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Interview with the Maltese FIFA Star - Kurt "kurt0411" Fenech

Following his incredible performance at the FIFA eWorld Cup where he placed in the Top 4 FIFA players with the potential to be the best, we were simply itching to interview Kurt Fenech for all of you. We covered his performance in a heavily viewed article here, apart from the fact that even national newspapers, such as TimesofMalta, also documented the Maltese professional. As implied, we contacted him for an article interview, and he happily obliged in answering a few questions which you should all enjoy. Let's dig right in.  1.) Hello Kurt, it’s great to have you back from your recent travels. For those who have no idea who you are in general, what should people know about you; Kurt “kurt0411” Fenech? Well, they should know that I’m our best chance of winning something truly special in a representation of our country for esports. Playing FIFA professionally is a bit difficult to explain to the older generation but rest assured this is the future of esports and competition that appeases the younger generation.  2.) We’ll jump straight into the main theme of this interview; the FIFA eWorld Cup. Amazing, you managed to place 4th from the best FIFA players from the whole world. Tell us, what was your experience competing in such a large international event?  To compete against the best players in the world on a global stage such as the O2 arena in London was a truly surreal experience. The production of the whole event was top notch and we were treated like royalty - so it was amazing overall. 3.) What were your goals heading into the event? Were you satisfied with your placement?  My goal heading into the event was to win the whole thing so to come so close to my objective and fail still hurts deeply days later. I’m sure weeks and months from now I’ll come to accept that I had a phenomenal tournament but the pain is still too fresh right now. 4.) Let’s rewind the clock for a second. You’ve just come home from competing in the largest FIFA tournament of the year – what has the journey been like up to this point as a competitive esports player? When and how did it all start for you?  I started playing competitively about 2 years ago; Fifa eSports properly took off last year but unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to compete because Malta wasn’t an eligible country at the time. This year was my first full year as a competitor and I’ve managed to qualify for all the events and go very far into them, so I will use all this experience to head into next year and go that one step further. 5.) Anyone who knows you, is aware of your Twitter page onto which you let your thoughts be known. It’s well established that you’ve got quite the ambition and determination. What is your response to those who say that you’re ‘in over your head’ as I’ve observed in a few comments? Are they correct in deeming you overconfident?  I just speak my mind and stay true to myself as much as I can. Some people love me for it and the others don’t, I really don’t care to be honest what anyone else says. Only I know what I’m capable of.  6.) From your Twitter it’s also quite evident that your unhappy with FIFA 18 and it’s mechanics as a competitive title, which have seemed to affect your potential. How difficult is it to go competitive when a title has so many problems? Could you mention a few? Yeah, this year was a bit harder for me because I don’t really like the game; it's just too slow, too easy to keep the ball and has the infamous “kick off glitch” where you can score/concede very easily straight from kick off. All stuff that in general doesn’t belong in an eSports competitive title. 7.) FIFA 18 is finished as an esport. What are you most excited for in the arrival of FIFA 19 and why?  I’m extremely excited for 19 and the new year. I think EA has learned from their mistakes this year and are ready to push this to the next level and give us the game we all deserve. 8.) Speaking of the future – what are your goals as a player for the coming year of FIFA competition?  It’s to bring a trophy home. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of experience this year and hopefully with a better game I can use all of that to reach that next step. 9.) What are your thoughts regarding the local FIFA scene which you’ve obviously gone beyond? What could be improved? I think in Malta, unfortunately, people care more about the Eurovision and stuff like that. However, I’m sure my experience can now open their eyes further and say yes, this is real, this is the present and this is the future.  10.) What advice do you have to offer for anyone looking to also go professional for FIFA or any esport in general? Gaming, in general, is fun, it brings people together, so play whichever games you enjoy the most and if you believe you can compete with the very best - then go for it. This industry is only going to get bigger and better, with so many more opportunities for everybody to become involved. The true competitor that Kurt is doesn't seem to be too satisfied with his top 4 finish; Gamers.com.mt is certain that with his compassion and talent, that FIFA 19 is going to be great for him with a trophy or two to add to the collection. It seems that the local FIFA scene could use some work according to him, as it isn't keeping up with the international growth it's witnessing - perhaps the community takes this to heart. Overall, we've been meaning to interview Kurt for some time now, and it's been the perfect opportunity as his career is only going to grow from this point on. Well done Kurt and thanks for the interview!

