I’m running out of clever intros folks.
Episode 10 is here, and I can’t express how much I enjoy doing these. For the moment, I think this is the final form of this series unless I get more creative juices flowing (that sounded weird I’m sorry). I will say that I’ve been looking at my past posts, and I realize all the fonts are different… Rookie mistake I swear.
Also, thank you for all of the support! I get it’s a lot of reading so for all the readers, or if you only read a segment here and there, I really appreciate you.
My notes were looking dry for a couple of days, but thankfully, I managed to find some good stuff to talk about this week. Let’s dive in to the world of gaming.
Is E3 skipping 2022 foreshadowing?
By now you’ve probably seen the headlines, but due to on going safety concerns, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially announced that there will not be a physical or digital E3 event this year. Although they did host a digital event last year, this year’s event is canceled as a whole with a renewed focus on bringing the show back for 2023.
I remember watching E3 each and every summer wishing I could attend. E3 was a time where every big name shows what is coming next, and we’d spend days arguing who won the event. As I grew older and discovered the internet (no not in a dark way), E3 started to lose its allure as the scheduled announcements would be leaked on Twitter days ahead. Couple that with big names dropping out and choosing to hold their own events instead (in turn saving themselves a crap ton of money) and games being announced just to never see the light of day (I’m looking at you Beyond Good and Evil 2), E3 has been really struggling these past couple of years to keep the hype it had going for it.
In light of the cancellation, the Summer Game Fest (Geoff Keighley’s digital gaming convention) will be taking place during this time to serve the same purpose as E3 with plenty of announcements to come. I do hope that E3 can regain its form amid this shift to digital showcases with more structure, but the convention has a long road ahead of them.
Fortnite is changing the game
I wrestled with including this segment, but I figured I have to now.
A couple of weeks ago, the popular battle royale introduced its newest season with more whacky crossovers and ludicrous changes. The release of the season caught some huge flack because the theme was about a war, and there’s a war going on in the world right now. In response to the flack, Epic Games committed to donating all proceeds gained, from March 20 to April 3rd, to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. When I last covered it, Fortnite managed to raise $50 million dollars in 4 days. On April 4th, they announced they have raised $144 million dollars.
Holy f%^k just think about how much money this game makes off of sales normally.
Outside of the huge amount of money raised, one of the biggest changes came in the form of the removal of building mechanics in casual game modes (building is still in the competitive modes). I went back to play it when the season launched, and jeez is it weird without the building mechanics. It feels like a cheap version of Super People (that other BR that died pretty quick).
My opinion aside, the removal of building was meant to be a temporary scenario but instead has been making headlines as big names have been applauding the way the game plays without building. Some of the biggest names have been questioning if Epic will introduce competitive Fortnite without building.
I don’t know if these tweets are a result of the “honeymoon” phase, but it would be interesting to see how this game would play competitively without building. I feel like people would hate it because this is what separated Fortnite from Warzone or Apex Legends, but what do I know?
Point I’m trying to make here is Fortnite is creeping up on it’s 5 year anniversary since the launch of the BR portion of the game, and Epic Games is still finding ways to innovate and change the gaming scene. Ignore the gameplay change for a second and look at how much money they managed to raise for Ukraine.
Insane isn’t it?
Twitch is at it again
I am a Twitch streamer. I enjoy using Twitch because it works: very simple platform, people join a stream, chat/vibe, etc. However, when Twitch doesn’t work, it does so in the worst ways possible.
A few months ago, Twitch implemented a feature called “Boost” which functions exactly how it sounds; viewers could pay extra to boost a stream to make it more visible on Twitch aka almost a “pay to win” scheme. Quite possibly the worst idea ever, at least according to one Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel (jk the entire world thought it was terrible), Twitch removed the feature after a short period.
Well, Twitch brought it back, but this time renamed it to “Boost Train”. It works similar to the “Hype Train” feature (a “Hype Train” occurs when viewers gift a sub, sub to a channel, or give bits to the streamer in quick succession) but also adds the “Boost” feature so that a streamer will get better visibility when viewers start throwing money at the streamer (just jokes). The “Boost Train” saw some success as it launched porn streams straight to the top of Twitch’s algorithms.
