Here's what happened when we tried to bet on esports at our local bookies

Here's what happened when we tried to bet on esports at our local bookies

  • Date: 13-12-2018
  • Author: eurogamer

We have an odd relationship with gambling in the UK. You'd be hard-pressed to find a high street or city centre that doesn't have at least a couple of bookmakers' shops mixed into it, offering bets on everything from horse racing and football to whether or not Kate Winslet will cry if she wins an Oscar (yes that was a real thing). But how does esports fit in?

According to a recent study by the UK's Gambling Commission, the percentage of British adults who have at some point in their lives placed a bet on esports is 8.5 per cent, with three per cent having placed those bets in the month the study was conducted. That's a surprising statistic for a sport many consider to be still quite niche. And it makes sense most of those bets will be online, given the nature of esports and the audience for it. But it also got me wondering: just how easy it is to walk into a betting shop and wager some cash on an esports event?

To find out, I picked three (at the time of betting) upcoming and current events to bet on, with the intention of gambling on three specific teams to win either the tournament or a particular match. These were Team Liquid to win the ESL One Dota 2 tournament, Ninjas in Pyjamas to win that day's ECS League of Legends season six game, and for the Overwatch World Cup, I had to back the home nation and bet on the UK. Secondly, I decided I had to be able to place the bet in store. We all know you can bet on esports online, so that didn't count.

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Dota 2 Update - December 9th, 2018

  • Date: 10-12-2018
  • Author: Valve

* Wraith Band: Bonus agility reduced from +8 to +6 (cost reduced by 25)
* Bracer: Bonus strength reduced from +8 to +6 (cost reduced by 25)
* Null Talisman: Bonus intelligence reduced from +8 to +6 (cost reduced by 25)
* Power Treads: Bonus damage reduced from 16 to 12

* Anti-Mage: Counterspell duration reduced from 1.4 to 1.2
* Anti-Mage: Counterspell manacost increased from 40 to 45/50/55/60
* Beastmaster: Level 25 Talent reduced from +40 Inner Beast Attack Speed to +30
* Brewmaster: Drunken Brawler critical damage reduced from 200/220/240/260% to 170/200/230/260%
* Brewmaster: Drunken Brawler cooldown increased from 20/19/18/17 to 23/21/19/17
* Bristleback: Strength gain increased from 2.2 to 2.5
* Bristleback: Bristleback now considers damage from towers as valid
* Chaos Knight: Chaos Strike lifesteal increased from 35/45/55/65% to 50/55/60/65%
* Dark Seer: Surge speed reduced from 36/54/72/90% to 30/45/60/75%
* Dazzle: Poison Touch cast range reduced from 600/700/800/900 to 500/600/700/800
* Dazzle: Poison Touch manacost increased from 80/100/120/140 to 95/110/125/140
* Dazzle: Shallow Grave cooldown increased from 60/45/30/15 to 60/46/32/18
* Death Prophet: Spirit Siphon charge replenish time reduced from 60/55/50/45 to 60/52/44/36
* Death Prophet: Exorcism damage increased from 56-61 to 59-64
* Ember Spirit: Strength increased from 20 + 2.4 to 21 + 2.6
* Grimstroke: Ink Swell max stun duration reduced from 1.7/2.4/3.1/3.8 to 1.4/2.2/3/3.8
* Grimstroke: Soulbind cooldown increased from 90/70/50 to 100/75/50
* Gyrocopter: Agility gain increased from 2.8 to 3.1
* Huskar: Level 10 Talent reduced from +20 Damage to +15
* Juggernaut: Omnislash bonus damage from 30/45/60 to 30/40/50
* Keeper of the Light: Will-O-Wisp off period increased from 1.75 to 1.85
* Keeper of the Light: Will-O-Wisp AoE increased from 650 to 675
* Lifestealer: Agility gain increased from 1.9 to 2.4
* Lina: Base armor increased by 1
* Lone Druid: Base movement speed reduced from 340 to 330
* Lone Druid: Spirit Bear movement speed increased from 340/350/360/370 to 340/355/370/385
* Lone Druid: Level 10 Talent reduced from +150 Attack Range to +125
* Lone Druid: Level 20 Talent improved from -0.2 Spirit Bear Base Attack Time to -0.3
* Magnus: Empower bonus damage reduced from 20/30/40/50 to 10/20/30/40%
* Magnus: Empower cleave reduced from 20/38/56/74% to 14/34/54/74%
* Magnus: Reverse Polarity cooldown increased from 120 to 130
* Night Stalker: Dark Ascension cooldown reduced from 160/140/120 to 140/130/120
* Outworld Devourer: Equilibrium mana restore from 80/100/120/140% to 65/90/115/140%
* Phantom Assassin: Phantom Strike duration reduced from 2.25 to 2
* Phantom Assassin: Stifling Dagger manacost increased from 30/25/20/15 to 30
* Phantom Assassin: Coup de Grace critical damage reduced from 210/330/450% to 200/325/450%
* Phantom Assassin: Blur manacost increased from 30 to 50
* Puck: Base armor increased by 1
* Puck: Illusory Orb cooldown reduced from 14/13/12/11 to 13/12/11/10
* Queen of Pain: Agility increased from 18 + 2 to 22 + 2.2
* Queen of Pain: Scream of Pain manacost reduced from 110/120/130/140 to 95/110/125/140
* Riki: Base damage increased by 3
* Sand King: Sand Storm damage reduced from 25/50/75/100 to 20/40/60/80
* Shadow Fiend: Base armor increased by 1
* Slark: Level 20 talent reduced from +1.5s Pounce Leash to +1.25s
* Spectre: Haunt illusion damage increased from 40/55/70% to 40/60/80%
* Storm Spirit: Base damage increased by 2
* Sven: Base movement speed increased from 290 to 295
* Sven: Warcry shield health is 25% stronger on your hero
* Terrorblade: Metamorphosis movement speed loss increased from 25 to 30
* Undying: Flesh Golem cooldown increased from 110 to 125
* Undying: Level 10 Talent reduced from +10 Health Regen to +8
* Ursa: Base movement speed increased from 305 to 315
* Venomancer: Poison Nova damage increased from 30/55/80 to 40/65/90

