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!
So, I originally wrote this like a week after my first entry, but I screwed up, and deleted it like 4/5 the way through, and then I tried it again a few days a later, to the same result, and then hardware upgrade, which talk about a week longer then I wanted it to, and then I got super busy, and here we are now.
I last left off with pretty much me saying that I wanted to take next semester off from school to pursue Starcraft full time, but the only thing that was really keeping me from committing to it was the fact that I needed to get the support from my parents, as I deeply value their thoughts, and respect their life knowledge. (Plus, my Dad could pretty much say, "No, you're staying in school, or you can go find your own place." xD)
I talked to my Dad first about it. I live with him, and he'd ultimately be financially supporting me for the next 4 months. We talked a lot about where I am, and what makes me happy and what I don't like about what I'm currently doing, and then finally told him what I wanted to do, in order to make a career as a professional level player a reality. I figured that he would support my intentions and give me his blessing to proceed with my plans, but what really caught me off guard was how emphatically he supported me, which was pleasantly surprising.
When I told my Mom however, I took a little bit of a different approach. She has been dead set on me (and my sister) finishing school ASAP, no ifs ands or buts about it. Recently she's suffered from the bad economy, and has been put into a situation where she can't help pay for my schooling anymore. So I pretty much told her that I was taking the semester off, instead of asking her ( as I did with my Dad). She responded with, "Well, I'm not paying for you anymore, so you can do what you like, best of luck." I'm pretty sure she still see's it as a pipe dream, or an unrealistic goal, but she's supporting me none the less, which is good.
The only other group of people in my real life that know about my endeavor, are my 4 closest friends. 2 of them were my main practice partners all the way up to Diamond, one of them is almost to much of a troll to properly function, and one of them has been my best friend sense 1st grade. The first 2, basically said, "We don't think this is a good idea, don't do it." The third one was surprisingly quiet on the subject, but I'm pretty sure he scoffs at the idea. The last friend asked me about it tonight, and if I was still planning on going through with it, I told him I was and he responded with, "Ah....". I'm fairly sure he has more thoughts on the subject then that, but he didn't say anything, which shows that he knows me the best out of all 4 of them. He knows that I'm not going to change my mind of my decision just because he says he doesn't think it's a good idea, so it's pointless for him to even argue the subject.
I'm probably gonna update again in the next couple of days. My last final is today, so once I'm done with that, I'm gonna be left to my own devices, and my adventure will finally begin. Once I really start hammering out games, I'll probably get into more analytical discussion, and not talking about myself so much.
So until next time, I love you all, be safe.
Hello everyone. I'm Elevation and I wanted to make a blog regarding my recent joining of vVv's starcraft 2 team, Aspire Rising. I felt like making this blog because I've had many people ask me what I thought about vVv since I've been around for a couple of weeks and have been apart of this team so I felt that by doing this, I could answer the questions asked to me by many others in a collective, organized manner but also give my own thoughts and preparations that many people may not know about.
Note: I'm not officially vVv yet (although Razor accepted me to the Aspire Rising team, my community app has not been accepted yet. I believe the trial period is around 30 days so it's coming up soon!). I do however think that I'll be a good fit and feel confident in my ability to officially be apart of this organization.
So to start, I'm a Platinum league Protoss player for Aspire Rising. I have been apart of the team for about 10 days or so and I've loved every day of it. I love the team atmosphere as everyone gets along so well and in just a short amount of time, I feel like I've fit in with the team well and I don't feel out of place at all. Despite being on the team for only 10 days, I feel as if I've been apart of it for months with the friendships I've made with a lot of the starcraft 2 players here. Even some of the better players who aren't Aspire members but sponsored players like NuBrGNi, we talk every day and make friendly jokes to each other. I think that goes to show just how I've progressed into the team environment already. For me personally, I come from playing a team based game for years (Call of Duty) so I understand the importance of teammates and I've never felt like the loner type of person. I prefer to be around people and talking to them whether it be about the game or just chilling out and talking about w/e topic comes about.
Playing wise, I can already feel the improvements in my play. From the day I was considered apart of the team, I've made an effort to play as much as I can, especially against the top players on the team. Coming from Call of Duty and being some what successful there, I know at least what it takes dedication wise to be a top player. Obviously Starcraft 2 is a much different and more skillful game to play, but the attitude you have to have to be successful is the same and I've kept the same attitude I had in CoD to Starcraft 2 every game I play.
Most of my games have come on the ladder so far aside from playing a few custom games or obs with the team during practices or the 1 game I played in our clan war last week against oGk. I feel myself getting better but also know that I have a long road ahead of me just getting to where my teammates are at right now let alone getting to a professional level. But I am highly motivated to doing this for myself and the team. I know the team holds expectations for me as well as anyone else and I want to live up to and go beyond them.
Especially when it comes to competitions like clan wars where we're constantly going to be playing masters/GM players, I think being one of the lower league players on the team motivates me even more to being one of the better players and getting to a high masters/GM status. Not because I feel like I hold the team back, but because I want to be successful just like I want my teammates and the team in general to be successful. I know my teammates have tried to help me as much as they can over this past week or so and I thank them very much for doing so but my teammates are also putting their dedication into becoming the best players they can be and they can't just sit and hold my hand to get me to the level I want to be. I know teammates are there to help each other but I don't want to be the guy who is constantly nagging them for help. I have to take the responsibility myself to get where I want to be and that's what I'm doing, my teammates are there as a tool not a crutch. I know everyone on the team wants me to be at the level as everyone else and I'm trying my hardest to close that gap as quickly as I can. Even coming on to the team as quickly as I did and then having to play in a clan war and was prepared to play in a second, I've just been trying to better myself as much as I can so I can do the best I can for the team.
With winter break coming up, I will have pretty much 4 weeks (not counting the week of Christmas through New Years) to practice and better my play. I hope to make major gains by the end of my break!
I would like to give a shoutout to all of my teammates!
And a shoutout to all of vVv. The experience here has been great and I hope that if I'm fully accepted that I'll be able to live up to the expectations!
It's December, a month usually circling around appreciation for others, where we share our thoughts about them and show how much we appreciate them. A month, where we appreciate all these small things. It's also a chance for me to let out that closet fangirl - I don't do this often. Well, could you blame me? I'm 28 years old woman, so it would be it bit odd, to say at very least, to scream like crazy how much I admire someone who can be considered famous. Heh. But, since it's December & I just feel like giving some appreciation to someone I'll probably not talk with to tell them in person during all this upcoming Christmas/December craziness, I'll make a small exception and let the fangirl out of her closet for a while.
What or who am I talking about? (You probably know, assuming you read the topic of this article tho!) Here, here, fangirl, come out, you can do it today, I won't shun you away this time. I want to dedicate this little blurb of mine to Aleksey "White-Ra" Krupnyk, my favourite StarCraft 2 player and personality, who's been very inspiring not just to me, but to thousands and thousands StarCraft 2 players out there.
What makes White-Ra so special for me, though?
His personality. His wittiness. His passion for the game. He is down-to-Earth man, who loves what he's doing. He has his own unique sense of humour. Not only that, for me, he is a perfact example of what a professional StarCraft 2 player should be like. He sets positive trends, which influence the community widely. A natural role model & leader personality, people just want to be "like White-Ra". Showing people how it should be done! I know I do aspire to be like White-Ra! To me, being a "good StarCraft 2 player" means much more than winning a GSL or any other notable tournament. It's the combination of skill & attitude. And White-Ra is exactly like that. He is personable & friendly. A lot of famous players get this "celebrity syndrome" and they'd not come anywhere near "mere mortals" - but White-Ra? Nah, he'll have beers with you if he finds the time
His mindset is humble and a yet another reason why I am a fan of White-Ra. Always looking inwards, how to improve himself. His trademark slogan "More GG, more skill" comes into mind. Remember what I said about positively influencing the community? Well, this is another example as to why he is so admirable for me. White-Ra won't even turn you away, even if he loses his games - he always seems to have a genuine pleasure when he can interact with his fans.
Another reason, and that is purely subjective is, that White-Ra is close to my own age group. Even though, funnily enough, he played StarCraft for at least half of his life, whereas in my case, it's not even 1/10 of it. Yeah, yeah, BabyToss in her true colours, still a Protoss Baby. That fact makes it easier for me to relate to him; and I also don't feel so "old" in this community. Would you believe it, that all these teenage guys think of me as a "oldie" and I get to be called "MamaToss" in my team?
Meeting White-Ra at Dreamhack Summer was a small dream coming true for me. Of course, all cool composure was kept, but you know, the fact I met THE White-Ra in person, that was just priceless. Not only that, he was his perfect, genuine self, doing what he always does - shows good games, interacts with his fans and at the top of all, he really enjoys it.
Do I wish there were more players like him? Oh yeah, you bet. The community would be much more heartwarming place. Do I wish to meet White-Ra again? Yup, for sure. Maybe I can finally give him those beers I had to take home last time we met! But you know, share some drinks, laughs, witty StarCraft 2 love or even play some... yup, yup.
So, at the end of all of this - my message to you, mister White-Ra, would be - Keep being yourself. Love the game and the community. Keep being the role model & inspirational player not just for me, but also for other aspiring StarCraft 2 players. People like you are iconic in the community and it wouldn't simply be the same without you. Just like you say, win or lose "More GG, more skill!" Also, merry Christmas to you
And with that, I am wrapping this up. A bit (well, okay, a lot) different from what I usually write, but hey, it's December and it's good to sometimes unleash that fangirl and allow myself to share that appreciation I usually can't under normal circumstances. Now though, back to my closet! And, if you excuse me, I'm off to watch White-Ra's stream. Time for some SPESHUL TAKTIKS!
Greetings fellow gamers! I just recently picked up the new, upcoming first person shooter "Shootmania". I admit I never thought I would be interested in it, but, coming from a long time FPS player, I must say that it is very enjoyable with plenty of long term potential for maintaining its eSports status. In my journey to reach pro level play, I have quickly realized that I will have to adapt to this new style of game seeing as how I am used to more modern first person shooters such as the Call of Duty and Battlefield series. I will share with you, what changes in play style need to be made to become the best of the best at Shootmania, whether it's in the casual or elite scene.
Understanding Hitscan: Many gamers who are fairly new to the first person shooter scene won't be familiar with the term "Hitscan". Without them knowing, it will certainly affect their game performance if they stay ignorant to it. Hitscan is, simply put, a term for when a game implements a function when a player fires a weapon that "shoots" the projectile in a perfectly straight line instantaneously. Coming from playing Battlefield 3 this is a pain in the side. It may seem odd, but pulling the trigger when the crosshair is directly over an enemy can be tougher than it sounds. You may notice that Quake players,such as Fnatic Strenx, are switching over to Shootmania, and that's because the two games are very similar including the hitscan feature. My advice? Practice, practice, practice. The laser is the only hitscan weapon of this game and is a very powerful tool in game as it has impeccable accuracy and uses hitscan. Get used to walking your crosshair into a target. I couldn't tell you how many times when I was first playing Shootmania that I would witness a pro's laser shots shooting about an inch to one side of his or her crosshair. This is because a skilled player, such as a pro, will know how hitscan works and will adjust their aim when moving. Trust me, there is lots of movement in Shootmania, and at varying speeds due to sprinting and jump pads. I recommend playing the "Siege" game mode in Storm or, better yet, Shootmania Elite.
Using Stamina Properly: As, pro team Do Not Jump's, Nimbus once told me, "[shootmania] is movement and how you use your stamina." He's certainly right about that. While your stamina regenerates rather quickly, you will want to conserve it until it's necessary to use it. What you deem necessary is up to you, but while playing siege or elite, I save mine for a few different situations. One good time to burn your stamina is when the opposition is rushing you. In some situations, it'd be best to sit back and pick off the enemy coming towards you, but I do understand that this isn't always possible and evasion is the best course of action to gain a terrain advantage over the enemy. Another good reason to burn stamina is when you are rushing the enemy. Many Shootmania maps contain large open areas and a plethora of choke points. It's best to rush through the bottleneck rather than walk through it, as it gives you less room to maneuver. As a word of caution, be careful of pre-firing into the bottleneck.
Pre-Firing: Simple in theory, complex in nature. Pre-firing is the act of firing your rockets (or nuclei) through a likely entry way that the attackers will go through in hopes of scoring a lucky hit and/or deterring their progression. In my early days of playing elite and siege, I would often pre-fire too often. Pre-firing too often is a surefire way to get vaporized without scoring a hit or two (or three) on an attacker. In my experience, pre-firing liberally before the attacker is spotted is generally a good tactic. While this depends on the map, I would recommend only blowing all of your rockets once unless the choke points are far away. Aside from that, try to pre-fire one or two rockets around corners occasionally if you suspect the attacker is headed that way at some point. Though, be wary of a quick shot to the face as you are essentially giving away your position when pre-firing, hence why I say not to pre-fire boat loads unless the attacker is at a distance. I can't stress enough how important it is to conserve your rockets (and stamina) for when you are in close proximity to the enemy player(s).
