News

New Map Revealed in the Recent Battalion 1944 Update - 'Savoia'

The team working on Battalion 1944 continues to move forward with new ideas and mechanics to further improve on the base product. The June update, Major Update 2, draws closer on the horizon as the game currently sits in the second Beta testing phase in preparation for the update. One of the major changes coming to the game is a new map called 'Savoia' - they've been showing us a little more through their Steam posts viewable here; https://steamcommunity.com/games/489940/announcements/detail/1675782681614976616. From the photos, they've made one thing clear; this map is a lot more open than your usual bomb defusal layout as shown in the other maps in the title and even in a game such as CS:GO. Heres's how they described the map dynamic: This map is a lot more open than previous maps as we have tried to move slightly away from our previous map design policy’s which retrospectively are too much like CSGO with tight chokes and close entries into the bomb sites. The Romanesque arches sitting across the long streets take the players into a Mediterranean atmosphere -, especially through the dynamic lighting. The fresh colours are brighter than most of the other maps.  A small change that accompanied the sneak peak of the map is that of ensuring 'consistent weapon physics after death'. This is a minor change compared to the many which are headed our way. Such a fix will ensure that enemy weapons no longer despawn after they fall - weapons will now consistently drop at the exact point you kill a player. The momentum of the ragdoll will have no effect. the change is complementary to Wartide 2's more complex economy.  All-in-all, the incoming major patch is looking to be quite game-changing. What changes would you like to see in Battalion 1944? Let us now down in the comments section below.  Perhaps the update will arrive before our next event....

Writing for Gamers.com.mt - An Awesome Experience

It was about this time last year, that a 16 year old sat aimlessly at his desk contemplating an upcoming Chemistry O'level, while dreaming of the long summer to come. While 'studying', he went for a quick scroll through Facebook, and found a little invitation from a local esports company to become a content writer - one year later, it's my part-time job. Yes, I've been working with Gamers.com.mt for a total of 1 year; I'm here to share my experience with anyone who is interested in perhaps trying it out or learning how I came about.  Before I applied for the job, two of my favourite activites were gaming and writing. My enthusiasm for gaming came from a childhood dense in gaming culture through consoles and iconic titles - thanks to my three older brothers I got to experience many things I would have otherwise missed, but then again, I was Player 4 for most of the time! Writing was always a hobby of mine - having been brought up in a household were we primarily conversed in English and attending an English speaking school, this is no shock. Until I had learnt of the job of an esports writer, combining the two hobbies seemed unlikely, but then again, I'm here now.  After applying, I was given an incredibly warm welcome from the Gamers.com.mt team. Firstly, they asked that I produce a small sample article to be sure of my writing abilities - trust me when I state that they were satisfied. This was then followed up by a Skype interview, where I was asked about my hobbies, ideas and motives. During this interview, my role was also broken down, and prospective ideas of perhaps reviewing hardware and attending events for free really got me excited about the future. Just like that, I started grinding out articles.  Articles? What kind? Anything I wanted really, and this fact remains to this day. My job as an esports journalist has no limitations to what is possible to write about. Of course, I was asked to pay attention to the view counts on the website in order to maximise views on future articles because that's what I wanted and still want up to this day - for people to read my content on this platform. During the summer, I picked up a rate of 4 articles a day for almost 2 months straight - sending them as Word documents due to the fact that I didn't understand HTML yet and didn't have access to the Admin page yet. When requested to write with respect to a certain topic, I did so obediently. Half-way through the summer, I was offered hardware products to review. With my interest in tech, I was already very familiar with the reviewing process and immediately took up the opportunity, which allowed me to develop reviewing skills in the form of lengthy article reviews. It was at this point, that I was asked to take my own photos, which was another lesson to be learnt.  As the summer ended, roughly in the September of last year, I was granted Admin access after I had taught myself the basics of HTML. By this time, I had completed roughly 250 articles without any notion of getting paid. One visit to Gamers.com.mt, and the team kindly offered to pay me; an offer which I happily accepted. I never started the job to get paid, but I'm glad that I can help myself out while writing. My articles then evolved into discursive articles focusing on the local scene and also interviews. Contacting local players and organisations bridged the gap between writer and journalist. That's where I find myself right now.  Overall the experience has been flexible, enjoyable and educational. Regarding flexibility, the team at Gamers.com.mt allows me to take time off for exam periods and holiday seasons, of course with the proper notation beforehand. Excited for the future.  If you're interested in gaming and you've got a keyboard along with an initiative to write, contact Gamers.com.mt to get a start now through Facebook like I did. Gamers.com.mt is always ready to welcome guest writers who'd like to get involved. Perhaps you're not the best writer out there - it's the mentality that counts; don't be shy. I've written this article out of my own will, as a form of 'milestone' piece of content for you all, beginning with the above photo!

The FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs - Time for Kurt Fenech to Shine?

The main theme which I can take away from this month of content is that of Maltese competitive players participating within the international esports scene, whether be it Halo, Tekken, Battalion 1944, PUBG and of course, FIFA. Regarding FIFA, we've been keeping a watchful eye over Kurt Fenech, especially now as he heads into one of the largest events of the year for FIFA.  Just last week, we were covering his involvement with a lesser tournament; being the FIFA eClub World Cup, where he performed well, but below his personal goals by some distance. You may view the previewing article here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/news/770/kurt-fenech-competing-at-the-50-000-fifa-eclub-world-cup Yet, he did point out that his main focus is this event, and for good reason. The FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs will be distilling a potential 128 players to a top 32, in order to compete at the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final. The Playoffs are ongoing at the moment - since the 28th May and up to the 30th May for the Xbox Division, Kurt's division. The playoffs themselves have  $35,000 on the line for whoever comes out on top at Amsterdam. All of this builds up to the largest, and perhaps the last FIFA 18 event before FIFA 19 - if there's any time to perform, it's now.  Kurt will be representing the same organisation and will definitely make it through to the World Cup Grand Finals - there's no doubt in my mind. For anyone who is interested in finding out first hand about his performances, we strongly recommend that you check out his Twitter profile, which he keeps busy with his complaints and confidence! Overall, Gamers.com.mt is keen to watch Kurt succeed at the largest FIFA event of the year and for all the Maltese players out there in general. It's been incredible to see an increase in participation - know it's time to win those tournaments for everyone back home! Of course, we'll still be supplying local events, especially thanks to recent leaks regarding our next event - stay updated through our social media in order to not miss a thing.

The Largest International PUBG Event Ever - With a Maltese Twist

This summer, the gaming community will be getting what they've been expecting for quite some time now - a first major esports tournament for none other than the battle royale of PUBG. What's more is that a Maltese PUBG player will be attending one of the upcoming qualifiers in order to have a chance to win access to the main apart from $150,000 at the prelude.  The Maltese player, representing Nova Esports, is none other than Jurgen Cutajar, who we interviewed a while back, the interview viewable here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/news/717/jurgen-cutajar-interviewed-pubg-professional-going-international. He was only starting out on the international scene; that was a while ago and now he's going for the largest PUBG event ever.  The PUBG Global Invitational 2018 will be taking place in the heart of Europe, namely Berlin, Germany where 20 professional teams will go head to head for the majority of a $2,000,000 prize pool. This tournament will take place at the end of July, specifically 25-29. Of course, 20 is a small number - filtration needed. Teams will fight for qualification through regional tournaments hosted in North America, Europe and Asia - smaller tournaments each with a prize pool of $150,000 each. Jurgen "Richy" Cutajar will be headed to Los Angeles, California to take part in the North American regional tournament amongst some of the best players in the world.  The event is a huge bump up from the Gamescom Invitational from last year which only had $350,000 on the line for the pro teams such as Cloud9 and Team Liquid - since then the game has only gotten larger and more teams have formed to contest for the prize pools. This time around, an updated in-game camera system will provide a close-up perspective for viewers, whoever decides to tune in on Twitch or reach it in person.  This event is one to mark on the calendar; not just because a national is participating, but because it's the largest PUBG event ever. Until now, the exact date of the regional qualifiers remain unknown - we'll keep you all updated. We've got high hopes for "Richy" - Gamers.com.mt wishes him the best of luck/ 

