Is it time for OG to fulfill their top ten destiny?
HLTV’s got quite the scoop with their NiKo interview as the Bosnian star freely discussed contractual matters and team setups off the back of his big move to G2. There were many question marks about how he should be integrated on the eve of his debut at BLAST, and it’s tough to shake the feeling that it’s going to be a rocky road ahead for all parties concerned. You don’t even have to read between the lines too much – as is customary nowadays, he said the quiet part out loud.
There won’t be any clashes. If nexa wants me to shut the fuck up and not say anything, I will do it. I’m just done with the responsibility of talking all the time.
No doubt the headline quote is NiKo’s assertion that he’s willing to say quiet and leave the in-game leader’s mantle behind, as the big point of contention in his previous teams – either mousesports or the post-karrigan FaZe Clan was that he accumulated power yet in their hour of need he seemed to forget about so many things. The prevailing narrative was – with reason – that every team he plays on eventually turns into his personal project, which ends up wasting both is prodigious skills as a rifler and the potential of having a good in-game leader on the squad.
For now, the public pronouncement seems to be that this was as much as by accident as by design, and he’s looking to return to the frag machine role which made him one of the greatest in the game. Part of G2’s team composition suggests this could actually succeed: most of CS:GO’s superstar players (device, s1mple, ZywOo, pre-2018 FalleN, coldzera, JW, the list could go on) either main the AWP or want to take it upon themselves to use the big green in search of a comeback. NiKo is a rare exception to this rule and this by itself can defuse some of the potential tensions of the usual superstar signing, even if kennyS’ recent performances in the online era leave a lot to be desired.
Still, coaching or caging NiKo has not been a realistic possibility at any point during his meteoric rise, neither in the NiKosports era nor the FaZe Clan days. The woes of someone like s1mple or even ZywOo and his myriad lost finals show that CS is ultimately a team game and you can’t rely on a super carry to get across the finish line, and the real question here is whether he’ll still be willing to listen if the results are not there a few months into the LAN era. There should be a fairly long grace period for all parties to work with as they aim to figure out whether to keep AmaNEk or JaCkz as their fifth, but starting their game against FURIA, the countdown to bicker time officially begins.
As much of a fairytale as it is to see huNter and huNter’s cousin on the same team, the familial aspect of the G2 affair actually makes this an even more volatile squad composition than it seems on the surface. A star player already has a big pull and negotiating power – though the fact that s1mple didn’t join MIBR and FaZe took so long to pick up coldzera should tell you everything you need to know about how the orgs still have more than enough say in the proceedings – but now any GM that’s looking to get NiKo onboard is signing up for a package deal with his brother and therefore two-fifths of any prospective squad with a strong sway over the various decisions.
Indeed NiKo’s suggestion that he and his brother could have also ended up at Cloud9 means that any discontent will be doubled by default, and if they join forces in any dispute, be it contractual or otherwise, it will take quite the GM to keep them in line or to ward off prospective suitors – and by the same token, making any such pickup a double-edged proposition should they ever end up leaving G2 together.
Though the news of NiKo’s move to G2 obviously overshadowed everything else about the FaZe squad, YNk’s decision to step down after his fellow countryman’s departure has generated its own share of snark on social media. The meme-y suggestion that he brings nothing more to the table than tepid motivational quotes obviously doesn’t make sense, but there’s also little to suggest that he made a material difference to either of the teams he’s coached to date.
Though most would concede the point that FalleN’s MIBR side was essentially uncoachable (so much so that they were one of the last top sides to start using one), it’s still not a good look that their only tournament win and most of their best performances came at the very beginning of his tenure, with little to no tangible improvement to follow. Now, with moses at Team Liquid and HenryG at Cloud9 (though admittedly in a very different capacity as kassad’s the one with the coaching responsibilities), we’ll get a better idea of how transferable a broadcast analyst’s skills are to supporting an actual competitive team.
YNk deserves credit for taking the leap and adjourning a successful career as an on-screen personality to test himself – but there’s not much to suggest he’s a cut above the rest in this particular field, even if he ended up with back-to-back poisoned chalices. Regardless of whether it was by design or not, the fact is he hasn’t become the sort of emblematic figure like a kassad or a zonic, nor has he introduced anything tangibly “YNk-esque” to either of his teams.
