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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. Gamers.com.mt 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. Gamers.com.mt 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. Gamers.com.mt 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!

PUBG BattlEye Banning over 1.5 Million Accounts

PUBG has just broken its ownr record which it set a while back regarding the most concurrent players on Steam, as the numbers flew over three million this week as we head into 2018. Without a doubt, we can say that PUBG was the most popular game of 2017, even against tough competition such as Fortnite, the community kept growing and growing. With this incredible growth of players, came the growth of hackers quite naturally. Luckily, the anit-cheat software BattlEye has been working over time; cleansing the servers as well as possible.  The last update, back in mid-November announced 700,000 accounts banned, as the December update shows 1.5 million at the moment. In a little over a month, alleged hacker expansion has increased approximately by double. PUBG Corp and BattlEye are easily tracking the most blatant hacks while hunting down the more slippery fish. Hackers are a definite way of reducing the lifespan of the beloved title, and we're sure that PUBG won't let that happen.  Alongside the difficult work of hunting hackers, PUBG Corp is also trying to address the "rubberbanding" issue, or the lag which many players experience at the beginning of certain matches. Here's what they had to say:  "Resolving the intermittent lag and character position readjustment issues are still one of our top priorities, and we are continuing to work on analyzing and fixing any remaining issues every day. After today’s update, we will be running some internal tests and deploying more updates to gradually mitigate the problem. We are currently examining several measures including server optimization and server logic modification to address the multitude of causes. On top of this, we will continue our efforts to further investigate remaining causes." As we've just entered official release, one can expect the patches and updates to be more efficient and quick to answer the cries of the community. 2018 is going to be a huge year for PUBG and Gamers.com.mt can't wait to get more involved!

COD:WWII Roster Changes Heading Into 2018 - For the Better?

Ever since the CWL Dallas Open in December, COD:WWII has seen a tremendous amount of roster changes and switches which have really changed the scene. What should we expect for CWL New Orleans this January? We've rounded up all the newest updates so that you may start your 2018 on an educated note, a good note. Starting with eRa Eternity, the North American eSports organisation had an underwhelming performance at the CWL Dallas Open, losing out in the Open Bracket at quite an early stage. Having a roster of veterans, hopes were respectably high and many were surprised by the outcome.The first change saw the release of Colt "Havok" McLendon into free agency closely followed by the welcoming of "PRPLXD", a rather quiet name who's still looking to impress since his poor start in Advance Warfare, joining from CLG who finished top 48 in the past event. This wasn’t the only change to the roster. Jordan “Proofy” Cannon, a well-known player among the community, was suddenly dropped from the roster and replaced instantly. The player has been struggling with his untimely decision to rejoin the competitive scene, having already left Next Threat earlier on. Embry “Bevils” Bevil joined the team to swap him. Speaking of Next Threat; we should indeed use the past tense. Yes, the roster no longer exists as a team following a series of events. Doug “Censor” Martin came out of retirement for Call of Duty: WWII and announced the revival of Next Threat at the end of October just in time for Halloween. Performance hasn’t been bad at all, finishing in the top 16 at CWL Dallas and arriving 4th at the Northern Arena Showdown later. Still, Richard “Ricky” set his mind on leaving as he joined teammates “Blazt”, “Fero” and “Decemate” as they wait to represent an organization. Setting off a form of domino effect, “Methodz” and “Nagafan” left to leave “Censor” alone. Announcing in a Youtube video, the team remains inactive for now but is still keen for future competition. Another leader of a team is “Parasite”, that of Ground Zero, who avidly made some changes following CWL Dallas. Top 12 seems too low for him, which is why he’s decided to drop the Search and Destroy specialists in “Blazt” and “Fero”, who were swept up as we mentioned above, alongside “Ricky”. Until now, Ground Zero is a team of two men, as “StuDyy” remains on the team. Our penultimate piece of news turns our head towards Rise Nation and Echo Fox. This all circulates around the potential movement of Ulysses “Aqua” Silva; as his contract with the reds will end as the 2018 begins. Echo Fox plans to sign him exactly as he becomes free, so that he may join “Faccento”, “Saints”, “Assault” and “Gunless”. Having one of the highest k/d ratios at CWL Dallas, that of 1.27, his slaying capabilities will be welcomed on the side of Echo Fox to potential create an even better team. Heading into New Orleans on the 10th of January, there are a lot of changes to look out for. Apart from these roster changes and the reign of tk, if it will be contested alongside the recent patches which have drastically increased the viability of the submachine guns. Expect more visceral action as players will be closing down ranges. Turning back to tk, Splyce and Optic are the other podium potentials. Optic Gaming look to improve their gameplay with the signing of a coach in the form of Tyler “TeePee” Polchow, a former Optic Gaming player. “Basically, things with MLG didn’t work out on the commentating/analyst side of things. I feel like I can bring something to the team that they never really had before—that neutral voice and level-headed guy that’ll help them improve on certain game types when they do have those heated disputes.” Correspondingly, he will no longer be working as an analyst or a commentator for the CWL. Could the player’s experience as an analyst grant Optic the tactical edge? We’re excited to see how it all goes down in January. What do you think of all these changes? The international COD:WWII scene looks explosive, nd 2018 will hopefully also see the local scene’s growth into the new title.

