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  • Announcements

    • vVv Bagzli

      We have moved to Discord   08/04/2016

      There has been a strong desire among the community to migrate to Discord for quite some time. As of today, our community will be using Discord and as a result, we will no longer be actively using our TeamSpeak Server.  The TeamSpeak server will temporarily stay active to help inform all of our move to Discord. Within the next couple of months, it will be shut down completely.  For a quick invite to our new Discord server, you can click here.  
      For a full detailed guide visit http://www.vVv-Gaming.com/Discord
    • vVv Bagzli

      New Supersonic Series Start Time   10/17/2016

      We would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent survey regarding the start time of our tournaments.  After reviewing responses from the survey sent out to tournament participants we have decided to make changes to the start time of our events to try to better accommodate everyone.  Beginning on Monday, October 24th, all of our tournaments will start an hour earlier - at 8PM Eastern.  This means that registration will close at 7:30 EST, and that check-in starts at 7:30 EST and closes at 7:45 EST.

Blogs

Featured Entries

  • Magicmooch

    BlizzCon Americas Championship Qualifier - Heroes of the Storm

    By Magicmooch

    This weekend marks the next stage in the 2015 Road to BlizzCon Heroes of the Storm World Championship. China already punched in their two tickets to BlizzCon for eStar Gaming and Team YL, it’s now time to focus on the Americas Championship. The 2015 Americas Championship is being held September 19-20 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Teams from all over North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Australia & New Zealand will come together to battle it out in the Nexus for top glory and a trip to BlizzCon.   The group stage of the tournament is different than most group stages out there. According to Reddit User eSportsMatt (Blizzard eSports Coordinator) the group stage can be considered “a double elimination bracket with a twist”. Reddit user TheBrillo made a chart that gives a nice breakdown here:     In Group A, the first matches will consist of Tempo Storm vs Murloc Geniuses and Immunity vs Cloud 9. The winner of each match will move onto the “Winner’s Finals” of Group A and the losers go to the “Elimination Game” with the loser exiting the tournament. The winner of “Winner’s Finals” moves onto one side of the playoff bracket, loser drops to the “Lower Finals” where they will face the winner of the “Elimination Game” with the loser taking their exit. Winner of the “Lower Finals” moves onto the complete other side of the playoff bracket from their group-mate.   The same format takes place in Group B with the first matches taking place after the Group A elimination game. The matchups for Group B are Relics vs COGnitive and Furious Gaming vs Complexity. Saturday ends with both Group A and Group B Winner’s Finals taking place. Sunday begins with both group’s Lower Finals, with the Grand Final taking place the same day. The tournament will be a Best of 3 format throughout with the exception of the Grand Finals which will be a Best of 5.   Winner takes home a share of the $100,000 USD prize purse; $40,000 to first place, $24,000 to second place, and 3rd-4th taking home $12,000 each. Along with the prize money the top two teams will get their tickets punched to BlizzCon on November 6-7th. Action starts Saturday, 10am Pacific Time on the official Blizzard Heroes of the Storm Twitch Channel (link).  
     
    Let's meet the teams competing this weekend, starting with Group A.  
    Tempo Storm (North America)
    Dreadnaught - Support (Captain) Arthelon - Carry
    So1dier - Tank Kaeyoh - Carry
    Zuna - Flex  
    Tempo Storm are the unofficial powerhouse of the North America region. They qualified for the HWC Americas Championship back in June with their first place finish but then went on to finish first in the next two opens in July and August as well. As a matter of fact in the last 10 majors/minors Tempo Storm has gone on to place first in 8 of them and only dropped to 2nd place for the ones they didn't place first, pretty impressive stuff. You can thank the "star-studded" roster that Tempo Storm has managed to gather over the course of the young esports' life. Some of you may remember Arthelon as a solo queue monster in League of Legends. Some of the older players might remember him from a time before LCS when he played on teams like Monomaniac Esports and Meat Playground. Although Arthelon's League career did not amount to much, he is not unfamiliar with the idea of professionalism that is needed in an infant esport like Heroes of the Storm.   As for more star-power a lot of people will look at Zuna and ask "Hey, is that the guy from...." yes, it is. Zuna, former AD Carry of team Vulcan and XDG is no stranger either when it comes to esports. Playing on Vulcan, a team who finished 3rd in both the 2013 League of Legends LCS Spring and Summer splits, and later on XDG before the team was ultimately relegated only to never return. Despite this, Zuna showed that he can be a big time player in big time situations. Tempo Storm's victorious run can be credited to him. After Zuna joined the team on May 21st, Tempo Storm began their NA domination.
    It isn’t all about the star power though. Dreadnaught, captain of the team, has shown a top notch Pick/Ban phase in almost all of their matchups. So1dier and Kaeyoh are also extremely talented and this team as a whole seems to be the favorite going into this weekend’s tournament.  
    Cloud 9 (North America)
    DunkTrain – Support (Captain) KingCaffeine – Tank
    iDream – Carry K1pro – Flex
    Fan – Carry  
    Cloud 9 is another North American power that has shown some consistency in their lifetime. Although, usually taking 2nd place while Tempo Storm takes first, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Consisting of the roster formerly known as Cloud 9 Maelstrom, who after qualifying in July, dissolved Cloud 9 Vortex and unified under the singular Cloud 9 banner.   Boasting a roster of Heroes veterans, they are no strangers to the tournament scene as well. After placing first in last year’s BlizzCon exhibition tournament, Cloud 9 had a lot to replace after the departure of Zuna, Jintae, and Kenma. On July 30th, Cloud 9 settled on the roster (shown above) and has shown promise since. After the team changes, Cloud 9 has been a consistent top 3 threat in North America, winning the latest Heroes Major League hosted by ESL.   With this young and promising roster, Cloud 9 is looking to secure one of the two spots for BlizzCon in hopes of accomplishing their championship dreams.  
    Murloc Geniuses (North America)
    Faye – Carry CauthonLuck – Carry
    MadTiimmy – Support (Captain) Equinox – Flex
    Fury - Tank  
    Formerly of the team Evil Geniuses in the 2014 BlizzCon Heroes of the Storm show match, MG has gone through a lot of changes since April 1st. Coined “The Challengers” by Josh Bury of theScore eSports (http://www.thescoreesports.com/news/2383) the roster was acquired by Zeveron before the June/July/August NA Open events. Before the August Open, Zeveron disbanded and once again took up the name Murloc Geniuses. Although one of the top 5 teams in North America, MG have not had much in the way of success as of late. More or less “backing into” the America Qualifiers as the last NA spot because the teams ahead of them had already placed; first place Tempo Storm, second place Cloud 9, and Complexity finishing 3rd.   Despite the team changes and struggles throughout 2015, MG are looking to have a strong showing and hopefully make it out of Group A.  
    Team Immunity (Australia)
    Shy – Carry (Captain) Robadobah – Tank
    Sashin – Flex Naeiou – Flex
    Enalgon - Support  
    Team Immunity, unifying after their victory in the AU & NZ qualifiers (formerly Immunity White), are the champions of the AU & NZ region and are looking to represent the two Pacific Island nations in Las Vegas. While the team itself is fairly new, and the region itself is substantially weaker than the world as a whole, Team Immunity bring a fairly interesting playstyle to the Storm. Having two preferred Flex players versus the standard two carries that we see from other western teams brings an interesting element to their game. Being able to rotate roles of a Specialist/Carry on two members means Team Immunity can adapt quickly in a Best of 3 scenario.   Can the Aussies make it out of groups and shock North America?   Group B  
    COGnitive Gaming (North America)
    Scylol – Tank Hospital – Carry (Captain)
    Iakona – Support Glaurung – Flex
    iVSlime – Carry  
    COGnitive Gaming (also known as COG) are no strangers to esports as an organization but are definitely new to the Heroes of the Storm scene. Having only acquired a roster in May, formerly known as “Shot and the Bullets: Reloaded”, the squad showed immediate promise finishing no worse than 3rd in their first 2 months together. Unfortunately after the MSI MGA 2015 Americas Qualifier the team has fallen off in terms of performance, finishing no better than 3rd. With the roster moving to San Jose, CA with apartments close by and a practice area in between them, the team has an easier way to build in-person communication which can be huge for any new lineup. The team’s hyper-aggressive style has been a treat to viewers while sometimes being a detriment to the team as well. Despite their shortcomings, the team is looking to be a favorite coming out of Group B due to their style and their practice regiment.   Is this the tournament that COG makes a resurgence and takes a top spot to prove they are among NA’s elite?  
    compLexity (North America)
    Blinks – Support (Captain) Trummel – Carry
    CattlePillar – Tank H0ns – Flex
    Jaximus - Carry  
    compLexity Gaming. Another name that is very well known in the esports scene that jumps on the early HotS bandwagon. compLexity acquired the roster of “Barrel Boys” and saw a lot of success in the ESL weekly tournaments but failed to materialize any meaningful results in any monthly, minor, or major tournaments. After the departure of Erho to Stellar Lotus, the team took to Reddit to search for a replacement. Jaximus contacted the team for a tryout and was immediately a great fit for the squad.   With the addition of Jaximus the coL squad is looking stronger than ever. They are looking to make a big splash at this weekend’s event.  
    Relics (Singapore)
    Revenant – Flex Mirr – Flex
    Trinity – Flex Relyzer – Flex
    Zeys – Support  
    The Southeast Asian qualifier, coming out of Singapore, is Relics. They are a relatively unknown name in the Western scene, pulled off an impressive performance in the SEA Qualifiers by not dropping a single game until the Grand Finals, taking out Philippines Champion Bibingka 2-1. The squad also has a lot of interesting play styles. According to GosuGamers, all players not named Zeys played some combination of a Carry, Specialist, Warrior, or Tank hero in their 6 tournament wins. So what does this mean? Well it means Relics are an unpredictable squad with an obvious amount of talent. Will their wild playstyle result in a spot at BlizzCon?  
    Furious Gaming (Argentina)
    Nittt – Flex Megalomaniac – Tank (Captain)
    Kobu – Support Malheven – Carry
    DEUS – Carry  
    Furious Gaming have a very interesting story on how they got to the Americas Championship. They actually finished 3rd at the Copa America Championships last month, Brave Ozone took the top spot for the Latin America region. Unfortunately, Brave Ozone had visa issues and could not attend. In steps Furious Gaming, known for their Starcraft II clan, to try to grab a spot at BlizzCon.   Unlike North America teams, Furious Gaming love their specialists and will focus on hard pushing and gaining an early lead to stomp out their opponent.   Predictions:   Group A   For me, it’s an easy decision who is going to make it out of group stages in Group A. While Murloc Geniuses and Team Immunity are strong in their own right, I do not think they can hold a candle to Tempo Storm’s impressive Pick/Ban and Cloud 9’s team play.
    Winner’s FInals: Tempo Storm vs Cloud 9
    In the North America July Open Tempo Storm showed to be very strong, beating Cloud 9 2-0. Cloud 9, at the time Cloud 9 Maelstrom, was able to first pick away Zuna’s Zeratul in game 1 but unfortunately the “Double Mage” comp of Tempo Storm was too much to handle. Game 2 saw Cloud 9 ban out Zeratul and Tempo Storm ban out Jaina, but again Tempo Storm was too much to handle. I expect Tempo Storm to be the Group A first seed.
    Elimination Game: Immunity vs Murloc Geniuses
    Despite Immunity’s promise as a squad, MG just have too much experience under their belt to worry much about Immunity. MG moves on 2-1 to the Lower Finals.     Lower Finals: Cloud 9 vs Murloc Geniuses
    The last time these two teams met in tournament play only once before back when MG was known as Zeveron and C9 as C9 Maelstrom. It was a close set in the opening round of the tournament and both teams have shown improvement since then. I give the favorable edge to Cloud 9 in this one based off of player skill alone. Cloud 9 grabs the second seed out of Group A with a 2-1 victory.  
    Group B   This one is a bit closer. COGnititve is an impressive team. They had a lot of time to prepare so I expect them to come out guns blazing in their opening group game versus Relics. Furious Gaming is a bit of an unknown, and for what it’s worth, shouldn’t technically be here anyways. There is also the big question mark about compLexity’s new carry in Jaximus. Will he be able to bring is League of Legends skill into Heroes or is there still a lot of learning to do?
    Winner’s Finals: COGnitive vs compLexity
    These teams have met twice before this tournament, the NA July Open and the NA August Open with both teams winning a game. Expect this to be one of the closest games of the group stage by far as both teams are fairly close in skill level and strategy. coL still has a new lineup at the end of the day and because of this I give COG the win in this very close series 2-1 and matching up against Cloud 9 in the bottom half of the playoff bracket.
    Elimination Game: Relics vs Furious Gaming
    Poor Furious Gaming. I mean, they were able to go to Las Vegas which is awesome. Unfortunately, the best finish they had was 3rd in a relatively weak region. Being that Relics is a bit of a wild card, I expect FG to bow out of the tournament in this game. Relic takes this series 2-0 and moves on to play compLexity in the Lower Finals.
    Lower Finals: Relics vs compLexity
    Relics has the potential to pull an upset here. Being a relatively unknown team they have the element of surprise with their line-up of mostly flex position players. Expect a closer series than the experts think. At the end of the day though, I have to pick coL winning 2-1 and facing Tempo Storm in the upper part of the playoff bracket.  
    Grand Finals  
    Tempo Storm vs Cloud 9  
    Another rematch for these two teams. I mean, it’s hard to pick against consistency and these two teams have it. Tempo Storm consistently finished in first place with Cloud 9 consistently in second place. At this point, it’s almost irrelevant who to pick as a winner here as both teams get to go to BlizzCon on November 6-7th. For the sake of potentially being right and getting to brag (and potentially being wrong and sulking) I will have to go with Tempo Storm 3-1. Cloud 9 will make the first 2 games close, actually taking game 1. However, i think Tempo Storm is just the better team and that will show after their second series of this weekend.
    • 2 comments
    • 888 views
  • Ballack

    Worlds 2015: Quarterfinals Fantasy Advice

    By Ballack

    Worlds 2015: Quarterfinals Fantasy Advice Ready for the knockout rounds? The group stages were filled with plenty of exciting games, favorites and underdogs prevailing, teams from North America letting us all down, and some good fantasy picks and some bad. As in everything in life its impossible to be 100% correct on my picks everytime. I use my analysis, price points, and match ups to determine who to pick and although it doesn't always work out, the process is still correct. If we could all predict what would happen we'd all be rich. I've been getting a lot of good feedback from people and I appreciate it all. Thank you for following and reading these blogs as I enjoy putting the information out there for you to use. Here are the odds for the quarterfinals from http://www.pinnaclesports.com/en/odds/match/e-sports/league-of-legends/league-of-legends-world-championship

      Origen, SKT, EDG, and KTR are the favorites to make the Semi-Finals. That said, SKT are the only overwhelming favorite while it is certainly reasonable to think that the other three match ups can go anyway. The best probable route to go is to stack up on SKT carries (marin, faker/easyhoon, Bang) and look for values in the other roles. Here are my favorite players for the Quarterfinals: SKT is the best bet. Fit Faker, Marin, and Bang in wherever you can. My favorite value players come from FW in the form of Karsa and SwordArt, who has been underpriced all tournament. I have a lack of faith in the midlaners, not because of their skill but because of match ups. There are a ton of really good matchups in the midlane Nagne vs. KurO, Pawn vs. Febiven, xPeke vs. Maple. I think you either pay up for Faker or save and go with Maple, who has been great quietly great this tournament with the most kills and second most assists for any mid laner. I'm staying away from FNC and EDG for the most part. It's interesting because their players are relatively cheap, but I think this will be a really close match up that is hard to predict one way or the other. It could turn into a very objective focused series (as FNATIC does like to do this at times) which would limit fantasy output. Vulcun: Top: Marin (SKT) ($1301)
    Jungle: Karsa (FW) ($1264)
    Mid: Faker/Easyhoon (SKT) ($1625)
    ADC: Bang (SKT) ($1514)
    Sup: SwordArt (FW) ($962)
    Flex One: GorillA (KOO) ($961)
    Flex Two: ssumday (KTR) ($1371)
    Flex Three: Score (KTR) ($1053) You use your three SKT spots allowed on the three carries, while paying up they should be worth every penny. You also get to fit two top lane carries into your lineup with Marin and ssumday. You save by using two supports to pay up for value elsewhere, Karsa has the second most kills and third most assists among junglers and score provides a cheap jungle option even though he leads Worlds in assists from the jungle role. Alphadraft: Top: Marin (SKT) ($8900)
    Jungle: Karsa (FW) ($6500)
    Mid: Faker/Easyhoon (SKT) ($8800)
    ADC: Bang (SKT) ($9100)
    Sup: SwordArt (FW) ($6400)
    Flex: Hojin (KOO) ($7100)
    Team: Flash Wolves ($3000) Again you use the three SKT carries. The rest of the lineup is quite cheap among FW players. I talked about SwordArt and Karsa above, but Hojin provides good value as his agressive style has him first in KDA among junglers at 8.4. Cheap team as always in FW, who could easily win their Best of Five against Origen. Draftkings: Top: Marin (SKT) ($7700)
    Jungle: Karsa (FW) ($5100)
    Mid: Maple (FW) ($6300)
    ADC: Bang (SKT) ($8700)
    Sup: SwordArt (FW) ($4900)
    Flex One: Score (KTR) ($6400)
    Flex Two: ssumday (KTR) ($6800)
    Team: FNATIC ($3900) This time you only get two SKT carries. Let's talk about that for a second. Draftkings does not combine Faker and Easyhoon into one pick, they're separated. Because of this, it's extremely risky to pick one or the other unless you are 100% sure that they are playing. If SKT vs ahq was the first match up of the week it'd be easier to get a handle on who was playing for SKT, but your lineup will lock after day one and if you stick Faker in while easyhoon is playing (or vice versa) you'll be paying the highest mid lane salary for no points. I'm going with Maple here instead and saving money. The savings go straight into ssumday to replace Faker's carry spot. With the leftover money I'm using FNATIC who are in a close matchup, but usually play objective focus in big games and that's where your team points come from.   Good luck and enjoy the Quarterfinals!
    • 6 comments
    • 1,060 views

Our community blogs

  1. With Jerry returning to vVv to run things again, my time as President of vVv has come to a close. I wanted to take some time to reflect on how things went. Primarily I feel like I failed vVv in a lot of ways. The ADL stagnated due to my mismanagement and failure to keep people pushing toward excellence. The CoD division was on life support for way too long. As a whole I didn't effectively execute on my vision for making vVv Gaming an awesome place for competitive gamers.

