Day 3 of the Dota 2 Boston Major Main Event opened with Virtus.Pro vs Evil Geniuses. From there WG.U fought OG, DC and NP duked it out and Ad Finem faced off with LGD.Forever Young. Let's take a look at how the matches went down.
Virtus.pro vs Evil Geniuses Game one was a stomping. A full blown, out-and-out stomping. Virtus.pro were Radiant and EG took Dire. It began with both teams playing conservatively, harassing a little but not committing, until four minutes in when Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg's Io was caught and crunched trying to steal the Bottom Rune. EG responded almost instantly as Zai leapt in to help Sumail "Suma1L" Hassan punish Ilya "Lil" Ilyuk's Weaver the moment the Io was back in the game. EG was able to rotate and pick off VP whenever they showed up, trading positively into the Radiant side constantly. Around the 15 minute mark EG were looking unstoppable, and a huge teamfight win at 18 minutes put them in full control of the game. VP called GG before the 19 minute mark to reset and try again in round two.
Game two saw EG go Radiant and VP take Dire, and EG were instantly on the attack, ganking Lil 40 seconds before the first creep wave came out. With Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko on Sniper and Alexei "Solo" Berezin on Ogre Magi, VP were able to cause a lot of problems for EG early on in the game — the Radiant team's solution was to pick off Solo whenever they could, but VP were still causing headaches. Both sides traded towers and ganks as they raced to outfarm one another, with Suma1L's Alchemist threatening to become a heavy duty late game threat. Neither side was able to grab much of an advantage — even a huge brawl at 23 minutes didn't really swing the tides one way or another. By the 30 minute mark VP were able to come out on top in a few teamfights — of which there were many — and EG were forced to play a frantic game of map pressure as the Dire team snagged multiple barely contested Aegis' in a row. EG were fighting in their own base for minutes at a time as they used every coin they had to buyback in, and they were able to carve out an opportunity when some careless purchases left VP without the coin to buyback themselves. EG pushed VP back into the Dire base and started to go to work through the bottom lane, but VP continued to play aggressively. Left in a do or die situation, with Shadow Demon and Alchemist becoming too powerful for them to stop, VP went all in. No[o]ne bought a Divine Rapier to significantly increase his damage output and then almost instantly nuked himself thanks to Suma1L's purchase of Blade Mail, which reflects damage when activated. VP, their long shot gone, surrendered. Watch the second spectacular game embedded below.
EG wins 2 - 0
WG.Unity vs OG WG.Unity burst into Boston with victory over Wings, and they were hoping for another upset against OG. WGU was Dire and OG took Radiant for game one of their match up. Both teams played warily to kick off this game, probing a little but otherwise leaving one another alone to farm. First blood came six minutes in when Gustav "s4" Magnusson's Sand King was snagged by Tue "Ah Fu" Soon Chuan and Kam "NaNa" Boon Seng on Earth Spirit and Outworld Devourer respectively. OG responded a minute later, ganking Lai "Ah Jit" Jay Son on the Juggernaut, and it seemed like it could be anyone's game. WGU quickly dispelled those thoughts through fantastic laning and map control. The domination of the map allowed them to repeatedly pick up the Aegis from the Roshan pit, and that allowed them to further bully OG around the map. They seemed firmly in control as they pushed OG into the Radiant base. In the end, Chua Soon "KaNGaroo" Khong's Legion Commander proved too dominant for the team in green, and WG.U secured the victory just before the hour mark.
Game two, and again WG.U was Dire and OG were Radiant. Determined to deny WG.U the opportunity, OG gave s4 the Legion Commander this time around, and it worked beautifully early on. They ganked Ah Fu 40 seconds before the first creep wave and picked off KaNGaroo a minute later, and the tables had turned on the Malaysian upset. Anathan "ana" Pham — the only Aussie left in the tournament — came online at the 12 minute mark and OG started to clomp their way through Dire's mid and top towers. WG.U were under heavy pressure, and they did really well to hold OG out — using Shadow Demon's illusions beautifully, but a costly teamfight at the 31 minute mark meant they just couldn't hold the European team out any longer.
Game three, the decider, gave WG.U Radiant and OG the Dire side. OG picked up Lina during the draft, and equipped Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka with her. Which was pretty cool, as I'd wanted to see her show up for the Major. OG secured early control of game three thanks to First Blood on Luna, but WG.U were doing well to keep things close. Kam "NaNa" Boon Seng on Pugna was shutting Ana's Alchemist down hard, even securing a cheeky kill five minutes in, slowing down Ana's farm and ideally stopping a rerun of the Alchemist dominance from the first game. Unfortunately for WG.U NaNa was the only one with any form this game, as Ah Fu was picked off all over the place and OG began to power creep significantly. Ana came online at the 13 minute mark, and Tal "Fly" Aizik's Shadow Demon started doing what he does best — comboing with JerAx and Ana to dissolve WG.U's heroes in moments. With OG in full control of the map they put WG.U under relentless pressure and grind out a victory. If there was anything to take from this, it's that Warriors Gaming Unity held out against a brutal OG for a lot longer than expected — they even managed to give them a bit of a scare. Watch game two embedded below to see Ana dominate.
