FIFA 19 Tournament at the Airport Food Court

Following last year's incredibly warm reception the MIA Games Weekend, this year we are back with a tournament for the newly released FIFA 19 with the main highlight being the great venue and the incredibly social atmosphere.  Recap of Last Year Last year, MIA Games week celebrated the titles of Tekken 7 and FIFA 18 with dedicated tournaments and prize pools thrown in with a lively background consisting of board games, a DJ and a wheel of fortune - all maintaining a 'retro' theme. It's safe to say, that you all loved this event very much, as it was quite the shakeup compared to our usual events while the venue served as the perfect opportunity to reach out to travelling foreigners and also many Maltese people. The serving of hot food and airport shopping vouchers was thrown in, too, following a small entry fee.  This Year Kicking off on Sunday 14th October, the event will focus its main attention on the new release of FIFA 19. The event will act as the first ever Maltese FIFA 19 tournament, just as last year's did for FIFA 18. The tournament will be handing out huge shopping vouchers to the top three finishes, with first place receiving €200, second €100 and third €50; all of which may be redeemed at Forestals Matrix, SkyParks Business Centre. After much thought, the entry fee will only cost €10, although two separate vouchers, one of €5 for Matrix, SkyParks Business Centre and another one of €5 for the food court should altogether balance the equation. Yes, you heard that right, all who pay the entry fee will receive €10 worth of shopping vouchers - making it practically cost nothing!  Tickets are available from the MIA Administration Offices on Level 2, which are open between 08.00 and 16.00 on weekdays and from the Gamers Lounge in Msida. More info regarding the tournament can be found here -

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Entropy Gaming

Entropy Gaming, consisting of the following roster:  uzuma, dltr, zlatan, k1aStaR and sus , formed from the remnants of DefuseKids and always looked dangerous due to the individual capabilities. After a team change following a disappointing finish at Gallantry Budapest, the team has plenty of time to integreate their recent changes and perform well at the Blitzkrieg Masters. To learn more, we interviewed Axel  uzuma Maes on behalf of his team.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major?  After our disappointing finish at Gallantry earlier this year, we discussed the things that went wrong and the things that could have gone better. Our biggest challenge was to stop playing against ourselves and to keep the atmosphere positive at all times. The recent replacements, picking up k1aStaR and sus, helped out incredibly, as there’s a lot of extra positivity in our lineup. We practice as much as we can to improve the communication and to adapt better to our opponents during the game, instead of talking about what we could have done better after the game. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? Most of us started out playing at the highest level. Though, it’s only just now that we’ve found the right set of players. After taking a look at the state of Call of Duty 4 in 2017, we knew we needed something new to play for. Battalion 1944 is still in a fairly early stage and we’re all eager to master the game. We’re all really excited of what is yet to come. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Obviously, our goal is to win the event. We’re investing a lot of time in the game, making sure we’re fully prepared to win against every team at the Major. We won’t disappoint. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? Unfortunately, the qualifiers were in the weekends, so for some teams, it was hard to play. Luckily, we managed to qualify during the second week which gave us time off on the weekends to spend with friends, girlfriends and family. I did like the system though; five different qualifiers where two teams qualify. All the teams who qualified deserved their spot and I’m glad we’re going to have an event this soon with the current best teams in the world. 5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there?  There’s a skill gap between some of the qualified teams in comparison to others, but in the end, as the game is still in development and not everything has been discovered yet, I expect some upsets in Amsterdam. The best team will be the team which plays together and reads the opposition better than the other teams- they will take the trophy home undoubtedly.  6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? Comrade Gaming, Demise and Endpoint and hopefully Method, if they manage to sort their lineup out are at the top of the list for me.  7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized?  Absolutely. As far as I know, everyone in Entropy enjoys the game big time. Major update two has been a step in the right direction. I hope the game grows in numbers though because we’re 31 days away from the major and it’s quite hard to find decent public games on a regular base. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? In general, all changes were improvements in my opinion. There are still a lot of things, including the economy system, that need refinement. I do have some questions about why Bulkhead launches updates close to events. The MU2 update went live 3 days before Gallantry whilst teams had been playing together and stratting MU1 for 3-4 months. At the start of September they'll launch MU2.5, introducing some huge changes to player models and movement. I do hope it’s not going to influence the game as much as MU2. So in general, yes, I appreciate the updates. The timing of launching the update(s) could be a lot better though. They could launch MU2.5 after the World Championship for example, but I’m not a part of Bulkhead and I’m sure they have their reasons to launch them at those moments. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  Weapons. I would make it more of a Kar98 - M1 game and get rid of the SMG meta. On some maps, SMG’s are very overpowered in comparison to the other guns. You need to have an A-game on the Kar98, M1, Gewehr or Carbine to compete against a Thompson or MP40, and still, it’s a 50/50 gamble for each gunfight.  Maps. Most of the maps have been balanced out, we’re going to start stratting Invasion soon. I’m really curious as to how the map has changed and about the new plays people can make. Mechanics. The movement feels great right now. I’m kind of disappointed that they will take out crouch jumping in MU2.5. In my opinion, it adds another dimension to the game. In CS:GO and Call of Duty 4 there were some jumps that were hard to master. It’s something you have to put the time into. In my honest opinion, getting rid of it reduces the skill gap slightly. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Analyze the things that go wrong or went wrong in the past. Make those things a point of focus and work hard on them, both in-game and out-game. There’s a lot of highly skilled people in this game and the strength of the current teams is going to be nowhere near as good as the best team in a couple of months. Work together, talk to each other, have open communication and stay together. The game in my opinion, is a raw diamond and I hope new talent starts showing up fast. If your team hasn’t qualified for the major, don’t give up, please. There’s going to be plenty of events in the future. Good luck to everyone! Despite the recent change, uzuma, the 23-year-old player, is confident in his team's ability to perform in the upcoming event and potentially win it all. His comments on the skillgap are quite interesting, as of right now, the skillgap is quite narrow; we're receiving all types of answers for question six! Sadly, one team will place 16th and one will place first, that's just the nature of competition.  We'd like to thank uzuma for the interview! 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Primal Extinction Gaming

