Tech corner

eSports roundup 18/12/18

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Keeping on top of eSports can be hard work, so we’ve rounded up three of the top stories that will set the scene for 2019.

K-Swiss launches Immortals eSports lifestyle sneaker

Popular shoe brand K-Swiss recently announced the launch of its Immortals Icon sneaker, branching into the popularity of the Immortals eSports organisation.

The Los Angeles-based Immortals, which has teams across multiple eSports games such as Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, teamed up to design the shoe back in April, and now the limited edition product can be yours for $110 on the K-Swiss store.

The design reflects collaboration between Immortals professional players and K-Swiss’s world-leading designers; the Immortals logo is printed onto the bottom of the shoe, and it comes with two pairs of shoelaces in Immortals colours of black and teal that keen fans will instantly recognise.

K-Swiss is releasing two different shoes designs with the Immortals, with the second pair set to launch in mid-2019.

 

Blizzard abruptly kills off Heroes of the Storm eSports potential

Blizzard has recently announced unforeseen plans to scale down their game Heroes of the Storm, moving its developers to other games and putting an end to its eSports league. The news came as an unpleasant surprise to hundreds of Heroes of the Storm players and broadcasters, who now find themselves out of income streams with no warning.

The reduction of the game comes at the end of a year in which Blizzard has prioritised cost-cutting above all else. The developer has been looking to both spend less money and bolster its development teams so it can ship more games, and scaling down Heroes of the Storm and axing the game’s eSports league are the latest moves in this plan.

It’s not clear just how much support Heroes of the Storm will get in the future, but hopefully it won’t be left to fizzle out completely.

 

Government looking into potential for UK eSports as part of new DCMS inquiry

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has announced that it has formed a Committee to explore the potential for eSports in the UK.

The inquiry will also examine the impact of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) could have in the worlds of contact sport, entertainment and news. As for eSports, the Committee wants to explore the future of competitive gaming in the UK, and will also look into the links between video games and gambling, the effects of in-game spending on items such as loot boxes, and whether it needs stronger monitoring or regulation to ensure it doesn’t have too much of a negative impact on children.

In November of this year, the DCMS announced that the UK games industry contributed £1bn to the UK economy in 2017. In recent months, the Government has slowly become more aware of and interested in eSports in the UK, with the likes of Creative Industries Minister Margot James supporting the industry and events such as Women in eSports.

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