Sunday, 2 August 2020

Sources: FunPlus Phoenix To Enter European VALORANT Scene; Expected To Sign Fabriken’s Meddo, Shadow, Zyppan; PartyParrots Ange1 & Shao.



Chinese esports organisation FunPlus Phoenix, most known as the reigning League of Legends World Champions, are entering VALORANT's esports scene and are expected to be signing players from the two best unsigned European teams in Fabriken’s Johan "Meddo" Lundborg, Tobias "ShadoW" Flodstrom and Pontus "Zyppan" Eek, plus the duo of Kyrylo "Ange1" Karasiow and Andrey "Shao" Kiprsky who previously played for CIS side PartyParrots. Multiple sources have told haloofthoughts. 
SHARE:

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Halo's Hot List: Five Players To Look Out For During The Mandatory.GG Cup.


By Arran "Halo" Brown

After the excitement of both the Vitality European Open and the WePlayVALORANT Invitational a few weeks ago, it is now the turn of Mandatory.GG to host the latest European tournament in Riot's Ignition Series with the Mandatory.GG Cup starting tomorrow. 128 teams, battling it out, round after round in a single-elimination tournament to see who will be crowned the best team in Europe. G2 have so far shown that they are one of the best teams in not only the European region but the world with back to back tournament wins and will be looking for the threepeat to continue their reign on the region. Teams such as Fabriken, Fish123, Ninja's In Pyjamas and Bonk will be seen as the teams who are most likely to dethrone G2 but as always with events with such a large field, there are going to be upsets and player performances that will make people stand up and take notice. Here we take a look at five players on my hotlist that you should definitely keep an eye on throughout the event. 

Image Credit: Lateks

Oliwer "Lateks" Fahlander - Fabriken

The Mandatory.GG cup is now the last ride for the original Fabriken line up as Medo, ShadoW and Zypann have all gone with other opportunities after this event, but the team's founder, talent scout and captain, Lateks is still available for teams to sign. If you purely look at statistics to evaluate a player's worth then you are doing the age-old mistake of undervaluing the impact that a great IGL can have off the scoreboard. His ability to read the game as a match goes on is outstanding and while it is great to have players who can take over a game, to get those players to commit to a system shows his leadership ability, which I might add has led Fabriken to being seen as a top-five team in the region. If you are going to look at stats then take in the fact that according to vlr.gg he does have a Kill per round average of 0.60, a Kill to Death average of 0.91 and ranks second of all professional players with 500+ professional rounds played in plants with 170, which is impressive and a key point to focus on for an IGL. 

Lateks might just be one of the best objective-based support players in Europe right now and should not be overlooked for that or his ability to lead in-game.

Renato “bzt” Baranyos – Need More DM

The rise of Hungarian roster Need More DM over the last month has been one of the nicer surprises within the European scene and has seen them place within the top 15 teams in the world according to vlr.gg. Their last few outings have seen them place within the top four in the Absolute Masters, the WePlayValorant Invitational and in the Rise of Titans Tournaments. They also finished in the top six in the Vitality European Invitational, showing that they are rightly considered one of the better teams in the region right now.

One player that has stood out during the early stages has been their star fragger bzt, who has dominated on Raze in every recorded tournament he has played in so far. According to vlr.gg he rates fifth in Europe with a Kills per Round rating of .90, a kill to death ratio of 1.31 which places him fourth, fifth with an average score per round of 262.7 and sixth in Europe in first blood's with 130. He is he the catalyst for Need More DM and his ability to obtain kills as an entry fragger is important. The fact he is just shy of getting a kill each round is huge and if he can continue this during the Mandatory.GG Cup’s early knock out rounds, he will be able to put Need More DM into a position to make another deep run and show they may now be a top-five team in Europe.

Image Credit: Liquidpeadia

Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom – Fish123

ScreaM needs absolutely no introduction regarding his ability to play the game and the one-tap king has found himself in a great position with Fish123, replacing the team's former Oper Ardis “Ardiis” Svarenieks. Statically, ScreaM is one of the best fraggers in the world and there is no surprise he ranks second in Europe in Kills per Round with a 0.93 rating, seventh in Kill to Death ratio with 1.28 and third with an Average Combat score of 264.2. The big interest here is just how well he plays now that Fish123 have completely changed their roles to help accommodate him as their star player. Ec1s has stated that they have had to change a lot in an interview with Mandatory.GG and while they looked uncomfortable at times in their second-place finish in the WePlayValorant Invitational, they have now had more time to solidify their new roles and show that they are once more not only the best in Europe but the best in the world. I want to see just how clean he looks on the Sage/Breach he has been playing and whether Fish123 is going to allow him to play the Reyna he shines the most on during this event.