Esports Events to Watch This Weekend - 25-27th May

A lot's happened this week, between the reveal of Black Ops 4, Battlefield V and our largest event ever concluding, as we featured here. One understatement is to state that organising an international event is rather stressful - what better way to recover and reduce this effect than to enjoy events organised by others? Let's go over some potential events to keep your eye out for.  ESL One Birmingham  Dota 2, fans should be delighted with the ongoing major which is acting as a preparatory event for the final event of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit. ESL One Birmingham, which will be nationally broadcasted to the Brits on BBC, will be concluding through its semi-finals and finals this weekend. This is the UK's first ever Dota Major Tournament. There has already been quite the handful of surprises and upsets, taking everyone by surprise in the earlier stages of the competition. The $1,000,000 prize pool sits in between the likes of Optic Gaming, Virtus.pro, pAIN Gaming and OG. Head on over to the stream here: http://live.esl-one.com/birmingham, if you're interested.    CS:GO StarSeries Season 5 Sadly, there are no Major events awaiting CS:GO enthusiasts this weekend. Still, if you're looking to while away some time enjoying competitive CS:GO, the incoming StarLadder event should be one to watch out for. Although it's not a major, that doesn't mean that it's a pushover either. With $300,000 on the line, the 16 teams involved are of the highest level - examples such as Team Liquid, SK Gaming and Natus Vincere will be taking part. The Ukranian event will actually be taking place early next Monday, due to the different time zones, specifically from 28th May up until the 3rd of June. The maps involved will be the seven featured on the Active Duty map pool. Mousesports are defending champions at the moment; what will the other teams have to say about this? Unfortunately, it's one of those dry weekends for competitive events. Yet, you may easily turn a lesser weekend like this one into a great one through the services provided by TimetoEat, for quick and hot meals on the ready to your doorstep. We hope you enjoy your weekend!

Great Statistics out of the Esportsbetting.com Launch Invitational!

Yesterday, we revealed statistics behind the Black Ops 4 international reveal, which toppled those of all previous Call of Duty titles in an impressive fashion together with a few other facts which you may view here. If you've been keeping up to date with Gamers.com.mt's social media pages, one can easily realize that the EsportsBetting.com Launch Invitational has been the centre of our attention - our very own international CS:GO event which went incredibly well as you'll find out below.  The tournament, which commenced on the 18th of April, drew to a halt last weekend on the 20th May. Some of the top CS:GO teams went head-to-head for the majority of a $10,000 prize pool, such as Fnatic Academy and Team LDLC over an online connection. Due to this, online broadcasts and streams were made available to everyone through many streaming pages such as Twitch. With the event concluded, we've managed to round up all the statistics from the website: https://esc.watch/tournaments/csgo/esportsbettingcom-launch-invitational.  A staggering total of 22,000 hours of competitive content was enjoyed collectively when adding up all the viewers over all the streams. This number is built up by the fact that 1,000 average viewers were in tune at any given time. A total view count of nearly half a million is a great statistic to accompany the other two while keeping in mind that ESL, Starseries, Faceit and Dreamhack had their events ongoing which resulted in some matches conflicting with our tournament. All streams were supported by high-quality commentary and connection; we're glad that so many viewers watch the proceedings.  To conclude, the EsportsBetting.com Launch Invitational was a huge success. From the total of 8 teams and two groups, the final placements had AVANGAR in first and LDLC in second, closely flanked by Singularity Esports and EURONICS Gaming. All teams performed their hearts out for the event to really take it up to another level; thanks to all of them for accepting the invitations and competing so fiercely.  Once again we would like to thank all our sponsors to for making such an event possible ; esportsbetting.com, Aliquantum Gaming, Gaming Malta and Malta Tourism Authority. We can't wait to organize more events like this one in the future.

