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Valorant Night Market V3 returns

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The developers at Riot are back with the v3 of their Night Market. 

Valorant provided the community with its first-ever Night Market in their v1.14 patch with an aim to provide the players with weapons at a discounted rate. 

Let’s face the truth, the skin bundles do sometimes cost you a bomb, and here is where the Night Market comes into action. The latter allows you to get either Prime, Deluxe, or other grade weapons at a slightly lower price than their original. Do note: An entire bundle will never be put up on a hefty discount but only a single skin from that specific bundle would be. You’re blessed with a total of six weapon skin cards which can be revealed once flipped. 

The v2.0 of the Night Market saw the developers tune it with Bad luck protection which would guarantee you some exciting offers. Also, once you flip your cards, you won’t get more than two skins of the same weapon.

The only way you can refresh your weapon skin cards is if you purchase the currently available choices. You have 12 more days left to redeem all of the six offers and as mentioned above, after every purchase, there’s always a new offer exclusively waiting for you.

Also Read | Players report FPS issues post 2.05 and 2.06 patch updates

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Source: https://www.talkesport.com/news/valorant/valorant-night-market-v3-returns/

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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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Use this Cyper tripwire trick to lure enemies into your sites

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Cypher’s spy kit shines brightest on Split thanks to the map’s enclosed areas and choke points. This galaxy brain play proves that Cypher is the key to winning on split thanks to his strong options on the B site.

Valorant has 15 agents and all of them are equipped with abilities that may or may not work on select maps. For example, Sova often underperforms on Split since his arrows are best on maps with verticality. On Icebox, controllers lose much of their purpose as their smokes rarely come into play. However, these agents have their own map picks where they become absolutely invincible. Cypher enjoys a sky-high pick rate on Split due to his ability to choke entries.

His tripwires and camera help him keep the backlines secure, but he can be deadly on the defensive side as well. In high-ranked lobbies, this strategy may help you secure extra kills as Cypher.

Attach your tripwire from the B main entrance boxes towards the large wooden box. This is a unique angle that the enemy would likely miss spotting while rushing into the site. After that, place your cage in the middle of default and the wooden box. The purpose of the smoke is to trick enemies into finding a secure corner, a corner where you have placed your tripwire. As soon as the attackers tumble on the wire, you’ll have their positions exposed while they’re vulnerable due to the slight concuss. 

While it’s often expected for Cypher to play safely as the team rotates back from A, the agent can singlehandedly lock down a large area and get kills using this trick. The defenders can trust you with a whole bomb site if you know how to execute this setup flawlessly. This trick pairs best with Raze’s grenades and Killjoy’s nano swarm as well. The two agents can injure the dazed enemies after the trip exposes their locations.

What class is Cypher in Valorant? 

The information broker was released in the original Valorant roster as a Sentinel who keeps tabs on enemies from the sidelines. He’s a one-man surveillance network who can secure a large area on his own thanks to his information-gathering abilities. Cypher is a valuable agent in full lobbies where teammates can benefit from his map control and extensive intel. 

Recent buff deactivated Cypher’s equipment post-death, but his pick rate didn’t falter. The agent is still the top Sentinel in high ranked lobbies and professional Valorant games. 

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Source: https://win.gg/news/7865/use-this-cyper-tripwire-trick-to-lure-enemies-into-your-sites

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ESL Open Week #66: Stats, Clem, Solar win

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The second week of the ESL Open Cups for the 2021-22 ESL Pro Tour (and 66th overall) have come and gone: On Sunday, (Wiki)Stats marked his first win of the second season in Korea, while (Wiki)Clem defended his title in the European showdown on Monday. In the American cup, (Wiki)Solar celebrated his first successful overseas campaign of the season.

The top echelon of Korean Protoss players seem to have thing for EPT points. Their participation in these cups has been steady week after week, while their colleague’s spirits seem lacking in this regard. No wonder, then, that once more the warriors from Aiur dominated the competition on Sunday by taking three out of four top spots in the Asian cup. Stats had a pretty comfortable way to the finals, with (Wiki)MacSed and (Wiki)SpeCial being the only notable opponents he had to overcome to gain entry to the decisive bout. There, he clashed with (Wiki)PartinG, who had already stood in the finals in the previous week (eliminating Stats along the way). Unfortunately for PartinG, he had his hopes thwarted once again. Just like in Cup #65, the Big Boy won the first map, only to be crushed in the three subsequent games. Having defeated (Wiki)Has and (Wiki)Trap along the way, his PvP mojo seemed depleted.