    Primarily there were certain personal things holding me back from executing on my vision. The main two were my self-awareness with how I handled my working relationships and my inability to focus. I looked for all kinds of ways to increase my productivity, reading up on things like prioritizing, focusing on your mission, having a clear idea of what it is that you want to accomplish, but none of that addressed the core problem: I was just getting distracted by everything and unable to focus when it came time to do the big, important work. I wasn't lacking a strategy, I was lacking discipline. With my working relationships, I was acting like a complete ass to people without even realizing it. I didn't take the time to re-read what I was writing, or think about how I was coming across to people, and the ways I tried to approach people to "help" them made me come across as a bureaucratic authority who's only help was to tell people "no" or "do things my way". Obviously these two flaws are going to prevent anyone from being a good, let alone great leader.

    Thankfully Jerry was able to help me regain my focus and also help me raise my self awareness within just two weeks of returning. In the past two weeks I've gotten more accomplished, felt better about myself and my future, and improved the way I handle my relationships more than any time in the past 9 years. I've even started looking at some difficult problems I've been facing personally and just by asking myself "What would Jerry tell me?" I can usually figure out the best way to proceed and handle things.

    So now I just need to return to my vision and remember why it's so compelling for me. As a kid I had to go through some real difficulty trying to figure out how to be gay and in love with someone who would never return that feeling. It's deeply important to me that no one should have to go through life facing difficult challenges without feeling like there is someone there who can help them. I think that within the larger gaming community there are endless opportunities to fulfill that mission. Don't like the way you look? Cosplay as your favorite game character. Bullied at school? Go online and find people who love you just because you share a passion for the same game as they do. Giving up on your dreams? Volunteer your time doing amazing things for the larger gaming community and develop marketable skills to work in or outside of the gaming industry.

    There is so much good that we can do together, and I am passionate about making the world a better place than the one I had to grow up in. I sometimes wonder how many people there were in the world when I was growing up who gave up on their dreams to live a normal life. How many hours spent watching TV that could have been spent changing peoples' minds about homosexuality? How many hours spent in closeted sex clubs or on seedy hookups that could have been spent coming out and leading the LBGT awareness movement? How many desperate, needy relationships that distracted people from opening places where LGBT youth could come for help? Not that no one should watch TV, or people should never hookup, or that people shouldn't find love, but what was the real cost to the world when this becomes the focus of a life instead of a way to enhance it? How many suicides could have been prevented? How much bullying could have been stopped?

    And it's not just LGBT who have difficult challenges. Everyone has a closet. How many people feel like they have no one to turn to for help when the burden of hiding inside of it becomes overwhelming? How much of a better world could we create for all of humanity if we just took the time to focus on each other? I aspire to be as good as Jerry at finding, identifying, and communicating what people need in order to go from struggling to successful. And I look forward to creating an awesome community for all competitive gamers here over the next few months, and wherever life takes me I will continue on this mission for the rest of my life. If you feel the same way then come join me and let's make this awesome together.

  2. Fantasy LCS: Must Plays, Sleepers, Busts for NA Week Nine/Day One

     

    The best matchup's of the day are C9 vs. TDK, TSM vs. NME, and TL vs. T8.

     

    Top:

     

    Must Play: Quas (TL) ($1312) vs. T8: He's the most expensive top laner on a day when it's going to be hard to fit all the top options in, but he probably has the most upside.

     

    Sleeper: Balls (C9) ($1067) vs. TDK: C9 have been playing much better sicne Hai rejoined and I think they will beat TDK. Balls is a nice cheap option with good upside.

     

    Bust: ZionSpartan (CLG) ($1198) vs. DIG: I'm avoiding this game entirely as CLG players are expensive and I have no clue how to predict DIG's games.

     

    Jungle:

     

    Must Play: Santorin (TSM) ($1325) vs. NME: Steady jungler in a game TSM should win.

     

    Sleeper: Hai (C9) ($1072) vs. TDK: Hai is dirt cheap in a game I think C9 will win. Even though he hasn't been jungling long it's clear that his shotcalling had been missed.

     

    Bust: Rush (TiP) ($1182) vs. GRV: I think Rush will try too hard to make up for the loss of XiaoWeiXiao and that'll cause some sloppy play. Not worth the risk for his price.

     

    Mid:

     

    Must Play: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1854) vs. NME: He's really expensive but in this match up he's definitely worth it. Expect a huge game for Bjergerking.

     

    Sleeper: Keane (GRV) ($1246) vs. TiP: I expect GRV to bounce back and win this game and Keane will be laning against Gate who was originally listed as the incoming Support. He's also cheaper than Gate and should provide nice upside.

     

    Bust: Gate (TiP) ($1277) vs. GRV: He's a support main playing in his first game of the LCS and he's also the fourth most expensive mid laner. Stay away.

     

    ADC:

     

    Must Play: Piglet (TL) ($1563) vs. Team8: Good match up and he's been playing very well. It's really hard to fit him into a lineup with the other expensive must plays unless you punt however.

     

    Sleeper: Sneaky (C9) ($1254) vs. TDK: Another cheap C9 option in a game I expect them to win.

     

    Bust: Doublelift (CLG) ($1610) vs. DIG: He's just too expensive for me to use in such a random game. I never know what is going to happen with DIG.

     

    Sup:

     

    Must Play: Lustboy (TSM) ($1180) vs. NME: He's expensive but probably will put up the most points of any support this week.

     

    Sleeper: LemonNation (C9) ($980) vs. TDK: Cheaper option in a game C9 should win.

     

    Bust: Aphromoo (CLG) ($1148) vs. DIG: Like his teammates he's too expensive for me to want to use in a game that could go either way.

     

    Here's my lineup for Week Nine Day One in the NALCS:

     

    Top: Quas (TL) ($1312)


    Jungle: Santorin (TSM) ($1325)
    Mid: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1854)
    ADC: Sneaky (C9) ($1254)
    Sup: LemonNation (C9) ($980)
    Flex One: Dyrus (TSM) ($1195)
    Flex Two: Hai (C9) ($1072)
    Flex Three: Ninja (TDK) ($996)

  3. End of the year. Yup, here comes the end of 2012. There's so much I wanted to do, things I've not been able to fit into this busy part of the year. My videologs were neglected for longer than intended. My practice became rather erratic last week again, due to so-called pre-christmas madness. You know, the chores around the house, families keeping us busy. Well, me complaining about the hecticness of year ending, that's not really the purpose of this writting of mine.

    2012 - My year of StarCraft!

    Originally, I actually wanted to make this into a videolog, however, time constraints. But, I would like to look back at this year. Share the upsides, small victories, but also the downsides, struggles. Every story has two sides and the main character of this story is not without struggles and happy moments either.

    Diamonds are forever!

    Sufficed to say, that I made it into Diamond sometime in January. That was a good way of starting my year, isn't it? For those following my story so far, as a reminder, and even for those, who are unfamiliar with my story - I originally started out as a really, really low Bronze player, with no RTS/StarCraft/Brood War experience. So yes, for me, that was huge achievement. I was really happy and my motivation was going through the roof. It was certainly one of these small steps on my journey I was happy about. Back then, I was still part of one Czech team, however, the team wasn't very active and I haven't learnt much from them, which was my main grief. I didn't want to be just that "token female" or a team mascot. So, around January, I left the team, to try and join Fem-FX, which used to be female-only team.

    The worst enemy - myself

    At the beginning, things seemed all neat and nice with my new team. The team seemed really tight, even though I really struggled with them, as my notorius anxiety was kicking in, and I was really shy around them. There were some nice people along the way, Lydia, who was the team's CEO, was nothing but a super, Austin, who was one of the managers, been a good friend ever since as well. Sufficed to say, by the time I decided to join them, I was already struggling with myself, as depressions seemed to re-emerge, but I didn't want to admit that to myself, I didn't understand the signs, I didn't even understand myself at that point. Around March, things got really bad, and I suddenly dropped everything I had passion for. I was hating on myself, all I could feel was this ever-present fatigue, everything felt like a chore. I couldn't find any enjoyment in my life. I was simply surviving, it wasn't even living.

    At the top of all, Team Fem-FX's activity dropped. People stopped showing up at practices, and overally, everyone saw StarCraft more and more casually. I knew I needed to have highly motivated people around myself. I knew, that this alone should help me through my depressions, as I somehow seem to be highly motivated by people, who are likely to be highly motivated as well. Forwarding to the end of March, I announced my retirement from Fem-FX. I needed a change and I needed it fast. I needed to find like-minded, highly motivated, and positive teammated. A place, where I could grow not only as a player, but also as a person. Of course, I knew there would be obstacles, given my anxiety issues, which cause me to be really shy around new people, but at the same time, leaving things as they were, that'd mean me withering even further.

    So, around the end of March, after I left Fem-FX, I actually finally found courage to apply to vVv Gaming. I didn't understand how the team/community operated back then, but I was familiar with their tolerant approach to people, as well as they'd accept you no matter where you were, personally and gaming speaking. Simply said, I hoped I'd find my chance to gradually grow as a StarCraft 2 player, to get over my depressions and solidify my practice at last.

    The Academy - under construction!

    Few of those familiar with the situation in vVv Gaming will remember, that vVv gaming's StarCraft 2 community lacked a person, who'd push things forward. I needed something to do, so I basicly did writing and graphics. At that time, my depression was still at it's peak though. I still missed a solid team of like-minded people. An insane idea then sparked my mind. It's something I wanted to find for along time. A team dedicated to growth in StarCraft 2. And since I still had no luck in this regard, an insane idea struck my mind - Why not to try and make an Academy team in vVv Gaming? Both it takes the "Entertain, Educate, Dominate" on the next level, and I'd also be able to have something I've only dreamt of - A solid, dedicated team, who live, breathe and shit StarCraft. I made a very, very long write-up and sent it to the vVv management, crossing my fingers, well aware of the fact that their previous Academy ended up with a huge fail.

    DreamHack Summer, the personal Trial of Fire...?

    I have to sidetrack here a bit. The Academy project was still in discussion between me, LordJerith and some other people from the management. But, I was starting with practice again. After solid 5 months of erraticness and lack of practice, I was getting back to it. I saw a hope, something to aim for. Despite of me still struggling with depressions, I felt a bit more energetic once more. So, when an opportunity to travel to Dreamhack to Sweden emerged, I was shitting gold bricks. I saw it as an opportunity to learn, grow and also to fight my personal struggles. And surely I did fight them. I also learnt a lot. I was on emotional rollercoaster. Sheding tears after defeat by Merz, but also happiness, that I could breathe that all-StarCraft 2 atmosphere. Happiness from meeting White-Ra, who is someone I truly look up to. Being glad for meeting some of the people I've known only online until then!

    After DreamHack, I've made many realizations. How much StarCraft 2 means for me, and how much I needed to grow stronger as a person, if I was to pursue this passion.

    The Academy - Emerges!

    On 4th July, while still being on holidays with my family, after being in a car-crash (yeah, rough patch there), the vVv Academy team was announced officially on the team's page. Me being me, I had to get online for the launch day, despite of being on holidays. It was a big day. Of course, I was put in charge of the team, so I was a team's Captain, manager and player in one. It's just how I do things. I wanted to lead by best possible example, as that's how all good leaders should be. Well, it's something I truly believe. Take it as you wish. The team started with mostly Diamond players, a bunch of guys, who were to suddenly act as a team. It was time for all of us to learn to be a team. And for me to learn, how to be a leader.

    The only pain you feel, is the growth one!

    No growth is without pain. Something I learnt during the couse of the time I've been with my Academy team. I see my self-doubts emerging quite a lot. Am I doing my job correctly? Am I truly the captain, manager and player this team deserves? I won't deny it, I've often been feeling really down from the fact, that I am the weakest player in the lineup. I often call myself, literally "a fucking excuse for a player". Depressions in and out, they make me an emotional bomb at time. It is really easy to doubt one's self. Especially when things get out of my control. When self-doubts and lack of good performance occur.

    The Academy team gives me a purpose, a drive. Something I didn't have for a long time. There are glimpses of moments, when I feel that maybe, maybe I am worth of something to others. That I can be of help. A light in the darkness. I should also mention that to combat my anxiety/shyness, I've began making videologs, to learn expressing myself better while talking (after that disaster in my first ever video-interview at Dreamhack, lol). I believe that during the time I've been doing them, I've actually became less awkward - enough to be bold and if someone asks me ever again (I hate, hate that question), if there's any advantage to being a female progamer, I'll just tell them "Of course, no queues on the female toiletes." with a nice troll-face grin. :D

    I've grown very fond of my team. They are my second family away from home. Seeing all of them progress, seeing them grow, I couldn't be more proud of them. Despite of all of my personal bullshit, I've been able to hold, and I know I am not going anywhere. A big part of why that would be would be that team. I don't care how much crap some people throw at vVv Gaming or my Academy team. They don't know us; living in the past. And well, it is true we are not the best players out there, wrecking tournaments, but I have some of the most passionate people on my team. That is what counts. You can't learn that, unlike in-game skills. These can be gained if you train properly. But you can't teach your heart to love something, if it's simply not there.

    It is my job to cherish this passion, this dedication, not just in myself, but also in them.

    Epilogue

    Coming to an end. Everything has an end, and this writing is no exception. What to look forward to? My personal wishes? First of all, I want to become a more solid player, with a good, healthy practice habits. To learn to accept losses and setbacks, not just in StarCraft, but also in general; and that they are not the end of the world. To accept the fact, that I too am just a human being, making mistakes, without going and hating the shit out of myself. To learn to forgive to myself, to be more patient with myself. To be able to see the good, positive things about myself, both in regards to StarCraft 2, but also in general.

    I want to compete more in StarCraft. Really hoping to go to DreamHack (Early Bird Dreamhack Summer tickets on, Secret Santa, anyone? Wink-wink ;)) and show a progress! I want my team to have a reason to be proud of me, as a player! And a reason for me to shed tears of happiness! I know I will once the time comes! To feel is to exist, and for a change, I want my feelings to be the happy ones!

    A new year is closing in. What it will bring? You all are welcome to continue walking this journey of passion with me. As I am nowhere close to the journey's end - after all, I am BabyToss, so to 2013 onwards!

    PS: Sorry, no pictures this time! Except this one!

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    OP, OP, OP Zerg style!

    :D;):P

  4. blog-0810751001374067811.pngWow! over 110k views on this blog and still going strong despite the fact that I haven't written anything in months! So before I get into anything else I really want to say "Thank you" to everyone who reads (and apparently continues to read) The Zero Logs. I had a LOT of fun with the blog and, believe it or not, I sometimes miss playing those really bad games I wrote about. They were awful as video games, but they were all perfect examples of what NOT to do when creating a game. Even though I will most likely never make a game myself I was able to apply a lot of the lessons I learned to my life's work. So, again, thank you all for reading, laughing, commenting, sharing, and enjoying the best of the worst with me. (My only regret is not being able to play and review Deadly Premonition.)

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    Words cannot describe how badly I wanted to tackle this one...

    Which brings me to why I'm posting here. First off, my name isn't Josh Stiles, it's Yeshua Espaillat. And if you have to ask why I called myself Josh Stiles instead just go back and try to read my real name again. Yeah, THAT'S why. Second, I feel like I need to come clean about something I've kept to myself for years. I don't have a high school education. I never made it to high school, but not because I was too dumb. In all honesty I have no idea if there's ONE thing that happened in my life that derailed my education. It could've been my hopelessly dark view of the world (9-11 had just happened), it could've been the issues I had and continue to have with BOTH of my parents (neither of them should have had kids), it could've been that my untreated depression eliminated my motivation, or it could simply have been that I stopped caring as a result of everything else combined. I ended up enrolling in a program supposedly for kids who were in my exact position and after taking a very long and very mind-numbing and difficult test, I obtained my diploma (not a GED. I wanted to go to college after that, but it never happened and now, thanks to our delightfully downtrodden economy, rising student loan rates, and lack of decent living wages, I will most likely NEVER be able to afford a college education.

    So with that little caveat out of the way... my first book is officially up for sale! Yeah, I wrote a book. Well... three actually. It was too long, so I had to karate chop it into three parts. The process has been a pain in the ass, but it was damn fun and very enlightening. I now know things I didn't know and have new skills I didn't have before just like when I started this blog way back. Maybe the book will sell and a new chapter in my life will begin or maybe it'll go nowhere, but regardless of the outcome I would just like to say once again: Thank you, vVv-Gaming!