Learn The Map: This one is a given when playing any competitive game, but it certainly deserves a mention. Elite mode has a "warm up" mode implemented before a match starts that starts you with laser and allows you all the time in the world to roam around and learn the map. One thing to look for when studying a map's layout would be good routes to attack and likely possible defensive positions. This eliminates any surprises that may be waiting around the corner. Surprises lose you the round more often than not, and who wants that? Another thing to look around for is good spots that you can pick off anyone camping the pole whether you are attacking or defending. This is very important, as I will explain in the next section...
Playing The Pole: Whether you are playing Battle, Siege, Elite, or Royal, you will find yourself in a 1 v. 1 on the pole more times than you can count. I very much recommend practicing this. I've seen countless players panic when they are confronted by an attacker or defender who is dancing around the pole with them. Don't be that guy and panic. Conserve your shots to maximize your chances of landing shots when it counts. In Siege and, more so, Elite the pole is captured rather quickly by the attacker so you must act quick. Always be mindful of the capture time or else you'll find yourself in trouble. Make sure you can "juke" or "fake out" the attacker. If you can successfully do that then it's your time to strike (this is where conserving shots comes into play).
Fake Outs, Fences, And Jukes, Oh My!: I touched on it briefly in the previous section, but I'd like to give fakes, jukes, and fences their own section as they are all very important points to know when improving your Shootmania skills. What I call "fake outs" are when you are a defender taking cover behind an object of some sort (wall, pole, etc.) and you strafe back and forth ever so slightly in an attempt to fake the attacker into firing their laser at you. This gives you a prime opportunity to fire shots at them while their weapon is recharging. This is a critical strategy when in a defensive position behind a fence. As an attacker, you will want to be wary of the defender trying to make you miss and thus make your shots count all the while watching your back assuming you hadn't already annihliated the rest of their team. A strategy that I find helpful when attacking a defender behind a fence is to burn your stamina and run right at them from a close distance and flicking a shot at them. This isn't a tactic easily mastered. You will have to first perfect your laser technique before consistently pulling it off. While attacking, you should always be mindful of any rockets coming your way. This is where learning to juke and do it calmly comes into play. Rockets do move slow enough to where you can strafe out of the way without much issue when it's from a range. Up close must rely on your reflexes. The most important thing is to not panic. If you can keep your cool, even during a deadly crossfire of rockets headed your way, you're in good shape.
Have Confidence: Self confidence is a key to becoming a top player. The other day, I witnessed a teammate on elite who was attacking and was being rushed by one defender each round, and each time he would panic and miss several shots before being hunted down by their whole team. He complained the whole match about it. Simply put, he lacked the self confidence required to overcome tough situations such as the one he was forced into. As the player, you need to trust in yourself to land shots even if they seem impossible. You never know what you might hit. Trust your shots. Trust your reflexes. Landing one shot could change the whole outcome of the round.
Follow those the tips that I mentioned and you should notice a difference in your Shootmania gameplay sooner than later. Even if it takes you months to get better at the game, just remember that you are better. Remember to stay positive and be creative! Before you know it, you'll find yourself among the pros.
Hello everyone Damus here again with another blog entry , this time focusing on eSports and the FGC (fighting game community).
One would think that the FGC and eSports are one and the same, video game tournaments , hype, sponsorships, but no its they are completely different monsters. The FGC is consider by some to be a group of "he-man women haters" that wont accept change just wanna be loud and arrogrant fools with no respect , while eSports is viewed by some to be the Government that wants to impose their view on the community.
I personally dont see it like that, i see eSports being the best thing for the FGC. People within the FGC are scared of the fact that eSports wants to be of the community and they feel like if that happens then everything will change. they feel if MLG IPL and other gaming leagues get their hands in the pie. they no longer be able to keep the hype.. curse on stream .. or whatever. But what they dont understand is that HUGE companies are not going to support weeky tournaments while IPL pulls sponsors like Old spice and Dr. pepper ect ect and the fact that its personally ran changes things.. I have been to community events and eSports events .. its very different.. its like going to a house party on a college campus and then going to a party for your job.
with IPL picking up Capcom games like SF AE2012 everything changes, its one of the biggest games, players all over play it. and the big draw... that esports money. eports money is what draws players to MLG for KOF/MK and now IPL, players like Diago and Justin Wong and the fact that Capcom is letting this happen is going to push the FGC to change and grow. Capcom , Namco, dont wanna turn on a live stream to watch their game get bought down by dick jokes and other dumb shit.. while they can turn on IPL and watch players traveling all over to compete and watch a stream with no cursing.
This blog is alittle rough i know.. but i hope now u can tell the difference now...cause i believe that the FGC needs eSports but does eSports need the FGC
New SC2 Training Program
For most of my SC2 journey so far I’ve been using a very rigid 20-games-per-day program to keep track of my progress & make sure I haven’t been slacking off. I haven’t hit 20 games per day every single day for the past 1.5 years, but I think I can safely say that I hit 75%. On average my daily played games would hover around 16-18 SC2 games.
What I didn’t calculate into this was that 20 games was actual in-game games played. This didn’t include replay analysis, build refinement, reading up on strategies, VODs etc. I think I can safely say that when I’m not working, or spending time with family, 95% of my ‘off-time’ is spent on SC2. Probably explains the complete burnout in the past 2 weeks as I kept this up for over a year.
So the problem with 20 games a day was this. I was always in a mental battle with the number 20. When I don’t hit 20 games, I feel guilty and disgusted that I haven’t worked hard enough to achieve my dream. When I do hit 20 games sometimes it’s forcefully mashed out & feels like work instead of pleasure. Sometimes hitting 20 makes me want to stop even though I still have the energy to go on as well.
For the past weeks I’ve been trying to play games without a quota. Simply playing games, till I feel physically or mentally fatigued. The results? I went for bonus pool clearing session on both my accounts 2 days before ladder lock to get a last minute GM promo, in 2 days I played 56 games. The games felt healthy & enjoyable whether win or lose, perhaps because I wasn’t chasing a quota, but something else for a change. I sat for a few sessions days after that to refine mechanics, by the time I was done I had played 16 ladder games in 2 hours.
What now? I feel it’s time to try something new. The old scheme has helped me climb the ladder & understand the basics/fundamentals of SC2. I feel I’m starting to graze on something deeper, more refined. The new training program that I’m embarking on is simply being water.
“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
- Bruce Lee
I will still train everyday, taking 1 or maximum 2 days off a week but the number of games played a day no longer has a limit. I’ll simply train until my brain or wrists say “ENOUGH!”, whether that’s 12 or 24 or 36 games. Today’s the first day of this program, only hit 10 games today going 6W4L. Every game felt amazing, win or lose I was learning something, and no longer just adding a number.
An update: 1 month later
So all that above was a revelation about 1 month ago. A month of "be water" seems to be working very well. I feel fresh, relaxed, less anxiety when practicing my games. I'm not entirely sure on the number of games I've been playing on average, but I've gotten a minimum of 4 games every day Monday - Saturday and the most games I've gone up to is 32.
I think the best part about "be water" is I'm taking the necessary breaks when I'm tilting or raging. I no longer have a guilty conscience of not hitting 20 games a day or the heavy burden of missing 20 games a day.
With that said, I still wouldn't take back the 1.5 years of 20 games a day I went through. In my opinion it taught me discipline. It forced me to keep charging forward even when my moral was down. It reminded me that only I can chase my own dream, nobody else can do it for me. I'm glad that hard part seems to be over and I have about 75% of the fundamentals down. There is still so much of my own game that I still need to work on. I keep on 'watering' my way to the next chapter.
Hope everyone's been working hard on their own art. Remember there's no such thing as failure, failure only occurs when you stop trying.
Starbucks Americano Addict,
For my first post, I decided I should upload a research paper I wrote a year ago about Interactive Narrative as demonstrated in Heavy Rain.
Warning 1: This is a research paper so it is therefore long and written to be accessible to the general public
Warning 2: Major spoilers abound
I hope you guys enjoy it! Let me know what you thought about it in the comments!
Heavy Rain and the Advancement of Interactive Narrative
Video games have always been thought of as a device for which one could entertain oneself. However, over the last twenty years, video games have evolved into a medium that does more than just consume time; video games tell a story, they evoke emotion, moments of drama, and instances of artistic enlightenment all whilst still being entertaining. That being said, some video games have continued to set the standard for deep, evocative, story-telling that thrusts choices and decision upon the players that will force them to explore themselves, experience a plethora of emotions both good and bad, and challenge their inner beliefs and moral character. Video games also allow us to deeply explore a range of real-life situations and events in a way in which other mediums desire to achieve. One game in particular that stands out above the rest is Heavy Rain and I will analyze three scenes in the game and will contribute my personal experiences.
Heavy Rain is an action/adventure game for the Sony Playstation 3. The story of the game is about four random people who at first have no ties to each other, except for a commonality between them: the Origami Killer. The Origami Killer is a serial killer, whose chosen method of murder is to drown the victims; his trademark is an origami animal and a white carnation left on the victim’s body. Although the game features four main characters, only one will be discussed in this article.
Heavy Rain is primarily about Ethan Mars -- a father, architect and the main character of the story. He once had it all, a great family with two kids and a beautiful wife, a nice house, a wonderful job and a seemingly perfect life. Then tragedy strikes and things take a turn for the worse, which I will cover later in this paper. I won’t spoil the main story details, just the details that are involved in the scenes I will be analyzing.
The story of Heavy Rain is divided up into several chapters, told from different viewpoints based on the character the player is currently using. Story in a video game is a huge part of immersing the player in a rich, detailed and involved experience. As Maria Solomou stated in an article published about narrative in video games:
Although traditionally we think of stories as involving the distinct roles of an author, a performer, and an audience, a core argument advanced next is that, in part, what makes videogames so powerful as a medium for advancing narrative is that the player may occupy more than one role — and sometimes all three — simultaneously.
Although the story in Heavy Rain is somewhat realistic, it is fantasy based. Dickey notes that "..fantasy and realism can be and often are intertwined" and that "The line between the two is often blurred and the relationship between fantasy and realism is most adequately characterized as a continuum" (Dickey, 2006). To further elaborate, video games create fantasy situations out of plausible real-life situations and thrust the player into these events leaving the player to their own devices to work through the event. These events are further driven by plot hooks, which encourage the player to play by "planting questions that the player feels compelled to answer (Dickey, 2006).
A narrative element that is seldom explored is backstory. As Dickey states, "The purpose of backstory is to provide the dramatic context for the game." The first chapter, which is discussed later, provides some of the backstory for the game, mostly for Ethan the main character. I happen to think that this was intentionally done to create a mysterious vibe surrounding the secondary characters, to leave their backstories to the imagination of the player.
Heavy Rain is innovative in that it not only tells an intricate and complex story, but the devices that it uses to tell
the story. Heavy Rain is third-person game, meaning the player's view is generally behind their character, and uses a lot of conventions of modern gaming. The first is the utilization of Quick-Time Events, or QTE. Quick-Time Events are moments where an Artificial Intelligence is in control of your character, like a movie, but the game relies on you to press the right button at the right time, as indicated on screen, to help facilitate certain actions. QTE’s are generally timed, and if the user fails to perform the right action, the user is generally punished, either having to repeat the action or possibly the whole sequence. For example, to turn a door knob, the user might have to move an analog control stick in an upwards direction then turning clockwise, similar to turning an actual door knob in reality.
In Heavy Rain, QTE’s are important because of the way the story is told. The story in Heavy Rain, much like in reality, does not have respawn points or restarts. If the user fails a QTE, their character’s story could adversely be affected, or even worse, the character could be killed. If the character is killed, they stay dead and you cannot go back to replay the chapter to influence the story. Because of this, it is possible to have multiple different endings with some or even no characters surviving until the end of the game.
The story is also influenced by many dialogue choices. Key moments of dialogue can completely affect the ending. For example as the Detective, another character in the story, if you are questioning someone and you fail to receive the information you want that may affect possible dialogue and story lines, or even whole events and chapters not happening at all.
The game gives the user complete and total control of the story and outcomes based on the user’s choices and decisions. Additionally, the game does what most games won’t; it makes the player live with their choices until the game finishes. The game is an extremely realistic portrayal of life and reality, in that there are no restarts, and every moment in time continues with no pause or regard to the current situation at hand.
In my experience playing the game, I found myself becoming emotionally attached to my characters. The graphics in the game are superb and look incredibly realistic. Quantic Dream, the developers of the game, elected to use facial motion-capture to give the characters more accurate, realistic facial expressions and emotions. You can see in certain scenes the emotion of the character in just their face, which is then further supported by a remarkable script and immaculate voice acting. Suddenly your characters in the game are more real than they were before, and you find yourself caring about the well being of your characters.
Another factor that made more attached to my characters is a very unique feature of Heavy Rain. At any point in time, you can hold down a button on the controller and see your character’s current thoughts about their situation. Their level of emotional distress affects how these thoughts are displayed on screen. For example, if your character is calm then these thoughts, shown as simple words floating above your character, will be revolving around your character in a calm, collected manner. Conversely, if your character is emotionally distressed, these thoughts may be shaking uncontrollably or even completely incoherent. I noticed that by checking their thoughts about the situation, I became more aware of the situation and I found myself beginning to empathize with my characters.
The character models and seemingly real personalities of the protagonists leads the player to anthropomorphize their characters.. Hartmann notes that computer engineers will use mechanics such as "eye-gazing, biological motion, display of natural facial activity, display of emotions, as well as breathing, natural vocal tones, and display of intelligence" to bring the characters to life, forming a somewhat sociohumanistic bond between human and digital characters.
