Legends of RuneTerra First Thoughts…

Riot Games has done an incredible job with their property League of Legends. They have kept evolving League of Legends to keep it one of the most relevant games of the last decade. The game has kept the community afloat, but the lore is so enticing. We have also seen Riot Games bring in their version of auto chess with TFT, and they have don’t fascinating things with it so far. The last decade has been remarkable for Riot Games, but 2020 might be their best year yet.

  The year is starting strong with Legends of Runeterra. Riot Games just released their new online card game this past week, and the game is bringing in many player bases together. Legends of Runeterra is bringing players from League of Legends and the hardcore online card game players to one place. Runeterra takes the beloved champions of League of Legends and brings them into a card-based game. The game has a Hearthstone feel mixed with Magic the Gathering. It has a Mana system that each round your team regenerates Mana equal to which round it is. There are 3 phases to each turn, summoning, battling, and blocking. The game has introduced 2 dozen champions so far to help build your deck around them. They did an excellent job of bringing in popular and non-popular heroes into the mix to begin. It is also fantastic that they have brought in different types of decks for different play styles. You can construct a deck around gradual building teams, one card focused, or swarm compositions. 

 The game has a very balanced system for being so new, but every game has its problems when it launches. Legends of Runeterra has some issues at times with the pace of the matches. Rounds of Runeterra can be extremely prolonged because of the sectioned phases. It does allow for players to be creative with their turns because you can get back into the game with extra summoning, or you can go through the standard attack phases. Outside of the prolonged matches, Riot Games has done a fantastic job thus far. The animations in the game for special moves or champions are pleasant, and the game is reasonably balanced for how new it is. 

 It is impressive to see what Riot Games can do with their other ideas with the world of League of Legends. There is so much more to come from the studio in 2020. What are you most excited for in the upcoming year? Have you had a chance to join the fun in Legends of Runeterra? If so, let us know in the comments below what you think of it so far! If you enjoyed the article, make sure to follow us for more articles like these!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

League of Legends Season 2020…

  There has been one game over the last decade I swore to never get into, and that is League of Legends. I have not been able to place my finger on the exact reason for this, but I finally changed my mind about two almost three years ago. I have always heard about how toxic the community is, and that pushed me away massively. The other tremendous turn off from League of Legends is the lengths of matches as well as the insane amount of time you have to put in to be average at it. I had a few friends who finally pushed me into trying the game a few years back, and I must say I am glad I powered through. Now that season 2020 is here I need to express my opinions on the cinematic, and changes to the new season. 

  It blows me away how excited a community can get because of a new season in a video game. It is not just because of the fresh start of the new season, but also the incredible cinematic that comes with every season start. When Riot released 2019 cinematic, I remember watching it over a dozen times. Every year they seem to do a great job, and it looks ridiculous. Riot Games brought in some of the very visually interesting characters for this cinematic. 

One of my favorite parts for the cinematic is the fact they brought in some of the newer characters for this year with Kai Sai and Sylas. It was fantastic that they brought the Sylas lore full circle with Garen and Lux in this trailer. They do another incredible job with the music in this trailer. Riot needs to turn the franchise into an animated series. 

In the last two years of playing League of Legends, I have slowly learned more and more about the game. I love the amount of process I have made over the last few seasons. It is astounding to watch myself grow throughout the games life span. I started at the absolute bottom of the rank system in Bronze V. By the end of season eight, I made it just into silver, and last season I broke into gold. I am going to set my goal for season ten to either break into platinum or be in the high gold range! I will continue to stream my process through the season. 

  Riot Games has released a plethora of new characters from season ten pre-season into the beginning of the new season. I can’t believe how many changes happened to start this season. They added a couple of new items for lethality, and they changed the support items. They made a complete change to how dragons and rift heald works. Dragons now have a much more prominent role thanks to the Dragon Soul and the new execution for Eldar Dragon. Also, rift herald now spawns two times before Baron, but with much less health and strength. Riot is also trying something new by adding a handful of characters at the start of the season. It has made the start of the season so exciting with everyone trying to learn the new characters. 

  We will have to see where this season goes. You will have to make sure to keep up with our progress on stream! What do you think of season ten? What are the most exciting changes to season ten League of Legends, in your opinion? Who is your favorite new champion for this season? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article, leave a like! 

