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Interview with Maltese Dota 2 Player

The following is an interview carried out between a Gamers.com.mt representative and Alex Botvinov, a member of Project Eversio’s newly established Dota 2 squad. Good morning, could you introduce yourself to the readers at home about who you are competitively and maybe personally? Hey everyone. My name is Alexander, I am 16 years old and I am a professional Dota 2 esports player currently playing for a newly established team “Project Eversio” on Mid lane. I come from Moscow, all the way from Russia and have been living in Malta for more than 7 years. I have been playing Dota 2 since 2011 and do not plan on stopping. So, you’re 16 years old; a very young age to compete and the youngest on the team. Do you think age is an advantage or a disadvantage in esports? Why? It is kind of both at the same time. Usually young players are not familiar with the esports arena and cannot show their full potential when performing in front of the crowd and your fans. However, young players are the new generation that play differently from others and constantly surprise the crowd with something unseen. Being so young, I would guess that you are still studying. If you are, do you think that your competitive career will affect you academically after the summer? When the time comes, which would you prioritise; studies or Dota 2? Studying is definitely one of the most important stages in my life and in some way I would prioritise it because if you fail with your esports career, you will not have a backup for another career. Right now, I finished with my exams and I’m planning to work hard with the team to achieve the best results possible being the first Maltese Dota 2 team. How did your team of five players first meet and when did you decide to start playing together? I knew Danill “Yaster” Prorok since I was young. We were good friends at school and that is when we started playing together. It was just simple Ranked match making. We were playing the same roles that we play now. Danill and I were talking too much about Esports and how we can have our own team. But all those thoughts went down to a simple fact that we do not have players and the right attitude fot competing against others. Danill finished school and went to the university. I hadn’t seen him for a while but we still talked to each other on Facebook. Time passed and in March 2017 I saw a message from Danill saying that it was time to have a team and compete. We found other players that we needed and with the help of our friends who was also interested in this project, we found a sponsor and ended up in a good team full of enthusiastic players. Did you ever think you’d make it to where you are now? To be honest - no. I never thought that a simple game would take me to this level. However, there are still a lot of things that you have to achieve before calling our team a success. On your team, it’s evident that there is a balance between Maltese-speaking and Russian-speaking Maltese players; does this affect the communication or anything else in particular on the team? Not at all. All players are fluent in English and that is how we communicate. Of course, sometimes we might use a word or two in our native language but it does not affect anyone. Relate about how you play, your role in the team and what makes you a dangerous competitor. I play on the mid lane and have one of the most important roles in the game. I always want to dominate the opponents so therefore I play aggressively and try not to leave a single chance to attack and have an advantage over him. In the early game I am usually a silent player, but when it comes to mid game or late game, I am usually the most hyped player in the team.   How did you join Project Eversio? What was your team’s reaction and how has your life changed since? With the help of my friends, and with a passion to play on stage, I joined this team and my life did not change much. I started spending more time playing Dota with the team. Describe the reaction of friends and family learning your involvement in competitive gaming. When did you realise you were a talented player? My family does not yet know about my involvement in competitive gaming however, I am planning to surprise them soon. I realised that I have a certain talent in Dota and in my role in particular when I saw that I can outplay my opponent easily. And it happened more than once. I can think better and faster than others and that is what I think makes me a dangerous player. Talk to me about the future of Project Eversio’s Dota 2 team. Relate the plan for this summer and your ultimate goals as a team. Our plans are to compete against other amateur teams and play online on basic tournaments to get experience. This summer we will have many boot camps to have a stronger bond in the team and to understand better how each of us play. Is there any player or team that is your inspiration, if any, in the global competitive scene? Since I started playing Dota, I was truly insiped by Danill “Dendi” Ishutin who is playing for “Natus Vincere”. If I wanted to learn how to play a particular hero, I searched for videos on YouTube and observed how he played. That inspired me a lot and still does now. 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 shoe 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. To finish, is there any particular backstory to your choice of name; ‘BaRaCuDa’ and if it wasn’t Project Eversio, what would your team name be? When I was young, my parents bought a fish to eat for dinner. It was a scary fish to me so I asked my mother what’s the name of it. “Baracuda” - my mother answered. I remember that word until now and It just became my nickname in some way. Regarding the name of the team - I am fine with any team name as long as it suits everyone. Thank you for answering our questions with such enthusiasm. On behalf of Gamers.com.mt, I wish you luck for your team’s future representing the island. Thank you and I wish you all the best.

