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Rivals League member Emma Handy on her first top finish at the 2020 Grand Finals

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Before the 12th and final Swiss round of the 2020 Magic: The Gathering Grand Finals, Emma Handy had to win her next match against Ken Yukuhiro. Sitting at a record of 7-4, a win would put her in the top eight. Not only would that be her first top Magic Esports finish, but she knew respect was on the line.

Handy is a member of the Rivals League, writer for Star City Games, and Magic caster. There’s no doubting her knowledge or skill at the game, but there’s a portion of results-oriented fans that won’t care about her credentials without top finishes to her name.

“Just being able to have that sort of top finish is the kind of thing that makes people give your opinions more validity and it does not matter if I play well or play poorly in a match,” Handy said. “That’s something that I wish was different in the Magic community because there are plenty of people I’ve seen who don’t have top finishes but are actually incredible at the game like I’ve played.”

Despite those worries, Handy dispatched Yukuhiro 2-0 and gained her first top finish in the biggest event of the year so far. When looking back at the tournament, Handy was one of the more memorable players at the 2020 Grand Finals for taking the Omnath, Locus of Creation menace head-on.

The Gruul Adventures list that Handy and her testing team brought stood out in a sea of the now-banned Omnath decks. The strategy leveraged the inherent value of adventure creatures with some clutch inclusions developed in the testing lab.

The international crew Handy worked with was full of heavy-hitters. Including fellow top-eight finisher Autumn Burchett, Luis Salvatto, and Piotr Glogowski. The team had representation from the United States, Poland, United Kingdom, and Argentina. Magic is an individual esport and success and failure come down to individual performance. But having a group of high-level players to test the effectiveness of decks is an integral part of tournament preparation. 

Handy weighed all options but was drawn to the Gruul Adventures strategy that performed well against Omnath Adventures in smaller tournaments. Those eye-catching results inspired Handy to see if it was the real deal.

Long days and constant refinement were how Handy prepared Gruul Adventures for primetime. After all, just because the deck performed well at a lower level doesn’t mean it’s viable to copy and paste the list for the biggest tournament of the year.

Handy spent time grinding games and determining which cards are actually good in the deck. While that sounds simple, Handy explained that the process is much more involved than looking at stats and mana costs.

“Let’s say you have some good card in your hand,” Handy said. “How hard is it for me to make this a good card? Do I have to navigate to where this is a good card? If I am having to navigate how good is it? Is it worth putting all of this effort into making it good? If it’s not then that’s the kind of card that I’m less interested in playing.”

Handy saw no value in Questing Beast, which is typically run in lower-level lists. The traditionally powerful card wasn’t a good fit for the 2020 Grand Finals tournament metagame because it unfavorably traded with Omnath and didn’t affect the board in any meaningful way. Another calculation was the de-emphasis of the Adventure-side of the deck. While Handy took advantage of Adventure creatures, she stayed away from cards like Rimrock Knight.

A strong inclusion to the deck was Brushfire Elemental, which turned out to be one of the most valuable cards in the decklist. Outside of being a strong attacker and pseudo-Questing Beast when attacking, it also justified playing Embercleave because Fabled Passage and Evolving Wilds had value outside of mana fixing.

Through these changes, Handy is grinding the ladder on Arena. Handy said that playing on Arena is more about developing an idea of what works and not about wins or losses. It’s not necessarily about the game she’s playing but the situations and interactions between cards that come up in any given game. Generally these interactions will be similar in Arena as they are in tournament play.

“It’s so hard outside of committed playtesting with other people to actually gauge how good your opponent is and how much you can expect. I’ve found it more useful to try and be introspective of how I felt during the games and how I’m evaluating,” Handy said.

All of this isn’t to say Handy was entirely convinced of Gruul Adventure’s power. The decision to register the deck came at the last minute, a seemingly common practice among high-level Magic players before big tournaments.

“That led to me going down the rabbit hole a little bit and tuning the deck a considerable amount for the next couple of hours. Sleeping for four or five hours, waking up an hour and a half before deck submission with some input from teammates. Then I changed the deck a little bit based on those and said, ‘OK, I think I actually have something real. I’m submitting this. Y’all don’t have to. I can’t say I’m confident but I think I will get more match wins with this deck.”’ Handy said. Burchett and Savatto both ended up submitting the deck as well.

The zero-hour decision to play Gruul Adventures paid off for the seasoned aggro player. The Rival’s League competitor showcased her thoughtful play and killer instinct en route to her first top finish and an 8-4 record in two days of Swiss competition. Burchett also made the top eight with Gruul Adventures and they went undefeated on day one.

