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eSports Gaming

Rocket League Championship Series NA Power Rankings for May 2021

You already know what time it is. After examining which Rocket League teams were on the bubble in April, we decided to revisit our list. Here’s our list of the 16 best teams in the game right now.

16. Susquehanna Soniqs

The Soniqs did the impossible this past weekend and had one of the biggest upsets in the Regional, taking down number 1 seed NRG 4-1 in their Quarter-Finals match.

The Soniqs looked super convincing until they got swept by KCP in the Semi-Finals. Was it a fluke on NRGs part? Or are the Soniqs onto something? Only time will tell.

15. Pittsburgh Knights

PK can be a solid squad, but after these past couple of performances, they’ve looked shaky. I think it’s the issue of their playstyle and the lack of diversity. If PK can get over this road bump, they aren’t far from Worlds qualification with only 700 points behind the top 6 spots.

14. XSET

Consisting of AlphaKep, Jpow, and Hockser. XSET consistently places well in tournaments, and has been applying a little more coordination within their team, XSET is a Top 10 team in North America. After placing 9-12th in the recent Spring Regional, I’m convinced that XSET is on a trend upwards.

13. Ghost Gaming

Ghost Gaming is built solid, with LionBlaze (one of the best singles players in the world). There’s no reason Ghost Gaming shouldn’t be able to compete at the top level.

12. EUNITED

eUnited, after dropping WondaMike back in February, they have recently acquired RLCS PRO ‘Dappur’ This team is looking solid after their first performance in the RLCS: Spring Split, placing 13-16th, which is higher than some top 10s like Alpine, and Pittsburgh Knights.

11. Charlotte Phoenix

Charlotte Phoenix being on the scene since late 2019, after recently shaking up their entire roster, could be on the move upward. they’ve needed to secure a spot at worlds as they now 11th on this month’s Power Ranking as they were 13th last month.

10. FaZe Clan

I really believed after being acquired by FaZe that we would’ve seen a more upbeat pace from them as they were 5th on last month’s Ranking. With that being said I think all they need to do is make some micro-adjustments before they start dominating again.

9. Alpine

Alpine is one of the most consistent teams in the RLCS, placing high in rankings in every event, and have one of the most coordinated rosters in the league. However, during this past Regional, Alpine got knocked out early in Group Stages. It will be interesting to see how Alpine comes back in the upcoming TheGrid: Overtime event.

8. Oxygen

After acquiring the up-and-coming roster “Jamal Jabary” consisting of Toastie, LJ, and Kraziks, Oxygen has entered the North American RLCS, previously performing in the EU. Currently holding 680 points in the RLCS places them within the Top 16.

In order for Oxygen to qualify for Worlds they’ll have to keep this current streak going we’ve seen with the team and whether they can really dominate over the Spring Split.

7. Version1

My favorite team as of right now goes from being 12 on our Power Ranking last month to now being number 7, which shows you that if they keep making adjustments, we might see them become a Top 4 contender.

6. Shopify Rebellion

You may not recognize this team. The Shopify Rebels consists of the old KCP roster. As of last week, the Pioneers sold their RLCS roster to the Starcraft team ‘Shopify Rebellion’ With billions of dollars behind The Rebels, it’s interesting to see Rocket League as their first title to dump money into, and almost solidifies my thought that Rocket League is a Tier 1 eSport.

5. Rogue

Ever since dropping RLCS PRO and community loved, ‘Kranovi’ Rogue has been doing nothing but greatness; however, it is super surprising to see Rogue this low on this list because I see them as a super dominant team.

4. G2 Esports

With the announcement of RLCS PRO ‘Rizzo’ retiring. G2 acquired 15-year-old Andres “dreaz” and since then has been a HUGE asset in G2’s success. Taking down the ranks of NRG in the most recent Regional 3.

3. Spacestation Gaming

SSG is one of the most dominant offensive teams in the game. With a majority of their series being high scoring, it’s hard for any defense to keep up with it. It takes a roster with speed and solid coordination. This is why SSG is one of the best teams in the league.

2. NRG

With the overbearing success and dominance of NRG’s playstyle, they have lost to teams such as The Soniqs/ G2/ and SSG. Is this a hint that other teams are getting better? Or is NRG’s playstyle becoming outdated and easy to read?

1. ENVY

After winning 4 Regional Titles this season, this roster has been dominant since their formation of Atomic, Mist, and Turbopolsa. No doubt this team is #1 NA. Maybe even the world.

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eSports Gaming

Rocket League Championship Series NA Power Rankings for April 2021

After examining which Rocket League teams were on the bubble in March, we decided to revisit our list. Here’s our list of the 16 best teams in the game right now.

16. Ghost Gaming 

Ghost Gaming is built solid, with LionBlaze (one of the best singles  players in the world). There’s no reason Ghost Gaming shouldn’t be able to compete at the top level.

15. Susquehanna Soniqs

The Soniqs did the impossible this past weekend and had one of the biggest upsets in the Regional, taking down Number 1 seed NRG 4-1 in their Quarter-Finals match. The Soniqs looked super convincing until they got swept by KCP in the Semi-Finals. Was it a fluke on NRGs part? Or are the Soniqs onto something? Only time will tell. 

