Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with 1UP ESPORT

1UP Esports is the team which fought its way into the qualifiers in a shocking manner to all participating. Nobody expected the lineup of  jooshua, FlluffYE, failzzr, jangeru, ALLVATER and razr57 to take down Avenue Esports. The full German roster did not take part in the inaugural Insomnia LAN or the Gallantry LAN - we're curious to see how they will perform. Providing us with insight is 30 year old Jan jangeru Siefer; one of the players on the roster. Let's see what he had to say! 1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? We've already put a lot of work into preparing for the qualifiers, which leaves us with a good foundation to work on. Now we're focusing on the peculiar details for all the maps we struggle on while also preparing for the 2 new maps (Invasion and Savoia) in order to be confident against everything the opponents are throwing at us. Additionally, we are attempting to organize a boot camp one week prior to the Major to get used to playing out of our comfort zone and to get some serious practice in ahead of the main event. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? Most of us have been playing Battalion 1944 since its early stages and we've always tried to compete at the very top level. Obviously, you always want to play at the highest level if you are a competitive person and it's great to see that our dedication towards this goal has paid off. Not qualifying for the Major would have been a huge disappointment for us.  3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? I think you really can't go into any tournament without aiming for the win. We know that there are a lot of established teams with high expectations themselves, but we are confident that we can hold ourselves against them with all the respect they deserve. If they underestimate our capabilities they will find out what dedication and preparation can do. Besides that, I believe none of my fellow teammates sit below any other player in terms of skill. We have full trust in each other to frag out any opponent that comes along our way. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? There are some obvious things that come to mind when you have an online qualifier for the biggest event so far: No proven anti cheat tool, no (properly working) replay function and the decision to run the qualifiers without a Loserbracket. Even so, in the end, everything worked out for us though I feel like there could have been a better way to run the qualifiers. Only having one qualification spot from Budapest was another questionable decision. Although I am not sure how experienced the tournament organisiers are with running events like this, I'm sure everything is being considered for future events. 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 level of competition is very high if you take the player count into account and this is probably not a coincidence: almost every player who is still playing the game (with all the problems it had) is very dedicated to competition. I believe some teams still rely a bit too much on individual skill and less on the tactical point of the game but it remains to be seen if that is enough to take a top placement in a high level tournament. 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? I can't really tell how good the NA teams are just from watching a few games on Twitch. It is different to play someone than to see them play and judge them based on that. They will certainly practice as good as they can to be worthy opponents to every EU team that shows up. If you underestimate any opponent you will probably book your ticket home earlier than you think. There are a lot of good teams from EU and to name some specific teams is very hard. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and I expect to see a lot of very close matches. 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? To be honest, it is very hard to tell anything about the future if we don't have any tournaments announced. We will keep competing if there are tournaments that are worth playing for. There are some rumors already about future Gallantry events for example, but since we don't have any specific date I can't really tell how much we will play after the Major. It would help to announce some more events in a timely fashion whether it be a minor or major event. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? I liked Battalion from its conception, but the changes made by Bulkhead were improvements for sure. Even as someone who did not see the jump meta as a problem for myself, it did hurt the game quite a bit. I found myself questioning the game when I had to jump every corner because it was just the best and almost only way to take a fight but I am glad that is a thing of the past now. The game also runs smoother since MU2 and a lot of problems have been fixed. However, with any update there are always little other bugs that come into play. Some “little” hotfix patches like what Bulkhead did with the broken Liberation wall would be very welcome. At the moment there is a bug, for example, where your level of sound changes from map to map which is very annoying and should be fixed. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons? There is a lot to talk about here since the game is in Early Access and things will change regardless. Many things are already talked about a lot like the improvement of the coin system. Kills should be rewarded directly to players and coins should act like a secondary achievement you could go for. The maps need to improve a lot and I hope we see some of them already getting improved with MU 2.5. Some examples are Derailed B Spot which is really only a complete nadefest or Savoia which just has too many angles and is too big for the tastes of many. Also adding verticality and with more options to every map is a very important topic which I would like addressed sooner than later. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event? It's very important to have players that are on the same level in terms of dedication and form a core around them. You all have to be on the same page in terms of practice times and playstyle of your team. I find a lot of teams are shuffling their lineups too many times just because they don't find the results they strive for early on in the process of forming a team. Playing together for 1 or 2 weeks does not make a team. Sticking together after a tough loss , improving together and helping out your teammates to get better is what makes you a real unit. It seems that 1UP Esports are ready to compete and make a deep run into the competition despite having less LAN practice than other teams. Humble and prepared, jangeru is ready to get results and is cautious for the future of Battalion 1944, in terms of updates and events. We'd like to thank the player for the exceptionally speedy replies wishes 1UP Esports the best of luck! Which team should we interview next? 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Demise