Fnatic CS Coach 'vuggo' to leave

The 3rd of July saw Fnatic announce the departure of ‘vuggo’ from Fnatic to join Fragbite. Viktor Jendeby has always been there for the team, drastically effecting and improving Fnatic’s CS: GO scene over the past 2 years. These words come from the mouth of the organisation.  After being the manager for such a lengthy period for Fnatic, the fourth team to be nurtured under his eye, only kind words of gratitude were exchanged on both sides. "My 2 and a half years in Fnatic has been an amazing time, a journey with a lot of great memories. I am super grateful to have worked with my passion, with people I now consider friends for life. I’m sure the guys will continue to improve as they’ve done for the past months, and I wish them all luck in the future." - Viktor ‘vuggo’ Jendeby The organisation’s announcement ended with a heartfelt statement ; ‘Thank you, vuggo, for everything.’ Coincidentally enough, Gamers.com.mt has an exclusive interview from IEM Katowice 2017. Below is a transcript of the interview along with the Youtube video. ‘Esports Only’ is a gaming media page associated with Gamers.com.mt. Kersten;  Hi this is Kersten from esportsonly.com, we’re here with ‘vuggo’. How is it (the tournament) going so far? Vuggo; How’s it going? Well…we lost the group stage and we’re devastated but obviously we still felt we had a lot of progress going from Vegas to this tournament with only weeks of practice, a big step. And now with more than a month till the potential next event, if we qualify for StarLadder, we will have a lot of time to improve even more and I’m very confident that with time we will become one of the best teams in the world again. Kersten; A lot of people are saying that the new format that ESL used in this event wasn’t adaptive enough for this kind of event. Do you think that was the issue that stopped Fnatic from qualifying through or is there a lot of work to be done with the roster getting back together? Vuggo; I don’t know, I don’t like to find an excuse in the format. I’d say if we ever were to only have one format for all tournaments this definitely wouldn’t be the format but playing one or two tournaments a year with this format is fun. It’s something new, something fresh for both the players as well as the viewers so I think it’s great. But I mean, we were 15-13 up against Astralis, if we would have won that 1 on 3 against Xypn9x we would’ve been through. We went up 13-3 against Immortals; we should have closed that match. We can’t blame anything other than ourselves for not being in the play-offs this tournament. Kersten; We are seeing a lot of surprising teams qualifying through. How do you feel about that? Who do you think is the potential winner this year? Vuggo; I think Faze is a really strong team right now, I’d say that they were the team that felt hardest to play against in our group at least. Other than that, obviously Astralis is a good team but I feel like Faze has the upper hand right now speaking form and everything. Kersten; Thank you a lot for your time. Thank you for the interview. Hope to see you in the future. We hope you enjoyed that interview; expect another one soon with a local Dota 2 player part of Project Eversio’s new team. 

The Malta Gaming Authority Collaborates with the Esports Integrity Coalition

By forming a Memorandum of Understanding with the Esports Integrity Coalition, the Malta Gaming Authority or MGA has successfully defended the future of integrity in esports and esports betting locally. This is a step forward in the Maltese gaming industry. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) describes an agreement between two or more parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. Cooperation between the MGA and ESIC will dissolve any manipulation of esports events ; ESIC’s part of the agreement while the MGA will do its very best to inform ESIC of any dangerously suspicious betting trends or any other form of cheating in the industry. “We are delighted that the Malta Gaming Authority has agreed to work with us in making esports a safer wagering environment. The MGA is a very highly respected regulator of sports betting and it has been a pleasure developing this information sharing mechanism with them. Adding the experience and vital information of our other partners in the information exchange to the Authority’s intelligence database and vice versa will undoubtedly strengthen all our efforts considerably.” – Ian Smith, Integrity Commissioner at ESIC. The announcement was revealed last week on June 26, publically on ESIC’s website and an identical one on MGA’s site. Some words from MGA Chairman Joseph Cuschieri were also included; “I am very pleased that we signed this MoU with ESIC. Keeping abuse and crime out of sports betting is high on our agenda and the MGA will always be at the forefront to collaborate in such matters both locally and internationally”. This deal will definitely strengthen local esports with a comfortable sense of sustainiablity and a lack of dishonesty.