14. Alpine Esports 

Alpine is one of the most consistent teams in the RLCS, placing high in rankings in every event, and has one of the most coordinated rosters in the league.

However, during this past Regional, Alpine got knocked out early in Group Stages. It will be interesting to see how Alpine comes back in the upcoming TheGrid: Overtime event.

13. Pittsburgh Knights 

PK can be a solid squad, but after these past couple of performances, they’ve looked shaky. I think it’s the issue of their playstyle and the lack of diversity. If PK can get over this road bump, they aren’t far from Worlds qualification with only 700 points behind the top 6 spots.

12. Oxygen Esports (Formerly Jamal Jabary)

After acquiring the up-and-coming roster “Jamal Jabary” consisting of Toastie, LJ, and Kraziks, Oxygen has entered the North American RLCS, previously performing in the EU. Currently holding 680 points in the RLCS placing them within the Top 16, in order for Oxygen to qualify for Worlds they’ll have to keep this current streak going.

11. Faze Clan (formly “The Peeps”)

I really believed after being acquired by FaZe that we would’ve seen a more upbeat pace from them as they were 5th on last month’s Ranking. With that being said I think all they need to do is make some micro adjustments and before they start dominating again.

10. EUNITED

After dropping WondaMike back in February, they have recently acquired RLCS PRO ‘Dappur’ This team is looking solid after their first performance in the RLCS: Spring Split placing 13-16th which is higher than some top 10s like (Alpine, and Pittsburgh Knights.)

9. Charlotte Phoenix  

Charlotte recently parted ways with their entire roster but made some moves in the interim that could be the spark they need to turn things back around. They were 13th on our rankings last month, and now they’re ninth, so they are trending in the right direction.

8. Rogue 

Ever since dropping RLCS PRO, and community loved, ‘Kranovi’ Rogue has been doing nothing but greatness. However, what is super surprising is to see Rogue this low on this list because I see them as a super-dominant team. 

7. Kansas City Pioneers 

 Kansas City Pioneers were 7th on this list last month and are 7th again which shows they are being consistent. This team is super underrated and hopefully we get to see them make a breakthrough sometime soon. 

6. Version1

My favorite team as of right now goes from being 12 on our Power Ranking last month to now being number six, which just shows you that if they keep making adjustments that we might see them become a Top four contender.

5. Team Envy

Envy has one of the best defenses in the game. Holding 3 Regional Titles this season. This roster has been dominant since their formation of Atomic, Mist, and Turbopolsa. Even though they are 5th on this month’s power ranking and are still a dominant force, this is likely just a phase.

4. XSET

Consisting of AlphaKep, Jpow, and Hockser, XSET consistently places well in tournaments and has been applying a little more coordination within their team. XSET is a Top 10 team in North America and after placing 9-12th in the recent Spring Regional, I’m convinced that XSET is on a trend upwards.

3. Space Station Gaming

SSG has one of the most dominant offensive pressures in the game. With a majority of their series being high scoring, it’s hard for any defense to keep up with it. It takes a roster with speed and solid coordination and this is why SSG is one of the best teams in the league.

2. G2 Esports

With the announcement of RLCS PRO ‘Rizzo’ retiring. G2 acquired 15-year-old Andres “dreaz” Jordan, and with this pickup, G2 has been looking super dominant.

1. NRG

The Champs are hitting it again, Squishy, Jstn, and GarrettG (all RLCS World Champions) have held the #1 title in the League this whole Season. It’ll be a challenge for any team to take down the #1 seed in the game.

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eSports Gaming

Call of Duty League Rookie Standy is Proving to be a Standout

There’s always a sense of doubt and worry whenever an established team of any kind makes changes to its current roster. In the case of the Call of Duty League’s Minnesota ROKKR crew, a major switch-up came to pass within their ranks and caused a slight bit of concern – a 19-year old prodigy by the name of Eli “Standy” Bentz recently got rotated into ROKKR’s starting lineup in place of Mike “MajorManaik” Szymaniak. But judging by the amazing performance put on by Standy during a match that saw his team sweep OpTic Chicago, that player change decision has turned out to be a positive one.

Standy has been deeply involved in the world of eSports and the Call of Duty League since 2019. Before joining ROKKR, the 19-year old pro played alongside teams such as Vanity, Aspire eSports, Team Insite, and Triumph. His debut performance alongside his new squadmates resulted in him producing the best rookie performance of all time within the Pro League. By pushing his underdog team to victory against two of the best teams in the league (Dallas Empire and OpTic Chicago), Standy has emerged as the player to watch and the team MVP that could aid his team in delivering even more upset wins over top contenders.

During an interview with ESTNN’s Charlie Cater, Standy detailed his early gaming origins. “My interest in COD starts with my love for video games when I was younger, I love video games,” Standy said. “I played with my friends from school and from there I met a few friends online throughout gaming that taught me and guided me and told me what competitive COD is. So from there, when I was about 14, 15, I learned about the competitive side and that’s when I kind of began my journey.” Standy’s love for COD has resulted in him nabbing some #1 placings in various tournaments, such as his most recent win during the Call of Duty Challengers 2021 Cup #9 North America.

