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The best Aetherium Crystals upgrades in Black Ops Cold War zombies




Keep getting clobbered by zombies even when you’ve chugged down a Juggernog? Want to make your best zombies loadout even stronger? Need to keep reviving your puny teammate? Well Aetherium Crystals may be the solution all of the above in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War zombies.

Aetherium Crystals are a new currency in the Call of Duty zombies mode and give players a chance to upgrade their weapons, ammo mods, perks, and field upgrades to give them more of an advantage against the hordes. Thanks to an update to the upgrade system in Season Two, each class of weapon, ammo mag, perk, and field upgrade has five stages to upgrade to.

Season Two also introduced two new types of Aetherium Crystals – Refined and Flawless – which are used to upgrade your gear to tiers four and five, respectively. To fully max everything you possibly can out right now in Black Ops Cold War zombies, you will need 168 Raw Aetherium Crystals, 112 Refined Aetherium Crystals, and 140 Flawless Crystals. This is the maximum amount you can earn of each type, so once you hit that limit, you’ll stop earning them in-game.

Aetherium Crystals aren’t easy to come by though, and getting them – particularly the new high-rarity ones – can be tough. So how do you earn them, what upgrades are there, and if you haven’t got the time to grind and earn all of them, where should you invest your Aetherium Crystals?

How to get Aetherium Crystals in Black Ops Cold War Zombies

Here we’re going to go through how to earn each type of Aetherium Crystal, and how they’re used to upgrade your loadout.

Raw Aetherium Crystals

There are currently three ways to earn regular Aetherium Crystals in Black Ops Cold War zombies.

The first is to complete milestone rounds during a zombies run on Die Maschine and Firebase Z. These milestone rounds are every five rounds from round ten onwards. The amount of crystals you earn for each milestone round does vary, so here’s a chart showing you how many you’re expected to get at the end of each milestone round.

Aetherium Crystals Completed milestone rounds
1 10, 15, 20, 25
2 30, 35
3 40, 45
4 50, 55
5 60, 65
6 70, 75
7 80, 85
8 90, 95
9 100, then every five rounds after

Note that the amount can sometimes fluctuate from the figures shown in the chart above and there are instances of players getting one extra or one less crystal than expected when completing a milestone round. It is not currently clear why these discrepancies happen.

The crystals also stack as you go through a zombies run, so if you reach round 21 for example, you would have earned three crystals in total for hitting milestones at 10, 15, and 20.

The second method is through exfils, which allow you to end your zombies run by jumping aboard a chopper and leaving the undead behind.

Similarly to milestone rounds, you will be awarded a certain amount of crystals depending on which round you exfil on. For example, a round 31 exfil should award you two crystals, as you have passed the round 30 milestone. However, exfil crystal drop rates have been found to be a bit more random and can sometimes drop far below what you expect.

Related: Black Ops Cold War split-screen setup guide

Another method to earn crystals is through completing the Die Maschine easter egg. However, this is very time consuming, so isn’t an efficient way to grind for crystals.

Finally, raw Aetherium Crystals will also drop for each round you complete in the new Outbreak zombies mode, which was added in Season Two. We have more on how many you can earn further down this guide.

Refined Aetherium Crystals and Flawless Aetherium Crystals

Upgrading a piece of gear in Black Ops Cold War zombies to Tier 4 will set you back four Refined crystals, and upgrading to Tier 5 will cost five Flawless crystals. So how do you get them?

Refined and Flawless crystals can drop at high rounds in existing zombies maps Die Maschine and Firebase Z, but we’re yet to get the official drop rates just yet.

However, along with the Raw crystals, Refined and Flawless Aetherium Crystals will also drop at the end of high rounds of Outbreak. We’re seeing slight variations in drop rates from our playthroughs, but you can see our findings below.

Outbreak Aetherium Crystal Rewards

At the end of each completed round of Outbreak, you will receive some Aetherium Crystals. The higher the round, the more of each type you will get.

This isn’t an exact science, and after comparing our drop rates with that of zombies streamers, the amount of crystals you get can vary. However, below is a table showing the rough formula, based on gameplay from ‘NoahJ456’.

Outbreak round completed Raw Refined Flawless
Round 1 1
Round 2 1 1
Round 3 1 1 1
Round 4 1 1 1
Round 5 2 1 1
Round 6 2 2 1
Round 7 2 2 2
Round 8 3 2 2
Round 9 4 3 2
Round 10 (and each round after) 4 3 2

How do I spend Aetherium Crystals in Black Ops Cold War zombies?

Aetherium Crystals can be used to upgrade everything in your best zombies loadout in Cold War. To see what upgrades you can spend your crystals on, go to the loadout tab in the zombies lobby menu, then to skills, and then to one of the four categories of upgrades: weapon classes, field upgrades, perks, or ammo mods.

Each upgradeable item or class has five upgrade tiers. The below table shows how many of each crystal you need to upgrade a piece of gear to each tier.

