Category Archives: EVO Gaming League

This is your portal into the EVO Gaming League; Victoria’s Ultimate Competitive gaming circuit.

Making an E-Sport Team in EVOLVE

Evolve is only 11 days from going live in the wild. After a successful ALPHA and BETA, developer Turtle Rock is ready to unleash it into the hands of gamers around the world and if the feedback they have received so far is any indication; it looks like we will have a truly fun and unique new IP for Next Gen Consoles!

EVOLVE is an important game for a couple reasons. The fact that its a NEW IP is a huge draw and exactly what this new generation of console players  need. In order to move this industry forward it needs new blood and EVOLVE is ready to deliver that!
Secondly EVOLVE is the first new game this year to throw its hat into the ever so finicky realm of competitive gaming.While not being heavy handed about this aspect of the gameplay, studio Turtle Rock has been quoted as saying that the game has a very competitive component to it and this is not something they have turned a blind eye to. In fact most of the games early footage showed it accompanied by a “Shoutcaster“. The game has been showcased to the public in several events wrapped around a tournament format. So many elements of the game screams competitive play but on the surface the 4V1 nature causes a lot of the E-Sport purists out there to hesitate.

In this article I am going top give some tips on how to create you E-Sport Team for EVOLVE and some tips to go with it. In my follow  up article I will be sowing everyone the default Rule Set that PRO will be using for organized competitive play once the game goes LIVE.

How do I build a team with a Monster?!?!

Traditional team based multiplayer games revolve around symmetrical amounts of players typically 4v4 or higher. EVOLVE presents a unique format in that a team needs to be comprised of a 4 man team of Hunters and then when the next round starts a single team member needs to be allocated as the MONSTER ( Sorry guys EVOLVE does not allow a team of 4 MONSTERS)

1v4
Its best if you think of an EVOLVE team along the same lines as Hockey Team. A team is made up of players who are talented in the position they fill. Like a Hockey team there is a single Goalie; a player who represents your teams ultimate defensive barrier. This is your MONSTER player!

Can I have more than one player assume the MONSTER Role?

Certainly! The idea is that you make sure the MONSTER Player each round is competent and skilled at handling the Monster’s unique style of play and not just a player looking for a thrill ride to smash the competing team’s players. Remember, each MONSTER has a different play style suited for different types of players.
2K_EVOLVE_WRAITH_ABILITIESYou may want to set up a player roster for specific MONSTER types based on the match and or opposing team  ie. Have a aggressive player take the reigns of Goliath and another player entirely slotted to play Wraith for a more sneaky approach to the match. Your team captain is the coach and look to him to call the play .

I only play a certain Hunter class and my team mate wants to play it as well

Since EVOLVE supports a class based team line up it becomes tricky when players of a team all want to play the same class. I get it…we all want to be the star forward and get alL the glory. I mean who wants to be play as the defense players in a high stakes E-Sport?
Well in EVOLVE everyone plays a role in the road to victory. If there is one thing the BETA taught me is that a team of Gung Ho glory seekers will always fail against a smart MONSTER player. Take it upon yourself to become well versed in all classes regardless of your favourite character. Evolve-Assault-Trapper-Medic-Support-ClassesAs your team starts carving out a career you may find your play style preference changing and you may WANT to lace up those skates and play as a defensive player. Be flexible and mindful of your team mates desire to expand his/her skillset into different roles.

Make a Playbook

This one sounds silly but trust me its NOT! Playing EVOLVE in a team versus playing EVOLVE with a bunch of Randoms are two different experiences. Thankfully the BETA allowed us to form up private matches and create our own personal hunting party with friends but also gave us the option of random matchmaking. My time spent in public matchmaking was frustrating to say the least. I experienced little to no communication between players/team mates and what ensued was a mess of run and gunning and or chasing a MONSTER around the map with no sense of a plan or strategy. It always ended up with a loss and in most cases a sense of boredom as we chased a MONSTER around the map in circles.
While its not necessary to create a physical playbook to carry with you to each match , I highly recommend that you and your team develop some “go to strategies” for  various maps and scenarios. EVOLVE is no different than any other multiplayer shooter in the sense that your team needs to communicate with each other during the match and for strategies on the fly. Communication is the key because EVOLVE”s maps are huge and its nots as simple as just running around a common corridor lane or simply camping a spot hoping to pick off a random opponent who walks by your cozy campfire.

