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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Perspective is having the capacity to encompass the entirety of the situation, subject, and world. This allows for a higher level of understanding to be reached. It ties in with awareness and how people reach a wall within gaming and life.
This ties in very closely with how most of us play League of Legends. We all fall in the trap off, "why did he feed" or "this player sucks".
If we where to take an amateur and a professional gamer. The amateur thinks of what to do next. While the professional thinks of the possibilities. As Rivington the 3rd said:
To better illustrate my point let's take a situation In a high diamond LoL match:
Here we have a draaaaven going in on a ezreal and nami. The circles represent the before and current positions while the arrows represent movement(excluding the red).
Draven is in a good position financially, making this move logical. But there is more at play then is apparent.
Let's now focus on the minimap. A big part of going from "ok" to "good" is map awareness. This is the first step in achieving perspective within the game. What follows is automatic. Pro's do this questioning and reasoning within miliseconds. When looking at the minimap some may come to the immediate conclusion that draven is overextended. But first we must look at the possibilities.
What is possible in this situation?
A gank from the jungle
A gank from top lane
Nobody is there
This may be the level of understanding that many of us have reached, general map awareness and knowing when to go in is good. But what separates the good from the great are finding the motives. This gives insight on what they are going to do next. Knowing a players motives will up your playing level considerably.
What are the possible motives?
This is a time when teams like to take dragon, as the global gold gives a team a considerable advantage. Which makes going in a time like this very dangerous. This makes the potential for a gank much higher.
Ezreal and Nami are struggling. They are down in farm and kills. Have they been asking for a gank?
Some exercises on gaining a better perspective are:
When ever you click on a minion for a last hit, look at the minimap. This is a perfect time to be looking. As you've already dedicated your movements into killing that minion. Giving you an opportunity to see whats going on. Eventually this will become muscle memory.
When going in a League of Legends match. Put yourself in the other teams shoes. Think of their motives and the possibilities that stem from these motives. Be ahead of them, aim to foil their evil plans!
During the death timer. Think of what the thoughts leading into that death where. Are all the possibility's accounted for? Was it the right chain of thought, If not, why?
All these exercises will allow for a bigger picture to be viewed. While reading Octavia Butlers Lilith's Brood a character spoke of a very real trait within humanity. It's the choice to be ignorant.
Many players motives, particularly in a solo q match. Is to get fed and carry. While getting a kill is one of the possibilities . It's not the possibility. We have to remind ourselves that there is more at play then we tend to admit. And that in the end it's up to us to remove that blind ignorance and see what is in plain sight.
This was the hardest post I've done so far. I had trouble piecing all of this together. I hope that you've learned as much as I have on this complex topic.
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Thank you for all your support.
Ignorance is a choice!
Good Luck and Have Fun in achieving a higher level of perspective!
Why animals compare the present with the past
Research on this has been done for many years but have not been able to get substantial results to prove the theory until now. Researchers found that animals including humans tend to react differently from each other when their perceived norms change. The study shows that animals who are used to living in harsh climates tend to use more energy when searching for smaller amounts of food. While animals who live in a more prosperous climates use less energy to find food when there are smaller amounts. They conclude that animals who life in a prosperous climate have better decision making because they believe the prosperity will return. This means they basically wait for it to return instead of wasting a lot of energy to find what little food is available. This relates to humans and how each works for their personal goals. I believe while in nature hunkering down is advantageous, in a competitive human environment it is not. As humans who are getting everything handed to them will tend to "coast" expecting the prosperity to continue and if not return. While humans experiencing challenges tend to work harder for smaller goals, which then accumulate and form good habits.
Apes get emotional Over Game of Chance
The study shows that emotions play a role when apes make a tough decision in a game of chance. The researchers say that this behavior is seen within humans. In games, gamers take risks as well, and may explain why many experience anger after a risk does not yield positive results. Which may explain why gamers tend to have aggressive responses to games. I believe games are not the source of anger but a stimulant. Games just tend to bring out this response because there are many risk gamers must make. This means games do not create angry individuals but at times can have frustrating results. If anything it allows for people to better manage their anger as they can experience it without endangering others.
Task Master: Categorizing Rewards and Improves Motivation
"When it comes to motivating others and ourselves, it turns out offering rewards in defined categories, even when they are largely meaningless, can heighten motivation." The researchers found that when there was a fear of missing out participants tended to work less. But when this fear was removed by having 1 bin every ten minutes worked tended to yield much more interest in pursuing those goals. A lot of this relates to games in general. It's something gaming company's have had to really understand so that they can create a lot of engagement. Making things more organized and removing the fact that a gamer must choose between rewards will increase their level of engagement. Although I cannot think of a game that uses the less engaging system. Which is fascinating within itself as games have been able to adapt to what humans find most engaging.
This week had more results on human nature. I tend to enjoy reading about things relating to this because gaming is deeply rooted within it. I believe games are the best way to learn about human nature as they are extremely engaging.
Thanks for reading!
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Hey guys! I told you that I would do my best to have the VODs of the vVv Gaming Community Draft Tournament that we held last Tuesday and I finally got them completed. Be warned though, for some reason when you record in OBS there tends to be audio problems when making highlights, so you have have to refresh the video once or twice in order to watch it with audio. I tried fixing it but apparently as of right now this is the only problem. Next time I will try to record it and have it as a file on my PC that I will just throw up onto YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
So here it is guys! Game 1: Team YaaaaAAAAP vs Team No Show/Beast
Game 2: Team No Show/Beast vs Team YaaaAAP
Game 3: Team YaaaAAAP vs Team No Show/Beast
Thanks to everyone who was in the stream hanging out and watching! On Tuesday, June 4th we will be having Team No Practice vs Team Ron Mock at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific). The action can be found on twitch.tv/livevvvcommunity. Hope to see you guys there!
Practice Makes Perfect? Not So Much, New Research Finds
Researchers have found that there is more at play when becoming an expert. Intelligence as well as innate ability play a big role in how people become a professional. The test was conducted with musicians and chess players. This also goes against the american dream of if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything. But the rebuttal to this was that having the ability to see that a person cannot become an expert within a specific field encourages diversity within a person. I know I can relate to this, I find I have a very easy time writing, and picking up a game. But don't have the ability to go in depth because I tend to jump everywhere, trying new things. This curiosity is good in writing as it gives me the drive to write but is bad in gaming when you want to be focusing on a set of champions or builds.
Human-Like Opponents Lead to More Aggression in Video Game Players
The results contradict what the researchers believed would happen; That people would be more aggressive towards non-human characters. The most defining part in this article, was the fact that this aggression is only verbal and not physical."But the study also notes there was no significant increase in levels of physical aggression after fighting human-looking video game characters, something that suggests social prohibitions against violent acts remain strong." It's really important to look at the whole picture. Especially in an article like this. I believe that humans feel more competitive when perceiving another human. But when faced against a non-human we do not feel that we'll be challenged. Instead it becomes fighting for survival.
Advanced Biological Computer Developed
The biggest question right now in the technology world; Will Moore's law hold true? Moore's law is a law that represents how technology doubles in performance every two years. It now seems that with new advancements in this field of bio technology that the law will still continue to hold true after silicon reaches it's performance ceiling. These advancements also bring scientists closer to unlocking the genetic code. As organisms are much like computers where they interact and carry out actions in a logical manner.
Personally, I have found these articles really interesting this week. I hope you have as well!
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At first, I really wanted to shit all over this Xbox One reveal. Really wanted to shit all over it. I couldn't ignore the feeling that I hate the idea of an "entertainment" console. For whatever reason, the big three have this weird obsession with taking over our living rooms and making everything accessible from one platform and it just doesn't sit well with me. I guess it's too much to ask for just games nowadays, right?
Except, the more I thought about it, the more I actually liked the Xbox One reveal. During the reveal I found myself impressed and excited about what I was seeing, which was weird because I expected it to be a hide-your-kids-cuz-its-taking-over-the-living-space, multi-purpose console and that's exactly what I got.
I think this feeling stems from the Wii U, which too tried its hand at taking over the living room. The problem, and this is where I find my delight in the Xbox One, is that the Wii U's attempt in doing so ended up taking away from the most important part of a video game console: video games.
On the other hand, the Xbox One does not do this and I love it for it. As in, no matter how much Microsoft wants to control my living room, I am also given the option to completely ignore that bullshit.
