Gaming News Episode 4

Four days until the end of February.

My intro sentence was totally a coincidence.

What’s up ya’ll!

Happy almost March, and congrats on surviving the busiest February in gaming history. I’ve been enjoying these posts as it keeps me sharp and let’s me fill in the long gaps between my reviews come out.

This week was pretty chill from a general gaming standpoint, but from an esports POV, it was heavy.

Ukraine

Over the past couple of weeks, this has been a developing story as Russia and Ukraine have been butting heads. This is not a political piece, as I’m terrible when it comes to politics, but late last night news broke that Russia was sending missiles and declaring war on Ukraine.

If you or someone you know is out there, please stay safe and/or check in with people you may know. We live in some scary times, and this happening late Wednesday night doesn’t make it any easier. We as people have to unite to show support and solidarity in these dark times.

Below will be a link should you wish to help those impacted by the events.

Gaming

Guardians of the Galaxy “under performs” and Horizon Forbidden West consumer frustration

According to a recent Square Enix Financial Results Briefing (link leads to a recap of the briefing), Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy did not meet initial sales expectations.

You’re probably wondering why, but I know you. You know the answer to that question, and in case you don’t, look up Marvel’s Avengers. When I wrote up my post for Guardians of the Galaxy, I cited my hesitation on playing the game was because Marvel’s Avengers was a tragedy. I feel confident in saying that I believe Avengers’ release negatively impacted GotG’s which is a shame because the latter is a damn good game.

Square Enix did go on to say that recent sales have helped boost the game’s numbers which is encouraging. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, but I really hope we get a sequel.

Switching tracks; Horizon Forbidden West is incredible. I’ve been enjoying my playthrough so far, and while it starts off slow, it has me interested in what I might discover as I continue playing. While critical reception has been very high for the game, not everybody is as happy as they should be.

Sony’s pricing model for the game has drawn a ton of flack. The game launched with two different pricing models; you could buy it for $60 on the PS4 store (and get both PS4/PS5 editions) or be charged $70 on the PS5 store for the exact same thing…

Wut.

Now I should probably be upset, but I’m more disappointed that I didn’t realize that was an actual thing. People are upset, and rightfully so. This was a big issue when they announced Forbidden West as Sony was weird in their response to “free upgrades”, and this wasn’t a good look ruining a stellar game. I watched YongYea’s recap on the situation, and he mentioned something about a possible class action lawsuit. If it gets to that point, be sure to monitor this space as I’ll cover it!

Also, I can’t forget that the game is getting review bombed “just cuz”.

Call of Duty finally skips a year

Alright, I really didn’t plan on covering this, but I figured I would just to give all games a fair chance.

Call of Duty is skipping 2023 as a new game will not release marking the first time that a Call of Duty game will not launch in a calendar year since they started yearly releases. The news comes from legend Jason Schreier as Activision cited Call of Duty Vanguard‘s under performance as a driving factor to this delay.

Now before you get all excited, Activision is planning to release a free-to-play Call of Duty experience in 2023 to bridge the gap as well as content to support “Warzone 2” and this year’s Modern Warfare 2. If you’re keeping track at home, this news means that Infinity Ward’s MW2 will be the first CoD title to have a 2 year cycle which, in my opinion, is bad from an avid competitive gamer standpoint (see Modern Warfare 2019)

Something I’m thinking about is I wonder if this F2P Call of Duty will be a remaster of the older title Black Ops 2 or Modern Warfare 2‘s (2009) multiplayer experience. Last time they did something like that (Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered), it didn’t work out in their favor as they realized fans didn’t want to play futuristic Call of Duty, and it split the player bases pretty hard.

Who knows though? This is the life of CoD.

Elden Ring is finally here

I’m sure most of you have been waiting for quite some time, but in case you forgot, FromSoftware’s next title launches tomorrow.

I’ve always been extremely bad at these games because the core formula plays to slow for me. That being said, I always get hyped when a new one of these bad boys come out. Their trailers always come out super fire. As always, be sure to trust your instincts and use your own judgement when it comes to reviews. For those of you at home keeping tack, review scores have been exceptionally high citing this might be FromSoftware’s best work.

I probably will pick this up later, play it for like an hour, get stuck, and then quit it. That’s just how it goes for me.

Trailers

Shadow Warrior 3

I’ve always wanted to try these games since they look crazy like DOOM, but I’ve never been able to. Shadow Warrior 3 launches March 1st, 2021 on everything but the Nintendo Switch and will be a Day One launch on PlayStation Now, which is quite surprising.

