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!
There has always been campers in the Call of Duty series, and there will more than likely always be campers.
Right now there are approximately 9 Call of Duty series.
In each and every one of those games, there are campers. No question about it.
My question is, why are there so many campers?
That's a easy enough question to answer.
Almost everyone's obsessed with their K/D ratios and stats.
I know some players think that campers are the easiest to kill in the game session, but that's not entirely true.
There are some pretty skilled campers as much as I really hate to say it. I must say though a lot of maps are small with many rooms and high points to camp in with strong Submachine guns and Snipers. So yeah, in a lot of the Call of Duty games it's going to be easy to camp in..
Sure this tactic (camping) works for about 3-5 kills, and I have tried it out a few times, but all it really does is piss off other players, and gets you free kills. If you didn't know... You aren’t learning anything while camping, plus, most of the camping spots are already known to EVERY player, and they will eventually find a way to kill you if you try to camp. It is a great tactic if you’re just trying to rack up XP. In several game types though, camping is a legitimate style of play, often in defensive based games. In Capture the Flag, as well as Domination, it isn't nearly as unfavorable to gameplay as it would be in Free-For-All and Team Deathmatch.
However, campers can sometimes be misinterpreted as bad players who can't rush or play highly aggressively, when in a lot of cases, especially in objective game types such as Demolition, they are playing the game as it should be. As with Rushing and any other playing strategy, camping can only be as successful as the skill of the player will allow it to be. Campers who remain in the same place for too long are more then likely to be killed once the enemy catches onto them. The most successful Campers usually shuffle their positions around after so many kills to prevent this from happening.
In deathmatch games like Team Deathmatch and Free-For-All, camping is usually unfavorable to the user's team. Deathmatch games indeed encourage aggressive play, and camping is time consuming that may only give a few kills, while a player who seeks out the enemy will usually get more kills. Camping in Team Deathmatch can however aid the user's team in certain situations by not allowing an enemy to get to a favorite sniping spot, in that case, lowering the threat to the user's team while simultaneously gaining a few kills.
There are two types of campers that I have only encountered so far while playing Black Ops 2;
- Common Type of Camper
The player usually stays in a corner, or dark space, usually aiming their weapon at a doorway or other chokepoint. If there are other ways for the enemy to attack the camper, they are usually covered with explosive equipment, Camera Spikes or Motion Sensors. After a few kills, it is recommended for the player to move to another nearby location, as the same enemy usually comes back to the position expecting the player in the same place as the last time.
Another type of camping would be the player remaining in the same general area, but changing positions after every few kills. This strategy is more risky than the first because more movement is required, but as a result it can guarantee more kills. Usually players seeking revenge will head to the camper's original position expecting them to be there, but get killed by the camper from a new location. Often, the above mentioned equipment is not used, because of the amount of movement, but they can still be useful.
What is Marvel Heroes?
Marvel Heroes is a MMORPG under development by Gazillion Entertainment. The MMORPG will be similar to its sister game Marvel Super Hero Squad Online. Characters such as Iron Man, Captain America, Deadpool, and Wolverine will serve as characters that players can unlock in the game. The lead writer, Brian Michael Bendis, who has written a number of major Marvel comics. The plot will revolve around the super villain Doctor Doom and various Marvel superheroes. The game will be released in Spring 2013.
The creators of Diablo II are working on this project, which gets me really excited. I've been waiting so long for a game like this to come out. Marvel in a Diablo universe? Yes, please!
Considering that this game will be free, anyone who's a fan of Marvel, along with Diablo style gameplay, should check it out when the game releases. The game will somewhat act like League of Legends, where you can purchase extra characters and costumes. Of course, they needed to make money also. Considering that I spent a pretty penny on League of Legends, I'm perfectly fine with this. Honestly, I'd rather buy Marvel characters, haha.
There's going to be a Beta test tonight, and I plan on taking a few screenshots for everyone. I will be back later tonight with a write up of my experience!
(Brendin on the left /Best friend/) - (Richard in the middle/ other best friend/) - (Me on the right)
Well, since I haven't really given any information on how I really started gaming, I figured maybe I should
type up a blog and fill in those missing pieces and spill a few things about myself.
As you vVv Gaming community peoples may know, my names Chelsea, I'm 18, I live In Canada, B.C.
I started playing video games around the age of 6 on the Sega, I can't really remember any of the games other than Sonic the Hedgehog, then as the years went by I gradually moved up to the N64, I played a lot of 007, and Diddy Kong Racing (If that's how you spell it),
then to the Game Cube where I played Sims a lot. Then came the Xbox 360!
I started playing the Xbox 360 with one of the kids I grew up with, Brendin, also one of my best friends to this day. He got me into Halo, RE5, CoD Bo2, Rainbowsix Vegas 2, Fallout, Deadspace 1-2, Left 4 Dead, those types of games, and to this day me and that goof sit in my apart gaming out to CoD Bo2, or sit on our laptops and dick around on the internet.
How I started playing?
Probably just because my single foster parent mother just wanted to get me out of her hair, and it worked.
It didn't bother me much, I LOVE playing video games of all types, Deadspace 2 scares the shit out of me but meh.
Gaming is a big, and I mean BIG part of my life, if it wasn't for video games I wouldn't be as close to Brendin as I am today.
Video games have helped me meet some of the interesting people in the world, and some that aren't that great, I've made some pretty awesome friends in the gaming world so far, playing videos is like... playing a role in a new life, but viturally where ANYTHING can happen, and when it comes to playing Die Rise, or Tranzit on CoD Bo2, I get really into it and I want to get as far as I can, until I ragequit
simply because I'm tired, and get irritated easily..
(Edited again.. Sorry for the spelling mistakes, I'm extremely tired.. )
Anyways, yeah that's all I can really think of..
An illusion we all face as gamers is that we're the best. But it's quite the opposite. The only reason you won that game was because you sucked less than the other team. The best way to suck less is to master the basics, as a strong foundation leads to advantages that far out weight any theory crafting and meta.
"Suck" versus" Best"
"Best" implies that there is no room for improvement and is a reincarnation of "SHOULD"! Whilst the ideals of sucking imply that you accept that you need work and want to improve. In the end everyone sucks, as LoL is a game with to many variables for a "perfect" game to exist.
Streams are a great resource for collecting ways to improve your game. But the problem with watching streams for more than ten minutes is that you can only work on 1 skill at a time. The longer you watch a stream the more the details get skewed and holes start getting filled by schema's ( "A structured cluster of preconceived ideas"( Google define)).
The most efficient way to learn is to look at 1 specific way the streamer uses an ability. When I watch tournaments of Rapidstar, I look at specific ways he uses lux. The first thing I noticed is that he uses his ult to gank instead of physically being there, this reminded me of a tf ult without the teleport. I recognized that after he does this, the effected lane rarely engages into long battles. This is especially important because top and bot take longer to trade. This means I'm able to put pressure without ever losing any creeps! After realizing this, I went right into league and focused on landing the tip of my ult so that I minimize the walk distance. After 5-6 lux games I was able to hit my target without even flinching.
The reason you want to practice that 1 skill right after you learn it, is that it's in your short term memory. In order to put ideas into long and procedural memory ("Procedural memory is our memory for how to do things"(Google define)) you must repeat and experience the idea. This is why you want to que up a game right after you learn a new skill!
Idea's to get you started:
Aim for 100 farm by the 10 minute mark. You'll realize how much you need work on the most important skill in LoL! Best way to learn farm is to practice and experiment(attacking earlier or later), try using the stop command to time your last hits.
Warding/ Map Awareness
Get your favorite music with earphones and a blind fold. Now, navigate around your room. That's what it means to not use wards. Every guide has a warding section, use it! Also, aim at leaving base with at least a ward or two whenever you back.
Wards are useless without map awareness. The best way to learn to look at the minimap is... repetition! A general rule of thumb is peak at the minimap every time you hit a creep and when you leave lane. Eventually what will happen is that you'll be looking at the minimap without knowing it and you'll have achieved map awareness!
Now that you have the tools, go forth and suck less!
GL with sucking less!
I want to start by stating that vVv Gaming has necessarily remained silent on this issue for a number of reasons. From the response on Team Liquid, it's clear that most people either didn't care or had already made up their minds to believe the negativity in Salvor's post and coming from the Aspire teams. Coming forward with an official response would have been unhelpful since the people who didn't care didn't care, and the people who had already made up their minds would just call any statement by vVv Gaming a lie and a cover up. As a result, we decided that the best course of action was simply to let the threads run their course and die out on there own, which eventually happened after a couple days when they fell off the front page.
It's important to note that after the initial round of negativity, Titan, MurDeR, Hasuu, and RockEr all came forward with a positive and supportive message regarding their time on vVv Gaming's SC2 team. We had not asked them to do so, since our stance was that the sooner these threads fall off the front page, the sooner everyone can move forward with being productive and doing great things to progress eSports. I assume that either Glon or Salvor had decided to contact all of our former players to get statements, and it's important to note that of all the players we officially picked up, only Glon had negative things to say about vVv. There were a few players we were working with toward reaching a level we would feel comfortable sponsoring them, such as Toxsik and Reset, but these were never players we had officially decided to pick up and sponsor.
After taking some time to reflect on everyone's responses, I decided to reach out to a few players who supported us and thank them (Astraea, Titan, MurDeR, RockEr, and Hasuu). I also reached out to several players who had complained about their experience in vVv Gaming. I notified Spectral that we had updated our chop-chop process. We now cross-referencing the chop list against our donation transaction history to avoid chopping players who have been adding value by donating, but may have been less active on the forums. I apologized to Toxsik for not following up with Jerry on sending him a headset, as this was my fault as a manager and not a result of any deceit or lie by vVv Gaming. I also apologized to Reset that we hadn't been able to work together to get him to reach a level where we would feel comfortable sponsoring him.
