PUBG on Mobile is Thriving - Heading to the West?

Just recently, China got its hands on two separate versions of the beloved PlayerUnknown's Battleground for mobile. As you can expect, the results were shockingly encouraging. Following this, could we expect these mobile versions to spread through the rest of the world?  The titles in question are PUBG: Army Attack and PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield, developed by Tencent Timi Studio and Lightspeed & Quantum Studio respectively. Relatively the same game, with some key differences, the two are dominating the download charts on iOS. An industry insider, Daniel Ahmad provided the information on Twitter:  "Both games have instantly jumped to the top of the download charts on iOS. The games had 75 million pre-registrations. So that shows you how huge the demand was for PUBG on mobile." There's no need for an expert to understand the potential that a triple AAA title such as PUBG has on mobile. 75 million - take a second to read that number again. These numbers were recorded in the first day! At the moment, there are no definite plans to bring the titles to the rest of the world. However, with such an incredible demand, this is an exciting opportunity for the game developers and gamers alike. With titles such as Fortnite gaining more an more players due to its pure accessibility on PC and console, moving to mobile could be just what PUBG needs to maintain its position.   Other news for PUBG includes an upcoming $100,000 Invitational in the coming months, set for Romania from the 22nd to the 25th of March. Taking place exactly a month after IEM Katowice, this will be the second large-scale LAN of 2018 for PUBG, with 16 team spots to fill in. Teams from Europe, North America, and South America will be drawn to compete. It is possible that Miramar will be included in the competition, but it's all still being decided. 

COD:WWII In Malta : Project Eversio Interview

Following the discursive article that was written regarding the current state of the COD:WWII community, speculating about its future and potential, there was this voice at the back of my head which screamed for a second opinion. With that being said, we turned to Project Eversio for our third interview with the organisation. This interview was carried out in response to the aforementioned article, which one may revisit here. Before continuing with the interview, it's recommended you catch up if you haven't. Without further delay, let's see what Project Eversio thought of our questions.  It’s great to be interviewing you again. Let’s start with some history; would you be able to briefly recount Project Eversio’s past affiliated with the local Call of Duty scene? Project Eversio actually started off as a Call of Duty 2 (PC) team back in 2007 when competition was fiercest. Our debut LAN was ClubLAN'07, in which we competed as a 'mixed team' together with members from another well-decorated team in Malta: SAS Gaming. We placed 4th after losing to dOUBTFUL. We attended a second LAN event with our full lineup the following month, and we placed 3rd, losing 18-21 to eXosphere. A few months after that, Call of Duty 4 was released, and we immediately shifted to the new title. The three years that we spent actively competing in CoD4 were the defining years of the organisation, as not only did we become the dominant force in the local scene, but we also became well known in the international CoD4 scene. Locally, we maintained our perfect track record, winning 11 LAN events out of 11, not to mention numerous local cups. Internationally, we had the opportunity to play against the top European teams on a daily basis, we were invited into international cups, including Clanbase's prestigious EuroCup, and we had the amazing opportunity to compete at The eXperience 2009 in Denmark, together with all the top teams of the international CoD4 scene, during its peak as a competitive title. As the local and international scenes wound down, so did our competitive drive in CoD4. We competed in local tournaments till the very last one, which was held during the Malta eSports Festival 2013 at the Centenary Stadium in Ta' Qali, which we also won, and since then all of our players have moved on to other titles, and the core of the team still plays together in different titles occasionally. Since late last year' we entered into the realm of console Call of Duty - a completely different scene to be honest, but a larger one than most PC-oriented esports fans can imagine - even locally. We were approached by Randu, who set up our current team, but who left to pursue other opportunities after a while. Unfortunately I don't see the same competitive spirit in the local console scene as we had back in the day, possibly due to lack of frequent tournaments for the game, or the lack of serious competitive teams, yet we're very happy to be supporting the local champions, and help them out in their esports endeavours. What are your comments regarding the community’s past three years? What went wrong and why did the local scene depreciate? What was your reaction to the reveal of COD:WWII? With the demise of Call of Duty 4 around 2011, the competitive community for Call of Duty on the PC has never been the same. Although there were still a few avid teams around, particularly in Call of Duty 2, it was a far cry from the days of SPEED-LINK, TEK-9 and Serious Gaming in CoD2, or the days of Fnatic, Dignitas and eSuba in CoD4. The local scene mirrored those deveopments to a certain extent, though classic CoD2 still remained a favourite amongst a core, close-knit part of the community. With that said, CoD2 wasn't a growing community, which is why I think everyone was looking forward to trying out a new game. Counter-Strike Global Offensive was too different, and perhaps a bit too punishing as a competitive title compared to CoD, and people quickly jumped over to the next game in line: Overwatch, which unfortunately however couldn't attract the interest of sufficient local players for enough time. Very few people from the competitive PC community held high hopes for CoD:WWII - despite the initial hype of going back to the roots. The lack of adequate competitive support on the PC means, including a competitive mode, dedicated servers etc meant most people didn't even give it a try. On the console side of things, it was pretty different. The sci-fi element of the CoD franchise following CoD:MW3 and Black Ops 3 just couldn't retain the interest of players for long, despite the popularity of the titles. Whilst there are indeed some hardcore competitive players on console, the majority of the community does not have the same hardcore competitive pedigree as its PC counterpart. This is partly fueled because of the lack of competitive events for Maltese players both online and offline - unfortunately the competitive console scene hasn't had the same - but hopefully we'll ge there soon. CoD:WW2 generated a lot of hype amongst the community, though having only four teams turn up for MESF 2017 was quite disheartening, I hope organisers will try to uplift this untapped market with grassroots initiatives such as one night cups etc to create a healthy competitive scene. On the day of Call of Duty: WWII’s release, you announced a new roster specifically for the game. What were you motives for creating the roster and what are your plans for the coming year? We had been looking at the local console competitive community for a while, and CoD:WW2 presented the perfect oppotunity for a clean start 'with a bang'. We had been in discussions with Randu, who would eventually become our team leader for several months in anticipation of launch, so we had a solid plan going into the game. Our ethos is to push Maltese talent in esports to an international standard. Considering the esports profile that CoD:WW2 presented, and its potential, we were very happy with the opportunity to partner up with our present roster of talented players. At this stage, our plan is to keep the team stable and motivated, and we look forward to any local competitions on the horizon.  Just a week before the MESF 2017 COD: WWII, you were hit with a roster change – yet still managing to find victory anyway. Describe what occurred and how you managed to maintain focus during this period of time. It was quite a shock to tell you the truth. The lineup for the squad had been in place for months before the release of CoD:WW2, we had the tickets for the event in hand, and we were really looking forward to the debut of our squad at MESF, especially since we already had to cancel participation in the Quickfire Nova Series event due to the fact that not enough teams signed up. Unfortunately there was a disagreement between the players and the team's captain, and the latter eventually opted to pursue opportunities with international teams. We were actually read to cancel our participation in MESF, but at the last moment we found Owen "Owages" Agius as a stand-in, which turned out great, as it not only allowed us to compete, but he also turned out to be an excellent player. Notwithstanding the departure of their captain, I think the team knew that they still had an excellent opportunity to win the event. Their performance in international tournaments leading up to MESF had been outstanding, and they knew it would have been a pity if they didn't at least given it a shot - ultimately they were rewarded, as they received their first on-stage competitive experience, and first place in the tournament. You won the MESF 2017 quite decisively. Who are your most threatening local rivals at the moment in the scene? What plans do you have, if any, for international competition? 4 Man Army turned out to be the main competition during the event, and to tell you the truth, it wasn't as decisive as the scoreboard might tell you. The matches were all very close, each victory and defeat hardly fought, and a thrill to watch. Props to them for a great performance. At this stage, there are no plans for international competition, as some of our players are focusing on exams. The final question. Having read our discursive article; do you agree or disagree with anything that was said? Is there anything you’d like to add? I don't believe the CoD franchise on PC will ever have the same competitive following as it had during the days of Call of Duty 1, 2 and 4, both locally and internationally. Battalion 1944 does capture some of the same competitive spirit of those titles, yet it's very hard to imagine Battalion ever being anywhere close to the international esports titles such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Dota 2. The game doesn't have the backing of a mammoth game developer, so it will be hard to have the same amount of funding and exposure as other titles. Nonetheless, I do believe it can manage to get a decent competitive community running, both and abroad, and especially locally - so we are very much looking forward to what Battalion will bring in the very near future. With respect to CoD:WW2 on consoles, four teams for MESF was quite disheartening. We know that there are many more local players for the game, which hopefully can be converted into being part of the competitive community. The game does indeed have potential here, and hopefully, organisers can give it more attention by trying to build the scene from its roots, as aforementioned, by creating one night cups or leagues online, and having more tournaments in summer, which would allow the younger players to participate. Unfortunately, however, I don't see the commingling of competitive players on different platforms to happen. Keyboard and mouse is completely different to console controllers, as is the playstyle - and I do believe that both communities can remain healthy whilst developing in parallel. Thank you so much once again for providing us and the whole community with insight regarding the local esports industry. Such content is pivotal to the progression and improvement of it on the whole and we couldn’t thank you more. We wish you the very best for the coming year! Again, Project Eversio pleases with some incredibly in-depth answers. As we stated in the final message, wishes Project Eversio the very best for the coming year!