Standy also came out on top during the following 2019 and 2020 competitions (feel free to check out his other tournament results right here, too):

– 2019 National Gaming Events Season 6 Playoffs

– 2019 MLG GameBattles Premium $1000 4v4 Search and Destroy

– 2019 GameBattles NA Challengers: 2000 Series Tournament #4

– 2020 GameBattles NA Challengers: 1000 Series Tournament #6

Call of Duty Challengers Dallas Open 2020 North America

Call of Duty Challengers Florida Open 2020 North America

Call of Duty Challengers 2020 Cup #3 North America

– 2020 GameBattles Premium $1000 4v4 S&D

Call of Duty Challengers 2020 Finals North America

– 2020 Atlanta FaZe Black Ops 4 Invitational Open Qualifier

All eyes are on Standy at the moment and hopes are high for his future performances alongside his ROKKR cohorts. Judging by his masterful playstyle and affinity for notching huge wins, those hopes will certainly be fulfilled as the Call of Duty League rolls on.

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eSports Gaming

Rocket League Championship Series NA Power Rankings | March 2021

As Rocket League‘s North American Championship Series gets set to kick-off, it’s only right that we take another look at which teams are on the bubble of being truly great and what teams still have something to prove. Here’s our list of the 16 best teams in the game right now.

16. Oxygen Esports (Formerly Jamal Jabary)

After acquiring the up-and-coming roster from “Jamal Jabary,” which consists of Toastie, LJ, and Kraziks, Oxygen has entered the North American RLCS after previously performing in the EU. Currently holding 680 points in the RLCS places them in the Top 16 rankings and in order for Oxygen to qualify for Worlds, they’ll have to keep up this current trend and really dominate over the Spring Split.

15. eUnited

After dropping WondaMike back in February, eUnited has recently acquired RLCS Renowned PRO ‘Dappur.’ This team is looking solid after their first performance in the RLCS: Spring Split and placing 13-16th, which is higher than some top 10s like Alpine and Pittsburgh Knights.

14. XSET

Consisting of AlphaKep, Jpow, and Hockser, XSET consistently places well in tournaments. If a bit more coordination is applied to the team, XSET could potentially be a Top 10 team in North America. After placing 9-12th in the recent Spring Regional, XSET is certainly on an upward trend.

13. Charlotte Phoenix

After recently parting ways with their entire roster, which consisted of Karma, Shadow, AlRaz, and Jimmer, CLT is seeing an upward trend shortly after acquiring Team Loco. Team Loco originally consisted of Andy, Beastaboniam, Delta, and FireRaptor. This could be the move CLT needs to secure a spot at Worlds since being on the scene since late 2019.

12. Ghost Gaming

Ghost Gaming has a solid team with LionBlaze, who also happens to one of the best 1s players in the world. There’s no reason Ghost Gaming shouldn’t be able to compete at the top level.

11. Version1

Version1 is one of the most underrated teams on the scene. Their squad consists of Torment & gimmick (both RLCS Season 6 Champions) and Comm. Ever since it acquired Robert Kyser (Comm), V1 has been consistently been making waves by upsetting teams such as Alpine, PK, and KCP when every game against BIG 4 teams are super close nail-biters. After a few adjustments, it should be nothing but smooth sailing to Worlds for Version1.

10. Pittsburgh Knights

PK can be a solid squad, but they’ve looked kinda shaky after these past couple of performances. I think the main causes for that issue are their playstyle and lack of gameplay diversity. If PK can get over this road bump, they should make it to a better standing since they aren’t far from Worlds qualification with only 700 points behind the Top 6 spots.

9. Susquehanna Soniqs

The Soniqs did the impossible this past weekend by pulling off one of the biggest upset wins in the Regional by taking down Number 1 seed NRG 4-1 in their Quater Finals match. The Soniqs looked super convincing until they got swept by KCP in the Semi-Finals. Was it a fluke on NRGs part? Or are the Soniqs onto something?

8. Alpine Esports

Alpine is one of the most consistent teams in the RLCS, placing high in rankings for every event they’ve played in. They’re also one of the most coordinated rosters on the scene. However, during this past Regional Alpine, they got knocked out early in Group Stages. It’ll be interesting to see how Alpine comes back during the upcoming The Grid: Overtime event.

7. Kansas City Pioneers

KCP has certainly had its ups and downs. But I think after this weekend, they’re going nowhere but up. KCP made it to the Grand Finals during the last Spring Split Regional, but they, unfortunately, fell to Rogue. KCP consistently takes down Tier-1 rosters, such as Envy this past weekend. If KCP doesn’t play as they did in the Winter Split, the team could be bound for entrance into Worlds, which could happen as they are within 90 points of overtaking G2/Faze Clan.

6. G2 Esports

With the announcement of RLCS Pro Rizzo retiring, G2 is looking shaky. Rizzo has been an integral part of G2s success, consistently placing MVP for his team. It will be interesting to see how G2 performs without Rizzo.

