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MSI intros new gaming motherboards at CES 2017

It’s no surprise that gaming-oriented brands have a slew of new offerings on display at CES 2017. MSI is no exception, as they unveiled all the newest hardware showcasing the newest Intel processor, codenamed Kaby Lake.

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MSI’s newest set of motherboards, the Z270 Enthusiast series, aim to provide gamers with the latest innovations the company has to offer. The Gaming M7 and Titanium lines feature M.2 Shield, a cooling option for your Intel Optane SSDs, which helps prevent heat throttling. Also on board are VR-related tech: the VR Ready and VR Boost. VR Ready is a one-click feature on the MSI Gaming App that flawlessly switches your PC settings to max, allowing you to enjoy the best VR experience possible. VR Boost is a smart chip embedded in the motherboard that allows smooth, consistent, and strong signal flow to the dedicated VR-optimised USB port, reducing motion sickness in gamers who use VR goggles caused by inconsistent signal flow.

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The Performance Gaming line of boards are for gamers who don’t just want great performance, but also stylish lighting aesthetics. The ZZ270 Gaming Pro Carbon has built-in RGB Mystic Light. Through the app on the desktop or smartphone, you can control the lighting effects not just on the board, but also any other Mystic Light-enabled piece of hardware or peripheral, and even LED RGB light strips you wish to install. The Performance Gaming line also features Audio Boost with Nahimic 2 ensure sound quality is top notch thanks to an isolated audio PCB, audio covering, and gold-plated audio connectors.

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The Arsenal line of the Z270 boards are built to withstand punishment coming from long hours of gaming. The board is loaded with heavy plating, akin to a tank. The plating contains heat sinks that aim to keep the board and all connected components working at optimal levels for far longer, without performance dips. These boards feature the Lightning USB 3.1 Gen 2 system, ensuring high speed data transfers (up to twice the regular transfer speed) for all USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices plugged into the board’s ports. The DDR4 Boost on the other hand, ensures maximum performance and stability when working the RAM chips overtime via gaming, video editing, and large-scale rendering.

Expect the new MSI boards to dominate shelves soon.

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Overwatch APEX Season 2 Playoffs: Lunatic-Hai wins over Meta Athena, to face RunAway in Grand Finals

RunAway’s opponent for the Overwatch APEX Season 2 Grand Finals has been determined, and it’s Lunatic-Hai, as they snap Meta Athena’s 21 match win streak in the fifth game of their best-of-five series.

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The first game on Nepal saw a quick 2-0 win for Lunatic-Hai. The first round on Sanctum saw a bit of a back-and-forth, though Lunatic-Hai does get the advantage after some teamfights. The second round on Shrine had another long brawl between the teams, but Lunatic-Hai take the point, with them successfully defending Meta Athena’s pushes until the end.

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The next game on Eichenwalde had Lunatic-Hai’s EscA put on a good defensive effort as McCree, as they defend from Meta Athena’s first two pushes. Meta Athena did capture the point on their third push, though they get held to overtime on the way to the second, but they still cap it. Lunatic-Hai prevented them from reaching the final point though. When it was Lunatic-Hai’s turn to attack, they capped the first two points in good time, with Meta Athena’s Sombra pick not working out. They won out in the end, thanks to key plays by Who.r.u’s Genji.

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Down 2-0, Meta Athena bounced back in game 3 on Hanamura, as they take the two control points with plenty of time to spare; with Lunatic-Hai’s Torbjorn pick not being effective in stalling them. As Lunatic-Hai goes on the attack, they pick up their usual Tracer/Genji/Winston dive lineup and they take first point fast. But they get held on the second point, with Meta Athena mounting a successful defense until the end

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Lunatic-Hai still had map point coming into the fourth game on Dorado, and EscA goes Mei on the defense. Meta Athena’s Libero also goes for a Mei of their own, and they make a crazy boost to catch Lunatic-Hai by surprise as they take first point. Libero then led Meta Athena to take the second point, and they almost take the last, but they were stalled by Miro’s signature Winston. With Lunatic-Hai now on attack, they go with their tried-and-tested dive comp, and take the payload to the first point quickly. EscA then picked off Meta Athena’s players heroes to help the team take the next, but they fail to reach the last point, giving Meta Athena the win.

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With the game now tied 2-2, the series went to a deciding game five on Hollywood. As Lunatic-Hai defends on the first round, Tobi again went with Torbjorn, which wasn’t the right play as Meta Athena captured the payload point fast. They fail to capture the next point though; even if the payload was only meters away. Lunatic-Hai went on the dive once again, and they take the first point in one push; and they carry their momentum to win the game, and the series 3-2.