Ozone Neon 3K Optical Gaming Mouse Review

There are plenty of cheap gaming mice out there, which colourfully boast ‘amazing ergonomics’ and ‘extreme precision’. A trained eye in the world of PC gaming would now to avoid most of these products. Yet, Ozone tests the water, carefully creating the Neon 3K Optical Gaming Mouse to stand out. But does it? Look through this review to discover the answer. The mouse is housed in a stiff box, cleverly designed so one views the product like a glorious ring in a case. Picked up for the very first time, one can tell that this is a lightweight mouse weighing a mere 110 grams not including the cable. Also in the box, hidden behind a wall of thin cardboard is a quick guide with an Ozone sticker. Looking back at the mouse, a symmetrical look establishes an ambidextrous style splitting apart equally four side buttons for each thumb. Above the line splitting the primary buttons is the DPI toggle and the grooved scroll wheel. Ozone does attempt to prop up some finger grooves at the front edge but, quite frankly, it’s not too noticeable. At the subtly curved palm rest lays an Ozone logo, which will light up to uphold the neon name. A short glance at the bottom reveals two large glide pads at both ends with the sensor roughly in the middle. Stemming off from the product, measuring 125 x 65 x 36.8 mm, is a 1.8m braided cable finished off by a gold plated connection. How will the simple yet stylish mouse fare when connection is settled? As your hand creeps over the mouse, pleasant textures befriend the sense of touch and elevate the experience. The top surface is a soft touch rubber finished in matte black, a luxurious material which does invite oils in the long run. Below, split by a little line, is a grippy brushed plastic which ensures that a tight grasp is ensued. Scrolling through webpages is facilitated by the scroll wheel, sporting a reliable resistance and a solid programmable click if needed. The DPI toggle is pre- set with 750/1500 dpi but more on that later. Main buttons have a perfect travel and made by Omron, meaning a great life expectancy. Side buttons are also very responsive with a beautiful tactile feel; however, it’s necessary to state that the side buttons opposite to one’s thumb will be hard to reach with speed. Personally, I left them to the volume adjustment function. Being of moderate proportion, medium sized hands will feel at home exercising any of the three positions; claw, palm or fingertips. Ergonomics are super. Throwing the fixed weight across a mouse mat is met with intense accuracy. Ozone keenly states that ‘accuracy’s back again’ with the optical sensor; I fail to disagree. The PixArt PMW-3320 sensor is a popular choice which reaches up to 3000 dpi, thus the ‘3K’ naming. Polling rate sits in a pool with 125 Hz at one end and 1000Hz at the other. Recognise the intervals I am mentioning, since the software will grant this customisation. Returning to the sensor, it’s practically Ozone’s way of telling everyone that optical sensors are here to stay, giving a little extra height accuracy and a red colour. Lifting the mouse slightly will display the red Ozone logo onto any surface, which is a nice touch. Now we may plunge into the software, downloadable through Ozone’s official webpage and compatible with all Windows. It’s straightforward and everything is visible in one look. Through this software, one may modify DPI for both settings, response rate and polling rate The last two are proportional to one another and not initially at best values for gamers. Adjusting DPI is not as accurate as it could be, however, with it only being possible to change in increments of 250 dpi. So if one plays at, for example, 1900dpi, this exact number is not possible. Macros also find themselves in the software, slightly difficult to master but I got the hang of it soon enough. When you’re done carefully toying with numbers, go on and play with the lighting effects available. The Ozone logo and DPI toggle are victims to your colourful choices, from the 6 colours given. Effects are, honestly, rather boring with heartbeat, blink and breathe practically carrying identical actions and the common static. A small transition effect between the limited colours wouldn’t have been too hard to create, but it isn’t offered. Colours are bright and saturated, verifying the name. Obviously, there is the option to disable all lighting for those who fancy. 5 profiles grant plenty of space for different settings and customisation, all of which is saved onto the 128kb of internal memory inside the mouse. Though colour effects may seem underwhelming, a simple person will appreciate the unexciting effects and be grateful for the intense potential for change in the performance. Any colours are covered by the hand anyway. By now you’re probably thinking that it’s a pretty decent mouse, but it’s about to get even better due to its shockingly low €30 price. Read that part a few times to let it settle in. Outstanding high-grade materials, deadly precision, much customisation, delightful ergonomics, a handsome design and programmable buttons for €30. The Ozone Neon 3K is an exceptional mouse which will definitely cure the anxiety of budget gamers, fearful of wasting any money and determined to trade every penny for the best performance possible. Who it’s for; Budget gamers who need best performance People who don’t care too much for full RGB People looking to save money Serious gamers who need precision and buttons Casual users who may need the gaming specs at times Those who won’t mind ambidextrous design and fixed weight Who it’s not for; Those with a much higher budget RGB enthusiasts Those who much prefer right handed mice MOBA players who need more programmable buttons Those who need to adjust weight of mouse Those who would rather not use optical sensor Get yours now from The Gamers Lounge ; http://shop.gamers.com.mt/product/310/ozone-neon-3k-gaming-mouse

StarCraft: Remastered Release Details

On the evening of June 30th, Blizzard released some juicy details about Starcraft: Remastered; a lovely way to end the month.  Get ready to play the game you loved in modern graphics accompanied with a few other new additions. Sitting at an affordable price of $14.99, the title will be readily available for Windows and Mac as of August 14th. Obviously, the remaster carefully conserves all the original gameplay and aesthetics. Graphics are the main upgrade, granting widescreen support and up to a whopping 4k resolution. The package also allows gamers to easily switch between original and modern versions, while conjoining the community by creating cross –play between those using oboth renditions of the game.   Apart from the graphics, the matchmaking, leaderboards, player profiles, cloud saving, hot keys and replays are other features which are either improvements or completely new to the game. Blizzard’s CEO is extremely confident in the title and an exciting statement portrays this; "Nearly 20 years ago, StarCraft welcomed millions of gamers to an epic sci-fi universe - and also helped form the foundation for esports as we know it today. Passionate gamers around the world are still playing Brood War, both with friends and competitively, so we're modernizing the technology behind StarCraft so that they can continue to enjoy the game for many years to come.” If you’re already settled on purchasing it, now decide if pre-ordering is the way to go. Pre-order bonuses include three building skins for the game being Char Hive, Korhal Command Center and Aiur Nexus. Bonuses will even go to StarCraft 2, such as a co-op commander and three portraits of StarCraft: Remastered. For avid StarCraft fans it really isn’t a choice.

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