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Why international competition in League of Legends matters to minor regions

A finals spot isn’t the only way to measure success.

The post Why international competition in League of Legends matters to minor regions appeared first on Dot Esports.

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Pentanent.GG made history at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational on May 9 by becoming the first League of Legends team from the Oceania region to make it out of the group stage at an international event.

Heading into the day, they had a tough schedule with games against the LPL’s Royal Never Give Up and the LCL’s Unicorns of Love. Although they lost to RNG, a single victory against the Unicorns of Love forced a tiebreaker scenario. And a win in that tiebreaker etched their names firmly in League’s history books.

Fast forward to May 17. After qualifying for the rumble stage, Pentanet’s journey was nothing short of brutal. They failed to win a game and were sitting at 0-6 heading into their match against the LCS representative, Cloud9. It was expected by many to be a one-sided affair in C9’s favor. But then, Pentanet surprised the world once again with a 37-minute victory, one of only three wins for the squad throughout the entire tournament. 

Pentanet’s story is one that’s been seen time and time again for minor regions competing at international tournaments. Phong Vũ Buffalo won two games against G2 Esports in the group stage of MSI 2019. KaBum Esports took down Alliance at Worlds 2014. Albus Nox Luna beat the Rox Tigers at Worlds 2016. These minor regions, for all of their lack of resources, smaller player bases, and perceived weakness, take games off some of the world’s best when they’re given the opportunity to shine. 

But is that enough? Is it worth it for these teams to go to international events, knowing that there’s only a slim chance of them taking home the title, simply for the conciliatory prize of saying they’ve taken a game off of a major region team? There’s only ever been one international champion from a minor region: the 2012 world champion Taipei Assassins, hailing from the LMS, which has since been absorbed by the PCS. Aside from this one historic performance, there have been few minor region teams who have managed to reach the same spectacular heights.

They’re expected to play spoiler to major regions, but we haven’t seen a minor region squad reach an international final since that fated Worlds in 2012. It’s clear, however, that international performance is important to these teams regardless of community expectations.  

The road to international competition

To understand what international competition means to minor region teams, we have to look at what it takes for them to qualify for these events. A problem that minor region squads notoriously face is how top-heavy their talent can be, meaning that the best teams in the region don’t often have the opportunity to truly challenge themselves in scrims. PSG Talon, Pentanet.GG, and the Gigabyte Marines (who were ultimately unable to attend MSI 2021) dropped only a single game in the regular seasons of their domestic regions, and Detonation FocusMe only lost two. 

PGG’s Pabu highlighted the difficulties his team had in terms of finding meaningful scrim practice domestically in an interview with Dot Esports, saying that he and his teammates picked up “a lot of terrible habits from playing in OCE.” He explained that improvement in the region had become increasingly challenging after the exodus of players to North America and that the only real arena for genuine improvement was in solo queue. “We’re not like a European team who can scrim other national league teams and there’s not a load of academy and collegiate teams like they have in NA,” Pabu said. 

This lack of a player base is an issue that a lot of League’s minor regions, particularly those outside of Asia and Europe, face. PCS and LJL teams have some opportunities to access solo queue on the Korean or Chinese servers, but LLA, CBLoL, and LCO teams can encounter huge difficulties playing outside of their own limited competitive ecosystems. This results in an insular environment, as described by Pabu, where truly learning from your mistakes becomes an act of discipline rather than necessity. 

Playing and scrimming internationally offers the opportunity for an unprecedented level of improvement for a lot of these minor region teams. PaiN Gaming’s Robo explained in an interview with Dot Esports how the “resilience and experience” gained from previous international showings helped them turn around losing matches. “In this team, there’s four players who have played internationally before, and I feel like that really helped us today,” he said in reference to paiN’s victory against the Istanbul Wildcats on May 10. The serenity and level-headedness that comes from experience on the international stage helped paiN “turn a difficult early game around” in their matchup against the Istanbul Wildcats. 

It’s more than just the win record

But international experience can only help you so much when it comes to beating major region teams. While these teams can occasionally take games off major region squads, it still feels like an insurmountable task for a minor region to find real success at international events—especially with the high standards that many minor regions set for themselves. Where, then, does the value come for players from minor regions? If the past suggests that a finals spot is an impossible dream, then where is the value in attending a tournament that history says you won’t win?

Unicorns of Love coach Sheepy offered a unique insight into these motivations from the standpoint of someone who’s competed internationally as part of both a major and minor region. Regarding this year’s Unicorns of Love roster, he said regional pride is a huge part of international competition for minor regions and that “obviously [the players] want to represent their country and make the people supporting them proud.” For regions with a lower viewer base, this is a unique opportunity to make those fan bases proud in front of the watching eyes of the wider world of League

PaiN’s Robo echoed this sentiment of regional pride, highlighting that if paiN made it through the group stage at MSI 2021, they would’ve not only made history, but made history “for Brazil.” For him, playing at MSI was a chance to “show the whole world, the players, and the viewers in Brazil that paiN can also do well internationally.” 