As I'm sure they'll reiterate in the following interview, Primal Extinction Gaming dominated the first season of the Blitzkrieg North American Community League - not dropping a SINGLE map. They continued this run until Fragadelphia 12's Battalion 1944 tournament, where a single loss costed them the victory and gave them 3rd place. With this impressive record, it'll be interesting to see how they fare against the European competition which they are yet to face. We're on board with the in-game leader of Michael xIzghost Dellisola of 28 years to learn more.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? We are putting in the time that’s needed to prepare for an event like this and we look forward to an amazing opportunity to show the world what we do best; competing at the highest level.  2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? We haven’t waited very long to play amongst the best. We’ve been on top in the NA scene for some time along with 2 other teams. We are excited to show off our skill set against the teams on the opposite side of the world. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Well, we wouldn’t be a very competitive team if we weren’t aiming for number 1. I’ll leave it there. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out?  Our experience in the major online qualifier was interesting for sure. We haven’t lost a match since February of this year until the first qualifier against PURE. We got a chance to feel what a loss felt like, and as a team that was winning everything, we needed to taste defeat. The second qualifier came around and we pulled through a tough match but we came out the victor. We certainly didn't breeze through the qualifiers.  5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there?  In the NA scene, there are very strong teams amongst the top 4. Matches are close and tough and exciting. The teams going to the major deserve to be there, 100%. A fantastic level of competition.  6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? Haven’t had an opportunity to care enough about the European teams. I know they’re good players and have good teams over there but respectfully I like to keep my focus on our team and our team only. 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? This will be my last stage personally, but I know my team will continue as I fall into a coaching role for them. There are exciting things to come for this team. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? The updates that have hit the game so far have been playable and enjoyable. True gamers understand a game can’t be perfect by itself, it needs help from the community and the developers working hand and hand to make a great game; only time will tell.  9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  I like the game, I think more playable and enjoyable maps should be created. Unlike Sovia, that map is atrocious. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Keep playing, listen to your IGL and understand that his role is the toughest and stay positive. Everyone can Aim...communication, information, and positioning win games and differentiates teams.  The North American roster of West, disRupt, xIzghost, Vic and FoxRox are dominant within their own continent and don't seem to concerned about their future European competition. With the element of surprise on their side, Primal will be looking to make a statement at Blitzkrieg Masters. 

Interview with Dean 'Frag' Ciantar - A Semi-Professional Fortnite Player

It's safe to say that Fortnite has been one of the most popular games for a while now, refusing to slow down in terms of enthusiasm. So much so, that it's growing steadily into an esports title with prize pools that rival those of Dota 2. To learn more about the title's current situation, took up the topic with Project Eversio's Dean frag Ciantar, a semi-professional Fortnite player.  1.) To kick off the interview, please introduce yourself to the readers in terms of private life, social life and of course, esports and your relationship with it.  I'm a 20 year old Fortnite player, studying Software Develtopment and currently competing under Project Eversio both for the Local and International Team. Current local champion winning all 3 LANs held for Fortnite so far and a big amount of small events hosted on the side by both and Quickfire. I have been in the esports scene for about 6 years starting out with League of Legends and COD 4 Promod although my first ever LAN I attended was back in September 2017 which was the Malta Cyber Series #3. 2.) Dean finds himself on the Project Eversio Fortnite line-up on which he engages in international and national competition. Describe the process of joining Project Eversio and finding yourself on their current Fortnite roster. We first started out as 4 friends who started the game together back in January slightly before the game blew up as League of Legends was getting boring and stale. I remember we loved the game so much we decided to start playing it as our main game. We spent about 3 months playing squads and practicing until we eventually participated in the Nova Series #2 under the organization Team Paradox. We won the event fairly easily and got in contacts with Project Eversio which we ended up joining as our new and current organization. Ever since then we've been very dominant in each event we participate in and haven't dropped a single loss regarding any LANs and tournaments, winning the Malta Cyber Series #4 and the Nova Series #3 as our last big achievements. 3.) As I mentioned, Project Eversio is doing their utmost to participate in international competition. What has international competition been like up to this point? What is your stance on the international Fortnite competition at this early point in time?  So far I'm the only player from the local team that has been involved in the international scene and I must say it's a tough one. Tournaments and Leagues happen very often and missing one or failing to qualify might put your reputation down the drain. We placed pretty well in the majority of European tournaments we participated in surpassing and playing with many professional organisations such as Team Secret, Team Atlantis, MisfitsGG, Epsilon and Team Method just to name a few. The international scene is very promising, just a few weeks ago over $1.5 million were won at a 3 day LAN hosted by Epic Games themselves at PAX West. We just hope we can qualify and hopefully attend an international LAN around the winter time and show what we are all about. 4.) Focusing our gaze on the local scene, Eversio have been quite dominant locally, especially in the weekly tournaments we’ve been organizing. What are your comments regarding the level of competition locally? What is required for further growth to occur for Maltese Fortnite? As I already stated, we'be been very dominant in the local scene just through the number of hours of practice we all do and how consistent we are with our mechanics and game sense. I guess other local teams just haven't grasped the game as well as we have. I've also noticed that the majority of local teams are still very young with roster changes happening left and right. This, in my opinion, is the biggest culprit in having an unsuccessful team, always stick to 4 players and change players when it's absolutely necessary not because of grudges, jealousy, etc. The biggest thing needed right now for the local scene is by far custom lobbies for the game as those aren't even out yet. Who knows, maybe once we have proper lobbies a team might step up and actually win or perform, it's a battle royale game after all so some RNG is involved. 5.) I’ve got a curious little question. The genre of Battle Royale has only recently gained the interest of professional esports through titles such as PUBG and Fortnite, trailing behind MOBAs and FPS especially in this aspect. Why is this? Is it due to the nature of the genre or the quality of the titles?  The Battle Royale genre is a fairly new and very fragile genre in my opinion. Any slight mistake from the developers and the game completely dies as we've already seen with games like H1Z1. With regards to proper E-sports, Fortnite right now is just under Dota 2 with prize money and winnings to be won as Epic Games have already announced a $100 million prize pool for the 2018/19 season. That should keep players interested in the game for a while at least. As for PUBG, I don't really follow the scene as I think the game is insanely boring and has no counter-play with insanely long and slow-paced matches for my taste, respect for anyone that actually has enough patience with the game to play it at a pro level. I think the battle royale genre is pacing up to be very promising as we've already seen it beating titles such as League of Legends on twitch when tournaments are on so overall, really hopeful for Fortnite's future. 6.) Yet, regardless of my fifth questions, the genre is beginning to invade all titles with even Call of Duty and Battlefield conforming to this apparent need in their incoming titles. In your opinion, why has Battle Royale become so popular over the last two years? The genre right now is a huge cash grab for big companies such as Activision and EA so no doubt that everyone is trying to jump on the hype train right now. The reason for the popularity surge in my opinion, is due to casuals and beginners starting out to play the game. When you're just starting out you play and get to top 10 or top 5, your heart starts racing thinking that you might win a lobby with 100/150 players and then you die. It destroys you but you go in again trying to win and once you do, the feeling is unreal for casuals and even pro players sometimes. No other game genre provides the same satisfaction in my opinion and I think that's why the battle royale scene gained such popularity. Regarding all companies trying to do BR's as a cash grab, I'm pretty sure most of them will die out or just fail miserably and maybe 1-2 games will survive for more than a year. 7.) Fortnite still has a long way to go to match other esports. In your eyes, describe the future of Fortnite as a competitive title. What does it need to thrive and what could potentially harm this growth? If the game keeps on going in this direction with the developers listening to the community and providing what it wants, I don't really see anything harming the game apart from some patches that might be disastrous on launch. In any e-sport, if there's a huge amount of money invested into a game, the game will succeed. The only threat I might see coming Fortnite's way is it getting stale but with all the content patches coming out I don't really see this happening. I mean, I'm pretty close to 1000 wins myself and still haven't gotten tired of it so props to Epic Games for making an insanely fun game. 8.) As a Fortnite player and teammate, what are your goals for the remainder of the year as an individual competitor and as a member of Project Eversio?  It's been a really successful year for me and my teammates. As for the local team, all I'm hoping for is that we keep on dominating the local scene and winning every event with also closing out the year with another LAN victory. As for the international team, the biggest goal right now is participating in a proper international LAN. Just being on the main stage at an invitational is motivation enough for me to keep on grinding and competing. 9.) To conclude, we’ll ask for advice on behalf of attempting competitors. What does it take to succeed in such a young esport such as Fortnite? What have you learnt from your own experience that wasn’t taught to you?  The biggest advice I can give is never to give up even though people put you down either saying you're trash or they say the game is trash. Keep grinding and you'll eventually make it. The hardest thing I've probably learnt is that being team captain is really stressful, basically managing the team, scouting, practising, schedules, etc etc. Letting players go is also the most difficult decision to make although it's for the better of the team. Some fantastic replies out of Dean "frag" Ciantar here, offering incredible insight into local and international Fortnite; a great interview! One thing I will add, in the threat department, is the fact that Black Ops 4's rendition of battle royale is prospering incredibly at the moment - perhaps pulling some of the player base of Fortnite? We'll have to see.  We wish Dean the best for the upcoming year of competition!