Tom stRove Keyen; ever heard of him? The 24-year-old is a key member of Team Demise, one of the favourites heading into the Blitzkrieg Masters 2018 statistically, and according to many of the replies we've had in other interviews. It seems that they've perfected teamwork; through communication built upon relationships which have lasted years. It's stRove who's answered the following interview.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major?  The feeling to be able to go to the major is incredible, even with the state of the current player base. Nevertheless, the preparation to the event will not be different than before. Our routines are still the same and we get a lot of knowledge by just playing the game. Team matchups are different of course, we're constantly trying new stuff for the event. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? “Waiting” is not the right word to describe it with. I mean like, we always wanted to be in the top competing teams of CoD and now B44. To be able to do it with my team, and to be honest my friends (we’ve been playing together for several years now), is just incredible and it makes the experience so much better. I feel that it’s our strong point going into the LAN. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? By looking at our past events so far (3rd at the Gallantry LAN in Budapest, 1st in ECL Season 1 and 4th in 6G cups Season 2), we could aim for a high placing at the major. We’re able to beat every team there is at the moment, but it all depends on how strongly the other teams will show up (including us). The qualified teams will be there for a reason, so we’re going to stay humble and go through it game by game, map by map.  4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out?  We were lucky enough to qualify in the first qualifier and it was a great help for us because we couldn’t play several weekends. I’ve seen a lot of good teams not being able to play with their full line-up also, which means that the schedule was horrible. Doing qualifiers in the weekends means that everyone has to plan their weekends accordingly to either qualify or not. In our case it was simple, but I really didn’t want to be in other people’s shoes. The coverage during the qualifiers was minimalistic. Now, I know that the producers have to do it during their spare time and I’m truly grateful for that (props to Dark, Mitch, and Dean). But for an event this “big”, it needs to be better. In the end, there were some more tweets about the tournament while it was happening. The last point I want to make is the following. The rules that you set up for a major qualifier like this should be the same for all the qualifiers. In this case, the head admin starts to make ‘exceptions’ at the end which clearly backfired in his own face. This is not good for the integrity of the qualifiers and it should not happen again.   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?  I’ve followed a few qualifiers and I was surprised by a few teams. Each team has its own good individual players and it will all come down to team play at the major. There are definitely a few teams which I rate higher but I wouldn’t be wrong if I’d say that the level of competition is really close. I’m really curious about how the NA scene will place in the standings at the major. 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? Based on the past events and the roster switches, I feel like Endpoint or CRG. CRG looks really strong at the moment with their new line-up, but anything could happen at the major. 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized?  It depends on what happens after the LAN. There will be a need for more competition because you need something to play for. If this doesn’t happen, I don’t know if we’d be willing to keep playing. We’ll see. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? I think that it’s all going in the right direction. The latest MU2.5 preview seemed pretty good but you don’t know how it actually feels. I just hope that it’ll be good enough to bring in the player base that we need. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  I can only say that this is the only game that I can compare with Call of Duty. Everything just feels good and I know that the devs will make the right decisions for the game. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Just make sure that you’re playing with players which want to be the best and are fun to play with. The atmosphere within a team is one of the most important aspects there is to victory.  Although many point their fingers towards Team Demise when asked to pick out a favourite, their player in stRove maintains a level head and avoids any notion of overconfidence. He seems faithful in his team and his own skill as a player - ready to put it to test at the event. Team Demise, consisting of  bluEz, dynz, N1ELSK, stRove and samuelg are one to watch. 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Bot123 (ex Endpoint)

One of the more interesting team names of the bunch, Bot123 definitely takes the cake when it comes to being a team of storylines and talent. The split which tore the original EndPoint lineup apart, a great roster which combusted internally, partially reformed as saint6 and iconz crossed paths once more, to be joined by j_money, f1ashyy and Max-Strafe. Within moments, they rose to a top level team, worthy of qualifying for the largest Battalion 1944 event of the year. The following is an interview with one of their players: Job  iconz  Witte, the 24 year old veteran.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? Right now, we are not really preparing yet. Since Saint has 1 or 2 exams left, we're waiting until those are over. After that, we will practice around 4 nights per week. The rest of us play together with a mixer for the time being. We've all played competitive games before and know what it takes to practice properly. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? We all love to play the game, the reason we play is not money. That being said, a prestigious tournament like the major gets us hyped up more than online tournaments. All of us are really looking forward to this tournament because it is the biggest LAN so far for Battalion 1944. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? We realise we are a newly formed team. That doesn't take away our expectations though! I am confident we can win the major. Our individual skill is very high! I would say a top 3 finish would be our goal. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? To be fair there were a few flaws. I feel like the admins made multiple mistakes so far. People playing in multiple teams in the same qualifier, cheating accusations and crashing servers without proper solutions presented. Those are just out of the top of my head. I did really like the format. There are 5 qualifying weekends with 2 teams who get a spot; this way everyone gets a chance 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? There is still a lot of improvement possible. Since we are a new team it is noticeable that our teamwork needs work. That is the big point for us personally. Teams who have been together for longer- think of Demise, Method and Endpoint (old PENTA)- have a better foundation. Competition wise it is going to be hard. There are multiple teams who can win the title.  6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? I believe Method, Demise, CRG, Endpoint and us will fight for the title. 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? I do. I love the game. I come from CoD2 so the transition was easy, but I can't go back to CoD2 now. The level of competition in Battalion 1944 is nothing compared to what I have been used to. I do believe there are people who are in doubt about what to do after this major. There needs to be a future to look forward to, otherwise, people will not have the motivation to continue. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? YES. Big improvements. Personally, I love to play sniper, and the sniper has had several changes now. I do like how the zoom amount is back to how it used to be. There are small things that still need tuning, but overall the game has made huge steps towards the right direction. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons? I would change damage for the SMGs (Thompson and mp40) regarding headshots. I believe a headshot should be a kill from close range. It feels odd getting a headshot in a 1v1 fight but not killing the opponent at times. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event? Stay together. Stop switching rosters after every bad result. It won't help teams create chemistry and teamwork. Teams need to learn from their mistakes and work on it instead of "fixing" it by changing a player. If you want to reach the level of the top teams as a person alone, I'd say practice a lot. Play pugs and get your game sense up. A lot of skill comes from knowing when to aim somewhere and how to position. Aiming is only a small part of the package. Due to a player's academics, it seems that preparations are still to start for the event as a team. However, when they do, expect them to be a top threat to the rest of the competition due to the individual talent on this roster, but just like iconz said; "Aiming is only a small part of the package."

