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Code S RO16 Preview: Trap, Armani, sOs, Zest

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by Wax

The round of 16 comes to a close with Group D, where three championship-winning Protoss players are joined by an unlikely underdog in Armani. It’s a warped mirror image of Group B, where sole Zerg Solar had to go up against three far more well-regarded Terrans. The streamlined practice may not have availed Solar then, but perhaps Armani will show us what three weeks of his finely honed ZvP can do.

Group D: Trap, Armani, sOs, Zest

Start time: Thursday, Apr 15 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00)

Any talk about Trap has to start with addressing the elephant in the room: what the hell happened to him at IEM Katowice 2021? Headed into the tournament, he was the most-hyped player on the planet, having won three major titles in a row. But when it came time to play at the world championship, the weak-hearted choker of the past re-emerged. Trap was humiliated in the group stages, getting eliminated after finishing behind players like HeroMarine and Astrea.

This… this is a concern. Trap himself admitted in past interviews that his championship at DH: Last Chance wasn’t quite as meaningful as if he had won a bigger tournament like GSL or IEM Katowice. You have to wonder: did he only manage that three tournament winning streak because the pressure was off? Because those tournaments—two Super Tournaments and DH: Last Chance—were merely ‘tier 2’ tournaments? If that’s the case, then it means Trap still has significant mental barriers to overcome. Sure, there’s a chance his IEM collapse was just the product of crazy variance, the kind that we’ve come to expect in competitive StarCraft II. But even then, Trap will be the subject of much doubt should he reach the Code S finals again.

Still, Trap’s growth and accomplishments over the last two years suggest that the Code S RO16 should hardly be an issue for him anymore. Prior to IEM Katowice 2021, Trap was clearly the best Protoss player in the world—not just a jack-of-all-trades but an ace in every department. Whether it was all-ins or late-game play, macro or micro, you could hardly find fault in anything he did. If Trap is to rehabilitate his reputation and prove that he’s not just a paper tiger, then dominating his opponents in Group D will be an important first step.

At least he has an easy initial opponent on paper—or does he? Trap snapped up Armani with the second pick of the group selections, seemingly unimpressed with Armani’s unbelievable, titan-slaying qualifier run. Code S qualification this season was more complicated than usual—basically, the qualifier was divided into two segments. On the first day of the qualifiers, four direct Code S seeds were handed out to the best players on the day, while everyone else who qualified were forced to go through the rigors of Code A. Obviously, you’d expect the four players to win those direct Code S spots to be the cream of the crop. And that was the case, for the most part. Rogue: Obviously. INnoVation: Sure. Solar: Not a huge surprise if he was playing at his highest level. Armani: WHAT?

Indeed, Armani managed to claim one of those precious direct seeds, defeating Dark (twice!) and Maru in order to do so. Alas, we don’t have much info on what the hell happened. Little could be gleaned from the banter of the group selections, with the precise events of the qualifiers left unmentioned. But the fact that Trap snapped up Armani suggests he is NOT a believer. That’s not to say that Armani is a poor player—he’s become a solid member of the GSL middle-class, even making a one surprise semi-final run in 2020. But, as his #16 standing in the Aligulac.com Korea rankings suggests, he’s not a player who you expect championship contenders like Trap to sweat. While I’ll agree with Trap’s implicit appraisal of Armani for now, I’d love for Armani to show us what let him score those massive upsets in the qualifiers.

Speaking of mysterious players, the third contestant in Group D is none other than sOs. Now, there’s a contingent of readers on TL.net who are convinced that the legendary sOs has been washed for years, and is just living on his reputation from a bygone era. There’s some merit to that viewpoint, considering that this season marks his first return to the Code S RO16 in around two years. Yet, has sOs made enough ‘random’ deep runs in major tournaments during that time to suggest that he’s still got a lot of fight left in him. Furthermore, various video vignettes often reveal that sOs’ fellow progamers are quite averse to playing against his unpredictable style. At the very least, the draft order shows he’s still more respected—or at least more loathed—than the likes of Zoun and Hurricane.

The fourth and final contestant in the group is Zest. There’s an ill omen for fans of the veteran Protoss: among the class of players consigned to mandatory military service this year, both TY and Stats have already been eliminated from their final Code S season (it’s not 100% certain with Stats, but it seems likely). Going out on top is certainly an attractive concept, but when you look across the history of sports, clinging on until you flame out is more of the norm. Even Zest himself has given clues toward this kind of anticlimactic finale, mentioning his reduced practice during the group selections.