5. Faze Clan (Formerly The Peeps)
FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan announced their entrance into the RLCS with the acquisition of The Peeps, which was an unsigned roster that made it to the Top 6 by consistently taking down BIG 4 teams and placing 1st in Winter: The Grid NA – Week 3. Also, they constantly place between 2nd and 5th lace in RLCS events. With Faze now on the scene, this is huge for the overall growth of the RLCS.

4. Spacestation Gaming
Spacestation Gaming (Twitter)

SSG has one of the most dominant offensive pressures in the game. With a majority of their series being high scoring, it’s hard for any defense to keep up with it. It takes a roster with speed and solid coordination to step up to SSG’s game. This is why SSG is one of the best teams in the RLCS league.

3. Rogue
Rogue

Ever since dropping RLCS PRO player Kranovi, Rogue has been doing pretty great. With Firstkiller (who’s viewed as one of the best in the game right now) and its victory at the first RLCS Spring Split Regional, Rogue is looking solid as Worlds is on the horizon.

2. Team Envy
Envy (Twitter)

Envy has one of the best defenses in the game. Holding 3 Regional Titles this season. This roster has been dominant since their formation of Atomic, Mist, and Turbopolsa.

1. NRG
NRG (Twitter)

The Champs are hitting it again -c Squishy, Jstn, and GarrettG (all RLCS World Champions) have held the #1 title in the League this whole Season. It’ll be a challenge for any team to take down the #1 seed in the game.

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eSports Gaming

Call of Duty League Power Ranking | Stage 2, Week 2

Stage 2, Week 2 of the Call of Duty League is here! With this being Week 2 of Stage 2 and a lot of recent roster changes this list is based on the most recent games of Major 1 and Week 1 of Stage 2. For some teams, there really wasn’t anything to put due to there being nothing too impacting or distinctive to say. We believe this year’s CDL season consists of a lot of “Wild Card” teams outside of the Top 3 (FaZe, Empire, and OpTic).

12. Seattle Surge
1-6 | 10 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

11. London Royal Ravens
2-6 | 20 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

I think last week’s showing from the Ravens has them looking a lot better. I expect them to start performing at the level expected of them. So after their long road of loss matches, I think Stage 2 might see them reach Top 8 by the end of Stage 2. 

10. Toronto Ultra
3-7 | 30 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

I really wished they kept Methodz, honestly…

9. Minnesota Rokkr
3-5 | 40 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

A team that I strongly believed to be underrated seems to be falling down the chain slightly with the recent roster change of benching MajorManak and bringing young gun Standy from  Triumph.

8. Paris Legion
3-5 | 30 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

7. Florida Mutineers
4-6 | 40 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

This is definitely one of my favorite teams and them being in 8th hurts my feelings. However, I strongly believe they will pull through as they are definitely one of the dominant teams out of the 12.

6. Los Angeles Guerrillas
6-4 | 80 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

This is a team that really doesn’t have any super-dominant players. However, there are still hopeful standouts in this roster.

5. Los Angeles Thieves
6-4 | 80 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

The Thieves were looking super strong in Stage 1. However, coming into Stage 2, they’ve been just clutching. The new roster change with Venom replacing Temp will hopefully see them breakthrough like many are expecting. 

4. New York Subliners
7-5 | 90 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

Before the season started, I was saying all the teams that were not in the Top 3 are “Wild Cards.” However, since the beginning, the Subliners have made it known that they’re definitely bigger and better than a “Wild Card’” classified team with shake up they’ve been causing thus far. 

3. Los Angeles Optic Gaming
7-3 | 90 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

OpTic is doing what they usually do. What’s crazy is that OpTic always has a weird low point Hopefully we see them stay Top 3 until the very end.

2. Dallas Empire
7-3 | 90 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

The reigning champs are definitely showing us why they won last year’s CDL. However, it will be interesting to see if they can keep this up. Especially when all other teams that I consider “Wild Cards” working hard to upend them (with the exception of FaZe & OpTic).

1. Atlanta Faze
10-0 | 145 CDL Points
Call of Duty League

If you were to look up the term “God Squad” on Google, it would give you FaZe. Until someone comes up with an answer to their strong performance in Search & Destroy (11-1), Atlanta will remain undefeated. However, I strongly believe the teams that could beat FaZe are the Subliners or Mutineers. 

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eSports Gaming

Sony’s Acquisition of Evo is Shocking and Exciting

The Evolution Championship Series is highly regarded as the largest fighting game summit in the world. On an annual basis, a global contingent of the strongest members from the FGC (Fighting Game Community) converge in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV to test their mettle. Along with heated competitive play in the biggest fighting games, tournament entrants and non-players alike get to enjoy the event’s expo-like atmosphere. Evo’s only gotten bigger in the years since its origins and has grown into a recognizable entity among the gaming community at large.

2020 threw a huge wrench into Evo’s grand plans, however. The current pandemic put a halt to the huge gathering that was planned for Las Vegas, which forced the tourney organizers to regroup and set up an online-only event. Then something even more damning took place – one of the event’s former tournament organizers found himself in hot water due to sexual misconduct allegations, which led to Evo 2020 getting cancelled. After those two horrible events came to pass, the future of Evo came into question. All hope seemed to be lost until two major gaming entities stepped in to right the ship.

