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kNgV-: “Playing with this team has been very pleasing”




It’s 10 am in Belgrade, and MIBR have just arrived at Relog Media — their training facility during this sojourn in the Serbian capital. Vito “⁠kNgV-⁠” Giuseppe hops on a quick video call before his team begin another long day of practice.

MIBR have been working against the clock since this roster was hurriedly assembled in late October, trying to cram as much practice time as possible. The goal is to give fans a reason to feel good again after the shocking and absolute disintegration of the previous team, both inside the game and in the public eye.

kNgV- praised the atmosphere in the team and everyone’s eagerness to win

The hard work seems to be paying off. The team are through to the playoff stage of Flashpoint 2 and will fancy their chances in the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown after beating rival FURIA and taking a map off Astralis and G2. It’s early days, but MIBR’s fans are at least being offered a chance to dream — something kNgV- can relate to as he’s still chasing his first title with the famed organisation.

“I think our first results have been very good, given the circumstances,” he says. “We had never played together and I think we have really surprised a lot of people. This roster was put together at the last minute so that we could play BLAST and Flashpoint, but we’ve been able to put as much energy as possible into it. Playing with this team has been very pleasing, and I believe we can win one of those tournaments.”

It’s impossible not to notice how much kNgV- seems to have matured over the last couple of years. Once a player who was no stranger to controversy or to making headlines for the wrong reasons, he is now the skipper and the voice of reason in this weird, alternative version of MIBR without any of the Major-winning players. The captain role, which he inherited from Gabriel “⁠FalleN⁠” Toledo while the previous team were still competing, strangely suits him well, even though he says that he’s still coming to grips with it.

“This is something I had never done before, so this has been new for me,” says the 28-year-old. “I think there’s a leader in me and now that is being put into practice. In the old MIBR, when FalleN kind of handed me the captaincy, I think I wasn’t able to properly explain the things I wanted to do. In this team of younger players, I think they have really been able to listen to me so it has been a very good experience. I think I’m doing well as a captain, I am happy in this role and I want to continue doing it.”

As MIBR enter the do-or-die stages of Flashpoint and BLAST Premier, one question lingers: is this just the proverbial honeymoon period or is there real change? Raphael “⁠cogu⁠” Camargo, the manager and coach, has talked up the benefits of the team’s aggressive, controlled-chaos style which doesn’t hold anyone back. Opponents have already started adjusting, but kNgV- says that he’s trying to keep things fresh all the time to prevent his team from being figured out.

“I think we need to improve our executions. We’re still making a few mistakes sometimes, but it’s a process,” he explains. “We are learning from our mistakes. We had only one week to prepare for the match against Astralis, so we adopted a style that, instead of being very tactical or complex, had a lot to do with communication and companionship. If someone wants to make a play, then the team will act accordingly, instead of having people making plays by themselves. I think everyone understood that philosophy in which everyone helps each other, and I think it’s working out.

“It’s important that we keep mixing up our game and I think we have been doing that in our games a lot. We have surprised a few teams. For example, we just played five games on Nuke and we played a different type of game each time, and that makes it harder for opponents to have a read on us. ‘Which Nuke are we going to play?’ We are in this process of making those changes, we analyse the match that we are going to play and then we draw some conclusions. ‘Let’s attack more this side of the map, or let’s play more through here…’ I think this has been very good for the team.”

Morale is quite high in the MIBR camp and everyone has been playing their part in the server. Alencar “⁠trk⁠” Rossato and Lucas “⁠LUCAS1⁠” Teles seem to be rediscovering their form, and Leonardo “⁠leo_drk⁠” Oliveira and Vinicius “⁠vsm⁠” Moreira are carrying the weight of expectations that come from playing for Brazil’s biggest team, with by far the most passionate fans, with class.

leo_drk continues to impress with his ability to open up rounds and willingness to sacrifice himself for the good of the team, while vsm is pure talent waiting to be unleashed. Every game that the DETONA star plays is a painful reminder of how Valve’s authoritarian system could be robbing one of the game’s most exciting talents of a bright future.