OG wins 2 - 1
Digital Chaos vs Team NP Team USA vs Team Canada was up third for the day as DC and NP looked to battle. Unfortunately only Team USA showed up. NP must have been held up at the border, because they certainly weren't present for either of their games. In Game one DC was Radiant and Team NP were Dire (and they were dire). DC picked up first blood on Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao just 15 seconds in, although EnVy did his best to suicide to Roshan instead. NP went on the attack, roaming for a few juicy ganks — but even as they were picking off Aliwi "w33" Omar DC was pushing in the top lane. NP were split across the map thanks to the great push, and Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok played ultra aggressively on Naga Siren to setup NP anytime the Canadian team split their forces. NP bought and then almost immediately dropped a Gem of True Sight around 25 minutes in which would result in the loss of their bottom lane Barracks — NP called GG and DC won the game.
DC was Dire, NP went Radiant in game two, and it if anything it went even worse for the Canadian squad. Despite EternaLEnVy doing his best to distract as Timbersaw, DC was able to dominate NP all over the map. NP weren't able to get a kill on the board until 12 minutes in — and even then it wasn't that impactful as they only killed Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen on Earthshaker (and they wouldn't manage to kill anyone other than MiSeRy all game). It was all downhill for NP, as things just got worse. DC racked up nearly double the XP and Gold per minute as NP tried to desperately stay in the tournament, but by 22 minutes it had proven to be too much for the Canadians as DC crunched down the top lane barracks and stomped NP into submission. Watch the second game embedded below!
DC wins 2 - 0
Ad Finem vs LFY Game one saw Ad Finem on Radiant and LGD.Forever on Dire, and AF sought to set the tempo early. They caught Yao "Yao" Zhengzheng on Sand King half a minute before the first creep wave to secure First Blood, sending a message to LFY — this would not be a slow-paced match. LFY decided they were perfectly happy to brawl with the Greek underdogs, and they went about targeting Haris "SkyLark" Zafiriou on Batrider to slow down his farm and negate some of his initiation. At the nine minute mark Ad Finem got the team fight they were looking for and they crunched LFY, taking out four of the Chinese team while Yang "END" Pu scurried away on his Weaver. AF did a great job of pushing in the middle and top lanes, forcing LFY to take risky fights as they tried to leave their base. A huge kill on Omar "Madara" Dabachach's Morphling at the 16 minute mark swung momentum back towards LFY, but they weren't able to capitalise as AF continued to pressure the Dire side. A huge teamfight at 38 minutes saw Madara go huge, with an epic triple kill securing the victory as LFY were just unable to kill the surprisingly tanky Morphling. Ad Finem won game one.
In Game 2 AF was Radiant and LFY were Dire, and LFY wasted no time responding to their first game loss, scoring quick kills on Haris "SkyLark" Zafiriou and Verros "Maybe Next Time" Apostolos. The Chinese team was doing well at denying AF the gold for kills, suiciding to Neutral creeps when necessary, but the Greek squad managed to get on the board four and a half minutes in with a kill on Yao's Batrider. Unfortunately for the Radiant team, Dire were already fully in control, and AF wouldn't get another kill for more than 10 minutes — during which time LFY fully pressed their advantage. AF's best hope was to push out the top lane where they could, and in doing so they secured a great teamfight win around the 19 minute mark — the balance of power threatened to shift away from LFY as Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris' Alchemist started to beef up. END, on Terrorblade, started to focus down ThuG and began to carry his team as they shoved their way out of their own base, grabbed an Aegis at the 30 minute mark and bullied their way into AF's base to earn the victory.
Game three put Ad Finem on Radiant and Forever Young on Dire again, with Zhang "xiao8" Ning taking the Batrider this time and Yao playing Sand King instead. AF didn't get off to a good start as Giorgos "SsaSpartan" Giannakopoulos' Rubick got picked off just 5 seconds into the match proper, and Madara's Lifestealer followed as both teams duked it out around the bottom rune. Madara got ganked a second time less than a minute later, and LFY were looking good. Ad Finem quickly closed the gap, killing the Batrider, Alchemist and Sand King of LFY, and momentum shifted heavily towards the team from Greece. For the next 10 minutes or so, Ad Finem were dropping LFY all over the map as they put pressure on all three lanes. A massive mistake from Ad Finem — where Skylark's Nyx Assassin got himself nuked while Madara's Lifestealer was on board — turned into a nightmare for LFY as Madara juked his way back to his teammates, who secured four kills. LFY were shoved back into their own base after that loss, and they showed their colours as AF invaded the bottom tier three tower — spectacular play by Yao saw the Chinese team kill four of AF's heroes, nailing Madara twice after the Aegis triggered. Unfortunately for LFY they were out of towers — and they'd barely made an impact on the Radiant side of the map. The map control from AF, along with the hyper-aggressive fighting style, meant that LFY were stuck inside their base without many options. Still, they made three great defensive stands as AF sieged them for the better part of 15 minutes — unfortunately they inevitably succumbed to the pressure. Watch game one of this series embedded below!
Ad Finem wins, 2 - 1
That's it for day three of the main event! The big surprise for me today was EG finding their form and taking out Virtus.pro. Tomorrow Evil Geniuses will take on OG and Digital Chaos will battle Ad Finem. Who do you think will win? Who will battle it out in the Grand Final — also tomorrow?
Day 2 kicked off with a bang as NA favourites DC took on Team Faceless. After that Chinese juggernauts EHOME took on NA newcomers Team NP, Chinese juggernauts Newbee took on EU newcomers Ad Finem and then Chinese juggernauts LGD Gaming took on Chinese newcomers LGD.ForeverYoung. Let's take a look at the best matches from the day.
