Tagged: eSports

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Violent video games not welcome for Olympic esports consideration

Enlarge / The 2024 Paris Olympic Games could be the first to feature non-violent esports as a medal event.Those pushing for the $1.5 billion esports industry to be considered on equal footing with traditional sports got a big boost back in October when…


AFL Clubs Recognise That Esports Are Sports

We talk to the AFL teams who are bringing sports knowledge to esports.
By Joab Gilroy

“This should not be an Olympic sport because it is not a sport,” declared Shelly Horton on Channel 9’s Weekend Today earlier this week. In the news ticker the titl…


Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 mouse review: Made by and for the e-sports crowd

It seems like every peripherals maker has an e-sports team on call nowadays—and why not? You’ll find few people who have a closer relationship with PC hardware, and even fewer who put devices under more duress than the best e-sports athletes. HyperX uses the Cloud name for its headsets, Razer touts an entire coalition of 300-plus athletes, and so on.

But what happens when an e-sports team starts creating its own peripherals? That’s the case with Fnatic. This isn’t just an older hardware company trying to buy credibility with tangential references to its stable of athletes. This is Fnatic making hardware in-house. The organization acquired Swedish peripheral company Func a few years back and now makes Fnatic-branded peripherals. Peripherals like the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 mouse ($45 on Amazon[1]).

So it has to be good, right? Well…

Click with purpose

Safe. That’s the word I’d use to describe the Clutch G1. Like Zowie and other enthusiast brands, the Clutch eschews most of the flashy trappings of modern gaming mice and errs on the side of simplicity.

Not that that’s a bad thing. Here you’ll find a fairly familiar scooped shape, a restrained seven-button design (two of which are meant for DPI adjustments), and a single RGB lighting zone underneath the mousewheel. Simple.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Is it the most stripped-down mouse imaginable? No, and indeed the recent HyperX Pulsefire[2] is even less showy. But it’s still an unassuming design, especially with the branding restricted to two minuscule blocks of text, one on each side of the mouse.

There are aspects of the Clutch G1 I really enjoy. The buttons, for instance. Like many recent mice, the Clutch G1 opts for Omron switches, but there’s a weight, a meatiness to the Clutch’s clicks I appreciate. A click feels solid. A click feels dependable. Unfortunately this comes at a cost—the Clutch G1 is noticeably louder than the average mouse, every button sounding closer to a thunk than a click. I don’t mind it much though. After all, I’m accustomed to the machine gun fire of a Cherry MX Blue keyboard.

I also like some elements of the shape. Though a fairly standard scoop, the Clutch G1 nevertheless features a high hump and then a drastic slope on the right side. It’s pretty comfortable for claw grips, giving your pinky and ring finger plenty of space to rest without dragging across the desk. Palm grips are a bit awkward.

The mouse cable is also slightly more elevated than the average, hovering about a quarter-inch off the desk. I didn’t think it would make a huge difference, but I did notice the Clutch catching less often on my mousepad or random desk detritus.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

But there are two semi-fatal flaws, for me.

First up, the lift-off distance. The Clutch G1 uses the Pixart 3310 sensor—an older model, but still beloved by many for its accuracy. The aforementioned HyperX Pulsefire actually uses the 3310 too.

The problem: The Clutch G1’s liftoff distance is fairly high, at around 2mm to 3mm depending on the mousepad surface. For reference, most newer sensors are about half that value. For that matter, many 3310-equipped mice (Zowie’s, for instance) are about half that value. I don’t know why the Clutch G1’s liftoff distance is so high, but it’s a huge hassle for people (like me) who tend to lift and readjust their mouse regularly. Doing so results in a large amount of jitter, which can be a deal breaker when playing shooters or other games where split-second accuracy is needed.

Thus I can only recommend the Clutch G1 to those who prefer making large, sweeping motions across a mousepad—though at around 110 grams, the Clutch G1 is pretty heavy for those players. A bit damned if you do, damned if you don’t here.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

The second, greater flaw: a sloped underside and some weird weight balance issues. It’s hard to explain, but if you put too much weight on the rear of the Clutch G1 the front lifts off the mousepad. Imagine a car with too much torque.

It doesn’t take much. I tend to let my wrist/hand droop while gaming for long hours, and with the Clutch G1 this led to a constant rocking motion that drove me nuts. It’s small, but you can tell the front skates aren’t making contact with the mousepad, and clicking the mouse drives the front end back down into the desk. I’ve tried to adjust, but after weeks of use I’m still seeing the same issue. As a result, I can’t recommend the Clutch G1 to anyone with a heavy hand/wrist (or anyone who’s lazy).

Bottom line

The one thing the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 has going for it is price. I couldn’t say that at release—it was supposed to retail for $60. But its near-constant sale price of $45 is pretty decent for Omron switches, a 3310 sensor, and a fairly well-constructed mouse.

It’s by no means a standout, though. An odd shape and proclivity for jitter are two excellent reasons to look elsewhere, as the Clutch G1 falls solidly in the middle-to-lower end of enthusiast gaming mice. Everything it does is done better by HyperX and Zowie, to say nothing of mice with newer sensors and fuller feature sets. Hopefully Fnatic’s follow-up does a bit better, because in-house or not I wouldn’t want to use the Clutch G1 in a tournament setting.

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  1. ^ $45 on Amazon (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ HyperX Pulsefire (www.pcworld.com)
  3. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)

The ‘Overwatch League’ announces seven teams from eight major cities

Why it matters to you

If you live in one of these major cities, you’ll soon have a local Overwatch team to cheer on.

Activision Blizzard has been trying to get a large-scale Overwatch[1] league off the ground since the game launched last May, and it appears that the company has finally managed to make that happen. The Overwatch League[2] will consist of teams from eight major cities around the globe, with support from entrepreneurs in both esports and traditional sports.

Set to kick off later this year, the Overwatch League includes five teams from six American cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Miami/Orlando, and San Francisco. Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, will head up the Boston team, while New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon will own his city’s team. The Los Angeles, Miami/Orlando, and San Francisco teams are owned by Noah Whinston, Ben Spoont, and Andy Miller, who run the esports organizations Immortals, Misfits Gaming, and NRG esports, respectively.

In Shanghai, an Overwatch team will be owned by the technology company NetEase, while Kabam co-founder Kevin Chou will own a team in Seoul. Chou left the mobile gaming company a few weeks ago after its remaining assets were sold to FoxNext[3].

“As esports enthusiasts, we’ve always seen Seoul as the place to be for world-class competitive gaming,” said Chou in the announcement. “We’re very honored to represent the birthplace of esports as owners of the Overwatch League team in Seoul and [are] excited to work closely with the most passionate and enthusiastic gaming community in the world.”

Korea also currently has a very large competitive League of Legends community, and its League Champions Korea regular season is currently underway — you can view matches on the official YouTube channel[4].

“As the first major esports league to feature a city-based structure, [the Overwatch League] will drive development of local fan bases,” said Activision Blizzard. “For the first season of the league, regular-season matches will be played at an esports arena in the Los Angeles area, as teams develop their local venues for formal home and away play in future seasons. Matches will be played each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.”

It remains to be seen if only seven teams will be enough to garner local fan bases, or if the league plans to expand to additional cities in the future, but it’s interesting to see competitive gaming take a page out of traditional sports’ playbook.

Overwatch is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can try out new hero Doomfist[5] on the PC version’s Public Test Region.


  1. ^ Overwatch (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ The Overwatch League (www.gamasutra.com)
  3. ^ sold to FoxNext (venturebeat.com)
  4. ^ official YouTube channel (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ Doomfist (www.digitaltrends.com)