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Changes to the Application Process 08/03/2016Hello Everyone! I'm creating this announcement to inform every vVv applicant that I have introduced a few short-term goals that we all will be working toward accomplishing over the next few weeks. One of these goals directly affects your application process. If you would like to read the full post in detail, and maybe learn a little about me, follow this link. The TL;DR of why I'm addressing this announcement to you is to inform you that our application process will be undergoing a few dramatic changes that will affect your application. vVv Gaming wants to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what changes our Staff team makes and why. We will be changing the applications themselves as well as how they work. Our community wants and needs a larger say in who is accepted and who isn't. We also want to encourage community interaction as much as possible. With these changes, we are wanting to allow members the ability to give constructive criticism to applicants, provide the opportunity for applicants to interact with members and other applicants that they normally may not, and open a platform for discussion and the sharing of ideas. With the reimplementation of the Endorsement System, vVv Gaming is looking to give the power back to our Members and put the fate of the Applicant (and their application!) in their own hands. Applicants will need to receive 5 endorsements from current vVv Members (Staff endorsements work as well!) to earn their pre-interview. If an Applicant fails to receive a new endorsement every 3 weeks the application will be closed. Full details on how the Endorsement System works can be found through this link. Because we are introducing new application forms and a different way of how the application process works, we will be closing all currently open applications. Once the new application forms are posted, all applicants that had an application open during this time will be able to immediately reopen their applications. This means that those applicants do not need to wait 30 days as the new rule states, this will be a one-time exception due to circumstances under which these applications were closed. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a private message. I apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause. Thank you for your patience and your enthusiasm for joining vVv Gaming!
We have moved to Discord 08/04/2016There has been a strong desire among the community to migrate to Discord for quite some time. As of today, our community will be using Discord and as a result, we will no longer be actively using our TeamSpeak Server. The TeamSpeak server will temporarily stay active to help inform all of our move to Discord. Within the next couple of months, it will be shut down completely. For a quick invite to our new Discord server, you can click here.
For a full detailed guide visit http://www.vVv-Gaming.com/Discord
vVv Gaming Presents: ADL Season 10! 08/12/2016TL;DR: Season 10 of the vVv Gaming LoL ADL begins Friday, August 19th @9pm EST/6pm PST! Discord Info Just be on Discord at the check in time and have a level 30 with at least 16 champions to participate! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ vVv Gaming has had a long history in competitive e-sports; and, while the LCS may be a long way off for the organization, we can still participate in semi-competitive LoL activities as a community. The ADL has, and will continue to be, our main way to achieve this. However, let’s be honest, the ADL has had a rough time over the past few seasons. This comes from both participant enjoyment, as well as coordination and structuring of the event as a whole. While I do not plan on completely fixing the system from the start, I do believe that there are some short (and long) term changes that can make the experience better for everyone: · We are keeping participation points for this season, as well as the Elo ranking system used for previous seasons. · We will have people recruiting more in the game from the community, and attempt to bring more LoL community members to the discord that we feel would be good for the vVv community. · We will be implementing new rules for the drafting phase. Some of these rules will be introduced as the season progresses and are covered below. · Unfortunately, at this point in time, there is no information regarding a prize. If a viable prize method/opportunity comes about in the future, current season winners will be rewarded retroactively. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Rules and Details (Read if new): Nights will consist of two matches per night. You must be able to attend both games (Don’t be that guy, play it out). Be on Discord NO LATER than 8:55pm EST/5:55pm PST for Check In. This will be slowly changed to 8:45pm EST as the season progresses. We want the drafting phase this season to be as smooth as possible. We want to give people time to announce their roles before hand. Check in will happen in the ADL Check In Discord Channel BEFORE players move to the regular ADL channel, and at 9:00pm EST people will move to channels matching their Dynamic Queue rank. Missing the check-in deadline means that you will not be able to participate that night and will not receive a participation point. During the Check In, participants will announce their top 3 preferred roles for a staff member to place in a spreadsheet (Discord does not allow for your descriptions to be changed, that I am aware of). Have a level 30 account, at least 16 champions, and be ready to have some fun! Additional Questions? Contact vVv Eternal or vVv Yui The ADL will last for 10 weeks this season, there will then be a three-week break before the next season starts (Currently scheduled for Nov. 11, 2016). Cheating or Smurfing in the ADL is not permitted. Anyone caught doing either of these this will be suspended from the ADL, no exceptions. Cheating will result in a permanent suspension, smurfing will result in a 5-week suspension. New Drafting Process: So, in previous seasons of the ADL, the highest ranked players were given the priority in being team captains for any given night. While this was not a bad system, it did leave some players feeling left out over the course of the season. That being said: · Highest ranked players will no longer be automatically chosen as the team captain. · Team captains will be chosen by the number of participation points that a player has (you earn 1 point for each night you attend, REGARDLESS of whether or not you are picked). · No player can be captain more than once every 4 weeks (depending on overall participation). · The first weekend will have captains from an arbitrary division and lower. So here is my logic (bear with me). With some outlying cases, most of the team captains would pick from highest available skill in a role down, until all of the top players (and a few peoples friends) were picked. I don’t expect this to change at all; however, this allows for both new and lower skill level players and community members, as well as frequent participants, to always have a shot at playing. They also get the benefit of knowing (eventually) in advance that they will be captains. Additional Information: I would like to try and address the speed of the drafting process. For now, the primary way of doing this will be the check-in time; however, if another feasible method is suggested, any changes will be updated in this section. After the Games: · Players will join the winning team's discord channel, and all players will be given feedback if they desire it. · Players may also provide criticism and suggestions for the ADL. (We are still seeking to improve the event if the community desires it) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More Darn Rules · Teams will still be matched by alphabetical order of Discord channel for the time being. · The winner of the first match will play the winner of the second (both matches are played out simultaneously), and the same goes for the losing teams. · The higher team alphabetically will be chosen to be on the blue side for the first game, and the lower team will get blue side when the second game is played. Leaving/AFK: If someone leaves a game for any reason and does not reconnect, they will be given a 2-night suspension from the ADL. The player may appeal the suspension with an ADL Staff member if there was a legitimate reason for the disconnect. However, all appeals must happen at least 24 hours before the next ADL event. You also may only appeal a disconnect once per season. Pausing: Players may pause the game for UP TO 10 minutes if a player on their team is having connection issues. PLAYERS MUST INFORM AN ADL STAFF MEMBER IF A GAME IS PAUSED. If the reason cannot be resolved in 10 minutes, the team whose player disconnected will concede the match. If the enemy team agrees, they may also use their 10-minute pause to give the other team more time. Teams only get two pauses per game. Replacement Players: Player replacement will be handled the same as in previous seasons. A player may be replaced by another player of the same rank or lower, provided both teams agree to the replacement. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So that’s it folks. Thank you for sticking through the whole announcement, we understand it is somewhat lengthy, however the information had to be provided. You are now ready for the 10th season of the ADL! If you have any questions feel free to contact vVv Eternal See you on Friday, August 19th at 8:55pm EST/6:00pm PST! ADL Staff: vVv Eternal To join the discussion click here!
Rocket League Community Game Nights (CGN) with vVv Gaming are back starting on Monday, August 22nd! These CGNs will allow teams and individual Rocketeers to continue to bring their A game and level up their gaming skills in two unique events each week! Whether the goal is to improve teamwork, find suitable opponents, or just acquire valuable feedback on how to improve one’s game-play, these events will help accomplish just that! Mondays will continue to be our draft night and due to your feedback, we will be returning to a format of random captains with the ability to opt out of being a captain. Wednesdays will continue to be a night for pre-made 3v3 teams. Supersonic Series Season 4 is happening and we will be announcing information on that and the start date at a later time. Monday Night Draft
When: 9PM EST (6PM PST) Check-in starts at 8:30PM EST and closes at 8:45PM EST
Where: vVv Discord Server (https://discord.gg/p44AjNf) Discord Guide: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord Format: 3vs3 - Double Elimination Tournament. Best of three in the winner's bracket and best of one in the loser's bracket until the last two matches which return to best of three. Captains are chosen at random and each captain picks their team-mates. Registration: Visit http://vvv-gaming.com/RLRegister on the day of the tournament to register. While signing up you will be able to volunteer to be a captain. If there are more volunteer captains than the total number of tea`ms, the captains will be picked at random from the pool of volunteers. If there are not enough volunteer captains, then the remaining number of captains needed will be chosen at random from the remainder of players. Captains will take turns picking their teammates in a “snake-style” (A, B, C, C, B, A) draft until all teams have 3 players each. Participating with friends is encouraged, however, there is no guarantee that you will be on the same team. The captain’s name will be entered into the Challonge bracket and will be used to represent their team. Voice channels will be created for each of the teams on our Discord server.
Wednesday Night Teams (Games are counted towards Power Rankings!)
When: 9:00 PM EST (6:00 PM PST) Check-in starts at 8:30 PM EST and closes at 8:45 PM EST
Where: vVv Discord Server (https://discord.gg/p44AjNf) Discord Guide: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord Format: 3vs3 - Double Elimination Tournament. Best of three in the winner's bracket and best of one in the loser's bracket until the last two matches which return to best of three. Teams are pre-made by the players. Registration: Visit http://vvv-gaming.com/RLRegister on the day of the tournament to register.
Participating as an individual: After filling out the signup form you will be in a free-agent pool available to fill up spot a team might need or you will be placed on a team with others who have signed up individually. Check-ins will be 15-30 minutes before the start time so we can get everyone organized. A team may contact you to play with them before the event starts. We also encourage you to talk with any other free agents signed up to form a team!
Participating as a team: After filling out the signup form above, your team is all set. All you need to do is show up in the discord server during the check-in time. If you are seeking a third player for the evening, you can view the list of free agent players signed up at http://vvv-gaming.com/RLRegister and contact them to be part of your team for the evening. If you are unable to acquire a third team member on you own, then please show up on the Discord server at least 30 minutes prior to the event starting and we will assign you a third team member if one is available for the duration of the night. Click here to join the discussion!
