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Posts with tag SK-Gaming

Blizzard streaming BlizzCon tournaments for free, in HD


Blizzard has announced that they're streaming most of the tournaments at BlizzCon this year yet again -- even if you don't sign up to the DirecTV feed, you can still watch most of the Arena, Starcraft, and Warcraft III matchups online on the BlizzCon site. And this year, for the first time, you'll be able to watch them in full HD quality (assuming that your connection can hold up). There will be one full stream dedicated to Arena matches, and one stream split between Warcraft III and Starcraft tournament coverage.

And what you see should be some of the best players in the world -- all of the qualifiers from North America, Korea, Europe, and Taiwan will be in attendance to vy for the top spot and the $25,000 per-player prize. The stream will be running both days of BlizzCon, coming up in just a few weeks on August 21st and 22nd.

[via Starcraft.org]

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Arena

SK Gaming wins MLG Columbus


The dominance of Rogue/Mage/Priest continues as SK Gaming defeated eMazing Gaming's faceroll Unholy/BM/Holy comp in the Major League Gaming Columbus Grand Finals 6-3 (best of 11 counting previous matchups). SK Gaming took home the $9,000 Grand Prize in the first leg of the MLG 2009 pro circuit, proving that the US still has a competitive RMP team. Europe's RMP contingent, Ensidia, barely missed the Finals after dropping to eMG in the prior round.

Some of the teams didn't do so well despite expectations, such as two-time MLG winners Fnatic, who were playing without their Warrior, Rhaegyn. Fnatic did rather poorly, playing a Rogue/Warlock/Shaman comp that simply couldn't match up against the dominant RMPs or even eMG's Death Knight/Hunter/Paladin. Evil Geniuses also played below par, but there really have to be teams that occupy the bottom of the standings. The good news is that teams collect points through all MLG legs to tally at the end of the season, so we might see some changes in the next MLG stops.

All the matches were streamed through three different sites via Octoshape, but the streams were choppy and often stalled more than it did in the first two days of the tournament. It came to the point where the matches were simply unwatchable, which is a shame because there were some pretty good games on the last day. The shoutcasters did an excellent job commentating on the matches but camerawork and the pace of the games were just too fast at times to appreciate. Arena Tournaments could benefit greatly from instant replays, slow motion, and camera angles beyond the third person view. Replays should be available on GotFrag soon.

Filed under: Events, News items, PvP, Arena

15 Minutes of Fame: Teza of wowraid.com


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Some of the most fascinating and insightful interesting profiles here on 15 Minutes of Fame have been about players you've never heard of before: an anthropologist whose field research is inside the raiding World of Warcraft, or the couple who assembled a scale model of Booty Bay entirely out of Legos.

But we suspect that most regular WI readers will have heard at least in passing of Teza, the bleeding-edge guilds he has played with and the widely read WoW resource sites he's helped create. Teza's latest success: wowraid.com, launched in March to offer up-to-the-minute news and PvE raiding resources.

Teza's WoW pedigree is a long one. The old-school raider was a founder of Curse guild, which has split, merged and morphed its way through incarnations including SK-Gaming and now Ensidia. Today, Teza plays with still another well known raiding guild, Apex. Teza created Curse's add-ons section as a guild resource, guiding its explosive evolution into a widely used public add-ons resource. He also built WorldofRaids.com to offer hardcore raiding news and what become a leading PvE progression tracker. After helping WorldofRaids' transition to become a Curse site in 2007, Teza has created a new WoW news site, wowraid.com.

In a strange melange of English, French and Franglais/raidspeak, we visited with Teza about raiding in today's World of Warcraft, keeping up with WoW news, raiding progression and more.

Read more →

Filed under: Features, Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Korean team H O N takes the trophy at ESL's Global Arena Tournament


The Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters Global tournament has ended, and Korean team H O N have come out on top. And according to World of Ming, they completely impressed every player at the tournament -- while they were one of four teams taking the Rogue/Mage/Priest combination to the upper brackets, they apparently played that comp in a way that just rolled on through any competitors (including having their mage, Orangemarmalade, apparently keeping a match alive even after his teammates dropped). Everyone's expecting the RMP domination by the time the next Arena season rolls around, but for now, RMP is where it's at in professional arenas.

Unfortunately for us Americans, the US teams didn't put on much of a showing -- they dropped out quick, and WoM reports that their behavior after the losses was less than classy. They apparently blamed a teammate for dropping out, and it doesn't help that, unlike the Korean teams who have played the same classes and characters for a long time, the Americans apparently came up with their teams and tactics only recently. Looks like they'll have to do a little reforming and rebuilding before this year's BlizzCon.