Digital Chaos vs Team Faceless Game one saw Team Faceless on Dire and DC on Radiant. Faceless came out with a draft which has been strong in Boston, comboing Shadow Demon with a spawner to create overwhelming pressure. In this case, Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier was on a Terrorblade to combo with Toh Wai "xy-" Hong's Shadow Demon. Unfortunately for Faceless they weren't able to capitalise on said great draft as DC played extremely safe and eked out the necessary farm. While Faceless were looking to pressure, DC were staying out ahead in terms of gold and experience. A great team fight for the Singaporean team at the 21 minute mark looked like it might be the momentum swing they needed, but DC went straight back to playing their own conservative Dota, taking low-risk towers and forcing Faceless back to their base. In the end, stuck in their base, Faceless felt the pressure and buckled, losing game one.
Game two saw DC on Radiant and Faceless on Dire. This game was a lot more like the Faceless we saw in the group stages. During game one it seemed like they were trying to play the tournament meta, which DC played around with ease, but here while they continued to push, they had a lot more gank-a-bility as well. David "MoonMeander" Tan, DC's Dark Seer, was caught out twice early, and things were looking good for the upstart Singaporean team. Game two was far more exciting than game one, and Faceless looked firmly in control. A big difference was in vision, which DC was able to manage very well in the first game — less so in the second. Somewhere around the 26 minute mark communication started to break down for the Dire team however, and DC started picking them off all over the place. A massive teamfight at the 31 minute mark spelled the end for Faceless, although DC wouldn't fully wrap things up until five minutes later.
DC win 2 - 0. Watch the second game below.
EHOME vs Team NP'
Stop the presses, one of the Round of 16 match-ups was a three game series! EHOME and Team NP went all the way to the end to determine who would head through to the Quarter Finals. In game one EHOME was Radiant and Team NP was Dire. Both teams played very conservatively to begin, each waiting for the other to make a mistake. The first mistake would come four and a half minutes in when Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei rotated to catch Arif "MSS" Anwar lingering a little too long and EHOME secured the first blood. From there both teams settled into farming, and each got some cheeky ganks here and there. But the tower push from EHOME was much, much better than NP's, as Liu "Sylar" Jiajun's Lycan forced NP back into their base. With better farm, EHOME was in a perfect position to attack NP and finish them off.
Game two saw NP on the Radiant side and EHOME on Dire. Both teams played warily to begin, with first blood going NP's way at around four minutes with a gank on Sylar's Leshrac. EHOME did a fantastic job of managing vision in game two, which made NP's ability to scout out a smoke gank around 10 minutes that much more impressive. They still lost Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling and Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao, but it could have been much worse. As vision on the Radiant side slowly got worse things started to look bad for the Canadian team, but they turned the tables on an overconfident Dire team thanks to MSS's Beastmaster and a handful of luck. A full teamwipe at the 28 minute mark tipped the scales heavily in NPs favour and they were able to snowball their way to victory.
Game three, the first decider of this Round of 16, was definitely the one to watch. EHOME was on Radiant, NP on Dire, and both teams went out guns blazing. EHOME were looking especially scary thanks to a combo of Shadow Demon and Luna — the duo du jour — but NP were rocking the Warlock/Mirana combo which had worked well for them last game so it was anyone's game. EternalEnVy set the tone for the game with a great kill on Radiant's courier just 75 seconds in. EHOME responded, getting First Blood 70 seconds later. In a game that better resembled a brawl than a Dota match, NP were frantically working to keep Luna from getting online — and EHOME were desperately trying to make that happen. Aui was pretty much left alone, allowing him to get his own scary magic lady — Naga Siren — teed up. A teamwipe at 18 minutes put EHOME in a rough spot, and things just got rougher from there as the Dire team crunched the top and bottom barracks and the Radiant side was forced to defend from their base. Team NP would go on to win inside of 36 minutes. This game is embedded below.
Team NP win 2 - 1.
Newbee vs Ad Finem If they're anything, Ad Finem are fun to watch. They slugged their way through the Group Stages, and they're hoping to go blow for blow with Newbee in their first Round of 16 match-up.
In game one AF was Radiant and Nb were Dire, and things did not go well. AF picked Bounty Hunter first, which was an odd move as it was unlikely that Nb would want to grab it — even if just to deny AF the opportunity — and it allowed Newbee the chance to shape the draft without having the actual first pick. Worse still, once the game began the Dire side managed to repeatedly find Verros "Maybe Next Time" Apostolos on the Bounty Hunter and Xu "uuu9" Han's Juggernaut killed AF's bottom tower very early as a result. One thing single eliminations has done is empowered conservative teams to play their withdrawn style of Dota — why risk it, right? That's very much what happened here, as Newbee stayed safe and pressured towers only when they were sure they'd get away with it. Despite only lasting 33 minutes, this was a very slow game. When AF were finally forced to fight from their base, Newbee had too much farm and the Greek team dropped like flies.
Game two was much more exciting. AF was Radiant, Newbee was Dire, and Ad Finem didn't make the mistake they made in game one, leaving their Bounty Hunter pick to third. The real star of this game was Omar "Madara" Dabachach on Morphling, who got off to a huge lead in XP and gold early on and turned into a rolling nightmare for Newbee. AF were able to set the pace this time, snagging some courier kills and earning extra gold thanks to Bounty Hunter's Track. Newbee were able to stay in the game a lot longer than they should have thanks to a few misplays by Haris "SkyLark" Zafiriou on the Batrider, but eventually the pressure from Madara's nigh invincible Morphling was too much, and the series was forced to a game three.