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

TNC and Vivid Event… (Rocket League Tournament)

This last Tuesday, the 7th of January, was one to remember for a long time. Thanks to our friends in Vivid (@WeAreVivid), we got to experience a very enjoyable Rocket League tournament. Manny and I got together with a couple of the members for a LAN event where they hosted a 2v2 Rocket League tournament. I still can’t believe in such short notice we arranged 16 teams for the competition. The members of Vivid were such great sports and were fierce competition. They put our skills to the test throughout the brackets. Thank you to the Vivid organization for letting us be apart of this event, and a huge thanks to Zookuzero (@Zookuzero) for doing a phenomenal job hosting the event. Huge congratulations to @Squiggly_YT and his teammate on their success! Please share some love and give all of them some love on social media!

     Going into the event, I was not too sure what I should expect. I had no clue about the number of people that would enter the contest, the quality of players, or the seriousness of the tournament itself. Zookuzero did such a great job getting everything together in such short notice, and his casting during the games was impeccable. For someone who has minimal casting experience, at no point did I question his commentary. Thanks to his broadcast, it made me take a look at that side of esports more in-depth. I spent part of my day observing various esports casters because of the tourney. I was interested in what makes each caster unique, and it is honestly amazing to see each person’s style. I believe there is a chance I will dip my feet into the world of casting thanks to Zookuzero.

     I am eager to see where the Vivid and Nerd Chambers connection will take us both. I am sure we will see more tournaments like this and other collaborations between the teams in 2020. We are both hoping to make it to similar paths, and with each other, I am sure we will get there. I hope we can continue to partner together for more events like this in the future. What would you like to see from our upcoming collaborations with Vivid? If you have any ideas, let us know down in the comments! Thank you for all the support!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

My Most Anticipated Movie of 2020… (Brandon)

     The year 2019 was one of the most captivating years of film ever. Every month had so many fantastic films that were worth a watch. After looking through the upcoming movies for 2020, not many are that exciting. 2020 came down to two films, Free Guy and Venom 2, for my list. At first, I assumed it was surely going to be Free Guy once I started this article. Once I saw the Free Guy trailer, I lost my mind. Not only does it have Ryan Reynolds, my favorite actor, but the concept is phenomenal! After some serious deliberation, I had to choose Venom 2.

     When I was little, there were two things I wanted to see in the film world. One was Deadpool, and I finally got that thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Fox. Now, Sony is bringing my other wish to life. Later this year, Venom 2 is bringing my favorite villain to the silver screen, Carnage. I am excited to see how Sony will interpret the menacing character of Carnage. I am hoping to see a very extreme R rating for this film. It would accurately bring the monster to life. There have also been some intriguing rumors that Tom Holland could appear in Venom 2. I am sure this would be a small cameo in the flick. I am hoping to see Tom Holand join the fight to take down Carnage at the end of the film, but I am sure the appearance will be much more modest than that. The possibility of this cameo is a big reason this is my most anticipated film of the year. It would fulfill one of the most significant moments in comic book history to me. 

    It will be amusing to see how Venom 2 plays out. We will have to hope that Sony does not make the same mistakes from the first Venom. 2020 is just starting, which means there are so many movies to release. Let us know in the comments which one you are most anticipating! What are your thoughts on Venom 2? Are you hoping to see Tom Holland appear in the sequel? Make sure to give us your opinions! If you enjoyed the article, leave a like!  

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

My Top Five Films of the Decade (Brandon)…

I would be doing the decade an injustice if I did just my top 5 video games of the decade. Since I am the one who runs our movie segment on TNC Live (Report From the Back Row), it would only be fitting for me to do a Top 5 Movie list as well for the decade. After a lot of deliberating, I finally have my top 5 movies of the decade (also an honorable mention or two). There have been some fantastic movies over the last decade, but here are my top 5 that meant the most to me.

     I will start with my honorable mention for the decade, and that has to be Wolf of Wallstreet. I have always been someone who never really enjoys movies about real-life scenarios. Wolf of Wallstreet finally changed my way of thinking. I could not express how much this movie blew me away. It took such a realistic concept of money driving someone off the ledge and made it so intense going through this roller coaster. It is so disheartening that Lionardo Dicaprio did not win an Oscar for his performance in this film. Thanks to this film, I have opened up my variety of movies into realistic movies.

     Now to start the real list. Starting my top 5 is Ted. Ted was the first time I have ever seen everyone in a theatre laughing hysterically. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis killed their roles with Seth McFarlane. The film not only kept you laughing, but it had a great bond between two friends. It shows the two best friends dealing with one of the two finding a love interest. The movie starts strong and honestly never stops with the humor. It has some of the most vulgar and obscene jokes I have seen in a comedy, but it honestly does such a good job. Thanks to Seth McFarlane, he brings the world of Family Guy to life in Ted.

