2017: A Proud Year for Gamers.com.mt

It's that time of the year when everybody's either looking back and reflecting on the past twelve months or getting ready for twelve more with a different outlook and perhaps a resolution in mind. Gamers.com.mt is extremely content with how 2017 went, of course not a perfect year but in terms of the gaming industry and developing as a company ourselves, only progress may be discussed. Without further delay, let's talk about our favourite moments and statistics from the year.

The Malta Robotics Olympiad Overwatch: Open

Starting chronologically, the MRO Overwatch: Open kicked the year off with a tremendous bang, as we successfully assisted the gaming industry when it comes to exposure. Just in case you forgot, the event was held together with the sixth iteration of the Malta Robotics Olympiad; with hundreds of young students present and taking in the atmosphere. Organised by the Ministry of Education, the Olympiad received a great amount of coverage and in doing so, so did we! The top local esports organisations of Paradigm6, EvH and Project Eversio all competed fiercely to achieve their podium placements. However, since then the local Overwatch community has been at an all-time low and we couldn't organise further events which included the title. Hopefully, this will change in 2018 and we're waiting for the enthusiasm to return eagerly. 

The GO&FUN eSports Championship at The Point Shopping Mall

Moving on the GO&FUN eSports Championship in April; this was one of our favourite events of the year. As you may see from the title, the amount of new sponsors we encountered were incredible due to the highly dense venue of The Point. Thanks to all these sponsors, a total of 10,000 euros worth of cash prizes were assimilated in each of the games involved, namely FIFA 17 and LoL. The free registration and public space made it a fantastically refreshing event. 

The Malta Cyber Series #3 - Back to Basics

After the GO&FUN event, we had until September for our next event. Yet, until then, a massive expansion took place within our company. Late May; before a certain student's Chemistry O'Level, we got in contact with a content writer - me, Gabriel Sciberras. Before that point, our News department was at a standstill and it needed work. Seven months later, and I've written more than 350 news articles and roughly 25 hardware reviews which has also led to a new source of income for the company. We look to continue developing the News department as we head into 2018, constantly looking for content writers. If you feel that you're up for it, don't waste time and contact us now!

Anyway, moving on, we've arrived at the Malta Cyber Series #3, the event which everyone looks forward to for a chill atmosphere filled with competitive gaming. So much so, that a buffet and poolside barbeque were all part of the proceedings - The SeaShells Resort at Suncrest was a perfect venue. Apart from the relaxed environment, the most notable feature was our expieriment of including COD2, a go at reviving an aged community. With a wide smile, we greeted so many veterans who came out of their way to stay true to their legacy and young faces trying their hands at old mechanics. Many rivalries and storylines were put into motion, all of which were to be answered in the upcoming GO MESF 2017. 

The Aliquantum CS:GO Tournament

The month of November was when things became quite tough; two huge events condensed within the space of a week! Such a feat is daunting for all event organisers alike. The first event was The Aliquantum CS:GO torunament, yet another one to be held at the SiGMA 17 iGaming conference together with Gamers.com.mt to be held between the 23rd and 24th of November at the MFCC in Ta' Qali. Having a familiar format, 5000 euros were thrown onto the table. Free entry saw the available spots saturate almost instantantly and epic competition ensued amongst the interesting and futuristic architecture present. This event was our only incorporation of the popular title of CS:GO throughout the year, and we'd certainly like to include it more regularly in 2018. A simple event yet awaited and tasking nonetheless, a small preparation for the MESF 2017, the largest event of the year to occur only a few days away. A lot of hard work and planning ped us execute the transition very well. 

The GO Malta eSports Festival 2017

The GO MESF 2017, or Malta eSports Festival, was truly our largest event of the year. Hosting eight games and over 200 competitors, many were prepared for the huge competition ahead. Storming through November, we took shelter in the old prison at Paola, the largest venue ever, and gave public viewership to really step things up. Everything went to plan and our historical event definitely improved over last year; except for the enormous disappointment regarding the GPL PUBG Open. Faulty hardware and Early Access server errors made it impossible and everything had to be postponed to a later date away from the mainstage; still, we sincerely apologise for this happening just like when it occurred. 

Games Weekend at the Airport Food Court

Another notable bit of fun we had was the Games Weekend at the Airport Food Court in October, where we had a little casual fun on Tekken 7 and FIFA 17. 

