P1 Tweek is the best Bayonetta, and he doesn’t even main her

Bayonetta is without a doubt the best character in smash 4. More and more top players are beginning to pocket this character and use her to cover their bad match-ups. While it’s gotten nowhere near as bad as brawl Meta Knight, more players are picking up the character. However out of all the players who have picked up the character, none were more interesting than P1 Tweek. A Cloud/Donkey Kong main who picked up Bayonetta as a secondary, and turned her into his best character.

Reinventing the character

Gavin ” Tweek” Dempsey began his smash 4 career maining Bowser Jr. and Donkey Kong. This all changed when Cloud was released as a DLC character. Tweek quickly picked up the character and became a dominant force with him. As of the beginning this year it’s been pretty widely accepted that Tweek was the best Cloud player in the world, and that hasn’t changed. However Tweek recently added a new character to his arsenal, that has pushed him to an even higher level.

Tweek’s Bayonetta is pushing the characters meta in a very interesting direction: Twitch

To be as blunt as possible Tweek is the undisputed best Bayonetta player in the world right now. There are a group of exceptional Bayonetta players in the PGR right now, and they each have a unique play style. Tweek however is on a much different level.

 

Out of the 5 best Bayonetta players (P1 Tweek, P1 Captain Zack, ERG Lima, EMG Mistake, and Liquid Salem) Tweek’s Bayonetta is the most special. Tweek in my opinion has redefined just what this character can do. He utilizes every single tool in her kit to take stocks in the most creative of fashions. Every Bayonetta player uses the character differently, but Tweek’s is by far the most Dynamic.

 

Bayonetta is a character that thrives in the air. She uses her great air mobility and deadly specials to carry her opponents to the top blast zone. What separates Tweek from his counterparts is how well he incorporates her aerials into his combos. Tweek uses Bayo’s Aerials like no other player, and always comes through with amazing combos. His constant innovation is not only advancing the characters meta, but also making him one of the toughest players to face.

Outpacing the competition

P1 Tweek’s results in the Bayonetta ditto speak for themselves
Smash.gg

All of this character innovation means nothing however, if you don’t win. But P1 Tweek not only gets great results with Bayonetta, he gets those results against other Bayonetta’s. Tweek dominates the Bayonetta ditto by a landslide. He holds big tournament wins against, Liquid Salem, EMG Mistake and P1 Captain Zack. All of these victories coming in a dominant fashion. While some players might be confused as to why Tweek is so proficient at the Bayonetta Match-up, there definitely is a method to his madness.

 

He didn’t start off as a Bayonetta main and some may argue he still isn’t one. However he spent a lot of time fighting against Bayonetta players and learning how to beat the character. This method of learning how to beat the character before picking her up gave him a huge advantage over other Bayo’s.

Liquid Salem, the current #2 best player in the world has gone on record to say that he doesn’t like the Bayonetta ditto match-up, and Tweek certainly abused this when he beat him at Frostbite 2018. Tweek consistently wins at the ditto and it is no coincidence. His dedication to figuring out the character before picking her up has made him the best Bayonetta player in the world and an absolute force to be reckoned with. It’s no surprise that he’s been on the rise as of late and he will definitely ranking higher on the PGR this season. It’s just amazing that he’s doing it with a character that he started using as a secondary.

Do you think P1 Tweek is the best Bayonetta Player? Let us Know in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of SSBWorld.

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From our Haus to Yours

Why are Hunters so weak right now?

Smite hunters have always been the rulers of the Team Fight in past seasons. As your team’s main source of consistent damage, many times the performance of your Hunter is what would win or lose you the game. In Season five, though, it’s a different story.

The duo lane is under performing in Season 5. For Supports, this isn’t new. They’ve been getting less farm than anyone else since Season 2. But for Hunters, this is a frightening new meta. They have less impact on the outcome of matches than they ever have. And until very late in the game your Mid Laner is expected to deal far more damage. What brought about this shift in power?

The causes

Easily the most damaging change that hit hunters recently was the reduction of XP sharing. In the Season 5 patch, the total split XP from sharing minions was brought down from 150% to 120%. Originally, this change might not have seemed massively detrimental to Hunters due to the meta toward the end of Season 4 favoring a roaming support. But as the meta developed, this change became the dread of all Hunter players.

The biggest immediate reaction to this change, along with the jungle changes that increased the farm of jungle camps, was to have your jungler primarily farm camps. This meant that when your support rotated, there was less farm in it for them.

Image courtesy of smitegame.com

In addition to this, the larger map size made rotating cost more time. As a result, Supports have wound up ordinarily staying in the duo lane until well into the Mid Game. Compounded with the XP changes, Hunters lost an enormous amount of farm going into season 5.

But in the early Season 5 meta, Hunters were still strong. This was due primarily to the item Deathbringer being way too powerful. At the beginning of Season 5, this item gave 35% critical strike chance, along with its critical damage improving passive. After patch 5.2 hit, it was massively nerfed. But unfortunately, a few other Hunter items were brought down with it: Devourer’s Gauntlet and Asi saw nerfs in the same patch.