Black Ops 4 Reveal Was the Most Watched Call of Duty Reveal Ever

Last week, Treyarch graced the world with the very first sneak-peaks of Black Ops 4 through a reveal event. We thought about perhaps writing up an article regarding the reveal, but the incredible coverage of social media would make such an article pointless. Instead, we decided to let the hype die down a little to pick on it later - the most watched Call of Duty event ever.  On May 17th, a total of over 80 million pairs of eyes have watched the reveal through livestreams, official trailers, and content creator videos - 80 million! Factors contributing to this statistic include the loyal Treyarch fanbase with a heavy focus on Zombies and of course everyone who's been loving the return to boots-on-the-ground Call of Duty.These two groups of people apart from the curious cats glaring at the prospective battle royal game mode in Blackout. Here's what Activision had to comment regarding the event: "Last week's highly-anticipated reveal of Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 delivered a record-setting debut with its livestream setting new marks for the most watched game reveal in Call of Duty history. The reveal livestream broke franchise records, including the most day one views as well as the highest concurrent viewers, while also blanketing social media as the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter globally during the broadcast." Does Black Ops 4 deserve this much attention? "No way", says the instinctive CoD hater down in the comments section - of course, there are certain reasons to dislike the franchise, but recently, it seems the internet is overdoing it a little.  Of course, it deserves this attention. Treyarch is back again with the Black Ops formula, and just because they're doing it for the fourth time, many have come to the conclusion that it's a copy of BO3. With the changed gameplay and mechanics, this won't be much like the previous title, but the core gameplay will obviously be similar. Personally, I find that the new Battle Royale mode is what everyone should be thinking of - this ambitious attempt could either be a major failure or success unless CoD really fixes up its notoriously shaky connection.  One other statistic is the fact that preorders are above that of last year.  A final tip at the end - try not to hate the game out of popularity without first trying it out. Black Ops 4 should be quite refreshing in comparison to WWII in terms of pace and gameplay.  October 12th is a date to mark on the calendar. 

The Most Watched Esports Event in History - Record Broken

This weekend, League of Legends fans were treated with the Mid-Season Invitational title - a dense showcase of bitter rivalries and high-quality gameplay for the whole world to enjoy. The atmosphere was simply ecstatic, throughout the whole competition the viewership both physically and virtually was impressive to the point of breaking records. With that being said, the MSI Final is officially the most watched esports match in history.  127 million - that's the staggering number which toppled the previous world record for the highest esports viewership. All data was taken from Esports Charts: https://esc.watch, a website dedicated to monitoring digital viewership. This number was achieved on Championship Sunday, when Royal Never Give Up made a little history of their own when they defeated the formidable Korean favourites in Kingzone Dragon in epic fashion. The Chinese underdogs were elated and so were their countrymen. It was shortly after their victory, that excited Chinese viewers stormed into the broadcast to skyrocket the statistics. A whopping 126 million from the total 127 million views originated from the team's country - an incredible statistics. This is a tremendous 9% of the population, an awesome display of patriotism.  The previous record for viewership sat at 106 million, held by last October's matchup between SK Telecom T1 and the familiar Royal Never Give up during the semi-finals of the World Championships(LoL). However, there are speculations on the legitimacy of Chinese streaming websites, which are reportedly inflated by big streaming entities through bots - this remains speculation for the time being.  To compare, the 2010 World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina recorded a total of 570 million viewers worldwide. The fact is that football's been around for quite some time, probably 50 years give or take on an international level while esports remains an infant. With these constant breaking of records and progress in general, Gamers.com.mt can foresee such numbers in the future of esports - no doubt about it. 

FIFA 18 Costa Foundation Tournament Recap

As many of you know, the past weekend hosted the FIFA 18 PS4 Tournament in aid of the Costa Foundation and we're happy to state that it all went smoothly and everyone had a great time! Gamers.com.mt is extremely grateful for all the donations, on behalf of the Foundation created by the main host of Costa Coffee, while also referring to GameBreaker as a fellow working body. Let's see how the competition went down, because after all, this was a tournament.  In the usually relaxed environment found in the Costa Coffee shops, the intensity brought by the matchups was exciting for everyone around. From the number of competitors, we managed to form two groups. Following a single round robin, the top players emerged and charged into the bracket stage.  At one point in time, the top four players were " Brandsha", "ChrisMeister", "txrbulance1" and "luke-ganga"; packed into the quarter-finals. Within no time, the two grand finalists were "txrbulance1" and "Brandsha". With the former from the Losers Bracket and the latter from the Winners Bracket; "txrbulance1" from Project Eversio would need to win two series in a row in order to place first.  After 7 hours of intense competition at the Costa Coffee venue, it all came down to penalties a couple times, especially in the grand final. The atmosphere during the final game was quite breathtaking, as many bystanders were engaged and involved in the competition. Below are the standings for the podium placements: 1.) Gianluca "txrbulance1" Sant 2.) Shaun "BrandSha" Galea 3.) Christian "Chrismeister" Spiteri Yes, "txrbulance1" managed to pull a ridiculous victory out of his hat - although it was a hard-fought victory - full respect to " BrandSha" and his great performance overall. All top three placers were awarded trophies for their placings along with small cash prizes.  In general, participating in this event was a great success - one final thanks to everyone who took part and supported the foundation. Feel free to donate here: https://www.costa.co.uk/responsibility/costa-foundation/

Teams and Players Profiles Coming to Gamers.com.mt!