The Descent of Overwatch in Malta

Overwatch is a game which has seen and is still witnessing today, a phenomenal amount of growth in the esports industry. It feels just like yesterday when gamers first got their hands on this new approach to the first-person-shooter genre. The summer of 2016 was the trial period of Overwatch, which exceeded expectations internationally and locally to continue on its current run. Yet, if we magnify the situation on a local scale, it's quite clear that things aren't as they used to be. Throughout this article, we'll be discussing the untimely fall of Overwatch through the lens of Maltese esports. A similar article was done concerning the situation of Dota 2 in Malta, which you can visit here. However, Overwatch cannot be compared to Dota 2 in terms of lifespan. If we should consider Dota 2 to be the car that never started, then Overwatch is the brand new car which lost its wheels after a short while. From the past two paragraphs, I've given a clear indication that Overwatch did, in fact, have a start. So, how did this come about? As mentioned, Maltese gamers were quite thrilled with the new title in May 2016, and we could feel this well-pronounced enthusiasm. This was all emphasised when top local organisations such as Project Eversio, Paradigm6 and EvH formed their own rosters. Thus, it was only justified to include it in the GO Malta eSports Festival 2016. The reception was bursting with excitement as teams fought for the reasonable 1000 euro of cash prize on the line. The energy for the new game in late 2016 was quite overwhelming and our following partnerships with The Malta Robotics Olympiad and AOC led to a couple more occasions for the Maltese Overwatch scene to compete in LAN events.  First, was The AOC MCS: Masters in October, where we lifted the prize pool up to 2000 euros and then came The MRO Overwatch: Open - a whole event dedicated to Overwatch. Everything's going so well - we're loving the support from the community, the competition is heating up and the future looks bright. What happened next was completely unexpected, so much so, that we can't really explain it in concrete terms. It's early March 2017, we're already beginning to think about the rest of the year and the potential for Overwatch as a World Cup is announced and so many international events planned.  However, our next main event is in September in the form of the MCS#3. Sadly, the community wouldn't last until then. EvH, Paradigm6 and Project Eversio amongst others, are examples of organisations that publically announced their retraction from Overwatch during this time frame.  Why? How did this happen? Interviewing Mike "z4mbu" Saliba last week indirectly revealed his insight on the situation. To summarise, we inquired about his reaction to the inclusion of COD2 in last year's events. 'At that time I was still playing Overwatch competitively. So the return of Call of Duty 2 was a shock in itself, as I realised that this would kill the current local Overwatch scene. However, I do not blame the organisers for reintroducing Call of Duty 2, since this was what the local gaming community was demanding at the time. ' Did bringing back COD2 harm the Overwatch scene? Possibly, since a considerable amount of ex-COD2 players did, in fact, abandon their position within their Overwatch rosters to make the transition. It was our decision to resurrect it from the dead, but we couldn't possibly expect such an outcome. Should we have revisited it or stuck with a new and modern title? With Battalion 1944 on the way, following the above reasoning, the future of OW doesn't look too good.  Then, there is the other argument which comes to mind. 'The community died because didn't organise any events in that time period' or something of the sort is what we expect some to argue. A community and its passion for the game isn't defined by the number of events held for it, but by the drive of the participants to compete regardless the connection, offline or online. Right after hosting 2 events in three months, this does sound rather complacent. Before ending the discussion, I'd like to include the opinion of EvH. While I was researching in preparation for this piece of content, confirmation regarding EvH and OW was required since they hadn't made it public. Before we knew it, we spiralled into a conversation where I got to hear their opinion.  'I think one of the main reasons that they didn't stick with this game since it was a different genre of FPS from what they were used to playing such as CS:GO and Call of Duty. For example, Team Fortress was also a huge title which has the same style of Overwatch -it never succeeded in being a competitive title locally.' - Mike from EvH EvH showed a lot of enthusiasm on the topic and we're glad they allowed us to include their opinion here. They also agreed with the points mentioned very much.  To end, I'll offer my own personal opinion on the situation. Reintroducing COD2 and with Battalion 1944 on the horizon has indeed tugged on the nostalgia of many Maltese players as they abandon other titles in order to return to their roots. New players are what Malta needs in order to support new titles. New players will have to pick up the pieces of the local Overwatch scene, where others left them.