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with EndPoint

Team EndPoint are arguably one of the best teams in global Battalion 1944 at the moment, making them strong favourites for the upcoming Blitzkrieg Masters Event. Formed from the embers of Dominatorz and PENTA team, great former teams present at the beginning of Battalion 1944, the squad led by the Call of Duty veteran in Mark 'mark' Horner packs the experience and individual skill necessary for the winning formula. All the players have played either Call of Duty or CS:GO at a high level; they'll be trying very hard to win once more at the upcoming event. The following is an interview with their leader in mark, who does ave a strong character and a great sense of humour, to make for a unique interview.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major?  The same as we did for Gallantry, practice, practice, practice and more practice which is the motto we live by! We aren’t able to play as many hours a week as other teams but we make sure when we are practising, it’s 100% focus and we make sure not to waste any time. I personally have even stopped drinking (as much) and started going into the outside world to exercise, it’s a freakin’ scary world my friend. I am also considering mirroring Phaai’s haircut in the hopes it makes me play as well as he does. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? At Gallantry we proved that we are currently on our own level when we are fully focused and everyone is listening to calls - we are the best team at adapting mid game. We showed this when we had situations of us losing 8 or 9 rounds in a row, sometimes going down 0-9 but pulling it back to win 16-10. The first day of the Gallantry event was a one-off as we really weren’t in the best of conditions to be playing (landing at 1 AM the night before, not enough sleep), plus I wasn’t hungover or drunk for day 1 which impacted our group stage performance. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? I’d like to say something cute like to make friends for life and meet all the new gamers but that’d be a lie, we’re intending to win the event and anything less than top 3 would be a disappointment for us.  If we didn’t think we could win, we wouldn’t be wasting our time going. It will be fun to meet some mega old faces again from 2008 for sure, not really bothered about the rest though. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out?  We didn’t have to play the online qualifiers, because that’s a route for noobs. 5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there?  Personally, I think Gallantry will look more ‘competitive’ in terms of the number of teams in the top 12 that could have made it to second place to fight us in the final. Going into the major, from what I’ve seen recently and at Gallantry, I think there are about four teams with a good shot at winning. I feel like the thing that really helps us as a team is the fact that we have so much LAN experience between us; everyone has been to many events and even won LAN events in this decade (yes Method, looking at you oldies banging on about 2005 still like you’re relevant) which helps us keep a positive mindset no matter how poor things are looking in the game.  6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? I think it’s going to be CRG, Avenue and Demise if they keep on improving as they were before Gallantry (they have some great strategiess and they innovate a lot) and perhaps one of the NA teams. That last bit was a joke, because I have found NA teams to be underwhelming. It’s hard to call for other teams at the moment, as a lot of them were recently formed as mixes for the qualifiers and we won’t be able to see how good they can be until the major, to be honest. We will be keeping a close eye on the competition and we’re making use of some mad innovations for practice that no one else has figured out or made use of yet courtesy, of your boy Pronic. I’ll share that one for free after the major though, we’ll keep it quiet for now. Also, take note noobs, we won’t be underestimating anyone when it comes to game time. On a more serious note though, I’d love to have another final against CRG that doesn’t start at 2 AM in the morning! 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized?  As long as there are things to play for, and we believe we can win, then yes. I am personally excited to see what Bulkhead have in store for MU3 and growing the game from there. Who knows though, depends on what life throws our ways I guess as going to Japan for a while seems fun. Black Ops 4 might also be a curveball, rumours spreading that they are going to be throwing money at PC so we might all end up having to play a COD game with crappy airstrikes if we want to play a game that actually has some big money in it. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? Yes. The economy system in MU1 that was reverted to before the first LAN made every other team stronger as they could use their favourite weapons unpunished. Now people are slowly learning you need to balance your economy and make decisions as a team, for the team, not for 1 guy to get 3 kills and cost you the next 3 rounds because he’s lost the one gun he can shoot with. I am a massive fan of the current economy system, there is a heck of a lot more depth to it than people currently understand, from what I’ve seen and heard of some noobs moaning about it. I am also really looking forward to the MU ‘2.5’ update with the movement mechanics being updated and some tweaks to smokes and player models amongst other changes.  9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  Some of the maps could do with re-scaling in terms of being a bit bigger I think, but over time with mod tools (if we get them) people will learn to make their own maps that could be adopted by the community. I would really like to see how the game plays if we double the price of every weapon and double the max tokens per player, and when you kill someone you instantly get 1 token whilst 1 token is still left on the floor to be picked up. That way you get rewarded a bit for early nade kills/long range picks as well as the late clutch nades people are becoming big fans of. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Noobs. Practice, practice, practice, practice and practice. If it still doesn’t get any better…. practice, practice and keep on frickin’ practising until it does.  I don't think it's difficult to believe that I did have to remove a few words from the interview, but overall, the message is clear. 'Noobs' better watch out, because Mark mark Horner and his roster of rEpln, synde, cozje and reflexR don't look like they'll be taking any prisoners at the event. Will they take it or will somebody upset them? Perhaps an overlooked NA team? 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with +Forward

