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Found 27 results

  1. Announcing Gears divisions first Gears of War 5 tournament. When: Sunday, April 26th 4pm EST Where: Gears of War 5, Lobby is being hosted by me Who Can Play: All vVv Members and Applicants are invited 14 spots are available Rules: It will be a 1 Game tournament to 50 Kills, 14 players will battle it out for the Top spot. Prizes: 1st Place will receive a vVv Gaming Shirt of their choice along with $25 Xbox cash 2nd Place will receive $15 Xbox Cash 3rd Place will receive $10 Xbox Cash I know these are tough times for a lot of us, so I figured I’d give back and get some in house competition going. This is completely funded by myself so prizes are what I could afford to offer right now. Hope to see everyone there I will be streaming this on twitch along with anyone else who’d like to help out. Thank You!
  2. Hello everyone, if anyone is interested whether you’re a member, or an applicant, or simply checking out the site. Gears 5 just announced a Gridiron Ladder, and Tournaments for the future. Gridiron is a single life per round mode with an objective. Its like capture the flag came together with Execution for a new mode. You can either eliminate the other team, or score the flag for 2 points. If you hold the flag til the end of the round you get 1 point, first to 13 wins the match. If you’re interested in competing message me on our discord, or xbox my gt is the same as it is on here, or even just comment below! Thanks
  3. https://www.redbull.com/us/en/esports/stories/1331742744588/overwatch-where-will-it-go
  4. I've been watching. I probably should tell you that I'm not writing this as the owner of vVv Gaming, or even as someone who works in the video game industry. I'm writing to you as someone who has had the pleasure of experiencing vVv Gaming as a community member. I want to share with you some of the things I've noticed, and I want to point to an observation about something. Let's call it, "something special." I was struggling with where to begin this. I was going to talk about the move to LA and starting at Riot. Those are just facts, though. The right place to start this is at the League of Legends' World Finals. I was sitting between Rob, Kevin and Jordan. Rob leaned over to me, and he showed me a Forbes article that had come out while we were at the world finals. I think it was right there that the journey that has been vVv Gaming culminated in a very special moment for me. Indulge me. I want to take you back in time. I want you to know something very important. Everything about the World Finals moment... I did not know that any of it was possible six months before. In six months, what was possible changed. In that moment, a 14-year-old, annoying, emo kid, who was at best a B+ Gears of War player had grown into a 19-year-old that accomplished a win for himself and vVv Gaming solely because of his passion for eSports and commitment to vVv. After that moment, I've been looking and watching what the people in vVv Gaming have been doing. There is something very special going on here. I'm not sure I can list everyone who has caught my attention. I certainly can't list every act of awesomeness I have observed over the past couple of months. What I can do is share with all of you some of my observations. Friends. I'm just amazed at how many of you are actually friends.Think about it. How many people in vVv Gaming make up a part of your daily life? Just for myself, Kevin, Nick, Rob, Greg, have all visited already. Nick is visiting again in December, Nathan is visiting in January; it's actually pretty amazing. In 2013, I'm going to make it a point to attend many more eSports events. I look forward to meeting more of you in person. Great gamers. Has anyone noticed that even some of the worst vVv Gamers are probably better than a vast majority of players out there? I've played with people in the gaming industry. I've played with people in the eSports industry. You should all know that you're better. If you think for a moment that the people in vVv Gaming are not skilled then I encourage you to actually get a group of your real life friends together and compare them to the people you play with daily in vVv. Personally, I choose vVv every time. eSports. I'm amazed at how much eSports continues to grow and change. 2013 will be a huge year. New games like Hawken arrive. Season 3 for League of Legends. SC2 Heart of the Swarm. And the eSports leagues will finally be coordinating and working together. Each of you are witnessing an industry emerge, driven on passion and a consistent commitment to excellence. Social. The way we socialize has changed. When we were primarily a console organization, everything relied on the vVv Gaming forum shoutbox. XBL limited us to 100 friends. Chat parties were limited. Now that we have a focus on PC gaming, we use Mumble to connect. I want you to think about this the next time you feel the shoutbox is empty. We don't need to type to communicate anymore. We can just hop on Mumble, have a short conversation and build stronger relationships. Finally I want to give a few shoutouts. Sontran. You have that "something special." You make people laugh. Your positive nature and energy are infectious. vVv Gaming is a better place because of people like you. Voided. Your consistent financial contributions to vVv Gaming are deeply appreciated. You demonstrate that vVv Gaming has real value to you, and you're willing to support our humble efforts. What you contribute is critical. From our servers to our Mumble server, your contributions help keep vVv Gaming running. I appreciate your consistent commitment Paradise. I can see you growing up. You're starting to leverage your experience in vVv Gaming to drive positive results and set yourself up for success. Your work is part of the DNA of vVv Gaming. There is not a day that goes by that I am not deeply thankful for your loyalty, commitment and efforts in making vVv Gaming better. Your potential as a leader in vVv Gaming is unlimited. What happens here in vVv Gaming matters. People are watching. Never forget, everything you do counts. Medusa. I miss you. I miss talking to you. I see your work everywhere. Your signs idea, although it may have seemed simple, has changed the way we interact at events. You have made vVv Gaming better. I can't believe that no one had the idea to make signs. Even if someone had the idea, you took the step that counts. You made them. You brought them to events, you raised them high for the world to see. I'm very proud of your work. Every time I get a chance to hop into a staff meeting, I hear the voice of someone who deeply cares about the quality of people in vVv Gaming. Thank you. Sugarbear. You remind me that vVv Gaming can have a positive influence on a wide variety of people. After the opportunity to come interview at Riot, your laser focus on vVv University is awesome. Much as I mentioned to Paradise, what you do with this really matters. There is a larger opportunity here than I think you know. You have quietly guided Starcraft 2, attended and contributed at events, and been a thoughtful, consistent, practical contributor to what we do. Every team needs a Sugarbear. vVv Gaming is so very fortunate to have one. SC2 Aspire. What Babytoss has started here with the help of Sugarbear and others, is very important. What you are trying to do is very hard. This is about the journey. Please remember that. The habits and skills you learn will carry throughout life. It matters what happens here. I don't need to tell you that. What you put into it, you will take out of it and more. I'm watching. Sometimes, when you only have two or three people on stream, one of them could very well be me. This is already too long. There never seems enough space or confidence in peoples' patience to write down everything. There are so many new faces in vVv Gaming. Website traffic is the highest it's been in the history of the organization. Under Jordan and Rob's leadership, vVv Gaming has continued to grow. I have tasked Jordan with grooming Rob to take over vVv Gaming at some point next year. I'm so excited at what Jordan has done with the organization, and realize that I should have been giving others a greater opportunity to lead. With Rob moving to LA, Jordan will personally be able to groom him. This also means there are many more staff opportunities for the greater community. I expect our current staff to grow in their responsibilities. We are grooming future leaders. Think about that. A tiny group of gamers in 2007 has grown into a global eSports brand that develops players, contributors and leaders. Your efforts as both individuals and a collective community make the lives of others better. Who gets to say that? There is something very special about vVv Gaming. I don't know what it is exactly. I know it has to do with the people. The people of vVv Gaming have created a very special culture. Being able to experience that culture instead of always having to shape and lead it has been so valuable. I look forward to growing old with all of you. I see myself gaming for the rest of my life. I imagine many of you do, as well. I hope that what we are building with vVv Gaming will not only serve all of us as we grow old and game together, but also serve as a special place for future generations of gamers. Some of your sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, may very well one day wear the three V's. For many of us, we have gotten more out of vVv Gaming than we have contributed. This place is a force multiplier for success. Onward! Continue to do great things. Stay hungry. Stay humble. Never forget that the world is watching. You are all better collectively than you are individually. Take nothing here for granted. More importantly, this is yours. Own it. Most importantly, become stewards of it. Be stewards for future generations. There is "something special" here.
  5. Sign up here: Click Here for LoL Fantasy Really cool idea! All LCS matches will have their stats added. Let's see if you can beat my team. Sign up!