Towards the end of Season 4, Hunters were admittedly a little too powerful. But after all the changes, it seems like Hi-Rez has hit the role too hard. What can be done to bring the role back up?

The fixes

The most obvious way to fix this situation would be to give the duo lane more farm. This would help not only the Hunter, but the Support as well. But that’s easier said than done. You can’t just increase a number to give the duo lane more farm.

Smite Hunters

Image courtesy of smitegame.com

A buff to Guardian’s blessing could be the answer. Something that increases the XP split to players in your assist range could improve things. But that’s always a difficult balancing act: you don’t want to improve it to the point where junglers pick it up too.

Another suggestion would be to increase the number of minions in a wave for the duo lane. But this could lead to more problems. With increased minion wave sizes, Sieging duo lane Towers would become too easy. The duo lane’s Towers would need to be buffed in response, creating an inelegant design situation where the Duo Lane follows different rules from other lanes. Additionally, this could impact the meta in unexpected ways. If the Supports decide to roam again, suddenly Hunters are ahead of everyone else in the game. It would also reduce the viability of Hunters with poor clear, like Xbalanque.

There is not an easy fix to this problem. It seems most changes Hi-Rez can make have equal downsides. That’s a problem for Smite’s Designers to solve in the following patches. For the moment, though, the duo lane is going to be stuck feeling a little under powered.

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Top art courtesy of smite.wikia.com

Mistakes

Boston remain unbeaten in week 2

Just days before the week started, The Boston Uprising were hit with the news about Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez. The organisation investigated the allegations and quickly released the player from their roster. With minimal scrim time and a huge hero pool to cover, Stanislav Mistakes Danilov was the player to step in.

From an outside perspective it would require a herculean effort from Boston to even come within touching distance of their regional rivals. Somehow the team pulled it off, maintaining their 100% win record on Volskaya Industries. Boston went on to lose the next two maps and pulled out an impressive third point hold on Junkertown to tie the series up. 

The final map was Oasis and Mistakes on Sombra was the key difference maker. After winning the first point Boston were in prime position to win the map and the series. As Boston’s control meter rises, Mistakes runs up and baits JJonak’s Transcendence before he even has EMP. Leaving him to freely EMP the New York side a few seconds later and close out the map. 

Mistakes train pulling in

The first two matches on Saturday went to five maps and Boston Uprising vs Florida Mayhem was no different. 

Once again Boston won the control map. They full held on Temple of Anubis, thanks to patience, communication and a three rapid kills from mistakes’ Widowmaker. On their attack Boston took the single tick needed to win the map, but not easily. They finished with less than 30 seconds remaining.

The team now have a record of seven wins to zero losses on both Temple of Anubis and Volskaya Industries. The next map was Blizzard World. Florida Mayhem took point A quickly; however, Boston recovered time on Point B and Florida fought it out to take point B in Overtime and eventually get stopped on the final corner.

The Uprising then need to attack Blizzard World and get it past point B, which isn’t easy for any team. Initially Boston were held at point A for just under three minutes before Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon came up big, managing to continually hassle and stay alive to take the point. The boys in blue then continued through point B with very little slowing of the payload thanks to an EMP into a D.Va bomb from Mistakes and Lucas “NotE” Meissner.  Boston continue with three minutes remaining and push the cart to victory. 

Trouble after halftime

Florida were not ready to give up after the break. They were surprisingly dominant on Nepal, Boston took the point first and held it up to 68% Florida gained control and looked strong with some flashy plays as well, however Boston manage to take control once again with Florida on 95% and five team members alive. However it wasn’t to be for Boston as Florida flip in overtime and win the first point. 

On the second point, Boston once again gain control first, this time gaining one more control percent before Florida can flip. However this time Florida hold it in convincing fashion all the way to 100% to win the map.

The Boston Uprising again had the opportunity to win the series. This time on Junkertown, a map that they had won against NYXL, however they were unable to stop Florida despite NotE’s best efforts, again he caught three in his self destruct. On the third point, Mayhem pushed the payload quickly, eventually being stopped for a few seconds. That brief pause was enough for Boston to set up their defences and eventually hold Florida just shy of point three.

On Boston’s attack they were slow to start, losing players early in fights took a lot of time away. Eventually the team were able to break through thanks to another big bomb from NotE. Their attack through point 2 is somewhat slowed but still end up in the final point with just under three minutes to finish the map. In the final minute Boston come within four meters of victory with a back cap from mistakes. However the team fight was already lost and Florida swooped in and scared him off the point. In the final fight Florida got early kills and staggered Boston. After a long overtime of Boston throwing themselves on the point one by one, Florida took the map and force the series into a tiebreaker.

 

Kings of the Tiebreaker 

Going in to the tiebreaker, Boston had the statistical edge, Boston had played a total of nine tie breaker maps and had won seven of them, compared to Florida who had played four and won two. Inevitably Boston won Oasis 2-0 with standout performances from Striker and Mistakes. Although notably still no Pharah which may be a concern when one is needed. The match was incredibly close and both teams looked strong, a testament to the parity between (almost) all the teams in the league now.