Bulkhead Interactive's first invited Wildcard, +forward are another North American team which peak the tally at four. With strong performances in both of the NA Online Qualifiers, the squad finished at the top of their group at Fragadelphia 12, beating out their competition Primal. Beaten out by Team Magic, Bulkhead Interactive will be giving them another chance. We've got a player from the squad, Johnathan athn Yates of 27 years, to answer a few of our questions.   1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? At the moment we're scrambling to get our passports and plane tickets in order. As a fairly new team, we're working on our team chemistry and weakest maps in order to perform as well as we can at the event.  2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? For years we have been waiting for a game to compete in at a high-level that's similar to Call of Duty 4 in terms of both mechanics and popularity. Battalion 1944 seems to be that next game.  3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Well everyone wants to be #1, but we're going in with our realist aim to try our best and see what happens. Nothing is for certain as we are going to be competing against EU teams we have never played before; so it will certainly be interesting. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? The qualifiers were good overall, but I hope that more NA teams can get through - we're hoping for more than 2 qualifiers next time round.  5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there? Everyone is so evenly matched right now because the game is fairly new and everyone is still adapting. The developers are constantly changing the maps and game for our benefit, so there is always something to improve on. 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? The top 5 teams in NA are very evenly matched. Each team has a dominant map and on a good night, anyone can take the win. As iterated earlier, we remain alien to European competition, though that should change very soon.  7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? Yeah, we're hoping the game and the player base improves after these next updates. Should this be the case, which it will most likely be, expect +forward to keep performing.  8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? Overall I will agree in stating that they have improved the game overall, especially in terms of the movement and the character models. However, as I'm sure others have pointed out, the economic system does need work.  9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons? I would remove picking up coins and have them be placed directly in your wallet. It seems rather annoying to have to go pick them up, as it doesn't immediately reward snipers and rifle players.  10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event? Most players and teams struggle mentally and quit after losing to a few matches. To succeed, the team must have a strong mentality, by talking about what mistakes were made and consulting methods in order to fix them.  Personally, although the North American teams seemed to be looked down upon by the Europeans, I find that a lack of competition experience with the other teams make rosters such as +forward particularly dangerous, as nobody is really sure what they'll bring to every round. I'd pay close attention to  wall-e, athn, polo, wrenched and neoo , although they may have a newly formed roster, I wouldn't count them out at all. We'd like to thank athn for the short and sweet answers in this interview!

Battalion 1944: Update 2.5

We are less than a month away from the major and we've got a new update coming our way! Battalion is set to feel a little different before the Blitzkrieg Masters which is due to take place on September 27th. The new update which is being released September 13th will see many big changes to gameplay including the dissapearance of our beloved tokens! We will no longer see tokens floating around the map after a player meets his demise, instead the tokens will be directly awarded to the player who strikes the final blow! This will change quite a lot about the game. One aspect which will be impacted by this change is low investment rounds, or "eco"s as they are called. Where previously your teammates who were mowed down dropped recovereable tokens which the person behind them on an eco rush could claim back thus denying the other team the tokens, now if you lose 5 players, you subsequently give 5 tokens away, meaning that these anti ecos will become more rewarding for the bought team. Alongside some small weapon balances and movement tweeks we're also going to see the return of Invasion! Little is known about what exactly has changed on the map since it was taken out of the competetive rotation due to some "game breaking bugs" the community found, but as the map returns will we see the same version just free of bugs or will the map receive a complete facelift? If you want to find out for yourself you can check out the game on steam anytime after the 13th of September. For the full patch notes you can check this link: ttps://

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Project Hive (ex DBEPains)