Game three saw AF as Radiant and Newbee as Dire, and it got off to a terrible start for the Chinese team when Zeng "Faith" Hongda and Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi got caught out near the top lane. If Madara was the star of the second game, Maybe Next Time on Mirana was close to perfect in the third, using her Sacred Arrows to secure some devastating kills against Newbee. The whole time Nb were contending (or failing to) with Madara and Mirana, Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris was slowly building his Alchemist into an unstoppable beast. As time went on Newbee's path to victory got narrower and narrower as the Alchemist became more powerful, and by the 23 minute mark their only real option was to try to initiate on some teamfights — fights they just didn't win. The Dire team did their best, but eventually they succumbed to the relentless pressure from AF, and they were knocked out of the tournament. Watch game two below.
Ad Finem win 2 - 1.
LGD Gaming vs LGD Forever Young We called them newcomers above, but LFY are Dota veterans, captained by Zhang "xiao8" Ning — who played for Newbee when they won The International 2014 (and also appeared on that hilarious dating show they broadcast on SBS sometimes). And their opponents, LGD Gaming, are giants in their own right, lead by Lu "Maybe" Yao, who hasn't appeared on any dating shows as far as I can tell.
Game one saw LGD play Radiant, and LFY took Dire. In a long, drawn out battle between the two last remaining Chinese teams in the tournament, LFY got off to a rough start with some huge misplays by Yao "Yao" Zhengzheng on Sand King and Xiao8 on the Batrider. LGD found themselves with a strong grasp on the game as they tried to get Maybe farmed up on the Shadow Fiend — all while killing towers where available. For all the map control they had, though, LGD was having problems with LFY picking off Chen "Victoria" Guanhong on IO, keeping them in the game. LFY stayed cool, did their best to keep getting picks and to stay in the game, and it paid off when a botched LGD gank around the Roshan pit 34 minutes in gave LFY an Aegis and control of the match.
Game two once again had LGD on Radiant and LFY on Dire. The hot pick on LGD was Maybe playing Timbersaw, which promised to give him a lot of survivability — and a heap of damage output too. For LFY, Xiao8 was again on Batrider, and Yang "END" Pu on Lifestealer — the pair combo'd together beautifully multiple times towards the end of the game. Maybe was actually killed first as LFY hunted down the Timbersaw early on, and LFY went on a bit of a tear for the first few minutes as they ganked Ogre Magi and Nyx Assassin as well (although Jixing on Nyx successfully suicided to Neutral Creeps). It became apparent that LGD would need to create map pressure to stay in the game, so the Radiant team took Dire's Bottom Tier 1 Tower and it quickly translated into a kill. LGD started to regain control as they killed Xiao8 repeatedly while he struggled to get the items he needed — a Blink dagger would give him the escapability (and initiation) he required. After the 12 minute mark, however, things began to slip away from LGD as LFY was able to follow up single ganks with extra kills repeatedly. LGD just weren't able to crawl back into the fight as their opponents dominated the map with vision control that LGD wasn't able to deal with. In the end LFY's ability to find and gank Jixing's Nyx Assassin every time he was visible destroyed LGD's ability to live through teamfights, and the 'youngster' team secured their place in the Quarter Finals. Watch the second game embedded below (when it's available)!
LGD.Forever Young Wins 2 - 0
That's it for Day 2 of the Main Event of the Boston Major! I'm back running you through the games tomorrow, as Virtus.pro take on EG, WG.Unity battles OG, DC and Team NP duke it out for NA Dota Supremacy and Ad Finem try to eliminate a second Chinese Dota team!
One of the highlights this year has to have been the release of Total War: Warhammer, which successfully added a dose of high-fantasy to a series renown for its historical leanings. And although there has been a steady stream of updates to the game since its release, none have been as substantial as the upcoming 'Realm of the Wood Elves'. It not only adds a new playable race to the fold, but also provides a new mini-campaign set around the destruction of the forest and the protection of a giant mystical tree.
After the grim and intense war against the forces of Chaos, a giant mystical tree and lush green forests seems like just the right change of pace. Or background, as there will still be plenty of war. Totally.
You may recall the name Gigantic, it was showcased by Microsoft a few E3's ago, where the cross-platform play between Windows 10 and Xbox One was touted as one of the features. In addition to wonderful art and animation. Well, after a few years of development trouble, and a change in publishers to Perfect World Entertainment, Gigantic is finally ready to make its debut in the form of an Open Beta -- available now for Windows 10 and Xbox One.
And it's safe to say that the game still looks pretty impressive, with wonderful character detail, art, and animation. So, we guess the question now is how well does it play.
Head on over to the official site for access to the Open Beta and more details on Gigantic and the special Founders Pack that will provide access to all heroes and other goodies when the game launches.
Grenade-launching crossbow anyone? Yeah, apparently that's a thing now -- and we couldn't be happier. Giant’s Shadow is a new free map coming to Battlefield 1 on December 20 and in players will get to relive the Battle of the Selle. Albeit a version where you can try and take down an armoured train with a grenade-launching crossbow. "Take that train! No wait, I didn't say that. It was, err, that guy." *runs*
It's only a short teaser but in addition to a crashed zeppelin there's a town section, a train yard, and the same lovely French countryside we've seen in other sections of the game.