Scene 1 Analysis
The first scene I will analyze is the first chapter in the game. The first chapter begins with Ethan. Ethan wakes up his nice house, alone, but happy. His immediate thoughts are calm and relaxed. The first chapter serves as a tutorial for the game, so you learn the basics of the control scheme and what the game will be like. The story in the first scene is that today is the birthday of the older of your two sons, Jason. Currently, your wife and kids are out grabbing supplies for a birthday party for your son. Ethan has many choices with what to do with your free time until the party, such as gardening, working on a sketch of one of your buildings or just relaxing by watching TV. Later, Ethan's family comes home and it is time to have the birthday party. Although seemingly inconsequential, the weather is nice and it is quite sunny, which helps to set this mood that everything is happy.
After the party, Ethan and his family decide to go to the mall and buy some new shoes and clothing for the birthday boy. Ethan arrives at the mall and it is a rather crowded day. Ethan's wife decides to take their younger son, Shaun, into a store to try on some shoes, and leaves Ethan to tend to Jason. Jason begins to wander off without Ethan noticing, which causes a small amount of panic. You can tell immediately by Ethan’s thoughts that he is slightly panicked, although not much yet. Ethan quickly finds Jason who walked over to a clown so that he could get a red balloon. Being the kind father that Ethan is, he pays for the balloon only to once again discover that Jason ran off again. Ethan's wife and Shaun come back, and she immediately beings panicking. Ethan decides to leave them there and look for Jason.
Ethan finds himself running all over the mall, which seems to have become more crowded. Ethan looks for Jason amongst the sea of faces but he cannot see him. Suddenly, Ethan spots a red balloon, which looks like the same one Jason has. Ethan starts heading towards the balloon only to discover it is another kid with a red balloon. At this point in time, Ethan’s level of anxiety is rather high, his thoughts shaking wildly at the notion of losing his son. Ethan catches a sudden glimpse of another red balloon heading towards the exit of the mall. He quickly makes his way over to the exit to see Jason has crossed the street of a very busy road. Ethan calls out to Jason who decides to run back towards Ethan. As you can predict, a car is coming and Jason is not stopping. As the father, you make the sensible decision to run towards Jason to either push him out of the way or at least take the impact. Sadly, it was to no avail. Ethan ends up being hit by the car with Jason in his arms. Ethan ends up in a coma and recovers. However, Jason did not make it.
The next scene that ensues is a drastic departure for the first half of the chapter. It is two years later. Ethan is now divorced and has shared custody Shaun with his wife. The weather is much different as well; it is now dark and raining quite heavily. Ethan picks up Shaun from school, late might I add, and there is definitely an uncomfortable vibe between Ethan and Shaun. Shaun isn’t cheery anymore, neither is Ethan, and Shaun is distant from Ethan. Ethan feels guilty for Jason’s death and is constantly haunted by it.
My thoughts of this scene are rather shocking. The game sets up this happy, perfect, idyllic life and then takes it away in one quick moment, which is what real life can be at times. I too experienced panic when I couldn’t find Jason, because I became emotionally attached to my characters after only just minutes of playing. I think this happened because they are more than just digital constructs, they are real, breathing characters that have experienced loss and demonstrate humanity in ways I’ve yet to see in a video game. Additionally, I think the brisk change of weather also helps to set the tone for this total change of events. In the first half the weather is bright and sunny in stark contrast to dark, rainy weather of the second half.
What makes this scene so powerful is that in a way you feel partly responsible for Jason's tragic end. Even though this is very clearly meant to happen, you can't help but feel that perhaps if you could have found him earlier that this wouldn't have happened at all.
Scene 2 Analysis
Much later in the story the Origami Killer has kidnapped Shaun. Ethan is now on the hunt to find Shaun. The Origami Killer leaves Ethan a set of clues to various "trials" to prove how far he would go to save someone he loved. This idea of what we would do as humans for those we loved becomes a motif of the main story and thus brings the humanity element into the story. For every trial Ethan completes, he is given parts of the address where Shaun is being held. This scene is the fourth trial.
This trial begins with a cryptic message from the Origami Killer: "Are you prepared to kill someone to save your son?" Immediately you begin to wonder -- who is this person and why must they die? Ethan, driven to find his son, isn't asking himself these questions. He drives to the target's house to discover that the man in question is a drug dealer. Ethan knocks on his door and the dealer, named Brad, answers the door thinking Ethan is buyer, but Ethan has other intentions and pulls a gun on Brad.
Brad manages to knock Ethan down and pull a shotgun on Ethan. A small QTE ensues, Brad chasing Ethan all over the house whilst shooting at him. The QTE ends in a child's bedroom where Brad has no more ammo and Ethan has managed to recover his gun. Ethan, now in a position of power, has a choice to make. He can choose to kill the Brad, whom probably deals drugs to children, and consequently better the world a little bit. However, Ethan is no killer and he struggles with making his decision. Brad, pulls a photo out of his pocket showing two children, both his, and makes a plea for his life by stating that he is a father. This complicates Ethan's decision, and the player's as well.
I found myself having to pause the game to weigh the consequences of both actions. Killing him would not be true to Ethan's character; not killing him would make me miss out on a clue to find Shaun. What if not finding this clue leads to Shaun's death? A display of Ethan’s thoughts was as conflicting as mine. He felt the same way about Brad that I did. In the end, I decided not to shoot Brad and take a chance without the clue.
After playing this scene, I had to take a break from playing to fully weigh what just happened. The scene was actually causing a fair level of distress because I was now worried that without that clue I would not find Shaun. I felt, that by not killing Brad, I might not have been true to Ethan's character in a different way. Ethan is no killer but he is driven to find Shaun. Although I never covered the earlier trials, Ethan goes through a fair amount of personal hell to make it to the fourth trial, putting the safety of him and others at risk to gain clues.
Scene 3 Analysis
This scene is the fifth and final trial. This trial take places not much after the fourth trial did. The fifth trial begins with another cryptic message from the Origami Killer: "Are you prepared to give your life to save your son's?"
The scene has Ethan driving to an address and entering a building. The building has a long, dark hallway to a brightly lit room. The room consists of a table in the center and various cameras around the room pointing towards the table. On the table, you find a tablet, which describes the trial in depth and a vial. The descriptions say that the vial contains a deadly poison that if ingested, will kill you in 60 minutes. By drinking the poison, you will receive the last clue to Shaun's whereabouts but consequently, your life will be taken from you. As with the previous trial, if you choose not to drink the poison, you will not receive the clue and will be one step further away from saving Shaun.
This scene explores a very powerful human trait: sacrifice. Can you as a father make the ultimate sacrifice for your children, giving your life to save theirs? Now me personally, I'm not a father so this trial didn't really hit home for me. However, I can empathize with my character. As humans, we are incredibly concerned with self-preservation, and sacrificing one's life is counterintuitive to self-preservation. But I have experienced true, undying love for another human being, and I know that I would have moved heaven and earth for them, and I imagine that is how Ethan felt for Shaun.
This comes at a great point in the story as well. It marks the evolution of Ethan as a character. He has transitioned from feeling guilty and hopeless because of Jason's death to strong, motivated and driven to save Shaun. This trial makes us ask the question, would we do the same in Ethan's situation to save a sibling, a parent or a loved one?
I won’t spoil the end for those who wish to discover it themselves, but suffice it to say the player gets to experience interactive narrative in ways which other mediums envy. The difference between video games and other forms of narrative lies solely in one thing: it is personal and real. Heavy Rain makes it personal in that your decisions directly influence the outcome of the story bringing a more humanistic element into play. You get to experience very real emotions acted out through imaginary characters that seem more realistic and human than they actually are. Although many games of this generation are based around the mechanic of holding the player accountable for their actions, very few games accomplish this in the way that Heavy Rain manages to.
Hartmann, Tilo, and Peter Vorderer. "It's Okay To Shoot A Character: Moral Disengagement In Violent Video Games." Journal Of Communication 60.1 (2010): 94-119. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.
Dickey, Michele. "Game Design Narrative For Learning: Appropriating Adventure Game Design Narrative Devices And Techniques For The Design Of Interactive Learning Environments." Educational Technology Research & Development 54.3 (2006): 245-263. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.
Quantic Dream. Heavy Rain. Foster City, CA: Sony Computer Entertainment, 2009. Computer software.
Solomou, Maria, et al. "Pedagogical Dramas And Transformational Play: Narratively Rich Games For Learning." Mind, Culture & Activity 17.3 (2010): 235-264. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.
Hello everyone. I felt like doing a blog today regarding the recent changes to the meta game for PvP in Starcraft 2 and the new builds that are coming out of this change. For this particular blog we're going to look at the 2 Gate/Robo/Stargate build that has gained much popularity very recently in the matchup and how this build is so good currently.
Over the course of the year we've seen a change in the metagame for PvP. Instead of just every game resorting to 4 gate rushes, we've seen a number of different builds that play out for either aggressive or safe play. From builds like the blink stalker/obs builds to the 3 Gate/Robo expand, 3 Stalker rush, 1 Gate/Stargate, 2 Gate Robo expand leading to now, we've seen more of a deviation from the old style of 1 base all ins to new builds that still give that choice of early aggression but also countering the 1 base all in builds from before. Right now a very common option for Protoss seems to be using this 2 Gate/Robo/Stargate in PvP. Below we will discuss why this build is so versatile and also very powerful in PvP and how it allows players to have a safe counter against very early aggression while also being able to put on their own aggression or harassment.
The general build order goes as follows (there are different variations that other players may do based on personal play style). This is taken from MC during a PvP vs. Grubby featured in the Day Daily #527
9 - Pylon
13 - Gateway
15 - Gas #1
16 - Pylon
17 - Gas #2 (This gas can be taken as early as 15 and as late as 19/20 depending on if you want to make a second sentry slightly faster at the cost of delaying your stargate by a couple seconds i.e. your opponent may be doing a 3 stalker rush, 4 gate, etc. in which case this build can turn into a defensive build such as HerO's variation found here http://wiki.teamliqu...e_(vs._Protoss))
18 - Cybernetics Core
21 - Zealot #1
22 - Pylon
22 - Warpgate
25 - Sentry #1 (chronoboost once)
27 - Stargate
27 - Zealot #2
30 - Gateway #2
30 - Pylon
31 - Sentry #2
33 - Phoenix #1
35 - Phoenix #2
37 - Pylon
37 - Phoenix #3
39 - Robotics Facility (6:25)
THE CONCEPT :
The concept of this build is very simple, being able to use early phoenix play to harass your opponent, get scouting information and allow for a safe expansion while forcing your opponent to use a specific tech path (stalkers w/ blink or archons if they didn't use a stargate build himself). If your opponent does not go for a stargate build himself then this sets you up perfectly because your opponent will be forced to use a stalker based army to deal with the phoenix's (and later archons once the game progresses). The good part about this is by having a robo, you will be able to build immortals early (the best counter to stalkers) while also having a good number of zealots supported by a couple of sentries to counter stalker/archon play and also able to transition into colossus if needed. You can also use your robo for a fast observer if you believe your opponent may go for quick DT's (in which case he will most likely follow up with a blink stalker/archon army composition). This build can also be used defensively if needed to defend against early aggression such as the 3 Stalker Rush, 4 gate rush (take your gas sooner for a faster sentry or robo before stargate to get a faster immortal or using phoenix micro to lift units if you go stargate before robo).
- Can be used to defend early aggression sufficiently
- Allows for early harassment to cause economic damage
- Pretty much forces your opponent to use blink stalkers and archons to counter unless going stargate as well which is countered by robo units/zealots
- Allows for a number of different transitions whether it be continued zealot/immortal/phoenix production, double stargate, double robo, colossus, etc.
- Works best against Gateway/Robo builds but is still sufficient against early pressure and DTs.
- Can be hard countered by blink stalker all in builds
Keep in mind that the exact build order may vary based on personal player's preferences and also scouting information. Normally the stargate is made before the robotics facility and the second gateway however the order can be switched allowing a robotics facility before stargate if you feel it's important.
This build allows for a number of transitions after expanding to your natural. The most common transitions can include double stargate (if your opponent also goes stargate and is trying to get air control, be sure to upgrade air units instead if that's the case), zealot/immortal/phoenix with charge or colossus (if your opponent is using mostly stalkers or stalkers with robo units and sentries). (Because this build is still relatively new, many players have yet to really figure out any all in or upgrade timings using this build)
The only real drawback using this build is if your opponent goes for a blink stalker all in. Otherwise this build works great against just about any other standard PvP opening. By having mostly zealots with a couple sentries, you can counter stalker and robo composition fairly easily. You can also you your phoenix's to micro against these compositions as well (using graviton beam to lift sentries that could FF against your zealots)
In the event that your opponent also opens up stargate, the most common follow up seems to be double stargate to maintain air control by massing phoenix's with zealot/archon ground compositions while putting emphasis on air unit upgrades opposed to ground units.
Various games of players using this build:
- Day Daily #527 - MC vs. Grubby
*Updated: I cannot upload replays due to the limitations of only being able to upload a max of 10KB worth of files for blogs on here so I'm going to try and look for games on streams from BWC Grand Finals and IPL 5 where this build was used.