On March 18, it was announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment and esports venture RTS had jointly acquired Evo. And thankfully, Tom and Tony Cannon (the twins that originally launched the tourney in the first place) will still be involved in its ongoing operations. Along with that shocking news, it was also announced that Evo 2021 will take place over two weekends in an online-only format. And best of all, admission is free of charge. The four games that are being featured this year include Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Guilty Gear Strive, Tekken 7, and Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. And to the surprise of no one, all four games will be played on Sony hardware (PS4 and PS5) or PC.

Once the news broke, the FGC erupted with positive and negative reactions. On the positive front, Sony’s involvement could spell big things for the continued growth of EVO itself. Sony’s big pockets could be a godsend when it comes to throwing more money into the pots for certain games, increasing the pomp & circumstance of the event itself, and landing exclusive partnerships with notable fighting game publishers. But with all that good stuff comes a few worrying issues, such as non-Sony fighters not getting any sort of placement at EVO at all. However, we already have confirmation of that scary possibility not being an issue at all – EVO’s director of global business development noted that Sony and RTS are still open to other console platforms for other notable fighting games.

Even with the reassuring statement from Julio, the Smash community is still a bit scared by the possibility of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate not getting slotted into Evo from this point forward. A spokesperson for Nintendo spoke to IGN and made a solid effort to relieve Smash players’ fears – “Nintendo has enjoyed engaging with fans at past Evo tournaments and wish the show organizers the best with their new venture. We will continue to assess Evo, and other opportunities, as we plan for future online and offline Super Smash Bros. tournament activity.” That quote doesn’t make a definitive statement about Smash Ultimate being a part of Evo next year or beyond, but at least that game and other beloved fighters have a good chance at rejoining the event.

Judging by the official Evo site, it seems like the current lineup has a good chance of being expanded. The site makes it quite clear that “all gaming platforms will remain welcome at Evo. Stay tuned for more game announcements.” Here’s hoping that games with great netcode, such as Killer Instinct, Them’s Fightin’ Herds, and Skullgirls 2nd Encore will join this year’s games lineup. And as far as major announcements go, getting a reveal about an incoming DLC character for Guilty Gear Strive and another roster member reveal for The King of Fighters XV would garner plenty of excitement.

Sony and RTS acquiring Evo spell good things for the event’s future if you ask us. Things can only go up from a financial point of view, plus the PlayStation platform has proven itself as a strong presence for fighting games. If the world is allowed to gather in large quantities in 2022, then we’ll truly get to see if Sony and RTS’s investment in Evo adds to the grandeur of the in-person event. With upcoming fighters, such as DNF Duel and Virtua Fighter x esports, Evo 2022 could be a major coming-out party for Sony and RTS’s first in-person presentation of Evo. Will both companies make an attempt to clean things up and deviate from the grassroots hype that Evo is known for? Hopefully not, but time will tell.

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eSports Gaming

This Week in Esports: ‘Valorant,’ ‘Call of Duty League,’ and More

The wide world of esports isn’t going to let the current pandemic slow down any of the action. Many of the biggest games with premier tournaments and ongoing leagues are still going strong despite 2021’s unfortunate real-world circumstances. 

Now that we’ve entered the month of March, we’re here to kickstart a new weekly trend on ONE37pm: We’re going to keep you in the loop on all things esports and the competitions you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Welcome to the inaugural edition of “This Week in Esports.” Now let’s get ready to watch the very best compete on the global esports stage.

‘Call of Duty’ League

Stage 1 Major is the playoffs portion of the Call of Duty League 2021 – Stage 1, with all 12 teams competing in a double elimination bracket to determine the Stage 1 champions. 

All 12 teams will be competing for a prize pool of $500,000 with the format being best of 5 and double elimination.

  • Wednesday: Starts at 3 pm EST/12 pm pt
  • Thursday: Start at 3 pm EST/ 12 pm PT
  • Friday: Start at 3 pm EST/ 12 pm PT
  • Saturday: Start at 3 pm EST/ 12 pm PT
  • Sunday: Start at 3 pm EST/ 12 pm PT
‘Valorant’

The 8 teams continuing on to next week’s Valorant Challengers Main Event are: Luminosity,TSM, T1, NRG, GenG, Faze Clan, DHBK, and 100 Thieves

  • Thursday: Starts at 3 pm EST
  • Friday: Starts at 3 pm EST
  • Saturday: Starts at 3 pm EST
  • Sunday: Starts at 3 pm EST
‘Fortnite’

No Fortnite World Cup doesn’t mean there isn’t any competitive action for Fortnite as they will be hosting a ‘Trio Cash Cup.’ This event has cash prizes and is only available for Champion League Players for NA EAST AND WEST. Following this week, Fortnite will also be hosting a “PLAYVS” tournament for college students in the U.S.  and Canada, powered by PlayVS.

  • Today at 5 pm EST for NA East / 9 pm for NA West 
  • Tuesday: 8 pm EST for NA East/930 pm EST for NA West 
‘Rocket League’

Rocket League Championship Series Season X – Winter Split Major came to an end this past weekend and saw with NRG (not surprising) coming out on top. Rocket League Esports will not have any events for three weeks as we wait for “The Grid” and  “Spring split.”  