Even though millions watched the Nintendo Switch debut when it was posted online a little while back, that was mostly per-packaged with images of "what we think Switch games might or will look like". In that the fun-loving twenty-somethings in the clip weren't actually playing working Switch units. In a recent stop at The Tonight Show to promote Mario's iOS debut with Super Mario Run, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé brought along an actual Switch unit to let Jimmy Fallon play around with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
With the always awesome Shigeru Miyamoto in the crowd. The Nintendo Switch reveal and demo begins at around the 5 minute mark.
Oh, and as an added bonus Shigery Miyamoto joined The Roots on stage to play a rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme.
And it's free. For those that took out a loan in order to purchase the Super Special Elite Gold Diamond Edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare that is. Jokes aside, we're still waiting on an announcement for a standalone version of the Call of Duty 4 remaster. Because, well, that game was awesome. In the meantime though the December update for the game-as-part-of-a-bundle is bringing back more classic maps, like Strike, Countdown, and Showdown.
And they all look pretty spiffy with a fresh coat of texture-paint and an extra dose of polygons.
Developer Flying Wild Hog is offering some free DLC for the recently released Shadow Warrior 2, a free bit of Wang if you will. In it players will get access to a new zone, trials, and crafting abilities. As per the game itself the DLC will continue the work done of the sequel to blur the line between fast-paced first-person action of the first game and the dungeon-based loot-mechanics of something like Diablo.
Shadow Warrior 2’s The Way of the Wang DLC opens up a new area within the game’s hub town, presenting seven special trials for Lo Wang to unlock and overcome. Players will be able to earn new crafting abilities, weapon gem slots, and base weapon upgrade perks upon completing each new trial with the prized Fist of Gozu weapon waiting for those that complete the final Trial of the Ancient God mission. Shadow Warrior 2 fans will also find three new 'Insane' difficulty levels for the game and five new achievements awaiting for them in the DLC pack.
The first day of the main event is underway now, and here's what you might have missed! We'll try to pick out the best game from each series for you to watch, although it might be hard if the stomp is on too hard.
Virtus.pro vs Invictus Gaming Vitality Game one was relatively uneventful, with Virtus.pro on Radiant and iG.V on Dire. A Treant Protector pick from iG.V caused a lot of headaches for Virtus.pro as Zhang 'Q' Yi used Living Armor to negate the Russian team's damage output early on. Virtus.pro were wiped at the 19 minute mark and it seemed like the upset was on — the Treant pick was too disruptive to their bullish style. The game swung back to VP when they snagged the Aegis of the Immortals at about 24 minutes though, and the Radiant team pushed out towers until they took Dire's top barracks, secured a teamwipe near the Roshan pit (the holder of the Aegis) and finished iG.V off.
The second round was much more exciting. Again VP were Radiant and iG.V was Dire, and again VP secured first blood. Far more kills, and more skirmishes dictated the pace of this game. iG.V were again trying to slow the pace, but VP wouldn't let up, constantly instigating to put pressure on an iG team that looked firmly in control. A risky push from iG.V into the top lane cost them dearly, swinging the momentum in Virtus.pro's favour and securing the victory — although iG.V played out what was essentially the first elimination game to the bitter end. VP wins, 2 - 0.
Wings Gaming vs Evil Geniuses. Despite featuring a different line-up, Evil Geniuses bears the title of The International 2015 champions. And Wings Gaming has the honour of being their successors, winners of The International 2016. So this promised to be a solid match-up. Nevertheless, Wings has had good form since The International, and EG has… not. So their bout promised to be interesting.
In Game 1 Wings were Radiant and EG landed on the Dire side. EG picked up a cheeky gank for first blood 30 seconds before the first creep wave, but by five minutes that game looked fairly even. EG did a fantastic job of picking apart Wings' Clockwerk, played by Zhang "Faith_Bian" Ruida, finding him all over the map and shutting him down. This made life difficult for Wings, and their only option was to switch gears and try to slow the game down. The Chinese team pushed into towers to swing pressure back onto EG, but Sumail "Suma1L" Hassan's Alchemist was able to keep the focus on Wings, and when Artour "Arteezy" Babaev caught Chu "shadow" Zeyu in a gank right underneath the top tower without a buyback, Wings had no choice but to call GG.
Game 2 didn't go much better for the defending International Champions. Wings were again Radiant and EG were on the Dire side, and EG scored first blood again. Li "iceice" Peng rotated to the top lane to help out Faith_Bian, walking himself right into a gank from Andreas "Cr1t" Nielsen. From there, it was a non-stop barrage as Evil Geniuses found pick-offs all over the map, with Arteezy's Luna doing a lot of the heavy lifting. It seemed essentially over for the reigning champions — when Wings started playing conservatively EG matched them, and with the advantage available to the NA team the Radiant side was forced into taking risks. One of those risks paid off big around the 34 minute mark, when Wings secured the team wipe on EG — but it just wasn't enough to get them back into the game.
EG wins 2 - 0.
The first game is better viewing and has been embedded below, but the team wipe from Wings in the second game is spectacular play.
CompLexity Gaming vs WarriorsGaming.Unity WarriorsGaming.Unity managed to secure the upset against Wings in the Group Stages, so they were definitely worth watching as they took on CompLexity — the NA team managed to beat Evil Geniuses in their own group stage.
In game one, WG.U played Radiant and CoL played Dire. CoL picked up first blood 90 seconds in, when Kyle "swindlezz" Freedman caught Chua Soon "KanGaroo" Khong out of position and punished him for it. A three-for-one at nine minutes put CompLexity firmly in control, and things seemed to be going their way as they began to establish map control. Once Kam Boon 'NaNa' Seng’s Timbersaw was able to get some desperately needed survivability, however, WG.U were able to find pick-offs on CoL's Mirana and Weaver and this gave them the positioning they needed to take down CoL's top barracks — unleashing super creeps and putting all the pressure back on CoL. WG.U's ability to attack CoL's buildings made it difficult for CompLexity to fight back, and when they lost a teamfight at the 24 minute mark they had no choice but to GG.
