Events/Tournaments Gaming

E3 2021: The 10 Best Gameplay Reveal Trailers

We gotta keep it a hunnid with everyone reading this right now – E3 2021 was kinda buns. Don’t get us wrong, though – there were a few noteworthy announcements that fired up gamers’ timelines across the globe. But the majority of the all-digital event left a whole lot to be desired. We’re not here to go into great detail about the virtual show’s many shortcomings, however. Instead, we’re going to celebrate all the awesome reveal trailers that landed on our screens during the developer/publisher dedicated livestream events. The 10 games we listed below are the definite highlights from this year’s installment of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

1. ‘Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’

While the Ubisoft Forward showcase did little to impress, at least it ended with a nice surprise in the form of the debut for a brand new Avatar video game. That game ended up being Avatar: Frontier of Pandora, a first-person experience that gives players the chance to fully explore the Western Frontier portion of Pandora. What was shown off points to a game that’s rife with beautiful sights to see and human foes to vanquish within an expansive open-world environment. It’s gonna be a while before the next Avatar film hits movie theaters, so this licensed action/adventure romp as the blue-skinned Na’vi should hold everyone over until then.

2. ‘Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ended up being the type of crossover game that no one even knew they wanted until they got it. Who knew that a bright and bubbly platforming romp that adopted XCOM battle elements would be such a hit? Even though it got spoiled just mere minutes before its official reveal, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’s eventual unveiling still elicited plenty of excitement. Everything that made the first game so memorable is returning alongside new elements, such as galactic adventuring, party newcomers, and the usage of Sparks.

3. ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl’

The Xbox + Bethesda Games Showcase had a few gems scattered throughout it. One of the earliest highlights arrived when viewers got treated to an engrossing gameplay demonstration for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. Visually, this upcoming first-person shooter definitely wowed in that department. The dark industrial locales and intense shootouts scattered throughout the game’s new trailer built up plenty of hype for its impending release. Plus the attention to detail was clearly evident as the characters onscreen spoke in their native Russian language. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl looks to be one of the most immersive FPS games on the horizon.

4. ‘Halo Infinite’

Were we disappointed to STILL not get an official release date for Halo Infinite yet? But of course! But at least 343 Industries did a good job of giving us all a better look at its multiplayer component. The upcoming free-to-play online multiplayer portion of Halo Infinite looks great and a nice return to form for longtime Halo fans. The battles painted an image of high-octane, action-packed skirmishes full of fast-paced shootouts and the cool implementation of a new grappling hook. Those custom Spartan armors look pretty sweet, too. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is looking like our next addiction, for sure.

5. ‘Forza Horizon 5’

Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder in the case of the Forza Horizon games. The fourth game in the spinoff open-world racing series actually dropped in 2018. The long wait for another entry in the franchise was paid off handsomely when Playground Games pulled the curtain up on Forza Horizon 5. The footage that was shown for this much-anticipated sequel is simply jaw-dropping – the gorgeous sunny locales of Mexico looked as lifelike as possible while dozens of cars furiously zipped around them. The Forza games have always looked amazing, but Forza Horizon 5 looks like a true evolution when it comes to the graphical fidelity aspect of it all. We can’t wait to knock over some pins and pinatas in our new souped-up rides.

6. ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’

The long-rumored Guardians of the Galaxy game finally came out of hiding at this year’s E3. And once official info about the game came out, most folks were surprised to learn that it’s deviating from what Marvel’s Avengers did before it. Players will only control Star-Lord as they send out battle commands to Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon, and Groot. This upcoming interplanetary action/adventure game will also feature the ability to make important decisions that impact your crew members’ opinions of you and impact the story at large. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s extended focus during the Square Enix Presents Summer Showcase provided a ton of info and gameplay footage that has us pretty intrigued about the final product.

7. ‘Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin’

Months prior to this game’s official announcement, rumors ran rampant about this Square Enix/Team Ninja collaboration. Everyone finally got to see it in action and it looks to be a pretty cool spinoff that mashes up Final Fantasy’s signature fantastical themes with the hardcore combat mechanics seen in Nioh. The reveal trailer definitely deserves to get mocked for its overuse of the word “Chaos” and the uninspired character designs. But it also deserves to be commended for showing off the game’s impactful combat that looks just as deep and complex as other Soulsborne-themed experiences. Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is definitely on our radar.

8. Kazuya Mishima Reveal for ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

As soon as the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct got underway, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out swinging with its latest character reveal trailer. The sight of someone carrying Ganondorf to his death piqued our curiosity. But as soon as we heard the familiar drums behind Kazuya Mishima’s Tekken 2 theme, our hype levels went through the roof! We finally got a Tekken representative in Smash and it’s the badass poster boy that has been with the franchise from the very start. Kazuya’s Smash reveal trailer was quite the surprise and it ended up being a fun highlight reel of everything he’s capable of in Nintendo’s mega-crossover fighter. We can’t wait to pull off some sick Korean Backdashes and Demon Uppercuts once Kazuya finally comes out.

9. ‘Metroid Dread’

We didn’t get any more updates about Metroid Prime 4 (and Bayonetta 4!), sadly. But what we did get was a shocking reveal for an all-new Metroid game that adopts the 2D side-scrolling gameplay style that the series started out with. Samus Aran is back to eradicate some extraterrestrial beasts within creepy caves and so much more in the upcoming Metroid Dread. The world’s most recognizable intergalactic bounty hunter could be seen sporting a sweet-looking new suit of armor in the game’s reveal trailer. Plus we got treated to some awesome footage of her new cloaking abilities, which will play a huge part in keeping her alive during the sort of confrontations she can’t possibly win.

10. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ Sequel

The final major reveal that Nintendo gave us all was all about Link’s next mainline adventure. The second Breath of the Wild was given a ton of time to show off its biggest features – Link seemingly has the ability to rewind time to send back huge projectiles at his foes and be able to move through solid objects now. His latest journey will take him into the mysterious buildings and other ruins that reside in the skies above Hyrule, which sounds like it’ll be the most exciting element of this highly anticipated sequel. There’s a ton of incredible games to look forward to in 2022 – the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is among that list of games that has us ready to spend some pre-order cash on ASAP!

Events/Tournaments Gaming

Ben Bowman aka “Professor Broman” Talks GCX’21 Charity Marathon and More

Contrary to popular belief, gamers are some of the most generous people you could ever meet. 

Organizations such as The AbleGamers Charity, Extra Life, and Child’s Play continually make concerted efforts to fund positive causes tied to the gaming space. Among those charitable gaming initiatives is the annual Gaming Community Expo,  which brings the community together in order to donate money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For this year’s event, the GCX will run its usual fan gathering in a virtual format (within a space station, by the way!) and put on The GCX Charity Marathon. 

That aforementioned event, which will be streaming live from 6/13 at 12 PM EST to 6/20 at 4 PM EST on, will feature a host of popular content creators and developers. If the names Dr. Lupo, BigCheeseKIT, and Digital Extremes excite you, then you should definitely pop in and join in on all the positivity being shared amongst the gaming community. During the marathon’s 24/7 livestream, those same personalities and more will donate their time within four-hour blocks. ONE37pm will be joining in on all the charitable fun and showcase some of its ongoing efforts within that same block of time!

Ben Bowman aka “Professor Broman,” who happens to be the Charity Director for the GCX Charity Marathon and Live Event & Chief Marketing Officer for Rare Drop, spoke with ONE37pm about a slew of topics regarding his company’s charitable efforts and so much more.

ONE37pm: How did you get involved in raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital?

Ben Bowman: We knew fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the right call from the beginning. They represented a set of ideals that we, as content creators, also aspired to achieve. Their mission is unrelenting perfection in the face of what seems to be very difficult odds. Once we heard that their mission was to make sure that no child dies in the dawn of life and witnessed the lengths to which they go to make sure that mission is accomplished, we knew they were the right call. As a charity, they are inspirational, international, and intentional. They distribute their research everywhere in the world and they never send a bill to any family that walks through their doors.

ONE37pm: Why is it so important to show the world that #GamingDoesGood?

Ben Bowman: It is important to show the world that this new and upcoming form of media that is getting so much attention, creating so much celebrity, and truly transforming the way that people enjoy their free time can also be a place that does tremendous good. I’ve known this since I played my first game as a kid and believe it is so important to show the world that gamers are here to help make the world a better place.

ONE37pm: To date, what is the total impact the GCX Charity Marathon has had? How much has been raised to date? How does that dollar amount positively impact the kids and families of St. Jude?

Ben Bowman: To date, we’ve raised over $14 million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This equates to keeping the hospital running for a full business week. And during that week, children are continuing their education, receiving life-saving treatment, and they are having housing provided for themselves and their family all at no cost to them!

ONE37pm: How would you, as the GCX Charity Director, like to see the marathon grow and evolve over time?

Ben Bowman: I think the future of the marathon will always be determined by how our space grows. I would love for us to continue to innovate and inspire people in the gaming space and, ultimately, I would love for the marathon and all GCX efforts combined to provide 10% of the operating revenue for St. Jude every year!

ONE37pm: Over the past five years, what are some of your favorite moments from the GCX Charity Marathon?

Ben Bowman: I think one of my favorite moments was when Faux, who is an Old School Runescape creator, deleted his 3,000-hour ironman save on his account and then talked about how important those 3,000 hours would be for a patient at St. Jude. That hit me incredibly hard and it does truly put perspective on how valuable time is.

ONE37pm: St. Jude Play Live, St. Jude’s Gaming Division, brings content creators from across the globe to visit their hospital in Memphis. Tell us about your experience with your visit and how it has impacted you to grow your charitable efforts year over year?

Ben Bowman: I’ve always enjoyed going to the Play Live Summit and learning more about the good work that they do at St. Jude. The team at St. Jude Play Live, lead by Zachary Whitten, has been instrumental in keeping us informed, inspired, and clued-in to the day workings at St. Jude so that we are always able to perfectly express where the donations are going and how they help the patients.

ONE37pm: What advice would you give to other streamers who are fundraising?

Ben Bowman: My best and only piece of advice for streamers that are fundraising is this: put on the absolute best show you can because that is your magic when it comes to fundraising. The better your show is, the more you’ll fundraise and the quality of your show is completely in your control.

Rare Drop partnered with GEN XP to build the Space Station and bring it to life. They’ll have a booth on the Space Station and we’re excited for our attendees to check them out. 

About GenXP:

GenXP is a subsidiary of TurboPlay Corporation, a pioneer in scalable, digital marketplace technologies. Based out of New Brunswick, Canada, GenXP leverages these technologies to generate custom virtual experiences for the new [not] normal, and beyond. With hard work and innovation, we push the boundaries of technological possibilities to shape new realities, creating engaging, social, experiential memories. Our virtual event platform and services empower our clients to engage their audiences, fans, colleagues, and customers in virtually limitless ways. Say hello @

Events/Tournaments Gaming

Here are the May 27th Gaming Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Thursday, May 27th is looking like it’s damn near the official start of the next Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). That’s because gamers are getting treated to five separate livestream events. And chances are all of them will drop some bombshell announcements and showcase a lengthy amount of worthwhile gameplay. We’re here to make sure you’re fully aware of the stacked lineup of events that are set to take place tomorrow and are fully prepared to fire up your timeline after each one concludes.