Former DBEPains now Project Hive are potentially one of the most underrated teams heading into the Blitzkrieg Masters event. Achieving at least a quarterfinals placement in each of the qualifiers, except for the one in which they were knocked out by who ended up qualifiying. Following a roster change, the new squad of JEYZKAA, MASTERMIND, thundeR, BounTy and Zinkenbert surely show off some of the top German individuals - but many doubt their team play. We took some questions to one of their players; Benjamin Hadzismajlovic, or JEYZKAA, of 25 years who happily complied. 1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? We will be looking at all the maps, while trying to figure out what playstyle suites us the most and trying to work our tactics around that. It's our plan to do 2-3 Maps a week in terms of discussing strategies, playing scrims and adjusting things as to how they are working in scrims. Other than that, we are pretty chilled going into the event because we all have a ton of LAN experience and we are coming in as an underdog compared to the other competition.   2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? We have been waiting since February to compete at this level, due to the fact that MU1 didn’t suit us well at all and we always had to make a change to our lineup due to people losing motivation or for other reasons. We are now ready to compete with the best and are looking forward to showing the people and the other teams what we are capable of achieving.  3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Honestly, our own expectations are much higher than other people's expectations. On one side this is good for us because we don’t feel the pressure but since we are all very competitive players we want to get as far as possible. To stay diplomatic and realistic, I will say we want to reach the playoffs and see how far we can push it, my team would disagree and say Semis or Quarters at least. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out?  Playing a major Qualifier online without proper Demo system is never a good thing. Also, just holding the qualifiers on weekends was hard for us as we did sacrifice our real life commitments to be able to play every qualifier and show the dedication and motivation we had to qualify. 5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there?  How much room for improvement is there?  Our judgement would be that there is a ton of space to improve, for our team but for the whole scene as well. There's a lot of things to discover still, which will take its time and new metas will develop depending on economic changes and on MU 2.5 changes - but we are looking forward to it and are open for everything that will change 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? It is really hard to guess right now because there is a lot of teams that are newly formed and don’t have the team play that it takes to make a top placement, but they have a lot of raw talent. Right now, I would rate Endpoint above any other team because of their experience and calm and calculated playstyle. Other teams to watch out for will be Comrade Gaming while I also highly recommend to watch out for bot123; their individual skill is probably the best of all teams. It all depends on who can work out teamplay the fastest to challenge Endpoint. 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? Yes, we are aiming to compete after the Major aswell and we will stay with the same lineup no matter how we will place at the Major because in our team loyalty and friendship outlasts individual skill. We want to be a prime example to the community which some teams lack.  8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? Mu2 has been a milestone for Battalion 1944 as it was an amazing update which brought us a lot of improvements and changes to the meta. I am looking forward to MU 2.5 because I really believe in the Developers and they have my full support in everything they do. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  I would change Map Level Design, as most maps are pretty much the same and don’t allow a lot of variability to gameplay or how you play the map. Savoia was a good step in the right direction , Invasion on the other hand wasn’t changed for the good. On mechanics, I would like to have that fluid movement feeling you had in CoD4 Promod which rewarded good movement and you could get to places a lot faster if you had the perfect timings on jumps and sprints which I heard will be coming to Battalion with MU 2.5. The weapons overall are decent; it's more of the economy that hurts. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Be patient, be loyal and build friendships. Treat your team mates with respect and work hard. If you follow all these steps you will eventually get where you want to.  The only thing more shocking than the fact that this team is underrated, is the fact that they are yet to represent an organization; this could be a golden opportunity for any organization wanting a taste of Battalion 1944. Depending on how the next month of practice goes, the dark horse of Project Hive could potentially whip out some upsets. We wish them the best!