MCS #4 Recap - PUBG Duos and Squads

Following the recap we did for the Malta Cyber Series #4 CS:GO Tournament, which you can view here, we'll be moving on to the two separate PUBG tournaments which were also hosted at the event in the same manner. Following the technical difficulties which we suffered last year, at the first instance which the title was introduced, we relieved to see that it all went smoothly - and not only that but the quality of competition was outstanding as all the competitors really brought it, hungry to be the best in Malta. Unlike the previous event, this time around, the Solo Tournament was swapped with a Duo Tournament and it should be mentioned that Project Eversio did not participate - the former champions in regards to Squads.  To those unaware, the PUBG Tournaments were merged in the following format: 2 Duo BO3 Matches and 4 Squad BO3 Matches. Perhaps it appears complicated, let me try to break it down. A squad of four players is formed to compete in the Squads tournaments, and from these four players, 2 Duos may be formed if the team was up to it in order to compete in the Duos tournaments. Note that the prize pools for Squads and Duos were indeed separate. As portrayed above, each Match was played in First Person Shooter dwindling on a single life over a BO3 layout.  We can happily state that all rules were followed, with no cheating or difficulties - it all went smoothly.  Let's dive into the results then, shall we?  Starting with Duos, we had a total of eight teams participating in the tournament - which means that there was space on the map for more players but nonetheless, the empty spaces only added to the tension built up between the contestants. Due to the concise amount of contestants, the placements were constantly changing and nobody was sure of victory until the final match of the final game was played out. A curious statistic has the highest total kills attained by a Duo across the two games being that of 7, achieved by Dude23 and KILLER517. Below is a table summarizing the totals: Duos Totals Team Name Player A Player B Match 1 Points Match 2 Points Total Points A Pubismannen Twitch_Elkbjern 1015 820 1835 E Kalitri01 ShoweeXx 685 840 1525 D BoByZejtuni ShocKeR 1010 395 1405 C Dude23 KILLER517 635 740 1375 H DioneAkaTorres G1bsoNNN 565 760 1325 F spaner ClintToris 360 795 1155 B Pucink Vault4 740 410 1150 G MinimlCK-MT I_Am_Grooth 310 590 900 Yes, Pubismannen and Twitch_Elkbjern are the champions of the PUBG: Duos Tournament at the Malta Cyber Series #4. Together, the dynamic duo placed first in a total of 3 out of the 6 games played, bagging a total of 14 kills overall. Leading by 300 points, they were just a cut above, while the competition between 2nd and 5th spans between only 20 points - very closely played, with everyone fighting for their respective spot. The same could be said for the Squad Tournament. While the Duos tournament only had 2 Matches played, the Squads Tournament hosted a total of 4 BO3 series - 12 games were played in order to determine an overall winner. With this considerable amount of gameplay, a leader became prevalent as shown through the points, while the others battled profusely to establish the rest of the podium. We keep wondering how it would have turned out had the champions of Project Eversio returned for the event - would they have maintained their reputation or faltered? Anyways, the following table houses all of the points attained over all the games by the 10 teams which participated:  Squads Totals Team Name Match 1 Points Match 2 Points Match 3 Points Match 4 Points  Total Points Dora The Explorer 1130 1085 1410 1115 4740 We Want a Trophy 890 770 695 775 3130 Prodigy 835 770 650 870 3125 Welcome To The South 715 750 670 935 3070 Gamers 655 935 705 735 3030 Evangelisti 815 590 655 490 2550 The Underdogs - 460 - - 460 MCS Random 390 - - - 390 FANI MT 180 - - - 180 On her latest expedition, Dora The Explorer managed to land in first place with a comfortable lead of 1600 points; as they won 7 individual games in dominant fashion. Meanwhile, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th are splitting hairs in terms of points across the 100 point range - it all came down to the final game once more. We're disappointed with the bottom three teams, who weren't dedicated enough to follow through the whole Tournament.  Overall, it was a fantastic tournament, especially when combining both the Duos and Squads together. Gamers.com.mt would like to congratulate the winners of their respective tournament while inviting any other players to join - there was plenty of space on the battlefield for more of you! Perhaps we'll follow this up with an interview, just like the CS:GO recap.  Thanks for reading!