The Wii U constantly reminds us of Nintendo's ham-fisted piercing of our living rooms with the tablet right in front of our faces. It's a gimmick I didn't like at E3 2011 and its one I still do not like to this day. Building a console around a gimmick that does not cater to the needs of gamers makes it easy to give it the cold shoulder. Instead of focusing on actually delivering games, Nintendo focused on essentially everything else.
This doesn't seem to be the case with the Xbox One. Sure, the reveal was mostly an odd claim that the average person can't watch television without some sort of dilemma apparently, but we also can easily understand that Microsoft still cares about an actual lineup of games for its system.
The best example of this is the new controller (which, by the way, looks majestic as hell and I can't wait to get my hands on it). There's no gimmicks here. The d-pad seems refined; the analog sticks look better than ever; and the controller overall maintains the sleekness that the preceding 360 captured so well. There's nothing stopping me from picking up an Xbox One controller and hoping into a game of Call of Duty: Ghosts Forza Motorsport 5 while completely ignoring all the new features.
Not only that, but we're promised 15 exclusives for the console already, half of which are new IPs. I seriously cannot stress enough what it feels like as a passionate Nintendo fan to see a new Nintendo console come out and the best they have to offer is a Mario game that has been released three times over already and "launch titles" that still aren't on shelves yet. So, yeah, that's big.
I felt that the Wii U's attempts to control my living space were not only fruitless, but half-baked (and not in the good way huehuehuehue). I feel no need to try and traverse the Wii U's assortment of gimmicks with the big tablet, while the features present on the Xbox One not only seem better executed, but less intrusive. I don't need a huge iPad-like device on my lap to watch TV. I might as well use the remotes given to me by the TV company that I already have. But if I can watch TV with a swipe of my hand and with an interface that seamlessly integrates multiple aspects of the Xbox One experience all at the same time, why in the world would I ever use Nintendo TVii?
Sure, the reveal had some bumps. Ten minutes devoted to a new Call of Duty game? T'was only worth it for the dog. Numerous segments devoted to sports games? They aren't exclusives, move along. What did we really get? Not much. Still, it's clear that Microsoft is saving a ton of juicy goodness for E3 (a smart move since the PS4 already laid its cards on the table and Nintendo won't be having a presser on its own) and with all of that stuff out the way, Microsoft can now focus on what really matters for this upcoming conference: the games.
Now, I find myself more comfortable with the idea having a big entertainment console The new interfaces, features, and the like look amazing! I'm genuinely excited about them. And, I'm genuinely excited that I can enjoy my games without feeling like I'm being forced into buying a DVD player, cable box, and low-powered PC, too. I mean, technically I am, but at least I can game as much as I want without having myself shoehorned into gimmicks.
Is there some stuff I'm worried about? Of course. I don't really like the always-on Kinect feature (I think that's the first time I've even mentioned Kinect in over a year). I think competitive gaming may run into some roadblocks as well and that bothers me, too. A lot of the requirements just to play a game or play a game with my friend may put me off. There's a lot of unknowns. That's good - we only saw an hour's worth of content.
Yet, I feel oddly optimistic. Yes, PC is still where its at and I'm not regretting saving up for a godlike desktop, but after the Wii U being essentially dead-on-arrival as far as I'm concerned and the PS4 only barely able to keep my attention, this is the first time I actually have interest in the next generation of consoles.
Or maybe it's just the CoD dog. It could be just the CoD dog. We'll have to see when E3 arrives if the hype is actually real.
UPDATE: Instead of writing an entirely new blog, just wanted add this.
I liked the reveal for another reason - Microsoft got all the non-game stuff out of the way. Wanted a press conference devoted entirely to television features and Skype? Of course not. Now we don't have to worry about it. We got the chance to meet and understand the console without having to do so at E3. Microsoft can now dedicate their E3 presser and floor plans entirely to games rather than trying to fight the media hassles of revealing a brand new console at the event itself.
So yeah, the reveal was good for that, too.
Can Math Models of Gaming Strategies Be Used to Detect Terrorism Networks?
An Interesting look at how "seepage" works. 2 types of terrorist networks work on this platform. Where there's a source and the information "leaks" downwards. They compare this to a player vs player based game that simulated a volcano erupting. One player would try to get the lava to the lake which represents the "sink". While the other player tries to stop this from happening by spraying water. They where then able to deduce a mathematical formula to predict where the "sinks" are most likely to be. This in turn will allow agents to intercept information more accurately from terrorist organisations.
Illusion of Control: Why Sports Fans Prefer 'Lucky' Products
Although they are referencing to football, this directly relates to a way e-sports currently works with sponsors. When fans see their favorite player winning with a certain mouse, computer, headset, etc.. They will associate this with winning the game. This then encourages them to buy the product the pros where using. No matter the specifications of the product. A good example of this was when Korean pro broodwar players would use cheap keyboards because they went through them so quickly. But fans still insisted on using them, even though they weren't that great.
How Multitasking Can Improve Judgments
In this article it would seem that they are referring to how a strategy that encompasses more content, but is less specific. Allows for better judgments to be achieved. They did 2 tests. One test used a strategy that allowed for a general strategy to be used, which created better judgement. While the other test which used linear based rules. When using these rules participants where less likely to make good judgments. This area of study is still in its infancy, and they still don't exactly have an answer to how these work. We can relate this to teaching new players a game. Instead of saying, do this and not that. It would be better to use a more general strategy that works in many areas. This in turn allows them to better judge a larger variety of situations.
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All things considered, the current drama in the Call of Duty community over the legality of the FAL in Black Ops 2 competition weighs very little on my shoulders. Although I have an endearing passion for CoD4 and will rarely turn down a fun session of killing zombies, I am very far from what you would call a fan or gamer in the CoD community. If anything, I'm a critic, and with good reason.
Only up until recently has competitive CoD shown any signs of potential. While many, myself included, can justifiably argue that Modern Warfare is to be shown respect as the pinnacle of competitive Call of Duty, Black Ops 2 has taken some strides in establishing itself as a legitimate eSport. I personally cannot come to terms with calling it an eSport – not yet, not just yet – but it seems like there are steps being taken in the right direction.
For one thing, the competitive support provided by Black Ops 2 developer Treyarch, not fully satisfactory but certainly existent and worthwhile, has been a boon for the community. Not only have players been given more ways to share their skill and connect with fellow competitors over a range of different mediums (first in gameplay, then in built-in streaming, etc.), but the company has thrown money at tournament prize pots and clearly has some sort of investment and care for the competitive livelihood of their game.
The community itself (remember, we're talking the Call of Duty community here), for what it's worth, too has put a lot of investment in the growth of their game, as any community involved in eSports does.The community has also engaged in direct communication with the developers over balance and other issues, as gamers of other communities such as Starcraft 2 and League of Legends do regularly.
There's quite a number of intelligent people keeping this communication alive, understanding that an eSport can literally be broken just by the neglect of the developer. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a great example of this – in light of the recent Nintendo/Youtube/LPer controversy, we cannot forget that Nintendo also barred Major League Gaming from streaming and majorly promoting their own game at the events. Needless to say, Brawl lasted only a year on the circuit (as opposed to Melee, which survived for a couple of years longer back when MLG could stream a game like Melee and not have to worry about Nintendo cracking down), and to this day it still struggles with Nintendo's steadfast, anti-competitive approach to their titles. Sigh.
The community-developer relationship tested in all eSports is now being tested once more in the Black Ops 2 community, this time over weapon balancing (a topic that is, of course, extremely important in competitive first person shooters). According to many, the FAL OSW assault rifle: with a semi-auto rounds per minute that outclasses its automatic RPM, in addition to low recoil among other things, the FAL OSW has become the target of a bit of controversy due to its consistent effectiveness from most ranges.
As it stands, it seems like the FAL OSW may be on the cutting board due to be chopped from competitive play.
Surprisingly, I found myself tuned into Twitch.tv last night not for fighting games or Starcraft or League, as per usual, but rather a Call of Duty stream. GASP!!! Yes, I know it's startling, but it was actually just the Weekly Rant, a Call of Duty show about...Call of Duty stuff. I guess. It was the first episode I had ever watched (and, to my disappointment, apparently Goldenboy is part of TheWRant but wasn't hosting this episode). Coincidentally, they too were discussing the topic of the FAL in competitive play. A few minutes later, I was actually somewhat engaged in the conversation going on. Again, as surprising as that is.
Aside from barely-noticed-he-was-there host Deezal, the show had from what I can tell at least one person of importance – eGo of 360icons (although, Rambo later joined the show, but only after the chat and eGo chanted to make it happen). According to the show, eGo has apparently put the FAL on hold on his own website, in retrospect making him quite the guest for the show.
