My First Month of Valorant…

Everyone has their game(s) that they are most excited about, and I always have a hard time because I am not a single-player fan. Very rarely is there a HUGE esports style game coming out with much of a notice. Apex Legends took us by storm back in 2019 and completely dominated the scene. Thanks to Riot Games, it looks like we will have out a game for 2020 with their previous title of Project A. Riot Games has been a Goliath over the last decade for the esports scene with League of Legends, and now they are coming in with another monster of a game. The community knew that Project A would be the next big thing at the end of 2019. Project A finally got a title right around the beta announcement, Valorant. Riot Games everyone will have the opportunity to play the beta as long as they watch at least two hours of a streamer who has drops enabled. It was an excellent way for Riot Games to bring some appreciation over to some twitch streamers. 

Riot Games (@riotgames) | Twitter

  Valorant is the game I was most excited about coming into the 2020 gaming year, and I was extremely nervous. I NEVER played an FPS on PC before so, I knew I would have a huge mountain to climb for skill. I decided to download CSGO and put about 40 hours into it a week before Valorant was coming out so I could get used to the play style, and thank goodness I did. Practicing CSGO prepared me toward a particularly useful mindset for Valorant. I slowed down the way I played a shooter, the mechanics in a game like this, and the communication in a tactical FPS. At the end of my CSGO time, I set my sights high to hit the rank of Valorant in their ranked system.

 

Riot's shooter Valorant goes into beta on April 7th - The Verge

I went on a grind of a couple of hundred hours the first month of Valorant, and when it all started it was pretty rocky. I was having a very difficult time not moving and shooting, not taking my time peeking around corners, and the call outs of the maps. It was a little discouraging at first because I was playing against people like myself who never played an FPS and then people with 10,000+ hours(from CSGO) in public matches. After some time I have adjusted to the playstyle of Valorant, and I am finally making some strides. I started at Bronze 1 for my rank, and I have already obtained Gold 1, creeping into Gold 2, in the opening week of ranked. I have spent several hours in the firing range, watching pros stream, and watching tips/tricks videos so far for Valorant and it has paid off. I am on my way to Valorant.

  Make sure to let us know what your thoughts are so far for Valorant in the comments below! Keep up with our streams for Valorant and more upcoming titles throughout the year! Let us know if you’re enjoying the articles by leaving a like, or an idea for our next article! We have our own merch shop! check it out in the links below!

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-TNC Penguin

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 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)