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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Mobile Gaming Made over $15 Billion Dollars Last Year

The mobile gaming industry has exploded over the last few years and is no longer a novelty genre for the casual gamer. According to a report by Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm based in Asia, the mobile gaming industry made 15.3 billion in revenue last year. The mobile esports market already has a larger player base than PC and console gaming combined. The report also stated that mobile gaming will be the primary area of growth in the digital games industry over the next five years, which is huge news as this will allow mobile gamers to join the esports world. A 15.3-billion-dollar sector of the gaming industry will not be overlooked, and bigger games will continue to port and create games specifically for this market. PUBG, Fortnite, and Minecraft have already stepped into this area of gaming, and other games and developers will definitely follow in their footsteps. When bigger games such as Call of Duty eventually make a mobile-specific title, a competitive scene will grow around it and give the best players on this format an opportunity to showcase their skills in tournaments. With the continued growth of the mobile esports market, this will expand the scope of the current high-profile tournaments and allow a rise of a larger number of open tournaments across different titles.   Mobile gaming also has less barriers of entry when compared to PC gaming and console gaming. PC and console gaming can be more expensive than playing on a mobile device, and the average consumer already owns a gaming compatible mobile device. Most mobile games are also free to play, which eliminates the cost of purchasing a full game, which is the norm on consoles and PC. Mobile gaming exclusives such as Clash Royale, Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends are also filling the void of major titles such as League of Legends and Counter Strike who have not made the jump to mobile yet. Major brands and companies have already begun to enter the esports world, and this growth in the mobile sector will allow this trend to continue. The mobile esports industry will also promote more healthy competition between the different formats that already exist between consoles and PC. It will be exciting to see this market continue to grow and expand, and how mainstream brands and consumers embrace the booming mobile market.

Ninja Becomes First Professional Gamer Signed By Adidas

Tyler “Ninja” Belvins is the first professional gamer to be signed by the giant sportswear company Adidas. This is not the first step into esports territory for Adidas as they already sponsor other teams, but it is the first time they have sponsored an individual.  Ninja recently made headlines when Twitch accidentally promoted porn on his old channel when he made the jump to Mixer. He left the popular streaming platform Twitch for its Microsoft backed competitor Mixer, where he has almost accumulated almost 2 million followers. In the past few weeks, Ninja has been seen wearing Adidas clothing to various events, but nothing was made official until he revealed the partnership on his Twitter account. Adidas recently told Endgadget that they committed to “Supporting creators who show dedication to excelling in their field”. It is clear this is only the first step for the powerhouse brand into the esports world. Ninja signed on for a multi-year deal and claims Ninja inspired apparel or content is on the way. On his Mixer stream, he stated: “I can’t say specifically what is in the works with Adidas but use your imagination”. Ninja is one of the biggest names in gaming at the moment, and this partnership with Adidas is one of many recent lucrative deals, but it definitely might be one of the biggest. The king of Fortnite has his own toy line on the way and was recently paid 1 million dollars to stream Apex Legends. He also recently teamed up with Samsung for their #TeamGalaxy campaign and has had a long-running sponsorship with Red Bull. Other Sports Companies Are Jumping On The Esports Hype Train Adidas is not the first clothing company to dive into the esports world. K-Swiss recently put out a limited-edition sneaker for gamers known as the “One-Tap”. Nike has also recently sponsored the professional Counter-Strike team Furia, a Brazilian esports organization. On the other hand, American sports company Champion recently put out an esports clothing line inspired by popular esports organizations. Large brands are starting to see the potential in the billion-dollar industry known as esports, and this will definitely not be the last time a sporting clothes company sponsors gamers and athletes on the digital battlefield. It will be exciting to see how this partnership between one of the biggest brands in the world and one of the most popular streamers in the esports scene plays out over the next few years.

Six Arrested By Australian Police Over CS: GO Match-Fixing

Match-fixing in CS: GO is not a new phenomenon, as the potential of throwing a match for financial gain is always present. In Australia, six individuals were arrested after local authorities received information from a betting agency about suspicious betting activity centered around a CS:GO tournament. The individuals involved arranged the outcome of their own matches during a tournament and placed bets on the outcome of these matches. Once the betting agency noticed the pattern and suspicious behavior of said bets, the authorities were notified. It is estimated that at least five matches were affected by their actions and that over 20 bets were placed by the members involved in the match-fixing. As a result of this information, a combined investigation involving the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit and the Organized Crime Intelligence Unit led to the arrest of all parties involved. Six raids were made by the Australian authorities across Australia, which consisted of three in Mill Park and South Morang, two in Mount Elizabeth, and one in Perth. All individuals arrested are between 19 and 22 years old and are facing up to 10 years in prison if fully convicted. The involved parties are facing charges in relation to “engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency or use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.” The six individuals have been released, but the investigation is ongoing. This is Australia’s first police investigation into sports match-fixing, which has already been established as a problem throughout the world. The actions taken by the involved law enforcement agencies show just how serious these crimes are being considered. Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson stated: Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches. It’s important that police and other agencies with law enforcement, gaming and betting industries continue to work together to target any suspicious activity. The sports competitive industry already has an established betting scene that will continue to grow as the sports world continues to expand. Law enforcement agencies around the world will need to adapt to monitor and police these industries to avoid match-fixing or throwing from becoming rampant. This event will most likely not be the last attempt of match-fixing but set a precedent for future investigations to take notes from.

