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Jonas, Author at Armchair Empire - Page 5 of 8

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The Uprising has fallen

It was fun while it lasted!

As the 1st of May passes, Blizzard sticks to their promise and removes the Uprising event from Overwatch.


For those of you who happened to be on holiday from 11th of April till today a few words of introduction. Uprising was a seasonal event, in which players could for the very first time dive into the lore of Overwatch.

The world of Overwatch is beyond the shadow of a doubt one of the best-written universes in gaming. Sadly, many people don’t know anything related to it as the game does not ram it in your face by any means. For them, Overwatch is all about fun & shooting, with some lore-related flavor texts here and there. But by no means is that wrong! They bought a game, a quick, fast-paced shooter to kill the boredom during these pesky winter evenings! If they wanted to experience a deep and touching storytelling, they would have chosen Planescape: Torment (can you think of a more classical example of a top-notch narrative in a game?) right away and wouldn’t bother with Overwatch at all.

Until the Uprising, the lore was accessible only through comics, stories, and animations (the quality of which, by the way, matches Pixar movies). There was no actual way of replaying the events that have shaped the Overwatch’s world.

The Uprising scenario allowed players to replay Tracer’s first mission. In this story, Torbjörn, Reinhardt, and Mercy had to defend King’s Row from swarms of attacking omnics. In a Left 4 Dead-style PvE Brawl, the players could finally take part in canon events and become heroes of the Overwatch lore.

To keep it fun, Blizzard enabled an all-hero mode allowing to use all characters. The event rewarded participants with seasonal loot boxes containing unique content, unobtainable elsewhere.

In total 114 new items were made available. Needless to say, newer players will look jealously upon veterans equipped with them. Special mention goes to Blackwatch McCree and Combat Medic Ziegler Mercy – these two skins look so well that it will be hard for Blizzard to release something better (these outfits come with Legendary quality; there are 6 other Legendary skins and 2 Epic outfits).

Blizzard stated that more lore-related events are to come, however, as of yet there are no plans to introduce a story mode into the game.

I find this quite sad.

There is so much story that needs to be told.

The biggest upset in recent eSport raises a question on the format of tournaments.

Many fans watched in silence as SG Gaming, a relatively unknown Brazilian stack, knocked Team Secret off the 3000000$ price pool Kiev Major. Long will this match linger in our memories as one of the greatest upsets in the history of eSports.

This event sparked a fierce discussion in the eSport community regarding the single-elimination format of the tournament. No wonder, seeing that next round showed that while SG Gaming is a good team that can put up a fight, they are simply one level below other teams. Given a chance to climb the lower bracket, Secret would have had a good shot at changing the outcome of the entire tournament.

Supporters of the double-elimination format bring up a strong argument that if a tournament is to crown the current champions among all teams, independently of things between particular ones. Almost every team has their favorite scrimmage partners who know them like the backs of their hands. Skills showed in matches between such teams are not the accurate reflection of their power level because understanding your opponents style is important in all eSports. In such situations (ex. unlucky seeding), a better team, who would have stomped the tournament otherwise, might end up knocked out by their scrim partners.
It is also relevant in games where “cheese” tactics exist. A team or player may use a surprising strategy to win one match but still lose in the long run. Tournaments should reward masters, not one-trick ponies.
Not everyone agrees with that stance.
Some people say that tournaments should encourage these high-risk high-rewards plays as they are what allows us to see mesmerizing underdog stories. They point out that it is leagues’ and general rankings’ role to show the most consistent teams and tournaments are all about the feeling of the moment and glorious victories. In their opinion, a champion should withstand all obstacles and cheeses. Should a team overlook an issue, they shall pay the price. Like in war, there are no second chances. That’s a pretty good point when you consider the fact that it was Secret’s pride and cockiness that cost them a shot for 1000000$.

Apart from that, there’s an issue of time & money – tournaments played with double-elimination format take essentially double the time of single-elimination ones.
It may seem pretty good for the viewers for they wouldn’t just watch more games but also sometimes get a second chance to root for their beloved team as they would struggle to fight through the lower bracket, however, it is disastrous for organizers. It’s already common to see games dragging out for hours. Doubling that would mean either additional costs (and these events are already quite costly) or cutting down the number of teams. The latter means that while some may be happy to see their team for the second time, others may not get to see theirs at all (and that means fewer viewers, fewer tickets sold and smaller tournaments).