2017 was the fifth year anniversary for the company, as we addressed in a commemorative article here: http://www.gamers.com.mt/news/346/gamers-com-mt-5th-anniversary and we also held a huge giveaway as a mode of thanks. To conclude, we're very grateful for a fantastic year and look to continue bringing high quality esports to the island for all of you to enjoy. 

Gamers.com.mt wishes all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 27th December 2017, 09:32

I'm Gabriel - 17 year-old student attending a sixth form with a little free time on his hands. I've been working with Gamers.com.mt for a roughly a year now - spreading my interests in technology, gaming and writing over the platform along with interviews and hardware reviews. All constructive feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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Apex Legends at the Malta Cyber Series#5: MRO Edition

It was bound to occur; the arrival of a free-to-play battle-royale which would contest with the juggernaut of Fortnite in both spectra of competitive and casual play. It goes without saying, that I'm referring EA's Apex Legends; an engaging mix of pick-a-hero gameplay and other unique mechanics tossed into the recipe of battle-royale. The title has definitely taken the world, and the country by storm; we've realised this. Hence, GMR Entertainment will be capitalizing on the current buzz by offering competitive Apex Legends at our upcoming event; the MCS#5: MRO Edition.  The MRO, year in and year out, has always been an opportunity to dig our heels into the ground and push forward with a new titles such as Overwatch, Battalion 1944 and now, Apex Legends. The announcement is probably less of a surprise to most of you, especially those who tuned in to last week's stream hosted by the new Hex Media studio, where we revealed our intentions through a little gameplay of our own. For the tournament; one can expect a format similar to the one utilized by the international Twitch Rivals event: in which teams attempted to score as many points as possible overall through placement and kills. The Apex Legends tournament will be part of the BYOC area, which is a new addition for the first time in the MRO series.  With new legends, updates, ideas and tonnes of support from social media and communities, Apex Legends is definitely the 'next big thing' in gaming. However, the cyclic nature of these free battle-royale titles will only become more rapid as developers cram for the spotlight - though, if they keep these titles free and accessible to the community, it's only beneficial to the community. The only drawback, is that the contemporary nature of these battle-royale games, and the fact that attention is being pulled in many directions, makes sustaining a long-lasting and stable esport quite difficult.

Angelo Vella at the Red Bull MEO Clash Royale Finals

Ever since winning the Maltese Red Bull MEO Clash Royale Finals and the Qlash Clash Royale Tournament hosted at the Malta Esports Festival 2018, GMR Entertainment has been keeping a close eye on the champion; Angelo anglu Vella. Such attention led up to the fact after he had qualified for the international Red Bull MEO Clash Royale Finals - where he would represent Malta in an international competition, stacking ambassadors from each country across the mobile title of Clash Royale. Apart from the event itself acting as quite the breakthrough for mobile-gaming in general, it was an opportunity for Angelo to show his stock.  The international event, involving a total of 36 countries, had been building up ever since September of last year, with qualifiers gradually concluding in each respective country within every continent. With the event including the other titles of 'Arena of Valor' and 'Brawl Stars', the venue was certainly buzzing with excitement, but also tension - $50,000 were on the line on the whole. This mentality was embraced immediately, and it seems that Angelo anglu Vella found himself in quite a tough spot within Group D. Competing against players from America, Mexico, Turkey, Portugal, Greece, Brazil and Egypt, the Maltese competitor would undoubtedly struggle. Anglu tied points with Greece and Turkey, but due to score difference he was placed 7th out of 8 within groups - ending his tournament there. "The Ice" (BR) Vs "Anglu" 3:2 "Sergioramos" (MX) Vs "Anglu" 3:0 "iForg1ven" (GR) Vs "Anglu" 3:1 "lelouch" (TR) Vs "Anglu" 2:3 🏆 "UnstoppableCR" (US) Vs "Anglu" 3:0 "The Awesome" (EG) Vs "Anglu" 0:3 🏆 "RafinhaJr11" (PT) Vs "Anglu" 3:1 Nonetheless, we're very proud of Angelo and we encourage him to continue pursuing this notion of competition - you're only 18 and a plethora of future opportunities will arise; keep striving to compete with others and yourself most of all.  The rest of the event concluded smoothly with ThunderStruck from UK being crowned as winner, though we will admit that our peak interest was in the performance of our representative Angelo Vella. One interesting fact is one pertaining to cheating - the French player GregEmpire77, as reported by Dotesports, was competing against a German player within the play-offs, when he was accused of communicating to his manager during the game. He pleaded guilty to the accusation, showing off the AirPods he had snuck underneath his headset, through which his coach communicated to him, selling the lie that all was legal. He was quickly disqualified. With this event being a major primary step in mobile gaming and to witness cheating early on - is the accessibility of mobile phones, leading to a higher susceptibility of cheating, going to be a detriment to future mobile esports?  To conclude, we'd like to congratulate Angelo for participating, flying out to an international event and gaining the experience which we wish for him to use to push forward in the scene. Also, we've managed to gain further insight into the mobile esports scene - how long will it take before we start seeing major and headlining events based on a mobile platform?