I also began looking at Glon's responses and thinking about why he might feel the way he does. After several nights of reflection, I feel that he is justified in feeling that he was lied to or mislead, but it was not intentional on the part of vVv Gaming to do so. Let's begin by recounting his story. At the stat of 2012, or maybe at the end of 2011, we had been talking with Glon about being a sponsored player and at some point around this time he made it clear that he was looking for a salary. As a result we began looking into ways that would be possible. We decided that internally it would not be possible to provide that level of support for Glon, and that without a significant tournament result it probably wouldn't be possible that another team would either. So we made it a goal to develop him to the level where he could be picked up by a team like EG which would be able to provide him with a salary like he wanted. This was communicated to Glon as well.
All was going well, until we were discussing sponsorship details with Glon at Anaheim (Summer 2012). During these discussions it was brought up that he'd been communicating with other teams about potential sponsorship offers, and that he was planning on accepting one of these offers and leaving vVv Gaming. This came as a surprise to us as he had not come to staff stating that he wanted to pursue other sponsorships and so we had not had a chance to negotiate with him regarding whether we'd be able to provide sufficient support to keep him as a member. At Anaheim it was also brought up that we were intending to drop all sponsorships for SC2 and keeping Glon as our sole sponsored player. It was communicated that we were starting the Aspire program and that as part of this arrangement we'd like him to work with the Aspire team to help develop them into professional level players. In return, vVv Gaming would sponsor him to major LAN events covering travel, entry fee, and lodging. I believe an attempt was made to draw up a contract at the event, but Glon refused to sign stating that he was holding out for salary before signing any contracts.
After Anaheim we met with the team announcing that due to performance, we would be dropping all sponsorships except for Glon and RuFF. Justifiably, several players reacted negatively to this and Glon, caught up in the negative emotion switched stances and stated that he was interested in leaving again, unless we would provide him salary. After talking with Jerry and myself for a while, it was decided that he would pursue offers from other teams, and if he could receive a better offer than we were presenting, he was welcome to take it. After talking with a few teams, he informed us that he would drop the salary requirement and work with us toward getting him to the point where a personal sponsorship was possible.
After all this was settled, Glon agreed to stay on vVv Gaming under the terms that he would work closely with Aspire and that we would sponsor him for MLG Dallas and IPL5 and work with him toward getting a personal sponsorship. During the intervening months, Glon's interest in Aspire faded. On October 20th, 2012, I followed up with BabyToss, the Aspire team Captain about Glon's activity, and she stated that he had not been very active recently with the Aspire team.
At the same time, my passion for SC2 and managing the team also faded. As a result I was not managing Glon as closely as I should've been. This is my personal failing and I feel that I am the weak link in vVv that caused things to fall apart with Glon shortly thereafter. If any negativity is deserved, it should be directed toward me for not properly reviewing Glon's activity and providing him feedback on his performance in time to ensure that we were willing to provide a full sponsorship for Dallas. Alternatively, I could have stepped down as manager, which would've resulted in having to dissolve our SC2 division and Aspire team, while we helped Glon find a new team. I think either case would've been acceptable, but after investing nearly 2 years of my time toward our SC2 division I was too attached to it to make the right decision. It was selfish of me to attempt to stay on and keep the division alive, and I apologize to anyone who was negatively affected by that decision.
During this period, MLG Raleigh happened. As part of my obligations to help Glon find a personal sponsorship, I went around and talked to every single sponsor at the event, getting contact information for as many as possible. Most of them talked about wanting numbers to justify a sponsorship. As a result, I decided that the next step was to work with Glon toward increasing his following via twitter and streaming. If we could show strong weekly growth numbers over a sustained period it would probably be enough to land him a personal sponsorship. I spent a couple nights watching his stream and giving him feedback that would improve his ability to attract followers. I talked about sharing his personality on social media to interact with his audience. I recommended he take a moment between games to check his stream chat and answer questions rather than just queueing up again immediately. All of these things were improvements that I think would help his stream in the long run. I also recommended that he seek out shows that he could go on to get more external exposure.
Then the biggest mistake I made happened. The lack of an MLG Arena before the Winter Championship threw me off and I ended up not realizing the event was coming up until two weeks before it was scheduled to take place. This means we had a minor emergency where we had to scramble to find a decent plane ticket. Fortunately Doomhammer was able to find a good ticket for a good price and we were able to fully sponsor Glon for MLG Dallas. Since I made a huge mistake here by not booking his flight earlier, I even made an extra donation of $235 to offset the cost to vVv Gaming out of my own pocket since I didn't feel vVv should pay for my mistake.
After this event, Glon decided to leave vVv Gaming after talks with our executives Robz and Doomhammer at Dallas. We parted ways amicably and he approved our goodbye post informing our community that he was moving on.
At this point it was clear I needed to find a replacement for myself as I had lost my passion for Starcraft 2 and was not the right person to lead the SC2 division. Around this time, someone with the screen name SalvorMallow came around the forums. One day I mentioned that I was looking for someone to replace me as SC2 manager and he mentioned that he would be willing to fulfill the role. After working with him for several months, we eventually managed to transition the entirety of the SC2 division over to him by January 2013. Before that he had expressed an interest in managing the SC2 team, including RuFF and Hasuu at the time. During that time he also worked with several applicants interested in being a sponsored player for vVv Gaming. One of those players was John "Nubrgini" Kim.
Please note that from this point forward I am only able to recount the story as told to me by Robz and Doomhammer, as I was not involved in working with the sponsored team or any decisions regarding picking up players other than in an advisory or witness capacity. However, with the story so far demonstrating that the worst failing of vVv Gaming was my own mistakes as manager, I would like to think there is no reason for anyone to doubt Robz's or Doom's words.
When we first began talks with John we had discussed his work situation. He let us know that he did have a stable job, but that he had to commute 3 hours each way every day. While we had concerns that this would affect his ability to schedule time to practice and add value within our SC2 community, he assured us that he'd be able to fulfill the requirements, which I should add that he did spectacularly. A few weeks later it was decided to bring him on as a sponsored player with the understanding that he'd be expected to cover travel for his first couple events, which is standard practice for vVv's sponsored players.
Shortly after officially bringing on Nubrgini, he encountered some personal issues and ended up losing his job. This is unfortunate because he would now be unable to cover travel for attending Dallas and also because I believe the emotional stress caused by these events affected his understanding of communications with our staff. As a result, I think some of the communications with him were vague, for example asking him to price out a flight for Dallas without specifying that it was just to determine if we could justify sponsoring his flight. As it turns out, we couldn't, so we offered him entry fee, hotel,and gear.
Unfortunately, since John had previously lost his job he was unable to play for a flight, and so our offer of hotel and entry fee held no value for him. Additionally, during this time Robz was in the process of moving to LA and this was also during the Christmas holidays, so things were moving slowly through management, including some requests for gear for John. As a result of being unable to properly support John, and not wanting to lead him on in terms of providing "free services" for our community, we decided it would be best to drop him as a sponsored player. We offered to move him down to the Aspire team until things settled down in his life and he could get back to a place where we felt comfortable sponsoring him again, but he did not accept this offer.
At this point I believe the negative things that had been happening to John and losing his job caused him to have a strongly emotional response to these events. Instead of coming to us to see if he could get some kind of recompense for all the time he had spent with our community being a stellar role model, he decided to make a very public post describing his negative experience with vVv Gaming. It's unfortunate that Salvor did not have John's best interests in mind or I'm sure he would have cautioned him against making a public outburst and instead trying to work with vVv management to provide some kind of care package that was amenable for both parties first. Additionally, I feel the public outbursts from both Glon and John have hurt their reputations for any team looking to possibly pick them up, as it displays a definite lack of professionalism.
What I hope everyone gets out of all this is that vVv is not at fault for deliberately misleading or deceiving players. The true cause of negativity from vVv's former players should be directed directly to me, SugarBear, for failing to live up to my responsibilities as manager of our SC2 team. If I intended to continue managing a team, I would certainly take these events as lessons moving forward. No one was deliberately misleading players, but due to some unfortunate events and my own mismanagement, some players had a negative experience. In the case of Nubrgini, I was not involved, but I don't think anyone is really to blame for those events except for some bad decisions provoked by unfortunate life experiences and some miscommunicated expectations. I fully accept responsibility for my inability to properly manage players, and have no desire to manage any professional gaming teams in the near future. I hope this clears up all of the allegations and accusations.
This will be my last blog post here.
I just kind of wanna get this first bit out of the way. The members of the Aspire program that left are not off crying in a corner, about how their division got cut. The Aspire division left vVv, to start our own program, and potentially join another. We're not just holding a little pity party. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
As many of you know, the SC2 division for vVv gaming is no more. I have been extremely vocal in the actual thread here, as well as on Reddit as to the actual happenings within vVv, concerning the SC2 division. I write this not with the intent of hurting vVv's reputation (although it will), but in an attempt to reach out to those who are apart of vVv to help further your career in eSports, and so that they may grasp what being apart of vVv is truely about.
vVv has a history of fucking over their players, in the recent past, and in the last several weeks. A direct quote from Nubrgini on Reddit:
I really got baited hard with their offers and such, they had a new management, Salvor, a good hearted person to take up management to renew their tarnished image. Only problem is that they lied to both me and Salvor with the requests. When processes go in, Salvor would put them through but the higher up, the people I don't want to name because it brings fame to them, would just ignore it and constantly make lies or excuses why it has not gone through. I was promised Dallas, LAN ETS 2013 as well as Gear, shirt, financial support as a sponsored player but they kept making excuses and delaying everything. Shady organization as always. Even if it's not SC2 they're looking into, this organization should be boycotted and not even allowed to be in ANY eSports community. The community itself is blinded by their lies so they just have to follow, it's the managers who you should look out for.
As a side not, upon none of the agreements on vVv's part being met, Salvor bought Nub a new mouse, with his own moneyThese claims are also supported by Glon, who recently left vVv, due to disputes with management.
vVv has consistently lied to their players and manipulated them, all in the name of the "community." If you're wondering why vVv never got big into SC2 and lost all of their players consistantly, it's because they made offers they knew they couldn't keep (then talked their way out of them/covered them up) just to keep players from leaving.
Word is that Glon is also getting a bunch of testimonies from former vVv members together, and putting them all in one place, and making a big post on how poorly vVv treats their players.