Joseph Facciol and Vietnamese Tekken 7 - Interview

With summer ending soon, we’ll be taking a break from the international interviews which you’ve all been enjoying, shifting our gaze to a local personality in Joseph Facciol. As many of you recall reading in our previous article(link), this interview will act as a follow up to Joseph’s experience with Vietnamese eSports and a method of gaining further insight into his experience. We have interviewed Joseph before, due to another Tekken experience, which you may view here: (link) We hope you enjoy the following short interview! 1.) Good day Mr. Facciol! We hope you’ve had a great summer thus far and have found the time to relax from the ordinary stressful life. We’ll start with a general question – how has life been since our previous interview in terms of personal life and of course, your pursuit of eSports?  Since last May life has been hectic but great. After May’s Tekken tournament, The Colosseum in Italy where I got beaten to a pulp by Tekken pros, I was shocked. I had anticipated that there would be a difference in the level of play in favour of the pros but I had never expected there would be such a gap. This did not make me falter from Tekken at all; on the contrary, I felt the urge to improve once more. (The first time had happened to me after I got beaten by the veterans in Malta 11 years ago). So I decided to observe the top 8 live, really close. I was the one who arrived first on the premises and the last to leave. I just could not understand what I was missing. I had been playing the game for 22 years, been to local tournaments, performed well and always made it a point to remain updated regarding anything Tekken-related both for my sake and for the local community. After watching the top 8, I knew that there was something which the pros knew and which I didn’t but I could not put my finger on it. That night I could not sleep and I spent a whole month thinking about what I could do to try to bridge the gap between myself and the pros. Finally, I realised that the thing I was missing was ‘Punishes’ so I made a plan to improve. I decided to focus on just one character and study how to deal with each move of each character. This involved a lot of work. Particularly to complete this training you need to spend roughly about 6-8 hours on each character. Considering that there are 40 characters in the game it takes roughly 280 hours to complete this task. I am very close to accomplishing this, however, as of the update on 6th September, there has been some major changes for all characters so I must revise a lot of stuff. In the meantime, I have also been to another Tekken world tour tournament; a Masters event in Birmigham: VsFighting 2018. Although during this time I was only halfway through my training I was eager to see if my efforts had paid off. Fortunately, it did. I managed to place 65th out of 274 during which time I eliminated a local famous pro from the tournament. In casuals, I was also very satisfied with my performance. I managed to win 3-0 against tenshimitsu (a famous pro player), 5-4 against the best member of Tekken dojo then lost 3-1 against the UK champion KaneandTrench. Overall, I feel I’ve gotten stronger even though there’s still much I need to learn. 2.) Let’s dive straight into your experience. What were your original intentions in heading over to Vietnam? Did you have to abandon any potential plans once you discovered the Vietnamese eSports scene?  My initial intention for my holiday in Vietnam was to take a break from Tekken. I have to admit that curiosity got the better of me and as soon as I arrived I searched online for the Tekken community in Vietnam. I posted on Facebook and received a prompt reply and a warm welcome to the Vietnamese community. People were willing to take a few hours leave just to play Tekken with me! I had only a 2-hour window as I had to catch the train to my next destination. I really enjoyed my time during this brief session even though I lost against DK, Vietnam’s number 1, 6-4. Although arriving there was a bit hectic, due to the Hanoin traffic (which makes Malta’s traffic look like a walk in the park by comparison) the Vietnamese were not only welcoming but they were also complimenting me all the time. Most of them spoke very good English and kept asking me to play more matches with them.  They showed really good sportsmanship and I honestly wish we’ll have the opportunity to meet again and have more sessions in the future, however hard that may be due to the travelling distance. 3.) Continuing with the theme of being foreign – how did you communicate with fellow Vietnamese Tekken 7 player? What was their reaction to a foreigner competing at their event? At the end, of my short session in Hanoi whilst asuha8593, one of the top 4 in Vietnam whom I had played against, was showing me to a taxi, told me that in Ho Chi Minh City there was also another Tekken community. Knowing this, as soon as I reached the city I asked the community there for some Tekken casuals. They told me that they had a tournament on a day when I was supposed to go on a tour to Mekong river. I immediately cancelled the tour to go to the tournament.  Upon arrival, I was cordially asked to play some casuals with some local players. I knew that this was in fact a test to assess my strength and observe the way I play. At the same time, I also wanted to play to try out the frame-lag of the monitors so I played using a different character from which I planned to use during the tournament.  4.) Of course, Joseph went ahead and won the event, with only a single loss. With that in mind, what are your comments regarding the level of competition you encountered in Vietnamese Tekken? How does this compare to the Maltese level of competition?  The competition was pretty much the same as in Malta. What struck as most interesting was their play style. It is the exact opposite of the Maltese community! Maltese tend to play really aggressive (a style which is referred to as Pitbull in the Tekken scene) in Vietnam, people tend to play defensively (turtle - style). 5.) Competing with international players must have been quite the experience. Did you learn any new styles of play or absorb any strategies or techniques which the Vietnamese players utilized?  I feel that this experience helped me a lot. I managed to go head to head with a style which is really not popular in Malta and come out on top. This has proven to be a rewarding experience since it is quite rare to fight someone in Malta who plays turtle. 6.) What are your comments regarding the stereotype of ‘gamers being antisocial’, especially after such an experience? In my opinion, that stereo-type has been challenged ever since eSports tournaments started being held and has been rendered obsolete when online gaming was introduced. Not even the argument of favouring face-to-face communication over digital communication is relevant in the eSports scenario anymore. This is because there is a clear mixture of both direct and indirect communication in eSports. People meet online and they also meet up and play offline.  Even more so, as regards Tekken; priority is given to offline play due to the fact that even the slightest lag online, affects the gameplay badly as the game operating at the frame-level. Furthermore, after this experience, I do not how one can uphold that stereotype. I mean I managed to travel and an engage in a competition while transcending the cultural boundaries and linguistic barrier only because both the Vietnamese community and I love Tekken. 7.) A final question. Do you have any intentions to return to Vietnam in any way? What are your goals as a Tekken 7 player for the remainder of the year? The trip to Vietnam was indeed a pretty expensive one, as are most of the travels outside of Europe so, unfortunately, the chances of me getting back there a kind of slim. This does not mean that I do not wish to. In fact, I made it a point to keep in touch with the community here. Some already showed interest in coming to Malta in the future. If that happens, and I hope it does, it would be my turn to show them around our beautiful island and introduce them to the Maltese Tekken community to have some sessions.  I am currently in Cambodia and was planning on meeting the local Tekken community here as well but unfortunately, I have been told that the Tekken scene here has been missing for over a decade. Since my training has been fruitful my plans now are to train and study the game even more. Not just because of the new update which has changed the game quite a bit but also to have a better chance of winning more tournaments. So as soon this holiday is over I’m guessing it’s back to the lobby and more training with my sparring partner Dylan Caruana- who also has a good thing going for him in the local Tekken community. I hope that in the end, this will help Maltese Tekken players get sponsored. This would not only allow us to increase the Maltese eSports scene and encourage more people to join the Tekken community but it would also allow us to represent Malta in more events, both locally and globally. Some fantastic replies out of Joseph! Esports bring people together; that is one of the many messages which stands behind as it’s one of the reasons why we do what we do – organizing events, offering two lounges across the country and trying to better the local community as best we can. Joseph Facciol embraced this theme on his surprise trip to Vietnam, as he happily told us about it. We’re very happy for him and we wish him a great end to his summer.  Here's a final comment from him: "I do not deserve all the merit of this victory for it is thanks to the Maltese Tekken community that I was able to gather enough experience and win the tournament." If you’ve got an eSports experience which you’d like to share with the community, let us know! 

Stockholm International Esport Awards Recap - Malta Esports Awards?

2018 served as the first iteration of the Stockholm International eSport Awards; one of the few awards shows in which eSports is celebrated and personalities are rewarded - similar to the Esports Awards which is slightly more recognized as an event as it has been running for longer. The interchanging spelling of 'eSports' does confuse me though. Anyways, with the Swedish event occurring last week, the following are the notable prize winners from the evening, in their respective categories.  Being Sweden's first esports gala ever, all the announcements went down on the third of September at Globen in Sweden's capital of Stockholm. Prior to the award giving, public voting was open for each category for the 5 esports scenes included: CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch and Call of Duty - arguably the top 5 scenes. Together with the public vote, a selected jury also contributed. The following are the results which should peak your interest, noting that the awards cover last year.  Tournament of the Year - The International 2017 (TI7) Maintaining the tradition of pushing the limit of eSports prize pools, in the massive eSport of Dota 2, it's not surprising to find the event winning this award. of course, the 2018 version has broken the prize pool record once more.  Moment of the Year - Team Liquid's TI7 Win It's only natural that the most memorable moment pertains to the largest event of the year - although this mention makes even more sense when understanding the position of the team. Put on the back foot early on in the competition, Team Liquid was kicked into the Losers' Bracket in the first round of bracket play - from that point, they went on an absolute tear to reach the Grand Finals. Here they defeated Newbee with a resounding sweep; making it such a treat to watch and experience as an eSports enthusiast.  Team of the Year - Astralis Moving from Dota 2, CS:GO is mentioned in a few of the upcoming awards. Firstly, Astralis as the team of the year is far from a surprise. The Danes have been dominant throughout 2018, and especially when considering the intense competition of the scene, their reputation is astounding. Stained by one grand final loss, they are and will be considered a threat for quite some time in the CS:GO scene.  On Camera Talent of the Year - Uber Overwatch climbs into the list through the commentating Mitch Uber  Leslie, an Aussie dedicated to the eSport. Not much to comment here, although it's great to see the industry recognize commentators as an essential part to eSports, instead of giving the teams and players all the credit.  Player of the Year - s1mple This must have been the hardest to decide. With endless lists from five eSports, ending with one player must have been quite the task. Wittled down thanks to the public vote, it seems that his incredible performance on Natus Vincere, the top 3 CS:GO team, has earned him the credit of being the player of the year. Personally, I think I'll be tuning in next time Natus Vincere is on the mainstage.  Profile of the Year - Ninja Once Tyler "Ninja" Blevins was put onto the shortlist, the outcome was sealed. Thriving in the storm of the recent Fortnite craze, his influence and reputation has grown to the point where he is internationally recognized by many. He is indeed the profile fo the year.  That wraps it all up. Some interesting results too, including a few other categories, all viewable here: Events like these get me thinking; what if puts out an award system of sorts like this at the end of the year, where we recognize the best players and the best teams in different categories? I think that would be pretty sweet, but you've got to let us know in the comments section what you think about this. 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Team Tilted