Experiment with the Hunters

Try different combos of Hunters each time you play and make sure you talk it through with your team mates. The game will launch with 3 sets of Characters ( thats 12 different playable characters spread over 4 classes) and each of them sport a different array of abilities and perks. Use your early days of matchmaking or competitive matches to establish a working knowledge of how all these variables interlock. Your Hunting team will eventually settle on some key characters base don the different playstyles of your team but allow that process to take shape naturally. Dont force yourself into a specific character without first trying the others.PRO-VI-EVOLVE-LEAGUE

EVOLVE is set to change the landscape of competitive play and introduce some fresh new ideas into the stagnant world of competitive gaming. I dont expect the game to be an unprecedented overnight success in this space but with a little love from the community and an open mind as to what defines a competitive video game experience, I think we just might have a bonafide E-Sport hit on our hands.

Dwayne”EVO Knight” Morash

Gottacon 2015 Halo 2 Anniversary Tournament

In February of this year PRO and Gottacon will be partnering to bring Victoria BC the first ever Halo 2 Anniversary Tournament Sponsored by none other than Astro Gaming ! The Tournament line up will consist of two events ( FFA and a 4v4 Team Based Tournament) that will be spread over the weekend of February 27th-March 1st.

The full details of the Gottacon Convention and how to participate in the Tournaments are available HERE



Day: Friday
Time: 7:00pm
Format: Slayer (Xbox One Halo 2 Anniversary)
Price: Free with BYOC CONSOLE LAN Full Weekend Pass
Location: Console BYOC LAN

Join us for an intense night of Halo as up to 40 players face off in a free for all tournament. In Round one Players will be placed in one of two groups. Groups will play three games of Slayer in Halo 2 from the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Each player will have their 3 total scores combined into a final score. The top half of each group move on to the next round.

Round two will see all remaining players put into one group and those players will compete in another round of three games of Slayer in Halo 2 from the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The top half of the of this round move on to the finals.

In round three, the finals, the remaining players will face off in a final round of games in Halo 2. The top 3 players will prize.

Halo SLAYER (FFA) (Xbox One) $450 Total + $250 Cash

1st Place:
1x A40 (Xbox One) and $100

2nd Place:
1x Scout bag and $100

3rd Place:
1x Scout bag +$50

Day: Saturday
Time: 10:00am
Format: Multiple (Xbox One Halo 2 Anniversary)
Price: Free with BYOC CONSOLE LAN Full Weekend Pass
Location: Console BYOC LAN

Saturday will feature our 4v4 multi game mode team tournament in Halo 2 from the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In group stage teams will be placed in one of two groups. Groups will play a round robin style round to determine seeding for the single elimination bracket. Each match will have teams facing off in a best of one slayer format.

Bracket stage will be Single elimination. Each Stage of the bracket will be a best of 3 and feature a new game mode. The first round will be Slayer. Game modes for the remaining rounds is yet to be determined.

HALO 4v4 (Xbox One) Prizing $1800 Total + $600 cash

1st Place:
4x A40 (Xbox One)
$100/player

2nd Place:
4x Scout Bag
$50/player

3rd Place:
4x Scout bag

 

Links: 
Gottacon Conventions: www.gottacon.com
PRO: www.areyoureadytogopro.com
Astro Gaming:http://www.astrogaming.com

 

Going Competitive with EVOLVE

At a glance , Turtle Rock’s new game Evolve looks like a mash up between Left 4 Dead and the 80’s movie ” Predator”. If you haven’t taken the time to learn about Evolve have a look at the video below.


In a nutshell the game revolves around four special operatives that  land on a dangerous planet and immediately set about hunting an alpha predator that is both trying to kill them and escape there grasp so it can fulfill a ultimate goal of its own.
What makes Evolve a innovative experience is that it is actually a Co-Op and head to head multiplayer game in one. Yup you heard it right….4V1 competitive.