But how do the actions vVv have made affected the way that other organizations within eSports perceive vVv and those affiliated with them? Here's a quote that CatZ made in the Reddit thread, concerning vVv leaving and moving into LoL:
Try to treat your LoL team and community with respect, and be nice to them cause they don't know what they're getting into, and I doubt they know who you are, so go into another scene and take it as your chance to change into a person that does good things and commands respect and admiration, instead of burning bridges within the industry.
CatZ is the founder and Leader of ROOT gaming, a team that holds on of the largest followings in SC2, as well has owning a DOTA 2 team. CatZ is also one of the most respected people in the SC2 industry for his work with developing players and the community.
I could go on, but at this point, it's beating a dead horse. I know that there are a lot good people here, and I know that many of you have become comfortable working with vVv, but I can all but guarantee you, that being a part of vVv will only serve as hindrance to you career. If you do choose to stay even after reading these testimonies, you are directly condoning the actions that vVv has taken, and that you acknowledge the broken promises, the lies, and vVv's constant excuses as to why they are never to blame. I can not understand why anyone would want to be apart of an organization that has time and time again gained and lost the faith of their members.
I hope that upon reading this post you think long and hard about who you want to be affiliated with and what the consequences are of being apart of an organzation.
On a final note, don't sell yourself short. If you do decide that vVv is not the place for you, get out there and start talking with other organizations. 95% of people that want to be involved in Esports, never actually try contacting those in eSports. Shoot high, try messaging the EGs, and the TSMs, and the CLG and all those big names, and ask for some volunteer work. The worst thing they tell you is they have no open positions, and they thank you for your interest.
So I guess that's all there is to it. I sincerely hope you all end up getting the most out of your eSports experience, and that you all continue to be amazing people.
I've never really been big on bumping my social media stuff, but if you're interested on keeping tabs on me, feel free to follow me at:
Again, I hope to see you all doing great things with your careers, and wish you the best of luck.
I love you all, be safe.
With the coming of Carbonox and the formation of PlayBLC.com, a new air of confidence has settled over the BLC community. No longer are the weekly stretches of uncertainty regarding the games longevity, and the 4 team Pro tournaments due to unattainable expectations of rating. No longer are questions being asked pertaining to the games death, but instead how we can persevere and produce results with an intelligent group of people. With the most recent Ignite the Flame weekly tournament pulling in a peak of 1,750 concurrent viewers, and the average settling at about 1,300-1,400, noone is doom-saying, and noone is sobbing for change. Tournaments are filling up, populations of new players are blossoming, and the effort to produce watchable and professional content for a host of newbies left in the dark by a rather horrid BLC tutorial, is being made.
All of these things are fantastic, but there have been snags. One of the biggest questions being asked at the moment is, "Why aren't there steady teams forming?" Above all else, this is what I'm here to discuss.
Noone can deny it, it is so much easier to wait until 10 minutes before tournament time to mass PM down your list of ever-anonymous friends to put a team together. It is so much easier to not ask for two peoples skype names and to not work out a weeks worth of evening schedules, and to not make the time commitment to create something worth building. It is so much easier to NOT deal with having to cut a player that's slacking, than to put that set team of three in stone, and perhaps fail.
Back in Season 4, when our 3v3 team was roughly 13th on 3v3 ladder, I sat down with our healer and scheduled a week ahead, leaving time for a few ladder sessions every couple of evenings, due to our recent success. Not only did this help our chemistry as a duo, but I would dare say we became friends, just because of this game that we all love. While this was all well and good, our third was on the fence about becoming a settled team of three. We decided to give it time, hoping that our chemistry and overall cohesion would change his mind. When we ran into a string of losses with no clear point of improvement, we became immensely frustrated with the situation, and needing to be "right" took precedent over our longevity as a team. Words were exchanged, and we split up prematurely, never to know what would've come from our previous headway. Believe me, I've been there. I know.
It is simply easier to ping a variety of players that you don't know personally, that you know to be skilled, versus building long term connections and attempting to grow out of the rather childish, "Hey, want to tourny this evening?" phase. It is easier because there is no room or potential for failure. There are no group replay watching sessions analyzing what happened, and where the breakdowns in communication occurred. There is no true admission of failure, and no sizable impact on your confidence when you're teaming with a random group of people too afraid to call you on a missed cooldown or medallion, for fear of sounding pompous, and being subsequently dropped from the "team" for another player.
There is no other game in existence where the aforementioned is considered acceptable in a competitive capacity, and I do think that it is largely in part due to a lack of effort to form lasting bonds as both teammates and people, as well as the fear of failure. I don't want this to be the future of BLC. I've never wanted to randomize my success with a different group of people every time I get online, and I don't want it for anyone else. It is a hollow victory, and one not worth having.
I want to challenge the members of PlayBLC, as well as the rest of the Bloodline Champions community, to reach higher than a nightly lottery, and to sit down with your "regular squad", figure out what you want as a group, and take it. I'm actually done playing in tournaments without a set team of three, and even if I don't see another top 3 finish for the rest of my days, I'm ok with that. Don't get caught out on the path of asking questions like, "Well, what if one guy doesn't show up" or, "He doesn't have one of the 50,000 free VoIP programs running around on the internet." It's the 21st fucking century, you can get a microphone and a free VoIP program.
No matter what your rebuttle is to this article, just consider what I've asked of you as a community, no matter how factual you initially find it. Hell, you could disagree with every word I've just said, but even so.. Give yourselves the opportunity to feel real failure, as well as lasting emotional success. Who knows? You just might impress yourself.
US 3v3 Open Cup Finals Commentary:
This is my first real cast for BLC, and it's something that I'm interested in improving. I'm not sure if it's reasonable to ask for feedback on casting when you may not be sure what's going on, but I think casting form is relatively non-subject-matter-oriented. Any feedback is appreciated.
I tilted for the frist time in almost 2 months. I've been kind of sticking to the "Train smart, not harder" mentality for the last few weeks, playing around 15 games a day, as well as breaking them up (playing 4-7 games, breaking, a few more games, breaking, etc etc) and it's been working pretty well thus far. Earlier today I had a session where I went 2-2, but I felt ok cause I won a really long TvP, which has been giving me trouble, so I was feel good. Then I started playing again, and it was like the ladder session from the 7th circle of hell. None of the games were even good. Here's a general summation of the games I played, in order
1. TvT, died to proxy Thors
2. TvT, died to a Terran who gasless FE'd, saw I went for a 16 gas, knew I was gonna build a reactor on my Barracks, pulled 4 SCV's with his first 3 marines, my bunker was late and I took to much damage.
3. TvP, Proxy 1 gate which blocked my wall at the ramp, over commted with my SCV's to kill the pylon, ended up building 3 rax and all in-ing, and he had built 3 cannons (Thinking back I think this guy was hacking, I was tilting at this point).
4. TvR, guy leaves in the first 5 seconds.
5. TvP, Same guy as in game 3, I wall at my CC and he's not cheesing me, I just 2 rax and all in him and it doesn't work.
6. TvZ, died to a Roach-Bane Bust after scouting no gas and a spine crawler going up.
7. TvP, he goes Gate-Nexus-Cyber on Cloud Kingdom and skips a Zealot, and I scout him taking a very early second gas, I open Triple CC (After debating to 5 rax and try to punish him). I scout again with an SCV later, and he goes right up to Robo (so an early attack should have worked). I move out with 1/1 stim and medivacs, and he's taking a third (which I kill) But he's got 3 collosus, and I've not even started Vikings. I retreat, and he all ins me with 1/1, collosus, charge, and Archons, so if I had done a 2 base marine attack, he would have died for sure.
8.TvZ, Cross positions on Entombed, my Banshees do a lot of damage and feel pretty good going into the mid-game, but he builds like 7 Mutas, and has good map control, and I can't do anything with my Banshees in the mid-game, I take a really bad fight around my 4th base, but still trade ok, then I decide to move out, onto creep, and get completely surrounded (I'm tilting HAAAAAAAARD at this point).
9. TvZ on Antiga. played a Zerg that was just fucking horrible. He took a super quick third, which I scouted and bunkered up, and forced a cancel. He over produced Slowlings, that my hellions just fried, and he had no detection when my banshees were out, and pretty much just killed him with banshees.
So ya, I've pretty much droped 100 points today. I think the biggest problem is that I was playing tired, and my head just wasn't in the game from the get go. So I either need to not train when I'm in that state, or learn how to detach myself from the game when I am, so that way, when I do lose 7 games in a row, I can just shrug it off, and come back fine in an hour or two.
This blog was kind of just pulled out of my ass, but I didn't want to play anymore SC2, and couldn't play HoTS because of the patch, so I needed a way to kind of distract myself from the game.
Hopefully this wasn't to painful for you guys to read. I don't know when I'll write another blog entry, but hopefully it won't be such a downer of a read next time.
So until then, I love you all, be safe.
P.S. As a consolation for this mopey, sad sack blog entry, here are some Corgi's sleeping in formation
Hey girls and guys,
I've been around for a few months now, and I felt like it was time to do the recap thing
So here we go!
Most of you may not have seen me around often, and that's not surprising, since I live in France and so when I wake up you go to sleep (except for the late night gamers of course ). But still, I am around in the shadows . I first applied as a GuildWars 2 player, then lost interest in the game and joined as a Community gamer after a delightful interview by our president Doomhammer in which I engaged myself to quite a few things, I kept my engagements, and failed to the challenges I accepted... There are no place like vVv, I did not succeed in searching for a massive multigaming community combining players from all backgrounds and all levels casual like hardcore and pro. I did not manage to rise the World of Warcraft competitive community to do more major esports events. I did try though, maybe not hard enough... I agreed that I should be a Game Guru, thing is I didn't realize at the time the difficulty of the job the difficulty isn't to do the threads, it's to find a subject! Therefor, you can't imagine the amount of subjects I started working on, for some I went far, for others I struggled, anyways none of my works were achieved because I was always interrupted in my writing and when I came back I had totally lost my thoughts and couldn't finish... A couple of days ago I got on my nerves and deleted my "important" file... Bold and dumb, but still at least now I can focus again without seeing it stare at me every time I'm opening a game x)
A few weeks ago I won second prize in the Learn and win contest you organized, a cool T-shirt but non in stock were my size :/ so vVv Paradise offered me to get a hoody instead that made me even happier even though I haven't received it yet, I can't wait to put it on Again, big thank's for that.
