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Starts: June 8th, 2020 at 7pm Ends: July 15th, 2020 at 11pm
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How will Valorant attract esports fans?

Valorant has conquered the attention of millions of players in just a couple of days. Riot Games is now looking for a new challenge to propel a second game to the front of the esports scene. Riot Games launched the beta of Valorant with limited access earlier last month and it will be available to everyone in a few weeks. This new project is the creation of a competitive first-person shooter inspired by games such as Counter-Strike and Overwatch. Within this article, we will try and decipher what strategies will Riot Games be using to seduce esports fans. The approach can be the collaboration with large tournament organisers such as ESL, ELEAGUE and FACEIT. Such organisers currently take care of the majority of esports tournaments around the world, in particular, international tournaments on games such as Counter-Strike. Furthermore, they might be surrounding themselves with smaller providers who will be responsible for organizing tournaments hosted by the players themselves. These tournaments will allow players who possess outstanding skills to put themselves forward and gain notoriety. In addition to partnerships, the gaming community will have a great role to play. Without this community, it is impossible for the game to exist in an esports setting. The community can be a force to put proposals forward while actively participating in the competitive development of the game. Key stakeholders such as streamers who offer tons of content on different streaming platforms (for example, Twitch and YouTube) can have a huge effect on the general community and they are a big factor in making or breaking a game in today's esports industry. Esports organisations will also have a determining role in catapulting Valorant on the esports scene. Organisations such as Team Solomid, Cloud 9, Fnatic, SKT and G2 among others will probably occupy a place at the forefront. These teams are already posses a huge deal of experience on today’s popular games such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike and can be easily applied to a new game like Valorant. These are the organisations that will form teams made up of different professional players. Something that has already begun, with a clear example being the recruitment of “Brax” a Counter-Strike player by SKT (South Korea Telecom) one of the biggest esports teams in the world. With esports being very present in our daily life, there is no doubt that the creators will quickly set up an economic model which will conquer a large audience. They’ve already seduced the world with League of Legends, can they do the same with Valorant? We will have an answer in the coming months!

Malta tops the group in FIFA eNations StayAndPlay Friendlies winning Spain and Portugal

FIFA and EA Sports hosted for the very first FIFA eNations Stay and Play Cup on FIFA20. As reported in our previous article Malta is being represented by Christian Spiteri and National Team Player Dunstan Vella who are both playing in the Malta BOV ePremier League. Malta was drawn in one of the toughest groups that of Group A together with Spain, Italy, and Portugal.  Malta vs Portugal In the first match Christian Spiteri had to face Diogo Mendes were he won comfortably with a score of 5-1. Dunstan Vella faced national team player Diogo Jota which after an intense match Dunstan managed to win 5-3 giving Malta a 10-4 win against Portugal.  Christian Spiteri vs Diogo Mendes - Match Dunstan Vella vs Diogo Jota - Match Malta vs Spain In their second match, the Maltese duo had to face Spain which was sitting at 2nd place with 6 points (Win against Portugal and Italy). A win was a must in order to proceed to the next phase. Christian Spiteri went first against Jaime Álvarez known as Gravesen_1 but after a really intense match, everything ended in a tie 2-2. Dunstan Vella was up next against the legend DjMariio with over 6 million subscribers on Youtube and more than 1 million followers on both Twitter and Instagram. Dunstan played a really good match and defended quite well and managed to win with a 1-0 score in order to give Malta a well earned 3 points for a total score of 3-2 against Spain. Christian Spiteri vs Gravesen_1 - Match Dunstan Vella vs DjMariio_90 - Match With 9 points from 3 matches, Malta managed to qualify for the next stage and will be playing against Wales the winners of Group C. Malta vs Wales can be viewed online on FIFA's website.

Facebook Launches it's new Gaming app

Given the current situation, Facebook is looking to strengthen its popularity in the gaming industry during the COVID-19 pandemic with the launch of a new, dedicated Gaming app, months before its planned June release.  The social media giant pushed the app's release on Android two months prior to its scheduled unveiling with a pending iOS version at some point in the near future. The app's slogan is "Watch, Play, Connect", and it's what the whole app is all about. The app’s arrival comes after a year and a half of testing in various markets such as Southeast Asia, and Latin America.  The Facebook Gaming App The app lets users watch live streams, chat, follow updates, play mobile games together and much more in order to compete against its biggest competitors Twitch and YouTube although it still lacks behind when it comes to hours of gameplay watched even though more than 2.5 billion people use Facebook every month. New tools might help Facebook reach new heights since it is trying to make it easier for users to start streaming by adding a “Go Live” button to start the magic. Once people are live, streams will appear on their personal pages, making it easier for friends and followers to watch. Vivek Sharma, Facebook’s vice president said “People are watching streams and they’re like, ‘I want to be a streamer,’ and with Go Live it’s literally just a few clicks and then live, you’re a streamer.” Facebook also offers monetization to a limited number of streamers and it is also planning to monetize this by taking a commission of “stars” which are donations that viewers send to streamers. Facebook Gaming Stand It remains to be seen whether the app will be a successful one, but the rushed timing could give the service a cutting edge, as people are trying to find new forms of content to socialize during this global pandemic.

