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)

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

Watch List: Halo Infinite…

The year 2020 will be one of the biggest years for gaming with the next console generation hitting shelves holiday 2020 arguably the biggest exclusive of either console will be dropping as the launch date title for the Xbox Scarlett Halo Infinite… this could be the return of the Halo franchise to glory like the good old days of Halo 3. The fan base went their separate ways in the previous console generation since Halo 4 left a bad taste in the mouth of some. I am one who did end up making the conversion to PS4 since Halo 4 was all disappointment for me. With the hype circling Halo Infinite, there is a chance that I will be making a return back to Microsoft. E3 2020 will give us a lot more information about the upcoming installment in the franchise, but for now, we will discuss what we are hoping to see in the upcoming title.

Possibly the most enjoyable part of the Halo games has been the campaign. As someone who is bored senseless of story, Halo has always pulled my heartstrings. I may not remember the Halo 1&2 story as well as others, but growing up I do remember enjoying the games thoroughly. Halo 3 is still in my dreams with that amazing score and plot. YES, the score. The soundtrack to this game is iconic to all gamers across either format they play on. The menu music to the badass track during the snow scene in the Scorpion tank is perfect. The campaign has a very compelling story and makes the games so enjoyable. Even the two games after Halo 3(Halo 3 ODST & Halo Reach) had such amazing campaigns. The NPC character development was incredible and made you care about characters throughout the game. I will NEVER forget some of the moments that you witness during the Halo 3 and Reach campaigns. The moments in Halo reach when characters gave their lives to keep you on your mission was heartbreaking. Halo Infinite will need to grab the player’s attention early. That was the issue with Halo 4 for some, the story was just not all there. If Halo Infinite can keep a solid supporting cast to Master Chief to make you latched onto the campaign.

For the multiplayer fans of the game that is where your focus may be for the upcoming game. We will have to see if there will be a load out format or back to the original Halo games. Another big concern is will there be jetpacks. I would love to see more unique game mods in Halo Infinite. The games have done a great job evolving with Infection, Griftball, and other game modes to keep the game fresh. On top of the online matchmaking, a return to forge and custom games will be a need for the new title. I would personally love to see Firefight back!

There is so much that we are hoping to see come with the Halo Infinite new release of the Xbox Scarlet. Are you excited for Halo Infinite? Are you like some who believe Halo died when Bungie cut the cord? What do YOU need to see in the upcoming release of the franchise? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article please leave a like to know you would like to see more like these!

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-Brandon Maj

Watch list 2020: Minecraft Dungeons…

HUGE games are releasing in the year 2020. Of course, most people will be thinking about games like CyberPunk 2077, Last of Us 2, and Dying Light 2… The game we will be discussing today is for sure the most hyped game of the year… Minecraft Dungeons! This is of course not the case, but I will be tackling this game for our watch list for 2020 since this is one of the games I am most excited for in the upcoming year! Minecraft Dungeons has been rumored to be dropping in the first quarter of the gaming season, and here is everything we know so far about the dungeon crawler!

Minecraft Dungeons is set to be a Diablo-esque bird’s eye view dungeon crawler RPG. The game will be taking place in the Minecraft world but will be focusing much more on a progression/loot-based system. The game will not follow a normal class-based system like most dungeon-crawling RPGs, but more of a Runescape style game of interchanging items and loot! There will be different items and enchantments, (20 Enchantments per item style!!!), in the game to make your character more of a “warrior”, “ranger”, “mage”, or other variations to be announced. Mojang will do their best to stay away from making the game feel like a grind, and it will just be a fun time of looting while dungeoning!

Minecraft Dungeons will have a storyline to the game, but will not be the main focus of the game. The focus will be the combat, loot, and progression, BUT we will see a storyline with a villain named the Illager. We aren’t too sure where the story will go other then we are battling against the evil forces of the Illager. There will be plenty of different monsters from the original game such as creepers, spiders, and skeletons thanks to the evil forces. We are still waiting for what other forces will join the battle against our heroic dungeon crawlers (ELDER DRAGON???)…

Make sure to check out the cinematic trailer of the game to have your idea of what is to come ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJczpIdONjs ).

What are your thoughts about Minecraft Dungeons? Is this a game for you? Are you glad that Minecraft will be making a return? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article leave a like to let us know you enjoy the articles! What would you like to see our next article on?! 

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-Brandon Maj

Everything We Know About World of Warcraft Shadowlands…

There were a bunch of updates that were announced for Blizzard games from sequels (Diablo IV and Overwatch 2), an auto chess game for Hearthstone, and a HUGE new expansion for World of Warcraft. The new expansion that all WOW fans have been waiting for (including myself) is Shadowlands! The new expansion should bring some much-needed life back into the game. The last expansion was very solid, but I feel it did not hold the community, as well as other expansions, have for most people. The story structure was very well done, and the dungeons/raids were, for the most part, were enjoyable. Most people are speculating August since the last two expansions have come out in August. Most likely will be August or later for the 2020 year.

Since the expansion was just released there is not a huge amount of information yet, but there are some very key points. To start they showed off four total zones for the ShadowLands Expansion Revendreth, Bastion, Ardenweald, and Maldraxxus. Revendeth is the first one showed off on their World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Features Overview on youtube!