  6. Throughout the last few years, competitive gaming has grown exponentially. Just as the community is the vocal majority about areas that can always be improved upon, I’m really never satisfied. We can do more. I frequently travel by public transportation. During my commute, I have a lot of time to think about improving eSports. All around me are people who don’t even know competitive gaming exists, as I start trying to think from their perspective, there are so many questions that I would ask if I wasn’t involved. Think about how hard it is to describe this thing that we’re all passionate about. It’s not only difficult because of the social stigma and cultural barriers that the media puts on gaming, but also the barriers that we create, as a community. When I say community, I don’t mean the niche group that likes Counter Strike, Starcraft, Halo, Street Fighter, Call of Duty, League of Legends or DotA, I mean as a community from the outside perspective, as competitive gaming enthusiasts. As long there are gamers and people on my train who don’t know what competitive gaming is, any bullshit argument about what makes a game ‘more competitive’ or what titles ‘deserve to be an eSport’ is absolutely irrelevant in my opinion. As we continue to grow as a culture and movement, we need to all start working together towards the bigger picture. Consider this tough-love. Ok, so besides talking to random people on my commute to work or school, how can I do my part, how can I grow eSports while also staying true to the scene? Good question, I have a few ideas, but also want to hear yours as well. I want to create a community produced project (website) that connects curious or new competitive gaming players and fans to the resources of the games they love or may have not even discovered yet, while also giving you, the eSports enthusiasts, the tools and inspiration you need to stimulate growth and create awareness around the entirety of the space. I don’t want to create the next teamliquid.net, ESFI, MLG, Twitch or reddit, however I do want to connect potential and interested pro-gaming fans to these already existing amazing communities, leagues and shows in an authentic and organic way, while also empowering the most passionate fans so that you can do the same. To give everyone just one example of where I got this inspiration for this project, I’m going to talk about the Live Multiplayer Reveal for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, mad yet? Good. During this reveal, the word eSports was mentioned throughout the weekend many times when hastr0, David Vonderhaar and Major Nelson were debuting the new competitive features. Given the stream numbers and reach that Twitch and the Xbox platform provided, you can imagine that this was for many mainstream casual players, their first introduction to competitive gaming. Now, go to google and search eSports. Wikipedia, fnatic video, esfiworld, and gotfrag, think back about perspective and barrier to entry here. Not only do I want this project to create awareness, but I also think it can greatly help the terrible eSports SEO that we currently have and serve as cross-pollination for gamers who enjoy watching or playing a specific genre, to check out sites and communities like Twitch, Reddit, halocouncil, solomid, dataminedout, joindota, teamliquid, you name it. No news, no streams, no ads, no bias – just eSports presented in an easy to understand, read and share project. - (as in the site doesn’t cover news and doesn’t embed streams, but of course it would link to sites that do) If you would like to contribute to this project, please answer the following questions; go into as much or little detail that you think is necessary: 1. What is eSports? 2. Describe the eSports Ecosystem, what does it look like? What is the best way to convey this to a new fan or player? Should this be included? 3. What type of resources should this project have? How deep should it go? For Example, should it list teams, are games listed, and how are those games determined? 4. How were you first introduced to competitive gaming? How did you find the resources that you use today for news, streams, teams, community, etc? 5. Lastly, what else do you think this site should have, should it be a site? The questions above were what I envisioned, but I know you guys will think up some extraordinary way to impress me, as usual. Feel free to drop me an email at robzthompson@gmail.com - Right now I’m messing around with wordpress and my amateur Photoshop skills, any help would be appreciated, but remember I want to keep this true to the scene with NO bias. Additionally, I think the most important aspect of this site will be the content, but having it look good and function well is also extremely important to me. Making ESPORTS accessible, Rob Post on Reddit Share on Twitter My Twitter
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXNoyU4VtO4 It has come to my attention that the Thief needs some serious loving. As a potential remedy to this, a few cohorts of mine sat down and punched out some preliminary findings in terms of class deficiency, and it seemed like an appropriate topic for the blog. While reading this, I would like you to cross reference what was written with what class you play, and ask yourself if there is any room for improvement in the imbalance department. ANet can't fix the problem if they don't know what's wrong. I hope you enjoyed the tournament play i posted, and I also hope you take something useful away from this redesign. Condition Removal Currently the only source of condition removal and real stealth Thieves have is Hide in Shadows. The problem is that this skill does not remove crowd control effects. Other classes have condition removal such as 10 second automatic removal passives for rangers, debuff removal for Mesmers, multiple condition removal skills including “Shake it Off” as well as a heal/condition removal for Warriors, Guardians have even more, Engineers have elixirs, Necromancers have group condition removal that isn’t their designated heal (which also removes conditions), and Elementalists have many. Thieves are strictly limited to using Hide in Shadows for condition removal. I’ll give you the average combat scenario with Hide in Shadows: 1.) Conditions put on you via on hit effects, someone uses one of many immobilize effects 2.) You enter stealth, heal goes up, conditions off 3.) You’re still immobilized, and they know that, so they keep attacking you, applying more conditions and negating most of the benefits of your heal. It might as well not be a stealth Because of this, most Thieves have defaulted to Withdrawal for the evade and heal on a 50% lower cool down, effectively making stealth and condition removal nonexistent. I’m aware that Shadow Refuge is technically a stealth, but the skill is extremely under powered as a whole, and I will touch on that later in the article. Traps 1.) Currently, traps have little to no use in PvP. The trap mechanic in the context of Guild Wars 2, forces you to use them in a defensive way. If you use a trap offensively and it misses, you’re already down one cooldown before the fight starts. Traps need to be replaced with skills that have an active impact on fast engagements, as professions in Guild Wars 2 are much more mobile than they were in Guild Wars. 2.) Am I saying defensive cooldowns are useless? No, they’re absolutely necessary. Am I saying traps are marginally less effective than they were in Guild Wars 1? Yes. There was a basic and undeniable boost in mobility from GW1 to GW2. There are separate levels of elevation and various routes of access to all of the maps that are currently in place/being tested, and traps are wasted cooldowns entirely. Proposed Changes in Class Mechanics F1: Crack Armor: Apply several stacks of vulnerability to the target, applies 10 seconds of protection to self. This helps with our survivability, and enables us to weaken a single target, making them more vulnerable to our attacks. Which is what the thief is all about. F2: Steal Weapon: Daze the target for 2 seconds. Applies Might or Fury to self and grants a class specific item just like current steal. This allows us a control option, as well as the random item. Only usable in melee range. F3: Shadow Recluse: Enter stealth for 10 seconds when not in combat, 3 when in combat. This would grant the element of surprise when out of combat, but ensure that it isn't too powerful during combat. Allows for adequate positioning and proficient gap closing without the target just waiting for you to Shadowstep to put you in the ground. F4: Shadowstep: Teleport to Target. Shadowstep would be removed from steal, and would be its own class mechanic, allowing room for a decision making process before, during, and after the Shadowstep itself. Flaws and Proposed Skill Fixes Pertaining to Mechanic Changes Shadow Refuge - Shadow refuge heals for effectively nothing, (200 or so per second in the AoE) - Gives enemies a small designated area to AoE - Doesn’t break channeled spells once you enter it - If it’s used offensively, everyone takes a few steps back and wait a few seconds for it to go away. (That’s being generous; they would really just run past you.) The skill is Suggestion: Provide a signet that grants some form of condition removal, as well as adding condition removal to withdrawal and/or immobilize removal on Hide in Shadows. The reason I’m suggesting adding both, is because there is not a single class, Thieves aside, that do not have a condition removal spell outside of their heal. -------------- Withdraw: Cool down: 15 —> 20 Seconds My only suggestion for Withdraw will remain adding bleed/burn removal. If it’s added, consider bumping the cooldown up to 20 seconds. ————————————-- Hide in Shadows: Cooldown: Same = 30 Seconds Add Immobilization removal. Utility Skill Changes ————————————— Shadow Refuge: Cooldown: From 60 —> 50 Seconds Upon entering Shadow Refuge, become stealthed. Shadow Refuge will pulse 5 times, once every 1.5 seconds. Every other pulse will remove a condition and heal for 200, starting with the SECOND pulse. Upon leaving Shadow Refuge, remain stealthed for 5 seconds, but receive no pulse benefits. Explanation: Giving people a reason to stay AND a reason to leave, presents decision, not choice. Thought provoking and mechanically sound is what we’re aiming for. “If I stay, I’m fairly safe. If I leave, I might be able to do enough damage to kill him.” —————————————- Tripwire: Cooldown: Same 30 Seconds You throw a wire around your opponent’s legs, tripping them to the ground for 2 seconds. Upon standing, the enemy gains swiftness for 3 seconds. Explanation: One thing Guild Wars 1 did better than any other MMO, was give good skills drawbacks to make you think. ANet is a smart company, and is in the business of presenting decisions. Introduce a little complexity, in contrast with the current F1 Doubletap meta. ———————————— Ambush: Cooldown: From 45—> 120 Seconds Calls in a fellow Thief on top of your target, causing you to Shadow Step back 15 feet. Explanation: Sticking with the “traps are not for GW2” theme, these are some suggestions with what I feel to be appropriate balance, having played the Thief extensively through all of the prior Beta Weekends, Stress Tests, and now Alpha. ————————————— Shadow Trap: Cooldown: From 30—> 40 Seconds Throws a blinding dust cloud on top of your enemy, teleporting you to the other side of the cloud, and blinding your enemy for 3 seconds, causing you to stealth. Explanation: Traps are wasted skills, and creating relevant abilities from the ashes will introduce new interactions, some foreseen, some not. Decisions become present here. ————————————- Needle Trap Replacement Suggestion: Signet of Death: Cooldown: 125 Seconds Passive: Removes a condition every 10 seconds, starting when the caster has a 2nd condition placed on him/her. Active: Resets all class mechanic abilites F1-F4. Signet of Death's passive is inactive during cooldown. Explanation: This gives Thieves passive condition removal, but gives us the option to sacrifice it for a long period of time if we want our class mechanics back faster. It prompts the decision of control, or survivability, and if you take control, you lose your survivability for a lengthy period of time. --------------------------------- Build of the Week! (Elementalist) : "Jack of all Trades" 20 Fire Magic 20% chance to cause burning when attacked with melee Deal 10% more damage when attuned to fire Damage at your location when attuning to fire All your fire weapon skills recharge 20% faster 20 Air Magic Move 10% faster while attuned to air Move faster the longer you are attuned to air Strike your target with a bolt of lightning when attuning to air Deal 10% more damage while attuned to air 10 Earth Magic Gain extra armor while attuned to earth Deal 5% more when within melee range of your target 10 Water Magic Regenerate health while attuned to water Remove a condition from yourself and your allies when you attune to water 10 Arcane Magic Attunement bonuses linger for 5 seconds Elemental Attunement Do not rely on condition builds to carry your team to victory. They will be fixed, and the "spammy" feeling of conditions will transitively be gone. Leave any comments, questions or concerns in the comment section below, as I would love to ascertain some perspective from outside sources on class balance. That's about it for this beta weekend. I wish you the best of luck in your future warring of guilds, and as always, fight for the user.
  8. In the aftermath of this year's EVO 2012 event, I felt the need to get back into playing more fighting games and putting together an effort to do well at tournaments. In these past several months, I have missed the feeling of practicing fighting games and going to tournaments - EVO was the kicker I needed to refuel that passion. Yesterday, while perusing Facebook and still hyped about EVO, I came across a long entry by a friend, Geoff "Vermanubis" Butterworth. He's one of the most well-known Smash players in its community, being an extremely talented and intelligent individual who also happens to be one of the best Ganondorf players in the country. What he posted spoke to me in volumes, so much that I bookmarked it and read it over and over. Now, I want to share it all with you. The following are words from Geoff, not me, and I take no credit in producing the quote. Geoff gave me permission to post this in my blog. I only want to share these words with all of you and hope it helps with your careers in competitive gaming or anything else in life. --- "In retrospect of Evo, I've been thinking about how people improve at things, and trying to dig a little deeper into why some people excel, while others get stymied. To keep it as brief as possible, I think it can be simplified to observation. For example, in my musical pursuits (I know, I create an analog between music and just about everything), I actively and manually rebuild my understanding of music so I can arrive at a conceptualization of music that's most successful for my particular application. In order to analyze songs, I needed to learn to read sheet music so I could explore the harmonies in a song a bit closer. However, I didn't and haven't been making an effort to deconstruct my current understanding of sheet music, so my sight-reading skills stay about the same. The point of this is that you can't labor away at something mindlessly and hope to breach an obstacle. I'm far more concerned with the content of the music than developing an algorithmic ability to read on sight. So, naturally, I've plateaued at my current level of sight-reading, despite reading music almost daily. If you want to excel at something, you have to greet any and all problems and weaknesses and endure the ass-pains of reconstructing particular models of thinking. Pumping in time like it's going out of style isn't going to get anyone anywhere. Time in conjunction with a cognitive effort to understand the nature of the task is what makes people do well. Think of a concept like a lump of clay. Every time you consider a new concept, such as, say, what to do in an unfamiliar match-up, it's like adding another lump of clay. To integrate that lump of clay, you need to mold it, 'cause it won't just osmose into the bigger lump by itself. This is just a pattern I've noticed in both myself and in just about everyone else. When effort is put to thinking and understanding, instead of hoping for causeless epiphanies, results invariably come." -Geoff "Vermanubis" Butterworth (Permission to post granted)
  9. 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.