So to recap, Twitch introduced “Boosts”, removed them because it was stupid, then brought it back just for porn to reach the most visible parts of the site.
I have my frustrations with Twitch and rightfully so. A site that was supposed to unite content creators and viewers has since turned into hot tubs, people licking microphones for 8 hours and a giant pot of greed (not the Yu-Gi-Oh card). It’s sad to see the state of Twitch, and I have no doubt things will get worse as more loopholes are discovered in every (in)action Twitch takes.
Rainbow Six Mobile
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is coming to mobile, and while I probably won’t play it, I’m interested to see how it turns out.
Not really a trailer, but if you’re interested in this game, a 30 minute gameplay video dropped to give fans something to hold them over until its June release.
Nobody Saves the World
This game has been out since January on PC/Xbox, and it’s finally getting brought over to all other platforms. I believe I’ve heard good things about the game so once I catch up this will definitely be on my list.
Unreal Engine 5 Test Demo
This was a sick little snippet of what we can expect to (hopefully) see with upcoming titles using the power of Unreal Engine 5. Epic Games did a livestream early on Tuesday giving a breakdown of Unreal 5 and a list of studios working with the engine, and the future looks unreal… see what I did there?
Call of Duty League Major 2 is complete
Against all odds, the Los Angeles Guerrillas completed an Elimination Bracket run with a 5-2 series win over the Atlanta FaZe and were crowned the Minnesota Rokkr Major 2 Tournament winners. I was away from home for most of the event, but this tournament was an incredible showcase of how absolutely anything is possible in gaming.
Here’s my recap of what I noticed (but I advise you check out ACHES‘s recap because it was comedy):
- Every series on Day 1 were sweeps across the board.
- Aside from the Guerrillas wining, the biggest headline was the rise of Kris “Spart” Cervantez. He filled in for LAG as a substitute due to Peirce “Gunless” Hillman having a health concern and ended the weekend as the Major 2 MVP while changing the two gun meta with his use of the Volkssturmgewehr. Not to mention, before any of this happened, he was in the Challengers scene a few weeks before.
- The Boston Breach are improving as the season progresses. I know that’s an obvious statement, but given how Methodz and TJHaly weren’t in the league and paired up with newcomers Capsidal and Nero, they’re improving at quite a rapid pace which is a good sign of things to come.
- Vibes were absolutely ecstatic in the arena. The crowd loved the Rokkr’s matchup against OpTic Texas, but unfortunately the Rokkr lost that series which was their only matchup during the weekend. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who wishes that the home crowd had a better team…
- Peak viewership was 98,713 (which was the Los Angeles Thieves vs OpTic Texas match that saw Texas reverse sweep LAT) while average viewership was 55,901 according to Esports Charts.
- Speaking of LAT, I watched the LAT/Texas match and besides a solid Game 5 Search and Destroy, star AR player Sam “Octane” Larew looked like he was in an absolute blender. I really like Octane as player, but his play as of late has been pretty rough (see Game 2 Dessert Siege where he finished 0-9 and Berlin Hardpoint where he finished 16-26). He finished that series with a .85, but it’s just really unlike him. Hopefully, he can get it back together as there’s a month until the next Major starts.
Below are the final placements for the event and current standings after the battle in Minnesota (images courtesy of the CDL site).
With the second major complete, you will be shocked to know that we’re half way done with the Vanguard season…
There’s only 4 majors, and there’s a month break in between Major 2 to Major 3 as the next event starts May 13th.
Will LAG be able to keep their form? Will the CDL be able to retain viewership after a month break? Will Spart be on a different team or replace Gunless in the lineup? Will FaZe be able to get over their 2nd place hump (not to knock the fact that they’ve gone to the Grand Finals twice in a row)? Will OpTic rebound from their loss in Major 2? Will I ever get my viewership rewards from watching the CDL on YouTube?
We’ll find out next month folks.
VALORANT Masters starts Sunday
The North American revenge tour reaches its first international test as VALORANT Masters 1 kicks off in Reykjavík this Sunday.
