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The Malta Cyber Series#3 - Back to Basics - Recap

The third edition of the Malta Cyber Series was assigned a specific theme - a nostalgic one. Not only did it see the return of the classic FPS game, Call of Duty 2, but it also brought with it tons of old school gamers. Entitled The Malta Cyber Series #3 - Back to Basics, the event also held a League of Legends tournament. With over 120 participants brought together for one purpose - a weekend of fun, laughter and competition! Hosted at the Luzzu Conference Hall at Seashells Resort, all participating teams were given a schedule to follow, having games to play with different opponents at different times of the days. Through teamwork, will and determination, different teams climbed to the top until they were to play the final game that would decide the winner of the event. With Paradigm6 earning first place in The Call of Duty 2 Gold Tournament after their tough grand final against their rivals dOUBTFUL with a score of 3:2. The Call of Duty 2 Silver Tournament was won by Team Xploze who overcame Xynoptic in the grand final. EVH held on to their streak and title once again after winning against Raving Raptors in The KFC League of Legends Tournament. On Saturday we saw Christian Spiteri winning yet another FIFA tournament after beating Gianluca Sant and racking up an impressive total of 9 tournament wins to date! All winners and runner-ups were given great prizes for their effort and show of skill. Once again, this event portrayed the ampful talent of the local players within the esports scenario. Judging from the positive behaviour of all the participants as well as the staff during the event (with some of the latter also having the opportunity to participate once again in the Call of Duty 2 tournament), as well as the constructive and optimistic feedback right after, the event was an incredible success. Not only could participants start the day with a delicious breakfast offered at the same location, but also enjoy an impressive BBQ on Saturday night. All this made the event special and one to remember, while also leaving all the participants eager and excited for the next one!  A full list of standings can be found here: http://www.gamers.com.mt/event/14/the-malta-cyber-series-3/standings

Ozone Strike X30 Keyboard Review

If you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard under €100, Ozone gives you two choices in either the Tenkeyless Strike Battle which we reviewed here http://www.gamers.com.mt/news/351/ozone-strike-battle-tenkeyless-mechanical-keyboard-review or the full-sized X30 which we’re to discuss now.  Sporting the nickname of “the unbeatable one”, is the Ozone X30’s performance actually unbeatable at this price point? Time to find out. Things don’t start out too well when it comes to packaging and unboxing. The box is very much sturdy and inside hides another box which holds the keyboard, a technique used to let the consumer feel the premium of it all. Packaged with a styrofoam cover as are all Ozone keyboards, the only other thing that’s included is the manual- quite a bare package. However, there is a little something hidden on the product. Yet, you may be asking if I forgot about my comment regarding “not starting too well”-I haven’t. It does so due to the way it labels its switch at the front flap; a sticker ticks either mechanical red/blue or brown switch. Many customers could fall for the assumption that Cherry MX keys await them, only to find out that the switches are Kailh type. The ambiguity of “mechanical switch” isn’t appreciated and Ozone really should specify. Hopefully this minor gripe when it comes to labelling can be easily overshadowed by the performance. Before performing, the Ozone X30 bravely experiments with the aesthetics. The first thing one notices is the width-wise bar of brushed steel. It’s not trying to act as a wrist rest as Ozone never specifies that it does, but it does give off a fresh tone of formality. Identical materials are then used above the number pad, etching the ozone name and logo beside the lock switch signals. Such a brushed metallic look isn’t exactly popular among gaming keyboards, these highlights definitely stand out. Then there’s the rest of the keyboard. Rocking the usual font, Ozone places its keys like any other keyboard but switches it up when it comes to the function keys and the “Ozone” button as we’ll discuss later on. Above the scroll lock area is a confusing design which serves no purpose except to reveal some glossy plastic, reducing the symmetry of it all. As we turn the keyboard over, all 1.3kg of it, more surprises await us below. When kept flat, two rubber feet and a couple plastic feet try to fix the keyboard in place. It’s not that much of a worry due to the design flaw being that the keyboard is tilting away from the user if no legs are used; the keyboard is quite ergonomically challenging if the standing legs aren't used.  There are two sets of legs on this keyboard, a first for me as a reviewer, which make the keyboard flat or as expected, raise the keys further.  All legs have rubber feet to accompany those at the front. Perhaps more interesting is what Ozone hides in between the legs- an integrated key puller. A nuisance to pull out, it sits tightly and does its job well whenever you need it to. One last thing to point out on the back is the design; although rather futile since it’s out of sight, it’s great to see Ozone approaching every detail. That’s enough about the looks. Moving on to user experience and performance, not many risks are taken to ensure a high quality experience. Plastic key caps and a brushed plastic finish do a surprisingly great job at repelling finger oils and sweat. Pressing down on each key s is different to a pedigree MX Cherry experience. Here’s a breakdown on Kailh switches. Firstly, their colours correspond to those of MX Cherry when it comes to switch profiles and whatnot. Yet, the Chinese switches consistently need more force as they don’t make use of gold-plated contacts-that’s it really. Do they feel cheap? Not really, so much so that they boast a 55 million keystroke lifespan. Switches are accompanied with an extremely solid build quality resulting in practically no flex which one would expect at this hefty weight. At “up to 1000Hz” ultra-polling, response time is as fast as it gets thanks to a gold-plated connection at the end of a 1.8m braided cable. Interestingly enough, the USB 2.0 is covered by a plastic casing which is always hanging around for use when it isn’t connected. This will come in handy when you’re swapping connection from Windows to Mac, Linus or Android since the peripheral is compatible with all of them. Anti-ghosting and 6-key rollover is also provided and easily toggled alongside a standard Game Mode which simply disables Windows key functions. Overall, performance is great whether you’re gaming or typing, but this does depend on which type of Kailh you choose. All of this is packed at the reasonable dimensions of 455x161x37mm.    Onto the RGB features then. Again, Ozone has produced a fantastic representation of all  the colours with beautiful vibrancy and adequate brightness. Yet this time, enjoying the lights is done through unique effects which unfortunately can become quite the cumbersome to manage. Effects go as follows; Wave, Pinwheel, Breathing, Static, Rain drop reactive, Explosion, Extension, Cyclone, Scanning and None.  Innovation and creativity went into these, creating a one of a kind experience.  None of the glory is spoiled by lock functions as these trigger red signals to the top right, but it must be said that white lighting was slightly red due to the nature of the switch of the hardware unit. However, all this potential fun is drawn down by two words- no software. This wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t such a complicated system; so get your reading glasses ready for the manual. If you’d like to change the speed, direction and colour of your keyboard effects, it’s recommended that you keep this manual nearby. Through the funcitons, one can dance through the five multi-coloured preset layouts while creating your own five. Macros are also a possibility; an experience which resembles that of taking a school test.  Setting hues is likewise. To conclude, the effects and lighting are fantastic, hut configuring them could be an improved experience. Ozone is clearly taking a lot of risks and experimenting with new ideas through the Ozone X30. While the fundamental function of typing is untouched, apart from the use of a less popular switch, other aspects such as the looks and features are quite unique and give this product its own personality. For €90, it’s a great investment if you appreciate Ozone’s creativity and if you don’t mind taking a minute to read the instructions.    Like what you see? Buy it now while stocks last at the Gamers Lounge: http://shop.gamers.com.mt/product/471/ozone-strike-x30

