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  1. 15 points
    vVv RobZ

    My vVv Story - Part 1

    Today I turn 21 years old.. The last few years have been a blur, but recently I had a chance to tell the story for the first time in a while. It actually happened this past weekend. vVv staff was all visiting LA for the weekend for MLG, LCS and to get aligned on strategy. Naturally, I’m not a very open or vulnerable person, but after sharing and seeing the reaction of the room - I realized how important the two are in building relationships and trust between people. I’d now like to share that same story with the World. So here goes nothing . . . I discovered vVv Gaming back in June of 2007 after joining a random Public Lobby in Gears of War. I remember it vividly. The map was canals and I was immediately welcomed by the voices of vVv members, applicants and the application manager at the time, vVv Woody56292jr. I had known of clans before from when I played socom on gamebattles a few years back, but had not encountered any on the console before. Woody did a great job explaining what vVv was and told me to check out the website if I was interested in joining. The website, which I learned was designed by a member of the community named “Froot” had an image of their Gears of War team winning a big tournament in New Jersey. I thought to myself, “These guys are legit, I want to one day become as good as them and learn everything I can from this community.” I submitted an application, and the rest was history from there. I was banned from the shoutbox several times, had my application closed due to a very immature attitude. Looking back, I was a terrible teammate and just a brat kid who thought he knew more than he did. Although I departed from vVv before I was ever really accepted back then, they introduced my to competitive gaming, specifically the Gears scene. I took my application being closed as motivation to improve as a player and person. I played every single day that Summer for at least 6 hours on gamebattles and in scrims with friends. I attended my first major event in 2007 which in Toronto and ended up placing 4th. Not too shabby. Local Lan in Connecticut Fast forward about a year later, I ran into a player named Sun Down who was apart of vVv’s Gears division. We both hadn't earned “Pro Status” yet, but we hit it off right away and decided to work together with two other players in Enmity and Demon. This was our team, and the tournament we were preparing for was the next MLG event on the 2008 pro circuit in Toronto. Because Sun Down was already apart and vVv, we decided to approach them to represent a community because we knew they could help us take our game to the next level with their history in the Gears scene. I still remember that interview with Jerry and I know he knew that I was the same brat kid who had his application closed and was banned in the past, but he gave me that shot to redeem myself. We had the spot and were the 2nd Gears team for vVv at that time. That team was called vVv Destiny. Remember that name for later in the story. Clocktower Our team actually stuck together for the months leading up to the event and we were really confident in our strategies and teamwork. I still remember some of the late nights coordinating with Nick (Enmity) how we would play the host spot and secondary positions together to focus down someone trying to go for the mid pillar or sandbag push strat. We went to the event and actually had a to get a last minute replacement at the event for Demon because he sketched out. We grabbed Mephisto from another team and were ready to go. No practice with him at all, we had to change our strats, but we knew his rawl skill would definitely fill in for that. vVv Destiny at MLG Toronto ‘07 We placed 9th at this event, which was a big accomplishment for all of us since it was of the most competitive events of the year and of course with our circumstances of using a last minute replacement. The team stuck together, but made a roster change with bringing in Storm for Sun Down. Our next big event was closer to home for me in New York City at the Samsung Experience Center for WCG. I took the train down from Connecticut and stayed with my sister in the city. This event was on the newly released Gears of War 2 and we took 2nd at this event as an invitational team. vVv Destiny and Coach Sun Down at WCG Holiday Heroes After this event, the team was working towards the next level and my attitude was letting not allowing the team to perform at their best. I was released from the team and got involved with several other competitive titles such as Socom, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. I still hung around vVv, but was not nearly as involved as I was when I was competing. I was very competitive in these games as well, hitting gladiator in WoW on multiple accounts and holding the Crown in Socom for the longest out of any team that season. I became back involved with vVv again for Call of Duty, where I lead the first community team “vVv Essence. to a victory in the MLG NYB online tournament. After Call of Duty wasn’t supported with any LAN events, I stopped playing games all together. This was all around my Junior year in High School. I switched back to Public School from a Tech Program and went on to try to lead an ordinary life, without gaming. I had a lot of catching up to do because I was away from those friends for several years, but I tried my best to be “normal” and live up to the social expectations of a Senior. I went out, hosted a few parties and built relationships. Summer just started. I just graduated, turned 18, got accepted into the school I wanted to attend and got a brand new car. Graduation and Birthday Present I was living the ordinary life. Not in contact with anyone from vVv or gaming at all, I thought this is what I wanted. Fourth of July was around the corner, and I thought it would be a good idea to drink and drive. Long story short. I drove home from a party by myself, hit a car and then drove home with the front end of my car scraping against the pavement. When I pulled into my driveway, the cops were already there. I refused the breathalyzer test and started talking to them about my times as a competitive gamer. They took me to jail and then later the Hospital. I was charged with Reckless Driving, Driving in the Wrong Lane and Driving Under the Influence. Night of the accident Thousands of dollars in lawyer fees later, two of the charges were dropped and was license was suspended for one year. I had to take classes and immediately accept a ton of responsibility to not only pay my family back, but also get my life together. This accident turned around my life. It was a wake up call. That Summer, I worked every day with my Dad and then later got a job at Panera. For the next two years, I commuted to school my train every Monday and Wednesday. Woke up at 6am took a bus to a train, to a shuttle and then another bus. I would get home at about 9pm. My projects in school Around this time, I reached out to Jerry to tell him my story and see if I could get back involved with my passions: gaming and esports. I was paying very little attention to the scene, but it just felt right to go back home to vVv. I began writing articles and blogs just to share my competitive gaming thoughts and stories. The blog hit 30,000 views at one point, but by then I wanted to get more and more involved with vVv staff. At this point, I was getting advice from my sister and parents that I shouldn’t do vVv stuff for too long as it was unpaid work and wouldn’t provide me with anything. I also had the urge this entire time to go out and party with friends, but I stayed focused and stuck to my gut. With vVv, I wanted to help players who had the same challenges I did as a player and help them be successful. I ran tournaments, write articles, consulted on team decisions and did whatever I could to help vVv become a better organization. All of my energy outside of work and school (and even sometimes in school, see photo above) was focused on that goal. vVv Destiny Reunited at Hypefestation About a year and a half later, I became the VP of Operations at vVv Gaming. Two weeks later, Jerry announced that he was joining Riot Games as the Director of People. MLG Columbus 2012 Fast forward to the Season 3 World Finals for League of Legends, I made the trip out to LA to visit Jerry and Jordan at their new apartment. During this time, Jordan and I were working on a project called the Experience Initiative which was focused on providing teams and staff opportunities to work in the gaming industry. While we were watching the World Finals that year, Forbes had released an article about our project with an interview - I lost it. It wasn’t the attention or article, the emotion that hit me was the culmination from that first GoW Public match, to the MLG events, DUI accident and to now. Jerry looked at me, and we both felt it. We both knew at the very moment that vVv Gaming was a very special place. For some reason, at that moment, Jerry also saw something in me and decided to offer me to come live out in Los Angeles to pursue my own personal goal of working in the gaming industry full time. Season 2 World Championship I landed back in New York City to stay with my sister that weekend and told her about the trip. I mentioned that it could be a possibility of me leaving school in Connecticut to come to LA to work on vVv. There were a lot of concerns about leaving school, or how I would manage out there on my own. She suggested that I study abroad in Germany like she did and I was tempted. I kept it to myself for a while because I wasn’t sure how my parents would react, but then, when my Grandma was visiting I told her all about it. We sat down with my parents and sister to explain my decision and the opportunity. About a week later it was December 15th and I had a one way ticket to LA… I'll be releasing the full story throughout the next few days. Do you have a vVv story? Share it with us!
  2. 12 points
    Note: As I've been around the StarCraft 2 community, I've seen about hundreds of people offering StarCraft 2 coaching, seeing many of coaches in action as well, on their streams. It became some sort of a trend within a StarCraft 2 community. You can easily hook yourself up with a SC2 coach, if you look hard enough. Some of them offer their services for free, some of them ask for a hourly fee. Now, what has me thinking is, that a lot of people do follow the formula of 'He is a GM player, he will teach me a lot!'. Many, many posts on that on Teamliquid.net in particular. The question, which lingers in the air is... So, what makes a SC2 good coach? The answer could be as simple as 'He needs to be able to teach'. Obviously. However, in terms of mostly limited interaction between the Coach & Student, which is usually Skype and the pair meeting up on Battle.net, the coach needs to be extremelly versatile and articulate, being able to understand his/her student from just seeing them play and hear them talk. Now, it is no secret, that teaching requires a special sort of personality, skillsets & approach. It can be easily compared to a teacher in real-life. The approach, which the teacher takes heavily influences how fast or slow your Student progresses. Teachers do need to know their stuff, they need to be able to analyze their students and see how is the best way to approach someone's education. It is a common mistake, which I get to see from some real-life teachers, as well as SC2 coaches, who just tell the student what to do, instead of telling their students WHY they are doing it. The 'WHY I am doing it' aspect is quite important factor in most people's education. from my own perspective, I have trouble remembering something just for the sake of remembering it. I need to know why I am doing something, to find a logic reasoning behind it, thus, being able to remember it with ease. But when I don't know something, I need to be told! That statement is only half-true. Of course, if it's a new build order you want to learn, you need to know the necessary steps and timings, to have a very tight openings, as well as gentle macro-mistakes reminders can be useful, to further ingrain the macro into your system. However - often a coach would bring another student of his, to serve as a sparring partner for his student, usually in equal skill-level. That alone is questionable for me a bit, as I personally try to practice with much better players than I am, although admittedly, that can be brutal to one's psychological side and it can take it's toll. Means that if the player is way stronger than you, you'd not see a single win for a week or longer, depending on how much you progress. Now, what I do find as common issue among coaches is, that they tell their student during the practice game exactly what to do. Now, to make it clear, I am not talking about the situation when the student is learning a new build order. I am talking about when the student is actually playing against someone, with their coaches observing them. In my opinion, that will not teach you anything. As everything in StarCraft is situational, the longer the game goes. You can't just memorize the game from 0:00 to say 20:00. It seems that my original question then still stands, doesn't it? StarCraft 2 Coaching takes a lot more than you realize... So again, good coach, please? The coach needs to make their student to think on their own. Yes, go as far as asking them questions during the game, give them a hint, say 'You see a pool going down early, what does that indicate and how can you react to the situation?' It may seem a bit like theorycrafting, but, it does teach you to think 'StarCraft'. It teaches you how to react, what your options are, when you see certain situations laid out in front of you. And when you think about it deeper once your session ends, it will even make sense for you! I'd compare that to a man, who doesn't give a fish to hungry one and teach them how to fish instead. To offer a bit of personal experience here: I had a friend of mine teaching me this way and sometimes I literally felt like a pupil sitting in class, trying to mumble responses to my teacher, during a lesson at school, but it was totally worth it and it helped some of my skillsets immenselly, when it comes to StarCraft! Personal approach - Important! Not everyone is capable of learning by the 'standard pattern'. The way coach approaches their students and the way they teach them, it is equally as important as the game knowledge. Some players maybe do enjoy a coach yelling over at them through Skype bunch of commands, as to what to do and when, however, some people are not as versed in stressful situations and need calmer, slower-paced teacher. In the end, StarCraft 2 coaches are not that different from real-life teachers. They require extensive knowledge of their area of interest, they need to have at least basic understanding of who they are teaching, what kind of player they are dealing with; in order to be able to pinpoint their strong & weak points to be able to help in the most effective way. What about Coach's league?! Yes, getting to that as well. No offence to a lot of GrandMaster players, but I'd not pick them as the best coaches. Yes, I do respect their brilliant in-game skills. But, let's pour a fresh wine here and be completelly honest for a while. A lot of these players are so focused on their own improvement, that they do not have the personal skills, time & correct approach to be able to effectivelly pass down their knowledge to their students. And that is perfectly fine, as they are focusing on themselves, to improve their game. However, as I said, being in GrandMaster doesn't make one automatically a good coach. Even in real-life, sport's coaches are mostly not the best of the best. It simply really comes down to the ability to be able to teach. Good teachers do not always come from champions. However, there is need for wide knowledge, as I pointed out earlier, so no, not everyone is cut out to be a coach. Some people lack the knowledge for it and some people lack personal skillsets, such as empathy, patience and overall ability to effectively teach someone by breaking it down in a way their student would understand the principle, as to WHY they are doing something, instead of just memorizing it, which will not help them in the long run. For example, look at known caster and personality in StarCraft scene - Sean "Day[9]" Plott. I believe he'd make one of the best StarCraft 2 coaches, because he truly is brilliant in breaking the game down into smallest of smallest pieces, so that it is easy for anyone to understand the concept of what he tries to teach. And, is he a top StarCraft 2 player winning every top tournament nowadays? No. He is not and yet, let's see an extreme example - if I ever had a choice say, between oGsMC and Day[9], Sean would definitelly be the preffered coach for me. Knowledge of StarCraft is important... Asking impossible? Did I just make it sound like StarCraft 2 coaches, if they want to be the best, are to devote time to learning how to deal with people, how to pass down knowledge and how to gain an ability to teach in general? Yes. I did. But it takes too long? Yes, that is also true. But think about it. A lot of coaches ask for hourly fee equal to a hourly fee of real-life teacher, who sits with you in real life and talks you through things. I believe, that those who ask people to pay them for their service should aim for providing the best. And even those kind souls, who try to help other StarCrafters to get better without any monetal reward could think about this. Help in the best way possible, as I believe that is your reason behind wanting to coach others, right? You don't learn to be just a good player. You need to learn how to be a good teacher as well. That too takes it's own time and unique 'practice'. Last words? In no way I want to discourage coaches and their students. In fact, I admire that some people do reach out to the community and help others. It is something I highly respect and it is something I'd love to do for others, once I feel my knowledge and experiences are good enough. I believe there's a huge reward in itself to see a student growing under one's wing. Seeing my student 'graduate' under my tutelage will bring only proud blush to my cheeks one day. As it should to you, dear reader, if you happen to be a StarCraft 2 coach. Good luck and have fun with coaching your underlings! ------ Wrote this up some time ago, as a rant on StarCraft 2 coaches. Wanting to point out, that teaching, just like playing SC2 requires some practice and there's the fact, that just because someone's a high league player, it automatically doesn't make them great teachers. wanted to share, both because vVv Ambush asked, as well as I know some people do offer coaching and this may actually help them. Hope you enjoy. Like me on Facebook - here Follow me on Twitter - @vVv_BabyToss
  3. 10 points
    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.
  4. 10 points
    So there has been a few common difficulties I've found where applicants have trouble getting endorsements. I decided to write a post about how to improve your chances and getting into vVv with a few simple recommendations: Hang out before you apply This advice is really something everyone should consider. It can be pretty difficult to get someone to like you in just three weeks, especially if you only come on every week or so. Members will need to spend time with you to determine whether they like you or think you'd be a good addition to the community. People also have their own schedules, sometimes focusing on team nights or soloqueue/league practice. As a result it can be pretty difficult to get enough game time in with the same people consistently enough to get endorsed. By coming on mumble or XBL and hanging out with us on the forums, it gives people a better chance to get to know you before you submit an application. As a result it's much easier to get your endorsements later on. This also gives you a chance to see if vVv is the right community for you. Maybe you like the idea of vVv but the people rub you the wrong way, or maybe you like the people, but the direction of the organization isn't a good match for you. Whatever the case, it's best to find out before you put in the effort to put in an application and gather endorsements whether this is the place for you. Make yourself available to play frequently Getting to know a group of people can be a time-consuming task, especially when you consider you might not run into the same people every night. Wait to apply until you can consistently get on mumble or XBL at least 2-3 nights per week to play some games with people. This lets members retain their mental picture of you from one meeting to the next and thereby allows members to get to know you faster. Having multiple frequent nights of good interactions will likely get you endorsements without even having to ask for them. Be outgoing You might be a great person that everyone will love once they get to know you, but if you are very reserved or quiet on mumble or XBL no one will get the chance to find that out. Try to inject yourself in conversations as much as possible (being polite and trying not to cut people off, of course) or bring up conversations if no one is talking. Although not everyone can avoid being shy it is something you can work on, and being able to converse with people will translate into a great life skill later on. Be tactful It's not forbidden to ask people for endorsements, but consider how annoying it could be if someone were heckling you for something repeatedly every time you talked to them. The best way to go about asking for endorsements is to ask someone if they have any feedback for you. If they have nothing negative to say and generally positive things to say, it might be a good time to ask them to endorse you. If they still say no, accept that they might just not know you well enough yet and wait until you spend a few more nights playing with them before asking again. NEVER try to buy endorsements If you hear about someone selling endorsements in exchange for Microsoft points, RP, money, skins, etc. IMMEDIATELY contact a staff member. Do not attempt to purchase endorsements from ANYONE as this is 100% against the rules. We want vVv Gaming to be full of people who love to be around each other and add value, not people who can buy their way into the organization. If all else fails, find SugarBear (for LoL applicants) Sometimes people have certain personality traits that make people uncomfortable endorsing them, and may not be comfortable giving feedback like this to you. If you have tried the above and are still having trouble, I will find some time to play with you and can give you feedback on anything that might be putting people off and keeping you from getting endorsements. Please keep an open mind during these sessions, as any feedback is meant to be constructive and to help you grow as an individual. If you don't make it in, don't despair! Just because you failed to get the necessary endorsements in time to get your interview doesn't necessarily mean we hate you or don't want you here! It might simply be the case that we just didn't get the chance to get to know you well enough, or want to see you grow as a person a little before accepting you as a full member. Feel free to seek out as much feedback as possible and reapply in a few months if your application is closed due to failing to receive an endorsement. That's it! I hope these are helpful and good luck with your application. If you're a League of Legends applicant, be sure to join us on mumble every Tuesday and Thursday night for orientation and inhouses starting at 7 PM EST. Additional advice from vVv NaturaL:
  5. 10 points
    Published on Friday, 11 May 2012 00:06 | Written by BabyToss As promised, that I'd be writing spotlights of interesting personalities - I'm bringing you another one. This time, we have yet another role-model personality here. I believe, that if you actually follow StarCraft 2 scene, you'll know him. I'm talking about Manuel "Grubby" Schenkhuizen, a Dutch Protoss player. First, when you go and watch Grubby's stream, you'll notice one thing. He is entertainer. He enjoys making his show fun for the viewers. He talks, comments his games, does occassional giveaways and generaly is a friendly person to follow, when it comes to his streaming. Not only that, he is not afraid to go and interact with his fans outside of his stream. That actually makes him quite unique - a lot of known personalities seem to be distanced from their fanbase and they'd not talk to you unless you were known or you paid them. Often laughing and being generally positive, that is Grubby for you. If you haven't watched his stream or his games at least once, you are truly missing out. Grubby, similary to White-Ra, is a solo player with personal sponsorship. During 2011, he was sponsored by SteelSeries, but the sponsorship was dropped 'due to lack of enough results', according to Liquidpedia. Currently, he is under wings of Twitch.tv. Browsing into Grubby's past, he used to be a WarCraft 3 player, playing under Evil Geniuses. Looking into his past, this young lass managed to win a total of 38 LAN tournaments, from which, hold your breath, 6 were World Championships. Furthermore; Grubby is already married and yet, he still devotes time to his passion. Not many people do that. It is the issue of today's world, when people forget their passions and love for things they enjoyed to do, because of some unwritten 'standard', how one should live their lives. Grubby's wife also fully supports his husband in his endeavours, so he can fully comit to his work, while doing something he clearly enjoys. Additionally, Grubby tries to set an example by showing always positive manners. He is what I call, a leader by example, being a personality people naturally aim to follow, due to his warm and positive character. It just emanates from him, even when you see the guy for the first time, and that is a trait somewhat rare in the community. If you haven't watched Grubby, I suggest you do fix that mistake, I promise that you will not be disappointed, and at the top of all, you may learn a thing or two about StarCraft 2, playeing Protoss and perhaps, even becoming a better gamer - his stream can be found here - http://www.twitch.tv/followgrubby Don't go yet. I managed to catch Grubby for a short interview! INTERVIEW WITH GRUBBY Hihi, Grubby. Glad to have you. How are you today? "Hihi, I'm doing great." Thanks. Now, before we move onto different stuff, could you briefly introduce yourself? There are people, who do not know you, would you believe that.. "I'm a StarCraft 2 professional gamer with a love for eSports. I've begun gaming when I was 4 years old. For the last 9 years I've been competing in WarCraft 3 and then StarCraft 2. I've won 6 world championships from over 40 total victories. I'll be 26 years old in May and I'll still be Dutch." Let's look into your past - You are a WarCraft 3 veteran. Admittedly, because of StarCraft 2 being my first RTS, I do not know much about its scene or the game itself. Could you tell me and my audience, how did you even get into competitive gaming and what it was like for you, when you started off? "Since I started gaming at such a young age, and have loved playing games on the PC ever since, it was only normal that I'd end up falling in love with competitive gaming. I used to compete (and co-op) in games with my brothers mainly." Can you tell me about your very first success in WarCraft 3 and how did you feel after it? First victory usually is something you never forget, so, tell me about it. "The first really big success was winning World Cyber Games 2004 San Francisco. I had traveled to Korea 2 weeks prior to the WCG, and wasted not a minute in training. Before that, I'd been training 12 hours a day at home. I still did not believe I would win, but I did think I would make it to the finals. When I came to the grand finals, I was ecstatic, because the semi finals (against Shortround) was harder than I thought. My final match was against the Korean Zacard. I basically accepted 2nd place and was satisfied with that placement. I woke up early that morning and came to the venue earlier than almost anybody. I started warming up. As the time of the finals drew nearer, an orange legion showed up in the audience. Our country's delegation was comprised of 30+ players and staff; golden times for Netherlands & eSports. All of them were there cheering for me. Despite myself, I started believing in the possibility of winning. They were chanting my name. Still, I lost the first map and it just ascertained my fears; a quick 0-2 defeat would seem imminent. However, I quickly won the second map, and I played better than I ever had in the 3rd. An alien feeling followed me around as I seemingly got pulled in this direction and that, a handshake here and a picture there, a sequence of interviews and ceremonies. It was one big blur, to me, I could barely understand what was going on. I remember calling my mom, and I remember receiving the giant check, and my victory contributed to making Netherlands as the best WCG country of 2004. We laughed and cheered on stage, proud. It's great memories." Moving forward a bit, you were part of renown teams (such as 4Kings & Evil Geniuses) during your WarCraft 3 career. Could you tell me and my audience about that? How did your life change when you were first offered a spot on a professional team? What did it mean for you, personally, as well as a gamer? "When I was first offered a spot on 4Kings being one part of a 2v2 team, I had to make a difficult decision. Where do I want to go in WarCraft 3 and eSports? I was in a friends' team with a good but relatively casual atmosphere. I had to pick between team mates / friends and 'professional' advancement. I figured friends will stay friends but this opportunity could change everything. I accepted. For the first play day of the team league, I had a fever and could not play. I was torn by guilt and fear of leaving my team in such a pickle. The team manager was just like "Don't worry about it ". I was very surprised he was so cool about it, but I still felt guilty. Of the first matches, I lost most of them. They kept saying "it's ok" and their tolerant attitude mixed with the motivation of wanting to do better allowed me to grow up and become a better player. Fast forward time, and our 4K team was able to win 4 WC3L's and have the inimitable record of being undefeated for over a year, in more than 40 straight clan wars. 4Kings, though not being very professionally run, had a profound importance in how it shaped my career. Thanks to 4Kings' and Intel's budget, we were able to spend those 3 months in Korea which invested so very well into all of our training and team bonding." Can't hold onto it any longer. StarCraft 2 and you. How did you get into it & why Protoss? "In a sea of quick sequels and buggy games, Blizzard's games are precious pearls. I've played every Blizzard game (except WC1) and loved them all. Going into SC2 was a good choice. The challenge, excitement and pleasure of competing in WC3 and SC2 has been a complete thrill. I feel like Protoss picked me more than that I picked Protoss. I've always liked close combat units (like the Grunt, Raider, Tauren and Zealot) and quick units (Raider, Batrider, Phoenix)." Transition from one game into another can be difficult. How was your transition from WarCraft 3 to StarCraft 2? Was it easy? What did you struggle with the most during the transition? Tell me about it. "In WarCraft 3, the main challenges were: decisions, weighing pro's & con's, micromanagement, battle tactics, when to fight and when to avoid combat, upkeep management, item management, game sense. In StarCraft 2, the main challenges are: speed, economy management, positioning, map awareness, scouting, decisions and unit composition choices. The first thing I struggled with was the management of the economy. Just to name an example, in WarCraft 3, when you created an expansion, it was very usual to immediately attack the opponent without truly engaging in a all-out combat. This would buy time for your expansion to kick in and start working to your advantage; or maybe it would even keep your opponent blind to it (scouting was way more costly in WC3 than in SC2). In StarCraft 2, WC3 players were initially trying to play the same; expand and immediately attack and they'd lose. So it was for me, as well. These kind of hard-wired rules of the mind have to be rewired and this takes time, conscious effort and conversation. Sometimes I feel like, because I played WC3 for 9 years and was Top 3 world at it, it was very difficult for me to change my way of thinking. I've already made the final steps of this mental switch, however, and I consider myself a full SC2 player now." What you you think about current state of the game? Anything you'd change if you could? What about Protoss? What do you think about state of Protoss? "Hard question. I hope to see more developments which encourage micromanagement instead of discourage it. To me, Vortex, Forcefields, Fungal Growth and Broodlord's Broodlings are examples of abilities that deny micromanagement and make fights less interesting. However, Vortex will be removed in Heart of the Swarm (alongside the Mamaship), and at least Forcefields can be broken through by massive units and don't actually deal damage themselves. There is nothing that Protoss or Terran has that directly counters either Broodlings or Fungal Growth. Keep in mind that I do not speak about win rate %'s or relative strength or general balance. In WC3, strong spells like Fungal or summoned creatures like Broodlings would be "dispelled" by disenchant/dispell/abolish magic/devour magic. In SC2, once you get fungaled once, you get fungaled twice, and thrice, and 4x, and then your army just evaporates. No matter how many times you press Blink or try to fly your Phoenix away, that's it I have high hopes for Heart of the Swarm in terms of balancing and unit variety (particularly for Protoss because our Air tech becomes obsolete very soon after you start it) because Blizzard rarely disappoints, but I am worried about the Swarm Host, which is basically just a Broodlord under the ground, another micro-denying unit. Changelings + Infested Terrans + Broodlings + Swarmhost Broodlings + Fungal = one big unstoppable wall. (p.s.: having Fungal Growth be like Broodwar Queen's "Ensnare" ability, or having it do much less damage, seem appropriate measures to me to deal with this problem a bit. Once again: if that happens, of course other Z things must be buffed or P nerfed and T adjusted accordingly, as is understood of course)." Without me actually looking up your results or anything - What do you see as your biggest personal success in StarCraft 2? It doesn't have to be high ranking in a tournament. Simply something, which made you feel proud about yourself. "I think the 4th place in ESWC 2011 meant the most, because I performed above people's expectations, and finished above MC. They still haven't paid out the prize money to me yet, though O_O." Where there's a positive side, there also is this nastier, negative one creeping in. What do you see as your biggest failure, let down and generally negative thing in your StarCraft 2 career? Anything you'd do, to make it differently and better? "As you may know, my record against Stephano is not the best. In Multiplay i44 / IPL Qualifier, I was 1-1 against stephano and had 2 bases against his 1, with nearly double his workers. Two lings inside my base became banelings and blew up more than half my Probes. It was the closest I've yet come to beating Stephano and I think, if I had, I'd have less mental problems about facing him. I should've won that game, really disappointed myself there. Actually, I felt even worse when I lost the WCG 2011 Qualifiers to a relatively unknown Belgian protoss "Spoon". It's the first time I had not qualified to WCG since 8 consecutive attendances, and I felt like wanting to sink through the ground and forget about everything." Tell me Grubby, why do you remain a lone wolf? I am sure you had plenty offers when it comes to the team. Also, many players would love to team up with you, so, what is it, that you remain on your own? "Being independent gives me a chance to work more closely with sponsors, tackle new challenges constantly, and explore all the possibilities that eSports has to offer. I'm happy just the way it's going!" StarCraft 2 and it's Mekka - Korea. You've already been there, even though for just a brief stint. Do you wish to return there? Any plans regarding Korea for this year? "Hehe, I've been to Korea more than once, probably about 20 times, and it wasn't always brief. I love spending time in Korea. The people are generally quiet and humble, and tolerant and helpful towards me as a foreigner. I try to speak their language and I eat their food, and this gets appreciated. Koreans are a hard working people, maybe sometimes too hard. This is inspiring and motivating to behold. Practice in Korea has always helped me, and the work ethics of Koreans has always impressed me. I would love to return to Korea again some time soon." Arguably, most players believe, that Korea is the place to be, if you wish to compete at the top level. Do you personally believe that to be the truth or do you believe that you can become a top player no matter where you practice? "Both statements are correct. Korea is the place to be for top level competition and training, but it's also possible to become a top player somewhere else. It's always about the questions: how do you practice? where? with whom? Each player has to answer this for him or herself personally and find the fruits of his or own labor paying off." Talent vs Hard work, a topic discussed many, many times. What do you think makes a good StarCraft 2 player? Do you believe there is a thing called 'talent' or do you believe that if someone tries hard enough, they can still become one of the best? What would you recommend to someone, who wishes to devote their time to the passion of StarCraft 2? "Not everyone can be the best, talent plays a role. After that, it's all hard work. Without it, you won't become the best either. I think this is obvious. Of course, 'talent' as a phenomenom doesn't actually exist. Talent is just an all-encompassing word to describe the correct parameters of a person's character, intelligence, perseverance, motivation, choices, potential, etc. Not some inherent one-off gene or specific ability to play computer games. 'Talented' gamers would have been 'talented' at something else were they to have lived 100 years ago, before the first PC's. Not like the evolutionary process knew that the world would 'need' progamers in 2012 To anyone wishing to go pro, I can only speak from personal experience. The fun factor has to remain #1. Is it fun for you to improve any way you can? Then the time invested is never 'wasted', because you had fun, even if you don't make it. If you do, it was fun along the way and not just at the end." What keeps you going? Surely there are times when you just wanted to call it quits; so, what ticks you to just keep trying and go harder? "I wanted to call it quits about two times. The first time was when I lost a Night Elf mirror 0-2 in the WCG Winner Bracket Qualis in 2003. My brother Arthur kept me going and suggested I change race from Elf to Human because he had seen that I was quite good with Human when playing around with them for fun. I did, and 2-0'd everyone else in the LB including the guy who sent me to Loserbracket initially, winning the rest of the Qualifier without dropping a map. The second time was when I was having a particularly hard time at the end of 2007. 4Kings my team was not paying me for the last 10 months of my contract with them, and this was making me extremely stressed. I was going without some major victories and people though I would never win a tournament again. This spell was of course broken when I disproved the nonbelievers, winning WCG 2008 against the best competition in the world, but not before going through blood, sweat and tears. Along the way, my then-girlfriend now-wife Cassandra stood by me and helped me grow up both as a person and a player, and we persevered. All throughout, there have been fans who never abandoned me, win or lose. Their continued belief in me and desire for me to do well and be happy has done a lot for me." A must question - What are your short term goals? "Short-term goals are to do increasingly well in tournaments, to invest more into my training and to do many entertaining things for eSports and Grubby fans (streaming, commentating, playing, microing, and organizing a new tournament series). Personally? To be a good person to people I love." Grubby, we've been at this for quite some time now, huh.. alright, soon, I promise this will be over (laughs). Where do you see yourself as a player and person in a course of one year from now? "I don't answer that question anymore because I'm always wrong. eSports is an exciting adventure of opportunities - I'll go with it!" Any other games you enjoy playing in your leisure time? Any things you enjoy doing besides gaming and StarCraft 2? "Since I started on WC3, I haven't played any other games besides WC3 & SC2 except for Guild Wars 1 (for 2 weeks on & off) and Oblivion (1 week on & off). Diablo 3 could be the next one. As you can see, I love RTS' and a select few RPG's. Besides gaming, I enjoy reading fantasy & science fiction books, going on holidays with my wife Cassandra, and doing active stuff together like Scuba Diving or Snowboarding." Last one! Anything you'd like to say to your fans? To the fans here in Czech? Just, anything, really, go go, spit it out! "I've been to Czech Republic for skiing more than 10 years ago, and it was a great holiday. I want to come back some time for wintersports, maybe we will! Thanks everyone for reading this interview If you liked it, let BabyToss know and me as well on @followgrubby at twitter or facebook Thanks!" -- Original, Czech article can be found over at PLAYzone - here Like me on Facebook - here Follow me on Twitter - @vVv_BabyToss
  6. 9 points
    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.
  7. 9 points
  8. 8 points
    I want to start by stating that vVv Gaming has necessarily remained silent on this issue for a number of reasons. From the response on Team Liquid, it's clear that most people either didn't care or had already made up their minds to believe the negativity in Salvor's post and coming from the Aspire teams. Coming forward with an official response would have been unhelpful since the people who didn't care didn't care, and the people who had already made up their minds would just call any statement by vVv Gaming a lie and a cover up. As a result, we decided that the best course of action was simply to let the threads run their course and die out on there own, which eventually happened after a couple days when they fell off the front page. It's important to note that after the initial round of negativity, Titan, MurDeR, Hasuu, and RockEr all came forward with a positive and supportive message regarding their time on vVv Gaming's SC2 team. We had not asked them to do so, since our stance was that the sooner these threads fall off the front page, the sooner everyone can move forward with being productive and doing great things to progress eSports. I assume that either Glon or Salvor had decided to contact all of our former players to get statements, and it's important to note that of all the players we officially picked up, only Glon had negative things to say about vVv. There were a few players we were working with toward reaching a level we would feel comfortable sponsoring them, such as Toxsik and Reset, but these were never players we had officially decided to pick up and sponsor. After taking some time to reflect on everyone's responses, I decided to reach out to a few players who supported us and thank them (Astraea, Titan, MurDeR, RockEr, and Hasuu). I also reached out to several players who had complained about their experience in vVv Gaming. I notified Spectral that we had updated our chop-chop process. We now cross-referencing the chop list against our donation transaction history to avoid chopping players who have been adding value by donating, but may have been less active on the forums. I apologized to Toxsik for not following up with Jerry on sending him a headset, as this was my fault as a manager and not a result of any deceit or lie by vVv Gaming. I also apologized to Reset that we hadn't been able to work together to get him to reach a level where we would feel comfortable sponsoring him. I also began looking at Glon's responses and thinking about why he might feel the way he does. After several nights of reflection, I feel that he is justified in feeling that he was lied to or mislead, but it was not intentional on the part of vVv Gaming to do so. Let's begin by recounting his story. At the stat of 2012, or maybe at the end of 2011, we had been talking with Glon about being a sponsored player and at some point around this time he made it clear that he was looking for a salary. As a result we began looking into ways that would be possible. We decided that internally it would not be possible to provide that level of support for Glon, and that without a significant tournament result it probably wouldn't be possible that another team would either. So we made it a goal to develop him to the level where he could be picked up by a team like EG which would be able to provide him with a salary like he wanted. This was communicated to Glon as well. All was going well, until we were discussing sponsorship details with Glon at Anaheim (Summer 2012). During these discussions it was brought up that he'd been communicating with other teams about potential sponsorship offers, and that he was planning on accepting one of these offers and leaving vVv Gaming. This came as a surprise to us as he had not come to staff stating that he wanted to pursue other sponsorships and so we had not had a chance to negotiate with him regarding whether we'd be able to provide sufficient support to keep him as a member. At Anaheim it was also brought up that we were intending to drop all sponsorships for SC2 and keeping Glon as our sole sponsored player. It was communicated that we were starting the Aspire program and that as part of this arrangement we'd like him to work with the Aspire team to help develop them into professional level players. In return, vVv Gaming would sponsor him to major LAN events covering travel, entry fee, and lodging. I believe an attempt was made to draw up a contract at the event, but Glon refused to sign stating that he was holding out for salary before signing any contracts. After Anaheim we met with the team announcing that due to performance, we would be dropping all sponsorships except for Glon and RuFF. Justifiably, several players reacted negatively to this and Glon, caught up in the negative emotion switched stances and stated that he was interested in leaving again, unless we would provide him salary. After talking with Jerry and myself for a while, it was decided that he would pursue offers from other teams, and if he could receive a better offer than we were presenting, he was welcome to take it. After talking with a few teams, he informed us that he would drop the salary requirement and work with us toward getting him to the point where a personal sponsorship was possible. After all this was settled, Glon agreed to stay on vVv Gaming under the terms that he would work closely with Aspire and that we would sponsor him for MLG Dallas and IPL5 and work with him toward getting a personal sponsorship. During the intervening months, Glon's interest in Aspire faded. On October 20th, 2012, I followed up with BabyToss, the Aspire team Captain about Glon's activity, and she stated that he had not been very active recently with the Aspire team. At the same time, my passion for SC2 and managing the team also faded. As a result I was not managing Glon as closely as I should've been. This is my personal failing and I feel that I am the weak link in vVv that caused things to fall apart with Glon shortly thereafter. If any negativity is deserved, it should be directed toward me for not properly reviewing Glon's activity and providing him feedback on his performance in time to ensure that we were willing to provide a full sponsorship for Dallas. Alternatively, I could have stepped down as manager, which would've resulted in having to dissolve our SC2 division and Aspire team, while we helped Glon find a new team. I think either case would've been acceptable, but after investing nearly 2 years of my time toward our SC2 division I was too attached to it to make the right decision. It was selfish of me to attempt to stay on and keep the division alive, and I apologize to anyone who was negatively affected by that decision. During this period, MLG Raleigh happened. As part of my obligations to help Glon find a personal sponsorship, I went around and talked to every single sponsor at the event, getting contact information for as many as possible. Most of them talked about wanting numbers to justify a sponsorship. As a result, I decided that the next step was to work with Glon toward increasing his following via twitter and streaming. If we could show strong weekly growth numbers over a sustained period it would probably be enough to land him a personal sponsorship. I spent a couple nights watching his stream and giving him feedback that would improve his ability to attract followers. I talked about sharing his personality on social media to interact with his audience. I recommended he take a moment between games to check his stream chat and answer questions rather than just queueing up again immediately. All of these things were improvements that I think would help his stream in the long run. I also recommended that he seek out shows that he could go on to get more external exposure. Then the biggest mistake I made happened. The lack of an MLG Arena before the Winter Championship threw me off and I ended up not realizing the event was coming up until two weeks before it was scheduled to take place. This means we had a minor emergency where we had to scramble to find a decent plane ticket. Fortunately Doomhammer was able to find a good ticket for a good price and we were able to fully sponsor Glon for MLG Dallas. Since I made a huge mistake here by not booking his flight earlier, I even made an extra donation of $235 to offset the cost to vVv Gaming out of my own pocket since I didn't feel vVv should pay for my mistake. After this event, Glon decided to leave vVv Gaming after talks with our executives Robz and Doomhammer at Dallas. We parted ways amicably and he approved our goodbye post informing our community that he was moving on. At this point it was clear I needed to find a replacement for myself as I had lost my passion for Starcraft 2 and was not the right person to lead the SC2 division. Around this time, someone with the screen name SalvorMallow came around the forums. One day I mentioned that I was looking for someone to replace me as SC2 manager and he mentioned that he would be willing to fulfill the role. After working with him for several months, we eventually managed to transition the entirety of the SC2 division over to him by January 2013. Before that he had expressed an interest in managing the SC2 team, including RuFF and Hasuu at the time. During that time he also worked with several applicants interested in being a sponsored player for vVv Gaming. One of those players was John "Nubrgini" Kim. Please note that from this point forward I am only able to recount the story as told to me by Robz and Doomhammer, as I was not involved in working with the sponsored team or any decisions regarding picking up players other than in an advisory or witness capacity. However, with the story so far demonstrating that the worst failing of vVv Gaming was my own mistakes as manager, I would like to think there is no reason for anyone to doubt Robz's or Doom's words. When we first began talks with John we had discussed his work situation. He let us know that he did have a stable job, but that he had to commute 3 hours each way every day. While we had concerns that this would affect his ability to schedule time to practice and add value within our SC2 community, he assured us that he'd be able to fulfill the requirements, which I should add that he did spectacularly. A few weeks later it was decided to bring him on as a sponsored player with the understanding that he'd be expected to cover travel for his first couple events, which is standard practice for vVv's sponsored players. Shortly after officially bringing on Nubrgini, he encountered some personal issues and ended up losing his job. This is unfortunate because he would now be unable to cover travel for attending Dallas and also because I believe the emotional stress caused by these events affected his understanding of communications with our staff. As a result, I think some of the communications with him were vague, for example asking him to price out a flight for Dallas without specifying that it was just to determine if we could justify sponsoring his flight. As it turns out, we couldn't, so we offered him entry fee, hotel,and gear. Unfortunately, since John had previously lost his job he was unable to play for a flight, and so our offer of hotel and entry fee held no value for him. Additionally, during this time Robz was in the process of moving to LA and this was also during the Christmas holidays, so things were moving slowly through management, including some requests for gear for John. As a result of being unable to properly support John, and not wanting to lead him on in terms of providing "free services" for our community, we decided it would be best to drop him as a sponsored player. We offered to move him down to the Aspire team until things settled down in his life and he could get back to a place where we felt comfortable sponsoring him again, but he did not accept this offer. At this point I believe the negative things that had been happening to John and losing his job caused him to have a strongly emotional response to these events. Instead of coming to us to see if he could get some kind of recompense for all the time he had spent with our community being a stellar role model, he decided to make a very public post describing his negative experience with vVv Gaming. It's unfortunate that Salvor did not have John's best interests in mind or I'm sure he would have cautioned him against making a public outburst and instead trying to work with vVv management to provide some kind of care package that was amenable for both parties first. Additionally, I feel the public outbursts from both Glon and John have hurt their reputations for any team looking to possibly pick them up, as it displays a definite lack of professionalism. What I hope everyone gets out of all this is that vVv is not at fault for deliberately misleading or deceiving players. The true cause of negativity from vVv's former players should be directed directly to me, SugarBear, for failing to live up to my responsibilities as manager of our SC2 team. If I intended to continue managing a team, I would certainly take these events as lessons moving forward. No one was deliberately misleading players, but due to some unfortunate events and my own mismanagement, some players had a negative experience. In the case of Nubrgini, I was not involved, but I don't think anyone is really to blame for those events except for some bad decisions provoked by unfortunate life experiences and some miscommunicated expectations. I fully accept responsibility for my inability to properly manage players, and have no desire to manage any professional gaming teams in the near future. I hope this clears up all of the allegations and accusations.
  9. 7 points
    vVv Skeensyy