A couple of weeks ago the Community Gamer division was closed. Having established on Starcraft II as a Terran player, I asked to be transferred to the Starcraft II division, change that vVv Medusa did kindly Since, I've been practicing as hard as I could (okay... I may have got a little bit distracted by WoW but it isn't my fault if it's an addictive game x) ). A bit earlier tonight I went to the Starcraft II section to ask for some help, a coach or a practice partner, even though I'd prefer a practice partner with who I could easily schedule training sessions, practice and theoretical , but I guess that being on the EU servers won't help a lot ^^.
Till now, vVv has brought me a bit in community experience, and English written practice (lol). I don't hang around on mumble often since when I do there aren't a lot of people around, plus when I'm practicing on Starcraft, I don't really need to be talking to other people who aren't focusing. vVv also had me meet good people such as Medusa, NuBrGNi, Dommhammer, Lordjerrith even if I didn't get the opportunity to speak with him but I still read his writings and am a fan of honest speech <3, and many others that I am a bit to lazy to write them all down
On an other hand, unfortunately, I haven't brought much to this community... As I said, I didn't realize the hard work that had a Game Guru but I will be working on it. Still, I'l quite sure I brought a bit of smiles to people and that's already good, how? by social medias, by the forums, by mumble! and maybe just when they looked at my phot and felt like: "if this guy hasn't been to the hairdresser's since that photo, his eyes must be totally hidden!" (I have been but since they have grown longer :/ So it isn't funny it's the truth )
What am I planning for the future? Well, first of all, when I first arrived I wasn't sure of what I wanted to after my studies, so I was like "I don't give a damn thing about not doing my homework and missing my grade! I just wanna be a pro gamer!" but now I do know, and am ashamed of having once thought that way. First thing, being a pro gamer requires sacrifices and strong will, so dropping out isn't how you forge yourself for this kind of job. Second, I now know what I want to do, I want to be a primary school teacher and didn't notice it since I'm a kid even though I never stop thinking "if I become a teacher, I'll never do like this one [and there comes the facepalm]" So I now want to study hard and get my grade and get a degree and be able to do the job that I want. Still, this doesn't eliminate my first will. I want to be a pro gamer and will do what ever it takes to get to the highest level. Why? Because the esports community is awesome, we are awesome! And I want to live that experience and share it, and to share it, what better than a pro gamer teacher who does a gaming club during the lunch break or after school and organizes tournaments for the kids with 20€ for first place 10€ for second and 5€ for third? Like that those kid would grow up knowing there are better things than football, Imagine those kids becoming the pros and shoutcasters of tomorrow (yeah I'll need some of them to be shoutcasters too ). On a more immediate point, I will be trying to pull out a complete work as Game Guru and will try to get ready to run in weekly tournaments for this summer. And I will not be letting vVv and it's community down, there are great things to be done, and they shall be done together nothing grows bigger than team work! I will Educate, I will Dominate, and I will Entertain!
I would've usually said: "thank's for reading", but that's like saying:" I'm afraid of posting this, no one will care..." And since it isn't the case, I will not put it!
When Jerry first invited me to his home, he said he would show me what passion is all about. This was a understatement. He showed me much more and has really helped me grow as a person. I found a second family and i'm already starting to feel home sick.
"do or do not there is no should"
Jerry is a mentor for all us. He's been there for me when I have my gaming crisis and his 1 paragraph responses have always put me in line. At the vVv gaming house he gave me more than problem solving. He helped me get my priorities straight, organize my time, and teach me life lessons, one of them being the blog post I wrote on "should". He also taught me to listen instead of responding, his persistent and annoying nagging asking me "what did you learn " in the middle of conversations really helped me communicate and learn better. Thank you for being there Jerry <3
Although the step brothers is a bit extreme, Doom and Robz where a lot of fun. Doom helping me keep my objectives in focus when playing and Rob for being a merry troll. They where a blast to be around and we've had many a laugh! I hope you've leveled up your utensil skills Rob . Doom, newt really enjoys your mini guitar play .
I'm not much of a tourist but the riot tour was soo awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ. Robz gave me a tour of venice beach, although sketchy, venice beach is a really nice walk! We also got to witness swain in real life! (no rick roll this time, i promise)
I'm looking forward to my next visit, and I'm glad to have been able to meet such awesome people! Continue educating, dominating and entertaining!
disclaimer: usually my posts have a more serious note and i'm going back into serious mode... now!..LOL... sorry I make myself laugh to much. serious mode.
The last Call of Duty game that came out a year ago, Modern Warfare 3, was a showy, gaudy game with a multiplayer that wasn’t too impressive, but nor was it exactly terrible. The maps were too cluttered with cars and other ill-placed objects, and the guns were too strong to allow for any type of gun battles, it was really just a quickdraw ( the perk that allows the player to aim-down-sight faster) competition. The year before that, the original Black Ops was released, which was an overall good game, although in retrospect was a little unpretentious and meek. Maps like WMD had relatively simple layouts that only had a few path's one could take; they were good maps, they just didn't give the players' many options. Black Ops 2 tweaks the mechanics, develops, and progresses on nearly every aspect of the game that Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops could have used improvements in. Although the changes aren’t necessarily groundbreaking or cutting-edge, the game as a whole feels like a much more thorough experience, and is certainly not to be discredited.
So in light of that, I’ve recognized and covered the major improvements of the maps, the amount of personal customization, and the now deemed “scorestreaks”.
Maps give balance
Even the most inexperienced players of Call of Duty that have played both of these games can easily distinguish the fact that the maps in Black Ops 2 are really just plain awesome in comparison to the last two games.
The many in-depth maps that Treyarch made for the Black Ops 2 Multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer maps are stunning, featuring overall fantastic graphics on all systems and having a nearly perfect amount of balance in them. The balance comes from the sense of vulnerability you get while at any one point, while also giving you the sense that you're currently a threat to another player somewhere on the map. They give an impression of being much profounder, more in-depth, and more exciting. There’s multitudes (seriously, MULTITUDES) of paths to be taken on each map for your more competitive players, great vantage points for any player, and other places that render those same vantage points useless. The maps provide equilibrium- in that they don’t give too much power at any specific position on any map.
Most maps give you a sense of susceptibility and exposure at all times, while at the same time giving you fantastic perspectives and chances on the enemy. Once one decides to obtain this viewpoint, they’re also taking a risk and have to be extra careful or else they'll soon find themselves with one more death on the scoreboard.
A closer look at the map "Turbine", which has a huge vantage point on top of the large pipe in the middle of the map.
In earlier games, once specific sections had been properly secured, the entire match was easy to control. This led to massive imbalances that in turn gave way to one team often dominating the other. So far, I have yet to encounter anything like this in Black Ops 2.
“Pick 10″ adds customization
Perhaps my absolute favorite thing about Black Ops 2 multiplayer is the new Create-a-Class system. You can essentially create your own build from any combination of whatever you have. It’s called the “Pick 10” system. You get to modify your class load out however it is that YOU want to. Yes, there are spots available for Secondary weapons, Tactical Grenades, and Lethal Grenades, but you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. This also goes for every other slot available.
An example of a customized class that decided to use two perks on slot 2, instead of a 3rd perk.
What happens is you basically get 10 total points to use as you please. Once you’ve used up these 10 points, you’re done, and can add no further customization to your class. You can get Wildcards, allowing multiple perks in one slot, two primary guns, or two lethal grenades for instance, but then you’ll have to abandon some other item, such as your secondary, or one (or possibly both) of your tactical grenades.
These wildcards are used to further customize your classes.
You unlock weapons, attachments, perks, grenades, and other items as you level up. But each item you load out with will cost you one of your 10 points. It’s quite the prodigious improvement; making each build you work on much more unique, encouraging players to try different custom builds and adding much-needed balance.
The famed (and often hated) "Target Finder" Scope targeting numerous zombies.
The balance isn't perfect, mind you. I personally despise the target-finder scope, and have heard many other complaining of the millimeter scanner. Another issue that I've overheard is that a number of players seem to be against this complexity-claiming that “less is better”, and that Treyarch shouldn't have “tried to fix what isn't broken”, referring to Black Ops. These people claim that the game focuses too much on it’s almost futuristic and much more modern aspects, which it takes away from the straightforwardness that they feel should come along with any shooter.
This specific perk, "Cold Blooded", could easily be used to counter the Target Finder, or the Millimeter Scanner.
Really, those people are just having a hard time coping with themselves when they see an enormous and bulky scope with a red diamond helping the enemy player kill them (which is understandable), or when they’re found out from their favorite camping spot with a futuristic scope that detects players that aren't moving. The class system provides a great way to counter any other setup possible, and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s both mine and those players fault for not taking advantage of it if those specific attachments bother us so much.
Scorestreaks build teamwork
Another attention-grabbing (and obvious) new development is that Treyarch has abandoned the Kill Streak structure and replaced it with Scorestreaks.
The numerous scorestreaks that have been created to encourage players to work together.
As the name evidently advocates, obtaining kills is no longer the main focus. Now points are received for all types of engagements; be it securing a hardpoint, planting/defusing a bomb, or capturing a flag. Black Ops 2 switched from killstreaks to score streaks for a couple of reasons. It allows lesser players to help their team through support actions, allowing those of us without perfect aim to contribute toward the activation of a great streak bonus. Scorestreaks also drive players that participate in objective-based multiplayer modes toward completing those objectives—say, capturing the flag instead of camping for kills.Support roles now seem to be encouraged, and it gives incentive to players to actually follow the objective and work as a team. This teamwork will ultimately bring the community together by encouraging the players in matches to talk to one another in order to win, and to help one another out for the overall cause.
What this means for competitive play
The multiplayer in Black Ops 2 is an admirable advancement in just about every sense. The innovative customization options, the better maps, and the team-building scorestreaks all make for a very wide-ranged and personal experience.
Black Ops 2 adds the new "League Play" as a way to make the game better set for more competitive players.