Image Credit: BIG

Fatih "Gob b" Dayik - BIG

European fans have been clamouring for the regions big organisations to make a push similar to the one they have seen in North America. BIG has not only stepped up to the plate but they did so far under the radar, that it was a huge surprise when they not only announced a roster for this event but that it would include a player with star ability that Gob b has. Gob b was known as one of the best IGL's in CS:GO and his move to Valorant means the scene now has a well recognised IGL who's known for creating unique strategies. BIG have kept their scrim results and compositions close to their chest, meaning we have an element of surprise when it comes to their ability and what they will bring to the game composition wise. One thing is for sure, Gob b and BIG will be looking for results early and will definitely be a team to look out for in this and upcoming events.

Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel - Bonk

Bonk is the second all Swedish roster in the European scene that has put in several impressive results early in VALORANT's professional lifecycle and a large part of this is due to the play of Sayf. Part of a 1-2 combination with Yacine "Yacine" Laghmari, Sayf's ability to frag alongside Yacine with the added fact he can play most agents to a high level (he has played nine different agents in 544 rounds) means that he is one of the most unpredictable fraggers to read in Europe. He places ninth in Europe with a Kill per Round rating of 0.84, fifth with a Kill to Death ratio of 1.30 and inside the top ten with an ACS of 238.9. Sayf is showing early signs of being a flex god and a vital number two fragger for a team that could now be considered a top-five team in Europe after the disbanding of Party Parrots and the soon to be rebuilding Fabriken. If a complete roster is going to be taken by a European organisation. Bonk and Sayf, should be high on the scouting list.

The Mandatory.GG Cup begins Friday at 7pm BST/8pm CEST with the round of 64/32/16 games all being played in a BO1 elimination knockout format on a different map for each round. Then Saturday will see the teams in the quarter and semifinals play in a B03 with map picks and bans, with Sunday's final being a BO5. It's going to be intriguing to see just how these five players play on both an individual basis but also in a way to allow their teams to progress deep into the tournament. One thing is for sure, they should all be players in the region to keep an eye on.  

(You can find more VALORANT content and tweets over on Twitter @haloofthoughts)
(Picture Credit: Mandatory.GG)





SHARE:

Thursday, 16 July 2020

The Story Of Fabriken & Why Organisations and Tournament Organisers Are Sleeping On Them



The VALORANT pro scene is well and truly underway, with a host of minor tournaments and Riot's own Ignition Series building at a slow and steady pace to allow the esport to build naturally, the approach taken by organisations to pick up rosters has differed from region to region. While North America got into an arms race to obtain the best rosters they could, Europe has taken a much more cautious approach, with G2 and Ninjas In Pyjamas being two of the few big organisations to sign rosters. Europe's tournament organisers have come thick and fast to host tournaments as early as they can to get their foot in the door, but with less signed rosters within the region, they have taken to inviting teams with bigger players and social media following to participate in their events. It has resulted in some of the biggest teams in Europe being excluded and one of the best teams in Europe, the all Swedish roster of Fabriken have been overlooked the most.
SHARE:

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Halo's North American ALGS Mid-Season Power Rankings


By Arran "Halo" Brown

The last Online Tournament before we move into the Apex Legends Global Series Summer Circuit is complete and while the scene is moving towards its new branding, North America has seen TSM dominate the region in the early part of the season, to then have the rest of North America strike back in the following four tournaments. With the halfway point now upon us and with a larger sample size to review, compared to the overall preseason power rankings made back in January, now is the perfect time for a power ranking

SHARE:

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Halo's Midseason European ALGS Power Rankings



By Arran "Halo" Brown

The last Online Tournament before we move to the Apex Legends Global Series Summer Circuit is complete and while the scene is moving towards its new branding, Europe has remained incredibly strong with the depth of its talent pool providing entertainment, throughout the first half of the season with six different champions so far this season. With halfway point now upon us and a larger sample size to review, compared to the overall preseason power rankings made back in January, now is the perfect time for a power ranking.

