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World Championship LoL 2017 Overview

The largest League of Legends championship is only a few days away, uniting the whole community for an enticing month of fierce gameplay. Details are quite lengthy, but we'll try to keep it as brief as possible.  For the first time, 24 teams will compete in up to three stages of Worlds. Namely, these are the Play-in Stage, Group Stage and Knockout Stage. First, 12 teams will battle it out in the Play-in stage, with only four winners moving on to the group stage. Teams placed in this area are from scarce regions or lower seedings from top regions. For the group stage, 12 more teams will be introduced to make up four groups of four.   From each group, only the top two are invited to compete in the Knockout stage where games become stretched to best-of-five format. Here is where the top team will emerge, a new world champion to lift the trophy for the 7th iteration of the competition.  Some facts include a $2,250,000 original; prize pool, 10 commentators, 10 analysts and that China will be hosting the event across 4 cities. These include Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.  To learn more about teams and their rosters, click here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/

Valve Announcement: Frostivus 2017 $30,000 Custom Game Contest

Since 2014, Dota 2 fans have been crying over the comeback of annual the Christmas Event Frostivus. Valve announces its return in a $30,00 Custom Game Contest.

PUBG Breaks record for highest concurrent player count on Steam

This really isn't a surprise, and the official statistics aren't required to validate PUBG's overwhelming popularity among the gaming community. To get to its spot, breaking the record, it had to surpass certain titles which have been there for quite some time. The new game is taking the world by storm.  As of today, 1,349,584 gamers are hunting in the battlegrounds. Dota 2 has been dismissed from its throne due to a deficit of roughly 40,000. For curiosity, here is the official list of the top fivepeak player counts on Steam: 1. PUBG with 1,349,584 players 2. Dota 2 with 1,295,114 players 3, CS:GO with 854,801 players 4. GTA V with 364,548 players 5. H1Z1: King of the Kill with 151,239 players All the numbers were taken from Steam's database of course.  With new updates rolling in bringing huge changes to gameplay and connectivity, it should be a good while until the record is broken by another title. The developers are bursting with joy, enjoying one hell of a chicken dinner. 

FaZe Clan Storm ESL One New York

After recruiting some new faces, FaZe Clan have successfully claimed their second CS:GO championship of the year in the form of ESL One New York. They had something to prove and they did so astonishingly. Such a performance built up to a grand final which ended as quickly as it started. The minor $125,000 and major reputation was won after maps across Inferno, Overpass and Mirage. Team Liquid would be blown out of the water. Starting with the Inferno match, it was horrifically ugly. FaZe absolutely pummelled them into a 15 round deficit at the end of the first round. Numbers like those of “karrigan”, being 22-6, explain how this happened. The match closed with a 16-3 scoreline and Team Liquid demoralised. Things got better for Team Liquid, but not enough to steal a map. Overpass was next and the first round flew by to settle at a 11-4 score in favour of FaZe.  However, Team Liquid were determined to jump back into this, as they stringed together many rounds to reach round 30. Yet, a 3k from “NiKo” ended everything while also getting a quad kill in the first map. At that moment, Team Liquid was deflated after giving it all they had. Everyone knew who was to lift that trophy soon enough. As stated, Mirage went as expected. A familiar first round scoreline of 11-4 again greeted FaZe Clan at the end of the first half. Winning all five rounds of the second half, Team Liquid packed their bags for the flight home. It’s safe to say, that FaZe’ investments into “olofmeister” and “GuardiaN” have paid off considerably. Let’s see who’ll be able to take them down.