August Chopping List 08/20/2016As I have stated when I became the president, I will be removing all inactive members from vVv Gaming. I have given everyone 3 weeks to reach out to me and get in touch with me. Some have reached out and decided not to vVv members anymore, due to time constraints and other reason.s Some reached out and promised they would take certain action to show they want to be members but it did not happen, and lastly, some have never reached out to me at all. I really wish that things could be different, but as it stands the following people are being removed from vVv Gaming. We wish them the best of luck with their future endeavours and hope to see them come back to us one day. The following is a list of donor members who will be returned to Donor rank on the forum, but will no longer be vVv Members. vVv Brocco vVv Koala vVv Krewel vVv Rising Dawn The following is a list of vVv Members being returned to normal forum rank. vVv Acai28 vVv AmpeD vVv Arkaine vVv Blazek vVv Buzz vVv Cherp vVv Cr0nus vVv Deadaim vVv Falcodile vVv Matchu vVv Oriklad vVv ShySluShy vVv SilverSpoon vVv Spike vVv TyTy vVv UkogMonkey vVv Zeeb
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Fantasy LCS: Must Plays, Sleepers, Busts for NA Week Nine/Day One
The best matchup's of the day are C9 vs. TDK, TSM vs. NME, and TL vs. T8.
Must Play: Quas (TL) ($1312) vs. T8: He's the most expensive top laner on a day when it's going to be hard to fit all the top options in, but he probably has the most upside.
Sleeper: Balls (C9) ($1067) vs. TDK: C9 have been playing much better sicne Hai rejoined and I think they will beat TDK. Balls is a nice cheap option with good upside.
Bust: ZionSpartan (CLG) ($1198) vs. DIG: I'm avoiding this game entirely as CLG players are expensive and I have no clue how to predict DIG's games.
Must Play: Santorin (TSM) ($1325) vs. NME: Steady jungler in a game TSM should win.
Sleeper: Hai (C9) ($1072) vs. TDK: Hai is dirt cheap in a game I think C9 will win. Even though he hasn't been jungling long it's clear that his shotcalling had been missed.
Bust: Rush (TiP) ($1182) vs. GRV: I think Rush will try too hard to make up for the loss of XiaoWeiXiao and that'll cause some sloppy play. Not worth the risk for his price.
Must Play: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1854) vs. NME: He's really expensive but in this match up he's definitely worth it. Expect a huge game for Bjergerking.
Sleeper: Keane (GRV) ($1246) vs. TiP: I expect GRV to bounce back and win this game and Keane will be laning against Gate who was originally listed as the incoming Support. He's also cheaper than Gate and should provide nice upside.
Bust: Gate (TiP) ($1277) vs. GRV: He's a support main playing in his first game of the LCS and he's also the fourth most expensive mid laner. Stay away.
Must Play: Piglet (TL) ($1563) vs. Team8: Good match up and he's been playing very well. It's really hard to fit him into a lineup with the other expensive must plays unless you punt however.
Sleeper: Sneaky (C9) ($1254) vs. TDK: Another cheap C9 option in a game I expect them to win.
Bust: Doublelift (CLG) ($1610) vs. DIG: He's just too expensive for me to use in such a random game. I never know what is going to happen with DIG.
Must Play: Lustboy (TSM) ($1180) vs. NME: He's expensive but probably will put up the most points of any support this week.
Sleeper: LemonNation (C9) ($980) vs. TDK: Cheaper option in a game C9 should win.
Bust: Aphromoo (CLG) ($1148) vs. DIG: Like his teammates he's too expensive for me to want to use in a game that could go either way.
Here's my lineup for Week Nine Day One in the NALCS:
Top: Quas (TL) ($1312)
Jungle: Santorin (TSM) ($1325)
Mid: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1854)
ADC: Sneaky (C9) ($1254)
Sup: LemonNation (C9) ($980)
Flex One: Dyrus (TSM) ($1195)
Flex Two: Hai (C9) ($1072)
Flex Three: Ninja (TDK) ($996)
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With Jerry returning to vVv to run things again, my time as President of vVv has come to a close. I wanted to take some time to reflect on how things went. Primarily I feel like I failed vVv in a lot of ways. The ADL stagnated due to my mismanagement and failure to keep people pushing toward excellence. The CoD division was on life support for way too long. As a whole I didn't effectively execute on my vision for making vVv Gaming an awesome place for competitive gamers.
Primarily there were certain personal things holding me back from executing on my vision. The main two were my self-awareness with how I handled my working relationships and my inability to focus. I looked for all kinds of ways to increase my productivity, reading up on things like prioritizing, focusing on your mission, having a clear idea of what it is that you want to accomplish, but none of that addressed the core problem: I was just getting distracted by everything and unable to focus when it came time to do the big, important work. I wasn't lacking a strategy, I was lacking discipline. With my working relationships, I was acting like a complete ass to people without even realizing it. I didn't take the time to re-read what I was writing, or think about how I was coming across to people, and the ways I tried to approach people to "help" them made me come across as a bureaucratic authority who's only help was to tell people "no" or "do things my way". Obviously these two flaws are going to prevent anyone from being a good, let alone great leader.
Thankfully Jerry was able to help me regain my focus and also help me raise my self awareness within just two weeks of returning. In the past two weeks I've gotten more accomplished, felt better about myself and my future, and improved the way I handle my relationships more than any time in the past 9 years. I've even started looking at some difficult problems I've been facing personally and just by asking myself "What would Jerry tell me?" I can usually figure out the best way to proceed and handle things.
So now I just need to return to my vision and remember why it's so compelling for me. As a kid I had to go through some real difficulty trying to figure out how to be gay and in love with someone who would never return that feeling. It's deeply important to me that no one should have to go through life facing difficult challenges without feeling like there is someone there who can help them. I think that within the larger gaming community there are endless opportunities to fulfill that mission. Don't like the way you look? Cosplay as your favorite game character. Bullied at school? Go online and find people who love you just because you share a passion for the same game as they do. Giving up on your dreams? Volunteer your time doing amazing things for the larger gaming community and develop marketable skills to work in or outside of the gaming industry.
There is so much good that we can do together, and I am passionate about making the world a better place than the one I had to grow up in. I sometimes wonder how many people there were in the world when I was growing up who gave up on their dreams to live a normal life. How many hours spent watching TV that could have been spent changing peoples' minds about homosexuality? How many hours spent in closeted sex clubs or on seedy hookups that could have been spent coming out and leading the LBGT awareness movement? How many desperate, needy relationships that distracted people from opening places where LGBT youth could come for help? Not that no one should watch TV, or people should never hookup, or that people shouldn't find love, but what was the real cost to the world when this becomes the focus of a life instead of a way to enhance it? How many suicides could have been prevented? How much bullying could have been stopped?
And it's not just LGBT who have difficult challenges. Everyone has a closet. How many people feel like they have no one to turn to for help when the burden of hiding inside of it becomes overwhelming? How much of a better world could we create for all of humanity if we just took the time to focus on each other? I aspire to be as good as Jerry at finding, identifying, and communicating what people need in order to go from struggling to successful. And I look forward to creating an awesome community for all competitive gamers here over the next few months, and wherever life takes me I will continue on this mission for the rest of my life. If you feel the same way then come join me and let's make this awesome together.
IEM Cologne: Day Two Fantasy Advice
Hope yesterday went well for you guys. Besides C9 losing I thought it was a really good day one.
Here's a look at today's players:
Just a quick note that today's Vulcun contests will run over to tomorrow and include the finals. So make sure you take that into account as you make your lineup. QG looked very sloppy yesterday but eventually pulled off the series win vs DIG, I think there luck runs out today and they'll fall to FNATIC in the semi-finals. On the other side I think we could see a close 2-1 series and I'm leaning towards EVER at the moment. H2k could certainly pull off another series win, but I think it'll be tough for them. I don't know EVER well and I'm not sure anyone does but they won the KESPA cup defeating Korea's best teams in the process so let's give them some credit at least. As for players I'm steering away from QG where I can, using the FNATIC and EVER carries, and I wouldn't have a problem using Jankos, Vander, Ryu, or Odoamne, but I'm staying away from FORG1VEN as he didn't have a huge fantasy impact on day one.
Here are my lineups for today:
Top: Crazyplay (EVER) ($1328)
Jungle: Spirit (FNC) ($1281)
Mid: Febiven (FNC) ($1421)
ADC: Rekkles (FNC) ($1570) - Shotcaller
Sup: VandeR (H2k) ($1023)
Flex One: TcT (QG) ($986)
Flex Two: Key (EVER) ($1063)
Flex Three: Athena (EVER) ($1264)
Top: Gamsu (FNC) ($7300)
Jungle: Spirit (FNC) ($7100)
Mid: Febiven (FNC) ($8100)
ADC: Rekkles (FNC) ($8300)
Sup: Key (EVER) ($6700)
Flex: Athena (EVER) ($8000)
Team: Ever ($3700)
Top: Gamsu (FNC) ($7200)
Jungle: Ares (EVER) ($5500)
Mid: Febiven (FNC) ($7900)
ADC: Rekkles (FNC) ($8400)
Sup: KeY (EVER) ($5300)
Flex One: Athena (EVER) ($6800)
Flex Two: Swift (QG) ($4600)
Team: EVER ($4100)
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Allstars 2015: Day Two
Welcome back in for Day Two everyone. Yesterday went ok - could've been better but I still cashed in most games I played. Hopefully you did as well! Let's take a look at Day Two.
I like players from the NALCS, EULCS, and LCK in general today. In theory, NALCS has the easiest matchup and the LCK has a tough matchup, but I have faith in the LCK.
Here are my lineups for Day Two:
Top: Marin (LCK) ($1137)
Jungle: Score (LCK) ($1092)
Mid: Faker (LCK) ($1454)
ADC: Doublelift (NALCS) ($1401) - Shotcaller
Sup: Aphromoo (NALCS) ($1010)
Flex One: Huni (EULCS) ($1326)
Flex Two: Bjergsen (NALCS) ($1512)
Flex Three: Karsa (LMS) ($1053)
Marin and Score are criminally underpriced in my opinion. They have a tough matchup against the LCK All Stars, but they're two of the best players, if not the best in their roles and they're must plays at this price. Doublelift and Bjergsen are the carries on the NALCS team and have the easiest matchup of the day in theory, pairing Aphro with Doublelift seems like a good bet as well. To fit all these players I'm using Karsa as a cheap flex option over another support.
