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Recently there was a massive match-fixing and betting ring scandal that rocked the whole North American and Canadian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) scene, seeing numerous players and a manager be banned for life from all Valve major events, ESEA tournaments and more.
In recent news, French-based eSports organization Epsilon has suspended their whole CS:GO division pending a current match-fixing investigation.
Their world-class CS:GO squad has been unearthed by former teammate Robin "GMX" Stahmer, with him stating that his old team purposefully lost a match on the ESEA platform against rivals OverGaming in order to profit from weapon skins. These skins were achieved through bets made against themselves on the popular website, CSGOLounge.
With League of Legends as their game of choice, Robert Morris University (RMU) proudly state that they are "the first college to offer scholarships and create an eSports varsity team."
First announced on Friday June the 20th, 2014 - RMU are offering scholarships covering 50% of tuition and 50% of room and board costing, asking people to email in for applications.
Sponsored by DX Racer, Pwnt Wear, ASUS, Cooler Master and CM Storm, it's exciting to see this kind of advancement being made in the competitive scene. Coming from an eSports background myself, a vast majority of the competitive community is made up of university students, meaning it only makes sense to market to this target audience by sponsors and game manufacturers.
Featuring some of the best teams in the world across two gaming titles, the Intel Extreme Masters is currently running their Taipei contingent of Season 9 - featuring thousands of dollars in prize money and being hosted at the Taipei Game Show, 2015.
Although the League of Legends part is now finished, StarCraft II players are still battling out for top spot. Without spoiling any of the results here, you can view all the results, placings and tournament information on the official landing page.
Seeing players and teams travel from Korea, Australia, Europe and America - this event is sure to tickle your fancy if eSports or competitive gaming is something you're interested in.
All live streams are available on the official website, check it out and enjoy - there isn't long left! If you have missed the action however, all content will be uploaded for private viewing in the near future.
Let's take a look way back to 2012, when Curse gaming picked up a lease of this beautiful $2 million mansion located within Beverly Hills - set to broadcast the lives and training schedules of their five League of Legends players to viewers around the world through to the now-closed streaming service Own3d.tv.
8,000 square feet in size, this house contained a live live-in production team, supplied computers, a pool and spa and every single home-comfort one could hope for.
Curse founder and CEO Hubert Thieblot stated at the time that "ESports in the western world are gaining in popularity at record breaking speeds and competitive gamers have become young celebrities that live an exhilarating lifestyle," adding that "fans crave more from these new celebrities and want insight into their daily lives. Other gaming houses have portrayed pro gamers as uninteresting and lifeless individuals living in cramped quarters bound to their PCs. Curse plans to change that perception and show the fun side of training in the competitive scene."
This is just one example of numerous gaming houses located around the world, however it's certainly one of the most impressive.
The former iBUYPOWER CS:GO professional player and current banned member of the match-fixing and betting ring scandal Joshua 'steel' Nissan has issued a public statement and apology on his public Facebook page.
In this statement he highlighted his disappointment in his actions, the good times while competing in various CS:GO tournaments and some of his plans for the future. He's currently planning to stream his public matchmaking game-play through Twitch.TV, alongside commenting that "I am still a host of knowledge about Counter-Strike. I will try to make all of this information available to everyone for free. It's the least I can do."
Many enraged members of the public have decided to boycott all of Nissan's content, further naming him as "Steal".
Despite the recent match-fixing and betting ring scandals surrounding the former and friends-of iBUYPOWER (IBP) CS:GO squad teammates - the large North American computer company has announced they are looking toward another CS:GO pick-up.
IBP and their CS:GO team split on January the 5th before the accusations were confirmed. As as we're now rolling into February 2015, they've stated that another team is on their mind - commenting that their previous players actions "are not in keeping with the philosophy of the iBUYPOWER brand."
They further stated that "IBP is committed to supporting gaming at the highest levels, and expects each member of our staff and teams to perform to the best of their ability and conduct themselves with integrity at all times," adding "recently, IBP learned that certain members of the IBP CS:GO team failed to meet that expectation. The actions of these individuals come as a shock to us."
Ahead of its scheduled release date of March 17, an open beta of Battlefield Hardline will take place from Tuesday, February 3 to Sunday, February 8. The game is powered by the Frostbite 3 game engine and includes both single player and multiplayer modes.
There will be three separate modes for gamers to enjoy: A conquest mode that is similar to traditional team-based death match, supporting up to 64 gamers on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One - and 24 players for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. The Hotwire mode focuses on chase scenes, and the Heist mode features bank robbers trying to complete a heist before the police capture them.
Interestingly, a "Hacker" mode is available so one person on each team can hack to operate cameras and better spot enemies, with information relayed back to teammates.
With the gaming organization known as Team Solo Mid (TSM) picking up a North American CS:GO squad, they have publicly claimed to now be supporting the highest paid CS:GO players on the planet - later being bested by Team Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), with their CEO Per Lilliefelth claiming an even better salary for his squad.
I'm sure you're wondering exactly what the figure is here - it's $3,000 US per month, per player. Nothing celebrity status that's sure - but pretty amazing given they are playing video games for employment. But wait, there's more. This $3,000 doesn't cover any of the in-game sticker sales alongside any prize money that the players may win at international tournaments, which can include total prize pools of up to $250,000.
Different from other gaming organizations, TSM have promised to take no cut of prize money or sticker sales, meaning that if these players see themselves added into a 'legends sticker pack' they could see up to $400,000 spread between the five-man squad.
Mobile gamers are spending a lot of time playing their favorite games, with more than two hours played per day in 2014, according to The NPD Group. The latest figures note a dramatic 57 percent increase, as consumers are even more comfortable using their smartphones and tablets.
Not surprisingly, kids are helping drive revenue, with kids from 2 up to 12 years of age spending the most amount of time gaming over other activities, according to the report.
"Continued mobile growth will stem from existing customers paying more to play, especially in the free-to-play portion of the market," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst at The NPD Group, in a statement. "A positive sign of consumer behavior trending this way is the fact that more than twice the number of app gamers reported making an in-game purchase than they did when we conducted this study two years ago."
It's been a rough few months for the CS:GO community, seeing six top figures from the North American and Canadian scene get pinned with match-fixing, a betting ring scandal and then a plethora of bans from almost-all major tournaments across the globe.
In unusual fashion, even Valve spoke up - damning the betting ring and match-fixing, personally banning the players involved from all future Valve major events.
One of the players involved in this scandal was 17 year old Braxton Pierce - gamer name 'swag'. Name aside, he first hit it big in the North American Counter Strike 1.6 scene where he competed in many top level tournaments at the ripe old age of 15, often surpassing many players 10 years his senior and proving himself as a major player to watch in the future.
He released a long-winded apology on his public Facebook page recently, admitting the match was lost on purpose, explaining that although only one skin was won by him - he was still in the wrong and that "the ban was necessary in order to set a precedent for future players to come."