Nathan 'Zelli0n' Bonello of Iconic Cinco - Interview

Following our recap article regarding the MCS#4 CS:GO Gold Tournament, which we strongly recommend reading here, we successfully reached out to the unforetold winners of Iconic Cinco through one of their players, Nathan "Zelli0n" Bonello.  Strong with an electrifying degree of enthusiasm, Nathan contently complied to an interview, which should let us learn more about the structure of Iconic Cinco and insight into their victory while also discovering more about the young gun in "Zelli0n". We hope you enjoy the following interview! 1.) As a new player, we’re sure that many of our readers are anxious to learn about who “Zelli0n” is and what he’s all about. Introduce yourself by describing your personal life, your career in esports and anything else you’d like to mention about yourself. My name is Nathan Bonello, 17 years of age, having just recently finished my A levels. I'm very dedicated when it comes to gaming. It is not only a hobby, but it is also my passion. So far, this past year and a half, I've attended over 5 LAN events, all of which have been a blast. I have met loads of people from these events which made the experience that much more memorable. Luckily, in the latest event I've attended, my team and I managed to earn the 1st place trophy and be titled as champions. I'm also very passionate about video editing, especially when it comes to compiling CS:GO gameplay in my very own fragmovies.  2.) Nathan was a fundamental part of a phenomenal victory which his team, Iconic Cinco, earned at the Malta Cyber Series #4 CS:GO Gold Tournament. When did this aptitude to compete all begin and when did you know that you wanted to take the next step forward through local competition?  As I mentioned earlier, the past 5 LAN events were indeed fun but we never managed to place 1st, as Project Eversio were successfully dominating the local scene. Fortunately, I managed to get in contact with the European players (who are basically semi-professional players) a month before the LAN event, and we started practicing together - which eventually resulted in us winning the MCS#4 LAN.  3.) Iconic Cinco was a name never heard of before the Malta Cyber Series #4. Despite this, the new squad blew the competition out of the water including the defending champions in Project Eversio. How did your squad prepare for the event? What were your thoughts going into the event individually and as a team?  We, as a team, didn't manage to practice a whole lot, mostly because of the Europeans' recent arrival in Malta. They ended up getting piled with lots of work, and we didn't have a lot of time for team practice in general, but we all managed to play individually just before the LAN, and I guess it was enough practice for the victory. My thoughts going into this tournament were shifting constantly. From excitement, to fear of disappointment, and back to excitement. It was a never-ending emotional train. 4.) Nathan finds himself on the roster beside the names of "Nax", "zED", "oxley" and "KilleRa". What would you say is the main reason behind the victory, how did you manage to beat out all the other teams? Also, do you now consider yourselves the best CS:GO team in Malta?  I think our individual skill in the game managed to get us the victory, because as I'll reiterate, we didn't have a lot of time to practice. We also had some minor communication issues which made us lose a couple of rounds which we shouldn't have lost. Even though we have won the most recent local tournament, this doesn't mean that we are 100% the best team in Malta, because in CS:GO, anything can happen. The top teams might underperform and have issues, whereas an underdog team might end up winning lots of series and managing to grab 1st place. CS:GO and esports in general is all about consistency. If you're not able to stay at the top of the top and be the best of the best, new-comers will take your spot and it will be very hard to regain it. 5.) The team, consisting of the mentioned players, is a mix of Maltese and European players. How does this effect in-game communication? Describe the dynamic of the team in and outside of competition.  I'm not gonna lie, I thought having a mixed team would be easier than having a pure Maltese team. It was a big change from always communicating in our native language to only speaking English, in and out of game. As far as in-game communication, we understood each other pretty well, but since the European players are far more experienced than me, this led to some miscommunication. When they called out something which wasn't familiar to me I was really confused and we lost some rounds because of it. Outside of the competition communication wasn't really that bad. We didn't all know each other really well, so usually after finishing a series versus a team, we would go eat at a restaurant and talk about ourselves and the game. 6.) Although they are undoubtedly talented, Iconic Cinco wasn’t completely flawless. What do you think you’re team needs to improve upon ahead of future events in order to continue on this form? What do you think you need to improve upon as an individual?  I think the best thing we can do to improve is to find more time to practice, go out together more often so that we know one another fairly well, and as for me I think I shouldn't give up and feel less disappointed in myself whenever I do a mistake and instead, learn and fix.

MCS #4 Recap - the CS:GO Tournament's Iconic Upset

This morning I thought I'd review a select tournament from the event which just passed, the Malta Cyber Series #4, and discuss its implications for the rest of the year. With so much content to choose from, and a wide variety of titles, I've decided to delve into the CS:GO Gold tournament in an attempt to become more familiar with the local scene. With ten of the most talented Maltese squads placed against each other, the tournament was bound to be a memorable one, but not for the reasons which people may expect.  The teams involved were as follows: Iconic Cinco, REKTANGLE, aNarchyMT, Valid, Unknown, Project Eversio, Euphoria Gaming, Gamers, Adrenaline Gaming and Divine Gaming - an assortment of new teams and familiar names. It was a pleasure to witness so many teams stepping into the fray. Out of the bunch, just from the names themselves, the favourites were REKTANGLE and Project Eversio, with Eversio aiming to take first place. We'll see how that actually turns out; starting with the group stage.  Placed into two groups of 5 teams each; the action quickly escalated as teams found their spot in the seed; with the bottom-placed team being placed in the Silver Tournament and the others placed in the Gold Tournament as expected. Group A's reign jockeyed between the control of Project Eversio and Euphoria Gaming, with PE edging out with a win over their toughest competition to gain them the full 15 points. Divine Gaming placed last in the group and was eliminated, even though they only lost 3 games - we encourage them to practice further and bring it next time around. Meanwhile in Group B, the race for first place was incredibly tight while scraps were left for the bottom two teams. Iconic Cinco, REKTANGLE and aNarchyM were all situated at 12 points by the end of the matches, with Iconic edging to the top thanks to the highest Round Difference. Every round mattered by the end of the group; Iconic was already beginning to surprise. Unknown were eliminated from the group, and again, we recommend some more practice on their behalf even though it was a tough group.  Hence, we can move on to bracket play. Here's what happened:  Right off the bat, the top seeds made short work of the lesser seeds as Eversio, Iconic, REKTANGLE, and aNarchy progressed with almost clean records except for Euphoria almost clawing back in their matchup against aNarchy(16-12 in the final game). In fact, the rest of the tournament would consist of a few sweeps, with a trend being one incredibly close map paired with a dominant performance to quickly end the game. In no time, the top 4 teams were Eversio, Iconic, aNarchy and REKTANGLE.  The semi-final matchup between Eversio and Iconic was absolutely incredible - one map going Iconic's way in a reasonable manner while the first map of Mirage hosted a scoreline of 23-25 in favour of Iconic. After that first map, the guys of Iconic were really stirred up and carried this momentum into winning the second map - Project Eversio tried to claw their way back into the map, but simply couldn't. However, Project Eversio would be back for a rematch in the grand final as they fought through aNarchy and REKTANGLE in quick fashion. In order to win, Eversio would have to win 2 BO5 series back-to-back against the toughest competition they've had in a while.  The first and only series all boiled down to the final map. Iconic clenched map 1, while Eversio responded with a close win on Cache - this pattern repeating until map 5; Nuke. Here, it seems that Iconic had had enough of the boys in blue, as they whipped out the anti and finalised it all with a dominant 16-3 scoreline, leaving Project Eversio demoralised. Perhaps one of the largest upsets of the event, Iconic Cinco are now officially the top local CS:GO team following this victory.  How? Sporting the following roster: "Zelli0n", "Nax", "zED", "oxley" and "KilleRa", the team had a mix of Maltese and European players which are relatively new to the local scene; bringing new talent and ideas. To learn more, we'll be reaching out for an interview regarding their team dynamic and thoughts on the passing event.  Tell us what you think of the recap below!

