With how wide the esports world is, it’s tough to pin down every marquee matchup and bit of esports news each week. Sometimes, those moments go beyond the competitive sphere and dip into streaming, general gaming and the business world, too. Esports is bigger than just the games we watch every day and the big thing you should take away from each week could pass you by if you’re not careful.
That’s where we come in. Every week, Upcomer’s staff comes together to select the five biggest W’s of the last week, whether they be a player’s performance, a new game release or something else. The goal: to get you caught up on esports news this week and get you ready for everything that comes next.
Here are our Five W’s for the week of Sept. 20-26.
Shanghai Dragons win 2021 OWL championship, ending a long-time redemption arc
On September 25, 2021, the Shanghai Dragons won the Overwatch League Grand Finals and became the season four champions. The fact that the Shanghai Dragons started the Overwatch League as the worst team in the league with a 42-game losing streak made this grand finals win more important. They rebuilt after that 2018-2019 season and are now the best Overwatch team in the world.
You've been with us through the winless season. You've been with us through countless heartbreaking defeats.
This was four years in the making. This one is for all of you
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) September 26, 2021
The team faced the Atlanta Reign, a team that upset other top teams like the San Francisco Shock and Dallas Fuel, to face Shanghai. Even with all the momentum Atlanta had, the Dragons swept them 4-0 and were clearly on another level of skill and coordination. To add the cherry on top, Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun, one of the best OWL players of all time, got his first championship win.
Despite the fact that the Shanghai Dragons are now a completely different team from 2018, two key people stayed alongside them. Of course, the fans were the first, sticking since that first season. Secondly, assistant coach and former player Kim “Daemin” Dae-min got to see the franchise he never won with get the league title. This victory will go into the history books as not only the final competition in the original game, but the best comeback story in Overwatch League history.
— Mike Czarnowski
Halo Infinite technical preview brings the franchise back to life
After nearly six years since Halo 5 was released, players finally got the chance to play and enjoy a new Halo multiplayer experience. The first Halo Infinite technical preview took place over the weekend after months of hype. Naturally, fans of the franchise were overjoyed to see all that the game has to offer, from the new and classic weapons to the unprecedented amount of customization.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Halo game without some hilarious bugs ravaging multiplayer. These glitches weren’t game-breaking, for the most part, but players would like to see the developers at 343 Industries patch them before the game’s full release on Dec. 8. But, perhaps the now-infamous boxing glitch could stay in as a neat easter egg.
Multiplayer has been a blast for both newcomers and veterans to the series. The new aspects, like extra pieces of equipment, mixed with classic elements from Halo make for an overall enjoyable experience. The question is, can the developers ensure that players stick around for the long haul after its initial release. Fans can play Halo Infinite again on Sept. 30 for the second technical preview.
— Joey Carr
LoL fans get first look at Arcane in new trailer
The trailer for the upcoming Netflix and Riot Games collaboration Arcane dropped Friday. Fans got to see more than stills and short snippets of the Fortiche Production animated series, as it showed the series storylines and characters.
The show will focus on Jinx and Vi, two League of Legends characters who are positioned as sisters that have grown apart as they have gotten older. The two will have to fight together to mend their rocky relationship over the backdrop of two warring cities, Zaun and Piltover. The trailer showcased younger and older versions of the titular characters, as well as other League of Legends champions like Hiemerdinger and what is speculated to be a pre-mask Jhin.
The tension from the two cities seems to lie in Zaun’s use of Hextech technology, or harnessing magic with science as the trailer puts it, and using it to gain power over the city above them.
The show premiers on Nov. 6, right after the 2021 League of Legends World Championship final. The show will premier three episodes in each “act” as the second burst of content hits the streaming service Nov. 13 and the final act starts on Nov. 20.
— Declan McLaughlin
Dota 2 sees final patch going into The International 10
Eleven days before the first Group Stage match of The International 10, Valve has released the patch that the tournament will be played on. Patch 7.30 comes with small balance changes to a set group of heroes and items. The primary nerfs attack the heroes that have been doing well in high level public matches. Bane, Weaver and Tiny all received small nerfs as teams prepared for the biggest Dota tournament of the year.
The original iteration of Patch 7.30 came with several large overhauls for the Dota meta. One of the largest is the implementation of the new hero Dawnbreaker into captain’s mode. However, she came into the game with a stronger toolkit than most players anticipated. She has also been nerfed with the latest patch, with the Celestial Hammer ability slowly being rescaled and her Starbreaker becoming weaker overall.
The final patch looks to keep the meta more ambiguous coming into The International 10. Look for teams to experiment a lot during the Group Stage of the event, as every team gets a true feel of the meta that they will play in the tournament.
The Group Stage of the International 10 will begin on Oct. 7 and will feature the 18 best Dota teams in the world. The winner will have a chance to win the $16 million grand prize at the end of the tournament.
— Kenny Utama
Version1 sign all-female VALORANT roster
The former North American representatives for VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2: Masters Reykjavík have expanded their team to include an all-female roster. VersionX, the alternative team to Version1, was formed from the previous Just Breathe roster that have been competing throughout Game Changers. The team is built around former Dignitas player Kiara “milkyway” Makua and Counter Logic Gaming Red player Naomi “Naomi” Sauvola.
Introducing: VersionX | #VXVAL
— Version1 (@version1gg) September 23, 2021
The recently signed team competed in the third series of the VALORANT Champions Tour Game Changers tournament. However, the roster did not have the best starts with their brand new organization. The team was unable to beat milkyway’s former team in Dignitas during the opening round and were moved to the lower bracket. After that, they were tasked with taking on Nothing2Lose, who also beat them. With back-to-back losses, VersionX were eliminated from Game Changers.
— Danny Appleford