Top: Marin (LCK) ($8200)
Jungle: Score (LCK) ($7700)
Mid: Bjergsen (NALCS) ($8300)
ADC: Doublelift (NALCS) ($8200)
Sup: Aphromoo (NALCS) ($6900)
Flex: Meteos (NALCS) ($7100)
Team: EULCS ($3600)
Going all in with the NALCS on Alphadraft today. We use the same three players we did from the Vulcun lineup, but I'm adding Meteos in as my flex. He played quite well yesterday on Zac and I think he'll have another good game today. Using the EULCS as my cheap team as we expect them to win.
Top: Marin (LCK) ($6500)
Jungle: Score (LCK) ($5900)
Mid: Faker (LCK) ($7100)
ADC: Doublelift (NALCS) ($8000)
Sup: Aphromoo (NALCS) ($6200)
Flex One: Clearlove (LPL) ($5500)
Flex Two: Meteos (NALCS) ($6200)
Team: EULCS ($4500)
Again I think the LCK players are underpriced so we'll use Marin, Score, and Faker here. I think Clearlove is underpriced pretty badly as well, he's one of the best junglers in the world and $5500 is a price he can surely outperform. We round off the lineup with the pairing of Doublelift and Aphromoo and Meteos in our second flex spot.
Good luck on Day Two!
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IEM San Jose: Day Two Fantasy Advice
Welcome back in. Yesterday didn't go quite as I expected. I got things half right with CLG beating UoL, but TSM's new roster did work against LGD with a nice 2-0. LGD looked bad, they should've probably won game two, but regardless both games put up some decent fantasy numbers for us, even being wrong about LGD. The biggest problem I had was that I used Flame on DraftKings and he only played one game. Going forward, I think it may be wise to stay away from using players who could be subbed out. I think ORG will beat TSM closely while JAG will beat CLG to make an Origen vs. Jin Air Final. I'm going to pick Origen to win the whole thing, but I'm somewhat thinking whoever wins the TSM/OG Match Up will take home the title at IEM San Jose.
Here's a look at today's players:
I'm gonna try to stay away from using any player who may be subbed out on Draft Kings today.
Here's my lineups:
Top: sOAZ (OG) ($1272)
Jungle: Xmithie (CLG) ($1120)
Mid: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1437)
ADC: Niels (OG) ($1427) - Shotcaller
Sup: Mithy (OG) ($976)
Flex One: Doublelift (TSM) ($1594)
Flex Two: Chei (JaG) ($941)
Flex Three: Trace (JaG) ($1233)
I want Niels and Doublelift in every lineup I make today. If today is like yesterday, Doublelift is the main carry of TSM at the moment and even if they lose he will put up big numbers much like he did in CLG. That doesn't mean Bjergsen is a bad option especially when he's cheaper than others. He can still get plenty of kills and assists. I'm going cheap at jungle and support, but pairing Mithy with Niels seems like a good shout. Niels was the standout carry for OG at Worlds.
Top: sOAZ (OG) ($7600)
Jungle: Amazing (OG) ($7400)
Mid: PowerOfEvil (OG) ($8000)
ADC: Niels (OG) ($8400)
Sup: Aphromoo ($7000)
Flex: Doubelift (TSM) ($8200)
Team: TSM ($3400)
Going cheap again at support and team to pay up for a mainly OG lineup. Like I said above I think OG will win this tournament so an OG stack here makes the most sense to me.
Top: sOAZ (OG) ($6500)
Jungle: Amazing (OG) ($6000)
Mid: Bjergsen (TSM) ($6600)
ADC: Niels (OG) ($7700)
Sup: kaSing (TSM) ($5100)
Flex One: Doublelift (TSM) ($6900)
Flex Two: Kuzan (JaG) ($7100)
Team: CLG ($4000)
Draftkings is only using the semi-finals for their contests so you don't have to worry as much about getting players from the teams expected to make the finals. Doublelift is a much use as he's the cheapest ADC and should out perform his price. I'm using the cheapest team (CLG) and cheapest support (kaSing) to pay up for players like Niels. For some reason TSM is not available to pick in your team spot.
Good luck on day two!
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Have you ever had met a person in life who shared all of your interests? Thought the way you do?
The Moriarty to your Sherlock - Sometimes the other way around? Well, my brother, Chris, was and
is that to me. There is nothing in this world that gets my blood flowing like the thrill of a challenge,
a competition, or pursuit of perfection.
The earliest memory I have is playing Mortal Kombat Ultimate. My brother was a beast at
Nightwolf and Sindel. God, I couldn't stand that fucker and his axe combo; if you know the game,
it started with a low kick... followed by an annihilation of your manhood (insert rage). Anyways,
we'd play the game with large health pools so that the matches lasted for 7-10 minutes. We figured
this would balance out the flukes and allow the better player to always win. It was always him.
I would practice hours upon hours, character after character, just to find a way to beat his
Nightwolf. I would go so far as to play into the AM's while everyone was asleep on a school night.
Finally, a miracle happened. Jesus took the wheel, or in this case, control of the controller leading
me to accidentally pick Noob Sabot in the select screen. Well, it turns out the timing of Sabots
combos completely and utterly destroy Nightwolf. I ended up figuring out something called an
"infinite combo" in the fighter genre, like Marvel vs Capcom. I was unbeatable. This led to my
brother demanding the hero be banned from play, lol.
Fast forward a few years, and the best game of all time had been created; Starcraft: Brood War.
Our second greatest rivalry. I can still remember the day my brother came home with a disc of this
game. For all you youngins out there, we had to have cd-rom discs of the game to play it. This is
back when windows 95 was the most up to date operating system. Anyways, our buddy Jeremy
from down the street was all about this game. We installed, opened the game, picked protoss,
and entered a world that would define our childhood. Even to this day, I find myself searching
youtube for the game's music, old tournaments, and everything GomTV. The game was flawless.
Alright, enough gushing about Starcraft, down to the nitty gritty. Like all games, top tier players
separate themselves from the community and create their own secret hideout. In Starcraft, this
was Clan x17. To put this place in perspective; think of the biggest crush you've ever had. Now
imagine her surrounded by a multitude of bouncers, and around these bouncers are other nerds
ust like yourself. Just like the world of dating, clan x17 is the girl you want to bang, and the
amount of horny teenagers trying to get in her circle represents the starcraft community.
This is where my brother played.
Having only 1 computer growing up, I spent a great deal of time watching my brother in a chair
right beside him, learning from his every move. There was this one game I remember vividly,
the game he played against Testie. This guy was one of the top terran players in North America
at the time, a man ahead of his time in terms of skill. Testie decided to do a tank push/contain
on my brother's protoss base very early in the game. However, my brother had created a build
rushing zealot speed and shuttles in order to drop on top of the tanks, nullifying the terran
advantage. The game was a 30 minute slugfest of epic proportion. The result: my brother was victorious.
Throughout the next few years, he would play against the top canadian protoss Smuft- from
time to time, as well as many other Clan x17 members. I’m not sure of all the opponents
anymore, but I am certain he had to of run into Artosis, Tasteless and Day9 at one point or another.
As for myself, I played in x17 as well. My defining moment came before my brother’s success
in the game. One late night, my brother went over to our friend’s house in order to play me
1v1 online. We played for hours upon hours into the AM’s, digging deeper into competitive
nature with each passing game. And so the moment came where I defeated him in 3 straight
games, convincingly. My brother didn’t even type a word as his connection disappeared from
the LAN screen. I was beside myself because I had never truly beaten him on even terms
before. But… he crushed me in a harmful way. The following day he told me this, “I was just
playing around you know? I’m still better than you.” As a young, 12 year old boy, I accepted
my older brother’s statement and quit Starcraft for good.
There are times in my gaming career where I wonder, "what might have been if I had done 'x'?"
Well, this is one of them.
Worlds 2015: Semi-Final Advice
Here are the Semi-Final Odds:
FNATIC and SKT are the favorites to head to the World Finals. I would recommend fading ORG as SKT have looked near unstoppable. KOO provides some interesting salary relief plays.
Here's a list of all the players left in the tournament:
Top: Marin (SKT) ($1261)
Jungle: Hojin (KOO) ($1175)
Mid: Faker (SKT) ($1420)
ADC: Bang (SKT) ($1514)
Sup: GOrilla (KOO) ($994)
Flex One: Huni (FNC) ($1252)
Flex Two: YellowStar (FNC) ($1021)
Flex Three: Febiven (FNC) ($1358)
The first thing to note is that Vulcun is combining the Semi-Final and Final rounds into their contests this week. With that in mind you need to select mostly players who are going to make it to the finals so you get two weeks worth of points. For me, it was SKT and FNC so I took the limit of three per team from each. The other two spots I gave to KOO Tigers as I think they have a better chance to make the finals than Origen.
Top: Marin (SKT) ($8600)
Jungle: Hojin (KOO) ($7100)
Mid: Febiven (FNC) ($7800)
ADC: Bang (SKT) ($8800)
Sup: Gorilla (KOO) ($6900)
Flex; Yellowstar (FNC) ($7100)
Team: FNATIC ($3700)
Top: Marin (SKT) ($7500)
Jungle: Hojin (KOO) ($5600)
Mid: Febiven (FNC) ($7400)
ADC: Bang (SKT) ($8700)
Sup: Mithy (ORG) ($4100)
Flex; Huni (FNC) ($6700)
Flex; Gorilla (KOO) ($5400)
Team: FNATIC ($4500)
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.
Everything must go, it's a fact.
But it doesn't mean it's going to be easy to accept.
Have you ever just sat in a coffee shop and asked yourself, "What if I made smaller, better choices in my past?"
I don't think many people really think about that, sorry, think about those kinds of simple questions very often, or at all.
I mean come on, what if you were that teenager in High School that never did any of those drugs that everyone thought was so "cool?" .. Or what if you were that teenager that went to parties and did drugs?
Switch those two roles around, from if you didn't to you did, and if you did to you didn't.
~ Would you be any different than what you are today?
~ Would your social group be any different today from what it was, or how it is now?
What if you had your parents through out every single choice you had to make growing up? But then again, what if you didn't have that growing up?