    Hats?? Wait we have hats??

    Went ahead and got a digitized file of the new logo! Tell me what you think!! If you want one, get with me and we will figure it out.
  10. 7 points
    Dr Pepper Tuition Contest Hello everyone, I am Michael White, also known as vVv Shadow among the community. I am 19 years old, and currently going to community college to get my basics and hopefully will transfer to UTD to finish my degree unless my plans change, and I end up moving. If that did happen I would continue my education there and get a Computer Science Degree at whatever University they may have. I have been a member of vVv since February of 2012. I was here when there was 5 people in the Call of Duty Division, I was here when the CoD Division got dropped, I was here when it got reinstated. vVv is a significant part of my life. It has changed me in many ways for the better, it has made me a better person overall. It has taught me professionalism, business skills, people skills, as well as life skills. I wish to continue my education, and get a degree in Computer Science so I can help develop games. If I win this scholarship or a part of this Scholarship it would take a huge weight off my shoulders, with how I would be ending up paying for my education. All I am asking is to please help and please vote for me and show your friends this and have them vote for me. I would really appreciate it. My rolemodel in life has always been my brother, he got kicked out of high school, and joined the military and made something with his life, he always told me to not make the same mistakes he did and to go to College and get an education. I want to make him proud. As he was in the military, he was always stationed far away so the only way I could "Hang" out with him was by playing Video Games. It all started out with a MMORPG named Star Wars Galaxies, but after a few years it more transpired into the Console scene. I first heard about MLG when it appeared on ESPN, I was amazed by it, I tried to follow the scene since then, but I fell off, I picked it back up back when Black Ops 1 was on the Circuit for the first event when Leverage won MLG Dallas 2011. Right then, I knew I wanted to get into eSports, but I had no outlet to get into it with, I had no idea about Gamebattles at the time or anything else. In early January 2012, I got an email from Kontrol Freek saying that vVv Gaming was taking applications to join again starting January 19th. I was amazed, so on January 19th, I immediately applied, and there was my outlet to get into eSports. I honestly believe I would not be where I am at today in life, or in gaming, if it was not for vVv. I have met amazing people while being apart of vVv and I thank every single one of them. The smartest person I know, Jerry "LordJerith" Prochazka, is the owner of vVv. He personally has taught me a lot and has helped me a lot through life. One big thing that I love about eSports is how Dr Pepper personally supports MLG and eSports with the @DrPepperGaming Twitter, the Dr Pepper Ultimate Gaming House, the Dr Pepper Pre Game Show at MLG Events, and not to mention the Dr Pepper Booths, with free Dr Pepper at MLG Events (Personally my favorite). I really hope I get this opportunity and win the Dr Pepper Tuition Contest. I would truthfully be thankful for it. (Photo courtesy of www.teamliquid.net) Vote for me Here!
  11. 6 points
    So it seems like making a blog is the thing to do for vVv right now, so why don't I join in? - 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.
  12. 6 points
    I sit here, keyboard at my fingertips, and I'm trying to find the words to describe my last 7 days in L.A. Surely, going from looking at a sun soaked valley, to an iced stained window has its saddening attributes. "Of all the things that wisdom provides for living one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship." -Epicurus*. I cannot stress this idea more, finding people to truthfully call a friend is hard to come by. For me personally, I had never really experienced true friendship until now. Most of my past was filled with fizzled friendships which explains my inability to take something at face value. I hope this sheds some light on why I avoid people. I hope you didn't take it to heart, as my questioning as to what is implied in conversation drives me to insanity. Jerry was able to figure this out after asking me one single question,"Who do you consider to be your best friend?". I really didn't have an answer for this, I could not think of one person whom I've ever thought as a best friend. Before vVv gaming, I preferred a life of solitude as human interaction was as tedious for me as someone might feel when writing lines for bad behavior. Which explains why I always avoid petty conversation. Small talk was probably the thing I hated the most. Due to its way of focusing on what people thought was socially right to say; rather than discussing about themselves or ideas. As a child, I tried creating conversations about ideas or about things learned. To my dismay, most kids and even parents thought I was a "know it all". I then understood that the discussion of ideas wasn't for everyone. So I spent most of my years in quiet solitude. Surprisingly, the small talk coming from people who are true to themselves is quite interesting. What the vVv gaming HQ has shown me is that small talk between close friends is a way to find and explore more about each other. To laugh at each others quirks and help fix each others poor attributes. I believe vVv Gaming within itself is an extension of that. Over the last week, my activity with the community has increased. I can say, I'm interested in how other people feel and interact. I enjoy helping others complete their goals and make something of nothing. What I didn't realize over the course of my lifetime is that I have a lot of empathy at my disposal. I'm able to sympathize with almost anyone, thinking of why they may feel this way or have done that. But as with my love for ideas, asking someone questions of why they are feeling a certain way and giving advice isn't within their best interest. So yes, most of my skills where for deeper human interaction then what was socially acceptable. The only way for me to actually use these abilities is when someone consciously comes to ask help from me. The trip was definitely an enlightening one, not because of the hot California sun, but of Jerry's ability to really show who I really was. I hope, that by reading this you come to understand the impact that the people here at vVv gaming have on us. Take every opportunity vVv gaming gives you, it will be a rewarding journey for anyone brave enough to take the first step. Good Luck in your vVv Gaming travels! If ever you need to run an idea by someone, you know where to look. * pg.73 in "The Essential Epicurius" by Eugene O'Conor
  13. 6 points
    Published on Thursday, 22 June 2012 01:08 | Written by BabyToss Finally sitting down to write down for a bit. I would like to share my experience from Dreamhack Summer & my participation in StarCraft 2's Eizo Open tournament. Now, some quick facts, before I even get to the whole thing. First of all, this was my first international event. I've never had chance to compete in an international offline event before. This is why there were many unknown factors for me in there, I'll go more in depth about that in the write-up itself. Second - the first part of my write-up will be purely from my personal view, as a player and participant, the other part of this will cover more summarised review as to how I felt Dreamhack was like, in terms of organization and stuff. DreamHack - Being the player! The trip, Day 1 My trip to Dreamhack was long. I didn't fly there, as obviously, the expanses would be even bigger. I had the opportunity to travel along with the fellow Czech people, who are part of the biggest Czech e-Sport club/Team, also known as team eSuba. Needs to be said I had to wake up really damn early in the morning, which I oh so much love, as every nerd. However, I felt this opportunity was well worth the hassle. So, packing my stuff day before, I was all set and ready to go on Friday, 15th June, to arrive at the meeting point with my fellow Czech friends. Me being "lucky" as always, the weather was incredibly hot, despite of whole week's raining before. Some cursing occured, as there's nothing worse than train full of people breathing at you while the damn hot ball on the sky is burning like mad. That awfulness took around three hours, until I arrived at the actual meeting point. Meeting and greeting ocurred, nothing really special there; I'm quite sure that my dear readers are not even interested in reading that. We were supposed to set off towards Sweden past noon, but some people got delayed, so we headed towards our destination three hours later. We had two cars capable of containing at least 8 people, and I was lucky to go in the bigger one with less people. I'm generally easily bored and I need some sort of stimulus for my mind to stay focused. You can imagine my mind going all crazy, when I just briefly touched the thought of me finally travelling to Dreamhack. I can't deny that it was one of the most anticipated events in my life. My love for StarCraft 2 and the game becoming part of my life, it all was there, and I was going to be on one of the biggest festivals on the whole damn world. Nothing else mattered for me, not even the fact I'm so damn shy person in real life. Opportunities like that don't come easily to me, so my excitement was probably similar to a kid's happiness while in a candy store. Or a kid looking forward to Christmas. Or a Zerg seeing that their Protoss didn't wall off their friggin ramp, so they can just six pool and laugh like maniacs afterwards. Take your pick. So, based on that mindset, I just needed something to occupy myself with. That, or just sleep over the damn trip. Eventually, I just listened to my music, my mind being completely elsewhere, mostly imagining myself already being on Dreamhack, which had me to fall asleep few times along the way. It's very easy for me to sleep in the car, somehow, I find traveling very soothing and I just fade into mild sleep easily. All nature, food and whatever breaks were like pain in the ass. Really. As they prolonged the time which it'd take for us to finally arrive to Dreamhack. I knew I'd be willing to starve just to be there as quick as possible. I also missed my ol' good StarCraft 2 fix, but I'm not gonna admit that without torture. Oh, I just did? Whatever! These are not the droids you are looking for. All the waiting was gone after roughly 18 hours of travel, including the 2 hour wait for the ferry boat and 2 hours trip with that thing. Not a fan of sea travel, my stomach usually gets upset.. although this time I somehow didn't pay attention to that. There was more at stake, more on my mind. Too much excitement. Dreamhack was in front of me and I knew that time of personal test of courage was getting closer and closer, each passing minute. The tournament, Day 2 Of course, I have to mention my participation in StarCraft 2's EIZO Open tournament. Dear reader should know, that I'm not too confident person and in fact, I am very anxious and shy personality. It's easy to present myself on the internet, as there's so much anonymity, so there's even place for awkward people like me. Granted, I always do my best to behave at my best, to present myself and my team in the best possible lights, but, when it comes to real life contacts, I just don't cope too well. I want to point out, that I knew, that this participation in the tournament was going to be a huge test for that, as well as experience for me, which would eventually help me in the long run to overcome these issues. I often talk about StarCraft 2 being my personal quest to not only become a good player & role model, but also a quest to become a stronger, better person as a whole. These were to become one of the most tough proving grounds, but I didn't know that yet. I felt my stomach grumbing, as my feet stomped on the Dreamhack's venue for the first time. There were some issues by the enterance, as I was supposed to get a press pass & player pass but apparently didn't get either right after I arrived. It took some time to even find out I needed a player band and the staff mostly didn't know about that either. This is where the organization was lacking and you can imagine me becoming all frustrated after running around the venue like a fool, trying to find out how things were. One hour later, I finally got all the correct bands, my left hand looking like a Christmas tree with an event pass, press pass & player pass (funnily enough labelled as "pro-gamer", now it's official, kids!), but I was content with all the organization things being in order now. I brought along my laptop for the event, because I thought this was going to be a regular BYOC tournament and I'd be playing my games hidden in the BYOC arena. I couldn't be more mistaken! I knew my group since Thursday. I knew who I was going to face and I even knew that facing one of these people would be maybe harder than facing Hero from Team Liquid and Merz from Team Dignitas. One person off my group was a friend of mine, also a Protoss player. For me, facing a friend, that was something unknown to me before and it just felt off and out of place. However, I still knew I would have to give it my best. My games were set to start at 6pm local time and I was told we would be playing at the designated Tournament area, so I'd need to bring my keyboard, mouse, mousepad and headset a half hour before start. This was admittedly the big shocker for me. Like I said, I thought that I'd be playing my games in the BYOC arena, hence why I brought my gaming laptop along. These stations also had a huge monitor at the top so the people wouldn't have to breathe on player's necks behind them, while playing. I could feel my heart pounding and my stomach doing really odd things by just thought that people could see my games if they really wanted. The fear was creeping out and I thought that if I knew about that particular thing, I'd probably not sign up for the tournament. Part of me wanted to slap myself for that thought, but my worries were too strong. As the time was nearing, these feelings were becoming stronger and stronger. Each single minute passed felt like an eternity. I knew I couldn't back down, not now, when I got so far and comitted to this. It'd be disgrace not only for myself, but also for my team, wouldn't it? My good friend always reminds me that to be brave doesn't mean absence of fear, but the ability to face it. With that, I was set on doing this, despite of all the difficulties. But I won't lie; it was not becoming any easier for me. I knew I should've warm myself up with the time I was given during the setup phase. But my mind was too cornered, too afraid. I'm even ashamed to say this. Because after all, it may be hard to comprehend for many people, that I could feel so worried and out of it, just because of the game. I love the game, it's part of my life and yet, I fail to face small obstacles like that? How could I even think about becoming good? Self-doubts and berating myself in my mind, that's what I was doing, while I stepped away to throw some cold water on my face, to at least force myself to focus and calm down a bit. I sat down into the "chair of death" few minutes later, logging onto StarCraft 2, having bunch of people messaging me immediatelly after I came online. Some of them knew I was playing in Dreamhack, despite of me not telling them, so you can imagine me freaking out a bit. Nothing too unusual though, I couldn't be any more freaked out than I already was. The refree was by my side few more moments later, asking me which map I wanted to veto. Mumbling "Antiga Shipyard" more to myself than him, he still seemed to understand. And I was in for more surprises. I was asked by some guy, whose's name I already forgot, if I could invite them into the game, as they wished to stream my game. Can you imagine me so wanting to tell him to not do it? But how would I look like? How would vVv Gaming look like, if they had such a damn coward in their midst? Mumbling "sure", I gave in and sent the guy an invite. Wasn't the official Dreamhack caster duo, think they were from GLHF.tv. My first opponent was a Terran player, Dignitas's Merz. Game loading, my hands all cold, my fingers numb, my heart beating as if it was a race. First game was on Daybreak. I managed to not misclick my probes. Good job! However, I misrallied my Nexus. Girl, you fail. Hands still refusing to do what I told them, I luckily noticed soon afterwards. I cannot even describe state of my mind. I was making many mistakes. It's usually called "choking" when you make mistakes you'd not normally make, but all the stress just causes you to play so much worse. Nothing feels worse than supplyblocking myself. Or even blocking my two immortals by other buildings. The tunnel vision incoming, it was so hard to focus. Writing these lines, I feel so ashamed of myself. It just should not happen like that. Mistake after mistake creeping into my play, me getting gases way too early. The brain just shut down on me. I was not thinking clearly. My build, my opening, it all was way too flawled. I cannot find words of excuse or even comfort for myself. Mere drop happened, my reactions were way too slow and I knew the game was lost anyways, my "GG" followed. A miriad amount of feelings crossed me, I had to bite my lips to not begin crying. My friend Sophie, she was immediatelly by my side, comforting me, saying I played okay. But, it just didn't help. Nothing would help at that time. I knew I didn't give my best and I just wanted to be gone, to not know myself. It is always important for me to give my best. Therefore, it is just way too easy to blame myself when I don't. I was invited into next game, but I just wasn't ready at all, so I requested few minutes downtime. I knew my mind was way too disturbed, touched by that loss. To be realistic, I could've not take a game from him, I very well knew that, however, I wanted to fight with all I had. And, to my knowledge, I wasn't able to do that, not even remotely. That is why the weight of loss was so difficult for me to bear. I couldn't just let them to wait for too long. I had to soldier on. Despite of my feelings. I knew that if I am to become a stronger StarCrafter and a person, I'd eventually have to face situations like that, as they serve as true test of one's preparadness and willingness to fight. So, I had them to begin the second game; this time playing on Cloud Kingdom. I was slightly calmer after Sofie spoke to me for a bit, but even in the second game, I just felt my anxiety striking, causing me to still make mistakes I shouldn't be making. It is really hard for me to write out anything positive about myself, really. If you aim to be good at something, you can't just lie down in comforting yourself. You have to be as critical of yourself as possible, in order to be able to progress further. Merz was able to beat me with two prong attack yet again, as I had no confidence nor means to defeat him. My another "GG" went up, me needing these 10 minutes of break really badly. My next game was supposed to be against the korean player, Liquid Hero. All of you probably know him. Most of you would probably even see it as honor to be able to play versus him, as it's something you do not gain easily with a player of his caliber. But, I didn't see it that way back then. I saw it, as if I needed to prove myself, to be able to yet again show my best. It's just how I roll. Always aiming somewhere, always trying to show that I can manage, no matter the odds. But, maybe I'm just lying to myself. Maybe it's just a wishful thinking. Is it wrong to aim somewhere? Is it wrong to want to learn, in order to grow? No matter where the road takes me? Where the end barrier should be? Where is the line between being downright harsh on myself and on trying to learn so much? Again, the refree would come, asking me which map I wished to veto. For some odd reason I didn't veto Antiga Shipyard - yes, I just hate that map, so of course, my first game versus HerO would be on that particular map. I admit I was not too familiar with the map at all, due to me downvoting it on the ladder and never really playing on it vs my practice buddies. So yes, a handicap, added up to already existing nervousness. I'm probably really good at making stuff harder on myself, am I not...rhetoric question, dear reader, yes. Protoss versus Protoss... is it late to say that it's my least favourite matchup? All these 1 base thingies, I just don't like those. I prefer a juicy, exciting, fiercy macro game. I have yet to discover a way how to expand early in this matchup, in order to make it worth digesting. My Protoss builds are kind of messy in general, so HerO had it easy, rolling me with no effort with some ridiculous pressure I was apparently supposed to hold no problem. I gg'd out, facepalming really badly. At least these fails weren't streamed, to my and the audience's health! Finding positive here, can you see? Growing an optimist here. Another game on Cloud Kingdom followed. Ever felt that you knew a cheese was coming, you scouted the base and then realized you had to make a decision, as to what kind of cheese was coming? Not scouting these things on time usually means a really miserable death. Even a Silver leaguer knows that. I know that. But, that knowledge alone didn't help me. I just wasn't in time to see what was coming and before realizing it, I had HerO's Zealots having party in my damn base. I had to smile on that one, giving HerO a "GG" with a smile sign at the end. I had nothing to lose afterwards. I knew that my next game, the game against a dear friend of mine, would be my last one in the tournament. Well, a set of games, to be precise. The burden of fear was gone. I had nothing to lose, nothing to gain. I just wanted to play my last games with dignity. Admittedly, because my last set of games were Protoss vs Protoss yet again, I wanted to change the pace and played really greedy in the first game. Which of course didn't pay off, but I wanted to try it. My first game was therefore lost. But, I wasn't keen on just going without giving a proper fight. Not my style. I took other two games. I don't want to comment on these too much, as I do respect my friend and I do not want that friend to feel any bad. We had good games though, I can say some of these battles just had me going and they reminded me why StarCraft 2 is just so exciting and awesome game. Me and my friend shook hands in friendship, hugging each other right after the game. There's this sentiment of never giving up, of just going no matter of the odds, as long as you can, to have the old fashioned fun with something you love. This is the very valuable lesson for me to yet learn. To learn to relax, breathe and focus, even when the situation kicks me out of my comfort zone. That is how we learn. It's something, which the participation in this tournament gave me, even though it's something I have to constantly remind myself of. I hope to take more courage with me from this and that this courage would be growing with every single game played. I don't care how many tears I'll shed, I don't care how many hours, days or even years it'll take. A wise friend of mine always tells me "Anything worth having is worth fighting for." By that, I am trying to live day by day. Shoutouts & thanks! I met many awesome people. Ferry "Darkomicron" van de Pol, Sophie "Sophie" Yngman, who was truly helpful when it comes to mindset and helping me overcoming the really rough spots. Caroline "Guilly" Danielsson, a friend of mine, who is of a kind heart and always so cheerful, Tobias "OneStep" SÖRLING, a fellow Protoss player, who has endless amount of courage and I'd like to have at least bits of that. I can't forget mentionimg some of the famous personalities, like Liquid Ret, who even greeted me and told me he remembered me. Although it still beats me how he could remember me, as I never really met him before? Maybe he was just mistaken. I also met Liquid's HerO and TaeJa. Then there's Aleksey "WhiteRa" Krupnyk, who has really special place in my heart. He is a true role model and an awesome player. I aspire to be like him, in my own way. I know following people weren't with me on Dreamhack, but a special mention goes to Allen Rulo, who is an old friend of mine, always trusting in me, always supporting me and always pushing me forward, then to Fraser Bedwell, who is also a good, old friend of mine, always cheering on me, always giving me good laughs and odd jokes. Can't forget mentioning Ryan Rushia & Rob Feeley, who were an inspiration to me, and who taught me a lot about StarCraft 2 and myself, and last but not least, my mom, husband and son, whom I truly love and without them, I'd never really aim anywhere, as I'd not find worth in myself. Thank you for all. I won't let you down. I also have to thank my team, vVv Gaming for having me in their midst. I hope that one day, I can make you proud with this passion of mine. I know I'll be trying. Dreamhack - the overall experience The venue itself was huge. It's really easy to get lost there, especially if you are there for the first time. A lot of the staff crew in place had no idea about the very basic things like as to where the "sleep area" is. That is kind of disturbing. I mean, nobody expects people to know every thing, but there should be basic outlines as to what the staff crew should know. Things like where to sleep should be among those. But, that's just me. I feel like when you are tired, you shouldn't need to spend another hour running across the venue, packed with sleeping accessories, tired from previous day, only to try and find out where exactly you are supposed to rest your physical body. I mentioned this issue with having the correct ID bands as well - this should be a non issue, especially if you ask at the Info booth. These people had no idea. I had to talk to an admin from some other booth to be able to get the correct informations and corresponding ID bands and that too took quite a lot of unnecessary hassle. However, to the defence of that kind lady, who heled me, she was truly forthcoming and helpful, once I explained her what my problem was. I didn't even have to wait in that huge queue, as she realized that this was a mistake done by the enterance crew and I really shouldn't be paying for that. The tournament refrees seemed to be considerate and knowledgeable of the game. That is always a plus. Nothing worse than having some sort of guy, who has no idea what's going on and they just happen to be there. The BYOC arena is not really any good. The tables are way too high and the chair, I just slumped too deep, so if I really wanted to play, my hands would be all broken oddly. I know I am just a midget, but I still think that this could be handled somewhat better. Not to mention that the table space you are alotted. I could barely fit in there. The event like DreamHack should have it really better than some unnamed LAN here in Czech republic, where I have much more space for myself, my laptop and its accessories. On the plus side, the whole venue didn't feel all "breath out", the air was fairly breathable and the temperature was just good enough to not have a headache. The tournament area was overall a good idea. You got enough space for your own equipment (mouse, mousepad, keyboard, headset) and you also got enough time during the setup to get comfortable with the settings and set your own if you truly wished to. The organizators should really keep this trend up, it was a good thing. Last thing - Massage for the players - awesome, I didn't want to go, but I did in the end, after my friend pushed me to do it - so, again, awesome! Epilogue There are lessons to be learnt, in everything we do in life. Dreamhack, at least for me, happened to be that kind of event. I think, it made me stronger, even if it may be only by a bit. Some of my readers may even ask why do I do all of this. And I already explained that, on several ocassions. I may be a "small" player today. Worried, not having confidence in myself, struggling with myself, but having a big heart for what I do. Rob Clotworthy, a voice-actor, who voiced Jim Raynor once told me a wise thing - "There are no small players. Every journey begins with one step.", and I believe, after looking back, that he is right. We all have to take small steps to grow. If we expect ourselves to run straight away before learning to walk, or heck, before learning to crawl for the first time, we will of course trip and hurt ourselves. I admit I am good at that. I struggle at objectively judging myself. I struggle with finding positive stuff about myself and my games. But I know, more than ever, that this is what I love doing and I am not going anywhere. If I could, I'd attend Dreamhack again. Heck, If I had the money & opportunity, I'd subject myself to the Poland's StarCraft 2's Training house "Ministry of Win" for a month or two, despite of being a shy nimwit, a training house, which I heard have really rigorous training regimen, just to focus on my passion and overcome myself. I know I have to fight for what I love. Right now, I am my worst enemy. I'm going to be facing myself more than anything else. Who knows. I certainly do not know what the future holds. The only thing I know, is that the community, StarCraft 2 and this whole journey of self-improvement, learning and growth is going to be awesome. We don't enjoy just the end goal. The journey itself is what is making this so exciting for me. I'm not going anywhere. That is a promise.
  14. 5 points
    vVv LordJerith