“I’m really happy that the coach has the biggest voice in the team, that he’s the one who’s going to say how everything should be done, because that’s what we were missing in my past teams. My coaches didn’t really have that kind of responsibility. They didn’t have the last word in everything that was done in the team.”
Though NiKo doesn’t specifically mention YNk in his wide-ranging interview, he does suggest his impact and influence was fairly limited during his tenure on FaZe. Between March 2015 as the observer at ESL One Katowice and ESL One Cologne 2018, the Serb’s established himself as one of the best CS:GO analysts – his achievements over the last two years in coaching don’t come anywhere close to that. No doubt someone who pushed himself so far his previous profession of choice would consider this the greatest indictment of them all.ű
Photo credit: HLTV
Esports Talk and our energy drink sponsor Rogue Energy have teamed up to give away some of Rogue’s newest Shake flavor, the Caramel Vanilla Latte. This exciting giveaway is being done to celebrate our new partnership with Rogue Energy, who have become Esports Talk’s exclusive energy drink sponsor.
For the giveaway, Rogue will be selecting five winners to receive a tub of the new flavor. Winners have to be located within the continental United States, so apologies in advance to our fans in Hawaii, Alaska, or those of you who live outside the United States.
We wil have many more opportunities for you to enter giveaways in the future both from Esports Talk as as well as our sponsors, so stay tuned for more information, and check out how to enter below.
The giveaway couldn’t be simpler to enter. All you need to do is head over to Rogue’s giveaway page, which uses Gleam. There are 18 ways to enter, including following Rogue Energy, Esports Talk, our own Jake Lucky, Rogue co-Founder Zac Dudzik, following our Youtube Channel, and much more.
And don’t worry – if you’re already following (and you should be) Gleam will allow you to simply verify that to get the same amount of entries, no re-following required.
For those of you who may have missed it, here’s how the partnership with Rogue Energy came about in the first place. Don’t forget, that you can use code EsportsTalk to get 20% of your purchase on the Rogue Energy shop.
Rogue Energy is an energy drink made with the gaming community in mind and they’ve stood out from day one as a good fit for Esports Talk. Why Rogue Energy? First and foremost, after drinking their products in the office ourselves, we can confidently say they’ve got one of the best products in the business. With an expansive selection of flavors, they’ve got something for everyone whether you’re looking to jumpstart your day or trying to stay hydrated. Not only that, but Rogue is truly a part of the gaming community, and it shows in the way they work to provide the best possible product for gamers and streamers everywhere
It’s official: MSI 2021 will be played on patch 11.9. This, in short, is quite exciting news as it means all twelve teams will get to prepare and eventually compete on even footing. Moreover, patch 11.9 is bound to bring a slew of exciting changes (Hecarim and Udyr nerfs are basically a given), some of which will build upon the “foundation” Riot has established with 11.8.
Speaking of which, do not underestimate the potential said patch carries and how big of an impact it could possibly have on pro play. For instance, champions like Cassiopeia, Darius, and Zed will all become somewhat viable junglers which may or may not affect competitive play as well. Pro players are always looking for that extra bit of something to gain an edge over their opponents, and these new changes and champion updates definitely fit the bill.
Furthermore, Gnar and Orianna have both received nerfs with Aphelios, LeBlanc, Lee Sin, Vladimir, and Zac getting nuanced (but important) buffs. These changes alone will surely affect pick and ban priority, so at least we won’t be seeing the exact same picks over and over again. Furthermore, changes to Moonstone (and other support Mythics) might usher in the enchanter support meta, although it’s still too early to predict anything with confidence.
No one can be too sure of the direction the meta will evolve in, but at least there’s ample potential. Either way, we’re bound to see a lot of experimentation!
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news.
As previously reported, Viego will remain unplayable, and the same goes for LoL’s latest champion — Gwen, the Hallowed Seamstress — as well. This, in short, is quite depressing as we were all hyped to see the absolute best players in the world try their hand at these hugely powerful champions, both of which have the potential to be meta-defining.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for that to happen. Either way, there’s definitely a reason to tune in to the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, regardless of these relatively minor hindrances!