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 claim to be Game Gurus.
Not to downplay the importance of learning, but the first thing I want to point out is that being an excellent Game Guru is about more than just knowing a game. Let's start by looking at the definition of a guru:
Guru - "An intellectual... leader"
So being a Game Guru is just as much about leadership as it is about knowledge. What does it mean to be a knowledge leader? It means taking the initiative to disseminate that knowledge to the larger community. Being active in forums, especially outside of vVv, to offer advice and help based on the knowledge you've accumulated are the things that define a Game Guru. Game Gurus would be those who achieve the coveted blue post on Team Liquid, or those who spend their days on strategy forums not only discussing different ways to play, but also getting people to listen and agree that your builds or strategies have merit. An example of a top Game Guru would be someone like Mr. Bitter, who went from an unknown streamer to a well known caster for MLG due to his passion for gathering knowledge from all the pro SC2 players and disseminating it via his stream.
How Does a Game Guru Add Value?
So what's valuable about being a Game Guru? Why bother doing it? Well, besides having the passion to engage people on this level, the answer comes down to engagement and inspiration. A Game Guru inspires other people to play the game by revealing or teaching them something they didn't know. Everyone has been in a situation where they see someone do something amazing with a champion, and decide to immediately learn how to play that champion ASAP. This is what makes Game Gurus so valuable. They engage and inspire people directly by coaching them, playing with them, offering them advice, theory-crafting with them, or indirectly (by posting threads, blogs, guides, etc.) In the end this cuts down on the learning curve and makes the game more accessible for everyone.
Game Guru can be divided into the following levels:
Novice: You have been playing the game for a bit, and have picked up a lot of useful information. You might not have shared any of it yet, or made just one or two posts on a discussion forum talking about your opinions. You're not even really sure that this Game Guru thing is for you, but you love learning about the game and want to contribute something valuable to the community.
Beginner: You've been posting on popular strategy websites for a little while now. You may not be particularly effective in convincing people that you are correct when you discuss your strategies and tricks, but you've come to love discussing them anyway. Occasionally, you'll even convince someone to try out something you've found, but usually you're learning from others with more convincing arguments. At this point, being a Game Guru is just as much about learning as it is sharing that knowledge.
Intermediate: You're starting to get recognized as one of the "regulars" around the particular strategy forum you've chosen to make your name in. After participating in many discussions, you've discovered that your views are starting to gain traction and people start to support you when you make an insightful or innovative post. You've also started incorporating analysis of pro gamers' playstyles into your own thought process to make your points even more supported.
Expert: At this point you're extremely well-known and respected, not just on one forum, but in the community for your game at large. People follow you and you find yourself making insightful and valuable posts regularly. In fact, people are drawn to your threads because they always contain useful information about the game. You are such a well known community figure that occasionally you are even invited onto shows to discuss your views.
Professional: You could work on the Quality Assurance Team for the company that maintains your game. Your opinions on balance and strategy are so comprehensive that you have unique insights into the game and how it should be played. Not only are you able to pick out blatantly obvious overpowered and underpowered elements of the game, but you can identify the less obvious ones as well.
Every way of adding value needs skills outside of just playing the game. The relevant skills to learn and master for a Game Guru are as follows:
Knowledge Acquisition: As a Game Guru you need to know how to get access to the best and most current information and digest it quickly. You also need to spend a portion of your game time experimenting and applying the knowledge you've picked up. Being able to quickly determine what works and what doesn't will allow you to stay on the cutting edge of strategy innovation and development. Sometimes a deeper understanding of the game may be needed, for example in Starcraft it might be useful to look at the math in terms of how many shots it takes for a marine with +2 attack upgrades to kill a zergling with +3 armor versus a marine with +3 attack upgrades. Be good at finding these types of analyses when they are available as it will save you time doing research that has already been done.
Knowledge Dispensation: You will need to pick some way to get your learning out there quickly and effectively. Some people are excellent writers and could go the route of writing guides or articles discussing certain elements of a game. Other people live for video editing and recording footage to show people how things work instead of just telling. Still others have other ways of getting the information out, through replay packs, coaching, etc. It matters less how you produce this, and more how quickly you can get a quality product into the community before anyone else does. By following your strengths you'll best set yourself up for success in this area.
Forum Netiquette: One of the most relevant skills that a Game Guru possesses is a deep and nuanced understanding of forum netiquette. You need to understand the rules in place at the forum of choice before you start posting, or you risk being shunned or banned, making it impossible to develop a reputation as a helpful member of the community in question. Examples of such rules would be using the search function before asking a question, being aware of the rules regarding self-promotion on the site (especially for Reddit), and rules regarding advertising.
You should also be aware that generally spamming links all over forums is frowned upon. The best way to advertise is to make a single post regarding your content and updating it regularly with links to whatever you are producing. Spamming is counter-productive both because it lowers your reputation in the community and also because it provides no engagement or reason for why potential viewers should visit your content. Remember that the key is to be engaging, and you can't do that by copying and pasting links everywhere with no followup plan.
Social Media Marketing: Not only do you need to produce content efficiently, 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 working on, 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 Game Guru.
What is vVv Gaming looking for in a Game Guru?
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 (learning about the game and sharing that knowledge with others). As such, if you have no experience as a Game Guru we'd like to at least see some efforts within this space. Either make some discussion threads on an external (non-vVv) forum and link us, or start producing content and marketing it on an external forum. If you do have some experience already, please link us to what you have done so far so that we can evaluate where you stand and how we can best set you up for success going forward. Thanks for your time and good luck with your application!
This started off as a tips & tricks for mid, but I had more to say then just mids, so this will be a elongated version! yay!
Everyone should know of these tips and tricks as they're what win, or loose you the lane. These tricks are not match up specific, you should be able put them in memory fairly quickly if you constantly remind yourself of them.
Let's get started with mids:
1)A big problem with annivia is landing your e when using your ult as it's hard to coordinate while on the move as well as using a lot of mana.
A fun and extremely mana effective way to land your e in coordination with your ult is to lead with your e, when your e goes off, hit your ult, the opposing champion will get slightly caught by it. There for your e does double the damage and you've saved mana.
2) You can increase the damage of your q by letting it fly over the target then shattering, this will include the movement damage + the shatter damage. Useful for clearing minions and a good practice when playing against champions
1) You can get fairly early kills with tf, if you land enough wild cards and the enemy mid has 2-3 bars of health you can kill them. Make sure your e is active for the extra damage, pick a stun card, flash, ignite, q. No other champion can survive this burst neither trade with it. This makes it crucial for you to be landing your q's in lane, as you want to be snow balling early when playing tf!
2)Before team fights, try poking the enemy and stay back. When the initiation happens, ult, wait for everyone to blow their ability's, ult behind the squishys, creating a sandwitch between you and the bruiser. Basically you should be using the second stage of your ult .5 seconds after initiation.
3) Its good practice to pick a blue card first then q as you can either blue and q a minion or champ. Just a more reliable way to combo.
1)Her shield does damage as well, you should aim behind the champion if you're going to trade as it gives you extra damage
2) I call it the archon toilet. When a champion such as malphite or amumu initiates, shield them. When they get in range of your enemy, ult. This causes 3 things: entertainment, brings the tanks back, while moving the carries forward, and you're at a safe distance. The second is the most important as now the carry's and tanks are out of position and it's basically a team figth won. Of course this is a best case scenario, but is a reliant way to use your ult.
Ahri: Arguably my most favorite champion! charmed much?
1) At level 2 of your q, you can clear the caster minions in 2 swipes, so if you're playing against a champ with no early aoe, focus on pushing!
2) general rule of thumb, whenever you use your q e combo, always move backwards(unless chasing). This removes the ability of the enemy to trade with you and the muscle memory helps when kiting.
3)Ahri's ult has to many scenarios to explain and comes down to personal preference. But the best advice I can give you is to be creative and be on the edge. Finding the sweet spot for your ult makes Ahri devastating as being just out of range of a turret but still dishing out your damage can make the difference between a kill or a death.
Mid in General
1) You can force the other player into the opposing bush, by circling around them by the left or right side so that your jungler has a easier time ganking. (only do this if the jungle is waiting in the bush for the gank)
1) if you don't use smart cast, you'll automatically do poorly as ryze, so make sure you learn how. (smart cast can be found in the key bindings section of the ingame menu.)
2) To poke with him in lane is q-w-q
3) During team fights the combo should be, q-ult-q-w-q-e-q-q-w-q-e... etc
4) If you`re being chased, always be kiting, so, click-ability-click-ability etc...
1) you can ward the enemy's blue and ult steal
2) When doing your q-e combo, make sure you get a auto attack in between them. This basically comes down to : q-e(not triggered yet)-auto attack-trigger e- auto attack.
Good ganking times are:
1)After you kill the opposing mid
2)Pushed to their tower
3) You don't need your ult to gank! Usually just the cc is enough for the kill!
When the other Mid goes to gank:
1)Push there tower and destroy it IF you know you can
2) follow the mid
3) gank another lane
1)You can pull leona into turrets. Wait for her to leash her sword on you, during the animation use your escape(preferably a ability like trist or ez). This can be a fun and effective way to gain a kill
1)Keep in mind that you can head butt people over walls, in some cases it benefits your team to do that, either getting the tank or carry out of position. For example: The ledge between blue and water, bump them over the wall into your adc and support or bump them over the wall to get them away from you.
2) When ganking, never come from water, use the enemy jungle to get behind then so that you can head butt them into your allys and remove any possibility of escape.
1) when warding, your cursor goes green if it's floating over a bush.
2) when in mid lane, you can ward over both walls, you have to be right next to the high wall in order to reach.
1) If there are minions blocking your bandage toss, you can flash ult on to them and use your bandage toss to clean up.
Jungling in General
1) When looking for ganks, be patient, wait in the bush for a opportunity to present itself or coordinate with your teammate to force the opponent to over extend.
2) With fast clearing junglers like udyr or skarner, you can take your blue without smite with the extra help of your teammates.(tell them what you`re doing so that they help you more). Then rush over to there red. You should be able to get it in time even if the opposing jungler does not gank.
I'm going to be making this into a compilation thread in the LoL forums as well, so that I can collect other things people have found.
Every little thing counts!
Follow me @vVv_WaKai!
I've been playing League for long enough now to have picked up some of the openings and why things are done certain ways. Of course, every lane starts boots + 3 pots (except support), although this may change after the season 3 changes go live. After that, you start to see variations in builds, sometimes to counterbuild another champion, sometimes to build up your own strengths.
Double Dorans into Rabadon's Deathcap
This is your standard bread and butter opening for AP mids. Dorans provide an array of useful stats, such as mana regen, a little health, and a little ability power. The mana regen is the most useful stat, as it will allow you to stay in lane and harass your enemy for longer than you would be able to otherwise. After buying your two Doran's Rings you want to proceed to get a Deathcap, as it's AP boost will make you quite terrifying.
Catalyst into Rod of Ages
The Catalyst is a solid start for a lane that you expect to win pretty easily and want to just sit back and farm. The early game sustain granted by this item, plus the stacking ability power you'll get once you complete the Rod of Ages, make you both tanky and threatening in the mid game, so long as you can complete it by around the 15 minute mark or sooner.
Kage's Lucky Pick into Deathfire Grasp
This is a less standard opener, typically used by burst-assassin type APs such as Evelyn and Cho'Gath. The point here is that you get the early gold boost from the lucky pick to give you a free blasting wand and complete the item quickly to kill your lane opponent, or to roam around getting quick kills every time the cooldown is off. If you feed a couple early kills to your opponent you can also use this to stay in the game and recover from any gold you might have lost as a result of your deaths.
This item tends to be most useful on mana-less champions such as Mordekaiser and Vladimir. Since you don't need early mana regen to sustain, you can use the spell vamp from hextech revolver to sustain you in lane by restoring HP every time you do spell damage.
Chalice of Harmony
Chalice of Harmony is a more defensive alternative to Double Doran's Rings. This gives magic resist and quite a bit of mana regen, allowing you to stay in lane almost indefinitely. This item is especially useful on Galio due to his passive converting magic resist into ability power. Almost any non-assassin can build this first if they are concerned about losing a lane due to a counter-pick.
Chain Vest into Zhonya's Hourglass
This is a niche item more suited to mana-less champions like Kennen in response to an AD assassin mid, such as Zed, Lee Sin, or Talon. The early chain vest gives you protection against getting blown up by the high AD burst damage you'll be facing. It's better to get the early Zhonya's at the expense of mana regen, since you can get blue buff from your jungler for mana regen and this will be a very nice item for staying alive in high-stakes lanes.
Well, that's my short synopsis. I hope someone finds it helpful, especially if you're brand new to League. I would appreciate any input from more experienced players on my analysis as well
Coming up on Saturday, November 24th, we have the fourth edition of the Machinima Frag Cup for Black Ops 2 hosted by 360icons. This tournament will feature a $10,000 prize pool, with the last 32 teams streamed on Machinima. Many players look at this tournament as the first major event in Black Ops 2's career, but I believe it is much more important then people think.
If you have been following any eSport title for the last few years you should have noticed the growing importance of stream numbers. Streaming has now become a major revenue source for the major gaming tournament organizers between their HD subscriptions and CPM. In order for a major circuit/event to pick up a title they need to be sure that the community will tune into watch and possibly pay to watch a higher quality stream. It is also no shocker to realize that PC games run the stream numbers.