COD: WWII - Relighting the Local Embers

Call of Duty is one of the most beloved esport in the local Malta and it has been for quite a while following article statistics, community response and our experience over the years. Starting all the way back in the peak of COD2 and progressing a little into COD4, the community fostered superb rivalries and intense face-offs which were simply monumental at the time. Yet, the age of modern and historic shooters went to bed as jetpacks inevitably worn, and with that, polarising the international community effectively. Not surprisingly, it wasn't the local community's cup of tea and the scene withered slowly through Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare. Yet, with COD: WWII enjoying its lifecycle, a new era of Call of Duty awaits and we're sure that now is the time for the comeback of Maltese Call of Duty to return to its former glory.  First off, we need to look at the past three years and see what went wrong. Personally, as a gamer I had no problems integrating with the new mechanics, but a community is far from individual. Advanced Warfare was such a huge change of pace that even the international side of things was shocked; from the medium paced Ghosts to a vertical and intense experience full of visceral dashing and jumpshots. Black Ops 3 toned things down a notch when it came to movement and added wall running instead. This title was better received locally and throughout the world as many selectively Treyarch fans emerged. So much so, that we included the title in last year's Malta eSports Festival and it succeeded. However, with the dawn of Infinite Warfare came an enormous, emotional, global cry for boots on the ground as the title was the worst received game in the franchise ever. With that being said, it still managed to outsell Battlefield 1 in terms of copies.  With these modern games failing with the community in Malta, we decided to be quite bold this year, unsure of a positive outcome by including the 12 year old game of COD 2.  A risky play which probably lead to some of our favourite moments of the year. Many of our staff at Gamers.com.mt has been, in some way or another, affiliated with the Call of Duty scene before in the locality and including the game was a demonstration of nostalgia and sentiment. Sparks flew as rivalires were forged and vendettas bloomed just like the old days as we included them in two of our largest events of the year. Namely, the Malta Cyber Series #3 and the Malta eSports Festival 2017. The most prolific local organisations and historical names enthusiastically took part, such as Paradigm6 and Ephica, to protect and cement their legacy in a time of new contenders. The competition has been a fresh source of speculation and indecision within the community which we're enjoying. Atmospheres were a vibrant relaxed and viscious competition antithesis.  Yet, time is passing and will continue to pass. Personally, as a writter and local esport journalist, we need to actuate the potential that COD: WWII brings with it. We need to harness the rivalries which we managed to irritate this past year in COD 2 and update it on the new iteration of classic Call of Duty. This year's Malta eSports Festival 2017 included both titles, which although stirred the community very well; it also divided it between the two games. Adapting to the new title will greatly increase local participation and recruitment as youngsters may be confident in playing games of the current generation. COD2 doesn't have a future, fullstop. Yes, we have previewed games such as Battalion 1944, but it doesn't really have the same ring to it.  The mentioned update needs to occur as soon as possible. As of right now, only one local esports organisation harbours a roster specifically for COD:WWII, being that of Project Eversio, who we'll be interviewing soon. The roster successfully won the MESF 2017 without much struggle. If the community and other organisations don't move on, Project Eversio will have to resort to solely online and international competition. Moving on to individuals, our very own Reuben "Randu" Grech who has been determined in the past three years even though the local community has been failing as he progressed through the modern titles. Strengthening the local love will help support aspiring professionals such as Reuben.  2018 will hopefully bring about this cohesion and coordination which we need to restore the Call of Duty scene. Unlike speculations of the Dota 2 scene which you may view here, Malta has everything it needs to succeed in CoD, we just need to work together and move forward as a community in the same direction. It's time to catch up with the rest of the world. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below! 