Kurt Fenech finishes Top 4 at the FIFA eWorld Cup - $20,000 Won!

As you've probably seen on our social media, we've been buzzing with enthusiasm regarding our Maltese friend Kurt Fenech - trouncing the competition at the FIFA eWorld Cup; the largest FIFA event occurring yearly at the end of each season. With a huge prize pool on the line, following a build-up of intense qualifiers, Kurt really brought it for the event and made us proud by finishing in the Top 4. Let's look at his journey.  On the 1st August, 32 Grand Finalists gathered in London - the top 11 Xbox and the top 11 PS4 players from across the world. When placed into Group A, kurt0411 quickly let everyone know what's up as in the 7 games he played, he only lost one game with a goal difference of +25. He easily clenched a top seed and advanced to the top 16, where he took down GoalM, taking it in the second leg.  It got terribly tense in the quarter-finals, as Kurt would face off against Gorilla, last year's tournament victor from the UK. Managing to take it in the first leg, the win over the veteran is probably the largest upset from the event. Through the victory, Kurt emerged even more confident than usual as he evaluated his next foe from Saudi Arabia. Below is a quote from him after the game:  “The trophy looks beautiful, I can’t get over it. My objective from the start was to win it and I’m now a couple of steps away. It was an amazing day for me personally, reaching the semi-finals, and hopefully I can bring it home for Malta tomorrow. 'Msdossary' is a top, top player. He’s as good as they come. To win this tournament, you’ve got to beat the best – and that’s what I’m going to do on Saturday." Msdossary certainly proved to be a tough opponent, as it was in this semi-final that Kurt made his exit out of the event. Under the scoreline of 3:8, the Maltese player did seem slightly disappointed but nonetheless, he performed incredibly well and made Malta proud; very deserving of the $20,000 prize which he's taking home. Below is a quote from his notorious Twitter page shortly after the loss:  "It's going to sting for a while. GG to Dossary, couldn't play how I wanted and not sure what I could have done about some of the goals. Ultimately objective failed... (next post) Always stay true to yourself. Bottom line is this scene would be absolutely nothing without me and this game certainly didn't deserve me as it's champion. Thanks for all your suport and we'll go again stronger and better than ever next year." To Gamers.com.mt, Kurt's a champ who made all of us proud, even though the first place was his main goal. Gamers.com.mt applauds his performance was exemplary, and we know that there's always next year to take it home. The images in the article were taken directly from the livestream; we were rooting for you! Maybe we can get in contact with him for an interview to learn more - fingers crossed. 