Here’s the full bracket, schedule and teams that will be there to refresh your minds:
I’ve been outside of the house the past few days plus it’s been like 3 years since I’ve seen an official VALORANT match (minus the Game Changers scene) so my brain is absolutely lost in the sauce. I apologize if this segment comes out scatterbrained.
As exciting as this event finally arriving is, the EMEA scene did take a few hits in regards to their representation:
- EMEA’s top seed, FunPlus Phoenix, can not attend the event due to issues outside of their control. Instead, Team Liquid will be taking their place.
- On FNATIC, Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov is suspended from participating due to his leaked conversation about the war in Ukraine. In place of BraveAF, FNATIC will be playing with Enzo “Fea” Mestari an IGL from Alliance.
As I was writing this, Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, who contacted COVID last week, just tested negative so he should be able to play for FNATIC come their matchup on Monday. However, if by chance he cannot play, Joona “H1ber” Parviainen will fill in his place.
Overall, outside circumstances aside, this should be a good event as all of the teams here are really freaking good (dumb point but true). I’m rooting for North America to pull it out due to how freaking good The Guard are and, if you don’t root for OpTic Gaming, are you even American (jk)? My only knock on The Guard is that since they completely skip the Group Stage due to being NA’s first seed, I could see that possibly impacting their performance since it’ll be their first LAN event, and it’s against the world’s best teams. On the flip side, OpTic looked shaky to start their Group Stage run. They clearly figured it out; I’m just hoping they maintain the form that got them to Iceland.
Outside of NA, I love me some KRÜ Esports, and the KRÜPIUM is at an all time high. That being said, they have been running with a new head coach for quite some time, and it’ll be interesting to see if Martin “BeTony” Bourre can get the boys to maintain form and have a deep run in Iceland.
Who do I have winning the event? I’m not sure, but it’d be a sick birthday gift if NA can start the revenge tour with a huge international W.
Last point I’ll make, and maybe it’s just me, I hope future events go back to 16 teams like Champions was. I don’t know if they explained why only 12 will be at Masters 1; I’m assuming Champions is supposed to be the last big hurrah for VAL esports so they invite everyone, but please give us more teams for the rest of the year.
NRG resigns their Apex Legends roster
I’m still learning about the comp side of Apex Legends, but to all the fans of NRG’s team, you’ll be glad to know that the current roster of Nathan “Nafen” Nguyen, Aidan “rocker” Grodin, and Chris “sweetdreams” Sexton have resigned with the org ahead of their trek to Stockholm for the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs.
The video above is the announcement trailer featuring Brandon “aceu” Winn, and I thought it was actually pretty funny. Glad to see good content like this in the scene.
Memes and Hot Media
- Crystal Dynamics is working on a new Tomb Raider game (FUCK YES) with the power of Unreal Engine 5.
- The Witcher Season 3 is officially in production and story have been officially (not leaked) dropped.
- Okay this is really late but a Destroy All Humans 2 remake was announced back in September 2021 (HOW DID I MISS THIS?????). THQ Nordic is set to have a digital showcase on August 12th so maybe we’ll get some more news on this and possibly more.
- Last night, Remedy Entertainment announced they reached an agreement with Rockstar Games in order for Remedy to remake the original Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. I only played Max Payne 3, but the thought of a remake sounds really good if they can recapture the full vibes of those games.
- Ubisoft announced that they are ending support for Ghost Recon Breakpoint as well as the support for the NFT aspect they shoved into the game.
- The Last of Us 3 is supposedly being worked on. According to leaker “Oops Leaks” (take this with a huge grain of salt), Naughty Dog has an outline of the script but is in the middle of working on the multiplayer Last of Us title and a new fantasy title that does not involve Neil Druckmann. Just give us Jak & Daxter it’s not that hard guys.
- A Razer headset saved a gamer’s life as a stray bullet hit the top of the headset. Absolutely scary to know this happened, and it’s safe to say Razer stonks are going to rise up as this story gains more traction.
- Capcom is raising employee salaries by 30% and introducing a new bonus structure in effort to boost productivity and retain development talent.