Preparing for the Malta Cyber Series #3

Esports is constantly receiving a supply of new faces looking to stamp their name onto whatever competitive scene they choose. This isn't as easy as it sounds, and for many competitors there will always be that first LAN event which they weren't quite ready for. Gamers.com.mt understands exponentially that for a number of people, the Malta Cyber Series #3 is their first taste at local connection performance and we've got your back thanks to our experience over the years as organisers and gamers. Below is a form of list which includes our recommended items for the weekend along with some restrictions which must be respected. Failure to correspond with the requirements could lead to an uncomfortable experience which we'd like to avoid at all costs.  Hardware PC with all the necessary cables. Screen with all the necessary cables Keyboard, mouse and mousepad Headset Cable tie to keep your cables together Screwdriver Tape. It can fix anything! Console and gamepad. Make sure you can connect them to your screen. Mobile phone and charger. Your parents will want to know if you've had dinner. Camera. If you don't share your experience on social media, what are you doing? Flashlight to locate items in the dark.  Your own office chair. We will provide you with one, but maybe you prefer your own. Chains and locks. You want to protect your valuables. Software CD or USB drive with your OS and drivers Games and other software Antivirus software. Make sure it is updated and ready to work. Clothes Comfortable clothes and shoes. You NEED to change your clothes. It is NOT optional. A sleeping-bag and a pillow. You need somewhere to sleep if you haven't booked at the hotel or if you aren't going home either.  Personal care Deodorant Aspirines Any other medication you need to take. BANNED OBJECTS Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Electric Kettle Extension Portable Fan Fridge Projectile toys/weapons Food and drinks; we have a BBQ for a reason Drugs, alcohol and any illegal substances Speakers Showers will be available for use at particular times at a €2.50 charge which includes liquid soap and towel so remember it's nice to smell fresh. Also, please ensure that all personal equipment needed to compete is functioning, so that no delays may occur.  Remember that to have fun, we've first got to follow the rules to ensure that everything is fair and professional. Gamers.com.mt prides itself with the best local events that emulate those on an international level.  See you all this weekend at the AX Hotels SeaShells Resort at Suncrest, Qawra from 4pm onwards!

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