Esports Events to Watch This Weekend - 3rd-5th August

We haven't done this in a while; due to a stacked priority list and a 2-week vacation taken by a certain writer. Nonetheless, we should be back in the swing of things for August, starting with one of our weekly esports events watchlists. Being halfway through summer, I'm sure you're all delighted to have more free time to enjoy esports events - perhaps you should check out the following.  EVO 2018 - The fighting game highlight of the year Tekken 7 is a beloved esport here in Malta, being the sole fighting game which has gained friction locally. To their delight, and to anyone who'd like to check out some pure fighting action, the largest fighting game event of the year is being held this weekend: Evolution Championship Series 2018, taking place in Las Vegas from the 3rd all the way up to the 5th. A shocking total of 8 games:  Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Tekken 7, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle and Injustice 2. The weekend is simply stacked with a massive amount of competition. Even if you're not interested in the genre, it's an opportunity to learn and experience a new scene. Review the schedule here. FIFA eWorld Cup If you find sport-simulators amore appealing, (or you're a FIFA fan), the FIFA eWorld Cup, which comes to a conclusion tomorrow on the 4th August after 3 days of activity, should satisfy you. With a massive build-up of qualifiers and regionals, the FIFA eWorld Cup serves as the staple FIFA event to rule them all. From a total of 22 finalists, a winner will be selected to be crowned the best FIFA player in the entire world. Learn more here: https://www.fifa.com/fifaeworldcup/index.html. The UK, London, is the host of the tournament after a Brit took it home last year. Following the sport's epic conclusion, we're sure that the esport can offer similar dramatics.  This is probably the most exciting time of year for a lot of esports, as seasons end with the largest of events as seen above - this weekend housing fighitng games and FIFA. Other titles such as DOTA 2 and Call of Duty are itching with excitement for their respective final events. As always, make the most of the consumer experience with a hot meal from TimetoEat, especially in the little time it takes to get served. A happy weekend to you all!

Team and Player Profiles - Achievements

Halfway through the Summer of 2018, we're happy to reveal our latest updates regarding our database work regarding the history of our events and all those who've participated over the years. 'Achievements' is the most recent feature; learn more below.  Basically, we've successfully connected separate tournament standings across all of our events for Teams and Individual Players. In doing so, everyone may freely review profiles and the achievements which Players or Teams have arrived at over the years. Teams may view their team achievement while Players may view their solo achievements as well as those under the various teams which they may have been a part of. We've got a few highlights we'd like to discuss.  Regarding Team achievements, I don't think many will disagree with the mentioning of EvH and their formidable League of Legends roster which had been steamrolling the scene. With so many 1st place finishes, and only 1st place finishes, it seems pointless to mention any individual win from the list of 10. With a win dating back to The KONNEKT Malta eSports Festival LoL Tournament in 2014 and their most recent at the MESF 2017, it goes to show that this team has been in control for quite some time now. Feel free to study their legacy on their team page here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/teams/23/event-horizon. Also, feel free to check out an interview we carried out with them earlier on this year, where they explained and commented regarding their dominance: https://www.gamers.com.mt/news/665/evh-s-lol-domination-behind-the-scenes-interview. Only time will tell if this team will ever falter.  Moving on to Players, there are plenty of suitable examples to showcase, and we've decided to go with Chrismeister. A lone gun whose always represented himself, his legacy began with ours, grabbing the gold at our first ever FIFA tournament back in 2012. Just like EvH's LoL, he was always the player to beat, with his decorated profile viewable here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/players/747/chrismeister. At the moment, our data is limited to events hosted by yours truly, Gamers.com.mt, as of our conception. We're currently working on expanding the database to cover tournaments from other organizations to properly complete it.  One note before concluding: should anyone observe any mistakes or typos in our growing database, please let us know so that we may correct it. Thanks! 

2 More Spots Awarded for the Blitzkrieg Masters 2018 the Battalion 1944 Major

Last weekend 2 more teams secured their place for the Blitzkrieg Masters happening this September in Amsterdam were the world’s best players will be competing for a $50,000 prize pot. European Qualifier 32 Teams, 23 from Europe and 9 from the United States registered for the online qualifier that took place during the weekend of the 21st and 22nd July. The Blitzkrieg Masters 2018 European Qualifier #1 kicked off on Saturday afternoon were casters Mitch ‘MitchMan’ McBride and Dean ‘DeaN’ Brown started casting the games together with Amory ‘Dark’ Van Aerschot handling the production. The first match in the bracket was a best out of 1 (BO1) and as teams progressed onwards matches turned to a best out of 3 (BO3). Coastal was perhaps the most map played while Derailed, Liberation and Manorhouse v2 were also heavily chosen. In the European Qualifier no team picked Invasion or the newly introduced map Savoia. With no surprise at all Team Demise managed to cling a spot in the finals while unexpectedly enough NoNames managed to reach the final and get a spot to play the top dogs in Amsterdam after beating Avenue and ex-Defusekids lineup. Later on Blitzkirieg issued a statment and removed Nonames spot becuase Bulkhead Interactive have issued an official developer ban on one of the player’s account. As per section 4.3 in their rules, We have issued the offending player with an indefinite ban from all tournaments by The Plays.  The offending player has been provided the evidence which supports this decision, as well as the right to appeal as per our rules.  An invite-only qualification tournament will be held between the teams Nonames knocked out during Blitzkrieg Masters European Qualifier Round 1. Dates and more information of this tournament  are yet to be decided. All the info regarding the Blitzkrieg Masters 2018 European Qualifier #1 brackets and scores per game and map can be found on the here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/tournament/143/stage/97/brackets American Qualifier The Blitzkrieg Masters 2018 American Qualifier #1 kicked off late Saturday night, early Sunday morning in Central European Summer Time. Format was the same as the European Qualifier with best out of 1 (BO1) proceeding to a best out of 3 (BO3). Invasion was also left out from each match played while Savoia was chosen in the Final. Stay Pure were crowned winners in the qualifier and were given a spot to represent America in the Majors after beating Team Magic 2-0 on Savoia and Liberation. All the info regarding the Blitzkrieg Masters 2018 American Qualifier #1 brackets and scores per game and map can be found on the here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/tournament/144/stage/98/brackets