DOTA 2 eSports in Malta - Still Waiting

July 9th 2013; the official Steam release date of Dota 2. We all know what happened then. In absolutely no time at all, the gripping MOBA received an incredible amount of support from the community who were simply loving it. Just like that, Dota 2 has probabbly become the world's largest esport, with its 'The International' tournament franchise smashing competitive gaming records year after year. Why is it that Malta remains indifferent to the popularity, still waiting after five years? Gamers.com.mt, founded in 2012, as an eager and young esports organisation, felt the roaring international enthusiasm hands on just a year later for Dota 2. Yet, after five years of waiting for a spark in the community, we are yet to organise an event which includes the MOBA. Yes, you may feel free to point the finger following the "why don't you include it and see what happens first?" argument, but one needs to understand the irresponsibility of investing in a space, a prize pool, a venue and so many other aspects of an event without full assurance of people showing up. That's why we haven't included yet; it remains quite risky. The question we need to be asking is why hasn't Dota 2 received any friction in the local scene. Well, a while back we asked a similar question to a former Project Eversio Dota 2 player, Alex "BaRaCuDa" Botvinov. Here's what he had to say: In your opinion, why does Malta lack a competitive Dota 2 scene and how has this lack of local competition affected your competitive career until now? There is a certain lack of attitude and commitment in Malta. We are not able to show anything on LAN tournaments here simply because there are none. We can only play online and that is what we are doing at the moment. Alex is extremely correct and we couldn't agree more. Youngsters like him who are indeed enjoying the game and putting in the hours with the dream of competing are only disappointed by the state of the local scene. Catch the rest of the interview here to learn more about the teenager: http://www.gamers.com.mt/news/318/interview-with-maltese-dota-2-player. As mentioned earlier, esports organisations such as Project Eversio do have a Dota 2 squad. With this being one of the only professional squads on the island, the team is forced to rely on online competition which simply isn't the same thing; trust us. More teams, not necessarily from esports organisations, just a string of friends determined to win is what the scene needs. Let's take a second to look at League of Legends, another competitive phenomenon on a global level which has taken the world by storm. Unlike Dota 2, the game has a great amount of traction on Maltese soil. We've included LoL in 13 events, nearly every single one since we began in 2012! Since day one, we could feel the enthusiasm of the local community which is why we pushed forward and haven't looked back since - the esport usually having the highest prize pool out of the other tournaments at our events. The following are what needs to occur for Gamers.com.mt to feature Dota 2 in an upcoming event, all of which are extremely achievable goals: - An increased community support which is asking profusely for an event - Local rivalries and competition to spark - More teams, professional and casual, need to form with the intention of playing together and competing - More Maltese players need to play Dota 2 individually and be willing to form teams Such changes are not expected to occur overnight, that would be impossible. Yet, perhaps for 2018, if we begin to see a local decision to take Dota 2 seriously, then you can count on us to ensure that the game will be hosted at our very own events for the whole island to enjoy. Maybe this could be Malta's New Year Resolution; to play more Dota 2 competitively.