Elden Ring

It’s been a long time coming, but Elden Ring will be here this week.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen

It’s that time of the year where I sit and think if I want to put myself through Destiny again. The newest expansion and season dropped on Tuesday.

NieR:Automata anime

This was actually pretty surprising, but given how well the game did, it’s a well deserved crossover!

Esports News

The Nature of the Game

Image courtesy of 100 Thieves Esports Twitter

100 Thieves’ VALORANT team has been struggling since their season came to end in the NA LCQ last year. The roster had to get reworked as veteran Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella returned to CS:GO, Joshua “steel” Nissan and Johann “seven” Hernandez left to T1, and Aaron “b0i” Thao has been released. In their place, they brought in Hunter “BabyJ” Schline and Adam “ec1s” Eccles to compete in the 2022 VCT season. To say the least, the new roster hasn’t been up to par yet….

After a thrashing by the hands of The Guard on Sunday evening (including a 13-0 Ascent demolition), 100T put out a statement on Monday that they were releasing the newest members effective immediately much to the surprise of the entire NA VALORANT scene. Both of the released members were professional in their mannerisms post release, as they streamed, talked about their experiences and what possibly led to them being released citing disagreements in roles and play styles.

I won’t try to understand the full details and contracts of both BabyJ and ec1s, but what I will say is that this is tough to see. This happens in all sports; players will get cut or traded away due to injury or just because. While you can argue it’s a business and teams will do what’s best for themselves, orgs tend to neglect the human aspect of this business:

  • In regards to ec1s, he had to secure a visa to come to the US.
  • In regards to BabyJ, there were reports that he signed a three year deal (I could be completely wrong), and he took the release hard when asked about it on stream.

Both of these players were released after two matches.

To be fair, founder and CEO of 100T, Nadeshot, has been very vocal and transparent about the whole situation and the outcome. Out of all of the people to say anything, I would trust his opinion the most since he’s a former professional player.

I guess my point is that this is disappointing to see, as orgs bury themselves in the business aspect rather than the human nature of things. This roster deserved more time to gel, but for now, its business as usual as the new 100T roster debuted last night and looks to secure their first Main Stage win this Sunday against Luminosity Gaming.

JASONR is on the hot seat

Image courtesy of Liquidpedia.

Let me take you back in time before we talk about this current situation.

Way back in 2018, popular streamer Ninja (the Fortnite guy) made headlines when he said he doesn’t play with women. His reasoning behind it was the along the lines of:

If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever.

Polygon

He faced hefty criticism for that, but it seems like it has been swept under the rug…

That is until former CS:GO player Jason “JasonR” Ruchelski made this become relevant.

VALORANT pro Vannesa “panini” Emory took to Twitter on Sunday to cryptically tweet about “that one big streamer that mutes every girl in his ranked games”. However, it wasn’t that cryptic since Twitter immediately responded to her with countless stories from females who’ve experienced the same form of treatment, including the likes of professional player Annie “Annie” Roberts from Cloud 9 White. Even Sentinels player Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan has gone on record to sharing what he’s seen from JasonR, and it lines up with all of the current accusations.

To give you a bit of backstory, JasonR is a retired CS:GO pro who spends his time streaming VALORANT on Twitch to a decently sized fanbase. The above claims describe that when JasonR queues into a game with someone he believes is a girl, his PC “crashes“, his internet goes down or he mutes them. Now, this isn’t the first time he’s been accused of this behavior; back in 2018 (coincidently the same year Ninja made his headline), Jason and his girlfriend (now wife) were accused of banning Twitch viewers if they had names that identified them as girls.

Since the accusations have come out, JasonR has been pretty quiet albeit for a few bizarre responses.

In my opinion, the criticism is well deserved. Each and every year, gaming is growing, making strides to move forward and include different genders. I would say that it’s even more relevant in VALORANT as Riot has the Game Changers scene giving women the chance to compete professionally. JasonR’s behavior is unacceptable, and the fact that this has been swept under the rug or no one has called him out before this is disappointing to say the least. Criticism aside, what is not okay, is the countless death threats JasonR and his wife have been receiving.

#TSMWin, KiXSTAr tribute, Year 7 and more in Rainbow Six Siege

Last weekend, Team Solo Mid took home the title as the world’s best Rainbow Six Siege after beating Team Empire in the Six Siege Invitational 2022. I’ve been on and off with Siege since it launched almost 7 years ago (more on this later), but I turned in to watch the event for the drops and ended up cheering for NA’s only hope. Congrats to TSM, and I can’t wait to see what next year’s comp scene brings.