There is no straightforward answer to the question about the formats. The only thing we can be sure is that now Team Secret will think twice before underestimating their opponents.

What do you think about it? Should there be a standard format or should it be up to individual tournaments? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Full Broadcast Recap

E-Sports Team

Taking A Look At An E-Sports Team

Imagine for a moment if your life consisted of living in the same house with a group of friends playing video games and making money. With very little exaggeration that is exactly what some E-sports teams do. They live in the same house, practice the video games that they play, and promote brands that have chosen to sponsor them.

Optic Gaming is a popular E-Sports team with a lot of influence in their field. They are doing well enough that they have purchased a seven-bedroom house in the suburbs of Chicago. This home looks like something that would be owned by a high powered official but is instead occupied by video game playing twenty-somethings.

The image of video game players as slobs and unable to make money is something that certainly does not apply to those who are part of this team. They have found a way to make what they love to do work for them. The types of games that they play are “Call of Duty“, “Halo”, “Gears Of War”, and others. The one thing that you will find in common with all of these games is that they are team efforts.

Gaming House

The member of Optic Gaming has all of the latest technology to make team play possible and to make it possible for them to do very well with the games they play. They always have to be able to communicate with one another about strategy and what they are doing in the game at any given moment.

The CEO of Optic Gaming is a 37-year-old named Hector Rodriguez. He has worked to promote the team and has made them very popular. However, popularity is not the only point of doing this. He is hoping to draw in corporate sponsors who will put in the big bucks to make it worthwhile to keep playing. He has not had much trouble on that front. He has even managed to draw the eyes of companies as large as PepsiCo.

In total the team actually owns two houses and has a total of 22 players on it. Some are there solely to make content and put out videos of the team onto their various social media accounts. Other people are there to actually play the games. Either way, the group is a powerful one with a lot of reasons to keep an eye on them. They are becoming a force all by themselves. One member said that he went from being just a fan of the team to now being a member himself with nearly 3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel that follow his every move.

The group has become so popular that almost any video they put up is sure to get millions of people to view it. They do not have to be actively playing against another team in order for people to be interested, they just need to put something out there and people will start watching.

This is the hidden industry that many people do not even realize exists, but it continues to grow by the day.

Ultimate Gaming Experience

Creating the Ultimate Gaming Experience

With all of the newest advancements in technology, gaming has the ability to be more captivating than ever. Greater quality consoles with enhanced graphics and gameplay continue to emerge in the market. Furthermore, gaming companies continue to brainstorm ways in which the gaming experience can be improved. From online interaction to hands-free gameplay, gaming companies continue to push the boundaries on what is possible. With the recent rise in gaming popularity, many people are interested in making a customized gaming space for themselves. Here are a few tips to help you create the ultimate gaming experience.

1. Choose Your Console Wisely

Perhaps the most important component to a gaming atmosphere is the game console itself. While there are countless brands and models of gaming consoles, there are only a few that have remained consistently popular throughout the years. The Xbox by Microsoft, the Play Station by Sony and the PC are all forms of consoles that have stood the test of time. There is an ongoing debate surrounding which gaming console is the best. You will find passionate gamers on all sides of the discussion. Generally, the Xbox and Play Station offer an unbeatable gaming experience. Both consoles pack amazing graphics, a large selection of games, comfortable controllers and online gameplay. Additionally, they are quite affordable when compared to the cost of a gaming PC. However, many gamers are beginning to turn towards gaming PC’s because of the freedom and customizability they offer. Unlike standard consoles, PC’s can be created and customized to the personal preference of the gamer. However, this is also the reason that gaming PC’s cost more than consoles.

Both consoles pack amazing graphics, a large selection of games, comfortable controllers and online gameplay. Additionally, they are quite affordable when compared to the cost of a gaming PC. However, many gamers are beginning to turn towards gaming PC’s because of the freedom and customizability they offer. Unlike standard consoles, PC’s can be created and customized to the personal preference of the gamer. However, this is also the reason that gaming PC’s cost more than consoles.

2. Purchase a Gaming Chair

Those who are new to the gaming culture may be surprised to realize that there are chairs designed especially for this activity. Generally, these gaming chairs look similar to a large massage chair. They are designed to remain comfortable during long periods of gameplay. Some people may question the necessity of purchasing a chair just for gaming. However, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long durations of gaming. In order to create the ultimate gaming experience, comfortable chairs are a necessity. These gaming chairs can be purchased online and even at some local electronic stores.

