Get DOTA 2 advanced statistics on Toornament

DOTA lovers, rejoice : starting today, we’re proud to announce that Toornament now support rich informations and statistics for each matches !

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Picks, Bans, Kill / Death / Assists, inventory and levels are all there, to provide your audience with more datas. Combined with stream and V.O.D links for each match, our widgets are now the place to go to follow any DOTA 2 tournament.

How does it work ? You just have to enter a match ID (available in your DOTA 2 main menu)

So, here’s our famous widget everybody loves. Just click on a match details and…

… Here’s our widget boasting advanced DOTA 2 informations everybody’s gonna love even more !

This week is the perfect time to show you this feature : the DOTA 2 Asia Championship, entering its final phase from today to Sunday, is our featured tournament of the week. We can’t wait for you to enjoy it and then, try it for yourself.

Happy first blood !

Esport is growing, Disney / HTC / Besiktas / KeSPA edition

In a recent post about

what we expect for Esport in 2015

, new sponsors were one of our key points. More money and more recognition never hurts. Wishes came true these last days, with some new actors involved in Esport, from HTC to Disney…

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HTC gets a triple kill in LoL

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We wrote earlier that one of the main goal for Esport this year would be to attract sponsors outside the gaming industry. The past years have seen some interesting partnerships, but most ended being one shots. Now comes HTC. The Taiwanese smartphone company may be jumping into gaming this year with a new product. To show its longterm dedication, HTC striked not one but three sponsorship deals with major League Of Legends teams :

Cloud 9

Team Solo Mid

Team Liquid

Those deals focus on the North American LoL scene, showing some insight from a traditionalist sponsor which we haven’t seen before. Also worth noting the wording used by the team : “premium” a “long term” shows that we’re not dealing with some kind of one shot or gear giveaway for some shoutouts.

Besiktas football, basketball, handball and volleyball club adds LoL

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One of the largest sports club in mid-East, Turkish organisation

Besiktas JK

, just added a League Of Legends team, along with its soccer, basketball, hand ball and volley ball rosters.

Aces High is a turkish LoL team

which recently took part in the IEM Cologne. Linking an Esport club to a sport club has always been a long time and logical Esport fantasy, but this happening with a major international sports team (Besiktas soccer and basketball teams are quite renowned on the international scene) adds more weight to the deal. Here again, symbol matters more than any actual figures.

Korea closes the gap between Esport and Olympic Games

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Korea remains one of the most advanced country for all things Esports. We just learned that the local Esport authority, the famous

 KeSPA, has gotten e-sports accepted into the 2nd level of the Olympic Committee

. This means that Esport now required one last step to be integrated into the Olympic disciplines pool. Esport is 20 years old now, but its craziest dreams from the early days are about to come true.

Disney’s new teenage sensation goes Esport

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Last, but not least, Disney. The company behind Pixar, Marvel, Lucas and well, Disney, is also a juggernaut in the teenagers content industry, with hits such as High School Musical and Violetta. The new kid on the block is no other than a profesional gamer. From (another Disney’s) TV Show “Jessie”, Cameron Boyce will also star in a new show broadcasted on gaming/anime channel Disney XD.

“Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything”

follows “

a teenage professional video game player who circumvents life’s challenges using his gaming acumen

”.
But the most interesting part of this show lies in the (pro)gamer status treatment. Gamers characters have long been depicted as losers climbing from the bottom (I have no friends etc.) to the top (I’m finally cool, even tho I’m a gamer).
“GGPME” work the other way around. The hero here is an established cyber athlete, living the glamorous life of an Esport star until a thumb injury throws him back to “normal” life. We expect some stereotypes here and there, but the pitch itself shows a new step in Esport and gamers recognition : According to Disney, being a pro gamer is cool. This may look trivial to you, but this “bold” take on the matter may influence millions of kids – and their parents.

New features : “Check In” and “Export”

We’re pleased to announce two new features on Toornament : “Check In” and “Export”, designed to make your life easier !

CHECK IN

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“Check In” feature is now available for Toornament, with a focus on tournament admins. Our feedback and own experience as organizers highlighted the need to keep all the check ins process in the admin’s hands, especially on LAN events.

(click for the rest of this post)

So our Check In feature is admin centralised, allowing you to suppress all unchecked participants, for example.

“Check In” feature is now available for everyone, you just need to activate it. We will make the “players’ Check In” available soon after.

EXPORT

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Export two types of lists : registered and participating. You can filter your exported list, with criterias such as confirmed/unconfirmed participation.