Traditionally the Esports community have only ever embraced a specific type of game that resonates with balanced head to head play. This almost always boils down to a 1v1, 2v2,4v4 and so on; experience. Games that deviate from said formula tend to have a difficult time being balanced enough to consider it worthy of the title ” E-Sport”
Evolve looks to challenge that notion and has already started to find a home within the competitive community despite its very unorthodox design.
At its core there is very much a Competitive experience beating within its chest but the traditional concept of a team has a major wrinkle thrown into it…
What if someone on your team had to play a full game ALONE without the in game support of his/her team mates?
Playing as the Monster in Evolve means that the player will not have a stable of team mates to rely on and will have to live or die on his on skills as a rival team of 4 hunters chases him/her down.
There has already been a lot of internet chatter regarding how Evolve would play out in a true tournament format and while there have been some creative options the one that seems t o stand out time and time again is the “5 Man team” format.


An Evolve team would consist of 5 players all assigned a specific role within the team itself. Much akin to a professional sports team with players occupying positions on the bench but in this case the ” Bench” is filled with Trackers, Medics, assaulters and of course a giant Monster.
Teams would play a best of 3 format match alternating between Hunting/being hunted with the 5th player on the team  stepping in as the Monster slot when your team is being the hunted. The  Players /Player not participating in game would serve as moral support for the other(s). In case of a tie the third round would be played out as a tie breaker with the team with the fastest victory from the previous matches deciding to play the Hunters or the Monster for the final round.
The E-Sport community has always been very selective and sometimes downright opinionated on a particular games viability as a true E-Sport title but with a new generation of hardware upon us and a inevitable onslaught of new IP’s to go with them, I think its time that we start entertaining the idea of  new breeds of competitive games to be placed in front of us.
Evolve is simply the first of what is sure to be many this year ( Rainbow Six Patriots, Smite, Battleborn along with the traditional sequels to Halo, COD and Battlefield).

Evolve launches in North America on February 10th and the Public BETA launches on January 15th-19th. I encourage everyone to jump in and give it a shot; it could very well be the next EVOLUTION of  E-Sports.

Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash

“The Killer Instinct” and Interview with Eugene “Kpb” Lugo

 

Pro had the chance to interview Eugene” Kpb” Lugo on his recent win of the PRO 2014 Killer Instinct” UGR Tournament” and his experience with Fighting games and just how long he has been playing them. Enjoy!

PRO Gaming:Congratulations on winning our 2014 Killer Instinct Tournament Eugene. On behalf on PRO and UGR I want to say thank you for taking the time to chat with us and give us some insight into the world of competitive Fighting games.How  long have you been playing Killer Instinct either in this iteration or past versions?

Eugene: I’ve been a long term fan playing the game since the original on the SNES home console. I was pretty young when getting the game but was attracted to it because it came as a black cartridge with a soundtrack. The music definitely makes the game, lol. I played Killer Instinct Gold when it was in the arcades and always stuck with my main character, Fulgore. I recently brought an Xbox One specifically to compete in this game. Safe to say I love the series

PRO Gaming:Compared to other fighting games on the market how do you feel that Killer Instinct stands up with its game play and graphics?

Eugene:I think the game is a great fit along side other fighters that are out right now. Casually it’s easy to pick up and play. The basic mechanics of the game are easy to get use to within the first few minutes of playing and the game just looks amazing. On the technical side of the game I believe it has it’s elements of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Overall it’s good for anyone to pick up and play.

PRO Gaming: At what point did you decide to start playing games competitively versus just on a casual basis with friends.

Eugene: I started playing competitively back in the tail end of 2009. That’s when Street Fighter was the dominant fighting game out (Mortal Kombat and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 released in 2011). I use to be a big time “Online Warrior” and decided to take my skills further. I started by going to local tournaments and slowly found my way to attending Majors. It wasn’t an easy start but getting out there is the only way to get battle hardened.

PRO Gaming: The competitive E sport “ Fighting game” community is a very Clicky crowd. Have you had any challenges in becoming a part of that community and if so how have you adjusted to it in your dealings?