These players truly want to prove that success for their region is possible, even if success looks a little different for minor and major region teams. “I’m sure that if people in Brazil can see that it’s possible, it will be a huge step-up for us and we may become quite relevant internationally,” Robo said.

Seizing opportunity

It would be foolish to think that the sole motivator for professional players is pride alone. League is a game ultimately built around the competitive spirit, and it’s that competitive spirit that constantly drives a player’s desire for upward movement within the professional ecosystem. Recent years have seen international events act as center stage for minor region players to prove their worth to major region teams. The signings of Josedeodo to the LCS’ FlyQuest and Armut to the LEC’s MAD Lions prove that strong performances from minor region players on the international stage can truly turn heads and help further a blossoming career in the esports world. 

PGG’s Pabu explained that although the potential for upward movement isn’t the sole motivator for strong performances on the international stage, it’s always a consideration. “Everyone knows this is a huge opportunity for your brand as a player and increasing your value, so trying to perform so you have better opportunities, while not at the forefront, is for sure in your head,” he said. But that doesn’t mean that minor region players treat MSI stage games like Scouting Grounds or that players will intentionally play selfishly to show themselves off to the best of their ability. 

Pabu said that, ultimately, flashy solo plays aren’t even particularly useful in terms of proving your value. “If you can just play the map well, and play the game consistently and call the right things and get things done, people will notice that is happening,” he said. Pabu highlighted that there’s no real value in being “the one-vs-nine player” and taking the entire game into your own hands. Within the team, although upward movement is a factor, there’s no player who’s “really just looking out for themselves”. 

Ultimately, it’s impossible to condense the motivation of every single minor region player into one easily digestible statement. People are complex and their goals and ambitions are even more so. Minor regions have often been the afterthought for international events, especially with the presence of a play-in stage at tournaments like the World Championship. Their time to shine, for many viewers, is simply a hurdle to overcome before the “real” competition between major region competitors truly begins. What is the highlight of the competitive year for minor region players is often seen as little more than a warm-up event. 

But with the changes to the structure of MSI removing the play-in stage altogether, minor regions are finally beginning to feel like an integral part of League’s competitive ecosystem. They’re no longer an afterthought, they’re the main event just like everybody else. Minor regions matter more than ever and MSI 2021 proved that they have the potential to go toe-to-toe with the best of the best. It may be a few more years until we see a minor region finalist, but minor region players spend every minute of their limited international playing time trying to make that dream a reality. 


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Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/why-international-competition-in-league-of-legends-matters-to-minor-regions

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TFT Set 5 Nightbringer Cup: Standings, scores, and schedule

Sweating for that top four.

The post TFT Set 5 Nightbringer Cup: Standings, scores, and schedule appeared first on Dot Esports.

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A healthy mix of veteran and upcoming Teamfight Tactics stars are competing in the North American qualifier Nightbringer Cup with a goal of advancing to the Reckoning Midset Finale. 

A total of 128 players were invited to compete at the Set Five Nightbringer Cup from June 18 to 20. An official broadcast was scheduled for the day three finals, with players streaming days one and two. North American tacticians seeking to compete in the Midset Finale for a chance to play at Reckoning Worlds needed to qualify via the Challenger Series, Dawnbringer Cup, or Nightbringer Cup. 

Related: TFT Set 5 and 5.5 NA competitive roadmap: Full schedule and standings

Tacticians split into 16 lobbies during the first day of the competition at the Nightbringer Cup, with the top four in each lobby advancing to day two. Dividing up into eight lobbies on the second day, the top four in each lobby advanced to the Nightbringer Cup finals to compete for 16 seats at the Reckoning Midset Finale on July 15 to 18.

June 18 Nightbringer Cup standings

Day one of the TFT Nightbringer Cup was intense, with a number of veterans not making the cut for day two. From Team Liquid’s and North America’s Set Four champion Kurumx to Peeba and Souless, a number of well-known tacticians did not advance. 

Here were the top 64 TFT players advancing to the second day of competition at the Reckoning Nightbringer Cup:

Player NA Ladder rank Lobby Total score
Devlus 97 A 32
Shabriel 96 A 31
Buzzyboo 1 A 28
Xthefarmerx 32 A 27
Jirachy 2 B 36
mOOjo 95 B 28
Stategies 63 B 28
Simony 98 B 27
SimonMoon 99 C 37
Kings 35 C 34
Volc4884 3 C 32
e9ns 30 C 31
FECross 61 D 32
Nexthy 4 D 30
iiLucky 29 D 29
invecTiv 93 D 25
JiveNThrive 37 E 38
Robinsongz 5 E 34
RamKev 28 E 32
Kranos 60 E 30
Benva 59 F 36
Rokuyo 70 F 32
kci 27 F 29
Nitsuaa 38 F 29
Saibur 90 G 33
Auqaa 71 G 31
Soobydooo 58 G 31
Peeled Papaya 122 G 27
Gyalubaby 57 H 39
Noobowl 8 H 32
Azarin 40 H 30
Horsa 104 H 25
Ramblinnn 9 I 41
ChungMoney12 41 I 34
Jonich 73 I 27
PPHURA 88 I 25
Alex Guo 247 42 J 40
Cradin 87 J 29
Level1Raft 119 J 29
Sphinx 10 J 28
Casparwu 86 K 39
Live for the Day 22 K 36
ThisJX 118 K 28
Darth Nub 43 K 27
Kevyzhou 117 L 41
Chickenburrito1 44 L 28
aerOstOrm 108 L 28
Prine 21 L 27
Velayy 20 M 33
Father of Shalom 45 M 31
Takengirlsonly 116 M 31
Zugrug 84 M 30
Kyivix 19 N 40
Trll 83 N 30
IMissVoidSins 14 N 28
Dowsie Protector 46 N 28
Justnice 18 O 35
dohmoh 47 O 30
intc 82 O 30
Nixxy Kong 79 O 25
Staxl 81 P 37
Prose 113 P 33
TFT Ren 80 P 29
LuckyMan 49 P 27