    New vVv Logo Design

    I want to start by saying that we will change the logo. I think every logo change has resistance, and I appreciate that we won't make everyone happy. I am happy to those of you leaving constructive feedback, and I like the way it's moving. We'll get the original design files from the company since we have reached our maximum number of revisions, and ask @vVv Pherzghul if he'll make the final edits (maybe with and without the shield). Again, to those of you who said you like the old one, I hear you. Unfortunately, we have decided to change the logo, and your input to make it better is always welcome, but there is no need to ask for the old one anymore. Rock on! More good stuff to follow,
  15. 5 points
    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. "
  16. 5 points
    Let me preface this by saying I've been playing games for a long time. Not as long as some, but since Quake came out in the early 90s and massively competitive multiplayer was born. I'm going to borrow on that experience to make my case for why I think Titanfall is the most important FPS of this decade. The Wrong Questions I see a lot of people arguing about whether Titanfall is the CoD killer. I'm going to tell you that is the wrong question. CoD has consistently failed to engage its audience since CoD4. The most recent release, CoD: Ghosts is so underwhelming as a title that many CoD players don't actually enjoy playing it. The only reason CoD hasn't died already is because it is entrenched so firmly in the competitive scene that the community will keep playing it regardless of how enjoyable the gameplay is or isn't. There's no alternative that fills the competitive niche the way CoD does, at least for the competitive console FPS community. Given CoD's history of releasing lackluster titles that do little more than tweak the graphics and add a new set of maps, it doesn't matter if a new game can "kill CoD". The real question is: can a console FPS deliver new and exciting gameplay mechanics that make console FPS fun to play again? To that question, I give a resounding yes. Titanfall's gameplay is unlike any other FPS I've played. There are similarities to CoD, especially in the aiming and firing of most of the weapons revealed in the beta, but that's about where the similarities end. And it's not just that the gameplay is new, it's also GOOD. It felt natural to run around on walls and double jump my way across the map. Even as a life-long PC gamer who has two-left thumbs, it felt good to jump into windows and climb skyscrapers, or jump on the backs of the huge titans that roam the maps. And it felt natural that I'd be able to do these things in the game. But is it competitive? This is another question that I see asked a lot. Again, the answer is that this is the wrong question. Name for me one successful game that was designed to be competitive from the first release of the series. In fact, other than Shootmania, there really hasn't been any other game that was designed specifically with competitive features in mind, and Shootmania flopped hard. One could also argue that Black Ops 2 was designed to be competitive, although as a sequel at the end of a long string of CoD titles it isn't realistic to compare BO2 to Titanfall. Also, BO2 was replaced by CoD: Ghosts. While BO2 was a noteworthy success, developer pressure forced the competitive scene to move on to CoD: Ghosts, the game that no one likes. Ghosts removed all of the competitive features that the community loved. With that kind of history, I think the more important question CoD players should be asking is: why do I think Titanfall will be any less of a success due to a lack of competitive features when CoD wantonly adds and removes the same competitive features almost randomly? On the other hand, if I list games that were developed with the purpose of creating a fun player experience and enjoyable gameplay mechanics, the list would look something like: Starcraft, Starcraft: Brood War, and Starcraft 2, League of Legends, DotA and Dota2, CoD4, Counterstrike That's right, every major successful esport that has endured for the past decade and the biggest esports titles still to this day. Do I even need to elaborate on this point? Who cares if the game was designed to be competitive on release. If the game is a success and people want to play it competitively, then it will become an esport. There is no magic formula or set of features that are prerequisites in order for a title to be successful competitively other than that people want to play the game and see it played competitively. Something that I feel Titanfall delivers in a big way. The Realism Trap For a long time CoD has tried to fulfill the fantasy of a "realistic" war simulator. The problem is, the thing they are trying to simulate isn't fun for most people. It takes creativity to make a game fun, not a dogmatic adherence to realism. For example, one of my favorite mechanics in FPS games has always been rocket jumping. It gives you tactical and mobile superiority and makes the game more exciting and fast-paced. No where in reality would you EVER see someone point a rocket launcher on the ground in order to perform aerial acrobatics. It's fun in part because it is divorced from reality. It allows me to exist in a world that is not constrained by the limits of everyday life. The movement in Titanfall has found a way to faithfully reproduce that feeling of mobility. Along with a few other really cool features (like cloaking), this game is just extremely fun to play. And it's fun to play because it escapes from the "realistic" trope and focuses instead on fun gameplay elements. For this reason, I do not have much faith that CoD ever CAN innovate in a way that meaningfully adds interesting new gameplay elements. This Has All Happened Before... What I see people in the CoD community saying is the same thing that SC2 fans were saying about LoL in 2010. "The game is too simple", "it's for children", "the skill cap is too low", "it's not as competitive". I think Blizzard has shown us that when you focus your development efforts on creating a competitive title at the expense of solid gameplay, you lose. Just flat out you lose. That doesn't mean that SC2 is dead, not fun to play, or that it's not a solid competitive game, but look at how big LoL has become in comparison. If you aren't focused on creating an enjoyable experience for the person playing the game, then it doesn't matter how many competitive features there are or how high the skillcap is, you won't be as successful as the guy who is creating a fun, engaging game. So will Titanfall kill CoD? Only in the sense that LoL killed SC2, which is to say, not really. SC2 still has a pretty healthy competitive scene and lots of people follow it and watch the game. But, barring some disaster, I really do believe Titanfall will eclipse CoD in the competitive scene in much the same way LoL has eclipsed SC2. In 10 years I think we'll all still be playing Titanfall or its successors, but I do not believe that CoD will still be around given its current trajectory—with or without Titanfall. What About Hype? So then how much of this is just hype and how much of it is real? Believe me, I have been around to see games hyped beyond realistic expectations before and I do not see the same patterns here. Halo Reach was hailed as the game that was going to save the ailing Halo franchise and dying competitive scene, but the developers failed to deliver. Why is that? The sad reality is that, aside from some slick graphical updates, Reach was essentially the same game as every other Halo that has ever been released. As a spectator, I've never sat down at MLG to watch a Halo match and thought "Wow, this looks way more fun and exciting than the previous version". I can only imagine how repetitive and stale it must have gotten for true competitors who sat down to practice and grind for hours on a regular basis. Without sufficiently complex gameplay mechanics, the game simply doesn't engage an audience that has mastered lining up the crosshairs and pulling the trigger. The same thing happened with Rift. Everyone hailed it as the WoW killer due to the "Rift" feature that would spawn mini-raid encounters at random locations around the world. This sounds really neat, but when you are operating with the same basic mechanics of target, push buttons, repeat, then even new features seem stale and repetitive. Rift didn't fail to kill WoW because of a lack of new ideas, but because, ultimately, it didn't offer a new experience for the user playing the game. And that is why I don't think that there is just hype surrounding Titanfall. The gameplay IS different. The experience for players IS good. And with all the wall running, double jumping, and complex titan battles, there will be an enormous amount to learn and improve upon for the competitive player. Maps are no longer a two-dimensional series of boxes and corridors, but now are a three-dimensional puzzle to be navigated and exploited by the smarter, more experienced player. It's no longer about who has the better ping or who can set their crosshairs on who faster, but who can maneuver better and gain an advantage through superior mobility. And it's not enough to just have better gun skill, but which team can manage and coordinate their titans to gain an advantage before having to eject and start over. Respawn has taken a genre that was previously defined by simple point-and-click mechanics, and created a game that is engaging strategically and tactically. They have taken a genre that was focused too hard on realism and created a game that is fun and complex. They have redefined what an FPS is and what it will take to be a good FPS player. THAT is why Titanfall is the most important FPS of this decade. I hope you'll join us while we participate in this historic game!
  17. 5 points
    During my time at the vVv gaming house, vVv LordJerith and vVv Doomhammer taught me many important lessons which have made me grow so much more as a person. One of the lessons is LJ telling me that “should” is the word of peasants, slaves and the poor. What he was hinting at is that “should” breeds blame and ignorance. In the article written by vVv Doomhammer “Competing Positions Soldier vs Warrior” He mentions that “what should be” doesn’t focus on anything important. That the past doesn’t matter, only what we can do to get back in the game and ultimately win. He later goes on to say that “should be” is a unreal world, “should be” represents a perfect world where things should be perfect. But the world isn’t like that and it becomes unproductive to linger on “should” when you can focus on searching for the cause of the problem. By doing this you eliminate many of the frustrating moments that “should” creates. By focusing on what to do and “what is” you will become much more productive in your endeavors. The next day after Jerry’s mini rant on “should”, I focused on what I was taught. It’s amazing that once you know what to look for, mistakes magically pop up. A good example would be when I gave first blood to a mid lee sin. Instead of focusing on why I got caught, I focused on how I will get back in to the game. This focus contained 2 goals, the most important being not giving lee a kill at all costs, while my second goal was to get as much gold as possible. By the ten minute mark I had scored a kill on lee from a gank and became even in farm. “Should” also encourages the thought of change in an area that is out of your control. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D13VEvZIqZ4, he says that all we have control over is us not losing. This means not giving your opponent any chance of capitalizing on situations. A good place to start getting better is to concentrate on not doing any mistakes, this means not missing creeps, dodging/ landing skills and not getting caught. When playing to not die you focus on capitalizing on your opponents mistakes. Once you can rare make mistakes, start focusing on how to make your opponent mess up and capitalizing on it. By focusing on making as few mistakes as possible you close opportunities for your opponent to gain an advantage, while giving you the best chances of success. Knowing yourself means knowing your limits so that you don’t do mistakes. Without knowing yourself you create that situation where you’re using “should” instead of “to do”. Knowing the enemy consists of knowing their favorite moves, strategy’s, style, weaknesses and strengths. By knowing your opponent you avoid the word “how” as you are prepared for everything they can throw at you. Ways to learn more about your opponent could be looking at their match history or looking at past replays for specifics. Knowing is key. Remember, whenever you catch yourself saying “should, could, how, did, this and that” stop yourself and think of what you can do to avoid the same mistake from happening and what you’re going to do to get back into the game. glhf!
  18. 5 points
    Well guys, here I am again, with a post slighty different that the one I had been preparing. But I just had a revelation and I want to work with it. There's no question that eSports is growing, and there's several people and companies to praise on that, but I feel that from that maturity the eSports scene has reached, very few players have actually grown with it. The Main Goal of Every Gamer. Let's face it, every single one of us (yes, me too) dream of that amazing skill and cutthroat competition, and yet there's very few people that will actually reach that, alongside that there's the development you get throughout playing the actual game, which most people don't take into consideration, most people think that the way they add value to a game is by being good, getting sponsors and travel around the world showing people how awesome they are at the game. That may be a great goal to strive for, but when it comes to adding value to eSports, it does naught, as eSports is an entity, and your personal growth won't help it in any way. My Experience in eSports. Over the years, I've played almost every competitive title out there, and I've competed and won several online/offline tournaments. People who know me describe me as awfully competitive, and sharp as a razor, which is where I got my name. I started very young playing FPS Games, Doom, Quake, and several others. The main title I started competing on was Quake 2, in which with only 16 years old I let a team (TTS) to winning several big tournaments, the web site doesn't exist anymore, and sadly, none of my teammates, since they all were older than I was. Then I moved onto Quake 3, with not that much success. So I sought out for new heights. It was then when I found MMORPG. Though it lacks actual prize money tournaments, there's still a lot of competition in them, from skill builds, to gear builds, to Guilds, and as we all now, every MMORPG title has PvP and some sort of Raid-Based Clan War. This was very appealing to me as it challenged me to not only just grow skill in a game, but to actually grow actual knowledge of it. And over the years I played a lot of RPGs. (L2, Diablo 2, RO, etc..) How did I have time for all of this? Well, I'm an only child, and my mom was a single parent, so you can tell I was kinda spoiled. Most of my time I spent it playing games or doing sports, I had no real interest in school but I never did bad at it either. At 21(2010), with a promising career in Hockey, I was diagnosed with a loose bone fragment on my right knee that could potentially get incrusted in my knee and turn into a serious injury. At first I didn't care, but over time I started feeling more and more pain after practice, so I decided to call it quits. After that I really got into gaming, but I lacked the support of a team to go to major tournaments, and here in South America major tournaments didn't really started happening until 2011. Then, at the beggining of 2011, I discovered Starcraft 2, and I was amazed to see how different it was from Brood War, which I had played competitively, but there weren't really that many tournaments here, and online ones were just dominated by A+ people. I then decided to star playing starcraft 2, not with a competitive aim, but just for fun. I failed miserably. With my 100th Position in Bronze League Secured thanks to a solid 15 Game Loss Streak. I was ready to say "This game is stupid" and just throw it away. But something in me told me I could go on, that I didn't have to give up, for I had given up something important to me once. Then I came across the GSL, I loved how the players could do amazing skills, and knew the game, so I knew my failure wasn't mechanical, it came from knowledge, so I started practicing until I eventually got better, reaching Masters League on the Latin American server. I started doing some casting back then, and I eventually became really good, but that's another story. After a good result in WCG 2011 I joined team EliteGaming, seeded mainly in Dominican Republic, where I met a lot of nice people and further developed my skills as I moved onto the NA server, where I hit Diamond. I played a long time with them, but I had this feeling something was missing, that I needed the focus of a team to be something else than just playing games and getting sponsorships. Then I met vVv Astro while doing a playhem tournament, who told me about vVv Gaming and how amazing it was to be a part of it, so I decided to give it a try, and well, I gotta say I couldn't be happier, I'm exactly where I want to be right now, for vVv Gaming has helped me realize the goals I have for eSports and life. My Views on the Current eSports Scene Currently, there's a lot of things going on with eSports, mainly, it's starting to grow into something massive, that is drawing a lot of people, but to actually capitalize on this success, we need to have people adding value to ride on it's success. What do I mean by this? It means that just being good or streaming a lot of games isn't going to cut it. We need to start doing much more, and generate a lot of eSports related content, to intensify the growth that the eSports scene has taken. I believe organizations like Riot Games, Naughty Dog, and vVv Gaming have taken this first step into the future of eSports, and thus stand at the pinnacle of the industry right now. There are several other companies, of course, that are starting to work towards achieving this same goals. It's all healthy competition that makes everyone stronger. Currently there are very few players actually concerned about the development of the eSports Scene, and some conscience needs to be developed on this aspect, that way, by having more people adding value to the scene instead of just playing, we'll have a much richer SC2 community. But I'm just a nobody, how can someone like me add value to eSports if I'm not good? Well, you're lying to yourself, nobody's a nobody, and there are always ways for you to add value to the scene, whether it is by being a passionate member of a community, by creating content, or you can even develop your own eSports associated brand, it's all about that something that you have that you're passionate about, and see how can you utilize it to bring value to eSports. You're a good writer? Make a blog and let people know how awesome your game is. Maybe you're a very friendly person, try to get people involved with eSports. It's all about inspiring the followers. And there's an endless amount of ways that add value, just look for the one that works for you! My Thoughts on the Future. Up until today, I had a fairly decent vision of what I wanted to do, and I knew all of them aligned with my interests, but thanks to my dear soon-to-be former community manager, vVv SugarBear, I finally realized where I want my place to be at. I'm going to develop an eSports career, hopefully making it to pro level, but always looking back at the steps I'm taking to make sure I'm not only growing by myself, but helping the eSports community grow along with it. I want to leave my mark in eSports, as have several others before me, and I'll work as hard as I can to do so. I am sure now that I want to work along the lines of Marketing and Management, and for that I will pursue my goals through a life on eSports. There's a long way for me to go, and there's a lot to be learned, enjoyed, suffered, etc.. along the way, but no matter how things turn out. I'll always be thankful to vVv Gaming for helping me realize my ideals, and for giving me the time and space needed to work on them. So a big shoutout to the vVv Community, you guys have a place in my heart now, and you have my word that I'll bring you guys great things. Without further ado, my best wishes to all my readers as well, for without you, I wouldn't have readers at all. (Seriously. Haha) -Matthew 'vVv Razor' Fernandez.
  19. 5 points
    Published on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012 00:29 | Written by BabyToss We all use them. Well, most of us. We want to keep in touch with the gaming world. We also want to share our own thoughts and ideas, to shout them out to the world. Yes, talking here about social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. To those, who are part of prominent teams, that is even a must thing, in order to be able to promote their brand and themselves, to attract even wider audience. Howewer, there are many ways of doing it, and not all are exactly the best, or even correct way of doing it. I'm going to talk about Twitter specifically, in this particular rant of mine. So, be seated, take a deep breath, because I'm going to be blunt about this. Followers, following and you. It's always important to be able to make a positive influence. To have colourful ideas and interests. You have to be able to attract your audience somehow, without being obnoxious about it. I've seen it at least million times, when people literally beg to gain followers on Twitter. That is so wrong on so many levels. To be frank, nobody is going to follow someone, who can't really attract their audience, and even if they do, there's a big chance an unfollow will follow, because people want to read interesting stuff. Be personable, simply be a personality. Write about your interests and build a community around that. That will give you a healthy level of followers, who will actually read your content. Don't be just a dry person. Have people relate to you. Inspire them. Show them your dreams, passions, goals. For example - My main focus and interests go around StarCraft 2. So, logicaly, my content goes a lot around that topic. But also, I actively look for expanding my overview, searching for interesting personalities, who have something catchy to say. I often follow people with similar goals and dreams to mine. Make sure you do communicate with your followers. Make sure you communicate with the people you follow. Get out there. Be a personality, and yes, stressing that again. You can build an awesome community of people, who have the same interests, motivations, dreams, wishes. Retweet button, don't be a tool while using it... Retweeting and you How upsetting it can be, when whole your timeline gets flooded with irrelevant retweets? Everything comes with moderation, and so does retweeting. Think about what you retweet. Don't just mash up that retweet button as if your life depended on that. Think of your audience, your followers. Are they going to be interested in that? Generally, to keep things interesting, support your interests, because if you follow the step one and build your audience around your own interests, there's a big chance they will want to read your retweets, thus leading to them widening their own areas, maybe gaining some more informations about their (similar) area of interests. I've seen people retweeting all sort of stuff, even these so-called 'follow me, I follow you back', repeating it as if they lacked any resemblence of reason. This is not a way how to gain proper followers. This is a way how to gain something, which I refer to as 'Twitter Sheeps'. They collect followers, you often see them following thousands of people, having around thousand of followers. But, humour me - do you really think these people actually read what the people they follow tweet about? No frickin way! It's literaly impossible to keep up with that many people. Besides, these kinds of 'follower hunters' are rarely interested in what the others have to say, they just find an odd pleasure in having a high number of followers on their account and you should see that face, when that number drops a bit. To bottomline it - retweet, but think about what and how often you retweet things. Retweet stuff, which is relevant to your interests and interests of your audience. I'm not going to retweet stuff about say, women's fashion, because I am not interested in the slightest about that, and neither is my audience. Same goes for the games and genres I don't really partake in, as there's high probability my followers wouldn't be interested in that either. I make sure to retweet interesting things happening in my team, because I of course want to get them out there, but even then, I make conscious choices on what I retweet, so there's also big chance that my followers will read it and that it may get them interested. Because in the end, that is the main purpose of retweeting and promoting something - to get your followers interested in it, so, again, emphasis on the content to be interesting both for you and them. think of it as a commercial - sure, you get these obnoxious, generic ones on the TV, but when you come to gaming convention on LAN, what do you see? Brands, which are connected to that. Focused commercials, on specific group of people, with specific interests. If you are like this - There's big chance you are doing it wrong... Few last words Nowadays, Twitter has become a mainstream thing. Major companies have it, politics have it, actors have it. I want all of you to just stop and think for a while, why are you using Twitter. What do you hope to do with it and how. The 'how' part is kind of key, as it may either make you an obnoxious presence within the network, who gains little to no followers or you can really build an awesome group of people around you. I also want to say, that quantity doesn't mean everything. In fact, quality over quantity, always. especially if you are trying to get out there, to promote yourself and your team. Some may argue with that point, that the more followers you have, the more exposure you get, but, refer to the point about 'Twitter Sheeps', who basically don't give a damn about what you talk about, as long as their follower count is high. Think about it, and think about it hard. Especially if you are representing a brand or your team. Good luck.
  20. 5 points
    First off, you're probably wondering why this is #11 not the first. Well, there's ten other articles located HERE. Unlike the normal articles, this entry is specifically about my interactions with vVv so far. Let me tell you, I've only been here a short while, but in the time I've spent with vVv I've come pretty far. As it stands I'm a senior officer for our Guild Wars 2 team, as well as the Editor in Chief of the entire website. But you'd know that if you read pretty much any of my profiles on the internet, my tumblr, or my twitter. I first found vVv Gaming on the MMO-Champion guild recruitment forums, and after a very short time going through the forums and reading what vVv was about, I knew this was the place for me. The diversity, values and guidelines that vVv exists by make it unique in both the world of E-sports and non-competitive gaming. They're a place for everyone who wants to be there, and anyone who makes the effort to join. After initially posting my application to the Guild Wars 2 officer ranks, I had a chat with former MMO Manager vVv Voison and began doing writing tasks for the organization, shortly after I began getting assignments from LordJerith, the president and CEO. A few days later I posted my Editor in Chief application, and within two weeks, was ranked as Staff and wearing my new title. I couldn't be more proud of what I've accomplished here in such a short time. But that's not the only thing I do.. Did you know that, along with a WONDERFUL team of people, I also manage the Guild Wars 2 division? I know I said I was a senior officer, but did you know I was running the whole show as it is? Currently it's not as much work as it will be. As I said I have a wonderful team of members and applicants who make great contributions, put in a ton of effort, and generally make my life easy... For now. By no means am I saying that what I currently do is easy, it's not. There's a lot of work to be done, but not as much as there will be when Guild Wars 2 releases! But don't worry, not only will I take it on with the same vigour and dedication that I've done with everything else so far, I'm actually looking forward to it. All that said, the nature of Gamer Culture going forward is going to change. Before it was just opinions on certain topics I felt passionate about. Going forward, it's going to be a mix of everything it was before, and anything else I think you might enjoy reading. So with that said, I'm going to cut it short here by saying, welcome to the new Gamer Culture. I hope you've all enjoyed my introductory post, and I look forward to lots more time with vVv!
  21. 5 points
  22. 5 points
    vVv Buzz

    explosion wallpaper

  23. 4 points
    vVv Doomhammer

    New Website Coming

    The new website is almost complete and we will be making the switch tomorrow! Thursday 05/16/19, at 8am, we will bring the forums down to take a snapshot and port them to the new site. They will be down most of the day for the relocation and testing, and should be back up in the evening. Spread the word, and make ready!
  24. 4 points
    Hello everyone, For those of you who do not know me. I was a vVv member from 2012 to 2015, I was a member of the Call of Duty Division, was the Call of Duty Assistant Manager for a point in time, and then left vVv Gaming when the esports efforts were not pushed as much as I would have liked; then I became the Esports Manager for Clan Lucky Strike before it was sold to Operation Supply Drop. After the sell to OSD, I had left CLS to return back to vVv Gaming to become the Business Development Coordinator, before effectively leaving vVv Gaming. I just recently came back to the vVv Forums after seeing a post about vVv looking to make a return in the esports community. After seeing so many familiar faces in the shoutbox and some of them repping the V's once more, I wanted to make a post to see where all the former vVv Members are at today. So with that being said..... Former vVv Members, even the ones who just recently got their V's back.... Where are you at today? Do you still game? What do you do for work? What platform do you mainly play on now? Did your time in vVv affect where you are at today? If so, then how? I will start.... Where am I at today? Well I am 24 about to turn 25 in March. Since my time in vVv, I have moved out of my parents house and into an apartment with my SO and 2 of our friends, where I have lived for the past 2 years. I have grown a lot since my time in vVv, and hopefully after talking with some old faces, that they can agree to that. I honestly am unsure what else to put here so this will be the last sentence haha. Do I still Game? Is the sky still blue? If you look at the sun will it make you blind? What type of question is this? Of course I still game. I game as much as I can nowadays which is not as much as I would like to, but that is what having a job and a life gets you. What platform do I mainly play on now? I mainly play on the PS4, but I do have a perfectly capable gaming PC to play on, but I do not have many people to game with on PC that much. Also I am in the market to buy a NZXT build PC but am currently debating on rather I want to drop 2K now... I also have a Switch to play Smash Brothers on.... Fight me. What do I do for work? After many years, I was able to turn my passion of gaming and esports into a career, and I am proud to say that I am the Operations Manager for OpTic Gaming now. Did your time in vVv affect where you are at today? If so, then how? Yes and 1000x again YES!! vVv was my starting point in esports. vVv gave me a platform to learn more about the esports industry, and with the help of Jerry, Doom, and Rob, I was able to take what I learned from vVv to propel me forward into other organizations which inevitably helped me land where I am at today, and honestly if it was not for vVv Gaming, I would not be where I am at today and for that I am forever thankful. So thats me!! So who will be next to go? I still #BelievVve there are many old faces lurking the forums...
  25. 4 points
    vVv Exodus

    Friendly Reminder

    It's required to have vVv in your XBL Gamertag, PSN ID, Steam ID etc. It's a privilege to be in vVv Gaming, if you don't want to rep us then I'll remove you from us. Hope I'm being crystal clear. Thank You, vVv Exodus
  26. 4 points
    The obvious silence and lack of a response tells us all we need to know. It's also very representative of what we could likely expect if you were to ever be vVv staff. Nonetheless, I'm interested to see what he says.
  27. 4 points
    Where am I today?: I'm 25, 26 in March. Happily engaged to my girlfriend of almost 3 years. Saving up to hopefully buy our first house by the end of the year. Do I still game?: not nearly as much as I'd like to, I get a few hours in every few days but with work and being an actual adult now I cant sink in the hours I used to What platform do I mainly play on now?: ps4 or PC mainly. My xbox collects dust. What do I do for work?: I'm a fraud analyst for a large UK bank. Did your time in vVv affect where you are at today? If so, then how? absolutely. I had many roles in the 2 stints I had in vVv, I was the assistant EU manager on my first stay where I learnt a lot of skills when it comes to dealing with people and leadership. When I came back to vVv a few years later I quickly became the assistant and then the CoD division manager. I took over with the division in a pretty poor state and I'd like to think i turned it i to the most successful period the division had. The skills i learnt then by working with the division and Jerry have been applied in my professional life and got me into the position I'm in now which I'm extremely grateful for.
  28. 4 points
    Vulcun Daily LCS: An Introduction Exciting news yesterday as vVv Gaming announced a partnership with Vulcun.com! Vulcun offers daily fantasy tournaments for LoL, DOTA2, CS:GO, Hearthstone, and CoD. Use this link: https://vulcun.com/a/vVvgaming when signing up for 100% deposit bonus! If you saw this information yesterday and were wondering, what the hell is this? Do not fear, I'm here to help you gain some basic understadning of how daily fantasy tournaments work. Daily fantasy sports has risen to ascendancy in the last few years. Daily and weekly games on sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel offer a cash prize in various game forms. Head to Head games against another person, 50/50 games where players in the top 50% win money, and Guaranteed Prize Pool tournaments where the big payouts are. Vulcun is now offering this same format for LoL, CsGo, and DOTA 2, Hearthstone, and CoD. I am going to be specifically focusing on League of Legends, but the general information I provide here goes for all games. The scoring for other games will obviously be different but the general principles of daily fantasy are the same. Before you begin my first piece of advice would be to watch the following video after you sign up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T97LhrP9hU Also please read the contest rules provided by Vulcun here: https://vulcun.com/main/contestrules you can search by each individual game for important information like how to draft, what roster roles you need, and the most important: how you score points. Vulcun users can construct a team of eight players using a salary cap format of $10000. Each player you choose from has a set price. The roster construction includes one player in each role, plus three flex roles where you can use anyone. It is important to note that these prices influence the game greatly. It is hard to fit in all the top players making bargains a huge deal. You expect Bjergsen to play well each week and as such he will always be priced highly. But who are the value plays that have an easier match up you can use to fill out your roster? You need to consider the pricing when looking at who to select on any given day. Alright here is my general advice for Daily Fantasy eSports: If you're wondering how much you need to deposit to start with, the general rule is to start with $100 if you can afford it. I'm not telling you that you have to deposit $100 but that is a good starting point when looking to get into daily. However, deposit whatever you're comfortable with to start. Let's talk about bankroll management, or how to manage your money once you've made a deposit. Once you've made a deposit, no matter how much it is, it is strongly advised to only play 10% of your bankroll on a given day. So for example, if you deposit $50, your first day you would only play $5. This keeps you from burning through your bankroll too fast and keeps you in the game. Now, if you play that 10% and lose it, you would go from $50 to $45 making your 10% for the next day only $4.50. You can use this 10% rule whether your bankroll increases or decreases. If you don't need to worry about how you spend your money then this 10% rule doesn't apply. PLAY 50/50 TOURNAMENTS! We all have dreams of winning huge sums of money playing daily fantasy, but let's be real it's not that likely. Sure it could happen, but the best way to steadily increase your bank roll is to play 50/50 tournaments. In this format you only need to place in the top 50% of all competitors. Contrast that to a tournament where the top prize is huge, but steadily decreases with less spots to even finish in the money. My general rule I use for myself in daily is that if I am not cashing in my 50/50's I do not allow myself to play in tournaments. 50/50's are the best way to increase your bankroll. This one goes hand in hand with #3. If you can, play in 50/50's with large player pools. On Vulcun you can play in 50/50's with 10 people or 100 people, but give yourself the better odds to finish in the top 50% by playing with more people. The variance will be less and although it's still the top 50%, it's easier to take top 50 out of 100 than top 5 out of 10. Don't get discouraged if you aren't cashing in tournaments. You really aren't supposed to win your tournaments on a consistent basis. The player pool is much larger making the competition stiffer. That's why I recommend playing 50/50's to start. Last but not least - HAVE FUN. It's what it's all about. Oh, and don't get addicted. If you're having a rough go of things getting started, there's no shame in taking a break for a day. I hope this general information helped. Remember to check out the links above for Vulcun's contest rules and information. Good luck!
  29. 4 points
    vVv Bagzli