  10. I wanted to update the community on what can only be described as a historical event. It was amazing! Let’s get right to it. Fighting Games The interviews with CDjr, Reo, Romance and RTD tell their story better than I could. Please check out our YouTube Channel for their interviews. Keep in mind that CEO in Orlando and EVO in Vegas is upcoming, and our players will be practicing hard for the next events. They all represent vVv, their games and themselves like true professionals. I can promise you that fighting games are here to stay. League of Legends This is one of the most important games in the history of eSports. You should play this game. It’s free. Trust me. Learn this game. We have an AMAZING LoL community. In fact, vVv Ockiral was so impressive that he is now our new LoL manager. Our team learned a lot. From horrible issues with the Astro Mixamps game one (that first loss was not our teams fault) to learning how each played under pressure, this is what attending your first major LAN is all about. SteelSeries was very supportive in helping our team ensure their equipment worked, despite the issues with Astros. They will be replacing TriDream, and are looking forward to the LANcouver event in Vancouver. Did I mention you should play LoL? Seriously. Starcraft 2 I do not need to say much, as you all know this is the biggest game in town. We will focus on developing players. We will end WNS and focus on developing and promoting both Glon and Ruff. All players could have performed better! Guild Wars 2 Every MMO fan will be playing this. Get it. You have been warned. Pre-order now! And now, something for the casual members! The Secret World This is for those seeking CASUAL Fun. Like MMOs? Want something filled with puzzles, riddles and a blend of Alternate reality Game (ARG). This is worth looking into. DayZ, ARMA2 Zombie Mod Google these videoes! Seriously. Average life expectancy is 30 minutes. You can thank me later. Looking Forward It is clear now that our role in identifying and developing talent is even more important than ever before. We used this event to create more content to better promote our players. We also are going to make a few changes and all for the good, and all motivated by good things we learned. I will share with you some changes. We will be focusing on our talent factory, and launching development programs in SC2 and LoL Players in these programs will receive customized scorecards to benchmark their performance We also will develop eSports professional staff via intern program In order to be on vVv Staff (not intern), you must have attended a major LAN event or have professional promotional experience (street team or trade show). We have media and player checklists for events to ensure that everyone comes prepared We will no longer have staff dinners or meet and greet dinners to ensure we are all at the event during key matches. Drinking in my suite after all our players are done for the day is still encouraged for those over 21. We are going to focus on promoting certain players and their brands We are going to end WNS, as we will allocate those funds elsewhere For future events, Doom and I will be arriving on Friday, getting right to work, and leaving Sunday (for Raleigh and beyond). Staff should expect to do the same. Halo 4 and Gears: Judgment are both worth looking into. If Halo 4 gets a spectator mode, it has the highest potential of all games to come back to the circuit. The New GoW has a great new mode called Overrun that has a cool class system. Please reach out to vVv Radiation who went to E3 and has hands on experience with both games. I also want to thank Alex (vVv Radiation) for giving us a ride to LAX on our way home! Thank you! Staff Changes I want to thank NoControl, Medusa and Plattypus for their service. All of them did great work on staff. As I mentioned earlier, vVv Ockiral will take over the LoL Division (so no need for Plattypus or NoCOntrol). We just don’t need a D3 manager anymore nor do we need an event coordinator as we are not doing staff dinners or any meet and greets. Although Medusa did great work, we just don’t have a need for anyone in either role.
  11. I think over the past couple of weeks, it would not be unfair to say that in terms of culture and values, competitive gaming and eSports has had better weeks. By now, most everyone has heard about both the Aris incident that happened in the fighting game community and the Orb incident that happened in the Starcraft community. If not, here is a quick summary: I think it’s time we raised awareness on these issues, set firm standards of conduct and evolve the eSports culture into something that can truly be called “professional.” If we are “professional gamers” and if there is a “professional eSports industry,” then our standards must separate us from “gamers.” If we want to be treated as professionals, then we don’t get to edit out the parts of professionalism we don’t like. We must stop making excuses for bad behavior. Before I get to the proposal, if there are any questions about my credibility on this issue, I would like to share that I am uniquely positioned within the eSports community to not only comment on these issues, but also propose standards. Since its founding, vVv Gaming has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to people and to diversity as demonstrated in the fourth pillar of our community. As vVv has grown and expanded throughout the world, its players and community members have become more diverse. vVv believes that this diverse community helps the organization realize its full potential. Recognizing and developing the talents of each individual brings new ideas to vVv. We benefit from the creativity and innovation that results when our gamers (who have different experiences, perspectives and cultures) work and play together. This is what drives innovation and performance at vVv. We believe a well-managed, diverse community expands our base of knowledge, skills and cross-cultural understanding, which in turn, enables us to understand, relate and respond to diverse and changing gamers throughout the world, connecting them to the power of eSports. In my day job, I am the Director of Research and Advisory Services for multiple business-to-business magazines, of which one is Diversity Executive magazine. If you did not already know, changing global demographics make it crucial for organizations to look outside their comfort zones to seek and retain a competitive business advantage. These trends allow new ideas and perspectives to emerge that support innovation, influence effective decision making and create strong connections to a diverse community and client base. Today's marketplace also has made organizations more socially conscious. Doing business with women- and minority-owned companies, purchasing products from economically challenged regions of the world and bringing awareness to social causes and humanitarian efforts improves businesses' status as good community leaders and employers of choice. Diversity and inclusion are no longer just good for business, they are business. Diversity Executive magazine provides strategies to create a more diverse and inclusive business culture and help leaders leverage diversity for maximum organizational gain, moving the needle beyond awareness into action. I hope this rests any concerns about my credibility or ability to comment. If we do not tackle this head on, then we are missing an opportunity. I want to remind you that Diversity IS business. I won’t bore you with Return on Investment (ROI), Return on engagement (RoE) and other measures, but they all point to few important facts. A diverse, workforce is the sustainable competitive advantage that differentiates one organization from another (Just ask Facebook, Google or Apple). Diversity is essential to win in the marketplaces, workplaces and communities around the world. An inclusive, flexible work environment must value differences that motivates employees to contribute their best. Allow people to bring their whole selves to work and play. To better serve customers fans and our communities, we must attract, develop, promote and retain a diverse player base, workforce and community. Trust, mutual respect and dignity are fundamental beliefs that are reflected in our behavior and actions. Accountability for diversity and inclusion goals will help drive the growth of eSports. This should NOT be about the PAST. It is about the future. Everyone starts with a clean slate, (yes, even Idra, whose use of the word "fa--ot" disgusts me). My proposal (Call to Action) All Leagues, organizations and individuals associated with eSports (especially senior leaders and sponsors) should set a zero tolerance policy on any homophobic, racist or sexist language or behavior. Train your staff and employees in these policies We “self-police.” I am not asking for a witch hunt, but I am asking that you reach out to players and PRIVATELY point out their bad behavior. If they fail to cease inappropriate behavior immediately, then bring it to the attention of their managers and sponsors (who should have zero tolerance for this). First, give the player a chance to correct their own behavior. Hold leaders accountable. If leadership of any organization or sponsor fails to act, we immediately hold them accountable through social media, boycotts and pressure on customers, fans and any revenue streams they may have. I ask that Twitch.TV and Justin.TV ensure they a zero tolerance policy in place and have a transparent, fair process by which to handle diversity and inclusion issues. Partnered/Featured channels and content providers should be held to high standards, We hold online events to raise awareness of this issue in various communities (SC2, FGC, CoD, etc.) To start, I ask that you share this on all social media, and voice your support. Over the next few weeks, I will be reaching out to many organizations to get their support in helping shape an eSports culture that is not only diverse but Inclusive. A culture that is not just about representation but also about utilization. I know these are big ideas, but from McDonald’s to IBM, from Deloitte to Accenture, from Ford to Toyota, top companies do this every day. It's our turn to make a 100% clear commitment that eSports is working hard to join the ranks of other industries in relation to our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We should lead on diversity, not follow. We should do it now.
  12. The Talent Factory: Skills for eSports. Skills for Life. As many of you know, in March of this year vVv Gaming celebrated its 5 year anniversary. This weekend, I have had the opportunity to reflect on what we want to accomplish in the next 5 years. While thinking about the right direction to set, it is important to look at where we are today. vVv Gaming is the most accomplished console organization in the world. With top 4 LAN finishes on 4 continents across 18 titles. Beyond our accomplishments we are also widely recognized as one of the best, multi-title eSports communities in the world. Personally, I believe we have some of the finest people in gaming. I also think that our unique community based model has been a competitive advantage to our brand and our sponsors. As I think about the next 5 years, I keep thinking about something that Kim Rom, the chief marketing officer of Steel Series, said to me a couple years ago. He said to me, “vVv Gaming is a 'talent factory'.” Talent Factory. Think about that. I think everyone knows that in our model we don’t go out and purchase the top talent. We focus on potential, we explain opportunity. Most importantly we also build community. So knowing all of this, as I started thinking about the next 5 years. Those two words keep coming back to me: talent factory. We have accomplished everything that we set out to do in our first five years, and obviously so much more. I believe that vVv Gaming, our staff, our players, and our community have a seat at the table. We play a vital and important role in eSports. I think vVv Gaming is one of the most recognized brands in eSports, but sometimes I think it is misunderstood. I do not want to focus on why we are sometimes misunderstood. As you can imagine, when I start to think about setting goals for vVv Gaming, it starts to get tougher and tougher to raise the bar. I keep thinking; will getting a top-10 Starcraft placement make a difference? Do we really need to win more? Do we also need to be the most accomplished PC organization? Would doing that really help eSports grow? There's an old saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” I believe over the next 5 years we should focus on how we can help that eSports tide to rise. When I start to think about it, when I start to think about the explosive growth we have had recently with games like Starcraft 2 and League of Legends, I believe we have more opportunities and needs than we have the talent available to fill them. There is that word again: talent. Talent Factory. As I think of the next five years, I think maybe vVv Gaming needs to embrace being a talent factory. I think we need to be more than just an awesome, phenomenal gaming community. I think we need to be a talent factory. I bet most of you right now are probably thinking: “Jerry, thats great, but arent we already doing that?” To which I respond to you, “Yes we have.” What we have not done is formally mapped out a strategy and process nor have we done a good job of telling the world that we are a great talent factory. To be fair, we probably are more like a talent mill than a full fledged talent factory. So thinking about the future, I would like to change that. I would like to be a talent factory not just for players but the kind of staff and infrastructure that eSports will continue to need for growth. Before setting this new direction, I want to make sure of two things. The first is that for most of everything we do, there wont be any changes. We will continue to sponsor players, and grow community, and do everything we love. I need the community and staff to understand that everything we do right now, we will continue to do. Remember, this direction is about GROWTH, not about change. The second thing is that I want to know if the staff, the vVv Gaming community, the fans, and others involved in eSports believe that this direction is helpful. Of course, I am most concerned what the vVv community and staff think about this. So I am asking all of you, do you think its a good idea for vVv Gaming to really build on the foundations we already have in place, and by foundations I mean this talent mill? Should we develop full speed into a talent factory, developing staff, writers, editors, eSports analysts, graphic artists, etc? Here is a academic way to look at the idea of a Talent Factory: vVv is essentially the community college of esports at the moment. We get people prepared to represent themselves as players, as gamers, and therefore also ready to properly represent vVv Gaming. Everyone involved in the professional world should have skills. We transform vVv into the University of e-sports where people can branch off into more specialized fields and therefore set themselves up for employment in, and create value for, the emerging e-sports "industry" (we're not an industry yet, but hopefully, we will be soon). I look forward to hearing all your thoughts and ideas. Be honest. Feel free to ask tough questions. Feel free to tell me that you have dreams of working in eSports full time. Thanks.
