SMUG Will Be On The Rise At EVO 2017 With New Sponsorship

 

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Smug being carried to the ring at CEO 2017. (Credit: YouTube)

 

Following his win at South By SouthWest and his appearance in the ELeague Street Fighter V Invitational, Bryant “SMUG” Higgins has found a new home with Rise Nation after signing a six month deal with the esports team on Thursday.

Rise Nation, owned by Los Angeles Rams Lineman Rodger Saffold and Kahreem Horsley, are expressing their interest in the fighting game community by picking Smug and also signing former Evil Genius player Martin “Marn” Phan and Saul Leonardo “MenaRD” Mena Segundo just months before.

Known for his sense of humor and high-top fade, the SFV pro will make his first appearance in a Rise Nation jersey at this year’s Evolution 2017 tournament or EVO for short. Taking the same image from the team’s tweet, Smug expressed how he never thought that he’d become a sponsored player.

Though he mainly plays SFV, on his Twitch channel he also dabbles with Injustice 2. Maybe this year he’ll be a two-game competitor going up against other Injustice players including Dominique “Sonic Fox” McLean.

He will definitely be a great addition to the team, not because he has a mean Balrog, but he lightens stressful situations through his comedic style of competing. Watching him in ELeague, you would wonder why he wasn’t picked up sooner. Maybe he was waiting for the right deal or wanted to be independent for a bit longer. Whatever the case may be, now with a legit jersey on his back, that is enough motivation for him to push to be this year’s EVO champion.

 

Don’t Let online Rankings Kill Your Dreams Of Making It To The Pros

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(Photo Credit: Eventhub)

Imagine Playing Street Fighter V and beating the competition and climbing the ranks. You go from bronze level, to silver, and to gold. Then the server starts to pair you against diamond and master players who destroy you in a matter of seconds. It feels like they are not only destroying your rank but your spirit to become the next fighting game community, (FGC), player.

There are three types of players in the FGC, there are those who strive to be better, those who breakdown after losing, and those who don’t care about points.

Strivers

Strivers are players who want to be better and take their losses as motivation to become a better player. These players spend more time in the training room than online working out the kinks in their fight style. This is the player that all inspiring pro gamers need to be to get far in tournaments.

Breakers

Guys who spent little time training but think they have what it takes to get far in the ranks. The confidence is there until they’re beaten and then they give up on their dreams. These are also potential rage quitters who would rather sacrifice their rank themselves than lose it (especially since most games have including punishments for rage quitters) and not care about the consequences.

Careless Gamer

Another way to be a great gamer is not to focus on ranks at all. Sure it’s good when you rank up, but it’s not your first priority. They don’t care if they win or lose, and don’t do one and done sets, where a player only plays once and leaves after winning or losing. It’s an advantage because instead of worrying about ranks, the player is more focused on learning their opponents fighting style and perfecting their own.

It would be easier to be a striver or careless player if there was a way to hide your opponent’s rank online to eliminate that stress. When it comes to playing professionally you’re not facing Master Victor “Punk” Woodley or Diamond Sean “Iamstilldadaddy” Dench, you are facing the player. When it comes to face to face gaming, the ranks don’t matter at the moment, just pride and prizes.

Top 3 Games The FGC Are Looking Forward To In Tourneys.

 

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Photo Credit: Polygon.com

 

The Fight Game Community has a small window when it comes to competitive games including Smash Bros, Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, and Injustice. It would be great to have a variety of games that will make a more open community giving more players a chance to make a name on the tournament scene. The 2017-18 year in FGC is getting a little bigger with the release of some upcoming titles.

Below are the three games that will be added to competitive gaming leading into 2018.

Dragon Ball Fighter Z (PS4, Xbox)

Since the announcement of the game at this year’s Electronic and Entertainment Expo (E3), fighting game and DBZ fans were excited to know they’re getting a 2D Dragon Ball game. It’s like someone took a blender and threw in a mix of Street Fighter V, Marvel Vs. Capcom and DBZ and created a colorful, action-packed game. The game is scheduled for release in 2018, but hopefully, a demo will be available before the year is out.

 

Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite (PS4)

The MVC series has been around for a long time and has gotten better with each release. However, there were some issues surrounding this game including the graphics, as social media erupted with dislike over the looks of Devil May Cry character Dante and Street Fighter’s Chun-Li.