    How it all started

    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. 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. 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 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.
  30. 4 points
    IgnisFray

    A change for the better

    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.
  31. 4 points
    The single most destructive thing you can do to your dreams is try to live a normal life. What is a normal life? It's all those things that take up your time that aren't related to helping you achieve your dreams. Things you do because you feel you're expected to, or because you'll make more money (if being rich isn't your dream), or because they are an entertaining distraction, or because you feel like it's "the next step" in life. And what does it mean for something to be "the next step"? Basically, I like to think of the normal life as a big rut, and the wheel of life goes round and round in this rut as each generation is born, lives, reproduces, and dies. Each turn of the wheel is another life expiring living the normal, ordinary plan that it never chose. For a typical middle-class American, that rut might look something like: Go to school and get good grades, Get into college and get a degree, Use your degree to get a secure, well-paying job, Get married, buy a house, and start having kids, Send the kids to school to get good grades, through college, and support them starting their own careers, Retire if you can afford it and enjoy the last few years of your life doing what you actually wanted. But beyond just this simple list of a plan for your life, there are the little things that fill our lives. Spend time watching TV, movies, or anime? Not interested in becoming an actor, critic, producer, writer, production crew, makeup artist, etc.? Subject matter not relevant to your passion? Probably shouldn't spend a lot of time doing that. Spend a lot of time going out to bars or clubs? Not interested in becoming a bartender, promoter, DJ, owner, designer, doorman, bouncer, manager, etc? Not looking for a spouse to fulfill your dream of raising an awesome family? Probably shouldn't spend a lot of time doing that. Spend a lot of time playing video games? Not interested in becoming a pro gamer, coach, caster, production crew, cosplayer, graphics artist, character designer, etc.? Probably shouldn't spend a lot of time doing that. Spend a lot of time trying to get laid? Not interested in becoming a porn star, prostitute, brothel owner, pimp, adult sex store owner, porn producer, adult fiction writer, matchmaker, or just being the best lover in the world? Probably shouldn't spend a lot of time doing that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVdy6T6YbRg The pattern goes round and round. People follow it as if by impulse rather than actual conscious choice. As such, it takes a lot of effort and energy to decide that this isn't the life you want. Contrary to popular belief, your life is already laid out for you from the moment you were born. If you want to live an alternate life and achieve your dreams, then you have to expend enormous energy to jump that wheel out of the rut and consciously direct your energy toward your passion. And event hen you are in constant danger of falling back into the rut. Only through the relentless pursuit of your passion will you escape being trapped in a normal life. That's not to say that you shouldn't ever have fun. Fun and relaxation are necessary and without them you probably won't be as effective of a person, so definitely set aside time for relaxing and having fun. But if you fill your free time with trying to get laid, then watching Netflix, then playing games, then going out with friends, then getting laid again, then watching Netflix again, while working and supporting yourself, then suddenly all your time is filled with the mundane pieces of life that are just there to help you relax and alleviate boredom occasionally. Set aside the time to pursue your passion FIRST. Then stick to that plan. Didn't get laid this week? Minor inconvenience. Didn't live your dreams this lifetime? Devastating. Planning to put your passion first is the only way to avoid waking up one day on a path you had no intention of going down and wondering what happened to your dreams. You had dreams once, but what happened to them? How did you wake up halfway through your life feeling trapped in a marriage that doesn't support you, with children who are your jailers demanding more and more of your time away from your passion, and a job that you go to only to pay the ever increasing pile of bills from the mortgage, cable, kids college fund, etc. And then suddenly you are retirement age, but you can't retire because you never did anything at your safe, secure job that would earn you a promotion and a raise to cover the lifestyle you ended up with. All the money went to the kids, the wife, the house, the Netflix and cable subscriptions, the nights out, the endless games played—but you never got out of silver league. So even at the end of your life you were never able to pursue your dreams. And that's not to say you couldn't achieve happiness with that kind of life, but was that really your dream? To just be happy frittering away your life aimlessly? Surely there was something you wanted to accomplish, to contribute to the world. More than just "held a steady job, watched netflix, got laid"? I have one more thing for you to consider before I wrap up this blog post. What if, deciding to live a normal life, things don't go exactly as not-planned? What if you get a girl pregnant one night while trying to just get laid? What if your wife finds herself in a loveless marriage and commits suicide? What if you fall asleep exhausted driving to the job you don't love and end up killing someone? What if the example you set causes a child to become jaded and give up his dreams and become a drug dealer instead? What if it's your child? It's one thing to squander your own life, but can you really be so cavalier with someone else's? Do all the opportunity costs and squandered time really only add up to your own personal nightmare? What about the difference you were going to make in the world? Who loses out because you never delivered on that dream? Is it just you, or is the world impoverished because watching the next season of Breaking Bad was more important than figuring out the cure for aging? Or the solution to viable renewable energy? Or the artwork that inspires the next generation of artists and defines beauty for this time period? What is your dream worth? So I leave you with this message: fail to live a normal life. You don't have to leave everything on autopilot. Discover your passion, discover your purpose, and pursue them relentlessly. My own personal mission statement is "No one should have to deal with difficult problems alone", which is the result of experiences I had earlier in my life. My own passion is competitive gaming, ever since I was 5 or 6 years old playing Battle Tanks against my brother on the Atari 2600. Instead of a repetitive rut, your life can look like this: Go to school, but look for opportunities to do things you enjoy until you discover your true passion, Examine your life and discover your purpose. What is more important to you than anything else? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Go to college if it will help you combine your passion and purpose. Otherwise look for opportunities to get started while you're still in high school. Struggle for a while financially while you pursue your passion and purpose wholeheartedly. It will be worth it. Discover someone else who enjoys their life as much as you and is also actively immersed in their own passion. Become partners in life in a way a normal spouse could never hope to. If your passion or purpose demands it, have children. Help them stay free from the rut of a normal life. Never retire because you love what you do and you've lived a whole and complete life doing exactly what you love. Sound better than a normal life? I think so, and I hope you do too. When I was in college, I studied Information Technology in order to get a secure, high-paying job. When I graduated I started working at a company doing work related to the IT field rather than pursuing my dream of working in the gaming industry. My life is very comfortable, but I'm also not content with where I am. I spent a lot of time playing games in the evening, watching anime, and watching movies. I worked out a lot and spent a lot of time talking to guys online trying to find someone to date. Looking back, my twenties were basically a huge waste of time. I'm now 30 years old and only over the past few years have I started focusing on finding my passion and purpose. The type of life where you live only for your own immediate satisfaction is not fulfilling, at least not for me. You need to find a purpose to serve others and add value to their lives in some way in order to find fulfillment. Even recently I have struggled with using my time as effectively as possible. For example, I struggle to get to sleep on time a lot of the time. This leads to me being too tired to get meaningful work done the following evening, significantly limiting my effectiveness in terms of what staff work I can accomplish. I've also wasted a lot of time trying to grind staff work every day. I have found that setting aside time on the weekends to play games and spend time with friends and family makes it easier to focus on getting stuff done during the week. One of the biggest failures I experienced after joining vVv was the death of the Starcraft 2 Division. I lost my passion for the game because I spent all my time doing staff work and wasting time and never took the time to actually play. This is a huge error, because it will inevitably lead to burnout. So finding time to play the game you are most passionate about is a must. All of the above things I talked about I speak from experience. This isn't all just generic advice, but things I've learned the hard way that I want to share with everyone else so that they don't have to. This is why it's so important to pursue your passion. It's definitely not the easy choice, but compared to the alternatives it's far easier than letting your dreams die. Hope this was helpful.
  32. 4 points
    IgnisFray