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!

Project Eversio Interview - A Year in Review Part 2

We'll be continuing from where we left off in the previous part of the interview which you may view here: http://www.gamers.com.mt/news/668/project-eversio-interview-a-year-in-review-part-1. Be sure to read up on the earlier part before delving into this one.  Having spent such time in the local scene, what are your comments regarding how Maltese esports has evolved over the years? What’s holding the industry back and which changes needed to take place? Also mention the best part of competing locally. Although the local esports scene experienced a slump some years back, it has now bounced back very nicely. The level of production, and streaming for events is unprecedented. The obvious drawback is the limited pool of players, which also obviously means that there aren't many players who dedicate time and effort into esports. We also have a problem that aspiring locals see competing in international tournaments as this massive barrier, and would rather remain in the safe confines of the local scene. We've seen a number of locals doing really well...Steve 'toxic' Micallef in Enemy Territory, Luciano 'Mose' Calvanico in Halo doing very well and I hope more can replicate their success. I think that for esports talent to further develop in Malta, we need to have a more steady stream of competitive events. Not one-off events, but continuity. Secondly, we need to improve the perception of esports locally. In order to get businesses interested in esports, we need facts, figures, and studies backing up our passion for the industry. That way, we can show real value of the market, and the demographic. Players could start looking to compete regionally (as opposed to internationally) to establish presence. Tournaments in Italy are not too hard to access, and organisers such as Gamers.com.mt could try and establish partnerships with event organisers such as ESL Italia and others. This would help increase the playerpool and market. Esports competitions organisers could also look into partnering up with organisers of 'world cup' type events, such as the ESWC, IeSF or the WESG, in order to have Maltese representation and participation. I also believe that more can be done to increase the local profile of esports as a broadcasted entertainment product.  It's not just the organisation of events, but also the coverage surrounding those events. Streams, commentators, live coverage and more. Players also need to understand their own value. A player is a brand, and if players want a career in esports, they need to treat themselves as such. The persona they project determines whether anyone will feel compelled to follow them, or not. Streaming and a social media presence are only the basics, yet you don't see many local players doing that effort. Finally, we need to be (much) more open to the variety of games played at an international level. In contrast the aforementioned local competition, what is Project Everio’s appearance in the bigger picture, as in, internationally? Which international events are you eyeing for 2018 and what directions do you look to take. We constantly push our teams and players to compete in online cups with international teams, ideally on a weekly basis. Competing on an international scale has always been our ethos, and we're seeing many of our teams and players attempting just that. Attending international events abroad remains our goal. The challenge is having the resources, and in the players' case, the will and motivation to do so. At this stage, we're focusing on upskilling and nurturing the teams and players we currently host by participating in as many online tournaments as possible, for them to reach the higher echelons of their respective competitive scene. Again, I’d like to point out the huge expansion which has taken place over just 12 months – what are your plans for 2018 and what does the future of Project Eversio hold? Any specific aims? We have big plans going forward, and a significant part of that effort is formalising the organisation into a proper legal entity, and becoming financially sustainable in order to afford our players with the best possible resources for them to reach their goals and aspirations. We always keep an eye out for additional talent, particularly in game titles in which we do not have a presence. League of Legends, Overwatch, FIFA, Hearthstone and the upcoming Battalion 1944 remain on our radar, but we don't want to overstep for then not to have sufficient resources to manage the organisation as well as we'd like. We already have a staggering 23 players playing under the Eversio flag, and keeping in touch with everyone is not an easy challenge, especially when all of the management team lead very busy lives outside of the organisation. In 2018, we hope to be well represented in all local esports events, and hopefully start becoming more impactful internationally. We’ve arrived at the final question. With mere beginnings a decade ago, it’s safe to say that you are aware of the difficulties that arise when starting out as an esports organization. For all those entrepeneurs out there; what are your top tips for establishing an organization in this modern day and age?  First of all, you need to be very clear with what you intend to achieve before starting out with a new project. If your primary motivation is profit, an esports organisation is probably not the business you should be looking at. Even the very large international brands often struggle to be profitable, and many nowadays are able to invest large sums of money because of a significant dependency on venture capital. An esport organisation's value lies in its branding, and in its reach. In assessing that, you are able to come to a fair conclusion of the value your organisation is able to offer. How many people are seeing your brand, and how much do they care? Don't promise anything you're not able to deliver upon. Promising too much to a sponsor, and then failing to deliver will likely not only drive your reputation through the mud, but also the reputation of the rest of the esports scene. You also need to be fully honest with your players with what you can provide. Manage expectations. Players also need to be educated about their value. If a 16-year old thinks he deserves to have full LAN support after placing top 3 in a local event, you need to step up and inform him about the economics of esports: that a player's (and a team's) value is derived not from winning, but from how many people noticed and cared about you winning. Esports is an entertainment industry, and just like traditional sports, funding flows when other businesses believe that your brand will give them sufficient exposure to market and eventually sell their products. If I had to summarise the above into a number of key 'takeaways', it would be knowledge of where value lies, branding, consistency, presence, and ability to communicate. Thank you for your participation and good luck for the future. Gamers.com.mt would like to thank you for the past 10 years of support which you’ve given to local talent, guiding them in their passion and granting them a pathway to do something more. Thank you for this opportunity! It's quite a long read, but I hope those who are passionate about our industry can find value in it. We're very proud of what we've managed to achieve, and we're also very proud and grateful towards the players who represent our brand. We like to see ourselves as an open family of passionate people. If you have ideas, you're passionate about the industry and you'd like to contribute to Project Eversio, we're very happy to have you on board. Ultimately, my wish is to have aspiring esports players and enthusiasts alike see Project Eversio as a reference point for the local scene, and beyond. Conversing with Project Eversio and creating this interview has been a blast of cooperation and extraordinary enthusiasm. Gamers.com.mt sincerely wishes Project Eversio a Happy New 2018 filled with even more accomplishments then one hell of a 2017 which we congratulate them on. We look forward to covering their progress over the next twelve months and bringing forward more great content together!