We've been providing news content for roughly a year and a half now, with our website making incredible progress in terms of quality and quantity. Still, in the first half of 2018, Gamers.com.mt would like to take another step forward with 2 new features on our website; the teams and players list!  First things first - it's all being processed at the moment with our current lists available on the links shown above, so do not panic if you're a competitor and are absent from the list. These two separate areas on our website act as our database over our time as a local esports company, as we aim to include every single team name and competitor to affiliate themselves with a Gamers.com.mt event. This is quite the task, and we may even resort to public contributions to ensure that we don't miss out on anything - you'll all be notified if we choose to do so.  The full lists of teams and players can be found in the following links or  by clicking on the Teams & Players button in the main menu Teams https://www.gamers.com.mt/teams Here's an example of a Team Profile, that of Project Eversio for Battalion 1944 https://www.gamers.com.mt/teams/3/project-eversio Players https://www.gamers.com.mt/players Here's an example of a Player Profile, that of r1k https://www.gamers.com.mt/players/7/r1k  Why are we developing this database? For a few reasons. Mainly, we would like to educate everyone regarding the legacy of competitive gaming in Malta through the hundreds of names that have interacted with us. Other reasons include facilitating team formation, especially for the ongoing Battalion 1944 buzz - any curious potential competitors may browse through the list of talent to perhaps locate teammates.  This is made easier by the fact that player and team history are also available to view. Such a feature leads us into another function - to decorate veteran players with their well-deserved achievements in proper fashion, having somewhere to store the past events and competition.  As we move forward into 2018, we'll only be making more attempts to satisfy our ongoing mission to raise the bar locally. We hope that you enjoy the new features and make good use of them.  Feel free to lend some feedback in the comment section!

Esports Events to Watch This Weekend - 18-20th May

The week's over - time for the weekend. This past week, we've been proud to share information of Maltese competitors competing on an international level, and one of those events will be featured down below. As always, remember to make the most of the experience through the services of TimetoEat; offering quick and hot meals to your door step unless you'd like it cold that is.  CWL Pro League Stage 2 - Division A  After the ongoing month of intense rostermania, with the most awaited roster change in COD esports history, everyone's on the edge of their seat to observe the competition return again. The best teams in the scene have all undergone changes, with the like of Optic Gaming and Luminosity looking absolutely threatening. However, this week the Pro League Stage 2 begins with Division A - half the teams will be competing, such as Team Kaliber, FaZe Clan, Red Reserve and Evil Geniuses fighting to qualify for the playoff stage, where $700,000 will be on the line. The event will also be more experience for the new casting talent in "Nameless". Starting from 15th May, the competition will continue up until the 29th May.  FIFA eCLUB World Cup 2018 As we hinted at in our earlier article regarding Kurt Aquilina's ongoing FIFA career, which you can view here: https://www.gamers.com.mt/news/770/kurt-fenech-competing-at-the-50-000-fifa-eclub-world-cup, the FIFA eCLUB World Cup is an event you cannot miss if you're a FIFA enthusiast. $50,000 of prize pool is on the line for all of the 32 representatives from the 16 different international clubs involved. Of course, there'll be Kurt Aquilina representing Mikers on the Xbox - we're sure he'll go far. Tune in using this link: https://www.fifa.com/fifaeworldcup/, to watch it live up until the 19th May. All the action will be going down in the heart of France in Paris.  We'll leave it at two events this week. Remember to make the most of the events through TimetoEat, through the use of cellular connection or through their designated application for mobile. Happy weekend to all!

Kurt Fenech Competing at the $50,000 FIFA eClub World Cup!