    Eternal Requiem Act I: http://amzn.to/110eBNa

    [uPDATE:]

    I just realized I haven't really written about where this story came from or what I hope to do with it, so I suppose now is as good a time as any. When I was a kid, I grew up watching all the normal cartoons kids watched like the Ninja Turtles, Tiny Toons, the Power Rangers, Animaniacs, etc. and when the shows ended (or in the Power Rangers case when a cast was replaced) I was always more curious about what was happening afterwards (I don't think I know what retirement meant at that age, I guess, so the thought obviously didn't occur to me). Some shows had definitive endings that couldn't POSSIBLY go any further like the ending of Dinosaurs (the whole family freezes to death; it was depressing and it heavily applies to our current global situation), but others you just don't know. Like, does anyone here remember the green ranger from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers? I stopped watching around the time the actor left the show, but I didn't know he came back years later to play the same character as a professor (and he was the black ranger that time). I've always liked to see growth and development and consequence, even as a kid, and that's where Eternal Requiem really comes from.

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    The baby died, too! ;_______;

    So with that in mind, the first trilogy is aimed at a certain target audience: Young Adult (15 - 18)

    Why that particular age group? Two reasons related to one: Twilight!

    REASON A:

    We all know why we hate it; it was insipid. It was mind-numbingly, robotically, stupid, BUT (There's a legitimate one in there) those bad books and bad movies got a lot of teenagers into reading (Yeah, Harry Potter had them reading, too, but it's target audience was primarily younger children; the teenagers and adults into it most likely were fans of the fantasy genre).

    Twilight was meant as a dumb teenage "romance" (or a relationship based on abuse if you can read INTO it) and it succeeded in spades, so everyone has to give Stephanie Meyer props for proving it isn't hard to write for idiots.

    REASON B:

    I hate stupidity. I really, really, REALLY do. The kind of slope our entire society is on in nearly every way imaginable is so goddamn head-scratching that I don't understand why we have problems to begin with, but then I remembered most people are (say it with me now) STUPID. Too many awful things have done well that feed into the lowest reaches of the human brain that we've come to expect less-than-quality in everything now (like how Man of Steel was a bad movie that did too well and will likely lead to disappointing future films).

    So Eternal Requiem is there to give a younger, reading generation something more intelligent than they're used to, something that will grow up with them, AND something that gives them what they want to see (lots of action that would make great visual effects).

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    F*ck you, Zack Snyder! Your Superman movie sucked!!!

    For now, it's a story following a trio of high school students witnessing the actions of adults around them and trying to grow into themselves, but it also throws in a lot of mystery using the adults in the story by making the teenagers (and thus the audience) think about what's happening around them. We learn that the situation the main character is being introduced to has been steadily building up over time, forcing him to grow up through the initial trilogy.

    When this arc is over, the story is nowhere near complete and there are consequences afterward (it's called Eternal Requiem for many reasons and that is only one). The whole point is to snag the audience while they're young using dumb action and relatable teenagers to enjoy what's coming in the future when the audience (and the characters) are in their 20's. The stories become much more mature and take on existential and political topics such as the military industrial complex and technological advancements for "defending" people being used against them. All are consequences of what is set up in this trilogy (like the Star Wars expanded universe, it all starts with one trilogy).

    I also wrote it in a certain way to allow for simple-adaptations. It's like an easy math problem that almost any Hollywood "genius" can solve without even realizing it, but I wouldn't let anyone make a movie without me there to make sure they don't mess something up anyway.

    I hope I've made sense to everyone. I know I tend to be redundant sometimes. It happens.

    Eternal Requiem Act I on sale now!

  5. I sit here, keyboard at my fingertips, and I'm trying to find the words to describe my last 7 days in L.A. Surely, going from looking at a sun soaked valley, to an iced stained window has its saddening attributes.

    "Of all the things that wisdom provides for living one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship." -Epicurus*. I cannot stress this idea more, finding people to truthfully call a friend is hard to come by. For me personally, I had never really experienced true friendship until now. Most of my past was filled with fizzled friendships which explains my inability to take something at face value. I hope this sheds some light on why I avoid people. I hope you didn't take it to heart, as my questioning as to what is implied in conversation drives me to insanity. Jerry was able to figure this out after asking me one single question,"Who do you consider to be your best friend?". I really didn't have an answer for this, I could not think of one person whom I've ever thought as a best friend. Before vVv gaming, I preferred a life of solitude as human interaction was as tedious for me as someone might feel when writing lines for bad behavior. Which explains why I always avoid petty conversation.

    Small talk was probably the thing I hated the most. Due to its way of focusing on what people thought was socially right to say; rather than discussing about themselves or ideas. As a child, I tried creating conversations about ideas or about things learned. To my dismay, most kids and even parents thought I was a "know it all". I then understood that the discussion of ideas wasn't for everyone. So I spent most of my years in quiet solitude. Surprisingly, the small talk coming from people who are true to themselves is quite interesting.

    What the vVv gaming HQ has shown me is that small talk between close friends is a way to find and explore more about each other. To laugh at each others quirks and help fix each others poor attributes. I believe vVv Gaming within itself is an extension of that.

    Over the last week, my activity with the community has increased. I can say, I'm interested in how other people feel and interact. I enjoy helping others complete their goals and make something of nothing. What I didn't realize over the course of my lifetime is that I have a lot of empathy at my disposal. I'm able to sympathize with almost anyone, thinking of why they may feel this way or have done that. But as with my love for ideas, asking someone questions of why they are feeling a certain way and giving advice isn't within their best interest. So yes, most of my skills where for deeper human interaction then what was socially acceptable. The only way for me to actually use these abilities is when someone consciously comes to ask help from me.

    The trip was definitely an enlightening one, not because of the hot California sun, but of Jerry's ability to really show who I really was. I hope, that by reading this you come to understand the impact that the people here at vVv gaming have on us. Take every opportunity vVv gaming gives you, it will be a rewarding journey for anyone brave enough to take the first step.

    Good Luck in your vVv Gaming travels!

    If ever you need to run an idea by someone, you know where to look. :)

    * pg.73 in "The Essential Epicurius" by Eugene O'Conor

  6. It's good to take a couple days or so to wind down after E3. It's too easy to get caught up in the hype, as I did when I was scouring over ever piece of game footage released in Nintendo's E3 Direct earlier on Tuesday. Mostly because I felt starved - the PS4 and Xbone reveals left the Wii U as an idle passenger, waiting for its stop but forced to deal with the antics of the rest of the car in the meanwhile. It was the Wii U's turn to shine, many of us thought. It seemed rather obvious, at least to us sitting at home, that Nintendo would deliver the final, killing blow to Microsoft with an extravaganza of gaming wonder, while the PS4 sits back hoping not to make the same mistake.

    Except, I didn't get that feeling at all. Instead...I felt, well, satisfied but not necessarily full. Although Nintendo showed off a multitude of quality games heading to both Wii U and 3DS - Wind Waker HD, Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, the list goes on - none of them had that huge surprise that many of us were looking for. I had eaten an entire Dominoes pizza the night before, my body was as ready as it could ever be. Yet, I did not shit even one brick. It was disappointing to say the least.

    Considering that Nintendo had the best opportunity in the world to win everyone over, I wonder if Nintendo actually accomplished that as well as I may question that they did. I was hoping for literal bombshells, which were almost guaranteed considering the Wii U is a much less successful follow-up, thus far, to Nintendo's last home console. The launch line-up was just not cutting it. As we knew about games like Wind Waker HD and Pikmin 3 heading to the Wii U soon enough, Nintendo had a clear opportunity to bring out the big guns.

    Instead, we got Super Mario 3D World, a sequel to the 3DS's Super Mario 3D Land. Even with its 4 player co-op, new Mario suits, and the expected additions throughout, it wasn't the major, open-world Mario game that people were expecting. Likewise, Retro Studios, behind the Metroid Prime series and the Wii's hugely successful Donkey Kong Country Returns, was hinting at a project "everybody wanted them to do" which only become another Donkey Kong Country game. No Metroid, no new IP, just more Donkey Kong.

    Over time, though, I began to take a look at my own perspective on E3. I didn't seem satisfied, but maybe it was because I was asking too much? Nintendo cannot please everybody, and is it surprising that they would go with a sequel to a very successful Wii game over the next installment in the Metroid franchise that, while acclaimed by critics, has never been a system seller? Hell, we got Smash 4 and Mario Kart 8, safe bets but nevertheless great additions to already amazing game series.

    I feel conflicted. Nintendo's new games and news aren't necessarily unhype, but they aren't exactly what we expected or wanted. But, people do seem rather excited for these new games. It feels weird - normally Nintendo playing safe like this gets a less than stellar reaction, but this time around Nintendo hasn't drawn the worst of backlash, at least not yet.

    Retrospectively, the Smash 4 reveal probably reflects my feelings on E3 the best, specifically the reveal characters. We got Mega Man, a huge addition to the character roster finally allowing our Nintendo favorites to face off against Capcom's finest warrior himself. We got the Animal Crossing Villager, a really hilarious addition that seemed unexpected but fits right in. And we got...the Wii Fit Trainer, even more unexpected and definitely drew more attention than anything else. I can definitely say that I didn't expect these newcomers coming into E3.

    Mega Man represents all the good games Nintendo is bringing us that I seem to be overlooking. With Mega Man I was astounded, but because I'm not the biggest Mega Man fan and was hoping for a really insanely hype Nintendo character (plus, Mega Man has been on everyone's wishlist character roster since 'Nam), it felt a bit lessened than the reaction to the Solid Snake reveal for Brawl. Yet, I realize I should be more excited because it's truly a big thing for Smash! Likewise, even though Nintendo's games may not be exactly what I expected, they are still looking to be quality titles.

    The Villager represents the unexpected that fits in perfectly. The Villager is a character that caught me really off-guard but won me over bit by bit, and that's how I felt about Nintendo overall. I wasn't exactly sure at first what to feel about Nintendo's E3 reveals, but over time I found that there's a lot to love with what Nintendo's offering. All the new games plus a console that has dodged the ire and drama of the Xbone and PS4 reveals gives gamers quite the opportunity to try out some excellent new experiences throughout this year and the next.

    And, finally, the Wii Fit Trainer, the character I hated at first. Being a long time Smash fan, it feels literally cut-throat trying to support some characters for the next game. Years go by on discussion forums about who should and should not be in the next Smash game. It hurts to not see your favorites make the cut, even when they too could be great additions to the series and have a lot of worth in the franchises they come from. While I never expected my two hopefuls Ridley and King K. Rool to show up in the trailer (as Sakurai isn't that cool), it's frustrating to see a character like Wii Fit Trainer get in and not others.

    This is how I felt with Nintendo's choice of games at E3 - more Mario? Why not Star Fox? more DK? Why not Metroid? Where's F-Zero? Where's Zelda Wii U? This still sticks with me. I still wish Samus stepped out of her hunter ship for another adventure. I truly wanted to see Link battle in full high definition. In contrast, it seems silly that Nintendo would instead stick to another handheld-like Mario platformer as one of its big reveals. Similarly...just...damn, Nintendo I like yoga pants, but not that much (alright, not true, I love yoga pants, but I was fine without them in Smash Bros.).

    Maybe it's just because change is hard to accept at first. Even Nintendo's skipping of a traditional press conference felt weird - imagine hearing the crowd reaction to the Mega Man reveal? That's something you'll never be able to capture thanks to Nintendo using a pre-recorded video as its "presser." Without that to look forward to, most Nintendo fans began clinging to the internet, waiting for the inevitable droplets of news that would be rung out the E3 sponge throughout the three days of the event. It's an unfortunate reality, but it is what it is.

    I guess, most of all, we were all hoping for Nintendo to play along. Microsoft is down, get 'em Nintendo, now's your chance! But, Nintendo has never been about that. They've always done best sticking to their guns and keeping their path. They've never needed to play anyone else's game. It seems like they did just that - Nintendo did Nintendo as Nintendo usually does. The games are coming and the consoles are out there.

    However, if the Wii U launch tells us anything, it's that Nintendo can be unprepared when you would expect them not to be. So, let's hope that Nintendo has truly prepared itself for the next year and beyond to strengthen the integrity of the Wii U before the big splash of the PS4 and Xbone hits shelves.

  7. Today I turn 21 years old..

    The last few years have been a blur, but recently I had a chance to tell the story for the first time in a while. It actually happened this past weekend. vVv staff was all visiting LA for the weekend for MLG, LCS and to get aligned on strategy. Naturally, I’m not a very open or vulnerable person, but after sharing and seeing the reaction of the room - I realized how important the two are in building relationships and trust between people. I’d now like to share that same story with the World.

    So here goes nothing . . .

    I discovered vVv Gaming back in June of 2007 after joining a random Public Lobby in Gears of War. I remember it vividly. The map was canals and I was immediately welcomed by the voices of vVv members, applicants and the application manager at the time, vVv Woody56292jr. I had known of clans before from when I played socom on gamebattles a few years back, but had not encountered any on the console before. Woody did a great job explaining what vVv was and told me to check out the website if I was interested in joining. The website, which I learned was designed by a member of the community named “Froot” had an image of their Gears of War team winning a big tournament in New Jersey. I thought to myself, “These guys are legit, I want to one day become as good as them and learn everything I can from this community.” I submitted an application, and the rest was history from there. I was banned from the shoutbox several times, had my application closed due to a very immature attitude. Looking back, I was a terrible teammate and just a brat kid who thought he knew more than he did.

    Although I departed from vVv before I was ever really accepted back then, they introduced my to competitive gaming, specifically the Gears scene. I took my application being closed as motivation to improve as a player and person. I played every single day that Summer for at least 6 hours on gamebattles and in scrims with friends. I attended my first major event in 2007 which in Toronto and ended up placing 4th. Not too shabby.

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    Local Lan in Connecticut

    Fast forward about a year later, I ran into a player named Sun Down who was apart of vVv’s Gears division. We both hadn't earned “Pro Status” yet, but we hit it off right away and decided to work together with two other players in Enmity and Demon. This was our team, and the tournament we were preparing for was the next MLG event on the 2008 pro circuit in Toronto. Because Sun Down was already apart and vVv, we decided to approach them to represent a community because we knew they could help us take our game to the next level with their history in the Gears scene. I still remember that interview with Jerry and I know he knew that I was the same brat kid who had his application closed and was banned in the past, but he gave me that shot to redeem myself. We had the spot and were the 2nd Gears team for vVv at that time. That team was called vVv Destiny. Remember that name for later in the story.

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    Clocktower

    Our team actually stuck together for the months leading up to the event and we were really confident in our strategies and teamwork. I still remember some of the late nights coordinating with Nick (Enmity) how we would play the host spot and secondary positions together to focus down someone trying to go for the mid pillar or sandbag push strat. We went to the event and actually had a to get a last minute replacement at the event for Demon because he sketched out. We grabbed Mephisto from another team and were ready to go. No practice with him at all, we had to change our strats, but we knew his rawl skill would definitely fill in for that.

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    vVv Destiny at MLG Toronto ‘07

    We placed 9th at this event, which was a big accomplishment for all of us since it was of the most competitive events of the year and of course with our circumstances of using a last minute replacement.

    The team stuck together, but made a roster change with bringing in Storm for Sun Down. Our next big event was closer to home for me in New York City at the Samsung Experience Center for WCG. I took the train down from Connecticut and stayed with my sister in the city. This event was on the newly released Gears of War 2 and we took 2nd at this event as an invitational team.

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    vVv Destiny and Coach Sun Down at WCG Holiday Heroes

    After this event, the team was working towards the next level and my attitude was letting not allowing the team to perform at their best. I was released from the team and got involved with several other competitive titles such as Socom, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. I still hung around vVv, but was not nearly as involved as I was when I was competing. I was very competitive in these games as well, hitting gladiator in WoW on multiple accounts and holding the Crown in Socom for the longest out of any team that season. I became back involved with vVv again for Call of Duty, where I lead the first community team “vVv Essence. to a victory in the MLG NYB online tournament.

    After Call of Duty wasn’t supported with any LAN events, I stopped playing games all together. This was all around my Junior year in High School. I switched back to Public School from a Tech Program and went on to try to lead an ordinary life, without gaming. I had a lot of catching up to do because I was away from those friends for several years, but I tried my best to be “normal” and live up to the social expectations of a Senior. I went out, hosted a few parties and built relationships. Summer just started. I just graduated, turned 18, got accepted into the school I wanted to attend and got a brand new car.

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    Graduation and Birthday Present

    I was living the ordinary life. Not in contact with anyone from vVv or gaming at all, I thought this is what I wanted. Fourth of July was around the corner, and I thought it would be a good idea to drink and drive. Long story short. I drove home from a party by myself, hit a car and then drove home with the front end of my car scraping against the pavement. When I pulled into my driveway, the cops were already there. I refused the breathalyzer test and started talking to them about my times as a competitive gamer. They took me to jail and then later the Hospital. I was charged with Reckless Driving, Driving in the Wrong Lane and Driving Under the Influence.

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    Night of the accident

    Thousands of dollars in lawyer fees later, two of the charges were dropped and was license was suspended for one year. I had to take classes and immediately accept a ton of responsibility to not only pay my family back, but also get my life together. This accident turned around my life. It was a wake up call. That Summer, I worked every day with my Dad and then later got a job at Panera. For the next two years, I commuted to school my train every Monday and Wednesday. Woke up at 6am took a bus to a train, to a shuttle and then another bus. I would get home at about 9pm.