Project Eversio Interview - A Year in Review Part 1

Project Eversio; one of the top local esports organisations which has taken its risks and boldly progressed, taking 2017 as a year of change. Also one of the oldest organisations on the island, dating back to 2017, Gamers.com.mt has been meaning to reach out to them to fr a while now, providing the community with insight regarding how Project Eversio have been doing. We're happy to announce that we've done exactly that with this interview, answered by the core of the organisation. Being extremely enthusiastic to answer the questions, they really went into a fantastic amount of depth. Unfortunately, this does lead to a lengthy amount of words, which would result in quite a long read; which is why we've divided the coverage into two parts. Below are the first set of questions, highlighting the past and the present especially.  2007, a bunch of students and a love for Call of Duty 2. Give us an insight to the founding of Project Eversio and everything leading up to it. Highlight the main reason why you decided to start out and if you could, why ‘Project Eversio’? Project Eversio was founded by Neville 'Nev' Zammit and myself, Michele 'Mikk' Magro. We were two sixth-formers who both had already quite a long history in the local competitive scene. Back then, the local scene was already dominated by big names such as Team eXosphere, ephica, Xtreme Corpz, SAS Gaming and Team KM@. For quite a while, Neville and myself also formed part of Malta's biggest, oldest and most storied multi-gaming clan: MEPA (Malta Elite Patriotic Army), but as the original founders of the latter organisation went inactive, we increasingly wanted to start off our own multi-gaming project, and chase our vision for a highly competitive esports organisation, with a professional demeanour and strong branding. After leaving MEPA, we actually started off a Call of Duty 2 team under a different name: elemeNt, but after a number of months, we opted to create an organisation which moved away from the traditional Maltese concept of focusing just on one game. We wanted to give other games, especially games that were also popular locally and abroad, the same limelight. Hence, when we founded the organisation back in 2007, we had squads for Call of Duty 2, Enemy Territory, FIFA and FEAR Combat. As for the name, we wanted something innovative, and memorable. Back in 2007, most esport organisations went by three letter abbreviations, followed by 'eSports' or 'Gaming'. We settled on finding something in Latin, to follow on the footsteps of the international greats such as Team Dignitas, and one of our Enemy Territory team members, Carl 'st4tic' Brincat, came up with 'Eversio', which means 'destruction'. The 'Project' prefix was added in order to be innovative and different to other organisations. We were very happy with the end result, as 'Project Eversio' signified our attempt at changing up the status quo in the local gaming scene, by destroying all our competition, and take the reigns away from the teams that dominated the local scene for so long. Together with the original founders, the management team now also includes our former CoD4 team captain, Matthew 'Metju' Barbara, gaming veteran Daniel 'Deathrow' Gatt, and more recently, Samuel Grech as an overall advisor, and Frank Sciberras as a graphic designer. Since then you’re now fielding teams in six different scenes, namely PUBG, CS:GO, Dota 2, Rocket League, Starcraft II and COD:WWII - describe the growth process which has taken place over these 10 years. Did you ever expect things to settle the way they have? To be honest, Project Eversio's momentum changed a lot over the past decade. We were very active between 2007 and 2010. We fielded teams for a large number of games including our flagship division of Call of Duty 4, but also FIFA, Trackmania, Command & Conquer 3 and others; we dominated the local CoD4 scene with 10 local LAN victories, we attended an international event in Denmark at the very peak of the CoD franchise's competitive pedigree and popularity on PC, and clashed against the best teams in the world on a daily basis. We were invited into the top European leagues in CoD4, such as the EuroCup, on the strength of us easily being a top 30 CoD4 team in Europe (and top 5 on Clanbase). Between 2010 and 2012 however, the local scene took a turn for the worse, as