SHARE:

Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Legends Profile: An Interview With Alliance's John "hakis" Håkansson, Kha "iPN-k0u" Nguyen, Simon "Vaifs" Bellini & Manager Pontus "Pontus" Bengtsson


When you take a look at the most recent European Apex Legends Global Series results, Alliance has consistently shown their ability as one of the best teams in the game. With a win in online tournament 2 and a further two placements within the top three in online tournaments 4 and 5, Alliance's consistency has shown that should be in the discussion as the best team in the world right now. They have managed to do all of this whilst having to make numerous changes to the roster and during a time that has seen some changes in both the competitive rule set and their opposition. Despite this, Alliance has risen to the top and with the organisation committing to the second year of competitive Apex Legends, they have the opportunity to cement their dominance over not only Europe but the rest of the world also. 
SHARE:

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Primal Rage: The Overwatch League Must Take Responsibility & Action Towards Its Recent Esport Exodus & Decline



The Overwatch League received its biggest blow a few days ago when its reigning league MVP Jay "Sinatraa" Won announced his retirement to join esports organisation Sentinels, as part of their Valorant roster. The league's western face and star player, retired before his MVP skin was even released into the game and he joined the Dallas Fuels aKm and Unkoe's likely retirement from the league this week alone. The same week that the Dallas Fuel's academy team pulled out of Overwatch Contenders North America and the Paris Eternal closed their academy team down. They aren't the first to make their respective moves and are unlikely to be the last. The current state of professional Overwatch looks to be in shambles and its on the Overwatch League and those behind it's heads alone. The Overwatch League is not dead as an esport but it must take both action and responsibility.
SHARE:

Monday, 27 April 2020

Sources: Envy Have Released Their Contenders Roster, Future In Overwatch Contenders Unknown


The Dallas Fuel's academy team, Envy, have released their Overwatch Contenders roster. Throwing their future participation in the tournament in doubt, multiple sources with information around the move have told halofofthoughts. 
SHARE:

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

One Valorant Tip From gdolphn, Goldenboy, Kephrii, Mysca & RyanCentral From The Valorant Showcase

(Picture Courtesy of Riot Games) 

By Arran 'Halo' Brown

We are under 24 hours away from one of, if not, the most anticipated game in history, hitting it's closed beta stage. 1 million people tuned in to Twitch on April 3rd for the Valorant Showcase, to watch some of the best players in the world in their respective games, show off Valorant's gameplay and praying to Valorant's gods that they would be lucky enough to obtain a beta code drop. With the closed beta starting tomorrow April 7th, haloofthoughts spoke with gdolphn, Goldenboy, Kephrii, Mysca and RyanCentral who were just some of the streamers who were involved with the showcase, to obtain the 1 tip they felt was essential to know, going into tomorrow's beta.

SHARE:

Thursday, 2 April 2020

The Run Out: Is This The Second G2 Era?

(Picture Courtesy of G2 Esports)

By Arran "Halo" Brown

Over the last few years, professional Siege has been known for one thing, G2's incredible dominance of the scene. Winning 11 Premier and Major titles combined, (14 if you're going back to the days they were playing under Penta Esports), G2 have been the face of Siege esports for a significant period. While the last 6 months has seen the team's form dip to a point they needed a direct invite to the 2020 Six Invitational. G2 have not only retooled their roster but shown that they are willing to head into a different direction, as they look to move forward into their second era of dominance. This time, as Siege's super team!

SHARE:

Saturday, 28 March 2020

At This Point, The 2020 Overwatch League Season Should Be Asterisked In The Record Books



The 2020 season of the Overwatch League should have an asterisk beside its entry into the record books, to indicate that that the season does not hold any importance at the earliest opportunity, so that 2021 can be the focus for teams moving forward and that the homestand format be reattempted. Yes, you read this correctly. While I want to see how the league plays out and give the eventual winner the respect they deserve for winning the season, I also believe that in the grand scheme of things, the 2020 season should not be assessed as the important season it was meant to be.

SHARE:

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

The Final Circle: An Interview With Natus Vincere's Kirill "9impluse" Kostiv, Nikita "Clawz" Marchinsky & Dmitry "Fyzu" Petrov



By Arran "Halo" Brown

While the Apex Legends Global Series has several teams with players that have both in-game ability and out of game personality, none have matched the level of consistent results and team-related content that Natus Vincere has produced so far. It is safe to safe that Natus Vincere, is one of the most aggressive, in your face and looking to out frag anyone on the server teams. They have managed to use to their advantage and have become one of the ALGS's best rosters. Their results back this statement up well, with a 2nd place at the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational, 4th in the Global Loot League EMEA online finals and then a 4th place finish in the online major qualifiers, very few teams can match the results they have produced. With the 1st ALGS major just around the corner, the trio of 9impluse, clawz and Fyzu, took the time to answer some questions, their first interview in English surrounding the scene and their thoughts of it so far.
SHARE:

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Welcome To Shaiiko's Fun House

(Picture Credit: Dartfrog)