Congrats to all the teams who walked away with victories in the ESL's Arena tournament. Even from Ming's commentary, it sounds like it was an exciting few days for Arena players.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters going on this weekend


We haven't been paying much attention to the big Electronic Sports League WoW Arena tournament going on over in Europe this week, but World of Ming has been doing a great job covering the event and what's been happening over there. He's got predictions of the matches to come (ESL's site has all of the fights set up for this weekend), and a translated interview with a player from SK Gaming's Korean team.

All in all, the old RMP (Rogue-Mage-Priest) combination still seems to be the team to beat, as Ming has most of his predictions headed that way. But we'll see how it all pans out -- you can watch live results from the tournament come in on ESL's website all weekend, and we'll try to have a wrapup for you here when all is said and done.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, Arena

Arena players say they can't compete with Death Knights

A Korean Arena team named Kill e A has dropped out of the upcoming Extreme Masters tournament and claimed that they just can't compete with Death Knights in the Arenas. "Due to recent balance changes resulting from the 3.0.9 patch, we believe that it is no longer possible for the Mage and Rogue character classes to remain competitive in a high-level PvP setting," says the statement posted on the ESL's site. They go on to say that "our testing has shown that it is now impossible for other classes to compete effectively with the Death Knight." Since they don't have a DK player and their team's strategy is based around using a Mage and Rogue, they're out, and another team from SK Gaming is in. The SK Gaming team will be running with a DK, and they say they're certain they won't be the only ones.

And Kill e A isn't the only team dealing with the power of the Death Knight. Gotfrag has an interview up with Rumay "Hafu" Wang of Fnatic/Orz, winners of two big tournaments last year. She too says Death Knights are a force to be reckoned with, though the recent changes might bring them down a notch. Plague Strike, as even the NPC Death Knights say, is a Lifebloom-killer, and Hafu says that as a Resto Druid in the Arenas, she can't match them.

Blizzard will definitely be watching during the upcoming Arena tournament -- if Death Knights are as overpowered as these players claim they are, we might see some PvP-based nerfs in their future.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Classes, Death Knight, Arena

15 Minutes of Fame: e-sportscaster tracks WoW tournies


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

First off, let's establish this for the record: yes, there are people out there who play World of Warcraft professionally. There are pro teams, well known player personalities and an entire tournament scene. And behind it all, there are podcasters – "e-casters" – reporting on every twist and turn.

Meet JP McDaniel, a 22-year-old college journalism major and podcaster for ArenaCast. JP has combined the game he loves with school and work in what he hopes will be a springboard to a print journalism career in gaming. He's managed to roll his main up to 80 in the midst of podcasting, news updates, tournament travel and his studies. We talked with JP about his road into e-casting and his perspectives on where e-sports -- and competitive WoW, in particular -- are heading.

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Filed under: Podcasting, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Why "easy raids" are a good thing (for now)


I really didn't expect to be writing this. Like others, I was left a bit nonplussed at the seeming ease of early raiding content in Wrath, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like an interesting intersection of prudence, circumstances, and quite possibly some residual discomfort on Blizzard's part over how awful early BC raiding was. I don't think that the current "ease" of first-tier raid content in Wrath is a bad thing -- and I also don't expect future content to stay that way.

My guild cleared all of the 25-man raid content in Wrath within two weeks of the expansion's release. Naxxramas was easily the biggest non-surprise. Doing Naxx-25 in the company of people who know the place inside and out is a pretty straightforward and -- dare I say it -- easy process. This is even more true with players who learned the original Naxx at 70, with a much greater margin for error than they would have had at 60. Honestly? Most of the fights haven't changed to the point where you'd have to toss out your previous strategy and start all over again. A raid that saw Naxx at any point between 60 and 70 is effectively an old dog that doesn't have to learn a new trick.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

TwentyFifthNovember becomes Ensidia

The merger between Nihilum and SK Gaming that was temporarily known as TwentyFifthNovember (who has already cleared all current Wrath content) has announced their new name. Ensidia. There are some neat details they've announced with their name, such as launching a community site soon and all of that, but none of that is particularly important.

What's important is their new name sounds like some kind of medicine or drug. Every corner of the internet is currently giggling to themselves over it. A professional gaming group? No way. They're some kind of sleep aid, or erectile dysfunction medication. I've seen at least a dozen people rattling off potential side effects of taking Ensidia tonight. I'm not really curious about their raid progression anymore, I'm more interested in whether I can take it on an empty stomach or not.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Raiding

The Queue: Daily quests and Tastyfish


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

It's been a few days, you know how this goes by now. You ask your questions in the comments section below, I answer them in the near future. Got it? Good.

jared.daniels
asked...