TSM Forms Fortnite Roster - What's Next for Fortnite?

If you've been anywhere on social media, Youtube or other networks, it's probable that you've encountered Fortnite, the other battle royale of 2017 alongside the likes of PUBG. It's getting a tonne of attention and support; why shouldn't it? The game is a new outtake on the battle royale game mode and it's completely free for anybody to try out at the moment on console and PC. Such attention and enthusiasm, as with any other title, leads to the penultimate question; what does Fortnite have to offer as an esport?  We're basing this discussion after receiving the recent news that TSM has formed a full squad for Fortnite: Battle Royale, ahead of any revealing of major events. TSM is one of the first notable organisations to form a roster and it won't be surprising to see more large names pop up in the scene. Regarding the roster, the names of Darryle "Hamlinz" Hamlin, "CaMiLLs" and "Daequan" will join Ali "Myth" Kabbani on the team, ready to leave a mark on the scene. You can tell a game has competitive potential when organisations are taking the initiative to create teams before any notion of major competition. These players are all relatively young and rearing to go, excited to be part of a new game.  Here's what Darryle "Hamlinz" Hamlin: "This is really a dream come true. People always told me I'd be a professional gamer, but I definitely want to thank my family and viewers who supported me through thick and thin because this wouldn't have been possible without them. It's just mind blowing that a top dog org like TSM wanted me. Now I'm just ready to show people what TSM Fortnite is all about and take home some LAN victories." Yet, it's not like EpicGames weren't expecting to create a new scene, having the previous title of Unreal Tournament which is also enjoying a respectable amount of competition. There are in fact tournaments and leagues ongoing within the scene on a small scale. 2018 could be a phenomenal year for Fortnite, having a lot of space for expansion. Last year was the climax of battle royale gaming - 2018 will only build on this with more games and more support;  PUBG being the best example. Who knows, perhaps Fortnite could have a presence in Malta too?  Tell us what you think of this prospect in the comments below.  

Vortex and z4mbu Interviewed - Reacting to Battalion 1944

You've all heard what Paradigm6 has to say about the upcoming title of Battalion 1944, that is, on the 1st February. You can check that interview out right here. Following that interview, we decided to ask a few players about the game, and we've managed to do so with two formidable local competitors, each related in someway to COD2. Let's hear from those who could be potentially playing the title this year on a competitive level. We'll start with Cyril "Vortex" Coppini and his replies.  To begin, we'll start with an introductory question to familiarise yourself with our readers. Please describe your history as an eSports player in Malta, having especial detail on your relationship with the title of Call of Duty 2. It all started back in 2008 when I was just 15 years old. Some of my schoolmates were all talking about how CoD2 was such a fascinating game and of course I wanted to give it a go myself. By doing so I entered in the "esports" world and before you know it, I started playing more regularly and I also started trying out and  playing new games which caught my interest such as FIFA (which I still play competitively) , Battlefield , Overwatch, Pubg and so on. Although I personally love CoD2, there were some periods when I stopped playing it because no one was organizing LAN events (long before was even a thing) and also when there was a huge hype going on about Overwatch (so I decided to train Overwatch instead). Going back to CoD2 after a year of constant practice in Overwatch, was not as easy as people might think. I was used to the fast gameplay that Overwatch offers, so it felt a bit strange to play CoD2 again as it is quite a slow paced game especially in comparison with Overwatch, however I was delighted with the turn of events because I had the opportunity to try and win a major CoD2 competition! 2.) Call of Duty 2 was resurrected in the community last year; as re-introduced the game in the Malta Cyber Series #3 and the largest event of the year - the GO MESF 2017. What was your initial reaction to this inclusion? Looking back now, reveal your thoughts on Call of Duty 2 in 2017. Well, to tell you the truth I was not that surprised about the inclusion of CoD2 because my friend Vexin created a poll on the CoD2 facebook page and there was a very good response, hence CoD2 was re-introduced to the Malta Cyber Series #3. Since Battalion 1944 was announced long before the Malta Cyber Series #3, CoD2 players considered these two events as a stepping stone to prepare for the new title which is going to be released in February. 3.) is clearly eyeing Battalion 1944; the apparent successor to Call of Duty 2 in terms of gameplay and community feedback. Bringing it to our shores would definitely be interesting and relevant. What are your impressions of the new title, especially after the beta recently? Have you had the chance to play the game yet? Yes, I played Battalion 1944 and I have to say that things are looking very sharp and promising regarding the overall gameplay. It is true that the game needs some tweaking in some aspects but in my humble opinion, Battalion 1944 has all the requirements needed to be one of the top titles in the eSports scene (dedicated servers, balanced weapons, map design etc). 4.) Our last question. Bringing back Call of Duty 2 last year wasn't too attractive for youngsters starting out as individual competitors due to reason of aged mechanics and a fast-moving modern selection of games which would rather be played - but Battalion 1944 looks to change that with contemporary graphics alongside refurbished content. What potential do you see in the title for Malta? Battalion 1944 can be that game that attracts both old school gamers and new gamers to play the same game. I think that if us Maltese gamers put enough effort in this game and train hard, we can compete with any foreign top tier clan. Let's turn the page to see what Mike "z4mbu" Saliba had to say in response to the same questions. 

