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One of the most important game studios in the world and purveyor of League of Legends.

ASUS throws its weight behind League of Legends in China

Battle royale? Team shooters? League of Legends scoffs at these pretenders to the online throne, sitting on top of an e-sports empire that spans the globe. A big part of this empire is in Asia, where e-sports are blowing up huge in China.

Encouraging the spread of this is computer hardware company ASUS, which just dropped $16 million to help build and open an e-sports headquarters in the country. ASUS is a strong participant in the League of Legends professional community, sponsoring a new pro team called the Rogue Warriors that founded this past December.

ASUS recently developed and released a laptop in India specifically designed to cater to e-sports players. The ROG Strix SCAR Edition was put out under ASUS’s Republic of Gamers brand.

“E-sports is gaining tremendous popularity in the country especially game titles like Dota 2 and Counter Strike,” noted National Business Development Manager Arnold Su. “The number of gamers switching from casual gaming to professional is increasing every year at an exponential level.”

Source: MMO Culture

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League of Legends unbans ‘reformed’ toxic player called a ‘humunculus’ by fired employee

Among last year’s toxicity-in-gaming stories was the one that taught the internet an important lesson: how to spell homunculus. No, that wasn’t it. It was “don’t be a game dev who insults and jokes about your toxic players’ deaths,” or at least, don’t get caught, because at the end of it all, the toxic players will still be playing and you’ll be out of a lucrative job.

We’re talking here, of course, about Tyler1, who was banned by Riot Games from League of Legends back in 2016 for toxicity – in his case, specifically verbal abuse, harassment, and outright cheating. Even though he kept streaming, you probably forgot all about him until October 2017, when Riot’s Lead Experience Designer apparently drank a little bit too much joy and then called him a “humunculus” in public, remaking that it’d be “gucci” if Tyler1 were to “die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids.” Though Tyler1 (wisely) stated he wasn’t upset and had no hard feelings over the insults, Riot still fired the employee.

And while the whole ordeal did cause a noticeable spike in google searches for the word homunculus, which continues to amuse me, it may have also influenced Riot’s decision to unban him, news that he announced on his twitter account yesterday and which appears to have been confirmed obliquely by Riot.

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The MOP Up: Honoring RIFT’s Wintercharm (December 24, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War ThunderSMITEKritika OnlineArmored Warfare, Stardew ValleyDofusElswordJustice OnlineThe Black DeathWarfaceRIFTValnir RokWakfuMapleStoryHeroes and GeneralsMiranda, and League of Legends, all waiting for you after the break!

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Destiny 2’s playerbase is melting down over holiday lockboxes in Eververse

Destiny 2 just can’t seem to stop pissing off everyone. Its Dawning holiday event, detractors argue, is overtly designed as a moneygrab focused around the Eververse cash shop, which is apparently dispensing paid holiday lockboxes that include special holiday cosmetics as well as game-affecting buff items. Adding insult to injury, Bungie is locking almost all of the holiday rewards up that way, rather than doing what a lot of MMOs do and drop holiday loot during play.

MMO players might be wondering what the problem is since many MMOs do this, but then very few of us pay $60 for a box for other MMOs, either, and when we do (say, games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV), this isn’t the monetization situation we see.

The new outrage, on top of the existing ill-will in the community and the overall anti-lockbox/anti-exploitation atmosphere engendered by Star Wars Battlefront, has led to a virtual riot on the forums. As I type this, literally every single thread on the first page of the forums is a demand for Bungie to remove Eververse, with thousands of collective upvotes.

Merry Christmas!

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SuperData says the e-sports industry grew to $1.5B this year alone

SuperData has a new report out this week that suggests e-sports haters will not be getting what they want for Christmas.

“The esports market has finally hit the mainstream,” the gaming analysis firm declares, echoing the argument it made in October. “Once only large in core Asian markets like Korea, esports have expanded worldwide and are now top of mind of every publisher, platform, and brand. As recognition of the importance of esports grows, the data and insights needed for strategizing become vital.”

The report estimates that the e-sports industry is on track to grow by almost a billion dollars per year by 2022, driven in part by a huge increase in investment and advertising revenue. It also recognizes the big four games: League of Legends, with its huge viewerbase; Dota 2, with its mega prize pools; Overwatch, which is laying the foundation with city-based teams; and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has drawn over 200M monthly viewers in just half a year during early access.

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Overwatch snags two Game Awards while Destiny 2 is honored by six nominations

Did you catch last night’s Game Awards from LA? If not, you probably didn’t miss anything super-groundbreaking, although Overwatch did quite well for itself amid a crowd of mostly single-player titles. Blizzard’s team shooter won two awards, one for Best Ongoing Game and one for Best E-Sports Game (see if you can spot what’s wrong with those awards).

There were several other online games nominated for awards but losing out to other titles. Destiny 2, in particular, had six nominations in categories such as Best Art Direction, Best Ongoing Game, and Best Multiplayer. Other nominations of note included PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (which had a Game of the Year nod), Warframe, Grand Theft Auto Online, Monster Hunter World, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Dota 2.