Looking forward

Boston Uprisings’ next two matches will be against London and Seoul in that order. Both of these matches are definitely winnable. With Boston recently having beaten NYXL, two slumping Korean teams should not be daunting. London are really struggling and have only recently brought in more coaching staff to help. With the way Boston are playing and the map selection for the matches it will likely be a victory for Boston.

Seoul have a better record on tiebreaker maps and have the Shanghai Dragons to face this week. They may have more time to focus on the Boston match. That said, the team seems unsure what supports to play and are really struggling in stage 3. Boston may well finish week three being unbeaten.

 

 

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Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

 

Japan CWL

Japan gets a CoD Tournament like the CWL Pro League

Japan is set to get their very own version of a CWL Pro League. Six of Japan’s best teams have been invited to participate in a series of matches that will take place between April and September. These matches will culminate with a playoff series at the end.

The teams will compete for a whopping ¥10,000,000 (~$93,500). Each and every match will be streamed on YouTube and Twitch with the Grand Finals taking place at the Tokyo Game Show 2018 from September 20th-23rd.

The Six Japanese Teams

  • Rush Gaming
  • CYCLOPS Athlete Gaming
  • Detonatio N Gaming
  • Libalent Vertex
  • SCARZ
  • SunSister

These are six of the best Call of Duty teams in Japan right now. For good reason, Rush Gaming are the favorites going into this tournament. They’ve consistently been one of the top performers in Japan and will even be participating in CWL Anaheim after their win at the Tokaigi 2018 tournament. Rush is planning to do a two week bootcamp in South Carolina before their appearance in Anaheim.

The Matches

Each match will be recorded and will be re-watchable on Twitch via VODS or on YouTube following the performances. There will be monthly video recaps and articles released involving the teams participating. This will make it possible for Competitive Call of Duty fans to keep up to date, even in western countries. The dates the matches will take place are as follows:

  • Round One: April 21st, 2018
  • Two: May 19th, 2018
  • Three: June 23rd, 2018
  • Four: July 21st, 2018
  • Five: August 18th, 2018
  • Grand Finals: September 20th-23rd, 2018

Future of Competitive Call of Duty

This is one of the most major additions to the world of Call of Duty. Now, the Esport is making a break into Eastern countries. With countries like Japan and Korea being some of the biggest countries in Esports gaming in the world, it’s super critical to get their addition to the world of Call of Duty. This was one of the downfalls to professional CoD. There were only major tournaments taking place in NA/EU and the vast audiences that exists in Asia weren’t ever allowed to participate. This will, hopefully, begin the full inclusion of Asia and its large number of Esports fans.

Just imagine the crowds that will show up for a Call of Duty World Tournament. One that actually involves all the countries in the world instead of just those that exist in the current Call of Duty World League.

Japan CoD Tournament

Image Courtesy of Rush Gaming

One of Japan’s best teams is making the journey to Anaheim to participate and it’s one of the most major steps forward for the game and its Esport. Avid CWL watchers are expressing vast amounts of interest in the progression of this Esport and what the addition of Japanese crowds could mean for the popularity of Call of Duty on tournament stages. It would mean more places to scrimmage for current pro players which could advance the current series of tactics that we know and even set up possible new metas. Hopefully, this begins the inclusion of teams in Korea and even in China or Russia as well.

Well Deserved

This is one of the most exciting announcements for Call of Duty as an Esport for a while and viewers can’t wait to see what this means for its future. Hopefully more viewers, because the game deserves it. There are some of the best gamers in the business in this Esport and they deserve the attention for their hard work. The inclusion of other countries should only bolster the crowd and bring in a wider world audience.

 

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Golden Guardians may need to replace Hai in the mid-season

Potential mid-season targets for NA LCS teams

Jacob Wolf of ESPN recently reported that FlyQuest has signed Santorin as a starting jungler for the 2018 Summer Split. This is the first mid-season roster report for the NA LCS so far. Since this is the first year of franchising, it is unclear how much each organization will shake up their teams after one split.

This time last year, North America saw several roster changes, including the Dardoch-Xmithie trade, Doublelift’s return to TSM and Ssong joining Immortals. This year is different, though, because teams are not under threat of relegation from the league. No one wants to finish towards the bottom of the standings, but the risk of losing is much lower.

The 2018 mid-season will probably be quieter than past years. However, with the Santorin report, it is clear that teams are looking to make changes. Here are some of the most likely updates for Summer Split.

FlyQuest: mid-jungle

FlyQuest may need to replace Anda and Fly in the mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Considering ESPN already reported Santorin to FlyQuest, jungler change is a given. In Wolf’s report, he also mentions FlyQuest possibly promoting Keane as starting mid laner. These changes make sense, considering FlyQuest’s issues visibly stemmed from mid-jungle synergy and pressure.

