This week in esports news: Controversy meets a revolt over Facebook

Week two of the Overwatch League has been an interesting one, dropping viewers and stabilizing way below Sea of Thieves on Twitch. The Global Pro League for Call of Duty: GO is well underway with the first round of matches from Division A.


The Overwatch League (OWL) had a little bit of controversy this week as London Spitfire's Joon-yeong "Profit" Park flipped the bird live on air. The player was actually signaling to the coach and players who were having a giggle ahead of a match, but this was inadvertently broadcast to tens of thousands of viewers. Park has since apologized, was handed a fine for $1,000 and Blizzard came under light fire to have its rules published for public viewing.

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The league also lost a few viewers after the initial week of games. As reported by Esports Observer, the OWL saw numbers of more than 400,000 on the first day of the tournament but fell to around 70,000 in week two. While it seems to have stabilized it has had to battle Sea of Thieves, which saw the upcoming game from Rare top the Twitch platform.

Call of Duty World League

There won't be a week going by in the coming months without Call of Duty's best going at it. The Global Pro League is well underway with the first round of matches from Division A.

Fan favorites Optic Gaming would ultimately find themselves sitting pretty at the top of the table having gone undefeated in week one. Their run included handing Dallas and New Orleans open champions, Team Kaliber, only their second series loss on LAN of the whole season.

Rise Nation is also pretty hot right now with only a loss to Optic a mark against an otherwise perfect opening week. The folks at Dexerto have rounded up the important stats from week one. Week two for Division A begins on January 30.

The video clip above is one of the outstanding highlights, with a huge solo effort from tK's Chino and a nine-streak which ultimately turned a probable loss into a series win.

Gears of War

Gears Pro Circuit

This weekend sees the Gears Pro Circuit hit Mexico City for the first major event of 2018 and for the most part action went down as expected in the early stages. Optic Gaming, eUnited and Echo Fox all made strong starts, steamrolling their way through the early matches.

As Saturday came to a close it would be Optic sealing a spot in the winners final, sending eUnited to the losers bracket in the process. The Greenwall continues to look dominant in this season of the Gears Pro Circuit and will require a pretty spectacular effort to overcome.

If you're unfamiliar, the Gears Pro Circuit delivers some seriously fast, intense action. Each match is a best of three played exclusively on the Escalation game mode. The tournament follows a double bracket format, with teams only being eliminated from the competition by losing in the lower (losers) bracket.

Championship Sunday will be a blast so be sure to tune in at the links down below either on Twitch or Mixer.

Dota 2


Fans and professional Dota 2 players have joined together to boycott the ESL games. Facebook (of all online platforms) scored an exclusivity deal with the ESL to broadcast all Dota 2 matches, something which wasn't met with kindness by viewers who prefer Twitch. But that wasn't all, there's an apparent ban in place of Twitch streamers and Dota 2 players to host their own unofficial streams of the ESL games.

That's when all hell broke loose. Valve has since commented on the situation, stating that only Valve has the authority to put forward DMCA notices and so the story continues.

League of Legends

Team Liquid continues to impress viewers after comfortable wins over TSM and OpTic, but this shouldn't really come as much of a surprise when one looks at the roster. Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong, Jake "Xmithie" Puchero, Eugene "Pobelter" Park, Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, and Kim "Olleh" Joo-sung. That's one mighty formation of highly-talented players. The squad will next take on FlyQuest on February 04.


CD Projekt RED's GWENT first Open tournament of 2018 crowned a winner this week as Jan "Superjj102" Janssen managed to best Andrzej "Adzikov" Bal in the final. Janssen managed to bag just over $10,000 in prize money. The next Open will take place in Poland in March 2018. Whether or not the studio will be able to hold a sustainable viewership to make the esports viable is yet to be seen.

Upcoming live events

  • Call of Duty Pro League Stage One - Starts January 30, watch on Twitch or at
  • Gears of War Pro Circuit Mexico City - January 26 - January 28, watch on Mixer or Twitch
  • ELEAGUE Boston Major (CS:GO) - January 26 - January 29, watch on Twitch
  • Dreamhack Open (CS:GO & Rocket League) - January 26 - January 29, watch on Twitch
  • Halo weekly 2K series - January 28, watch on Mixer
Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.