The Malta eSports Forum 2018

Quickfire, a Maltese esports company, are bringing together some of the biggest names in international esports for Malta's very first workshop dedicated to esports. The Malta Esports Forum will be held on the 26th of July at the InterContinental Hotel in St. Julian's, and will sport some big names like HLTV, Nielsen and more to be in attendance. We're thrilled to be bringing together the esports community for this event. Having these kinds of discussions on a regular basis are incredibly important for taking the next leap as an industry. The prospects for Malta as an esports hub are great, and we look forward to welcoming more professionals, businesses and talent to our growing family. Simon Theuma - CEO, Quickfire With a packed up agenda filled with speakers coming from different sectors of the industry as well as panel discussions, the half day event will ensure that you will leave with enough knowledge to venture into the esports world. A networking session will also take place after the discussions, so make sure you have enough business cards with you! Session 1 Simon Decesare – CEO – Eden Leisure Group Ivan Filletti – Head of Ops & Business Development – GamingMalta Key Market Insights (Panel) Salvatore De Angelis – Senior Manager – Nielsen Sports & Entertainment Koen Schobbers – eSports Expert, Presenter IE FOX – Sports Per Lambaek – Head of Development – HLTV Panel Discussion moderated by Simon Theuma – Quickfire Session 2 Ian Smith – Integrity Commissioner – ESIC Dr Joseph F. Borg – Senior Partner – WH Partners Christoffer Cederholm – Catena Media Sergey Bidzan – Head of esports – Starladder Panel Discussion moderated by Dr. Michele Magro – MGA For more information please visit www.maltaesportsforum.com

Gamers.com.mt 6th Anniversary

We've got a lot to be grateful and to celebrate about, especially today, as it was on the 18th July of 2012 that Gamers.com.mt was born - marking our sixth anniversary. Yearly, we maximize the possibility of advancing and developing ourselves together with the local community and industry thanks to everyone's support and enthusiasm for a mutual passion; gaming on a competitive level. We'll commemorate the milestone by taking a look back, especially at the past year.    The Malta Cyber Series #3 - Back To Basics A tremendous amount has happened since our preceding anniversary; massive events, major developments and great expansion for the company. We'll begin chronologically, with the Malta Cyber Series #3. Sporting the slogan of 'Back to Basics', we graced the local Maltese scene with a splash of nostalgia in the summer heat, mainly through the feature of the beloved classic in Call of Duty 2. Hosted at the Luzzu Conference Hall at Seashells Resort, anyone who participated can easily recall the casual evenings and the competitive days. Other titles featured were LoL and FIFA, with Christian Spiteri extended his fantastic record accumulating 9 tournament wins. The event was a great success, which we will replicate and improve upon in the upcoming installment in the franchise, through the MCS #4. Also, resurrecting COD2 was such a breath of fresh air that we decided to include it in the largest event of the year later on.    The Games Weekend at the MIA Food Court Skipping forward another month and it's October - an event which nobody expected takes place. The Games Weekend at the Malta International Airport Food Court on the 14th October was definitely a wildcard in terms of events. With airport shopping vouchers on the line, a retro DJ in the background, boardgames, a Wheel of Fortune and food, the event was like nothing ever seen before. Of course, there were the Tekken 7 and FIFA 18 tournaments across the two days - the warm reception for Tekken 7 was taken note of for the future. We hope that some more retro fun may be enjoyed in the future!   The Aliquantum €5,000 CS:GO Tournament Then, of course, our yearly highlight was celebrated as we held the largest esports event on the island; the Malta eSports Festival 2017, but not before another event just a week before it! We're referring to the Aliquantum Gaming event which we supported and organized at SiGMA 17; the largest iGaming convention in Malta. Offering free-of-charge participation, we had to rely on the local CS:GO scene, and we were far from disappointed with the results. It was an event that put us in our paces, especially with the MESF in the same week!   The GO Malta Esports Festival 2017 Back to the largest event of the year; made possible thanks to a tidal wave of sponsors and local enthusiasm, letting Malta know that eSports is important to us. The Malta eSports Festival hosted a whopping total of 8 separate tournaments across PC and console platforms; Tekken 7, FIFA 18, LoL, Hearthstone, Rocket League, COD: WWII, PUBG, and COD2. The PUBG tournament was the first one ever on the island and the hype was astounding - so much so, that the underdeveloped servers couldn't help it and we had to take it online! Also, the curious inclusion of COD2 is due to the fact that earlier featuring in the MCS#3 resurrected some old rivalries which we felt had to be settled - trust us, they were. Featuring the largest prize pools of the year, the level of competition impressed everyone and it was simply a blast; a massive thanks to everyone involved, since it only becomes the largest event in Malta thanks to the players.    The Malta Robotics Olympiad 2018 Battalion 1944: Open That was 2017 - now we've got half of 2018 to review. This far, Battalion 1944, international competition and local expansion have defined 2018.  With the conception of Battalion 1944 in February, the local scene was eager to give it a shot and move on from COD2. We tested this vigor through the MRO Battalino 1944: Open. at the MFCC centre, where the youth of Malta had the chance to witness esports. To summarise the results, we've pledged the support the title for the rest of 2018, especially following a commentator's words of "Maltese Battalion 1944 is the best in the world".    The EsportsBetting.com Launch Invitational $10,000 CS:GO Tournament International competition was then embraced in the esportsbetting.com Launch Invitational, with a huge prize pool of $10,000 and some of the best CS:GO teams in the world competing such as  Fnatic Academy. The online event was a new experience for us and we cannot wait for more international competition like it. A month later, in May, we held two separate FIFA 18 tournaments; the MITA Gaming Experience, for MITA and its employees and for the Costa Coffee Foundation, in which we decided to give back and help out those in need through some fun competition.    The Gamers Lounge, Birkirkara Halfway through April, Gamers.com.mt made a decisive move to expand the Gamers Lounge into a dual venue as we opened up our 2nd shop in Birkirkara! Organizing celebratory evenings and offers, it's been booming with success! So much so, that it hosted a boot camp held by Area Academy for their international CS:GO talent which received national TV coverage. We're very proud of this; it's one of the many functions of the Gamers Lounge.  That brings us full circle to the present; with Fortnite Duos Tournaments weekly, Gallantry Budapest and an unsatiable itch of excitement for the Malta Cyber Series #4.