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    My projects in school

    Around this time, I reached out to Jerry to tell him my story and see if I could get back involved with my passions: gaming and esports. I was paying very little attention to the scene, but it just felt right to go back home to vVv. I began writing articles and blogs just to share my competitive gaming thoughts and stories. The blog hit 30,000 views at one point, but by then I wanted to get more and more involved with vVv staff. At this point, I was getting advice from my sister and parents that I shouldn’t do vVv stuff for too long as it was unpaid work and wouldn’t provide me with anything. I also had the urge this entire time to go out and party with friends, but I stayed focused and stuck to my gut. With vVv, I wanted to help players who had the same challenges I did as a player and help them be successful. I ran tournaments, write articles, consulted on team decisions and did whatever I could to help vVv become a better organization. All of my energy outside of work and school (and even sometimes in school, see photo above) was focused on that goal.

    gallery_4154_416_48641.png

    vVv Destiny Reunited at Hypefestation

    About a year and a half later, I became the VP of Operations at vVv Gaming. Two weeks later, Jerry announced that he was joining Riot Games as the Director of People.

    gallery_4154_416_176481.png

    MLG Columbus 2012

    Fast forward to the Season 3 World Finals for League of Legends, I made the trip out to LA to visit Jerry and Jordan at their new apartment. During this time, Jordan and I were working on a project called the Experience Initiative which was focused on providing teams and staff opportunities to work in the gaming industry. While we were watching the World Finals that year, Forbes had released an article about our project with an interview - I lost it. It wasn’t the attention or article, the emotion that hit me was the culmination from that first GoW Public match, to the MLG events, DUI accident and to now. Jerry looked at me, and we both felt it. We both knew at the very moment that vVv Gaming was a very special place. For some reason, at that moment, Jerry also saw something in me and decided to offer me to come live out in Los Angeles to pursue my own personal goal of working in the gaming industry full time.

    gallery_4154_416_57890.jpg

    Season 2 World Championship

    I landed back in New York City to stay with my sister that weekend and told her about the trip. I mentioned that it could be a possibility of me leaving school in Connecticut to come to LA to work on vVv. There were a lot of concerns about leaving school, or how I would manage out there on my own. She suggested that I study abroad in Germany like she did and I was tempted. I kept it to myself for a while because I wasn’t sure how my parents would react, but then, when my Grandma was visiting I told her all about it. We sat down with my parents and sister to explain my decision and the opportunity. About a week later it was December 15th and I had a one way ticket to LA…

    I'll be releasing the full story throughout the next few days. Do you have a vVv story? Share it with us!

  8. Welcome to the KICK.TV Invitational - Esports Changing?? - LIVE from NYC

    This past week (20th – 25th) I took part as a full time analysis professional at the KICK.TV Invitational where the largest FIFA YouTuber’s battled it out in order to claim a $10,000 1st place prize and the title as “Champion” in NYC. Last year, this event erupted with popularity across the community as the audience watched with anticipation as each match went LIVE on YouTube with the top FIFA content creators facing off on the big stage.

    The players attending this event:

    Calfreezy

    Gonth

    MattHD

    Nepenthez

    R9rai

    AirJapes

    TwoSync

    Fangs

    Wroetoshaw (W2S)

    Notorious (VG Winner)

    Bateson87

    Zerka HD

    Rossi HD

    Tobias Gaming

    GudjonDaniel

    FIFA Playa

    My position with the event because of my personal background in the competitive FIFA scene was to laydown player previews / analysis of gameplay among the players in attendance. All the videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/KICKTVFIFA - I’m expecting uploads to start going live towards the beginning of this week and roll out continuously from that point forward….

    I wanted to showcase how “Esports” is a changing concept (Very Dynamic) depending on the audience for those different titles. FIFA is one of the largest selling titles each year worldwide and the community has expanded substantial amounts with the additional sales. In many titles there is an incredible fan base for “competitive” players, however in FIFA the players / event coordinators did a poor job of building up personal branding for those same individuals. This allowed for the vast amount of FIFA fans to look elsewhere and the development of FIFA YouTube came shortly after.

    This event included no competitive FIFA players outside of the “Subscriber Cup Winner” from Virgin Gaming. (Notorious) The YouTuber’s add a different approach to Esports where the focus is more on the individual as opposed to the individual’s gameplay. Watching these matches live at KICK.TV Studios made me think, “Is this the future of my genre??”

    FIFA gameplay in the competitive scene is so mistake free that it often leads to defensive matches between players attempting to outthink their opponents. This usually leads to low scoring matchups, because of the heavy possession / time control in each game. I obviously cannot speak about the results from the tournament, but this approach from KICK.TV makes huge strides in terms of viewership per match in the FIFA community scene.

    So what if KICK.TV ran a new type of Esports? The most popular game mode in FIFA 14 is actually known as FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) where players construct squads based on team chemistry with the usage of an open market that updates with real life football (soccer). FUT has never been used on the competitive side because of the unlimited customization and more unrealistic quicker games speed.

    I leave this for thought… What is your definition of Esports?? What makes an Esport… an Esport?

    For Daily FIFA Tips YouTube – Regular Banter Twitter – Pictures Facebook

  9. gallery_5702_612_64715.png

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXNoyU4VtO4

    It has come to my attention that the Thief needs some serious loving. As a potential remedy to this, a few cohorts of mine sat down and punched out some preliminary findings in terms of class deficiency, and it seemed like an appropriate topic for the blog. While reading this, I would like you to cross reference what was written with what class you play, and ask yourself if there is any room for improvement in the imbalance department. ANet can't fix the problem if they don't know what's wrong. I hope you enjoyed the tournament play i posted, and I also hope you take something useful away from this redesign.

    Condition Removal

    Currently the only source of condition removal and real stealth Thieves have is Hide in Shadows. The problem is that this skill does not remove crowd control effects. Other classes have condition removal such as 10 second automatic removal passives for rangers, debuff removal for Mesmers, multiple condition removal skills including “Shake it Off” as well as a heal/condition removal for Warriors, Guardians have even more, Engineers have elixirs, Necromancers have group condition removal that isn’t their designated heal (which also removes conditions), and Elementalists have many.

    Thieves are strictly limited to using Hide in Shadows for condition removal. I’ll give you the average combat scenario with Hide in Shadows:

    1.) Conditions put on you via on hit effects, someone uses one of many immobilize effects

    2.) You enter stealth, heal goes up, conditions off

    3.) You’re still immobilized, and they know that, so they keep attacking you, applying more conditions and negating most of the benefits of your heal. It might as well not be a stealth

    Because of this, most Thieves have defaulted to Withdrawal for the evade and heal on a 50% lower cool down, effectively making stealth and condition removal nonexistent. I’m aware that Shadow Refuge is technically a stealth, but the skill is extremely under powered as a whole, and I will touch on that later in the article.

    Traps

    1.) Currently, traps have little to no use in PvP. The trap mechanic in the context of Guild Wars 2, forces you to use them in a defensive way. If you use a trap offensively and it misses, you’re already down one cooldown before the fight starts. Traps need to be replaced with skills that have an active impact on fast engagements, as professions in Guild Wars 2 are much more mobile than they were in Guild Wars.

    2.) Am I saying defensive cooldowns are useless? No, they’re absolutely necessary. Am I saying traps are marginally less effective than they were in Guild Wars 1? Yes. There was a basic and undeniable boost in mobility from GW1 to GW2. There are separate levels of elevation and various routes of access to all of the maps that are currently in place/being tested, and traps are wasted cooldowns entirely.

    Proposed Changes in Class Mechanics

    F1: Crack Armor: Apply several stacks of vulnerability to the target, applies 10 seconds of protection to self. This helps with our survivability, and enables us to weaken a single target, making them more vulnerable to our attacks. Which is what the thief is all about.

    F2: Steal Weapon: Daze the target for 2 seconds. Applies Might or Fury to self and grants a class specific item just like current

    steal. This allows us a control option, as well as the random item. Only usable in melee range.

    F3: Shadow Recluse: Enter stealth for 10 seconds when not in combat, 3 when in combat. This would grant the element of surprise when out of combat, but ensure that it isn't too powerful during combat. Allows for adequate positioning and proficient gap closing without the target just waiting for you to Shadowstep to put you in the ground.

    F4: Shadowstep: Teleport to Target. Shadowstep would be removed from steal, and would be its own class mechanic, allowing room for a decision making process before, during, and after the Shadowstep itself.

    Flaws and Proposed Skill Fixes Pertaining to Mechanic Changes

    Shadow Refuge

    - Shadow refuge heals for effectively nothing, (200 or so per second in the AoE)

    - Gives enemies a small designated area to AoE

    - Doesn’t break channeled spells once you enter it

    - If it’s used offensively, everyone takes a few steps back and wait a few seconds for it to go away. (That’s being generous; they would really just run past you.) The skill is

    Suggestion: Provide a signet that grants some form of condition removal, as well as adding condition removal to withdrawal and/or immobilize removal on Hide in Shadows. The reason I’m suggesting adding both, is because there is not a single class, Thieves aside, that do not have a condition removal spell outside of their heal.

    --------------

    Withdraw:

    Cool down: 15 —> 20 Seconds

    My only suggestion for Withdraw will remain adding bleed/burn removal. If it’s added, consider bumping the cooldown up to 20 seconds.

    ————————————--

    Hide in Shadows:

    Cooldown: Same = 30 Seconds

    Add Immobilization removal.

    Utility Skill Changes

    —————————————

    Shadow Refuge:

    Cooldown: From 60 —> 50 Seconds

    Upon entering Shadow Refuge, become stealthed. Shadow Refuge will pulse 5 times, once every 1.5 seconds. Every other pulse will remove a condition and heal for 200, starting with the SECOND pulse. Upon leaving Shadow Refuge, remain stealthed for 5 seconds, but receive no pulse benefits.

    Explanation: Giving people a reason to stay AND a reason to leave, presents decision, not choice. Thought provoking and mechanically sound is what we’re aiming for. “If I stay, I’m fairly safe. If I leave, I might be able to do enough damage to kill him.”

    —————————————-

    Tripwire:

    Cooldown: Same 30 Seconds

    You throw a wire around your opponent’s legs, tripping them to the ground for 2 seconds. Upon standing, the enemy gains swiftness for 3 seconds.

    Explanation: One thing Guild Wars 1 did better than any other MMO, was give good skills drawbacks to make you think. ANet is a smart company, and is in the business of presenting decisions. Introduce a little complexity, in contrast with the current F1 Doubletap meta.

    ————————————

    Ambush:

    Cooldown: From 45—> 120 Seconds

    Calls in a fellow Thief on top of your target, causing you to Shadow Step back 15 feet.

    Explanation: Sticking with the “traps are not for GW2” theme, these are some suggestions with what I feel to be appropriate balance, having played the Thief extensively through all of the prior Beta Weekends, Stress Tests, and now Alpha.

    —————————————

    Shadow Trap:

    Cooldown: From 30—> 40 Seconds

    Throws a blinding dust cloud on top of your enemy, teleporting you to the other side of the cloud, and blinding your enemy for 3 seconds, causing you to stealth.

    Explanation: Traps are wasted skills, and creating relevant abilities from the ashes will introduce new interactions, some foreseen, some not. Decisions become present here.

    ————————————-

    Needle Trap Replacement Suggestion: Signet of Death:

    Cooldown: 125 Seconds

    Passive: Removes a condition every 10 seconds, starting when the caster has a 2nd condition placed on him/her.

    Active: Resets all class mechanic abilites F1-F4. Signet of Death's passive is inactive during cooldown.

    Explanation: This gives Thieves passive condition removal, but gives us the option to sacrifice it for a long period of time if we want our class mechanics back faster. It prompts the decision of control, or survivability, and if you take control, you lose your survivability for a lengthy period of time.

    ---------------------------------

    Build of the Week! (Elementalist) : "Jack of all Trades"

    20 Fire Magic

    • 20% chance to cause burning when attacked with melee
    • Deal 10% more damage when attuned to fire
    • Damage at your location when attuning to fire
    • All your fire weapon skills recharge 20% faster

    20 Air Magic

    • Move 10% faster while attuned to air
    • Move faster the longer you are attuned to air
    • Strike your target with a bolt of lightning when attuning to air
    • Deal 10% more damage while attuned to air

    10 Earth Magic

    • Gain extra armor while attuned to earth
    • Deal 5% more when within melee range of your target

    10 Water Magic

    • Regenerate health while attuned to water
    • Remove a condition from yourself and your allies when you attune to water

    10 Arcane Magic

    • Attunement bonuses linger for 5 seconds
    • Elemental Attunement

    Do not rely on condition builds to carry your team to victory. They will be fixed, and the "spammy" feeling of conditions will transitively be gone. Leave any comments, questions or concerns in the comment section below, as I would love to ascertain some perspective from outside sources on class balance. That's about it for this beta weekend. I wish you the best of luck in your future warring of guilds, and as always, fight for the user.

    gallery_5702_923_160.png

  10. This week brings vVv's first loss in WNS at the hands of DarkCell, of Quantic Gaming. These games showcase some strong ZvT, winning against Ruff's Cheese, Murder's macro-based play and NGry's timing based play. DarkCell also wins a close ZvP, coming back from having his third base killed for free.

    Replays can be found here.

    Game 1: vVvMurder(T) vs Agh(P) on Tal'Darim Altar

    Murder opens with a gasless 1 rax expand, into a very atypical 3 rax into 3rd command center. Agh opens with a more standard 1 gate expansion, quickly adding 2 more gates for pressure and a robotics facility. Both players macro up from here, murder teching up to starport and taking his third on the low ground, Agh teching to DTs and taking the natural third base.

    Both players drop simultaneously, murder dropping a medivac full of marines and marauders into Agh's base, which does little damage, Agh warping in DTs into Murder's base, killing a few SCVs and add-ons before Murder cleans up the DTs. Murder loads up four medivacs after dealing with the DTs, dropping Agh's main while also sending the rest of his units to Agh's natural. Agh sees the units coming from the front, and only breaks off a small number of zealots and stalkers to deal with the drop. These units get crushed with relatively few losses for murder, and having no form of AoE, the rest of Agh's gateway army gets picked apart by the split attack.

    Dealing with Terran's split attacks as protoss is quite unforgiving, since small numbers of gateway units are incredibly inefficient against infantry and medivac armies. Agh should have sent far more units back into his main to deal with the four medivac drop.

    Game 2: Murder(T) vs DarkCell(Z) on Metalopolis

    In this game, Murder opens with a 1 rax CC into 4 rax with fast combat shields. DarkCell begins with a hatchery first, following by a very late gas and a fast third queen, droning incredibly hard. Murder scouts with an early reaper, and pushes out to attack DarkCell with a handful of marines as combat shields completes. DarkCell has a perfect defense, though, with 4 queens and 2 spine crawlers. Posturing aggressively with his marines and reapers, Murder forgets to build a supply depot, and is supply blocked at 46 supply for nearly a minute, followed by another lengthy supply block at 56. Coupled with DarkCell's bold drone production, this leaves DarkCell with a 17 worker advantage, while still producing lings in time to deal with Murder's attack.

    DarkCell takes a third base while Murder techs to starport. Murder beings a third CC while dropping DarkCell's main. The drop is dealt with effectively, but after securing his third base, Murder returns with two medivacs dropped behind DarkCell's mineral line and a tank/marine push at the front. Murder's dropped marines sit safely behind a spire and baneling nest, killing several lings and drones, but is eventually clean up along with the entire push due to DarkCell's massive number of lings and banelings.

    Murder continues macroing while attempting to drop DarkCell's main and picking off stray lings and banelings on the map, but DarkCell's macro is phenomenal. Every time Murder pushes out, his units are flanked and slaughtered by a nearly maxed army of lings and banelings. After losing two huge armies this way, Murder's main and natural are both mined out, and he ggs.

    Murder's massive supply block during his initial push cost him a lot. DarkCell droned very greedily, but went unpunished because of the supply block. With an additional round of marines, Murder could have probably killed the spine crawler on the right side of DarkCell's natural and gotten behind the minerals to kill drones and delay mining. Going into the midgame with such a huge harvester disadvantage is almost always going to lead to a loss.

    Game 3: NGry(T) vs DarkCell(Z) on Shattered Temple

    NGry opens with 2 rax; DarkCell again opening with hatch first and a late gas. NGry's first push kills four lings and forces ten more on top of that, while losing no marines. NGry expands behind this pressure, setting him up for a strong mid-game. NGry adds a third command center quickly while producing marines from four barracks. DarkCell, on the other hand, produces mass ling/baneling, staying on two base for a very long time.

    NGry sees no ling/baneling aggression, so moves out to attack what would be DarkCell's third base. Unfortunately for him, DarkCell has not taken a third, and counters with a huge number of lings, ripping through NGry's natural and into his main. Meanwhile, NGry's army takes out two rocks before getting to DarkCell's base, where he is greeted by several banelings.

    NGry's opening was solid, but his mid-game plan was abused well by DarkCell. NGry often pushes at the time most zerg players will take their third, but since DarkCell stayed on two bases, he has a larger army than usual, and crushed NGry. With the extremely early third Orbital, NGry could have afforded to scan to check for the third base, but opted for greedy instead.

    Game 4: Ruff(T) vs DarkCell(Z) on Testbug

    Ruff opens with three barracks at his expansion, aiming to put a ton of pressure on DarkCell early. However, DarkCell opted this game for a speedling expand, and when Ruff's initial marines reach DarkCell's base, DarkCell surrounds them, stopping the rush cold.

    At this point, DarkCell's hatchery has not yet completed at his expansion, so he cancels it and builds a baneling nest, to end the game more quickly. This is a mistake, as it gives ruff a chance of winning the game, but DarkCell's bust is successful, and ruff resigns.

    Ruff's initial push was not executed well. He pushed with his marines out in the open rather than staying against the wall or behind the minerals, where they may have done better against the zerglings.