Paradigm6 Interviewed - Reacting to Battalion 1944

As you can probably tell from our social media feed and our recent articles, we're quite stoked about Battalion 1944, currently in its beta phase, which seems promising for the local scene. Curious to see what others are thinking, we decided to pounce on the opportunity to interview Paradigm6, one of the top team in Malta in COD2 at the moment. The questions were answered by a representative of the team and the organisation in an incredibly quick fashion which we appreciate. Let's see what they had to say. Let's help our readers get up to date with a background question about the esports organisation of Paradigm6. Please describe your relationship and history as an organisation with the title of Call of Duty 2. Paradigm6 and Call of Duty 2 don’t exactly go hand in hand as much as FuryGAMING does with CoD2. Originally, our organization was made up of talented local Maltese players, all under the name of FuryGAMING, better known as Fury-G! by most. This organization was formed way back in 2008 by myself (JeFf). It is the current longest serving eSports organization on the island, where it boasts a total amount of 11 titles and 5 runner up spots in local CoD2 LANs and tournaments. Other titles in CS:GO and Overwatch were won under the names of Fury Gaming and Paradigm6 respectively. Call of Duty 2 was resurrected in the community last year; as re-introduced the game in the Malta Cyber Series #3 and the largest event of the year - the MESF 2017. What was your initial reaction to this inclusion? Looking back now, reveal your thoughts on Call of Duty 2 in 2017. It was quite a surprise really, in a good way, since the game which we were covering at the time, Overwatch, was not very popular in the local eSports scene, mostly due to the fact that not many players were dedicating enough time to train on a daily basis.   Once we heard that Call of Duty 2 was to be included in the line-up for the MCS#3 we didn’t give it a second thought and we instantly re-installed the game after 2-3 years of inactivity. It was a great opportunity for the team to revisit THE game that started it all. is clearly eyeing Battalion 1944; the apparent successor to Call of Duty 2 in terms of gameplay and community feedback. Bringing it to our shores would definitely be interesting and relevant. What are your impressions of the new title, especially after the beta recently? The game looks promising. It obviously has some minor bugs that need to be addressed, but people must bear in mind that this is still in its Beta phase, and will be coming to Early Access on 1st February. We believe that this game is definitely going in the right direction, and we think that it will be a huge success in the eSports industry. Given that it is being promoted as the new Call of Duty 2, we feel that the majority of local eSports players, especially Call of Duty enthusiasts, will definitely give this game a try. We as a team, are willing to invest time in this game, and will participate in Battalion 1944 competing events.   Bringing back Call of Duty 2 last year wasn't too attractive for youngsters starting out as individual competitors due to reason of aged mechanics and a fast-moving modern selection of games which would rather be played - but Battalion 1944 looks to change that with contemporary graphics alongside refurbished content. What potential do you see in the title for Malta? I honestly believe that this game will hit two birds with one stone, by bringing together old-school gamers and new youngsters. We already participated in the Beta phase of the game, where we can say that we are pretty amazed with what this game has to offer. Due to the fact that the game is launching soon, we feel that even youngsters and new players will play this game. The main problem with CoD2 in 2017, was that it has been on the market for more than a decade and it is less appealing to younger players. As the new game begins to circulate, we expect many Maltese teams to begin investing time into the title. If Battalion 1944 were to continue on its path to Malta, which is incredibly likely,  do you see yourselves on top in terms of competition? What are your thoughts regarding rivals such as Ephica, who managed to take you down in the grand final at the MESF 2017?  This is quite a difficult question because Battallion is not entirely the same as CoD2, it also has an element of CoD4 in it, so it’s not easy to predict who the top teams will be in this game. It could be us, Eversio, Ephica, Marsh and the list goes on. All we can say is that we always stick to our motto, where we try to always finish first, since nobody remembers who finished second. We always gave, and will give our all in terms of commitment and dedication towards a game in each of the events we attend and online tournaments we participate in.   Our last question is specifically aimed at those individuals preparing themselves for Battalion 1944. Having an incredible record for Call of Duty 2, tell us; what will it take to thrive in Battalion 1944 as an individual and as a team? Time and dedication is the key to success, in everything you do in life. There are also several obvious aspects that are important, such as good aim, strategies, and team work. In order to improve in all these aspects, you and the team must invest time in the game. Another tip is to always try and play against people who are better than your team or yourself. It is normal that you lose some games at first, but keep in mind that failure is part of the road to success! Some fantastic answers from the organisation confirms our thoughts regarding the game, absolutely potent to become a hit not only worldwide but also on our little island. Including Battalion 1944 would be to throw fuel on an old fire, that of COD2, which could potentially warm a year of nail-biting competition. We're so excited! -Get ready for more interviews regarding the topic soon!

