Rise Nation Storm Through CWL Atlanta 2018

After three days packed with action, the CWL Atlanta 2018 has finally ended and there's so much to discuss. From the Open Stage up to Championship Sunday, many of the storylines and expectations which we discussed here: http://www.gamers.com.mt/news/722/cwl-atlanta-2018-too-close-to-call, came into play. At the end of it all, Rise Nation did, in fact, come out on top, but there's so much more to cover. Sit back and get ready to scroll down while we review this event. 

Open Bracket - Plenty of New Blood

CWL Atlanta was one of the many Open events we'll be enjoying in this year of COD: WWII. Its Open nature allows up to 160 teams to battle it out to enter the Group Stage which has already been filled with teams who qualified thanks to the Pro League. This time around, the community was introduced to some new names who have never before made it past the Bracket. Names such as Heretics and Monaco Esports joined Ghost Gaming and GGEA Orange as they assimilated into their respective groups. Honestly, none of them had much of an effect as the competition was simply too much. So, what did happen in the Group Stage?

Group Stage -  Lightning Pandas Shock

The Group Stage kicked off swimmingly, except for one minor hiccup. Epsilon Esports, the Europeans, announced that they couldn't make it for the event. The underperforming team, which is currently contemplating roster change, was promptly replaced by Lightning Pandas in Group A. With Rise Nation and Splyce favourites to advance onto the Winners' Bracket, Lightning Pandas couldn't help themselves but mix things up. Beating Splyce, GGEA Orange and Echo Fox allowed them to finish with a second place finish that nobody predicted. Splyce were sent into the Losers' Bracket where they would find an early exit out of the competition. 

Meanwhile, Group B and Group C went a lot more smoothly. Luminosity cruised through the group while TK managed to take second place, ignoring the attempts of Evil Geniuses. Group C, which was predicted to be the group of death was less so. Since eUnited failed to show up with their A-game, continuing on their rough streak, Optic and Faze topped off the group in that order. However, this group was indeed a great source of controversy. As many of you know, a recent Gentlemen's ban within the professional community banned the use of items such as the FG-42 and more. One of those weapons was the M1 Garand due to its ridiculous two shot kill range. In the matchup between eRa Eternity and eUnited, Clayster pulled out the M1 Garand to his apparent oblivion. He used it in Game 5 SnD to help eUnited clutch up in this cheating fashion. After the game, Clayster realised his cheating and cheap ways as he took to Twitter, offering all of his individual earnings to eRa as he 'ruined their tournament'. eRa is yet to comment on the situation. 

Finally, Group D was quite interesting in itself too. As Team Envyus scooped up an easy first place, Red Reserve, and Mindfreak were at each other's necks. Mindfreak, who have recently been growing in capacity throughout the Pro League, managed to win second place thanks to map difference. Red Reserve was sent to the Losers' Bracket but was far from out of it. 

Bracket Play - Dominance on Both Sides

With no further delays, unlike November's bomb threats, bracket play was underway. Within three hours, Rise Nation swept Faze Clan, Optic Gaming swept a hopeful Lightning Pandas and two 5-game nailbiters gave the Winners' Bracket a huge amount of energy. Mindfreak dragged Luminosity Gaming to a 5th game which they barely lost and Team Envy shut down the weakened TK in a similar fashion.  Round 2 of the Winners' Bracket had arguably some of the most awaited series of the tournament - Optic vs Luminosity and Team Envy vs Rise Nation. 

We'll start with the disappointment. Optic vs Luminosity was meant to be a heaving battle between two giants with everyone agreeing that Luminosity had the edge with recent performance. However, the two teams hadn't encountered one another yet, so anything could happen. What did happen was a foul 3-0 scoreline for the boys in blue while the Greenwall was left shaking their heads. The maps were indeed close, but a recurring habit for Optic to not close out maps and not clutching up bit them in the back. The Greenwall would descend into the Losers' Bracket were they would finish with another undermining placement of 5-6th at the hands of Red Reserve. Many doubts are headed their way. Yes, Red Reserve is still there and fighting. 

The other series, thankfully, was a pure gem. Both sides saturated with emotional and talented youngsters gave way to an epic display of the future of Call of Duty. The fast-paced action from both sides was a joy to witness and quite exciting too. The daring plays from "TJHaly and the energy from opposing "Huke" made it action packed to the point that the casters were running out of breath. At the end of it, Rise Nation snatched the final map and Team Envy also fell out and into the Losers' bracket where they would be taken out by Red Reserve. 

The final round of bracket play placed Luminosity and Rise Nation in the same cage, fighting for the Grand Finals spot. These two teams were the point of polarisation between the community - it was one of these two teams which were scheduled to win this event. Rise Nation played tactically and floated to a 3-1 scoreline, awaiting their next opponent. 