    Game 5: Time(P) vs DarkCell(Z) on Shakuras Plateau

    DarkCell opens speedling expand, while I open 2 gate FE. I am able to sneak a probe into DarkCell's base, seeing an early roach warren. DarkCell sneaks some lings into my main, seeing nothing but two gateways. Using hallucination, I scout DarkCell taking a quick third with very few units, and push with +1 attack and blink, killing the hatchery for free, as DarkCell has very few units and can do nothing to stop my army.

    During the attack, I built a third base and began teching to colossi. DarkCell begins burrow, roach speed, his third, and quickly after his fourth base. Once I have finished colossus range and my third colossus, I push again while taking my fourth. Due to poor scouting, I engage DarkCell's army out in the open, and his banelings evaporate all of the zealots and sentries quickly, leaving the roaches to deal with the colossi and remaining stalkers quite well.

    DarkCell adds infestors, while I tech to templar and void rays. DarkCell uses lings to take out the fourth base while dropping roaches in the main, turning the game back in his favor. I push again once I approach maxed, and successfully take out DarkCell's natural and most of his army. However, DarkCell continues to abuse burrow to kill buildings in the main and at my fourth, crippling my economy. With reinforcements, DarkCell cleans up the rest of my army, and with constant harass, prevents me from being able to deal with increasing infestor numbers, which continue to neural and spam infested terrans, winning the game.

    Despite gaining a large lead in the early game by taking DarkCell's third out for free, I lose this game with poor army control, losing the first push due to poor positioning, and later due to allowing banelings to blow up all my high templar before using any storms.

    Congrats to DarkCell for the all-kill!

  11. With a stellar win for the underdogs of vVv over the highly praised LoLPro team, vVv has officially advanced to the North American Challenger Series playoffs! Our boys in red and white are one step closer to being crowned the kings of the challenger scene, so I wanted to make a recap article to highlight some of the great play that brought them to this point. Let's start this party with a recap of the latest victory over LoLPro... that is if you have a few minutes to spare from playing Titanfall :P !

    NOTE: Time stamps are for the In-game clock

    Game 1: LoLPro draws first blood

    This game kind of makes me sad because vVv had a terrific lead all the way until the final minutes of the match. vVv struggled with closing out this game and allowed too many opportunities for LoLPro to make a comeback, specifically, with leaving Tail's wide open to get to. It seemed that around the 35 minute mark that vVv started to get some miscommunications and bad timings which really hindered the progression of the game for our boys. While vVv lost this game, I believe that coming so close to a victory fueled their ambition for the following two matches.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t1RE-j8GkY&list=UUvqRdlKsE5Q8mf8YXbdIJLw&feature=share&index=3

    3:25 - Get Snuggled and Heaven Time both come mid. Nyjacky and Heaventime pull out ahead forcing Get snuggled to base and Pekin Woof to farm under tower

    3:40 - Cris all in's Hauntzer at level 3 and pulls out the first blood

    9:05 - vVv takes first dragon with 4 members uncontested

    9:23 - Nyjacky and Hauntzer dive cris at top. Cris Missed his Cask Explosion which would have probably killed Hauntzer for a 1 for 1 trade but instead ends up being a 0 for 1 trade in favor of LoLPro

    11:06 - Get Snuggled and Cris dive past the t1 top turret chasing a weakened hauntzer down to the t2 turret burning two flashes to secure the kill.

    13:47 - Nyjacky is caught in the enemy jungle by Get snuggled. Pekin Woof, Gaunty and Tails are nearby to secure the kill. Gaunty lands a magnificent hook over the Ancient Golem wall while Tails and Pekin Woof collapes with Get Snuggled onto Nyjacky. Nyjacky attempts to escape by flashing over the golem wall, however, gaunty is there to lay down the box.

    15:19 - LoLPro secures the second dragon with 5 while vVv attempts to contest. vVv is split 3 and 2 which allows LoH to zone tails and get snuggled with tidal wave. Nyjacky follows up on get snuggled to attempt the kill while the rest of LoLPro collapses on the Gaunty, Pekin Woof and Cris. Pekin woof had plenty of room to lay down heavy poke with cris to push LoLPro out of the fight resulting in a 0 kill team fight.

    19:06 - Heaventime initiates onto Pekin woof with skyfall as LoD, Nyjacky and LoH push up mid to dive with Heaventime under the t1 turret. LoH follows up the intiation with a 3 man tidal wave, however, no kills were secured. Pekin woof turns after the failed initiation by LoLPro and is able to take down heaventime with the assistance of Gaunty and Tails.

    21:31 - LoLPro intiates the third dragon while vVv rushes down the ancient golem ramp to contest. Gaunty lays down a hook onto heaventime which is enough for Tails and Get snuggled to finish him off. With smite down, Cris flashes over the wall and lands a cask explosion onto Nyjacky which effectively forces LoLPro to retreat from dragon. vVv then secures the third dragon kill.

    27:01 - Cris lands a great cask explosion onto LoH bringing LoH to less than 10% hp forcing LoH to retreat... unfortunately a heads up ult from Pekin Woof does not allow that to happen. This leads to vVv taking down the t3 mid turret and inhibitor.

    28:05 - vVv goes for the fourth dragon immediately after securing the inhibitor turret and kills it before LoLPro is able to respond. Hauntzer dragon forms over the wall as vVv attempts to retreat from dragon going down before Heaventime and nyjacky have the change to flash over the wall to assist. Nyjacky ults heaventime and brings Pekin Woof extremely low. vVv takes the kill onto Heaventime and backs out before the rest of LoLPro has a chance to collapse.

    34:10 - vVv attempts to siege the t3 turret at top but Hauntzer dragon forms onto 3 members of vVv while Heaventime lands a beautiful 5 man skyfall. LoH was able to follow up with a 5 man tidal wave while nyjacky chunked Gaunty, Pekin Woof and Tails into oblivion with glitter lance. The fight ends 5 for 0 in favor of LoLPro as Nyjacky chases down Get Snuggled in the jungle.

    39:20 - Heaventime skyfalls onto vVv as they attempt to take the mid inhibitor causing Gaunty, Tails and cris to be caught by LoH's tidal wave. Tails gets seperated from the team by Hauntzer's dragon form which results in an early death. LoH flashes to aqua prison Pekin woof before he has a chance to duck into the jungle with Get snuggled, ensuring his death. LoLPro is able to even the mid lane out by taking the inhibitor off of vVv's hands.

    41:42 - LoLPro secures the fifth dragon uncontested and catches Get Snuggled out near the ancient golem camp.

    44:40 - LoLPro pushes down the bottom t3 turret and starts working on the inhibitor when Heaventime skyfalls into the back line of vVv ontop of Pekin Woof, quickly eliminating the yordle.

    46:40 - As vVv is setting up vision at baron, LoLPro is able to catch Pekin Woof out by his wraiths forcing vVv into a bad fight in a bad position. LoLPro is able to overwhelm vVv's base and come out with the victory.

    Game 2: vVv strikes back

    Game 2 was a much more concrete performance from vVv although early game a bit shaky at first. It seemed as if LoLPro had momentum coming into this game when they made a call for a 4 man dragon nine minutes into the game. Unfortunately for LoLPro, Tails and the rest of vVv were hungry for a win and turned that 4 man dragon into a dragon steal plus 2 kills which set the tempo for the rest of this match. Gaunty and Get Snuggled did a fantastic job at keeping a front line in tact for Tails which was an issue in Game 1. This allowed Tails to get 11 kills with only 2 death including a penta kill. I don't think you can have a much better game in the NACS than this one, however, in order to make it to the LCS vVv will need to work on control and tempo. vVv needs to ensure that everyone is on the same page and communicating effectively because, at times I see Tails in a good position but Cris/Gaunty/Get Snuggled leaves him exposed for the enemy team.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01-mZc5mvmk&list=UUvqRdlKsE5Q8mf8YXbdIJLw&feature=share&index=1

    9:45 - LoLPro takes 4 to dragon with Nyjacky sitting in the mid river brush. Nyjacky gets the jump on Pekin Woof bringing him to half health, however, grunty is able to land a 3 person solar flare. This gives Get snuggled enough time to stun heaventime and steal dragon away. Before losing his life to heaventime, Pekin Woof is able to assist Grunty and Tails in taking down LoD, resulting in a 2-1 plus dragon in vVv's favor.

    12:33 - Get Snuggled roams down to bot lane and pushes up into the 2nd brush to set up a lane gank. LoH uses a ward to safely check the brush making Gaunty miss his zenith blade which gives heaventime enough time to get to lane and throw his ult onmto Get Snuggled. LoH throws our a 3 person tidal wave that resuts in LoD securing the kill on Heaventime.

    13:15 - Cris roams the enemy jungle to try and steal red buff from hauntzer, but Nyjacky is quick to respond. Hauntzer lands a great pillar which forces Cris to dragon form out of danger. Meanwhile at bot, Heaventime, LoD and LoH continue to lay down pressure onto the lane bringing Gaunty very low under tower.\

    14:25 - Cris roams into the enemy jungle again and gets converged on by Nujacky, Hauntzer and heaventime resulting in a swift death. Pekin Woof and Get Snuggled are able to quickly react to this and bursted down heaventime and forcing Nyjacky to retreat. Pekin Woof and Get Snuggled then lock in the kill onto Huntzer.

    15:50 - Nyjacky lands a decent cask explosion onto Pekin Woof which brings him so low that the purple caster minion is able to land the kill on Nyjacky's behalf.

    16:12 - Heaventime, Hauntzer and Nyjacky push down mid and Heaventime vaultbreakers into a lonely Cris. Hauntzer follows up with a great pillar that forces Cris 2 steps off of the tower, which is enough time for Nyjacky to land his full combo and Hauntzer picks up the kill. vVv Answers this by getting a 3 man gank going in bot with Get Snuggled, Tails and Gaunty picking up a kill onto LoD and LoH past the t1 tower.

    18:04 - Nyjacky lands a great Cask Explosion onto Pekin Woof which puts him into a bad position under the t1 mid tower with no minions alive. Heaventime capitalizes on this and Assault and Batteries into Pekin Woof to ensure that kill was picked up.

    19:10 - Cris and Hauntzer begin dueling in top land and just as you think that Cris is going to die, Pekin Woof shows up to turn the tides onto Hauntzer. Pekin Woof is able to land the killing blow as Cris runs for his life.

    19:20 - Get Snuggled skyfalls into the back of LoD and LoH as they push up bot lane, effectively trapping them. LoH seems to be off page with LoD as he goes to stop Get Snuggled as LoD goes all in onto Tails and loses his life. Heaventime makes it to bot lane just in the nick of time to get LoH out of battle.

    20:40 - Nyjacky roams to bottom after all of the action has ended which allows Pekin Woof to get both the mid t1 turret and a kill onto heaventime.

    23:40 - All 5 members of vVv secure an uncontested dragon kill and then Heaventime flash assault and batteries onto Pekin Woof as he distortions under tower and Get Snuggled skyfalls in onto LoD and LoH. The rest of vVv collapses onto Heaventime, LoD and LoH securing 3 kills.

    25:00 - Get Snuggled, Cris and Pekin Woof push down middle and are caught in the enemy wolf camp by Hauntzer and Nyjacky resulting in a swift kill onto Get Snuggled.

    26:26 - Get Snuggled Skyfalls onto the enemy team to assit with Cris's engage while Pekin Woof, Gaunty and Tails are able to clamp down on the team fight. Get snuggled is able to pick off Heaventime and LoD before turning with the team onto Nyjacky who took out Pekin Woof. Tails is able to take Nyjacky down resulting in a 3 for 1 in top lane and baron.

    28:20 - Get Snuggled Skyfalls onto the t2 mid turret where LoD and LoH are being sieged by Tails and Gaunty picking up the kill onto LoD.

    28:40 - The rest of vVv meets up in mid to push down the t2 turret, however, Gaunty and Cris are able to start a team fight onto Heaventime. Since both Gaunty and Cris chased Heaventime, Hauntzer is able to pin Tails down between the t2 and t3 mid turrets and pick him off.

    32:00 - Heaventime engages onto Pekin woof at the bot t2 turret as LoH tidal waves 4 members of vVv, bursting down an over extended Pekin Woof. Hauntzer runs straight past the front line of vVv to make it onto Tails again while Get Snuggled is picked off by Heaventime, LoD and LoH. Gaunty is able to find a zenith blade into LoD which gives Tails enough time to scare him back. While chasing the rest of vVv, Tails is able to pick off Heaventime.

    34:20 - Get Snuggled misses his skyfall onto LoD and Cris misses his dragon form as LoLPro seemingly collapses onto an out of positioned Cris.

    35:15 - Nyjacky finds a cask explosion onto Gaunty and Get Snuggled making a 2 for 0 trade in favor of LoLPro. Pekin Woof tries to burst down LoD as he shows up a tad too late to the fight with Tails and is taken down by LoD. Assault and Battery is used onto Tails which locks him up long enough for Heaventime to kill him but not before Tails bursts down nyjacky and ignite kills LoD.

    39:00 - Get Snuggled skyfalls into Hauntzer and the LoLPro team in the baron side brush of mid lane which is countered by a beautiful tidal wave/aqua prison combo from LoH. Cris is able to Dragon form over the mid wall onto LoD and Cris to zone them from the fight as Pekin woof drops dangerously low. Pekin Woof is able to get a kill onto LoD with Cris as he is taken down by Nyjacky. Heaventime is dropped dangerously low as Hauntzer and LoH are being reengaged on by Gaunty and a full hp tails. Heaventime takes out Cris as he is making his retreat. LoLPro backs off as tails is chunking them on the chase

    42:03 - LoLPro gets 5man Skyfalled by Snuggled as they push the mid lan. Nyjacky lands a solid cask explosion seperating 3 members of vVv. Heaventime is taken down by Tails in the back of the fight as Nyjacky loses his GA. Gaunty lands a fantastic zenith blade onto LoD which ensures his death as Nyjacky revives from his GA.

    43:00 - vVv attempts to force the baron as Nyjacky, LoH and Hauntzer are the only members alive for LoLPro. Cris and Pekin are able to take down Hauntzer as he tries to make his way into the pit in exchange for Pekin's life. This results in a baron kill for vVv.

    44:10 - Snuggled lands with skyfall right on top of Nyjacky making a quick pick for the t2 mid tower.

    44:50 - vVv pushes out onto the t3 turret with a 4v5 power play with baron picking up the mid inhibitor.

    48:34 - Tails Penta kill and the win!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtYjU4MkQCA

    Game 3: vVv clinches playoff berth

    After 2 nail biting endings, vVv shifts into 5th gear as Gaunty and Snuggled amass a massive advantage in bot lane for Tails. Even though Heaventime, Nyjacky and Hauntzer tried their best in mid game to save the ship from drowning, it was too late. Tails had blown a hole the size of Saturn into the hull of LoLPro and it was only time before the ship went down. If our boys playing for vVv want to progress into the LCS, this is the game they need to replicate. The play was very tight and restrained without being conservitive. They made the right plays at the right times and capitalized on LoLPro's mistakes and short comings (such as not warding tri brush for 9 minutes after 2 successful ganks from snuggled through the jungle). Great job to everyone on vVv especially Pekin who is definitely an unsung hero in these games. While you may not have had a score like Tails, the amount of pressure you applied on zigs was CRAZZZZZZZZZY. Congrats on moving on up into the NACS Playoffs!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN6DjPeOzoU&list=UUvqRdlKsE5Q8mf8YXbdIJLw

    3:35 - Gaunty lands a zenith blade onto LoH, causing LoH to use black shield. Little did LoH know that Get Snuggled was creeping into the lane behind LoLPro through tribrush, landing a vaultbreaker onto LoH (Surprise!). Gaunty follows up the vault breaker with Shield of Daybreak which allows Tails to take down LoH for first blood.

    5:00 - Not too sure as to why LoLPro wouldn't ward their own tri brush as Get Snuggled had gotten a successful gank 2 minutes earlier, however, it allows Get Snuggled to come back to bot for a repeat gank. Snuggled lands a great vault breaker which gives Gaunty enough time to get in range with zenith blade to secure a second kill for tails onto LoH.

    8:20 - LoLPro starts to set up a gank onto bot, however, they are met at the entrance to vVv's ancient golem ramp by Heaventime which leads to an easy kill for Snuggled.

    9:27 - LoH lands a binding onto Gaunty, however, zenith blade doesn't care that he's binded. Tails is able to follow up bringing LoD down to below 20% hp when Pekin Woof drops his Mega Inferno Bomb in LoD's escape path. While LoD is able to flash out of the ultmiate, he flashes in range of Tails who is able to shave off the last 20% of hp.

    11:20 - Gaunty lands ANOTHER zenith blade onto LoD and LoH as Snuggled races through the enemy jungle to eassit bot lane. Tails lays down a beautiful culling, tapping into the brain of LoD and bringing him down AGAIN. Snuggled finally makes it to the fight and begins the dive onto LoH but ends up backing off due to tails being too far back.

    13:36 - Heaventime and Nyjacky decide that enough is enough and attempt to 4 man gank bottom lane. As they enter lane, LoH lands a nice ultimate onto Gaunty and Tails which results in a kill for Nyjacky.

    16:35 - vVv has 4 men down at dragon as LoLPro rush out of their jungle to contest. As LoLPro come in, vVv backs off allowing LoLPro control of dragon and it's damage/debuff. Hauntzer uses his teleport to ensure that vVv backs of, however, Snuggled gets caught to the side of the dragon pit by Hauntzer's pillar. LoLPro are able to secure the first dragon off of this.