1. ‘Virtua Fighter x eSports’ Official Announcement Live Stream
Start Time: 4 am PT / 7 am ET

Sega already gave us a good look at Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown – the remastered 3D fighter looks gorgeous and is already prepped for a June 1 release. And thanks to Sony, a whole flood of players are gonna hop into Virtua Fighter for the very first time due to the fact that it will be a PlayStation Plus game for June. The true coming-out party for the game is most likely going to take place at this event, plus we might find out Sega’s esports game plan will be for Virtua Fighter’s welcome comeback.

2. ‘Samurai Warriors 5’ Official Program #4
Start Time: 5 am PT / 8 am ET

Those Musou games are a guilty pleasure, aren’t they? You can just turn your brain off as you pick your favorite mystical warrior and lay waste to hundreds (and even thousands!) of nameless soldiers. The Samurai Warriors series is getting ready to drop its fifth mainline entry and the hype train is pulling out of the station. This livestream will drop some new footage of the upcoming beat ‘em up, plus it will feature commentary from the game’s producer and one of the character’s voice actors.

3. Sonic Central
Start Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET

Virtua Fighter isn’t the only Sega IP that’s getting its own dedicated livestream tomorrow. Sonic the Hedgehog is celebrating his 30th anniversary and it’s pretty clear that some big things are in the works for him. This livestream will give everyone a sneak peek at what’s to come – hopefully, we get to see if those leaked Sonic games are legit and ready to release sooner rather than later. Footage of new partnerships, non-gaming projects, and upcoming events are also planned to be announced during this live celebration.

4. ‘Dying Light 2’ Livestream
Start Time: 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET

It’s been pretty quiet on the Dying Light 2 front lately. But Techland is going a lot harder in their PR/marketing efforts lately and has done a better job of talking to its dedicated fanbase. A mailer got sent out to a wide range of gaming journalists (including yours truly!), which included a poster and a black flashlight. The secret message hidden on the poster became visible once the light was shined on it. That message let the world know that a big livestream event is set to take place and it will hopefully give everyone a final release date announcement for the parkour-infused zombie experience.

5. State of Play | Horizon Forbidden West Gameplay Reveal
Start Time: 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET

PlayStation is doing it real big for the upcoming sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. The latest State of Play event will be dedicated to Horizon Forbidden West and it’s set to bless us with 20 minutes of nothing but gameplay. Since this major open-world epic is getting such a huge livestream event, it’s looking like it may actually come out this year. If you want to check in a bit earlier for this stream’s pre-show, go ahead and check in at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET. It’s going to feel so nice to reunite with Aloy and go mechanical animal hunting once again.

Events/Tournaments Gaming

Elton’s E3 2021 Game Reveals Wishlist

Last year’s pandemic put a complete halt to live events.

That troubling development was especially disheartening for gamers since major gaming conventions and industry gatherings were forced to go on an unexpected hiatus. The famed Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3, for short) falls into that category of events that didn’t go down as planned in 2020. Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of 2021, the Entertainment Software Association is putting in a gargantuan effort to make sure their signature E3 event goes off without a hitch. E3 2021 will be an all-digital installment this time around, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be any less exciting than previous years. While Sony may not be on hand to make any in-person announcements, a solid lineup of notable gaming publishers/developers will be in attendance to showcase what’s coming next.

You know how much I love to speculate, which is why I’m here to jot down my wishlist of E3 2021 game reveals that would make me squeal uncontrollably if they were announced.


At this point, anyone that considers themselves on top of any and all gaming rumors knows there’s probably a Switch Pro upgrade in the works. Bloomberg came out of the woodwork with a report earlier this year that alluded to the oft-rumored machine getting the sorts of upgrades that could boost its performance and improve its software library’s graphical fidelity. Nintendo has made every attempt to deny the validity of the Switch Pro, but I’m of the belief that it’s being worked on as we speak.

A major reveal for the Switch Pro during the Nintendo Direct for this E3 would be ideal and I’m hoping they go all-in on its specs and the games being made to take advantage of its boosting capabilities. I’m sure everyone would flip their lids if we got new gameplay demonstrations for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4 if they were shown being played on the Switch Pro. On another note, Switch remaster announcements for The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess to coincide with Zelda’s 35th anniversary would be more than ideal.

Besides those major bombshell announcements, I’m hoping to see King Sakurai pop back up to reveal the next DLC roster entrant for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There are only two Fighters Pass 2 character slots left, so I’m thinking both of those still unknown picks will shock everyone. Could it be Devil May Cry’s Dante, Crash Bandicoot, Fulgore from Killer Instinct, or even Halo’s Master Chief? After seeing the crossover insanity that Fortnite has now turned into, all bets are off when it comes to future Smash character inclusions. Let’s hope Sakurai has something big planned for Nintendo’s E3 2021 presentation.


Halo Infinite. That game needs to get at least half an hour of stage presentation time and it’d better look incredible. Master Chief’s return has been a long time coming and E3 2021’s the perfect opportunity to instill newfound confidence into whatever 343 Industries has been working on since its last showing of the game. Along with an extensive piece of new gameplay footage, I hope we get a final release date announcement to cap it all off.

And if I’m a betting man, I’m placing my entire savings account on the following titles getting new trailers during Xbox’s E3 2021 rollout – Forza Horizon 5, Psychonauts 2, the new Fable, Starfield, State of Decay 3, Avowed, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and the next Perfect Dark. As far as dream reveals go, I’d be more than satisfied if Xbox chose to shock the world by announcing a new Banjo-Kazooie and Killer Instinct. Dreams don’t always come true, but I’m hoping those aforementioned dreams come across my screen in some fashion.