You might be asking why I just went over streaming in this Frag Cup article, well I believe that the viewer turnout for this tournament could factor or even determine whether MLG (or any other gaming tournament organizers looking into console eSports) picks up Black Ops 2. If the stream numbers in the Frag Cup come out low or even mediocre then you would have to think that MLG will not pick up the title. This is not because MLG is greedy, it is because they are a business. A business that invests into a product that produces little to no profit is a terrible business that will not last. It doesn't matter how many people play the game, it matters how many people will travel to events and tune into the streams at home. This is why the Call of Duty community and even the console community need to tune into the stream to show our support.
Frag Cup 4 will hopefully display that console eSports have returned and that we support major tournaments. The only way that we can do this if you watch the stream during 12/15-12/16 at 3PM EST, I can not stress it more. Long live the controller.
The Future of Fighting.
With the closing of Arcade Infinity and the relocating of China Town Fair it has been a painfully obvious passing of the times in the American Fighting Game community. Many people like to tell tall tails of the demise of arcades and the arcade culture as if it died with Southern Hill’s Golfland way back in the early 2000s. They talk as if arcades and the scene’s propagating them died long ago in some mystic age that we could only remember in our dreams. This is not the reality though. The arcade scene and culture was alive still, weak but still very much alive just 4 years ago even here in Upstate New York. Arcades and their culture didn’t die in 2000 they are dying now in 2011.
It seems like almost an eternity and yet it feels like it was yesterday but 5 years ago in January 2006 Tekken 5:DR touched down at all the arcades in Upstate New York. Old School heads will remember being there when it was being installed and getting some of the very first games on it. I’ll never forget that day, I was there at 11:00AM when it was being installed and then in what only seemed like an hour later I was being told we had to leave, it was 9:00PM, time to close shop. I remember the crowds for the game, everyone wanted to play it. You would go to the mall on any given day and someone would be there on the machine. Didn’t matter what time of day someone would be there and would always be willing to play. To us it was no surprise, before the DR scene there was the 5.0 scene, before that Soul Calibur 2 was huge, so naturally there would always be people at the arcade to play. I remember even after the game was released on console we would still go to the arcade to play and run tournaments. That was only 2 years ago at most when we held the last Upstate Arcade DR tournament.
It wasn’t just in Upstate New York though that arcades that were dooming just a few years ago. When Tekken 5 and DR hit arcades it was the biggest game in the country bar none. China Town Fair would hold bi-weekly tournaments drawing in the 40s-50s, that’s about what we get at majors now lol. Justin Wong, Sanford Kelly, everyone played it and everyone played everything else too. CVS2. Third Strike, Guilty Gear, Marvel 2, Super Turbo, you could go down to the CTF on any day not even night and see the place out of control with players playing everything, every game. Seven different scenes for seven different games and they were all strong. The arcade scene was alive, CTF seemed like it would never close, how could it? There were so many people there all the time, the place was insane, it was self-sustaining. Upstate was there with them, not as strong but for Tekken we had an arcade scene and players will to come out and play in it all the time.
However the arcade operators in Upstate New York refused to invest in Tekken 6 or any new game for that matter. Go to Cyberstation in the mall and it is truly a shell of what it was. All of the core of what made that arcade, Initial D, Tekken, Soul Calibur, DDR, Beatmania, and any other kind of great arcade game has been removed. All the stands are a couple of coin op lightgun and ticket games. I’d be down to do some House of the Dead 2 time runs some time or maybe throw down on some Hydro Thunder, FT3 for $10? The death of our arcades in Upstate New York had nothing to do with support from the community; it had to do with owners not investing. Cyberstation still stands but for how long can it truly survive off of redemption games? When it goes it won’t be missed because it’s already dead inside as corny as that sounds.
The fall of the arcades else where in America as of late can attributed to something else though. The debate could go on forever as to why or why not certain arcades have had struggles but that is neither here nor there.
Upstate Fighting and this community were founded on 3D fighting games. From Soul Calibur 2 to Tekken 5:DR this community was alive and well. Many of the players today that you play against in tournaments evolved from these scenes. Legendary moments like Bronson Tran coming up to play all of Upstate or Brian H driving all the way from NJ to give Upstate a taste of what it was like to fight the best on the East Coast. Tekken 5 Regional’s, Soul Calibur World’s, not to mention the numerous top finishes at many major tournaments. Upstate’s 3D arcade scene was a true Arcade environment, which is why so many of those players are successful today and Tekken is what we are known for. We have some of the best players on the Coast and hell the country right here. All forged in a hardcore arcade scene where people had fun and put it all on the line every time they played. The Tekken community might not get much love at those local tournaments these days but with out it, Upstate Fighting and the rest of the community would not exist.
So that leads me to the point of this article. I want to revive the “Arcade” scene in Central New York. I want to do it so damn bad, I want it more than almost anything. I’m willing to blow lots of my own money to make it happen too. I’m not stupid though, I need to know I have the community’s support be fore I can do anything.
Plans are currently in the works to bring a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Arcade Cabinet to Upstate New York. We would be one of the very few places to have one in all of the United States. If we do not have a strong community to support this game however it will mean nothing. It will be a giant waste of time and a huge financial strain on Upstate Fighting.
What I am asking you, the Upstate Fighting community is this. If we go out and bring you a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will you show up and play? I don’t mean once a month, that will not sustain a machine like that. What I am asking is at 50 cents a game will you drive to Syracuse and learn this game, participate in tournaments, and help grow a strong arcade culture around it!? We want your support, we want to do this, but we need to know the community is behind us. We can’t have a bunch of people say yes and then flake out and never show to play on the cabinet. However if we do get the support necessary for this cabinet we could make Upstate New York a top 3 or better Tekken community in all of the United States. We could hold SBO qualifiers right here in Upstate New York if we get this machine. SBO quals in your own backyard, imagine that! So will you get together on Saturdays or Fridays, whenever, and come and play Tag if we get it? Will you quarter up? Will you play Death Matches? Will you support?!
If this is a success and we are also interested in bringing even more Japanese Arcade machines to CNY and build an even stronger bigger Arcade community but it all starts here and we need the community’s help to do it!
Please use the comments below and tell us if you are willing to support. This is important to me the most, so if you guys could give me lots of feed back I’d appreciate it.
Thank you all and Good Night.
The Best Things In Life Are Free
So lets look at some awesome Cheap or ( Torrent available ) Games that you could relax take a brake from the competitive scene and just nerd out on. Today we will be looking at Cortex Command, Faster Then Light, and Prison Architect.
Available on Steam, ( or other less legal ways to download ) Cortex Command is a Genius 2d Pixel-y Real-Time Tactical / Strategy game.
Point of the game? Take over the world and kill the enemy teams brain. Each Team plays a different Race, Each race with its pros and cons. You start with some money, A brain. Your first job is to secure a planet for yourself. On the main screen each team chooses which territory they will attack and how much money they will spend to do so. When everyone turn is done the battles commence. You can end up in a crazy action packed game with 3 others teams trying to eliminate you.
The game plays a lot like Worms, accept there are no turns during combat, its real time and you control your team with basic actions, You can call down more troops to fight, or to mine gold. you can set them to mine, patrol, attack enemy Brain. You call down for support and have a large variate of ways to destroy the enemy. Its a single player or splitscreen game.
Cons There is no Online multilayer, its very new and riddled with bugs, (Since the last time i played) and there are issues that need to be addressed during end game which prevent the losing team to ever be able to catch up.
It is a must play game and if you want to support them by buying the game on steam, Go for it! But in its current buggy state i am waiting before I invest
Faster Then Light
This game is quite simple compared to Cortex Command but ends in a way more frustrating and hard play through. You are the captain of a ship behind enemy lines and you have information that can destroy then imperial fleet. Your Mission is to fly all the way back to the rebel sector and deliver the news. The hole game your running from a deadly force in your ship. You ship has its health and a shield. If your hull is destroyed you lose, if you run out of fuel, you lose, if all your crewmen die... you guessed it... YOU LOSE. There are many ships to unlock that makes you play the game in a hole different style. Your starting ship is the basic generic ship. You use lazers and missiles to get to the end. But you unlock stealth ships that avoid all conflicts, or ships completely manned by robots, and defended by flying droids, and ounce you do that you can switch it to "Hard" mode. As if the normal mode wasn't hard enough... Hard More is Impossible! Lots of headaches but also make you want to win that much more. Games are fairly quick and it keeps your score so you can compete against your friends scores.
Last but not least, Prison Architect Alpha. Yes it is in alpha so expect it to be broken! To sum it up quickly... Prison Tycoon. Build a prison that can hold inmates. keep them tamed, don't let them escape, and try and avoid your prison being burned down to the ground. Its fun, there is a slight learning curve at the beginning of the game, but a quick youtube tutorial on how to most effectively set up your prison will get you on the right track. If you like the tycoon type games, then definitely give this game a look.
More Cheap/Free to PLay Games coming soon, let me know what you think about the games, or if you have any FTP games of your own you'd like to share Hit Me Up.
There are two types of gamers in an FPS: Those that aim to kill, and those that aim to win. Neither are toxic to the FPS community.
While enjoying myself on the glorious game that is Medal of Honor: Warfighter I encountered a teammate who refused to play the objective. For the duration of the round, he was being flamed (quite hard) by the rest of our team which prompted me to investigate. Are his or her intentions good/helpful in nature? Are they positioning themselves in an area that could be of help to the team now or in the future? Are they generally contributing? All of these are questions you should ask yourself if there is a toxic player in question. In the mentioned player's case, they were not the least bit toxic. In fact, they were quite helpful. Oh, and by the way, they didn't make a single attempt to "play" the objective throughout the whole match.
In my early days of gaming, I recall raging at the first hint of a teammate pretending to be ignorant of the objective. Raging is far more toxic that being, what some gamers refer to as, a "slayer". As with any other genre, first person shooters have roles that need to be filled, but are not necessarily required. For instance, the sniper is a class aimed at achieving nothing but kills and thus it's the first player class to catch flak. The sniper should be engaging enemies at medium-long distances, preferably picking off important targets such as a player who is defusing/arming at bomb. While some may complain that the sniper is not contributing to the team, the sniper is indirectly affecting the outcome of the game. It is essentially the Butterfly Effect on a smaller scale. As a human, the sniper may grow antsy and look away from the objective for a moment. Perhaps their looking away allowed the enemy to plant the bomb. Perhaps their looking the other direction allowed an enemy player to sneak up on them and ultimately killing them. Anything can happen. That is just the nature of an objective based game. Unfortunately, players accuse others of being a blight on the team when really it is coincidence, itself, that they should be blaming. Of course, other outcomes may occur such as the sniper staring at the bombsite, but misses his shots. I could go on as the list is never ending. What makes a sniper a toxic player then? As a sniper, it is all about positioning. It would generally be considered toxic if the sniper is in a position where they are not able to affect the outcome much at all: i.e. laying prone in a bush that is quite a distance away from the actual objective. All in all, racking up kills helps the team by reducing the resistance that the enemy team provides. Though, generally, a team mainly consisting of kill focused players is more than likely to lose.
I'm sure we are all aware at how beneficial it can be to have objective minded teammates, but what about the downsides? Let's say that the defending team is camping crucial approaches to the objectives, and doing a damn fine job at it. Your team (the attackers) is comprised of mostly objective focused players who's style of play highlights running into battle and trying their hardest to plant the bomb (or capture the flag, etc.). I hate to break it to you, but things aren't going to end so well for your team if the opposing force is destroying you left and right until your forces are depleted. Your team's style of play essentially cost you the game as you weren't using the most cautious of strategies. The important thing to understand here is that, while being a downside of having more of an objective minded team, this isn't necessarily toxic. It's more unfortunate if anything. Still, your team didn't win. That's what matters (to most).
Finding a balance between playing the objective and killing enemies is the ideal style of play. I do understand that some of you may be resistant to changing your playing style so this statement can be applied to either yourself, the player, or to the entire team. Overall, I believe that having a mix of the two is the best way to go. The slayers are there to thin the enemy's numbers, while the objective junkies are there to do the dirty work. In the end, the two roles benefit from the other's existence.
With that being said, let's not be so hasty in focusing our rage towards other players who are not only enjoying themselves, but are also contributing to the best of their ability.
TOP 5 SUPPORTS THIS WEEK
As far as solo que goes, these are the FOTM support champs. All five of these champs are strong picks, especially since all of them have some form of stun, slow, or knock up. Taric, Nunu, Blitz, and Leona are also considered tanky champs. Currently, the meta regarding supports seems to be aggressive over passive lanes. For example, Soraka's average win rate is 48%. Our number one support, Taric, sports a 54% win rate on average. Needless to say, not all supports are made equal, but there are definitely reasons as to why these 5 champs are so strong right now.
TARIC: Honestly, I think people have underestimated Taric in the past few months, myself included. His Shatter is just ridiculous throughout the entire game. 2v2ing is much easier when you can stun an enemy and then reduce their armor whilst your AD Carry rips them a new one. Unlike Nunu, Blitz, and Leona he also has a heal. Not only can you out damage your opponents, you can also out sustain them if they're running a support without a heal. Overall Taric is a very strong champ and is deserving of his #1 spot.