CWL Pro League 2019 Preview

With the end of last, the divisions for the 2019 CWL Pro League were concluded through the Pro League Qualifier event. A total of 16 spots were up for grabs; four of which had already been awarded to the likes of Optic Gaming, Luminosity, eUnited and Splyce following a satisfactory Top 4 finish at the first event of the year; CWL Vegas.  The PQL offered some potential shock, as certain 'top teams' began questioning the notion of the 'favourite'; with the lesser known teams snatching a series now and then. A few teams that many thought wouldn't make it were Red Reserve, Team Envy, and of course, the notoriously problematic squad of 100Thieves. Luckily for them, they all managed to make it through; avoiding communal tension and the subconscious screams for a roster change, at least for now. However, one top name did fail to qualify - FaZe Clan. The squad of 'Replays', 'Attach', 'Zooma', 'Priestahh' and the newly added young talent of 'Cellium'; who I personally believed performed very well overall, were kicked out by Excelerate Gaming in the Losers' Bracket. Perhaps this proves that former player Methodz was not completely culpable for their similarly poor performance at CWL Vegas. With the current state of other teams in mind, such as 100T, and the fact that FaZe is one of the top organizations within the Call of Duty scene; I find that a roster change is on the horizon - the players, especially Zooma and Attach, are undoubtedly disappointed in not qualifying for the esteemed league.  Another team to also fail their expectations, albeit lower than others, was G2 Esports, captained by Parasite, the BO2 champion. Unluckily for them, they matched up against a desperate Red Reserve - the game between them determined with who would progress and who would go home from the two of them. All live viewers were gifted with a 5 map series, terminated with a Round 11 SnD - Methodz was left alone in a 1v3; it really has been a tough year for the former member of the event-winning Rise Nation of WWII.  Anyways, the divisions have been concluded, with the 16 teams grouped up as follows;  The open bracket teams of Midnight, Evil Geniuses, Enigma6 and Team Envy all came out swinging and quickly solidified a spot into the Pro League. Some new names, such as Heretics and Team Space act as undetermined threats to the top tier teams.  Looking over the divisions as a whole, both are rather stacked; the exact aim of the Pro League.  While Division A houses the top-dogs of Optic and Luminosity; it's unsure how these teams will fare against other teams that, although on paper have less stock, have made use of a tremendous amount of practice this past week in qualifying. Personally, I find that Division B is slightly more competitive, with the bottom four splitting hairs, Enigma6 and Envy lacking consistency while eUnited and Splyce juggle for dominance. However, it is imperative to keep in mind the fact that unlike last year's league, teams in different divisions will have the opportunity to play one another this year. With schedules and specific matchups to be released, it'll be curious to witness how these cross-division matches play out.  With $700,000 on the line, the first week kicks off with the 4th of February. All the action will climax with the awaited play-offs. Until then, many teams such as FaZe Clan await impending departures of professional players who wish to compete in the Pro League, to give an example of such a team. A similar situation is being faced by G2 Esports and Team Sween, to note.   The newly updated season of Trading Shots, hosted by CWL, will be sure to break down all of the latest news - personally a massive fan since its introduction last year. 