By Arran "Halo" Brown


The Six Invitational is in the books and while North America's Spacestation Gaming came out on top, it once again allowed the best players in the world to showcase their abilities. The likes of Spacestation Gaming's Rampy and TSM's Beaulo for North America, Ninjas in Pyjamas’ Julio and Pino of Latin America, Fnatic's Magnet for the Pacific and of course UUNO and Katoraketti from Europe's G2,  all put on an incredible display of fragging prowess and have been doing this at the scenes top level for a while. There was, however, one player in particular who finally showed the high levels of potential many first saw in him three years ago and gave a performance that I believe will continue well into the 2020 season. That player is BDS Esports’ Stephane "Shaiiko" Lebleu and he showed at the Six Invitational why this year will be his funhouse.
SHARE:

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Halo's 2020 Overwatch League Power Rankings


By Arran "Halo" Brown

The 2020 Overwatch League is finally just a few days away, after what seemed to be an eternity of an offseason. We have had the United States of America win their first Overwatch World Cup and the busiest offseason with teams looking to buy, sell and trade to either stay within their parameters or go all out into win or bust mode. While it has been exciting to see all of this unfold, nothing quite beats seeing the leagues 20 teams battle it out every week to show which teams are the predators ready to strut and implement their dominance and which are the prey, trying to scramble to stay alive any way they possibly can. As power ranking season comes to a close and the League begins its world tour, where every team will host homestand games in front of their loyal supporters, it is time for me to drop my power rankings based off the moves made this offseason and how teams have faired during scrims leading up to this point. 
SHARE:

Friday, 31 January 2020

The Hot List: The Teams To Watch In The European Major Online Qualifiers Final


The first official Apex Legends Global Series online tournament reaches its conclusion on Saturday 1st February when the last 20 teams from Europe left standing will battle it out to prove which one of them is the regions top dog and the team that the rest of the world will need to keep an eye out on in the lead up to the major. While all 20 teams have reached the first ALGS major taking place in Arlington, Texas in March. The real battle is not only for regional supremacy but to see which of these teams will book their place as one of the top five teams to gain a bye past the Majors Open stage and get their attendance fully paid for by EA and Respawn.
SHARE:

Friday, 24 January 2020

Online Tournament #1: North American Major Qualifier Predictions ft ALGS Onscreen Talent & EMEF



The Apex Legends Global Series has finally arrived and between the 25th & 27th January, the first regional tournaments begin with the online qualifiers #1. After going through our European qualifier predictions yesterday, today we will look at the teams from the North American region who will be playing over the three days, in an attempt to make it through the single-elimination tournament to the finals and earn a spot at the ALGS's first Major tournament in March at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

While you may have seen EMEF and I's previous prediction posts for the Apex Legends Pre-Season Invitational and Global Loot League Finals, we have decided to add another level for our first official tournament of the ALGS season and have been joined by ALGS onscreen talent Andy "Bravo" DudynskyWade "Dreadnaught" PenfoldJames "Jamerson" LeeDan "Gaskin" Gaskin & Mark "Onset" Hatcher to provide you with their opinions of the teams to look out for this weekend.
SHARE:

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Online Tournament #1: European Major Qualifiers Predictions Ft ALGS On Screen Talent & EMEF


The Apex Legends Global Series has finally arrived and between the 25th & 27th January, the first regional tournaments begin with the online qualifiers #1. Today we will look at the teams from Europe who will be playing over the three days, in an attempt to make it through the single-elimination tournament and try to make the finals, earning a spot at the ALGS's first Major tournament in March at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

While you may have seen EMEF and I's previous prediction posts for the Apex Legends Pre-Season Invitational and Global Loot League Finals, we have decided to add another level for our first official tournament of the ALGS season and have been joined by ALGS onscreen talent Andy "Bravo" Dudynsky, Wade "Dreadnaught" Penfold, James "Jamerson" Lee, Dan "Gaskin" Gaskin & Mark "Onset" Hatcher to provide you with their opinions of the teams to look out for this weekend.
SHARE:

Monday, 13 January 2020

Aces High: An Interview With London Spitfire's Chul-Yong "Agape" Hong, Sung-Hoon "Awesomeguy" Kim, Hyeon-Sang "Pavane" Yu & Young-Bin "Twinkl" Lim


By Arran "Halo" Brown

The 2020 Overwatch League season is a just under a month away and the London Spitfire is about to join the leagues other 19 teams as thry embark on a season long journey across the United States and Europe.