    A life worth living

    "If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself" ~ Rainer Maria Rilke After frying my brain over-thinking things the last few days, I've realized that I'm not satisfied with my current place in life. I always thought that as long as I found a good wife and had some kids, my job wouldn't matter to me as long as I could get by. But after some heavy self reflection I realized I wanted to do something I was passionate about just as much as having a family. I want to be doing something I love rather than working at a place where I count every second I have left before I can finally go home. The problem is, I haven't done anything to make my dream a reality. I was so paralyzed by a fear of failure that I let myself become my own worst enemy. It hadn't occurred to me that while not trying meant I couldn't fail at anything, it also meant I would never succeed in anything. So you know what? I wanna try. Even if I fail a thousand times, even if I don't end up doing what I want, at least I can say I tried. Because any move in the right direction is better than living a bland life. So I want you to do something for me. Ask yourself if your happy. Ask yourself if you're satisfied with where your life is. Are you doing what you love, or have you settle for complacency? The unexamined life is not worth living, so I must beg you to question yourself and your life. Don't settle for normal. Don't let your life filter through your fingers while you do nothing. Ask yourself if you are happy, and if the answer is no, then do something about it.
  33. 4 points
    Hey guys, Welcome to the first article for my new Around the Rift blog! The purpose of this blog is to discuss upcoming changes and the effects that they might have on the current meta. Today I will be discussing the latest PBE Notes from 2/18. I will be providing my analysis of these changes and the positive/negative effects they may have if they were to go live. For those of you who have not had a chance to peruse the new patch notes, you can find them here. ----- CHAMPION CHANGES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ** NOTE: Colors are reflective of my opinion on the changes proposed. [Negative Change] [Minimal Impact Change] [Positive Change] Corki [situational Pick]: I think that adding an AD ration to his Phosphorous Bomb in addition to the AP ratio will make Trinity force an amazing item on him. The problem with corki is that he is good at a lot of things but not excellent. I think that caster based adc's like corki are just a tad weak compared to aa centric adc's like Cait or jinx in this meta unless you are running a poke comp. Gragas [Godlike Still]: They removed the AD ratio for gragas's body slam which will lower the damage to be a bit more manageable. The thing to write home about here is the reduction of AP ratio to gragas's explosive cask and whether or not it will have a major impact. Currently, every 100ap gives Gragas 100 damage to his ultimate. With the proposed changes, that number would be reduced to 80. Typically gragas can get to about 400-600 ap with relative which would translate into 80-120 damage lost on his ultimate if the changes go through. Honestly, to gragas... this is just a drop in the bucket. I think that while this is a good step towards bringing down Gragas's power, it is not enough. I think Gragas's ult ap ratio needs to be .6 or .65 for it to be in line with others. Kassadin [What is a nerf?]: Oh Kassadin, try as the might... you will still rock the a 100% pick/ban rate in solo queue. There's a reason why Kass is not played as much in competitive play and that's because he is a high risk high reward play style. You have to take risks on kassadin to snowball which is why he hasn't been nerfed. Why play Kass when you can get moderate risk high reward champs like Kha'zix, zed, leblanc, etc.? Anyways, Kass's silence was nerfed by .5 sec, he lost 20 base dmg to his Q and 40 base damage to his E. All in all, he's still a monster who will take the big risks and be rewarded for it. His late game is a tad weaker now but you won't feel much of a difference from current play to this change. Miss Fortune [Dethroning Jinx?]: Okay so this one was interesting... First, the new formula for the 2nd hit of double up results in the same damage from the old formula. This is important to note because it is neither a buff or a nerf: New Formula - Based on 100 AD 1 point: [25 + (0.75*100)] = 100 * 1.2 = 120 dmg 2 points: [60 + (0.75*100)] = 135 * 1.2 = 162 dmg 3 points: [95 + (0.75*100)] = 170 * 1.2 = 204 dmg 4 points: [130 + (0.75*100)] = 205 * 1.2 = 246 dmg 5 points: [165 + (0.75*100)] = 240 * 1.2 = 288 dmg Old Formula - Based on 100 AD 1 point: [30 + (0.90*100)] = 120 dmg 2 points: [72 + (0.90*100)] = 162 dmg 3 points: [114 + (0.90*100)] = 204 dmg 4 points: [156 + (0.90*100)] = 246 dmg 5 points: [198 + (0.90*100)] = 288 dmg Secondly, Impure shots now scales off of AP rather than AD. While the maximum damage for impure shots is increased, you would have to build AP to make use of it. The saving grace for this change is the MASSIVE attack speed buff that MF will now get from activating the ability. MF used to gain 4/6/8/10/12% attack speed for 6 seconds whereas now she will gain 30/35/40/45/50% attack speed which is much needed. One thing to keep an eye out for is the scope of the change to the wording of this ability. Impure shot's used to only apply on a successful basic attack, however, the word "basic" has been removed and replaced with "...causes her attacks..." if this is the case, then this is a massive buff. By using her ultimate, MF will be able to apply a 50% reduction of healing to ANYONE who takes a tick of damage. This is huge and can be used as a hard counter to sustain supports/compositions. Ryze [From the Ashes]: Well shit, ryze will have a lot of sustain in lane now. By giving Ryze 1/2 the mana cost of Q back when killing a target, riot has given ryze the power to farm more efficiently without running oom early. This will allow ryze to cast 3 Q's at the same cost as 2 currently. That could equate to an additional 60/85/110/135/160 (0.4 * AP) every 10 seconds in which he can use to harass. I think that we will definately start to see this champion again, especially with the way ryze player's tend to build. Running a Ryze could potentially free up item slots for your jungle/top for more damage or sustain. Tee[no]mo[re OP Traps]: The days of teemo farming endlessly and leaving little presents for people around the map are finally over... sort of. This nerf was a huge one cutting the AP ratio of teemo's shrooms in HALF. Idk about you, but this pleases me greatly. ----- ITEM CHANGES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aegis of the Legion [still luxury]: I main support and I have been forgoing this option because it was too costly for the return on investment. I feel like in this meta, you need to build effectively for the largest source of damage on the enemy team. I still feel like the resistances are a tad weak for the price of the item. For 1875 gold, I can buy: Negatron Cloak: 720g - 40mr - Builds into Spirit Visage/Banshee's Veil 2x Cloth Armor: 600g - Builds into a warden's mail Finish Warden's Mail (+20 armor + 15% atk spd slow) or Buy Ruby Crystal (+180hp) Aegis to me is a luxury item if you are ahead in jungle now or on a squishy support. Why would leona/thresh/lulu/annie want to build an aegis when they can go full on tank and allow for their jungle/top to tack on some damage. Ancient Coin [No difference]: Honestly, the removal of hp/5 and the addition of 5hp per kill is fine. If you are relying on that hp/5 to keep you alive, well then you are just doing it wrong. Yes, you do have less sustain in lane but it's minimal. 2/19 Ancient Coin Update [Have mana, will travel]: Ancient coin now has 5 less mana regeneration . Not game breaking but I can bet that I'll be making more stops to the fountain! Boots of Mobility [Can't slow me down!]: While the base movement speed enhancement has been reduced, these boots weren't meant to be so effective in combat. These boots are for roaming and supports/jungle's utilize them for early game vision control and map pressure. The cost reduction on this item just makes it 200g more accessible to the role that needs it (support) while not really changing anything for supports in combat with these boots equipped. Relic Shield [heal op]: MASSIVE buff to the healing that you return upon killing a unit. Prior to this change, you used to heal for 2% of your maximum hp. that is 2hp restored per 100 max hp... pathetic. The new heal gives you a base 40 hp restoration which, if you do the math, would mean you would have needed 2000 max hp in order to mimic this with the old passive. It is also nice that it gives 25 additional base hp. Face of the Mountain [situationally amazing]: Now that it does not cost HP to the wielder and scales off of the receiver's AD, this active is really legit for bot and Leona. In order to get a 300 dmg shield from FOTM you used to need to have over 3000 hp, which as a support... can take a long time to get to. What's cool about this new active is that it rewards ADC's who form a lead from CS'ing effectively. The more GPM the ADC has the bigger they get, which gives them more ad that turns into a larger shield. I think this item will work really well for ADC's that don't need to build Attack speed first such as Jinx or the upcoming Miss Fortune changes. 2/19 Face of the Mountain [Less AD, More AP]: The ad ratio on the shield was scaled back to 100% from 150%, however, 30% of the targeted champions AP is now calculated into the total strength of the shield! As a support who takes advantage of roaming, I like this change. It allows me to go this item route and still be effective outside of my lane. Spellthief's Edge [shitcicle]: Cool, I can do 15 additional damage every 10 seconds on a tower now. Such amaze, many damage. Potentially devastating active for initiation if you land it, but I doubt it will be utilized more effectively than FOTM or AC. Honestly, I'd probably try this item out on Annie with the new active depending on the target reticle. If it has the same target reticle as tibbers then combining the 2 would work really nicely (1s stun into a 1.5-2.5s slow) 2/19 Spellthief's Edge [Just keep tuning]: Riot partially reverted some of the changes to tier 1/2 of the Spellthief's Edge giving it +5ap and +1 gold per hit (t1) / +10 ap and +2 gold per hit (t2). While I don't think it is enough to make me want to invest in this item on traditional utility supports like Nami or Lulu, it may be powerful enough to consider on mage supports such as Annie, Lux or Morgana. I think this item will have the most benefit on these champions because of the chain of cc that can be applied. Stun/Imobilize > AoE slow = OP Farsight Orb [i see you stealthing, you hating..]: Much needed change to see any enemy units regardless of stealth. This will make trading in lanes against a stealth mid/jungle much safer early/mid game. As support, I will definitely start with Warding Trinket, switch that out to a Farsight orb on first back and then use Farsight until I have the gold to purchase a 3rd tier sweeping lens against stealth comps. Ionian boots of lucidity [5% off]: I'm mainly upset because this was the only niche item that could give me the 5% CDR I was looking for. The price reduction is nice but I don't think I'll be investing in these boots as I can get a kindlegem for 75g more. Changes reverted as of 2/19! Ohmwrecker [Ohm... NO]: Please just stop. This item was never used, will never be used and is a waste of time. Turrets do not do enough damage for this item to be worth 1975g. If Riot want's supports/tanks to pick up this item, they will need to give it WAY better stats or a better active.... honestly, if I could use ohmwrecker to redirect it's attacks on the enemy team for 3 seconds, then I'd purchase it. Sightstone / Ruby Crystal [i get it]: More accessible for support freeing up their resources to keep up with the rest of the team. Rylai's Crystal Scepter [pfft]: Whatever, just 2 extra CS for it. I think it was priced low to begin with. 2/19 Doran's Shield [stat efficiency]: Riot partially reverted the Hp/5 nerf to doran's shield and returned it from 0 hp/5 to 6 hp/5. I think doran's definitely needed a nerf but the orginal nerf down to no hp/5 regen was over kill. I think 6 hp/5 is a good spot to sit for this item and brings the total "Stat value" to be barely efficient for the cost. The big thing to note is the passive on doran's is still op.
  34. 4 points
    While this approach isn't a guaranteed way to win, it's a robust way to not loose. What Carrying Really Looks Like in The Real World Let's say we have two ships. One is divided in to compartments, and the other is just a plain ship. The plain ship is more efficient as it can carry more cargo per voyage. The ship with compartments is less efficient due to the added walls as well as being much heavier. Why The Slow Inefficient Win The Race This is often characterized as a comical saying of a turtle in a race. There's actually a lot more truth to this. If we look at our 2 ships again, in a linear situation( going from point a to b along a straight path in clear deep water) the efficient ship will win hands down. Yet, the world and league of legends are no where near linear representations. They live in the extremes where things suddenly happen without any notice. Now let's imagine our ships in a race with obstacles they have to dodge in murky water. Our efficient friend will be fragile to any mistakes caused by the captain. But even the most experienced make mistakes and the sinking of this big ship is inevitable. A few leagues behind is our robust friend, due to more compartments pulling a more even weight, if one becomes damaged the ship can still make it through. All bet in a much uglier yet victorious way. What Do These Ships Have To Do with LoL? The focus when trying to rise the ladder is to essentially carry. Yet this is where the fallacy lies. Aiming to get as fed as possible(putting all the kills in to one person is more efficient as it requires very little team work). This way of carrying resembles our big ship, carrying all your teammates to victory. But what happens when the carrier makes a mistake? The team sinks, and sinks very rapidly. Now imagine these same teammates, given each a compartment as well as yourself with relatively the same size. While one compartment or teammate failing is highly likely. There will still be relatively smooth sailing to a victorious end. Share The Pie, Fatty Aim for ASSISTS. Share the piece of the pie when ever you can. Which means setting yourself up in a position that allows you to help each teammate as much as possible. Good Luck Climbing The Ladder! Have negative/positive comments or suggestions? Feel free to wright them below.
  35. 4 points
    6/8 -- Major League Gaming & FIFA Let’s look into what FIFA 12 has achieved this year… FIFA may be the largest growing title in the world, especially in the competitive gaming circuit. FIFA 12 obtained the title as the fastest selling sports title of all time, surpassing all others. (Including Madden) Multiple reputable game review sites placed FIFA 12 on a podium all its own with the majority spreading the word that this title was only heading in one direction. I personally believe that IGN is a very credible source for reviews and FIFA 12 received the Holy Grail with 9.5/10 on the site. Official Review Competitive Play The gameplay slowed down a lot in FIFA 12, which enabled a huge growth in competitive tournaments because it allowed for more players to compete at the highest level. The gap between pros and solid players was getting closer because making chances became more difficult and new defensive features made it easier to keep games tight. FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) claims to be the largest gaming tournament in the world & it may be true.This past year they registered over 1,000,000 competitors worldwide. FIWC > 1 Million! Then take a look at Virgin Gaming who formed a partnership with EA sports and held the largest payout tournament ever in NYC more than a month ago where all the top players were in attendance. FIFA brought a full bracket at 256 qualified players all who traveled from their own pockets. (Expenses & Accommodations were not provided by VG) Everyone wants to be the best and all the players need is a venue, the FIFA community in past years has always been separated but its grown closer in recent times and everyone’s chasing the title of “BEST PLAYER ALIVE! I've seen all the hype E3 as brought for FIFA 13, so best believe EA is going to have another title that sells off the charts and has the community looking for somewhere to compete. Major League Gaming Major League Gaming is always looking for rising titles, so why not take one that’s proven to have a committed community with players who are willing to travel anywhere for the chance to be crowned a champion. Sports titles are terrific for spectators; anyone who watches sports in real life will have no problem keeping up with the action. Speaking of action, in a 12 minute match of FIFA you’re almost guaranteed to see multiple goals that are accompanied by exciting trick moves throughout the match. FIFA 13 focuses highly on Complete Dribbling, and for anyone who played FIFA 12 then you know exactly how valuable properly timed trick moves can be. Side Note: FIFA 11 & 12 are both in the top 10 for most played titles in the year 2011. HERE FIFA has every component to move up from just a competitive title, to “THE Competitive title” … So MLG look at the statistics, make the announcement, and sign players up! Thanks for the read, I also write Tuesday blogs via my website --> Check out my site www.ProFIFABlog.com where I provide FIFA tournament information, news, additional blogs, and share my insight on everything FIFA. Follow my moves as they happen on twitter @michs09usa The website is new, so any feedback is “GOOD” feedback… Remember to watch the vVv Gaming Podcasts where I will be doing features over the next month to talk about FIFA 13, the Euros, and much much more!
  36. 4 points
    It has been a month since vVv has picked me up and the experience so far has been amazing. I originally applied to vVv because of the reputation of the management staff and the community at large. A reputation that is most certainly desired. The staff kept up to date with me, not solely caring about my progress as a player for vVv but as a person too. I have done nothing but improve since joining vVv a month ago. The overall level of my play has increased, I still have room to improve but I’m pleased with my progress. Through a collaborative effort from both Aspire programs and head management to ensure the best possible practice for our players we have been able to create an environment which allows learning and productive growth. While working with the Aspire programs I have gained the sense of community that I was looking for in a team. Sharing experiences with the players as rededicated my love of the game and my dream of becoming a pro gamer. Our current plan for new content is to produce a scheduled time for many avid StarCraft players and fans to ask questions and to have them answered them with finesse so both the tippy top of masters and our brothers battling it out in bronze will have something to take away. More details to come so stay tuned an get your questions ready. The major LAN tournaments I’m planning to attend is the LAN ETS in Montréal, Quebec, Canada in March as well as MLG in Dallas, Texas, USA. Many online qualifiers and tournaments will be attended along the way but the primary focus is to train for these major LANs as well as the IPTL that is incoming very soon. The IPTL will be an amazing experience for everyone in vVv Aspire program. I can say that Aspire has been tirelessly practicing because they are eager to show the other teams, the fans and themselves that they can compete with the best. This year has been very up and down for me, real life challenges stood in the way of my practice time for StarCraft. This year has just been a crazy roller coaster ride that never seemed to end. After realizing I’ve been going with the wrong attitude towards my training and just outlook on life, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution to better myself. I never really had a New Year’s Resolution before so I was a little lost, my personal coach, Zoran Swanson, responded with: “A new year’s resolution is something that you either lacking or missing in your life and you take necessary changes so it becomes a reality.” After many sessions of reflecting, I have realized what I have lost and am determined to get it back, whether it may be in the near future or further down the road, what will keep me driven is the fact that it is going to happen within my life time. The recent state of StarCraft in the eSports scene has been an unfortunate blow. Many teams such as SlayerS, Quantic and TSL having to disband really do show how fragile teams really are. You hear of such success with these teams and after many years of hard work, it can be washed away within a couple of weeks. I’m sad to see many of the great teams having to disband and wish nothing but the best for the players. The current state of NA ladder has been unfortunate as well. With the increased prevalence of players using 3rd party programs to gain unfair advantages the top of the ladder has seen some new and underserving names. That being said, the only thing that I can do is to try my best but ultimately we have to rely on Blizzard to improve ‘Warden’ to keep the trolls at bay. The new StarCraft expansion, Heart of the Swarm, looks very promising for numerous reasons. Starting with Blizzard promising; more consistent updates to the map pool, destructible debris at the bottom of ramps, new units as well as the Clan tag feature. However, there will be many patches – not all of which will be good – but I have faith in Blizzard and ourselves to balance to the game. I am very excited for the future of StarCraft. Promising events, patches, strategies, and players are coming in 2013 and we better be ready to embrace them! I’d like to thank vVv and our sponsors for the opportunity and the support they have given me. Special thanks to my fans and supporters that keep me driven! -=[information Plugins]=- Stream: Twitch.tv/Nooborghini Twitter: Twitter.com/vVv_NuBrGNi Website: Www.vVv-Gaming.Com
  37. 4 points
    This is my first of, what is sure to be, many blogs. I will talk about how I view the current state of collegiate eSports and I will talk some about what I think could improve this competition rich scene. While watching the Starcraft 2 matches between Georgia Tech and the University of Waterloo tonight I was left wondering why collegiate level eSports aren't more popular. College sports (i.e. football) are madly popular in the states and attract millions of viewers every Saturday. At my college you could smell the the barbeque from tailgaters halfway across campus. Why doesn't this occur in eSports? Okay, maybe fans would rather snag a few autographs instead of barbequing, but the idea is still there. Different crowd, different display of passion. That brings me to my first point which is passion. Passion is what drives all sports. College sports teams are often times known for having more passionate and crazy fans than even the professional form of that sport. These are the fans that show up rain or shine and yell their voices hoarse. Passion is the key to the formula and is currently not present in the collegiate eSports scene. Sadly, the current viewer base for collegiate eSports is quite small. I fear that not many even know that the scene exists. This brings me to my first point in what I believe collegiate eSports needs in order to be successful. Collegiate eSports needs more of a viewer base. One way of achieving this effectively is through Reddit. A good example of this is how the Azubu CSL Sandy Relief League of Legends stream on Twitch.tv went from ~50 viewers at it's start to roughly 1,200 and second stream on the list. Why? Partially due to a post by CLG on Reddit that skyrocketed to the top. Before this post, the only advertising that was to be found was one moderate-traffic website. What this scene really needs is professional support. I am pleased to be able to say, though, that in the past months, the professional support for the scene has greatly increased with the IvyLoL league tournaments being casted by names such as Riot Jaws and MalfusX, Azubu kicking off its Sandy relief marathon (with help of CLG, Sheth, etc.) coupled with the kick off of their Collegiate Star League a few days later, and finally with the IvyLoL final four being featured at Lone Star Clash 2. Ideally, I'd like to see Riot Games, MLG, or perhaps IPL support a collegiate bracket in their tournaments that could potentially act as a minor league. Unfortunately, a potential problem I see with collegiate eSports is that many of the college students playing these games may not have the time or schedule to duke it out at weekend long tournaments. This may very well be the achilles heel of collegiate eSports as we know it as scheduling could become complicated. Perhaps this could be overcome though. Gamers are known for their passion for gaming, I certainly wouldn't rule out seeing college teams at tournaments just because Little Jimmy forgot to do his homework that night. Another big hit concerning the possible time constraints would be the lack of streaming. With the students often studying or working, the long hours necessary to have a successful stream just aren't plausible. Why do I mention this? I mention it, because streaming is a large part of publicity for professional gamers and would be as well for the semi-pro college teams. Without streams up at the peak hours of the day the marketing for these teams becomes that much more difficult. Now to the fun stuff: Rivalry. Whether it be TSM and Curse or the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, rivals exist in all sports. They instigate rich trash talk and intense competition. Lucky for collegiate eSports, rivalry should come easy. This is due to the simple fact that most of the universities that have gaming teams competing already have other sports team that have been around for some time which will certainly serve as existing rivalries to start with. This works in the favor of collegiate gaming as it should attract a larger crowd if a rival game is advertised around campus. Why? I see it as, most people on campus will know about School A (the one they attend) and School B (the rival). If they see a poster on campus that says "School A is playing School B in the biggest eSports tournament to date!", they are more likely to check it out and watch the matchup and, if we're lucky, they'll stick around and continue to support the team in the future. This is all opposed to a poster saying something along the lines of, "School A is playing in the biggest eSports tournament around!", because that only speaks to a small group of people. Simply put, not everyone knows is an eSports fanatic while most people around will know of a rivalry or matchup between schools. It's how you market it, and if done right it will boost the fanbase of collegiate eSports three fold. Before I wrap this up, I want to touch on another point that seems to be coming up in my news feed lately which is that of scholarships for eSports. Scholarships are a great incentive/reward for being a gamer and a great student. It highlights role models in the gaming community that are also full time students. These scholarships show that dedicated gamers don't fit some shut-in basement dwelling stereotype. I feel that eSports should be treated as any other sport in the world. They all require dedication, passion, and motivation. Scholarships in eSports show that gaming is not just sitting alone in your room. As with other collegiate sports, it is also about achieving excellence in academics and in their sport. With that being said, earlier this year Twitch.tv (partnered with Alienware and SteelSeries) announced that they would be handing out roughly $50,000 in scholarships that was divided among five students who showed outstanding grades, gaming achievements, dedication, and passion. That's right, passion. I believe that the core of all sports is passion. I started off talking about passion and I will end with it, because it is singlehandedly the most important thing fueling professional gaming. It's what makes us gamers tick. That concludes my ramblings on where I think college level eSports is headed. Look forward to some new blogs from me soon. I hope to see you all then. Thanks for reading!