Grand Finals - Bathed in Red 

Luminosity stumbled into the path of a clinical Red Reserve and needless to say, the European maniacs threw them off of the tracks. Red Reserve was part of the greatest Losers' Bracket run in the history of Call of Duty; playing a total of 20 maps on Championship Sunday just to get to the Grand Finals. Their endurance and determination were unmatched at the event. Red Reserve was the Grim Reaper of CWL Atlanta as they remained under the radar yet executing all the big names: Faze Clan, Team Kaliber, Luminosity and Optic Gaming in quick succession.

Now they headed into the Grand Finals with a little fuel left in the tank. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough. Although they equalised with a phenomenal SnD performance, Rise Nation then took the next two respawns to solidify themselves as the best team in Call of Duty at the moment. On the other side of things, Red Reserve are now the undisputed best in Europe and the Second best in the world after that incredible run where they faced everybody who is somebody in Call of Duty.  

Conclusion

CWL Atlanta 2018 was incredible, simply incredible. Arriving right at the climax of discussion and hypothesis, it gave the community answers it was craving. Optic Gaming is not Top 3, Team Kaliber is not on top, Rise Nation is the best in the world and Red Reserve is the best team in Europe.

Another topic which must be picked up on, before ending, is the casting. Many were those who disregarded the new talent, as they try to fill the gap that "Courage" left. Give them time, I'm sure that they'll be great. 

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 14th March 2018, 09:01

I'm Gabriel - 19 year-old dental student attending university working as a part-time esports journalist. I've been doing this for 3 years now. Having worked with GMR Entertainment in the past, I've come on board to write some articles this summer :).

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Content Writing for GMR Entertainment - An Experience

The following is a crash course and personal opinion behind the work of content writing.  Hi there! I'm Gabriel Sciberras and I've written over 600 articles for GMR Entertainment in total and this will actually be my last article this summer. Accordingly, the following is an opportunity for me to discuss the position, educate anybody curious and possibly persuade anybody to experiment. Here's my experience working with GMR Entertainment.  My History with GMR Entertainment  It all started back in 2016, as I turned 16 and geared up for my Chemistry O'level exam. Bored out of my mind, scrolling through Facebook aimlessly landed me onto an advert by GMR Entertainment stating 'content writer wanted'. At the age of 16, obsessed with gaming and tech paid with a knack for writing, I took my chance and dived into the position with no prior experience whatsoever. And no, I wasn't getting paid - I applied for a voluntary position and did so happily, churning out 3 articles a day at times to sum up almost 250 unpaid articles.      Working voluntarily was never an issue for me. That's because the team over at GMR Entertainment provided me with a tonne of foundation into the world of online writing. While I also had to put in some working learning the ins and outs of HTML, I was taught how to upload photos, create better titles, understand different types of articles and SEO. And not just through emails either. At times, I would venture up to the Lounge in Msida where founder, Kersten Chircop, walked me through anything he thought I could work on.  As a young teenager, it was incredible. Having a remote job of this type was sort of a dream come true. All of these skills I just mentioned didn't develop overnight, but took months of work and getting used to it all. GMR Entertainment began trusting me with new types of content which opened my horizons. Through hardware reviews, I was given the opportunity to truly embrace my analytical opinion and work with the awesome Andre Mizzi,  while player interviews pushed me to innovate with questions and to interact with personalities in the esports industry.   Beyond this, I was always invited to local LAN events and Christmas company events which I've always heavily appreciated. With enough time, after 3 months of hard work and learning from my half and great feedback and direction from GMR Entertainment, I could confidently consider myself an 'esports, gaming and technology journalist.' GMR Entertainment offered me a reasonable pay which I happily accepted and work kept flowing. Sponsored articles, local discussions, research into esports and more.  To top it all off, communication was always great. Working with Kersten and Andre never offered much resistance and was always an open and casual, yet respectful affair. They'd offer ideas, I'd offer ideas and days would go smoothly. In addition, whenever I needed time off to focus on my exams, as I am quite the nerd, I was always given more than enough time to focus.  Just like that, after a year of work or so, job opportunities flew my way and GMR Entertainment allowed me to venture, always leaving their door open for me. Know, a couple years later, I've come on board for the summer as I can cope with the extra work besides the school year and my other current writing positions.  What does it take to become an esports/gaming/technology journalist?  In all honesty, it takes a few simple things. Here's a shortlist of qualities you'd need:  Time management: probably more important than the quality of writing - sticking to deadlines to make time relevant content is essential  Language: a mix of flexibility and creativity helps out here together with SEO based writing  Ability to be analytical and discursive - creating your own ideas and spinning a web is essential for longer pieces of work  An ability to learn quickly: whatever you're writing about, you need to make sure you understand it well enough to explain it to readers What makes a great writer? CREATIVITY and nothing else. Since my first job at GMR Entertainment, I've hopped around a few times and I've always noted this in other writers even with my current job. In this type of job, you'll find a tonne of people who all they do is simply copy other article ideas from bigger sites such as Dot Esports and never really innovate ever as they comfortably paraphrase away. Yes, sometimes this is necessary for the more basic articles but avoid it when possible.  By being creative you'll have more fun writing, it'll be more challenging and you're more likely to create unique and interesting pieces of work. That's my largest piece of advice - be creative and make creative opinions.  Interested in Writing with GMR Entertainment? So that's it, that's my experience and those are my tips for anybody wondering what it takes. Personally, as a student who lives all the way in Zabbar, a remote job makes me smile when I could be on the bus instead. Whenever I discuss my job with others, I always get a 'hey, that's pretty cool' type of reaction.  If you're interested in trying it out, why not send an email to GMR Entertainment or maybe through their Facebook page. Perhaps you could start right away with some test articles? Communicate only if you're really passionate for writing and putting your ideas out there - don't do this thinking about money from the get-go - that's not the right attitude to have and it won't get you far. Focus on producing good content and the rest will follow.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