NUNU: As of late we've been seeing Nunu jungle far more than support, but he's still a strong pick for your bot lane as well. His Blood Boil's low cost allows you to spam it on your AD Carry from the get go. In other words, you and your AD Carry should have the advantage in lane . His Ice Blast is also great for engaging and disengaging. A 25% slow over 4 seconds can be a life saver. Although it's rare for his ulti to go off in full, the slow alone makes it a huge terror, especially if you catch a group of enemies in the jungle. In most cases you'll be able to force some flashes. Although he can't heal his lane partner, the amount of utility he provides makes him a fearsome support, especially if your lane partner has a lot of range like Caitlyn.
SONA: The nerfs hit her pretty hard. Her starting armor is pitiful at best and she melts easily in team fights if your positioning is slightly off. Personally, I consider her a high risk high reward champ, if only because she's so dependent on landing ultis. Even with the nerfs, however, her poke is still godlike. Since she's ranged, you can usually still manage to harass in lane without much trouble. Her Power Chord and Hymn of Valor will chunk the enemy enemy AD Carry at low levels. Her Song of Celerity also makes it hard for the enemy's ganks to be successful, especially if you use Tempo to slow an opponent. Sona's still a very strong pick, you just have to make sure that your positioning isn't off.
BLITZKRANK: With a 64% ban rate, it's unlikely that you'll get to play him often, but he's a blast to play whenever he's not. His grabs can make nearly any comp an invade comp. It's called the God Hand for a reason. Also, you have a knock up as well as a silence. Blitz is probably the funnest support, mainly because you can carry games if you play him well. Lastly, his passive is super OP. Even if you go balls deep, you can still get out alive because of your shield. It's like having barrier only more convenient.
LEONA: Last but certainly not least is Leona. With her hard CC you can win lane for days. Plus, her Eclipse makes her a true terror in lane. If you know your limits, it's really hard to kill Leona. From level 2 and beyond you should be able to dominate lane and zone, especially if you can communicate well with your AD Carry. However, she's all about skill shots so you may want to practice a bit before playing her in ranked. Also, I've found that if you get behind with Leona, it's pretty easy for it to snowball in the wrong direction. You should be fine if you and your AD Carry are on the same page, but if you're tower diving whilst your AD Carry is picking his nose and CSing, that'll definitely be a problem.
Well guys, here I am again, with a post slighty different that the one I had been preparing. But I just had a revelation and I want to work with it.
There's no question that eSports is growing, and there's several people and companies to praise on that, but I feel that from that maturity the eSports scene has reached, very few players have actually grown with it.
The Main Goal of Every Gamer.
Let's face it, every single one of us (yes, me too) dream of that amazing skill and cutthroat competition, and yet there's very few people that will actually reach that, alongside that there's the development you get throughout playing the actual game, which most people don't take into consideration, most people think that the way they add value to a game is by being good, getting sponsors and travel around the world showing people how awesome they are at the game.
That may be a great goal to strive for, but when it comes to adding value to eSports, it does naught, as eSports is an entity, and your personal growth won't help it in any way.
My Experience in eSports.
Over the years, I've played almost every competitive title out there, and I've competed and won several online/offline tournaments. People who know me describe me as awfully competitive, and sharp as a razor, which is where I got my name. I started very young playing FPS Games, Doom, Quake, and several others.
The main title I started competing on was Quake 2, in which with only 16 years old I let a team (TTS) to winning several big tournaments, the web site doesn't exist anymore, and sadly, none of my teammates, since they all were older than I was. Then I moved onto Quake 3, with not that much success. So I sought out for new heights.
It was then when I found MMORPG. Though it lacks actual prize money tournaments, there's still a lot of competition in them, from skill builds, to gear builds, to Guilds, and as we all now, every MMORPG title has PvP and some sort of Raid-Based Clan War. This was very appealing to me as it challenged me to not only just grow skill in a game, but to actually grow actual knowledge of it. And over the years I played a lot of RPGs. (L2, Diablo 2, RO, etc..)
How did I have time for all of this? Well, I'm an only child, and my mom was a single parent, so you can tell I was kinda spoiled. Most of my time I spent it playing games or doing sports, I had no real interest in school but I never did bad at it either.
At 21(2010), with a promising career in Hockey, I was diagnosed with a loose bone fragment on my right knee that could potentially get incrusted in my knee and turn into a serious injury. At first I didn't care, but over time I started feeling more and more pain after practice, so I decided to call it quits.
After that I really got into gaming, but I lacked the support of a team to go to major tournaments, and here in South America major tournaments didn't really started happening until 2011. Then, at the beggining of 2011, I discovered Starcraft 2, and I was amazed to see how different it was from Brood War, which I had played competitively, but there weren't really that many tournaments here, and online ones were just dominated by A+ people.
I then decided to star playing starcraft 2, not with a competitive aim, but just for fun. I failed miserably. With my 100th Position in Bronze League Secured thanks to a solid 15 Game Loss Streak. I was ready to say "This game is stupid" and just throw it away. But something in me told me I could go on, that I didn't have to give up, for I had given up something important to me once.
Then I came across the GSL, I loved how the players could do amazing skills, and knew the game, so I knew my failure wasn't mechanical, it came from knowledge, so I started practicing until I eventually got better, reaching Masters League on the Latin American server. I started doing some casting back then, and I eventually became really good, but that's another story. After a good result in WCG 2011 I joined team EliteGaming, seeded mainly in Dominican Republic, where I met a lot of nice people and further developed my skills as I moved onto the NA server, where I hit Diamond.
I played a long time with them, but I had this feeling something was missing, that I needed the focus of a team to be something else than just playing games and getting sponsorships. Then I met vVv Astro while doing a playhem tournament, who told me about vVv Gaming and how amazing it was to be a part of it, so I decided to give it a try, and well, I gotta say I couldn't be happier, I'm exactly where I want to be right now, for vVv Gaming has helped me realize the goals I have for eSports and life.
My Views on the Current eSports Scene
Currently, there's a lot of things going on with eSports, mainly, it's starting to grow into something massive, that is drawing a lot of people, but to actually capitalize on this success, we need to have people adding value to ride on it's success. What do I mean by this? It means that just being good or streaming a lot of games isn't going to cut it. We need to start doing much more, and generate a lot of eSports related content, to intensify the growth that the eSports scene has taken.
I believe organizations like Riot Games, Naughty Dog, and vVv Gaming have taken this first step into the future of eSports, and thus stand at the pinnacle of the industry right now. There are several other companies, of course, that are starting to work towards achieving this same goals. It's all healthy competition that makes everyone stronger.
Currently there are very few players actually concerned about the development of the eSports Scene, and some conscience needs to be developed on this aspect, that way, by having more people adding value to the scene instead of just playing, we'll have a much richer SC2 community.
But I'm just a nobody, how can someone like me add value to eSports if I'm not good?
Well, you're lying to yourself, nobody's a nobody, and there are always ways for you to add value to the scene, whether it is by being a passionate member of a community, by creating content, or you can even develop your own eSports associated brand, it's all about that something that you have that you're passionate about, and see how can you utilize it to bring value to eSports.
You're a good writer? Make a blog and let people know how awesome your game is. Maybe you're a very friendly person, try to get people involved with eSports. It's all about inspiring the followers. And there's an endless amount of ways that add value, just look for the one that works for you!
My Thoughts on the Future.
Up until today, I had a fairly decent vision of what I wanted to do, and I knew all of them aligned with my interests, but thanks to my dear soon-to-be former community manager, vVv SugarBear, I finally realized where I want my place to be at. I'm going to develop an eSports career, hopefully making it to pro level, but always looking back at the steps I'm taking to make sure I'm not only growing by myself, but helping the eSports community grow along with it.
I want to leave my mark in eSports, as have several others before me, and I'll work as hard as I can to do so. I am sure now that I want to work along the lines of Marketing and Management, and for that I will pursue my goals through a life on eSports.
There's a long way for me to go, and there's a lot to be learned, enjoyed, suffered, etc.. along the way, but no matter how things turn out. I'll always be thankful to vVv Gaming for helping me realize my ideals, and for giving me the time and space needed to work on them.
So a big shoutout to the vVv Community, you guys have a place in my heart now, and you have my word that I'll bring you guys great things.
Without further ado, my best wishes to all my readers as well, for without you, I wouldn't have readers at all. (Seriously. Haha)
-Matthew 'vVv Razor' Fernandez.
We've been doing the new application thing for a while now, and from everything I've seen so far it's been a huge success. Members are more engaged on our forum, people are helping each other learn how do to streaming and casting, people are writing blogs, mumble is thriving, etc.
Not only do we keep attracting people, but we've attracted some of the best people I've seen in vVv since I've joined, with a lot of members doing stellar work for us. I've also noticed a consistent improvement in the applicants we have applying to vVv, with something of a casting think-tank forming between Squall, Razor, SonTran, Fluffy, TheDuke, and a few others. It's great seeing what can happen when building a community of people passionate about their interests and how those people interact to do great things!
Looking back I can see that there wasn't really any way for us to have predicted how the eSports scene would evolve after the release of SC2, which is what I attribute to our old app process staying around for so long. A part of the reason why our SC2 reputation isn't what it could be is that people saw the old app process as just a way for vVv to con people into mindlessly retweeting news and flooding forums with bump posts whenever we went live with something. I feel we've evolved a lot from that point and are in a much better position to take advantage of the growth of LoL as we expand into that scene.
A major flaw in the old system was that people new to twitter would simply create new accounts and follow everyone in vVv, retweeting the same news to the same people who were retweeting the same news at them. By and large, this wasn't a successful way to add value to vVv, and many applicants had a difficult time learning to use social media, even with extensive guidance. I think that when you can choose a way to add value, especially when it's something you're passionate about, that you are much more likely to succeed and will need far less guidance to do so.
This new method also opens up new opportunities for people who previously would've added value to vVv through a variety of means, but weren't keen on the social media aspect. This allows us to better stay true to being the community where the best people come to share the best ideas possible. This also adds to the list of ways our community is diverse, as we now include the method by which each member adds value as a measure of diversity.
Going forward, I want to take full advantage of our application process by steering people toward adding value in ways they can be passionate about. Part of this will also involve reaching out to some of our older members in order to see how they want to add value under the new system. Right now we're in a transition period where there's a mix of members who applied under the old and new system. In order to best support everyone and make sure we're on the same page, we need to make sure that our older members are only social media experts if that is where their passion lies
In the future I'd like to see a new category for ways to add value, which would be anything that an applicant is passionate about that can be applied to vVv. I'd really like the applicants to "sell" their passion, so to speak, and really take this idea to the next level. Specifically, I think a lot of people have been applying under the socialite and game guru roles, and I'm concerned that for many people that these aren't their actual passions, but just the least effort required to join.
In light of that, I'll be working on releasing some guides for each method of adding value, to more clearly define what we are looking for in each category. I'd also like to tie the Experience Initiative project in with our application process somehow, for those aspiring to be professional gamers. The first guides you can expect me to post will be for Game Gurus, Socialites, and those wishing to pursue a professional career as a gamer through EI. These should all be out in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes open for them.
In closing I just want to ask the community for your thoughts on the application process and the things I've put here. Any feedback is welcome and appreciated
Hokey doods, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do this, but it's easier to ask for forgiveness then it is to ask for permission, so if I'm not suppose to write a blog, the Admins can just delete it, so here we go!
My name is Jared Scruggs, I'm a 20 year old Starcraft 2 player, and I'm a Masters Terran player on Aspire team #2. I decided to start writing a blog here, because I often times find myself just kid of sitting, leaning back in my chair and just kind of reflect on my life and competitive gaming, so I figure I'd write my thoughts down somewhere for future generations of young people to read and carry on about how I was a philosopher way ahead of my time..... I think it will also help fill in the commercial time while I'm watching GSL code S :3.
So, what can we expect to read from this blog?..... I don't really know exactly...... I play a lot of SC2, so it's pretty safe to assume that most of this will be revolving around SC2, but I'm also known to venture into other games, so we might hear some silly antics from there every now and then. But as I said, it'll mostly be about my day to day/ week to week life about trying to become a Pro-level starcraft player, so I guess I'll just kind of jump right into it.
I started following SC2 back in early 2010. I was at the time a LoL player, but never got higher then 1300 ELO, and never really tried to improve or learn new champions, so I grew bored of LoL pretty quickly. At the time, I lived out of my home state (Arizona) and was going to school in Utah. I played soccer at a really competitive level all through high school, and was offered a walk on spot at a small Division 2 school in St George, Utah called Dixie State College (To this day I've met 1 person who know about the school, and that was today at the grocery store). The day after I commited to DSC, I broke my foot at a LAN party I was having with 4 of my best friends, so I couldn't even practice in preseason training, and went from being behind as a walk on, to being WAAAAAY behind by the time my foot healed.
I also should probably mention, I played goalkeeper, and at competitive level, it's not like when you play in youth league, where you switch off playing goalkeeper. You find out who your best goalkeeper is, and you play all game, every game, unless you get hurt, so me not being able to train and prove myself basically ment that I wasn't going to be the starter at the beginning of the season, so I was never going to play, unless the guy ahead of me suffered a season ending injury (which didn't happen). I'm hyper competitive and need an outlet for that competitiveness, and sense I'd pretty much practice everyday, and sit on the bench every game, I had no real outlet. So I decided to start playing SC2.
