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Esports Arena is a curated weekly roundup of the biggest stories in the world of online competitive gaming.
Two professional Street Fighter V players have been banned from all events indefinitely after derogatory comments made by the two surfaced online. Dalauan “LowTierGod” Sparrow and Christina “CeroBlast” Tran have both been banned from multiple tournaments including Community Effort Orland (CEO) in December and the Evolution World Championships (EVO) in July and August.
In a video that surfaced two weeks ago, Sparrow can be heard making derogatory comments about homosexuals and transexuals during a live-stream match against Tran. Soon after, Tran was also banned for using the N-word multiple times in a separate match.
“The player bans are expected to last through the 2020 season, at a minimum,” a Capcom spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “After roughly a year, we will reassess each ban, taking into account any efforts each player may have made to make restitution to the community.”
Capcom says Sparrow and Tran’s “prior behaviors were not a consideration” in the bans, but adds that “behavior after the bans will be a consideration when we review the bans at the conclusion of the 2020 season.”
Elsewhere, in celebration of the midpoint of the Overwatch League’s current season, the league has announced a new tournament that will run through the entirety of May. The 20-team league will be broken up into two regions — 13 in North American and seven in Asia — with squads competing in qualifying matches to determine their place in the regional tournament brackets, which will run May 23-24.
Each qualifying match will count in the overall standings, but the tournaments themselves have special rules: Winners of the tournaments in each region will see three victories added to their win/loss record in the standings, with second place receiving two wins and third and fourth receiving one win each. The first qualifying matches for the tournament begin this weekend with the Guangzhou Charge facing the Seoul Dynasty at 1 a.m. PT.
Here’s what else is happening in the world of esports.
League of Legends Summer Split Begins in June
Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, has announced the Summer Split of the North American League Championship Series will begin June 13. The date was moved up two weeks with the recent cancellation of the Mid-Season Invitational, originally scheduled for May. Four games will be played every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. PT from June 13 until the end of the season, with two more matches coming during Monday Night League. The full schedule has yet to be revealed, but the matches will begin with Cloud9 vs Flyquest at 1 p.m. PT on June 13. The LCS’ European counterpart, the League European Championships, also announced its Summer Split start date as June 12.
ESL, DreamHack Ink Exclusivity Deal with Twitch
Esports orgs ESL and DreamHack have announced a new partnership with Twitch that will see all their events exclusively streamed on Twitch in both 2021 and 2022. The ESL Pro Tour — which includes games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Starcraft 2, among others — has previously broadcast on Twitch, though without an exclusivity agreement. The new partnership does hold exceptions to allow tournament organizers to make deals with traditional broadcast television networks, though all online streaming will be exclusive to Twitch. Events on the circuit that will stream on Twitch include DreamHack’s Masters and Open tournaments, IEM and the ESL Pro League.
Fighting Game Tournament CEO Moves to December
Community Effort Orlando, one of the largest fighting game tournaments in the U.S., has been postponed from June to December. Founder Alex Jebailey announced the move via Twitter. Jebailey also said he does not expect any events in June or over the summer, outside of the scheduled CEOtaku event in September. CEO drew nearly 2,000 players in 2019 across 12 different games, with the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament alone seeing more than 1,100 signups. More information is expected on the CEO 2020 rescheduling this Friday.
Dallas Empire Win Call of Duty League’s Chicago Home Series
The Dallas Empire won its second Home Series of the inaugural Call of Duty League season this weekend, defeating the Atlanta FaZe in the final match, three maps to one. With the win, the Empire take sole possession of first place in the overall league standings with 150 points, followed by the previous leader Chicago Huntsmen at 130, then Atlanta at 120 and both the Minnesota Rokkr and Florida Mutineers at 100 points each. The victory makes Dallas the first team in the new Call of Duty League format to win two Home Series, the team also taking the Los Angeles Home Series back in early March. The Call of Duty League returns to action with the Florida Mutineers Home Series from May 8-10, featuring three of the top five teams in Atlanta, Minnesota and home team Florida.
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