One of the many European teams onboard for the Blitzkrieg Masters in Amsterdam is Team Tilted, a newer team ready to prove itself. Though honestly, it doesn't matter how 'new' a team is; one month is a long time to prepare for an event, especially after the practice exercised at qualifiers. Consisting of the following roster:  aerox, fanCy, dakkaz, jackis and RAIVZ are excited to prove themselves for the event. We reached out to the team and Boudewijn "aerox" Verleg happily let us in on a few replies in the upcoming interview.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? We are a relatively new team, but have individually all been involved in the top end of different gaming scenes for several years now. That meant that we quickly identified our weak spots after just a few weeks of playing together. We’ve decided collectively to spend a few of the remaining weeks solely hammering out those weak spots with minimal work on areas of our game that we feel confident in.  After those weeks of fixing our issues, we hope to successfully integrate our improvements into our overall game-plan and focus all our efforts in the remaining weeks on molding everything we’ve learned into a cohesive whole and working on our game in general, as opposed to meticulous specifics.  2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? I don’t think we’ve necessarily ‘waited’ to play at this level. It’s a natural culmination of everything the players have been doing all along. Pretty much every player in our team has played at the top end of the scene from the get-go, so for us if we’re being very levelheaded, this is simply a LAN with all the top tier teams. No different than what you’d expect from any other top LAN. Obviously it carries extra prestige and an extra large incentive due to the sizeable cash prize, but at the end of the day we can just see it as a LAN. A LAN we want to perform at, mind you, but a LAN nonetheless.  3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? There should only be one goal when heading into an event like this and that’s to win the whole thing. Anything less and you might as well not go. Having said that, as long as I’m pleased with our performances at the end of the LAN, it’s not that important where we finish up. We will give it our all and see where the chips will fall.  4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out?  Overall, our experiences were okay. Due to the volatile nature of the game, with multiple players switching team and whatnot, it was very hard to make accurate seedings. I think that may have hindered a few teams down the line, but I do not envy the position of The Plays whatsoever; it’s a hard job to do.  Of course, the downside to online qualifiers, especially in a game as new as this with no demo system, was that there were ample opportunities for people to cheat their way into the qualifier. I’m not sure if anyone did, but the whole episode with nieSow certainly showed how flawed the concept of an online qualifier is. I understand why they did it, but I’d be remiss not to make mention of it.  5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there?  The competition, seemingly, is pretty high already. The game has been out for roughly 6 months and already there’s a very clear divide between skilled teams and lesser teams. I think the game will continue to evolve and so will the skill of the players. The early players of a game such as CoD 4, when contrasted with the players at the end of that game’s lifespan, look like they’re less skilled and I think that trend will be visible in Battalion as well. So I would say that I think there’s a lot of room for improvement because players always improve. People will find new ways to play the game, to use specific tricks and improve their aim. The game won’t stop evolving.  6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? I would expect to see CRG, Demise, Avenue, Entropy and EndPoint all be contenders for the title. All these teams have individual quirks that separate them from the pack and I think we will see those little things be the breakthrough in many of the games that will follow. Having said that, I have almost no information on the North American teams, so of course, they can come out swinging and surprise a lot of teams.  7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? As long as there’s something worth competing for, I will definitely keep playing. The problem is that this goes for many teams, so if there’s nothing to play for, we might see an exodus of teams and that would be catastrophic for the game. I just hope that Bulkhead has a clear vision for how they’re going to attract casuals, as that will be the lifeblood the game needs to keep going. Impressive LANs like this are nice to have, and as long as they keep coming people will keep playing, but I don’t know how sustainable it will be.  8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? Most of the updates have been very positive and have definitely added to the Battalion experience. The one thing that bothers me, however, is that Bulkhead seemingly subscribes to the Riot Games method of nerfing. Once they notice that a weapon is too strong, they nerf it into the ground and slowly build it up from there. Coupled with the economy system, long range weapons have been punished heavily and as a result, the meta dictates only a handful of weapons for both sides that can be seen as viable. Hopefully, these issues get addressed in the coming weeks.  9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  I would overhaul the economy system, to where a coin will be given to a player for a kill and another coin will drop on the floor that you can pick up as is currently the norm. Maybe adjust the cost of weapons by 1.5 and maybe increase the kill rewards. If we take CS as a blueprint, if you’re stacked on money, you can buy a ridiculous arsenal for at least three, maybe even four rounds straight. In Battalion it’s not unfeasible to win six rounds in a row, lose one and then have to eco.  I would also change some of the nerfs to the sniper rifle. There were two major issues plaguing the weapon I feel. One of them was that the weapon was too accurate in mid-air when not fully zoomed in, and the other factor was that the gun zoomed in a bit too quick, which meant that when you would do a running jump, you would be fully zoomed in before you hit the apex of your jump. This made it too easy to fly around the map with the sniper and make it almost impossible to be countered, especially if you have good aim. Just the accuracy and the zoom in time alone would be perfect nerfs I feel.  The last thing I would change is having a look at the tagging system. When you invest so many coins into weaponry like a Kar or a sniper, you want to do damage, but I feel that tagging is happening too often. If you hit the arms or lower legs, sure, have it count as a tag. But just because the model is holding its arms in front of its body when aiming down the sights, doesn’t mean the rifler should be punished for hitting what would otherwise be a clean bodyshot.  10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Keep practising and either choose to fix your flaws or perfect your strong points. You can choose to play your opponents game, or your own and both have its perks. Just don’t try to hamfist a strategy that’s not working for you because you’ve seen other people succeed with it. Play to your own strengths or your opponents’ weaknesses and go from there.  It seems that many teams are neck-deep into preparations; everyone's 'hammering' their slate clean to maximise their chances for the event. Will Team Tilted manage to stomp out the other top EU competition? We'll find out at the event! Thanks again to aerox for the quick interview, specifically. 