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eSports Gaming

7 Gas ‘Valorant’ Players to Watch Out For

 In 2020, we saw a beta known as Project A transform into the powerhouse that is Valorant. There are already conversations of Valorant putting an end to older games like CS:GO, and there are a plethora of deals, big signings, and huge names in esports being added to the Valorant roster. With equally big brand deals and the overall notoriety of the league increasing, we expect this to be a huge year for the Valorant franchise. That said, we have compiled a list of seven Valorant players that we are gassing up. 

Now this isn’t a power ranking type of situation—this is just a simple list of seven players that we think you must watch. We selected these players based off of how we feel they can help you improve your Valorant skill set and are just plain fun to watch. So let’s get it going.

1. Matt “WARDELL” Yu
Dreamhack
Wardell

Wardell might be our favorite on this list when it comes to being both a dope content creator and great player. You just get a great grasp of the game watching him play. We think Wardell is going to be a big force in gaming. In fact, his style and charisma reminds us a lot of TSM Myth. He is going to be a big star, and he remains one of the few pros that is actually making content, setting him up for a bright future.

2. Tyson ”TENZ” Ngo
ESL
Tenz

Tenz is a young ‘GOAT.’ This man is dangerous. Tenz is a young prodigy, and one of the best at Valorant. Watching him means that you won’t get lost in the game play. He always on a hundred, and nothing about his playing style is lazy. 

3. Yassine “SUBROZA” Taoufik
Dreamhack
Subroza

Subroza is probably one of, if not the best Omen NA. Subroza is sort of funny and goofy, but still offers quality content to help others become better. Subroza and Wardell have a unique competitive relationship with one another, constantly pushing each other to be better through humor. Subroza is also Moroccan, so he is also very cultured, bringing that into his gaming persona. 

4. Jay “Sintraa” Won
Sinatraa
Sinatraa

Sintraa is different! A 20-year-old phenom whose previous gaming roots include a stint in the Overwatch league. Now one of the top dominators in the Valorant scene, Sintraa is known for always putting on a clinic. With A1 trash talking, you would think Sintraa was raised in an Xbox Call of Duty lobby. We think the future is bright for Sintraa in a lot of ways. 

5. Ryan “Shanks” Ngo
NRG Valorant
Shank

Recently signed to NRG, Shanks is a fun character. Watching him play is nothing but good vibes. Shanks is young, comical, and he is really good at switching his talents on and off. When he wants to go hard, he does. Likewise, he doesn’t have to try if he doesn’t want to—a skill that is really impressive when you think about it. 

6. Zander “Thwifo” Kim
Thwifo
Thwifo

The second youngest on this list at just eighteen, Thwifo seems to have a very good understanding of shooting games. From smacking kids around in Fortnite, to doing it professionally signed to XSet in Valorant, Thwifo is one of the premier players in Valorant, and we can’t wait for everyone to find this out. 

7. Spencer ”HIKO” Martin
Dreamhack
Hiko

On the contrary, Hiko is the oldest player on this list. He is incredibly well respected, and that probably stems from his time in CS:GO. Every time you walk into a Hiko stream, it is a true masterclass. He breaks down everything, and provides nothing but valuable information to viewers, a quality that you don’t normally see in streamers. 

These are seven gas players that we are excited to see back in action this year. Be sure to keep up with them as they begin their new seasons.

Categories
eSports Gaming

Inside the Screen With Malik “OriginalMalik” Hobson

Twenty-year-old professional player Malik “OriginalMalik” Hobson, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, has played sports and video games all his life.

One day, he realized that he was better than most of his family and friends, so being a professional player was always something that was in his grasp before he even realized it.

Hobson is a member of Knicks Gaming as a shooting guard and is one of the best at his position in the league. He recently joined Inside the Screen with ONE37pm’s Aaron Dukes to discuss his journey.

Dukes: Do you think Covid-19 affects your playing style and your vibe?

Hobson: Yeah, I think it affects our season and everyone else’s season in the league, to be honest. Some teams would have played better on the stage, and some teams would have played worse. We would have been one of the teams that would have played better.

Our team ended up missing the playoffs by one game, and if we were on stage, we would have been a much better team. It is what it is, and we had to make do with what we had. We had a good season, and all of our games were on ESPN2.

Dukes: With 2020 being the year that it has—Have you been focusing more on your brand as far as just streaming more, making more YT videos, or even putting more clips out?

Hobson: I am actually starting my Youtube Channel literally today [Monday, November 16, 2020]. I started already, but I took a break during the season.

I posted a tweet about the new games and consoles that just came out, so everyone is looking for the new builds and things of that nature.

So, I played a couple of pick-up Pro-Am Games, and everyone wants my build in the game. I did not want to give it up; I had to since everybody liked it.

Dukes: For a rookie in 2K, what are some tips?

Hobson: If you are new to the game, you will not be good at all. That is just that you must play. That is my advice you must play for at least a week and try to get halfway decent at it.

Dukes: Can we talk about you playing for the USA 2K Team? 

Hobson: Things like this are crazy to me because you have a 2K team for USA Basketball. I made that, and the trial process is 30 players like they do in real life, and they were only taking seven of us, and I ended up making it.

