Gaming

New avenues open for aspiring esports athletes

Brands are going all in!

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Competitive gaming has been around for quite a while now and in the Philippines, aspiring to be a professional gamer might not be too far fetched of a dream anymore.

The Nationals

Inspired by the PBA or Philippine Basketball Association, brands have come to together to form The Nationals — the first franchise-based esports league in Southeast Asia. The inaugural season will feature five teams and three games.

Here are the five teams:

  1. Bren Epro
  2. HF Emperors
  3. Cignal Ultra Warriors
  4. PLDT-Smart Omega
  5. Suha-XCTN Punisher

These five teams will compete in three games on three major platforms: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on mobile, Dota 2 on PC, and Tekken 7 on PS4. A sixth team — STI — will join the league on June 2018 after the Dota 2 competitions.

Sizzle reel of fans hyped for The Nationals

Each game will have two conferences. The two conferences will comprise a double round-robin group stage and single-elimination playoffs. Winners of the two conference will then face off later on for the season finale.

The Nationals will be run like any other professional sports league. Commissioner Ren Vitug is hopeful the league will provide a platform where talent can be nurtured.

A tested league model in the Philippines

The franchise-based approach might be alien to international observers whose participants comprise of either clubs or city-based teams. However, it’s a tried and tested formula in the Philippines.

The PBA, which was founded in 1975 and is the longest-running professional basketball league in Asia, is also franchise-based and has been the model for other sports leagues in the country.

While that league is experiencing some issues in gate attendance, it is still running thanks in large part to the financial backing of its member franchises. It stands to reason that this league model might prove to be successful in the Philippines.

The Esports Center

Elsewhere, major Philippine telecommunications company Globe has launched The Esports Center or ESC. It’s a pop-up that will run from March 9 to 24 at Play Nation in UP Town Center, Quezon City. Globe says the ESC hopes to provide a venue where the entire esports community can come together.

The ESC also welcomes those who are into gaming and want to break into the esports industry but are not exactly sure where to start. Globe SVP and Head for Content Business Nikko Acosta says the ESC hopes to serve as the “venue to upgrade [the gamers’] knowledge and gauge their skill levels with others through peer learning.”

Present during the launch was Team Liyab — Globe’s own esports team which was built in partnership with professional gaming organization Mineski.

Team Liyab poses with shoutcaster Rikucasts

Other than mobile and PC arenas, the ESC will also have a place called The Studio. Here, those who are more interested in becoming streamers instead of esports athletes will have a place and the tools to learn more about the craft.

Brand support key in esports growth

Esports has seen a major rise in recent years and brands in the Philippines are going all in. The proclamation of overall support which include not only the athletes’ training and finances but also their emotional, mental, and physical well-being all sound very promising.

All of these are still in the infancy stages, but the prospect for growth and the continued support by brands and fans alike could push the industry to heights once reserved only for traditional athletes. If this continues, it might not be long before we’re having debates about who the G.O.A.T. esports athlete is.

Gaming

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered has a new Peter Parker

New face, new graphics, same Amazing story

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There’s been a lot of discussion about how confusing it is to get Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for PlayStation 5. In a PlayStation blog, Insomniac Games — the studio responsible for the 2018 hit — kind of explains what exactly is going on.

First of all, Peter Parker has a new face. This will likely be one of the most noticeable changes on the Remastered version. Good ol’ Peter will now be played by Ben Jordan instead of John Bubniak. Insomniac says they did so “to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor (voice actor) Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture.

Here’s a clip to see how the new face looks in the Remastered game.

What do you think? Gotta admit it feels jarring at first, but Spider-Man fans should be pretty used to it. After all, we did get three live-action Peters in the last two decades. Not to mention the infamous Clone Saga in the comic books that gave us multiple faces under the Spider-Man mask.

Better looking game

Naturally, that’s not the only new thing on Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. To take advantage of the PS5’s power the entire New York City environment had to look better.

Other than improved models and materials, the game will now also have ray-traced reflections and ambient shadows. Just take a look at this.