  38. 4 points
    With the League of Legends Season 2 Champions crowned last weekend *TPA TPA TPA*, it’s now time to look forward on how the teams and players can improve for Season 3. Practice regiments, professionalism, drama and cheating accusations aside, in this multi-part blog series I will be focusing on how players can improve the value to their sponsors in interviews, social media, streaming and more. As the scene continues to grow exponentially, more eyes and brands will be looking at Season 3 to determine the value of supporting competitive gaming. We will be seeing new, non-endemic brands taking the leap and the more prepared these teams are, the more comfortable these brands will be in making a long-term commitment. Let’s first take a look at interviews and in particular, thanking sponsors. Currently, the most common way of thanking sponsors is reciting the brand names off and in most cases with hesitation. Some even forget or don’t bother at all, which is perfectly OK because I understand that they are new to this, but moving forward I see it as an area for improvement. Below I’ve outlined ways that I feel players can improve their ability to add value to their sponsors in these popular, usually viral interviews. I will also give some examples of satisfactory ‘sponsor thanking.’ Tell a Story and make connections Tell a story of how the product helped you in your professional career while also relating it to the tournament or general buzz/drama going on during the community that moment. This creates a meaningful connection between the players success and the product, something that fans understand and will appreciate. For Example: I used to get eye strain which would distract me during long practice sessions. After trying gunnars I stopped getting eye strain and was able to focus more, which really helped on developing the skills strategy my team needed to win the championship. Thanks to Origin PC, we were able to practice, develop strategies and review gameplay in our hotel rooms which gave us a competitive edge against the other teams. Before going into this tournament, our preparation and analysis of teams lacked because we didn’t have accurate resources and statistics, but thanks to elobuff.com we were able to scout teams and better prepare for our matches. Know the products, company culture and goals As a player representing a company it’s your responsibility to understand the products and/or service because you are at the most basic level, marketing them. Knowing the product also means providing feedback and being transparent with these companies on how they can improve user experience from the perspective of a professional player. Having a basic understanding on the core values that the company supporting you is extremely important as well. You are representing more than just a product or name, you are the face of the company's unique culture and history. Along with this is an open dialogue with the company on what they’re striving for to see if you can help in any way. For Example, if you know that Steelseries is launching their newest headset soon, you can plan mention that in an interview which will peak interest when the launch actually does happen because if the players know about the development, it’s perceived by fans that the product is going to be even more awesome. Not only will your partners appreciate these things, but they’ll value you much more in return. Be authentic Don’t make something up just to thank a sponsor. The eSports community can smell bullsh*t from a mile away and WILL call you out on it. On the same token, the community will also know when you’re being authentic and will recognize your efforts. I also believe that the community understands the underlying problem and will appreciate this, especially early on because of how accustomed they are to hearing the names rattled off, if at all. Final thoughts Players have a lot to work on when it comes to providing value to sponsors outside of top tournament placings. If you know someone who is aspiring to be a professional gamer, please share this with them so they can get a head start.
  39. 4 points
    Published on Monday, 16 April 2012 10:33 | Written by BabyToss There are many known players & StarCraft 2 prodigies, which you hear about every day, if you actually watch the progaming scene. They inspire us, to strive to be better StarCrafters, but in the end, it sometimes feel, that they are out of reach, as if I watched a Hollywood movie, rather than a real person. This is why I decided to actually go and spotlight interesting personalities in StarCraft 2 - not necessarily progamers, but simply people, who inspire me somehow & they aim high, in terms of competition. I will be writing about interesting personalities as I see them, consider this to be the very first token of it. The first person of choice would be Bryan "Glon" Gemler, a 17 years old guy from Cleveland. He may seem like your ordinary SC2 gamer, someone you meet on the ladder daily, however, Bryan managed to surprise me in recent MLG, when it comes to the performance. It's not too often you see rather unknown player to go and shine, but Bryan managed to do just that. Let's look at his ride through - His first rounds seemed to go smoothly, as he faced unknown players, in terms of renown in StarCraft 2 community - He beat JoshFreeman in first round; 2:0, then continued in round two, beating StoicRegret 2:1, and finally, in third round, he encountered Bryce "Machine" Bates, a Zerg player from Evil Geniuses. Besting him 2:1, Bryan soldiers on, right into 4th round, this time facing Brian"Spades" Francis. And yet again, Bryan shows that his Zerg armies are capable of wrecking havoc, beating Spades 2:0. Next round, Bryan fights against Moon "Ddoro" Jung Ho from team Vile; however, this time, he falls to his opponent 1:2, dropping into losers' bracket. His journey continues in losers bracket, where he faces Ilyes "Stephano" Satouri, one of the best foreign Zerg players. That alone is an unique opportunity to learn, and Bryan tried his best in order to best his Zerg opponent. Unfortunately, this is where Bryan's MLG journey ends, as he falls to Stephano in both games; 2:0. Some of you may now be wondering why I want to spotlight Glon, aren't you? Let's look at the another part of the story, let's return at the very beginning of Bryan's StarCraft 2 career. Bryan "Glon" Gemler joined North American team vVv Gaming a year ago, as mere Silver level Zerg. Yes, you read it right. A mere Silver Zerg. Through his dedication and help from fellow teammates, he climbed higher and higher, eventually reaching the high Master level. Additionally, what is even more unique, StarCraft 2 is Bryan's first RTS. There are many people duscouraging others from trying to attain something in StarCraft 2, but Bryan is an excellent example of the fact, that if you truly are dedicated to something, you can do it, no matter what your starting point is. While he is not on the top just yet, he is an inspiration to all of us, who started low; the game can be cruel and gruesome at times, but in the end, it is truly rewarding experience, to see one grow from the very bottom to the higher levels of the gameplay. I wish that Glon will climb even higher, as he continues his own training and becoming even more solid Zerg player. At the end of my writing attempts; Bryan was so gracious to spend some time answering my pesky questions, hoping you'll enjoy reading it. Hello Bryan, first of all, could you introduce yourself briefly to our readers? "Hi! My name is Bryan Gemler, and handle is vVvGlon (@vVvGlon). I play zerg in Starcraft 2 and have been playing the game since about a month after it came out. I am currently 17, and looking at colleges at the same time as pursuing a career in professional gaming. On top of starcraft, I enjoy biking, piano, soccer, and debate." Now, that we know a bit about you, let's look into your gaming past for a bit - have you played any other games, and if so, which ones? "I used to play Warcraft 3 and Starcraft brood war. Both were confined to just team games, nothing special (aka I was bad at both games)." Slowly getting to StarCraft 2, as it's major interest of ours - tell me, how did you get to playing StarCraft 2? "Last winter, I was in silver league. Now, I am one of America's top zergs and am looking to do even better than my recent top 48 performance at MLG Columbus. My Starcraft 2 beginnings are actually quite humorous. I 7-roach-rushed my way from silver to diamond league (the then-master). Realizing from all the rage that I got from countless wins that I should probably look for a less abusive and more overall solid play style, I began to learn how to macro as zerg and eventually stopped roach rushing all together." Could you tell us a bit more about your StarCraft 2 beginnings? What were your biggest struggles with the game? "Building off the previous answer, my biggest struggle was learning how to macro. All inning every game (for 500+ games) taught me 2 important things: how to micro, and how to be fast. I learned how to be quick in my movements, decisive in my game decisions. It's here that transitioning into macro was less of an adjustment as people think. Speed/quickness meant that I could gain a macro edge over my opponents through multitasking. Once I learned the macro openings, it was a simple matter to transition into a macro player (for point of reference, this was a year ago, at the beginning of last summer). It got to the point where I wasn't all inning at all anymore, something that I quickly corrected this past fall to mix into a multi game series." We all have our goals. Someone bigger, someone smaller, but in the end, we all have them. What were your goals in terms of StarCraft 2 by then? Did you just decide to try hard and aim high? "Back then, I had ambition. I applied and was accepted to vVv as a community member. I was a part of the vVv academy, and made my move to the A team this past winter. I've always strived for success, and nothing ever changed that. A lot about being a professional is not being born with some talent. It's about working harder than anyone else/putting more effort into each meaningful game." In your MLG report, you mentioned, that you had friends helping you. Would you mind saying who it was, and how exactly did they help you along the way, in order to become a solid Zerg player you are today? "My sole biggest influence and tutor in my path of Starcraft 2 is vVv Titan (Tristan Johnson). Although he has retired from playing professionally at the moment, Titan helped to refine my practice and gave me inspiration while watching him play." Finally getting to your recent MLG performance, where you managed to raise couple of eyebrows - what were your feelings before the tournament? Were you nervous? Did you look forward to the experience? "Actually, I was more nervous about getting there on time than anything. At the greyhound station, my bus was delayed by an hour + with no explanation or expected departure time given to us. After I got to MLG, I had a settings scare where I couldn't find my normal settings. In the end, I came out confident and ready to face anyone, knowing that I was fully capable of competing with the best players in the tournament." You faced some renown players during your MLG journey - how did you feel about that? What did it mean for you to be on equal footing with players like EG.Machine and Spades? "More than this, I was on equal footing with almost every player there. In the winners bracket round 5, I fell to VileDdoro 1-2. This was my biggest mistake of the tournament, as I do not think I should have lost to Ddoro or lost the games that we played. If I had won, I would not only have been one win away from pool play but also would not have had a misfortune of playing Stephano in losers bracket round 7. My performance confirmed my practice results, that I could take down anyone." You eventually fell to one of the best Zerg players in the world, Mill.Stephano. What were your feelings about the game with him? Is there anything you know you could've done better? Any 'lessons' you took from that game, which would help you to improve as a player and further solidify your gameplay? "Rather than retype this out, I wrote a blog on teamliquid about my MLG experience an in particular my games vs Stephano. It can be found here" Let's move on a bit - you started as Silver level Zerg. That is rather low level - there are many people on that level, who might want to follow your footsteps; is there any kind of advice you'd offer them, to be able to reach what you did? "I would suggest picking an abusive strategy that wins a lot of games. As a lower level player, honestly just increasing your win rate by any means possible should be your goal. When playing better and better players, your apm and multitasking will up, as well as how cleanly you execute a build. Also, don't be afraid to make up your own strategies. Look at vVvRuff, who has had HUGE success with his unique strategies." An inevitable question - how much time do you spend practicing StarCraft 2? Any regular schedule, or just winging it, whenever you feel like it? Any specific practice routine, or just ladder for you? "During school, I practice ~10 hours a week (compared to the 10 hours a day of pros I beat @ MLG ). During the summer/breaks, it's about 6-8 hours a day. I do a mix of customs and ladder, although I like to spend all my meaningful practice in customs or on korean ladder (because yes, AM ladder is bad)" I can't forget ask you about your future goals, in terms of StarCraft 2. Anything specific in planning or are you just going to go with the flow? Will we get to see you participating in further MLG's? "Due to my top 48 MLG performance, I am in the invite-only qualifier for Spring Arena #2. Here, I hope to not only qualifier for the Arena in NYC but then qualifier for Pool play in MLG Anaheim. Regardless, I will be at Anaheim." Anything else you enjoy besides StarCraft 2? Hobbies, studies, anything? "I enjoy soccer, biking, and debate. I'm actually quite good at debate, I'm a state finalist. As far as my future concerns, My best guess is something to do with Chemistry and Engineering (Chemical engineering...? ). Other than that, school/social life keep me busy on top of practice for SC2." Thank you for your time, Bryan. I wish you many more successes in StarCraft 2, make us all proud by your hard work! "As a last word -- shout out to the whole vVv family, in particular our manager, vVvSugarbear. Thanks a bunch!" Original article can be found over at my website here. Follow me on Twitter for more content & StarCraft 2 rambling - @BabyTossSC2 Like me on Facebook
  40. 4 points
    God damn it. I really didn't want to like this game at all. I was a hardcore Starcraft 2 monster, very happy grinding my way through mid-level leagues until somehow becoming the champion of the world in 2016. And I dismissed this game rather quickly for being somewhat hard to follow at first glance and for its cartoonish style. Now that I think about it, all the hate I had for the game was probably rather illogical, but then again, hate is rarely logical. Then, at MLG Anaheim, our good friend Mr. vVv LordJerith convinced me that I should dabble more in the realm of MOBAs and MMOs. With Guild Wars 2 far out on the horizon, really my only best choice without spending any outlandish amounts of money (just purchased a ticket to DayGlow) was League of Legends. He said I'd enjoy it, and I said it was stupid. And now I really enjoy it. I honestly could go on and on about what I like about the game, so I will. First of all, it's free-to-play. All that was needed from me was a download and install. I don't know about anyone else, but free stuff is amazing, especially if the free stuff happens to be a well-made video game that's actually worth something. I mean, what better way is there to get into a competitive game than to pick one up that costs you know monetary investment? And what better way to advertise a highly-competitive title than to make it free? I can't think of one (well, I can, but they're not appropriate for all audiences [hookers]). So I decided to finally start it up and get into playing. Now, from watching LoL matches at various MLG events, I realized I probably wouldn't understand how exactly the game works until I play it, but I already had a basic idea of how games functioned - walk around, cast spells, level up, merk bitches, destroy stuff, take their base, destroy the base, enjoy victory. And, obviously excluding major and minor details, that's pretty much a summary of any game of competitive LoL ever. But once I got to playing it, I found that it was not only enjoyable, but somewhat addicting. For a new player surrounded by other new players, and some low-skill ones, I found myself doing rather well in my introductory matches after utilizing the game's tutorial. Once I figured out the basic gameplan of what a LoL player should be doing to get XP and Gold, as well as deal with enemy champions, I pretty much dominated a majority of my matches. And even in matches my team lost, I still did pretty okay and wasn't completely shut-out. I really began to enjoy the huge amount of champions to choose from. It felt like Riot played a lot of Marvel vs Capcom 2 back in their day considering how huge the roster is. With so many champions, I felt a bit more at home on the selection screen, and was pleasantly surprised to find a number of heroes that seemed enjoyable. I played several rounds with Skarner, Malphite, and Fiddlesticks thanks to them being free at the time, and enjoyed learning what they had to offer and how I could use them to play specific roles on a team, even if my team was just a random bunch of people. Eventually I got that, "one more game, one more game..." kind of feeling, to the point where I spent an entire afternoon playing and forgot to eat any sort of lunch or dinner, only being reminded by my dad that I had only ate eggs and toast earlier that day and that I was probably starving. I was - it was very easy for me to just jump into another game, talk with new people, figure out a strategy, and try to play my best. Meeting new people to play with was a lot of fun, especially after having an enjoyable time with one another in a particular lane and doing well, prompting each other to congratulate one another after every possible action and send friend requests immediately after the match. I missed that kind of interaction, one that is so desperately needed in an experience like Starcraft 2, where loneliness is very common. The one thing I didn't miss, however, were idiotic teammates. Besides the several afk people and a couple of feeders, I only had one instance where a teammate just did something so ridiculously stupid that it made me become vocally annoyed with it. It basically boiled down to when I was jumped into an emergency 2v1 situation just as one of my teammates was returning from base. I got slowed out of nowhere just as my teammate came to my side. Instead of helping me, he promptly turned right around and ran away. I almost got away with a kill, but was unable to finish one of them off. Either way, I was going to die, no thanks to my mate, who then now had a 2v1 situation of his own that he barely survived thanks to turret hugging. Wasn't happy about that. Still, I find League of Legends to be very enjoyable, which still sort of bothers me. Now that I've been playing League, I want to continue to play League, but now I feel like all the time I've put into Starcraft 2 to be genuinely good will be cast out the window if I stop putting the time in. And now with summer in full gear, I'll have a job, and I've moved down to NY for the time being to see my friends. I feel a bit overwhelmed. But then I remember that it's all just gaming and I'll get over it eventually. I do what I was meant to do. And really what I feel like I am meant to do right now is to kick ass on LoL for the bitches. Bitches love ass kicking on LoL. So yeah, I'm enjoying it. Fuck.
  41. 4 points
    MLG Columbus was awesome. Yes, I'm sure (at least, I hope) most of you know this. Many of you went, but a huge majority were left at home to enjoy the streams. I honestly could have written a huge blog about my experiences at Columbus and how awesome it was and all the stuff you probably expect and have heard before. Seriously, I could have done it, but I didn't. I'm a bit lazy, sometimes. However, weeks later, I do want to comment on the event, because there's one thing I really do need to talk about, and it's not necessarily about the event, actually. I'm taking this time to write this mostly because I'm taking a break in between Starcraft 2 practice sessions and I need to update this blog here. But don't focus on the reason, focus on the content. I learned something really important from MLG Columbus, which is the first MLG event I've attended since Meadowlands 2008. There's a stark contrast between those two events, to the point where I was actually overwhelmed at first because I just didn't expect the kind of event I was walking into. It had a great vibe to it, almost more like an event (with booths and special side-events and all of that) rather than just a tournament. It had a very E3 vibe to it, and being such a fan of E3 after attending last year's expo, I fit right in. And, of course, I enjoyed all the competition. But what I really enjoyed was finally meeting a ton of vVv Gaming members, from community gamers and competitors to the boss LordJerith himself. And even in three days (and almost a day's worth of driving total), I came to find out how important communites are in competitive gaming and how awesome this one is. Columbus certainly reminded me of how much I actually like the community. Meeting my fellow staff members, and just community members in general, all of whom provided a very warm welcome to my antics and tallness, was really awesome. I had not met any vVv members before this event, aside from Gears and CoD players at NJ Halo and former vVv member (and now at Boss.tv) Freedom, so this was quite the experience. I think people seem to forget that there are actual people behind our usernames, and this just reassured it. The entire event was a highlight – from the couple of dinners we shared as a community (one being staff members only, mind you) to drinking together while listening to the life and times of Jerry (and telling us about RobZGod as if he was RobZGod or something) to chatting with Roar and Sugarbear about SC2 to meeting high-profile people and other awesome figures like SirScoots, TheAnswerKoF, and so many more. It was all one continuous awesome memory, so much so that I can't remember a dull moment. With that said, I'm more reassured than ever than communities in competitive gaming are, and excuse my language, so god damn fucking awesome. It's what keeps people playing games by giving gamers others to connect with and play with. We can all share ideas, thoughts, opinions, content, and so much more in such a familiar venue. And, most of all, it creates the ideal family, one that may not be perfect but is always there when you need it (provided you don't act like a complete jerk off). It almost amazes me that there aren't more organizations out there copying our model. More importantly, communities generate fans. Jerry said this on The Loser's Bracket once before, but I feel it's necessarily to bring it up again. As a community, we can all cheer together for our players, and that's a great feeling. We were loud and proud when our Mortal Kombat players were destroying the bracket, hell we even got loud for our new King of Fighters player Romance (who needs to brush up on his English ) and our new Halo: Reach team, vVv Ability. And, you know what else? That certainly makes our top players feel even better when they know they'll always have a crowd behind them cheering them on. We couldn't give enough love to Daisuki, RuFF, and Glon as they broke expectations and played amazingly in the Open Bracket. We even cheered on Spike as he tried to unsuccessfully Thor rush in one of his sets. No matter where our teams or players were, we were standing right behind them, being the loudest fans and the most numerous. Now, I have to say this with all honesty, but I'm so glad to be part of vVv Gaming. There have been numerous times I've considered possibly stepping down from any position I've been in or even leaving vVv altogether (all of which mostly fueled by teenage angst or something equally as stupid or irrelevant). And, in those occasions, I knew the decision was not the right one, I felt like vVv was my home and I didn't want to leave. Well, after this event, I can safely say that not only I made the best decision to continue to stay with vVv, but also that I'm extremely grateful to be part of this community. I may not be an admin putting in hard work to keep the community afloat, but I feel like I put my own spin on things and, so far, that's worked out for me (3 years as a vVv member coming this September!). I always feel welcomed and I love (most of xD) you guys to death. Without vVv, I wouldn't have had an awesome crew to roll with throughout the weekend, a family to stay with in the hotel, a community to cheer players on with. And by being in vVv, I got awesome wisdom from Jerry and the rest of the crew. And I had tons of people to talk to about how great spending the weekend with vVv was. So, as I said, I don't have a huge warstory on my time at Columbus (maybe when I start competing in SC2!), but I did have to say this. All of you, be glad you're here on the forums, vVv member or not. Because what you're a part of is something special, something that will develop you into an even more awesome person...or, at the very least, give you something great to be part of in your spare time. Whether you're a competitor, staff member, community member, or shoutbox troll, appreciate your time here. And I'm glad to spend that time here with all of you. Sugarbear, you're gonna have to pay me my $60 son!
  42. 3 points
    Love this @Shadow (ex-vVv)! Where am I at today? Its been a long 10 years, and even more growing up in that time frame. I now have 2 kids and I moved to NC. I work with a company who is the orignal creator of geophysical mesauring equipment using nuclear radioactive sources. I am the sole International Sales Advocate. Do I still Game? Absolutely, I cannot imagine a world where I would not continue to do what I love. What platform do I mainly play on now? Mainly, as it as always been, on Xbox. But I do dabble on PC as my secondary. I will soon be getting a Switch so you can find me there co-oping with @vVv Skeensyy What do I do for work? I work with a company who is the orignal creator of geophysical mesauring equipment using nuclear radioactive sources. I am the sole International Sales Advocate. Did your time in vVv affect where you are at today? If so, then how? With out a doubt. If it wasn't for vVv I would not have made the friends and connections I did and still have to this day. Main shoutouts are to @vVv Skeensyy and @vVv Exodus whom are a HUGE reason I am here today. On the personal side, @vVv Skeensyyis my best friend and without vVv, I would have never met such an awesome friend who has stuck by my side for the last 10 years.
  43. 3 points
    Crazyviva