I just got to level 72 last night and realized that I have five different dailies that I can do in Northrend. Should I bother doing all of those every day, or just focus on the last one that I uncovered? And if I do go back, how long should I do them before I drop them for higher-level dailies?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

TwentyFifthNovember beats all Wrath PvE content


Just an hour ago, we reported that über mutant guild conglomerate TwentyFifthNovember, a merger of two of the world's bleeding edge guilds -- SK Gaming and Nihilum -- beat the 'entry-level' raid of Naxxramas. This was fast, although not entirely unexpected considering that Naxxramas was an old-world raid that was retuned for 25-man (and 10-man) content. However, TwentyFifthNovember's website reports that they have also defeated Malygos, currently the end, and supposedly most difficult, boss of current Wrath of the Lich King content (Icecrown and Arthas will be accessible in a future patch). Their website says 'soon...' but I didn't take that to mean 'right now'.

This means that within three days of the game's launch, a guild has leveled to max level (although some members of the raid were below 80) and defeated all available raid content. While Blizzard has admitted to tuning the game to become more accessible to more players, or a more casual audience, TwentyFifthNovember's defeat of all PvE content available in the current game brings into question just how tuned down PvE content has become. It will be interesting to see how long it will take another Guild to clear through all of Northrend. Congratulations, TwentyFifthNovember! You can now all go an play Guitar Hero. Or something.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Naxxramas world first by TwentyFifthNovember


How long has it been since the game launched? Two, three days? It was news when French player Nymh power-leveled his way to 80, but barely a day after that... guess what? Naxxramas has been cleared. This feat was achieved by TwentyFifthNovember, the newly merged SK-Gaming and Nihilum über-guild of Magtheridon-EU. The two bleeding edge guilds have had the most combined world first achievements of any guild and their clearing 25-man Naxxramas is almost expected.

What's not quite expected is how soon they achieved it. I know Blizzard already said that there would no longer be any raid dungeons as hard as Sunwell Plateau, but this is somewhat ridiculous. I mean, getting to Level 80 is one thing, but clearing the first 25-man raid before the weekend is over? Did Blizzard make it too easy? Are they really just that good? Or do the rest of the world just... suck? It's greatly impressive but somehow also seems to leave me with a feeling that the game is just a little less fun now. Just a little. Congratulations to TwentyFifthNovember! It's a phenomenal feat -- but it looks like their Guild name stands for something else, though. I wonder what they will have cleared by November 25?

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

SK Gaming splits into separate PvE and PvP guilds

We received news yesterday that SK Gaming, the multinational raiding and arena juggernaut, has decided to split into separate PvE and PvP branches. Well, perhaps that's a little misleading. SK Gaming had partnered with the famed Curse of EU-Veknilash (the same people behind Curse Gaming and World of Raids), and their combined efforts resulted in three world-firsts in Sunwell under the SK Gaming tag (Felmyst, M'uru, and Kil'Jaeden). That success aside, they reached the decision that the pursuit of competitive raiding and e-sport supremacy under the auspice of the same guild just wasn't working, and that the game demanded an entirely different vision and means of guild organization for each goal.

According to Mekon, the guild master of the former PvE branch (which remains on EU-Veknilash but is now renamed "Put Your Name Here" -- you can't accuse them of not having a sense of humor), it was the PvE players' decision to leave, "absolutely nothing changes within the guild," and they will continue to pursue world firsts in Wrath. We interviewed Neg, one of their resto Shamans, not long after they got their world-first Kil'Jaeden kill. This was less than a month after the major U.S. raiding guild Death and Taxes had gone the way of the dinosaur, and Neg had some insightful observations concerning what was happening to raiding guilds with Wrath of the Lich King on the not-too-distant horizon.

At the time I privately hoped that other major raid guilds wouldn't suffer D&T's fate, and...well, this isn't really it, I suppose. Both sides of SK Gaming will continue to operate, just independently of each other (from both an organizational and financial perspective). If nothing else I find it a fairly thought-provoking commentary on the degree of Blizzard's success attempting to legitimize arena as a true e-sport, and how the game's top players see the PvP side of the game increasingly disconnected from its PvE counterpart.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, News items, PvP, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

SK Gaming's Arena Ranking system revamped

SK Gaming sends word that they've updated their Arena Ranking system -- if you want to find out who the best players or teams are on your Region, Battleground or Realm, this is the place to go. You can see the top player or team rankings separately, or even check out the most popular setups by spec and class (and surprisingly, Hunters are on top! No, I'm just kidding, of course it's Warrior/Druid. What did you expect?).

Very nice tool, and it's just been updated recently, so it's faster and more accurate than ever. Talents are new to the system as well, but they're integrated very well, so its easy to quickly pull up whatever group of players or teams you want to look at, and then pull all kinds of statistics out of there, including ratings, setups, and builds for everybody. And as someone who's done some web programming in the past, I'll say that whoever coded it knows their stuff -- those URLs are awesome.

Plus, we hear that some of the Chinese team names are pretty funny, but considering we're not actually fluent in the language, we'd never know it. Anyone want to translate the better ones?

Filed under: Fan stuff, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

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