It wasn’t just Handy’s impressive play that garnered attention during the Swiss rounds, but her unique approach to staying focused during tournament matches. Whereas other players remain relatively stoic during gameplay, Handy instead finds rocking out to music helps her focus. With Magic competition moving online for the foreseeable future, Handy said it pushed her to explore methods to help her concentrate better.

“When I’m playtesting I have two or three streams up, playing a match, and reading decklists at the same time. I’m just trying to consume as much information as possible. I will also have music playing in the background. I obviously can’t have streams up or anything like that while I’m playing, but I can certainly listen to music,” Handy said.

As for what Handy listens to, it’s an eclectic mix of music. The first two days were heavy with Handy’s air-drumming to “Waking the Demon” by Bullet for my Valentine. When Handy isn’t air-drumming on stream, she’s hammering on her own drum set. She threw in some A$AP Rocky and “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked soundtrack for good measure. She broke out her Halsey playlist for the top eight.

The top eight consisted of multiple testing teams that managed to get duos into the top eight. Raphael Levy and Gabriel Nassif made it to the top eight after testing together. Aaron Gertler and Austin Bursavich were teammates that ended up battling it out in the finals. While Magic tournaments are individual brackets there’s still value to having a teammate in the field. Handy and Burchett both discussed the matchup against common opponent Seth Manfield, who sideboarded differently against each of them.

“A lot of times whenever one of us is successful in an event we’ll be talking to each other the whole time anyway. We just were very close even before this event. We worked together for a year or more,” Handy said.

The work isn’t over for Handy coming off her top-eight appearance at the 2020 Grand Finals. She’ll dive into Rivals League play this weekend with the beginning of the Zendikar Rising split. Catch Handy, and all the Rivals League competitors, at monthly League Weekends on the Magic Esports Twitch channel.

Source: https://dotesports.com/mtg/news/rivals-league-member-emma-handy-on-her-first-top-finish-at-the-2020-grand-finals

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Allay Their Fears WoW: How to Complete the Quest

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Allay Their Fears WoW: How to Complete the Quest
Allay Their Fears WoW: How to Complete the Quest | Photo Courtesy of Blizzard

The Allay Their Fears WoW quest can be completed in a few simple steps. First, the quest can be started once players reach the Garden of Respite. The enemies in this area are around level 60, so make sure you’re prepared for the fight.

Once at the Garden of Respite, the quest will tell players that a few of the wyrms and cloudfeathers have frenzied. The game will then prompt you to equip Korinna’s Allaying Crook. Once players have grabbed the weapon, a charge meter will appear on the bottom of the screen. Players must then fill that meter by killing wyrms and cloudfeathers scattered around the area with the Allayin Crook.

After players have killed enough wyrms and cloudfeathers to charge the bar, the next step is to complete a ritual which will release the souls of these animals. Players must head to the south of the garden. There is a makeshift alter hidden behind large flowers where the ritual must be performed. Once there, the player can hover over Karinna’s Allaying Crook. By clicking the weapon, souls will be released from the weapon and appear on the pillar. Vesiphone will thank the player, and they will have completed the quest.

Source: https://www.dbltap.com/posts/allay-their-fears-wow-how-to-complete-the-quest-01er7pmqvx69?utm_source=RSS

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The Rock Expresses Interest in Fortnite Skin Modeled on Him

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Dwayne Johnson
The Rock may be in the process of appearing in Fortnite as a wearable skin. | Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may be in the process of having a Fortnite skin modeled after him.

ComicBook.com journalist Brandon Davis tweeted a photo of a float modeled after Johnson on Thursday, saying the cartoonish depiction of the float made him look like a character in Fortnite. Johnson himself replied to the tweet.

“Way ahead of you, BD” he wrote, followed by a winking emoji. “Great minds.” He signed off with an emoji of a glass of liquor.

There’s been no official word from Epic Games on the possibility of a crossover skin, but Johnson’s ubiquity in pop culture would make him a natural fit for the game.

Source: https://www.dbltap.com/posts/the-rock-expresses-interest-in-fortnite-skin-modeled-on-him-01er7qkjzqb1?utm_source=RSS

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Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy

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Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy
Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy | Courtesy of Riot Games

The best AD Carry in North America. Trash talker. Family tragedy. Back-to-back champion. Controversy. The man needs no introduction, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng announced his retirement on Nov. 25 in a long Twitter post reflecting back on his career, journey, history, and personal transformation. After nine eventful years of professional League of Legends career, Doublelift has decided to end his career at Team SoloMid.