Battalion 1944 - Prepare Yourselves

It's no secret that is incredibly enthusiastic about the upcoming FPS headed to PC known as Battalion 1944. We've already covered an early insight into the game here. However, as the early release date enters the two-weeks proximity, we had to cover all the recent news concerning the game.  STG44 is a solid defensive option - just make sure your spray is controlled. — Howard Philpott (@HowardPhilpott) January 18, 2018 Until now, gameplay available to view ranges from the closed Alpha and the closed Beta which have taken place over the past few weeks. Impressions - sources such as "Hatton Games", a British YouTuber focused on content based around CS:GO and PUBG had the following to say on Twitter:  Seriously impressive. The competitive mode has huge potential. If you enjoyed the simplicity of COD2 you'll love it. Definitely a game to watch. We certainly enjoyed the simplicity of COD2, and it's the reason why this game is such a huge bleep on our radar. As you are definitely aware, COD2 had and still does have a strong influence and reputation in the Maltese scene. Revitalising the community with last year's inclusion of the title in the GO MESF 2017 and the MCS #3 got us thinking - what's next for this community? COD: WWII did bring the franchise back on the ground, but had extremely differing gameplay mechanics compared to the barebones COD2. Also, the title isn't developed precisely for PC esports. The arrival of Battalion 1944 is what we consider a beautiful coincidence.  Conserving the guns, visual effects, map layouts and most of the audio files - it's a much awaited reskin of the game. The game was indeed developed in response to the community, which we are especially grateful for. Here's what Joe Brammer, one of the head developers of the game had to say about the gameplay:  In Battalion movement is key.. That's the core difference between CS and Battalion, both have their strengths but Battalion has a huge emphasis on movement and fast decision making over positioning and holding angles. One phenomenal feature which shows clearly how much the developers of the game care, is the fact that all future DLC to hit the game will be completely free for all with the base copy. Simply the cherry on top.  Moving over to the competitive side of things and all the other plans included in the Road Map: the development plans made available to all on the following link:  Within the first month, Offline LAN Support will be available across all game modes, even in the new map which will be added in the update. Also, the developers seem very focused on reducing errors and bugs to the minimal quantity as early as possible.  Heading into Summer 2018, the world will have the opportunity to enjoy the first official LAN Tournament alongside a helping of new weapons, two arcade maps and a competitive maps - briliiant! As the Autumn leaves fall, a Second Official LAN will take place and a "Spectator Mode" and "Clanwars"  will also be added. An in-game system of scrims, ladders anbd competitions which will add to the longevity. By the end of 2018, the game will be fully released to Steam after all of this development.  To the joy of the community, an organisation has already finalised a roster for Battalion1944. Team Demise, a professional esports team, spilled the roster details on Twitter. The roster even has a coach! Following them, and is sure of it, will be a whole list of well-known organisations who will give a shot at Battalion 944.  Now we turn to the local scene; pure potential. welcomes Battalion 1944 with a nostalgic smile, embracing the history which dwells in Maltese esports. We're positive that a high percentage of local gamers will take up the initiative and create a community. With this backing, you can count on us to create high-quality events with complimenting broadcasts. This is why we're excited for Battalion 1944.  Battalion 1944 is coming - prepare yourselves. 

The MVP at the GPL PUBG Open 2017

After our MVP announcements for COD2 and LoL in regards to the player performances at the GO MESF 2017, we figured that it would only be suitable to do the same for the recently concluded GPL PUBG Open 2017, the first Maltese PUBG tournament which had to go online due to technical issues on the day of the event. You've all had the chance to check out the numbers with our review article here, yet, the point of the MVP showcase isn't to highlight the top players in terms of statistics but to throw the spotlight on those incredible efforts which we witnessed throughout the days of competition. Before we kick off our list of nominees, please bear with us about the lack of profile shots, since playing online disallowed us to take the photos we wanted to take.  Nomination #1 - "r33d"  We'll start by welcoming the most obvious nominee in this list, the incredible "r33d" from the side of Project Eversio, who had a phenomenal event. His second place finish in Solos, having 34 kills individually paired with a dominant team performance in the 4v4s lead to him having the largest total score overall. Finishing first place already rewarded him some incredible prizes, and I think being crowned the MVP wouldn't be a surprise for him or anyone else really.  Nomination #2 - "Dejee" 20 points - that was the difference between 1st and 2nd place overall in terms of performance. We all know about "r33d" taking first place but it would be unfair to not turn an eye toward second place "Dejee", who indeed deserves his position. In the Solos, he was simply on fire and stood on top after the games. In the team section too, he worked without halt to take his team, iXtreme, up to 3rd place. A superb performance which rivals that of "r33d" - these two players being the best in Malta at the moment, with "r33d" having the slight advantage in terms of statistics.  Nomination #3 - "Arneh"  Coming from the side of All We Wanted Was A Trophy, is our next noteworthy nomination for the MVP title: "Arneh". Putting up a promising performance overall, his last efforts in the final week cemented his position in the top 5 overall, but more importantly, a second place finish in teams. One round in specific does come to mind, when he took hold of a drop crate and literally cleared the whole proximity within the next ten minutes. Back to Solos, although he just missed the podium, we're confident that he'll be back with more practice and experience next time and that's when he'll be even more dangerous. Watch out for "Arneh" in our next PUBG event.  Nomination #4 - "PK" Complimenting his teammate "r33d" is another player from the side of Project Everiso, this time in the form of "PK". A stellar performance from him in the 4v4 was compulsory for the team's first place success; due to his instinctive ability to execute and create plays cleverly. So much so, that hew doesn't necessarily need his team's support to excel, as a 4th place Solo finish clearly states on the leaderboards for all to see. Putting him alongside the other players of Project Eversio was a smart decision from the side of the organisation.  Nomination #5 - "D4rmanin" Definitely our underdog out of the list,  we felt that "D4rmanin" deserved to be on this list. Only participating in the team segment, with his squad in F.A.N.I, to go on to placing 9th collectively. A well-rounded player who went on to carry out some clutch plays including securing the winning kill in the first round of squads in Day 3. A little more luck, and we feel he could have place higher overall, a great player nonetheless.  THE MVP  For the third time this month we're back in this position; naming the MVP. I can feel the desperate eyes running across these lines, red with anxiety. would like to announce that "r33d" is the MVP of the GPL PUBG Open Tournament. Definitely not too surprising as his top-tier placements speak for themselves. His overall performance was simply a cut above the rest, which is why he won.  As we progress through 2018, can he keep it up? We'll have to wait and find out.  Also, please note that names are not included due to the nature of the tournament, being Open, so naturally anyone could sign up.