The first day I didn’t do that well, but we have two days of trails, and I was able to turn it around by averaging 30 points per game and went 6-0. That night they told me I made the team, the rest is history, and we play in December.

 

Dukes: What separates you from other players? 

Hobson: I think I am a pure scorer, and I am one of those who do not like to lose. I know I am one of the best 2K players in the world. I am the best at the shooting guard position. If you watch every shooting guard in the league and the impact, mine is always bigger. Then the next man, I play defense, I play offense, I make reads, and not everybody doing that.

Teams are game-planning for me, and when I get the ball, they will not let me shoot threes because other teams know that is what I like to do. I command a double team, and I can get the open man involved.

Dukes:  How were your parents when it came to you playing video games?

Hobson: My mom did not accept me playing games at first; in fact, she hated it. I almost did not make the league. She did not want me playing video games. I am one of those people that when I have a goal, I lock in on it, and everything else around me does not matter.

My mother thinks it is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. I was locked in trying to make the 2K League, and it was the summer before I went to college. I attended Troy University, but I left after a week because I made the league, and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My mother did not come around until I made the team.

Dukes: What does your family say when people ask what you do? 

Hobson: My mom will say I play videogames, but she will also talk about the 2K League and my accomplishments. It is cool everyone that I tell about the league or recognize me wearing the mech. They will ask me what it is, and I will explain it to them, literally the coolest thing ever.

Check out the full interview with Hobson below, and make sure you keep an eye out for Malik “OriginalMalik” Hobson, as he continues to set the 2K league on fire. You can follow him on Twitter & Instagram.

Categories
eSports Gaming

The Queens Gaming Collective Is Charting A New Course for Women in Gaming

The Women-Led Gaming and Lifestyle Brand Queens Gaming Collective is a lifestyle company created by women for women. Launching today, as it looks to give women competitive opportunities in a male-dominated industry. Nearly half of the 2.6 billion gaming enthusiasts are women; many feel marginalized and left out in the streaming and competition like in many other sectors.

 

“I feel as though it’s hard to be taken seriously as a woman in the gaming space. You constantly have to prove your knowledge and worth and get scrutinized significantly more than a male would,” shared Jessica Chancello, also known as Maid of Might with ONE37pm.

“Sometimes it feels like people are waiting for you to make one mistake so they can turn around and say, ‘Aha! Look, you’re a fake gamer!’ It can get exhausting.”

“The biggest challenge would probably be self-doubt and recognizing my own worth within the community. I think that having confidence is sometimes hard to build in oneself, especially when in the past, there have been many gatekeepers within the industry. Having a support system like Queens has really has helped me reset and empower myself,” added Kiera Please.

According to VentureBeat, Queens “gives creators, streamers, and competitors equal access to the infrastructure, resources, and representation needed to build fair and profitable careers in the gaming industry.”

The collective is financed by a $1.5 million investment from a gaming-focused financial group, consisting of BITKRAFT Ventures, as well as strategic investors Assia Grazioli-Venier and Rachel Springate, the founding partners of Muse Capital.

“I feel like Queens is going to be a game-changer for the industry. Women coming together to play video games, which has been seen as a ‘guys industry’ for so long. We want to show the industry that we can do anything,” said actress and singer Carrington Durham

“The Queens Gaming Collective is a game-changer for women because it’s going to show that there’s a lot of pretty women, beautiful women, and queens that can play games and do it all and not be judged to be doing it,” said WNBA Champion, Alexis Jones.

Other members of the investing group include Rosie O’Neill (Sugarfina co-founder),  former MTV, Sony Music, and Maker Studios executive Amy Finnerty, and Dre Hayes (President of Kappa USA, Cofounder of The Foundation). Seven other prominent successful entrepreneurs round out the roster, with the collective being led by a team that adds vast experience in gaming, sports, entertainment, consumer products, and technology.

“Now more than ever, the spotlight is on women. Women in sports; Women in business; Women in politics; Women in gaming. At Queens, we are committed to recognizing and celebrating all the women who identify as gaming enthusiasts and giving them a place to call home. A community of this caliber has not really existed before, so we are truly launching at the perfect time, especially with such a dynamic and diverse group of Queens,” said Alisa Jacobs, the CEO of Queens Gaming Collective.

“Additionally, in the absence of live events and with the pivot in traditional marketing, the industry is digitizing. All aspects of culture and brand are rapidly finding their footing in the virtual landscape where Queens is uniquely positioned at the intersectional epicenter. We had been building this company since the beginning of 2020, and several things have happened since February that elevated the mission and purpose of our company.”  

Justin Giangrande, the co-founder and Chairman of Queens Gaming Collective, added: “Before beginning our funding round, we had already hired key positions in the company to ensure we could immediately put our best foot forward and hit the ground running.

Fast forward to November, and we have assembled a best-in-class team of investors, executives, advisors, allies, and strategic partners across gaming, sports, entertainment, consumer products, and tech. Now is the right time to launch Queens. But it’s not just about launching; it’s about executing. And we are as ready as ever.”

Courtesy of Queens Gaming Collective
Alisa Jacobs

According to Jacobs, she saw an opportunity to create a global movement with QCG, and he jumped at the chance when asked by Giangrande to be a co-founder and the CEO of the company.