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Dota 2 Update - December 7th, 2018

  • Date: 07-12-2018
  • Author: Valve

* Minor CPU performance improvements with certain types of art content
* Reworked the Global Item Loadout page to make shuffling items easier to work with.
* Fixed Last Hit Trainer bugs
* Various SFM improvements (material overrides, health bars, etc)
* Fountain damage now cancels effects similar to hero damage (e.g. salve, heart, blink), and now has 25% Accuracy.

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Wot I Think: Artifact

  • Date: 05-12-2018
  • Author: (Matt Cox)

There s part of me that wants to champion Artifact as a step forward for digital card games. I want to celebrate how it bottles the essence of Dota 2 into turn-based take that-ing , to enthuse, misty-eyed, about the new avenues of thought that it has me gallivanting down. I will do all that.

But with some pretty big reservations.


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Valve ban Dota 2 player from tourney over racist remark cover-up

  • Date: 04-12-2018
  • Author: (Alice O'Connor)

Valve have banned Dota 2 player Carlo “Kuku” Palad from their upcoming ‘Major’ tournament in China over a racist comment he made mocking Chinese players in a non-tournament game earlier this year. Kuku’s team, TNC Predator, initially tried to pass a cover-up story and have further muddied waters with unsupported claims that Major host city Chongqing’s government threatened to cancel the tournament if he attended. Now Valve have stepped in and accused the Filipino team of behaving unprofessionally and “making the situation much worse than it needed to be.” straight-up banning Kuku from the tournament and docking TNC points on this year’s Dota Pro Circuit.


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Chinese city s government might cancel Dota 2 Major over player s racist comments

  • Date: 03-12-2018
  • Author: (Matt Cox)

Last month, Dota 2 pro player Carlo Kuku Palad caused outrage over racist taunts he made in a non-tournament game. This month, Chongqing’s government – the city where Dota 2’s next big tournament is due to be held in January – have claimed they might cancel the Major if Palad attends.


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Chinese city's government might cancel Dota 2 major over player's racist taunts

  • Date: 02-12-2018
  • Author: pcgamer

The next Dota 2 major in Chonqing, China might be cancelled by the city's government if Carlo “Kuku” Palad—one of the pro players that Valve condemned last month for using racist insults against Chinese teams—tries to attend, according to Kuku's team TNC Predator.

The Filipino player made the racist taunt in a pub game last month, and TNC Predator announced they would dock half of his winnings from the recent Kuala Lumpur Major, where the team won $60,000 by placing joint 5th, as well as half of his winnings from the upcoming Chongqing Major. The money will be donated to an anti-racism charity (h/t Fox Sports Asia).

However, rumours swirled last week that both Kuku and Andrei "skem" Ong, the other player who used racist taunts, would be banned from competing in the Chongqing Major, which will take place in January. According to TNC Predator, that is not true—in a series of tweets today, the team said Kuku was not banned, but that they had been told the city's government might cancel the tournament if Kuku attends. 

As you can see in the tweets below, TNC Predator claimed tournament organisers also said they could not "guarantee [Kuku's] safety" should he attend.

The team said they were "yet to decide whether we will continue playing in the event", and were "exploring all of our options".

Kuku issued an apology last week, in which he said there was "no excuse" for his actions, and that he hoped for a "second chance to show that I can become a better example" (translation via Fox Sports Asia).

As for skem, he's been removed from compLexity Gaming's active Dota 2 roster, so is unlikely to attend the tournament. The team previously issued him a "formal reprimand, as well as a maximum fine".

Neither Valve nor the tournament organisers have issued an official statement on the matter.