Would you be who you are today?.. or hey, what if you were one of the many children/teenagers that didn't have parents growing up, or you did but they were never supportive in your life choices?
~ How would you be different today?
Have you ever thought about how your life could of been with making different choices than what you have through out your life?
Or how different your life could be today if you did things differently?
Do you think about how fortunate you really are?
To be able to have a roof over your head, food in your stomach, and a group of friends and family that loves you?
It boggles my mind to know in the back of my head that there are so many countries out there that are populated with children that have absolutely nothing, and are literally just skin and bones, and EVERY choice they make is a choice between life and death. Doesn't that just tug at your heart strings, to know that a child or a family somewhere far off is literally suffering and having to make some seriously tough choices, just to get by? We waste so much materials, and produce on a every day basis, every where on this universe, yet very few people ever think about how much we are taking for granted.. We appreciate very little of what we have today..
When the world has decided it has had enough of or vulgarity of life, and it just destroys itself, or we destroy it, all we will have is each other, politics, money, fame, and everything in between will no longer exist.
We will have to learn to let others help us, and vice versa because in reality, to survive it can either be, survival of the fit, or death of the weak, just like it is every day we live now, or we can take things with a grain of salt and start helping each other more.
Some day it won't just be just humans vs humans, it'll be humans vs animals, vs the universe, who do you honestly think will win that battle?
To be continued...
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I've been doing well with the LCK in Fantasy drafts so I thought I'd share my picks this week.
It's actually a tough week because upsets could easily happen with these two best of threes.
However I am going with the stats and based off previous performances the following picks I believe are going to put me in the money pool.
TOP Apple - $1136
JUNGLER Chaser - $1252
MID Crown - $1332
ADC Fury - $1412
SUPPORT IgNar - $930
FLEX Roar - $1260 SHOTCALLER
FLEX TrAce - $1209
FLEX Pilot - $1321
I avoided all players from SBENU SONICBOOM. They are trash.
So I started off my draft by picking the best to players from SG, hoping they get decent points.
After reviewing previous match ups I went through and made my picks.
JIN AIR GREEN WINGS:
These picks are based off performance from the pervious two weeks and from their first match ups against each other from earlier in the season.
Thanks and good luck if you use my picks.
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I’m taking things personally. It’s been a historic couple of weeks. Friday was a historic day. It started for me with the President’s eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinkney and ended with the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of gay marriage. Yesterday, got me thinking. Actually, it got me feeling.
It’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long time. The last time I had this feeling was in 1989. I was in Orlando, Florida getting ready to graduate from Naval Nuclear Propulsion School. I was watching the Berlin wall fall. It marked, for me, the end of the Cold War. I felt optimistic. Having spent many summers in Germany visiting my relatives on my mother’s side, it was also strangely personal. It was that unique feeling of history happening to me versus history happening around me.
History doesn’t always feel personal. The tragedy of September 11th didn’t feel personal. I remember being angry and disappointed, but I didn’t feel it personally. Friday’s events, however, felt very personal.
As I mentioned earlier, it started with the president’s eulogy. Although I’m an atheist, I was moved by the president’s comments about grace. He spoke about the violent act and how it sits in a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches. He spoke about how the killer imagined he would incite fear and recrimination; violence and suspicion. What the killer didn’t understand was the grace surrounding that Bible study group.
According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve. From my understanding, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. The president specifically mentioned that this terrible tragedy allowed us to see where we’ve been blind. He mentioned that despite our rancor and complacency, our shortsightedness and fear of each other, we still received grace. Grace in the form of awareness that the Confederate flag is much more than just ancestral pride, but is actually a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. It’s clear that this flag will finally fall. Much like the Berlin wall fell. I felt hopeful.
Amazingly, the hope train would continue to chug along on this particular Friday. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold gay marriage across the land was a very special kind of hopeful vindication. It was an exoneration. People were set free, free to lay claim to a historic and ancient institution: marriage.
Yeah, this is personal. From “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to the Christian Right’s efforts to paint gays and lesbians as pedophiles, not fit to parent and certainly not deserving of the right to marry to the bullying, insults and abuses aimed at gays and lesbians, it’s been a long road. That road has had many highs and lows.
For me, the highs have always been about the people. While in the Navy, I spent a decade in Virginia. During that time, while serving in the U.S. Navy, I was surrounded by an amazingly open, welcoming and loving gay community. It was there that I learned to become a gay man: to wear that identity with pride, to learn the history that I was never taught in school and then to discover an amazing culture and legacy. Thankfully, the lows for me were few and far between. They were there. It was always in small moments.
For those of you who know me well, it’s safe to say that I’m direct and confident. Having spent a decade being a consultant, I often need to establish credibility with executives who I really don’t know in a matter of one or two minutes. In my most recent job, that approach created a very unique situation. I’d been on the job for only a few months when I had discovered a coworker had come up with a very interesting theory. The coworker described my behavior as a “byproduct of me being gay in the military.” She had observed similar confidence in her uncle who was gay. Therefore, she concluded that all gay men who served in the military had to be overly confident and direct to make up for their insecurities about being gay.
And there it was, one of those frustrating, little moments, where another person’s ignorance, like nails on a chalkboard to my rational mind, reminded me of the perceptions that we still need to overcome. I remember coming home that night and telling the story to Jordan, who at the time was just my “domestic partner." We were not allowed to marry back in 2012. We both laughed about it. Yet, it happened. One of those small moments of awareness. Awareness that ignorance and prejudice still existed.
In 2013, the great state of California allowed Jordan and I to become married. Of course, I knew that our marriage wouldn’t be recognized everywhere. Somehow, it wasn’t important. It really wasn’t important until yesterday. Yesterday, I realize the depth of the problem with hate, bigotry and ignorance. You see, I had accepted that my marriage was only valid in California. Almost the same way many whites “accept” the Confederate flag is a symbol of ancestral pride. I had become complacent. Hard to confess that, strangely. It’s almost that I had allowed a truth to disappear.
[side note: Don't let anyone tell you that the truth can't disappear. If I believe in anything, rather than God, it is that I am part of something that goes all the way back to Antigone, and that whatever speaks the truth of our hearts can only make us stronger. Can only give us the power to counter the hate and bigotry and heal this addled world. Just remember: You are not alone.---R.I.P. Paul Monette]
Of course, the good fight is far from over. There is so much more work to do. Hate, ignorance and misinformation still exist everywhere. Hate is still taught from one generation to another. Friday’s events are actually a call to action. We all need to take these things very seriously. Each of us has the power to make a difference. By being a little more vigilant, a little more outspoken, by being, dare I say, direct and confident by standing up to those who speak out of ignorance or hate, we can make a difference. As one flag falls, I’m optimistic that another is rising in its place, but this time a flag that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness.
I for one am taking it all personally-too personally, in fact. You see, I don't really have the choice to ignore it, because it's happening on my watch.
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So I figured I should write a hopefully small blog about my time with vVv and the people within it.
I joined vVv in April of 2014 and was kicked from vVv in June of 2015 so i just passed my 1 year mark. At the time vVv was about the Community and the people it strived to create and mold into awesome gamers that you'd want on your team.
To start the story off I'll talk about my first encounter with vVv. I was introduced to Rob and Jerry through an old member named Ivan. Ivan would rave about vVv and would never shut up about how awesome and great the community was for his career for whatever the heck he wanted to be (he could never decide). One day in April Ivan and I went to one of the League's LCS games and that's where Ivan introduced me to Rob. One way or another we all end up at the vVv gaming house chatting the night away about many topics and this is where I was introduced to Jerry. Now I already heard many things about vVv from Ivan but to talk directly to the owner himself, that's a way better conversation in itself. I've never been sure if Jerry actually didn't mind me as a human but in my eyes I had some what of an approval from him. I mean the first day I met him he was trying to recruit me into vVv and talking about being on staff. So that night I Google the vVv page and started my journey as an applicant!
As an applicant of course I wanted to be an "A+ student" so i did my forum post, I was in Mumble all the time and tried to make it to events. Sooner or later i ended up getting my Vs! And not so soon after I was put on staff. I was the application manager and oh man how I loved to tell people about it events XD I'm sure I had a few eyerolls about it but I was proud! Proud to have my Vs and be apart of the process for others! Although I could never make staff meeting because of my weird schedule, I would write reports on all the applicants and talk to the other staff about it as much as possible. One day I actually was able to make an event; The glorious ADL I've always heard about but never able to attend! I was so excited since a friend of mine picked me and we won both games! But then I get pulled to a room by the ADL Lead at the time Pleague and told that I can't play in ADL anymore because I was reported for spamming laugh. Now for me, I'm a silly person some times and I like to make League a fun environment but when told that for spamming laugh I can't play anymore is quite absurd. So I blew it off, I mean I never make the event so it didn't seem to be a problem. But for Pleague that apparently was and he brought it to Sugarbear's attention right afterwards to where the three of us were in a channel talking about not two minutes later. Pleague believed that I should have a harsher punishment because I, at the time was staff, but Sugarbear said it being ban for awhile was a fine punishment and we left it at that. To me it was all just a pointless battle.
But that very weekend after the incident the staff meeting was canceled because Jerry had Sugarbear as a guessed in his home, and that Sunday November 16 i got a message saying "I just wanted to send you a message letting you know that we're going to be going through some changes in how we run vVv. As a result of those changes we won't need you on staff anymore and want you to return to being an awesome community member."
Once I saw this in my head and even out loud I said "Wait, What?! Why????" No explanation nothing to tell me if I did anything wrong or why I wasnt apart of the transition to the new staff team and even when I did ask I never got a straight answer. Here I was think I was doing a great job getting good community members into vVv and lightening the load on the other staff members at the time. Of course I was quite upset, very pissed off actually. How could some one just throw away another person so emotionlessly? It broke my heart to have to be forced out of my place and thrown aside with out even a tissue from the other party. But I continued on as a member but a bit of me was now disconnected with vVv and its unprofessional like ways made me salty towards it.
The best part of vVv is it's members old and new. God these guys are amazing people! And I really do mean that. The only great thing i honestly got out of vVv was these friendships and bonds I've created.
PAX South was coming around in January and a group of us plan to go. And we all thankfully got to go together and have a blast! We went as vVv repping gear and looking awesome and I'm so glad I was able to met up and hang out with people I talked to every day in Mumble.