But if you can by-pass the looks, the gameplay is still fun, even though it would’ve been cool to have more of the originals back, but I digress. Just from the story demo, it will take some getting used to not having a third character on the team, but we’ll get used to it. MVCI will be released this September.

 

Pokken DX (Nintendo Switch)

Let’s be real for a second. We were excited when they mentioned a new Pokemon game, but we weren’t expecting a Pokken, let alone a rerelease. At this point in the Switch’s existence, we’ll take whatever we can get just to build the collection. The game is already featured in tournaments, but the rerelease will feature more Pokemon. That’s basically it for now, but we have to play and see how the new additions stack up.

 

Honorable Mention

Super Smash Bros. Switch

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We are still waiting to receive word on the latest Super Smash Bros. title for the Switch. One thing’s for sure, I hope it won’t be another rerelease like Pokken or Mario Kart 8. The announcement for a new title was made during the Switch presentation earlier this year, but no new news was made available since then. While they’re in production, maybe there will be another ballot pick opening for new DLC characters. Fingers crossed.

There are more games coming out this year for the FGC community, but these three will be where the money is heading into next year tournaments.

 

No Smuggery Here As We Bring You The Funniest Moments of CEO 2017

The Community Effort Orlando (CEO) tournament brings the best players in competitive gaming to play in games including Injustice 2, Tekken 7 and Super Smash Bros. But the tournament isn’t just about the games, as competitors and the crowd lightened the intensity with humor.

With all that happened during the three-day event, Bryant “Smug” Higgins takes the cake for having the majority of funny moments. In case you’ve missed it, here are some of the funniest moments that happened during this year’s tourney.

#1. Apparently, when chip damage affects the player, it affects everyone including the audience member who played along with the tossing of the chair.

#2. I’ve heard that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but you might as well call this a mirror match.

#3. To shake? or to bump? that is Smug’s question.

#4. When someone plays the soundtrack to “You Got Served” before the game.

#5. Smug knuckled up against NuckleDu. The long-awaited handshake quickly turns awkward.

#6. Sometimes in life, it’s just you and your Pikachu.

#7. Please, no flash photography… Okay, just one.

#8. Until Black Panther comes out next year, this is all we have.

#9. Nice hat, too bad it’s going on the floor.

#10. Charizard’s handshake isn’t good enough for the Smugster.

#11. And the top moment goes to pro wrestler’s Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega who become face to face for the second year in a row at CEO 2017.

Yahoo! Delivers A Kick To The FGC Community By Eliminating It’s Esports Section

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Photo Credit: TechCrunch

Yahoo! Esports provided content on the latest in competitive gaming including League of Legends and Street Fighter V among others. In a letter released yesterday by Head of Esports Media Travis Gafford, he wrote that there will no longer be updates starting June 16.

The reason behind the decision is to put more focus on growing the sports brand at Yahoo! But according to Shoryuken.com, this is because of the merger with AOL/Verizon. Since the announcement, fans of their esports content have expressed their disbelief and support for their favorite writers and interviewers.

The news comes during the Electronic and Entertainment Expo, which will be one of the last features for its esports section. Near the end of the letter, Gafford thanks the gaming community for their involvement in their coverage.

“I want to thank the esports community. As is often the case, there was a great deal of skepticism when a large company entered the esports space. You challenged us to create authentic videos and articles from familiar faces and names. With the help of teams, players, leagues, and publishers we strived to provide you engaging, entertaining, and informative content. In turn, you embraced us across Smash, CS:GO, League, FGC, and many more communities. Your passion and support drove us.”

Despite this difficult time, the content producers have to continue, as Michael Martin mentioned in an interview with WPGO last month, keep grinding and doing the work they love.

WePlayGamingOnline wishes all the those at Yahoo! Esports good luck in their futures.

Nintendo’s E3 Presentation Proves Why The Switch Is A Top Contender

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Photo of the Nintendo Switch (Photo Credit: Nintendo.com)

During a video presentation at yesterday’s Electronic and Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo introduced their fans to what they can expect for the rest of 2017 and what’s new in 2018 for the Nintendo Switch. With trailers for their previously announced titles such as Skyrim and Super Mario Odyssey, the newest titles will make anyone want to buy a Switch before their release.