FlyQuest finished the Spring Split in eighth place with a 6-12 record, so they are not in desperate need for roster changes. Flame has proved himself an elite solo laner for the past three splits. Wildturtle put on several carry performances this spring, and rarely felt like FlyQuest’s loss factor. Stunt had a fine split, although JayJ got to start two games. Anda and Fly were the key starting members to FlyQuest’s losses.

Anda showed strong ganking and engage throughout the split, with picks like Zac and Sejuani. He did not seem to play well around the rest of the team, especially on Jax and Jarvan IV. Anda frequently invaded the enemy jungle without lane priority and initiated fights without back up. These issues were most prevalent regarding mid lane. Fly’s Galio pick helped cover up their lack of coordination, which is why most teams banned it. It remains unclear if this discord stems from playstyle differences, communication issues or lack of skill.

FlyQuest had the most roster experiments during the Spring Split. They started eight different players, including substitutes Shrimp, Keane, and JayJ. FlyQuest Academy also won the Academy League, which shows roster depth and organizational strength. Simply bringing in a decisive, experienced jungler like Santorin, and promoting Keane could help solve some of FlyQuest’s nuanced problems. As Wolf later mentions, a support like KonKwon could be valuable to organization, as “he is one of the few North American resident supports who speaks both English and Korean, and FlyQuest’s top laner and mid laner (even if it moves to Keane) would be Korean native speakers.” It is not surprising that FlyQuest may be scouting him.

OpTic Gaming: Top-Support-Coach

OpTic Gaming may need to replace Zig and LemonNation in the mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Finishing ninth place in the Spring Split with a 5-13 record, OpTic Gaming may look to make changes in the mid-season. Most analysts pegged OpTic as a low-tier team in the NA LCS, due to its patchwork roster and lop-sided map strength. These predictions turned out to be true, as the team rarely achieved leads in the early game or coordinated well in the mid-game.

Akaadian and PowerOfEvil held up well in their respective roles, generally going even or ahead individually. Arrow and LemonNation frequently fell behind in lane, but Arrow almost always showed up in team fights and skirmishes. OpTic’s glaring issues revolved around top lane. Zig had his worst split yet, and substitute Dhokla was not an answer. These two never got leads, even in winning match-ups, and opponents pigeonholed OpTic in the draft because of it.

OpTic need to upgrade top lane if they want to compete in Summer Split. With PowerOfEvil and Arrow filling import slots, OpTic is restricted to North American talent, though. V1PER and Allorim are the only players from Academy League worth trying on the big stage. So unless TSM, CLG or Cloud9 are interested in trading, this weakness may carry over into summer.

The support and coaching positions may need tinkering, as well. LemonNation felt outclassed by many other supports in the league this year, and OpTic’s team did not visibly improve much over the course of the split. Moving Lemon to an analyst or coaching to assist Zaboutine, while bringing in Winter or another North American Academy support, could be the best move. OpTic should try out players with Arrow and find one with the best laning synergy. Fans questioned whether Zaboutine would translate his casting background into proper coaching, and it is hard to tell how much of OpTic’s issues revolve around their coach. OPT may need to make some staff changes for next split.

Golden Guardians: Top-Mid-Coach

Golden Guardians may need to replace Lourlo and Hai in the mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Golden Guardians finished last place this spring with a 4-14 record, but their highs felt much higher than FlyQuest or OpTic’s. GGS took games off of 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, CLG, and Echo Fox over the course of the split. However, it is clear that they need to make changes to be competitive this summer.

Hai and Lourlo account for most of the early game deficit. They both average significantly behind at 15 minutes, while Contractz and the bottom lane go even or ahead. Professional teams have a severely hindered chance of winning with weak solo laners, so Golden Guardians should prioritize those positions. Lourlo has five splits of LCS experience, but only really stood out in one. Hai has five and a half years of LCS experience, but feels underwhelming on stage.

Golden Guardians could make a case for keeping Lourlo and further developing him, but Hai seems forced at this point. Like LemonNation on OpTic, Hai would probably serve best as an analyst or coach outside of the game, while GGS brings in a new mid laner. Coach Tyler did seem to help the team when they released Locodoco, and Hai could supplement that development.

The bad news–Golden Guardians’ Academy team finished last place in the Academy League this spring. They cannot really look there for upgrades. The good news–their LCS roster still has both import slots open. Golden Guardians’ options are unlimited. Mickey, Damonte, V1PER, Goldenglue, and Allorim are available in Academy League, if GGS can buy them out. Europe and other regions have plenty of options to choose from, if GGS can import them. This organization seems to need the most change, from starters to subs, but Jurassiq and Jenkins are the only players released so far.

Everyone Else

CLG may not need any changes in the mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

The rest of the teams will probably keep their LCS rosters for at least another split. CLG, TSM, Cloud9, Clutch Gaming, Echo Fox, 100 Thieves and Team Liquid all have strong players and staff. They each showed moments of brilliance and adapted throughout spring. CLG suffered most from individual shortcomings week-to-week and a lack of decisiveness since Aphromoo left. However, Darshan, Reignover, Huhi, Stixxay and Biofrost all had strong individual showings at different points.