Following last week's piece of news regarding a group of Maltese competitive Tekken players taking part in an international event, we're delighted to reveal more Maltese talent fighting on a global scale. Kurt "kurt0411" Fenech, the prolific FIFA competitor, is headed to the FIFA eClub World Cup to compete for the majority of a $50,000 prize pool. Let's learn more.  All the action will be going down this weekend, from May 19th to May 20th at the AMP Studios in the heart of France - Paris. A total of 16 professional eSports football clubs will be participating after a well-deserved spot through qualification. Each team has a representative competing on each console. Duly noted is the fact that Kurt will be representing the club Mikers together with "IcePrinsipe"; he's been under the name for roughly a month now.  He'll be competing against clubs such as UNILAD, Team Envy, Lightning Pandas and PSG Esports - the very best FIFA players from all over the world. Yet, knowing Kurt, he isn't afraid at all and cannot wait to delve deep into the brackets and looks to make a name for himself. Here's what he shared on Twitter: "The regular season is over where kids triumphed. Now it’s the business end..it’s the playoffs. Men turn up, champions up it up a gear but an alien will take over." I'm guessing that he'll be the alien in this situation. Many comments ask him to 'back up' the confidence through a solid performance, following a lacklustre one at Manchester.  Following the Club World Cup - only a week after, he's got the International Playoffs to think about! Those will be prioritized.  We're sure that Kurt will do his utmost at the event - he's already left for France this week in advance. The event will be streamed here https://www.fifa.com/fifaeworldcup/ when the event is live. We'll also be reminding you of it with this week's edition of 'Esports Events to Watch in the Weekend'. Below is the full list of teams. 

The 2018 Asian Games to host League of Legends!

Recent news has the 2018 Asian Games revealing League of Legends as an official sport to be demonstrated to the public. Riot Games announced this piece of news through their social media pages. Here's why you should be excited for the future of esports.  The Asian Games are being organized, as they always have been, by the International Olympic Committee - the organizers of the largest multi-sport event of the year thanks to the Olympics. The Asian Games are just one step down and are the second largest event following the Olympics. Like this,  the whole world, especially Asia, will be exposed to esports through League of Legends. Apart from that, we're excited to see the level of competition from the continent so invested into the gaming industry.  The following is a comment by the co-head of esports over at Riot Games, Jarred Kennedy: “We're honored that League of Legends was selected for the Asian Games. Representing one's country at the Olympics is a dream for athletes around the world, and with this step, that dream is one step closer to reality for the best in our sport. We admire and respect the values of the Olympic movement and look forward to supporting the Olympic Council of Asia in making this competition a success.” The whole event will be taking place from August 18th to September 2nd, with many other details to be revealed. Yet why should you be excited? Well, the International Olympic Committee has already made its position clear earlier on this year regarding the presence of violent videogame esports acting as Olympic events - not very open towards it.  The performance of LoL at the Asian Games could potentially influence a change of thought and perhaps introduce esports more heavily in the largest event of the age - the Olympics. Fingers-crossed. 