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Comrade Gaming

Comrade Gaming is a relatively knew name in the scene of Battalion 1944, that is, if you ignore the fact that the team was formerly named Aint That Good; trust me, they're 'good'. The team, consisting of phaai, mofFeRz, Sam, elwzoy, supreme and fACILOS, made a massive impression at the Budapest Gallantry LAN where they landed second place. Since then, they have made a couple changes with the welcoming of supreme and ELWZOY; has this team maintained such calibre? To answer these questions, we've got Eric mofFeRz Gleisner, the 22-year-old core player, in our very own exclusive interview.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? Since we recently finalized our roster, our main focus has been on improving our teamplay and overall chemistry. Other than that, we've just been figuring out how we want to play each map through trial and error. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? Personally, I've been waiting since the alpha, I recognized that the game had potential straight away and I've kept playing it for the sole reason of competing and winning. Ever since I quit Call of Duty 4 back in 2014 I've been looking for a game that would get me hooked on competing yet again and with Battalion 1944 I found just that. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Coming off a 2nd place finish at Gallantry Budapest we're hungrier than ever for that 1st place trophy - and that's what we're going for in the Major. Not that many teams had all that much faith in us before Gallantry but I think we turned quite a few heads and I'm sure we won't get underestimated again. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? We had some pretty bad timing with some real life commitments that caused us to miss the first couple qualifiers but when we finally played together as a full team we had quite an easy time qualifying. The obvious negative thing about the online qualifiers is just that - they're online, and since there is no demo system in place it doesn't feel like the fairest of playing fields. 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 skill ceiling in Battalion 1944 is insanely high and no team is even near it yet but considering the short amount of time the game has been released, I think that the quality of most of the European teams is good but it's the quantity that's currently lacking. Most teams aren't that consistent yet and pretty much anyone could beat anyone on their best day which could cause for some upsets. I have to say though, I've really not been impressed at all by the level displayed by the NA teams during Fragadelphia. 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? I think that Demise has been a super solid team the past few months and they have a good chance of top 3 for sure. I also have to mention Endpoint (ex PENTA), I feel like they really are in their element at LAN and perform extremely well under pressure. Other than that I believe that the newly formed Entropy lineup might cause some big upsets, they've been practising a lot and have some pretty skilled players. 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? I will be competing as long as there is something worthwhile competing for. I'm hoping that the full release will breathe new life into the game and enable a large casual playerbase to build up. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? All the recent updates have really hit home with me, I have a lot of faith in the developer team and I believe that they will keep on giving us great updates. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons? What I really miss from CoD4 is the whole idea of taking mid control and then using that to control or cut off rotations to either bombsite. The Battalion maps aren't designed with that in mind at all and I think that plays a huge part in how the game is played. Other than that I'd make some tweeks to the economy system, like increasing the round win tokens from 2 to 3 and making it so that a defuse only gives the defuser a coin - not the entire team. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event? Don't give up, no top player in any game or sport got there by chance, it takes a lot of practice and dedication to become the best; but most importantly, have fun! Having competed since the old days of Call of Duty 4, mofFeRz understands what it takes for an eSport to survive; traits such as a high-skill ceiling and regular events are points which he pointed out that could help Battalion 1944 in its growth. We'd like to thank the Swedish player for the quick reply and enthusiasm to complete the interview!