In game two WG.U were Radiant and CoL Dire, and CoL picked up first blood 90 seconds in. If you're decent at pattern recognition, you'll know what happens next — WG.U replicated their success from the first game and managed to eek out a victory. Spoiler alert! It wasn't actually an identical game — this one was much closer as CompLexity fought to stay in the tournament. Mihai "canceL^^" Antonio secured the first blood on NaNa's Timbersaw deep under WG.U's mid tower, firing a warning shot at WG.U and attempting to set the tone for the game. With swindlezz on Treant Protector this time, CoL had a good team composition to counter WG.U's push, and both teams were forced to tread water for a while as they tried to get their heroes enough gold and experience to reach their potential. Both teams traded evenly, with WG.U focusing on Jaron "monkeys-forever" Clinton's Sand King and CoL blasting down Lai Jay "Ahjit" Son's Luna, but a teamfight loss at 24 minutes gave the advantage to WG.U, and they never let it go. CompLexity managed to sneak away with the Roshan at 26 minutes, but WG.U immediately punished them for it and pushed the Dire team all the way back to their base.
WarriorsGaming.Unity win, 2 - 0
OG vs MVP Phoenix OG are definitely the favourites in this match-up against the South Korean MVP Phoenix. You might be sick of me harping on about this, but they're both teams with Aussies — OG has Anathan "ana" Pham and MVP Phoenix has Kim "Velo" Tae-sung — so definitely one to watch.
Game one was a barnstormer, with MVP Phoenix playing as Radiant and OG on the Dire side. OG gave Ana an Ember Spirit as their surprise final pick, and this combined with Shadow Demon and Luna — a combo used effectively by both EG and WG.U earlier in the day — turned OG into a split-pushing nightmare for the Radiant team. Instead the onus was on MVP Phoenix to stop OG from getting to the point where they were unstoppable, and far out they did their best. A four man stomping at the 19 minute mark threatened to give MVP the advantage, and the South Korean team did its best to capitalise on the momentum, but OG didn't break stride as they split pushed their way to victory. Every time MVP moved out to secure a gank, OG moved down another lane to punish the attempt, and in the end MVP weren't able to leave their base without losing their barracks. Weaver, Sniper and Vengeful Spirit dying at the 39 minute mark secured the victory for OG.
Game two had MVP as Radiant, OG as Dire and MVP snagged the First Blood (as they did in game 1) which, based on the nature of all games today meant that OG would win the series. MVP's high pressure blitz style was working out well for them in game two, as they snagged kills on OG's heroes thanks to aggressive use of their Smokes of Deceit. By smoking on two heroes, MVP were able to get kills, but more importantly they put pressure on OG as the Dire side was forced to play conservatively until they could work out where the missing heroes were. It slowed down OG's experience and gold gain quite a bit, which was important if MVP were to survive into the late game. Johan "N0tail" Sundstein on Terrorblade and Gustav "s4" Magnusson on Axe were proving difficult to deal with, however, as they split focus on either side of the map and created a lot of pressure for the Radiant side. After 20 minutes and with significant map pressure online from OG, they began to bait MVP into teamfights. The South Korean team were left without choices though — they had to go for it, and OG were able to capitalise with a series of huge teamfight trades resulting in a snowball victory for the European team.
OG wins 2 - 0.
That's all for today's Dota 2 awesomeness! Tune in tomorrow for more action out of Boston as Ad Finem take on Newbee, Digital Chaos clash with Team Faceless, EHOME battles Team NP and the two LGD teams duke it out.
A lot has happened since we last checked in on Star Wars Battlefront. A new Star Wars: Rogue One-themed expansion is available now for Season Pass holders. As expected it comes packed with content from the new Star Wars film, with a new map and mode centered around climatic events from the movie. For Xbox One and PC players, the game has also been added to the EA and Origin Access subscription services. A year after its initial release. And finally, a free PlayStation VR mission has been released for owners of the game on PS4. Developed by Criterion.
By all accounts, like a lot of VR offerings, it's relatively short. But as it provides an in-cockpit perspective of flying an X-Wing you can be sure that it ticks off a slot on many a VR bucket list.
Here's a trailer for the Rogue One DLC called 'Rogue One: Scarif'.
One thing's for certain, even a year after its initial release, the game still looks amazing.
Sources over at our trusty pals Eurogamer are saying that the Nintendo Switch will have the ability to play GameCube games via its Virtual Console service. Three GameCube titles are said to be prepped in time for the Switch debut -- Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi's Mansion and Super Smash Bros. Melee. The later of which may have been the catalyst for the GameCube support as its still a popular esports title.
GameCube support as part of Nintendo's Virtual Console services (which still require players to re-purchase titles from system to system) has been something that fans have wanted for a while. Its inclusion as part of the Nintendo Switch Virtual Console setup might also be due to the increased performance of the system, as the popular GameCube emulator Dolphin seems to run fine on Nvidia Tegra X1 mobile technology -- which Switch hardware has been based off of.
We'll probably find out about the Nintendo Switch Virtual Console offering's next month, where Nintendo has scheduled a Switch event in Melbourne.
