eSports News Round Up: May 2018

We've picked the most interesting, unusual and important news stories from the hundreds of eSports updates this month, giving you an alternative view of the competitive gaming landscape. So let's dive in…

Ninja Vegas 18 pushes Fortnite into eSports

Despite all Fortnite’s popularity and success, the battle royale genre is yet to establish itself as a serious eSports contender. That could all change, however, after the conclusion of the recent Ninja Vegas 18 event in Las Vegas. Battle Royale games are tough to build meaningful, workable tournaments for, largely because of their high player numbers, random matchmaking and deliberately chaotic gameplay. Ninja Vegas 18 opted to work with those elements, rather than try to cram Fortnite into a conventional tournament structure. There were no teams, and the competition was not limited to pro gamers. Hosted by streaming celebrity and Fortnite specialist Ninja, the event threw everybody in together. Winning a game banked a player $2,500, as did killing Ninja himself. The event was wildly popular, well-watched and innovative. It may have even proved that a shake-up of conventions could mean battle royale games are finally embraced as a true eSport. Considering how popular Fortnite and PUBG are today, that could mean eSports gets even bigger than it already is.

Fortnite Vegas eSports

IEM Sydney 2018 results in

This month the Intel Extreme Masters Sydney concluded, seeing an impressive $250,000 being distributed to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams. With a riveting tournament, stunning final and endearingly lively crowd, IEM Sydney has asserted itself as one of the most watchable events in the eSports calendar. And the winners? The final itself saw pan-European team FaZe Clan defeat Danish outfit Astralis, meaning the former claimed $100,000. Despite Astralis taking a near flawless route to the final, they were trounced 3-0.

CS:GO eSports Arena

Top European CoD Player Benched

In news that came as something of a surprise, Tom "Tommey" Trewren has been benched from the Splyce Call of Duty team. As a star of the World War II season with a Europe-wide status as a top CoD player, the move was far from expected. However, the team’s disappointing performance at CWL Seattle has been suggested as the reason for the reshuffle. Tommey has already found a new home with Team Vitality. There are, of course, changes to teams throughout the year; but a major name player losing his home just shows how fickle the world of eSports can be.

Call of Duty WWII

K-Swiss reveals first eSports shoes

Yes. You read that headline correctly. Footwear outfit K-Swiss has partnered with Los Angeles eSports organization Immortals to reveal the first signature shoe of an eSports team. But before you shun the notion of a sneaker bringing anything to an eSports player’s game, consider how tiny tweaks to shoes can make them highly specialized for particular sports. Skateboard shoes, for example, are every bit the comfortable everyday shoe. But strengthened patches on their sides, nuances of grip design, and technologies within the sole can give skateboarders significant advantages. So what benefits does the latest K-Swiss shoe offer pro gamers? Truth be told, it might just be extreme comfort for now, as the Immortals x K-Swiss shoe appears to be a K-Swiss Kompass with an Immortals color scheme. However, the K-Swiss team is committed to sending designers to the Immortals training facility to work with the players there to better understand how footwear could improve eSports performance. Because if the right shoes can make a skateboarder land cleaner kickflips, perhaps a specialized trainer could see your accuracy skyrocket.

K-Swiss eSports shoes