Project Eversio CS:GO Post MCS#4 - Interview

Many of you are very familiar with the interview we carried out with Nathan "Zelli0N" Bonello, an amazingly competitive youngster following his team's victory over Project Eversio at the Malta Cyber Series #4 - one of the most surprising tournament outcomes of the event. Following that article, we were approached with inquiries to interview Project Eversio, so that they could hear the flipside of the tale, understanding both sides. We reached out to the organization, and they happily answered the following interview through the replies of one of their player Mathias "raz" Johansen. Dig in.  1.) What were your thoughts heading into the Malta Cyber Series #4? What were your goals and expectations for the event?  Going into MCS #4 we had our goals set to win the tournament, though we knew Cinco's foreign players would be a challenge for us. Expectation-wise, we thought we could win the tournament if we played our individual play-style as usual and pick the correct maps. 2.) Project Eversio began the tournament in still by sweeping the Group Stage flawlessly. At this stage in the tournament, what were your confidence levels like? From which team from Group B were you awaiting the toughest game? We saw our bracket for the Group Stage and knew that the teams in our bracket wouldn't be an issue for us. The only team from Group B that could challenge us would be Cinco as the foreign players have basically been involved with CSGO on a high level for quite some time, though Cherry from Anarchy has been playing pretty good in MPL, so they would for sure be the runner-up team.  3.) Of course, bracket play was also a breeze until you faced of Iconic Cinco, who managed to take the series 0-2. What are your comments regarding the result? The first bracket match we had versus Cinco was really bad from our part, we underestimated them a lot since we had looked at a few matches they played and they didn't seem to communicate well at all.  We thought we could just roll with focusing on their weakest players Zellion and nax, but the retake level from the foreign players was really impressive, and it seemed like they knew what our strategy was going into the maps. On Mirage, we lost a close game that should have been ours. This is because there were a million restarts which meant we gave away money advantage every time. It just messed our flow up too much and we were never able to bounce back from it.  4.) Project Eversio remained in the competition despite their loss, as they crawled their way back in to the competition’s grand final where they would rematch Iconic Cinco. What were your thoughts heading into the rematch? What were your expectations? Climbing up wasn't our biggest issue, but playing versus Cinco in the final where they had the map advantage was hard for us as the challenge we had was finding out their map pool. This is a challenge when you play against teams you have no information on, you just pick comfort picks in a dark room where things can go anywhere - analyzing teams isn't really a thing in Malta as of right now at least. In terms of expectations, we knew we would have to step up, and basically overcome a tough challenge. At least we had a bigger understanding of their map pool. 5.) An absolute nail-biter ensued and the series went 3-2 in favour of Iconic Cinco. Some maps were heavily in favour of one team while others were incredibly close. Describe the series and its outcome.  We had to widen our map pool going into the grand final where Cinco had map advantage and we put our money on the thought that we could find a pattern in the kind of map they played bad on.  This went on to be more or less half-successful for our series. Cache:  We picked Cache as it's a rotate heavy map, we knew they would probably place Zellion and nax on each site and it would be easier to make good executions, as if one of them die early they would have to rotate fast as it's harder to do retakes.  Not much to say though, we played our individual playstyle and we managed to close it out at the end which gave us a bit of hope going into Mirage for the next map, but at least we knew we had the possibility of performing compared to the first bracket match. Mirage:  As we lost Mirage in the bracket stage (which we should have won), we thought we could close it out in the Grand Final. However, we just played horribly overall with our execution and communication. We tunnel-visioned too much on our original play-style and some of us just didn't perform up to our normal standards. We also lost an insane amount of 1vX situations that just tilted us further. Inferno:  We really didn't know what to do on Inferno at all, as we didn't practice it and went in without strats or anything, but it seemed like everything started to click with getting entry kills and not letting people do whatever they wanted by taking over areas to gain control over map areas.  After Inferno we were pretty confident going into nuke as its one of the stronger maps for some of our players.  Nuke:  We all knew after the first round of nuke that we should have done this pick differently. Nuke is a map that requires a lot of team synergy which we didn't really have a lot of. We won the knife and decided to pick T-side as we performed a lot better on T-side on every other map and thought it was our best bet. This just proved to be a bad situation for us.  6.) How has the team reacted to their first local loss in a while? What will you be working on for the future?  After our loss, we took it pretty well overall, although we all had different feelings. For some, it was exciting as there was finally some good players that could challenge our setup and would lead us into playing with more motivation. For others, it was just disappointment as this was something we should have won if we played to our normal levels. 7.) Despite the loss, would you still consider yourselves the best local team or has Iconic Cinco taken that title from you?  I'll leave that up to the community. People saw both of us play and they frequently see us play in MPL or on stream so they can base it on individual levels.  Cinco is a very new team that now has been going with roster changes so who knows what kind of impact this will have on their performance. 8.) Here’s our last question. Is there any message you’d like to leave for the players of Iconic Cinco and for those doubting Project Eversio’s CS:GO?  Competition is good for the scene. We were used to attending local events without practising, so the silver lining of our loss is that now people will stop saying “It's useless to attend LAN because Global5/EVERSIO wins every time, and we're actually more motivated to practice. You definitely haven't seen us playing at our best! It does seem that Project Eversio are excited for a rematch. "Analyzing teams isn't really a thing in Malta" - I'm pretty sure, that both Iconic Cinco and Project Eversio will be checking each other out in terms of strategy for the next match-up. The Maltese CS:GO scene is officially shaken up as a top-dog remains uncertain.  "I'll leave that up to the community." - based on this comment made by raz, let us know in the comment section whether Project Eversio are still the best CS:GO team in Malta!  

