Let the game (announcements) begin!

Also, is the League Championship Series in trouble?

Let the game (announcements) begin!
Via Newscast Studio

It’s Summer Games Fest week. The event started during the pandemic in 2020 and has quickly become the hot spot for game reveals and trailers. We will be covering the big announcements this week and next. Find out more below.

Esports at a crossroads

League of Legends

The League Championship Series (LCS) could be in trouble.

Players from the League of Legends esports league recently voted to walkout to protest rule changes that eliminated several teams from the North American Challengers League, a developmental league for LCS. The LCS Players Association (LCSPA) says the changes could cut the jobs of “as many as 70 players, coaches, and managers.”

Riot Games, creator of League of Legends, and founders of the league have delayed the season by two weeks, and are threatening to cancel it altogether. Riot and the LCSPA have entered talks, but the future of the current season is still unknown.

This comes on the heels of a New York Times report that says LCS viewership is down 13 percent from last year and 32 percent from 2021. Team owners are selling their esports teams at a fraction of what they paid for them, as they are uncertain about the future of the league. From the Times article:

TSM, one of the most valuable e-sports organizations, said Saturday that it was selling its slot in the League Championship Series. It’s a big blow to the league, akin to a marquee franchise leaving the N.B.A. or N.F.L., because TSM is one of the oldest and most prominent brands in North American e-sports.

Riot recently published a blog post discussing its missteps with the league, and to reassure investors that changes were coming. But is it too little too late? The biggest league in esports is at a crossroads, and no one is sure what will happen next.

Related: Read our recent coverage from a COD League match to gain more insight into esports leagues.

Welcome to gaming PR week!

Summer Games Fest

Want to know the latest gaming news, directly from the companies themselves? Well, you’re in luck. Summer gaming public relations week is here!

With E3 being canceled again in 2023, Summer Games Fest highlights a week of gaming announcements. The online broadcast starts June 8 at 2 p.m. CT. Our own writer Jason Dean plans to Twitch stream the event, along with some of the other press conferences.

Here is a list of events taking place this week, and times for each (Central Time). If you missed the PlayStation Showcase that already took place, you can check out the announcements here.

6/7: Guerrilla Collective showcase, 11 a.m.
6/8: Summer Game Fest, 2 p.m.
6/8: Day of the Devs showcase, 4 p.m.
6/8: Devolver Direct, 5 p.m.
6/9: Access-Ability, 10 a.m.
6/9: Tribecca Games spotlight, 2 p.m.
6/10: Wholesome Direct, 11 a.m.
6/10: Future Games Show 12 p.m.
6/11: Xbox Games showcase, 12 p.m.
6/11: PC Gaming Show, 3 p.m.
6/12: Ubisoft Forward, 12 p.m.

🎮 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is coming to PC on July 26. Despite this fun and beautiful game being available to more people for the first time, some gamers aren’t happy about it.

😈 Diablo IV launches this week, but if there is not enough content in the game for you, don’t worry: Blizzard is already working on two expansions for Diablo IV.

🚂 The popular railroad-building board game Ticket to Ride is getting a Legacy version. In Legacy games, the rules, board and components can change over time based on the choices made in the previous games.

🤓 Meta announced the Quest 3 VR headset, which will be available this fall. They also announced a price drop for the Quest 2, which is now back to its original price before Meta raised it a year ago.

🥊 Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People will be delisted soon from Steam. Grab it while you can.

🔫 After 18 years, Six Days in Fallujah will be released on June 22. The game created controversy when it was announced for capitalizing on the ongoing Iraq war.

💰 Variety wrote a piece on Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, in which he says the company never had a “systemic issue with harassment — ever.” Multiple lawsuits settled by Activision for $18 and $35 million would say otherwise. One gaming journalist calls the piece a “massive failure.”

🐮 Nintendo announced Everybody 1-2 Switch, a sequel to 1-2 Switch which offers minigames such as shave and milk the cow. What will be included in Everybody 1-2 Switch is anyone's guess, but you can find out when it releases June 30.

🦖 AV Club has an interview with Ashly Burch of Mythic Quest, Horizon and Borderlands fame discussing games and gaming culture.

⚽️ EA and Nike are partnering on NFTs, because reasons.

New Releases this week:

Diablo IV

Check out our story on 10 new games to play in June.

6/5: Tiny Thor (PC)
6/6: Amnesia: The Bunker (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
6/6: Diablo IV (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
6/8: Harmony: The Fall of Reverie (Switch and PC)
6/8: Mask of the Rose (Switch and PC)
6/8: Speed Crew (Switch and PC)
6/8: Tour de France 2023 (PlayStation, Xbox, and PC)
6/9: Greyhill Incident (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)

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