Stream monsters aside, eGo seemed capable of providing valid points throughout the discussion (if only to foil himself with some hypocritical statements and then pointed out that he did so, thus digging a hole further but I digress), mostly because there was some discussion about banning the FAL but not a particular shotgun.
This is where we see a problem with the FAL, according to eGo. Many times throughout the show, he notes how shotguns work as they are intended to work – dominate close quarters and suck at everything else. On the other hand, the FAL seems to work consistently in most, if not all, ranges, making it a far better tool overall than say a shotty.
I am inclined to agree. But, others weren't. Then, one guest on the show (whose name I cannot for the life of me remember) decided to go a different route altogether – since Treyarch has done so much for the CoD community, CoD players should be grateful and play with what they have (which, he pointed out, is a lot better than what they had when the game first released thanks to patchs). Another point was later brought up that playing the game right out of the box should be a priority and that whining should not be. Either way, it seemed clear that there is at least a vocal number of people that agree with this mindset.
And Why It's Not Always Good To Be “Grateful”
Where to begin?
I think the best way to start is with this: there is a difference between being critical and whining. There's also a difference between being vocal and bitching. Let's make that clear.
I want to make that clear because it seems like it isn't clear for many CoD players. Remember that you are a consumer and Treyarch (and Activision, etc.) are the producer. You spent ~$60 USD (plus any DLC) to play this game. So, understand that there's no requirement to be “grateful” innately because you have already shown your gratitude with your wallet.
Secondly, remember that the relationship between community and developer is not only necessary, but very, very volatile and fragile. It takes very little to destroy a good eSport, and even less to destroy the potential of a possible candidate. So far, communication has indeed been open between the two parties.
The problem is that the CoD community is full of trolls, babies, wanna-be pros, little kids, and the like, all of whom also have opinions. Except, their opinions are the ones that consist of the whining, the crying, the bitching. Hell, it's not even exclusive to them. Yet, we should understand that these vocal many are obviously not the representation of the community that CoD players want nor are their opinions necessarily the voice of the majority.
With that said, CoD players should not feel like they can't be critical just because there's a lot of whining. It's just that no one wants to be properly critical. It's one thing to send a detailed, friendly email to a developer or get them on the phone to chat, and it's an entire other thing to make bold claims about weapon balance using the 140 characters provided by Twitter.
Please, don't stop being critical. Being critical is what made Heart of the Swarm a much better edition of SC2 as opposed to Wings of Liberty. Being critical is what makes League of Legends the biggest eSport today. Are those communities too full of whiners and babies? Of course! More than you'd like to know! However, the community also has a lot of level-headed members that do a lot of work in hopes of positively benefiting the competitive scene.
Does that mean CoD doesn't? No. But, when people on a show like TheWRant get on the mic and try to tell people, “just be happy with what you have,” it's sending a poor message to all the viewers. Being satisfied has never been the mantra of eSports – its the dissatisfaction of competitive gamers throughout the years that has lead to huge improvements in competitive gaming over the past decade, even more so in the past three or four years. Starcraft didn't get to where it is today because Starcraft 1 players picked up the game back in the 90's and said, “yeah this seems all good, no need to complain” when that was very much not the case.
Remember that each eSport title and possible eSport title has time working against it. Every day that passes makes that game one day older and brings us one day closer to the arrival of a new game that could potentially run another into the dirt. It's a reality that is true and very haunting, especially for a game like Call of Duty, who's stability in competitive gaming has never been full established.
Instead of trying to calm criticism, CoD community leaders should be making it clear that CoD players should not only give criticism, but constructive criticism. If you all have to make videos or write blogs to show everyone else how exactly to do that, then do it. Ultimately, if the CoD community goes forward with this, “don't complain, be grateful” attitude, it'll do more harm than good. Problems don't get fixed that way and precedents are not properly established in that way, either. It may be Treyarch's Black Ops 2, but it's your game as well. And, as competitors, you have the right to be critical of the competitions you compete in and the mediums in which you do so.
Sure, be appreciative and thankful that Treyarch has done what they have for competitive CoD so far, but also remember that appreciation and thanks does not let them off the hook. Treyarch is as invested in this as all of you are, make sure you remind them of that. If that means solid, constructive criticism, then that's what it takes. Whining and babying is not what it takes, but if you try to quell those that are vocal to try and avoid more whining and babying, you'll see how destructive that kind of behavior is in the not-so-far future.
Don't worry if you don't play LoL, this content is applicable to any game, title, or genre. First, if you haven't read the original article, please do so, it contains a lot of valuable information:
I just wanted to expand on some of the ideas and give my thoughts on why these concepts are important.
This is a primary fallacy I see a lot of top teams and players fall into. There IS no top x team or player in any game. Players achieve what they achieve as a result of the quantity and quality of time they spend practicing and improving. There is no magical gene or destiny that makes you or anyone else a top player in a game. If someone comes along tomorrow with a better training schedule and enough time to practice, you're out.
As a species, we tend to get really hung up on the idea of legacy. This is why idrA is still relevant long after he stopped winning tournaments consistently. Instead we should look at winning with a certain skepticism and understand that the truth of mutual funds is the same for pro gamers: past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.
That's not to say there's no correlation between top players and their results, but that a record alone is not enough to rely on to get you the next major victory. Often I have seen very talented players go into matches unprepared because their opponents weren't one of the top players of their game. Here's some news: every opponent has the potential to cause an upset. Complexity's Heart showed us that when he went through the open bracket as a relatively unknown player to end in the top 3 at one of the MLGs he attended.
In summary, there are two truths we should take away from this:
1. Just because you won does not mean you are untouchable. Only your well-designed and followed practice schedule can guarantee your success.
2. An opponent's fame, notoriety, or pedigree (or lack thereof) does not indicate whether he has an effective practice regimen and should be viewed as a threat. Go into every game prepared to play at your best.
Here's another misconception that pro gamers or competitive gamers looking to go pro fall into. It's almost cliche advice to review your gameplay by watching replays after each game, but most people don't take it seriously and just "speed through it" to affirm their own confirmation bias so they can queue up for the next game. This isn't helpful, wastes time, and doesn't result in an improvement to the quality or quantity of your practice.
Instead, notice what the team members of CLG realized: they needed to slow down and review gameplay more critically! Instead of just looking for basic mistakes, you should be keeping an open mind and exploring different ways you could've responded to certain situations in game. You can think out the different game states these possible choices would've led to and brainstorm the optimal solution for future games. The difficulty is this takes much more time than just speed-watching your replays, but the benefit far outweighs the cost. I would recommend competitive gamers take a different approach to reviewing replays and maybe save the top 4 games they felt they played poorly and reviewing them in-depth at the end of the day.
These three paragraphs reveal something deeply critical to all gamers, not just professionals and aspiring professionals. WHEN YOU ARE STRESSED YOU PLAY POORLY. This is universally true. Your brain releases chemicals to deal with the stressful situation that happen to make your muscles become tense and slow to react to fine movements needed to excel in gaming. This is true if you're in solo queue and the guy who wanted mid starts putting pressure on you because you took his role, and this is true if you're in the LCS playing for a salary and a spot in the most prestigious eSports League ever imagined.
THIS is the reason you need to follow the Summoner's Code, cooperate with your teammates, give almost exclusively positive feedback to teammates (almost), and avoid sharing your bad day with whoever you're playing with. Not only does it make you play worse to focus on the stress, it makes your teammates play worse when you stress them out. It's more important to let your teammate know that they made a "good attempt" at a play instead of chastising them for fucking up, because next time they come to make another play they will be far more likely to execute it properly if you didn't add stress to their play.
This is also why players who take long breaks during losing streaks to deal with their negative emotions are hampering their development as potential pro gamers. In a competitive setting you need to be able to calm down within five minutes, preferably within one minute. Additionally, if you rage out a game and then calm down, you're limiting your ability to "emotionally carry" your team, since you will be heaping stress on them all game. On the other hand, if you can learn to manage your emotions then you can immediately calm yourself down and mitigate the negative effects of stress on yourself and your teammates. Thirty minutes to an hour from now is too late for your calm state to help you win your current game.
All this isn't to say you shouldn't care about the outcome of the game. Especially in high-stakes tournaments like LCS, you should WANT to win. You just have to be able to manage your emotional state so that you are not behaving erratically due to the pressure of wanting to win, and the potential consequences of losing.
Well, those are my thoughts on the article. Hope you found them insightful or useful!