Malta National Team Available To Players For First Time In Five Years

Local Football fans can once again lead their team to victory in the virtual world in the upcoming video game PES2020. The Malta National team has not been available to players for over five years and was last available in FIFA World Cup edition 2014. Thanks to Konami, this lack of inclusion in the virtual realm will finally be addressed. Konami recently announced that it was able to reach an agreement with the UEFA that will allow over 50 national teams to be exclusively recognized in their upcoming game alongside other notable teams such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United, and Celtic FC. The agreement also means PES2020 will be the official game of the UEFA 2020 tournament, which is a huge win over their competitors, FIFA. The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament will also be exclusively featured in PES2020 in a free DLC package that will be added to the game after launch. This is a nice change of pace in the micro transition world of the video games industry today. The game will include new features such as improved dribbling skills, better ball physics, and “new first touch techniques”. This exclusive deal and improved gameplay will definitely cause an intense competition between the two franchises over the next few months. The reign of FIFA might finally be coming to an end, or at the very least will be challenged by its updated and polished competitor. This agreement also expands the real-life tournaments reach into the esports competitive scene as there will be a companion esports tournament which will put the national teams from all over the continent head to head against one another. The first step of the tournament will be an online qualifier in which 16 lucky competitors will make it to the finals that will be held in London, England. This in-person event will take place between the semi-finals and finals of the real-life tournament. The Malta national team will now join other football clubs who have also expanded from the traditional confines of sports into the digital realm. This trend of expansion will no doubt continue as other teams and organizations realize the market and popularity of the Esports world Mark September 10th on your calendars in honor of the release of PES2020 (over two weeks before FIFA will be released) and prepare to lead your favorite local team to victory.

Celtic Football Club Sign Call of Duty Esports Team

Celtic Football Club has announced they will be expanding their presence in the Esports world by signing their own professional Call of Duty team. The new team was one of 32 teams competing in the Call of Duty World League Championship which is currently taking place (as at the time of writing) in Los Angles, California. The Call of Duty Championship will host a total prize of 2,000,000 and will be the last championship of the open ecosystem style. Unfortunately. Celtic FC Esports did not make it out of Group A as they finished the group with a 1-2 record having only won one match against Elevate. The Celtic FC Call of Duty team roster is as follows: Sean "Seany" O'Connor Shea "QwiKeR' Sweeny Ben "Bance" Bance Byron "Nastle" Plumridge Sam "Chain" Dineley The team had already qualified by taking first place in the Amateur Finals in July. Bance has competed in the Call of Duty Championship before and finished second in the 2016 tournament with his previous professional team Splyce. Before being officially signed, the team went by the name "The Bhoys", which is also Celtic's nickname. Being able to play under the Celtic banner for both Seany and QwiKeR this is a dream come true, as they both are lifelong Celtic fans. In fact, QwiKeR was recently in attendance for Celtic FC's victory over St Johnstone. The Call of Duty competitive league will be moving to a city-based franchise format which includes locations such as Dallas, New York, Paris, and Toronto. This is the perfect time for the team to gain "worldwide exposure" according to Miguel Pacheco who is the leader of the Esports project for Celtic FC. "This will be a great opportunity for Celtic FC Esports to align with a world-class esports event. It will give the team worldwide exposure, before Activision converts the league into a city-based franchised model with slots going for $25m each." Pacheco also said that Celtic FC Esports is interested in the possibility of expanding into other Esport competitions, which is a trend throughout the world. The Esports industry is starting to gain mainstream attention as a result of huge events, such as the Fortnite World Cup which was heavily covered over the last few weeks. Other football Clubs have already begun expanding into Esports, such as FC Barcelona and its Rocket League team, and Fc Shalke 04's League of Legends team. Several other Premier League Clubs also have professional teams competing in the FIFA. Celtic FC will not be the last Football Club to expand into the Esports environment, and the lines between sports and Esports will continue to blur.

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