  13. While some may be open to the idea of turning Diablo's PvP system into a competitive eSport, Blizzard is avoiding that approach in their design. Responding to fans, Blizzard community manager Zarhym echoed previous statements that Diablo 3's PvP will not be created with competitive leagues/ladders in mind. "We want PvP to be incredibly challenging and fun, but we want to avoid turning it into a truly competitive leagues/ladders eSport," Zarhym said. "We just don't think Diablo gameplay is very conducive for that type of controlled environment where balance is paramount." "That said, we want to develop PvP as an engaging and rewarding system. What we don't want to do is take a traditional eSports approach to PvP, where balance will become so important to a competitive ranking system that solo and cooperative gameplay feel a bit neutered as a result," Zarhym concluded. To be honest, aside from StarCraft, no other Blizzard games have really made an impact on the eSports scene so this really shouldn't come as a surprise.. Popular MMORPG World of Warcrafthad a short run as a eSport with the Arena PvP, but MLG chose to drop it for 2011. Diablo 3 is set to release May 15th, but without PvP Arenas. Blizzard said back in March they'd prefer to hold the PvP component itself back for further fine-tuning rather than delay the entire game's launch. According to Blizzard, it wasn't "meeting the company's expectations."
  14. 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!
  15. Normally, I tend not to have a schedule when I make blog posts, but for a daily journal such as this, it's hard not to keep up with the precedent set so far. However, because there has only been one blog post before this and, as far as I'm concerned, 0 hits, who cares what the result is. I could just stop posting all together. But I guess this is more for me than anyone else. Unfortunately, I was unable to sit down last night and type this up, so I'm getting to it the following day. Most likely I'll have two of these go up on the same day, but whatever. Yesterday was a pretty busy day for me, but it didn't start out that way. After classes, I was determined to take a nap before getting to any activities that day, but my inability to dose off prevented that from happening. Instead, I decided to go for a run, which actually turned into going to the gym and working out by myself. I'm not a gym rat at all, in fact I'm rather frail and skinny because I don't work out ever and my exercise mainly came from sports (which I don't really play much of anymore in college). It'd be a bit of an understatement to say, plainly, that I'm sore today following my workout yesterday. After cooling off and showering, I made my way to the library for another lab session. Yesterday was such a beautiful day, so thankfully I was able to grab my usual seat on the 3rd floor next to the window. I opened that shit up and let the amazing breeze and clean spring air flow in. It felt pretty awesome to have the breeze coming in as I played on ladder. As I said yesterday, my goal for each day is to play a minimum of ten games before coming to a decision on either leaving the session or laddering more. Yesterday was quite not like that routine, but it certainly started off normally. My home...the Silver League. Maintaining my high Silver league status, I was put up against two Silver players, a Terran and a Zerg, both of which I lost to. I was keeping my notes from the previous day in class – don't do stupid builds, scan and scout often, don't let the opponent stabilize, etc. And, personally, I felt like I did a good job. In both games, however, I was essentially out-macroed. The first ladder match, the TvT, probably came down to an early marine/marauder push I made that dropped my army numbers much lower than they should have been, and I just could not recover. I wasn't too happy, but they weren't the worst losses in a row. But then my next two games were much easier. I got paired against two Bronze players in my following matches and one without difficulty. This bothered me a bit – the game felt confident in pairing me against Bronze players, which means it may be suggesting that that's where I belong. However, I solidly beat these players, which means while I definitely do not belong in Bronze, I cannot consistently beat Silver players in the same way I beat Bronze players, so I won't be in Gold or higher until I can do that. I quickly moved on and stopped concerning myself with the issue. In my fifth 1v1 ladder match, I got another TvT, which was certainly an odd match. The game started out simply – I began with a standard Terran opening and was essentially building up a marine/marauder/tank army that would just push out alongside an upgrade timing or something. However, my opponent had a different plan in mind. After a small bout in the middle of the map, things quieted down, until I found that he was massing tanks outside my base and was inching closer. I couldn't do much at first; walking right up to the siege line would be suicide. I had some Thors popping out, but they couldn't do much from my natural and would only get damaged if they tried to creep down the ramp. I even lost a bunker and some depots thanks to the siege line and a few scans gaining my opponent vision temporarily. Without any avenue to leave my base or expand, I was effectively pinned down, and with each passing minute my opponent's mass of tanks was growing larger. Even marines were streaming towards my base. He had all my options covered, it seems. Times a million. However, in reality, that was not the case. My opponent was so concerned with moving closer and closer to my base while picking off any outlying buildings that he could that he wasn't paying any attention at all to what was going on in my main base. With all of his scans being used up for my ramp and a small distance into my natural, he could not see that I had transitioned into starports. I plopped down tech labs on all three of my new structures and began to get the resources necessary for the newest additions to my army: three battlecruisers. Before I had begun making them, however, I had sent out a couple of medivacs and a viking to support my army and scout, respectively. Seeing that he only had his natural expansion as the only base other than his main, I took this opportunity to drop into his natural mineral line. Of course, he had no army to defend it because his whole army was sieged outside my base. He decided to send a small squad of marines, but he underestimated the power of 1/1 marines and marauders supported by two medivacs. Another squad of marines fell to my drop, but it would end up meaning very little – three battlecruisers created a large presence in my base. They inched toward my ramp, over my army, closer and closer to my opponent and...ragequit. “Victory!” my screen read, he had left the game without even a good game exerted. Obviously, once he saw that my battlecruisers existed, there was no other option. Tanks, as many of you may or may not know, cannot attack air units. Battlecruisers fly. Put 1 and 1 together. I was happy to finish my first 5 games with a 3-2 record; not the best performance, not the worst. As for now, my 1v1 ladder practice was over with. A few friends had gotten online, so we had enough to run 3v3s. And let me just say this – fuck team games. Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love team matches. They're a great way to practice macro, and it all takes place without the seriousness of 1v1 (at least for me, that is). We all shot insults at each other, scoffing at one's micro or whatever, but we had a fun time. However, it seems to me that everyone else that plays team games does not want to have a fun time. Or maybe they find just the mere mention of cheese to be really hilarious, because we got cannon rushed, 6 pooled, dark templar rushed, several times in the 6 team games we played. All of which fucked up my builds and all of which frustrated me. The team games we did win were the ones without cheese, except the final match. Another friend had logged on, though this friend was as amateur as you could get. With only 7 games under his belt within the four days he has owned the game, my friend actually didn't do that bad, except that he really wasn't adding to the team. That meant when we got into a heated match in our final game, it didn't go to well. He did good for a new player, though. I'm proud of his progress! Toxic Slums was the map for our last match, a 4v4. The match was solely Terrans and Protoss. Not an ounce of cheese was found in the first minutes (and not for the whole match, either). Finally, a regular game! The only problem with a lot of Protoss in a team game...a lot of Void Rays. For a long 47 minutes, our teams struggled for the gold expansions in the middle. One of my Protoss teammates dominated with his blink stalker/Colossi build, while I dealt damage with siege tanks and a fuckton of marines. Our armies fought each other off constantly. It seemed like there wasn't a single moment in which an engagement wasn't going on. I was dropping marines into their bases, one of my Protoss teammates had his charge zealots making rounds in the middle of the map, etc. But their armies were just as strong as ours. It seemed like it would be a game of of who can survive for the longest, as the resources on the map were getting severely diminished. The fortieth minute hit and my team found itself slowly losing map control. Reapers were hitting our outside expansions just as I quickly grabbed a far right expansion that had no activity within it. The other team was able to land a huge drop into the weakest of our teammate's base, allowing the other armies to move in through the front, and though we would hold it off for several minutes, at that moment we lost the game and could never get it back. Our buildings began to get ravaged, just as I began an ultimately unsuccessful mission to nuke enemy bases with ghosts. The only nuke that would actually get used almost connected with a small cluster of thors. They escaped with only a few feet from the explosion. I was salty. After that game, which was finished with a number of positive comments from each team on how exciting and good the match turned out to be, everyone on my team logged off. My five hour session came to a close there, as well. I ended the day with 3 wins and 2 losses in 1v1; 2 wins and 1 loss in 3v3; and 0 wins and 3 losses in 4v4 for a total of 11 games played yesterday total. Because I only played 5 1v1 games yesterday as opposed to the 10 I usually play (it's assumed that 10 games means 10 1v1 games), but I still got practice either way, even while having some fun. And I definitely learned from the session, which is good. I found mostly that what I had found yesterday was 100% correct – don't do stupid builds. When I play textbook and solid, with good marco and micro, I have a good game, even if I don't win. That goes for team games as well – I dominated in one 3v3 match thanks to my smooth transition to mass thors in the late game. With several upgrades, my glacier of steel and rocketry, so to speak, steamrolled our opponents with little effort needed. And, obviously, I play better when I'm not getting cannon rushed or dark templar rushed, either. Tonight should be a good day for Starcraft. My dad is picking me up in the afternoon after my classes and his doctor's appointment. I'll eat lunch, try to catch a nap, watch some television, etc. But eventually I'll log in and, hopefully, I'll be playing for a very long time into the late hours of the night. I'll be taking this opportunity to better myself and get much more experience with the ton of games I plan to play. It'll be quite the lab session.