I've played computer games for most of my life, but again, never seriously, so I was pretty much the lowest of low level players when I started. I was placed into Bronze, I did the good ole' 3 rax stim+combat shield timinged all the way to Gold, and then I realized that it wasn't really working anymore, so I started branching out my play to 2 base play which got me to platinum, then three base play which got me to diamond, then just refined my play and go masters. So as you read this, it sounds like this process took maybe 3-4 months? I was Platinum until the 4th season, and I was diamond until 2 seasons ago, so I haven't been decent at the game for a super long time.
I moved back to Arizona after just 1 year in Utah. I moved there pretty much the sole purpose of playing soccer, and I wasn't really doing that, and wasn't going to be doing that, so I didn't really have a reason to be there anymore, so I moved back to Arizona. I've been living with my Dad for the last 2 years while going to community college. I'm considering taking a year off though to try and become a high level player, to a point where I can try and make a living off of Starcraft.
I can see how a lot of people might think that is a really bad idea, but the one thing that I will never let my self do, is live a life I'm not happy with. The only reason why I still have no declared major, is because I've considered multiple majors, and taken entry level courses for said majors, and nothing really strikes a cord with me. So basically, I'm paying like 1.5k/ semester, and not making any progess towards anything. Along with being super competitive, I also hate feeling that I'm doing work for nothing, and right now that's how I feel every single day I'm in class. I basically go to class to sit, watching the clock, until I can go home and play Starcraft,
I see other people that make a living off of playing starcraft and I think, "Well shit, they're making money doing something I wanna do... What do that have that I don't?" Right now, I think it's mostly the commitment. I don't mean the willingness to play 30-50 games a day, but with the school and trying to do that, I may only get 5 games that actually help me improve before my brain turns off and I'm no longer improving. I think if I could fully commit myself t o playing and improving, I'd say it'd take my 6 months to get to a point where I'd feel comfortable competing with the best, and maybe another 6 to actually put those skills to use, and become a household name in the community.
So now, why I'm not doing it. Well, it's pretty much at the point down to 1 hinge. Whether or not my Dad will let me. He pay for my schooling, he feeds me and houses me completely for free, and has been nothing but supportive of me for my entire life. He knows the extent of my commitment to Esports, and he actually really supports the idea of Esports,as an industry (He drove the 6 hours with me to IPL4, and although he spent some time to himself reading and seeing a show, he watched most of championship Sunday and actually really enjoyed it.) He and I have talked a lot of career paths, and kind of the journey he took, and one thing that he told me that has kind of stuck with me is, "When I was your age, that job I do now didn't even exist, so who are we to know what opportunities there will be even in 5 years." (He's a satellite communications engineer, and is 66) So I might start my year as a player, and end it as caster or something else, I don't really know where I'll end up, but I think that me committing all of my time to it is the right place to start.
I guess I'll kind of wrap up my blog here. I think the biggest thing hold me back right now is just the fear that my Dad will say no, and that I need to stay in school, and once I'm making my own money, I can do whatever I want, although I doubt that will happen. It pretty much just comes down to me griowing a set of balls and just kind of doing it.
So ya, that's all for now. I'll probably write up a little speech or something and present it to him and see what he thinks. That will probably be the topic of my next block.
So until then, I love you all and be safe <3
(This guide is primarily for people that are trying to get above the 1250 milestone)
Oh CRAP I lost my first ranked game of the season.
Yesterday, like almost every other person super obsessed about League Of Legends, started my day by waking up and going to school. On the school bus, I thought to myself, "MAN! TODAY'S THE DAY OF THE NEW SEASON. OH MER GERD GOING TO GET 2000 ELO!!! I CAN DO IT, ITS NOT THAT HARD, JUST WIN 10 GAMES AND LOSE 0 AWWW YEAH!" During school, all I could think to myself would be how ready I was. First comes math. I fell asleep and day dreamed about me at the Season 3 finals.
"And the BEST PLAYER OF TEAM vVv IS: GEORGE, WITH HIS AWESOME SKILLS AND GAMEPLAY THROUGHOUT THE SEASON!" said the announcer.
"Thank you, thank you. I just wanted to tell everyone that they can do it too!" I replied taking all pride and glory. The bell rang and by now I amm super pumped to get home, jump on my computer, and become the highest ranked player of LoL. Now comes lunch, and I'm sitting there eating my pizza. I took a bite out of my lunch and in my head goes, "CHOMP. CHO'GATH PENTA-KILL GG! Hm, maybe I'll Cho'gath for my first ranked?" I feel like I was laughing so hard my friends now think I'm mental for sitting there and laughing to myself like a madman.
Finally, it’s dismissal, and by now I'm nearly pooping myself of excitement (what a comparison right?). I get on the bus and can’t sit still, "AHH C'MON BUS RIDE HURRY UP." I finally get home and I rush to my computer. It seemed like forever before it turned on and finally, the word “welcome” printed in the middle of my screen. Now, I open the “Play League Of Legends” launcher and I stare at the screen. This is what I’ve been waiting for the entire day. When I finally finish patching and log in, I get into Queue. “A match has been found!” ACCEPT. Now I’m in champion select. I’m friendly to my team and play everything like I normally do. I pick Ezreal due to the fact I felt comfortable with playing him. Everyone else picked someone normal except for… the last guy. “I’m support? Okay…” BAM! INSTALOCK SUPPORT HEIMERDINGER. “Alright I can still carry this” I thought to myself. It turns out this Heimerdinger was a feeder, and a huge troll. I lost my first game. Because the Heimerdinger’s end score was 2-13-1. Oh well :/
I started off bad but right now I’m in the 1400s because it was only one ranked game! I don’t get worked up over a single ranked game and just play regularly with my next ranked games making sure I don’t make the same mistakes again.
In ranked, you have to be able to play EVERY role. You cannot go into a ranked champion select and scream, “MID, ADC.” You have to be comfortable with every role and being able to play it well. If you can’t play a role well enough, go into normal games and practice that role! Always expect your team to be complete idiots and that requires you to play a role of their choice. Practice doesn’t make perfect but it’ll get you better! Any role can carry a ranked game and I mean it. So many people tell me that they can’t carry just because they play a lot of support. A good support will always win bot lane with a decent AD carry. A good jungler will always gank well and get the lanes snowballed. A good mid will always out play their opponent. A good ADC will always have great positioning and not get caught easily. A good top will always win a 1v1 at top and beat them.
But George, it’s my teammates fault!
In ranked, it is never your team’s fault unless it’s completely obvious including trolling. I’m not talking about some guy that’s 0-5 or just playing stupid but VERY noticeably trolling/failing. I’m talking about a person that could be 0-10 that’s not communicating, building random items, and assisting the enemy team. Don’t blame a person on your team that’s just feeding because feeding and trolling are two different things. You can always get a person who’s doing bad to start doing good. Be nice to your team! Never yell at your teammates. League Of Legends is about TEAMWORK. Teamwork does not form by saying “F*** YOUR MOM” it forms by saying “Alright, you’re not doing the best but I’ll help you and it’s all good.” After every game, always ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?” Many people have trouble identifying the trouble they have during the game but it is ALWAYS possible to identify a mistake you have made in a game. Whether it’s a time where you got caught or a time you were out of position or even just you missing a creep in lane. Being flawless is impossible.
Never rage in a ranked. Don’t get first blooded and say “I’m done! This game sucks” because that won’t help. The key to the game is to cooperate with each other. Being frustrated will only make you play sloppily. Always stay calm and do things that make sense to you. If something that makes sense to you includes 1v5ing as an AD carry just because you have a few kills, you are sadly mistaken.
Farm Farm FARM and gold per fives…
Farming is a key to this game. You have to be in lane and last hit ALL of the minions (excluding supports) 200 farm gives 4420 gold to the player alone. Plus the timer, and everything else if you’re 4420 gold ahead of your opponent, you’ll have more items thus leading to better gameplay and carrying. With 4420 gold you can buy a Tri-Force or an Infinity Edge or a Frozen Mallet, Deathcap, the list goes on. Work on your last hitting and never auto attack because you will push the lane which increases the chances of your lane being ganked by the enemy jungler and other lanes. If you are top, still try to get the gold per 5 items such as “Philo stone, Heart of Gold, etc…” even if you are farmed enough or think you have enough farmed because they help a ton! If you are mid, try to get a “Kage’s lucky pick” because it also helps a lot.
This paper was also for my English Composition 2 class. I was supposed to compose a more elaborate argument.
Warning: This is a lot of reading.
The Learning and Pro-Social Benefits of Video Game Play
“Video games have become increasingly popular in the USA. According to information available in a report that was published by the Entertainment Software Association ‘68% of American households play computer or video games’”. This quote, from “A Survey of Video Game Players in a Public, Urban Research University” by Manuel Vilchez, shows the popularity of video games through real-world statistics. Since the dawn of video games in the late 1940’s, there has been research to seek out both the beneficial and harmful effects of video game play. With the increasing popularity of video games in society, many people attribute video games to the many world issues such as diabetes, obesity, social problems, learning disorders, decreased attention spans, and many other medical concerns. People simply use video games as a scapegoat because some gamers do suffer with these issues. Society views most, if not all, gamers as dysfunctional members of society. Contrary to public opinion, many gamers are beneficial and functional members of society. Gamers throughout the world are trying to change society’s view of the average gamer. To gamers, video games are more than just games, they are our passion and we strive to show society how beneficial they are. Where others turn to alcohol and other drugs to “solve” or get away from their problems, gamers turn to video games. In my opinion this is the safer alternative. I personally feel that video games are my escape from this crazy and busy world we live in. “Many children and adolescents have a certain amount of discretionary or free time. The majority of free time is spent on non-productive pursuits such as TV-viewing and video game playing which become problematic when they consume too much time.” I completely agree with the part in this quote from “Video Game Playing and Academic Performance in College Students,” by Stephen R. Burgess about TV-viewing. TV-viewing is very non-productive but that is a whole different argument in itself. I personally do not agree with the part about video game playing. Contrary to public opinion, there are many benefits to the playing of video games. Video games teach the player to be an expert at multi-tasking, attentiveness and creativity. I also personally benefitted through playing video games in many ways. I have learned to be more outgoing and talkative both in the subject of video games and in many other subjects. Video games are very beneficial because they can be used to improve social and learning skills.
“As video games become more prevalent, concerns are also being expressed about potential detrimental relationships between video game play and school performance.” This quote, from “Video Game Playing and Academic Performance in College Students” by Stephen R. Burgess, shows how video games are being blamed for decreased academic performance. This is due to the fact that, in many studies, video game players were more likely to choose playing a video game over doing homework. I mean, honestly, what person would want to do homework over playing a fun-filled video game? These studies also cannot be completely accurate because it is impossible to judge even half of the total amount of people that play video games worldwide. Contrary to the study’s findings, there are many intelligent gamers. I have personally experienced the fact that most of the students with higher GPA’s in high school and college are the more avid video game players. I personally think that this is because these students have busier lives than the average student. I think video games give these smarter students a means to escape from their busy lives and enjoy their life. Personally, if I did not have video games, I would probably be in an insane asylum. Video games keep me sane and control my anger issues. Contrary to society’s belief, video games can be a very good thing for those who play them. Society also views gamers as the unsocial people who just sit around and play video games all day. This is actually the exact opposite of reality. Gamers are some of the most outgoing and sociable people in society. They are constantly chatting online and on social media cites (such as Twitter and Facebook) about games and about their every-day lives. There are also both local and national gaming tournaments and conventions that bring hundreds of thousands of gamers together to discuss and play their favorite video games. Events such as E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) and MLG (Major League Gaming) are growing in popularity at a constantly increasing rate. Last year MLG Dallas had over three million online views and over two-hundred thousand participants and spectators. E3 is broadcasted on networks such as ESPN, MTV, G4TV, and Spike.TV. These events are in no means small and are some of the biggest conventions held in the United States each year. In South Korea, the games Starcraft and League of Legends have grown so much in popularity that they are shown on national television stations. I firmly believe these statements definitely do not support the idea that gamers are unsocial. Even the average gamer is sociable in the aspect that they play games with their friends (either online or offline) and speak to their friends and family about the games they are playing. In my life, games have actually made me a more sociable person. Before I started playing video games, I was a very shy child. I did not have very many friends and I normally kept to myself. Through video games I have become very outgoing and talkative. Through playing video games online and participating in discussions about video games, I learned to be social. I use my own life as a concrete example of why games are pro-social.