The new League Play feature also adds to player options, allowing players to join in games with players of a similar skill level. The eSports focus here isn’t hard to spot. It puts people on a level playing field with the Skill Divisions; it always gives players a goal to shoot for. League Mode brings the competitive environment to players worldwide. It gives the competitive players a chance to test themselves, and the less competitive players a chance to try competitive play out. There are three ‘series’ in League Play: Moshpit, Champions and Team Deathmatch. Each series has its own set of Leaderboards, providing yet another bit of competitiveness to League Play.
League play, along with the other new additions that have been introduced by Treyarch in Black Ops 2, altogether adds a great bit to the Call of Duty series and ups the ante for the rest of the games that follow.
Last week was kind of a trouble some week. I had a bunch of stuff to do at my Mom's house (getting the laundry done, making sure that the pipes wouldn't freeze, etc etc). I also wasn't feeling to well, and just felt kind of dumpy. I wasn't depressed or anything, just didn't feel quite as motivated as I usually do.
But today, I felt back to my normal self. Maybe it's got to do with the weather (it's been extremely cold here in Phoenix the last couple of days,and today was the first day that was kind of nice.) So today I wanted to go pretty hard at training today. Between my main account and my second account, I probably played 25 games. I started the day at like 225 points, and ended up getting to 300, so still not particularly high, but progressing none the less.
One thing that felt pretty good, Hap was streaming and Robo and I were trying to snipe him and troll him. Razor said, "No offense Hiei, but you're MMR is no where near Hap and Robo's." Sure enough, I hit Robo, and we had a laugh about hitting eachother. I tried to poke forward at like 7:30 and he already had a collosus, I did a weird transition, and all ined with 2-2 and all my SCV's and he barely held. After that, THEN I hit Hap, we both meta-gamed eachother SUUUUPER hard, and he beat me in marine tank game. After that I hit Robo again and I did a super silly all in that killed him. So that felt good just out of spite to Razor (<3).
TvZ is feeling back to normal. I was having a little bit of trouble over the last week or so, just making silly mistakes and losing games I should have won. It feels like my win rate is directly related with the damage I can do with my banshees early on. I think I might have to make some more adjustments to make my play a little less reliant on having to do damage. TvP is still improving. I'm not hitting as many Protoss on ladder as I should be, and when I do hit them, they cheese me. TvT is also feeling better over all. I was starting to get away from mech, saying that Mech is to easily abused. But I've realized that the way I was going about meching wasn't very good. So I've been looking at new mech openings, and have been trying that out, but it needs some more work.
So ya, tomorrow will probably be another pretty heavy ladder day, then Saturday I probably won't play too much, because we have a clan war vs xO's B team. I know one of their A team players and one of their B team players from the Arizona LANs. I never really play a whole lot with either of them, but their both very good, and I REALLY wanna beat them.
I think that's just about it for now. I'm probably gonna go grab some sleep and cuddle with the puppy.
So until next time, I love you all be safe.
From the beginning of time, or the beginning of Call of Duty (basically the same thing for some players), sniping has been perhaps the most constantly argued over topic between players of all skill levels. The “professional” players debate amongst themselves which trickshot is the most difficult or if a “360 no scope” is more difficult than a “silent shot”, whereas the rest of the community babbles about what a “quickscope” really is. Yet across the skill gaps, one argument tops them all: which sniper rifle is the best?
Now I don’t expect to solve this age-old dispute, but simply give you all my own thoughts on the topic when it comes to the most recent Call of Duty release.
In the current Call of Duty game, Black Ops II, there are two snipers that seem to dominate the long-range playing field: the Ballista, and the DSR-50.
The green text indicates a superior category, red text a losing category, and yellow text a draw.
Statistically speaking, the Ballista wins in 4 out of 6 categories, seemingly being the obvious choice. The only issue though is that the category that it does give up to the DSR is perhaps the most important for many of today’s snipers. Weapon damage from the chest up means that only the chest and the head are one-hit-kills, while weapon damage from the waist up includes one-hit-kills for anywhere on the body except the legs. This being said, the snipers have two major different play styles.
The DSR-50 truly is a fantastic sniper rifle, especially when used traditionally. With it, nearly every shot you take is a one-hit-kill, something that provides to be unimaginably useful when trying to get multiple kills in a feed, or when trying to kill at long distances. Although generally (and incorrectly) denounced as requiring no skill to do, the most useful way to use the DSR-50 would be conventionally: across large expanses and scoping in completely. Being as accurate as possible and ensuring your shot finds it mark definitely pays off when using the DSR-50, with each shot being a kill. It also has a bit of a bulky build to it, so sporadic trips around the map attempting to quickscope won’t work well with this gun. To relate it to another game, it handles similarly to the Barrett 50.Cal from Modern Warfare 2.
The Ballista on the other hand is much more useful if you’re looking for more sensitivity and a wider field of use. With a high mobility, this sniper rifle feels absolutely amazing when using it. One can effortlessly maneuver themselves around the map, be it when trying to get to a better position, or when escaping near-death situations. The shots are accurate as well, which adds to the effect of it being a more skillful weapon than the DSR-50. Perhaps the only issue with the Ballista is the hitmarkers it receives. The chest up is easily missed when trying to fire off quickly against SMGs, assault rifles, and shotguns, so even though your mark is easily found, you’ll likely find yourself not getting the kill. If looking at the same game, Modern Warfare 2, the Ballista is fairly alike to the MSR.
One-Shot, One-Kill Medal
Despite the hitmarkers, though, I would easily identify the Ballista as the better gun. It gives the user the option to quickscope much more easily than the DSR-50, and can always be used traditionally as well. The DSR-50 is an excellent choice for the lower levels, seeing as it is unlocked at level 4 and the Ballista at level 43, and would in fact be a much better choice if you plan on being conventional with your sniping technique. The ultimate decision, though, would be that the Ballista wins. Its handling speed and accuracy make it extremely deadly in the hands of a skilled player, seeing as its ability to get accurate shots off at a fast and smooth pace lets the player hit the “one-hit-kill” zones with ease after a little bit of practice. The DSR-50 is just too slow of a weapon to beat out the Ballista, so despite it's high damage, the DSR-50 loses.
Here is my suggested class setup for the winning weapon, the Ballista.
If you'd like to see another piece from me on my explanation of the class setup, and tips for how to more appropriately use the sniper, let me know!
Its That Time Again!
Zombie Report 3 ! Today's Report will Strictly all State Of Decay. If you love zombies and you haven't heard of this game then you're lucky the you've been living day to day without the URGE to play this game all the time and then not being able to fulfill that URGE because the game hasn't released yet. The basics: Single-Player Sandboxed Zombie Survival. Adding to it: Xbox Arcade title, With MMO as a future update. If you have seen DayZ, Picture that with beautiful graphics, Campaign, and a hole lot more to do. The developer UndeadLabs, and there project State Of Decay Will take Zombie Survival to where we always wanted it.
To touch back a bit, State Of Decay ( Code Name Class 3 ) Will release as a single player Zombie survival game Xbox Arcade Game. With feedback of the game, Class 4 a future title, MMO Zombie Survival Game, will release as a full Tittle. And Class 3, will have a CoOp update.
Getting back to the point. This game is going to have some crazy features. In a recent Blog post from Undead Labs, they tell a story from the eyes of some of the NPCs of the game. And behind what they're saying is a bunch awesome features the game will have. Starting with!
In the Blog post Linked Below in multiple places they talk about "The place you call home" and what it can do for you. Its main purpose? A place to rest, heal up, and give you protection. There will be a night and day, and you definitely dont want to be about during the night when the zombies can see you, but u cant see them. It also gives you a place to protect other survivors and create a community of people with different traits and skills. Its been written that depending on where your staying, you will have a certain amount of space to build upgrades to your home. Also you need to make sure you have enough room for everyone, Beds and all. What can you add to your home? Confirmed: Farms, Infirmaries, Workshops, Training Area, Cooking, and storage. Defensive add-ons like barbwire, watch towers. and Hopefully a lot more!
With in your home, you have all of the survivors. As mentioned above each survivor has different abilities, but they also have pros and cons. Everyone reacts differently to things. Your Community has an overall Moral, And you want that as high as possible. but more so, each survivor has a moral, or a mood, and they effect other survivors, so one survivor can be "proud" and give everyone a boost by showing leadership skills, where another survivor can act cocky, and as if they're better then the rest, and bring everyone's mood down. There are easy ways to change peoples moods. For example, Finding some luxury items like alcohol, or killing a nearby horde of zombies. Keeping your morale up is very important.
The problem is you cant survive on morale. So you always need to make sure you have Food and Water, Medicine, Ammo, Building Materials, and Fuel. These are your resources you will be working with every day. Some more important then others, but you never want to go long without one of them. Another resource you can use is influence. You gain influence by doing good things for your community. And with that influence you can ask for deeds back.
Day to Day
In day to day life as a survivor, you need to keep in contact with your Community. Radios have become the main way to communicate from distance. If you see a Horde of zombies heading for home, its always good to let everyone else know before they get there. What else can the radio be used for? If you find other surviving communities, you can contact them when you need help or advice, if you need a little ammo and have some extra food, why not trade? You also need weapons when you go out, or are being attacked by zombies at base. But what happens when you gun conks out!? Maintenance of your things is a crucial thing. So workshops can help you repair, and maintain weapons. Scouting areas, building, and surroundings is a great way to keep your people alive, and have a high moral. scouting the town and clearing out infested building will do all of that. In doing that you will be able to keep the attacking hordes away, and in smaller numbers. You know what they say, If you see one zombie, there is probably more. So keep them at a low number and you shouldn't have as big a problem.
To close up, This game will be awesome! and not only it will be even MORE AWESOMER! when the MMO version releases. Like a lot of people did when vVv played Starwars The Old Republic. I will be tweeting my adventures as a survivor. and i hope others will do as well. So keep your eye out for this game, Undead Labs has said the game is due for release early 2013, So all we can do is hope its sooner then later.
Undead Labs Blog
It has been a month since vVv has picked me up and the experience so far has been amazing. I originally applied to vVv because of the reputation of the management staff and the community at large. A reputation that is most certainly desired. The staff kept up to date with me, not solely caring about my progress as a player for vVv but as a person too.