    As One Flag Falls, Another Flag Rises

    I was sitting in the breakroom at work yesterday when my twitter and facebook started to blow up with posts. You actually hit the nail on the head with "taking it personal". I don't intend on getting married anytime soon, but I sat there, in the middle of my job, crying for a good moment because of what this meant. Even if the battle is far from over, sitting there and realizing what this meant was HUGE. Being apart of history in something that directly affected me was one of the best feelings that I've ever felt.
  44. 3 points
    If you haven't seen Sky's video yet, you can do so and 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. Happy streaming! "she" is meant to be ambiguous.
  45. 3 points
    This weekend I got to experience the power of vulnerability and connection firsthand while visiting with vVv staff and LordJerith in LA. There were five of us sitting around the couches in Jerry’s living room, and Rob was sharing his story. When he finished talking about his experience with the drunk driving accident and how it changed his life and led him to end up in LA working as President in vVv Gaming, Ahryse said that it was really interesting hearing his story and that she felt that she was more connected to him after listening. Of course, this is exactly what Brene Brown means when she talks about vulnerability being the birthplace of connection in her TED videos: Being my usual oblivious, overly-analytical self, I immediately asked Ahryse “It sounds like you really care about hearing this type of thing and feeling connected, is that one of your strengths?” I was privileged to be a part of that moment because Jerry immediately interjected and pointed out to me the obvious point that I was missing: that this was a normal human reaction to vulnerability and that to build relationships and form connections you have to be willing to open up, share your story, and be vulnerable with people. Being roughly 10 years older than Rob I have lived through a lot more and undoubtedly have a lot more stories to share, but it’s pretty obvious to me that I need to start by explaining why it’s so difficult for me to open up and be vulnerable and share my whole self. For that we have to go back to very early in my childhood. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve never really struggled with or doubted my sexuality. Even when I was 7 or 8 I knew I was gay. I also knew that it was dangerous to tell anyone that you’re gay for a number of reasons. Children get kicked out of the house by their parents when they find out, people get violently attacked, you become ostracized and an outcast, etc. I also knew very early on that the only way to really keep something secret is to never tell anyone. So for the first 18 years of my life that’s exactly what I did: hid my sexuality and told no one who I really was. A lot of people think that when someone takes offense to a racist comment or joke that they are just thin skinned and shouldn’t take something negatively that isn’t meant to be hurtful. But the real problem isn’t that those comments sting or that someone is going to run crying to their bed and cry themselves to sleep, but that they propagate the silence of people like me. Going through high school and having everyone around me saying “gay this” “faggot that” reinforced the notion that gay people were simply hated and that I needed to hide my true self from the world and stay a prisoner of my own silence. Who knows if those gay and faggot comments I kept hearing were actually reflective of a real hatred or just a product of dumb repetition? There were openly gay kids in my school (who I didn’t associate with for fear of being found out by association), but to my knowledge they weren’t really verbally or physically attacked. Maybe I could’ve come out and not had my life collapse around me, but there was definitely no way I was going to open up and share myself in an environment where people used my sexual identity as an insult and a way to express their dislike of things. And this is another thing that sets gay people apart as a minority. When you’re black you’re black. You can’t hide your skin. You can’t hide if you’re a female. You can’t hide your age, or if you’re physically disabled. But if you’re gay you can definitely hide it. And when you hide you find out exactly what people think about you. All those disgusting, bigoted, small minded comments and opinions that everyone has come right out into the open in a grand orgy of ignorance and hate. It happens right in front of you and your nose gets rubbed in it and you have to swallow it like a bucket of vomit and smile the whole time because who would be on your side if you spoke out? And, on a lighter note, that’s why I find videos like this hilarious: Back to the heavy stuff. When I was 18 I found a reason to break my silence that was more important than keeping my sexuality a secret and risk getting kicked out, losing my plans to go to college, and being potentially alienated from my family. It sounds sappy and lame, but that reason was love. I had fallen completely and inextricably for another guy at my highschool, and I battled against that feeling from the start of grade 10 until halfway through my senior year. It might sound really dumb to fight against something like that, but my fear of outing myself was paralyzing. The thought of what might happen to me if people knew I was gay made sure that I couldn’t approach him and tell him how I felt. Plus what were the chances that it was even worth taking the risk? That he was gay too and felt the same way about me as I did about him? So I agonized through what I can easily call the most painful part of my life, completely in silence and completely alone. A lot of people dismiss what I felt and call it a crush. But from what I understand about crushes, they are supposed to be cute and silly and you get over them. But what I felt for him, what I FEEL for him, is so amazing and perfect and wonderful, and I know if he walked into the room right now I would still feel the same way I did the last time I saw him twelve years ago. It’s something I carry around with me every day, even though the wound has scarred over and the pain has numbed, it is a part of me and it always will be. So maybe “love” isn’t the right word for it, but I think crush is also the wrong word. Obsession, lust, etc. none of them fit. To me, love is the closest thing I can think of so I’ll leave it at that. A lot of people I think would describe that experience as hell, but around that time I found a better metaphor due to my being really into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think a more apt description came about when Buffy’s crew thought she had died and gotten trapped in hell, when in actuality she had been in heaven and they pulled her back to earth. http://youtu.be/Szc-DEyH3ME?t=58s To me, having that perfect feeling was heaven. Every time I stole a glance in his direction, every time I got to see any of his mannerisms or the way he walked, or on extremely rare occasions where I actually got to talk to him, was like a little bit of heaven in my life. And then it was over and I had to go back to earth because ultimately they were very brief, ephemeral moments. Being on earth meant that I couldn’t have that feeling anymore and all I had was my loneliness and disconnection because I didn’t feel safe opening up to people. The relative emptiness of everyday life became increasingly painful and I contemplated suicide. Ultimately, it was the few people in my life that I knew loved me and cared about me that made me decide against it. I knew my mom and best friend at the time would suffer if I killed myself, and so I made the hardest decision of my life. Without knowing where I was going, without knowing what would happen or having any expectation that things would work out, I decided to do the only thing I could: just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I got through it. I think consciously deciding to keep living is different from just living because you’ve never thought about any alternatives. Ordinarily I think it’s easy to take life for granted, to just keep going on every day without any thought to what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. But when you make a CONSCIOUS decision that you’re going to live, when you’ve faced death and despair and hopelessness in the face and said “not today”, every other fear becomes slightly diminished. As our senior year approached the halfway mark, I realized that if I never found out with absolute 100% certainty that he didn’t feel the same way about me as I felt about him, I would regret it for the rest of my life in a way that would leave me incomplete and destroyed. One night, after a band concert I rushed out to my car to wait for him. He came out by himself, completely alone, he looked over and saw me in my car and waved. It was the perfect moment to tell him how I felt. I chickened out, waved back, and drove away. Later that week I knew I had to try again. After school, I drove over to his house, rang his doorbell. His mom answered. I asked if he was home. She went upstairs to get him. Apparently he was taking a nap after school, because I heard him say “I’m tired”. Shortly after that, he appeared at the top of the stairs. Seeing me, he asked, “Need something?” In the loudest, most confident voice I could muster, which came out as barely a whisper, I told him, “I’m gay”. He said, “What?”. I repeated myself, “I’m gay”. His last response to me was, “Okay”. I can’t describe the amount of soul crushing disappointment that those two syllables can possess. But at least I had what I came for. I had my answer. At least I knew 100% that he didn’t feel about me the way I felt about him. Armed with that information I was ready to keep living the rest of my life. I drove home and spent the rest of the day with my best friend who I had already come out to after deciding I had to find out about the other guy. When I got home, my mom took me upstairs and told me that the guy had called and told her what happened. So I never actually got to come out to my mom. She wasn’t what I would call supportive, I think she still hopes she can “pray the gay away”, but it wasn’t the horrible cataclysmic moment I had feared for 18 years. After that I began coming out to more people I was close to. I’ve never really been comfortable talking about it directly with people I don’t know very well (or that I do know well for that matter). I came out in college, but I think half the people I told didn’t even believe me because my mannerisms just aren’t what people envision when they hear the word “gay”. After college I just reverted back to keeping it to myself for the most part and told myself “I’m not going to broadcast it, but I’ll be honest with anyone who asks”. I thought of myself as an open book, even though an open book doesn’t require someone to come along and ask it a question for it to open itself… After talking with Jerry this past weekend, it became clear to me that it does nobody any good for me to not “own” being gay as part of my identity. I’m entering my thirties and there are a lot of people who struggle with their sexuality and coming out in their thirties. A lot of my friends are also having children now, and I can assume fairly safely that it’s likely at least some of those children will be gay or lesbian themselves. As someone who identifies as gay, I can put myself out there as a resource for these people as well as anyone else struggling with their identity or issues they encounter in their daily lives regarding homosexuality. I also limit my own relationships by not being openly gay. Not just romantically, but almost every single deep and meaningful experience in my life in some way relates to my sexuality. If I can’t share the gay part of me, then I can’t share those experiences as stories and potentially help people who are struggling through similar circumstances. I can’t build deep and meaningful connections with other people. And also, why the fuck would I want to be friends with someone who doesn’t like gay people? Anyone who has a problem with it, by definition, shouldn’t be my friend in the first place. So there’s no longer any legitimate reason for me to fear being open and honest about that part of myself (unless I want to go work for Chick Fil A). And even though I feel that I’m already fairly open about my sexuality without calling it out by name, “gay” is still too negative a word for people to assume that I’m gay just because I say things that indicate such. One last thing I want to cover. Another reason I don’t like sharing my story is because it’s really sad, and I’ve experienced all that sadness already and feel like I have a lot of joy and happiness to experience to make up for it. So I’d like to conclude on a lighter note. TLDR: Sounds gay, I’m in!
  46. 3 points
    2013 Is Around The Corner! Blog Note: THIS IS LONG! So what's new for 2013? New games are coming into the E-Sports scene! Heart of the Swarm coming in March! So exciting! But what about us? What do we have planned for this new year? As most of us who are human, we plan a resolution; we promise ourselves things that we can accomplish into the New Years. Some people take the resolution of losing weight, avoiding certain foods, find love, get a better job, get a new house, marry the girl of your dreams, etc. But some of us, are so unique in our own ways, but allow me to introduce on the resolution I plan on taking. The Backstory: I first started to stream after my first tournament at IPL3, which started out to be my drive to be a competitive player for Starcraft. Believe it or not, when I first bought Starcraft II, I only played the campaign and the AI, and since I had the most phenomenal thing in the world, the Internet, I was able to play against players all over the globe...or so I thought. I decided to take it easy and play a team game, and I actually chose Protoss as my main race But anyways, back to where I got my "strive" to become who I am today, and that is the topic of IPL3. Where to begin, where to begin...I recently bought the Platinum ticket, and IGN was kind of enough to upgrade it to a Diamond level ticket, which meant I would have front row seats and access to the players lounge. So after my busy day at work on Friday in the middle of a cold October, I got on the road and headed to my aunt and uncle's shore house which is right near Caesars. "Awesome" I thought to myself, as I watched the pool play on stream on my phone while watching my Phillies lost in the Playoffs The next morning, i got up about 7:00 AM and feeling so anxious about going to my first live Starcraft II tournament. Not only is this my first, but I got the best seats and access ever, and the fact that my idol, BoxeR, was going to be one of the competitors. I was fanboying all over the place, I gave the locals a scare. All they see is some crazy, half Asian, nerdy, coffee drinking psychopath, who seems to be wearing all types of clothing that is black and has a gold eagle with a triangle around it. As I got my ticket, I wondered where I would go, so I figured I would stop by the Player's Lounge. On the way I saw HuK, but I talked to Greg "IdrA" Fields on the way to the lounge and I kept thinking to myself: "Wow, he is totally different when you talk to him in person, but I think he acts like a total ass is because the crowd loves it, but he is actually a decent guy" This moment was the foundation of the whole "strive n drive", and when I entered the Players Lounge, I felt like a total noob, yet honored to be among the pros. Among the pros was FXO.Lucky, FXO.Inori, SlayerS_MMA, EG.IdrA, EG.HuK. Seeing these pros practice and using some leisure time to check FBs and E-Mails, but one person caught my eye..that was Lim Yo Hwan (BoxeR). My excitement grew and I felt like I was going to be a heart attack, and this where I was questioning myself "What if, one of my fans were like this? This would be an awesome feeling that I have fans wanting to see me". So after waiting about 20 minutes, talking to other people who were Diamond level (I was Silver at the time), I felt like this was my chance to get an autograph from the legend himself, my idol..and soon enough, I have this to keep in my memory: I was overfilled with tremendous joy that I got a signature, from my idol! I was freaking out! I wore it wherever I went! -FAST FOWARD IN TIME!- After watching that epic Kiwikaki v. Stephano game where Kiwi did a double vortex, it was time to take a break, so I walked around and there was a caged arena called the "Playhem Arena". I decided to watch players play for fun, or just custom versus games, until an admin came to the center and said that he was running a small tournament for free, and the winner gets Casino Chips. I was scared to join until he asked me and I decided to give it a shot. Now there was a specific person by the name of "Temp0" that people kept talking about. When the admin told us to enter the chat, I saw the name "Temp0". Now the chat was specifically for the Playhem Tournament, but some people got in, and one person decided to have a conversation with Temp0, and funny enough this is what happened (from my memory): Person: "Hey Temp0! How is IPL3?" Temp0: "It's awesome! :)" SonTran (me): "Hi Temp0" Temp0: "SUP SON!? :D" SonTran: "Where are you by any chance?" Temp0: "I'm getting ready for a tournament" SonTran: "You mean the Playhem?" Temp0: "yeah" SonTran: "Which computer are you at?" After that, I looked around, and 4 chairs to my right was Temp0, and we were giving each other a laugh and waving hello. Tournament went on and I lost, and Temp0 placed 2nd place. I asked Temp0 what he was known for, and he told me he was well known for Starcraft parodies. I replied "cool" and asked if I could have a picture with him. Little did we both know, that this one meeting turned into an awesome friendship..because of one day and the courage to push yourself into a competitive spot, no matter what league you were: After all of that....that one spark...got me to where I am today. The experience, the rush, the chance to meet your idols...what if... THE PRESENT: After playing ladder game, after ladder game, after ladder game. I wanted to join a team, I picked with vVv because I was friends with former member Jacob (Spectral) Wacker. So I applied to vVv and now here I am today! When I applied, I was in Gold, I felt scared I wouldn't get in, but with great dedication and determination, I convinced Jerry that I was the type of material he wanted. I tuned into the Losers Bracket and actually enjoyed some great laughs with Curt (eneKeyhunt), Jason (vVvParadise) Kuntz, and Jerry doing all kinds of E-Sports news, interviews, and just Jerry's rants were the best. Then...I get a message from Jana (vVvBabyToss) Otahalova stating: "If we get an academic team running, would you like to join?" I jumped at the offer and said "YES!" Aspire was created, and around the beginnings of Aspire, I hit Platinum, and after many practices, I am now Diamond and ALMOST at Masters! People would call us a group of Misfits, but "oh no good sir!" I reply. You see...without the help of my Aspire teammates, I would NOT be where I am today, and also with the support of friends and family, I feel unstoppable! So after many tribulations, and celebrations, and my name being spread...it's time for my resolution "HOLY MOTHER******G DOG****, WE FINALLY REACHED THE END!" With all jokes aside..To vVv and the respectable staff, to my Aspire teammates, to my friends far far away and near, and my family..I want to share to you my goals for 2013: That is right folks, with my vacation days from my job, I plan on using these to compete in all kinds of tournaments in the states! IPL, MLG, etc. I want to be on that main stage, and play my hardest and win a trophy. Raise it above my head triumphantly and think about my accomplishments and where I started from. After that, I want to expand. Oh no! Not that kind of expand where you take another base, I mean by competing in other tournaments like Dreamhack, and the final destination: the GSL. Make a better name for myself and everyone who supports me. I feel that everyone who has helped me in this journey should deserve the same amount of recognition. Because without these people, I would not have gotten to where I am today Give people inspiration to never stop believing. I never stop believing that I was going to shine, and I will never stop. No matter how thick the darkness is, your hope will outshine it So everyone who is reading this blog entry up to this point (and I am typing this), I am actually....in tears. Not tears of sadness..but tears of joy and excitement. I can hear the drums from the distance and it is calling for me to make myself one of the idols that I looked up to. So everyone...I have a question.. I'm driving this bad boy to the top...are you going to join me in this epic journey? -Adam Son Tran (SonTran) NEVER.STOP.BELIEVING.
  47. 3 points
    The Trades of a Good Caster Hey everybody, my name is Matthew Fernandez, AKA 'Razor'. I used to cast professionally, I casted several events like WCS qualifiers, the LASL and LATL, and even got invited to cast WCG and Blizzcon Latin American Finals, both of which I wasn't able to attend because of personal issues. I wanted to write an article to help all of you casters out there, because there is nothing I hate more than not being able to enjoy a game properly due to bad casting. People think casting is just grabbing a mic and telling people what's happening in a game. They could not be more wrong, there is an extreme difference between being a good sports caster and being an average sports caster. Why do you think different sports channels always have extremely different ratings? As with the news? It's because when you bring information or entertainment to people, you have to be able to deliver it in a way your spectator enjoys it. First, I want to talk about the three main pillars that make a good caster, Game Knowledge, Camera Control and Caster Types, and Viewer Empathics. This part will be mainly focused on Starcraft and Other RTS since these are the most camera dependant. Both FPS and MOBA have assisted camera modes. Game Knowledge Let's put it like this, who do you think can explain a game of let's say, Lacrosse, better. A fan or a player? You might think the player, but you're wrong. A viewer has the insight on every single aspect of a Sport while a player is limited to their position knowledge and will treat his career on a sport as a job. As you watch, you learn, and since you are not focusing on one aspect of the game but many, your understanding is more open. Let's clarify something, I said who can explain better, not who knows better. The player will most likely know better. But a fan will always be better at explaining. Why? Because to him it's exciting to tell you about it. A player will talk about it just like you would talk about your job, so it won't ever be as exciting. To be a good caster, you MUST love the game you're playing. You have to love watching games, whichever matchup it may be. But that alone isn't enough, you have to actually know what you're talking about. You have to study the game's core mechanics and everything else it involves so you have the most varied point of view on each input. A good caster will know as much as a professional player in terms of knowledge. And will be able to bring it to you in a easy to understand, entertaining way. How to improve your knowledge of a game Basically, what you do is watch a lot of games, from the player's point of view, from the caster's point of view and from the viewer point of view. Then you ask yourself: "What did the player know to have made such an action?" "Was the caster effective in explaining the player's chain of thought?" "As a viewer, was I able to properly understand the caster?" When you get the answer for these three questions, you are ready to start casting! Overall with time your knowledge of the game will improve, but as with technology, you will have to be up to date with the most recent gameplay and strategies. Camera Control and Caster Types I can't recall how important this is, and I'm not talking about just Starcraft II or games with free spectator camera. I'm even talking about sports like Basketball or Hockey. What do you mean by Basketball or Hockey? The caster doesn't control the camera there. No he doesn't. But he does SEE what the camera is showing. So he has to cast the game accordingly. You can't have the camera focusing on a player from one team and talk about how good x player from the other team is. You have to be spot on with your camera comments. In starcraft specifically, there are teams of two people casting for a reason. One is the Caster, and the other one is the Commentator. And yes, they do have different roles. The Caster has his own camera and focuses on events the main flow of the game won't cover in some cases. (I.E Drops, Split Pushes, etc) The Commentator will stay with the main camera or IS the main camera and will be relating everything that is happening with the main course of the game. An example of a good Caster: Wolf Schroeder. (GSL) An example of a good Commentator: Sean 'Day9' Plott. An example of a good Cameraman: ST_Legend (GSL) Why these people are good at what they do? Because they each excel in a single area stated above. Wolf is extremely aware of player builds and how the game works out. Day9 is fun to watch because he's funny and entertaining, and ST_Legend has an excellent mouse control which allows him to excel at camera control. How can I improve my camera control? It's simple, you want to show everything, but not rushing, taking your time to explain everything you are showing the viewers and why, you also do not want to get stuck on a single part of the game, because you want your casting to go with the flow of the game. Practice your mouse control, try to be precise, utilize every hotkey that will help you for this. Learn your shortcuts! If you watch the GSL, Legend is always showing a frame of a game, but he is never dragging the screen around or across the map. YOU MUST USE DIFFERENT SETUPS FOR PLAYING AND CASTING. Because each one needs you to work on different aspects. Examples of Camera Setups: (Work with what feels comfortable to you and makes you cast smoothly) Camera Setup 1: (I used this for TvP/TvT/PvP) Mouse Sensitivity: 34% Camera Hotkeys 1-8 : Control + 1-8. Mouse Scroll Speed: 40% Mouse Drag Speed: 70% Keyboard Scroll Speed: 60% Camera Setup 2: (I used this for ZvZ/ZvT/ZvP) Mouse Sensitivity: 43% Camera Hotkeys 1-8 : Control + 1-8. Mouse Scroll Speed: 60% Mouse Drag Speed: 85% Keyboard Scroll Speed: 75% As you can see I had two different setups for casting different matches. Why? Because in my opinion Matches involving zerg are much more fast paced since zerg units are faster than Terran or Protoss, which requires you to be more on top of their actions and movements. You don't really have to do this until you're well versed in casting, but I do emphasize that you have at least one config entirely for casting. Viewer Empathics This is the make it or break it of casting. It doesn't matter if you excel at camera control, or if you're a really good commentator, it's all about you reaching the viewers in a positive way. A perfect example of this can be the GSL code A. They have tried out several casters, and all the ones they tried have been really good casters, but some of them haven't really lasted long there because the audience does not relate to them, they don't feel close or entertained by them. As a caster, you're an entertainer, and if you fail to entertain, you will fail at casting. How can I be a good entertainer? I'm so glad you asked! It's not easy, but it's not hard. Some tips you can use to be a good entertainer are: Have a good visual environment: Looks are everything. If you see a stream in a blank page with a bad image, you're not going to be super attracted to it. Try to stream at least in 480p, there are several tutorials for this, Youtube Swifty Xsplit tutorial should do the trick. It's better to have the game with low graphics and the stream running smoothly than vice versa. Also, add headers, banners. whatever you may like to your channel, make it attractive! After all, looks are the first thing we ALL without exception find attractive in everything. Be adaptable: You don't have to joke all the time, neither be serious, you don't have to appear tired or too energetic, it's all about the audience, do some experimenting and find which style suits best both you and your audience. Be within Viewer's reach: Most reknowned players aren't really THAT fan-friendly, because they would get overrun with fans. You are their ticket to them, you'll get to watch them play, share stuff with them, and that will make YOU extremely interesting as a caster, you're the closest link they have to a live encounter with their favourite player, so BE THERE FOR YOUR FANS. How? During your stream, interact with them, let them see you (Get a Cam), so they can later relate to your face, have them know they can reach out to you if they ever wish to. And last but not least, BE THANKFUL: Seriously, all of those people who are taking the time to watch your stream could be doing anything else at that time, even watching a different stream, so the fact that they choose you over all of these IS A HUGE DEAL. And you should be very appreciative of it. It doesn't matter if you have 5 viewers or 1000, you have to be thankful for them being there instead of doing anything else. Once again, make them feel close to you and they'll keep coming back, trust me. So to sum up, KNOW YOUR GAME, LOVE YOUR GAME, AND LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT YOU SHARE THEIR LOVE FOR THE GAME. My best wishes, and I sincerely hope this helps you become a better caster! P.S: If anyone needs anything more specific, feel free to message me in the forums, or add me on Skype (Matushazz), SC2 (EliteRazor.831), or Facebook (mromofer(a)gmail.com) Original Article posted on Tech can be found here: http://www.vvv-gamin...underrated-art/ Good luck and Have Fun!