Red Bull M.E.O. by ESL – World Finals will take place in Germany

Following their motto “Open to All! Won by One” Red Bull and ESL will bring one of the world’s largest mobile esports tournaments to Germany. The World Finals of the global tournament series Red Bull M.E.O by ESL (Mobile Esports Open) will take place from 1-3 February 2019 in the Warsteiner Music Hall in Dortmund. The German offline finals of Red Bull M.E.O. will take place on 1st of February. The winners will directly qualify for the World Finals, taking place on 2nd-3rd February, where they will face the best mobile gamers from 36 nations. Apart from Germany, mobile gamers from France, Japan, USA, Brazil, South Africa and many more will meet on stage. In Germany, they will fight for top positions in the mobile hits Clash Royale and Arena of Valor, as well as the brand-new arena shooter Brawl Stars. However, Red Bull M.E.O. by ESL is not an ordinary tournament: it’s open to all ambitious mobile gamers! Matches in the strategy game Clash Royale will be fought between individual players, while the MOBA hit Arena of Valor will set teams of five against each other. Worldwide qualifiers for both titles began in September and ran throughout December. German gamers will also get their chance at a place in the finals: by taking part in online preliminaries, they can qualify for the German Offline Final on 1st of February. Three more qualifiers will take place on the official ESL tournament page with the last one to be held on the 25th of January. Meanwhile, a total of 22 international Brawl Stars teams of influencers and gamers battled it out on the 6th of January to qualify for the World Finals in Germany. Eight teams fought their way through the different game modes and earned a spot for the World Finals with American influencer ‘Ash’ winning the qualifier competition. Tickets for the event are free and limited so make sure to get a seat as soon as possible. As well as two days of pure mobile gaming, there will be many more activities in the arena to make your weekend a true success — including a Brawl Stars free-to-play area and some activities at the Media Markt and Vodafone booths. In addition to that there will be an aftershow party for all visitors on Saturday directly after the live show. Up to 1,000 live visitors are expected for the World Finals of Red Bull M.E.O. in Dortmund. Additionally, the tournament will be broadcast live in English and other languages via livestream. More information on Red Bull M.E.O. by ESL is available on the official homepage.

Hex Media Studio Unveiled - A Local Professional Studio

Anyone who's been keeping up with our social media is probably aware of a new professional content studio on the island; that of Hex Media, a new venture betweeen the Maltese 3D Printing Company, Invent3D and GMR Entertainment. Located within the heart of Zabbar, the studio, prior to even officially opening, has already landed the sponsorship of AOC Gaming, providing some excellent panels, GT Omega Racing, offering some top-notch seating and Trust Gaming granted the centre the peripherals it needs. Not to forget, Red Bull is also on tap for the expanding team behind the project. Speaking of which, the team, hosted a live stream through one of the team member's Twitch channels in NGEN15 and William Cachia (co-host of Game Defined) late on the 11th January, which we shared on social media. The stream consisted of continuous PC building with the team breaking down their future prospects for the project, explaining what it will have to offer once it's officially open. With so much to reveal and PCs to build, it's no wonder that the stream was animated for over 3 hours.  The Hex Media studio looks to be a stand-out centre in Malta, a studio to both entertain and involve the Maltese community in general - not just gamers, but also aspiring content creators such as streamers, podcasters, casters and editors or tournament organizers like ourselves. This is due to the ability to train potential talent in the various area of casting, video editing and production together with online streaming media for both amateurs and also students, especially those who cannot afford their own resources or software, as apart from the software, the studio is decked out with top-of-the-line equipment for audio and visuals. With that being said, consumers may also rent hardware of this type should they choose to do so. Other services include product photography, graphic design, catering for esport team merchandise and media through flexible packages, rendering services and various forms of consultation in tournament casting, production and support in general. Consultation varies from serious business inquiries to something as simple as helping with personalised PC construction, similar, in this way, to the Gamers Lounge. Overall, flexibility and accessibility is something that Hex Media is clearly embracing, thanks to a varied spectrum of talent across a dedicated and friendly team. GMR Entertainment looks forward to using the high-quality services to generate video content for you all to enjoy, host international event casting and possibly video hardware reviews. With the final pieces being put together, 2019's looking great for Hex Media as they prepare to open their doors. Although the venture is between us two, the studio is open to everyone to use its service. They've also hinted at a possible open day once the floodgates of business are opened, allowing everyone and anyone to come to take a look; perhaps even stretching those PCs with some proper gaming. Keep up to date with their progress through their Facebook page here.

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