Toornament will generate a .csv file which can be opened in any sheet software such as Excel. Each list contains rich datas, such as email, ID, status, country etc.

Participants’ list will come particularly handy if you need to email all your participants, for example.

9 Esport trends we expect in 2015

As 2014 went down as a great year for Esport, 2015 may lead us to even higher levels of recognition, audience, sponsorship and of course, great moments : more games, more countries, consoles, women, production values… Take a look at our 9 trends for this year.

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1. The consoles real awakening

If consoles represent the largest slices of the gaming industry, they’ve remain a minor force in Esport. Of course, Call of Duty, and FIFA and Destiny are selling millions and can count on a large user base. Fighting games are at home on consoles more than on PCs. There are numerous competitions, champions. But nothing as big – money wise and audience wise – as PC Esports disciplines. Why do consoles trails so far behind ?

Reasons range from technical and financial hurdles to regularly update games, no Free 2 Play major titles or limited streaming options. Things may change with this generation of consoles, as Microsoft and Sony have finally understood the huge benefits of long term, ever evolving, strong community backed games.
Of course PS4 and XBox One boasts direct stream to Twitch. But the most important feature may lie in the new publishing deals, allowing developers to update and enrich their game without having to pay each time and thus, having one major update once in a year – think Street Fighter IV, here.

Consoles needs to play catch up with PC, but they’ve finally understood and may hold the real explosion for Esport in the next years. They already had the great games, they just need to become just as great as platforms.
 
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2. Less financial turmoils

Most of the dramas occurring on the Esport scene are about players being out of a team and money. As more and more dollars are pouring into Esport through growing money prizes, contracts and sponsorship, the Esport scene still looks like a far west movie. Unpaid cashprizes, team going down because of one sponsor’s off the deal, managers running away with the money they’re supposed to collect for their players, the lack of proper contracts…
One of Esport main effort this year should  be about legal and financial supporting document, made available to anyone – with some wiki for basic knowledge and customisation of those documents.
 
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3. Emerging countries

Right now, Esport is a global phenomenon with a few leading territories : North America, Europe, CIS, China and Korea. Some countries may nonetheless rise this year. We’ve kept an eye on the Japanese scene, which has always been notorious for its talented players, especially on the fighting games scene. The PC scene, yet minor, is growing with the first DOTA 2 and League Of Legends professional teams.
Japan’s status on Esport is tightly linked to consoles status on Esport, as gaming PC is very rare there. We expect Japan to grow steadily over the next years. Large countries such as India are also showing strong commitment signs, with more and more tournaments and players. Esport needs to evolve beyond the classic US-EU-SEA triumvirat to become a real global phenomenon.
 
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4. Crowdfunding for everyone

Valve blew people’s minds and wallets with the The International 3. The way people could fun the cashprize and get away with great content proved to be  a huge hit. Last year International gathered close to $11M (Valve started with $1.6M), paving the way to a new generation of community backed tournament. So far, most have been a success. Most are DOTA 2, but Hirez Studios Smite World Championship went over the $2.5M mark. There may be some failure and excesses along the way, but this business model is headed to a bright future.
We’re working hard on Toornament to bring this crowdfunding mechanics to all our users.
 
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5. FGC joins the family

Esports and Fighting Game Community had a long love / hate relationship. Long (and numerous) stories short, the FGC never felt like it belonged or wanted to belong with the PC Esport scene and business model and thus, developed a strong community sense that both held it together and closed it to the other communities.
Last months have shown encouraging signs, with the best fighters being drafted in major Esport teams, streaming and so on. With Capcom’s Street Fighter V poised for the end of this year or 2016 on both PS4 and PC, the shift everyone was hoping for may be finally happening.
Fighting games are amongst the most spectacular, skill demanding and audience understandable Esport discipline and they deserve to be top tier disciplines.
 
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6. More new games and mid-sized communities

As the video game industry and culture have spawn numerous great games, Esport should reflect this depth. We all know that you can’t fully dedicate yourself to many Esports disciplines, but maybe give a try to other games, along with your main. LoL, CS and Hearthstone may reign supreme, but other deserves attention and involvement.
The case for more games also lead to more opportunities for developers and modders to try new things and keep Esport disciplines pool fresh and new.
 