The new season of Call of Duty Mobile is almost here and may already be here by the time you read this, so it is time to go over everything in this new batch of content. Call of Duty Mobile Season 3 is the third one this year and in this line of rebooted seasons for the mobile game.
Call of Duty Mobile Season 3 is officially known as Tokyo Escape. It has a beautiful sakura (cherry blossom) pink-inspired color scheme to it throughout the marketing materials and the battle pass that players are going to be pursuing during this season.
The spring season is here, and it seems that Tencent and Activision are in the spring mood as this Tokyo Escape Season has a much more light and colorful feel that we haven’t seen in the past from all of the dark and grim military and sci-fi themed seasons.
At the time of writing this, Call of Duty Mobile Season 3 is not available just yet for players to check out, but it will soon be. The patch notes have revealed that the new season’s timing will be on April 16 (today) at around 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET).
For some players worldwide, that means it will not be released until Friday, April 17 for you. Though Activision has not released the official patch notes for the new season of content, the Garena version of the game that is, for all intents and purposes, mostly the same game, has.
Using those patch notes, we can figure out most everything in the official Call of Duty Mobile Season 3 Tokyo Escape patch notes. This includes the new abilities, battle pass, gun, multiplayer maps, game mode, and so much more. Let’s get started.
As mentioned already, the Season 3 battle pass will be much more colorful all around when compared to nearly every other season that we have had in Call of Duty Mobile, like the currently ending second one. While some players might not be a fan of that, it is a nice and very much needed breath of fresh air from the usual dark color scheme of the game.
There will always be around 50 tiers of battle pass levels for players to go through with a variety of items across each of the levels. Some of them will be free to everyone in the game, while others will require you to purchase the paid battle pass to unlock them.
When it comes to the free items that are going to be available to everyone through the battle pass, a couple of them are noteworthy. The first is the new PP19 Bizon weapon. The other is the Bull Charge operator skill that you can use in multiplayer matches.
Some other free items you will be able to get in the Tokyo Escape battle pass, but they are the usual items; those are the unique ones for this season. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy all of the various rewards this season, you will need the premium battle pass.
The paid battle pass comes with all of the items available to you across the 50 tiers so long as you can unlock them by the end of the season. Some of the most notable items that you can get include the new weapon blueprints that have arrived this season.
One of them is the Yokai PP19 Bizon weapon blueprint, a great version of the brand new weapon releasing this season. For the QXR, the Scorching Sun weapon blueprint, the Oni one for the Type 25 rifle, the Scabbard for the ASM10, and the Karuta for the RUS-79U.
These weapon blueprints are epic rarity ones and can be unlocked through the paid battle pass this season. Some epic soldier skins this season like The Boss Hidora Kai skin, Escape Zero skin, Ninja Spectre one, and the Sensei Takeo one.
And last but not least, there is yet another legendary calling card that players will be able to unlock, likely at the final tier or so for the battle pass. This season’s Showdown calling card that you can use in matches to show off to your teammates and enemies alike.
As mentioned already, there will be new abilities, weapons, perks, and more that are releasing this season. Let’s start with the new weapons as these are what many players are going to be excited for. There are two weapons this season. The first is the aforementioned PP19 Bizon.
The Bizon is a brand new SMG weapon unique in the weapon class for having a high rate of fire and reduced recoil compared to most of the other weapons. But it works best in close combat as that is when it truly shines.
Players will be able to destroy enemies in close range with only three shots necessary to kill, which is impressive given how fast the gun fires each shot. But this does come at the cost of range as it will not be super useful when it comes to longer ranges of fighting. You can unlock this in the battle pass.
The other new base weapon is the Renetti. This unique weapon is built from the ground up for three-round bursts of fire. It has suppressed recoil control so that you will be able to accomplish these bursts more easily. Players who like the burst fire in games might enjoy this recoil-friendly new weapon.
However, you will not get the Renetti through the battle pass like the other new weapon. Instead, it will be released later this season in one of the special events. In that event, players will need to complete various challenges to unlock it. Alternatively, there will likely be a store bundle you can purchase to unlock its greatness instantly.
For the new operator skill that is here this season, we have the Bull Charge. This one is pretty simple: what it does is allow the operator to charge forward and destroy the enemies in your path. It is a quick and powerful ability but one that will leave you vulnerable to those not in your direct path. It is unlocked through the battle pass.