TSM and Cloud9 showcased sheer dominance at certain points in the split, but could not maintain their highest levels of play every week. Clutch Gaming made it way farther than anyone anticipated, including themselves, and out-macro-played most of their opponents regularly. Echo Fox maintained first place most of the split. 100 Thieves finished second in their first ever split, and steadily improved week by week. Team Liquid won their first ever LCS title, never sinking below fifth place. The players and coaches on these teams are solid. They just need more time to develop synergy and consistency as units. They may change up some Academy rosters, but their starters will probably stay the same.

credits

Images: LoL Esports Flickr

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OWL Team Skins

Why the Atlantic Division in OWL is better than Pacific… by far

With almost three-quarters of the Overwatch League already done, teams are working hard to make the playoffs and separate themselves from the rest of the pack. However, when it comes to divisional differences, there is a huge discrepancy in success, one division is simply way more competitive. Teams in the Atlantic division are way more successful than their Pacific division counterparts. The overall standings are direct proof of these major divisional differences.

Standings

Courtesy of Overwatch League

Atlantic Division

Atlantic

Courtesy of Overwatch League

The Atlantic division consists of six teams, relative to the east side of the United States: Boston Uprising, Philadelphia Fusion, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, Houston Outlaws, Florida Mayhem. If you have been keeping up with the Overwatch League, you would recognize that five out of these six teams have been in the top half of the standings every stage; not to mention that two of these teams are stage champions. So, what makes this division so much better?

One reason that teams in the Atlantic Division are so much better is because teams in the same division play each other more. With division rivalries such as Houston Outlaws vs London Spitfire or New York Excelsior vs Philadelphia Fusion; games are bound to be more competitive. One could argue that this could also apply for teams in the Pacific Division. However, the reality is that team play in the Atlantic division is way better. Simply, better team play within divisional matches increase teams’ skill capacity and makes the whole division better. It is no surprise that the only teams who have reached the playoffs, in all stages, are Atlantic teams.

Pacific Division

Pacific

Courtesy of Overwatch League

The Pacific division also consists of six teams, in relation to the west side of the United States: Los Angeles Valiant, Los Angeles Gladiators, San Francisco Shock, Dallas Fuel, Seoul Dynasty, Shanghai Dragons. Most of these teams have been struggling in the Overwatch League. Seoul Dynasty are not playing up to their expectations, Dallas Fuel are struggling to find their footing, and the Shanghai Dragons are still win-less in 24 matches. The only teams that have looked somewhat promising are both Los Angeles teams and San Francisco Shock, even then Seoul would still be more favorable than the Shock.

The real challenge for Pacific teams is when it comes to cross divisional play, almost all of them struggle. The only two teams that are consistent enough to beat some of the Atlantic teams are the Los Angeles Valiant and Seoul Dynasty. Both teams have enough individual talent and coordinated team play to rival the Atlantic division powerhouses. Yet as a whole the Pacific division is drastically weaker than its Atlantic counterpart.

Looking Ahead

The question isn’t about talent; there is more than enough talent in the Overwatch League. The question comes down to team play and coordination. Are teams willing to adapt to an enemy’s playstyle and are players looking to improve? Likewise, will teams from both divisions perform more consistently to deliver high level play? With the final playoffs coming in the next couple of months, division leaders and overall standings become much more important. Only six teams get into the playoffs and the Atlantic and Pacific division leaders getting an automatic bid. From the way teams are playing right now, there is a very high chance that we could see five Atlantic teams and only one Pacific team in the final playoffs. To see if the Pacific teams will step up or if the Atlantic teams will continue to dominate, tune into the Overwatch League.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment | Overwatch League

 

With KyKy Gone, the Head Coach Hunt is on in Dallas

The Dallas Fuel are wasting no time after announcing the release of Head Coach Kyle “KyKy” Souder. The Fuel announced in their April 15th press release that a new coach should be announced within the week, with several candidates on the list in negotiations already.

The coaching pool in the Overwatch League is probably not as deep as the Fuel would like it right now, but there’s no shortage, either. Who will the Fuel deem worthy to take the helm? More importantly, who will be willing to step into the most chaotic franchise in the league?

Ex-OWL coaches, current Contenders coaches, and even certain players may be a good fit for the Fuel. I’ve compiled a short list of potential candidates that Hastr0 and Co. might have their eyes on this week. As always, stay tuned to The Game Haus for more developments as they break.

 

Bishop to DF

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Perhaps the highest profile candidate to consider would be Lee “Bishop” Beom-joon. The London Spitfire’s former Head Coach has a history of success, and despite mentions of interpersonal conflicts within the Spitfire, he maintains that he left the organization on good terms. Bishop also tried out for the Fuel’s Head Coach position in the early phases of the league, though KyKy got the spot in the end. It would make sense for the Fuel to give Bishop a call, and his track record is hard to ignore.