Tier Aetherium Crystals needed
1 1 Raw Aetherium Crystal
2 2 Raw Aetherium Crystals
3 3 Raw Aetherium Crystals
4 4 Refined Aetherium Crystals
5 5 Flawless Aetherium Crystals

To fully upgrade everything in Black Ops Cold War Zombies right now, you will need 168 Raw, 112 Refined, and 140 Flawless crystals.

Best Aetherium Crystals weapon class upgrades

Each class of weapon in Black Ops Cold War can be upgraded using Aetherium Crystals to help you in zombies runs.

Most of the upgrades are quite similar, ranging from damage increases to unlocking extra attachment slots for some classes of weapon. If you’re looking to make the best Cold War zombies weapons even better, we recommend investing crystals into the shotgun, melee, and assault rifle classes first.

Note that like in multiplayer, weapon classes will unlock and be available for upgrades at certain player levels. The final weapon class, melee, is unlocked at level 50.

Best Aetherium Crystals field upgrade upgrades

As well as tweaking your guns, you can also upgrade the six zombies-specific field upgrades in Black Ops Cold War: Frenzied Guard, Frost Blast, Energy Mine, Aether Shroud, Healing Aura, and Ring of Fire.

While many of the weapon class upgrades were quite similar across the board, Aetherium Crystals can be used to radically change your field upgrades in a number of ways. For those looking to go on long, high-round runs, we recommend maxing out either Aether Shroud for getting out of tricky spots, or Ring of Fire to help take down the tanky bosses.

Best Aetherium Crystals perk upgrades

The seven currently available perks in Black Ops Cold War zombies can all be upgraded to be even more useful with your Aetherium Crystals.

While every perk has its uses, the upgrades on offer for Juggernog and Stamin-Up are ones you should definitely pay close attention to.

A fully upgraded Juggernog will see your max health increase by 100 and will allow you to pick up more armour when you find it as ground loot. Meanwhile, a maxed out Stamin-Up can allow you to sprint for a pretty much unlimited time, all while using your weapons or field upgrades.

Aetherium Crystals ammo mod upgrades

Ammo mods can be super useful in Black Ops Cold War zombies to give your favourite weapon an extra kick. Using Aetherium Crystals, you can make their effects even more powerful by upgrading them.

The specific upgrades are fairly self-explanatory – they essentially make the benefit of having the ammo mod far stronger or last for a longer period of time.

If you have a favourite go-to ammo mod, you should definitely spend some crystals in making it much stronger. However, if you’re low on crystals, you should definitely invest them in upgrading weapon classes, perks, and field upgrades first in our humble opinion.

That’s all on Aetherium Crystals for now. While they can be hard to come by, grinding Outbreak in Season Two is definitely the way forward to give your gear a real boost.

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Fortnite: DreamHack Cash Cup Extra Europe & NA East Results




We take a look at the EU and NA results from DreamHack’s Cash Cup Extra

DreamHack is back after a brief hiatus as the organization took a step back to formulate a new plan of attack in competitive Fortnite. Last year’s DreamHack Open series produced some of the game’s most exciting moments, like Polish player teeq winning three competitions and Slovenian competitor k1nzell winning two solo tournaments. The absence of DreamHack created a void in the community. Thankfully, the Swedish production company made its triumphant return.

That came in the form of Fortnite’s first-ever Cash Cup Extra, a tournament based on the game’s weekly Trio Cash Cup results. The top 132 teams from the European and NA East regions secured themselves a spot in DreamHack’s inaugural Cash Cup Extra, where they went to war for a share of over $17K USD. Some of the world’s best trios, including two reigning FNCS Champions, did their best to elevate above the rest. Let’s see who came out on top in each region.

Also Read: Team Liquid Signs Scoped to Roster

TaySon, 4zr and Nayte Seem Unstoppable

The European scene outside of this week’s Cash Cup winners — TaySon, 4zr and Nayte — played for second. This newly formed and already dominant trio flexed their abilities with 79 eliminations and two Victory Royales across nine matches. Chemistry and teamwork are no concern for this trifecta of talent. This week included a regular Cash Cup tournament win followed by a win in the first-ever DreamHack Cash Cup Extra, showing that TaySon, 4zr and Nayte are looking to dominate Season 6.