  16. (Original post date - 3/7/12) I've decided to post up the first of my practice journal, SC2 Lab Sessions. Though I've been practicing Starcraft 2 for a couple of months now, today is the first day I'll be going over my day. I feel like recapping what I did today will help me with practice and keep things in perspective. Hopefully some analysis will help me with future matches. Of course, it's sort of weird to just say, “HEY DIARY I PLAYED SOME STARCRAFT TODAY AND AND AND” and it's equally as weird to simply post on a blog about it, so let me give you some context. My goal is to become a top Starcraft 2 player. Being a freshman in college, it's surprising that I have a lot of free time, but I do. With it, I try to get in several hours of ladder play a day. If I miss a day, I go harder the next day. I am coached by a friend, I practice with peers, and I go over tons of replays, including my own. Today was another “lab session”, in which I sit down either in my room, at the library, wherever I feel like I can concentrate and play, and get to grinding. Currently, I'm a high-ranked Silver league Terran. I'm pretty booty. But I'm trying to get better! Usually what I like to do is to play at least ten games of SC2 a day. Once I've played them, I decide whether or not I have the time and/or will to continue forward. In a several hour session today, I got in 11 games. However, there were several games that lasted very long, so it seems skewed. In the amount of time I played today, I could have probably hit 15+ matches, but I digress. Here were the stats: 11 games played 4 wins 7 losses Longest win streak – 3 wins Longest loss streak – 7 losses The day started out pretty well, as I clocked in a solid victory in a TvP Shattered Temple match. It lasted for only twenty minutes, it was a great warm-up game. However, it didn't prepare me for my next seven games, all of which I would lose. Some were close, some were atrociously bad on my end. Ultimately, what mattered was that I knew I had a lot of work to do. What struck me was odd was my terrible TvZ play. The TvZ match-up had been pretty good for me earlier in the week as I began to figure out ways to deal with banelings and infestors, two units that were giving me a lot of trouble when I entered the Silver league. However, they weren't necessarily the problem this time around. Three games in a row, I found myself the victim of early game roach all-ins. As hard as I tried, I just could not keep up with the production of marines to keep them out of my base so I could stabilize. Bunkers didn't work, more marines didn't work, and I couldn't get tanks out in time. I felt at a loss. Fuckin' roaches... I began to analyze how I was playing. I went back to the replays and looked at what I had done, and I tried my best to figure out what it was that was going wrong. Still, it would take an outside party to help me out. I ended up asking a friend for help with the roaches, and I was told that marauders were a good solution to the roach pushes, except I'd have to get my second gas a bit earlier to maintain marauder production. I was really happy with learning this, despite not actually having any more TvZ problems after that streak because I had no more roach all-ins against me after I asked my friend how to deal with them. I felt a bit of improvement, mostly in my knowledge. But then I learned, the hard way and once again, that I still was not the most knowledgable in build orders. My coach, and many others, have told me how doing a simple build until Platinum league, while working on my macro, will make me a better player and only after then should I get into specific builds. Nevertheless, I still have the urge to try different builds, and I do. Sometimes I go more mech heavy, others I push harder with marines, still others I try a strong 1/1/1 or something like that. I like to mix it up, and it does work if I play well. However, when sometimes I lose because I'm not playing well, others it's because I am simply an idiot. In one particular game, I got a TvT match-up with close spawns. Thinking I was smart, I decided to go with reaper aggression while expanding and pumping out marines. However, I know absolutely nothing about reaper builds and the timings behind them, so by the time I had about 4-5 reapers (which you don't need that many of, by the way), his army was ready to defend it and large enough to clean it up quickly. He then realized I had a small army and home, so he walked over, squatted over my face, and took a dump. I had to gg my way out of there. So far, I was getting discouraged. The losses were piling up and I felt like I should just get off before I began to tilt. Finally, I got another TvZ pairing, and while I wasn't subject to a roach all-in, I had a long battle ahead of me. That was certainly not what I wanted – dealing with a maxed Zerg army can get difficult if the Zerg is maintaining a strong economy. My harassment skills are just not what they should be, so the Zerg was able to keep his economy strong and his army stronger. There's a chance I could have won the fight, but I'll never know, and that's because my army micro, particularly when I have my units clumped onto each other, is terrible. My tanks were sieged, my marines stood before them, my thors in the mix, medivacs flying above, and 4/5ths of my ground army was washed away as banelings rolled in. Unable to micro effectively, my army literally disappeared before my eyes. If I had taken the banelings out, his army would have been toast. But I didn't. My lack of micro was splash-damage heaven. Don't encourage the banelings, Husky! I realized that I need to be more precise and do those actions when I'm in a conflict like that. My multitasking and microing has gotten better, but I still know it's a problem. Things like that, though, are inexcusable. I should have scanned to know exactly where his army was, sieged up, and split my army so I could avoid as much splash damage as possible. Eventually, I lost my 7th game in a row. But I wasn't done yet. Shakuras Plateau was the map of choice, TvP was the match-up, and I found myself in another match. I was determined to win this one (against an opponent named SHEEK, cool name?), no matter the cost. Lately, I've found that I've been doing a much better job of taking out expansions, and that's exactly how I won this match. As our Terran and Protoss armies got close to maxing, with all tiers of units being represented, I decided to make my way to his farthest right expansion (he had four bases at this time) as I expanded to my third base. Sieging tanks up, I took out pylons while he oddly advanced into the tanks. He also had Archons, for some reason not using High Templars, and ultimately I was able to hold it off, but just barely. His Dark Templar harassment was shut down very effectively, as were his drops. I definitely learned a bit about the drops just by how I handled them, very proud of myself! After retreating a bit and bringing my army back in numbers, I hit the same expansion again, fully taking it out this time. Raging, my opponent began to curse me out and simply gg'd, giving me the win without me even stepping foot in his natural expansion or main base. Granted, my ground army had 3/3 upgrades and my air units getting close to it, and I was on a gold mineral expansion with bunkers churning out marines, but at least he could have invited me into his natural for a house warming. Needless to say, I was happy, and after that I got another win on Metalopolis. Ten games down. I decided to stay in the library for one more game. I wouldn't leave for another hour. You see, it was a long struggle in a TvT match-up, but a rather uneventful one. Our armies maxed out, fought in small battles a few times, but nothing actually happened until the half hour mark, when I began to push out toward the middle of the map after he successfully took out my third expansion. He probably got excited, seeing as my main and natural were getting close to empty in terms of minerals. However, I had expanded to a fourth and fifth base on another corner of the map, giving me much more of a steady income. And once I was able to push through to his expansions, using the siege tanks I had to keep his army away from my thors, his income literally stopped. However, he was able to get another base going, and while I pumped out marines and was at max, as well as repairing my thors and tanks, he tried to max his army, as well. He got close to putting the gap a 50 supply. His army may have eventually matched mine, but after baiting him a bit with marines, he got edgy. Then I dropped into his natural to take out gas-mining SCVs and some buildings, prompting him to take all of his marines to stop this. This is when I moved closer to his sieged tanks. For some reason, just as I sieged up, he un-sieged and moved in, getting dealt tons of damage before he actually attacked. By the time his entire mass of marines raced back to help, it was too late. I had 6 more thors on the way and about two dozens marines marching closer and closer. Without so much as a good game, he left and the victory was mine. Ultimately, while my record became worse, I learned a lot from this session. Here's what I learned: 1) Roach all-ins are very effective if you're not prepared to deal with it in the early game. Scouting for a roach warren and seeing little gas being taken can help find a roach all-in before it happens. Marauders mixed in with marines are a good option in holding off these kinds of attacks. 2) Don't try builds you don't know, stick with what you know. 3) Don't build too many reapers if you plan to harass with them, and actually have an army being built, or make your economy stronger, while making reapers so you can hold off a counter-attack if need be. 4) Microing large armies is key. Do not keep your units bunched up against banelines. Use stimpack to get out of there if need be, and don't clump up large mech units next to each other. 5) Scan and scout often. Make sure you know of all transitions, tech, upgrades, everything. 6) Don't let the opponent stabilize. Constantly make sure you know what is going on after you deal a large blow to the enemy. Keep the pressure on, keep the attack on (if you can) so that way the opponent doesn't bring it back. Don't blow opportunities to deal a game-winning knock-out. Knowing these things, hopefully I'll do better tomorrow. I definitely felt like today's session was a good one. I learned a lot, even though I lost a lot. Winning is good, but you learn more when you are defeated. Until I'm the perfect SC2 player (which I will be, curse you DRG!), I will always have more to learn. That's how it goes. Tomorrow, there's more SC2 to play. Fuck yeah.