A Korean coach might also be a boon for the Fuel’s lone remaining Korean, Hyeon “EFFECT” Hwang. He recently took to Twitter that he might leave the team altogether if things don’t improve. With a sword like that hanging over the Fuel’s head, Bishop might be their only hope to keep their star Tracer player.

 

Who’s better than MESR

Across Texas, the Fuel could find their next Head Coach in former Team USA star Adam “MESR” De La Torre. He’s made a name for himself as the assistant coach and support coordinator for the Houston Outlaws, and players under his purview have plenty of good things to say. MESR also played with Seagull on Team USA in the first Overwatch World Cup- that goes back a ways, but would be a good stepping off point within the team to help build some synergy early on. For the right price, the Fuel could bring on a sharp mind with the right experience to rally the scattered boys in blue.

 

Actually, This head coach is fine

Dallas could always choose to keep Peak in his new spot, and build around him. Their interim Head Coach has experience with Misfits and Arc6, and could potentially fix a lot of the Fuel’s problems. With Peak at the helm, options to take his old spot would be much more flexible, and probably less expensive.

Daniel “Gods” Graeser, center, sits with Ruben “ryb” Ljungdahl (far left) and Lucas “Mendokusaii” Håkansson (right) in an Apex Season 2 match. Photo courtesy of OGN Apex.

New assistant coaches could focus on player synergies or feedback, and could come from places with more in-game experience than other candidates. Potential tryouts could include NRG flex Daniel “Gods” Graeser, XL2’s Adam “Adam” Eckel, or Orgless and Hungry manager Thomas “Morte” Kerbusch.

Morte is one of the most experienced and level-headed members of the competitive Overwatch community. He would carry a lot of respect in an old-school organization like the Fuel. Adam is a historic player in his own right, and has struggled to find his place in the league itself. His fairly successful tenure within XL2 could dissuade him from abandoning his aspirations as a player, though.

Gods has prior experience with Seagull on NRG and Luminosity, two of his first teams, and has some of the best game-sense in the scene according to BishopThat sort of recommendation could get him a shot in the league at last, even if it isn’t as a player on stage.

 

Think you know who will take the Head Coach spot in Dallas? Follow me on Twitter @thibbledork and let me know!
Questions? Message me on Discord! (thibbledork#0282)

Featured photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

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Origen

Origen returns to the stage

In just a few short weeks, Origen announced their return to the League of Legends Pro scene, revealed a legendary lineup consisting of some of the most well known names in the games history and raised expectations of their fans to great heights. While their debut at European Masters 2018 didn’t go exactly as planned, they redeemed themselves, if only slightly, the next day. They may not be a dream team, cruising past all comers to glory. In fact, they may still struggle to make it far in the current tournament. Regardless, the fans are excited to see these players on the competitive stage once again, and they’re here to prove they’re not too old to make some plays.

Origen

Origen Roster (Courtesy of Origen)

Game 1 – Kliktech

“Froggen face-checks, Stefan capitalizes, first blood over to Kliktech!” This sentence by Shoutcaster Excoundrel set the tone that lasted for the rest of the match. Origen played like what they were – a team of legends that have only been playing together for a few weeks.  They put up a decent fight, and at moments looked like their experience was going to be enough to take over the game. In the end though, the better team won out, and that team was Kliktech.

The Croatian team has been tearing up the Esports Balkan League, going 14-0 this past season and winning their last 26 games straight before facing Origen on Sunday. Understandably, they were confident coming into the tournament, and it’s easy to see why. They used their experience together to out-rotate and out-team fight Origen, keeping them on their heels.

Kliktech out for blood

Not only did they show great teamwork throughout the game, but impressive individual skill as well. By the seven minute mark, Top Laner Toni “Sacre” Sabalić (Kled) solo killed Ki “Expect” Dae-han (Cho’gath). Seconds later, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen (Taliyah) was dead at the hands of Aljoša “Milica” Kovandžić (Sion). Kliktech entered the tournament relatively unknown outside their region, but defeating the Origen roster on an international stage surely caught the eye of many.

While it was definitely not the start they were looking for, Game 1 wasn’t all bad for Origen. Jesse “Jesiz” Le (Alistar) and Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou (Tristana) looked solid in the early game despite a tough matchup against the enemy Caitlyn and Morgana. Jezis found engages throughout the game, landing Knock-Ups on multiple enemies. These plays were rarely followed up on though, and it seemed like the team was rarely on the same page.

Origen was able to keep the game going for nearly 40 minutes. Eventually though, the teamwork of Kliktech won out. They defeated Origen, delaying the OG resurrection and extending their own winning streak to 27-0.

Game 2 – exceL eSports

Origen

Origen Victory (Courtesy of Origen)

In Game 2, Origen put on the show so many were waiting for. They still looked slightly rusty in the early game, getting caught by several exceL engages. Unlike the previous day however, they continuously took the safe option, disengaging and staying alive. Trading objectives and focusing on farming, Origen waited for the right opportunity.