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Dota 2 Update - November 30th, 2018

  • Date: 01-12-2018
  • Author: Valve


* Melee heroes below 300 base movement speed increased by 5

* Tranquil Boots: Movement speed reduced from +28% to +24%
* Power Treads: Attribute bonus increased from 12 to 14
* Phase Boots: Now has the active again instead of the passive
* Mask of Madness: Movement speed changed from +12% to +25 constant
* Yasha: Movement speed changed from +8% to +25 constant
* Manta Style: Movement speed changed from +8% to +25 constant
* Sange and Yasha: Movement speed changed from +12% to +35 constant
* Yasha and Kaya: Movement speed changed from +12% to +35 constant
* Wraith Band: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240
* Bracer: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240
* Null Talisman: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240

* Axe: Counter Helix damage reduced from 75/110/145/180 to 60/100/140/180
* Axe: Level 15 Talent reduced from +4 Mana Regen to +3
* Brewmaster: Primal Split cooldown increased from 140/120/100 to 140/130/120
* Brewmaster: Level 10 talent reduced from +30 Damage to +20
* Clinkz: Burning Army damage type changed from Pierce to Hero type (50% vs heroes to 100%)
* Clinkz: Burning Army base attack time increased from 1.5/1.35/1.2 to 1.75/1.6/1.45
* Dazzle: Intelligence gain reduced from 3.4 to 3.2
* Dazzle: Bad Juju cooldown reduction reduced from 30/40/50% to 20/35/50%
* Elder Titan: Level 25 Talent changed from Astral Spirit Grants Spell Immunity to +600 Echo Stomp Wake Damage
* Ember Spirit: Base armor increased by 1
* Faceless Void: Time Lock chance reduced from 10/15/20/25% to 10/14/18/22%
* Faceless Void: Level 10 Talent reduced from +20 Damage to +15
* Grimstroke: Ink Swell max damage reduced from 160/240/320/400 to 100/200/300/400
* Grimstroke: Ink Swell max stun duration reduced from 2/2.6/3.2/3.8 to 1.7/2.4/3.1/3.8
* Grimstroke: Soul Bind cooldown increased from 80/65/50 to 90/70/50
* Io: Tether heal/mp transfer rate from 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5 to 1.05/1.2/1.35/1.5
* Juggernaut: Omnislash now removes debuffs on cast
* Juggernaut: Level 15 Talent reduced from +25 Attack Speed to +20
* Keeper of the Light: Will-o-Wisp now has a 100/125/150 gold bounty
* Keeper of the Light: Will-o-wisp manacost increased from 200/300/400 to 250/350/450
* Lich: Base movement speed reduced from 315 to 310
* Magnus: Empower cleave damage reduced from 30/45/60/75% to 20/38/56/74%
* Magnus: Level 15 Talent reduced from +15 Strength to +12
* Magnus: Level 20 Talent reduced from +12 Armor to +10
* Monkey King: Mischief invulnerability duration reduced from 0.3 to 0.2
* Nature's Prophet: Agility gain increased from 2.8 to 3.3
* Nature's Prophet: Wrath of Nature's max targets increased from 16 to 18
* Phantom Assassin: Phantom Strike attack speed duration reduced from 2.5 to 2.25
* Phantom Assassin: Blur now has a 0.4 second cast point
* Phantom Assassin: Coup de Grace damage reduced from 230/340/450% to 210/330/450%
* Puck: Dream Coil stun duration from 1.5/2.25/3 to 1.8/2.4/3
* Rubick: Telekinesis cooldown increased from 28/26/24/22 to 34/30/26/22
* Rubick: Telekinesis lift duration reduced from 1.1/1.5/1.9/2.3 to 1/1.4/1.8/2.2
* Sand King: Sand Storm cooldown from 40/32/24/16 to 40/34/28/22
* Sand King: Burrow Strike stun duration from 1.9/2/2.1/2.2 to 1.6/1.8/2/2.2
* Sand King: Level 15 Talent reduced from +50 Sand Storm DPS to +40
* Slark: Leash distance increased from 350 to 400
* Slark: Shadow Dance movement speed reduced from 30/40/50% to 20/35/50%
* Slark: Level 25 Talent reduced from +100s Essense Shift Duration to +80s
* Spirit Breaker: Greater Bash damage reduced from 12/20/28/36% to 8/16/24/32%

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ESA defend loot boxes again, while IGDA call for industry self-regulation

  • Date: 29-11-2018
  • Author: (Alice O'Connor)

Several video games industry associations have reacted to the news that the USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are planning to investigate loot boxes over concerns about potential impact on children. America’s Entertainment Software Association (ESA), whose duties include running the E3 games show, have repeated their stance that loot boxes “can enhance the experience” and aren’t gambling and they’re fine okay just leave it. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), on the other hand, have said it’s time for the industry to step up and self-regulate before more governments follow Belgium and restrict loot boxes by law.


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Cards on the table: Artifact is out

  • Date: 29-11-2018
  • Author: (Matt Cox)

I’ve already played a little, but I’m not yet sure whether Valve and Richard Garfield’s ‘Dota but cards’ game Artifact is going to consume my every waking thought, or if I’ll bounce off it like hard cheese. One of those two.

I’m about to find out, because it just launched on Steam.


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