Back in October 2021, well known Siege commentator, Michael ‘KiXSTAr‘ Stockley, tragically passed away shaking the Siege community. Since his passing, he’s been honored with his name being added to the Presidential Plane map, in game charm, tributes, and Ubisoft inviting his parents to be on stage for an interview. I’m very late to the scene and his impact, but the esports team did release this video on Sunday which gave me more insight to him.

Very well done video.

Along with that, two separate pieces of information were shared. Siege gave insight as to what players should expect as the game enters Year 7 (YEAR 7 SHEESH) with highlights such as permanent team deathmatch, cross-play/cross-progression and reworks to the Ranked system. It all looks really good, and I’m most interested in the cross-progression and how it will work. Off topic, but I wonder how long they plan on maintaining this current title until they decide to do a Rainbow Six Siege 2.

The other piece of the pie was a bit more disappointing. Siege Esports announced that the Summer Major would be hosted in the United Arab Emirates which has been known as anti LBGTQ. In response to the announcement, many members of the scene were quick to start a petition in order to get Ubisoft to reconsider the decision. Since the announcement, the decision has been reversed which is very good.

Cloud 9 fire League of Legends head coach Nick “LS” De Cesare

Okay I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about League of Legends, besides the fact that I’m the best Miss Fortune in NA (I’m joking), but when something happens in the esports world I investigate to see what’s up and maybe learn something new.

Saturday before their match against Counter Logic Gaming, C9 head coach LS, was informed that he would be losing his position. Since the news came out, Cloud 9 has responded with a video sit down with the CEO and members of the team to go over why they let him go.

Again, I don’t much about the scenario and the scene, but reading the comments of the video shed a light that doesn’t look good for C9. In summary, according to the comments section, there was no information presented that justified this firing, and everybody’s clowning on C9.

Yikes.

FormaL finally has a team

I was not home when I saw this announcement, but when I saw it I stopped everything I was doing to see if it was real.

Spoiler alert.. it’s real.

FormaL joins the OpTic Gaming Halo team and will replace Justin “iGotUrPistola” Deese in a rather surprising move that comes after a defeat to Cloud 9 in the HCS Anaheim 2022 Grand Finals. From my point of view, it was shocking to say the least, since OpTic Gaming came in second place in the event. From the looks of it though, Cloud 9 is on a different level as their HCS Anaheim 2022 win was their second event win in a row. This move seems like an attempt to push OpTic over the edge and help them compete with the likes of C9.

Memes

Kids be nice to your parents or you’ll get ratioed. By the way, this is real.
Not a meme, but Nathan Drake’s voice actor, Nolan North has been heavily supporting the Uncharted movie’s release. I love this, and I love me some Nolan North.
In response to EA blaming everybody but themselves for the state of Battlefield 2042.
Another year, another Call of Duty mistake this time naming OpTic Texas the “Texas OpTics”. This has been fixed since this surfaced last week.
Shaq knows who the Doc is!!!

Other News

  • The Capcom countdown site was a reveal for Street Fighter 6 featuring a LARGE Ryu with a beard. More details are to come this summer!
  • theRadBrad, gameplay walkthrough extraordinaire, has surpassed 13 million subscribers on YouTube. Absolute king shit.
  • SunhiLegend, known for making incredible action gaming GIFs/videos on Twitter, has accepted a full-time position at Guerrilla Games after freelancing with them for a few months. In case you have no idea who Sunhi is, scroll through Sunhi’s Twitter media for all of the hype work. Well deserved!
  • The PlayStation VR 2 design has been shown to the world finally.
  • Bethesda’s PC launcher will be retiring in April, and all of those games will migrate to Steam. I didn’t even know Bethesda had a PC launcher…
  • Rumor has it 2K is looking to do some LEGO sports titles bringing in the likes of Sumo Digital (Sackboy: A Big Adventure) to work on a LEGO football game. Good studio to work with if true!
  • March’s PlayStation Plus lineup is a banger featuring Ghostrunner, Ark Survival Evolved, Ghost of Tsushima: Legends (co-op mode Ghost of Tsushima) and Team Sonic Racing. Okay after typing that last sentence, it’s not the best of months, but Ghostrunner is phenomenal and Ghost of Tsushima Legends is really fun. So 50% good is better than no percent good!
  • It has been reported that Overwatch League teams will gain beta access to Overwatch 2 in a few weeks time.

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