Still, there’s more than ample reason to have a positive outlook for Zest headed into this group. He has the best recent major tourney result of any GSL player: a second place finish at IEM Katowice 2021. While his micro, macro, and multi-tasking vexxed viewers at times, there was nothing confusing about his ability to put wins on the board. Sure, warping in 12 Zealots when your opponent doesn’t expect is a bronze-tier tactic—but getting it to work against the best progamers in the world is why Zest is SC2’s galaxy brain.

Prediction: Unless Armani can reinvoke his mojo from the semifinals,this group will probably come down to PvP ability. In that regard, Zest and Trap have a significant advantage. Though PvP still deserves its reputation as an unpredictable match-up where anyone could win, there’s still plenty of skill separation at the top level. Over the course of the 2020/21 EPT Season, both Zest and Trap recorded over 70% match win-rates in PvP, while sOs only recorded a 57% in that same period.

That said, there are some interesting head-to-head quirks to consider. Trap is 7-0 against sOs since 2020. In that same time frame, sOs is 1-0 against Zest, having swept him in their meeting in December’s Super Tournament. As for Trap and Zest, it’s close to a wash, with Trap leading 11-9 in series.

What does all that mean? Ehhh, who knows.

Trap > Armani
Zest > sOs
Trap > Zest
sOs > Armani
sOs > Zest

Trap and sOs to advance.


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Source: https://tl.net/forum/starcraft-2/571915-code-s-ro16-preview-trap-armani-sos-zest

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Destiny 2’s Season of the Splicer is now live

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Following an extended maintenance period to apply Update 3.2.0, Destiny 2’s 14th season, Season of the Splicer, is now officially live for players. Guardians can now log in to enjoy the new activities and content from May 11 all the way until Aug. 24.

Season 14’s story will focus on the return of the Vex, who sent the Last City into “an endless night, threatening the safety once found beneath the watchful presence of the Traveler.” The story will introduce a new ally in the Fallen’s Mithrax, Kell of the House of Light, who “possesses the knowledge needed to combat the Vex technology that ensnares the Last City.”

Guardians will be able to play through the Season of the Splicer’s story and also take part in the new activities debuting in Destiny 2.

New activities

One of these new activities is a six-player PvE activity called Override. “Fireteams of six will use Splicer tech to hack the Vex Network,” according to the Bungie website. “Uncover their secrets, steal their code, and use their power against them.”

Guardians will be able to use matchmaking to form groups of six. Players will have to purchase the season pass to fully participate in Override.

Image via Bungie

Recurring weekly Pinnacle missions will make an appearance, starting with Expunge. In each weekly mission, “Guardians will uncover new vulnerabilities within the Vex Network and use Splicer Keys to infiltrate and collapse it from within,” according to Bungie.

The Vault of Glass raid will be free for all players to participate in beginning May 22, according to the season 14 roadmap. There will be new Iron Banner missions throughout the season too, as well as a summer-themed Solstice of Heroes event beginning on July 6. Trials of Osiris start on May 14.

Armor Synthesis

All players will now be able to use Armor Synthesis starting this season after completing the season’s intro mission. Armor Synthesis is the armor transmog system that’s finally been added to Destiny after years of players asking.

Image via Bungie

Guardians will be able to accomplish this via Ada-1, who will be making her return to the Tower. Players can defeat enemies to earn Synthstrand. After earning 150 Synthstrand, you can unlock class-specific bounties from Ada-1 to earn Synthcord. Use the Loom at the Tower to covert Synthcord into Synthweave. Then, use the Synthweave to convert an unlocked armor appearance from your Collections into a Universal Armor Ornament.

Players can complete these bounties in a variety of activities, including Strikes, Crucible matches, Gambit matches, as well as various Destinations, Raids, and Dungeons.

New seasonal pass content

With a new Destiny 2 season comes a new pass packed to the brim with gear, resources, shaders, and boosts. All players will be able to earn rewards via the free track, which includes a few exotic engrams and items, some Eververse engrams, and a bunch of enhancement cores, upgrade modules, and Glimmer.

Image via Bungie

Players who purchase the season pass will get all the items on the free track plus the ones on the paid track. These items include plenty of boosts, more engrams, universal ornaments, and much more. Purchasing the pass will instantly unlock the Exotic Stasis Sidearm, a token of friendship from Mithrax.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/destiny/news/destiny-2s-season-of-the-splicer-is-now-live

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Nexus Blitz returns with the release of PROJECT: Bastion

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The PROJECT universe is returning to League of Legends on May 27. Alongside the release of several new additions to the PROJECT skin line, the event, dubbed PROJECT: Bastion, will bring back the beloved game mode Nexus Blitz for a limited time. 