I gotta keep it a stack with you guys and gals – I truly don’t care about most of the games that come out of the Ubisoft camp. I tend to tune out during their annual Ubisoft Forward stage conference, to be quite honest. Shout out to their fanbase, though – there’s a lot to look forward to as far as new releases go, such as Far Cry 6, Riders Republic, Roller Champions, etc.

I’m slightly intrigued by the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake since it got delayed for further polishing. I enjoyed it during my young days spent as a PS2 fiend, so I’m hoping the remake gets a graphical touchup to make it truly shine and realize its full potential. By the way, where’s my guy Rayman been hiding? Ubisoft could get me to care about them a bit more if they announced an all-new series entry for the limbless wonder.

Square Enix

I think we can all admit that Square Enix’s output from its Japanese development studios has been way better than the games coming from its non-Japanese studios. Marvel’s Avengers and Outriders haven’t received a whole lot of praise and adoration, to say the least. But games like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Final Fantasy XIV, and NieR Replicant have kept the longtime JRPG publisher in a positive light. Square Enix would totally do right by me if they gave the world a quick glimpse at the work being done on the second installment of Final Fantasy VII Remake, showed off a new Star Ocean, and revealed the latest installment in the Dragon Quest series. A Drakengard 3 remake announcement would floor me but lemme not get my hopes up for that one too much.

Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two Interactive has two major gaming publishers under its massive umbrella – 2K Games and Rockstar Games. Since we all know Rockstar avoids E3 and has a tendency to make everyone’s timelines pop with their own reveal events, it’s pretty evident that 2K Games will be on hand to show off their upcoming projects. I simply adore the BioShock games, so you know I’m very much looking forward to the next series entry that’s currently in development thanks to Cloud Chamber. That thing has been cooking in the oven for God knows how long now, so I think it’s about time they showed us what it looks like. Oh and by the way, where the hell is the next installment in The Darkness series? The last one ended on quite the cliffhanger and I’ve been waiting far too long for a proper resolution. So yeah, all 2K Games has to do is come to E3 2021 and grab my attention with those two FPS gameplay reveals.


I’d like to make a confession, folks – I’m an avid Capcom fanboy. It’s been amazing watching them recover from their once broken state and rise to the occasion once again thanks to some awesome remakes, all new titles, and the quality updates being applied to Street Fighter V. As soon as I heard Capcom would be on hand for this year’s E3, my excitement levels went through the roof. 

I’m sure everyone reading this checked out the Capcom leaks and got hyped about what was shown off on that list of unannounced games. Based on what was shown on there, I hope Capcom finally gives its fans an official look at some of those upcoming releases. I’d definitely scream like a madman if Capcom showcased the next Dragon’s Dogma, the next Onimusha, and the remake for Resident Evil 4. And whatever that Pragmata thing is has me really curious about what it could possibly be, so I’d like to learn some more info about that game too.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

The news of the merger between AT&T and Discovery reportedly leading to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment getting split up has me pretty paranoid. I hope that business move doesn’t end up hampering the great work being done at NetherRealm Studios, Rocksteady Studios, and WB Games Montreal. As far as E3 2021 dream reveals go, I’m totally open to seeing new gameplay trailers for Back 4 Blood, Hogwarts Legacy, Gotham Knights, and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Plus the rumor mill has been going crazy lately concerning a Marvel Comics-themed fighting game that’s said to be in development at NetherRealm Studios, so I’d like to see if that game is legit at this year’s E3.


Sega’s been making some strong moves lately. This is quite surprising since I used to lament them for ignoring their past catalog of classic games. They’ve handed over the reins to Streets of Rage, Panzer Dragoon, The House of the Dead, and Alex Kidd to talented development teams, which has led to the creation of some noteworthy remakes and sequels. Then you have the games being delivered by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio keeping fans satisfied – Judgment and Yakuza: Like a Dragon are definite gems worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Do you know who we haven’t seen in a good while from Sega, though? Sonic the Hedgehog! It’s about damn time they showed us what the blue speedster is going to be showing up in next. That rumored remake for Sonic Colors has to be revealed at E3 2021. And as far as dream announcements go, I hope the next major Sonic game ends up being a brand new Sonic Mania and a third Sonic Adventure game. I think Sega has the bandwidth needed to get two separate development teams to work on those massive undertakings, so here’s hoping one or even both of those games ends up getting showcased in June.

Oh, and before I forget – drop the reveal trailer for that Virtua Fighter 5 updated console port, Sega!

Bandai Namco Entertainment

I think I speak for everyone when I say that Bandai Namco needs to give us our first official gameplay demonstration for Elden Ring. The leaked footage of that highly anticipated collaboration between From Software’s Hidetaka Miyazaki and author George R. R. Martin has made everyone go crazy. Just imagine what would happen if we finally got to see some legit footage at E3 2021. New trailers for Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus would be pretty cool, too. Do you know what’d be extra hype, though? The announcement of Time Crisis remasters or even a remake for VR headsets, a new trailer & release date announcement for Digimon Survive, and a shocking reveal for a new Ridge Racer. The world needs more arcade racers!

Events/Tournaments Gaming

Meet the New King of Twitch: TheGrefg

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Twitch record holder in town. Eu Heretics team owner and Spanish streamer David Martínez aka TheGrefg absolutely annihilated the concurrent streams record with the live reveal of his Fortnite Icon series skin. The previous record of 635,000 viewers had been held by Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins as an individual streamer, also beating his own record of 660,000 concurrent streams during the December Fortnite event. 

So how exactly was Martínez able to have a reveal bigger than Ninja or any other content creator? 

Well, Martinez’s win might be a sign of what’s to come from the Latino gaming community in the future. If today’s dominance was any indication, this won’t be the last time we see something of this magnitude from the Latino community, and the last couple of years have seen a surge of popularity amongst international streamers as a whole.