Maltese Tekken Players Competing at an International Event - Interview

Battalion 1944, COD2, League of Legends and CS: GO - these are the titles one would usually wonder to when thinking about local competitive esports. Maltese esports has a preference for first-person shooters, as seen through the diverse array of past leading titles such as COD2, Overwatch and the ongoing Battalion 1944. However, one title which has been gaining more local friction in recent events is that of Tekken 7. Packing high-framerate gameplay and demanding lightning fast reflexes, it offers what most competitive fighting games offer. A prolific name in the local Tekken 7 scene is Joseph Facciol, who has just recently made his way to Italy with a team to take part in an international Tekken 7 event.  Hence, we decided to take the opportunity to get a closer insight through an interview. This is our first interview with a local fighting-game competitor, and it's with Joseph Facciol.  1.) We'll start with an introduction. Tell the audience about yourself; who you are, your occupation, where you live and a heavy focus on gaming and what it has meant to you up to this point. I am Joseph Facciol from Fleur-De-Lys. I work as an LSE and I love 3 things in life: Family, learning and gaming. As opposed to many, I do NOT think that learning and gaming are opposed; I have always seen a link between them after all, both encourage self-criticism and improvement. From an early age, gaming has always been a way to achieve escapism. Not escapism in the negative sense but as a way to put yourself through alternate experience. I guess the word I am looking for is, ‘katarsis’ - a purification of emotions. 2.) There are many competitive genres to choose from; with the majority favouring first-person shooter and MOBA - fighting games are a whole different realm completely. What makes them so different and why do you favour this genre? To be honest, I do not know much about the fighting game genre in general because I only play one fighting game - Tekken. Ironically, it is the only game which I feel tense while playing but on the other hand it is very rewarding. I have always described Tekken as a game combining the amount of moves available in chess with the element of bluff from poker while demanding the player to act on these two elements literally in less than a second. This is actually what, in my opinion makes this game different from the main stream genres like shooters and rpgs: the intensity of having to play at the frame-level of the game!  3.) You have quite the experience with local competition, as you've attended many of our events to reach podium finishes. Share your thoughts and honest opinions about the local fighting-game scene. What needs to change? How could this change be brought about?  The local community has hit a few bumps along the way during the previous installments but it turns out that the long break provided a thirst for tournaments never before seen on the island. Ever since the tournament at the airport which you guys organized the community growth and the frequency of tournaments organized ha been increasing at a rate never witnessed before. Indeed, I do think that the Tekken community has reached its highest peak, so far... As it is always is the case, there is always room for improvement and my hope is that local esports groups keep growing and are open to include us their events to help each other grow. Local groups competing against each other would, in my opinion, spell danger for the local esports community. Instead, I think that cooperation  amongst local groups will be crucial if we want to let our voices be heard on an international level. Other than cooperation, awareness of the enormous esports economic potential among everyone is key for success here. It will help provide local players with the much needed sponsorships which are essential to be able to stay at par at an international level. 4.) Joseph Facciol will also be competing in an international competition this coming week, as he leaves for Italy this. Describe your current situation and the event which you're involved with. What are your expectations? I have been away for quite a while from playing Tekken competitively and have only managed to make an effective comeback recently. That being said, I am presently confident in our abilities but it is our first international competition so we are totally inexperienced in that regard.  I say ‘we’ because although we have been competing locally against each other for over a decade we are indeed heading for this event as one team. Apart from me, there are also: Lawrence Spiteri, Christian Cauchi, Johnatan Cassar, Matthew Tonna, Steve Micallef, Dylan Caruana, David Cilia and Sean Dingli. I know for a fact that the 4th ranked best player in the previous Tekken World Tour will be taking part so the competition will be at an astoundingly high level. That being said, whatever happens, will be a learning experience for all of us and once again an opportunity to further improve both competitively and in terms of organizing other events. 5.) Tekken 7 is the 7th instalment in the fighting-game series. How familiar are you with the series and how long have you been competing seriously? At what point did you realise that this was something you could take to the next level?  I never planned on playing Tekken. I remember I did like the game in demo one on the play station one but wanted to buy Monster Trucks. It just so happened however, that when I went to the local store the shopkeeper regretfully told me that he did not have monster truck and amongst the many games which( he said were up for sale was Tekken 2 platinum edition. Upon hearing the name I remembered that I did enjoy playing the demo with my father especially and decided to buy it. I instantly got hooked up and remember continually practicing during every instalment. My very first local competition was during my college days at a tournament in Imgarr when I met the local community for the first t8me and got the beat if my life. I then started to compete with the local community until I reached my prime in Tekken 5 DR and Tekken 6 when I was on a tournament streak. I then took a long break and was away from the Tekken scene for a while until I started competing again a few months ago. Then last wekend, I finally managed to win a tournament in a final against Sean Dingli who was on a tournament streak of his own and is still running strong. In fact, it was he who suggested that we embark on this trip. As my well-respected rival I owe a lot to this guy. We have both gained from our rivalry. Well, in the end, little did I know that that happy coincidence of buying my second preference game would lead me to go abroad and compete internationally.  6.) Taking the step to compete internationally is no easy feat. For our last question, we'd like for you to provide some advice for prospective fighting-game competitors. What does it take to compete on an international level and where does one start?  What has the process been like up to this point? One word- PRACTICE. As in any form of performance, practice is the most important element. Also, Tekken has a steep learning curve so in the beginning there will be quite a big gap between new players and seasoned ones. But you learn much more from your losses than you do from your wins so that should not be a reason for newcomers to lose motivation. Also out of all the Tekken instalments, Tekken 7 is the one which is most beginner-friendly so there has never been a better time to join the community. Finally, like many other games, Tekken is best enjoyed with friends so I suggest newcomers start practising against their buddies and join us on Tekken City Malta so that our community will grow even more and we will all learn from each other. If you've taken the time to read these incredible answers, it's quickly understood that Joseph Facciol is a mature and determined competitor, taking a hobby to the next stage. Again, I'd like to emphasise the quality of the answers - the best replies we've ever received for an interview. Just like at the past MESF 2017, we'll be considering featuring Tekken 7 again for you all to enjoy. Just like Joseph recommended - "start practising"! 

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