C9 Ray: A Prodigy in the Making

Jeon “Ray” Ji-won is one of the most mechanically gifted players in the NALCS. While his play is almost always flawless, he runs into mental struggles that occasionally hold him back. His manager, Jack Etienne, has helped him through these difficult times. Etienne provides an environment where Ray can speak freely in English without worry of correction or mistakes. With this confidence, Ray is able to get back to the top lane and dominate his opponents. Constantly switching out with Impact, Ray has learned to adjust to a six man roster and the implications for important games. He wants to make his name known as a talented prodigy who has much potential in years to come.


Jack has helped numerous players adjust to the LCS lifestyle and find success on stage. While building the Cloud 9 brand, he went through many different rosters and iterations of players. Today, he says that the current roster has the chance to make a statement on the world stage. A consistent bottom lane partnered with Jensen’s impeccable mid play is a recipe for success. A large part of the team’s success comes down to Ray’s ability to outplay opponents in the top lane. Ray has the highest number of solo kills in the NALCS, as he has dominated opponents from Ssumday to Hauntzer. Despite this success, there are still fundamental aspects of his game that need work. Jack is confident that with work, Ray will be an even more fearsome player. Jack has provided Ray with trips back home to Korea to ease his transition. This sort of hospitality is characteristic of the Cloud 9 brand, and it has lead them to world quarterfinals and NALCS trophies.


Froggen: A Western Wonder

Europe is home to many extraordinarily talented mid laners. Between Bjergsen, Froggen, and xPeke, it is known to be one of the most stacked roles across the globe. Nevertheless, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen has managed to stand out as one of the greatest Western mids of all time. While his teams have historically been mediocre, Froggen’s statistical performances have been exceptional throughout his career. He is well known for a farm oriented style that takes calculations into account from the beginning to the end of the game. Nevertheless, Froggen is a monster on carry champions and assassins. Because of this diversity, he is one of the most acclaimed players in Western history. Although he does not have a wealth of international successes, European players recognize his individual strength.


Today, he plays for Echo Fox in North America. After a difficult spring season, the team is looking to bounce back and secure a spot at the 2017 world championships. Accompanied by Akaadian and Looper, Froggen is a serious powerhouse in the mid lane. However, every week brings new challenges for the squad. While Froggen is able to gain advantages in his lane, others struggle and the team cohesion is just not there yet. Rick Fox is confident in his superstar’s leadership skills and ability to carry any game from behind. Teammates have confirmed that Froggen never gives up, and even in arduous situations, he is able to make clever macro decisions. This sort of experience is only possible with nearly seven years of top tier play. From season 1, Froggen has dominated the scene with his signature champ Anivia. In season 7, he draws bans on the bird and pressures other teams to find unorthodox counterpicks. He truly is a legend in his own right.


Catching Up to Korea

It is well known that Korea is the most dominant region in League of Legends. With multiple world championships and international titles to their name, other regions such as Europe and North America are far behind. However, it is important to make a distinction. Three of their world championships belong to SK Telecom T1. Within Korea, SKT is easily the most dominant team. Therefore, it is difficult to compare Western teams to Korea in general. We must acknowledge that SKT is on a completely different level than their counterparts. In this sense, top Western teams such as Team Solo Mid and G2 Esports might not be as far behind as previously imagined. They have superstar players that can carry games alone, and if left unattended, other players have the potential to pick up the slack. When we talk about gaps between regions, it is important to make these distinctions that bias each argument. Players, coaches, and meta all contribute to the holistic strength of a team.


Different analysts have different views on this issue. Some analysts such as MonteCristo argue that the majority of Korea is still vastly ahead of everybody else. Their macro and micro play have noticeable advantages that other teams simply cannot replicate. However, EULCS caster Martin “Deficio” Lynge believes otherwise. Because we don’t see too much international play to begin with, it is irresponsible to make blind judgments about relative strengths. Each region has their own playstyle, and until we see competition to make comparisons, we must abstain from these rankings. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall on, there is no question that SKT is a powerhouse that is feared by even top Korean teams themselves. Armed with a lineup of Faker, Peanut, and Bang, they are ready to take the world by storm and secure another championship.


Destiny 2 Will Reportedly Be Able To Use Unlimited CPU Cores

Upcoming game Destiny 2, developed by Bungie and published by Activision, will reportedly be able to utilize all of the cores of your PC’s CPU, no matter how many you’ve got.


One of the problems with PC gaming is the lack of the ability to fully utilize all of the cores of your CPU, so those with quad-core or higher CPUs haven’t been getting the full benefit of your powerful PC brain when gaming. Until recent DirectX updates, this was just a fact of life. But now games seem to be taking advantage of the new features and becoming more multi-core capable.


It’s an interesting claim, as the first incarnation of the game was only available on console, and it’s somewhat difficult to imagine they would’ve put all this extra work into developing the PC version to take full advantage of PC hardware, but maybe they did. And maybe such an act will serve to spur PC gamer confidence in the game and increase sales.