The North American LCS Summer Relegation tournament concluded this past weekend with some amazing games. There were two challenger teams that made their way into the LCS, while two of the more noticeable and popular LCS teams remained in the summer split. Quantic Gaming, Velocity eSports, Counter Logic Gaming, and Team Dignitas will all be in the LCS Summer Split along with Team Solo Mid, Good Game University, Vulcan Techbargains, and Curse Gaming. Here is a recap of this past weekends exciting results.
Quantic Gaming came out on fire and they never cooled down throughout the entire weekend. Quantic showed up in the Challenger round beating a well rounded Team Astral Poke handily giving them a quick 2-0 loss and their dreams dashed in games that lasted no more than 25 minutes. In the Promotion round Quantic did not let up, beating a compLexity team that had been coming on strong towards the end of the Spring split, 3-0 in 3 games that again were quick and ended under 30 minutes. The most impressive part about Quantic Gaming was how dominant they looked as a team, even better than some of the LCS teams that were not bottom four. Quantic Gaming's jungler was the only person the entire weekend that did not have a single death in 5 games. William "Meteos" Hartman had a mind blowing KDA of 45 at the end of the weekend, playing junglers such as Zac and Elise (he played Zac 4 times that weekend) made his presence known in the lanes early and often with ganks that led his team to victory. It was not all Meteos though, the entire Quantic squad played amazingly. The squad boasted an average combined KDA of 15.3, while Spring Split Champions TSM only had a combined KDA of 4.7. The team gathered an average of 1.8k gold per min with an average gold total of 44k per game. Quantic Gaming looks to be one of the more fierce competitors going into the Summer Split, and I sure look forward to seeing what they can bring to the table next split.
Velocity eSports did not have as commanding of a weekend as Quantic had, but they definitely showed they are going to be a tough competitor going into the next split. In the Challenger round, Velocity started off shaky, losing their first game to Team Salad Bar. The team bounced back though, dominating the next two games against TSB to secure their spot in the promotional round. In the only series in the promotion round to go to 5 games, Velocity vs Team MRN proved to be an instant classic. The wins went back and forth, Team MRN securing the first game win behind impressive play by Nientonsoh boasting a 15/1/3 KDA at the end of the game. Velocity fired right back in game one as they threw the meta book and everything you have ever known about League of Legends out the window as Velocity played Ezreal jungle, with a Janna mid lane. The "double support, double ADC" push comp proved to be too much to handle for Team MRN as Velocity jungler Nk Inc showed that Ezreal's utility can be used for more than just laning as he pulled off an ever so smooth Arcane Shift, Smite Dragon steal, Flash out on an early dragon attempt by Team MRN. Split pushing with Janna and good team fighting secured Velocity eSports the game two victory. Game 3 was an epic clash of two teams not wanting to see their last moments of LCS promise be dashed before them as this game would thrust the losing team one loss away from the dream ending. Team MRN started off winning most of the team fights but a Baron grab by Velocity secured the next fight for them an inhibitor. Velocity secured a second Baron attempt rather easily as Super Minions were rushing towards MRN's base, forcing them to defend. As Velocity went for the next fight Nientonsoh had other plans picking up a double kill to that forced Velocity out of the base, relinquishing an inhibitor in MRN's favor. As MRN was looking for the killing blow Velocity's support, Evaniskus, held off a seemingly impossible push from MRN by getting a kill and forcing the team to fall back as Velocity respawned and immediately shot down mid lane for victory. However, Nientonsoh had other plans as he cancelled his recall and went in for the last nexus turret and the nexus itself in a thrilling base race that Team MRN has been known for. With 75hp left, Nientonsoh secured the victory for Team MRN and in the words of LCS caster "Kobe" put it, "Velocity just got MRNed". Despite the heart wrenching loss for Velocity they never gave up the passion, having their dreams be so close within their grasp, taking the next two games off of Team MRN and making their way into the LCS Summer Split.
One of the story lines that everyone wanted to see happened as Team Summon faced off against Team Dignitas in the promotion round of the LCS tournament Locust went up against his former team, but unfortunately could not pull it through and was relegated out of the tournament. Dignitas was a team that had extremely high expectations in the Spring Split. Not only that though, but they were number two in the standings up until the last week when they dropped down to number three. Losing in the first round of the Spring Split playoffs to GGU forced them into the Summer LCS Relegation tournament. Facing a very strong Team Summon squad, Dignitas looked to be back to their old form. Using such champions such as Rammus and Evelynn secured them the series in four games. Alberto "Crumbzz" Rengifo played brilliantly in the four games as he brought out the jungle Rammus and played it to perfection, securing the match MVP with his stellar played that through Team Summon into a tilt after game three. William "Scarra" Li also had an amazing performance on his Evelynn, going 11/1/12 in the first game of the series. Dignitas played like the team they showed they were throughout the first 9 weeks of the Spring Split.
Counter Logic Gaming
The other story line that everyone wanted to see, bigfatlp and Azure Cats going up against CLG, the team that he was on since the creation. CLG swept Azure Cats with a 3-0 series score that put CLG back into the LCS. Austin "Link" Shin boasted an almost Meteos-like KDA, having a very impressive 34 KDA, which helped propel his team in the series. Strong play by Aphromoo's Blitzcrank in game two set the tone for a very convincing CLG victory, as well as Doublelift displaying that he is meant to be the NA All-Star pick. HotShotGG went to his old standby as he brought back out his top lane Nidalee which proved to be useful in game one, and playing another non-tank champion in Diana in game two, getting rid of their old "protect the Doublelift" comp. All in all CLG had a very solid display against Azure Cats and it looks like CLG will stay together for a long time, so no worries CLG fans, your team is safe.
The teams for the Summer Split are as follows:
- Curse Gaming
- Quantic Gaming
- Velocity eSports
So there you have it folks, your North American Summer LCS Split! It is looking to be an exciting set up for the next split, I know that I am really excited for it!
Unfortunately not many things happening in the science world that relate too gamers this week. These are more broad subjects that everyone can relate too.
Internet Content Is Looking for You
In the past 6 months google has been using information from gmail accounts to better personalize their search for you. In other words, they're searching you so that the searches you ask it to do are more tailored to your needs. For example, if you booked a flight using your gmail account to go see vVv LordJerith and vVv Doomhammer in LA. And the only keyword I put in the search is hotel, Google would find hotels in LA. Very interesting how search engines are becoming very accurate and finding exactly what we need.
A NEW STUDY EXAMINES HOW INDIVIDUALITY DEVELOPS
This article is similar to the one we covered in week 2 about how growing up to a certain type of music molds our perception of it. Researchers have gone even further this time. Although they used mice(all genetically similar and in the same environment), they where able to conclude that our brain develops due to past actions and experiences. Since each mice interacted differently with the environment their brains started to differentiated more and more. Keeping this in mind, the more we do a certain thing, the better or worse it gets. Focusing on studying constantly will eventually become easier and more efficient to do. But on the other hand procrastinating will become easier and more efficient to do as well. This in turn creates a unique individuality within each person.
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Despite the growing rampancy of sexism and otherwise ill behavior in the games business towards women, we've seen a more than positive response from several industry icons and other influential figureheads stepping up against hateful speech and antipathy-charged behavior. Which shouldn't be necessary, by the way - it's surprising how the former “outcasts” of society, gamers like you and I, are willing to go to attack and slander fellow gamers like non-gamers try to take jabs at us.
It's a gradual process, sure. Wide-spread acceptance of people of all origins has always and will continue to be a social issue in all industries and markets for years to come. But, in the process of trying to solve a very evident problem before us, we are simultaneously creating an entirely new issue that could prove to be just as toxic.
Yeah, I can smell the white-knighting from here.
Right now, although I feel like most of it is unintentional or indirect, it seems like there's a lot of people, especially non-victims, who want to go out of their way to “help” this cause. In particular, there's an interesting trend of gender reversals and character manipulations of some of gaming's most precious icons. Using concept art and other mediums, fans have been able to bridge such worn-out traditions as the “damsel in distress” trope, by re-imagining their favorite characters in new perspectives.
Is there anything wrong with that? Not necessarily. Yet, far too often a simple “gender reversal” seems to be good enough to show that, “hey, women can be heroes, too!”, when we already knew that. Thus, the shallow attempt backfires – now we are in the unfortunate situation of an identity crisis. Indeed, it seems that many female characters are outright losing their identities in order to meet the gender reversals.
Let me give you an example:
(Zelda Informer: Concept Art Pitch by Aaron Diaz)
Here, a concept artist has come up with an innovative pitch for a new Zelda game, which would star Zelda as the protagonist controlled by the player and, instead, Link fulfilling the role of “damsel in distress.” Seems alright so far.