Yoshi

Release: 2018

The loveable green dino is back in his own game but making use of the Switch’s capability for how the levels are created. As you play, you can flip the stages to expose extras in the levels that will help you complete each task. It’s a 2D game with a 3D feel as you fight paper-mache enemies and bosses with your parade of eggs.

Rocket League

Release: Holiday 2017

The popular game is finally making its way to the Nintendo console. Rocket League is a game using remote control cars to play sports including soccer and basketball. What makes the game different for the Switch are the different DLCs to customize cars with Mario and Luigi hats, and more extras that won’t be released until later this year.

Metroid Prime 4

Release: TBD

Samus Aran is back in the classic game Metroid Prime 4. We go back to the original feel from previous games, unlike that horrible one for the 3DS that was released last year. Although little information was offered about the game, the little gameplay makes it believed to be a good addition to the series. Samus first appeared on the NES in 1986 and made history as the first female hero in a video game.

Breath Of The Wild Expansion, DLC 1

Release: 2017

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild made an impact upon release of the Switch with its big map and loads of side missions. However, if you have finished the game yet, prepare to spend more time on it with the expansion pack coming later this year. The pack includes new armor, mask, and missions.

Two other announcements for the console were made during the E3 convention including the release of new Amiibos, mini statues that can be used in the game, for BOTW and Metroid 4, and a new role-playing game (RPG) for Pokemon for 2018.

For esports, Pokken DX, Arms and Splatoon 2 will be hitting the competitive scene in the near future with the first Arms and Splatoon 2 tournaments taking place at the conference. More information surrounding the titles will be available upon release.

Holy Ravioli Batman… TBS Will Broadcast Injustice 2 Tournament.

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It’s been a couple weeks since the Street Fighter V ELeague series wrapped up on TBS, but the network is not done with tournaments just yet. According to Variety.com, the cable station announced it will air the ELeague “Injustice 2” tournament in October.

The date for the tournament gives Eleague time to obtain the rights for DC characters but will be worth the wait with a grand prize of $250,000. Also, it will be following the first release of the downloadable content pack that includes Red Hood, Star Fire, and Mortal Kombat’s Sub-Zero.

It’s exciting to see this game broadcast on television. It’s gaining more attention than the first title in 2012. I have a feeling, however, it’s going to be one of those tourneys where there’s going to be a spammer that utilizes range attacks. Characters including Darkseid, Green Arrow, Black Adam, and Superman all use range attacks that can be deadly, and annoying.

Injustice 2 hit the esports scene during Combo Breaker 2017 with Dominique “Sonic Fox” Mclean winning the first major tournament for the game. There will be a good chance that he will be in the Top. 8 in the competition, but we shall wait and see.

Injustice 2 now joins Counter-Strike: Global Offense, Street Fighter V and Overwatch in tournaments offered by ELeague. This is the third tournament including the game following the GameStop Hometown Heroes competition now in progress. Check out the trailer for the upcoming tourney.

Where Do Women Belong In Esports? At The Top With The Men

 

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Photo Credit: esports-news.co.uk

 

Video games always have been stereotyped as a “boys-only,” machine and girls were stuck with their Barbie dolls. It’s good to see that times have changed, as women are getting more involved in esports, proving that they’re as good, if not better.

Women And Gaming

Recently, Team Dignitas, a six-woman group with members Emmalee “emuhleet” Garrido, Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo, Carolyn “artStar” Noquez, Catherine “CAth” Leroux, Amanda “rain” Smith and Mounira “Goosebreeder, are dominating in Counter Strike Go by coming in first place during the Copenhagen tournament. This is only the beginning for them as they on joining more top tournaments after becoming sponsored by Mountain Dew and Alienware.

They’re also grabbing the attention of guys in the Fighting Game Community with Leah “Gllty” Hayes. When she spoke with WePlayGamingOnline earlier this month, she said for those who are looking to break into the industry they just have to do it, meaning you have to put yourself in that environment and do the best you can. Hayes and her main character “Dhalsim” makes her one of the most feared players in the league. Ricki Ortiz also makes the guys tremble in Street Fighter with her Chun-Li.

 

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Ricki Ortiz at CapCom Cup (Photo Credit: Yahoo! esports)

Stereotypes

Even today, women are believed to think that playing video games is childish and immature. In a recent study, women make up 41 percent of those who play games. This doesn’t mean they’re doing pre-orders or buying PlayStations, but most of their gaming is on their universal device known as the cell phone, whether it be Hearthstone or Candy Crush.