RTX 3090 - 8K Gaming on the Table?

Indeed, the talk of the town is the RTX 3080 - it's incredible value for the price, massive performance increase and general utility is simply superb. However, Nvidia wasn't done there as they announced two other products in the line. Currently, the community is discussing the RTX 3080's older brother, the RTX 3090. Supposedly, 8K Gaming is now a possibility though it does come at a considerable price.  If you're anything like me, then you're YouTube feed was also flooded with content creators trying the graphics card out. The BFGPU has rocked the internet due to its phenomenal size, dwarfing formerly 'large' cards such as the 2080Ti from a generation ago. The pure size of the card is dropping jaws for multiple reasons, but also due to its drawbacks.  Let's take a quick look at the specifications:  Built on an 8nm architecture 10496 cores 24GB of GDDR6X Memory  1695 MHz Boost Clock Speed It's those 24GB of GDDR6X that has made 8K Gaming possible. The only drawback however, is the sheer price of the graphics card. Once you've gone passed the $1,500 barrier or so, you'll also have to deck out your PC with the best components on the market too - a top-end CPU to make the most of the GPU and a thick power supply to run the beast. All of this will have to fit in a reasonably sized and very well ventilated case.  Then, once paired with an 8K display, it's official that 8K gaming is now possible. Games such as Doom Eternal and others have been showcased and for the most part, no video or photo can really do the experience any justice.  Let's just take a moment to appreciate Nvidia here. Weeks ago, AMD was breathing down their throat following their own incredible new lineup of products and the pressure was on. As the community wondered where Nvidia was, doubt in the community grew. And now, just like that, Nvidia has once again earned everyone's praise and reminded the world who's on top. Nobody's been talking much about AMD since.  Then again, it's unfortunate that for those interested to buy one, you'll have to wait for it to become available.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! If you're interested in purchasing an RTX 3090, we'll hopefully have some stock at the Gamers Lounge in the coming weeks. 

Call of Duty Warzone Season 6 - Going Under

Once again, Call of Duty Warzone has the community's attention with their latest season of content. Last time, Infinity Ward took the world's most popular battle royale shooter by surprise with an overground train, adding new mechanics to Verdansk. Now, Season 6 looks to reintroduce more trains thanks to an underground network. Here's the scoop.  First off, we'll start by spelling out the unfortunate - for this Season you'll have to surrender 20GB of further storage. So after you manage to download, there's a tonne to jump into here. Check out the trailer below:  In terms of content, there are new operators, weapons and modes too. Notably, the Haunting of Verdansk looks to rock the royale from October 20-November 3rd. Fast travelling across the map will be incredible through the train stations, and I can already see the 400 IQ plays making use of it.  Accompanying the content is a patch note. If you're anything like me, you're terrified of going indoors thanks to the Origin 12 striking fear into the community. Luckily, Infinity Ward have made some decent changes here, including a nerf to C4:  C4 - additional delay for quick detonation and now a reduction in throw velocity too by 30% Origin 12 - reduced close damage in general while slugs have been strengthened For PC players, NVIDIA Reflex has been implemented to reduce latency Those are the main highlights - for the entire scoop, feel free to read the patch notes here. Call of Duty Warzone is doing incredibly well to hand on to the hype behind it through these in-game updates, each one changing how the game is played in a massive way. I don't expect any other battle royale to compete that much with the title until the end of 2020 for sure.  Let us know your thoughts on the changes in the comments section below!