From what’s been seen of the PC version so far, it seems to be a solid port. The framerates are unlocked, it runs at ultrawide resolutions and 4K resolution. It seems that they really are putting the effort into it, so hopefully gamer trust won’t be misplaced.


With the new 18-core Core i9 CPU and the new AMD Ryzen line of CPUs boasting insane amounts of cores, a feature like this is ideal for using all those precious cores effectively. It’s also good news for streamers, who often have issues with performance due to their streaming setup and game both hogging precious resources. For the true heavy-hitting PC gamer or streamer, this is exactly the kind of feature they’ve been waiting for.


Ark: Survival Evolved Set to Leave Early Access

Ark: Survival Evolved has been out on Steam Early Access for quite some time now on PC, but it hasn’t received an official release date. Well, at least not until E3, where developer Studio Wildcard announced the game will officially release across all platforms on August 8.


The game has been out in early access since 2015 with various DLC and updates being released since then, so for many PC gamers this won’t seem like news, but for console players this news is big because Ark is finally coming to you.


The studio has announced that the official release will come with some surprise updates and new features that will continue rolling out even after the launch. There will be a great amount of now gameplay, creatures, and story elements, according to Studio Wildcard.


The studio remarked, “For those players who were excited with every update during Early Access, Ark’s going to become even more fun with surprise new content at launch & beyond, as we will continue to have a staggering amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works.”


Coming along with the release will be the modder-made map Ragnarok, released through the game’s sponsored mod program as the game’s first official expansion. Ragnarok is a 144 sq km map with tons of exploration and a dangerous active volcano, its own ocean ecosystem, and some of the most challenging dungeons to date. There will also be new content coming to Ragnarok that holds the keys to unlocking the map’s history and secrets.


The game will also launch with Oculus Rift and Playstation VR support. Those wanting to get in on the fun early should jump on it while its pricing is still low for early access. You can run over to Steam now and grab it for $30.


Age of Empires is Getting a Facelift

Age of Empires is a real-time strategy game near and dear to the hearts of many. Age of Empires 3 in particular brought a huge fanbase to the game and captivated audiences for years. Now, the original Age of Empires is getting a new HD remaster to appeal to the modern audience and bring the game back into the forefront of strategy gaming on the PC.


The original Age of Empires was released in 1997, and its graphics left much to be desired. The new Age of Empires Definitive Edition will feature fully modernized visuals and support for 4K resolution. The soundtrack has also been improved and if you can jusge it based on the trailer, it’s going to be fully orchestrated and pretty amazing.


The gameplay has also reportedly been improved and modernized with online multiplayer, but exactly what specific improvements have been made are unclear at this time. It can be assumed that some upgrades and balancing have been done, possibly with the inclusion of some new units. The UI has been modernized as well, along with attack-move, control group, and idle villager options. They have also added a friend system possible with Xbox Live integration, easy to do since Microsoft themselves are releasing this game.


At this time, all we’ve got is an awesome trailer and a call to join the beta. If you’re interested in joining their beta, you can sign up on their website and possibly be selected to enter the first closed beta and get an early look at the remastered strategy game.


Interest in this game seems to be quite high, since as of the time of writing this article their website is down due to a flood of traffic trying to sign up for the beta. It truly shows the special place this series has in many gamers’ hearts, and it’s nice to see the name in the headlines again.


Samsung’s New CHG90, Ultrawide Monitor

Samsung has revealed their newest computer monitor up for purchase: the CHG90. The widest computer monitor on the market, this appeals to PC gamers and computer enthusiasts alike. Many may be more or less loyal to their dual monitor setup, having more room to work and play with. Some PC gamers probably remain most comfortable with their split customization. However, there might be a new trend of wide computer monitors becoming the standard. As more and more computer users base their work and play styles on the limits of their screen capacity, wider computer monitors will fall more in demand.


The 49-inch CHG90 ultrawide gaming monitor by Samsung has a slight curve to it. The curve of the monitor helps prevent eye strain, as it keeps both left and right sides of the screen within peripheral vision. The viewing angle is 178-degrees. The aspect ratio to this monitor is wildly beyond the normal resolution, which is usually around 16:9. This monitor is at 32:9, leaving new perspectives in games. This capacity for wider views leads to a deeper immersion in game-play. In addition, photo-editing and multitasking are easier with so much increased work space.


The monitor has a reduced response time using a VA LCD panel: only a millisecond. The refresh rate is 144 hertz, which equals refreshed pixels 144 times per second. While this depends on the user’s graphics card capacity, the improvement is huge. AMD’s FreeSync 2 technology is also utilized, meaning the monitor communicates with your computer’s graphics card to create less screen tearing and unwanted choppy effects.


The monitor comes with software with ultra-customization. The screen can be split in a multitude of different directions and made to perfect the user’s needs. While this monitor is beautiful, it is hard to imagine an office full of them. It takes up massive desk space, though this monitor excels in so many other ways, making it ideal for a host of different uses.