    17:28 - "Gais pls, I beg... pls stawp!" That's what I imagine is going through LoH's head as gaunty and tails land another beautiful combo onto him resulting in a swift kill. As LoD is trying to escape, Peking Woof throws out another Mega Inferno Bomb in which LoD is able to flash away to safety.

    18:20 - Nyjacky sees Tails in his jungle as he goes for a seemingly easy kill, but little did he know that snuggled was waiting in the flanks to set up a counter-gank. Hauntzer is able to make his way down to mid as get Snuggled and Tails start to retreat resulting in a kill onto Snuggled.

    19:50 - Heaventime is waiting in the brush near his ancient golem as Snuggled comes in to get vision. Nyjacky is quick to react, distortioning over the wall to lay down some law resulting in a clean kill.

    22:53 - Nyjacky and Heaventime catch Tails at the mid ramp entrance to the jungle, deleting him from existance.

    27:19 - LoLPro has a bit of miscommunication as Hauntzer engages on Tails and Cris as the rest of LoLPro is maneuvering towards white wraith. Snuggled vault breaker's a bit too deep as he is destroyed before he is able to get back to his team. Cris is able to chase out LoD and secures a clean kill ending the fight in a 2-1 exchange in favor of vVv.

    29:20 - Nyjacky is being surrounded by Cris, Gaunty, Tails and Pekin woof and while he is able to back off, it leaves LoH in a vulnerable position behind the enemy team resulting in a death at the hands of Tails. Heaventime is too late to help LoH escape which allows Cris, Snuggled, Tails and Pekin woof to take down LoD. Cris over extends as the team pulls off to chase Hautzer into the jungle which gives Nyjacky an opening to take him out.

    31:45 - Snuggled Lands a beautiful vault breaker from mid brush over the wall onto LoD, chunking him to half hp as the rest of LoLPro starts to engage. Snuggled follows up with a beautiful 3 man Assault and Battery as Pekin Woof lands a 4 man Mega Inferno Bomb which takes out both LoD and LoH. Heaventime is able to land a nice ultimate on to Pekin Woof which provides the rest of LoLPro some time to retreat.

    32:20 - vVv is in the midst of taking baron when Heaventime baits cris to dragon form over the back wall of baron. This allows Nyjacky a chance to pick off Gaunty and Snuggled who are both sitting critically low in the baron pit with Pekin. LoLPro decides to back off after losing Heaventime since there was no smite available.

    35:20 - LoLPro makes their final stand at the top t3 turret but it's too late. Pekin picks off Heaventime out of the base (why he was there... who knows?). Because of this, Cris is able to dragon form past the turret onto LoD and makes quick work of him. vVv pushes forward and is able to secure the victory with 20 seconds remaining on the respawn timer of Heaventime.

    Series MVP: vVv Tails [ 22/5/19 : 8.2KDA ]

    I'm about 10 seconds away from making a parody video of "Teach me how to dougie" to be "Teach me how to Luci" inspired by Tails. Tails put on a clinic Sunday evening in games 2 and 3 on how to not only play Lucian, but how to play smart. A lot of marksmen can get in trouble by positioning inappropriately but Tails was spot on all night using his team, brushes and the fog of war to edge out a positional advantage in almost every team fight. Ending the series with a 8.2 KDA, It's safe to say that Tails may be the best Lucian NA... sorry Imaqtpie but you've lost your crown! Congratulations vVv Tails for being this week's MVP!

  12. Well guys, here I am again, with a post slighty different that the one I had been preparing. But I just had a revelation and I want to work with it.

    There's no question that eSports is growing, and there's several people and companies to praise on that, but I feel that from that maturity the eSports scene has reached, very few players have actually grown with it.

    The Main Goal of Every Gamer.

    Let's face it, every single one of us (yes, me too) dream of that amazing skill and cutthroat competition, and yet there's very few people that will actually reach that, alongside that there's the development you get throughout playing the actual game, which most people don't take into consideration, most people think that the way they add value to a game is by being good, getting sponsors and travel around the world showing people how awesome they are at the game.

    That may be a great goal to strive for, but when it comes to adding value to eSports, it does naught, as eSports is an entity, and your personal growth won't help it in any way.

    My Experience in eSports.

    Over the years, I've played almost every competitive title out there, and I've competed and won several online/offline tournaments. People who know me describe me as awfully competitive, and sharp as a razor, which is where I got my name. I started very young playing FPS Games, Doom, Quake, and several others.

    The main title I started competing on was Quake 2, in which with only 16 years old I let a team (TTS) to winning several big tournaments, the web site doesn't exist anymore, and sadly, none of my teammates, since they all were older than I was. Then I moved onto Quake 3, with not that much success. So I sought out for new heights.

    It was then when I found MMORPG. Though it lacks actual prize money tournaments, there's still a lot of competition in them, from skill builds, to gear builds, to Guilds, and as we all now, every MMORPG title has PvP and some sort of Raid-Based Clan War. This was very appealing to me as it challenged me to not only just grow skill in a game, but to actually grow actual knowledge of it. And over the years I played a lot of RPGs. (L2, Diablo 2, RO, etc..)

    How did I have time for all of this? Well, I'm an only child, and my mom was a single parent, so you can tell I was kinda spoiled. Most of my time I spent it playing games or doing sports, I had no real interest in school but I never did bad at it either.

    At 21(2010), with a promising career in Hockey, I was diagnosed with a loose bone fragment on my right knee that could potentially get incrusted in my knee and turn into a serious injury. At first I didn't care, but over time I started feeling more and more pain after practice, so I decided to call it quits.

    After that I really got into gaming, but I lacked the support of a team to go to major tournaments, and here in South America major tournaments didn't really started happening until 2011. Then, at the beggining of 2011, I discovered Starcraft 2, and I was amazed to see how different it was from Brood War, which I had played competitively, but there weren't really that many tournaments here, and online ones were just dominated by A+ people.

    I then decided to star playing starcraft 2, not with a competitive aim, but just for fun. I failed miserably. With my 100th Position in Bronze League Secured thanks to a solid 15 Game Loss Streak. I was ready to say "This game is stupid" and just throw it away. But something in me told me I could go on, that I didn't have to give up, for I had given up something important to me once.

    Then I came across the GSL, I loved how the players could do amazing skills, and knew the game, so I knew my failure wasn't mechanical, it came from knowledge, so I started practicing until I eventually got better, reaching Masters League on the Latin American server. I started doing some casting back then, and I eventually became really good, but that's another story. After a good result in WCG 2011 I joined team EliteGaming, seeded mainly in Dominican Republic, where I met a lot of nice people and further developed my skills as I moved onto the NA server, where I hit Diamond.

    I played a long time with them, but I had this feeling something was missing, that I needed the focus of a team to be something else than just playing games and getting sponsorships. Then I met vVv Astro while doing a playhem tournament, who told me about vVv Gaming and how amazing it was to be a part of it, so I decided to give it a try, and well, I gotta say I couldn't be happier, I'm exactly where I want to be right now, for vVv Gaming has helped me realize the goals I have for eSports and life.

    My Views on the Current eSports Scene

    Currently, there's a lot of things going on with eSports, mainly, it's starting to grow into something massive, that is drawing a lot of people, but to actually capitalize on this success, we need to have people adding value to ride on it's success. What do I mean by this? It means that just being good or streaming a lot of games isn't going to cut it. We need to start doing much more, and generate a lot of eSports related content, to intensify the growth that the eSports scene has taken.

    I believe organizations like Riot Games, Naughty Dog, and vVv Gaming have taken this first step into the future of eSports, and thus stand at the pinnacle of the industry right now. There are several other companies, of course, that are starting to work towards achieving this same goals. It's all healthy competition that makes everyone stronger.

    Currently there are very few players actually concerned about the development of the eSports Scene, and some conscience needs to be developed on this aspect, that way, by having more people adding value to the scene instead of just playing, we'll have a much richer SC2 community.

    But I'm just a nobody, how can someone like me add value to eSports if I'm not good?

    Well, you're lying to yourself, nobody's a nobody, and there are always ways for you to add value to the scene, whether it is by being a passionate member of a community, by creating content, or you can even develop your own eSports associated brand, it's all about that something that you have that you're passionate about, and see how can you utilize it to bring value to eSports.

    You're a good writer? Make a blog and let people know how awesome your game is. Maybe you're a very friendly person, try to get people involved with eSports. It's all about inspiring the followers. And there's an endless amount of ways that add value, just look for the one that works for you!

    My Thoughts on the Future.

    Up until today, I had a fairly decent vision of what I wanted to do, and I knew all of them aligned with my interests, but thanks to my dear soon-to-be former community manager, vVv SugarBear, I finally realized where I want my place to be at. I'm going to develop an eSports career, hopefully making it to pro level, but always looking back at the steps I'm taking to make sure I'm not only growing by myself, but helping the eSports community grow along with it.

    I want to leave my mark in eSports, as have several others before me, and I'll work as hard as I can to do so. I am sure now that I want to work along the lines of Marketing and Management, and for that I will pursue my goals through a life on eSports.

    There's a long way for me to go, and there's a lot to be learned, enjoyed, suffered, etc.. along the way, but no matter how things turn out. I'll always be thankful to vVv Gaming for helping me realize my ideals, and for giving me the time and space needed to work on them.

    So a big shoutout to the vVv Community, you guys have a place in my heart now, and you have my word that I'll bring you guys great things.

    Without further ado, my best wishes to all my readers as well, for without you, I wouldn't have readers at all. (Seriously. Haha)

    -Matthew 'vVv Razor' Fernandez.

  13. With Halo 4 launching on November 6th. Fans of the franchise as you well know will have the opportunity to play the game in its entirety in Dallas Texas on November 2nd-4th. For the second time in history, one of the largest and most known FPS franchises, being played in a full tournament before the release of the actual game itself. Now the Halo community is known for being immature and unkept bunch. There is a dark side ot the community that I am ashamed to admit exists. I will not deny that, but there is a side of the community that people may not know.

    A part of the community where there is pure competition, you leave it all on the table, all the hate, all the energy, is used up into the game. Then after, you stand up, shake hands, give a pat on the back, and say good game, no hard feelings. This is the community that we need to show the world. For it will truly be the world watching in November as Halo is reborn onto the MLG Pro circuit. With 199 Passes sold as of last week, this leaves only 25 passes up for grabs. Assuming all the teams show up, we are putting a MINIMUM of 796 people in the convention center. This is more than SC2 and the Fighting games combined, fighting games at the moment stand at 26 passes sold, 23 for Mortal Kombat, and 3 for Tekken Tag 2. This may be one of the best attended Halo events ever, only time will tell. But we must be on our best behavior to represent both MLG, eSports, and the Halo community as a whole in a positive light. Perhaps we can shed the “little kid” theory and show the world that Halo is truly and eSport among the PC giants.

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    Dr Pepper Tuition Contest

    225px-Dr_Pepper_modern.svg.png

    Hello everyone, I am Michael White, also known as vVv Shadow among the community. I am 19 years old, and currently going to community college to get my basics and hopefully will transfer to UTD to finish my degree unless my plans change, and I end up moving. If that did happen I would continue my education there and get a Computer Science Degree at whatever University they may have. I have been a member of vVv since February of 2012. I was here when there was 5 people in the Call of Duty Division, I was here when the CoD Division got dropped, I was here when it got reinstated. vVv is a significant part of my life. It has changed me in many ways for the better, it has made me a better person overall. It has taught me professionalism, business skills, people skills, as well as life skills. I wish to continue my education, and get a degree in Computer Science so I can help develop games. If I win this scholarship or a part of this Scholarship it would take a huge weight off my shoulders, with how I would be ending up paying for my education. All I am asking is to please help and please vote for me and show your friends this and have them vote for me. I would really appreciate it.

    20121012195036!VVv_Gaming.png

    My rolemodel in life has always been my brother, he got kicked out of high school, and joined the military and made something with his life, he always told me to not make the same mistakes he did and to go to College and get an education. I want to make him proud. As he was in the military, he was always stationed far away so the only way I could "Hang" out with him was by playing Video Games. It all started out with a MMORPG named Star Wars Galaxies, but after a few years it more transpired into the Console scene. I first heard about MLG when it appeared on ESPN, I was amazed by it, I tried to follow the scene since then, but I fell off, I picked it back up back when Black Ops 1 was on the Circuit for the first event when Leverage won MLG Dallas 2011. Right then, I knew I wanted to get into eSports, but I had no outlet to get into it with, I had no idea about Gamebattles at the time or anything else. In early January 2012, I got an email from Kontrol Freek saying that vVv Gaming was taking applications to join again starting January 19th. I was amazed, so on January 19th, I immediately applied, and there was my outlet to get into eSports. I honestly believe I would not be where I am at today in life, or in gaming, if it was not for vVv. I have met amazing people while being apart of vVv and I thank every single one of them. The smartest person I know, Jerry "LordJerith" Prochazka, is the owner of vVv. He personally has taught me a lot and has helped me a lot through life. One big thing that I love about eSports is how Dr Pepper personally supports MLG and eSports with the @DrPepperGaming Twitter, the Dr Pepper Ultimate Gaming House, the Dr Pepper Pre Game Show at MLG Events, and not to mention the Dr Pepper Booths, with free Dr Pepper at MLG Events (Personally my favorite). I really hope I get this opportunity and win the Dr Pepper Tuition Contest. I would truthfully be thankful for it.

    IMGP5120.jpg?t=1323177128

    (Photo courtesy of www.teamliquid.net)

  14. PrEeN
    Latest Entry

    Its Happened... Zombies are real, Get ready people i told you they were coming!

    So this is the 4th Zombie Report i am posting, with some very very scary news! a Biologist creates "Zombie Cells" in a lab today, I think they said he works for umbrella but don't quote me on that! But not only do we now have zombies being created, BUT as quoted in the article

    "The silica replicants can survive greater pressures and temperatures than flesh, and perform many functions better than the original cells did when alive."

    They are making super zombies! With this statement we know that the zombie Apocalypse wont be of "the dead" series kind I.E Land of the dead, day of the dead, etc. But more like resident evil zombies, which is way scarier! People be scared because the lead researcher Bryan Kaehr is.

    "Our zombie cells bridge chemistry and biology to create forms that not only near-perfectly resemble their past selves, but can do future work," he said, terrifyingly....

    Terrifyingly!! He know what he's doing is dooming us all but he can't not. Because who doesn't want to see how they would do in a zombie apocalypse. Good luck everyone i hope we all make it.

    To check out the Video and article head here

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  15. People Are Overly Confident in Their Own Knowledge, Despite Errors

    A group of Psychologists created a series of studies that evaluated our tendency to over estimate. The test had participants estimate the temperature of the current day. When they get an answer correct or within an acceptable range the test subject gains a lottery ticket for a prize. They found that even though they corrected the participants, they didn't show enough change to their estimates. The psychologists then dramatized their feedback, where they where able to counteract the effects of over confidence. This explains why people tend to bounce checks or arrive late.

    • When reading this, it made me think back to League of Legends. Where the more I play a certain champ, the more I make careless mistakes. While the idealism that you can't be afraid of your opponent is important. It's also important to practice consciously thinking through all the information you have attained. My blog on Perspective goes more in depth on this.

    ​​Video Gamers Really Do See More: Gamers Capture More Information Faster for Visual Decision-Making

    Researchers have found through testing intense Gamers and none gamers; that Gamers can take in more information than their counter part. They believe this either has to do with better decision making or the ability to perceive more at once.

    • A great read, I won't reveal to much. But it's really interesting in how they tested the subjects! I also wonder if these results would be the same for non-fps games?

    Graphene and Semiconductor Technology Together: Smaller, Cheaper, Better

    Graphene is definitely the hottest topic right now among nanomaterial researchers. The pure-carbon material is by far the thinnest and strongest known to exist. It is 200 times stronger than steel, conducts electricity 100 times faster than silicon and is superior to any other material in conducting heat. It is impenetrable, yet pliable and transparent at the same time. And inexpensive large-scale production of graphene is now becoming a reality.

    • ​Graphene has become a craze within the science world. It's considered to be the ultimate material as it's properties open a path to scientists that where previously incapable of reaching. Graphene is going to change so much of what we know, and what is possible. I'm planning to go into mechtronics myself, a hybrid between computing and engineering. I look forward to working with so much potential. From self sufficient space craft to more advanced robots. Science-fiction has come to life in the passed, such as the internet and I believe we'll be living within these fantasys sooner then we might think. To put this in perspective, contrast between what people had 100 years ago to the technology we have now. It's quite amazing.

    I still can't get over how awesome graphene is.

    Science is so awesome if you think of its potential... I find we don't realize this enough!

    The best way to show your appreciation is to share using the buttons below.

    Thanks for reading!

  16. Titan
    Latest Entry

     

     

    Have you ever had met a person in life who shared all of your interests? Thought the way you do?

    The Moriarty to your Sherlock - Sometimes the other way around? Well, my brother, Chris, was and

    is that to me. There is nothing in this world that gets my blood flowing like the thrill of a challenge,

    a competition, or pursuit of perfection.

     

    The earliest memory I have is playing Mortal Kombat Ultimate. My brother was a beast at

    Nightwolf and Sindel. God, I couldn't stand that fucker and his axe combo; if you know the game,

    it started with a low kick... followed by an annihilation of your manhood (insert rage). Anyways,

    we'd play the game with large health pools so that the matches lasted for 7-10 minutes. We figured

    this would balance out the flukes and allow the better player to always win. It was always him.

    I would practice hours upon hours, character after character, just to find a way to beat his

    Nightwolf. I would go so far as to play into the AM's while everyone was asleep on a school night.

