Not So Massively: LoL team cheated out of winnings, SMITE's $100,000 tournament, and Star Citizen on plotting jump points

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Members of competitive League of Legends team Absolute Legends revealed this week that they still haven't seen a penny of the combined $11,500 in winnings from November 2012's IEM Singapore tournament. Absolute Legends CEO Tim "WetDreaM" Buysse has been accused of holding onto all of the prize money despite his contracts with players entitling him to only a small cut. Dota 2's unique monthly player total broke the 7,000,000 mark this week, and new stats suggest that almost 10% of those logged into Steam may be playing the game. And SMITE announced details of its $100,000 launch tournament, which will see four of North America's best teams take on Europe's finest four at the end of March.

Chris Roberts answered more fan questions on Star Citizen this week, revealing further details on exploration and mapping space and confirming that plotting a new jump point will be a very risky business. In a new interview on Elite: Dangerous, David Braben outlined the massive scope of the game's upcoming online features, which will include huge conflicts between NPC factions that players can influence. Blizzard announced that it's aiming to release the pre-download for Diablo III's upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion by the end of January and confirmed that vendor-sold items will no longer be salvageable in the next expansion beta patch. Finally, Path of Exile kicked off race season six this week with some fantastic prizes and revealed that PvP tournaments may be coming in Patch 1.0.6.

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League of Legends title image
It emerged this week that competitive gaming organisation Absolute Legends may not have paid any of its members a cut of their winnings from the November 2012 IEM Singapore tournament. AL was formed in 2011 by European competitive League of Legends player Tim "WetDreaM" Buysse, who went on to set up AL teams in North America and Singapore. The groups did well in the 2012 IEM Singapore tournament, with the Singapore team winning $3,000 and Absolute Legends North America walking away with the $8,500 second prize.

Now over a year later, a player who was part of that victory has posted on Reddit claiming that none of the competitors involved has yet to be paid. The complaint from player Daniel "Spellsy" Biery alleges that ESL sent the prize money directly to Absolute Legends CEO Tim Buysse in February of last year, and that he's been stalling on handing over the cash ever since. This isn't the first time Buysse has come under fire from the teams he sponsored: He's also been accused of failing to supply promised equipment to teams and not fulfilling agreements to pay for travel to tournaments. The Absolute Legends website went offline around September of last year, and its YouTube channel has also disappeared.

Dota 2 title image
Dota 2 saw an understandably high influx of players this year due to the game's official launch and the end of the beta key requirement. Those numbers had seemed to stabilise between September and December of last year, but new figures show a significant rise in new players checking the game out over the new year period. The game's latest unique monthly player numbers show that it's now smashed the 7,000,000 mark, with an all-time peak concurrent user total of 702,792. This figure is just under 10% of Steam's peak user figures, meaning that nearly 10% of people logged into Steam at any point in time appear to be playing Dota 2.

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With the official launch of third-person MOBA SMITE on its way, developers have revealed details of a new official tournament with a massive $100,000 prize pool! The SMITE 100k Launch Tournament will take place in Atlanta on the weekend of March 28th to March 30th, but tickets to attend in person appear to have sold out. The top eight teams in the world will be decided by the results of weekly tournaments that began on January 4th, with four selected from the North American entrants and four from Europe. Every team that makes it to the final eight is guaranteed to walk home with at least $2,000, and the first place winner will take home a whopping $48,000.

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In a new episode of Ten for the Chairman, Star Citizen's head honcho Chris Roberts answered fans' questions on emergency landings, server wipes in the various beta stages, and exactly what exploration will entail. Roberts revealed that there will be hidden items to discover throughout known space and new areas to map out and that there will be some procedurally generated content.

Plotting a jump between two jump points will also be a very risky affair that requires players to accurately stay within the bounds of the spatial rift; falling outside the tunnel will cause your ship to be destroyed or spat out somewhere random in the universe. But once you've managed to plot a path through the rift that avoids destruction, you can sell that map to other players and organisations in-game.


Elite: Dangerous title image
In a recent interview, developer David Braben revealed a little more information on how the dynamic universe in Elite: Dangerous will work. The online components of the game will turn it into a universe of factional power struggles that will be influenced by the players. Small NPC factions may grow in power with the help of players, large factions can lose influence in the universe, and factions could even cease to exist altogether. The scope of the game leaves a lot of space for empires to rise and fall, as it will contain a full universe of 100 billion procedurally generated stars.

Diablo III title image
Diablo III's upcoming pre-expansion patch is set to introduce a whole new loot system and significant tweaks to crafting, but it isn't quite ready to leave beta testing just yet. Players in the beta have discovered that the most cost-effective way to amass huge piles of crafting materials is to buy and salvage white items from the vendor at around 50 gold per piece. In response, developers have announced that items from vendors will no longer salvageable as of the next beta patch. Blizzard hopes to have the Reaper of Souls expansion ready for pre-download by the end of the month.

Path of Exile title image
Content Update 1.0.5 went live for Path of Exile this week, adding a new Enlighten skill gem and kicking off race season six. The prizes for accruing enough points in this season's events include the extremely rare Void Battery wand and several valuable unique rings. Patch 1.0.6 is already in the works, and Grinding Gear Games has revealed that it will have a summoning theme. The update will contain four new skills for summoners, adjustments to existing summoning skills, four new unique items, two new achievements, and new vendor recipes. Developers also hope to launch the first test of its upcoming PvP tournament system with 1.0.6 if not before.

Join us every Monday for Not So Massively, our roundup of the top news from popular online games that aren't quite MMOs. If you think there's a game we should be covering in Not So Massively or you've found some interesting news you think deserves attention in the next roundup, please mail the details to brendan@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.