The 50 gaming newsmakers who shaped 2013

Polygon looks back at some of the people who made gaming news in the past year, for better or for worse.Festooned with the launches of two major consoles from Sony and Microsoft, 2013 was always going to be a memorable year for gaming. But it wasn't just the machinations of massive corporations that shaped the last 12 months. Much of the news last year was drafted on social media, around creative individuals who have managed to make wondrous things that have become popular by force of public will, rather than via marketing might. Change has also been wrought by diversity movements that have found a way to forcefully express themselves and so garner wide support for important issues, previously dismissed wrongly or maliciously by those wielding power over communication channels, as...

League of Legends World Championship viewers guide: the teams, the players, the stories

As in any good sports event — eSports or the flesh-and-blood kind — the League of Legends World Championship tournament is not without its own storylines and narratives. Regional styles will clash, expected powerhouses will face off with dark-horse underdogs and the very best players in the world will face off against each other.First, let’s look at the tournament format. Fourteen teams have qualified from around the world; four of those have been gifted an automatic spot in the quarterfinal round of eight thanks to winning their respective regions. The only regional winner to not receive a quarterfinal bye is the European team Fnatic due to Europe's last-place finish at the All-Star tournament held in Shanghai in May. The remaining ten teams have been divided into two groups....

A viewer's guide to the League of Legends World Championship

Over the next two weeks, the best League of Legends teams from around the world will clash in southern California. Their ultimate goal is to reach the Grand Finals on Oct. 4, held at Los Angeles' prestigious Staples Center. A total prize pool of $2 million is at stake, with the winning team taking home a cool $1 million in cash.Last year's World Championship set a viewership record of 1.2 million concurrent viewers during the finals, and the All-Star tournament held in Shanghai this past May chalked up 18 million views over the course of the weekend: With those numbers in mind, the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship will almost certainly be the biggest eSports event in history. The genre, however, is notoriously impenetrable to watch for those who don't play the games. This...

MOBA, DOTA, ARTS: A brief introduction to gaming's biggest, most impenetrable genre

This past weekend at PAX Prime in Seattle, North America's top professional League of Legends teams fought for the chance to play in this month's World Championship tournament, with newcomers Cloud 9 and Vulcun Techbargains winning big alongside old guard holdout TSM Snapdragon. Starting on Sept. 15, the best teams from all over the world will compete in playoffs leading to the grand finals on Oct. 4 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. Millions of dollars are at stake, and millions of viewers will tune in to watch what might be the biggest eSports event in history. It's hard to deny that gaming is in the age of the MOBA. Valve's Dota 2 is the most popular game on its Steam service; League of Legends is arguably the most popular game in the world. How did a genre that started from the...

Here's what you need to know about Don Mattrick's move from Xbox One to Zynga

News this week that Xbox One head Don Mattrick is leaving Microsoft to co-run beleaguered free-to-play former powerhouse Zynga sent shock waves through the game industry.The reaction wasn't just triggered by surprise, but by the impact Mattrick's sudden move had on not one company, but three. Mattrick's departure left open a key seat in the chain of command at Microsoft on the eve of one of the company's most important hardware launches to date. Mattrick's arrival at Zynga also reinvigorated hope at a company many had written off. Finally, the hiring torpedoed any chance that Mattrick would return to Electronic Arts, where it was rumored that he was in the running to lead the company. Three things to know about the companies impacted by Mattrick's move: Electronic Arts The setup: P...
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