League of Legends US accounts hacked, credit card details could be at risk

Tom Sykes at

League of Legends' database has been hacked, again, although this time it's US players who have had their details compromised, as announced on the LoL blog. "What we know: usernames, email addresses, salted password hashes, and some first and last names were accessed." Along with 120,000 transaction records from 2011 - so if you have a US account and you used your card on the LoL store a couple of years ago, you're going to want to keep a close eye on your bank account. Riot are "taking appropriate action to notify and safeguard affected players", and within the next day they'll be enacting a mandatory password change, which will require NA accounts to pick something safer. Something like, I dunno, Password2?

Ronimo Games to take Awesomenauts "to the next level" with Starstorm expansion

Tom Sykes at

How do you improve on Awesome? (Or, if not awesome, then pretty darned good.) Easy: you chuck in more characters and features and ridiculously catchy theme tunes. Ronimo Games, creators of Awesomenauts, have taken to the Kickstarters to fund an expansion to their sidescrolling platformy MOBA. It's called Starstorm, and if they raise $125,000 it will be a thing that totally exists.

Heroes of Newerth devs bringing out a new MOBA: Strife

Katie Williams at

The first time I played Heroes of Newerth, somebody called me a noob. Somebody else chimed that earwigs had more gaming skill than I did. Then these people began to discuss my mother. Needless to say, I bowed out of HoN rather early in my MOBA career.

MOBAs are notorious for their prickly communities, but that may soon change—thanks to HoN's own developer, S2 Games, who has revealed that it is developing what it calls a "second generation MOBA." Strife is a narrative-heavy, community-driven game that aims to appeal to newbies and veterans alike.

Infinite Crisis launches Founders Program, lets players buy beta access

Ben Kim at

Infinite CrisisTurbine’s foray into the MOBA space—has now opened up access to its Founders Program, offering immediate access to the closed beta with some extra goodies thrown in.

Dota 2's The International prize breakdown announced

Patrick Carlson at

Dota 2 tournament The International has released its prize pool breakdown for this year's event, with more than $2.7 million now on hand for the competition that begins August 7 in Seattle. While the competition is already well-funded, the prize pool continues to grow as more copies of developer Valve's Interactive Compendium are sold.

Magicka: Wizard Wars gets a nifty gameplay trailer

Katie Williams at

After the hilarious, Game of Thrones-spoofing live action trailer this year and the screenshots that came a couple of months afterwards, the Video Game Marketing Formula dictates that the next stop on Magicka: Wizard Wars' press tour is a gameplay trailer, which you'll find neatly packaged behind the cut. Paradox is on a roll with these.

US government recognises League of Legends pros as professional athletes

Tom Sykes at

League of Legends has been (somewhat reluctantly) deemed a professional sport by the US government, after a lengthy campaign by Riot and others to get LoL's pro players recognised as professional athletes. This is more than just an empty title, however - pros will now be able to come to the US on working visas, which will make it considerably easier for international players to appear in tournaments. "The United States government recognises League of Legends pro players as professional athletes, and award Visas to essentially work in the United States under that title," Riot eSports manager Nick Allen revealed in an interview with GameSpot. "This is groundbreaking for eSports."

End of Nations has resurfaced, is now a DotA-like

Phil Savage at

I'm sighing the weary sigh of a man staring into the future and seeing naught but DoTA clones. You may remember End of Nations as the Petroglyph developed free-to-play MMORTS that ran into trouble after its open beta was postponed and members of staff were laid off. Subsequently taken in-house by publisher Trion Worlds, it's now resurfaced as - you guessed it - a lane pushing game.

Dota 2 launches

Ben Kim at

Dota 2 beta invites disappeared from Steam Inventories everywhere this morning, and now we know why. After a lengthy beta during which it became the most-played game on Steam, Dota 2 has launched and is available on Steam for free.

Cause tourist town havoc in Infinite Crisis' new map

Katie Williams at

There's just something about seaside resort hotels, gently swaying palm trees, and fruity cocktails in coconut-shell vessels that draws gamers in for a bit of escapism and relaxation. Oh, and also causing a ruckus and inciting panic amongst the few remaining tourists in town. Infinite Crisis is the latest to join the tropical madness conga line, with DC Comics superheroes flooding its new two-lane map Coast City.

Battle For Graxia to shut down at end of June, just two months after launch

Tom Sykes at

It hasn't been a great year for Petroglyph Games, the former End of Nations devs who took to Kickstarter with their RTS Victory, a funding campaign they cancelled ten days later. Now, Petroglyph have announced that their free-to-play MOBA Battle For Graxia (a game built on the foundations of their 2011 effort Rise of the Immortals) is to shut up shop at the end of June.