Vadeal, Noahreyli and Rezon ay, who finished third in FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 5, grabbed a second-place finish in the Cash Cup Extra. Their eight-match effort included 71 eliminations and two Victory Royales. Nebmaster, bubakmaster and Devour WaiZ were the only other team to break 600 points and claimed third place for their efforts. FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 5 Champions — JannisZ, Chapix and Hen — took tenth place with 539 points. The EU leaderboard featured a who’s who of elite players, which you can see below:

  • 1st: Grizi 4zr, GUILD TаySon, grizi nayte – $2,100
  • 2nd: Wave Vadeal, BL Noahreyli, rezon ay лол – $1,800
  • 3rd: AOS nebsмasteя, bubakмаsteя, Devour WaiZ – $1,500
  • 4th: Solarу BlastR, Vitаlity Nikof, TrainH Alphaa – $1,200
  • 5th: Lnuef, BL SliX, GAMMA Merijn – $900
  • 6th: VP Kiryache32, Stormyrite 7, Gambit Toose – $750
  • 7th: BL Setty, GAMMA Kami, GXR teeq – $750
  • 8th: MCES Andilex, Grizi Snayzy, xsweeze.mces – $750
  • 9th: TrainH Umplify, TrainH Matsoe, NRG benjуfishу – $750
  • 10th: GUILD Hen 75, GUILD JannisZ, oogway 74 – $750

Also Read: Epic Issues Sudden Balance Changes to Weapons & Crafting Materials

Acorn, Jahq and Slackes Continue to Demolish NA East

There might not be a better trio in the world right now than Acorn, Jahq and Slackes. These three North American players joined forces in Chapter 2 – Season 4 and have improved immensely with each passing week. Fresh off of winning last season’s Fortnite Champion Series, Acorn, Jahq and Slackes won the FaZe Clan Elite Cup, the first Season 6 Cash Cup, and can now call themselves DreamHack Cash Cup Extra Champions.

Their Cash Cup Extra performance saw the reigning FNCS winners win three of nine matches and accumulate 652 points overall. A combined 63 eliminations out of this trio was the second-most in the competition. The era of Acorn, Jahq and Slackes continues emphatically.

Emerging NA East players Plege, Pandushh and Ganzo finished in second with three Victory Royales and 609 points. These three won back-to-back games out of the gate with 12 eliminations in each. FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 4 winners — Reverse2k, Deyy and Mero — rallied back after four shaky games to start the Cash Cup Extra festivities. They rifled off four top-ten finishes and 59 eliminations to close out the competition, landing them in third place. Some other recognizable NA East trios also topped the leaderboard.

  • 1st: LG Slackes, 1P Acornski, G2 Jаhq – $2,100
  • 2nd: Plege, Pandushh, Pure Ganzo – $1,800
  • 3rd: ENDL8SS DEYYRITO, mero2k, ENDLESS Reverse – $1,500
  • 4th: Cоmmandment, FaZe Cented, NRG Edgey – $1,200
  • 5th: elite gabe89, 9LIVES Tahi, sprite dabdabdab – $900
  • 6th: noob teyo, Сhimp, Tabnae – $750
  • 7th: Speguu, OUTCAST GOKU YT, strawhat charlie – $750
  • 8th: 9LIVES VOIL, XPRT Xccept, Snakeccept – $750
  • 9th: FS SHERIFF DEG, skqughaski2k, BBG PIECE

The next Cash Cup Extra tournament will occur on April 21, barring any setbacks. Remember that your trio must place top-132 in that week’s Trio Cash Cup to be eligible. DreamHack also resurrected the Online Open tournament, which is on the schedule for this weekend!

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Don’t Miss Out on the Rogue Energy x Esports Talk Giveaway!




Dustin Steiner
in General | Apr, 15th 2021

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.

How to Enter the Rogue x Esports Talk Giveaway

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.

Why We Partnered With Rogue Energy in the First Place

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

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Top creators to compete in the Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational




Blizzard has announced the Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational, where 20 creators of the Hearthstone community will be duking it out against each other. A prize pool of $100,000 will be on the line.

The Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational event will consist of two teams. Team Northwatch Hold will include players like Octavian “Kripparrian” Morosan, Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin and Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk. Recently, Thijs became the Week 1 champion for Hearthstone Grandmasters America.

Going up against Northwatch Hold will be Camp Taurajo. This team consists of players such as James “Firebat” Kostesich, Jeffrey “Trump” Shih and Dima “Rdu” Radu. Like Thijs, Rdu also fought in the Week 1 Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament. Rdu represented the Europe region.

Forged in the Barrens artwork. Image via Blizzard Entertainment.

Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational format

In terms of how the upcoming event will work, each Hearthstone player will create a Standard deck that consists of at least 10 cards from the newest expansion. Each competitor will duel in two best-of-three rounds against players from the opposing team.

Within each round, players will receive one point for each individual game victory. Players who achieve a score of 2-0 will receive three team points.

After this, there will be a third round that will involve Nozdormu the Eternal. At the start of a game, this particular Hearthstone card will make turns last for only 15 seconds if it’s in both players’ decks.

A team point is given out to individual game victories within the round. Five points will go to players who manage a 3-0 clean sweep.

Additionally, when a competitor loses a round for the first time, they will be given the “Frenzied” status. This means they will be able to earn double the team points.

The Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational begins April 21 at 10 a.m. PDT. Fans can watch the action over on Twitch and YouTube.

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MSI 2021 To Be Played On Patch 11.9




Petar Vukobrat
in League of Legends | Apr, 15th 2021

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

MSI 2021 Groups

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. 

No New Champions

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!

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