Lunatic-Hai and RunAway’s Grand Final best-of-seven will take place on April 8 at 5:00pm PHT. But before that, Meta Athena will face LW Blue in the third place deciders match in three days time.

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EU LCS Week 9 in review

Week 9 in the European League of Legends Championship had interesting surprises but at the same time had predictable results.

ROCCAT continued to ride the momentum that started when they won against Origen in week 7. What was more impressive from ROCCAT’s performance was that they faced Misfits, the second best team from Group A and ROCCAT looked very decisive.

Game one looked pretty close early in the game but ROCCAT successfully won team fights near the Baron pit which eventually gave them a slight lead. After baiting and planning to take Baron multiple times, ROCCAT was finally able to take the big purple worm down and win a team fight shortly after. This led to a strong push from ROCCAT to close out the game. They had an even more dominant performance in game two taking an early lead which they snowballed to sweep Misfits.

Fnatic and GIANTS Gaming had an exciting series after GIANTS surprised Fnatic in game two to force game three in what many would’ve thought would be an easy series for Fnatic. What was more interesting was the surprise Kayle pick for Fnatic’s mid laner Caps in game one which got an early kill and started to split push.

Vitality continued to struggle through week 9, although they looked impressive against H2k-Gaming. Ultimately they were swept by Splyce in day one and lost to H2k-Gaming 2-1. Similarly, GIANTS Gaming and Origen also all their games in week 9.

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Group A standings after Week 9. Courtesy of lolesports.com

ROCCAT and Fnatic are still fighting to secure the last Playoff spot in Group A. ROCCAT will be facing G2 Esports in Week 10 while Fnatic will play against G2 Esports and Misfits. If ROCCAT wins against G2 Esports, Fnatic will have to win against Misfits and G2 Esports in order to secure the playoff spot. However, if ROCCAT loses against G2, Fnatic will just need one more win to enter the Playoffs.

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Group B standings after Week 9. Courtesy of lolesports.com

Group B on the other hand has their three teams secured in the Playoffs; Unicorns of Love, H2k-Gaming, and Splyce. With the three teams so close to each other, each win in the last week of the regular Split for the three teams may be the difference between first, second, and third seed.

Splyce will be facing against both Unicorns of Love and H2k-Gaming in week 10 and because seeding has yet to be set in Group B, these two series maybe the series to watch for fans of the teams in Group B.

 

Featured photo courtesy of lolesports Flickr

 

Follow this writer on Twitter: @justaramdomdude

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CS:GO ECS Season 3: Fnatic, Virtus.Pro complete EU League roster

The European League roster of the Esports Championship Series Season 3 is now complete, as Fnatic and Virtus.Pro make it through the ECS Europe Promotion. The two teams defeated North and Space Soldiers in Best-of-Fives respectively to qualify.

Fnatic’s Bo5 against North started on Overpass, where they take a 9-5 lead on the T side at the half. They then close out the game on the 25th round, following great plays from olofmeister and flusha. The second game on Cache was much closer though; while Fnatic took a 10-5 lead at the half, North responded and pushed the game into overtime, which they ended up winning with a 19-17 final score.

The series was tied 1-1 coming into the third game on Cobblestone. The first half was a tight one, with Fnatic managing to take a small 8-7 in the end. The second half wasn’t as close, as Fnatic took the game on the T-side with a final score of 16-11. The last game on Inferno though was much like the second round, with Fnatic taking a 10-5 lead and North fighting back and sending it into overtime. But this time, it was Fnatic that took the win, with a final score of 19-16.

Virtus.Pro was the second team to qualify, which they did after defeating Turkish team Space Soldiers. The first game on Train saw SS taking a commanding 13-2 lead at the half, only for VP to claw their way back and sending the game to overtime. VP won in the end 19-17. The next game on Inferno wasn’t close, as SS took the win 16-8.

Game 3 on Overpass was another close one, with a score of 8-7 at the half in favor of VP. SS then sent the game into overtime which VP one, much like the first game. The next game on Mirage was also quite close, as VP held only a small 9-6 lead after the first half. SS put up a good fight on the second half, but VP managed to win in the end 16-13, and they take the series 3-1. While VP did win the series, SS showed that they have the skills to challenge top teams if they continue their performance

The ECS Season 3 European League will start on March 31, 2017.