The COD2 MVP at The GO Malta eSports Festival 2017

The GO Malta eSports Festival 2017 was the second time which we included COD2 last year; and competition grew substantially between teams and individuals really brought it this time round. Arguably, the title was the highlight of the competition due to Ephica's first place finish over Paradigm6.Thus, among the many incredible performances, we've decided to crown an MVP, paying him the respects he deserves as a player. Without further delay, below are the promising nominees.  Nomination #1 - Jean Paul "Speeechless" Debono Kicking off the list with a bang; we've got one of the scopers around. At the MESF 2017, you did not want be in this man's reticle. His skill with the rifle shone exceptionally on the maps Burgundy and Toujane, the opposing team being helpless whether they change up tactics or not. Yet,  "Speechless" had his best moments in the grand final. Here, as cool as a cucumber, he clutched up against some harsh odds in the SnD and was ultimately, pivotal to Ephica's overall success.  Nomination #2 - George "Kempes" Meilaq The only mger on this list, and the best on the whole island, is  Goerge "Kempes" Meilaq ands for good reason. Having an uncanny ability to shift seamlessly to opposing enemy pushes, speeding up and slowing down when necessary to put himself in the optimal position for gunfights. Definitely dOUBTFUL's best player in many situations, being the top fragger in each map almost every time. Without him, the team wouldn't have been able to reach the final loser bracket.  Nomination #3 - Jeffrey "Jeff" Spiteri  Another scoper, this time from rival Paradigm6, is also a persuasive contender for MVP. Insane; the only word which may captivate his scoping skills. Regularly picking off one or two players, giving his team the first blood and thus the advantage in SnD. Constantly pulling a neutral look, pressure simply doesn't effect him and his team always looks towards him for team players and proper decisions; essential to the structure of Paradigm6.  Nomination #4 - Cyril "Vortex" Coppini Whether he's using an mg, scope, rifle or even a damn shotgun, "Vortex" always managed to pull off a wonderful performance as an individual on the victorious side of Ephica. Some may refer to him as the team carry, without much resistance. Such claims are fueled by his addiction to having the most frags and trying new things to stun the enemy team. His flexibility with weapons surprised his opponents and let his teammates use their preferred weapons: it doesn't seem to make a difference to him. During the final is where he especially shone, helping ensure a win over Paradigm6.  Nomination #5 - Nigel "Najju" Vella Fighting for the side of Heq Gaming; it's safe to say that "Najju" is the most underrated player on this roster of nominees. Finishing just shy of the podium, the player did everything he could to carry his side having a constant 25 to 30 frags per game against the toughest opposition. Although it wasn't enough, recognises his humungous efforts and that's why he's a potential MVP for the MESF COD2 tournament. "Najju" has the potential to do so much more on a better team.  Nomination #6 - Daniel "sou1ex" Cassar  Probably one of the largest upsets at the event for Paradigm6 was the hardware issue they encountered as "sou1ex" allegedly had mouse issues in the grand final. Perhaps the outcome of the tournament would have been different had it not occured. Nonetheless, the player had a fantastic event, having an affinity for the map Toujane as his opponents learned the hard way. His scope and rifle shot was pristine and he made some huge plays to make his way onto our list.  THE MVP The list is complete and we're ready to spill the beans on who is our chosen player. Much arguing and debating among the staff has finalised that Cyril "Vortex" Coppini is the MVP of the GO MESF 2017 COD2 Tournament. His dedication to his team and his own gunskill lead to an outstanding performance at the event, allowing Ephica to win and sparking this rivalry between themselves and Paradigm6.  We look forward to seeing these teams adapt to upcoming games such as Battalion 1944. The title makes no difference since competition knows no boundaries. 

The LoL MVP at The GO Malta eSports Festival 2017

It's been roughly a month since the largest event of the year: that being the Malta esports Festival 2017. Ever since then, we've been jarring our minds to come up with certain MVPs through the lists of nominations we had lying around. Finally, we're ready to share our top nominations alongside the MVP which will be announced at the end of the article. May the best man win! Nomination #1 - Chris 'Tobby' Sant Rising to the top with his team, EvH, the veteran player in Chris "Tobby" Sant made sure he was on this list. Utilising either Orn or Trundle, he dominated his Top lane even though he was set to play Support! Showing off his flexibility, his amazing side lane pushes and strategic plays were a joy to witness on the mainstage.  Nomination #2 - Marlon 'Blaze' Polidano Moving into the jungle lane, nobody stood out to us as much as Marlon "Blaze" Polidano did. Also being part of EvH,  it's safe to say that he made some incredible carry plays, carrying his team to an overall victories. When things were looking sore for the team, he'd hit the opposition with some superb counter jungling or outstanding ganking. Making the most out of Xin Zhao and Rengar, "Blaze" was truly the king of the jungle.  Nomination #3 - Michele 'Mikku' Agius Making our way over to the second place team, Team Legacy, we found a whole lot of MVP material. To begin with, is Michele "Mikku" Agius and his commendable control over mid lane; thwarting many maps in his team's favour. His noticable and extraordinary synergy with the jungle made crossing his lane increasingly difficult. Securing a 10cs per minute in almost every game he played is also a noticable achievement. He completed such feats using a mix of Corki and Taliyah.  Nomination #4 - Miguel 'Unknown' Caruana Our next nomination, that for the role of ADC, is Miguel "unknown" Caruana. He definitely did apply some strong damage to the other team using Vayne and Ezreal, leaving a great impression on the scene. Being new to the scene, his talented plays spoke for themselves and he is a force to be reckoned with, no doubt about it. We look forward to witnessing his growth as a player with Team Legacy and as an individual.  Nomination #5 - Juan 'Shadowlance' Bonnici Last but certainly not least is Juan "Shadowlance" Bonnici. Heading into the event, his competitive experience was completely on the Mid lane, but that didn't stop him from putting on a show with his new role. With help from his AD, he dominated the bottom laneat the event and even made some tactical switches with mid to confuse the opponents. His Rakan and Braum were excellent at the event and vital to Team Legacy.  The MVP The moment you've all been waiting for. All the five players mentioned above were at the top of their game, but so was the community on the whole. LoL is constantly expanding in Malta and the growing skill in individuals is evidence of this. With that being said, deciding on an MVP was no easy task. Taking into consideration individual skill, key moments and the circumstances: Marlon "Blaze" Poldiano is the LoL MVP for the GO MESF 2017. His consistency and carry plays were fundamental to EvH's victory; he's been at the team's side for 3-4 years and has won multiple trophies with them. Congratulations to all the nominees for their fantastic performances and we wish you all a Happy New Year! Make sure to keep up to date as we'll soon be revealing our MVP for COD2 very soon!

