Every fortnight, Fast2Play brings you a complete round-up every major update to the top esports games. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of every major patch of the last seven days – everything from nerfs and balances, to new characters and promotional gear.
For those who follow the competitive scene for these games, we’ve also gathered any major changes to league structures, point systems and other rules that could have a big impact on how future competitions play out.
- New Content: The “Siltbreaker” is now live! This is Dota 2’s first co-op campaign mode, released as part of the Battle Pass (a piece of DLC where part of the revenue goes towards the International 2017 prize pool). The adventure was originally meant to be released last week, but was delayed.
It’s the first time Valve have introduced a story-like element to their MOBA title, and now it’s finally playable thanks to a patch released on June 08. A couple of additional updates remedied certain elements of the campaign, such as ability values and string fixes, and on June 9 and 10 two more patches were introduced that provided back fixes, as well as new items.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- New Content: While it’s not necessarily gameplay related, a new Twitch integration has been added to CS:GO that lets you filter channels by game mode, in addition to maps. Speaking of maps, de_shipped has been updated to the latest version from mapmakers, while player clipping has been added above boxes at CT spawn in de_shortdust to prevent visibility in unintended areas.
One of the most dramatic changes, even if just from a cosmetic point of view, is “normal mapping”. This adds three-dimensionality to skins which were originally flat, so now you can see the lovely texture on the CZ-75 Victoria (with more weapons to follow).
Fixes: This week’s updates also affected the Hydra operation. Now, your competitive rank for the event is displayed in lobbies, and there have been various fixes to the lobby description and a weapons purchase exploit in weapons expert. In preparation for the upcoming UI switchover (titled Panorama), there have been further work done to the back-end UI.
League of Legends
- Fixes: Patch 7.11 came out just under two weeks ago, and its primary goal was deliver major changes to the champions Rek’Sai, Kindred, and Malzahar. Unfortunately the post-release has seen several attempts to rebalance what Riot Games missed the first time around. The powerful mid-laner Malzahar required nerfs to his overall damage, Zac is on-schedule for yet another nerf in patch 7.12, and the AD scalings to Rek’Sai and Kindred are still too underwhelming to make them viable champions.
- Game Updates: But alongside the failed tweaking, there were some interesting gameplay updates. A new 10-ban draft format is currently being rolled out along normal and ranked matches, and item sets have made their return in the updated client.
- Formats: While nothing is going to top Riot Games’ LCS franchising post from last week, there is an important update to the tier-two league; The Challenger Series. It has now moved to a best-of-three round robin format, to better match the format of the Academy League (a development system which will replace the CS with the new partnership model). The downside is it means Riot will only be broadcasting one full best-of-three CS game every Thursday.
- New content: As a grand finale to their anniversary weekend, Blizzard are offering double experience points all weekend. On the off chance you didn’t already know this, we recommend logging on if you want to get one of those exclusive dance emotes – they won’t be around once the event ends!
Fixes: Players wondering when they’ll get to try out the new Horizon Lunar Colony map, hold tight. The new level is currently going through a test phase in the PTR server, where it’s already in need of a fix. As it is right now, defending snipers have a direct line of sight into the enemy’s spawn base, some Blizzard intends to fix asap. The map itself is set to go live later this month.
- New Content: Hearthstone players have been reacting very positively to the new Deck Import feature, which lets you share your decklist with friends, or try the latest decklist from your favorite streamer, pro, or fansite (no more simultaneous open windows!). Likewise, you can now search through your card collection with the “Type” and “Rarity” tags.In a final bit of convenience, the new Quest with Friends option allows you to finish the majority of your daily grind with fellow players.
There are also small, subtle cosmetic tweaks. You can now see your total ranked wins for a hero, rather than just the 500 needed to go gold, and even alternate heroes (Maiev, Magni Bronzebeard, Morgl etc.) can also get golden frames. Most notably, classic legendary cards Deathwing and Bloodmage Thalnos finally have the flashy, dramatic entrances they deserve.
Fixes: Remember Sergeant Sally? This legendary hasn’t been played much since was introduced in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and even when some of the multitude of Quest Rogue users tried including her, she wasn’t interacting properly with the Crystal Core. This is now fixed, as is a bug where Alarm-o-bots drawn by the Shaman card Far Sight would retain their cost reduction once returned to your hand.