It’s Tuesday, so that means we’re taking another look at the biggest stories from this week in eSports. Here are our top five picks:
Team Dignitas and Apex Acquired by Philadelphia 76ers
So far we’ve seen a host of European sports teams getting involved in eSports and now a major US brand is announcing their arrival into the marketplace. After months of supposed courtship, the 76ers confirmed their acquisition of British esports brand, Dignitas, as well as the lesser-known Apex. Dignitas have been a regular fixture of the British and international eSports scenes for well over a decade, with Michael ‘ODEE’ O’Dell at the helm for almost the entire duration. Dignitas have successfully stayed relevant over the course of their history, with teams competing in the world’s most successful leagues. Now a new challenge faces them, as they look to reposition themselves as the go-to team for top international talent. Despite the acquisition, there will be no rebranding, and eSports operations are set to continue under the Team Dignitas brand, under which Apex will be merged.
IMPacted Reloaded Get Reedy
After announcing he was parting company with Epsilon, Reedy has joined forces with ViscaBarca and GunElite in an Anglo-German partnership that aims to get the first Germans into the Call of Duty World League when the new season starts on Infinite Warfare. Despite being arguably Europe’s most popular team, FABE missed out on qualification to the World League when they fell short in the Stage 1 qualifiers with their all German line up. This time out though, the team will benefit from Reedy’s top level experience, as the British native looks to impart a structure and team ethic that they’ve otherwise lacked at major competitions. Reedy is no stranger to competing with non-Britons, having previously joined forces with Frenchman Gotaga. The team continues to search for a fourth to complete their line up.
Call of Duty into Orbit
A multi-million dollar investment into Team Orbit has seen a renewed interest in European Call of Duty, with the organization taking advantage of recent rival volatility. After snapping up half of the former Infused quartet, with Urban and Zero signing up, Orbit then moved to acquire Joee and Rated who had just announced their split from Splyce. With both Infused and Splyce enjoying a successful year, including a 2nd place finish at Call of Duty XP for the latter, Orbit has all the makings of a top level outfit as they look ahead to Infinite Warfare when the pro season recommences in Europe. So far it’s been an exciting off-season and we’re only just getting started.
OpTic Gaming Hit 2 Million Twitter Followers
OpTic Gaming smashed another major popularity milestone this week as their official Twitter account surpassed 2 million followers. This landmark achievement makes OpTic the most popular esports team on Twitter, having amassed a gigantic following starting with becoming a household name in international Call of Duty. More recently, OpTic have added top teams on Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Gears of War, as well as introducing a new Halo team only last week. Rivals FaZe Clan aren’t too far behind, though, edging closer to the 2 million milestone themselves.
GameBattles to Drop Xbox 360 and PS3 Support
It’s nearing the end of days for the 360 and PS3, with Xbox One and PS4 the platforms of choice for the current crop of console eSports enthusiasts. As a sign of the times, MLG’s GameBattles are set to cease their support of the two consoles that are each over a decade old now. The current seasons are running until the end of September and at the conclusion of the month, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 will officially be retired from MLG GameBattles. It almost brings a tear to your eye.