But then PAX East came around in March OHHHH BOY!!! The group at PAX east was amazing as well and I loved how well some of us got along and some of the people I went with are very dear to my heart now. But it was 5 of us in a room for 4 nights and of course most of us were already comfortable with one another and we joked and drank. But we had a complication within the room, there was a snorer. Only one. And non of us minded but if you didn't have earplugs you might as well been sleeping next to a freight train. Now every night we were all drinking and every night we had to deal with snorebear and on I believe the Sataurday morning(4am) I decided to Snapchat a ten sec video to just the others in the room of the snoring. The video was pitch black and you could faintly hear the snores in the video, no name was placed just blackness and the sound. Of course when every one awoke they saw the video and it was the talk of the morning. Apparently that was not okay in Sugarbear's eyes because on the Monday morning when everyone was leaving I was threatened in front of everyone in the room. Sugarbear told me if he ever hears of me doing that to another community member he would delete me from vVv and make me disappear from the community and wouldnt be able to communicate with anyone from the community. Yeah what a heavy goodbye morning we had. So here was another tick away at vVv in my eyes and I unlatched myself from vVv for a bit because of that. How could a blatant joke made for only people within the room be so blown out of proportion? But yet again here I was joking around with some one who I considered as friend and then given an unprofessional and robotic response.
Then 3 months passed and I've been semi afk with the vVv community, mumble and forums because of the incidences.
I was just about to start coming back from this when I finally figured out why my mumble wouldn't let me log in, I thought I was ban and I was like "oh no.... it's happening." But the servers changed and I logged on to see one of my friends there. We started talking and then he told me the news about the chop list. I was on it and so i logged onto the forums once again to see the list but...you have to be a member to see it ( which personally I think is fucking stupid because if I didn't have my friend to tell me, I would still be sitting here saying "oh im still in vVv" so that shit needs to be seen for the people chopped also maybe a twitter blast about dat shit? like come on! half the community has twitter ffs.)
No explanation for why I was chopped either, not one message or note, anything to tell me what is going on. Which once again shows me how unprofessional some people are. Ex. Hey we're going to fire you from your job and not tell you so you'll still come to work until one of your co-workers go "dude didn't you hear? you got fired last week."
^ In no way is that acceptable so why is vVv doing that? Because it's a community? This is not in anyway a good reason for this behavior. We applied for this, we waited our months through the process and we donating time and money to it, so why is it so hard to tell some one a simple "Hey, I'm sorry to tell you this but we are going to have to cut you from our team for "reasons listed". Because nothing makes a better experience in ending a relationship than doing it the RIGHT WAY! Why is the vVv staff so impersonable about these things and yet screams that we are a "Community" based organization? This baffles me to even think that this is the same vVv! The same one that Ivan told me about what feels like so long ago.
Now that vVv is making changes towards Pro-gaming I think it just switched tracks all together and said hope all the passengers survive.
So here I am post vVv and yet I feel that the only thing tying me to it is the people.
I'll possibly still be around every so often just to chat with friends.
And sadly this didn't end as a shot blog as i hoped sorry ^u^;;;
Thanks for reading ^w^ and good luck gamers!
Practice #2 on the Ranked 5s team 9Line eSports Bravo, June 2nd 2015.
Practice Start: Gold V 30 lp
Game 1: Practice makes you bad
Coming into this night I was optimistic. We were coming off a great first night of practice and I was excited to get into night two to see if our success would continue. Our first game was a rough one but it was rather close until one pivotal fight around the 20 minute mark. Starting with champion select we put together a team that could deal with the kite and peel they were looking to put together. They first picked Ekko after our Hecriam which lead us to believe they were either looking to burst or kite so we decided to counter that with an Annie pick. We finished out the comp with a hypercarry and Thresh to provide peel and lockdown. It's not the best looking team on paper verses theirs but it has its strengths and we were going to try to play to our win conditions of locking down Vayne and Ekko and bursting them out of fights.
Getting into the game we decided that we had a stronger level 1 than them so we decided to invade through bot. We managed to pick off Ekko who was getting vision down and got an early lead on our Hecariam. Moving into laning phase we struggled to keep up with the poke that Vayne and Nautilus were dealing. We gave up two easy kills to Vayne while at the same time giving 2 kills to their jungle in a 2v2 on top. This swung the momentum in their favor. We managed to stall out the next 6 minutes grabbing 3 kills to their 1. At this point they managed to vision on dragon and we were unable to safely contest so we conceded it. They then proceeded to sweep our 3 outer turrets in a series of skirmishes that went either 1 for 1 or 2 for 1 in their favor. We managed to grab a tower back in the midst of it but they established a 3k gold lead by the 18 minute mark as the 2nd dragon was becoming a target. We managed to secure the 2nd dragon of the game while picking up 2 quick 2 for 1's. We rolled this momentum into two more towers and evened out the gold difference.
At this point I was calling for a group mid to push onto their T2 mid. We got our side waves pushing in our favor and grouped mid. I saw an opportunity and called for an engage which we got and we nuked their Ekko fairly quickly. Unfortunately they managed to keep their Vayne alive who tore us to shreds. The fight ended up 4 for 1 in their favor. They then turned and got baron, with which they secured 4 towers, 2nd dragon, and an inhibitor as well as securing more kills along the way. This swung the gold from about even to a 7k deficit. The game was lost at this point and they slow played it until they pressured down our nexus.
Game 2: vs The Hearts of Gold
Moving into our second game, our mid player had to go help his significant other as she is dealing with a loss in the family. We put in a sub that has worked with us before, First Time TF. In this champion select we were looking to work around his play on Azir or Twisted Fate, two of his best champions, so I decided to make a protect the carry comp. We started by picking up Nunu to provide a slow field for our carries to kite over as well as providing the blood boil buff to either Kalista or Azir to shred their team. We then rounded off the comp with 2 hard peel champions in Janna and Gnar to keep our carries safely in the back with little to no pressure on them.
Getting into game we decided that we didn't have that strong of a level one so we set up vision instead and played safe. Getting into lane it was a rather slow game to start off with. First blood didn't come until the 6th minute when we got dragon with Nunu and then moved into bot lane for a gank. Lanes continued to go even until the 12th minute mark when we set up the second dragon. We were able to grab it quickly and then turn on the converging enemy team. We caught them in their lower jungle and set up or comp perfectly. As they tried to engage on us with Sion and Wukong we put up Azir ult to knock them away. Once they had blown Sion ult and Wukong ult the only CC they had was Malzahar ult which we were able to cancel rather quickly with the CC we had. We swept them 5 for 1 getting 3 kills on to our Azir. After this fight we used our 6k gold advantage to pressure down 2 turrets and secure another dragon. At this point the enemy team either gave up or were trying to stall hardcore and put Vayne in a solo lane. She managed to push down both our bot towers at the expense of their middle inhibitor and multiple kills. We then picked up Baron and quickly ended the game after.
Game 3: vs The Origin
Going into champion select this game we were looking to set up a similar comp to the one we ran last game. We wanted to put our AD on a hyper carry and build a team that could snowball that advantage. We picked up Sejuani and Janna after their first pick Thresh. We then rounded out the team with Vayne as our hypercarry, Gnar as a hard CC peel champ, and Twisted Fate to help snowball Vayne early with level 6 teleport ganks. The win conditions were similar to the last game, keep their damage off of our Vayne and let her carry mid and late game teamfights.
In game we played our level one differently and set up deep vision. They managed to secure first blood on top after a misplay by our top laner caused him to take tower shots. Across the map in bot lane they had also applied immense pressure in the bot lane and, with a gank from Volibear, managed to secure 2 kills bot while giving one back to the counter gank from Sejuani. Gnar is also able to pick up a solo kill in the top lane rounding out the kills. At around the 6 minute mark a 4v4 happens in the bot lane when Volibear ganks again. We manage to send both Gnar and Twisted Fate bot with their teleports and go 2 for 0 in the fight putting both kills on to our Vayne. We then turn and secure dragon. The game settles down for a while after this. Ahri manages to push down mid early and continues to apply hard pressure on Twisted Fate forcing him to stay in lane or be punished by losing a lot of cs. At around the 14 minute mark the enemy team sets up a tower dive on bot tower allowing them to secure kills, tower, and dragon. We were forced to trade that for top T1 and damage on T2.
Over the next 10 minutes we manage to win multiple skirmishes across the map putting kills on our Vayne and allowing her to hit her late game spikes. We manage to secure 3 towers and second dragon. At around the 24 minute mark we have absent vision on the enemy team and on baron so I call for a rotate to ensure that they aren't doing a desperation Baron. While rotating they pick me off in a bush and move over to baron. Unfortunately for them, we are too far a head (6k gold at this point) and manage to get in to the pit with baron still around 2k HP. We secure the Baron and clean up 3 kills. We had 2 huge waves on bot and top to work with as well as a baron buff, however we miscommunicate and dive too early on top. This allowed for Ahri to kill our Twisted Fate and stall long enough for death timers to come up. We still manage to secure the top and bot inhibitor towers, however this misplay forces the game to go on 5 to 10 minutes longer than it should have. At this point we retreat and secure 3rd dragon. We then slow play and secure the 2 open inhibs, dive them under their mid inhibitor tower, acing them and ending the game.
Here is a video of the replay, unfortunately the data gets cut off at the 27 minute mark, however you only miss us setting up the tripple inhib play and the last team fight to end the game. I hope you are still able to see how we set up our lead from this video.
Night Results: 2-1
Practice End: Gold V 75 lp
Again I would say that this was another successful practice. It was unfortunate that our Mid had to step out half way through practice but it happens and I am thankful that First Time TF was able to step in at such short notice to allow us to finish out practice. I am looking forward to our next practice on Thursday!
Till then, thanks for reading and I will see you all next time!
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Back again for Day 3 of my weekly stream (10pm-1am est) tonight!
Here are the goals for this week:
10 concurrent viewers
Minimum stream of 3 hours.
In game goals are to climb to rank 26 tonight if possible.
Last week, I felt I did well engagement but I peaked at 8 concurrent viewers. I really want to see if I can break double digits!
Thanks all for the support!