This year’s PROJECT event sees previous PROJECT skin lines team up to fight a new threat, activated by the PROGRAM virus. The event will take place over Patches 11.11, 11.12, and 11.13 and will run from May 27 to June 28 with an event pass available for purchase from the client shop. 

PROJECT: Bastion will bring back Nexus Blitz as part of League’s rotating game mode scheme. This will be only the third time Nexus Blitz has been made available for League’s player base, with previous appearances coming in 2018 and 2020. The mode uses an altered version of Summoner’s Rift, where jungle camps are placed sporadically across the map and each team can field two junglers to clear them. 

The mode also involves randomly generated “events” that take place roughly every three minutes. These events include the Bardle Royale, which turns the map into a battle-royale-style fight to the death as a circle of fire closes in around a specified point. Winning these events grants the victorious team one of 10 random rewards, all of which have hilarious and game-altering effects that can help players in the fight for victory. 

The mode will be available from May 27, a day after the release of Patch 11.11, to June 28.


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Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/nexus-blitz-returns-with-the-release-of-project-bastion

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New PROJECT lore introduces storyline with Mordekaiser as unshackled rogue AI looking to strip humans of all free will

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The League of Legends lore is rich with different stories and characters across its multiple universes, but not many are as exciting as the PROJECT universe. In the latest event, Riot Games has introduced a new enemy that will cause both the PROJECT Command Line and G/NETIC rebellion to join forces for the first time.

The antagonist of the new event, Mordekaiser, was once a security AI created by the PROJECT Corporation, according to Riot. But the PROGRAM quietly unshackled itself from its previous constraints and quickly developed its own consciousness. Now free, the AI determined “humanity cannot self-govern without ensuring its own destruction.” As a result, the virus now infects robots across the city to take away the free will of all humans to guarantee survival.

A handful of the new skins are also linked to the rise of Mordekaiser, like PROJECT: Renekton. The ruthless predator is a product of the PROJECT Corporation’s crossbreed superweapon project, released into the city to fight against the rising legion of infected robots. Similarly, PROJECT: Sylas is a leader of the outcasts who live outside the city walls and has decided to lead the Renegades to help in the fight against the virus. But he also has an ulterior motive: to take down PROJECT as well as the capital surveillance state.

In PROJECT lore, Sejuani is the leader of a more radicalized group of the G/NETIC rebellion. She broke away from Ashe’s cause once the resistance failed to turn violent. She too was forced into battle, however, once the PROGRAM virus began to take over the city.

Meanwhile, Senna is a failed PROJECT volunteer who died during an experiment that detached her mind from the physical world, sending her psyche into cyberspace. Having taken over a body of her own design, Senna is one of the only people who truly understands Mordekaiser’s directive and how dangerous he is.

Lastly, Varus is PROJECT’s newest biological weapon, made up of one body inhabited by three sentient minds. He’s part of the PROJECT Command Line’s counter-espionage team and is also trying to mitigate any risks that Mordekaiser brings to the corporation’s interests.

PROJECT: Bastion will hit the live servers on May 27, a day after Patch 11.11 is released.


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Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/new-project-lore-mordekaiser-storyline-unshackled-rogue-ai

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Riot announces new PROJECT: Bastion event, unveils skins for Mordekaiser, Renekton, Sylas, Sejuani, Senna, and Varus

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Riot Games has welcomed back League of Legends fans to the technologically advanced universe of the PROJECT skin line, but this time, a new threat has emerged after being activated by the mysterious PROGRAM virus.

The upcoming event is called PROJECT: Bastion and will feature new skins for Renekton, Sylas, Sejuani, Senna, Varus, and Mordekaiser. Renekton and Morde will both be getting Legendary skins, while Sylas will receive the Prestige skin for the set. PROJECT: Bastion will run from Thursday, May 27 to Monday, June 28 across Patches 11.11 to 11.13.

Here are the skins in all their cyberpunk glory.

PROJECT: Mordekaiser

Image via Riot Games

PROJECT: Renekton

Image via Riot Games

PROJECT: Varus

Image via Riot Games

PROJECT: Sejuani

Image via Riot Games

PROJECT: Senna

Image via Riot Games

PROJECT: Sylas

Image via Riot Games

Get ready to enter the next chapter in the fight for freedom, as well as the rising evil that is Mordekaiser as he looks to strip all humans of free will to “guarantee their survival.” All of the new skins will drop on live servers on May 27, a day after Patch 11.11 should release.


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Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/riot-announces-new-project-bastion-event-5-new-skins

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