    Kingsman Secret Service is the next film on my list. I have never enjoyed spy movies, but Kingsman gave it a new flavor. It took a juvenile delinquent and made him a hero. The film did such an immeasurable job of turning a criminal into someone you root for in his campaign. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Eggsy and Harry. The duo had a father-son dynamic that made it a heartwarming plot. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the action sequences were. I wasn’t expecting much from this film when I first went to see it, but it has to be one of my favorite of the decade. 

     I have spent hours trying to figure out how to order these final films. After a lot of deliberating, I finally have them in proper order. The third movie to crack my list is Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass took superhero movies to a brand new light. It wasn’t afraid to be ridiculously over the top. Watching a child murder villains, badass Nicholas Cage, and a nerdy teenager becoming a hero was astounding. The soundtrack to this film was one of the first times I have ever thought about the music in a movie. It was incredible to see such a raunchy superhero movie during the rise of the MCU.

     Speaking of the MCU, Infinity War comes in at number 2. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been transcendent, but overly predictable. Every single expansion to the franchise, you always had an idea where it would go. There was certainly never a time where there was fear the hero would not make it. That is why the Infinity War is incredible. SPOILER ALERT for Avengers Infinity War! ************************************************

They did such a good job surprising all fans. Most people who went into Infinity War were expecting to see characters like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America to perish. That is not the case for Infinity War. There were so many unexpected deaths. This film took so many new characters away from us Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Dr. Strange. It was a brilliant move by Marvel. They are going to keep us on our toes for further installments. 

     Now it is time to talk about some Deadpool. Growing up, Deadpool was one of my favorite Marvel characters, next to Spider-Man. I would continually hear reports that there was a Deadpool project that was floating around with a script. Even better, it had Ryan Reynolds linked to the rumors. It was outrageous to have my favorite actor set to play my favorite anti-hero. It was one of the biggest days in media for me when the test footage was “leaked.” When the world got wind of Deadpool, everyone freaked out, and people were begging to see this movie hit theaters. I have never had my hype set to a record high. To be honest, I have always been disappointed when I get this excited about anything. Deadpool is the first to ever match my hype for anything. After seeing Deadpool 7 times in theatres, I can easily say it is my favorite movie of the decade. 

     I have not had so much fun deciding a top list for anything until this article. I had to reach out to friends and family for their help with this one. I needed people to tell me how excited I was after leaving these movies. I had to narrow down my choices from my original 20 films down to 5 and an honorable mention. What do you think of my list? Am I insane for putting these films on my list? What are your picks of the decade? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article, please leave us a like!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

My Biggest Moment in Gaming for 2019… (Brandon)

Every year there are some amazing moments in gaming. It could be reaching a new rank in a competitive game, a long-awaited release finally dropping, or an amazing moment with your friends. To start the year if I had to guess what would have been my favorite moment of the year, I would have easily guessed the release of Borderlands 3. I even would have guessed getting to champ in Rocket League or reaching gold in League of Legends before what happened. I could not believe when City of Heroes made its return.

     Growing up my favorite game was City of Heroes. It was my first PC game and MMO experience. I remember when my dad got into the beta and watching him play the introduction to the game, and I remember thinking that was the coolest game I have ever seen. After watching him play for hours and days, I took all of my saved money from the last two years to buy my first computer. I got to the point where I got lost in this game. I created so many bonds over the game with the community, and so many memories with my friends. It even got to the point during double experience weekends my dad would take me out of school early to play the whole weekend. Sadly back in 2012, the game closed out of nowhere. The game seemed to be doing better than any point. The game just went free to play, and the game resurged. People were spending so much money in the online shop since there was no more monthly subscription. There was no explanation as to why the game closed down other than the company was done working on the game. 

     2019 was an emotional year for City of Heroes fans. In early 2019 there was a rumor going around that there were private servers that were never closed because people kept them private. It slowly started to leak out thanks to a youtube video about the servers. The community freaked out when they released the servers to the public. The creators of the game caught wind of this pretty quick, and there was a bit of a scare. The admins had to close down the servers to discuss what they could legally do with the servers. At this point, I remember being at work when I found out the servers were closed down, and I was heartbroken. Thankfully after some heroes that were running the servers, they got the right to keep the servers open. I have never seen so many people so emotional over a game’s return. I even took off two weeks of work to completely dive into this game again with friends and family. Thanks to some amazing people fighting for this game, we got to walk the streets of Paragon City to fight crime again. 