“Leo is a great player, he is someone who has surprised me a lot because he has a lot of personality, he is someone who calls plays and guides the team when necessary,” kNgV- says. “In my eyes, that’s very important, so leo is without a doubt a top player. He just needs more experience because he has a lot of room to grow.

kNgV- says that leo_drk is “a top player with a lot of room to grow”

“vsm is undoubtedly a big talent. He plays the exact same way all the time, whether it’s against Astralis or a Brazil team. He’s always calm, you can see that he’s never nervous. I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that Valve unbans him. He deserves that.”

MIBR are fun and respectable again. The dark cloud hanging over this iconic name has been lifted. Maybe, just maybe, they can even end the year with the Flashpoint title in the bag. If nothing else, the early signs are promising, which begs the question: how can this team be competitive when nothing seemed to work for the previous one?

“I think that this team is more organised and every player here has a voice,” kNgV- notes. “That is something that we all feel good about and that didn’t happen in the old MIBR. There wasn’t enough freedom for everyone to play, to speak their mind, and that is something that really hurt the team, I think.

“Since everything is new now, we all have a lot of freedom, and I give everyone the chance to speak up. I think that has played a big part in our results. And then there’s also this energy in the team… I think it’s easy to see that we are really eager to win. I’m not saying that the other team didn’t want to win, but it was different. I think the priorities were different.”

For now, MIBR’s players are looking to make the most of their time together and just enjoy the game, for the path ahead is unclear. The MIBR organisation still has not revealed its plans for 2021, but reports suggest that, of the trio of stand-ins, the team could be looking to keep at least leo_drk.

kNgV- believes that the old team had “different” priorities

After being very critical of MIBR for meddling in team affairs, kNgV- suggests that he and the organisation have buried the hatchet. It’s anyone’s guess what the team will look like next year, but the 28-year-old admits that he wishes to be the face of the future MIBR squad in this new role that he’s taken to with gusto.

“I have a good relationship with MIBR, we have spoken a lot, especially after the departures of TACO and fer,” he says. “I think our relationship has got a bit tighter, but we haven’t spoken about what will happen with the team. We agreed that we would talk about it later, after the tournaments. I still don’t know what will happen. I want to continue here and be the captain of this team.”



LEC announces 2021 casting team with the additions of Caedrel and Foxdrop




With the start of the Spring Split only a few days away, today the League of Legends European Championship announced their full casting lineup for the 2021 season. The announcement comes after a challenging year for esports broadcasting across the globe, and sees the return of some of the LEC’s most recognisable faces, along with a few new additions to the talent team. 

2020 was a year that saw esports broadcast teams challenged to produce remote broadcasts with little to no turnaround time due to the COVID-19 pandemic–with the LEC in particular forced to move online with little to no notice after a member of the onsite crew became exposed to the virus back in March of 2020. 

However, the LEC adapted quickly and were praised by many for their handling of the unfortunate situation, maintaining a high level of production (albeit with a few mishaps in the split’s first few weeks.) Due to the changing of lockdown restrictions in Berlin, the LEC was able to return to an in-person broadcast in the first week of the Summer Split. Players continued to play from remote setups, but broadcast and production staff were able to return to the studio in order to continue delivering a high standard of production to fans across the globe. 

After such a turbulent year, the broadcast team has seen some shakeups in the offseason- most notably with the departure of analyst Froskurinn. Stepping in as analysts alongside Vedius and Ender are previous LEC guest casters Foxdrop and Caedrel, with Caedrel having retired from professional play earlier this year in order to pursue a career in content creation. 

The remainder of the LEC team will remain unchanged–with Sjokz and Quickshot both boasting their ninth consecutive years as prominent faces of European League of Legends broadcasting. Joining them will be an impressive roster of play-by-play casters, analysts and interviewers, with Medic, Vedius, Drakos, Ender and Laure all returning for 2021. 

The LEC will return on Jan. 22.


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degster: “I really want to play constantly against the best teams in the world”




Abdul “⁠degster⁠” Gasanov will grind CS:GO as much as he can while waiting for the right offer, the 19-year-old told after Espada made him and Robert “⁠Patsi⁠” Isyanov available for transfer and released the rest of the team last week. The Russian AWPer averaged a 1.25 rating in 2020, but is this enough to convince the top teams, including the ones in his own region, to sign him?

degster is on the market after Espada decided to disband the team

“in my mind, if I grow and show that my level of play is higher than that of the rest, then any team could have a place for me,”degster told “I understand that all this is conditional, but I believe that I need to continue to work on myself with even more diligence, and then people who want to win will want to play with me.”