I have done nothing but improve since joining vVv a month ago. The overall level of my play has increased, I still have room to improve but I’m pleased with my progress. Through a collaborative effort from both Aspire programs and head management to ensure the best possible practice for our players we have been able to create an environment which allows learning and productive growth. While working with the Aspire programs I have gained the sense of community that I was looking for in a team. Sharing experiences with the players as rededicated my love of the game and my dream of becoming a pro gamer.
Our current plan for new content is to produce a scheduled time for many avid StarCraft players and fans to ask questions and to have them answered them with finesse so both the tippy top of masters and our brothers battling it out in bronze will have something to take away. More details to come so stay tuned an get your questions ready.
The major LAN tournaments I’m planning to attend is the LAN ETS in Montréal, Quebec, Canada in March as well as MLG in Dallas, Texas, USA. Many online qualifiers and tournaments will be attended along the way but the primary focus is to train for these major LANs as well as the IPTL that is incoming very soon. The IPTL will be an amazing experience for everyone in vVv Aspire program. I can say that Aspire has been tirelessly practicing because they are eager to show the other teams, the fans and themselves that they can compete with the best.
This year has been very up and down for me, real life challenges stood in the way of my practice time for StarCraft. This year has just been a crazy roller coaster ride that never seemed to end. After realizing I’ve been going with the wrong attitude towards my training and just outlook on life, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution to better myself. I never really had a New Year’s Resolution before so I was a little lost, my personal coach, Zoran Swanson, responded with: “A new year’s resolution is something that you either lacking or missing in your life and you take necessary changes so it becomes a reality.” After many sessions of reflecting, I have realized what I have lost and am determined to get it back, whether it may be in the near future or further down the road, what will keep me driven is the fact that it is going to happen within my life time.
The recent state of StarCraft in the eSports scene has been an unfortunate blow. Many teams such as SlayerS, Quantic and TSL having to disband really do show how fragile teams really are. You hear of such success with these teams and after many years of hard work, it can be washed away within a couple of weeks. I’m sad to see many of the great teams having to disband and wish nothing but the best for the players.
The current state of NA ladder has been unfortunate as well. With the increased prevalence of players using 3rd party programs to gain unfair advantages the top of the ladder has seen some new and underserving names. That being said, the only thing that I can do is to try my best but ultimately we have to rely on Blizzard to improve ‘Warden’ to keep the trolls at bay. The new StarCraft expansion, Heart of the Swarm, looks very promising for numerous reasons. Starting with Blizzard promising; more consistent updates to the map pool, destructible debris at the bottom of ramps, new units as well as the Clan tag feature. However, there will be many patches – not all of which will be good – but I have faith in Blizzard and ourselves to balance to the game.
I am very excited for the future of StarCraft. Promising events, patches, strategies, and players are coming in 2013 and we better be ready to embrace them!
I’d like to thank vVv and our sponsors for the opportunity and the support they have given me.
Special thanks to my fans and supporters that keep me driven!
Everyone is trying to win, but they try to win their lane, not the game. The problem with this mentality is that it's unproductive and relates to the ideals of "should". The most common advice given to a player struggling is "farm under turret", but that's easier said than done.
The big picture is your team winning, the reason you don't want to give kills and loose more farm; Is that you're only effecting yourself by reducing your gold income. When you give a kill to your opponent, your teammates have a harder time carrying you. By not giving your opponent more kills, you effectively shut down the opportunity for your opponent to carry, further increasing your chances of getting a win!
When you start losing in lane, such as them getting the first kill; your goals must change, the most important one being, I will not give a kill, and the other, I will gain as much gold as possible. Ways to not give a kill are rarely engaging with the other player, putting down wards, buying more pots or defensive items. Ways to farm safely could be using abilities, last hitting, and staying under tower . Whenever you start losing a lane, remind yourself of the big picture and take the necessary actions in order to secure a win!
Once your turret is down, you have two options, the first is farming further back or helping your teammates. Farming further back allows you to catch up in gold and become even with the other players. Helping your teammates means setting up ganks, pushing down towers and killing dragon. Keep in mind that helping your teammates to push down towers will give your team global gold and give you more map control. You use option 1 when you can't do option 2 and remember that kills feed champions, but killing turrets win games.
When your behind, it's about doing as much as possible without giving kills to your opponent. By changing your focus you increase your chances of winning and enjoying the game much more.
Help me out by going to this reddit post
We now know seven of the eight teams that have qualified for Season 3 and will play in the North American League of Legends Championship Series. Four teams still remain in the offline qualifier, but only one can receive a contract from Riot Games this Sunday. Three of these teams will have their dreams denied for at LEAST the next six months. Unfortunately, for the majority of players remaining, the harsh realization is that this might be their last chance to become a professional League of Legends player. Let’s take a look at the competitors facing off later today and what the keys to success are for each team.
Overall record this weekend: 3-2
Important Champions to Watch For:
Jayce - 100% (2-0)
Maokai - 66% (2-1)
Sona - 66% (2-1)
Graves - 60% (3-2)
Olaf - 50% (2-2)
Keys to Success for DNG against Azure:
Dirt Nap has excelled this weekend when Cris is able to make plays. Get Cris early kills against Azure and apply early pressure.
PR0LLY succeeded with Jayce in early matches. Expect him to pull out AD Casters instead of picks like Kassadin or Kayle.
Graves has been played in all five DNG matches. As that ecKo feels most comfortable with Graves, expect him to stick with what works.
Overall record this weekend: 2-3
Important Champions to Watch For:
Katarina 100% (1-0)
Nunu - 66% (2-1)
Cho'Gath - 50% (1-1)
Keys to Success for Azure against DNG:
Azure was shut down vs. Curse Gaming. Azure needs to pick champions they are comfortable with and play safe and standard. There is a lot of momentum against them. Wait for the opponent to make a mistake and capitalize to gain momentum back on their side.
Shut down Cris. DNG rocked through the group stage when Cris was able to make early plays. Never allow him to get to that point.
While it might seem like an odd move, a ban of Graves against DNG could potentially throw them off their game. ecKo has only played Graves at this event and it could remove him from his comfort zone.
Overall record this weekend: 2-3
Important Champions to Watch For:
Sona - 66% (2-1)
Vladimir - 50% (1-1)
Malphite - 33% (1-2)
Keys to Success for Meat Playground against MRN:
If xHazzard gets his hands on Malphite, make sure to land those Unstopable Forces! We saw just how much of a game changer he could be when Meat Playground eliminated 1 Trick Ponies. xHazzard hasn't had the same luck since. If Malphite is banned, xHazzard is also comfortable on Nidalee. Pick her up and split push to a win.
Make Team MRN uncomfortable and never underestimate them. MRN was able to base race a win already this weekend. Meat Playground needs to contain any potential tricks that MRN could have up their sleeves.
Overall record this weekend: 2-2
Important Champions to Watch For:
Keys to Success for Meat Playground against MRN:
Stay unpredictable! Team MRN has played four games this weekend and they have chosen 19 different champions. The only champion that has been played twice was Cho'Gath. With this spread of champions, the team cannot be banned out. Keep using a variety of champs and keep MP guessing as to what they will do.
Use nonstandard play to throw Meat Playground off their game. The base race vs. Cloud9 took everyone by surprise. Pulling out Urgot, the only time in the tournament thus far, was a shock against Azure. If MP cannot react to the off the wall strategies of MRN, this team could be one step closer to a Season 3 contract.
Tune in live at 2:00pm EST as the final day of action unfolds! The last remaining of these four teams will become the 8th and final team added into the North American League of Legends Championship Series!
Which of these four teams will receive the final Season 3 Contract? Leave your predictions in the comments below! If you predict the overall winning team correctly, you'll be entered to win an out of print League of Legends Riot Nasus skin! Enjoy the final day of the Season 3 Offline Qualifiers! Predictions must be entered before the end of the first game today between Azure and DNG!
Credit for graphs to reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends user Polarclaw.
I said in the last blog that I'd write about the tournament I was playing in today. I was gonna do that, but I didn't play in it.
The reasoning behind this decision was based on two things: 1, I slept in a little later then I wanted to, but it still accommodated the tournament, and 2, I had to run up to my Moms house (I'm more or less taking care of it until it gets sold, she's pretty much completely relocated to San Diego, is going to school, and living with her boy friend and his son) and do some stuff over there. Turns out there was more stuff came up that had to get done, so I couldn't play in the tournament.
BUT NEVER FRET LOYAL READERS! A PROMISE IS A PROMISE, AND I SAID THAT I'D WRITE A BLOG TO DAY, SO HERE WE ARE.
After I got home, sometime between laddering and playing practice games with the guys, I was thinking about the way Blizzard designed the game, match up, the units, and how they go about changing those things to remain balanced. After a lot of thinking on the matter, I've decided, that Blizzard has done, kind of a bad job. I'm gonna TRY and not talk about balance, and not let my inner Terran take over, I'm merely going to discuss a lot of the really dumb things about the way the game was designed, and how the meta-game has adapted.
The way the game is balanced (Particularly concerning Terran).
I know that I wasn't gonna talk about balance, but I use Terran as an example here because this has happened to Terran players the absolutely most, so hear me out. Rewind back to 2011. Terran was the shit. Terran had all this stuff that they could do to you early on in the game, and most of it was incredibly powerful. So Blizzard say, "These things are to powerful, we need to make a change in the game!" So Dustin Browder and David Kim put their heads together and they come up with the following, "Well, if Terrans are winning to much because of early game Blue Flame Hellions..... Why don't we make the Blue Flame Hellion, worse?" They then proceed to nerf early game Blue Flame Hellions into the ground, and the build is no longer viable.
Don't get me wrong, there were some cases where unit were clearly broken (SCV's with 65 health, Roaches that cost 1 supply, Khaldari Amulet, etc etc), and obviously needed to their strength decreased. But this excuse became some what of a scape goat for Blizzard. Terrans were continually put into a situation where Blizzard said, "Oh, nice build you got there, we're gonna make it so that's not viable anymore." So Terrans would change the way that they played, and do something different.