COD Champs Recap - Defining the Iconic Event

Ask anyone familiar with the international Call of Duty scene what the Call of Duty Championship means to players. You'd be hit with replies pertaining to its legacy, the fact that CoD legends are carved in its competition, redeeming the rest of the season for many and solidifying the best team of a given season. Nothing else matters as long as you show up at Champs. This year's iteration couldn't stay truer to this statement, with upsets galore and surprises which blew everyone out of the water from top to bottom. Here's my recap of my favourite event of the year.  With $1,500,000, the competition was underway as early as Wednesday. Unlike any other previous year, elimination would be as early as bracket play - it's either you qualify in the top two spots of the group or wave goodbye to bracket play. This caused a few upsets very early in the competition.  Group Stage With eight groups involved, as the 32 teams were shuffled into groups of 4, I'll try to keep this short as it seems there was a surprise in every group. Group A started off the competition in dramatic fashion, with the tournament favourites in TK losing out in a series to the rising Lighting Pandas to concede first seed placement. Hence, those two teams qualified while Epsilon and Heretics went on home. Group B had Rise Nation take an expected position at the helm, while Tainted Minds crumbled to Lethal Gaming to placing last in the group. The Australian region continued to fail in Group C, where Mindfreak was edged out by Ghost Gaming who placed below Red Reserve.  Meanwhile, Group D was terrorized with a redhot Team Sween, a bunch of European veterans who took down the likes of eUnited and Splyce, forcing them to battle it out for qualification. eUnited made it through. Group E and F went as expected, for a change, with the top names proceeding to bracket play. However, Group G saw Echo Fox perform in a shadow of themselves to make way for Team Vitality at second place with LG on top.  Group H; the true group of death which nobody expected. Every year, there seems to be a bracket in which a three-way tie ensues - only this time, the third was eliminated. Due to Supremacy conceding all 3 games in sweeping fashion, and Elevate taking it to EG and OG, it came down to the final series. Putting EG and Optic at odds, Optic Gaming needed just one map while EG needed to sweep. The upset of the century occurred, with Evil Geniuses silencing the Green Wall with a top 32 finish! The curse of Aches and Optic continues, as one of the biggest names in CoD shamefully walked home without even reaching bracket play.  By Friday, 16 teams remained. 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with AVENUE eSports

AVENUE eSports are one of the few examples of teams which have competed in all of the Battalion 1944 Events up to this point, determined to become the best. This attitude was certainly made concrete in the following interview with Ryan Daxten Jones, a 23 year old competitor from the roster which also consists of the following players:  cDe, kaysk1ng, SOULZZ and loony. Let's learn more below.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major?  Our main preparations involve developing some strategical setups that play to all our strengths. Our main aim is to get to a level where we don’t have any weak maps and can play confidently on all of them.  This coupled with simply putting more hours into the game is what we believe is enough to do well at the major 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? Well, of course, since it was announced everyone pretty much decided they would want to attend as it would be the biggest offline tournament to date, so probably since the announcement. With Gallantry’s Budapest LAN being quite a successful one for us (even though we didn’t finish top 3) considering we only prepared about a week, we’re confident that with the time we have left before the major we can set ourselves up to do well once more. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Our goals are to let no team out-work us, out-desire us. The drive and passion we have to become the best team gives us the motivation we need to do what we do best. In terms of placing we want that first place, the same as everyone else. If we didn’t think we could win it, we wouldn’t have attended the qualifiers. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out?  The main aspect that hindered us was that it was held on a weekend, this is an unusual time because that is when most players have other stuff they’d rather do. This meant we had to play with substitutions a lot of the time and I know for a fact that other teams had to as well. 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 are a lot of strong teams, however with the number of roster changes recently, I don’t think we’re seeing 100% (including ourselves). I think there is room for improvement and the level of competition will definitely increase as teams have time to gel with their new members and adapt accordingly. 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? As mentioned before, there are a lot of strong teams, such as CRG, DEMISE and 1UP, however, Endpoint would be my guess, let's just hope Mark isn’t allowed any beer while playing and we’ll be fine! 7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized?  Right now, we have no plans to stop playing after the major, regardless of the outcome. If the results aren’t desirable then we put in more work and return to the next event stronger. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? Yes definitely, the game is headed in the right direction and I can’t wait for update 2.5 and MU3. However, I think Loony is going to miss the crouch jump! 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  I’d probably change the inconsistency of wallbanging. For example, you can wallbang all of the wooden doors on ManorhouseV2 but can’t wallbang the dark room door on Liberation B site. I would also change Invasion B site; there is a huge invisible wall that blocks what I feel could be some necessary smokes for taking the site and just, in general, it seems easier to just go A as allies. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Not sure if I’m qualified for this! However, I would say that playing with a consistent lineup is quite key, building that team chemistry and knowing how your teammates play can be crucial in mid-round decision making and how you adapt to both the way your team plays and the way the enemy plays. Besides that, just sink them hours in and find the playstyle that suits you best. It's clear that the team still has a bunch to go through before the main event, settling their own sense of teamwork and individual skills in order to reach the top. We'd like to thank Daxten for the speedy replies and his contribution to giving us insight into this team's attitude and perspective of the event. 