More women have branched out of the mobile gaming and onto platforms. Games including Over Watch and Tekken 7 are slowly, but for surely, becoming populated with female competition. They also make up one-third of viewers who watch esports. There’s nothing to fear in esports except women who can text 100 words a minute, imagine how deadly they are in video games.

Competitive gaming according to The Guardian, is one of the newest career possibilities for women, not just competitively, but in programming, writing and art in the industry.

From Gllty and Ricki Ortiz to Team Dignitas, they’re putting their mark on the esports world. With so many up-and-coming gamers looking to make their big break, they’re quickly turning what was thought to be a male hobby into an opportunity to be leaders. Not only do they bring men into the world, but they’re now taking them out with the push of a button… or eight.

Mike Ross Uppercuts and Fireballs Esports To Sell Merchandise In Lastest Video

As I scrolled through my Facebook gaming group, I saw a video from Mike Ross, who said he’s done with esports. Ross, 33, is known in the Fighting Game Community as a Street Fighter veteran, and in his five-minute video, he rants about how he’s not happy with the direction the platform is going.

He goes on to mention that esports is taking the integrity out of competition, a quick fad he suggests. I see his point that gamers are the new NASCAR, as their jerseys are plastered with branding, including Jimmy Johns and Mountain Dew. But towards the end of the video, he is visited by esports pro Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, from the future, who tells him to embrace esports and hands him a shirt that looks like something from the D.A.R.E program. Fans expressed their confusion about the video on Twitter:

Like most people on Twitter, I’m confused about whether he’s really done with esports, or was this a bogus way to promote the website embraceesports.cash. Although he made some solid points about bandwagon fans, we must not look at the obvious but see this from a true gamer’s perspective.

When I say true gamer, I mean from the kid who spends countless hours trying to beat the final boss in their favorite game. It’s about time that gamers are receiving the support they’ve longed for. Remember when our parents would try to limit us and say that it will get us nowhere. Now, the new generation can go to college and make a living from something they love.

This isn’t about being a sell out. If that’s the case, every NBA, NFL and other sports teams are full of them. No one can deny that the pros are entertaining and have put in hours to perfect their craft. Also, these guys suffer injuries and emotional stress like any other athlete.

The only thing the video offered was their meaning of esports, Entertaining Subjects Playing Overly Repetitive Tedious Software. Besides that, the five minutes I spent watching the video, I could’ve played Injustice 2.

What’s happening in esports isn’t insulting. It’s an opportunity for people to turn their hobbies into a career. But honestly, veteran or not, hoax or not, I don’t think his “departure” would hurt anyone in the FGC. He will be back to play Street Fighter. No one can go cold turkey after being on the scene for so long.

CaptainZack: Hotter Than The Sun After Signing With Phoenix1.

 

Image result for captainzackWith competitive gaming, the age of professional players is getting younger by the minute. It’s like the sponsors have a Spider-Man complex or something. But the 15-year-old Smash Bros. sensation Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth has become the third player in the game to sign with Phoenix1.

Smash Bros is one of the most competitive games on the tournament scene and perhaps one of the most fast-paced. For him to get picked up by the multi-platform team means that he’s something special. Even though he’s ranked 20th in the world, that’s impressive compared to how many people play.

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Photo Credit: Twinfinite.net

His main character, Bayonetta, is a witch who kills angels in her self-titled game, but in Smash she can either be your best or worst character. He’s gotten further than anyone who uses Bayo in the competitive circuit, placing in the top-8 in tournaments. At such a young age in a competitive esport, he has a lot more to worry about than pressing buttons.

He has to remain focused and dedicated to the game now more than ever because you have a whole team watching you. It’s not like the locals where you show up, do your own thing and leave. You’re representing a whole group whose goal is to win. I hope that he can handle the pressure and not break, and let’s also not forget about school. All I had to worry about as a kid is getting pimples and wasting stuff on my clothes at lunch.

Sidenote: for those who don’t understand gaming, it is almost likely that males are going to use female characters and vice versa. With him and his main getting signed and now having more time to play, is the formula that newcomers should follow.

CaptainZack is now professionally in the ranks of Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce and Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad. The advantage that he has over them is he has a lot more time to grow in the game.