This zone is a very demonic and more on the dark and grim style for maps. It has some very interesting characters shown off in the video which seem to be some demons and potentially vampires as well that will wander this zone. The next zone on the list is Ardenweald. This zone is a very mystic and colorful zone with some darker undertones for a more Night feel to it, but a very luminous location. We seem to see what appears to be a Night Elf type creature with large antlers as sort of a city location. As for the monstrous creatures of this area we will be seeing more of the natural type with large worms, antelopes, and possible NPC or creatures that resemble a fairy-like hybrid. Maldraxxus is more in the style of Revendreth. Much more in the creepy/demon hunter location. It will be infested with trolls, spiders, and warlock type of humanoids in the zone. Maldraxxus is a much more run-down location for this expansion out of all the zones for the visuals. A very destroyed and gloomy zone for the expansion, but I’m sure will hold some very interesting creatures. The last zone in the overview is Bastion. Bastion has a very hopeful look to it with beautiful and vibrant colors throughout the area for what we can see. The city like the area has some beautiful architecture and an amazing amount of workers and guards throughout maintaining the city structure.

The zones are going to play a larger role than just quest locations as for what the overview brings to light. There is a new system called covenants in Shadowlands, and it shows each zone has its covenant that provides you with different rewards and armor for whatever you accomplish in this expansion for the covenant that you side with. We will have to see how the covenants play into the story, and how they potentially will affect the loot in the game that is earned. Each covenant has its own very distinct armors that you earn throughout the expansion. Now the real question is will different zones have different stats and attributes to the gear or will it all come down to cosmetics?

There is a HUGE change coming to the 2020 Shadowlands expansion… As most of you know the current max level cap for WOW Battle of Azeroth is 120. Blizzard is lowering the level cap down to 60 instead of raising it to 130. I believe this is a brilliant strategy for Blizzard. Right now trying to get into WOW as a new player to get from level 1 to level 120… Is impossible for most without paying 60$ to boost your character to level 110. With the level cap change the way leveling will work now is you will get to level 10 in your normal location of the game, and then at level 10, you will choose which expansion you will play. Yes, that’s right. Now at level 10, you will choose which of the previous expansions you would like to play from level 10 to level 50. Once you hit level 50 you will get to move onto ShadowLands. They have announced that Death Knights and Demon Hunter will start at level 10 to move onto the expansions. The real question for everyone right now is what happens to people right now who aren’t maxed level or level 1… We aren’t too sure yet if they will try and balance the levels out, make everyone level 10 who isn’t maxed, or make everyone 50 who is over (insert level). All and all I believe this was a very smart choice for Blizzard. As someone more of the casual player by running dungeons and raids here and there, but I have only ever really had one or two characters near max. This will drive someone like me to run all the expansions on a bunch of other characters to get to the new max.

What do you think of the upcoming ShadowLands DLC for WOW? Are you excited? Will this bring you back into the mix after not playing for years with the level cap much more reasonable? Let us know in the comments! Feel free to tweet us about your thoughts!

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-Brandon Maj

Who is Adam Kovak?

Lovely lords and ladies of the nerdom, it’s about time I introduce myself to you all. My name is Adam Kovak and I am a new addition to “TheNerdChambers”. I am 22 years old and was solely raised by my mother. Throughout my life I was moved a multitude of times from school to school because my mom needed to find cheaper places to live when rent was raised. Thankfully that came to an end once high school started and I began a new adventure at Crystal Lake South High School. I graduated from CLS in 2014 which was quite the accomplishment, but I’m honestly more thankful that I met my good friend, Brandon Maj, my sophomore year there. From that point on he was my best friend and quickly became a brother to me. After high school I went on to study Spanish education at Northern Illinois University where I graduated from in May of 2018 with a degree in Spanish.

On the show, I am very opinionated if you couldn’t tell and definitely have specific tastes in video games and movies/shows. When it comes to video games I typically like first person shooters. I started playing Call of Duty when Modern Warfare was first released and I played it on the Xbox 360. Don’t worry Halo fans! I was absolutely in love with Halo 3 at the time as well. Those two franchises were my go to games for the most part, but I did enjoy plenty of other games such as Runescape, which I still play here and there to this day, as well as Pokémon which I started playing when I was really young and my first game was Pokémon Yellow. Currently in my gaming life, I have still been playing Call of Duty, but not as much as I used to. I primarily play League of Legends and soon I shall be playing Mortal Kombat 11. Mortal Kombat was another video game franchise that I have loved since I was probably about 8 years old and I have bought every single console game since then.

As for movies, my taste broadens and I am much more open to practically anything. My go to stuff tends to pertain to comics such as Marvel and DC based movies/shows. My favorite comic book character has been Wolverine from X-Men ever since I was young and watched the first X-Men movie. It doesn’t help that I love Hugh Jackman as an actor. I am definitely more of a fan of Marvel stuff over DC. Besides comic book related movies/shows, I love tv shows such as Lost, Shameless, Supernatural, My Hero Academia, and plenty more!