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - All you need to know

As you are all aware, Battalion 1944 is a competitive title which got its start within the past year, determined to rise as a new esport to fill the void which classic shooters such as Call of Duty 2 left behind. With that being said, GMR has been incredibly supportive in the scene of the new title, ranging from events, online tournaments with our partners Gallantry and also Interviews with players. It's now time for the title's first major event of its lifetime, through the Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018; $50,000 and the top Battalion 1944 competition in the world.  The event is uniting global Battalion 1944 talent through online qualifiers across the European and North American regions. A total of 16 teams will be determined from the rounds of qualifiers, with the final round of European qualifiers occurring from the 18th to the 19th of August. These online qualifiers have been going on since July to cater for the massive amount of teams attempting to qualify; to fit in the 12 spots near the Wildcard Teams. The $30,000 for the winning team is an extremely persuasive prize.  So why are we, GMR Interested? Apart from the fact that we're supporters of the growing title of Battalion 1944, we are ready to help out with the organization of the European qualifiers and also by providing a stable platform for players and teams to check their stats and scout what other teams are doing. So much so, that we're planning on interviewing all 16 teams taking part in the event - including the likes of Team Demise, Pure Gaming, Endpoint and Comrade Gaming. We'll be keeping a close eye on the event, providing you all with the most recent and relevant news.  The online portion of the event is soon to be concluded. After that, the remaining teams will gather at the Esports Gaming Arena in Amsterdam for the real competition between the 27th and 30th of September. 

The Red Bull M.E.O by ESL: Clash Royale Including Malta!

Gaming on one's phone, or mobile gaming excluding mobile consoles, isn't completely recognized by the community as being on the same level as PC or console gaming - perhaps due to the lack of competitive options for 'mobile gamers' as they'd be called. is ready to convince all of you that our phones are ready for eSports, as we're partnering with Red Bull and ESL to host a national qualifier for an international tournament; the RedBull Mobile Esports Open featuring the mobile gaming phenomenon of Clash Royale.  Shortened to Red Bull M.E.O, the ESL organized tournament is an international opportunity for mobile esports to take a stand and cultivate the mobile gaming scene. Offering the chance to a total of 36 countries from across the world, qualifiers will distill nationwide talent into a select few who will battle it out at the grand finals in Germany - a representative from each country taking to the stage. Malta is one of those countries which will be involved and we will be taking care of the qualifiers!  What is Clash Royale? Clash Royale is, it's a strategic mobile game in which players engage in 1on1 face-offs. The title combines elements from tower defense and card games; quickly rocketing into the charts on mobile play store up to this point, where ESL is ready to take the next step. There's still a month until the first qualifiers, so if you're interested, you've got the time to acquaint yourself with the game which is accessible on any mobile play store.  How do I get involved in this inaugural season of international Clash Royale? You've got to be a registered player on the ESL Play platform, of at least 16 years of age having valid travel documents. You're only allowed to participate in one country's qualifier - if you're Maltese, then it's Malta's that you're interested in. Qualification stage will take place from September to December of this year, over an online platform. How do I Register? Step1 - In order to regsiter please press on the following link. Step2 - After registration is complete please join our discord channel in order to get the latest updates. wishes all the potential contestants the best of luck. We'll be covering the local qualifier - we can't wait to find out who the best Clash Royale player is in Malta? 

Interview with the Maltese YouTuber Grandayy - 1 Million Subscribers!