It didn’t take long for word to start spreading about Martinez’s record-breaking performance, and many curious viewers began quickly joining to see what all the hoopla was about. Throughout the stream, Martinez’s emotion was infectious, and you could see the passion and excitement as he slowly revealed his new skin. The event had previously been delayed to give Martinez more of a ‘grand’ announcement, and fans and the streamer alike were pumped for the outcome.

Not only did Martinez top himself (and others), but today’s live stream set a new record for total concurrent viewership on Twitch with over 2.4 million viewers tuning in. This number absolutely crushed the previous record of 1.1 million viewers, set by ELEAGUE TV.

Today we not only witnessed history, but the stream set a serious precedent for what is to come.

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The 10 Best Chess Players in the World

“Best” is a subjective term, but when it comes to chess, the Elo rating system reigns supreme in determining the top chess players in the world. The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has used the Elo rating system, named after its creator Arpad Elo, since 1970 to formalize professionals’ ranks. 

With the renaissance of chess as a mainstream cultural phenomenon following the success of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, we gathered the ten best chess players in the world, according to their current rankings. There are a wide array of players not on this list (both active and retired) who have been considered the best at one point or another in their careers. I mean, Garry Kasporov isn’t a top ten ranked player right now, but you’d be silly to not refer to him colloquially as one of the best chess players in the world. Nonetheless, below are the current top ten ranked chess players in the world:

1. Magnus Carlsen

The current World Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion, and World Blitz Chess Champion, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He achieved the status of grandmaster at the young age of 13, and his peak FIDE rating (2882) in 2014 is the highest rating ever achieved by a chess player. The list of accolades goes on. 

Carlsen is a deeply versatile player who constantly varies his openings, making him an extremely difficult opponent for even the world’s greatest contenders. His style has developed immensely over his career; he was a famously aggressive player in his youth, committed to sacrificing material to create more activity, but his playstyle has become more universal as he’s aged. 

The 2016 film, Magnus, chronicles his meteoric rise and gives some insight into the inner machinations of one of the world’s most incredible minds. It’s a great watch for chess enthusiasts or anyone who wants to learn about how geniuses push themselves to be better every day.

2. Fabiano Caruana

Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14, making him the youngest American player to achieve the title at the time. Growing up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Caruana played for the US until 2005, after which he transferred to Italy. He’s one of the greatest American players since Bobby Fischer, but he’s never managed to knock the king Magnus off his throne. His peak rating of 2844 in 2014 is the third highest in history, after only Carlsen and Garry Kasparov.

3. Ding Liren
Sebastian Reuter / Stringer via Getty Images

Liren is the highest-rated Chinese player in history. In 2016, he was the highest-rated Blitz player in the world with a rating of 2875. Ding also surpassed an Elo rating of 2800 in September of 2018, making him the first and only Chinese player to achieve such a rating. 

4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Another player who achieved the title of grandmaster by the age of 14, Vachier-Lagrave, is the highest-ranked player in France. MVL’s peak FIDE rating of 2819 makes him the 7th highest-ranked player of all time. He’s still the number four in the world (tied with Ian Nepomniachtchi) and one of the greatest French players in history.

4. Ian Nepomniachtchi

The highest-ranked Russian player in the world right now, Nepomniachtchi’s classical rating of 2184 ties him for the 4th spot with MVL. Among his numerous accolades, Nepomniachtchi won the World Team Chess Championship as a member of the Russian team in both 2013 and 2019, in addition to winning the 2015 European Team Chess Championship.

6. Levon Aronian

Aronian, the number six player in the world, has been a grandmaster since 2000 and has been one of the world’s top players for most of his career. In 2014, the Armenian achieved a FIDE rating of 2830, making him the 4th highest rated player in history. He was the World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Chess Champion in 2009 and 2010, respectively. 

7. Alexander Grischuk
Sebastian Reuter / Stringer via Getty Images

Another Russian player on the list (Russia was, for a long time, a powerhouse of producing the world’s top chess players), Grischuk is best known for being an elite blitz player, in addition to his prowess with traditional tournament chess. He won the World Blitz Chess Championship in 2006, 2012, and 2015, making him one of the most decorated blitz players still on the circuit.

8. Wesley So

Although So is currently ranked 8th, the Filipino-American player’s March 2017 ELO rating of 2822 makes him the fifth highest-rated chess player in history. Last year, he beat Magnus Carlsen in the first World Fischer Random Chess Championship to take the title. Fischer Random Chess is a form of the game that utilizes the same board and pieces, but their initial position is randomized, making it an extremely creative form of chess. So is another prodigy on the list, who earned the title of grandmaster at the young age of 14.

8. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Mamedyarov’s personal best rating of 2820 (in September 2018) gives him the position of sixth highest-rated player of all time. The Azerbaijani player has a long list of accolades, and he even beat Magnus Carlsen for the title during the 2018 Biel Chess Festival.

10. Teimour Radjabov

Radjabov is another Aizerbaijjani player to make the top ten list; he was actually born in the same city as all-time great Garry Kasparov. He famously beat Kasparov in the Linares tournament in 2003 at the young age of 16, launching his status to that of an internationally-renowned player.

Events/Tournaments Gaming

Free Melee: Nintendo Versus The Big House

The Super Smash Bros. series is one of the most recognized and beloved video game series of all time. A legendary classic, these games are a staple in video game history.

So naturally, when it was announced that The Big House (one of the biggest annual Smash events) would be hosting an online event, fans were excited. However, it all came crashing down this past Friday when Nintendo sent a cease and desist to The Big House, immediately shutting down plans for the event.

