to the Washington Post. “Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the Bay Area. I’m not one to believe in curses, so I’m ready to take the challenge head on like always! It doesn’t stand a chance!!!”
The words of a true champion ladies and gentlemen.
We’re Unsure Of….
Blizzard’s Overwatch League
OK, I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it: I don’t believe that Blizzard’s coming-soon-but-not-really-that-soon Overwatch League will be the next big thing.
On Monday, esports journalist and ELEAGUE host Richard Lewis published a bombshell report that claimed that both the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots have purchased OWL spots at a hefty multi-million dollar price tag.
While having Robert Kraft and Stephen Ross owned teams in the OWL would certainly bring a lot of hype and legitimacy to a league that is rumored to be seeking anywhere between $2 and $30 million for a spot, the fact of the matter is that I’m just not sold on the game’s competitive appeal.
Is Overwatch a fun game to play? Yes. Does it have a massive player base? 100 percent. Do you wish that Genji was removed the game? Probably. But the fact of the matter is that the game’s esport scene has been slowed to a crashing stop over the last six months, with the only memorable tournaments being ELEAGUE in October and Blizzcon in November.
There are a number of hurdles that the proposed league is currently facing, but the one that jumps to the top of my mind is its lack of an accessible viewing experience, and frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if the game turned out to be one that is much better to play than watch.
With all that said, you can forget about most of my argument if Tom Brady is named as Kraft’s team captain. The NFL’s G.O.A.T. would certainly generate more than enough buzz to capture the eyes of sports and esports fans alike. Think about it.
The E3 Hype Train to keep rolling
The granddaddy of them all is nearly upon us.
Believe it or not, E3, one of the biggest gaming events of the year, is just around the corner and Nintendo have already detailed their plans for the highly publicized June 13 expo. Unsurprisingly, Nintendo will showcase their newly minted Switch console, and while you may be excited to check out Arms and Splatoon 2, they aren’t likely to dominate headlines.
That privilege will likely go to Super Mario Odyssey, and while little is known about the iconic franchise’s latest iteration outside of the fact that it will be a sandbox-style game, we have zero (and I mean literally ZERO) doubts that it’s going to be epic.
To say that we’re excited about this would be a gross understatement.
Sean Tepper is the Senior Supervising Editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.