Some people may question the necessity of purchasing a chair just for gaming. However, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long durations of gaming. In order to create the ultimate gaming experience, comfortable chairs are a necessity. These gaming chairs can be purchased online and even at some local electronic stores.

3. Invest in a Quality TV

Another critical component to creating the ultimate gaming experience is investing in a quality TV. Playing games on the appropriate screen can mean the difference between feeling immersed in the game or having trouble seeing the game. No matter how powerful a console may be, its full potential cannot be realized without a top-of-the-line television. While there are hundreds of models and brands to choose from, a standard high-definition flat screen will do the trick. They are lightweight, compact and can be surprisingly affordable. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility between the console and the TV. Gamers must be certain that all necessary chords leading from the console can be plugged into the TV. This ensures that all visual and audio components can be successfully transferred from the console and displayed on the screen.

They are lightweight, compact and can be surprisingly affordable. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility between the console and the TV. Gamers must be certain that all necessary chords leading from the console can be plugged into the TV. This ensures that all visual and audio components can be successfully transferred from the console and displayed on the screen.

GenCon

GenCon – A Must Attend For Gamers

If the sound of dice rolling across a tabletop is sets you to excitement, or if waiting for the frown or smile of a gamemaster keeps you in gut-wrenching suspense, GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana is a pilgrimage that you definitely need to take. Started by Gary Gygax, the father of gaming, almost fifty years ago, you will have the time of your life at GenCon. You will be a real gaming monitor.

Every one of the big game houses is there. Mayfair games, creators of fan favorites like Agricola and The Colonists, has a huge presence. Rio Grande games, one of the biggest innovators in card games, is also one of their top sponsors. Gale Force 9, makers of the hugely popular Firefly: the Game and Star Trek: Ascension, have a large display with all the expansions available for their games. Settlers of Catan has one of the largest set ups, with all the different versions of their game, one of the most popular board games out.

If see a game you find interesting, but just aren’t certain, there are test areas, where trained staff teach you how to play the game and guide you on strategy and tactics. Sit with your friends, or make new ones while you play and learn. There, a gaming monitor will help you learn even the most complex of games.

Are you someone who knows without counting whether throwing three d4s or two d6s is the better gambit, GenCon is without a doubt the place for you. Dozens of purveyors have everything you need for your next adventure, from flashy, custom made dice, to every campaign you can imagine, to the costumes you are looking for for your cosplay. Nothing makes your quest more real than that sword or wizard’s staff your character needs to survive the wilderness.

Aside from the dealer floor, there are dozens of other exciting events. Magic: the Gathering tournaments, as well as tournaments and challenges in almost every other game genre imaginable. Exciting LARPing opportunities abound like “True Dungeon” and several others. A gaming monitor will help you through the dungeons and puzzles. Often these events sell out very quickly, so you’ll want to make signing up a priority when you arrive.

And do not miss the costumes. Heck, participate yourself. Some of the most imaginative and fun costumes appear at GenCon. Things from Steampunk Ghostbusters to a full Klingon band. Many of the attendees dress for the event, some with a different outfit every day. Commander Shepherd, Browncoats from Firefly, Deadpool, little girl Darth Vader, and Dr. Who’s Daleks are some of the most common, but one of the most fun parts of the convention is figuring out who the characters are, especially those who do really creative mashups.

Can you wait? If you are a true gaming monitor, then probably not. But if you make plans now, you can attend this annual event, usually in August. It is a place every serious gamer needs to check out whenever they have an opportunity.

Las Vegas Adds eSports Arena to Woo Gamers

eSports is on the rise, and that isn’t news to anyone around here as the NY Times reported more people watched the eSports championships than the NBA Finals last year, but we see more money get pumped into the industry every week and now Sin City is jumping into the arena (pun intended).

The most recent industry to jump into the foray is tourism as Las Vegas just unveiled a 15,000 seat esports arena.

The arena has all the features that a professional sports venue needs: stands, warm-up areas for teams, massive screens for spectators and a broadcast platform for commentators. But what distinguishes this new Las Vegas arena is its dozens of video game consoles.