Maltese Halo Pro Finds Success at HCS London

As we proudly announced on our Facebook, Maltese Halo professional player Luciano "Mose_Luciano" Calvanico represented Team Infused together with his teammates to claim the HCS London event along with $10,000 and an invite to the HCS Fall 2017 finals. Showcasing the top Halo talent in Europe, a total prize pool of $25,000 was organised for the 32 teams which took part. Team Infused was looking to solidify their top spot in the scene and they did so in style.  With quite a number of sweeps, they glided through the competition and were in the finals in no time. Starting from the quarter-finals, they quickly swept CapitalPunish offstream in a best of five.  Moving on to the semi-final, things went up a notch as the best of seven series against Supremacy looked to be a close one. This didn’t stop Team Infused from disrespecting them with a 4-0 sweep, knocking Supremacy into the loser bracket.  The grand finals were next, yet the crowd’s energy would be momentarily swept. Photo by Joe Brady - www.joebrady.co.uk As many of you are aware, there was a terrorist attack in London this weekend which consisted of a bomb placement on a train. Such events proved to sabotage the HCS London drastically. Upon the occurrence, the venue was evacuated and main stage emptied, which is why some games took place off-stream.   Nevertheless, everyone recovered for the Grand Finals, which was no different to any other match Team Infused played that weekend. Long story short, Supremacy were packing their bags quickly after a 4-1 deficit. With a total scoreline of 8-1, Team Infused were simply playing on another level thanks to exceptional performances from all the players. Gamers.com.mt cannot express in words how proud we are of Luciano for being part of such a dominant side. We can’t wait to see how you’ll perform in the HCS Fall finals; go for it!

The New Razer Basilisk Mouse

Looking for a top-notch gaming mouse developed specifically for FPS dominance? Well, if you are, Razer seems to be one step ahead of you with their new Basilisk gaming mouse bred for that exact purpose. The new product also looks to sport a fresh idea which will hopefully not be too gimmicky. Like most Razer products, photos of the Basilisk give us an idea of its premium materials along with an appealing look. Revealed specifications show off their powerful 16,000 dpi sensor which is also used for the Deathadder Elite and Lancehead TE along with a lifespan of 50 million clicks for their mechanical mouse switches. Apart from the array of programmable buttons, there’s the “clutch” positioned at the tip of the thumb. This “clutch” has the interchangeable function of DPI toggling, push-to-talk, item pick-up or anything else really. It isn’t forced upon consumers as a cap is available, but it would be interesting to experiment with the feature.  Another neat inclusion is the ability to use a dial to switch up the resistance in the scroll wheel. "The customizability of the Razer Basilisk sets it apart from other FPS mice, and is something that we're incredibly proud of. This is a mouse designed for tweaking that last ounce of performance out of each gamer's specific FPS playstyle." - Razer co-founder Min-Liang Tan. For the price of around €65, converted from their $70, the Basilisk seems to be a great opportunity for FPS gamers which is purchasable here: https://www.razerzone.com/gaming-mice/razer-basilisk and at the chosen retailers. Of course, this package comes decorated with Razer Chroma lighting.

Where does the local FPS gaming community stand?