Malta to face Italy, Spain, and Portugal inĀ FIFA eNations Stay and Play Cup

In a time where we need to stay physically apart due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, many people are turning to video games to stay connected, safe, and pass time during self-isolation.  FIFA and EA Sports will be hosting the very first FIFA eNations Stay and Play Cup on FIFA20. Malta will be represented by Christian Spiteri and National Team Player Dunstan Vella who are both playing in the Malta BOV ePremier League representing Santa Lucia FC. and Hibernians respectively. Christiam Spiteri playing in the BOV ePremier League Malta will be facing Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The Italian side will be represented by AC Milan's Alessio Romagnoli together with Raffaele ‘Er_caccia98’ Cacciapuoti, while Diogo Jota will lead Portugal with Spain still to announce their lineup. Starting on Tuesday 21st April Malta will face Portugal in their inaugural match followed by their match against Italy. On Wednesday the Maltese duo will have to face Spain in their final match in order to qualify for the knockout phase which will be played on Friday 24 April, which is the last phase before the final on Saturday 25 April. Dunstan Vella playing in the BOV ePremier League

Cloud9 wins the 2020 LCS Spring Split!

Tremendous, sensational, I can’t find the words to describe the breathtaking performance accomplished by Cloud 9 throughout this spring split. After 2 years of domination by Team Liquid, a new star is born named “Cloud 9”. After a regular season where they crushed all the North American teams, they ended the regular season with seventeen victories and only one defeat against “Team SoloMid”, a record in the American League. They dominated the playoff by successively eliminating “100 Thieves” with a 3-0. Then they triumphed over “Evil geniuses” in the semi-final with a 3-1. The final of this spring split was only the continuity of what the team accomplished during the season. They literally destroyed their opponents with a 3-0 in a quick best of 5 crushing “Wildturtle” and his team “Fly quest”. “Cloud 9” has been defeated only twice during this segment, another record. The five players of C9 took all the seats of the regular season's AllStar team! One of them, Blaber (Jungler of C9), was also elected Most Valuable Player (MVP) of this spring split. Note that Zven (ADC of the team) who was announced on a downward slope after several medium seasons, performed a sensational comeback. He managed to be the first player to win both an LEC split in Europe and an LCS split in North America. The recruitments of Vulcan (Support position) and Zven enabled “Cloud 9” to climb to the top of the ladder after several years of title droughts. With the cancellation of “Mid Season Invitational,” we are all looking forward to the summer split. Will the undivided domination of “Cloud 9” remain? Rendez-Vous in a few months!

The Impact Of COVID-19 On Video Gaming

Video games consumption rises amid COVID-19 outbreak As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak continues to spread and to influence almost every aspect of our everyday lives, many are turning to video games to pass time during self-isolation.  Many countries have introduced martial law and as people are practically stuck at home, millions are looking for social distancing-friendly activities to keep them entertained during the quarantine.  According to Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report, retail and recreation mobility trends (restaurants, cafes, museums) have seen a 76% decline compared to the median value. Grocery & pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces have also seen a substantial decline whereas residential mobility trends have seen a 20% rise.  What Google's data reveals about Malta's coronavirus response The (self)imposed quarantine measures have undoubtedly caused an increase in consumer playtime and money spent on video games. In other words, people are spending more time playing video games during quarantine and isolation. According to Verizon, the network has seen a 75% increase in gaming traffic over the last week.  The increase in gaming can also be seen on Steam, since the popular digital PC gaming marketplace has reached 20,313,451 users, drawing a new record. Coronavirus impact on esports As far as esports go, several large-scale esports events have been cancelled, some are postponed and some are held without audiences. A negative impact on revenue from sponsorship and media rights is not expected since most of the deals were finalized before the outbreak.  The cancelled CS:GO tournament, Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice peaked in viewership, reaching over one million viewers, making it one of the most watched tournaments in esports history.  IEM Katowice 2020 with no Audience at the Venue The virus outbreak has seen 18 video game companies, including the streaming platform Twitch and Activision Blizzard encouraging players to resort to video games as a means of maintaining a physical distance. The #PlayApartTogether initiative is also supported by the World Health Organization.  Commenting on the campaign, Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said: “It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another. Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose and meaning. We are proud to participate in such a worthwhile and necessary initiative.” However, as there is an increase in gaming, it is expected that the launch of Sony and Microsoft next-gen consoles will be delayed, due to supply chain disruptions, as the manufacturing of game, hardware has already been impacted.  Events such as GDC and E3 have already been cancelled, but the cancellations are not expected to leave a mark on the bottom-line revenues of developers and publishers. 