  17. For those unfamiliar with the current discussion about the fighting game community, know that it started with an article that appeared on SRK (Shoryuken) written by Tom, the co-owner of the EVO event. He stated that the article was in response to a rant by Evil Genius’s COO SirScoots. Basically, this article explained that eSports leagues get it all wrong and don’t understand fighting games or the fighting game community. In short, if you want to “get it,” you have to partner with Tom because he understands all this and eSports leagues do not. Interested in both his “version” of history, and who he was as a person, we had Tom on Round 95 of the Loser’s Bracket. We asked him to explain his position of “I reject the idea that the only path to more money for players is through the traditional eSports model.” Listen for yourself. We had no issues with Tom. Of course, he does avoid a few questions and his answers are shaky at times. Let's just say there were some statements that others had a very different recollection, especially when he blames leagues for not having Capcom games when he knows that Capcom won't give them the license. Yea, I challenge him. Three days later, Trouble Brewing (Starcade) wrote this article about the show and the FGC. Clearly, Tom’s shakiness to answering questions meant that “eSports leagues do not seem to be able to relate to us on a very basic level, as demonstrated by many of the questions asked to Tom Cannon (inkblot).” I was tickled with the idea that asking questions was an "inability to relate at a very basic level." He ends this article with a call to inaction. He tells the fighting game community, “Don't buy those MLG sticks. Don't buy their T-Shirts. Don’t watch their streams. Don't attend their events. Despite what they say, they are not here to support us. They are here to profit from our hard work.” I want you to know that not one member of the EVO ownership outwardly condemned this article. Following that article on Monday, Dec 12, David aka UltraDavid, Evo caster and attorney, wrote this article. I was stunned, but I also smiled at the sheer brilliance of this article. David, like many lawyers, has great skill in rhetoric, and he flashed his prowess in the art of discourse in this piece. Although I would love to attack his article and explain how MLG is so different from NASL, or how he does not get Halo, GoW or CoD, I will instead address this gem later. Stay tuned, you might be surprised. Anyway, the following day we had Team Spooky on, and although I upset him when I said that Tom was looking to protect his piece of the pie (EVO), the show ended on a positive note. Of course, Spooky’s fans rallied to him “keeping it real” and Tom’s brother made a melodramatic post about how “extremely vitriolic” I was and how we were “extremely irresponsible” in how we handled the show. Again, here is Episode 96 . I will let you decide how we handled it. Please take special note when Spooky says, “Shove it up your ass” and how I handle that. On YouTube, his fans end it right there. I think what follows is even more important. Again, I leave this all to you to explore and decide. We’ll call it “convenient” that they leave out the rest of that discussion on YouTube. Now, it’s important to note that many top fighting players such as Justin Wong, Marn, WolfKrone, PR Balrog and Alex Valle have tweeted POSITIVE things about seeing leagues include fighting games. Other examples include... Latif, the second place finisher at Evo 2011 for Street Fighter IV, tweeted "i hope FGC give MLG a chance to see how everything would go!!" This was retweeted by top player Ricky Ortiz. Mark Julio (@MarkMan23 on Twitter) recently tweeted "While I know they don't represent the entire FGC. People on SRK forums that post about eSports this and FGC that are really dumb. lol," and this was then retweeted by multiple top players including Mike Ross and Juicebox Abel. Gootecks replied to MarkMan's tweet with "did we read the same post? lol," and then "140 chars just ain't enough. and I don't have time to write a 9000 word dissertation like @ultradavid." Additionally, Gootecks also retweeted "You all can keep arguing about what to call competitive gaming and who is in or out, I will keep doing my part to grow it. Deal?" which was originally tweeted by Sir Scoots. So, this brings us to the BIG question: If the IPL and MLG want fighting games, and the top players want to see their games in these leagues, why are those involved with EVO not enthusiastically supporting this? There are three answers to that question, one given By Tom, the EVO co-owner, one by respected community member Trouble Brewing and one by EVO caster and attorney UltraDavid. It is important to note that NONE of these articles addresses the Tweets made by Justin Wong, Marn, WolfKrone, PR Balrog and Alex Valle in SUPPORT of the leagues. Here is a simple reduction of their three positions. I will refer to them affectionately as the “Three Stooges.” Moe (Tom) says that eSports leagues do not get fighting and always gets it wrong. FGC is unique and leagues don’t get it. Larry (David) says the fighting game community is too different and too rowdy for leagues. FGC is unique. It has unique demographics and a unique culture. Curly (Trouble Brewing) says that leagues are trying to profit from the fighting game community’s hard work. They don’t get the uniqueness of the FGC. Don’t care about it. Let’s pause here for a minute. I want to point out the common theme of unique. FGC is just SOOOO unique. I want to remind to you all of something: Sorry, that just had to be said. Now, I do love the fact the Three Stooges are telling their own audience that they “are so special and no one understands you the way we do.” It’s really a great message. The politics is brilliant: eSports leagues are a bunch of corporate suits who just want to profit from you and don’t understand you. They would destroy our culture and ruin the fighting game community. Now, I am sure a bunch of Gears of War and Halo players are saying, “Huh? WTF? You’re not fucking good!” CoD players are like, “got ham?” Stracraft players are like “How BM!” and League of Legends players are like “Really?!” Anyone who has ever been to an MLG event before is like “WHAT THE FUCK are they talking about?” Trust me, I have no clue either. I don't wear ties. This brings me to that little gem of an article by David who wanted to give us a history lesson. Mind you, I am 41-years old. I was putting quarters in Space Invaders when I was 9 years old in 1979 when it was in our local store and 7-11. I played in arcades in Chicago starting in 1981. I played Street Fighter when I was 17. I returned coke bottles for deposits and aluminum cans to recyclers so I could get loose change to turn into quarters to play games. I saved lunch money during the week so I could get to the arcade. David sir, I can assure you, you have NO CLUE what arcade culture is about, you fucking poser. That’s right, you have no fucking clue. See, I don’t need the Three Stooges to tell me about arcade culture because I lived it. I rode my bike to the arcade in rain, Chicago winds and Chicago snow storms. After I got my driver's license and car, I spent way too much time and money at the downtown Aladdin's Castle. My parents hated it. So, you can take your history lesson and shove it up your ass you condescending prick. I mean this in my typical kind and loving way, of course. :-) However, I do think David is right. Surprised?! Don’t be. I agree. We do NOT want fighting games. He’s right. Read his article! Here are some important warnings to us. "You might have heard about us trying to get hype with side bets." He’s right. Do really want betting at our events? We saw what happened with Brawl. We value good sportsmanship and spirit of competition. We don’t let side bets influence our players performance. We act swiftly and harshly when it is revealed. “...our community is very deeply different in ways that make us less accepting of and less fitting for professional tournaments and corporate influence even as they’ve given us the ability to stay so cohesive for so long. We are very deeply ourselves, and not many of us want to see that go away.” Do we really want a community who believes that their “cohesiveness” comes at the price of being less accepting of and less fitting for professional tournaments and corporate influence? We are working so hard to build roads to bigger and better brand supports. We want our players to be household names. Can we afford to let the FGC fuck it up for us? “...the SC community selected for a more business friendly, professional-ready culture and individuals who are much more likely to know how to navigate the professional corporate world.” “Arcades weren’t for girls...” I know MLG events have plenty of women. Players, fans, wives, sisters, daughters. . . yup, we know how to treat ladies. Can we risk a misogynic culture affecting our women’s experience? “...this crappy negative feedback loop started, with young males getting used to being able to speak negatively about women, which put women off...” Do I really want my sister or Mother to be openly disrespected at an MLG event? “And as I said, our in person culture has not always been the most welcoming to women, so we’ve consistently missed out on a gigantic chunk of players.” Again, most players and fans enjoy meeting members of the sex they are attracted to, and we want them to feel comfortable. Can we risk having their “in person culture” make our wives, mothers, sisters and daughters feel unwelcomed? “The fighting game community is louder, more hype, and more insular. It also tends to be less wealthy, less educated, much more racially diverse, much less diverse in gender, and not quite as big.” Do we really want a loud, rowdy, gambling, insulated, less affluent, less-educated, woman-disrespecting community? Do we?! Do we want to risk the FGC fucking up what we have worked so hard to build? "Our new players have largely adopted the established culture and tend to fit the same demographic molds as their predecessors.” Do we really want a community stuck in their culture? Is this good for us? Our sponsors? Our future partners? “But keep in mind how arcade culture looks at outsiders and how our demographics aren’t quite as business friendly.” Can we risk a culture that is less business friendly? Do we want to GROW eSports? “Nobody should be mad about this. The goal of any business, including my goal with my own, is to make money. “ Yea, no one’s gonna doubt you or Tom on this one! “That said, I also don’t think it’ll be the end of the world if we don’t work with professional gaming organizations.” Nope, I agree. It sure won’t. “We also don’t really feel the need to work with eSports.” Do we really want to partner with a community that does not “feel the need?” Do our sponsors, supporters and partners want us to work with a community that does not “feel the need?” Surprised? Don’t be. David is a caster and well respected member of the FGC. If he tells us that the FGC is bad for us, why argue? I know, the FGC top players get screwed, and they don’t get to grow their audience, but. . . so what? I mean, if the Three Stooges hold more sway over the FGC than their top players, then maybe we should take David’s advice and stay far away. I know, we should all try and encourage people to bring out their best! But seriously, if the FGC community leaders like the Three Stooges respond with fear, and warn us about how bad their community is. . . what choice do we have? THEY certainly are not trying to move their culture to be more business friendly, so why should we? If anything, we should protect all our partners and warn them about why the FGC is not a good partner. We will continue to support and sponsor top fighters (as will EG and other organizations). Funny, when we picked up REO and CD Jr, and when Latif got sponsored by Razer, all the community tweets were positive, congratulatory and supportive. I guess those members didn't get the memos from the Three Stooges. Maybe these three "leaders" are POOR examples of what the fighting community really feels? I wonder if the fighting community thinks of itself and sees itself the same way that David writes about them? David ends his article by attacking the word eSports (a word many of us don’t like, but’s it’s shorter than competitive gaming or competitive video gaming) by saying, “You know the only thing we’re opposed to? The word “esports.” Shit is straight clown shoes son, for reals.” Well, I’m gonna put my clown shoes on, walk over to McDonalds and ask those clowns, “Have you heard of eSports? I have these two fighting game players who I think can add a lot to your latest marketing campaign targeting . . . ”
  18. ****Warning! Long, detailed post. Here are the results from our eSports Survey (n=398). We will use these results to guide our strategy for 2012. The first two charts show that although most of the respondents own many gaming consoles, the two primary gaming platforms are the Xbox 360 and the PC (Chart 1 and Chart 2). Being the most accomplished console organization in the world, it is no surprise that the Xbox360 (41%) edges out the PC (36%) as the most used platform for gaming. Chart1 Chart2 When looking at the games actually played, we could see the console focus more as Call of Duty and Gears of War rose to the top of games played. On the PC side, it is important to note that League Of Legends was PLAYED more than Starcraft 2. Game Informer magazine visitors spend on average 18 hours playing video games. The majority of our community spends more than 24 hours a week playing video games, showing that as competitive gamers, we game more than the average. When we look at games being watched, we see that two very interesting trends: Starcraft is watched by nearly two-thirds of our community (60%), proving that more people WATCH SC2 than play SC2. Call of Duty is the most watched and the most played console game Three-fourths (77%) of our members watch at least 3 hours of streaming per week. On both the console and the PC platforms, many of our visitors and members purchased at least 15 games per year. When we asked respondents to tell us which games LACKED quality content, Call of Duty, Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3 all rose to the top. Although BF3 was in the mix, when we asked to narrow it down to ONE game that respondents most wanted to see quality content, it was Call of Duty (17%) and Gears of War 3 (15%) Overall, this indicates that console titles lack quality content. A majority of respondents said that they visit the vVv Gaming Website more than once per day, and over 82% visit our site at least once a week. As far as our website, there were little surprise when it came to the features that are most used, like our forums and shoutbox. The new website has increased the use of the home page, and we also see that the video feature is popular with over half of the respondents reporting they use this feature (52%). When we asked respondents to pick ONE feature, the forums came in a strong first, followed by the shoutbox and videos. There was little surprise on the features most used on our forum profiles with the "About Me" section coming out on top. Getting more sponsors and more ads (41%) edged out frequent donation drives (33%) as a primary way to increase revenue in 2012. 77% of our users are ages 18-29 and 94% are male. So, what does all this mean for 2012? I am happy to see that we are doing many things right. The one thing we need to do better is our investment in and content surrounding Call of Duty. Here is a preview of some of the things to expect in 2012: Sponsor a Call of Duty team Create content/media for Call of Duty Create content/media for Gears of War 3 Establish brand champions in all our divisions (SC2, LoL, CS, MMO, GoW , CoD, Halo, FIFA, Fighting) Add more partners Conduct two large donation drives Explore opportunities in Halo:Reach Explore opportunities in DotA 2 Explore opportunities in CS:GO Add Guild Wars Add Diablo 3 Continue Wednesday Night Starcraft, The Losers Bracket and Directional Influence Continue promote bloggers and create general gaming content Continue writing for Chicago Tribune Geek to Me Blog Continue League of Legends 1v1 tournaments I look forward to the hard work in 2012.