Sony Declining Cross-Play to a Cross Community - Why?

On this bright summer's day, I fancy discussing a topic which often entertains me on social media - the whole situation in which quite a few people are ticked off due to the fact that Sony constantly rejects any offers for cross-play with other platforms, namely with the competing console in Xbox. This isolates Sony while Nintendo, Xbox and Microsoft have been sharing player-bases for some time now. Why does Sony stick to their anti-crossplay position?  This topic has been resurrected due to the latest viral game, of which you've all heard, in Fortnite - this is because the popular game on PS4 does not allow pairing with any other players on Xbox and Nintendo Switch. This went on to the extent where Sony blocked Fortnite PS4 players from using their accounts on the portable Switch; displaying their active say in preventing this ease of access. The reason for all of this exclusivity is rather simple; sales. Having sold over 80 million PS4 units since its release, Sony has properly dominated in the industry of game consoles, leaving Nintendo and Microsoft far behind in this aspect. (Of course, the Switch is may be viewed as handheld device, and in that genre, it's taken the cake decisively). Fueled by an onslaught of fantastic exclusive games, PS4 is isolating themselves from the rest of the industry perhaps in a similar way that Apple does so in the mobile industry. Allowing cross-play would take away from the 'Sony experience' and potentially reduce sales if we try to read between the lines.  Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida offered the following words at IFA 2018 in response to the whole Fortnite situation:  On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play. Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that's our belief. Of course, if we look at the situation from the perspective of a member of the gaming community, which goes beyond the limitations of platforms, it's extremely discouraging to witness Sony maintain this conservational approach. This attitude fueled either by compassion or currency (or both), is one that Sony has held onto for a while now and may be the very reason why they dominate sales so much. The only way to enjoy the Sony experience and its player bases is to purchase their most recent console. What's also exciting is that a certain news source,, which I've used as one of my references, has reportedly uncovered a deleted tweet from a position at Sony.  John Smedley, ex-Sony Online Entertainment Boss, spilt the beans on June 19 with the following statement:  "When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is.” Who knows, perhaps Sony will change their minds in the distant future? A recent statement has them 'looking at a lot of the possibilities' and 'supporting our business' within the same sentence. Or else, just maybe, we shouldn't blame them due to their aim at maintaining their impressive presence in the industry, However, since is passionate about gaming communities and nurturing them in their growth, we cannot agree with Sony's decision to prevent this incredible potential to unite gaming communities across all platforms. Meanwhile, Xbox and Nintendo celebrate their unity in adverts.  Yet, the old saying of 'money makes the world go round' is one we'll have to overcome.  Feel free to contribute or share any relevant opinions in relation to the argument below. How can the community force Sony's hand in allowing Cross-Play? 

Major Update Hits PUBG - Bugs Fixed

Just recently, a major update was introduced into PUBG; adding content and fixes a few of the notorious bugs known to regular players. Named 'Update 21', changes have been introduced in almost all aspects of PUBG; we'll discuss them here.  We'll start off with perhaps, the most interesting one. A new game mode, in the form of a 'training mode', allows players to experiment with different mechanics in the safety of a small island. Only being 200x200km, a total of 14 zones in relation to 14 different skills are laid out as shown in the picture below. Areas such as the 'Sweet Stung Ramps', 'Shooting Range' and 'Parkour Area' are quite self-explanatory - I can't help but feel like these areas would be great for some competitive minigames with friends.  Apart from that game mode, plenty more has been added. Firstly, a new assault rifle has been added to all three maps in the form of the MK47 Mutant; offering single shot and burst modes while being an ordinary rifle for the most part.  Bluehole has also decided to enrich their battle royale through an objective system. Tasks such as reviving teammates, dealing damage, surviving and killing with specific guns now reward the players by building progression towards supplies. New supplies include a brand new laser sight and other cosmetic items. Another small feature, for teams, is the addition of placing markers on a compass for your team, like in another title in the genre.  Apart from those changes, Update 21 fixes a surplus of 20 known bugs in the game. Other additions include a new vehicle fitting in the setting of the Sanhok map and UI rework. We recommend you check out the full patch notes here:

Kurt Fenech Retiring from FIFA for the 'Foreseeable Future' - A Potential Loss

This past year has been great for international Maltese eSports, with our very own international events such as the Betting Invitational which we held, and a number of individual Maltese competitors finding their way in the esports of Call of Duty, Halo, Tekken 7, Battalion 1944 and most notably, FIFA 18. It's certain that almost all of you have heard of Kurt  kurt0411 Fenech, especially after the interview we had with him that generated some strong opinions in the endless comments section. Sadly, I tuned into his Twitter yesterday to find this on his profile: "After careful consideration, I have decided to retire from playing FIFA for the foreseeable future. This wasn't an easy decision but one which I have to make. " Kurt via Twitter As noted in the title, this is definitely a loss for Maltese eSports on an international scale; say what you want about his personality, but he's taken home over $35,000 in winnings and is officially one of the top 4 FIFA players in the world. From the interview which we conducted, which you may view here:, Kurt is an incredibly passionate and strong-willed competitor. After monitoring his progress and performance for the past year and a half, I can confidently say that he's always had this attitude, no matter the amount of success he earns. The following is a list of his notable placements.  1.) 3rd-4th at the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 - $20,000 2.) 5th-8th at the Global Series Playoffs 2018 - $10,000 3.) 9th-16th at the FUT Champions Cup 2018 - Barcelona - $2,500 4.) 17th-32nd  at the FUT Champions Cup 2018 - Manchester - $2,500 5.) 3rd-4th at the FeCWC 2018 - $2,500 These are his placements from just this year. Kurt kurt0411 Fenech has proved that eSports is a viable career to many of the Maltese people. We trust that whatever path he's taking now, he'll succeed in and make the most of it. would like to congratulate Kurt for his great career, and all the best for the 'foreseeable future'. From what we can gather, his retirement is a form of rebellion against FIFA, with who he had a little 'war' with due to the fact that the next game, FIFA 19, refused to fix some of the problems which he addressed in our interview with him. Feel free to participate in local events, Kurt! Yet, we're still unsure whether this is a temporary decision, or if he'll be back soon.

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Omnia eSports vs Team Paradox - The GO Malta eSports Festival 2017 - LoL Tournament

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