no events were organised, and our activity reflected that slump. At that point, the original founders were not really involved, and Chris 'Habs' Haber managed to keep the brand going with a StarCraft II and a League of Legends division, the latter of which would go on to become Malta's highest flying LoL team. Our activity was quite sporadic in the subsequent years, and our original CoD4 team switched to CS:GO, and they were very successful in the local scene, up until 2014, when the organisation went dormant. We found renewed impetus in 2016, thanks to Overwatch, and we've been going at it strongly since then. It was actually a very big challenge for us to 're-invent' ourselves after our highly successful CoD4/CS:GO players stopped playing, so we're very happy we've been able to get to this stage after a year. The management team has grown significantly, in terms of size, abilities, and I would also say 'wisdom'. Our merry fellowship includes a lawyer, a programmer, a business analyst, a personnel management expert, a projects manager and a graphic designer, so we're geared up to do this professionally. In terms of players and teams, we're extremely selective about who we choose to represent us. Players ultimately are the face of the brand, and we want to make sure that our players represent the organisation's ethos: champion material, maturity, and professionalism. We're very proud of the team we've managed to build in 2017. This year has been bursting with the branching to five new scenes, not to repeat them again, and an incredible amount of success in each sector. Share your feelings about this year, 2017, for Project Eversio. What were your best moments? Which were your worst? What goals did you set for this year and did you satisfy them? One of the best moments of 2017 was definitely our Dota 2 team winning the Quickfire Nova Series #1. Unlike some of our other teams, our Dota 2 team was not 'tried and tested' before we asked them to join our organisation. It was very much a group of passionate and ambitious people, and going into the first local LAN event for Dota 2 in years meant that no one knew what was going to happen. It was the first LAN event for most of the players (let alone competing on a stage in front of a crowd), and we organised a bootcamp in preparation and everything. They lost their group stage match against the eventual finalists, so going into the Grand Finals, they were the underdogs, but they came back with a phenomenal performance to win. The emotion of seeing a group of players so passionate about their game winning their first event: the joy, the pride, the relief...was electrifying. It was also the first time Project Eversio won a LAN event since 2014, and the first time a team other than our CoD4/CS:GO stars won a LAN event since 2012. It honestly was an amazing feeling. I think the worst moment was seeing the local Overwatch scene crumble. Firstly, notwithstanding what Blizzard is doing on an esports scale, Overwatch is a superb game, and in my opinion, one of the best competitive video-games ever made. The competition in the local scene was very fierce, even though our team only managed a silver medal and two bronze medals in the events they participated in, we knew they were extremely talented and had the potential to win and go places. After the last local Overwatch event was held, there was so much hype that we decided to help out the scene by having an academy team as well, but for a number of reasons (in my opinion, due to lack of events in Summer), the scene died out very quickly. Even some of our players lost all will to compete in Overwatch, and in a last ditch effort to save the team, we attempted to merge with another local team, to create a form of Maltese 'super team' to compete internationally, however to my immense regret, even that initiative fell through at the last second before the announcement! Our goal this year was to revive the organisation, and I think we exceeded our own expectations in terms of getting the organisation back on its feet, but it did come at a cost. Our focus now is to make the organisation sustainable. We hope you've enjoyed those questions; be sure to checkout part 2 in the upcoming days for a complete perspective of the organisation! Edit, you can now see it here: http://www.gamers.com.mt/news/669/project-eversio-interview-a-year-in-review-part-2