Call of duty 2 was one of the first games that a lot of Maltese gamers fell in love with. Its gameplay, mechanics and skills were what mostly struck the community. Other games such as Call of Duty 1, Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory, Quake, Unreal Tournament and (later on) Counter Strike were also very influential to the gamers. Thus, one can deduct that all of the above mentioned games introduced gaming in Malta, with Call of Duty 2 being the most played. Gamers were creating teams and competing against others, both locally and internationally. Through an online community - Clanbase, a team could easily find an opponent to challenge. As a result, the element of competition, (since ranking was involved) was very prominent. Clanbase.com Call of Duty 2 Ladder Over time, LANs were also organised in Malta where such teams would spend 2-3 days gaming and competing against each other, thriving to earn the first place. Not only were these events fun and competitive (at times tense), but they also brought together the gamers, enhancing their relationship as friends and as a team. Some years later, LANs were hosting both Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 4 events. The gaming community was still strong then. However, as time passed, for some reason, the number of gamers attending such events started diminishing. The hype and enthusiasm towards these games were no longer consistent. So what had actually happened? Why were gamers not interested anymore? What caused this downfall to the local FPS community? Some questions remain unanswered to this very day, which is why I am writing this article. The Xfire client, back when the FPS community was very active :( I asked a couple of Maltese players who are known to many of us to provide me with their opinion on the above mentioned argument. I want to thank them in advance for taking their time to share their honest thoughts with me. Of course, others can and will have different perspectives on the matter; however, I will mention a few common ones. 1. Growing up (Getting older) Many players stated that one of the main reasons that could have negatively influenced the local FPS gaming community in Malta was they, amongst others, were finding less time to dedicate to the games due to studies or work. One had to prioritise and gaming was, as a result, given less importance. It may be argued that time management could have prevented this; however, this is easier said than done. 2. Repetitive Winners and Runner-Ups A common comment from the players asked was that the winning teams/runner-ups of most LANs were always the same. The competition started to be limited, in a sense that a number of local teams presented a higher level of skill and ability in the game that excluded them from other teams. Thus, this could have created frustration amongst those who could not reach the top of the ladder, later on making them quit or give up on the game itself. Could one blame them? Project Eversio dominated the local Call of Duty 4 scene winning a total of 13 competitions (11 offline / 2 online) 3. Skill based games At a later stage, games such as CS:GO and Overwatch were introducted, and there was an increase in enthusiasm once again within the local community. However, this was very temporary, maybe due to the lack of LANs that hosted both games. Players commented that such games required a very high skill to play. In fact, Overwatch was popular for a while but it was probably the fastest game to ever "die" in Malta. This could be due to the fact that it required 6 members to create a team and not 5. Not only does it require the user to be extremely attentive and responsive to the game, but it also requires an element of precision, timing and mostly teamwork. 4. The gaming community's mentality Another common element that was put forward from the players was the mentality of the gamers in Malta. Some commented that certain players were stuck in the past, and were not ready for change. Others stated that the majority of the players always aimed to play the games for fun, thus limiting the competitive spirit. Casual gamers far surpassed the number of competitive gamers who played the game with a different aim and perspective in mind. Players were not ready to dedicate their time to train hard in order to compete amongst some of the best teams, both locally and internationally. Furthermore, certain players were, and might still be, not bothered by the concept of esports, which brought about different types of games, such as MOBAs, to the community. In conclusion, I want to put forward several questions that were lately being asked by many of us: How is it possible that the last LAN hosted by Gamers.com.mt - The Malta Cyber Series #3 - Back To Basics, brought back so many old school gamers that were not seen for a long time? How is it possible that a game such as Call of duty 2, a game which "died" years ago, encouraged so many to take part in the tournament? Does this depend on skill alone? Are we, as a community, not skilled enough to participate in other games which may require more expertise? What is holding us back? Paradigm6 - WInners of The Malta Cyber Series #3 - Back To Basics