At just over 10 minutes into the game, exceL attempted to take the Rift Herald. Expect (Sion) walked up, seemingly alone, to interrupt. exceL turned to take the bait, and Origen was ready. As Expect turned and landed a three man knock-up, inSec (Skarner) entered the river and hit Ángel “DuaLL” Fernández (Alistar) with another stun. A second later, Froggen (Orianna) shielded Expect before landing a Shockwave on three opponents. exceL were helpless against the layered crowd control, and Origen came away with three kills.

Origen on a roll

Once they tasted blood, Origen didn’t slow down. They pressured every lane, every objective, using their lead to full effect. Froggen looked like his old self on Orianna, and put out high levels of damage and crowd control to dominate team fights. While exceL did their best to defend, Origen was relentless, and finished the game at just over 26 minutes, making it the fastest game of the group stage so far.

Admittedly, Origen faced an easier opponent on the second game than the first. However that was not the only factor that influenced the different outcome. Though Origen may not have been at the near-perfect level of play that will be needed for them to really extend their success, they made big strides in the right direction. They played a team composition that better fit their style. They played safely until they found the right time to fight. Origen actually looked like a team, rather than just a group of high-level Solo Queue players, and that is something that they will need to continue if they want their resurrection to be a success.

 

Find the rest of my articles here. If you would like to contact me or keep up with things I like, find me on Twitter: @_mrdantes. For more of the best esports news, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Featured photo courtesy of Leaguepedia

The battle for L.A.: Gladiators and Valiant go for round three

Throughout the Overwatch League’s brief history, the Los Angeles Valiant and Los Angeles Gladiators have met for some intense games. During stage one, the Valiant were able to reverse sweep the Gladiators in a five map thriller. Fans of both teams were thoroughly engaged, and the first rivalry of the league was born. The Gladiators, not satisfied losing to their regional rival, took their stage two match-up by storm. With a 4-0 thrashing, the Valiant were left scratching their heads. Since they last met almost a month ago, both teams have fresh faces to challenge for the win.

Since Last We Met: Overwatch League Rival Recap

Overwatch League

Agilities and Bischu, from Overwatch League

The Gladiators are not so changed from their last match against the Valiant. They have newcomer Void, a flex player known for his D.va play. He adds an extra layer of flex tank to play alongside Fissure. They also received Silkthread from the Valiant before the trade window closed. These were the only moves that the Gladiators made from stage two to stage three.

The Valiant are a different story. Since the last match, they have five new players, and one that’s finally of age. Space, who has been on the roster since the team’s inception, turned 18 during the stage break between stages two and three. Two others have come through trades, Bunny, a DPS, was obtained from the Seoul Dynasty. The other player, Custa, was obtained from the Dallas Fuel. To land Custa, the Valiant sent a fan favorite, and fellow countryman of Soon, Unkoe to the Fuel.

This trade was one of the most looked at as a potential to backfire for the Valiant, as it was believed that Unkoe was more mechanically sound than Custa. However, the opposite has been true, as Custa has fit perfectly with the Valiant. The other three players were picked up for depth, KSF, a DPS main, Finnsi, a flex player, and Izayaki, a support main.

Who has the advantage?

Looking for any advantage or insight to this series is hard. The Valiant have looked dominant throughout stage three, with a 4-0 record through the first two weeks. The Gladiators have played the same teams as the Valiant through the first two weeks, and have a 3-1 record. The San Francisco Shock were the one team that the Gladiators could not defeat. With such similar records against similar opponents, it’s hard to narrow down a clear advantage for either team.

Overwatch League

Shields Up by Robert Paul

Looking at straight records, the Valiant appear to be the stronger and more confidant team heading into this rivalry. They aggressively retooled their roster to make the team more competitive, and the rewards have been flowing in for them. Alternatively the Gladiators have tweaked and added to their roster at the end of each Overwatch League stage, and have steadily improved. Throughout the entirety of the Overwatch League the Valiant sit 15-9 and Gladiators at 13-11. The Valiant lead the pack for stage three so far with their 4-0, +13 map differential. The momentum sides with the Valiant, but it’s no clear cut.

Overwatch League

Valiant Fans by Robert Paul

 

The great thing about rivalries is that each team has extra drive to win. The Gladiators and Valiant have extra fuel to burn trying to win the hearts of undecided Los Angeles fans. With the recent poor showings of both Southern California hockey teams, sports fans will want to dive in to a great rivalry. There’s no fiercer one in the Overwatch League than the L.A. Valiant and the L.A. Gladiators. Whether you have your wings up, or shields raised, be ready for one intense match to kick off week three.

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dalton!

Featured photo by Robert Paul

Making a name amongst Europe’s best – VGC 2018 Stuttgart Regional Championship recap

Amidst a tough field in Stuttgart’s Top 8, two lesser known names in the European VGC scene battled it out for the title. Guiseppe Musicco is your 2018 Stuttgart Regional Champion, claiming his invite to the 2018 World Championships with an impressive win. Italy has yet again shown its dominance in Europe with half of the players in Top Cut representing the nation, including the tournament’s champion. Before we dive further in, let’s take a look at the results from Stuttgart.