For those who've been paying close attention to our Facebook page, we recently shared the phenomenal achievement which Dr. Grandayy arrived at; a Maltese YouTuber that hit 1,000,000 subscribers this week! Following this milestone, we decided to reach out to him for an interview, so that we may gain insight into his personal life, career and anything we can learn about the anonymous Dr. Grandayy. Keeping his name private, which is incredibly respectful, we interviewed the most successful Maltese YouTuber below.  1.) We’re sure that you’re aware of the fact that you’ve reached 1,000,000 subscribers on YouTube; congratulations! Let’s start off with this two-part question – 3 years ago, when you published your first comedic video, did you ever imagine reaching this milestone? How does it feel to be the most successful Maltese YouTuber? No, I never assumed my channel would get this big. I would just make memes for the fun of it at first but people kept watching and subscribing. It’s awesome being the most successful Maltese YouTuber, and also pretty funny that the biggest Maltese online content creator is a meme maker. (Video link: 2.) From you’re special video, dedicated to the milestone, it’s clear that you’re beloved by the global YouTube community. With this in mind, have you ever thought of being a YouTuber full time? It was amazing getting some of the biggest Youtubers in the world, including Vsauce, iDubbbz, Jacksepticeye, and Jacksfilms, to participate in my 1 million subs special. I honestly didn’t expect most of them to agree to do so, but they happily accepted, and I really appreciate it. The Youtube community is truly amazing. Regarding your question I’m already a full-time Youtuber and have been for almost a year now. 3.) Dr. Grandayy; you’ve made it clear that you’d like to keep your name confidential. What can you tell us about your personal life as a Maltese person? Also, are you an actual practicing doctor? If so, what field do you specialize in? As I already mentioned I work on memes full time as funny as it may sound. My personal life is mostly memes(lol). I finished my medical studies and got my medical degree last year, but never actually started work as a doctor, as I chose to focus fully on Youtube instead, at least for the time being. Although most people may find that a pretty stupid decision, I honestly love working on memes and if I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to make it my full-time job I’m not gonna throw it away. I’ve always loved messing around on the computer so my main hobbies are also computer-related: video games and a bit of digital music production. 4.)  There’s no way around it; your success is based on the fact that you’ve got a fantastic sense of humour. What or who would you say inspires you to create such hilarious videos? I’m not so sure myself, it’s mainly the memes that I see all over the internet. If there’s a meme that’s currently very popular I’ll be thinking of what memes of my own I can make with it. I get ideas and inspiration from other meme creators like Dolan Dark, Cyranek and Flying Kitty too. I’ve always loved memes and the stupid humour that they consist of though. I remember browsing memes for my personal enjoyment over 10 years ago, when they were much less popular among the general population. 5.) The memes which you produce aren’t the lengthiest videos, but they have an astounding amount of work behind them. If you could, please describe the process of how you create your videos. Mostly I first get an idea based on what memes are currently relevant, and then I start the editing process on my editing software (I mainly use Vegas Pro for video and FL Studio for music editing). Some meme ideas are very simple and require minimal editing time, while others, especially the musical memes, are very complex and require hours upon hours of editing. But in the end, the more complex memes are usually the most loved so it’s still worth it. 6.) Us being, it’s only natural that we turn to gaming in one of the questions. Would you consider yourself a gamer? Give us a few examples of titles which you love playing, specifying the platform. Are you interested in any esports? Gaming is one of my biggest hobbies so I’m definitely a gamer. For those that didn’t know, my Youtube journey primarily started with me making note block songs in Minecraft, on my older channel grande1899. So Minecraft still holds a special place in my heart. Also, one of the first games I spent countless hours on, and the first game I ever made a Youtube video with back in 2007, was Runescape, so that’s another game I easily get nostalgic about. But apart from that, The Witcher 3 is my all time favourite game (and in fact, it’s quite a popular inside joke for my channel too – even my avatar is Geralt of Rivia with a note block as his head). Story-driven games are my favorite types of games. I’m mainly a PC gamer as I’ve always been a PC enthusiast and I like how with a PC you can customize hardware and game settings however you like, but I have to admit that some of the best story games are Sony exclusives, so I love my PS4 too. Some other games that I really love are The Last Of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, and Detroit Become Human and all other David Cage games. And then some other franchises I love are Assassins Creed, Tomb Raider, GTA, and pretty much all Valve games (at least when they still made games). Multiplayer-wise Rocket League is probably my favorite, and I love me some Fifa too. 7.) Has the Adpocalypse on YouTube affected your three channels in any way? Yes, the adpocalypse was a pretty hard blow for almost all Youtubers. Not only did revenue go down by around half suddenly, but videos were getting randomly deemed as non-advertiser friendly, and therefore demonetized, by an AI system which was, and still is, pretty terrible at its job. And for the first five months or so there wasn’t even any way to appeal the AI’s decision so that an actual human being could review it. Now there is an appeal system in place so it’s gotten better, although it takes around 24 hours to for a human to review an appeal so it’s still not perfectly ideal, especially when most of the views a video usually gets is in the first 24 hours. 8.) We’re only halfway through 2018; what are your goals for the rest of the year in terms of content creation? Honestly I never really make any goals, except to keep making memes on a regular basis. I don’t have any subscriber number goal that I want to reach before the end of the year or anything like that for example, I’ll just keep trying to grow as much as I can. 9.) YouTube is a tough place to thrive as a content creator. What advice do you have, as the most regarded Maltese personality on the platform, for any other Maltese creators trying to find their path on the site? My main advice for Youtube has always been to only make content that you enjoy making. Especially when you’re small, your primary reason for making a video should be that you’re having fun making it, and not to make money or become Youtube famous. Unfortunately making it big on Youtube is not easy, but if you enjoy making videos, even if you barely get any views, the outcome is still a positive one. Obviously, making videos about current trends or popular topics, or finding a niche that not many people are making videos about, will definitely increase your chances of getting views, but I think in the end it’s regular content that you love making that is most likely to get people to subscribe to your channel. 10.) We’ll conclude with a serious question. What happens if Dolan Dark is appointed the Meme Force Lord General instead of you? What hope is left? Would that be the end of Dr. Grandayy? Dolan Dark being appointed as Meme Force Lord General would be disastrous for the entire meme community. A person, or duck, with a history of numerous meme theft scandals cannot be trusted to lead the Meme Force. No one can accurately speculate the full extent of damage the meme world will suffer if he wins the election. So we need to make totally sure that that does not happen. Personally, this has been my favourite interview yet, perhaps it's because I'm a heavy admirer of memes. Some incredibly interesting replies out of Dr. Grandayy, especially the fact that he's graduated as a doctor but chooses to make memes for a living - that is some serious passion and dedication which shines through every video. We,, would like to thank the full-time memelord for the interview; wishing him the best for the future of his channel, personal life and his position as the Meme Force Lord General.That last questions was, of course, different in tonality - if you, the reader isn't understanding the reference, I strongly recommend you check out Grandayy's YouTube and Twitter as linked below.  Primary YouTube Channel: Secondary YouTube Channel: Third YouTube Channel: Twitter: (over 200,000 followers) Merch Store:

COD Champs Preview - The Fiercest Competition Yet

The Call of Duty World League Championship is known for being the largest Call of Duty event at the end of each season; making and breaking careers because nothing else matters and the rest of the year is irrelevant when compared to this main event. Of course, after an arduous season of WWII, we've reached the final chapter of the title. Personally, I couldn't be more excited as CoD is indeed my favourite esport; there are so many storylines, potential runs, and legacies colliding that I could write a book about the upcoming event. Let's get right into it.  Spread across two events, the two stages will take place between the 15th and 19th August. The intensive group stage will take place on the first two days, at the MLG Arena while the championship bracket is to be carried out at the Nationwide Arena - both in Colombus. The event will determine the World Champions for the Call of Duty: World War II Season, with a prize pool of $1,500,000 on the line. The 32 anxious teams are currently stacked in 8 groups of 4 teams each - 48 series will be played to conclude the Group Stage. From the 2 Asia-Pacific, 11 European and 19 North America teams, the top 2 from each group will advance to the Winner's Bracket while the bottom two will find themselves in the Loser's Bracket. Time to take a closer look at the teams.  Favourites - Team Kaliber, Rise Nation, Red Reserve  The competition has been so tight recently, it was difficult to decide on three teams which I would deem as favourite. Yet, looking back throughout the season and the combined statistics, the teams which have been most successful are Team Kaliber, Rise Nation and Red Reserve. The newest edition is TK, following their performance at Stage 2 Playoffs, where they blew everyone out of the water with a return to form as they won the whole thing. Their squad suddenly clicked and the team was firing on all cylinders as it used to earlier in the year, when the team won two of the events before the curse. After that performance, they are top contenders; the core of Kenny and Accuracy has been one of the strongest throughout the season. Then, of course, there are the more obvious choices of Red Reserve and Rise Nation. Rise Nation picked up the pace exactly when TK had lost theirs, quickly becoming the most consistent team in the scene thanks to their outstanding flex player in Gunless which made it possible for them to adapt to the meta. Having won a couple of events this year, and being broken apart by TK at the Stage 2 Playoffs, they are determined to prove themselves as the top team. Red Reserve has also been consistent, in placing 2nd and 3rd across the season to the other two teams. With their new addition of Skrapz,  the European Devils are one of the top three teams at the event, hungry to take it home for the continent.  Contenders - FaZe Clan, Optic Gaming, eUnited, Luminosity Gaming This is where my list may deviate from your own. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. Moving on, I've made a list of contenders who are also likely to win the event should things go their way. First off, I had to address the wounded dog that is Optic Gaming - limping following a continuously disappointing season despite a massive roster change, with thoughts of retirement hovering over the legendary Scump; they've got a lot to prove. Following last year's triumph, not many are convinced that such a performance will be repeated; this event could make or break the current roster. Speaking of new rosters, Luminosity Gaming is another team that many would count out of the title race. Despite a poor performance at Stage 2, the new roster, with the addition of FormaL, has the potential to win the whole thing; especially with a decorate player such as Jkap on the side. Personally, I am hoping to witness the return of FormaL as the best AR in the game, silencing all of the doubters he's attracted all year - but then again, this is just a personal hope. If there's a time to bring you're A-game, it's now. Concluding my list are the likes of FaZe Clan and eUnited.  After FaZe's win at the Stage 1 Playoffs, due to a lacklustre perfomance by Optic, they've been hovering around the middle of the pack. For them to win, the whole team will need to pull it together simultaneously, and not just the incredibly clutch efforts of Replays who did come out of retirement this year. I would not have considered eUnited until two weeks ago, when they smoked their group in the Stage 2 Qualifiers to clinch the first place spot. This alongside the leadership of Clayster,  the team expects to make a very deep run into the competition.  Dark Horses - UNILAD, Echo Fox This section is one I've dedicated to the team which I'm rooting for to throw off the competition and tear up the statistics. UNILAD, who've taken out Optic Gaming in the past two events, have been playing spectacularly to establish themselves as a Top 8 team. With the twin of wuskin on their side, a grudge match between UNILAD and Red Reserve would be a pleasure to watch, as skrapz will be just as determined to prove himself as the better twin. Another team which many will count out is Echo Fox. Sure, they probably won't win the event  - but can they take on bigger teams? Yes they can; they've taken down the likes of Rise Nation and eUnited in the Stage 2 Qualifiers. They've got potential, especially after Temp bet $1000 with TJHaly from Rise, that the Red North Americans aren't going to win it.  Redemption Required - Splyce, Evil Geniuses and Team Envy Here's a statement; Splyce, Evil Geniuses and Team Envy have been the three most underperforming teams of the season. Perhaps this statement could be countered with the fact that Splyce and EG had both secured 2nd place finishes very early into the year - but we've come a long way since then. These three teams, with the echoing names of the organizations they represent, have been nothing but shadows of their potential selves, having seen placements beyond 10th place regularly since the start of 2018. Each will be looking to try pull something together before the event, even though the odds are heavily against them and the competition is stacked. I would include Optic Gaming here, but they are contenders.  I could go on with a background for each team, but your thumb would tire of scrolling. Other stories, such as the Australia-Pacific rally which we witnessed at the end of Stage 2, or the fact that Censor is winning the event may also be explored. COD Champs 2018 is an event I'll be watching from beginning to end, and if you're any fan of competitive COD, you should too.  Thanks for reading - who is your favourite to win it all?

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

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

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