I strongly believe that video games improve the learning skills of those who play them. Video games are an essential part of my life. I have been playing video games since I was old enough to hold a controller. I believe video games have improved my learning ability. Video games challenge me to learn quickly and adapt my knowledge to overcome an obstacle. Problem solving video games have taught me to be able to access many different areas of my brain to find the information necessary to complete the task. Video games also require the player to memorize multiple different sequences and visual locations that are used regularly throughout the game. The memorization aspect of certain games requires the player to memorize to the point of being able to access the correct information at a moment’s notice. Some games also require the player to convert the memory into “muscle memory” to allow the player execute certain sequences in mere seconds. I have also personally learned about real-life concepts through playing video games. Through playing the game Starcraft II, I learned the concepts of micro and macro-economics. The game teaches the player to both conserve and spend their resources (money) wisely over time. Through playing the games in the Call of Duty series, I have learned many things about various wars and battles ranging from World War I to the present day war in the Middle-East. The Assassin’s Creed series has taught me many things about the life of the average individual in Renaissance and Post-Industrial Europe. From hand-eye coordination type memory to economics and history, video games have many teaching tools. Video games are also being investigated for a possible use as a teaching tool in he classroom. Martin Valcke, in his article “Students’ Perceptions about the Use of Video Games in the Classroom,” speaks about the students of this generation:
Video games are often regarded as promising teaching and learning tools for the 21st century… A growing number of authors believe that the new generation of students is fundamentally different from former generations, mostly because of changes in their media consumption patterns. Contemporary students – also referred to as “digital natives,” “the net generation,” “screenagers,” “millenials,” and even as the “gamer generation.” I have never experienced a world without ICT. They grow up with hypertexts, social networking programs and video games. Thus it is claimed that these students have gained specific technical skills, new ways of thinking, and different learning preferences, which require a new educational approach.
This quote explains why this generation is different, and therefore, they need to be taught in different ways. In his article, Valcke explains a study which he performed to determine what students would think about the use of video games in the classroom. His study did not completely prove that video games would be a beneficial use for learning. However, his study did show that “Experience has a direct impact on students’ preference for video games, and it also influences ease of use, learning opportunities and usefulness.” This study may not be a complete advocate for video games being used as a learning tool, but the study does show that those who play video games would be more apt to learning through video games in the classroom. The growing popularity of video games in every-day life will eventually lead to almost all of the world’s population playing video games. This point in the growth of video games will eventually lead to its mass use in the classroom setting. For example, at the University of Florida there is an honors course that uses the game Starcraft to teach economics. I have also personally experienced the use of video games in the classroom. In my government class in high school, the teacher brought us to the computer lab once a week and had us play certain video games relating the topics we were taught that week. I believe that this playing helped me grasp the concepts better. Feedback from other game-oriented students also showed their benefits from playing the games. The non-gamers in my class did not enjoy the games. They believed it was a waste of time and did not learn anything from the games. This could be due to the fact that they were not game-oriented, but I personally think it was more due to the fact that they did not like the teacher and the class. I believe that in the next few years, people will begin to understand the learning benefits of playing video games and see their potential beneficial use in the classroom.
The pro-social effects of video games are something that society never seems to grasp. Gamers are some of the most social people on the planet. “It has been repeatedly shown that priming by pro-social stimuli increases pro-social behavior. For example, participants who were primed with helping-related words were more likely to help someone pick up spilled pens…Playing a pro-social video game primes cognitive associative networks specifically related to pro-social behavior. These cognitive associations in turn may activate related behavior.” This quote from “Playing Prosocial Video Games Increases the Accessibility of Prosicial Thoughts” by Tobias Greitemeyer explains how the exposure of certain thoughts gives the person being exposed those same thoughts. This quote also shows how playing video games can actually cause one to access pro-social thoughts. Whether online or face-to-face, gamers are always discussing their favorite games. Online play also gives players the opportunity to play with other players around the world through the use of the internet. Online play allows the players to play cooperatively with players of similar interests. Playing online has become so popular that there are even tournaments that are played completely online for real-world cash prizes. With the growth of online gaming comes the creation of gaming organizations and communities. Gaming organizations give players the option of finding other people with similar mind-sets and interests on the topic of video games. Gaming organizations can have anywhere from five members to five thousand members. Within a gaming organization, the members talk about their favorite games and develop lifelong friendships. Through a gaming organization, a gamer can be exposed to a very wide diversity of people. Most gaming organizations are made up of people of different race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. I was personally blessed to be a part of a very prestigious gaming organization called vVv-Gaming. vVv-Gaming was like my second home. I found it very easy to make friends and to become a very active member. I always had someone to talk to about my favorite games. There were always members playing every game imaginable. You never had to play a game alone. Even if you were playing a single player game, there was always someone to talk to. Through vVv-Gaming I was able to become a very outgoing person. When I joined vVv-Gaming in 2008, I was a very shy individual. At the beginning, I was even afraid of talking to other members. Now I know almost every member by their first name and have made many friends around the world. I will admit that most of this interaction was online and may still be classified as unsocial by most of society. The next step in ones gaming social ladder is to actually go to a national gaming event and meet all of the people the gamer has spent countless hours speaking to online. The first event I attended was MLG (Major League Gaming) Nashville in 2010. Major League Gaming is a video game tournament event. The event was much bigger than I expected. I met and played against hundreds of players from many different parts of the country. At the event, I met a fellow vVv-Gaming member who would become one of my best friends. Every MLG event brings thousands of players and spectators to one location to watch and play their favorite games. Yes, there are even spectators to video game tournaments. Video game spectators are very much like sports fans. The spectators watch the games offline (live at the event) or online (through the TV or computer) and cheer for their favorite teams. Gaming is much like the NFL in the fact that the players are getting paid to play and win tournaments. Prizes for tournaments like MLG range from five to fifty thousand dollars. Many people around the world gather around computer screens to watch their favorite teams compete. All of these examples should advocate that gaming is in fact a very pro-social activity.
There are many social and learning benefits received by the playing of video games. Whether the player is playing the video game at home or in the classroom, they are learning. Eventually, video games will be used as a vital teaching tool in classrooms around the world. The world of video games gives the average gamer hundreds of opportunities to be sociable. Through online and offline play, gaming communities, and gaming events, the gamer has no reason to not be social. If society would see the many benefits of gaming, it would stop looking down on gamers. Over seventy percent of all American households play video games and yet society still uses video games as a scapegoat for violence and other negative thoughts they think people obtain from playing video games. The world also believes that video games “poison” the minds of the youth that play them. Hopefully the view will change when more studies are conducted to find the true capabilities and benefits of video games. As the growth of video games continues, the world will see the social and learning capabilities of video games.
Burgess, Stephen R., Steven Paul Stermer, and Melinda C.R. Burgess. "Video Game Playing And Academic Performance In College Students." College Student Journal 46.2 (2012): 376-387. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
Greitemeyer, Tobias, and Silvia Osswald. "Playing Prosocial Video Games Increases The Accessibility Of Prosocial Thoughts." Journal Of Social Psychology 151.2 (2011): 121- 128. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
James M. Boyle, et al. "A Systematic Literature Review Of Empirical Evidence On Computer Games And Serious Games." Computers & Education 59.2 (2012): 661-686. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
Valcke, Martin. “Students’ perceptions about the use of video games in the classroom,”
Computers & Education, Volume 54, Issue 4, May 2010, Pages 1145–1156.
Vilchez, M. “A Survey of Video Game Players In a Public, Urban Research University.” Educational Media International 47.4 (2010): 311-327. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
This is an essay I wrote for my English Composition 2 class where I was supposed to compose my own argument and support it.
Warning: It is quite lengthy.
Video Games are Beneficial?
The playing of video games is an ongoing issue in today’s society. Some say that video games can destroy and manipulate the minds of children and adults alike. Others argue that video games are actually beneficial. Video games have been scientifically proven to enhance hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking, attention, resource allocation, creativity, and teamwork. I am an advocate for the use of video games in everyday life. I can personally see how video games have enhanced many of my traits I use in my day-to-day life. I can attribute my social and academic successes in part to the amount of video games I play on a weekly basis. Video games have taught me to be a leader and have taught me to be more outgoing and talkative. Most of society views a gamer as an obese individual who sits stationary on a couch for a majority of the day. Like every profession and hobby, there are the extremists who fit this stereotype but most gamers are very outgoing individuals and are normal members of society. Many CEO’s and executives of top companies admit to playing an hour or so of games every day. They say that the playing helps them to get away from the stresses of work and of everyday life. Video games are beneficial because they improve the personal traits of multi-tasking, attentiveness, and creativity.
Through the playing of video games, the trait of multi-tasking can be improved. C. Green, in his article “The effect of action video game experience on task-switching,” best describes the importance of multi-tasking when he states, “Switching between tasks occurs regularly in day-to-day living, perhaps today more than ever, as improvements in technology allow increasingly more distinct tasks to be available on a single device. For instance, at any given time a computer user may be repeatedly switching between different programs.” This quote explains how important multi-tasking has become in society and how members of society use it every day. Green explains the certain elements present in action games that improve multi-tasking by saying, “Games in the action genre differ from those in alternative genres along several dimensions including the high velocity with which objects move, the presence of many objects that are only transiently visible (items that pop in and out of view), the degree of perceptual, cognitive, and motor load (the number of enemies to monitor at once, the number of possible actions, etc.), the amount of peripheral processing (items often first appear at the edges of the screen), and the level of spatial and temporal uncertainty (subjects cannot know exactly when or where objects will appear, thus requiring constant prediction and updating).” From personal experience I can say that this quote accurately describes the elements that are present in not only action games but in many other genres as well. I have personally experienced this improved level of multi-tasking training while playing the game Starcraft II. In this game, the player has to focus on performing multiple tasks at once. The player has to micro-manage his or her army and workers to perform tasks. The player also has to macro-manage their economy and resources. Starcraft II tests the player’s multi-tasking limits and improves them. The game forces the player to become aware of multiple factors at once and to manage the factors as well as accomplishing small goals throughout the game. I believe playing this game has greatly improved my multi-tasking skills. I now use these skills to help me complete day-to-day tasks. Video games not only improve the trait of multi-tasking but they also enhance the trait of attentiveness.
The personal trait of attentiveness is bettered by the playing of video games. Gabriele Gratton, in her article “Learning to multitask: Effects of video game practice on electrophysiological indices of attention and resource allocation,” explains why video games have become a method of improving attentiveness when she says, “Video games have recently received increased interest from cognitive researchers, both as a model for the learning of complex tasks and as a means to examine training and transfer of skills. As video games can approach real-life tasks in terms of complexity, they generate an ideal test bed for examining attention control functions when several tasks have to be performed concurrently.” This quote explains how video games have become important to researchers to help examine attention control. In Gratton’s study, she concluded that video games improve the attentiveness trait of the players. I can personally affirm this claim in saying that video games help give me insight into solving real world problems and help me to stay attentive while doing so. While playing the game Call of Duty, I am at my highest attention level. I have to constantly be aware of my surroundings and of the location of my teammates and enemies. I believe this level of attentiveness stays with me outside of playing as well. Video games keep the player attentive to the point that they are “on the edge of their seat” while playing. If the player is not paying attention during a game they could lose the game or their in-game character could die. The level of attentiveness required in playing video games teaches the players to pay better attention in out-of-game circumstances. I find it easier to pay attention in longer classes and lectures while in school. I have also found it easier to stay in attention of my surroundings during physical activities. The levels of attentiveness achieved and required in the playing of video games improve the player’s personal trait of attentiveness. The playing of video games not only enhances the trait of attentiveness but it also amplifies the personal trait of creativity.
Through the playing of videogames, the player’s creativity is heightened. “The appeal of games is obvious. They immediately engage learners and bring a fun element to learning called ‘‘fun in doing’ leading to creative problem-solving.” This quote, from Elizabeth Hutton’s article “Can Video Games Enhance Creativity? Effects of Emotion Generated by Dance Dance Revolution,” states why video games appeal to the many millions of those who already play them. I have personally experienced this sense of creative problem-solving while playing the game Portal. Portal introduces to players a variety of different problems with no parameters or limits on how to conquer them. My creativity is tested and expanded while playing Portal. “When one is highly aroused by playing a game, the energy acts as a catalyst, and the happy mood provides the encouragement to be creative. A negative mood, especially under conditions of low arousal, signals a different kind of energy—one that makes a person more analytical, which is also helpful for creativity.” In this quote, Hutton states that no matter what mood the player is experiencing, the creativity arousal is present. This quote also shows how creativity can and will be improved by playing video games. I personally can affirm what Hutton has stated in the above quote. I have experienced this sense of heightened creativity while playing Portal when I was upbeat and while I was unhappy. Video games are an outlet from the outside world as well as a workout for one’s creative side of the brain. Playing video games does indeed strengthen the player’s creativity.
The personal traits of multi-tasking, attentiveness, and creativity are improved by the playing of video games. I am not, at all, advocating for the constant everyday playing of video games, but an hour or less of playing a day would help improve the traits discussed in this essay. It has been proven that video games improve one’s quality of life. Society may never fully understand the true potential of video games in schools and in the workplace but it should understand the benefits of individual play. In this society full of death and self-destruction, uplifting hobbies, like video games, can, and should be, practiced daily. One day society will understand that gamers will be the next leaders, and video games will have helped us achieve that status.
Gabriele Gratton, et al. "Learning To Multitask: Effects Of Video Game Practice On Electrophysiological Indices Of Attention And Resource Allocation." Psychophysiology 48.9 (2011): 1173-1183. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
Green, C.“The effect of action video game experience on task-switching.” Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 28, Issue 3, May 2012, Pages 984–994. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
Hutton, Elizabeth, and S. Shyam Sundar. "Can Video Games Enhance Creativity? Effects Of Emotion Generated By Dance Dance Revolution." Creativity Research Journal 22.3 (2010): 294-303. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.