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Hey everyone, I decided to write this blog about improving and how inefficient some strategies are, and to see how everyone else learns to improve.
We all learn differently, and different strategies are more effective than others. Personally, I learn by repetition. This strategy is probably the most long term strategy and can seem slow, but it works for me. The harder the goal I’m trying to achieve is, the harder I have to work.
I set goals for myself every week and try to slowly increase the difficulty every time I check one off the list. For instance this is my list for this week’s objectives:
· Counter Strike: At least 10 kills, only use AK-47.
· Heroes of the Storm: Diablo- Land stun on ult every time and have the highest Hero Damage dealt.
I set reachable goals that force myself to try a little bit harder every time I load into the match. It’s a cycle of wash-rinse-repeat for the week and I don’t always get it, but I try again until I do. My thought process is, if I break a big goal down into several different, smaller goals, I can track my progress and really see that I’m improving rather than, “I’m not in Plat yet” but instead “Hell yeah, topped the scoreboard again.”
Thank you for reading, and leave a comment on how you improve your game!
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Hello vVv Community,
Many of you in the community know me from the League of Legends ever since I became a member of vVv. However after taking a closer look into my life I realized that video gaming no longer made me happy. I was constantly angry and I became very cynical towards others in my actual life that I was actually pushing my friends and family away. So I decided to just play some non-multiplayer games to take a step back and really evaluate what was going on in my life that was causing all this inner animosity. So what I did was every week I would stop playing one multiplayer game and then record my moods/feeling for that week while absent of that game. I did this for about five weeks until it was the week were League of Legends was up. At first I thought it was going to be a rough week and even make me angrier because I was going to be absent from the game that I loved and cared about the most. However as the week progressed I started to see myself more as me instead of the angry shell that I had become. I then decided to stop playing League of another week to see if I got the same results, and I did. I would be lying to you all if I said that League hasn't changed my life. League of Legends drew me to this community that I know and love, League of Legends brought me together and solidified everlasting friendships. At one point in my life it was the medicine that I wanted and needed, but over time it slowly became the poison. Now its been a little over a month since I have even logged in to League. And my life has never been better. League will always be apart of my life in the way that it shaped me, however I cannot see myself returning to it any time soon.
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If you haven't seen Sky's video yet, you can do soand his follow up video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCdor8xjsPg.
There are 4 major issues here:
- The intent / goal of streamers
- HOW that goal is reached
- Harassment of gamers – specifically those who are female
- Streamer diversity
Let’s break this down.
The inherent goal of streamers is to make money. I suppose it may compete with the desire to entertain and provide a good experience. When it comes down to it, streaming is a business. The more money a streamer elicits the more frequently a streamer is likely to stream. This may allow a streamer to make this a full-time job or career.
Streamers reach this goal by the entertainment value of their stream – whether that’s comedy, showmanship, personality, great plays and/or… boobs. For women we have this awesome marketable feature no one else has. Those are breasts. It’s great. However, it’s also not so great. This is something that is infinitely complex because there are so many sides.
Boobs are great! The issue lies in the intent behind the marketing. As we already defined, the goal is to make money. However, does the streamer manipulate the relationship between streamer and viewer to capitalize on this? It’s when streamers exploit the already female hungry male gamers to extract more money from them, that an issue is created. Furthermore, I think this is also a huge issue for girl gamers. Why? Because we try so hard to show we’re a gamer, whether or not we’re male, female, transgender, we’re gamers. We don’t want to be treated differently.
I do think Sky stuck his foot in his mouth a little when speaking on this subject. I really do think after reading his twitter after the video was posted, that he was focused on the intent behind the marketing. However, I believe if he had simply titled his video “Dear Streamers” without focusing directly on female streamers – it would have been more accurate. To say some males don’t exploit their streamers as well is a fallacy. I do think though, that girls are simply more noticeable or at least the marketing is more noticeable – more talked about - than other streamers.
I find it incredibly ironic actually, since we spend so much time complaining and flat out, avoiding, sexual attention. Do gamers realize how many women masquerade as men in games because we don’t want the sort of attention we normally receive? Some of us refuse to talk in any kind of voice client to avoid any attention that could cause – because a lot of times it’s either sexual or hate. Some of us refuse to even join any community aside from one which is girl-only. In fact, when we ask ourselves why any gender or identity-only groups exist; it’s because we don’t feel safe.
Which leads me to my next point: Harassment. Let’s be honest – gamers are assholes. We ALL are assholes. We play to win and god forbid if we think anyone has the potential to prevent us from getting that. We have no problem telling someone where to shove it or when. This means our filter is for the most part non-existent. Not exactly a good thing. We get used to saying whatever we want – when we want. The internet is anonymous after all, who will know?
Furthermore, since gaming has been predominantly men until relatively recently, there’s still a lot of nastiness there. As soon as someone reveals she is a girl, she is friended, showered with gifts (RPGs), and harassed. The harassment can take the form of sexual predations or just plain hate. Twitch chat especially is a cesspool of filth. Regardless if she shows skin or not, she will receive hateful comments.
What does this all mean? We need more streamer diversity as a gender! We cannot change a player’s sex drive – sex marketing will always work. We may be able to alter people’s online behavior, but I believe that will take a lot of time. It will be a gradual shift. What we can do, right now, is if someone wants to stream, do it. Do it however you desire. Persevere through the hate and keep doing what you love. Just keep in mind the long term effects of your actions.
"she" is meant to be ambiguous.
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Video games are my passion. From the first time I played my dad in Mario Kart 64 to my first Gamebattles match, walking on to mainstage at my first tournament and living in a gaming house, all of my most memorable experiences have involved video games.
When I moved to LA two years ago I was introduced to a whole new world of gaming. Tabletop games, board games, roleplaying games and the like.. Interesting. I was actually pretty resistant to trying these out at first. I can remember always wanting to play video games, the stuff that I was more familiar with and didn’t want to touch board games or RPG’s. Once I even walked out of the house before we were about to start a campaign of Numenera because it was so god damn terrifying. My roommates love them, and I always felt guilty if I didn’t play and didn’t want to be that guy. It was up until about a few months ago that I dreaded RPG’s entirely.
But why? Why was I scared or nervous to participate to begin with? Fear. Fear of not doing the right thing. Not knowing the rules. How to roleplay. How to fall into my character. d20 wut? You get the point. So, okay. I’ll give this a shot. In our latest campaign of Pathfinder (Ravenloft) we all went out and bought props/costumes. I figured that I would try to fall into my character a bit more than the last time. I thought the whole thing was going to be really painful, but it actually was pretty fun.. $120 later, lol. I felt like a kid again trying to find just the right short swords, bracers, cloak, etc.
So, a few sessions into the campaign later. I’m fading in and of what’s going on. I (and the group) realize that I’m hardly paying attention. Like, I’m there, but my mind isn’t. This becomes super frustrating for the group, so the DM turns to me and wants me to run the group. This was excruciating. I never realized how indecisive I was. Deliberating sucks. So there I was, around my closest friends, not adding or making their experience any better. I actually made it worse. Eerggh. I feel like shit after and go to bed after everyone leaves.
The following day, I have a conversation with the DM in which I realize that I wasn’t even trying. I had never even committed or given it much effort to get better. I just defaulted to neutral and disengaged. Fuck, I thought. I want to be better. There are some pretty awesome skills that I can develop through role playing. Exercising my imagination, leading, problem solving, communication and probably even more that I haven’t even realized yet.
So, that’s why I’m writing this blog: To embrace my suck. I am going to log my journey of becoming the best roleplayer that I can be. There’s a long road in front of me, but I’m determined.
Our next session is Sunday, January 4th. So far, my strategy has been focused around watching and reading about RPG campaigns and best practices. My next entry will detail the group and our progress so far. If you have any RPG resources, or general advice please send them my way via the comments or through Twitter @vVv_RobZ. Thank you for reading!
Teaser: I’m the Rogue. And our next session we will be embarking on our journey into Castle Ravenloft. Get Excite!
Resource list so far:
Hey everyone, this is my first blog post so I apologize if it's a little rough and I promise to get better over time
So where to begin... Last night helping out SunDown and Kotazu with the ADL was an awesome experience. For a while now I've been wanting to help vVv out in someway or get involved by being more than just a community gamer. A long time ago when I was just starting out PC gaming (I was about 14-15) I got involved with a community called Quiet Storm and quickly became the "Events Coordinator". I would manage in-house tournaments, game nights, etc... After that I become an "Administrator" and I basically ran the clan while our clan leader was on medical leave. After the clan leader eventually came back the game the clan was based around was bought out by a foreign company and was no longer available to play. The clan quickly fell into shambles.
After finding a new game to play I picked up some of the old members and made a clan of my own. It was awesome for a while. We were growing rapidly, having tournaments, in-houses, our forums were always active, & it was a ton of fun. I really enjoyed being able to bring so many gamers together and being able to help normally shy gamers meet other people that shared the same passions as they did. After about 2 years I had to step down as the leader for personal reasons. It was probably one of the saddest times in my life. I lost connections with a lot of close friends over the years and I regret not keeping in touch.
Getting back on topic; Since I've gotten back into gaming with League of Legends I've felt like there is more that I can do and should be doing to again help foster those type of connections with gamers. I used to be one of those shy gamers before I realized that there were a ton of other people like me that shared the same passion for gaming but just didn't have the social skills to gain friends online to play with. I remembered this awesome community I used to lurk around in my Halo 3 days, vVv Gaming, and I decided to look them up and see if they have a League of Legends division. It turns out that they did and I started coming and getting to know everyone in the League of Legends division and I have to say it is one of the best communites that I have ever been apart of and it's more than I could have ever dreamed about back in my days of running a community.
Last night, helping out with the ADL gave me a taste of what I used to feel when helping people and I just can't get enough of it. I've always loved managing things and helping out with the spreadsheets, sorting, feedback, etc... was awesome to say the least. I want to be able to help gamers again and I think that me and vVv have a long and great future ahead of ourselves. I'm very excited to see where vVv is going in the future and I very much want to be apart of that future.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings guys I'll be using this blog much more often. This was actually really fun to write and I hope you all enjoy it. If you have any feedback please let me know.
