LAST JULY, AFTER Jasper Ward, the lawyer Elijah found online, filed the class-action suit against Valve in Florida, Valve sent cease-and-desist letters to 23 websites demanding that they stop connecting to Steam. By fall, the company said it had sent more than 40 such letters.
Grove, the gambling analyst, predicted that skins gambling would drop 85 percent in 2017 as a result. Now he’s not so sure. About half of the sites that Valve targeted are still open, and new ones are opening outside of the U.S. every day.
Valve’s position is that its hands are tied — it can’t shut down gambling sites without fundamentally changing its API in a way that disables customer-friendly features it needs. But Grove’s website, LegalSportsReport.com, has offered a range of potential solutions, including encouraging Valve to “continually police third-party offshoots of its own ecosystem.”
“Valve is the linchpin,” Grove says. “From our perspective, the future is inextricably tied to the comprehensiveness of its crackdown. If it’s anything less than complete or sincere, we believe we will see a significant market re-emerge.”
Markkanen is one of the main reasons Arizona — even without Trier — can arrive in Westwood on Saturday with a legitimate chance of taking down one of the nation’s best teams, bar none. Defense is the other reason, and UCLA has a habit of making good defenses look silly. In any other season, a European 7-foot freshman going all Dirk Nowitzki with a Tucson twist would be, well, a big deal. Or at least a bigger deal than it has been thus far. Instead, Miller and Markkanen have been chugging along in relative anonymity while basketball nerds cut gifs of UCLA’s latest crazy fast break.
Such is the irresistibility of these 2016-17 Bruins, and how drastically Ball and Leaf and their teammates have changed the Pac-12’s perceived pecking order. Arizona and its own band of impact freshmen might yet have something to say about it.