Resident Evil 7 looks to be a return to form for the series. Or at least a game that seems to be diving head first into the series' horror roots. In a string of loosely connected gameplay videos we get a good look at some of the sights and sounds of the first-person creep-fest that is Resident Evil 7. Can you imagine playing the VR version of this?
We can't, because we have no intention of investing in adult-sized diapers.
Great to see that outside of exploring the creepiest southern Gothic-style house we've ever seen, that there also seems to be some good old zombie combat, and monsters, and creepy old cackling horror ladies.
Be sure to also check out Part 2, and Part 3. Once you've regained your composure of course.
Beginning in June this year, as part of its 30th anniversary, Ubisoft has been giving away free PC games. And closing out the year, and celebration, is a copy of Assassin's Creed III. The third entry in the series that went back to the time of the American Revolution, with an impressive story that spanned many years. If you haven't had the chance to play it or want to add another game to your pile of shame, head here to nab your free copy.
And for old time's sake here's a trailer for Assassin's Creed III from the year 2012. That time when we all thought the world was going to end because some ancient Mayans forgot to update their calendars.
With a new PC patch that aims to provide "significant performance improvements" across the board. The fifth and final episode of Telltale's foray into the world of the Dark Knight is titled 'City of Light' and will supposedly play out differently depending on the choices made in preceding episodes. Especially with the penultimate entry released a few weeks back.
Although it got off to a slightly subdued start we've been enjoying each new episode as they've been released, and plan on reviewing the season as a whole. Here's hoping the performance patch also makes its way to console as one of the more annoying aspects of this series has been its performance issues.
Batman - The Telltale Series Episode 5: 'City of Light' has a digital release date of Tuesday, December 13.
Because FIFA 17 "invites users to support the English football premier league’s Rainbow Laces action, a massive campaign in support of LGBT." Which goes against the country's law against propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations from 2013. So what did EA and FIFA do exactly that could potentially cause "harm to children’s health and development"? Well, they offered players free in-game rainbow-themed jerseys or shirts or whatever they call the tops in soccer.
Which, as you can see, look pretty cool. Naturally, when the campaign began certain elements of the internet community with a mindset from a different age took offense to the addition. But that's a far cry from petitioning a government body to outright ban the game, or in a strange turn of events, introduce some sort of age verification system code into the game to prevent children from accessing this potentially harmful content.
In any event EA will probably distance itself from these Russian MPs, as it has shown repeatedly over the years that it supports the LGBTQ community, as seen in many of its titles ranging from Dragon Age: Inquisition to The Sims.
The Group Stages have wrapped up, and the Main Event kicks off tomorrow morning! We'll be covering the Main Event, taking you through what you missed and picking out a few highlight games as well, so stay glued to AusGamers over the coming days as we watch the Boston Major! And if you need to know times for each game, we've got them below.
All times are in AEDT
2AM - Virtus.pro vs iG Vitality.
5:30AM - Evil Geniuses vs Wings Gaming
9AM - compLexity Gaming vs WarriorsGaming.Unity
12:30PM OG vs MVP Phoenix
2AM - Digital Chaos vs Team Faceless
5:30AM - EHOME vs Team NP
9AM - Ad Finem vs Newbee
12:30PM - LGD Gaming vs LGD ForeverYoung
If you want to know how the teams got themselves into this position, head over to our Group Stages wrap-ups
Day 1 Day 2
Who do you think will win it all? With the removal of double elimination, the Main Event now has easy and hard runs. iG Vitality has an exceptionally difficult run, for example, clustered as they are with Virtus.pro and Wings. To get to the semis, the secondary off-shoot of Invictus Gaming has to beat the winners of the most recent Premier tournament, The Summit 6, and they then have to take on either The International 2015 champions or The International 2016 champions. What's most likely, based on current form, is that we'll see Wings and Virtus.pro duke it out in a Quarter Finals match-up. And this is where Double Eliminations would have been preferable — ideally whichever team drops in the Quarters would then have an opportunity to fight their way through the loser's bracket for a second chance.
Hitman is getting a new, and free, mission next week called 'Holiday Hoarders'. In it players will revisit the city of Paris, but this time one filled with Christmas trees, snow, decorations and presents. And keeping with the holiday spirit, assassinate a few people. Wait a second, that doesn't sound right. Assassinate a few people with an axe whilst dressed as Santa. Better.
Premise aside, it's all for a good cause with the event created in part to support the World Cancer Research Fund. So once you're done filling presents with explosives, dig deep, and donate to a good cause.
For just about every MMO, one of the most requested features is the ability to buy a house, decorate it, fill it up with loot, and then invite people over for a virtual party. And as of sometime in February, those that play The Elder Scrolls Online will be able to do just that. With the added bonus of filling up a kitchen with Sweet Rolls.
The update will bring housing designs based around the in-game races, and offer players the ability to decorate their abode with thousands of items to choose from.
When Homestead launches in early 2017, players will be able to choose from nearly 40 unique dwellings, which vary from small living spaces, like a room in an Inn, to huge manor estates with vast outdoor areas. Each home will be styled after one of the game’s 10 playable races, but each player can own any home, from any race. At launch, all homes are located in base zones – not in DLC zones -- making it easy for all players to find, buy, and visit these locations from anywhere in the world.
Players are able to own multiple homes (but not multiples of the same home) and these dwellings will be account-based, so all characters on an individual’s account will have access to a home once acquired. Players will be able to personalize their homes by crafting or buying furniture and decorations and then placing those items using the game’s new Housing Editor. Players will have the freedom to place items wherever they see fit, to make their new homes truly unique from their friends’ houses.