The 19-year-old had been playing for Espada since May 2019, helping the team to cement a stop inside the top 30, but that was not enough to keep the roster together. degster said that the team had been in regular contact with the management before the disbandment was announced and that the players understood why the organisation pulled the plug on the project.

The Russian AWPer added that he feels ready to make the jump to the top flight, reaffirming the same winning mentality that he had displayed when interviewed for our One for the future article.

“I really want to play constantly against the best teams in the world,” he said. “I have already played against them in practice and official games, and some adaptation is necessary, but I am confident that I can do it and I will work even harder for this.”

With no official matches on the horizon, it’s presumably harder for a player to stay motivated, but degster already has a plan. “I’m going to play FPL and watch all the games from best teams when the season starts,” degster said. On Sunday, he helped Sprout to win ESL Meisterschaft Autumn, putting up a series-high 1.34 rating in the nail-biting final against BIG.

Teams should soon be lining up to sign degster, but they will first need to reach an agreement with Espada. Smaller CIS organisations usually demand huge buyouts, but the 19-year-old has assured that Espada will not keep him from joining another team in case an interesting offer arrives. His faith will soon be put to the test as the player break is about to end.


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How to fix freezing and crashing in Apex Legends




Freezing and crashing are the last things you want when playing Apex Legends.

Apex has improved leaps and bounds since its release in 2019—from both a gameplay and narrative perspective—but despite Respawn Entertainment’s best efforts unstable FPS and lag are still all too frequent in the award-winning battle royale.

Widespread reports of freezing and crashing have littered the forums with some players experiencing game-jittering, and others complaining that they can’t join a match.

Why you can’t run Apex

If Apex isn’t loading and you’re stuck on a loading screen, first check if your system meets the game’s minimum requirements.

You most certainly don’t need to break the bank to play Apex, but there a few requirements to take into consideration. If you’re running an AMD Phenom processor, for example, you’ll have to upgrade your CPU.

Apex freezing and crashing checklist

If you’ve met all of Apex’s minimum requirements and you’re still scratching your head unable to join the game, there are a few tweaks that you can make to your system that could help solve the issue.

Update your driver

Keeping your driver up to date is crucial when playing Apex. AMD and Nvidia have released drivers for their video cards that optimize and fix issues related to the game. Install them and see if they take effect.

Downgrade your driver

If you updated your driver to the most recent versions mentioned above and it’s still not working, rolling back to the previous version of the driver is advised.

Disable Freesync, G-Sync, and others

Some video cards have sync options that could cause issues with Apex when paired with the game’s own Vertical Sync. Disabling this feature may solve freezing and crashing.

AMD processors

A few players on the forums have reported issues with AMD’s FX-6000 series processors. Some say small tweaks, like playing in windowed mode, solved their problem, while several others claim that disabling two out of the six processor cores through your BIOS fixes the issue.

Please note that doing the former will drastically reduce your PC’s performance and may cause issues in other software.

Make changes to your game and PC

Repair the game files

Repairing your game files is often a quick and simple fix to freezing and crashing.

When you launch Origin, go to your library, select Apex Legends, and click on the gear icon right of the orange play button. This will open a menu with a repair option.

Reinstall Origin and Apex

If freezing and crashing continue to plague your game, reinstalling Origin and Apex won’t hurt. The issues could stem from Origin, a program that is often unreliable.

Add firewall exceptions for both Origin and Apex

A few players have reported their Windows firewall had been preventing access to Origin and Apex. Try disabling it manually.

Disable Origin’s FPS overlay

It seems like Origin’s overlay that shows your FPS counter might affect the performance of your PC. Follow our guide on how to enable the FPS overlay, but uncheck the box on Origin instead.

“My game keeps freezing”

EA’s Support Forums have a topic called Community Crashing Troubleshooting Guide with additional suggestions to try out if you continue to have issues with freezing and crashing.


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The biggest prize money winners in esports history




In 2020, esports stars are hardly strapped for cash. While pro gamers were fighting for minuscule amounts of money and peripherals just a decade or so ago, today’s players at the highest level fight for millions of dollars each year.