While ‘the Clem Weekly’ really doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘the Big Gabe Weekly’, the Liquid player seems to have the will to make the new unofficial title for the tournament series a reality, having already secured the second win in the new season and laying a foundation for a long streak of victories. It was a hard-won triumph, for Clem had to contend with (Wiki)souL and (Wiki)HeRoMaRinE to reach the finals. But with his reputed weakness in TvT really not being as much of an issue anymore, the two Terrans were nothing the Frenchman couldn’t handle. On the other side of the bracket, another heavy hitter cruised through the bracket without breaking a sweat: the reigning world champion (Wiki)Reynor graced the cup with his presence and reached the finals without losing a map, disposing of (Wiki)GunGFuBanDa in the semis—already the second top four placement for the German this season. The Italian and his opponent from France rekindled their rivalry from last season, Clem winning the first map after a series of Bio pushes. Reynor struck back by taking a page out of Dark’s book and opting for Roach-Ravager, transitioning into Lurker-Viper and eventually winning the macro game in the second match. He followed this up by showing his range on the third map, taking a win with Muta-Ling-Bane. A wonky base trade scenario on Blackburn equalized the series, with Clem closing things out in another Bio-Mine vs. Muta-Ling-Bane match on the final map—it wasn’t the most exciting series these two have played against each other, but seeing this duel in a weekly cup sure is a fantastic thing for the fans.

After crashing out of the Korean/Asian cup early on, Solar made up for it with a dominating performance in the American ESL Open Cup one day later, going through (Wiki)Vanya, Has and SpeCial without dropping a map to claim the win. Has had already reached the semi-finals in the previous week, seemingly gaining some consistency. The same goes for Polish Protoss (Wiki)Gerald, who had appeared in the finals of Cup #65 and only narrowly missed out on repeating this feat, being eliminated by the Mexican Terran with a 2-3 score after himself defeating the defending champion (Wiki)MaxPax and Korean player (Wiki)NightMare. Taken together with his very solid performance in the World Team League on the weekend, the eXoN player’s form seems to be quite good at the moment, so another finals appearance or perhaps even a win look like they’re in the cards for him.

ESL Open Cup winners earn $200 in prize money and 10 ESL Pro Tour points. Players who finish second earn 5 ESL Pro Tour points and $100. A top 4 finish guarantees at least $50. Edition #67 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 18th (Korea) and the 19th of April (Europe and America).

by TheOneAboveU

Korean Server Cup #65 (Click for full bracket)

European Server Cup #65 (Click for full bracket)

Americas Server Cup #65 (Click for full bracket)

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Source: https://tl.net/forum/starcraft-2/571911-esl-open-week-66-stats-clem-solar-win

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Call of Duty anti-cheat update by Raven Software

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Raven Software, a developer in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, shared their updates and plans on their anti-cheat program, saving players from the plague of cheaters.

Anti-cheat Update and Report

According to the team, over 475,000 permanent bans have gone out to Call of Duty Warzone accounts with cheats. In the update, Raven noted that its security enforcement teams constantly dish out bans every day of the week. A big focus to tackle the high amount of cheaters in Call of Duty is to remove cheat providers and sellers. Thus far, 45,000 black market accounts linked to cheat merchants and sellers have been banned, easing up the play space.

Raven Software points the anti-cheat improvements in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Warzone to four areas. One of the easier options, enabling two-factor authentication deters cheaters and sellers from quickly creating new accounts. Constantly supporting security teams and improving more communication with the CoD community is important. Finally, banwaves go out more and more often in addition to the daily bannings.

Call of Duty and Warzone Cheaters

Though there is still much more work to do, this shows valuable progress. In fact, Raven Software banned 60,000 cheaters in a recent ban wave. On top of that, the company banned 45,000 cheating players over the last week.

The fight against cheaters in the gaming and esports industry continues, and for Raven Software, it’s a long one. Thanks to the actions they take, including hardware bans on repeat Warzone cheaters, the Call of Duty community can rest assured knowing anti-cheat measures are taken.

Written by Justin Amin

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Source: https://www.esportznetwork.com/call-of-duty-anti-cheat-update-by-raven-software/

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