TteSPORTS Talon X Gaming Gear Combo Review

Cheap gaming peripheral bundles, for the most part, are very risky purchases since either one product is terrible and the other is alright or they’re both quite terrible. TteSPORTS thinks they’ve changed that with their Talon X Gaming Gear Combo, featuring a mouse and a mousepad for gamers on an extremely strict budget. At €30, it has a lot to prove and expectations are low. Perhaps a pleasant surprise awaits us. Again, before we continue with the review, I’d like to emphasise on the term “low expectations”. Moving forward, the packaging is the first point of discussion. Utilising a smart flap and a window, both products are visible and even available to touch and feel. There is a plastic mould to grip the mouse. Both products have their specifications spread evenly across the red and black package. To free the peripherals, a top flap needs to be lifted and the two will easily fall out . Included is a quick-start guide for the mouse and a warranty document which should cover the whole bundle. Overall, the unboxing experience is impressive and the architecture is unique allowing consumers to really establish a confidence in what they’re buying. The box seems sturdy enough to withstand hits and bumps possible during transportation. As we dive into the two products, please note that we’ll try to keep it short for both peripherals. Starting with the mousepad, the “Dasher Mini”, this is the smallest size available of the well-known Dasher mousepads from TteSPORTS. These products are used in top-tier competition, so the little brother had something to prove and we can confirm that it does so excitingly.  Sporting a cloth weave across the surface, it’s a smooth cloth experience which should be felt by high-end mice. Encompassed by a gentle braid, the mat wears the dragon logo in pride along with its product name and branding at the bottom in a subtle manner. Mapping an area of 250 by 210 by 2mm, it will surely stay in place thanks to a non-slip polyurethane base. Overall, it’s a fantastic surface at the smallest of sizes which will surely compliment the gaming mouse that accompanies it along with any other high-performance mouse. This corresponds to superb portability. Obviously, the lack of area is not ideal for low-dpi gaming.  Just like that, the Dasher Mini holds up the pride name which many professionals refer to. With a little more to talk about, the Talon X Gaming Mouse makes up the rest of the deal which so far, looks quite promising. Speaking of looks, the product certainly has a unique look to it as shown in the images. With an ambidextrous design, the symmetrical mouse rocks a wide and short profile. My favourite part of the aesthetic is definitely the scroll wheel with everything hanging out. No colours except a matte black appear on the product, that is until you plug it in. Suddenly, the Ttesports Dragon shines and a chunk of light separates the face and the side areas along with the dpi toggle button. The RGB lighting is exceptional on this device, for the price. Using the quick guide, it’s quickly understood how to toggle the dpi between 400/800/1600 and 3200 dpi along with some effects for the lighting limited to spectrum cycling and static. Simple but executed well, the lights are a welcome addition. The only minor problem is that the red optical sensor light is visible at some angles through the translucent areas. Speaking of the sensor, performance is our next topic for the Talon X. The PIXART AVAGO 3050 optical sensor does a great job at tracking moderately precise movement at average speeds. Very high speeds and slow speeds is where you’ll find it struggle to keep up. Anywhow, it’s a great companion to the other features. These include OMRON switches rated at 10,000,000 clicks along with a sizeable weight of 140g. For serious gamers, this is a little on the hefty side, but the grip does make up for it. Ergonomics are better than you’d expect, thanks to defined finger grooves, well-defined rubber areas with the only obstacle at times being the line down the middle. Materials used include hard plastic and a rubbery scroll wheel.  Palming is recommended while clawing may be a struggle.  Back to the texturized area, only two side buttons on the right side are available, sadly for the left-handed. These cannot be programmed through software but only through in-game assignment. As for the scroll wheel, it's rubbery, grooved and has a pleasant feel. Performance is pretty much amazing for the price point.  Other details of the mouse include a 1.8m braided cable, non-gold plated connection and dimensions of 122 by 71.25 by 42.25 mm. Nowhere on the manual or product page was an ultrapolling rate shown, if there is any. One other noticeable detail which requires attention is the footing. This is provided by four “rubbery” feet which feel more like plastic which give a passable glide but quite subpar when compared to that of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma for example, which we reviewed here. So, what’s it like to use the two included products together? Well, I’m delighted to admit that it’s a great budget setup. For average use, the small mat and mouse combo are perfect for certain FPS and MOBA; anything that doesn’t require low dpi movement. Separating the two products is possible, perhaps giving the mouse more breathing room and pairing the mat with a laptop due to its portability. To conclude, stating that you’re getting a “bang for your buck” is a slight understatement. For €30, one gets an impressive mousemat along with an equally delightful mouse which pairs RGB lighting to decent functionality. If you’re on a tight budget, or you’d love to save money to build your low-tier setup, than this bundle is a must-buy. Right now, it’s available at the Gamers Lounge for the €30; hurry while stock lasts!

Overwatch World Cup 2017 Analytics: South Korea vs United States

We'll be analyzing the upcoming USA vs South Korea match at the Overwatch World Cup 2017 in November. Assumptions made are based on recent team performances.

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