Getty Images

Now one may consider this move a shock (especially since 2020 has been one the best years for the esports/gaming industry); however, to those familiar with Nintendo’s history, this is no surprise. In 2010, Nintendo blocked MLG (a professional esports organization) the rights to stream Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The ‘restriction’ meant that MLG had to stop the circuit of the game.

Five years later, on December 1st, 2015, Nintendo also shutdown Project M (a mod of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii). Historically, gaming companies and brands have been known to dislike mods because if a mod were to ruin the game in any way, the company would be liable.

Now you might be thinking that this isn’t a big deal, but to the gaming industry, it’s caused such an uproar that shutdown is trending on Twitter, and you better believe that the icons of the gaming scene had something to say.

Now is it a case of Nintendo not supporting its own community, or is it possibly the lawyers? In a statement to Polygon, Nintendo stated that while they “appreciate the love and support from their community, if something crosses over into the line of a copyright violation, they simply cannot support it.”

Over the years, Nintendo has become known for having a robust copyright enforcement policy, which has cost them the benefit of having a stronger relationship not only with their community but the esports/gaming scene in general.  Hopefully, in the future, we see something that eventually resolves that issue. 

Events/Tournaments Gaming

The Call of Duty Championship is Finally Here

It’s the last week of August so that means we are approaching the Call of Duty Championship weekend. This season has been a unique one considering that this year was the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League. The season began in January of 2020, and featured twelve different teams competing in their home cities to earn enough points for a playoff berth.

Despite the league being in the first season, things were running pretty smoothly until the Coronavirus Pandemic occurred at the beginning of March. On March 13th, The COD League announced the immediate transition to online competitions. Two months later, more changes were made allowing all twelve teams to compete for Championship Weekend. The Playoffs began on August 19th, and after a week of intense competition, we are down to the Final Four; The Chicago Huntsmen, The London Royal Ravens, The Atlanta Faze, and The Dallas Empire.

So what’s the Grand Prize for the winners? Well the prize for winning the championship features a whopping $1.5 million reward to the organization. The remaining teams/organizations will also fare pretty well with the runner up receiving $900,000 and third place receiving $600,000. The fourth place team will receive $450,000, while The Optic Gaming and Toronto Ultra (who came in fifth and sixth) will split the $300,000 reward. The seventh and eighth place Florida Mountaineers and New York Subliners will split $175,000 and the ninth and tenth place Minnesota ROKKR and Paris Legion will split $100,000. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Guerillas and Seattle Surge won’t receive anything due to placing eleventh and twelfth respectively. In addition to the mula, the winning team gets a Black COD League ring, a championship trophy, some custom Jordan 6’s, as well as a Throne for each individual player.

Call of Duty
The exclusive 2020 Call of Duty Championship Ring

Of course ONE37pm had to talk to Commissioner Johanna Faries about this season, in particular about the transition from LAN to online.

Johanna Faries: Despite all of the challenges we faced, it has been incredible to see the resolve and agility from the League, our teams, and partners in these unprecedented times. A ton of work and innovation went into ensuring that our players and personnel could compete and operate safely from remote locations. In a matter of weeks, we were able to shift to a new way of working that still delivered incredible competitive entertainment for fans all over the globe.

We also asked Johanna about the excitement for this upcoming championship, and also asked her about what we can expect from the Call of Duty League in the future in terms of competition, features, and even collaborations.

JF: The classic rivalries, incredible matches, and the range of veteran and new star talent across all teams. As new as CDL is, it also comes with tremendous legacy surrounding it. We are all so excited to see how it plays out between our final four teams this weekend. While we have announced a ton of great stuff these last few weeks, including a fashion collaboration with Billionaire Boys Club, our Sheron Barber-designed Championship throne, a new trophy, rings, and the distribution of 10,000 beta codes for Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War during Champs Sunday, we still have more to come. In many ways, CDL is only just getting started.

Now let’s take a closer look at the Final Four teams who have battled so hard to get to this very moment. Let’s start with the Dallas Empire Squad spearheaded by recently announced 19 year old MVP Cuevas-Castro (also known as Shotzzy). Dallas has the most experience out of all the teams, and players such as Crimsix and Clayster leading their squad as well. According to Head Coach Ray “Rambo” Lussier, Empire believes that the experience of their core roster will prove beneficial in those tense battle moments that are sure to be expected this weekend. They may be right as maturity can sometimes be a determining factor.

Next up are the Chicago Huntsmen, a team with a strong culture and dynasty. The Huntsmen just won one of the most thrilling series in Call of Duty History against Optic Gaming LA drawing over 150,000 viewers. We already know how key momentum is in a Finals series, and the Huntsmen are also very aware that they come from a city of greatness (their apparel has featured the number 23 in reference to Michael Jordan).

Now onto the Atlanta Faze, arguably the most dominant team in the series winning all eight of their home games. The Faze squad is led by two superstars Simp and Priestahh. However like another ATL team, (The Atlanta Hawks), they are also a very young team, and as we all know, youth can be a deciding factor in playoff and championship matchups.

Last but not least we have the London Royal Ravens, the underdog that nobody saw coming. Nobody expected this team to be in the top four, and the Ravens used that to their advantage to sneak up on opponents. To win the championship though, the Ravens would have to beat both Atlanta and Dallas after Chicago to win the championship.

The Verge

Now we move onto the schedule. The Elimination Semi- Finals kickoff at 2:00pm EST/ 11:00am PT with The Chicago Huntsmen against the London Royal Ravens. The Atlanta Faze will then face the Dallas Empire in the Elimination Bracket at 3:30pm EST/ 12:30 PT. The winner of the London/Chicago matchup will then battle the loser of the Atlanta/Dallas matchup to see who will battle the Atlanta/Dallas winner in the Grand Finals. From there the Finals will take place at 4:00pm EST/1:00pm PT on Sunday August 30th. 