More than 2,000 items will be available at launch for players to use customizing their new homes. This includes furniture such as tables, chairs, chests, beds, bars, counters as well as decorating items like books, food, barrels, paintings, light fixtures, plants, trees, and more. Experienced players who have collected trophies from the final bosses in Dungeons, Trials, and Arenas will be able to display those special busts in their homes to show off their experiences conquering Tamriel’s most difficult challenges. Players will also have the option of placing pets, mounts, and useful functional items in your homes, including Assistants, Crafting Stations, working light fixtures, and even Target Skeletons (with which players can practice combat and builds).
With a release date of March 2017 we don't have to wait too much longer for the open world co-op action of Ghost Recon Wildlands. The new game from Ubisoft looks pretty good, and aims to offer up a lot of freedom in how you choose to tackle a particular mission -- which the latest trailer demonstrates. And judging by the option we get to see my money's on infiltration by the way of luxury Italian sports car.
Oh, and if you want to get in on the action early then head over to the Beta Sign-up page.
On December 13, which probably means the December 14 for us down here in Futureworld. The announcement came via a tweet with an animated GIF inviting players to an Overwatch holiday event, showcasing a snowy version of the King's Row map. As to what the timed-event will include is anyone's guess, but if we were to go by the seasonal events we've seen so far you can probably expect Christmas-themed skins, emotes, and perhaps a new game mode.
As Obsidian Entertainment's follow-up to the wonderfully old-school Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny throws players into a world where the battle between good and evil has long since passed. Evil won, and it's now up to the people to get in line and live under the rule of the mysterious Overlord Kyros. It's definitely a great concept for an RPG, and in terms of story Tyranny certainly delivers. And then some.
In fact, Tyranny provides a level of freedom and choice rarely seen. And even though the premise sounds like a sales-pitch to get your attention, in the end the narrative is nuanced, detailed, and chock-full of great stuff. Great big, evil stuff.
Where Tyranny excels, is in its premise, setting, and the freedom it gives players to embody the many different shades of evil. From a sales-pitch perspective Tyranny has a great hook, it takes place in a world where evil reigns supreme. The Overlord Kyros, a mysterious being with god-like powers, has won The Great War and only really has a few battles left before the entire land of Terratus is under her control. And it’s her Archons, these evil generals, that are the ones you get to see as they compete for glory to take over the last scrap of land, enslave the people, and usher in the rule of Kyros.
Tyranny makes no attempt to provide a tale of the underdog, or shine a light on the noble and courageous few that resist the rule of Kyros. Thanks to the magic at her disposal, and the sheer size of her armies, this is a world where choice within a specific window of evil is everything. Where being the ‘good guy’ amounts to convincing a rag-tag group of rebels to drop their swords and join the Scarlet Chorus, where they will either be humiliated and systematically driven to become soulless killing machines or impaled on spikes.
Our pals over at Vooks posted up a bit of a classic EB Games snafu earlier today, revealing a bunch of Nintendo Switch accessories well and truly ahead of when they were likely allowed to. Most of it is standard stuff, but an image featuring a USB-C cable has many pondering if this is how Switch will be charged and would be a massive first for Nintendo to standardise parts of their hardware.
As Vooks points out, USB-C is pretty new, but if we're to believe that Nintendo Switch is as on-the-go as that initial reveal trailer suggests, then, err, switching from proprietary charging hardware to something that'll essentially be able to be charged anywhere (think those USB ports on modern planes) makes a lot of sense.
We've been handed a "save the date" for a visit down to Nintendo in Melbourne in mid January next year, where we'll be getting hands-on with the device and presumably learning a lot more, while Nintendo is said to be close to giving us even more information between now and the end of the year, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, check out the leaked images below.
After being shutdown earlier in the year, vanilla WoW PvP and PvE servers 'Nostalrius' will return December 17. The news comes after a recent stress-test that saw an impressive 10,000 concurrent players role-playing like it was the year 2004. After the recent shutdown a large vocal community displayed their support for Nostalrius, so much so that the team were invited over to Blizzard HQ where they spent considerable time talking to the veteran developer.
And with no word from Blizzard officially providing vanilla pre-expansion WoW servers, services like Nostalrius appeal to a very vocal fan-base.
In fact, after there was no new information about the matter at BlizzCon 2016, the Nostalrius team handed over their code and database to Elysium -- hence the new launch date.
Announced over the weekend, thanks to a new extended gameplay trailer, both Morrigan and Captain America have been added to the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite roster. Two staple characters that you probably could have guessed would be included, but it's nice to know. The Marvel vs. Capcom games have a long history of extensive characters to choose from, and with six announced so far expect to see a lot more reveals in the lead up to its 2017 release.
Here's the gameplay trailer.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Given that it was only released a short while ago, Sony has already taken the lion's share of the Virtual Reality (VR) market thanks to the release of the PlayStation VR headset. According to a new report over at Venture Beat, thanks to the 40-50 million PlayStation 4's out in the wild, PSVR has already managed to obtain 30% of the VR market. With the Oculus Rift coming in second with 11%, and the HTV Vive trailing both Google and Samsung with 6%.
Alongside the report came the following handy little pie chart. Which does two things, highlight Sony as the market leader and remind us all that VR headsets and tech across all price ranges seems to be getting out of control.
Virtual Reality has been one of the biggest stories of the year, and should only continue to grow as prices come down in the future.