After taking a look through it all, however, things don't pan out quite well. We find that Zelda really isn't “Zelda”, but Link as a female with the name. At least, that is essentially what Zelda has become. In order to take on the role of protagonist, Zelda apparently has to be stripped of everything that makes her Zelda in the first place, and now she is simply a female Link (and, thus, Link only a male Zelda).
It's odd, because there's nothing inherently wrong with Zelda as a character. She's a princess with access to magical powers and a stealthy alter-ego. Why on Earth should Zelda lose what makes her Zelda in order to be Link? We don't like Link because he holds a sword and shield, we like Link because of what he does with the sword and shield. And, likewise, it doesn't work if you simply give Zelda a sword and a shield and call it a day. If we're getting Zelda as the protagonist, it should actually be her.
Tough =/= Manly
Although that particular Zelda concept art faded from memory, the actual topic of sexual prejudice and women overall in gaming is one I discuss quite often because, as it so happens, my favorite video game character has always been Samus Aran, heroine of Metroid fame. Ever since I played my first game in the series, Metroid Prime, I've been hooked, knowing full well that I was controlling a female character, not a male character.
Who cares? Samus is a bad ass! She's cunning, agile, formidable; a truly terrifying warrior. A walking tank, even. And, as far as I am concerned, the winner of every Samus vs. Master Chief fight I've ever played out in my head.
But, she is female. That can't be ignored. Nintendo definitely didn't ignore it. Anyone who has completed a Metroid game can definitely tell you that sex sells, and it's truthfully not very hard (heh heh) to cater to young male gamers when you've got a tall, blonde ass-kicker as your meal ticket. Especially ask anyone who completed Metroid Fusion or Metroid: Zero Mission (dem bikinis).
Of course there's something wrong with sexing up a character for the sake of sales. The curves of the Zero Suit definitely bring in dollar signs, I can assure you. Yet, at least for me, that's not why I play Metroid. She can be sexy all she wants, all I want to do is blast Space Pirates with her arm cannon.
No, it never bothered me that Samus was, and continues to be portrayed as, a beautiful character. There's nothing wrong with beauty, nor is there anything wrong with a powerful character being beautiful, as well. It's not her bust or rear-end that deem her attractive either (and, of course, we're talking under the assumption that nobody here is actually attracted to this fictional character; if you are, good on you, mate).
So, why does Samus have to be more manly looking to be tougher or, in this case, “harder”?
(Courtesy of poojipoo of DeviantArt. Source)
“It always baffles me when people go out of their way to make Metroid's Samus look "beautiful". As if that matters. There's a reason her gender was kept secret for the first game, and that's because the point was she was a badass, not that she was a she.
So I love this pic by poojipoo, which gives her a hard edge that's been lacking from recent entries on the series. I mean, you've seen the things she's seen, and done the things she's done, you're going to look a little "harder" than a Barbie doll in a blue jumpsuit.”
Luke is right, it doesn't matter that Samus is beautiful. This I will not contest. And true, Samus may be lacking a hard edge recently (and by that, we can only mean Other M, which is absolutely the farthest from accurate representation of Samus overall as a character, by the way), but...what's this?
Is that Samus? Or...Samuel Aran?
Is this really Samus to you? Take away her beauty and is she still Samus? Give her a masculine appearance, is she still Samus? Maybe, maybe not.
What I want to focus on is this – why does this mean she is any “harder” than she looked before? The rugged appearance, the scattered cuts, is this what it means to be a “harder” character?
No, I don't buy that. I don't think a character's appearance needs to drive whether or not a character is “hard” (heh) or not. That's the fundamental problem, here. We need to stop giving appearances precedence and priority, and we need to stop letting appearances define our characters. And, furthermore, unless the character is glaring sex candy or some sort of stereotype, why should we force change on these characters, like Samus?
See, that's what I love about Samus – not only is she a young, beautiful woman, but she kicks ass harder than any male character I've ever met. While her appearance may not be what's important, it says a lot that you have to make a character more manly to give the character a harder edge.
Because, if I remember correctly, it is actually only Other M in which Samus does not have a hard edge. In all the other games, Samus is the hardest edge in the galaxy. Sure, the limitations of portraying a mute character in the earlier titles may have indirectly helped present a cold, hard impression from our heroine, but even in Fusion (in which Samus does actually speak, even if only by text) we see that Samus doesn't take bullshit and is a dynamic character that seeds concern in both the mission and rational decisions that may contradict that mission. We don't need a pretty or not-so-pretty face to tell us that. And a pretty face can look battered and brazed, by the way.
Samus was already tough, so why do we need this? If we are still putting character definition on outward appearances, then isn't that a step backward? By making these changes, are we not putting significance and priority back into appearances?
What Does This Say About Me?
Probably the most jarring thing to come from that Metroid piece on Kotaku, by the way, was this:
After looking at that Samus picture off Kotaku as shown above on the left, I clicked back to my desktop, which has the image on the right as my wallpaper. I stopped for a minute. I don't have this “harder” Samus as my wallpaper, but this gracious, long-hair-don't-care flowin' in the wind like a boss, young Samus instead. I immediately questioned if this said anything about me as a person in a negative light.
A dumb thought, I responded. I'm rationally aware that I did not put this wallpaper on my desktop to drool at, but rather because I'm a fan of the series and Samus is my favorite video game character. I also particularly liked the design choices on Samus's suit and, although Samus is actually a render upon a random space background, the overall aesthetic of the image was pleasing. Gender wasn't a factor at all. I just liked the image.
It became clear to me that rationality should ultimately prevail in this case. As gamers, we need to come to the realization that we need to be inclusive, not exclusive; tolerant, not intolerant; accepting, not...not accepting. And for that to happen, we need to start getting comfortable with change. There's going to be a lot of change in this industry. It's young, it's growing, it's inevitable.
Because, truth be told, there are better things to worry about than gender. Gender, identity, sex – these are not unimportant things. Getting past them as issues would only be a boon for our industry, not a dismissal of their importance. It's a problem that we can barely imagine Zelda as the true heroine of a Legend of Zelda game without changing her from what makes her Zelda, and find this dilemma to be of vast importance, when the games industry is constantly locked in turmoil due to a number of other issues (declining sales, the costs behind making a AAA game, always-online and DRM policies, etc.) that we could be otherwise spending our valuable and precious time on.
It's hard to write an entry like this. As a gamer, it's very disappointing to read what happens in our industry day in and day out. And, ultimately, as an industry and community we need to collectively address this current issue, which isn't a women's issue but a games industry issue, one that seems too okay with not only victimizing women, but excluding them from attempting similar endeavors as men without garnering relentless backlash.
Yeah, it's actually pretty interesting how well the plight of the female protagonist mirrors the struggles of every day gamers like you and me. Very interesting. Need I say more?
Violent Video Games Have Lower Effects On Highly-Exposed Teens
It would seem that more time spent playing is indeed more beneficial. By limiting the time spent playing games by 1 hour causes the boys to have higher heart rates compared to the nonviolent game. They also have trouble sleeping and have "increased feelings of sadness". It's interesting to see that violent gaming in bulk is beneficial but when restrained it produces negative effects. It would be interesting to see this within higher age groups as well as with girls to see how each responds to these games. I'm surprised there's so little psychological research being done in gaming when it's such a popular trend within our society.
Leadership Emerges Spontaneously During Games
I find the title somewhat misleading. The researchers looked at a group of gamers in 2004 who played "I Love Bees". I Love Bees was a mix of real-world as well virtual, this game was created to help promote halo 2. What the researchers found was that gamers automatically filled roles that are very similar to the military. They did this without any past relations and work as cohesive unit to accomplish goals. They created their own forums as well. The researchers concluded that games and work are starting to dissolve the line that separates them and are becoming one. I would love researchers to see how vVv gaming runs. We are what this article talks about. We have solid structure in how we run things as well as bridging the gap between work and play. If anyone has any connections, maybe start talking so that others can learn even more about the benefits of gaming outside of games.
Want to Slow Mental Decay? Play a Video Game
Within our brain there's a "mission control" that decays as we age. By having the elderly play games for 10 hours or more saw a 3 year improvement in their cognitive skills after 1 year. The importance of this discovery is that it will help avoid a plethora of problems. An example that the article gives is tunnel vision, which explains why most accidents involving the elderly happen within intersections. I hypothesize the creation of a old timers league and It's never to late to introduce grandpa to vVv.