Eugene:The Fighting Game Community (FGC) is very intimidating at first. There’s groups withing groups of people. Looking at it from the outside can be very scary. First starting out I didn’t know many people besides my friends that started with me. I knew a lot of people by face from watching streams but that was about it. As time went on and competitions became more frequent for me that’s when I started to become comfortable with the people I consistently saw. Everyone in the FGC is very welcoming, shockingly enough all you have to do is say hi. I’m proud to say that within the FGC I represent a group called Kick-Punch-Block (KPB). I joined up with them in late 2012 and they’re like my extended family.  Little groups like these make being a part of the FGC worth wild.

PRO Gaming: With this event in particular I know that your level of competition was varied. You displayed some very good sportsmanship that is not very common in competitive gaming these days. Do you find that your experiences with tournament play have been rewarding and positive overall?

Eugene: You always have to look at tournaments as a learning experience. I’ve played against many great players in the past (Justin Wong, Chris G, Yipes, Sanford Kelly) and it’s always been a lesson more than a match. My reward is knowing that with every tournament I go to I grow as a player. Placing high at tournaments gets me recognition by other players and I can help set an example for others.

PRO Gaming: Can you tell us what about Killer Instinct resonates with players currently and also what do you think about the design choice of Double Helix to go with a FREE TO PLAY model for its game.

Eugene:There’s a lot of HYPE when playing this game. Combo breakers and Ultras along side the original voice actor for these actions make the game very nostalgic for some of us. Double Helix hit the nail on the head when introducing the FREE TO PLAY aspect of the game. Letting the casual player tryout a different character monthly gives a person something new to look forward to as time goes on.

PRO Gaming: Can you give us a quick run-down of some of the other competitive events and tournaments you have participated in?

Eugene:Mostly all East Coast Majors… East Coast Throwdown 2-5, NEC 13 and 14, Summerjam 7, Apex 2012 and 2014, Defend The North. I’ve also attended Next Level a lot for their Battle Circuit series and various other locals in New York. My Group Host Casuals every Friday as well in Westchester, New York.

PRO Gaming:Who is your favorite Killer Instinct character at this moment and are there any characters you are waiting for?

Eugene: Man I guess my favorite would have to be Sabrewulf. He’s gotten me twice to top 4 at the last 2 tournaments I’ve been to. As soon as Fulgore gets released I will make the switch to him. There’s no way I would let my main character from the previous versions slip right by me, lol

PRO Gaming:Thanks Eugene, once again I want to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions  as well as being an ambassador for this game. We hope that we see you at future events we host and keep kicking ass out there!

Eugene:Thanks again for having me guys and I look forward to participating in future events!

Dwayne “ EVO Knight” Morash

 

The Team that wins together…Practices together!

Have you gotten into an XBOX Live match and seen a group of players all with the same CLAN tag and gone ” Oh man , we are in for a butt kicking now”? Its a funny thing to say ; I mean after all the only thing separating them from  you and your buddies is a 3 letter Clan tag in front of their name right?

Wrong. Those players probably ARE going to kick your ass but its not because of their tag; its because the have most likely taken the time to form a team and practice together. Yeah yeah I know it sounds silly; practicing to play a video game. Who takes the games that seriously that they would allocate time in their lives to have a practice session and try and get better at a particular game? Well you are reading this article so you are half way there my friend.

Lets start out with the “why’s” before we tackle the how.

E sports are just like any other sports in the world; If you want to get good at them you have to practice. Playing a lone wolf game can actually be pretty easy in comparison to team play. In order to gel as a team you need to play enough with your team to know the strengths and weaknesses of each player. To give you an example whenever I play in a team environment I make everyone aware that I am not a good sniper and also tell them what my strengths are < I prefer  to play as an assault role combing the level ground looking for prey>. This heads up lets my team play a role to support my tactics. On the flip side if you now that your team is sniper heavy you need to be able to tackle a different role yourself and ensure that you are balanced and diversified when it comes to game time.

Calling out “strats” as a team is also a fine art. Having played with a large amount of pick up teams I can tell you it is a nightmare when my team mates don’t understand my call outs or have no map knowledge. You may as well just hit the “forfeit” button in most cases.
In any competitive  Team environment you need to be able  to work together and not only understand your fellow players but also be able to inspire them  to do better. Friendly rivalries between team mates is a healthy thing and in most cases inspires everyone to do their best to improve.

No one can deny ” WHY” you need to practice but “HOW” do you set up a successful practice session with your fellow clan mates without it turning into a all out waste of time.