Quarantine blues? Here are 6 free game apps to fight it off

Stay home and stay safe. But what to do? As real-life is engulfed by a deadly pandemic that looks like a sci-fi game, we propose to you something to kill time on your phone. Because let’s face it - baking looks good on Instagram (for some), but it gets boring very quickly. We have listed for you 6 mobile games you can play for FREE which support multiplayer mode, which means you can add your friends and play together whilst staying at home and still getting in touch with them.  Clash Royale Developed by Supercell, Clash Royale is a massively popular multiplayer online battle arena. Collect cards, create your deck and upgrade it and get ready to knock the opponent’s tower before he crashes yours. Earn trophies, climb the ladder and get ready for weekly challenges. If you're new to the world of Clash Royale, it can be a little intimidating at the start but it is pretty easy once you get used to it. With its features 1 vs 1 or 2 vs 2 you can play simultaneously with or against a friend or you could team up with one and play against another two.  Number of players: 2-4 Total size: 1.2 GB storage Playtime: 3 minutes average Clash Royale Gameplay Mario Kart Tour Mario Kart needs no introduction. All your favorite childhood classic Nintendo pals are back in action. Crossing over to mobile, the game lets you unite with friends and race through the mountains or underwater making it a fun activity to enjoy with some swipe and taps on the screen. A free Nintendo account is all that is needed and competing in 1 cup will unlock multiplayer mode.  Number of players: 2-8 Total size: 370 MB storage Playtime: 5 minutes average Mario Kart Tour Gameplay PUBG:Mobile PUBG or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds mobile version of the game is called PUBG Mobile, which gained popularity as soon as it was launched. The battle royale game consists of 100 people on a map and the last man or team standing wins. The game has a number of modes and maps to keep the users engaged. Adding a battle pass adds more challenges for the player.  PUBG Mobile Lite is also available for those whose mobile does not meet the minimum requirements of the game. Number of players: 1-100 Total size: 2.3 GB storage Playtime: 15 minutes average PUBG:Mobile Gameplay Call of Duty Mobile Call of Duty: Mobile is another popular game for those Call of Duty fans but also a challenge to PUBG Mobile when it comes to the battle royale genre. COD: Mobile has different modes like Battle Royale, Team Deathmatch and many more.  COD:Mobile lets you play with up to 6 friends at once with the classic team deathmatch you can do a 3 vs 3 or else play as a team in the 100-player battle royale mode. Number of players: 1-6 Total size: 2 GB storage Playtime: 15 minutes average Call of Duty Mobile Gameplay Quiz Up QuizUp, a social trivia game by Plain Vanilla Games with over 100 million users that ventures as deep into more than 1,200 topics such as films, music, games containing more than 600,000 questions.  The game offers the chance to play head-to-head battles against friends or start tournaments against people and challenge them on everything from general knowledge to basic maths problems. Number of players: 2 Total size: 120 MB storage Playtime: 1-minute average Quiz Up Gameplay Hearthstone From its release on mobile Hearthstone has been one of those card games to play on mobile. The game is easy to learn and tough to master. Weekly Tavern Brawls and solo game modes are what keeps the game exciting which for sure Blizzard know how to spice up things. After a day or two of playing the game and mastering that faction or two, you can easily battle a friend who just started the game for some and well spent time. Number of players: 1-2 Total size: 1.5 GB storage Playtime: 5 minutes average Hearthstone Gameplay

Sneak Peak: The new-era Playstation 5 controller

Sony revealed the new PS5 controller which is the DualSense, sharing the first images of the design and all the new features it will include which is intended to be launched with the PS5 just before Christmas this year. The controller looks completely different when compared with previous designs. In fact, as Sony themselves stated they tried to develop the best PlayStation controller yet including all the previous positive features and introducing new ones to maximize user experience.  The new PS5 Controller - DualSense Design The DualSense main colour scheme will be two-tone, black-and-white and have the same colour on the face buttons. The traditional Triangle, Circle, Square and Cross are still there. Not much is revealed from the controller's back which can still feature some other cool new features.  New Features Adaptive shoulder button triggers with haptic feedback.  Built-in microphone so you can talk without having to wear a headset. A new 'Create' button that replaces the PS4 Share button. An LED Light Bar the surrounding of the touchpad. Increased Battery Life The new PS5 Controller - DualSense Rumoured New Features Heart rate and sweat sensors - According to some websites, the PS5 controller will be able to use biometric feedback to monitor players' heart rate and sweat levels and then adjust gameplay based on its findings.  Wireless charging - Sony could opt for wireless charging capabilities and could make them available separately and at a later date from launch, keeping this capability separate in order to keep the price of the console lower. Price The predicted price for DualSense PS5 controller is that of around €65 / $70 / £60 which is a little bit more expensive when compared to the PS4 controller retailing for around €45 / $50 / £40 but again this is just a prediction from various websites based on the released features up till now. The new PS5 Controller - DualSense A full list of specs for the DualSense PS5 controller is yet to come but one thing is for sure that Sony gave us quite a good teaser of what to expect this coming Christmas.

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