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.
Valve showing respect to a master bracket builder
Bracketology, also known as the act of attempting to predict how a tournament will play out, is easy to take part in and impossible to master. Speaking from experience, my March Madness bracket is generally reduced to scrap paper by the end of the first day of games and unfortunately brackets for the International 2017 suffered the same fate well before Empire knocked off my predicted champions. So it should come as no surprise that big congratulations are in order when someone’s bracket is intact heading into the final leg of a tournament as unpredictable as TI. Well, Valve stepped up to the plate in a big way Thursday, when they not only announced that the number of correct bracket predictions was down to one single entry, but that they would be flying that special someone out to next year’s iteration of esports’ biggest tournament.
While no details on who this prophet is were released, I would like to know where I can purchase the same crystal ball that they used and ask them whether or not they compensated any players who helped maintain the integrity of their bracket (can you tell that I’m bitter?).
Chipotle getting into esports
I think it’s safe to say that if you were asked which fast food chain was the most popular among esports pros and personalities, Chipotle would be the first one that comes to mind.
Sure you can make the argument for Buffalo Wild Wings since it was an early ELEAGUE sponsor or McDonald's since it sponsored a few tournaments over the years, but few chains have become synonymous with esports the same way that Chipotle has. And that association should continue for some time, especially since the fast food chain inked a sponsorship deal with Optic Gaming that will see them have some coveted real estate on the team’s jerseys.
Fingers crossed that a free and unlimited supply of chips and guacamole was included in the contract.
We Don’t Like…
Artificial Intelligence takes on StarCraft 2
Forget about the threats posed by global warming and North Korea — they've got nothing on the impending robot apocalypse.
Earlier this week, it was announced that DeepMind and Blizzard have released all the tools necessary to allow AI researchers to create bots that, in theory, would eventually be able to crush even the most skilled Starcraft 2 pros. According to WIRED, it will likely “be five years before a StarCraft bot can beat a human” but the fact that a computer AI will be able to mobilize an intergalactic army capable of wiping out its opponents should set off some red flags for any living beings.
Plus, you know that there’s something to worry about when Elon Musk calls on the government to regulate AI. Just sayin’.
We’re Unsure Of
Blaming poor results on sex
There are no shortage of things that athletes have blamed poor performances on: late nights at the bar, rigorous travel schedules and even the common cold are just a few. But what about having sex?
According to a report in Slingshot by Kelsey Moser, that’s exactly what Newbee’s Li "Vasilii" Weijun said was the cause of his recent struggles and the veteran LoL player has now turned to abstinence as a way of correcting the problem.
According to Vasilii, he was benched out on his own request because of a cold, but he said having sex has since hurt his performance. He is working now to correct his situation so that the team can improve, and he has already “adjusted to abstinence.”
Who knows how much this will effect his performance in the weeks to come, but the man's got dedication.
More information on Dota 2’s Artifact
Creating an online card game can be a lucrative business, just ask Blizzard. And with Hearthstone’s overwhelming financial success, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that new online trading card games like Gwent, Shadowverse or the Elder Scrolls are trying their best to replicate that type of success.
What was surprising, however, was when Valve declared their intent to get in on the space, which came in the form of a teaser image revealed at The International 2017.
The only information that we have regarding Valve’s online card game is the fact that it’s called Artifact and that it will be set in the world of Dota 2. We can’t wait to hear more info about this considering Valve’s track record for creating stellar games that have us happily parting ways with our hard earned scrilla even if the crowd in Seattle can.
Sean Tepper is the senior supervising editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.