SCHEDULE IT. Make a point of setting aside an hour or two of dedicated private match play time. Get your team together in a party chat and talk about what you need work on as a tea. Specific maps and or game modes or maybe your trigger finger is rusty and you need some warm up free for alls. Whatever the plan is make sure you are on time and ready to practice. Hold everyone accountable and make sure they are equally ready to improve.

HAVE A GAME PLAN. If your practice session is going to have a time limit make sure you decide what you want to accomplish with it. Are you needing some practice with certain weapons? Maybe you need someone to help you with a certain game mode and how to play it effectively. Whichever it is focus on it and make sure your time is well spent.

THE POST GAME WRAP UP. At the conclusion of your practice session make sure you take some time to talk to your team mates and give them valuable feedback. A good sharing session may actually bring to light some info that you and your buddies didn’t know individually. I know that I’m always picking up tips from team mates after a round while we are waiting in a lobby for the next match; specifically about what worked and what didn’t in the last round.

Pretty soon you to will be rolling with a group of squad mates all flying your own clan tag in front of your name as a symbol of your dedication to Team play.

Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash

“Call outs” : Time to use that Mic for something other than Smack Talking…

If you have ever had the pleasure of watching a competitive event in person the first thing your bound to notice is that everyone is talking to each other. When I say that I dont mean the spectators ; I mean the players on each team.

Now wait! You are probally thinking why are they talking to each other with a headset…they are right beside each other?!

Imagine you are on a battlefield of the future with lasers and state of the art rocket launchers whizzing by your head and you are fighting with your squad who happen to be spread out all over the place fighting for their lives. Do you really think you are going to stand up and start screaming at your buddy to come help you or to tell him he is about to get shot by that guy with the aforementioned Rocket launcher? Nope; your going to tell him via that equally state of the art communication gear that strapped to your helmet and your also going to tell him exactly where that rocket launcher toting enemy is standing… in short; your gonna use a ” Call Out”.

Call Outs are a PRO gamers way of getting that edge over the other team who thinks shouting to a team mate is embarrasing. The act of talking is second nature to us gamers as evidence by the thousands of little boys and girls who feel the need to swear and insult each other everyday on XBOX live. In fact there are so many people talking on XBOX Live that Microsoft has included a MUTE feature to make our lives a lot more peaceful when playing our favourite multi player games.

There is more to Call Outs than simply shouting at your team mate to take cover or that you are reloading your gun….again. Call Outs require that you convey a short burst of tactical information in a concise but effective manner.In the heat of battle and with all the other noise being thrown at you and your team mates it is very important that you dont spam the airwaves with useless chatter and worse yet screaming and in some cases singing ( Dont get me started on how annoying singing team mates are!)

An effective Call Out should contain information that will assist your team in some manner either globally ( ” the other team has snipers) or specific to an individual ( ” Bob your about to get knifed! Turn Around!). In order to convey this information accurately you will need to take the time to learn map locations and identify easy way to commmunicat that information to someone QUICKLY.

Here is an example of a BAD call out.

” Delta I just got shot by a guy with some sort of a long ranged weapon..err maybe it was a rocket launcher but it could have been a sniper rifle not sure…he was hiding up on that tall building thing beside all those rocks but he was not on the building he was sorta in between the rocks and the building im not really sure bu I know he killed me because ..welll… because Im in a screen showing me where he is ..err or was at the moment…got that?”

Here is an example of that same call out by a PRO player

” Delta sniper on Rock Building ground level he’s on the move!”

The same amount of information was conveyed in a MUCH more concise manner. As the game progresses these short sound bites will eventually click and someone on your team will be in a position to take advantage of that Call Out. This information is more about creating an overall tactical awareness of whats happening in the match versus expecting someone to do something about it. All it takes is one good call out to tip off a fellow team mate who happens to be nearby and take action on it.

Take Battlefield 3 for example. When a team mate tells me that the enemy has a tank rolling in and I happen to be in the load out selection screen, do you think Im switching to my recon class? Hellz NO! Im taking a Engineer class and smacking that tank down with some RPG goodness!

Overall the team that talks is the team that is on their way  to win. Here are some key things to include in all your call outs.