Bonding With Your Virtual Self May Alter Your Actual Perceptions
Although avatar building has been in games for quite a while now, researchers have found distinct advantages of letting the players make their own. By creating their own avatar people tend to have more real world perceptions of the virtual world. This makes it easier for people to experience the game and the hardships their character has to go through.
Best of Both Worlds: Towards a Quantum Internet With Combined Optical and Electrical Technique
Scientists are getting closer at creating a quantum internet. Quantum computing will allow for "exponential increase in processing power over conventional computers". This will make for an even more secure internet which is a much better solution then CISPA.
Dual-Color Lasers Could Lead to Cheap and Efficient LED Lighting
Nano technology will soon be everywhere. Now, scientists have developed a much more powerful LED that increases its efficiency as well as ability to display different variations in color. Before they had to compensate by putting different ranges together in order to create a multicolored image which made production expansive. Soon, we'll be seeing a very large decrease in price for LED type devices such as monitors.
Follow @vVv_WaKai for updates and other science related news!
The idiom "Rome wasn't built in a day" is something we hear all of the time in our lives. Whether it be from our parents, teachers, coaches or anyone we come into contact with, we all have heard this saying in our lives. The ancient idiom means that, All things take time to create, and great things like the city of Rome take a very long time to grow and be successful. So we shouldn't expect to accomplish something or achieve success immediately. To apply this to a gaming perspective, I will say that you can't pick up the sticks or the mouse and expect to be the newest pro to the cirtcuit the next day.
There are two kinds of people in the world we all know and love. We have the person who will keep moving forward and fight through the adversity life brings him and emerge a stronger person in the end. The other person will fight the adversity and just give up after just one try. I would not be where i am today if i gave up at anything i did in my life the first time, none of us would be. A quick little fun fact for you guys, Colonel Sanders is the man who created the recipe for KFC. Colonel Sanders was denied over 1000 times by different places to take his recipe and give him a profit! A thousand times...WOW is all i can say, that is a man with patience. With that being said, If you lost while you were doing your best, one-thousand times in a row, would you give up? The type of people that are able to fight through the pain and the adversity are the ones that are going to be successful.
Moving aside from the general aspects of patience and fighting the adversity, I am going to get into some ways that you can reduce your stress levels while playing your respective games. The one thing that you have to realize is that all the pro players, top AMs, "Well Known" players are all still human beings like yourself. They all started from day one and worked just as hard to get to where they wanted to be. You hear it all of the time, your going to need to put the work in, if you want results. If you are a Call of Duty player, grab a friend and go into custom games for a couple hours and turn the radar on and just kill each other. This is how i got good at my call of duty game. Me and my best friend Devin would go play 1v1 on shipment call of duty 4 for hours upon hours. This is where we fine tuned our skills, learned how to use various guns, play different playstyles and whatever you can think of. Practice is what makes you better! But there is one thing that goes with practice, its called consistancy. You cant just do it a couple times and say to yourself; "well I practiced today", you need to be consistant with it. Its like progress in the gym, you cant lift weights once or twice a week and see massive results. The more time you put in, the more you will get out of it. The same thing goes for League of Legends or any other game. The more you play and learn your roles/lanes and what champs suit you best and learn how to play them well with time, you will get better. the bottom line you should be telling yourself when your not doing so well, in gaming and life, is to KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
Another point that i wanted to touch upon is that fact that we all hit a rut in our game. I like to call it a slump like in baseball. We all have those days when we get on and just right away you can just tell that its just not your night. Your missing shots that you should be making, and you flat out feel like youve never played the game before. First of all, this does not make you bad at all because it happens to everyone, even the best of players. When you feel yourself in times like these, you just have to put the controller down for a couple seconds and just breathe. I tell my lacrosse team all the time that if you play mad, you play bad, if you play chill, you play ill. It sounds kind of corny but when you think about it, it is very true. When you are frustrated you play a whole lot worse then you play relaxed. When you are getting angry and raging over simply one death or bad spawns, you are not only bringing yourself down, but your teammates as well. Positivity is one of the best attributes to have in your arsenal. Positive thinking will bring postive results!
As I write this i am trying to apply it as much as I can to gaming but when i think about it, it's these life skills that will make you a better player and person in general. All of the things that I will blog about will make you both a better gamer, and a person in life. That is what i wish to achieve in the blogs i publish. I would like to end this blog with something/someone that has changed my life forever. There are two men that kind of brought me out of a tough rut in life. I tore my ACL going into college three years ago and It didnt really hit me until my sophomore year. It finally hit me and i was alll upset and down because i felt like i lost my skill in lacrosse and desire to get better. After a friend of mine sent me a video of an athlete, and us two reminsicing of all the good we have done in the past, i completely turned everything around. I will post the video at the bottom of the blog, but the man in the videos name is Giavanni Ruffin, and the person talking is a motivational speaker named Eric Thomas. Gian is an athlete who was supposed to go in the first round of the NFL draft a couple years back when he was arrested for a drunken disorderly, he has yet to be signed and he devotes his life to helping people and becoming a better athelte and person, he still is trying to get drafted and is a step closer everyday. Eric thomas' story is even more amazing. He was homeless at age 16 in the slums of detroit, and he kept moving forward to be the successful man today. I highly suggest looking into both men if you ever get a chance, Eric Thomas (ET)'s book will change the way you think of things forever. Gian made the philosophy Take No Days OFF (TNDO) and after watching his documentary and living his lifestyle I am a new man. The bottom line is that we all hit those bad spots and only you can bring yourself out of them.
Well guys i rambled, sidetracked, and spoke my words of wisdom, all in one post. Un-organized, maybe, but i hope this helped you guys and maybe gave you some insight you needed to hear. Patience is something that can be hard but with focus and determination, anyone can be successful at what they do.
If you guys liked this blog please let me know! If theres anything you would like to hear me talk about please let me know, I am willing to talk about anything from advice/skill to topics about a certain game or issues about anything. I will also be getting into some product review when i get home from school and get my new computer and capture card. Hope you enjoyed the blog, and have a great night!
ET/Giavanni Ruffin Video:
So I feel like I need to explain why I have been only on at 4 am for the past couple weeks. My grandpa has been taking care of my grandmother for like their entire life. Within the last 5 years she has been suffering from dementia and he was her primary care. He fell and broke his leg a couple weeks ago and while at the hospital they found out he had bone cancer. Which is what made his bone so brittle it broke. He wasn't given very long to live. Slowly things got worse. He went from doing everything himself while taking care of my grandmother at the ripe age of 95. My father his brothers and sisters had to make a decision to put them in a home so they could have a 24 hour care. I have been helping my family as much as I could the last few weeks. As I said things got worse for my grandfather so fast. In the end we lost him yesterday morning. It seems like my girlfriend and I just brought them milk shakes and had a lovely chat with them not so long ago. I only wish to have the strength my grandfather had for 95 years old. He never stopped moving and was always telling me stories that I couldn't get enough of hearing. I will miss him greatly.
After the funeral this week I should be getting back to a normal routine. I will be here to help anyone who wants to improve in League of Legends and or just wants to have a bit of a gaming session. I really appreciate everything vVv has done for me and I look forward to getting back to a normal schedule after such a terribly rough few weeks.
vVv S to the O
In case you missed Part 1 of this series where I discussed the foundations of motivation and how we perceive time limits us, check it out here: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/forum/blog/276/entry-5765-being-driven-part-1-unexpected-roots/
Given how incredible and motivated people with passion are, it may seem like there's some magical formula you need to be able to find or identify your passion. The good news I have for everyone is that there isn't. Passion is actually really simple and easy to understand, and attainable for everyone. I want you to watch the following video, paying particular attention to how the speaker talks about leading people to a passionate life.
The really awesome thing about passion is that it starts with your interests. We may not all be able to identify something that we are passionate about, but I'm sure everyone reading this article could tell me about their interests. If you don't already know your passion, then start by thinking about your interests.
The thing to keep in mind, especially for gamers, is that it's not enough to just be interested in something for it to be a passion. I say especially for gamers because games are designed to be fun and engaging and to make you want to spend time on them. The problem is, in order for something to be a passion, it also needs to be fulfilling. You may enjoy games and think you want to be a pro gamer, but would a life spent playing games really be fulfilling for you? I think the inevitable answer to that question is that no, just playing games isn't enough to be fulfilled, at least for most gamers.