Starting off his career in 2011, he bounced around teams a couple of times – and even played as a support at one point – before settling with Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). When he got back from DreamHack Summer 2011, Doublelift was kicked out of his house by his parents. After posting on LoL subreddit, eSports pundit Travis Gafford offered him a place to stay until he transitioned to gaming house. In CLG, it was George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis who helped the native Californian be known in the League of Legends professional scene. Despite the rocky journey, Doublelift called CLG home and brought a trophy to the team for NA LCS Summer 2015 until his departure to TSM. It was CLG’s first-ever LCS playoff title. It was also in CLG on July 4, 2015, that Doublelift became the first player in NA LCS to reach 500 kills. Doublelift started to be correlated with toxicity. When leaving CLG, midlaner Austin “LiNk” Shin openly talked about his difficulty working with Doublelift due to his toxicity and aggressive criticism towards his teammates. The latter eventually apologized publicly and pointed at the lack of leadership in the team.

Moving to TSM was a big moment for Doublelift. His announcement video in 2015 has been viewed by almost 2.8 million people on YouTube (as a comparison, his second comeback to TSM was only viewed by slightly more than 845,000 viewers and his TL move’s video announcement was seen by about 422,000 viewers). During Doublelift’s two-year tenure with TSM, he managed to win NA LCS Summer Splits in both 2016 and 2017. However, his international appearances never actually came to fruition, consistently falling at Groups stage. Doublelift was impacted when TSM’s management restructured the team in favor of G2 Esports’ Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez. Team Liquid quickly snagged Doublelift.

It’s during his time in Team Liquid that he showed his dominance for two years (LCS all splits in 2018 and 2019) by winning four consecutive titles, or as the community like to say back-to-back-to-back-to-back champion. Prior to his victory at the NA LCS 2018 Spring Split final, Doublelift experienced a family tragedy. It was arguably the most shocking news to the League of Legends community. Doublelift’s brother had attacked their parents in a knife assault, resulting in the death of their mother and a non-fatal injuries to his father. When he finally opened up on his possible absence during the finals, he said, “No, I’ve never considered [not playing] for a moment… And I think as my fans get to know me better, you know, they’ll realize that this is my life and without competition and without my fans, I would just be a normal person. And I don’t want to be a normal person. So, of course, I’m just gonna – nothing’s gonna stop me. Yeah, nothing.” With dedication, strength, and courage, he went on to win the title.

In the same year, Team Liquid was qualified for worlds before falling short in the Groups stage. Team Liquid and Doublelift finished second after G2 Esports in Mid-Season Invitational 2019. The trophy is Doublelift’s best international award in his career. After having a rough start as a team and motivation issue in Spring Split 2020, Doublelift left TL and returned to TSM to climb back to the top by winning LCS Summer 2020, granting TSM the first seed coming from NA for Worlds Championship. It was rather a disappointing Worlds result with the infamous 0-6 score in the Groups stage. Many people were still discussing SwordArt/Doublelift synergy before the latter announced his retirement.

In his long LCS career, he has eight LCS titles, eight Worlds appearances, two MSI appearances, 486 LCS games, 2,098 LCS kills, and a win-rate of 63.0%. Doublelift has 10 pentakills throughout his career, with four of them in LCS, making him have the most pentakills all-time in the LCS. His 156,102 CS and 431 gold/minute are third all-time records in LCS.

He may be the guy the community loves to hate but Doublelift, whose signature quote is “everyone else is trash,” is by far the most decorated player in LCS history.

Source: https://www.dbltap.com/posts/doublelift-retires-a-tale-of-glory-downfall-and-legacy-01er5w6f5k9n?utm_source=RSS

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Native Fortnite Locations: How to Complete the Challenge

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How to harvest buses and RVs in native Fortnite locations.
How to harvest buses and RVs in native Fortnite locations. | Photo courtesy of Epic Games

Native Fortnite locations are the focus of one of the fourth week XP Extravaganza challenges offering players last-minute opportunities to earn tons of XP and level up their Battle Pass.

Here’s how to complete the harvest buses and RVs in native Fortnite locations challenge.

Native locations in Fortnite are areas that have been brought over to the Chapter 2 map from the original Chapter 1 battle island.

Technically speaking, Doom’s Domain could count since it’s Pleasant Park with some minor tweaks, but to be safe you should stick to these other locations.

Here are the current Fortnite native locations on the Chapter 2 Season 4 map.

Your best bet would be to visit Retail Row, Risky Reels or Weeping Woods in Team Rumble, with the drive-in movie setting as the prime location. There are more RVs and busses in these locations than there are in Salty Springs, which means you’ll almost certainly be able to complete this challenge on your first try.

Simply destroy one bus or RV with your harvesting tool and just like that, 20,000 season XP is in the bag.

With there being just four days left to complete last-minute challenges before the Galactus season-ending event on Dec. 1, feel free to check out our guides on where to boogie before oblivion and how to deliver a semi-truck to Stark Industries.

Source: https://www.dbltap.com/posts/native-fortnite-locations-how-to-complete-the-challenge-01er5vazr2hf?utm_source=RSS

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