So what happens after this process continues for a year? You get to the situation that Terran is currently in now. Terrans have been so widdled down that TvT is the most exciting Terran match up to watch. Terrans have become incredibly perdictable. 9/10 times, here's what happens. Terran gasless FE's, vs Zerg he'll go reactor hellion into either a bio transition, or banshee, and vs Protoss, he'll do a 10 minute timing, into bio. I believe this is why Roach Hydra is effective, because it's based on Terran being predictable.
So how do we fix it. Why not instead of just nerfing something, why don't we make a change to the other race(s) to accommodate. This creates the sensation for players of know feeling that the can now try new things, instead of having builds no longer be useful. One of them implies that it's an option to change, the other makes it feel like you're forced to change. It's also more exciting to spectators to say "Wow, this unit got buffed, I should watch GSL and see how the pro players are using it now."
One last tid bit before I move on (this is where my Terran will come out). Does anyone remember TSL 3? I remember TSL 3. So here's what happens. Thorzain has to play MC, and Thorzain builds Thors with his bio, and MC just gets annihilated whenever Thorzain can get to that point. That was either in the Ro8 or the Ro4, but before the tournament even ended, Blizzard changed the Thor so that instead of Strike Cannon (A useless ability) no longer was on a cool down timer, but cost energy, making it so that Thors could be fed back, making them sufficiently weaker, this all took place in the span of less then 2 weeks mind you.
Fast forward to April of 2012, TvZ is a dynamic, and fun to watch match up that is widely considered to most over all balanced match up. Blizzard decides to buff Zerg early game and nerf Terran end game. This sent TvZ into a downward spiral. Terran players pled with Blizzard, saying that Terrans couldn't slow down Zerg early on anymore, so it was easy for them to just get out of control. Browder waited 8 months to finally make a change to Zerg, stating "We want to give players ample time to play with the new balance changes before we make a decision on what to do." These are the same people that nerfed Thors so fast Terrans couldn't even write down Thorzains build order. This kind of thing happened more then once mind you (MLG Anaheim 2011, SlayerS Terrans unveil one base BFH marine drops, Blizzcon 2012, nerf ghosts because Nestea suicided all of his Broodlords to MVP). This kind of flip flopping only causes players to become upset with you as a game designer, so I can only conclude that Dustin Browder is a flip flopping, inconsistent, nincompoop.
Match ups that hinge entirely on one thing.
This mostly pertains to PvZ. Here's how I view PvZ for the most part: The Protoss will usually do something early on to mess with the Zerg, and which point the Zerg is very weak, if the Zerg survives, the Protoss player is susceptible to die to mid-game Zerg. If the Protoss doen't die, and gets a big army and a Mother Ship, and the Zerg gets BL Infestor, the only thing that matters from that point on is whether or not the Protoss player can hit the vortex or not, and nothing else before that point matters anymore. A lot of people might say, "But it's exciting because it all comes down to one climactic fight!" I think that's boring to watch.I'd rather watch a player blink around the map, do Zealot run bys, snipe off bases, and dance with the army, and be rewarded for their play. I want to see a player do things to get ahead, and actually see these things affect the game in a major way, not just a Protoss hit the vortex, so not it's GG.
The ladder maps.
It feels like Blizzard map makers are to game design, as the NASL sound guy is to tournament production quality. They're both so bad, all you can do is laugh about it. The maps are bad. They lend to boring play in the mid game. Here's how you can describe all of the current ladder maps that Blizzard has made, "A natural that is safe to expand to early on, a natural that is relatively easy to get, and a fourth base that can be hard to take." The most important aspect of whether or not a map is an exciting map, is how dynamic the third base is. If it is a safe third, it's hard to punish someone for taking it early, so the best course of action is for an opponent to also take his third, where as a third that is a little bit harder to take, makes it so that there are more opportunities to be aggressive, and even though I'm a macro player, watching players just get maxed and take their fourth base is pretty boring to watch.
So there you have it. Three pretty simple things that Blizzard could do in order to make the game more fun to watch, and more fun to play. Unfortunately none of these changes will ever be made, but it's just how I feel about the over all game design and I thought somebody might find it interesting, or have some conflicting views.
I don't know when I'll do my next blog. It might be a little bit less about the game. it's getting kind of hard to write things about SC2 every few days, just because the game has been out for a pretty long time, so I might do my next write up on HoTS. WHO KNOWS, ONLY I DO!!!!
Anyways, that's all for now, I love you all be safe.
I'm currently listening to Engulf, Robo and Hap play 3v3's, so I might end up getting a bit off topic @_@
Anyways, it's been a while sense I've made a blog post, mostly because I haven't been play a WHOOOLE lot. I've still play 100 ladder games this season, and probably like another 50 customs between just straight up customs and obs games. Hap advised me to try working smarter, not harder, so I've been kind of taking that advice. I don't think I've had a day where I've played less then 15 games, but I still want to get myself to a place where I can play like 30 games a day, and make the most out of all of them. I'm not at the point where I wake up and I don't want to play, but if I have a day where I play like 45 ladder games a day, I won't play more then like 10 over the next 2 days. So, I still need to work on that aspect of my game a little bit more.
I've been playing a metric fuck ton of custom games considering. The Aspire teams have been invaluable to helping me get better. It helps soooo much to look back over a game with a team mate and actually talk about the decision making process and actually addressing things that need fixing. I've made pretty major progress in all of my match ups over the last few weeks, so I guess I'll talk a little bit about what I'm doing in each match up:
I've kind of decided that mech is really what I want to be playing. It's way to easily abused, I don't think it transitions very well, and even when you look like you're gonna win, you can still very easily lose. So I'm pretty much going back to Marine Tanks. I'm still pretty set on not gassless FEing. I still don't feel like I have a particularly solid build order either. I think I'll have to work on that in the coming days.
TvP is kind of weird right now. Basically, I've decided that I don't want to do 10 minute pushes anymore. It feels to much as if you HAVE to get something done, so I've been playing more of a Kas style quick triple CC. I'm hesitant to really use it on ladder, but for the most part, I just need to scout, and keep scouting. My biggest issue with doing a 10 minute push is that it feels like it's good, up until the 12 minute mark, then it's stops being good, and as long as Protoss has defended decently, it feels like protoss is ahead. But with the triple CC build, it's almost the exact opposite. It's not very good, until you reach the 12 minute mark, then your investment really starts paying off, and you can kick production into over drive. Another aspect of the triple CC build is, I force my self to land that CC at 10 minutes, in doing so, I have to push out onto the map, and aggressively posture inorder to keep Protoss, slowing down his 3rd base. Once I slow down his third, his 4th is probably going to be delayed, which is what I really want to do, keeping Protoss off of 8 mining gas geysers is critical to keeping Protoss from being able to just switch back and forth between HT's and collosus. It's also just more fun to play greedy in the match up.
Not a whole lot of change. I'm still pretty satisfied with mech, although I am mixing in more Standard mech instead of just Thor hellion banshee. Now that Roach Hydra is out there, if I go for mass Thor, I'll just get wrecked. I've also been thinking, they both more or less die to the same things, except tanks don't die to Hydras. I still need to play it some more. A few games, I've only won because the Zerg player had no idea what he was doing, and let me get maxed out on tank hellion viking, with some thor support, and the Zerg never took a single fight, so he now has an army that is designed to lose.
So ya, that's just how I'm playing the game right now. A bunch of the Aspire players, including myself, are playing in a tournament on Saturday, so I'll probably write my next blog after that.
So until next time, I love you all be safe.
During my time at the vVv gaming house, vVv LordJerith and vVv Doomhammer taught me many important lessons which have made me grow so much more as a person. One of the lessons is LJ telling me that “should” is the word of peasants, slaves and the poor. What he was hinting at is that “should” breeds blame and ignorance.
In the article written by vVv Doomhammer “Competing Positions Soldier vs Warrior” He mentions that “what should be” doesn’t focus on anything important. That the past doesn’t matter, only what we can do to get back in the game and ultimately win. He later goes on to say that “should be” is a unreal world, “should be” represents a perfect world where things should be perfect. But the world isn’t like that and it becomes unproductive to linger on “should” when you can focus on searching for the cause of the problem. By doing this you eliminate many of the frustrating moments that “should” creates. By focusing on what to do and “what is” you will become much more productive in your endeavors.
The next day after Jerry’s mini rant on “should”, I focused on what I was taught. It’s amazing that once you know what to look for, mistakes magically pop up. A good example would be when I gave first blood to a mid lee sin. Instead of focusing on why I got caught, I focused on how I will get back in to the game. This focus contained 2 goals, the most important being not giving lee a kill at all costs, while my second goal was to get as much gold as possible. By the ten minute mark I had scored a kill on lee from a gank and became even in farm.
“Should” also encourages the thought of change in an area that is out of your control. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D13VEvZIqZ4, he says that all we have control over is us not losing. This means not giving your opponent any chance of capitalizing on situations. A good place to start getting better is to concentrate on not doing any mistakes, this means not missing creeps, dodging/ landing skills and not getting caught. When playing to not die you focus on capitalizing on your opponents mistakes. Once you can rare make mistakes, start focusing on how to make your opponent mess up and capitalizing on it. By focusing on making as few mistakes as possible you close opportunities for your opponent to gain an advantage, while giving you the best chances of success.
Knowing yourself means knowing your limits so that you don’t do mistakes. Without knowing yourself you create that situation where you’re using “should” instead of “to do”. Knowing the enemy consists of knowing their favorite moves, strategy’s, style, weaknesses and strengths. By knowing your opponent you avoid the word “how” as you are prepared for everything they can throw at you. Ways to learn more about your opponent could be looking at their match history or looking at past replays for specifics. Knowing is key.
Remember, whenever you catch yourself saying “should, could, how, did, this and that” stop yourself and think of what you can do to avoid the same mistake from happening and what you’re going to do to get back into the game.
Hey everyone! We wanted to make the application process friendlier and more user-friendly, so we've started writing guides on all the methods that we have defined as ways our community members can add value. Today I want to shed some light on what we expect from those who want to be Streamers.