One thing’s for sure, this weekend will be extremely competitive as that 1.5 million will be up for grabs with every single one of those teams having a legitimate shot at the championship. However there also will be a quick turnaround time for all the teams, as the new patch released Tuesday, includes a change to the MP5. It will definitely be interesting to see how it all shakes out. In the meantime to get you pumped here’s our predictions for the Finals. May the best man win. 

Aaron (ONE37pm): “I predict that the Chicago Huntsmen will win it all. They’ve got a lot of talent, and have proven themselves to be successful, especially in clutch situations.”

Jael (ONE37pm): “I think Dallas wins it personally. They also have a lot of talent, but Shotzzy wants that ring (especially after being named MVP). MVP’s lead their teams to championships, and that’s exactly what I think he will do.”

Events/Tournaments Gaming

The EVO 2020 Lineup Is Equal Parts Expected and Surprising

If you’re one of those individuals who regularly mash buttons on their fight stick and watch extensive combo tutorials, chances are you sat through the recent Evolution Championship Series (EVO) 2020 main games lineup reveal. And after it was done, the FGC went wild in comments sections across gaming websites everywhere.

So hardcore fighting game players found out they’ll need to go in the lab to prepare for the following games:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Tekken 7

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Samurai Shodown

Granblue Fantasy: Versus

Soulcalibur VI

Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r]

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

The nine fighters listed above will take center stage at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from July 31-Aug. 2 and bring in another record number of Twitch viewers from around the world. The usual suspects that we’re used to seeing during past EVO’s are back for another round. And for many of them, they’re returning to the big stage in a refined and more exciting state for players and viewers alike.

By the time EVO rolls around, new character additions and balance patches will have significantly impacted many of the event’s chosen games. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is in the midst of delivering another lineup of characters in the form of a second Fighters Pass, which could lead to a fresh batch of faces being utilized onscreen. Tekken 7 will bring its new Muay Thai warrior Fahkumram to the scene in the spring and introduce balance adjustments that will make Leroy Smith less of an unstoppable roadblock. In the case of Soulcalibur VI, the 3D weapons fighter will increase its roster with returning combatants, and even a new guest character fans actually want. As for Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Capcom’s signature fighter will add Seth to the fray and seemingly bring this series iteration to a fitting close.

Speaking of Capcom fighting games, the return of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is pretty shocking but awesome nonetheless. MvC2 once stood tall as one of EVO’s strongest games and has managed to retain its relevancy in recent years due to its passionate scene. The Battle of the Strongest tournament has kept MvC2’s hype intact thanks to the combined efforts of top players/commentators, such as Michael “Yipes” Mendoza and Chris Matrix. MvC2 is returning to EVO in a major way with an 8-player tournament that features past MvC2 champs, such as IFC|Yipes, Justin Wong, Duc Do and Sanford Kelly. This 20th anniversary tourney for the game is a fine way to honor EVO’s past and perhaps signal a tease of a major reveal for the next Capcom Vs. installment (fingers crossed!).

Over on the anime fighter’s side of the coin, Arc System Works reigns supreme. Three of the publisher/developer’s games have been placed in a premier position–Dragon Ball FighterZ, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r] and Granblue Fantasy: Versus. The first two fighters are actually on the verge of increasing their roster and introducing updates that will present them in a much-improved state. In a move that points to EVO’s stronger emphasis on marketing new fighters on behalf of their business partners, the still unreleased Granblue Fantasy: Versus has been given the top spot over some tournament mainstays. And judging by the success of last year’s event debut of the Samurai Shodown reboot, EVO and SNK’s relationship must have grown stronger since the game is returning for another main stage appearance this year.

The major hoopla surrounding this year’s EVO isn’t just relegated to the games that were selected. It’s also been centered on the games that weren’t picked for the main tournament spot. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’s disappearing act doesn’t really come as a shock to many–Granblue Fantasy: Versus obviously took its place since it’s a fresher addition to the FGC and a bigger focus for Arc System Works. The most shocking omission of them all, however, is Mortal Kombat 11. For the first time in a while, a NetherRealm Studios fighting game won’t be a part of EVO’s main games lineup. Two trains of thought immediately come to mind when trying to rationalize this decision–the game’s hype levels might not be high enough to warrant another top spot, or it may just be a move by EVO to respect its sponsors by refraining from featuring the gory fighter in a prominent position. While the games excluded from the mainstay lineup will most likely be featured in side tourneys at EVO, it’s still a bit surprising to see MK11 get relegated to a sideshow act.

EVO 2020 looks to be one of the tournament’s most important installments to date. And by the looks of things, it may be the final year for many of its selections. EVO 2021 might look entirely different if a wealth of FGC rumors end up coming true – the sixth mainline Street Fighter might not be that far off, plus Tekken X Street Fighter may still be deep in development. We all know for a fact that Guilty Gear–Strive- is releasing sometime after EVO 2020, which means its main game spot at EVO 2021 should be a given.

The FGC will come out in droves for this year’s EVO and put their mastery of the hype genre on full display once again. Your favorite fighting game may not have been given its just due this year, but that shouldn’t be a huge cause for concern. No, Mortal Kombat 11 isn’t dead or on life support. And it’s no less important than its fellow genre stalwarts. Fighting games everywhere are still kicking (pun intended) and are bringing in plenty of attention at EVO and FGC tournaments worldwide.

Events/Tournaments Gaming

Everything You Need to Know About ‘Overwatch’ League 2020

In the last three years, the Overwatch League (often shortened to OWL) has become a prominent part of the esports scene. According to Variety, the 2019 OWL Grand Finals had 1.12 million viewers worldwide, and the industry is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

This season holds exciting roster changes, transitioning to a best-of-three map series, making history as the first major esports league to adopt a city-based home-and-away model and the opportunity to compete for $5 million in prizes. 2020 is looking more exciting than ever before—and this year is a great time for new fans to jump into the action.