This is because in addition to being an interest, a passion needs to give you a sense of freedom, allow you to grow, and provide opportunities for you to make a difference and help others. I think the specifics are different for everyone, but those are the core elements of a passion. For example, my passion is driven by a need to grow myself and help others learn from my growth. Others, like Athene, might be driven by a desire to help the conditions of impoverished children or other causes. Many pro players feed off of their fans' energy and are fulfilled by living up to the expectations of those who support them most.
While there may be a driving desire to play games for a living, the reality of being a pro gamer is that you must do much more than just play video games to make your situation financially viable. Many pros spend time on social media, ad spots, endorsements, and representing sponsors at events through attire, interviews, and fan interactions. If this doesn't sound like something you'd voluntarily participate in, then you definitely need to consider whether being a pro gamer is the right decision for you. These activities that take you away from playing your game might make you feel constrained and limited and eliminate the potential for you to be passionate about what you do.
So now we know what passion is and the necessary core components required to allow passion to grow. The next step is finding the motivation to actually pursue your passion. This first requires us to change our perceptions again. Just like with the perception of time in last week's article, there's a prevalent way of thinking about motivation that pervades our culture and keeps us from being successful. Often people talk about "not feeling motivated" or "needing motivation". There's something extremely wrong about these statements, do you see it?
The problem is that motivation isn't some passive thing that is doled out by the motivation fairy when you aren't looking. Motivation comes from within, and each of us has to be driven to motivate ourselves. Instead of erroneously talking about "being motivated" it is correct to talk about "motivating ourselves". We need to find the drive to do the things that we need1 to do instead of waiting for a time when we feel motivated to do them. Finding motivation is actually extremely simple when we consider from last week's article that "right now" is all that exists, and whether you do something now or later makes no difference, since you will always be doing it "right now". In other words, if there is no opportunity cost to doing something, then you should always be doing what drives you toward your passion. It is interesting to note that there is always an opportunity cost to putting something off, so action toward growing a passion is really the only correct decision (aside from obvious caveats like paying bills and getting sufficient rest2).
I should also note that interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners should be included under the umbrella of "passion" if such things are desired. The great thing about passion is it doesn't have to be limited toward a career or hobby, but can be applied to anything you want to do or are interested in.
The speaker in the video explains that passions do not happen spontaneously. You have to be interested in something first in order for it to become a passion. It would be really convenient if you could force yourself to become passionate about anything, but sadly that doesn't happen. It's up to you to grow your interest by setting goals and driving yourself in the active pursuit of them. Our decisions about what to do with our time are often unconscious and happen as a result of existing neurological patterns, also known as habits. In order to pursue passion we need to repetitively make decisions that move us toward our goals until we solidify new habits that keep us driven.
One piece of advice the speaker gives is that fear can keep us from pursuing our passions, and we should use fear as a signpost in order to lead us toward our passions. I feel that fear isn't sufficiently specific enough to be helpful. I think a better word might be discomfort. For example, my own experience over the past few months was with indecision in terms of what to pursue as my passion. Indecision is not rooted in fear in a general since, rather, it's a type of fear that making a choice will lead to a result that makes us unhappy and takes us away from what would've made us happy. It might take some introspection for each person to determine for sure what kind of fear or discomfort is keeping them from pursuing a passion, but once identified I feel this fear could be disarmed in most cases through a rational analysis of what is causing the fear.
The speaker's number one point is that you need to start NOW. Once you've identified an interest that can grow into a passion, find a reason either why you HAVE TO do it, or why you HAVE TO AVOID not doing it. This will motivate you even more to stay motivated and keep driving yourself until you form the habits needed to grow your passion.
So now we know what a passion is and how to grow it, but maybe you're still struggling with identifying what you should make your passion or what it is that's keeping you from pursuing it. How do you get past these obstacles? Come back next week and I will have even more great content to answer these questions!
1I use the term "need" here specifically instead of the term "want" in order to emphasize that we need to be driven to achieve our goals and pursue our passions.
2There are always parts of every pursuit that are undesirable. For example, I think it's unlikely that anyone is passionate about brushing their teeth. Yet it's important to brush your teeth 2-3 times per day in order to maintain proper hygiene. Likewise, there are parts of pursuing your passion that will fill this "brushing your teeth" role. Credit to LordJerith for originally explaining this concept.
So I decided to make a combo video after never making a combo video ever. Figured it was worth a shot, and at the time I didn't see many Solomon Grundy (my main man) combo videos on Youtube so I decided to make one myself once I got the necessary tools together (I understand some have come out in the meantime, though).
Let me know what you think. And what not. I have class soon so I'm a bit bummed out even though I just put this up. xD
You may remember a post I made a few months ago about my New Years Resolution being to become driven this year. This is a result of several years of failing to achieve my goals. This along with seeing the power that passion can bring have convinced me that passion and motivation are topics that are CRITICAL to understand, hence I began looking up all manner of resources to help me understand them. This blog series is my attempt to share that research and knowledge with all of you
To start things off, I want to share a video that completely changed the way I think about time as I feel it is foundational to truly understanding motivation and passion. The video is about how language effects savings rates. It has an economic slant, but pay attention to the implications of the speaker's content, especially with relation to future and future-less languages:
The key concept I want everyone to take away from this and start thinking about is more than just "future and future-less language speakers think differently". I want you to think about how a future-less language speaker must perceive the world and time. Essentially, a future-less language speaker perceives the future and the present the same way. I postulate that this is the true and correct way to perceive time.
Let's try a thought experiment to support this. Think about a goal you have. It could be to lose weight, it could be to study more and get better grades, it could be to get better at a specific game, the particulars don't matter. Now I'm sure you've all experienced a time where you can decide today either to be driven to achieve your goal, or you can be "lazy"1 and do other things that won't help you achieve your goal. When tomorrow comes, if you procrastinated, you will probably have the same goal, since you made no progress toward your goal. If you were driven and accomplished what you were trying to do, you might set a new goal, or a more difficult progression to your previous goal, or a continuation of your first goal.
When you wake up tomorrow, whether you procrastinated or were driven and took action, tomorrow becomes right now. You no longer perceive tomorrow as the day some time in the future, because that is what you did yesterday and yesterday's tomorrow is no longer in the future. So your experience of right now is directly linked to whether you took action or failed to take action the day before.
I think this concept is extremely important because to be driven you need to understand that there is no tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, five years out. There is only right now as you are perceiving it at this very moment. The human mind is incapable of experiencing anything other than the current given moment. You can't experience a future that hasn't happened. The actions you took and the actions you take are the only thing that can affect right now. Either you took action to move right now closer to your goals and dreams, or you procrastinated and your right now is standing still while your goals and dreams leave you behind. In order to be driven, you have to understand this concept and tear down the illusion that there is some tomorrow that will magically come when you will start achieving your goals. Tomorrow doesn't exist. Only right now exists.
As a result, you need to be able to prioritize your goals. You need to be able to make a decision about which actions to take and which actions to procrastinate on (let's face it, you don't have time to do everything). You like watching Anime? Great. Does it support your goal to become an animator? Yes, keep doing it. Does it support your goal to become a pro gamer? No, put it off until you have achieved what you need to today in order to reach your pro-gaming goals. This is because every action you take should enrich your experience of the present, which REQUIRES you to put off things that will make your "future" present worse. This includes everything that does not support your most important goals and values.
I know the previous paragraph must sound very familiar, perhaps a parent or a mentor taught you these things when you were growing up. The key is that we need to re-frame some basic things our parents always tried to teach us in a future-less way. We are mostly English speakers and therefore think about a separate future that will eventually happen. The advice I'm giving really isn't different from what your parents gave you, what I want to emphasize is that the future where you will do your chores and achieve your goals is an illusion conjured by our language and needs to be dispelled. That is the foundational building block of being a driven individual.
Earlier in this post I talked about prioritizing goals, but how do you prioritize your goals or decide on a passion? What if you have no passion? I will answer these questions in the next entry of this series.
Week 2 is now live, click the link to go to it: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/forum/blog/276-sugarbears-blog-about-everything/
1It should be noted that lazy is a very subjective term, and further clarification is needed. My understanding of lazy is the absence of action, often described as depression. Activity in the form of playing other games, doing things that don't advance you toward your goals, or other activity can be classified as "work", but should be understood to be "unproductive work" or "improperly-prioritized work". In this case, I use the term "lazy" to mean either depression or the pursuit of unproductive work. More on this in another post.
Tetris can help correct lazy eye:
It's great to see gaming become a practical means for solving a very real health issue. Tetris is used as a fun way for patients to treat lazy eye. This will give kids a viable cure and it will remove the psychological impacts from having to wear an eyepatch. Who knew gaming could help your eyes!