Results & Teams (Top 8)

1. Guiseppe Musicco

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2. Ernest Azanza

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3. Arash Ommati

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4. Ben Kyriakou

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5. Michele Gavelli

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6. Matthias Sucholdulski

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7. Robin Langer

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8. Andrea di Tivoli

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Arash Ommati’s 5 ‘Mon runvgc 2018 stuttgart regionals

Rarely do players recover from a team sheet error that costs them one of their Pokemon, but former World Champion Arash Ommati defied the odds after losing his Tapu Bulu. For those unfamiliar with tournament rules, filling out your team sheet correctly is one of the most crucial things to make sure you do. The slightest mistake, even if it was accidental, could cause you to lose one of your Pokemon for the entire tournament.

Ommati carried his squad all the way to the Top 4 before losing to the tournament champion. Although Musicco’s team was well equipped to handle Tapu Bulu, the Grassy Terrain on Ommati’s side would have been crucial in stopping Musicco’s Landorus-Therian from freely spamming Earthquake. Grassy Terrain was a key defensive tool for Ommati, as half of his team could be taken out by Earthquake. This limited the effectiveness of Ommati’s Gengar and Xurkitree which are some of the main damage dealers of his team.

Despite this setback, Ommati’s Top 4 run is nothing short of impressive. Perhaps this is a testament to just how strong the Mega Gengar team archetype really is. Well that and the fact that this team was being piloted by one of the best players in the world.

A finals with new faces

vgc 2018 stuttgart regionals

As previously mentioned, the finals of this tournament featured two players that were relatively new to the spotlight. Guiseppe Musicco had previously had some success at the local level as he earned over 100 Championship Points from MidSeason Showdowns. His regional win earned him his first points from a regional-level event, and those 200 points were enough to push him over 300, earning him an invite to Nashville.

Ernest Azanza on the other hand owes all of his points this season to this second place finish. This puts him in striking distance for a Worlds invite since the cap for Europe is 300, but he’ll likely need a couple more solid finishes to claim it.

Despite their lack of notoriety coming into this tournament, these two played like Worlds-caliber players. Their top cut runs included Musicco’s win over Arash Ommati in Top 4 and Azanza’s win over on of Great Britain’s best in Ben Kyriakou.

The finals set was intense as neither player had a clear advantage over the other. Musicco’s Kartana and Gengar were great answers to Azanza’s Metagross and Snorlax which did wonders in his set versus Kyriakou. After a game one defeat, Azanza used his special attacking Landorus with Hidden Power Ice to turn the tide in his favor to force a game three. After claiming a knockout early on Azanza’s Landorus, Musicco found himself backed into a corner at a 3-2 deficit with Azanza’s boosted Snorlax staring down Musicco’s last two Pokemon. Luckily Azanza’s team was already heavily weakened, allowing Musicco’s Incineroar and Gengar to clean up the game thanks to their speed advantage over the rest of Azanza’s team.

Metagame highlights

Naganadel: We’ve seen this new Ultra Beast here and there, but Ben Kyriakou saw potential and used Naganadel on his Top 4 team. This version was slightly different than your typical Naganadel as Kyriakou’s carried Substitute and Firium Z. With Inferno Overdrive Naganadel can threaten the likes of Mega Metagross or even non-defensive variants of Pokemon like Landorus allowing for a surprise KO and a quick Beast Boost. The ability to set up a Substitute after securing a boost to Naganadel’s Special Attack is big in turning this thing into a massive threat. Another interesting note is that the Beast Boosts were going to Naganadel’s Special Attack rather than its Speed which requires some fiddling with investment in Naganadel’s stats. While watching some of Kyriakou’s matches I wondered if the Speed boost would’ve been more helpful, but without a boosting item like Life Orb, raising Naganadel’s power seems reasonable.

380MS.pngLatias: There were two Latias in the Top 8, but we’re going to focus on Guiseppe Musicco’s non-Mega Latias. This Latias was built for support with moves like Helping Hand and Tailwind. Latias is actually not a bad choice for a support Pokemon considering it’s fast and rather bulky so it can remain on the field for a while if left alone. The boost from Helping Hand helped Musicco’s Pokemon break through Arash Ommati’s Clefairy and its Friend Guard Ability, while Latias’ attacks threatened Ommati’s Kommo-o before it could boost.

 

That’s a wrap from Stuttgart! This was a tournament full of variety as new players and new Pokemon broke into the spotlight. As far as official events are concerned our attention turns towards Sao Paulo as the Latin American International Championships take place in just a couple of weeks. A tournament that I’m sure will produce an equal amount of excitement.

Thanks for reading!


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Images from PlayTheChampionships_VG, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Pokemon Shuffle, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International

Teams data collected/provided by Nicholas Borghi and Trainer Tower

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