“I have worked in marketing for most of my career, including recently as the founder of a culture-first branding agency LOOP, where I consulted for brands in sports, consumer products, tech, and other verticals. When Justin asked me to be CEO & Co-founder of Queens with him, I saw it as an opportunity not just to build a gaming lifestyle company, but to create a global cultural movement,” Jacobs shared.

“I put my agency on hold, moved cross-country, and am now ALL-IN on elevating this industry through the lens of diversity, inclusion, and equity. It is truly anyone’s game—and we are here to help each, and every Queen reach their career goals as a gamer and beyond.”

Meanwhile, Giangrande shared that he came up with the company’s concept after reading an article earlier this year that revealed nearly 50% of the gaming audience is female. 

“I saw an article back in February posted by NewsZoo that said 46% of the gaming audience is female, and it blew my mind. At the time, I immediately took it to my friends (now partners) at Zoned Agency as they’re the most endemic to the gaming space. I asked if it was true, and if so, ‘Where is the prominent women’s gaming collective in the industry?’ To which they replied, ‘It doesn’t exist.’ 

The light bulb immediately went off in my head as it seemed like a no brainer to me; the gaming industry is huge from a cultural perspective, women drive purchasing habits, they’re talented content creators, they’re almost half of the audience, and yet no one is speaking to them. I began building the business model, putting together this incredible team of C-suite executives, including our CEO and co-founder Alisa Jacobs, and gathering a strong roster of gamers that would support our movement.”

Giangrande is also the CEO of The Network Advisory and a former Partner and EVP at VaynerSports. He partnered with an agency and venture studio, Zoned Gaming, and helped assemble an advisory panel of industry experts, including hospitality and entertainment company The H. Wood Group as well as senior executives from Amazon, Twitch, TikTok, and Spotify.

According to Newzoo, the industry is expected to grow to almost $175 billion this year (+20% year-on-year) and exceed $217 billion by 2023. Like traditional sports, competitive gaming draws major sponsors, advertisers, endorsements, stars, rivalries, and dynasties.

Courtesy of Queens Gaming Collective
Taylor Heitzig-Rhodes

Taylor Heitzig-Rhodes, the head of talent and also a partner, joins the brand from the talent agency Evolved, which focuses on content creators and competitive Esports. During her time as an agent, Heitzig-Rhodes worked in close collaboration with teams, players, influencers, and brands such as Chica, Alexandra Botez, and Athena. Now she identifies, signs, and manages Queens’ increasing talent.

In addition to ownership, Queens has the tools, relationships, and expert advice to generate economic benefits through original, women-focused digital programs and other innovative monetization opportunities. The current queens include Cosplayer and content creator Kiera Please, DJs and designers Coco and Breezy, Singer and gamer Cray, WNBA Champion Alexis Jones, Gamer and recording artist Bunnymightgameu, Gamer BlackKrystel, Singer and gamer Sunzibae, Content creator xmiramira, Singer and songwriter Sharlene, Gamer and influencer Ava.gg,  Streamer/Gamer and Cosplayer HelloIAmKate,  Gamer Bloody, Influencer Carrington Durham, Streamer Kayla Delancey, Gamer demisux, Actor and cosplayer Maid of Might, Vocalist and model Erica Nagashima, and Gamer and model SavEdgeDoll.

Each queen was chosen for her skills, intelligence, and engagement in a wide range of games and entertainment. The future of women in gaming and entertainment is not homogenous, and each Queen serves as a strong and unique character model for women of all ages and backgrounds, whether casual gamers, viewers, or would-be pro players.

Their collaborative content and activations will reside on platforms owned and operated by Queens, providing entry points to the games through sports, music, fashion, beauty, fitness, and the performing arts.

Among the first members of the Queen’s Court were former NBA All-Star and entrepreneur Baron Davis and digital and media maven Karen Civil, known for her work with Cash Money Records, and with the late artist Nipsey Hussle. She is also the Founder and CEO of LiveCivil & AlwaysCivil.

Queen Gaming Collective has also partnered with Razer as an official gaming device and hardware. QGC is also scheduled to join Queens’ talent for a live launch party on Twitch on December 5th. The talent lineup has not been released yet.

As for what Jacobs and Giangrande envision for the company in the future? Jacob wants the company to become a global conglomerate and one of the biggest content producers.

“Queens becomes a multi-dimensional global business—for women, by women—and creates an ecosystem that can support all stages of a gamer’s career. Queens will be one of the biggest content companies of our decade, and without question, the most Impactful,” Jacobs said. “My vision is for Queens to lead blurring the line between gaming and lifestyle into E-culture, a community and marketplace equalized for economic success for all.”

Giangrande wants QGC to be a platform where all women can accomplish their dreams.

“For Queens to be the inclusive business that gives women the platform to accomplish their goals and for Men to support that mission,” Giangrande said. “To also be one of the most innovative media companies of this decade, that provides economic inclusion for our talent. To Change The Game. And to Change the Face of Gaming.”

Make sure you keep an eye out for Queens Gaming Collective as they look to shake up the industry and change the game.