The GPL PUBG Open Tournament Finally Concluded

As you all know too well, PUBG couldn't be held as a game at the GO MESF 2017 due to some tragic technical issues which we didn't see coming. Now, roughly a month later, we've finally concluded the tournament over 3 inconsecutive days, which many of you were watching live over at our Facebook and Twitch streams. Below is our roundup of the results and all the great performances from the first Maltese PUBG tournament!  Although we delayed the dates, you can trust us when we state that the time had no effect on the fierce quality of competition between all the participants. Apart from the glorious medals and trophies on the line, it was the hardware prizes which players were eyeing over at the overall player performance leaderboards. Starting with the Solos, we carelessly dropped 84 of the best local Maltese talent into one arena. Within the first minutes, the weaker contenders were quickly eliminated as the top dogs began to settle disputes. Incredible amounts of tension really made it difficult to watch at a steady heart rate over the games. As the dust settled, the names of “r33d” from Project Eversio and “HoXtyYy” preceded the overall solo champion “Dejee”! An outstanding performance dictated by a grown understanding of the game, and perhaps a little luck made him a joy to watch. The top three will be receiving individual trophies, but more importantly, have their scores calculated alongside everyone else to be tallied up later on. Rank Name Points Kills Total Points 1 Dejee 934 21 1039 2 r33d 752 34 922 3 HoXtyYy 726 9 771 4 PKmlt 652 19 747 5 SETHTR0XLER 514 2 524 Full solo standings can be found here. Then came the Squads: all 14 of them! Among the well-established names of Project Eversio and dOUBTFUL were the Erotic Banana Bros, Marshmallow Beast Squad and Team Baguette. Creativity was certainly not lacking when it came to naming the 4 man teams! Getting back on track, it was tremendous fun to witness the list of teams fight it out over the games that were played online. Towards the top of the spectrum was a healthy amount of close competition, with the total points range between 1st and 6th only being 1000, as kills were traded and intense strategies were put into practice. The amount of strategy pleasantly overpassed our expectations and contrive an even greater sense of excitement for the upcoming event in which we’ll include PUBG. At the end of it, Project Eversio sat on top, almost contested by All We Wanted Was A Trophy (and they got one) who were trailed by the team of iXtreme. Rank Name Points Kills Total Points 1 Eversio 2290 52 2810 2 All We Wanted Was A Trophy 2145 40 2555 3 iXtreme 1946 35 2296 4 3ManTeam 1668 22 1888 5 Zharki 1507 15 1657 Full squad standings can be found here. The part you’ve all been waiting for on the edge of your seats – addition time. was as precise as possible when it came to the scores, even going out of our way as to use decimal points for an extra level of accuracy. Without further delay, below are the top Overall PUBG players in Malta right now: Rank Player Team Total Overall Points 1 r33d Eversio 1664.5 2 Dejee iXtreme 1625.5 3 PKmlt Eversio 1379.5 4 Cincin Eversio 1217.5 5 Arneh All We Wanted Was A Trophy 1098.25 6 pubismannen All We Wanted Was A Trophy 1003.25 7 felezzz 3ManTeam 994 8 Lavinbjern All We Wanted Was A Trophy 987.25 9 Ddeathrow Eversio 966.5 10 SETHTR0XLER Zharki 940.75 Full overall standings can be found here. Decorating the top positions, the name of Project Eversio is finding its place on the podium through their squad members of “r33d” and “PKmit” being unbelievable, complimented emphatically by their teammates who just missed the top three. Yet, we don’t think that Project Eversio had an undisputed run overall, as players from iXtreme and All We Wanted Was A Trophy eagerly loiter in the top 10, waiting for their next chance to compete. So what does landing a podium finish actually mean here? Well, third place “PKmit” will be receiving the Corsair Spec04 Chassis, an incredibly compact and professional chassis worth 100 euro and a trophy to envelope his efforts. Second place, achieved by none other than the Solo Champion “Dejee” will be rewarded with an exciting bundle from peripheral manufacturer Ozone worth 200 euros, alongside a deserved trophy. First place, on the other hand, gets to take home the best gaming chair on the market right now! The GT Omega Racing PRO Office Gaming Chair worth almost 300 euros! We’re sure that “r33d” is satisfied with such a prize. Congratulations to all those who took part in the tournament, especially for their patience with the rescheduling due to the mentioned technical issues at the event. will not let this happen again 2018 as the local PUBG scene looks to continue growing as we are yet to name an uncontested team or player. Truly starting the year with a bang!