The journey will see them play in multiple countries and cities as the league's new homestand format comes into play. For London, the journey they have taken this off season has been a worrying one for the teams fans. It's a fresh new start for the team after they moved away from their 2018 winning roster and towards a new system that not only looks to a young roster with plenty of potential but to an experienced coaching staff who will be able to support and look to nourish this new and talented roster.
SHARE:

Sunday, 12 January 2020

The Final Circle: An Interview With Virtus.Pro's Martin H “Pjeh” Aamyri, Alexander “Noth” Selfwin & Johan “Taylor” Taylor


By Arran "Halo" Brown

The Apex Legends Global Series is only 2 weeks and after an incredible set of Preseason tournaments gave us a small glimpse of what we can expect to see during the ALGS, it's first event of the season will pit Europes best teams against each over the weekend of January 25th - 27th in Online Tournament 1, which is the first tournament to provide access to the Arlington Major. The top 20 teams in each region will gain an automatic qualification and one of the teams looking at one of those spots is Virtus.Pro!
SHARE:

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

EMEF's 2020 Apex Legends Global Series Pre Season Power Rankings 7 - 1


By Alistair "EMEF" Allum

The announcement of the ALGS has been a funny thing to watch. With the massive success of the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational, many pros and spectators turned to Respawn and EA with eager eyes, waiting for “the big one” that would kick off Apex Legends as an esport, and begin the careers of hundreds of prospects who worked hard during the first year of the game. A lot of the feedback they received was just: “more of the same, please”. And that’s exactly what Respawn ended up doing... The online ALGS qualifiers kick off January 25th, and before they begin I’d like to do a classical power ranking, taking into account performance at Krakow, GLLs EMEA and NA, as well as public scrims, but primarily the opinions of myself and other professionals. I’ll also be giving each team an up, down, or neutral rating based on if I feel they’ve outperformed, deteriorated or lived up to my expectations of them. This particular edition of the speculative ALGS Power Rankings aims only to tilt NA fans, and to be controversial and drive clicks. With that out of the way after yesterday's 15th - 8th ranked teams, here’s 7th - 1st with my honourable mentions. 
SHARE:

Monday, 6 January 2020

EMEF's 2020 Apex Legends Global Series Pre Season Power Rankings 15 - 8


By Alistair "EMEF" Allum

The announcement of the ALGS has been a funny thing to watch. With the massive success of the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational, many pros and spectators turned to Respawn and EA with eager eyes, waiting for “the big one” that would kick off Apex Legends as an esport, and begin the careers of hundreds of prospects who worked hard during the first year of the game. A lot of the feedback they received was just: “more of the same, please”. And that’s exactly what Respawn ended up doing. The online ALGS qualifiers kick off January 25th, and before they begin I’d like to do a classical power ranking, taking into account performance at Krakow, GLLs EMEA and NA, as well as public scrims, but primarily the opinions of myself and other professionals. I’ll also be giving each team an up, down, or neutral rating based on if I feel they’ve outperformed, deteriorated or lived up to my expectations of them. This particular edition of the speculative ALGS Power Rankings aims only to tilt NA fans, and to be controversial and drive clicks. With that out of the way, here’s 15th to 8th. 
SHARE:

Friday, 3 January 2020

Halo's 2020 Apex Legends Global Series Preseason Power Rankings 1 - 8



By Arran "Halo" Brown

The Apex Legends Global Series has finally been announced and with 2 competitive LAN events in the X-Games and the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational, plus Global Loot Leagues $25k regional online tournaments in the books. It's now time to look a look at the future and predict the top 20 teams who should be in contention for a portion of the $3 million prize pool EA and Respawn have put on offer.

To set the parameters of these power rankings, I will be using the 3 major tournaments played so far as my place markers for where I believe teams are ranked in the entire scene. These will be updated as the season progresses, meaning that teams will move up and down based on their performances.

This does mean that we will be looking at players from Apex Legends 3 major regions Europe, Korea and North America to begin with. However, teams from other regions will be eligible to enter these as we get into the season. Yesterday we ran through the teams that I deemed ranked 9 - 15, today we are now looking at the teams who not only have a real shot at winning a few of the premiers and majors but are names that you should keep an eye during championship week. 
SHARE:

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Halo's 2020 Apex Legends Global Series Preseason Power Rankings 9 - 15



By Arran "Halo" Brown

The Apex Legends Global Series has finally been announced and with two competitive LAN events in the X-Games and the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational, plus Global Loot Leagues $25k regional online tournaments in the books. It's now time to look a look at the future and predict the top 15 teams who should be in contention for a portion of the $3 million prize pool that EA and Respawn have put on offer.
SHARE:
MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig