We’re starting up a new series this week on the ASTRO blog and taking a quick glimpse at what’s going on in eSports.
IPL @ SXSW
IGN hosted a taste of their IGN Pro League (IPL) over this last weekend at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. SXSW combines the audiences of music, film, and technology over the course of a week. Companies showcase products, and new films musical artists are highly promoted in this space.
This year, IGN was the main sponsor for the Screenburn Arcade, and was able to bring the world of eSports to SXSW attendees. Kicking off on Friday night, they partnered with Capcom to showcase their latest game release, Street Fighter X Tekken. Inviting out eight of the top players from around the US, they faced off in a double elimination exhibition match. Ultimately it came down to Justin Wong vs. nycfurby (aka Arturo Sanchez) in the finals with JWonggg taking home the prize.
The next day, IPL hosted two other exhibition matches. The first was with the very popular, free-to-play game League of Legends. The IPL community voted on which players should be invited out, and chose 10 of the best players from the US to duke it out in a West vs East match up. Both EPIK and v8 had major showings, taking up 7 of the 10 spots with their team members.
The last showmatche brought the two latest champions of IPL2 and IPL3 together for Starcraft 2. White-Ra’s Protoss army vs Stefano’s Zerg with a prize pool of $5,000 on the line. An intense match-up with a best of 9 series shown before a first-time audience in Austin, TX. Both players gave quite a show and even displayed some new strategies tried out in these games. In the end Stefano defeated White-Ra 5 wins to 1 win.
The Iron Squid
Under the name Iron Squid hides a brand new tournament that should entertain every StarCraft II fan. In the Iron Squid, 20 world class players from all around the globe will battle for a juicy prize pool of $25,000.
Games have already been underway the last couple of weeks with VODs of the first two weeks already up on their site. This week, Shows #4 and #5 showcased matches between Groups A & B. The first having SlayerS BoxeR vs. EG PuMa; the second having Liquid Ret vs. Prime MarineKing; and the last match with SlayerS BoxeR vs. Prime MarineKing. The matches concluded jumping into Group B with IM Mvp vs. mouz ThorZaIN.
Red Bull Gaming LAN
The crew from Red Bull put together a LAN event this last weekend hosted by Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. They invited out top talent StarCraft 2 players and Halo teams Instinct, Status Quo, and Dynasty. Also on hand as commentators were StarCraft experts Sean “Day” Plott and Marcus “djWHEAT” Wheat hosting 3 StarCraft streams and recent retiree David “Walshy” Walsh for the Halo stream.
With some very big names in the StarCraft 2 competitive world (Ret, SaSe, Sheth, JYP, NaNiWa, PuMa, and more), it provided some great match ups throughout the 3 day tournament.
The Halo matches went back and forth each day. StatusQuo’s new teammates Royal 2 and Snakebite proved to be great additions to their roster of Flamesword and eNable and put them on par with the current MLG National Champions, eon Instinct. All three teams should have benefited by participating in this LAN just a week before the MLG Winter Championship.