Kurt 'Kurt0411' Fenech Qualifies for FUT Champions Cup Barcelona

With a great smile on our face, we're delighted to announce that our very own Kurt 'Kurt0411' Fenech has officially qualified for the first FUT Champions Cup which is coming up soon. The youngster revealed his success through Twitter, modestly stating that another "goat" apart from Messi is on his way to Barcelona. His confidence is fantastic, but hopefully it won't get the better of him.  Part of the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series, the Road the the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018, the event is bringing the very best competitive professionals from around the globe. The top competitors will be taken to iconic football localities, in this case Barcelona, further merging the virtual and the physical aspects of the sport. A total of 128 players have been invited to this event specifically, with $200,000 of cash prize on the line and the chance to continue to the coveted eWorld Cup later on in 2018, perhaps becoming the FIFA 18 World Champion. All the action will take place between the 26th and 28th of January, so make sure you free up your week to support Kurt0411. Speaking of whom; how good are his chances heading into this event? If you've caught a glimpse of Kurt0411's streams, it's probable that you've gotten slightly bored since he's simply unstoppable. Most recently, his recent invitational stream was extraordinary fun to watch. Kurt0411's sense of pride and determination make him a top contender for the event, he has such a strong love for the game and is an incredible critic of the in-game mechanics. If he continues forward with more practice and focus, Gamers.com.mt is sure that Kurt0411 will find success at the Barcelona event.  Gamers.com.mt wishes Kurt the best of luck, and we hope that you all support him on his journey to the event. After the event, we'll look to contact the player and try gain more insight into what makes him tick and everything about him. Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