While the times of Pathfinder Alpha seem to be going in the right direction the Goblinworks Inc company made by far the smartest decision ever.
The Cold Start,
Goblinworks went through the painstaking task to simulate the effects of Early Access. I was surprised that they moved for this since I have never heard of a company doing this before. It was by far the most enjoyable thing that they had done since during this time you could get a ton of exp and then level some skills. This not only let you try out the skill leveling system but it also let you try out the said leveled crafting skills.
Next thing that happened was the 'Read All About It!'
In this 'patch' they sent out a list of things that they wanted everyone to try and do during the Alpha. In this update they also doubled the amount of players that will be in the Alpha!
If you are like me and have been playing the Alpha. You will find out that yes, there is a sad lack of players that are in the starting zones or even doing things in the area. Most of them have already moved out and are doing things out in the wild. But when they double the amount of players this should make it easier for the new people to get integrated since they can ask questions and get answers from the others who have been playing.
The community has been very welcoming and helpful to anyone who has asked questions or even needed help with stuff. This is a great thing to see even this early in the game. If this keeps on going we will be sure to have one of the best communities ever.
Good job Goblinworks, 10/10 so far. Keep it up!
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So for my Technical writing class I had to write a little 3 paragraph article about my past, present, and hopes for the future. I decided to share it with you guys so you can get a little bit of an insight into some of the key points of my life and what I think about. Cheers.
"The hardest part of high school was coming to terms with being gay. While struggling to figure out who I was, I immersed myself in music, band specifically. It was my life’s passion, it made me a lot of friends, and it was the inspiration for my first tattoo. After I graduated high school, I came out as gay to my friends, who weren’t shocked at all, and moved in with my real dad. I went to community college while figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, and once I realized I wanted to do Crime Scene Investigation, I had my sights set on UNT. I had a large falling out with a bunch of my close friends because of small things, and it pushed me to move far away from my hometown of El Paso. Once everything was set in stone and I received my acceptance letter, I took my car and my belongings and headed out to start one of the biggest chapters of my life. Saying goodbye to my family, especially my dad, was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve done to this day.
Now that I’ve been living in Denton for almost two years, I find myself often worrying about my finances and my future. I always feel like I never have money and no matter how much I work, I lose even more money because of all my monthly bills. I always get homesick and wonder if moving so far away was really a good choice, even if UNT has an extraordinary criminal justice program. My friends I met through online gaming have kept me going, and even though they live all over the United States, they give me great advice and keep me sane when I feel like I’m going to crumble. Being a part of an online gaming organization has also boosted my confidence and has helped me become more comfortable with myself. I know that strangers will still judge me because of my personality, but I’ve learned that they don’t matter, and as long as I’m comfortable, who cares? Because I have learned this, I can open up to complete strangers more easily and have since made many new friends during my short time in Denton. Thanks to my family, gaming organization, and friends, I can see my future in the distance, and I hope that I can make something out of myself and make my family even more proud of me.
Senior year is nearing, and internships are starting to pop up. I can see myself walking the stage and grabbing my diploma, knowing I already have a secure job in crime scene investigation. I know everything I need to know to be successful, and I feel ready to conquer the world! I will have a nice apartment for one, drive a fancy car, and have the most stylish wardrobe. I don’t know what city I’ll work in, but I honestly don’t really care. Sometime in the future, before I grow old, I will visit Europe. I’ve always wanted to go. I also want to attend a gaming convention with all my online friends. Even though the future is super unpredictable, I will make the best of it. "
Hi guys its Trivium! Long time no talk? Anyways, we had an outbreak within Agent eSports, which spread onto Twitter. It infuriated me and I immediately though of vVv and The Five Pillars. For those who don't know I am an ex member of vVv, and I still love this organization! Many don't know, Jerry is a huge inspiration and one of my most favorite people in the world! I spoke to him a few times before, but when we met at MLG Columbus back in November, I was awe-stricken by the amount of intelligence one man can have, and motivated by his wording. Honestly, he's one of those people that can tell you more about yourself than you knew about yourself before! I'm sure everyone else who ever met him can agree with that as well!
Well anyway, here is the article! If you enjoyed it please retweet this tweet it would be very much appreciated! #BelievVve!
@Agent_Trivium on professionalism in @AgenteSports, eSports, and in General.
I expect everyone in @AgenteSports to maintain a higher level of professionalism, weather you are planning on going pro or not. If were giving you the chance, the least you can do is show we don't just pick up anybody. If you were able to look at our DM's on the Agent twitter and see how many people would love to have your opportunities, maybe you all would stop taking things for granted.
For those who don't know I was a player and staff member for an organization known as Vision Valor Victory, or vVv. When you apply and earn an interview to become part of the organization, you are expected to know and be able to explain the "Five Pillars of vVv Gaming" which I will link for everyone at the end of this article. These were written out by the owner himself and one of my personal mentors, vVv Lord Jerith. These pillars were established for two purposes: one as a guide to give every single person wanting to be involved in the a concrete post explaining what is expected of them as a member of vVv: and two, help vVv maintain the prestigious image it has managed to upkeep over 7 years, and earning itself over 120 top 5 placements in 20 different titles.
Is there a correlation to maturity over social media and respect for the teams each player represents? I'd say so.
It doesn't matter if you are a youth AM wanna be AM team, or a T8 team, act mature. If you think the players of Evil Genius, Complexity, Optic, Team Kaliber, or even Annex are where they are today by complaining about their team mates on social media, or down talking their own organization where the public can see or hear it? I don't think so.
Of course everyone messes up and says something they don't mean, or a harmless joke is taken the wrong way. But when it turns into a 14-15 tweet battle back and fourth, that is UNACCEPTABLE. I don't care if you have 40 followers and half of them are smurf accounts you made to make yourself look better (which thats a whole other story), that is still 20 people that get a poor taste in their mouth of you, as a representative of an organization, therefore making the organization, your team mates, other players, the staff, the designers, and the organization as a whole look bad.
Of course I used a small example and that may or may not have gotten the point across. Lets move on a larger scale now.
Your an AM team with a combined total of 1200 followers (we will say 500 per player and 200 on the team/org Twitter), you drop one player and announce you have an open slot on social media. Everything between you and the dropped player is worked out behind closed doors, everyone looks good.
On the other hand, if you say something along the lines of, "@'insert name here' is dropped from our team LF1" and nothing was resolved prior, or the dropped player wasn't informed before the Tweet went out, thats a major problem. Especially when names get thrown back and forth at one another, people cry and carry on, etc. Now that looks bad in front of a lot more people. Lets say somewhere along the line something gets 4-5 retweets from randoms with 200 followers a piece. Thats an additional 600 that see your immaturity, now your at an 1800 person reach. Thats how a lot of teams get a bad rep.
Even outside of eSports this little lesson is very, if not more, applicable. One day every single person reading this will represent something, weather its a small business, clothing brand, musical group, or even just there self. Being able to show the correct level of maturity, based on the situation, is key in anything you do, and problem solving is the most important skill in both the workplace, and at home.
Why not practice on a small scale? Learn how to interact on a day to day basis. Most importantly, hold yourself to the highest standards. Who knows, one day you could be interviewing for the position of a lifetime and how you compose yourself could determine your fate of that position.
One more thought before I end this post, I want to leave everyone something to think about and its a quote from Lord Jerith himself:
"It's not about what an organization can do for you, but what can you do for the organization".
For those of you not understanding that quote, I can tell you right now you will need a lot of work, especially if you want to be in the gaming and eSports industry.
This quote simply means , if you do good work for somebody (an eSports organization in this case), it will get recognized. If you are someone who puts 110% of their effort into something, passion, and maintain a positive presence in the [eSports] community, the organization will grow, and because of your involvement, YOU will grow.
In conclusion, just problem solve behind closed doors, and if you do get in an argument in public on social media, there are things called "Direct Messages". Send them there, leave them there. I want nothing but the best for the people we at Agent eSports pick up as players, but I also expect them to give us their best. If I see poor representation, I will take note and let you know in a PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL message. If problems persist, actions will be taken. On the other hand, I will do my best to reward the positives as well.
Thank you for reading this and I sincerely hope that this has opened some peoples eyes.
As promised here is a link to the 5 Pillars of vVv. Everyone should read this!
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Picture Posted is from about 4 years ago.
I figured it was time to put to words one of the most important decisions that I have ever made in my life. I'll start from the beginning. From a pretty young age, I've battled with severe depression. I never had the self esteem to go out and make friends, or to make myself known. Quite frankly it's this fact that made me turn to a life of gaming, but I digress. Spending my time in doors, and doing nothing but gaming and eating, it's no surprise that I quickly became overweight, and concealed myself away from the world even more.
Sure, this led to me improving my gaming skills on a massive scale, to the point where I normally pick up games quite quickly, but this was no way to live my life. I thought, maybe a change of scenery would be something that could help me. I moved nearly 300 miles from my home town in Ohio, to Chicago, to attend college. During that time, I did manage to make a few friends, but even then it wasn't enough. Being on my own, no one to help me control my overeating, I was to the point where I was eating sometimes up to 8 McDonald's sandwiches for a single meal, then hours later I would be eating again.
At the time, I failed to notice the problem, I was blind to all that I was doing to myself. I hadn't seen a scale, or a doctor for years by the time I had graduated from college, and moved back home. By this time, the overeating was in full effect. Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy's, etc... If they had a cheap menu, I was ordering from it, and ordering a lot. I remember once spending nearly $40 on one single meal at Taco Bell, and eating it all as if I was never going to eat again.
Finally a few years later, I was hanging out with some friends, and noticed, that even walking I was getting too winded to keep up. I couldn't do nearly anything that they wanted, and I was doing nothing but dragging them down. I couldn't take it. I finally decided to see the damage for what it was, and went to the doctor to be weighed in. The news was less than stellar. I weighed in at an unsightly 553 lbs. Even at 6'10, that put me nearly 270 lbs overweight. I could have died from the sheer shock, I was in such denial. I had to make a change, so I immediately got myself a gym membership.
That was 18 months ago, a time in my life that I'd rather forget ever happened. From that point I've made it down to 380 pounds as of my most recent weigh-in, and I plan on making it down to 300, to be at a proper weight for my height. I've still got the depression, I've still got the fear of being social, but I'm using all of the willpower I can muster up to make a change for myself, and that's really all I can do.