The LoL Semi-Professional Owen "Panda" Magri - Interview

Time to freshen up the news feed with an exclusive interview. Anyone who's familiar with the local League of Legends scene knows of a certain roster, which has been drifting between the names of EvH and EDGE, which is practically unstoppable locally. This strong team has branched out internationally too, consisting of local youngsters. One fundamental reason as to why they've had such great success is none other than Owen "Panda" Magri. Eager to learn more, Gamers.com.mt reached out to him for a general interview while also asking certain questions which you're bound to enjoy - and he gave some great answers too. Read on to learn more about the Maltese semi-professional LoL player, who's also a student.  1.) Let’s get to know you first. Introduce yourself by describing your personal life, your career in esports and anything else on the side. I’m 19 Years old, mostly known as Panda and currently studying Software Development. I was introduced to esports 3 years ago when I participated in the Malta eSports Festival 2015. Since then, I’ve participated in every Maltese League of Legends LAN and have only failed to win one. During these 3 years, I’ve joined multiple organisations outside of Malta and participated in two Major Events, these being Infoshow 2018 in Kaunas and Gamescom 2017 in Cologne where I’ve competed against the likes of Bwipo, currently Fnatic’s Toplaner. 2.) As most of you know, Owen forms part of the dominant EvH LoL roster and has been competing very successfully for the past few years. With that being said, he’s placed 1 st at almost every single event due to his individual strengths and his involvement in the team. What has the journey been like up to this moment? How and when did it all start for you? I’ve had a very successful run in the Maltese scene and enjoyed every second of it. After beating EDGE, who was the most dominant team in the scene for a long time, in the final and winning the Malta eSports Festival 2015, I went ahead and joined them. From that point onwards, we’ve made a strong name for ourselves. 3.) EvH and EDGE are some of the most prolific esports organizations on the island. What was the process like to get signed by them? Did you ever expect to reach this point? EDGE was the biggest name in the Maltese League of Legends scene and different organizations had reached out to us to join them. Later on, in 2017, we were offered to join EvH as their League of Legends team. We appreciated EvH’s success in the Overwatch Scene and after a long discussion with Mike Saliba, both parties came to an agreement and dropped EDGE to become EvH’s League of Legends team. In my opinion, with our success in the scene, it was just a matter of time until an organization that we liked reached out to us. 4.) The next two questions should appeal to many Maltese teenagers trying to make names for themselves in the local scene. You’re currently balancing being a student and an esports player. How do you manage to do so? Does one pursuit affect the other in any way? With a bit of time management, it all comes down to how effective your practice is. There’s no need in grinding for hours on end. I might learn more in 3 hours than another person would learn in 8 hours. It all comes down to how seriously you take training and the mentality you have moving forward. Players have reached much higher than I have while also being students, so it is definitely possible. 5.) What sacrifices have you had to make to pursue esports? What would you say are the best and worst parts of being an esports player? With having to play the game seriously for so long, it can sometimes become a bit dull and boring. Having to sacrifice playing other games for fun to keep improving on League is a challenge. The best part of being an esports player would have to be seeing the hours of work you put in, turn into success. It’s an indescribable feeling of winning and having that weight lift off your shoulders. The worst part would be the tension between teammates. When playing with them for so long and everyone trying hard in practice, negative energy can definitely build up between the team. It’s all about turning that negative energy into something productive. 6.) What are your individual goals for this year as a player? For this year, I’ll be focusing on myself and becoming a better player overall. When I feel like the time is right, I will look into joining international teams to compete in Major Events. 7.) What are your general thoughts about the MCS #4? Will you be competing at the event? I haven’t looked much into it. I’ve heard there are a lot of teams competing in the CS:GO Scene, so that’s nice. As for EvH LoL, we won’t be taking part of MCS #4. We feel like the Maltese League of Legends Scene is not moving forward and all the hours we’re putting to practice as a team are going into waste. That final response does leave a bitter taste. It does seem that that individual talent of Owen and that if his team is not being nurtured enough by the local scene which has room to grow - we're happy to see them take the initiative to the international scene where they will continue to perform to their utmost. We'd like to thank Owen for his enthusiastic participation and great replies, Gamers.com.mt wishes you the best for your future.  We're curious to find out how the local LoL scene performs at the Malta Cyber Series #4. 