This article will be updated following each day of TFT competition at the Nightbringer Cup.

Source: https://dotesports.com/tft/news/tft-set-5-nightbringer-cup-standings-scores-and-schedule

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Saylor Compares BTC to Early Apple: ‘No One Can Stop, and Few Understand’

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MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor has compared his early backing of Apple to that of bitcoin, calling the crypto “a dominant monetary network that everyone needs.”

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The bitcoin maximalist recently tweeted about an old video that surfaced. The video features Saylor talking about Apple and how bullish he was on the company back during the iPhone 5. Saylor commented in the video, saying “I would be very long on that company, whoever is selling that stock must be a moron.”

Saylor commented on the old video, this time relating his opinion to BTC. The founder of MicroStrategy, a company that provides business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services, made references to early Apple growth and bitcoin. 

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In a tweet, he said “Apple was a dominant mobile network that everyone needed, no one could stop, and few understood. Bitcoin is a dominant monetary network that everyone needs, no one can stop, and few understand.”

MicroStrategy bullish on BTC 

Saylor and his company have been extremely bullish on BTC in recent months. Earlier this week, MicroStrategy announced that it would be selling $1 billion in stock to purchase more bitcoin. Saylor also joined the newly launched Bitcoin Mining Council which will look at how to make bitcoin mining more energy efficient in the future. 

The company has also recently sold $500 million in secured notes to raise funds to purchase more bitcoin. The company currently holds well over 90,000 BTC in its reserves, totaling more than $3 billion with no plans on slowing down anytime soon. However Saylor has previously stated that the entities he controls hold 111,000 bitcoin. 

The bitcoin maximalist has no plans on selling any bitcoin anytime soon. 

Speaking at the Parallel Summit 2021 earlier this week, Saylor also commented further on bitcoin, saying “I don’t think there’s any other asset where every intelligent person who understands it, decides to do everything they can to make it more valuable.” 

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Ryan is a Fintech specialist with a passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain adoption. A keen trader and investor in the market since 2016, he enjoys keeping up to date with the latest developments within the industry while finding the next 100x altcoin.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/saylor-compares-btc-to-early-apple-no-one-can-stop-and-few-understand/

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Bitcoin Price Showing Bearish Downtrend Despite On-chain Metrics Indicating Favorable Network Conditions

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The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has continued to drop as the premier cryptocurrency stays afloat a price well below its 7-day high of $41,295.27. At present, BTC is down 5.21% to $35,952.61 according to CoinMarketCap, a bearish positioning that negates the current favorable conditions of the Bitcoin blockchain. Since the price of Bitcoin began retracing from its All-Time High price above $64,000, the market trend has witnessed a more passive engagement from retail investors across the board.

This low activity rate is made more evident as Glassnode data showed that the cumulative or total fees paid on transactions in the network have attained their lowest level of 1.390 BTC in the past one year per a 7-Day Moving Average estimate. Based on a similar trend, the lower fees indicate a lack of congestion by users in the blockchain. 

This trend has its inherent impacts which are both negative and positive. On the negative end, the overall price of Bitcoin is kept low as inconsistent transactions and lack of buy-ups that stir a bullish run is absent. The positivity is best targeted at users as sending funds is now relatively cheaper, and more attractive.

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Investors Back US Traditional Markets: Impact on Bitcoin

Traditional market investors have pumped more than $756 billion in the daily reverse repurchase operation, a move that came after the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates for the traditional market offering. 

Following the meeting of the Financial Open Market Committee (FOMC) held last Wednesday, the interest rate for overnight repurchase agreement was adjusted to 0.05%, better than the 0% it has been, and the interest rate it pays banks on reserves held at the U.S. central bank was also boosted to 0.15%. These increments influenced the recorded inflows.

In tandem, the United States Dollar appreciated against other currencies on Friday, rising 92.70 against top fiat currencies. This may also account for the unrelenting sell-offs in the Bitcoin markets, as an appreciated Dollar is a cogent advantage for the market bears.

Economic policies from market watchdogs have an overbearing impact on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole. While many market proponents and bulls anticipate a resurgence in price amidst growing fundamentals, the current performance of Bitcoin does not discount the favorable nature of the network at present.

Disclaimer
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.
About Author
Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture. Follow him on Twitter, Linkedin

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