League of Legends cinematic trailer shows a giant serpent eating an on-fire bear

Tom Sykes at

I tend to get quite annoyed by pointless cinematic trailers for games, but this luxuriant CGI video for League of Legends won me over - and this is coming from someone too intimidated by LOL (or MOBAs in general) to play beyond the tutorial. Perhaps it's because the game has already been out for quite a while - this seems like a fun thing for the fans to pick over, rather than another cog in the marketing machine. The trailer's a battle royale of sorts between many of LOL's now-countless heroes, and unlike the game itself it doesn't involve too much furious clicking on stuff. Barely any, in fact. Instead, the likes of Garen, Katarina and Ryze duff each other up for our amusement. Have a watch below the break.

How EA's MOBA Dawngate is going to do things differently

Katie Williams at

With so many current and yet-to-be-released titles, you might feel as if you're floating in a veritable moat of MOBAs. So what will Dawngate, the MOBA that EA didn't-quite-announce last week, be doing to distinguish itself from the rest of the moat-murk? Quite a bit, actually, if this dev video's anything to go by. Dawngate definitely looks like a MOBA, but the old formula's being tinkered with to keep things fresh.

Dota 2 breaks concurrent Steam players record (again)

Evan Lahti at

On Saturday more people were playing Dota 2 at the same time than there are residents of St. Louis.

League of Legends' 3.7 patch will let you go window shopping before your match

Phil Savage at

Shopping must be tough if you're a League of Legends champion. How are you supposed to pick out a nice pair of boots when an endless wave of creeps are sweeping forth to give you a knock on the noggin? Recognising the desire to browse in leisure, Riot will introduce Custom Item Sets into patch 3.7: item profiles that can be created and edited directly from the summoner profile.

Dawngate site trails EA's new unannounced DoTA-like

Phil Savage at

Given the number of DoTA-likes being released, I can only assume the endgame is Meta Dota, an all-star version in which every hero is a different developer's attempt on the genre. It would be the most obtuse and complicated game ever created, and it's community would exist in a dark void of bile and anger. Here's another for its roster: Dawngate, which is EA studio Waystone Games' as-yet-unannounced game.

Here are the first face-melting screenshots of Magicka: Wizard Wars

Katie Williams at

Turns out those faceless dudes from the Game of Thrones-spoofing announcement trailer aren't any less creepy when pulled out of the realm of live-action. I was hoping the hollow blackness of the wizards' heads might be downplayed a little in Magicka: Wizard War's art, but I guess I can forgive them when that much fire and lightning is bursting from their limbs.

Dota 2 eSports league suspended after players hit by DDoS attacks

Phil Savage at

G-1, the Chinese Dota 2 league, has been suspended by organisers 17173, following a series of DDoS attacks that caused players to disconnect during their games. The attacks began on Sunday, affecting players from Team Dignitas, Evil Geniuses and Kaipi. 17173 say they are working to rectify the issues, and have sought technical advice from Valve.

Dota 2 "most played" report challenged by Riot - we investigate

Phil Savage at

Yesterday, we reported on a study published by DFC Intelligence, claiming that Dota 2 had overtaken League of Legends as the most played game in North America and Europe, and citing data from XFire and other unnamed sources. But the conclusions of the report seemed problematic - Riot had previously announced five million concurrent players worldwide, and while Dota 2 is undeniably growing in popularity, to surpass it in two key regions would have been a big deal.

As we reported at the time, with DFC's methodology unclear, it was impossible to confirm their findings. To find out more, I got in touch with David Cole, owner of DFC, for clarification. Additionally Riot, eager to retain their title, have provided some of their own statistics, which suggest that League of Legends is still the king.

Dota 2 overtakes League of Legends as most played PC game of 2013, claims report [Updated]

Phil Savage at

Update: Riot have questioned DFC's findings, telling Games Industry that League of Legends sees "over 500,000 peak concurrent players every day on just the EU West shard." See inside for more details.

Original Story: Dota 2 has surpassed League of Legends as the most played "core" PC title in the West through the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by DFC Intelligence. If accurate, it's a big coup for Valve's MOBA, which is both "technically" unrealeased and "technically" not free. Of course, as those heavy ironic quote marks imply, neither of those facts mean much when Steam has become so flooded with invites that you could run out onto the street, shout "I NEED A DOTA," and be guaranteed that some passing stranger would hand you one. I'm serious. Try it.