CWL Dallas 2017 Recap - Upsets, Surprises and Bomb Threats

The first competitive LAN event of Call of Duty: World War II indeed had a tonne of expectations to satisfy and rumours to dismiss. Leaving the dust to settle for roughly a week, we may now take an overall look on the event, including all the upsets and dissapointments which made CWL Dallas a pleasure to watch. DAY ONE Before we may progress, a certain elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Just thirty minutes into the Friday broadcast, as the thousands of online viewers and the crowd were only just beginning to become excited; the competition was hit with and alleged bomb threat. Reportedly, the phone call came in and security found a mysterious bagpack; the event had to be evacuated. This pulled the schedule back by four hours, dropping series midway and left for Saturday since they were left with no time. Such proceedings led to an incredibly tight schedule for Saturday, as the Open Bracket was still undecided. Harsh rules were implemented to ensure that no further hourse were lost. Thus ended the run of Underworld Esports, lead by the reputable "Killa" due to one of their players not arriving on time. "Fears" confessed that he nodded off later on Twitter. DAY TWO A Call of Duty event had never been susceptible to this activity, and their lack of preparation was indeed evident. Saturday started early, picking up where the first matches left off in many situations. Luckily, groups were concluded and the competition was arriving back on its feet. The teams of FaZe Clan, Next Threat, Team Allegiance and Echo Fox made it through - as expected for the most part, although many awaited SoaR Gaming to make it instead of AG. The greatest effect of an Open Bracket team came in the form of Echo Fox who denied Team EnVyUs the Winners' Bracket and comfortably sat behind Optic Gaming. Other surprises in the Group Stage include FaZe Clan's resilience to finish just shy of eUnited and TK's dominance which would soon prevail on the whole. Like this, players went to sleep with the groups out of the way and the whole braket to complete on Sunday; it would be another long day. DAY THREE The $200,000 event however, would yet again have to face another delay, ANOTHER bomb threat! This took place ahead of the action, so the venue was still saturating. Luckily, the incident only took 30 minutes and there would be no further foolishness. The person responsible for these taunts, Friday and Sunday has indeed been found out after authorities traced back a Twitter account. I do have screenshots which I've decided to not reveal since the situation is already being dealt with. Returning to the action, the first round of bracket play saw Team EnVyUs sending Next Threat home while eUnited kicked LG down to the Losers'. Moving forward, the Semifinals saw some absolute nailbiters on the mainstage. Two game fives dragged on between Optic Gaming and Splyce on one side and TK and eU on the other. I simply cannot describe each map, although they are deserving of a breakdown, as this article would be an immensely long read. After roughly an hour and a half, TK and OG walked away only to face eachother in the finals. Meanwhile, FaZe Clan are having an amazing run in the Losers' Bracket, cleaving through Red Reserve EU, Team EnVyUs and even eUnited. Yet, they are soon stopped in their tracks by Splyce to take fourth place. Nobody expected FaZe Clan to perform as well as they did. Optic Gaming; favourites heading into the event were now at the Winners Final with al their fans behind them who are all expecting a first place finish to shun all the doubters. It all went horribly wrong as they wouldn't be able to win a single map from that point onwards. A sweep by tK and a subsequent cleanup from the hands of Splyce shocked fans; but this is nothing too new. Don't forget that Optic haven't won the first event for the past four years, so Greenwall fans shouldn't be too worried. Thus, the Grand Final was ready to welcome tK and Splyce. tK; the North American organisation with a considerable fan base has struggled to find traction in the scene, with their beginnings rooted in Ghosts finally had a chance to take silverware home. Though the European giants from Splyce would make it no easy task. Quickly, the grand final ensued in epic fashion, rewarding viewers with a tense five game series which gave tK the edge. The crowd erupted, physical and virtual as the #tkallday tags were rampant. Soon after gloriously hoisting the trophy, "Accuracy" was rightly rewarded the MVP. Although sporting an average k/d of 1.09 and creating some hilarious moments due to teamkilling, his pivotal SnD plays, such as the 1v4 which he won against Splyce in the grand final. CONCLUSION Late that Sunday evening, past the bedtimes of most Call of Duty enthusiasts, many of the daunting questions were finally answered. European teams still rely on Splyce for a presence, Next Threat is probably not its namesake, Optic Gaming remain mortal and tK look impressive. We hope you enjoyed following this lengthy breakdown because I certainly enjoyed writing it. Be sure to stay update as we continually educate you on the international and local sides of the Call of Duty scene.

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