  19. Apex 2012, one of the competitive Super Smash Bros community's biggest events ever, was supposed to bring back the hype and excitement that, according to many community members, had left the scene over the past couple of years. It certainly did just that – the event brought in over 700 unique Super Smash Bros Brawl and Super Smash Bros Melee players, as well as several hundred more individuals that entered Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Bros (for the Nintendo 64), and Pokemon. However, what Apex 2012 also did was cast a shadow of doubt across both of the major Smash communities. For Melee, this was due to the grand finals of the Melee singles competition. In the final match-up between two of the best players the game has ever seen, Armada of Sweden and Hungrybox of Florida, what was hoped to be a chaotic showdown of skill and merit became a slow match that progressed for more than an hour, an excruciating amount of time for any game that isn't Starcraft 2, League of Legends, or games of that nature. The hype was certainly there. This was because Hungrybox used Jigglypuff – while this isn't usually a problem, it was for Armada, who's character (Peach) has trouble dealing with Jigglypuff. Thus, Armada switched to Young Link, a projectile-based character, for grand finals, turning a hype match into a morbidly slow camp fest that lasted way too long than it should have. On the other hand, the Brawl community didn't have a problem with one particular match, but the result of the entire tournament itself. Some foreground: Apex 2012 marked the beginning of the end for the best character in Brawl, Metaknight. As of the end of the event, the American community banned the character from all tournaments using the “Unity Ruleset.” Any tournament part of that movement can not have Metaknight legal during competition, though non-Unity tournaments can still have the character legal if they so choose. Going into Apex, this didn't seem to be a problem. The pro-ban group was strong and growing in numbers, but then Apex came to a close with the 1st and 2nd place finishers being Japanese players. In Japan, the rule set is much different from the one found in the United States (heck, even the ones found in other parts of the world, as well). In Japan, Metaknight is legal, but also the timer is longer and most stages are banned from competitive play (on the other hand, the US allows over a dozen stages to be played on in some areas). The American community, seeing Japan's proficiency in the game, has now somewhat turned on its heel. Many players are now supporting the anti-ban movement, even some going as far as to advocate the US picking up the Japanese rule set for all tournaments, especially because many American players are now interested in attending Sun Rise, a tournament in Tokyo this August. The players definitely want to be prepared, no matter what it takes. Ocean was one of the many Japanese players to take down American greats like Mew2King. For Melee, some are advocating change to avoid slow game play For Brawl, players want to see change to stand up to the apparently superior Japanese players. But which side is right? Melee is certainly in a tough position here, especially because, besides from the grand finals, the entire tournament ran smoothly and matches were completed on time without any hassle. Grand finals seemed to be just a fluke. Though it is certainly reasonable that lowering the amount of lives, or “stocks”, each character has in a round (competitive Melee currently allots four stocks to each player per game) could create a better competitive experience, it doesn't seem like one match is enough proof to change a system that has been in place for around ten years or so. Then there's Brawl. Obviously if Nairo, the fifteen year-old Metaknight player from New Jersey who placed third in singles, had beaten out the top two Japanese players and took first place, there wouldn't be any discussion of unbanning Metaknight and mirroring the Japanese rule set But what happened, happened, and many players are certainly not ignoring this issue. It's certainly not a guarantee that non-Japanese players will get better just by adopting a new rule set or keeping Metaknight legal. And considering the American community just banned Metaknight, unbanning him immediately without properly evaluating how his ban would change the metagame of Brawl would be a very knee-jerk move. While it seems like the Melee community may not make any changes at all, attempts to change things are certainly breaking the surface in the Brawl community. Whether these changes become concrete within the next few months or not remains to be seen, but what we do know is this – the Melee community has been around for around ten years and will do anything to keep itself alive. And the Brawl community will do whatever it takes to grow and avoid becoming stale, and the American Brawlers specifically will pay any cost to take out the Japanese on their home turf. With that in mind, the games we play competitively may be drastically different in the next year or even in less time. And not many are completely sure if the routes being taken are the right ones to explore. Images courtesy of Robert Paul. Check out his Apex 2012 gallery at: http://robertpaul.smugmug.com/Events/APEX-2012
  20. Happy Holidays! 2011 has been another amazing year for vVv Gaming! Our event attendance and our website traffic continued to grow, and our podcast show saw some amazing conversations and controversies. In addition to this, our social media presence grew with our Twitter crossing 5k followers and our Facebook page crossing 3K Likes! I want to personally thank you. It is you, the vVv community and competitive gaming fans and supporters, that make vVv Gaming so special. We have the best community in competitive gaming. Your faith in my leadership and the reputation you bring to our brand and sponsors is known throughout competitive gaming. Again, I want to thank you. During this holiday I ask you to please do three things: 1. Enjoy yourselves! Skyrim, SWTOR. . . we have so many amazing games that offer us a wonderful break from heated competition. 2. Thank our staff members. They are amazing people who work so hard to make sure that vVv Gaming lives up to its mission statement. 3. Take this survey to possibly win a $60 Amazon gift card As I reflect on all our accomplishments from 2011, I can’t help but also think about all we plan for 2012. Instead of making all kinds of announcements, I want to share something with you. Last year, an acquaintance of my boss attended a 100th birthday celebration for his great aunt. During the festivities, the guest of honor was asked to share a few pearls of wisdom acquired over the course of her long life. After thinking quietly for several moments, she simply said, “Things change. And always take a sweater.” That’s brilliant advice for everyone, including eSports organizations. No matter what the circumstances, you can’t count on the continuation of the status quo (no Halo pun intended), and you certainly can’t control the climate. Just when you think you know what normal looks and feels like, there’s a change. Just a couple of years ago, CEO Mohamed El-Erian and his colleagues at Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), the world’s largest bond fund, coined the phrase “the new normal” to describe the changing investment climate brought on by the economic crisis. He explained the term by saying that “the new normal speaks to what is likely to happen given current conditions, rather than what should happen.” Nerds have always had a tough time with “should.” The term “cheese” is a great representation of that trouble. I’ll let you ponder that awhile. One thing I have noticed from where I sit in vVv Gaming is that there is a large talent pool of players out there, to be sure, but the paradox is they don’t all have the skills to participate at the highest levels of competition, particularly those skills needed to drive innovation and growth, such as their marketability and ability to grow a fan base. And a full talent pool teeming with the wrong candidates makes the process of trying to invest in the right people externally all the more costly and risky. I think you can guess where this is leading. In the new normal, many players and organizations are at risk of being left out in the cold. They are at a point where they need to be more proactive, strategic and effective when it comes to investing in the development of their players, as well as growing a fanbase. For eSports leaders, that means playing a crucial role in defining and preparing for what the new normal looks and feels like in their organizations. It will be up to league owners, team managers, competitive gaming journalists and content providers to assure that eSports is not reactive but adaptive enough to speak to what is likely to happen given current conditions. We plan to do our part. I ask you to please participate in this survey. This survey will help us to provide more of what you want, as well as help us tell the world why the eSports community is worthy of more investment. Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for your continued support.
  21. Not my write up - another interesting write up I found while creeping reddit. Hopefully my little analysis and reposting these reads isn't breaking any rules... I think they're good insights into gaming. There's a pretty sweet comparative analysis between several gaming genres and titles and discusses exactly what is skill, how are LoL players or LoL playing different... Definitely agree on a lot of points. Give it a read - share your thoughts , we spend a lot of time in the game and I think it's equally important to read about these types of things, you gain a greater meta grasp of the game. Some Thoughts about skill in LoL; Why many Esportists from other games may think it doesn't even exist and why it's actually deeper than they think. by Roflkopt3r 1 Dec 2011 (First of the month yee!) Now, if you watch any pro player, you can often see them feeding like hell to some noobs. Many people who disliked LoL often consider this proof: Seemingly there is no thing such as skill, it's all luck. Then there even are some very high level players -right now that would be probably HotshotGG and Ocelote- who have been losing insane amounts of elo recently and playing, to put it blunt, often quite crappy. And than there is someone like Shushei who can go 10-0 against world class players but then feed 0-14-0 (as BRAND) in duoqueue with Xpeke. What does define "skill" the most in different games? You will probably agree that the most fundamental difference in LoL compared to RTS like Starcraft and Warcraft, and to shooter games like Counter-Strike and Quake, is mechanics. In Starcraft:BW, WC3:TFT and SC2, most top level players have been constantly running 200-350 actions per minute (3.5-6 key strokes per second). They have insane multi tasking and micro at many different frontiers at once with great precision, while the macro management (building units) for itself is really difficult to learn, and you have to maintain it over a full game of around 10-30 minutes. It was so astonishing that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p08QFrGa8Jo. (note: You do not necessarily need higher apm than the enemy to do more effective actions. There are players that are just highly efficient about their actions while others do lots of pointless stuff only to press 6 keys a second no matter if it helps). In shooters on the other hand, i's all about precision and reaction speed. While in high apm RTS players would do quite well with swiftly repeating difficult, but learnable patterns (select baracks - build marines; select factory - build tanks...), shooter players are far more reliant on reaction speed. This is not necessarily an innate ability of a person, but has to be learned according to a context. Means you can be a real slowpoke in real life, but after a year of playing 8 hours quake a day, you will have fast reactions within that game, trust me. That mostly comes because you know what to expect and know the according responses. In shooters, these responses consist of accuracy and response time - aim for their heads as fast as you can - and learning weapon specifics (AWP: You have exactly one shot. M4/AK: Need to be good in controling the spray. Rocket Launcher: Need to know how to really hit these slow rockets on fast players). Now, how does League of Legends fit in this? League of Legends is almost completely unreliant on these things. You do not need awesome apm or multi tasking. And during the time you have to dodge a xerath skill or even to Sivir-spellshield an Alistar headbutt, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diPonkYH0iU. Technical aspects? You only need to really press 4-5 buttons, which have cooldowns of at least 3 seconds. You don't need multitasking as you only control one character (or two at the most). The precision you need to click the right target is ridiculously low compared to Starcraft or CS. By WC3 hardcore community, DotA players already were ridiculed as "just too bad to play WC3" since it was so easy mechanically - up to the point were DotA had very complex tactical requirements and WC3 players couldn't keep up with it without learning the game for real. No, there is no noteworthy mechanics in this game. League of Legends consists almost completely on adecisionmaking level. Very little of it on the macro level -item builds are not what makes the pros better than the rest and the rest mostly depends on your team, like when to try dragon- but on the fast estimation and response-level. What you need to do is to judge "Go in? go back? Use my condemn now or safe it to kick away bruisers when they come? How to position?". Also, LoL does not require constant attention. CS does usually - one second missed, someone headshots you, or you get flashed and die. Quake does -you constantly need to time items, and fights