     Not only was this my favorite memory of the year it may have been my favorite of the decade. It is crazy to see what can happen when a community bands together to get what they love back. I would have never guessed this game would have returned. What was your favorite moment of the year for gaming? Was it a major accomplishment or a hilarious moment with friends? Let us know in the comments below!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

My Top Five Games of the Decade (Brandon)…

There have been some amazing video games that have released. That being said, this decade my hold the torch for the best decade for a very long time. We might be able to jump fifty years into the future, and people could still be talking about this decade as one of the bests. Games like GTA5, Skyrim, and Fortnite dominated the last decade. The last week on our live show we gave our Listener Topic, “What are your top 5 games of the decade”? We received some great responses from you all, but here are my top 5 games of the decade.
Out of all the games on my list, if you would have told me that Mortal Kombat would have made my Honorable mention… I would have laughed in your face a decade ago. This is the one type of game I was never into. I loved every other game type at the time… Multiplayer, Shooters, Story, RTS, EVERYTHING except fighting games… When this game came out, the trailers were just too hype for me to pass on the opportunity. The game was so clean and the fatalities were INSANE! My buddy Adam was super into the franchise, so I decided to join him for Mortal Kombat X. I have never put so much time into a game that I never understood how to play. After a few weeks of constant practice, I was able to hold my own in ranked play. It was one of the best accomplishments I have felt in a video game. From being a hardcore button masher into some nasty combos I saw myself improving. It made my experience with fighting games so much better.
The decade started strong with Halo Reach. It blew my mind with a great way to bring back Halo after the third installment. Halo Reach did such a great job making you care about all of the characters in the campaign. The game did such a good job pulling at your heartstrings throughout with all of the heartbreaking moments. The multiplayer was also groundbreaking for the new mode they added, Invasion. It was a great new spin on the game that was much needed. The best way to explain this game mode was sort of like Conquest from the Battlefield franchise. Your team had to push through and take over each base that the defending team had. The final thing that was a polarizing asset to Halo Reach was the customization shop. It gave you something to work for when it came to the multiplayer experience. Going for all the fun cosmetics gave you a whole new layer to your Halo experience!
After Halo Reach, I was struggling to find some sort of single-player game. I tried out Fallout New Vegas because I remembered how much I enjoyed Fallout 3 back in the day. Fallout New Vegas was a very shocking experience for me. Not only did this game provide me with a love for a single-player adventure, but it also showed me how some games can have great replay value. You could play this game in so many different ways, and every time could be a completely different ending. The weapons were so well put together, the enemies were great, and the side quests pull you into the game! This game by far has one of my favorite stories in any game. It honestly has me extremely interested in Outer Worlds for how well they made Fallout New Vegas…
The next game on my list is Borderlands 2. Thanks to the first game in the series, I was so hyped for the sequel. I have never had a game that brought so many inside jokes to myself and a group of friends for all the insane moments in Borderlands 2. The character development was so fun to watch between some of the main NPCs in this game. I have never had a game that made me fall in love with so many character’s personalities. Thanks to Borderlands 2 I still have faith in story-driven games. Even though Borderlands 3 may have disappointed in comparison to 1 and 2. I still love this franchise more than any other.
The game that brought more friends of mine together in the last decade had to be Overwatch. Not only did we have times where we were playing competitive Overwatch. We were even together watching the Overwatch League tournaments. This game swept the world with the fast-paced team-based shooter. Not only was the gameplay so smooth and enjoyable the characters were so fun to play. The lore behind the charterers gave a whole other aspect for people to enjoy Overwatch. I have never seen so many people flock to one game so fast. Blizzard did it again with its amazing rendition of a team-based shooter.
Finally… my favorite game of the decade has to be Rocket League. I have not continuously played a single game for such a long time outside of Rocket League. For such a simple concept of rocket-powered cars playing soccer, a game has never been so enjoyable for so long. The game is constantly evolving with players finding new mechanics in a game that hasn’t changed in the four years it has been out. When it first hit the PSN store it dropped for the game of the month, and people flocked to this game. It started as just a fun game to play with friends to one of the biggest Esports around. This is one of those games I could see myself playing for another decade easily. Just like League of Legends this game could keep afloat for its super fun E-Sports reputation!
There have been thousands of games to come out over the last decade, but which games were your favorite? Did I completely flop on missing something from my top 5? What game are you surprised from my list that Someone could enjoy this much to add to their list? What games do you believe will make it into your list for the next decade? let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article make sure to leave alike! If you have a topic you would like to see us write about let us know on Twitter or Facebook @TheNerdChambers. Thank you for your support!

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-Brandon Maj