  • Location of enemy ie. Color of terrain or terrain features. Some game developers place characteristics in thier game maps to facilitate easy call outs ( HALO is famous for this)
  • Quantity of enemy
  • General state of enemy ie. Camping, mobile, hidden etc.
  • Health of enemy . If you have shot the enemy telling your team mate that he is only ” one shot” away from death will help your partner engage the enemy with more info
  • Alone or with friends. Its always important to tell your team if a particular enemy is travelling solo or as a group. This saves a lone wold player from biting off more than he can chew.
So with that said its time to start using your MIC for more than cursing out your fellow team mates and trying to impress them with your best American Idle audition. Strap on the state of the art communication gear and show the other team that TALKING is winning!

“6 Players does a Titan Make”

What defines the quality of a multi-player shooter these days?

Is it graphics? Is it frame rate? or is it how easy or hard the game is?

If you strip mult-player gaming down to its core fundamentals it essentially is any game that lets you play with more than a single person. This can take the form of a dedicated Co-Op experience with a single buddy or the opposite side of extreme and be a massively multi-player game Ala’ World of Warcraft.

No matter what your preference of multi-player is ,its safe to say that playing with friends or strangers is an exciting feature in games these days.

images
Yes Please!!!!!!

Then why is it that there are legions of entitled players in the world redefining the minimum requirement of players to be involved in a multi-player experience ? Of course this argument has been making the rounds for years now and every time a Battlefield game gets launched on console you here the inevitable screams from the fan base saying ” sacrilege…Battlefield was meant to be played with 64 players on PC!”

Pop Quiz: Can anyone tell me the largest amount of players supported on XBOX360 and of course the name of said game? Stay tuned to the end of this article and Ill tell you 🙂 

The latest argument has been kicked off with the announcement that the soon to be released game TITAN FALL will ship with a ” meager” offering of 6v6 head to head multi-player.

Respawn ( the games developers) have made a conscious design choice to limit the matches to 6 players on either  team. This is of course supplemented with a healthy supply of AI troops populating the battlefield to create a sense of scale and give teams some cannon fodder to buff their self esteem.

The key wording here is that this was a pre-meditated design choice by the developers ; NOT a technical limitation ( Yes Battlefield games have a technical restriction on console folks). Shouldn’t we trust that these guys know there own game and have also play tested it while developing it?

Titanfall_E3_014
Titan Fall will not have a shortage of stuff to shoot at .

I for one do not need Titan Fall to be a 64 players “Mech Fest” and am quite happy to fill that void by the AMAZING Battlefield 4 that I have installed on my console.

There is of course the whole issue of Game Balance to consider as well. When you start throwing in more players the dynamics of the game itself begin to buckle. Things like Map layout  and design become crucial to whether or not the game becomes broken. Team Cohesion and synergy takes a back seat to random amounts of players running around a map like a BOT. Keep in mind that no game has successfully thrown an entire 32 man team into one squad or fire team. I cant even imagine using call outs with that large of a player count!

Large scale combat also adds fuel to the age old whining of Camping. When you create a map that supports large amounts of players you will always find players who are too lazy to walk a few feet in it; instead electing to set up camp on a rooftop or in a bush and wait for an unlucky player to stroll across his/her path.

More players in a multi-player game does not make it better it simply turns it into a different experience.

From a competitive gaming point of view ; I am actually very happy to hear that TITAN FALL will only be supporting 6v6 matches. This puts it squarely in our sights for a PRO selected title and will make facilitating tournaments that much easier. Teams will work together better and the intensity will ramp up thanks to our little AI friends.

Mmmmm....I wonder if this guy is a real player?
Mmmmm….I wonder if this guy is a real player?

Respawn entertainment has crafted a shooter with specific intent and is playing by its rules. IT IS NOT Battlefield 4 in Mechs but I applaud them for waiting to create an atmosphere akin to Dices shooter even if it is an illusion created with cloud powered AI troops.

Dwayne”EVO Knight” Morash

Pop Quiz Answer: The game is Frontlines Fuel of War ( Xbox 360/PC exclusive) developed by KAOS studios ( also created Homefront).Frontlines

The maximum player count in that game was 50 players on a dedicated server that KAOS hosted