HyperX Reveals New Wireless Headset at CES 2018

With so much to look out for at this year's CES, which is occurring this week, we're delighted to announce news regarding a new HyperX product. This time, the prolific brand will be entering the waters of wireless audio with the HyperX Cloud Flight Headset; announced today. Here are all the exciting details.  First off, it's great to see HyperX finally venturing where many large companies such as Logitech and Razer have been playing for quite some time now; while also sticking to their iconic "Cloud" naming system. Nothing but top tier quality is expected of the upcoming product.  Speaking of which,; allegedly, the new headset will have a whopping 30 hours of battery life! Living up to this claim will make it one of the best batteries out there in the market by a longshot. The following was stated in a press conference, in regards to other specifications:  "Sporting closed cup design with 90 degree rotating ear cups, Cloud Flight provides an immersive in-game audio experience with 50mm drivers, broadcasting at 2.4 GHz. "  50mm drivers should do a fantastic job at creating a superior soundstage while the broadcasting rate will ensure clear, accurate and quick audio transmission from your gaming machine, whether it's a PC, Xbox One or PS4. On board controls over the LED effects, of which there are, microphone, power and volume are present. Note that the wireless connectivity is through a USB dongle, not Bluetooth.  The Cloud Flight headset will go on sale in January 2018 for a little under 200 euros. Be sure to keep up to date with your favourite names in tech, as they'll surely cover this product. If you'd like to check out some of our own reviews of HyperX headsets you may click the links below:  Review of the HyperX Cloud Revolver S and the HyperX Cloud headsets right here! The company also included an updated Alloy Elite mechanical keyboard, this time in RGB glory alongside the Pulsefire Surge RGB mouse.

"Mose" Interviewed - The Maltese Professional Halo Player

As the local gaming industry grows, more and more opportunities are arising for Maltese enthusiasts to pursue a career in esports. Many have tried, are trying and will try, but only those who take their chances and are completely fearless will really make a name for themselves. Luciano Calvanico is an example of one of those that made it. Ever since 2016 he’s been tearing up the Halo scene and we’ve been dying to interview him - that day has finally come. The interview was begun on December 13th, hence the reference to the public holiday. Hello Luciano, we hope you’ve had a great day. We’ll start off the interview properly; from the very beginning. You weren’t always 21 and part of a huge esports organization. Tell us how it all started, when, where and all the necessary details. Who was your inspiration, if anyone? Thank you very much I had a fantastic day! It all started around Halo 3 days which was about more then 10 years ago when I found out about esports and that you could actually make a living out of it. I started playing with competitive settings always trying to get better every day, then when Halo: Reach came out a few years laters my parents decided to send me to the first ever European event I attended. I was about 15 years old back then and from there the dominoes started to fall because I started playing with better players and climbing the ladder always joining better teams. For the past two years, you’ve immediately risen to the top of the Halo scene with four 1st place finishes and a single second place to create quite an impressive record. Of course, there were three finishes outside the top two. Anyway, how have the past two years of your life been? What’s changed? Did you ever expect to be where you are at the moment? Yes, so I broke into the pro scene in 2016 when the first big team picked me up which was Dignitas. This was a short run with them as we fell short at Gfinity Finals, placing 2nd. Then we had a really disappointment finish at EMEAS, the World Championships qualifiers. We were the favorite to win it, to qualify for the 2.5 million dollar tournament but got knocked out in the group stage which to this day is the biggest upset EU Halo has ever had. After that,  I won everything Europe had to offer and it's been more than a year now with my team that we've remained undefeated in EU. My life has changed a lot since then, I couldn't be more lucky with the position I currently fill in. It has always been my dream since a kid and being able to make a living like this is exactly a dream coming true for me. The lifestyle of a professional gamer is unlike any other job. Do you agree with this statement? Share your daily routine on a normal day. How do you prepare yourself for competition online and offline? What’s it like to compete on the largest stages in the world? I think that being a professional esport gamer is like every other job. Usually, my daily routine starts by going to the gym before I start playing, then when I get back home I start warming up and at around 6pm is when we usualy start scrimming and practicing against other top teams. Competing on large stages dosen't get to me anymore - I keep myself focused on winning. At the start I used to get very excited but now I only focus on winning the match and don't really pay attention to the stage or crowd; but watching it back from twitch after every tournament I can't belive that I manage to do this as my full time job. In shocking contrast to these huge tournaments and events is Malta, in terms of Halo of course. How has the lack of a local esports scene affected you? What do you think is necessary for Halo to rise in prominence locally? How did you go international? It hasn't really affected me to be honest. My main goal was always to play with British or European players because that's where you are going to find the best players in the game and learn from them. That's why I put my name internationally instead of locally -  going to English events and making them recognize me as a talented player.   Now let’s take a look into the future? What’s next for “Mose”? What are your main goals for 2018, improving on 2017, and how will you achieve them? This year, 2018, I'm gonna keep doing what I've been doing but I will start streaming again once I get my webcam consistently working and I'll be working towards winning an international event! Only one more question remains. For all the keen Maltese enthusiasts; what is your advice for starting out as a professional player? What does it take? What mentality and what sacrifices did you have to stick to? If you want to pursue this as a career. my advice is to just play a lot to be one of the best in the world and sacrifice time instead of going out with friends, but most importantly use that time wisely. Don't build an ego and always try to improve daily as a player! And last but not least you have to go to international events and always try playing with people better then you so you can have the opportunity to learn from them. The interview did take a while to complete; such is the dedicated life of a professional gamer which Luciano Calvanico is fully embracing. He puts in a tonne of work and it pays off incredibly as he is now on of the top Halo players in Europe. Right now, he's got the world in his hands and he's targetting all of it for 2018 - yet, he remains humble and levelheaded like a true professional. couldn't be more proud and supportive of his ambitions and goals for his career, and we'll always be here to help if necessary.  Good luck Luciano and to any Maltese gamers still making their way into their respective scenes!

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