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7. Female champions

Ah, the neverending topic. Women and Esports is a heated debate, as everyone thought Esport would erase the physical differences between men and women. For others reasons, Esport progamers are huge majority of guys. Why the lack of girls ? We won’t try to answer on this post. But 2015 may see the rise of women champions in a non female dedicated tournament. Scarlett has paved the way and progamers like MagicAmy won big Hearthstone tournament recently.
It’s a matter of time and dedication and finding the right talent at the right game, but a woman winning a major tournament – and remain in the top tier players for some time could be a huge boost and eye opener for Esport enthusiasts and neophytes alike.
 
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8. Generalist / sports sponsors

Something we love about the LCS : Coca Cola and American Express as premium sponsors. Esport needs here to put emphasis on the “sport”, more than on the “e”. Every gaming company is now onboard with Esport but our culture needs to grow wider. It’s more than gaming, it thus should attract more than gaming sponsors. Generalist sponsors would mean higher credibility, new audience, more money. Time to mail Nike, Starbucks and L’Oreal. 
 
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9. Production Value

It’s been one of the buzzwords lately, even tho few really get it. “Production values” means everything tournament organizers put to make a good show on site and online. More cameras, more casters, inbetween matches content, analysis, nice main stages, stream overlays etc.
As tournaments production value is going up as the time and iteration goes by, it shall be noted that the tournament itself isn’t enough nowadays. In 2015, Esport enthusiasts expect more. More entertainment, more content, more show. Production value, they call it.
And – surprise – this is where we kick in. We’re hard working at Toornament to empower with all the most critical tools to run perfect and spectacular tournaments !

When Esport schedules need an agenda

In the past few days, the DOTA 2 Esport agenda got quite busy, with the reveal of 4 major tournaments : Dreamhack Summer, joinDOTA League with MLG, ESL One and Valve’s very own International 5 qualifiers.

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But the announcements were not met with the expected hype and cheers. They even were welcomed with a negative feeling : all those great events will happen in the same month of June, making it hard for teams to attend them all and fans to follow them all, while the rest of the year suddenly feels empty of major events.

This June, 4 major DOTA 2 events will collide :

Dreamhack Summer

  • June 13th-16th
  • (announced August 14th 2014)
  • Elmia, Jönköping, Sweden

MLG joinDOTA League

  • June 26th-28th
  • (announced December 4th 2014)
  • est. USA

ESL One

  • June 20th-21st
  • (announced August 12th 2014)
  • Frankfurt, Germany

The International 5

  • Qualifiers est. June 7th-14th
  • (announced December 15th 2014)
  • est. Seattle, USA

And we’re just talking about the ones we know as of today. As this situation already happened last year, the community, from fans to pro gamers like EternalEnvy, got upset.

On the organizers’ side, things a more complicated. Schedules conflicts are no new stuff. Finding, booking and getting a correct time and a free slot for an event location, dealing with all other events using those locations, from sports, to live music, to conferences etc. The right days are scarce.

Still, a tournament could be Jeopardized, if no top tier team shows up. Would attend or support Dreamhack Summer, if all the best teams are on the other side of the globe, trying to qualify for the much larger International 5 ?

As long as Esport agenda is made by independant organizers dealing with their own and without concertation, we might witness some more tournament traffic jams.

Each Esport discipline should find a way to build and tune its season, like Tennis does with the ATP circuit, spreading the major tournaments across the year.

In the meantime, let’s hope June doesn’t become a DOTA overdose.

Why Street Fighter V should be more like DOTA 2

Freshly announced and already hotly anticipated, Capcom’s Street Fighter V already face snumerous challenges.

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Since 2008’s Street Fighter IV, the gaming, multiplayer and Esport landscapes have dramatically changed : free to play, community market place, streams are now setting the benchmark for any serious contender.

Whereas Capcom has only told as few as possible, speculations and expectations are going wild online. We think there’s a simple way to follow, for “SFV” to become a great Esport discipline : make a “Valve’s DOTA 2”.

The Seattle giant didn’t reinvent the game, but did revamp the whole experience around the game. The move, bold, proved itself with great results.

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Here are the key points Street Fighter V needs to check on its bucket list to become the true next gen Esport fighting game, all provided by the work and lessons from DOTA 2.

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FREE TO PLAY

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We won’t explain this business model (it’s 2014) and just name the dominant titles in Esport : League Of Legends, DOTA 2, Hearthstone and Counter Strike : Global Offensive. The three first are all Free To Play, when the later can be regularly found under $5.

Street Fighter, as an AAA title, seems to be aimed for a $70/PS4 $50/PC release price, but it shouldn’t. Sustainability is a critical goal for any Esport game, and this can’t be better helped than with massive amount of players, and constant waves of newcomers.

