braindump, 3 April 2017

When I posted a brief excuse to the lowercase esports podcast feed earlier in March, I was confident that I just needed a little bit of time to get my mind over a few things, and that normal programming would resume on the following Tuesday. 

When that day came to pass, I decided to push resuming production back to April. I never fully explained why I punted production in that small audio post, but I feel as if I’m stuck in a mental rut and won’t be able to move along until I clear my mind. I have so much on my mind and no one to share it with. 

And so, here goes nothing. No promises I’ll be able to communicate everything in my head, but I’ll try.

  • I’ve said time and time again that lowercase esports and its related podcast doesn’t need thousands of subscribers or millions of impressions to help me feel as if I’m not wasting my time. The lack of momentum is beginning to appeal to the pragmatic side of my mind, and I’m beginning to believe that perhaps the effort I’m putting into the podcast isn’t worth the return, though, when I consider what the return was supposed to be — which was nothing, of course—I realized that I shouldn’t be upset that the result is exactly what my goal was. While I intend to continue the podcast into the future, I’m going to keep it on the stress-less side and potentially decrease ongoing production of the podcast.

  • My mother was remarried yesterday. I walked her down the aisle and gave her away to her new husband. I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. I wasn’t. Well, not entirely for that reason, anyway. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t screw up escorting my mother. Instead, I was reminded of how much I look like my father at every guests’ earliest convenience. If I was upset at any of the day’s events, it was that. The day wasn’t about him, but I’d be lying if I told you he wasn’t on my mind. 

  • My go-to game as of late has been Squad, though there are some other games that are competing for my time, and one of them is Fire Emblem Heroes. Throw away the storytelling attempt immediately, because this game is about min-maxing a four-character team for a considerable number of challenges and passively-online showdowns. Characters included in the game come from all corners of various Fire Emblem universes and modernized portraits of classic characters are absolutely well done. My greatest accomplishment with the game is the constant victory of being able to prove the existence of my self-control by not purchasing orbs.

  • I’m starting to believe I am or I was or I had been or I might be borderline depressed. Well, not really, but hey, I’m just trying to joke around, like I did on my most recent Facebook post. You know. Compensating. My aunt asked me about it before my mother’s wedding rehearsal this past Saturday, and I told her, “25/75.” When asked to explain my answer, I clarified, “25 percent actually, 75 percent stress… and this.” While the source of the second number might change, I know it’s not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. So… I think I’m fine, but who’s perfect?

  • I’d like to return to Atlanta to be a part of the audience at ELEAGUE for their SFV Invitational at some point during its run over the next handful of weeks. The production has been excellent so far, and I would imagine that many in the FGC — especially those in the Street Fighter V scene — should be taking notes and considering upping their production game to maintain the audience hype that ELEAGUE is going to be building over the next few weeks.

  • Destiny 2 has been announced and it’s confirmed that the 8 September release will include a PC port. Whether it’s going to be released via Steam or the Windows Play Anywhere scheme, I think I’m going to stick with it this time around. While I’m considering playing on my PC, I’ve decided to restart my attempts to explore the Xbox One side of the current game. Right now, I’m still working through the story arc from the near-beginning (for some reason, I had a copy of the original game’s story quest when I returned to it this week). 

  • Speaking of Xbox One, the latest UI update is incredibly slick. You should take a look at it. I miss being able to snap a Twitch feed, though.

VP tops SK in a seemingly half-filled arena

I watched the grand final of DreamHack Masters Las Vegas last night and I’ve got a few questions that I want to, at first, ask rhetorically then immediately revert to type by spilling disorganized prose into this post via my keyboard.

DreamHack sure as hell doesn’t give a shit about fucks, right?

Personally, I don’t mind the lack of a language filter when it comes to expressing how important a previous play was or how impossible it appears that a certain team would lose in a situation, but compared to the last big CSGO tournament, the ELEAGUE Major (which Valve are keen on identifying as the Atlanta Major presented by ELEAGUE), there seemed to be a more relaxed-yet-mature atmosphere surrounding the entire production. While innuendo wasn’t necessarily the center stage of analyst desk segments and floor interviews, I don’t think the amount of joking present in this establishment was terribly out of place or demeaning to the nature of the broadcast.

How about them Poles, folks?

Virtus.Pro proved it deserves to remain a top-tier professional team by defeating the recently reorganized SK Gaming roster to win DH Masters Las Vegas two games to one (8-16 Cobblestone, 16-11 Train, 16-13 Mirage). The $200k USD first prize is a slightly bigger payoff than the team’s second place showing at the Atlanta Major and it’s about time.

SK’s roster woes aren’t really woes, but I’m sure they’re pretty disappointed with how quickly VP deconstructed their game plan. When the Virtus-plow is on point, you get rekt. Considering VP only needed the one map to warm back up after an extended downtime from playing, it’s pretty clear that the Polish side have rediscovered the advantage to its rock-solid roster in the current meta of CSGO.

Where was the audience?

I think it’s safe to say that the attendance for such an important event for CSGO was a little disappointing. There’s so many pockets of empty seats that are shown on camera even during wide-shots of the stage between rounds.

Now, I understand the MGM Grand arena is a considerably larger venue for a States-side DreamHack event to be held in, but you’d think they would be trying to give out tickets left and right to entice people to take a winter vacation to Las Vegas and watch a premier offline CSGO tournament live.

After taking two seconds to look up ticket prices to see how expensive it was to get into the arena for the weekend, I instantly understood why the areas in front of teams were filled with so many patches of empty seats: they were assigned to the $150 Premium ticket holders.

A bit of an oversight for an event that didn’t sell out.

My notes on the r/Overwatch content petition.

Whenever something happens that catches my eye in the realm of sports, I generally try to break it down the simplest way possible by putting it in my notebook. I’ve got pages upon pages of notes about the latest r/Overwatch drama that I discussed on the latest episode of the lowercase esports podcast that might not have made it to air, but was on my mind while recording it.

Hit the jump to peruse the knee-jerk reactions that I record in the moment to keep some semblance of consistency and sanity when it comes to trying to keep these things in order in my head.

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Fire Emblem is love. Fire Emblem is life. But also love.

After the initial guffawing of Android phone users across the world that the iOS version of Fire Emblem Heroes was not defined in the game’s announcement, it seems like iOS owners are getting the game at the same time after all. In yesterday’s Fire Emblem-themed Direct presentation, Nintendo’s second smartphone game was announced with a specific date for the Android release, but not the iOS release.

A few hours later, after the dust settled on the announcement, Nintendo clarified that the iOS version of the game would be released on the same day as the Android version.

Not only that, but we were told that Nintendo is nearing completion on a new, proper Fire Emblem game, called Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which is meant to be a recreation of FE Gaiden. It looks awesome. Perhaps a bit simplified in combat, but yeah, it looks freaking awesome. I want. I need a new cast of characters to pair up and ship—I mean—I need new tactical puzzles to solve.