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Hi Everyone, my name is Bojan (pronounced Boyan) and I would like to tell you about the time I have spent in vVv Gaming. I have found out about vVv in Guild Wars 2. It was roughly around February of 2013 and I was looking for a guild to join after I have quit the game for couple of months. When I came back I chose not to go back to guild I was a part of (HOPE) because in my absence they have grown very big and I prefer smaller tight knot guilds over large armies because then I get to know people and make good friends.
I was recruited in vVv Gaming guild by Lamorak Ex Deo who at the time had the rank Leader. He turned out to be the temporary leader while Damien was absent. Around that time there were roughly 6 to 10 people who would log on in the guild daily and that was on a good day. During the next few days I got to know everyone (all 10 of them!) and realized that they were a group of people I would like to continue playing with and enjoy the game. In that resolve I offered to help them expand and become active again and this is how it all started.This is roughly the turnout we had from the guild on our guild events at that time, we had to ask for help from other guilds to get anything done.
Over the next couple of months I spent a lot of time recruiting and helping the guild grow. I started running various events throughout the week and I did my best to still have fun with the game. I remember doing weekly Dungeon runs and Guild Missions at that time and I ran my own event that I called Bagzli's Games. The events slowly kicked off, we were low on numbers first but as we recruited people got more interested in the guild and wanted to stick around more. My custom event became very popular due to randomness and creativity that the event provided and this made my time spent organizing it and farming the gold for prizes well worth it.
Here is a screenshot of us playing the what I called the Liar's Game. Basically the rules were I would ask a simple question, are the apples red. People would get 10 minutes to decide on their answer and then they would whisper it to me. In the end group that had less votes would move on to round 2 and the larger group would be eliminated. This would repeat until there is 1 winner left. The reason behind 10 minutes was so that people can strategies and figure out a way to guarantee themselves a spot in the next round.
Time went by and we grew. We became very active and we started getting involved with the community. Myself and Lamorak both became applicants and at that time I learned what vVv Gaming really is. Up to that point, All vVv was to me was just another guild I joined and helped out in. Soon enough drama came knocking. One of the main officers in the guild and the current Warlord of the guild quit and would not say why. Around the same time Lamorak had to leave for what was suppose to be 2 weeks but turned out a month. At this point in time we had a guild event happening every night of the week, and three of us were the people who ran them. I ended up running all 7 events for the whole month in hopes that once lamorak is back we can establish new officers who would help out. He came back a month later only to tell me he is quitting as well. I discovered later that part of the reason of them quitting is because they were not very immersed in vVv Gaming and they were too afraid that LordJerith or DoomHammer would decide to log on one day and ruin it all for them. They didn't understand that both LordJerith and DoomHammer only wanted to help them run an active guild.
With them leaving, they made a fairly big scene of it and they picked off about 80% of the active members of the guild. Hurray drama. At this point I felt devastated that all those months of hard work have just gone to waste and I didn't want to go on. I got promoted to the leader but we were at the point almost as bad as when I first joined. Few days later I was suppose to meet DoomHammer for my pre-interview into vVv Gaming. I took those few days to think and decided this was not worth it. I decided I'm dropping my application, I am quitting Guild Wars 2 and playing another game.
I got these drilled into me by SugarBear when I asked him for his endorsement. I have to say it was very uncomfortable 60 minutes... Boy did I never forget them nor what they stood for...
I showed up for the pre-interview out of respect for the organization and to tell him that I was done. Jordan dragged me to the interview channel in mumble and we started talking. He asked how guild wars 2 was doing and I told him of the recent drama and told him how this is really frustrating. The conversation that happened next changed my decision. I remember listening to him talk and explaining things to me about the guild and what I could do and how to do them. He gave me very solid advice, but he also did something more. He made me respect him, but not for the kind of a person he was, for his ability to talk to a person and inspire them to take action. At this point I still did not tell him I'm quitting, the conversation didn't get to that point yet, but when it did I thought to myself: do I really want to leave this behind and never get a chance to learn from this guy ever again?
I chose to stay, I chose to take his advice on things in Guild Wars 2 and act on them. And so the journey continued. I started recruiting even harder than before, I appointed few officers to help me out. I organized a guild meeting that put an end to the drama that was going on and I pointed this guild in a new and better direction. I actually still remember writing a speech I wanted to make to everyone to try and inspire them to stick with me and follow me. I ended up reading none of that because a written speech just doesn't have the same effect than when you go and tell it from the heart as the words come on their own.
Time went by again and we started talking about organizing a pvp Tournament in Guild Wars 2. We ended up picking up a Guild Wars 2 PvP Team and I was to work with them to make the tournament happen. As they were to be participating, I was the person who organized everything to keep things fer to other teams, but they helped a lot by promoting it and putting me in touch with the key people to make the tournament a success.
As all of this was happening, little did I know that my sole reason for being in vVv Gaming was about to get crushed. One night I got dragged into the staff channel by LordJerith and there were a bunch of people there. He said, Bagzli I just wanted to tell you that this is DoomHammers last week of being the president of vVv Gaming. He got a job at riot and he will be stepping down as the president due to not having enough time to run the community as he is now. My response was: " Well that sucks". So basically the guy who I wanted to learn from and pretty much the biggest reason I have stayed was leaving to be replaced by some guy I only heard of "RobZGod".
I'll admit, I was a little angry. I had no idea who this RobZGod was not what he was like. I never met him up to that point and I was having huge doubts about a guy who was the current vice president but I never really saw around the community much. Couple days later both DoomHammer and RobZGod found me in mumble and wanted to talk about the tournament, where I was at with it and if they can help. Finally I meet this mysterious guy called Rob. I learned that Rob has been really busy working at Activision and that is why I never saw him around much. I also learned he gets excited about competitive play way too easily (a good thing). So lets get back to the tournament!
So time went by, the guild grew and we held our first Guild Wars 2 tournament which I ended up calling Kings of the Mists. We managed to get shoutcasters from MLG to shoutcast our tournament and we ended up being sponsored by ArenaNet. The sponsorship came in at last minute, but never the less it happened! Without the sponsorship the prize for the tournament was going to be 500 gold for the winning team. During the organizing phase, I organized a gold for gold donation drive towards the tournament. For every gold guild donated, I would throw in a gold myself. We ended up raising 500 gold which was enough to get some key teams interested in participating. Most of the teams that participated did not do it for the money, they did it to help the Guild Wars 2 e-sports scene grow; and once we had the few key teams signed up, well lets say the remaining 10 slots got filled very fast. (Actually had an overflow in case a team doesn't show up, roughly about 22 teams in total signed up and 16 was what we organized it for).
The tournament was organized and executed really well. There were few minor hiccups but everything ran as smoothly as we could of hoped for. We had close to 1000 viewers at our peak (I think 972 was the actual number) and I believe close to 2000 unique visitors for the duration of the tournament. Basically we had more viewers watching our tournament than all the guild wars 2 streamers combined on any given day, and that was quite the accomplishment! I got to learn a lot from organizing this tournament, I don't think I can explain in words well enough the challenges I faced and in which ways I have overcome them. I had plenty of support and guidance from the executive staff and that made this learning experience even better.
Couple months went by and guild was still going strong. We started having discussions about the second tournament, but this time around we wanted to get support from steelseries. So we presented our case to them, showed them the results from our first attempt and they jumped right on board with wanting to help us by providing prizes this time! I was in contact with community manager from ArenaNet and he also did everything he could to make our next tournament a success. They even wrote an article about our tournament and couple other community ran tournaments!
Second tournament was a success but not as successful, our team placed higher this time, but there was less interest. We did not get as many views as last time and some of the better teams have fallen apart. On the up side we managed to get european, and asian teams interested enough to stay up late all night so they can be part of the tournament!
All in all, I had the chance to organize 2 large tournaments. Well, as large as they get in Guild Wars 2. I had the chance to learn how to manage my resources, how to motivate teams to sign up, how to interact with potential sponsors and how to get them on board to sponsor us. I had the chance to partake on a smaller scale of business side of e-sports and that is something I am truly glad got to do.
As far as the guild goes, we kept going strong, when the pvp scene started dying we found other ways to entertain ourselves and that is why vVv Gaming is a place to be in, because we keep going. That is all from me for now, I'll try to write another blog about my experience as the MMO Division Manager and Website Developer of vVv Gaming.
Thanks for reading and I hope some of you get interested in joining staff because you get to do some really cool stuff that most people don't even know about. Most importantly you get to learn skills you can take well beyond gaming.
After making the decision to start taking my life more seriously, I started thinking about my living conditions. Right now, I'm living with 4 other people in a two bedroom apartment. There are two people in each room, and I sleep in the living room because I sleep like a rock. I'm almost certain I could be sleeping on concrete with a gunfight going on and still sleep like a baby. We have all 5 of our computer set-ups in the living room because most of us have different sleeping schedules and it makes it to where people can still be on their computers and let others sleep in peace. It makes for a fun enviroment but comes with quite a few downsides.
On more than one occasion, we've gotten on each other nerves with either the volume being too loud or laughter and talking too loud to hear what you're trying to listen to. I have a hard time focusing on things as it is, but it becomes almost impossible for me to do something about it with no place to get away from it all. If I ever want to start cracking down and getting stuff done, I need my own space.
Luckily enough for me, a coworker of mine has a room open for rent at his place. It would be about $80 more than what I'm paying now in rent but would come with so many added benefits. My own room, a washer/dryer, and air conditioning(Thank god). I would also be only a 5 minute walk away from my current job instead of the 30 minute drive I make now. So I decided to go for it and should be moved in by the end of the week. But this is has been sort of a bittersweet decision.
I've lived with my 4 other roommates for 2 and a half years now and have grown extremely close with them. I consider one of them to be my best friend. He let me move in rent free, with no job and paid for my food for 3 months while I looked for a job. If it weren't for him I'd probably still be living with my parents. I wouldn't even have my current job without him. Its just been alot of fun playing games, watching anime, and just goofing off with these guys, but I think this is for the better. It couldn't last forever.
Despite all that I'm looking forward to the change. Life can be bittersweet but it goes on nonetheless.