Hey guys! Spent some time this weekend marathoning Evoland, and now I have five videos to post this Monday-Friday. Hope you enjoy them. Like the video says, there are massive spoilers involved, and sadly the game isn’t the type of thing you play more than once. If you’re curious, but don’t really want to play through it, give it a watch: just find some way to pay it forward to the devs, because they obviously put some work into this quirky title.
Picture this: your amateur gaming team makes the jump of a lifetime to play in the biggest professional league of its type. You’ve gone from long hours in your parent’s basement or sneaking in a match between classes to having a stable, positive outlook on your future. Weeks (or months?) of eating ramen and shuffling extra money towards a better Internet connection have finally paid off, and you’ll be hitting the big time.
But that’s not enough for you, is it? You want to win this thing. You want to come home with a big shiny trophy and fat, novelty check. You want stream viewers, respect, and to be a gaming god. You want to be able to prove to your peers that you’re not wasting your life, and to that girl (or guy) you’ve been chasing that you can make some serious bank.
There’s just one nagging problem: your teammates.
In the first couple weeks, you’ve failed to make the impact that you wanted. The hype that you brought in has gone decidedly downward, and it’s becoming really apparent that changes will need to be made in order to succeed. Your team is a new division of one of the most successful Counter-Strike: Global Offensive organizations there is, and you not only risk your own glory, but theirs at well. There are obvious mistakes. Weak links. But these are the guys you’ve been playing with for months. What do you do?
Words With rolls on with its fourth episode, this time covering something extremely timely. It’s also been the most well-received episode of the show yet, which has been great for expanding my audience; this is probably the interview I’ve been most proud of, and has left me with the warm and fuzzies. This is definitely a good sign for the continued filming of the show.
Nick “NickWu” Smith is a LCS veteran, top lane player, and now, substitute for Vulcun Command. After playing in the Spring LCS with Team compLexity, he has departed the team to play for Vulcun Command as a substitute. In this interview, we talk about the transition, the need for communications and coming back from adversity. Timestamps are after the break, or in the video description.
Words With continues with a third episode, this time looking at a little bit of a controversial subject; I’m also toying with a shorter format, so this interview clocks in at a modest 18 minutes. Will be posting another video soon, this time with another LCS player! Stay tuned.
Jenny “LittleJenny” Vu and the team she captains – Team Siren – were thrust into the League of Legends spotlight with a trailer hyping their all-female roster. I sit down with her to talk gaming, the gender politics of gaming and the team’s plans moving forward. Timestamps are after the “Read More” link.
Hell is being trapped in a window seat on a fifteen hour flight to Korea with a full bladder and the stereotypical Canadian need to be polite. My legs crumple into the seat in front of me, two sleeping Korean men prevents me from the freedom of the aisle.
The last five days had been hectic: I received a press pass to cover the OnGameNet OLYMPUS Champions Winter grand final in Seoul, South Korea, spent the time in between frantically preparing to leave my time zone for the first time. Despite writing about competitive League of Legends for six months at this point, Champions Winter was my first live tournament; after watching numerous American and European events from my Toronto bedroom via stream, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nauseous from my nerves. Or maybe that was the in-flight beverages.
As promised, my “Words With” series continues on, this time with a player I’ve wanted to talk to for a long while. Alberto “Crumbzz” Rengifo posted a blog post before the League Championship Series started about some depression he was going through and just a general amount of chaos in his life; I identified with this, and him being able to work through that earned my respect.
We talk about finding that passion for the game, working with international competition and the things that Team Dignitas are going to do in order to clinch Season 3 and remain competitive at World Championships. Timestamps are after the “Read More” link.
This is the first video in a new series I’m going to be doing from now on; I’ve always wanted to talk person-to-person with a lot of the personalities, players and figures in the League of Legends community, and I figure the best way to do that is to just jump in.
Christopher “Panky” Pankhurst is a frequent guest on “Whose League is it Anyway?” and freelance commentator. He currently is working for gaming channel MachinimaVS to consult on their League of Legends ventures, and joined me to talk about commentating, getting involved with the community and the current state of the game. By clicking the “read more” link you can find timestamps for the different sections we talked about.
If you liked what you saw, consider leaving me some feedback or giving me a subscribe. You can find me on a number of social networks along the top bar of this web site, so give me a follow there, too! There’s also a thread for this video on Reddit, if you want to discuss it.
This past weekend marked the closure of the League of Legends Championship Series spring split, and the first half of Season 3, and it wasn’t without casualties. Part of the mid-season break was a promotion and relegation tournament, which was implemented in order to motivate players to place highly in the standings and potentially introduce new blood.
Four LCS teams played against four “Challenger” teams in a best-of-five series, where the winners would earn a spot in the second half of the season; the benefits of a professional gaming salary and regular exposure to audiences of 100,000+ were also on the line. The benefits to being in the LCS are huge for a League of Legends player, as it’s the pinnacle of competition in North America and Europe.
What made this weekend worse was that two North American teams that were previously in the LCS were relegated, losing that salary and exposure. One of these teams, compLexity Gaming, featured several people that I had come to know in brief moments away from the game over the course of the season, and seeing them not make it back in was a bit disappointing. While signs point to the team staying together despite not being in the premiere league for the game, I feel there needs to be a little bit of a memorial in order.
compLexity’s LCS journey began with a lot of enthusiasm. Then called The Brunch Club, the team was made up of many players with cult fanbases that rarely had the chance to claim the top spotlight. In North American League, there is a definite hierarchy of popularity, with older teams having a firmly entrenched position at the top. This is not their fault; they have had a longer time to establish their fan bases, and often have a higher budget to market themselves.
I’ve been on a bit of a futurism kick lately, and now that my Pebble is here, I’m kind of a step closer to that. I contributed to their KickStarter back in last March, and after a year of waiting (and some delays, as it was supposed to be shipped in September) it’s finally in my hands. I’ve only really kicked to things that I can get digitally; to have something that went into production and is now a real product is kind of cool.
New one by me for C&G Monthly; I write about Brian Wood’s The Massive, a comic book that’s new and dear to my heart. You should check it out! Here’s a bit of an excerpt:
To start this off, I’d like to say I’m a big fan of Brian Wood’s work.As a journalist, DMZ was a great look into the possibilities of a profession-based character, and it taught me a lot about what the potential of comics were when it comes to evoking emotion.
As that series wrapped up last year, I looked to his new series, The Massive, that’s currently being published by Dark Horse; if you’re looking for something bereft of capes that still manages to have a fantastical setting, this could be for you.