There’s now also a Performance Mode where players can be like Spidey on a 60fps frame rate. Here’s what that looks like.

Near-instant loading is now also a thing. But Insomniac says you can still turn on the fast-travel train scenes should you wish to do so. There will also be new photo mode features that were added for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. One example is you can now place lights in the environment and change Spidey’s suit after composing your shot.

Speaking of new suits, the Remaster will give us three new Spidey suits. The first of which is the Amazing Suit. Yes, the one featured on the live-action The Amazing Spider-Man film starring Andrew Garfield.

But how do you get Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered?

It’s available as part of the Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition. That was the only thing that’s really clear. It’s available for US$ 69.99 and nets you the following: 3 skill points, Gravity Well Gadget, and The T.R.A.C.K. Suit.

In the US and Canada only, we have additional “launch” physical editions of the game for both Standard Launch Edition and Ultimate Launch Edition (Launch Edition includes a voucher*)! These copies are available in limited quantities only so don’t delay.

The launch edition includes a voucher for early unlocks of two suits, including the T.R.A.C.K. Suit by Marvel Artist Javiar Garrón, and a suit we’ll reveal closer to launch. You’ll also receive an early unlock of the Gravity Well Gadget, and three Skill Points to get a jump start on your progression.

For those buying digitally, or outside of the US/Canada, you also can receive those same early unlocks by ordering now.

Worried you won’t get the Standard Launch Edition? The Standard Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales will be available on both PS4 and PS5 for US$ 49.99.

The PS4 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a free upgrade path to PS5 Standard Edition. If you purchase or upgrade to the PS5 Standard Edition, you can take advantage of a paid-upgrade offer from the in-game menu to download Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered.

It’s still not as straightforward as we would like, but I’m sure Insomniac hopes this clears things up a little bit.

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Gaming

Here’s a better look at Scarlet Nexus

The new story trailer dropped at Tokyo Game Show 2020

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In case you haven’t been paying attention, Bandai Namco will release this bad-ass looking Action RPG for the next-gen consoles (also coming to current-gen). Scarlet Nexus dropped a story trailer at Tokyo Game Show 2020 and it only confirms what we already know — this game is a visual spectacle.

Watch the story trailer:

The premise of the game is much, much clearer now. New on this trailer is the reveal of Kasane. Kasane is an orphan who lost her parents in a raid from the Others when she was a child.

Adopted by the powerful Randall Family, she became one of the most promising elements of the OSF after being scouted at 12 years old. Now an elite soldier with superb fighting skills, Kasane masters the power of psychokinesis in combination with her sharpened throwing knives.

Kasane joins Yuito Sumeragi as a playable character with her own skills and story.

We still don’t know exactly when the game will drop. We do know it will come to the Xbox Series X and S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, XBox One, and Steam/PC.

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Gaming

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: New story trailer, new podcast series

Ubisoft is making sure you’re hyped about their upcoming game

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Ubisoft hasn’t been remiss in hyping up its upcoming AAA game — Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. As a lead-up to the game’s release on November 10, the company has released Eivor’s (main character) story trailer and a podcast to keep us hooked.

The story trailer offers players a new glimpse of Eivor, a fierce Viking raider torn between their duty to their brother Sigurd and a personal quest for glory. Driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources, Eivor’s clan must secure a future among the kingdoms of England.

During their journey, Eivor will come across the Hidden Ones, and face powerful figures including Saxon kings and the warmongering sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, as well as a mysterious, growing threat that could determine England’s destiny”.

Watch the trailer:

 

Echoes of Valhalla

As mentioned earlier, there’s also a new podcast that you can sink your ears into. It’s a podcast documentary called Echoes of Valhalla, that unveils the historical background of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. 

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will take you back to the era of the Vikings, battling through the harsh Dark Ages of England. You play as Evior, a powerful Viking warrior and leader tasked with keeping his entire clan alive as they brave through broken kingdoms.

The game will launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store on PC. It will launch on the PlayStation 5 when the console launches.

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