Hunter Martin/Getty Images
1. How to Play ‘Overwatch’

Overwatch is a team-based, first-person shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. 

Each Overwatch game consists of two teams of six players fighting for control over regions of the map. Each player chooses between 31 different heroes who each hold a unique weapon and ability. The three types of heroes are damage hero, tank hero and support hero.

According to the Overwatch website, “Tank heroes soak damage and shatter fortified positions, like closely-grouped enemies and narrow chokepoints. If you’re a tank, you lead the charge. Damage heroes seek out, engage and obliterate the enemy with wide-ranging tools, abilities and play styles. Fearsome but fragile, these heroes require backup to survive. Support heroes empower their allies by healing, shielding, boosting damage and disabling foes. As a support, you’re the backbone of your team’s survival.”

During the game’s duration, heroes charge up their ultimate ability. The better you play as your hero, the faster your eventual ability charges. These abilities can significantly change the outcome.

Overwatch can be played on Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC. The OWL plays on PC.

To understand Overwatch basics, be sure to check out the video below. [Please note: This video was published in 2016, and there have been new heroes and mechanics added since. However, this video does a great job breaking down the wonderful world of Overwatch.]

2. ‘Overwatch’ League Details for 2020

It’s finally that time again! The OWL 2020 season is kicking off on Feb. 8, 2020, hosted by the New York Excelsior in New York City and by Dallas Fuel in Dallas, TX. The 28-match season will end on Aug. 20, 2020. 

In 2019, the San Francisco Shock dominated their way to victory after defeating the Vancouver Titans 4-0 at the Grand Finals in Philadelphia.

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

This year, the league is introducing a few fundamental changes.

The OWL is adapting a homestand system, where each team will host at least two or more homestand events in their city throughout the season. This is the first time a significant esports league will feature a city-based, home-and-away model.

In addition to these matches, there is a new mid-season tournament that will coincide with the All-Stars Game after Week 12 of the season.

According to the league’s website, “The mid-season tournament will feature the top four teams in the league: the top team from each conference and the next best two teams by record from either conference. To manage logistical requirements for teams around the world, the teams will qualify based on their record over their first nine matches in the 2020 season. Those teams will play in a single-elimination bracket, with the top seed picking their opening-round opponent.”

Also, the league’s website states, “All-Stars will feature the league’s best players competing in a series of fun game modes. We’re also planning some 1v1 action and another Talent Takedown. Stay tuned for more details. These All-Stars events will have a total prize pool of US $250K, so there’s more than just bragging rights on the line in 2020.” Check out the full schedule here.

3. ‘Overwatch’ League Game Modes

The OWL is played in a best-of-three map series—a new change to the previous best-of-four map series. There are four types of game modes: Control, Escort, Assault and Hybrid. In OWL, the first map is a Control map followed by a rotation of Assault, Escort and Hybrid maps. 

Control is a best-of-three mode where both teams battle for a single objective point. They do this by standing next to the control point. The longer they control that point, the more their team’s percentage will increase. Only one side can capture the objective point at a time, and the first team to 100 percent wins the round. 

Escort is a payload-style map, where both teams take turns escorting a payload to multiple capture points while the defending team fights to prevent it. The speed of the payload will increase as there are more attacking team players are around it. Whichever team pushes the payload farthest wins the map. In case of a tie, both sides will retry with the remaining time from round one.

Assault is where both teams take turns attacking and defending two objective points in a particular order on the map. Objective points are earned by standing next to them by the attacking team, while the defending team fights them off before time runs out. After the attacking team captures the first point, the timer and spawning locations will adjust. Whichever team captures the most points during their turn, wins the map. Similar to Escort, both sides attempt again with the time they have left from the first round in the event of a tie.

Hybrid is a mix of Escort and Assault modes. In this mode, both teams take turns capturing an objective point, unlocking the payload and then pushing the payload to the final capture point. Whichever team captures the most objective points and pushes the payload farthest wins that map. In case of a tie, both teams attempt this again with the time they have left from the first round.

4. Every ‘Overwatch’ League Team

Previously, the OWL was divided into two divisions: The Atlantic and Pacific. Due to the new homestand model (and the traveling that comes along with it), the divisions are now called “conferences,” and each conference is split into two divisions. That means that each weekend, matches will take place in two different locations. 

The Atlantic North is comprised of the Boston Uprising, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, Paris Eternal and Toronto Defiant. 

The Atlantic South consists of the Atlanta Reign, Houston Outlaws, Florida Mayhem, Philadelphia Fusion and Washington Justice. 

The Pacific East includes the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons. 

The Pacific West contains the Dallas Fuel, LA Gladiators, LA Valiant, San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans. 

After last year’s San Francisco Shock versus Vancouver Titans OWL Grand Finals, there’s a lot of eyes on the Pacific West right now. Throughout the season, you can keep track of each team’s standings here.
‘Overwatch’ League

5. ‘Overwatch’ League Top Prizes

The total prize pool is $5 million, according to the league’s website

The midseason tournament includes first place ($500,000), second place ($250,000), third place ($150,000) and fourth place ($150,000). 

The All Stars Game has a prize pool of $250,000. 

The Season Playoffs breaks down to first place ($1.5 million), second place ($800,000), third place ($500,000), fourth place ($300,000), fifth place ($200,000), sixth place ($200,000), seventh place ($100,000) and eighth place ($100,000).

6.. How to Watch the ‘Overwatch’ League

You can keep up with the Overwatch League on YouTube, the league’s website and the OWL apps for Google and Apple products.