It has been another fascinating week in esports, featuring player announcements – including one huge name coming out of retirement, the conclusion of some leagues’ summer events, some heavy banhammers coming down, and one very, very strange story out of Eastern Europe.
Shanghai Dragons win Overwatch Summer Showdown
The Shanghai Dragons notched their second championship of the 2021 season, defeating the Chengdu Hunters 4-1 in the Grand Finals of the Overwatch Summer Showdown. With the win, the Dragons have become just the second team in Overwatch League history to win back-to-back esports tournaments, joining New York Excelsior, who accomplished the feat in 2018.
The Dragons followed up their comeback win over Dallas Fuel in the June Joust with an impressive performance to win the Summer Showdown. The Hunters took an early lead, winning the Control map, Ilios, to begin the Finals. But after that, the Dragons began to take over, rattling off four straight map wins to take their second straight tournament championship.
Esports League Championship Series Summer Split Continues
The League Championship Series Summer Split rumbled on this week, and the top four teams continued their winning ways. First place: 100 Thieves (27-12) earned a second straight win, downing FlyQuest (13-26). Second place: TSM (26-13), and co-third place holders Cloud9 (24-15) and Evil Geniuses (24-15) all won their matches as well, maintaining their spots in the standings. Meanwhile, former titans Counter Logic Gaming (10-29) continued their downward spiral, losing once again to 7th place Immortals (17-22).
There will be an opportunity for a shake-up in the standings next week, as the top four will be pitted against each other. 100Thieves will take on Cloud9, and TSM will square off against Evil Geniuses. For TSM, a win and a 100Thieves loss will put them in a tie for first. It will be an exciting week in esports to be certain.
Shroud to return to the competitive esports scene
Former Cloud9 pro gamer turned Twitch streamer Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek has announced his return to professional esports. Shroud most recently played competitively in Counter Strike: Global Offensive back in 2017. This time Shroud will be entering the world of competitive VALORANT, joining former Cloud9 teammate n0thing, and streamer ShawnBM, iiTzTimmy, an Apex Legends pro, and Laski, another retired CS: GO player.
The team is newly formed, unnamed, and unaffiliated. They will compete in the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 North America Stage 3 Challengers 2. Since they are a new team, they will not be given an automatic spot in the Playoffs and instead must compete in open qualifying, where hundreds of teams will play for just four spots in the Playoff. Should Shroud advance that far and take at least third place in the Playoff, the team will earn a spot in the Berlin Masters.
Activision Bans 50,000 Warzone Accounts
In addition to the mid-season update for Call of Duty’s Warzone, one of the most popular games on the planet currently, Activision announced they had banned an additional 50,000 accounts from the game for cheating.
Activision has struggled with cheaters on their game – there is no active anti-cheat system preventing players from employing nefarious means to grab a victory. Players on PC can easily download mods and software to give themselves an unfair advantage, especially over the console players they can join in lobbies.
Ukrainian officials bust a FIFA Ultimate Team mining operation
In by far the strangest story of the week, Ukrainian officials raided what they believed to be a cryptocurrency mining farm, only to find a farm of Playstation 4s, farming not a cryptocurrency, but FIFA Ultimate Team cards.
The culprits had set up a server farm featuring thousands of PS4s, which authorities had initially believed were mining cryptocurrency. Instead, the PS4s had been set up with bots to mine FUT packs and currency, which the miners would then resell to gamers.
While EA Sports prohibit it, a black market for FUT currency and cards has emerged as players try to assemble an unstoppable FUT squad. Players will pay real cash for accounts loaded with card packs and in-game currency to help quickly build an All-Star squad.
Do you have an Esports league, team, or story you want to see covered in our digest? Let me know by reaching out on Twitter to @TVatWork!