Steam Statistics - Best of 2018 Until Now

Just like last year, the PC platform of Steam has just released statistics for the half-year mark, including information such as the best-selling games and the most simultaneous players within the categories of platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. Across the statistics, there are some surprises alongside the titles that you'd expect. So let's take a break from all the esports and look at some games.  Starting off with the top-sellers, expected Platinum titles include PUBG, Grand Theft Auto V, Rocket League and CS:GO to give a few examples. A certain surprise is the feature of Jurassic World: Evolution - a game which I had never heard of, which consists of creating your own Jurassic World. Moving on to Gold, the beauty of diversity is embraced in the wide variety of title present. It's incredible to see titles such as The Elder Scrolls Online and The Witcher 3: Wil Hunt here, games which are 3+ years old. If you move down to the Silver and Bronze division you'll also find other older games too.  However, selling statistics are quite different from those pertaining to simultaneous players. Simultaneous player counts show how well the game is doing at the current moment, and are pivotal for multiplayer games. Only 6 games managed to clock in over 100,000 simultaneous players, and here they are: CS:GO PUBG GTA V Rainbow Six Siege Dota 2 Warframe If I'd have to point out a stranger, it would be Warframe. This free-to-play game is a co-op action game found on almost all platforms, including the upcoming version for the Nintendo Switch. When I had played it a while back on the PS4, it did feel a lot like Destiny - but unlike Destiny, it's pulled through in the long run. If you haven't tried it out, I recommend that you do so.  The 'over 50,000 simultaneous players' area is a whole lot more crowded. Titles such as Far Cry 5, Garry's Mod, Civilization V and VI and Skyrim are found here.  To go over the full lists yourself, head on over to Steam's charts over here:  https://store.steampowered.com/stats/.  This review was typed out on a new Ozone keyboard which we'll be reviewing very soon. Head's up for two other product reviews too. 

ENCE Sponsored by GiG - A Maltese-Based Company

Witnessing Maltese-based gaming brands pledging international sponsorships within the international industry is always great to see. Hence, we're happy to announce that GiG, the Maltese-based iGaming operator flagship brand of Gaming Innovation Group (Rizk.com) has finalized a sponsorship deal with none other than ENCE's CS:GO team. Learn more below.  Specifically, GiG sponsored ENCE's CS:GO roster ahead of Cologne 2018, in which the team placed 7th to 8th in the Major to win $7,500. Anyone who's familiar with the CS:GO esports scene understands the well-known fact that ENCE are the best team in all of Finland - though not the best in Europe. The organization in general, aside from CS:GO, is incredibly successful in a variety of other scenes, such as Rainbow Six: Siege, Overwatch, Hearthstone and Starcraft 2. The Counter-Strike roster is ecstatic about the deal, as highlighted in the following quote:  "ENCE is very happy to be working with Rizk, paving their way to the wonderful world of eSports. With a rapidly changing and growing industry, we are here to support Rizk to take the right steps in getting involved in eSports. Rizk is a tremendous partner for ENCE as it’s backed by a forward thinking and innovating iGaming company" - Marketing Director at ENCE, Joona Leppanen.  What exactly is Rizk.com? The website is an iGaming operator flagship brand stemming out of Gaming Innovation Group - the Maltese based company. Rizk's recently modeled sportsbook is perfect for quality eSports betting. The Rizk logo will appear on all the team's jerseys. However, for understandable reasons, the only player under 18 years old on the squad will not embrace the logo due to the fact that betting is illegal under 18 years of age in many countries. A very respectable decision. Anyway, the new jerseys will be on display this weekend at ESL One Cologne this weekend, as the team will fight to strengthen its grasp over Europe. 

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