When we talk about a Streamer in vVv Gaming, we refer to someone who not only streams themselves playing games, but someone who really wants to put on a good show for their viewers. Instead of just turning on the stream and playing in silence, a streamer should think about ways to constantly improve the content provided to viewers to grow and keep a loyal audience. Audience engagement is key to having a successful stream. You take your personality and use it to direct your stream content, reflecting who you are in the product you produce. Streamers should also look for ways to get the vVv Community involved in their stream, whether that be through planning, contributing to, or collaborating on shows with other community members.
How Does a Streamer Add Value?
So what's valuable about being a Streamer? Why bother doing it? Well, besides having the passion to engage people on this level, the answer comes down to wanting to provide an amazing experience for your fans and the vVv Community. As a streamer, you can provide educational, entertaining, and inspirational content for your viewers. Finding ways to involve the community, draw new applicants, share knowledge (whether technical knowledge on how to set up a stream or game knowledge), and share unique personalities all make streamers a valuable part of vVv Gaming.
Streamer can be divided into the following levels:
Novice: You enjoy playing your game so much that you decided to start streaming and sharing your experiences with the world! The only problem is the world isn't interested. Still, this streaming thing is cool and on the rare occasions when you do manage to attract a couple viewers, it's a great feeling!
Beginner: You're starting to figure this streaming thing out and have managed to pull a dozen or so regular viewers into your channel. You enjoy interacting with viewers and make sure to read the chat box, either between games or whenever you get a free moment. You've started to define the direction you want to take your stream, whether that be to showcase your antics, demonstrate your competitive prowess, or teach the most effective ways to win.
Intermediate: You've spent a lot of time thinking about ways to improve the quality of your stream for your viewers. You've taken the parts that you and your fans enjoy most of your stream and started doing scheduled shows highlighting those aspects. You've also taken on rudimentary marketing by having your stream listed on popular streaming sites, posting stream threads in popular forums, and starting a facebook and twitter for your fans to follow. As a result you manage to pull in 80-200 viewers regularly. You know you're close to breaking out and really getting recognized by the community, so you spend more time thinking of ways to improve your content and market your show more effectively.
Expert: By now your passion and unrelenting pursuit of excellence has allowed you to break out and just about everyone who follows your game knows who you are. You've gotten the marketing side of things down, and have become a pro at announcing special shows and charity events for your stream. You also collaborate with other big names to enhance your viewers' experience. You regularly get 1000+ viewers.
Professional: Your professionalism and dedication have paid off and now your creative talents are finally being recognized in earnest! Depending on the path you took, there are many possible professional outcomes for a streamer. The most obvious is someone who can stream for a living, getting so many viewers and followers that you can live off of the ad revenue alone. Another option is for those seeking to create an eSports show that could be syndicated by a major organization like Riot, MLG, or even a television station.
Every way of adding value needs skills outside of just playing the game. The relevant skills to learn and master for a Streamer are as follows:
Self-Knowledge: Before you put yourself on display, you need to know who you are. In the age of broadband where anyone can set up a stream, it's easy for someone else to do exactly what you're doing. That's why you need to do the thing you're most passionate about and driven to accomplish, rather than what you think will get you the most viewers. Spend some time thinking about yourself, your strengths, and how they drive you to want to stream. When you have your answer, you'll be able to tailor your stream content to most beneficially reflect on who you are. People will come watch you because you are completely behind what you are doing.
Technical Literacy: As a streamer, it's your responsibility to learn all of the different hardware configurations and software settings that allow you to stream at the highest quality possible. Don't know how to solve an issue with lag? No problem! You're more than willing to ask around and even dig through support forums to find the answer. If all else fails, you can always play around with the settings until you find something that works. You also look for the best deal on hardware upgrades that will improve your stream quality, allowing you to make the most out of your investments.
Audience Interaction: A streamer who ignores his audience gets ignored by his audience. Of course, there are exceptions, but unless you've accomplished something like winning GSL or being the best top lane player in the world, no one is going to put up with your stream. You recognize that those streamers have an intrinsic value add from their reputations, and don't need to interact with the audience for their viewers to get value out of their stream. On the other hand, you have to fight for every viewer. Maybe you're just a gold league noob, or maybe you are at the semi-pro level. Either way, you know that reading that chat box and responding to viewer questions will win you loyal fans.
Advertising Savvy: One of the big things I see with new streamers around vVv is that they think posting a link to their stream, whether it be in the shoutbox or on reddit or another forum, is "advertising". Actually this is known as spamming, and it's not acceptable behavior anywhere. If you want to effectively draw people to your stream, you need to answer three questions for them: Why do you stream? How is your stream different from everyone else's? What do you do on your stream? This will allow people to relate to you personally while also being able to gauge their interests against the purpose of your stream. Examples of why you might stream can vary, for example a caster might stream "to gain valuable experience casting that will allow me to constantly increase audience expectations for what is considered quality casting". A player might stream "to provide insight into my builds and practice methodologies that will allow me to connect with fans who aspire to be better players".
How your stream is different is a more operationally-specific question to answer. vVv SonTran might say, for example, "My stream is a uniquely personal experience where you will get a glimpse of not only my SC2 play, but also my personality and hijinks." SoSleepyy might answer this question by saying, "My stream provides insight into my extensive game knowledge and analysis. Having played over 5000 games over the course of the past several years, I can offer knowledge of why certain strategies, builds, and champions work or don't work in both solo queue and tournament settings." Both of these examples show how their stream experience will be different, one through personality and entertainment, the other through expertise and Q&A.
Finally, you can talk about what you do on stream. Taking the examples above, vVv SonTran could say, "I talk about everything from my dog to my belt buckles, dance when I get a league promotion, and play Starcraft 2 ladder games at an ever improving level." SoSleepy would say, "I play a variety of champions in solo queue that I believe have strong carry potential, while explaining game mechanics and objectives to my viewers and answer their questions."
As you can see it's very important to answer these questions in order. The why has to be first, partially because if you don't even know why you stream then why are you even streaming? Another reason the why matters is that the other two questions depend heavily on being aligned with the why. For example, if your "why" is to provide an environment that fosters growth for aspirational players, you probably don't want to have a stream where you rage all the time and go for comedic effect over learning experience.
I hope this clears up why it's important to not simply post a stream URL when advertising your stream. In certain social media, such as twitter, brevity is preferred, but you should at least always be answering the "what" if not the "why and how" of your stream in all of your advertising efforts. For example, your tweet should list what you're expecting to stream in addition to the URL to help draw fans, "Diamond SC2 player playing ladder while doing back flips" or "Cpt. Teemo reporting for duty! (2800+ elo)". There's a whole guide to be written for proper advertising and marketing of a stream, but for the purposes of this guide I feel that the above should give you a good start.
Social Media Marketing: Not only do you need to stream, but you need to be able to market it effectively as well. If two other people are producing the same content as you, the only way for you to stand out is through your accessibility. If you're the only one to provide a way to get instant updates as to your activities and what you're streaming, then you have an edge over your competition and can gain reputation points that allow you to exceed them. It might seem like this is a footnote, but with the amount of activity surrounding popular games, I can't stress enough how important this is. Having a solid marketing plan can make or break you as a Streamer.
What is vVv Gaming looking for in a Streamer?
As with all of our ways of adding value, the key thing here is that you have a passion for what you'll be doing (streaming your game in a way that reflects upon your unique personality). As such, if you have no experience as a Streamer we'd like to at least see some efforts within this space. Begin brainstorming ideas and reflecting on what direction you want to take your stream, then record a few sessions. It doesn't have to be perfect, just make sure to start doing something and keep going with it until you reach your goals. Remember that audience engagement will lead you toward success, so the more you involve your audience in the experience the more successful you can become.
With so much on the line and this being the first event for many of the players teams, I wanted to wish you all the best of luck and share some tips that I believe will help the players and fans get the best experience, and so that all teams have an equal chance to win, regardless of their individual LAN experience.
These are tips that I've picked up from a few years of experience of competing professionally, managing teams and players, observing the best and worst practices from many teams in various communities.
• Don’t eat garbage during the event or the days leading up. You may or may not be fed by Riot. Regardless, make sure that you get breakfast and enough sleep (8hrs) every night leading up to and during the tournament. Staying up late and then chugging energy drinks before your match will be bad. Don’t do that. Drink water.
• Make sure that the settings and gear that you were using at home are as close to what you’re competing with at the event. Keep your settings in a google doc or e-mail yourself them just in case. Know the resolution and size of the monitor that you use at home and consider that when you’re setting up at the qualifier. You may want to consider changing settings or using windowed mode to replicate your setup.
• Play round by round. Kill by kill. Focus on each match and each game as it comes to you. The second you start thinking about the rest of the tournament and teams you have to play next you will play differently. Don’t over or under estimate any team, play to win and give respect to your opponent. Say gg, shake their hands and pls don’t swear on stream.
• If something breaks in game, your computer freezes, your gear stops working – ask for an admin immediately and pursue for them to review the situation. Don’t wait until after the match because it’s likely that nothing can be done unless it happens again.
• Connect with your team when you meet them for the first time. Get to know them; try to build as much team chemistry as you can before you start playing.
• Utilize your practice time, breaks and nights. When you are not playing you should be studying, talking with your team and mentally preparing for the next match. Remember, you are not here on vacation, this is a huge opportunity for you.
• Understand that at least one of your teammates is probably extremely nervous. Identify who it is and try to make them comfortable and relaxed before they throw the game from nerves.
• The world is watching. This is your opportunity to tell your team’s story, gain massive amounts of fans and followers and even sponsors down the road. Take all interview opportunities, be yourself and tell the story. Stay Hungry. Stay Humble. If you have a team sponsor, ask the interviewer if you can shout out your sponsor or organization. Befriend them. They are your portal to the fans and reddit.
• Meet the Rioters. They are awesome. Thank them for the opportunity.
• If you have an active twitter or facebook account, keep your fans updated. Your tweet might just end up on the front page of reddit (+2000~ followers easily). For Extra points, take pictures of the venue and your hotel room, etc
GLHF to all teams!
Originally posted on Reddit