The 15,000-square-foot e-sports venue slated to open Friday will host competitive video game tournaments. It’s part of a trend that the casino industry hopes will attract the millennial crowd, the 15- to 34-year-olds who are becoming majority spenders in today’s economy but aren’t necessarily interested in traditional gambling.

The stadium opened with a $50,000 Halo World Championship qualifier that was won by team OpTic Gaming (full recap here) and is hosting the Madden World Championships in the coming months. That’s good news for aspiring pro-gamers. No longer do you have to run a 4.4 40-yard dash or be 6-6 with a “wicked jump shot” as the late Notorious BIG once said, now we all have an opportunity to professional “athletes.”

All of this is all good news for aspiring pro-gamers. No longer do you have to run a 4.4 40-yard dash or be 6-6 with a “wicked jump shot” as the late Notorious BIG once said, now we all have an opportunity to professional “athletes.”

Reddit Up to Its Antics Again – Tricks Google with Potato

It is no secret the folks at Reddit like to pull some pranks and often it involves abusing the “Domain Authority” as Search Engine optimization guys call it, of Reddit.com. If a thread in a popular sub-Reddit gets enough upvotes Google’s algorithms have a tendency to rank the content high on the search results page. In this case, the PC Master Race folks will get a kick out of this one. Searching for ‘gaming console’ returns  an image of a potato. I LOL’d

Snapchat Games?

Snapchat is scrambling to find ways to make money in-lieu of its upcoming IPO. It’s latest attempt is filter games that you play with your face on an elf. Snapchat charges a premium for these filters and its hoping people are bored enough to buy these en-masse. Not me.

via GIPHY

Snap is also introducing games in their ads in hopes to make them more interactive.

It will be interesting to see how Snap & games evolve in advertising but how they influence the future stock price of the latest tech-darling to IPO.

How to Organize an X Factor-Style Karaoke Contest

Reality competition is all the rage right now, especially in the area of singing competitions. You and your friends may find yourself watching shows like The Voice or The X Factor and think about putting on your own contest in the same style. There is a lot that goes into those types of events, so we’ve simplified the process so you can just follow the instructions and have a blast.

1. Get contestants

Choose a number of singers that you would like to have, such as 10. They don’t all have to be amazing singers, just excited about the competition and they have to want to go with the flow (see number 5). These people should be able to take critique and be flexible as the competition goes on.

2. Get an audio system

The most important part to this competition other than competitors is to be able to hear the singers. If there is a low quality speaker and microphone, or no speaker and/or microphone, what is the point? In addition, since you aren’t necessarily expecting pro singing here, a laptop with lyrics to the songs is essential as well.

3. Narrow the music focus

To avoid too many types of music in the competition, challenge your participants by giving them a genre of music to choose from. One round could be rock and the next could be R&B. For a truly challenging and entertaining round, why not include a Rap round as well?

4. Choose judges

This part is incredibly important, and there is some flexibility in how you choose judges. You could choose to have them act as specific reality TV judges, such as Simon Cowell or Paula Abdul, or you can give them free reign to create their own personas. Regardless of what you choose, they must be unbiased toward the competitors and give honest, constructive feedback.

5. Choose a ranking system

Each reality singing competition show has their own way of judging contestants or selecting them to move on. You could get rolling chairs to swivel around if you’re trying to replicate The Voice, or get buzzers, to press if you’re done listening to someone, like on the X Factor. Either option could serve as the first round, and in subsequent rounds, judges could take on a format similar to American Idol or even Dancing with the Stars, where feedback is given and a number score is provided. A scale of 1-10 could help eliminate people and choose the winner as the number of contestants is lowered.

6. Have fun!

Ultimately, this competition is meant to be fun, so everyone involved, the organizers, judges and singers, should remember that and enjoy the whole process. To loosen people up, have snacks and drinks ready to go.

Super Mario Themed Pop-Up Bar

There is nothing like a little nostalgia to go along with your delicious libations and this pop up bar in Washington DC has nailed it again. They understand the power of nostalgia in marketing and have spent six weeks decorating their bar for the Cherry Blossom Festival and half of it with a Super Mario theme.

Now they’ve missed an opportunity to have toadstools for the bar seats but the rest is pretty spot-on. A reddit-user also was able to find the drink menu and it looks like you’ll pay a premium for your Yoshi-inspired booze.