Amazon Luna - Another Cloud Gaming Service

In the videogame industry, the summer of 2020 has offered multiple trends - local and online party games such as Fall Guys and Among Us, Call of Duty Warzone and also, the gaming industry's fixation on cloud gaming. Here on the site, we've covered the ongoing narrative and comparisons between Google Stadia, Project xCloud from Microsoft, Playstation Now and of course, Nvidia GeForce Now. It looks like Amazon wishes to join the race.  Indeed, Amazon wishes to dive into the very small ball pit which is already quite crowded with their upcoming product of Amazon Luna. So, what's so special about this cloud gaming experience and how does it compare to the other ones which look to hit or are already on the market?  Supposedly, the service will offer 'all-you-can-play' access to games via a channel system. In this manner, users may subscribe to certain channels which from what we can tell, will offer a certain quality of games. Only two channels have been confirmed so far, namely Luna Plus, which will house first-party games from Amazon and other services and another rumoured for Ubisoft games.  With pricing starting at $5.99 a month, with an optional $49.99 Luna Controller for Luna early access users only at the time being. The cloud gaming service will be available on PC, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone and iPad. Note that Amazon here looks to do well with the Apple ecosystem, unlike others. With reference to the game library, it's confirmed that 50 games will be on Luna Plus and Ubisoft channels.  An advantage Amazon has is running everything on Windows servers with Nvidia GPUs, so developers don't have to design games specifically for the service - a downfall behind the failure of Google Stadia.  So will it do well? Honestly, I've got no idea. This whole market of cloud gaming is so primitive at the moment, it's confusing to me. While this may be the future, it's definitely not the present.  Let us know what you think of this industry craze behind cloud gaming in the comments section below! Do any of the products stand out from the other?

Among Us - A Tiny Game Exploding After 2 Years

Back in 2018, the American game studio of InnerSloth eagerly released their new game of 'Among Us' to the world. Available on Android, iOS and Windows, their exciting new implication of a classic idea was bound to succeed but at first, it simply didn't. No, for some reason, they'd have to wait for roughly two years and a pandemic before the multiplayer game would suddenly sky rocket in popularity! I know, it's crazy sometimes how the videogame industry works. In this article, we'll be covering all thing Among Us. What is Among Us? If you haven't realized, ever since August 2020 when multiple popular content creators suddenly began playing it, Among Us is now on most phones and for good reasons. Let's first dive into what it is, as a game. Among Us is a multiplayer game for up to 10 players where 1-3 players are randomly picked to be 'Imposters' and the others 'Crewmates' all aboard a ship/vessel of some kind. Depending on your role, there are different objectives: Crewmates: given tasks to take care of across the map. Winning takes place by finishing all the tasks or eliminating the Imposter through voting  Imposter: fake list of tasks, they're given the ability to slay Crewmates, travel through vents and to sabotage the map too. Winning happens by eliminating enough Crewmates or successfully sabotaging ship.  Deduction is the name of the game here. You've got to be careful who to trust and know how to act when it's time to vote after finding a body or calling an emergency meeting.  And that's basically it, a virtual form of the party game Mafia.  An Explosion in Player Count  Back in 2018, figures show that after release Among Us had an average player count of 30 to 50 players concurrently! Accordingly, the development team admitted that due to bad marketing, they were that close to giving up entirely. However, despite the small player base, more work and maps were put into the game.  With this work, the game just snowballed to the point that 20 million downloads rocked August, with 40 million hitting September and 400,000 concurrent players on Steam. It's great to see such a long-term investment pay off for the small studio.  Why is it so popular? It's why Mafia is so fun at parties - you force people into discussions, arguments and accusations that you could never make in any other environments. With a group of friends or family, such a game is a tonne of fun, giggles, frustration and yelling at one another. Otherwise, even playing online is a lot of fun as you test your ability to be both sneaky and influential on the thoughts of others.  Just like Fall Guys a month ago, Among Us is a new way in which people are connecting and giggling through these tough times. From my experience, it's a game for the whole family and a party game which evolves in complexity due to the elite strategies possible. There's nothing more exciting than being an Imposter in Among Us.  The Future of Among Us - Sequel and Console Port?  Due to the popularity, the developers have had to cancel all thought behind a sequel. Why? Although they wished to create a fresh version with a more modern engine, they decided to abandon the idea and instead focus on the original due to the popularity behind it. Accordingly, new features and maps will be rolling out for it.  Also, console ports for PS4 and Xbox have been considered, but issues are being encountered for communication systems amongst other issues.  Otherwise, I genuinely hope the game keeps growing. It's a superb party game with a dedicated studio behind it that suffered for two years.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section! What do you think about Among Us?   

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