Don’t put too much stock in these results; after all, the Massively OP end-of-year awards are coming to you very soon, and we actually understand what an ongoing game really is! You can watch the full three-hour stream below to get the full experience if you so desire or just catch our favorite highlight.

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Perfect Ten: The healthiest live MMORPGs at the end of 2017

As Counting Crows told us, it’s been a long December, although the fact that it has also only just started being December speaks to something unpleasant in the makeup of this particular month. But it also means that this is a good time to check in on the overall health of various MMORPGs and see which ones look to be in the healthiest state at the end of the year.

This is, I hasten to point out, not a scientific process; last year I pointed to Marvel Heroes as a not-quite-MMORPG title that was still in a very healthy and robust place, and it later turned out that this was entirely not true and had been built upon a foundation of lies. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it in 2018. What are the healthiest games running right now?

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Riot’s new promo video argues e-sports are indeed sports

No one will be surprised by Riot Games’ latest e-sports video. Riot Games really likes e-sports. Indeed, Riot Games believes e-sports are real sports.

“Not just a sport. Our sport,” reads the tagline.

All the skeptical mainstream media quoted in the video can’t change the fact that Riot’s position is fast becoming the norm. You’ll recall that the International Olympic Committee has formally stated that it may consider e-sports a sporting activity, and the co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee told the AP that the organization was considering bringing video gaming on board for the 2024 program in France. The 2022 Asian Games also announced e-sports as a medal event, citing the inclusion of e-sports at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

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Superdata’s October 2017 revenue report: Destiny 2’s and PUBG’s dominance

Destiny 2 may be fudging up left and right, but it still sold a truckton of copies.

That’s according to Superdata, whose most recent revenue report shows Bungie’s new baby holding the #4 spot for PC and #3 spot for console in terms of global revenue for the month of October. “High attach rates for deluxe editions drove the average selling price up,” says the analysis firm, while digital games’ growth across the board “was underpinned by a 28% jump in premium PC thanks to Destiny 2’s successful BattleNet launch, and the continued blockbuster hit of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”

Indeed, PUBG blew past D2 on PC to claim the #2 spot, right behind League of Legends. The real competitor for PUBG, however, is Epic’s Fortnite, which startled the PvE playerbase it had cultivated with a quality battle royale mode earlier this fall.

“While Fortnite has seen a higher out-of-the-gate active user base thanks to its F2P status, the game’s long-term success vs. its major and earlier-released rival is uncertain,” writes SuperData.”

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The MOP Up: League of Legends doesn’t want to grow up (November 26, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from RuneScapeHellionRevelation OnlineMU OnlineWarframeWakfuIntegrate: ExodusBlade and SoulOverhitBattleriteLeague of LegendsCaravan Stories, Gun World, Elsword M, and Splatoon 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Soapbox: The long tail of game development isn’t an excuse for gouging

Don’t be too mad at Star Wars: Battlefront II. It’s a symptom of a problem, not the cause. I mean, be mad at people dumb enough to put the blame for negative reactions on the press, that’s just plain stupid. But at the heart of the matter is a problem that’s actually choking through game development all the way down the line.

Because while people are talking about “well, maybe games need to cost more” (and that aforementioned none-too-wise comment of an analyst does precisely that), the reality is that this would still be happening no matter what. The problem is not a matter of Battlefront II costing too little money to pay for its development. The problem is that design and budgets are broken, the market is a mess, and microtransactions are being used as a bludgeon instead of a tool.

And all of this is exacerbated by the fact that every single publisher wants to pretend that everything is peachy.

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ARK: Survival Evolved players riot over turrets as Aberration is pushed to December

Over the weekend, Studio Wildcard posted up an ARK Survival Evolved dev blog about turrets. You guys, I had no idea turrets were such serious business, but yes. Threaten to nerf turrets and the dino-loving community erupts – why, they barely even noticed Aberration has been delayed into December!

Ostensibly, Wildcard needed to nerf turrets because y’all were just using too many of them, causing tremendous lag for the servers.

“PC servers are far, far worse off than console servers, due to their increased caps on everything, and each and every one of these servers suffers enormously from turret-induced slowdown. PvE doesn’t even come close,” devs explained over the weekend. “Out of the top 150 slowest servers we have, only 15 of them in fact are PvE servers. This is a PvP issue, and it’s really bad.”

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For Science! Researchers find link between fluid intelligence and elite MOBA play

In a new paper released last week, University of York researchers sought to examine whether research that strategy gaming (like chess and arcade games) correlates with intelligence holds true in the modern games like MOBAs. “In our current paper we extend their findings by asking whether we can establish a link between intelligence and performance in widely-played, commercial, team-based videogames with global reach,” the authors explain.

The researchers examined League of Legends and Dota 2 players, comparing their ranks to their results on a fluid intelligence test and attempting to disentangle all of that from teamwork ability, practice, and age by comparing the results to those from more twitch-oriented games like Destiny and Battlefield 3 – easier said than done, since apparently there aren’t a lot of “olds” playing some of these titles – and the general population’s performance on fluid intelligence tests by age. The result?

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