In the last decade, thanks in large part to the popularization of Twitch, fans have started tuning into esports events at a prodigious rate. The growth has been impressive for each consecutive year since and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. That growth in viewership has gone hand in hand with a massive increase in prize money on offer.

In 2019 alone, more than $215 million was awarded across more than 4,600 tournaments. That’s compared to just $13.8 million recorded by tracking website Esports Earnings in 2012.

Nearly a quarter of the 2019 total was awarded at the ninth edition of Valve’s annual Dota 2 event, The International. A whopping $34.3 million was shared across the 18 participating teams, with eventual champions OG netting a total of $15.6 million.

Of course, these sums have inflated the overall top earners—in fact, the top 11 entries on Esports Earnings are Dota 2 players. But it’s not just Dota that has enjoyed this massive growth.

Here are the players with the biggest prize money totals in esports history, from the current leading games to the top titles from the past.

Johan “N0tail” Sundstein – $6.9 million (Dota 2)

Photo via Valve

The Danish Dota 2 veteran became the top earner in all of esports in 2019 after leading OG to victory at The International for the second year in a row. But even aside from his impressive payday at TI8 and TI9, N0Tail enjoyed incredible success alongside both OG and Team Secret prior to TI, which sets him at the top of this list.

Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf – $3.2 million (Fortnite)

Photo via Epic Games

Fortnite exploded in 2018. It quickly became one of the most played games in the world and it was only a matter of time before esports followed suit. The developer of the building frenzy, children-friendly bonanza invested millions of dollars into funding tournaments for the game—and one player, in particular, came out on top. Sentinels Bugha’s dominant performance at the Fortnite World Cup pushed the player into esports supremacy in 2019, earning himself an astonishing $3 million.

Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen – $1.9 million (CS:GO)

Photo via BLAST Pro Series

Danish frag master and Astralis rifler Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen won his fourth Valve Major with the greatest CS:GO team of all time in 2019. Dupreeh played a big part in the team’s rise to fame, cleaning up their act, and helping them push to the top of the standings in modern-day Counter-Strike.

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok – $1.3 million (League of Legends)

Photo via Riot Games

The most celebrated pro gamer of all time, Faker is the one constant on the three-time world championship-winning roster, T1. The 23-year-old won the world championship in his debut season and he’s still regarded as the greatest player to ever compete in League.

Ian “C6” Porter – $1.2 million (Call of Duty)

Photo via Justin Binkowski

The North American Call of Duty star C6 has remained at the top of his game for years. Winning three world championships and 37 major tournaments over the course of his career, C6 has earned more than $1 million in winnings.

Feg – $1 million (Shadowverse)

Making a second appearance at the Shadowverse World Grand Prix in 2018, Japanese representative feg proved himself on the big stage and earned the right to call himself a champion. The somewhat unknown entity entered the digital card game tournament as the underdog, but instead of toppling under the pressure, he won the whole thing.

Cho “Maru” Seong Ju – $889,000 (Starcraft 2)

Image via Starladder

Asserting his dominance in the world of SC2, Maru has quickly risen up to become one of the game’s most successful players in terms of prize winnings. Maru bolstered his earnings by taking winning the $200,000 World Electronic Sports Games in 2018.

Park “Loki” Jeong Yeong – $705,000 (PUBG)

The 22-year-old South Korean PUBG player has gone on a tear over the last couple of years. He secured multiple top-three finishes, won the PUBG Global Invitational 2018, and dominated in the MET Asia Series in 2019.

Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom – $684,000 (Halo)

The Halo player from North America has performed consistently across four of the franchise’s titles, with most of his success coming in Halo 5: Guardians. This includes his victory at the 2016 Halo World Championship, where Frosty and CLG took home $1 million.

To add to his prize winnings, Frosty also competed in Call of Duty last year, winning three events with the Flordia Mutineers. The player, however, has since switched back to Halo.

Lee “Flash” Young Ho – $668,000 (Starcraft: Brood War)

Starcraft: Brood War is regarded as one of the most prestigious and longest-standing examples of the first era of esports. Played almost exclusively in Korea, the level of competition rose to such a degree that it was rare to see new players rise up and dominate the old guard. But Flash was one of them. The Terran player succeeded in setting an entirely new benchmark for how to perform with the race and grew to become the main rival of Brood War’s top star, Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong.


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