There is a new perk as well this season that is known as Overclock. This one is simple, too, increasing the charging speed of the operator skill that you have. For those of you who love to use your favorite skill all the time, this perk will be a must-have in multiplayer loadouts.
And for those of you who are battle royale fans, there is a new class this time around with the Spotter class. The passive is known as the Fly Swatter ability. It shows nearby winged enemies who are gliding and increases the reload speed of rocket launcher weapons.
The active ability is Cluster Strike. This useful ability lets you launch an air strike to a designated area. The Spotter ability can be a great class for battle royale when used right, especially in the respawn-centric game modes.
Call of Duty Mobile Season 3 wouldn’t be complete without some new multiplayer maps for players to check out. Fortunately, there are plenty of those this season. The first of these is Oasis, a named map at an oasis in the middle of a Middle Eastern desert.
This oasis town is the setting for the map location. Players will have fierce combat scenarios throughout the town. It looks to be a pretty and varied map with different playstyles catered to here. The Oasis multiplayer map will be available for the Frontline mode in Call of Duty Mobile.
Coastal’s next one is another map that is fairly simply named but explains what it is well. Here, you will find a scenic coastal town where players will compete across the various shops, squares, fountains, and wine cellars throughout the picturesque area.
Interestingly, the Coastal map is exclusive to a game mode for now, too, but not one that we expected. The official patch notes note that it is only for the Search & Destroy mode for this time. Oddly, it is only there and not in other game modes like Team Deathmatch, Domination, and the like, so we will have to wait and see what happens with this one.
As always, a new season of content wouldn’t be complete without at least one new game mode. There is, thankfully, one this season. It is a classic from the Call of Duty series past and one that we are sure fans of it will be glad to know is finally back once more.
We are talking about the classic Swords & Stones. You might know it from its former name of Sticks & Stones in other titles in the series, and it has to do with a very different type of gameplay. It will not be for everyone, but it is something unique nonetheless.
In Swords & Stones, this is a melee-only game mode where players will have to use a wide range of melee weapons to take out other players. Simultaneously, there is a rage buff that will be given to players while they are in the match to encourage more crazy close combat fighting.
So, whatever melee weapon you like in the game, equip it and head into this mode. The game mode will give you a Hachi to use in battle. This new Swords & Stones game mode will be available on the Crash, Standoff, Killhouse, and other multiplayer maps.
This update is full of various improvements, optimizations, and the like as well. The Napalm Strike now has slightly more increased burning range after its explosion to catch more players in the fire to kick it off. Also, the Napalm plane will speed up, and the missile’s falling speed is faster now, too.
There are improvements and optimizations for Gunsmith attachments for various weapons, ranging from Type 25 to Chicom to the NA-45. It even includes various attachments from fore grips to barrels to mags and more.
There are just so many different attachments and weapons that have been improved and optimized. Be sure to check out the most relevant ones and your loadout in the game. Here is the full list of changed attachments at this time:
Psyonix announced it will not hold an in-person LAN esports event for the Rocket League World Championships this year. Instead, Rocket League esports will feature multiple week-long RLCS X Championships that will feature the best teams in action.
Instead of a single global event, the RLCS X Championships will feature multiple regional events. Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America will each have their own regional event.
Psyonix also announced a new “best-of-set” format. Rocket League esports teams must win multiple series in order to win a set. The game developer hopes to use this to test the endurance of the best teams on the planet.
The top two teams from Oceania and South America will qualify for the RLCS X Championships. In both regions, the top two teams will duke it out in a Best-of-Set, where they’ll need to win two best-of-7 series out of three to win the set. The winner is the RLCS X Champion for that region.
The top six teams from North America and Europe will compete in a page playoffs format. In Round 1 and the Quarterfinals, teams will have to win two Best-of-5 series out of three to win a given Best-of Set. While in the semifinals and grand finals, teams must win two Best-of-7 series out of three to win a given Best-of Set. The last team standing becomes the RLCS X Champion of the region.
The $1 million prize pool gets divided for the four regions in the World Championship.
The RLCS X Championship kicks off on June 15 with the European and North American matches. All matches will stream live on Twitch and YouTube.
Written by Rohan Samal
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