April Fools’ Day roundup: eSports edition

Every year sees April Fools’ Day pranks get more and more elaborate, and this year’s offerings by the gaming and eSports communities were no exception. With everything from team name changes to entirely new games modes, even here at the ESL we had one or two tricks up our sleeves.

Here you’ll find some of the best of yesterday’s April Fools’ Day jokes – let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Dota 2: The Colony update

Touting itself as the first community driven update, the Colony update claimed to offer selected members of the community supreme moderator powers, a game quit feature, region and language locking (so you’d only face people from those you selected) and in-game fan art (by official artists and Steam Workshop creators) showcasing.

Meanwhile, joinDOTA.com announced Fluffnstuff and Maelk moving to South Korea in order to form a team.

A chilly DreamHack Winter 2014

DreamHack claimed to be planning to run this year’s DreamHack Winter outside despite the massive snowfall and sub-zero temperatures that characterize an average Swedish winter.

To add credence to these claims, DreamHack’s partner EIZO claimed to have launched the first weatherproof monitor, the FORIS EX2602, to be used at the event.

League of Legends: Ultra Rapid Fire mode

Riot Games unveiled Ultra Rapid Fire mode, calling it “the evolution of League of Legends, today”. However, they also went one step further, and made the game mode playable in the form of “a special preview queue”.

As well as a few champion-specific changes and the outright removal of Kassadin and Ryze, the following rather significant global changes were instigated:

  • The removal of all mana and energy costs
  • 80% cooldown reduction on abilities, activated items and summoner spells
  • +60 movement speed for all champions
  • +25% tenacity for all champions
  • Attack speed bonuses given by items and abilities increased by 100% on ranged champions
  • Critical strike damage increased by 25% of base damage on ranged champions
  • 500% of the amount of gold normally granted on Summoner’s Rift

Cloud 9 and Team SoloMid even played an Ultra Rapid Fire game after their regular LCS matches.

The League of Legends subreddit was also completely reskinned in Taric pink for the occasion.

Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished

Blizzard announced Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished, a fighting game featuring a collection of their games’ underdogs as playable characters.

Not only did the site feature screenshots and an FAQ insisting the game was “for realsies”, there was also an elaborate arcade-stick-style peripheral that included a floppy disk drive and an inbuilt credit card slot for quick and easy in-game purchases.

StarCraft II: Herald of the Stars

The Battle.net StarCraft blog announced Herald of the Stars, a brand new StarCraft expansion which allegedly featured “a revolutionary non-linear campaign. It can be played backwards, forwards, with any mission in any order, or not played at all, while still delivering the exact same life-affirming storyline.”

Senior game designer David Kim said of the expansion’s name choice: “Switching over to an entirely new acronym for our next expansion creates an entry barrier that just felt unnecessary. When players upgrade from HotS to HotS, that transition will be as smooth as possible!”

Did we miss any good ones? Let us know below!


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