    Finally, a miracle happened. Jesus took the wheel, or in this case, control of the controller leading

    me to accidentally pick Noob Sabot in the select screen. Well, it turns out the timing of Sabots

    combos completely and utterly destroy Nightwolf. I ended up figuring out something called an

    "infinite combo" in the fighter genre, like Marvel vs Capcom. I was unbeatable. This led to my

    brother demanding the hero be banned from play, lol.

     

    Fast forward a few years, and the best game of all time had been created; Starcraft: Brood War.

    Our second greatest rivalry. I can still remember the day my brother came home with a disc of this

    game. For all you youngins out there, we had to have cd-rom discs of the game to play it. This is

    back when windows 95 was the most up to date operating system. Anyways, our buddy Jeremy

    from down the street was all about this game. We installed, opened the game, picked protoss,

    and entered a world that would define our childhood. Even to this day, I find myself searching

    youtube for the game's music, old tournaments, and everything GomTV. The game was flawless.

     

    Alright, enough gushing about Starcraft, down to the nitty gritty. Like all games, top tier players

    separate themselves from the community and create their own secret hideout. In Starcraft, this

    was Clan x17. To put this place in perspective; think of the biggest crush you've ever had. Now

    imagine her surrounded by a multitude of bouncers, and around these bouncers are other nerds

    ust like yourself. Just like the world of dating, clan x17 is the girl you want to bang, and the

    amount of horny teenagers trying to get in her circle represents the starcraft community.

     

    This is where my brother played.

     

    Having only 1 computer growing up, I spent a great deal of time watching my brother in a chair

    right beside him, learning from his every move. There was this one game I remember vividly,

    the game he played against Testie. This guy was one of the top terran players in North America

    at the time, a man ahead of his time in terms of skill. Testie decided to do a tank push/contain

    on my brother's protoss base very early in the game. However, my brother had created a build

    rushing zealot speed and shuttles in order to drop on top of the tanks, nullifying the terran

    advantage. The game was a 30 minute slugfest of epic proportion. The result: my brother was victorious.

     

    Throughout the next few years, he would play against the top canadian protoss Smuft- from

    time to time, as well as many other Clan x17 members. I’m not sure of all the opponents

    anymore, but I am certain he had to of run into Artosis, Tasteless and Day9 at one point or another.

     

    As for myself, I played in x17 as well. My defining moment came before my brother’s success

    in the game. One late night, my brother went over to our friend’s house in order to play me

    1v1 online. We played for hours upon hours into the AM’s, digging deeper into competitive

    nature with each passing game. And so the moment came where I defeated him in 3 straight

    games, convincingly. My brother didn’t even type a word as his connection disappeared from

    the LAN screen. I was beside myself because I had never truly beaten him on even terms

    before. But… he crushed me in a harmful way. The following day he told me this, “I was just

    playing around you know? I’m still better than you.” As a young, 12 year old boy, I accepted

    my older brother’s statement and quit Starcraft for good.

     

    There are times in my gaming career where I wonder, "what might have been if I had done 'x'?"

    Well, this is one of them.

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    Recent Entries

    First off, you're probably wondering why this is #11 not the first. Well, there's ten other articles located HERE.

    Unlike the normal articles, this entry is specifically about my interactions with vVv so far. Let me tell you, I've only been here a short while, but in the time I've spent with vVv I've come pretty far. As it stands I'm a senior officer for our Guild Wars 2 team, as well as the Editor in Chief of the entire website. But you'd know that if you read pretty much any of my profiles on the internet, my tumblr, or my twitter.

    I first found vVv Gaming on the MMO-Champion guild recruitment forums, and after a very short time going through the forums and reading what vVv was about, I knew this was the place for me. The diversity, values and guidelines that vVv exists by make it unique in both the world of E-sports and non-competitive gaming. They're a place for everyone who wants to be there, and anyone who makes the effort to join.

    After initially posting my application to the Guild Wars 2 officer ranks, I had a chat with former MMO Manager vVv Voison and began doing writing tasks for the organization, shortly after I began getting assignments from LordJerith, the president and CEO. A few days later I posted my Editor in Chief application, and within two weeks, was ranked as Staff and wearing my new title. I couldn't be more proud of what I've accomplished here in such a short time. But that's not the only thing I do..

    Did you know that, along with a WONDERFUL team of people, I also manage the Guild Wars 2 division? I know I said I was a senior officer, but did you know I was running the whole show as it is? Currently it's not as much work as it will be. As I said I have a wonderful team of members and applicants who make great contributions, put in a ton of effort, and generally make my life easy... For now. By no means am I saying that what I currently do is easy, it's not. There's a lot of work to be done, but not as much as there will be when Guild Wars 2 releases! But don't worry, not only will I take it on with the same vigour and dedication that I've done with everything else so far, I'm actually looking forward to it.

    All that said, the nature of Gamer Culture going forward is going to change. Before it was just opinions on certain topics I felt passionate about. Going forward, it's going to be a mix of everything it was before, and anything else I think you might enjoy reading.

    So with that said, I'm going to cut it short here by saying, welcome to the new Gamer Culture. I hope you've all enjoyed my introductory post, and I look forward to lots more time with vVv!

  17. test

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    No blog entries yet

  18. S2-page1.png

    Image from Mirametrix's website

    The three adjectives that describe the S2 Eyetracker, pretty much explains what the eyetracker is, but how did I like during my trial? Let's check it out!

    INTRODUCTION:

    http://youtu.be/LCALRYIzVXA

    (If you prefer to watch the video rather than read, please skip the introduction and proceed further down)

    Upon receiving the S2 Eyetracker by Mirametrix, I first had to download the software from the Mirametrix website. After installation, calibration of the Eyetracker is very very simple.

    During the calibration, a blue circle with a very small white dot would appear at points of the computer screen, from top left and making it's way to the bottom right of the screen. This process allows the eyetracker to track your pupils in coordinate of where you are looking at. After the calibration process is done, there will be a score in which < xx is excellent calibration and <yy is considered ""good" calibration. If the score is greater than x and y, then calibration is needed/ readjustment of the eyetracker is needed, but this did not happened to me so therefore calibration was a breeze.

    After all of the calibration, next we set up the given software for your streaming program (preferably I use XSplit)

    Noq0Kl.png

    Now you may be asking "SonTran, isn't it annoying that you have a green circle showing and all those fancy mathematics on the bottom?"

    My answer: It's not because I cannot see them.

    The software allows my viewers to see what I am seeing, and those "fancy mathematics" are how often and how long I look at specific parts of the game.

    Now this can be very exciting for my viewers to see if I saw something fishy. Questions like "Did he see the hidden overlord?" "Did he see the unit composition of his opponent and will he react accordingly?" "Does he see how much resources he has?" "Does he see that he is supply blocked?"

    Sometimes we always wondered if pros SEE what is coming, and most of the time if we see the player react, then yes, he/she saw it, and if not then the game winds up being over.

    We always wondered "IF" the player "saw" what was coming, then the Eyetracker can show if the players did in fact see what was coming or not.

    Now you may ask yourself, HOW can this help me become a better player in Starcraft? Then the following section is what you want to read :)

    TRAINING:

    http://youtu.be/VSzuUTIHYbk

    So how is this used in my training? Simple. When I stream, I save my VODs for future viewing, and when I watch myself play and what I see, I realize that "I should be looking at this more often, rather than that".

    My playstyle in case no one knows is that I am a really excellent micro player, and from one of my teammates, he says that I have the APM close to a pro gamers, but there is one thing that was keeping me back was my macro.

    In fact, when I joined Aspire, I thought TvZ was my worst, but here, it was my poor macro.

    So by watching the VODs and watching the calculations of the LPM* at my resources, I realize that I don't even look at my resources as often as I should be going. In the match against Temp0, you can see that my mini-map LPM is about 12 and my Resouces LPM is at a mere 6, With this, I can see that I can't tell if I was about to get supply blocked, and I have a huge bank because of that and therefore I can not reinforce my army as well as I should be.

    It's always recommended that you balance your macro/micro and check the minimap and your resources to see if you are fit enough to do what you must to stand victorious.

    It is GREAT to be aware of what is going on all around in the game.

    RESULTS:

    During my trial, and looking back at the VODs, I realized how the potential of the eyetracker to help me improve just shown itself as "clear as day".

    I am now proud to say that with the help of the Eyetracker, the software provided by Mirametrix, the practices with my teammates in Aspire, and all of the support and criticism of my play, I was promoted to Diamond and soon almost Masters. I believe I have made a great decision in becoming a tester for Mirametrix with their S2 Eyetracker, and I am glad that they made a huge show at the Lone Star Clash by having the pros participate with it, and also showing heat maps and statistics of the pros.

    In the future when Mirametrix releases the S2 Eyetracker for market consumption, I would be honored to purchase one for stream viewers and training.

    My name is Adam "SonTran" Son Tran and I am a proud tester of the Mirametrix S2 Eyetracker

    Mirametrix Website: http://gaming.mirametrix.com

  19. Over the next few weeks before Call of Duty: Ghosts, I will be giving an in-depth analysis over every weapon that will be available in the game. Although most of the weapons sound amazing, only a few will be used in the competitive scene. My goal with this analysis is to figure out what guns we may see while playing competitively based on previous Infinity Ward games and how these weapons are built and used in real life. I would like to note that my assessments are not factual and the only factual material in this analysis is the sources used. Today I will be going through the Assault Rifles. I hope you enjoy and next week is sub-machine guns!

    Key For Understanding

    aadczk.jpg

    Now onto the Assault Rifles!

    AK-12

    2qtagxt.jpg

    The Russian Army has not upgraded their assault rifle since the AK-74 and will be doing so with the AK-12. It was be introduced into active service in 2014 and is said to be an upgrade to the AK series. Look for this gun to be similar to all Infinity Ward AK-47’s in Ghosts.

    http://www.recoilweb.com/new-kalashnikova-izmashs-ak-12-573.html

    http://bearingarms.com/russian-military-upgrades-to-ak-12-and-you-can-too/

    ARX-160

    2nk50x.jpg

    Currently in production and being used by the Italian Special Forces. The ARX-160 is being tokened as the “M4 replacement” and it’s gun barrel can be interchanged depending on the mission. A friend of mine worked with them for a short time on one of his deployments and stated that “they were the craziest bastards he ever met”. If this is the case and if reality is set into Ghosts, this gun may be of use ;)

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/21/beretta-nrx-carbine/

    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/01/20/introducing-the-beretta-arx160/

    FAD

    azc3v7.jpg

    The FAD is currently being proposed for use in the Peruvian Armed Forces. The only weapon in past Infinity Ward games that shows any similarity is the M4 in both CoD4 and MW2 based on its Rounds Per Minute and Damage. If this gun is anything like it was in MW3, it will be one of the weaker assault rifles in the game; don’t be surprised if it either comes out stronger than it did in MW3 and/or it is buffed about midway through the lifespan of Ghosts.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=314185

    http://wethearmed.com/rifles/fad-assault-rifle/

    HONEY BADGER

    a4vb4w.jpg

    Lightweight and accurate, the AR-15 was adopted into the United States Military as the M16 and is one of the more popular semi-automatic rifles for American Civilian shooters and federal police officers. This gun I assess is a wildcard because of the possibility of the gun being able to be modified in many different ways. And as we all know, “the honey badger really doesn’t care”, so I’d suggest being as reckless as possible while using this weapon on the battlefield. J

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category3_750001_750051_757784_-1_Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

    MSBS

    245x15d.jpg

    The MSBS is a Polish made rifle to replace the Polish Beryl. What makes it different that the M16 in previous Infinity Ward games is that it has a built in select fire option.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/08/15/polish-msbs-5-56mm-rifle/

    R5RGP

    20fbwon.jpg

    The R5RGP (R5 Remington Gas Piston) is probably going to be the new ACR similar to the one in MW3. It is said the real life version is just an upgrade to the ACR.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/01/foghorn/new-from-remington-defense-r5-rgp-gas-piston-ar-15/

    http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/en/Firearms/Carbines/RGP.aspx

    SA-805

    fon6oo.jpg

    Known in the real world as the CZ-805, this weapon is an upgrade that is used in the Czech Armed Forces. Expect this gun to be similar to the SCAR class that has been out in the Infinity Ward series, which has high recoil and low fire rate.

    http://world.guns.ru/assault/chex/cz-05-e.html

    SC-2010

    2csh214.jpg

    Otherwise known as the SC-2005 in real life, this gun is an upgrade to the FN FAL. This weapon could be similar to the FAL but it is automatic rifle in Ghosts.

    http://www.outflankers.com/assault-rifles/

    Now I will be getting into the assessment on what I think will be used for competitive play. I would like to point out again that this is an assessment and by no means fact.

    Competitive Play Assessment Based on Roles:

    Slayer/Support:

    Based on the given information I gathered, I would assess to see either the AK-12 or R5RGP as a slayers main weapon. The R5RGP can strong because of the damage output, fire rate, and the overall effectiveness of the ACR in MW3. I also assess that the AK-12 will not be changed at all and will still be one of the strongest weapons in the game.

    Support/Defensive:

    I assess to see the AK-12, R5RGP, or the MSBS in this role. I assess that because of what I stated in the Slayer/Support role with the AK-12 and R5RGP, these weapons can be used in this situation. I assess that the MSBS will be the primary weapon for this type of role based on the accuracy of what a 3-round burst can do. The idea of having the option to change the MSBS to automatic could help with transitioning to other objectives.

    Objective:

    Although I do not see any Assault Rifle being using for a strict objective play, the Honey Badger is the closest weapon I see as something to be used in this role. It is versatile and is said to be a replacement to the MP7 and MP5 which could lead to believe that a player will have faster movement speed than any other assault rifle in its class.

    %7Boption%7DOver the next few weeks before Call of Duty: Ghosts, I will be giving an in-depth analysis over every weapon that will be available in the game. Although most of the weapons sound amazing, only a few will be used in the competitive scene. My goal with this analysis is to figure out what guns we may see while playing competitively based on previous Infinity Ward games and how these weapons are built and used in real life. I would like to note that my assessments are not factual and the only factual material in this analysis is the sources used. Today I will be going through the Assault Rifles. I hope you enjoy and next week is sub-machine guns!

    Key For Understanding

    aadczk.jpg

    Now onto the Assault Rifles!

    AK-12

    2qtagxt.jpg

    The Russian Army has not upgraded their assault rifle since the AK-74 and will be doing so with the AK-12. It was be introduced into active service in 2014 and is said to be an upgrade to the AK series. Look for this gun to be similar to all Infinity Ward AK-47’s in Ghosts.

    http://www.recoilweb.com/new-kalashnikova-izmashs-ak-12-573.html

    http://bearingarms.com/russian-military-upgrades-to-ak-12-and-you-can-too/

    ARX-160

    2nk50x.jpg

    Currently in production and being used by the Italian Special Forces. The ARX-160 is being tokened as the “M4 replacement” and it’s gun barrel can be interchanged depending on the mission. A friend of mine worked with them for a short time on one of his deployments and stated that “they were the craziest bastards he ever met”. If this is the case and if reality is set into Ghosts, this gun may be of use ;)

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/21/beretta-nrx-carbine/

    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/01/20/introducing-the-beretta-arx160/

    FAD

    azc3v7.jpg

    The FAD is currently being proposed for use in the Peruvian Armed Forces. The only weapon in past Infinity Ward games that shows any similarity is the M4 in both CoD4 and MW2 based on its Rounds Per Minute and Damage. If this gun is anything like it was in MW3, it will be one of the weaker assault rifles in the game; don’t be surprised if it either comes out stronger than it did in MW3 and/or it is buffed about midway through the lifespan of Ghosts.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=314185

    http://wethearmed.com/rifles/fad-assault-rifle/

    HONEY BADGER

    a4vb4w.jpg

    Lightweight and accurate, the AR-15 was adopted into the United States Military as the M16 and is one of the more popular semi-automatic rifles for American Civilian shooters and federal police officers. This gun I assess is a wildcard because of the possibility of the gun being able to be modified in many different ways. And as we all know, “the honey badger really doesn’t care”, so I’d suggest being as reckless as possible while using this weapon on the battlefield. J

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category3_750001_750051_757784_-1_Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

    MSBS

    245x15d.jpg

    The MSBS is a Polish made rifle to replace the Polish Beryl. What makes it different that the M16 in previous Infinity Ward games is that it has a built in select fire option.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/08/15/polish-msbs-5-56mm-rifle/

    R5RGP

    20fbwon.jpg

    The R5RGP (R5 Remington Gas Piston) is probably going to be the new ACR similar to the one in MW3. It is said the real life version is just an upgrade to the ACR.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/01/foghorn/new-from-remington-defense-r5-rgp-gas-piston-ar-15/

    http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/en/Firearms/Carbines/RGP.aspx

    SA-805

    fon6oo.jpg

    Known in the real world as the CZ-805, this weapon is an upgrade that is used in the Czech Armed Forces. Expect this gun to be similar to the SCAR class that has been out in the Infinity Ward series, which has high recoil and low fire rate.

    http://world.guns.ru/assault/chex/cz-05-e.html

    SC-2010

    2csh214.jpg

    Otherwise known as the SC-2005 in real life, this gun is an upgrade to the FN FAL. This weapon could be similar to the FAL but it is automatic rifle in Ghosts.

    http://www.outflankers.com/assault-rifles/

    Now I will be getting into the assessment on what I think will be used for competitive play. I would like to point out again that this is an assessment and by no means fact.

    Competitive Play Assessment Based on Roles:

    Slayer/Support:

    Based on the given information I gathered, I would assess to see either the AK-12 or R5RGP as a slayers main weapon. The R5RGP can strong because of the damage output, fire rate, and the overall effectiveness of the ACR in MW3. I also assess that the AK-12 will not be changed at all and will still be one of the strongest weapons in the game.