could happen almost any second. And Starcraft does - or suddenly all your bases are on fire, or you just get outmacroed and lose the next big fight easily, even when that happens minutes later. How does this make LoL skill often beeing so hard to see? It's mostly because the mechanical level is very small. A really good CS player has the reflexes and aim and even when he doesn't pay attention, against a worse player he will still do his headshots - I've been there, high and drunk at 4:00 am, rocking my noob friends on LAN. A quake pro has a great rythm for the movement and the insane aiming skills. Good SC2 players always have insane macro - once you have a sense for that, you just keep getting more ressources and spend them faster than worse players, and you almost cannot lose. In LoL in comparison: Mechanics don't help. Even a pro player like HotshotGG has to be constantly fully aware of what happens. In SC2 you usually don't get baited, because if you have better macro than the enemy, you cannot get baited - you are stronger than him, anyways. And in shooter games it's hard to pull such a move, anyways - in doubt, pros just play it careful. Whenever a LoL pro lacks the immediate attention of what's going around, you will notice. Suddenly a 2300 elo player can go 1-6 and lose a 1300 elo game, easily. And why people are just not as aware as in other games... LoL requires very very little attention of players compared to other esports games. During laning you can often easily eat or get something to drink or anything. AFK for a minute? Sometimes they might not even notice. Beeing only there half heartedly? You won't miss anything important usually, someone will ping you were to go and your pure presence can often be enough. I'm not saying that you can play the whole game half-heartedly, but the punishment for not paying full attention for a few moments isn't nearly as big as in other games! But in general there are quite a lot of situations in LoL which require basically no decisionmaking, even though decisions are the only thing you actually have to make. And many situations are just... really simple. A 4-1 Irelia really does not need to be afraid of a 0-3 Chogath with low creepscore. In comparison, a Quake or Counter-Strike or even SC2 opponent who is behind can still be damn dangerous! Even without much money plus low health on the enemy team, a single desert eagle shot can kill. And even if the enemy is behind in SC2, if he can pull a hellion drop that kills all your workers in six seconds, you can easily lose. I mean, honestly - you wouldn't believe quite as hard that a team can comeback at a 6-20 scoreline compared to (for all non counter strikers: in these scenes Khrystal kills several guys who each carry a gun that is worth 400% of his weapon). It's a team game - Correctional factors for mistakes. But, no matter how much you can see individual pro players feed the heck out of their champions - in the end a team of pro players will win 10 out of 10 games against a team of 1500 elo dudes. How comes I'm so sure? Because it adds the decisionmaking of five people, against five people. One guy in solo queue can easily miss the gank and ooops, suddenly the enemy has baron. But a communicating team makes up for individual mistakes, and helps preventing them. In other games these correctional factors also exist. In SC2, it's because most games consist of many little fights between the two players, not that one snowballing gank situation that makes it impossible to win the lane. Even if the better player gets baited into a bad engagement; first, he will be careful enough to not lose it all. Second he will make up for the disdvantage just by building units faster. And because matches usually consist of more than one fight but often a lot of little harassment, he will win the game on the long run. And in shooters it's usually just that there is much less of a snowball effect. Lost a round? CS 1.6 needs 16 to win (also, again there are 4 teammates to make up for mistakes of one guy not paying attention) and Quake goes over rounds of usually at least 10 minutes; also it offers a macro level (timing and planning items and routes to collect them) that can make up for lacking aim on a bad day. Finally: TL;DR. Individual skill in LoL is much harder to see than in RTS or shooter esport titles. It contains almost no mechanical level but is pure decisionmaking which requires constant awareness, so even a good player can truly suck when not paying enough attention. For a full tournament level skill comparison, it's really the team that counts over individuals. Further adding, the danger of comebacks is low at most times in LoL, so it's easy to lose attention.
  22. Name: Dustin Cross Age: 39 In game name: CraftChest Twitter page: https://twitter.com/craftchest Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/craftchest How frequently do you use Facebook, Twitter, Digg and/or MySpace? Daily How did you hear about vVv Gaming? Were you referred to the site? If so, by whom? I was told about vVv gaming as well as refered to the site by Smith Hamner aka vVv_redvsblue Who do you know currently in vVv Gaming? How do you know them? Smith Hamner messaged and invited me to vVv gaming as per a petition to team EG to make me an honorary member. Why you are interested in joining vVv Gaming? I love eSports and the ever growing community of competitive gaming. Adding value is an important aspect of being in vVv Gaming and I can stand by that. How will you, personally, add value? I will devote myself to the cause. I have loyalty above all others for those who have faith in me. I will bring MY values to vVv Gaming with the hope of makeing a difference in eSports as well as every day life. Are you familiar with vVv's Geek to Me articles and Losers Bracket Podcast? If so, what some of your favorites and why? Regretfully I am not. I will make every effort to read and listen to these. I will post what I learn. How long have you been playing video games? I have been playing since 1984, my mom bought me my first pc and I remember spending days writing my own code and being marveled at what I had made. Atari II from Sears was next when I thought Berserk and Spider man were epic in all their 8 bit glory. Since then I have become an avid PC gamer and have been so since the 90's. How many hours per week do you devote to gaming? I play 20 hours on average and devote another large chunk of time to reading, watching, and posting on all things gaming and eSports. It does become a juggle when it comes to a "real" job but it is well worth it. What current division are you in and how many points do you have? I play mainly private games but do not ladder much. I have a training partner from the UK and we enjoy learning about the intracacys of the game. I would ladder more but I am very busy these days. Do you see yourself as competitive or causal gamer? I see myself as competitive whether it is playing or commentating on games I see it as a competition. I love a challenge! What games coming out are you looking forward to play and why? Diablo III because I have always been a fan and reviewer of so many builds, news, and the Diablo life. What are your hobbies and interests outside of gaming? I build and upgrade custom PC's as well as advise people on how to make the internet a friendly place instead of the stigma of a bad place that has been implanted on so many people. Where do you see yourself next year at this time? My goal is to be either a Team Captain or a Commentator of ESports. I am known as the modern day Jim Ross on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/craftchest so I want to use that to make a difference. You are expected to add 3 Vs to your battle.net ID in front of your alias if accepted: If I am accepted I will have no problem what so ever with this. Vision Valor Victory!!! resume5.rtf
  23. I thought it was time that we had a formal academy system in vVv Gaming. We have done such a good job of this developing players and teams informally, our size requires a system to take good players and teams and help them become great. Let me first start by saying that being in the academy is preparation for being a sponsored player. It is skill based. Eight-five percent of what gets you onto the academy is skill. You must be able to attend major LAN events. The goal of academy players and teams is to be a sponsored team, not be vVv Gaming’s “second team.” To be clear, there is no second team. With that being said, not all game titles will have academy teams or players. Just like not all games may have sponsored players at a certain time. The academy will focus on performance and results. If you don’t have the results to be our sponsored team or a sponsored player, you get dropped as a sponsored player and have the option to try out for the academy. Players and teams must apply to the academy. Sponsored players and teams will be required to assist academy players or teams on a monthly basis. Development from good to great is the central focus of the academy, and requires teams and players to perform, as their position will be challenged every month. Our academy system will work on monthly challenges. The first Sunday of every month (we can change the day if needed), we will hold best-of-5 matches that divisional managers, sponsored players and myself observe. We use these matches to make decisions about if the current academy team stays or gets replaced. As you can imagine, our divisional mangers will be busy people, and may need assistance. For example, our Starcraft division has Sweep running the Academy. Let me give you an example of how the system works. Sponsored player A is dropped as a sponsored player. That player has an option to try for the academy the next month. The same holds true for teams. A sponsored team may be dropped, and those players (or those who remain and reform a new team) have the option to try out for the academy. As a note, all of our contracts will have a performance clause in them, so players who do not perform are no longer sponsored. Next, let’s talk about how academy players or teams can move to being sponsored. First, we must have a vacancy for a sponsored player or team. Second, you have successfully defended your position in the academy twice (so you have been in the academy for at least 90 days). At this time, you may be moved up as a player or team. This is based on recommendations from divisional mangers and the community. I reserve the right to make any final decision that I see fit. Academy teams and players are highly encouraged to attend LAN events. In fact, your ability to remain on the academy is dependent on it. If you miss 2 major LANS in a row, we have the option to drop you from the academy. Major LANS are defined as MLG, WCG, ESEA, NASL, Dreamhack, ESL, IEM, and equivalent. Finally, what I have written here is not a legal document, not hard, fast rules. It is a framework for something new. It may change and adapt. It’s focus is developing players, monitoring results and seeing players transition to being sponsored. It is also about never resting on your laurels.
  24. This weekend, watching both Anaheim and EVO, I felt a childlike exuberance I have not felt in a long time. I was reminded about two things sports does so well: inspire and entertain. I have done some reflecting on my experiences this weekend, and it has prompted me to make some changes to vVv Gaming. Before I get to the changes, I want to take you on a journey with me, in case you missed some of the highlights. First, I want to point to an interview with Korean Starcraft legend and founder of the Korean Team Slayers, Boxer. He said this about what he hoped to accomplish: I was deeply impressed with Boxer. What an endorsement of his team and organization! Such a simple sentence, but it really was pure elegance. Even DJWheat and Day[9] commented on it. I know Boxer was a legendary player, but he instantly became a role model to me (I know he is already for many). I then saw a Korean Starcraft player thanking MLG at the start of the match using in-game chat. I thought, when was the last time I saw that? They are so polished with the crowd. Respectful. It FEELS right. It feels like professional sports. Finally, I want to turn my attention to vVv Reo. He single-handedly made me a MK9 fan. To know his story, to know that he almost didn’t make the event, to know that his teammates started a collection for him because they were so confident in his performance. I was and still am humbled. More importantly, and I was not sure why at first, but I watched Doomhammer watch him. Paradise’s family was watching him play, and Starcraft players were watching on Mumble. We were all there with him, every step of the way. When he finally made into the Grand Finals, the shoutbox erupted in cheers, the mumble erupted, allies sent congrats on Twitter, and Doomhammer leapt from his seat. But why? Why did we all care for this player whom we didn’t know, and we had never met? It was because he wore the three V’s. It was because he was one of us. It was because that black shirt represents so much to so many of us. I texted Napalm, and told him I wanted to talk to Reo. Napalm called me, but before he handed over the phone, I asked Napalm, “How are you doing?” He replied, “I am still shaking.” Needless to say, I had the honor and pleasure of congratulating vVv Reo and letting him know that he won’t need anyone to take up any more collections for him. He was now a sponsored vVv player. I realize this post is long enough, so I will now cut this short. I can promise some fundamental changes coming to vVv Gaming. Expect another post detailing changes alter this week. Expect us to have jerseys, more sponsors, new partnerships and more player development, as well as higher standards regarding whom we sponsor. Most of all, look for us to look for more players and teams like vVv Reo, the kind that capture our spirit and remind us that anything is possible.

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