Researchers capture wasted heat, use it to power devices
Instead of reducing power consumption, researchers are capturing and recycling it. The article explains it beautifully, comparing this process to turbines. Where the heat created would spin a device, which then feeds the recycled energy back into the computer. My concern with this device is that will it be able to cool the critical components enough for it to be a viable solution?
Follow @vVv_WaKai for updates and other science related news!
So there has been a few common difficulties I've found where applicants have trouble getting endorsements. I decided to write a post about how to improve your chances and getting into vVv with a few simple recommendations:
Hang out before you apply
This advice is really something everyone should consider. It can be pretty difficult to get someone to like you in just three weeks, especially if you only come on every week or so. Members will need to spend time with you to determine whether they like you or think you'd be a good addition to the community. People also have their own schedules, sometimes focusing on team nights or soloqueue/league practice. As a result it can be pretty difficult to get enough game time in with the same people consistently enough to get endorsed. By coming on mumble or XBL and hanging out with us on the forums, it gives people a better chance to get to know you before you submit an application. As a result it's much easier to get your endorsements later on.
This also gives you a chance to see if vVv is the right community for you. Maybe you like the idea of vVv but the people rub you the wrong way, or maybe you like the people, but the direction of the organization isn't a good match for you. Whatever the case, it's best to find out before you put in the effort to put in an application and gather endorsements whether this is the place for you.
Make yourself available to play frequently
Getting to know a group of people can be a time-consuming task, especially when you consider you might not run into the same people every night. Wait to apply until you can consistently get on mumble or XBL at least 2-3 nights per week to play some games with people. This lets members retain their mental picture of you from one meeting to the next and thereby allows members to get to know you faster. Having multiple frequent nights of good interactions will likely get you endorsements without even having to ask for them.
You might be a great person that everyone will love once they get to know you, but if you are very reserved or quiet on mumble or XBL no one will get the chance to find that out. Try to inject yourself in conversations as much as possible (being polite and trying not to cut people off, of course) or bring up conversations if no one is talking. Although not everyone can avoid being shy it is something you can work on, and being able to converse with people will translate into a great life skill later on.
It's not forbidden to ask people for endorsements, but consider how annoying it could be if someone were heckling you for something repeatedly every time you talked to them. The best way to go about asking for endorsements is to ask someone if they have any feedback for you. If they have nothing negative to say and generally positive things to say, it might be a good time to ask them to endorse you. If they still say no, accept that they might just not know you well enough yet and wait until you spend a few more nights playing with them before asking again.
NEVER try to buy endorsements
If you hear about someone selling endorsements in exchange for Microsoft points, RP, money, skins, etc. IMMEDIATELY contact a staff member. Do not attempt to purchase endorsements from ANYONE as this is 100% against the rules. We want vVv Gaming to be full of people who love to be around each other and add value, not people who can buy their way into the organization.
If all else fails, find SugarBear (for LoL applicants)
Sometimes people have certain personality traits that make people uncomfortable endorsing them, and may not be comfortable giving feedback like this to you. If you have tried the above and are still having trouble, I will find some time to play with you and can give you feedback on anything that might be putting people off and keeping you from getting endorsements. Please keep an open mind during these sessions, as any feedback is meant to be constructive and to help you grow as an individual.
If you don't make it in, don't despair!
Just because you failed to get the necessary endorsements in time to get your interview doesn't necessarily mean we hate you or don't want you here! It might simply be the case that we just didn't get the chance to get to know you well enough, or want to see you grow as a person a little before accepting you as a full member. Feel free to seek out as much feedback as possible and reapply in a few months if your application is closed due to failing to receive an endorsement.
That's it! I hope these are helpful and good luck with your application. If you're a League of Legends applicant, be sure to join us on mumble every Tuesday and Thursday night for orientation and inhouses starting at 7 PM EST.
Additional advice from vVv NaturaL:
The great debate among Starcraft fans about the WCS has come down to many things, but one of the major debates is this; Should the WCS lock regions?
Now, both sides have solid arguments for why they believe the Regionals should be locked or open. With the way the qualifiers are in Korea, using the GSL Code S, many people feel the the Korean players that can participate in the US should be allowed to, plus it gives us the best players in the World playing for a chance to play in the WCS championships. The opposite side of that is, it also limits pushing the NA scene.
People's main argument is that you either want the best players, or you want to grow each scene, and in reality, it's hard to have both. With the way the season came about, which goes back to using the GSL as the qualifiers, it seems like it would be fair to have some of the better players in the world be able to play in another qualifier, and it goes have some merit, but at the same time, it also pushes people out, that might actually have a shot in other scenes.
Nestea, one of the KR players playing on NA
There in lies the problem.
Players are divided on this issues because it relates to those things. Some people see Regional locking as a way to make it easier and as a way to get more NA players in, but others see it as a way to develop both EU and NA, and both sides have legitimate arguments. Would competing against only NA players over NA and KR players make it easier? I'm sure it would, but by having regional lock, you are motivating players in the two scenes to finally get their act together(hopefully) and realize, we need to change the way we play, in order to compete. Putting money into each scene is not a bad thing, it's actually very good, I know shocking.
RootCatz brings up valid points in a reddit post.. and who doesn't love Catz
Root's Catz brought up same great points on the Starcraft reddit which you can read here. He brings up many of the points fans and players alike have and they all make sense for his argument. Hell, the idea that Koreans would be joining in the NA WCS even caused CLG's business manager to decide to not invest in the SC2 NA scene. Now, obviously this place is huge LoL people, so those in the know, that's a pretty big deal.
While the WCS should provide us with some amazing games and hopefully some great talent manages to break through, the question that people are still asking will rage on.... until the next season... maybe
Crazy how much Innovation is still going strong! With revolutionary advances in batteries and cables, we'll definitely see a faster future! I hope by keeping the descriptions simple I can get gamers informed on things that they can relate to, or might be affected by. As well as linking the articles so that those who are more interested in the specifics can do so. Enjoy!
New Keyboard for Touchscreens Enables Faster Thumb-Typing
This may seem simple, but the process with which they approached this problem is fascinating. Using a "computational optimization algorithm" they were able to figure out how to make an optimal layout. By arranging the letters so that each thumb is equally engaged when typing; They were able to drastically increase the typing efficiency!
What Happens in the Brain to Make Music Rewarding?
An interesting look into how our brain responds to music. They used a set of 60 people and kept track of their brain activity. They found out that the more active the brain is in a certain area the more that person likes the song. They also found that this area interacts with other parts of the brain which is why we tend to remember songs that we've liked. It's also influenced by past experiences which leads to a unique taste for every human. Which does explain the contradicting viewpoints on which music is better. But in reality the "best" music is the one that a person enjoys the most. I've started listening to an artist named
and I believe her rapid success is because her music is so diverse, which will pleasure most genres of music. My theory is that as long as a certain aspect of the music is pleasurable, the rest will be pleasing as well.
Security Holes in Smartphone Apps
More of a warning for anyone using these devices. Researchers have found that parts of code for these apps have been unintentionally left public. This allows hackers to manipulate the programs so that the user downloads malicious content. The article goes more in depth on this and I suggest anyone with one of these phones to go take a look.
Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronics
For many years the bottleneck in any portable device was the battery. Researchers have created a micro battery that is much larger in capacity and power. This new improvement will revolutionize the communication industry and will pave a path for new innovations.
Researchers build fiber cable capable of near light-in-vacuum throughput
Although still in development. This new type of cable would replace the ones we currently use for the internet. With the cables we're using right now, there's a decrease of 31% efficiency because the light must travel through silica glass. The glass helps direct the light in turns and bends so that the information is not lost. But researchers have created a new way of directing the glass by using "ultra-thin photonic-bandgap rims". This new technology will allow us to download anything almost instantly!
Follow @vVv_WaKai for updates and other science related news!
Hey guys! vVv Magicmooch here bringing you the last two games of the King of the Summoner's Hill X Grand Final!
So I am doing this for you guys that didn't get to catch it or just want to watch the games for funsies. If you guys have any tips feel free to leave them below as well as any additional comments.
Also, be on the lookout for the full KOTSH X recap that vVv Paradise will have on the forums sometime in the next week or so. For all of you that were with me today during the live stream thanks a ton and I appreciate the support!
Also I totally forgot to record the first game of the grand finals please forgive me.
This is game #2 of the Grand Final between vVv Snow and An Obese Panda!
This is game #3 of the Grand Final between vVv Snow and An Obese Panda!