    Support/Defensive:

    I assess to see the AK-12, R5RGP, or the MSBS in this role. I assess that because of what I stated in the Slayer/Support role with the AK-12 and R5RGP, these weapons can be used in this situation. I assess that the MSBS will be the primary weapon for this type of role based on the accuracy of what a 3-round burst can do. The idea of having the option to change the MSBS to automatic could help with transitioning to other objectives.

    Objective:

    Although I do not see any Assault Rifle being using for a strict objective play, the Honey Badger is the closest weapon I see as something to be used in this role. It is versatile and is said to be a replacement to the MP7 and MP5 which could lead to believe that a player will have faster movement speed than any other assault rifle in its class.

    %7Boption%7DOver the next few weeks before Call of Duty: Ghosts, I will be giving an in-depth analysis over every weapon that will be available in the game. Although most of the weapons sound amazing, only a few will be used in the competitive scene. My goal with this analysis is to figure out what guns we may see while playing competitively based on previous Infinity Ward games and how these weapons are built and used in real life. I would like to note that my assessments are not factual and the only factual material in this analysis is the sources used. Today I will be going through the Assault Rifles. I hope you enjoy and next week is sub-machine guns!

    Key For Understanding

    aadczk.jpg

    Now onto the Assault Rifles!

    AK-12

    2qtagxt.jpg

    The Russian Army has not upgraded their assault rifle since the AK-74 and will be doing so with the AK-12. It was be introduced into active service in 2014 and is said to be an upgrade to the AK series. Look for this gun to be similar to all Infinity Ward AK-47’s in Ghosts.

    http://www.recoilweb.com/new-kalashnikova-izmashs-ak-12-573.html

    http://bearingarms.com/russian-military-upgrades-to-ak-12-and-you-can-too/

    ARX-160

    2nk50x.jpg

    Currently in production and being used by the Italian Special Forces. The ARX-160 is being tokened as the “M4 replacement” and it’s gun barrel can be interchanged depending on the mission. A friend of mine worked with them for a short time on one of his deployments and stated that “they were the craziest bastards he ever met”. If this is the case and if reality is set into Ghosts, this gun may be of use ;)

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/21/beretta-nrx-carbine/

    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/01/20/introducing-the-beretta-arx160/

    FAD

    azc3v7.jpg

    The FAD is currently being proposed for use in the Peruvian Armed Forces. The only weapon in past Infinity Ward games that shows any similarity is the M4 in both CoD4 and MW2 based on its Rounds Per Minute and Damage. If this gun is anything like it was in MW3, it will be one of the weaker assault rifles in the game; don’t be surprised if it either comes out stronger than it did in MW3 and/or it is buffed about midway through the lifespan of Ghosts.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=314185

    http://wethearmed.com/rifles/fad-assault-rifle/

    HONEY BADGER

    a4vb4w.jpg

    Lightweight and accurate, the AR-15 was adopted into the United States Military as the M16 and is one of the more popular semi-automatic rifles for American Civilian shooters and federal police officers. This gun I assess is a wildcard because of the possibility of the gun being able to be modified in many different ways. And as we all know, “the honey badger really doesn’t care”, so I’d suggest being as reckless as possible while using this weapon on the battlefield. J

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category3_750001_750051_757784_-1_Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

    MSBS

    245x15d.jpg

    The MSBS is a Polish made rifle to replace the Polish Beryl. What makes it different that the M16 in previous Infinity Ward games is that it has a built in select fire option.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/08/15/polish-msbs-5-56mm-rifle/

    R5RGP

    20fbwon.jpg

    The R5RGP (R5 Remington Gas Piston) is probably going to be the new ACR similar to the one in MW3. It is said the real life version is just an upgrade to the ACR.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/01/foghorn/new-from-remington-defense-r5-rgp-gas-piston-ar-15/

    http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/en/Firearms/Carbines/RGP.aspx

    SA-805

    fon6oo.jpg

    Known in the real world as the CZ-805, this weapon is an upgrade that is used in the Czech Armed Forces. Expect this gun to be similar to the SCAR class that has been out in the Infinity Ward series, which has high recoil and low fire rate.

    http://world.guns.ru/assault/chex/cz-05-e.html

    SC-2010

    2csh214.jpg

    Otherwise known as the SC-2005 in real life, this gun is an upgrade to the FN FAL. This weapon could be similar to the FAL but it is automatic rifle in Ghosts.

    http://www.outflankers.com/assault-rifles/

    Now I will be getting into the assessment on what I think will be used for competitive play. I would like to point out again that this is an assessment and by no means fact.

    Competitive Play Assessment Based on Roles:

    Slayer/Support:

    Based on the given information I gathered, I would assess to see either the AK-12 or R5RGP as a slayers main weapon. The R5RGP can strong because of the damage output, fire rate, and the overall effectiveness of the ACR in MW3. I also assess that the AK-12 will not be changed at all and will still be one of the strongest weapons in the game.

    Support/Defensive:

    I assess to see the AK-12, R5RGP, or the MSBS in this role. I assess that because of what I stated in the Slayer/Support role with the AK-12 and R5RGP, these weapons can be used in this situation. I assess that the MSBS will be the primary weapon for this type of role based on the accuracy of what a 3-round burst can do. The idea of having the option to change the MSBS to automatic could help with transitioning to other objectives.

    Objective:

    Although I do not see any Assault Rifle being using for a strict objective play, the Honey Badger is the closest weapon I see as something to be used in this role. It is versatile and is said to be a replacement to the MP7 and MP5 which could lead to believe that a player will have faster movement speed than any other assault rifle in its class.

  20. http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=5869693&campaign=rss&source=twitter&ex_cid=Twitter_espn_5869693

    A step forward for equal opportunity for the LGBT Community...../sigh this is what makes the news. God forbid anything affecting everyday life. With the crimes,restrictions and downright hatred of gays,bisexuals,transgenders and all of the little in betweens of the LGBT community,things such as Gay Marriage,Don't Ask , Don't Tell and other Equal Opportunity issues are pushed to the side and dwelled on for ever. On that same token, small "almost" meaningless thing like this makes the news. To think something like this was even in place in the first place, but I guess it's another step forward for humans to gain their second set of guaranteed rights because they aren't Middle Class White Americans. Go Democracy and at least this woman gets to golf now. We can all sleep better knowing the great people of America made the right call in the end........And by the right call I mean the obvious one.

  21. shootmania_storm.png

    Greetings fellow gamers! I just recently picked up the new, upcoming first person shooter "Shootmania". I admit I never thought I would be interested in it, but, coming from a long time FPS player, I must say that it is very enjoyable with plenty of long term potential for maintaining its eSports status. In my journey to reach pro level play, I have quickly realized that I will have to adapt to this new style of game seeing as how I am used to more modern first person shooters such as the Call of Duty and Battlefield series. I will share with you, what changes in play style need to be made to become the best of the best at Shootmania, whether it's in the casual or elite scene.

    Understanding Hitscan: Many gamers who are fairly new to the first person shooter scene won't be familiar with the term "Hitscan". Without them knowing, it will certainly affect their game performance if they stay ignorant to it. Hitscan is, simply put, a term for when a game implements a function when a player fires a weapon that "shoots" the projectile in a perfectly straight line instantaneously. Coming from playing Battlefield 3 this is a pain in the side. It may seem odd, but pulling the trigger when the crosshair is directly over an enemy can be tougher than it sounds. You may notice that Quake players,such as Fnatic Strenx, are switching over to Shootmania, and that's because the two games are very similar including the hitscan feature. My advice? Practice, practice, practice. The laser is the only hitscan weapon of this game and is a very powerful tool in game as it has impeccable accuracy and uses hitscan. Get used to walking your crosshair into a target. I couldn't tell you how many times when I was first playing Shootmania that I would witness a pro's laser shots shooting about an inch to one side of his or her crosshair. This is because a skilled player, such as a pro, will know how hitscan works and will adjust their aim when moving. Trust me, there is lots of movement in Shootmania, and at varying speeds due to sprinting and jump pads. I recommend playing the "Siege" game mode in Storm or, better yet, Shootmania Elite.

    Using Stamina Properly: As, pro team Do Not Jump's, Nimbus once told me, "[shootmania] is movement and how you use your stamina." He's certainly right about that. While your stamina regenerates rather quickly, you will want to conserve it until it's necessary to use it. What you deem necessary is up to you, but while playing siege or elite, I save mine for a few different situations. One good time to burn your stamina is when the opposition is rushing you. In some situations, it'd be best to sit back and pick off the enemy coming towards you, but I do understand that this isn't always possible and evasion is the best course of action to gain a terrain advantage over the enemy. Another good reason to burn stamina is when you are rushing the enemy. Many Shootmania maps contain large open areas and a plethora of choke points. It's best to rush through the bottleneck rather than walk through it, as it gives you less room to maneuver. As a word of caution, be careful of pre-firing into the bottleneck.

    Pre-Firing: Simple in theory, complex in nature. Pre-firing is the act of firing your rockets (or nuclei) through a likely entry way that the attackers will go through in hopes of scoring a lucky hit and/or deterring their progression. In my early days of playing elite and siege, I would often pre-fire too often. Pre-firing too often is a surefire way to get vaporized without scoring a hit or two (or three) on an attacker. In my experience, pre-firing liberally before the attacker is spotted is generally a good tactic. While this depends on the map, I would recommend only blowing all of your rockets once unless the choke points are far away. Aside from that, try to pre-fire one or two rockets around corners occasionally if you suspect the attacker is headed that way at some point. Though, be wary of a quick shot to the face as you are essentially giving away your position when pre-firing, hence why I say not to pre-fire boat loads unless the attacker is at a distance. I can't stress enough how important it is to conserve your rockets (and stamina) for when you are in close proximity to the enemy player(s).

    Learn The Map: This one is a given when playing any competitive game, but it certainly deserves a mention. Elite mode has a "warm up" mode implemented before a match starts that starts you with laser and allows you all the time in the world to roam around and learn the map. One thing to look for when studying a map's layout would be good routes to attack and likely possible defensive positions. This eliminates any surprises that may be waiting around the corner. Surprises lose you the round more often than not, and who wants that? Another thing to look around for is good spots that you can pick off anyone camping the pole whether you are attacking or defending. This is very important, as I will explain in the next section...

    Playing The Pole: Whether you are playing Battle, Siege, Elite, or Royal, you will find yourself in a 1 v. 1 on the pole more times than you can count. I very much recommend practicing this. I've seen countless players panic when they are confronted by an attacker or defender who is dancing around the pole with them. Don't be that guy and panic. Conserve your shots to maximize your chances of landing shots when it counts. In Siege and, more so, Elite the pole is captured rather quickly by the attacker so you must act quick. Always be mindful of the capture time or else you'll find yourself in trouble. Make sure you can "juke" or "fake out" the attacker. If you can successfully do that then it's your time to strike (this is where conserving shots comes into play).

    Fake Outs, Fences, And Jukes, Oh My!: I touched on it briefly in the previous section, but I'd like to give fakes, jukes, and fences their own section as they are all very important points to know when improving your Shootmania skills. What I call "fake outs" are when you are a defender taking cover behind an object of some sort (wall, pole, etc.) and you strafe back and forth ever so slightly in an attempt to fake the attacker into firing their laser at you. This gives you a prime opportunity to fire shots at them while their weapon is recharging. This is a critical strategy when in a defensive position behind a fence. As an attacker, you will want to be wary of the defender trying to make you miss and thus make your shots count all the while watching your back assuming you hadn't already annihliated the rest of their team. A strategy that I find helpful when attacking a defender behind a fence is to burn your stamina and run right at them from a close distance and flicking a shot at them. This isn't a tactic easily mastered. You will have to first perfect your laser technique before consistently pulling it off. While attacking, you should always be mindful of any rockets coming your way. This is where learning to juke and do it calmly comes into play. Rockets do move slow enough to where you can strafe out of the way without much issue when it's from a range. Up close must rely on your reflexes. The most important thing is to not panic. If you can keep your cool, even during a deadly crossfire of rockets headed your way, you're in good shape.

    Have Confidence: Self confidence is a key to becoming a top player. The other day, I witnessed a teammate on elite who was attacking and was being rushed by one defender each round, and each time he would panic and miss several shots before being hunted down by their whole team. He complained the whole match about it. Simply put, he lacked the self confidence required to overcome tough situations such as the one he was forced into. As the player, you need to trust in yourself to land shots even if they seem impossible. You never know what you might hit. Trust your shots. Trust your reflexes. Landing one shot could change the whole outcome of the round.

    Follow those the tips that I mentioned and you should notice a difference in your Shootmania gameplay sooner than later. Even if it takes you months to get better at the game, just remember that you are better. Remember to stay positive and be creative! Before you know it, you'll find yourself among the pros.

  22. Might+&+Magic+Duel+of+Champions+Open+Beta.jpg

    In my days as a young nerd, I was plagued with a constant state of indifference that I still carry with me today. If I liked the idea of something enough to try it, chances are I loved it. If I didn't, there was no amount of bartering or intellectual prodding that could accelerate my interest. If you doubt this as truth, I ate the same exact turkey sandwich for seven years. Yeah, I know. This infection of sorts did not isolate itself to my stomach, nor my brain. It is my every day, and it goes without saying that it's a love and hate relationship. While the aforementioned may sound awful and appalling to the majority of the academic community, there are several advantages, especially when it comes to competitive gaming.

    The beauty of gaming is that there is always something to be done. I can log on any given day and have a craving for something new regardless of the previous days activities. Foreigners like me call this "variety". Five days ago I was in one of the previously described perpetually indifferent moods when I was messaged by our very own vVv Paradise. The timing could not have been better, and our rather brief conversation went something like this:

    Paradise: "Hey bud, as I recall you've played TCG's competitively in the past, and I have a new one for you to try. Might and Magic: Duel of Champions. So get it done."

    Myself: "Ok, sweet."

    That was that. As soon as I started the download, I began researching this newest conquest. I was immediately struck by the similarities to Magic: the Gathering and knew it would be at the very least a fun venture. I assumed I would have a tough time picking up on brand new themes, deck building tactics, and strategies, due to my previous encounters with the TCG genre. My MTG learning curve was pretty extensive, some would say "slow", and I still don't consider myself to be good at the game. You could say I was feeling a wave of skepticism coming on based on earlier experiences. I have never been more wrong in my life.

    The combat math, usage of spells, even concepts of card advantage and board position, it was all familiar. Everything felt like only a homemade gooey cookie could except the playing field. It looked like I was watching a chess board. Creatures were moving around like Othello pieces, jockeying for optimal position, prioritizing certain spells to get you that position, and attempting to put your opponent as far out of friendly territory as possible. This was a truly intuitive and crazy system of combat, but it made total sense to me the second I started playing the game. I have no idea why, but it did.

    Over the next hour before I went to bed, I played several games, reaching roughly 250 ELO. I was hooked. There was no denying my excitement, and I didn't try to. I messaged Paradise back immediately after finishing my last game and sent what I'm sure quantified to several paragraphs of desperate fanboy letters, which had to resemble a calamity of schoolboy nerdhood crashing against a defenseless ginger colored rock, unable to escape. Thankfully, he was encouraging, and the fun continued early the next day.

    I woke up to my usual routine of not having a routine, and sat down in front of my computer. I proceeded to open up my DoC client and clicked the matchmaking button. A friend of mine had jokingly said that I would probably be 600 ELO before he got home from work, to which I scoffed and chuckled sarcastically. He came over several hours later to see an 800 ELO sticker next to my name, at which point we both freaked out like small children and flailed dramatically. We quickly scurried to ignore what had just happened and kept playing.

    The next day resulted in more of the same domination, reaching 1000 ELO on what was then day 3, followed by a much needed break. On day 4, 1105. Then today, 1243. I messaged paradise after each session letting him know where I had landed and how I was progressing, and I was greeted with a more morbidly shocked response each time. Things like, "Dude, go outside." and, "F*** that guy." were regularly mentioned around the Ubisoft office as I made my comical climb on what looked like a rusty one-and-a-half wheeled bicycle of a deck. While this was all new and awesome to me, I didn't really understand the magnitude of what I was doing until I looked at the surrounding victory totals on the leader board above and behind me.

    top1000_zpsc64edac8.png

    I had taken a swim upstream and landed in shark infested waters in a matter of 100 victories and I still couldn't tell you the names of half the cards I'm playing against, or with for that matter. As embarrassing as that is I'm having a ton of fun, and I can't really stop at this point. I'll be sure to update the masses regularly via Facebook and Twitter as I continue my climb, and I'm sure there will be a prolonged streaming session in the very near future. Keep an eye out and if all goes well, I should be attending GenCon in mid August as well as continuing my online march for the Road to Paris qualifiers.

    I would encourage everyone reading to take a stab at Might and Magic. Give it a download and allow yourself the opportunity to throw your arms everywhere like a wacky inflatable tube man. I know I have on multiple occasions. For those interested my IGN is "SolidBlak", but don't stop there. I will connect you with the people connecting with me if you do so much as ask, and I would love to see some new faces on an incredibly well designed game such as this. It is in fact free to play, so you really have nothing to lose. If you find yourself enthralled in such an experience, and want to take your game to the next level, there is a place for solid deck builders in this game. I will include links below, and as I did, you should get to it.

    Off we go.

    Deck building and theorycrafting hub:

    http://www.mmdoc.net/

    My twitter:

    @vVvRinzler

    Ubisoft's Twitter:

    @Ubisoft

    Duel of Champions Twitter:

    @DuelOfChampions