Street Fighter and its major updates sold 6,4M copies over the past 5 years, which is great, but not enough. This number could go through the roof should the game be free, or sold under $15. Namco Bandai’s own Tekken Revolution has shown the way of Free To Play, but the game is still too much leaning toward Pay To Win.

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VANITY BUSINESS

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DOTA 2 stands out from its peers, by offering a true Free To Play offer : every single gameplay element of the game is free and available to everybody. Which means that the only paid DLCs are all about vanity : new skins, effects, HUDs, load screens, loot items, stages, musics andwhat have you. At first sight, it might hurt Capcom’s revenues compared to paid new characters, but DOTA 2 showed that equal game experience for every players unifies the community and make them more willing to spend on cosmetic items.

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MONTHLY TECHNICAL AND GAMEPLAY UPDATES

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Street Fighter IV has proven to be a headache for each major update. Its technologic and business models weren’t designed for regular, minor updates like minor nerfs and buffs. Those are critical to keep a game balanced and free from OP techniques and characters.

Riot went a step further with League Of Legends, by changing the whole metagame between each season, making the game brand new and thus maintaining its interest.

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COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE

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The Street Fighter PC Community has proven itself very creative and active, when it comes touser generated content: tons of high quality skins, mods and such. And this, without any official support from Capcom whatsoever. Let’s imagine now what would happen if creators were to be rewarded. Street Fighter’s depth would exponentially expand.

Nowadays, Valve gets a huge 75% chunk of any dollar spend in community market, a multi million dollar business. We know Capcom is in a dire financial situation, and this could be a sustainable way to adress this issue.

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FLEXIBLE 3D ENGINE

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Valve just announced its new engine (Source 2 ?) for next year. According to the developer, the main goal behind this heavy switch is to make it easier to create special mods and skins – think about all the DOTA 2 special events like Frostivus, or Arcana class skins. Street Fighter V’s own engine is rumored to be the Unreal Engine 4, a wildly adopted and praised engine, which should act like a nice playground for the modding community and the Capcom’s developers alike.

Street Fighter’s incoming Omega mode should be easy to code in Street Fighter environment.

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BETTER LEARNING EXPERIENCE

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While Street Figher IV offered some nice training options with training mode and character challenges, it didn’t go beyond those features. Eventhough a MOBA requires an incredible amount of base knowledge and training, Street Fighter V should offer the same level of support and welcoming solutions for beginners. Community guides, tips, advanced training options, replays analysis… All this, ingame.

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ADVANCED SPECTATING AND BROADCASTING TOOLS

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Let’s face it : Street Fighter sucks for everything broadcasting. No ingame spec, and the Youtube share feature is a mess. DOTA TV is a benchmark in video games. Being able to follow a gamer from different view points, with several casters options makes a great spectating experience.

Streaming is now a huge part of a game’s promotion and evangelism and Street Fighter need to hop on the hype train.

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RICH STATISTICS

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We love stats, you love stats, everybody does. What is the most banned hero ? How many wards are bought each games ? Where do most of the kills happen ? Under the trivia bliss, stats help understand a game and its metagame. Street Fighter would be great to analyse and understand with all those datas : heatmap, most used combos and of course, objective tier lists…

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CONSISTANT, STRONG ESPORT INVOLVEMENT

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Next year, Capcom will support its Pro Tour, with $1M. It’s a nice effort, and the publisher has to keep on investing. Riot and Valve have proved that an inhouse developed Esport tournament is the right way. Numerous, pro tier tournaments are the backbone of a game Esport existence. Capcom has to level up its game to make Street Fighter an Esport must play, must watch. More tournaments and tighter control over the experience are mandatory for a Street Fighter V Pro Tour.

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BETS

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Money matches are a deep rooted tradition within the Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom community (just Google “Salty Suite”), sometimes bringing more hype and “salt” than official events. Even though the whole betting business is a legal and financial nightmare to set up, Street Fighter should integrate some item betting system. Sites like DOTA Lounge have proven to be wildly successful, adding more engagement from viewers.

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TL;DR !

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Street Fighter will certainly be a great game. But it could turn into something even greater, if Capcom seriously looks into what Valve did : ship a great game, and focus your efforts into all things around this product : community, spectators, programers, money etc.

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We’ll know a bit more about Street Fighter V directions, as more news will be unveiled this weekend during the Capcom Cup Finals. Let’s hope they push full mid.

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