  48. 3 points
    Written by Ott Madis "Oakwarrior" Ozolit Hello everybody! My name is Ott Madis "Oakwarrior" Ozolit, a vVv community member and lurker (lol), bringing to you an interview series, with vVv's Aspire team. With the Aspire team in vVv well underway with its endeavours, I was asked by our very own BabyToss to complete the interview series with Team SC2 Aspire. First up, or rather fifth up, is actually Jana “vVv BabyToss” Otahalova herself! As a brief introduction to her doings, Jana is a 27-year-old Protoss player, and team captain for vVv’s Team SC2 Aspire. She joined vVv Gaming in the first half of 2012, and has been working hard on her skill and gamer persona ever since. But enough of that, let's hear from Jana herself Interview with Jana "BabyToss" Otahalova Alrighty then, lets start! How are you doing today? "Hey! Well, I had rather rough week, so kind of tired. But eh, gotta fight when it matters." I see, I hope you will get some rest soon enough. Could you give a short introduction of who you are? "Introductions... I am oh so good at those (laughs). My name is Jana Otahalova, although my StarCraft 2 handle is BabyToss and it's how you'll most likely meet me. I'm nearly 28 years old soon - yes, birthday incoming! I live in the Czech Republic, I am married and have a 8-year-old son." Well now that the hardest part is over, lets move to the fun! To the people who haven't seen you around and/or read your blog, could you talk a bit about your early days in StarCraft 2, and how did you end up playing it? "Hardest part over, hm? Getting tricky, aren't we? (laughs) It's a long story actually, so, let me try and shorten it a bit. Originally, I come from an RPG'er background. I love a good story and heroics, so, StarCraft 2 is actually my first RTS and I originally played it only because my husband and son enjoyed it and they simply needed mommy to come play with them. Naturally, I was terrible, as I had literally no idea how to play - so you can imagine, my enjoyment was close to zero. Although, me being me, I didn't want to be the one who was the worst, so I looked into the game and began to learn the ropes of the game. this is how I got to know about Day[9] too, and partially because of his knack for explanations and humour, I finally began delving deeper into the game. Honestly, if you told me, that I'd be so passionate about the game when my husband first brought the game home, I'd just laugh at you. But today, I am happy for that little discovery." Tricky is my trademark I'd say! I reckon it must have been quite the leap from one genre to the other, but you have managed to keep it together in an exemplary fashion, in my humble opinion. How did the next steps in your StarCraft 2 career pan out and what led you to vVv? "Well, the leap was huge, that I can confirm. You know, in RPG's, when you die, you either just load your old saved game or get “rez'd” by teammates if it's an online one. So, much easier (grins). In StarCraft 2, every little thing matters. One mistake and you can easily go and type “gg”, even if the game lasted for half an hour, where you fought a fierce battle. Let alone, the aspects of the game, they were very foreign for me. But, I guess, the fact that the game poses so many challenges in front of me, is the exact reason why I love it so much. The first team I joined was from the Czech Republic and I hoped to learn a lot from them. But, you know what, they only picked me up because I was a woman and I never really got anything from that. I wanted more and this whole female issue in the community really bugs me. I want to get better. Not to be a mere team mascot. That is why I looked elsewhere, ending up in female-only Team Fem-FX; only to find out that both I work better with guys as well as the team was way way too casual for me. I needed more motivated and dedicated people around me. Which is how I actually found out about vVv Gaming. In fact, I'd been watching them since like end of 2011, but I never had the courage to ask to join. In the end, it panned out wonderfully, because I was originally approached by SugarBear if I wished to write for their SC2 section." Talk about a bumpy ride. I guess that's something to be expected when you are in the search for "your own place", so to speak. How is it in vVv right now, with you being the captain of the trainee Aspire team? Everything working out? "Things got really up to the speed once Aspire was launched. It helps to be around like-minded people greatly. Of course there are occasional bumps here and there, but that is to be expected. Nothing is flawless, there always will be stuff which needs to be improved. But you know what? I always wanted to be part of the team, which accepts me for being a StarCraft 2 player, not because I happen to be a woman. And I have to cut slack to vVv Gaming - they never treated me any different because of that. So, it is easy to feel like home, part of the team." That's really good to hear! How has Aspire affected you as a player, in general? You mentioned starting out as a writer, but I reckon that did not stop you from tearing up the ladders and/or training. "Actually, I never took up the offer of being an official writer for vVv Gaming. I straight out came to SugarBear and Jerry, that my main dream was to pursue the dream of improvement as a StarCraft 2 player and a person. I was looking for serious improvement and then idea to form an Academy team in vVv came into my mind. I wrote up a couple of pages about the idea, sent it both to Jerry and SugarBear, with hopes they would support the project. It took some nagging - yes I am highly impatient (laughs) - but here it was. I didn't expect to be put in the charge of the team though, so that came as a surprise, but when you think about it, it makes sense. I know the best what the vision and goals of the team are. Who else was supposed to lead the team than me? Can't blame the old guys, and in the end, I find that particular experience truly enriching for me. I love learning and growing, so, this is an awesome opportunity for me. Annnd well... it is no secret I am not a fan of ladder for practice. In fact, since I began playing with Aspire, I barely even laddered. Either I practice on my private account or pick up my teammates for practice. You know, it helps immensely, when you can go to your teammate and say, ask them to 1/1/1 you a couple of times, so you grab firmer grasp as to how to deal with it. Imagine anything you struggle with, and you can compare it to power-leveling with a higher level group in a MMO! (laughs) Aspire gives me motivation to go on. Before Aspire was formed, I was on a huge depression and it stopped me from playing for nearly 6 months. Because of Aspire, I have a road in front of me again. (smiles)" Wow, your perseverance really paid off, and as for ladder, every player has his own way of improving Now, as indicated by your handle, you're a Protoss player. What's the story behind the race choice and how does it equate into your nickname (cute Zealots aside )? "I was actually wondering if you'd ask! Yes, of course. “My life for Aiur!”, Protoss is the race of my choice (laughs). I originally picked Protoss, because you know, I played Protoss campaign in original StarCraft, purely because of their awesomesauce lore. Remember, I am a RPG'er, so it makes sense. Protoss have the most moving lore and story. And no, I never played Terran nor Zerg and I even used cheats to get through the campaign! (laughs) Just for your information, I was like 12 years old by then, so laughing is not acceptable. My handle is actually a funny story too. You know, originally I went by my old RPG name I was using literally everywhere. But then, my friend and me began playing 2v2's - his handle being PapaToss - and since he was basically helping me with the game, an idea to change my name to "BabyToss" came; it sort of represents the fact that in terms of StarCraft 2 experiences and skills, I am merely a baby, who learns to walk, fight and tear stuff apart, as well as by then, he was really my Protoss daddy back then - symbolically speaking (laughs)." Ah, good ol' “power overwhelming”… I, too, hold a very special place in my heart for the Protoss lore, although I am a Zerg player - I find it's very well written. How about your playstyle though, are you more of an offensive player or do you like to play it more on the safe side? "Well, I am in love with long played out macro games. It's, I'd say, my biggest strength, as back when I started, all I'd hear hurled around at me, would be "learn to macro, learn to macro". It's literally the only thing I ever did since my early days. I play way too safe, sometimes sadly to the point of playing "scared" rather than safe. It often costs me the games, as you have to take a risk at times. Although, this is where mindset kicks in - I am not exactly confident in myself, nor my skills, so it actually soaks into my gamestyle. Something to address, so to speak. On a funny note though, because of that, I am probably one of few Protoss players, who never proxy gated nor cannon rushed! (laughs)" Whoa! Even I tried out cannonrush at one point Who do you look up to, as players or idols, in the StarCraft 2 scene? "The first person coming to mind is always White-Ra. His attitude as well as wisdom, its something I really look up to. He is what I believe should represent the term of "pro-gamer". Being a professional is not only about kicking every ass you meet on the tournament. You need to be a personality. Because, frankly, if we want this industry to grow, we need people, who inspire others, who make others to say "This is what I want to do, and this is how I want to be.". White-Ra is a genuine personality, has a great love for the game and for the scene. I'd like to be like that one day, if I manage to reach these heights, in terms of skills. There are more people I look up to, but White-Ra is the one who I admire the most, thus he is getting a little shout-out here. (laughs) Reminds me I still owe him some beers since DreamHack Summer." It's very heartwarming to see a player with such a mentality, makes me warm and fuzzy inside (laughs). Can you tell me what are your more immediate goals concerning StarCraft 2? A little birdy told me you are visiting the Ministry of Win house early next year! "Ohhh, now I regret plaguing the people I interviewed with this question! (laughs) But it's almost a must, so, let me think about this. My goals are, to actually prepare for my training at Ministry of Win - damn birdies flying everywhere and sharing my oh-so-not-secret... secret (laughs). Right now, because of my personal struggles, lack of self confidence and being prone to tilting/frustration from not playing well enough, my practice tends to be erratic, unorganized and inconsistent. I need to grow stamina in order to be capable of enduring the house's schedule, as well as more immunity to tilting. Of course, will have to hit the ladder, as when in the house, it will be the quickest way for me to get games in. Another goal would be to fix my personal schedule, as even that one is pretty bad at the moment, me going to bed around 4-6 am, waking up at 10 am, barely sleeping at all. So, my goals kind of encompass more than just StarCraft 2 - but again, the mental side, physical side and the game are very interconnected. To fix certain issues you have to work on other, seemingly unrelated issues. It's a challenge in front of me. But I want to face it, and face it fully. Hoping that my teammates will help me on this little quest too. I want my stay at Ministry of Win to strengthen me, both as a player and a person. For me, StarCraft 2 has become part of my life, a way for me to grow as a person, due to many aspects and layers the game hides within. And hopefully, want to cause couple of upsets and all-kills in the team leagues upon my return from Ministry of Win (laughs)!" Noble goals I hope it'll work out great for you! And wow, look at the time flying - I promise, only a few more questions. How would you say is StarCraft affecting your other interests? It would seem that your family, at least is quite hooked on SC2, reeling you in over time. "Well, StarCraft 2, to be totally honest, affected the person I am, completely. I had some rough times in my life, which caused, the loss of all self-esteem and self-confidence. Before, I'd give up on stuff when facing struggles really easily. While I still have the struggles with me, I now have something, which I love so much and which makes me to push forward. I began practicing Karate a year ago as well, to improve my physical shape and mindset, purely because of StarCraft 2 as well. As for my family - well, no, they actually gave up the game, when I began playing better than them. My husband, when we played our last game and I beat him like, 5:0, flew away with his Command Center and was like: "Not playing again, this game is a stupid speedclick" - and this is how he was done with the game (laughs) But, they do support my ventures to grow as a person and player; it's why I actually can go to Ministry of Win, because my husband took it on himself to handle the household and our son during my absence. So, I am not complaining, I am hoping that I can give it all I have, both for my own sake, as well as for my son and husband, who trust in me, despite me being really difficult at times." It's really nice to know that you have their support. Do you have any suggestions for other aspiring (pun intended) players as well, who want to "Go Pro", so to speak? "I cringe when someone says "I want to go pro". Frankly, my goal is not to be a pro and I am not even remotely close to that skill level either. My highest goal is to be as strongest player as I can be, as well as better person, while doing something I love. And this is what I would suggest to anyone "aspiring" to be a pro. Just put your heart and best effort into what you love doing. StarCraft 2 can be an awesome journey, if it's something you truly enjoy and love." Agreed! Another quick one: most memorable moment in your StarCraft 2 career? "Definitely attending DreamHack Summer. I had to face my personal struggles and fears there, being really shy and anxious person, as well as I got to see the most awesome StarCrafty atmosphere in my life. I felt joy, I nearly cried when I lost my game against Merz, but in the end, such an overwhelming event. And I got to meet White-Ra as well! I am hoping to attend DreamHack next year as well... and cause some upsets too! (grins)" Hope to see you kicking ass soon So, wrapping this up, do you have any special thanks you want to give out? "Yeeeah, my favourite part! So, my shout-outs to team Aspire, vVv Gaming - glad I can be part of something bigger, then, my thanks to certain Ryan Rushia, he knows why, can't forget to mention people like Rob Feeley, Allen Rulo and Fraser Bedwell, they also know why, love you guys, of course, huge appreciation and hearts to my husband and little son, who keep me going despite of me being a difficult pain in the ass at times and also to my mom, who still waits for me to stream my games. Hearts all out! (laughs)" Thank you so much for the talk! I hope you enjoyed doing this as much as I did, and I wish you the best in your coming ventures. "It was the biggest interrogation I ever went through. Thank you and will see you around!"
  49. 3 points
    If there has ever been a convincing argument that the advancement of the Internet has become almost too influential in the metagames of competitive gaming scenes, the recent development in the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 scene certainly puts it to shame. Less than a week ago, members of the community came across an extremely powerful abuse of the Team Aerial Combo mechanic in the game, finding that using the mechanic allows for the second character in the maneuver to put the opponent into a position where an unbreakable, infinite combo could be performed. Thus, the TAC infinite was born. And not only was one TAC infinite discovered, but a huge amount of them. Not only that, but the other infinites were not found by the same player. Rather, the original discoverer of the TAC infinite mechanic uploaded a video onto Youtube. Once that video graced the Internet, it spread like wildfire and the rest of the community began to replicate it for essentially every character in the game. A TAC infinite in action results from a player using the Team Aerial Combo and a precise usage of hard or soft knockdown moves while keeping a certain position in the air to make sure that the victim is never dropped out of a state or position in which they can be combo'd in the air. This is extremely deadly – once the second character in the TAC maneuver begins the infinite, the combo will never stop until the executing player screws up an input or the victim dies. An example of a TAC Infinite in UMvC3 using Magneto and Nova. Notice the looping of Nova's combo. With such a powerful new piece of technology for the Marvel heads to use, the landscape of competitive Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 has now severely changed. And right out on the horizon is the biggest fighting game showcase of the year, EVO 2012. With the recent discovery of these new TAC infinites, which, though difficult to perform, have proven to be accessible for a vast number of players in the community, who knows how the Marvel tournament at EVO will play out? Not only that, but rumors have been turning heads because apparently the Japanese players are holding out on the rest of the world with new technology of their own. The supposed Japanese iron curtain for this new technology they may have for competitive Marvel is reminiscent of the STSFN days of competitive fighting games. Fighting game commentator Dogysamich explained to me that that was the era of, “save that shit for nationals.” The philosophy, untainted by the advancements of the Internet, meant that any kind of new gimmick or style a player came across was not shared with the scene at large, but kept in a mental vault, only to be used in a major tournament in hopes of catching opponents off-guard with something they could never prepare for. A decade ago, this was something you saw at every national event. The unpredictable nature of players was absurd considering that any player could come out of the woodwork with a new technique that no one had ever seen or heard of before. Nowadays, however, those instances are very few and far between. Players, especially those here in North America, are extremely prone to uploading videos of their new technology onto Youtube within hours of their discovery. What may have taken weeks or months for the entire community to learn about over five years ago now takes days, even hours in some cases. With the existence of Youtube and the Internet itself, the STSFN Era is virtually dead and now what we see is the huge, influential power of the Youtube Era. Unless a collective effort by a certain region is maintained to keep technology from escaping its boundaries, like the Japanese are apparently doing in preparation for this year's EVO, no technology is ever secret anymore. That means small parts or even large chunks of an entire metagame can be completely changed and re-arranged in the smallest amounts of time. The discovery and spread of the TAC infinites is a primary example of this. Another deadly part of this equation is that developers now have the power to patch games like these, unlike a decade ago for games such as Marvel 2, but the discovery of TAC infinites came at such a bad time. EVO 2012 begins in less than two weeks. There is absolutely no way a patch will make it out to the general public in time for the competition. UMvC3 director and producer Ryota Niitsuma commented on Twitter that he is, “adjusting the mechanics related to the issue,” and asks us to be patient. What he doesn't specifically say is when or if a patch is coming within the near future. And with the amount of hoops that he has to go through to actually get the patch created and sent out online, EVO 2012 will certainly be long over before the TAC infinites get removed. While TAC infinites are without a doubt difficult maneuvers to perform, they will nonetheless become an influential part of the EVO competition. Thanks to the Youtube Era, we've seen such a rapid evolution in this development that an entire metagame may be folded over onto itself because of a couple of uploaded videos. A decade ago, TAC infinites may not have even been seen until the next series of EVO qualifiers. But, then again, without technology, would the Marvel metagame have progressed to where it was just before the TAC infinite discoveries? There's justifiably a lot of uncertainties...but one thing is for sure – Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 at EVO 2012 is going to be really fucking ridiculous.
  50. 3 points
    4/28/2012 Virgin Gaming Challenge Series World Final Manhattan (Terminal 5), NYC If you have been following Esports news, then over the past few months Virgin Gaming has been running qualifiers for their huge event that took place this weekend. The Challenge Series!! FIFA included a field of 256 players, with more than half flying in from outside the United States. This doubles the largest FIFA LAN I’ve participated in regarding participants. Let me get into the Pros & Cons about the event before I give you guy’s information about my personal performance. Pros: - The venue was large (3 stories) & had a DJ perform throughout the event which was a nice touch - They had everything color coded so it was easy for players to find where there match was going to take place - The payouts were absolutely tremendous, 1st place = 167,000 for FIFA Cons: - They didn’t have a random bracket set up, it was really weird… They placed players in brackets but then you could negotiate if you didn’t want to play a certain opponent. They guy who won the event in FIFA, was going to have to play his training partner in the second matchup so he asked for VG to change his location in the bracket & THEY DID!! - Also VG announced after the first round games were completed that they were going to raffle players who lost their 1st round game an opportunity to reenter the tournament. This I thought was extremely unfair and was nowhere in the rules for the event. * Side Note: One of the guys who finished 3rd /4th actually lost in the first round of the tourney, but they allowed him to reenter the tourney as if he won his first round match-up. - As with many events, the referees don’t know the title they are refereeing… Each game I played it was up to the players to monitor what was illegal or fair. Mainly because they didn't have enough referees to watch over the matches. Overall it was an amazing event, don’t let my pros & cons scare you off. I couldn’t believe some of the decisions Virgin Gaming made in terms of brackets etc… But outside of that the tourney ran smooth and I can’t wait till next year’s event. My Matches (Remember I was competing in NHL 2012 & FIFA 2012) Also everyone needs to keep in mind; every player at the event is one of the best in the world. In FIFA I was well prepared for the matches, I will say some of their TV’s played at different speeds though which changed the game a little. 1st Game: Easy win, I dominated from start to finish. 2nd Game: I had the run of play the entire game but had some unlucky misses and nearly lost the match. I was able to grab two late goals to close out and win 2-1. 3rd Game: The FIFA God’s came down on me hard in this game. I was ahead 1-0, then tied 1-1 on a deep shot. Then I was losing 2-1 courtesy a penalty kick where I didn’t even slide in the box. I pulled back the equalizer right after that, and I thought I scored the winner in the 88th but they pulled it back for off- sides. My opponent held the ball in the overtime period in order to go to PK’s where I lost 4-3. I really should have gone at least a couple more rounds into this tourney, I hate outplaying an opponent and then losing but that’s how FIFA works sometimes. Prize: 1,200 NHL 2012 (I wish I had a little more time to put towards NHL, I was a good player but nowhere as talented as I am when it comes to FIFA) 1st Game: I had a solid game and played tight on defense not surrendering any goals which led me to an easy win over my opponent. 3-0 2nd Game: I played one of the favorites to win the tourney, and he was consistent and always pressuring. I had a lot of trouble getting behind his defense, to make solid opportunities… I lost 4-0, but still made the prize pool due to my 1st round win. Prize: 500 I want to thank vVv Gaming for always showing me support, and Virgin Gaming for putting together such an incredible event. I can’t wait for next year, so I can improve on this performance. Our other FIFA player Figoskillz lost I believe in round 4/5 in the event.

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