Overwatch Leage Stage 3- Week 2

There were a lot of surprises in the Overwatch League this week, but the biggest surprise of them all comes from the underdogs of the league: the Boston Uprising. Here is a closer look at a quick recap of this week of play, primarily focusing on my favorite team.

Going in, a lot of Boston Uprising fans (including myself) were scared for our future without our disgraced former star. We were on a high after upsetting teams the first week, primarily as a result of the strong play from the aforementioned disgraced star. With only 1 other DPS player on the roster, the future seemed pretty uncertain for the team. I, having watched Mistakes stream, was decently confident that he would do better than most people gave him credit for. My husband, who is as much of a fan of the team and league as I am, had his doubts. After arguing back and forth about the next move here: Do we go with Mistakes? Does Neko step up as DPS and let Snow or Avast come in as our second support? Do we try to go after such strong players as Shadowburn or Pine who doesn’t seem to get the playtime that they deserve? What about streamers like AimbotCalvin? I dismissed the idea of one of the world’s best Zenyattas going DPS, because, well, he’s one of the world’s best Zens. I put all my eggs in the Mistakes basket and hoped for the best.

… and anyone who didn’t made some huge Mistakes this week. (Those jokes never ever get old.) Our first game up was against the New York XL, a game that as much as any Uprising fan wanted us to win knew that it wasn’t going to be likely. Again, especially without such a strong player that we have grown used to. This was going to be Mistakes thrown to the wolves to see what he was made of. And to everyone’s shock, the Uprising won 3-2 against the best team in the league. Going into the game, XL had only lost 2 games the entire season so far. The team came together and showed us that they are more than one player; they are a strong team.

In case anyone thought this win was a fluke, they also went 3-2 against Florida Mayhem. We’re still undefeated as of yet in the stage, putting us in the position no one predicted we would ever be in: 2nd place for the stage and 4th place overall. Not bad for a team that people predicted before the season started that would be in the last or second to last spot. In true Boston fashion: never count us out.

In other shocking news, Seoul and London are continuing to struggle. London faced off against Fusion for the first time since they lost to them in the Stage 2 playoffs, but they were not redeemed. Shanghai is still looking for their first win of the season and Mayhem is still struggling to find something that works for them. These two are going to be facing off this week and it will be very interesting to see just how this plays out.

I have been streaming the Battle for Azeroth alpha play on my Twitch stream. Next week I may be adding some of my amazingly mediocre play on Overwatch as well. I play mystery heroes. My gold rank in comp will probably just rot because toxic people are no fun. We’ll see. Check me out on Twitch in case you haven’t already.

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A Plague within the Overwatch League

I am a huge fan of the Overwatch League, so much that I dedicate my “gaming” day of the blog on it. Normally today, I would be discussing politics or some other relevant issue that I felt like needed to be discussed. Instead, today I will be dedicating another day to the gaming category to discuss the problems with the Overwatch League especially in light of the big events that happened to my beloved team, the Boston Uprising. I touched upon this briefly in my blog yesterday, but I will elaborate my thoughts further on this today.

DreamKazper was a player that I frequently applauded during matches and someone who I would always watch on Twitch when I would see him streaming. He wasn’t my favorite. As a tank main (specifically D.Va), Note and Gamsu are my favorite players. Still, he was easily one of the best flex DPS players and a perfect DPS partner for Striker. It was exciting to watch him play. I even agree that we won a lot of our matches because he was such a solid player. Like other fans of the Uprising, I feel betrayed and disgusted at these turn of events. At first, I was suspicious for a lot of reasons but that didn’t take away the fact an adult pursued a barely-teen girl and it was absolutely reprehensible anyways. When the second accusation came out, any suspicions that I had about the matter went away and he went from “an immature adult who did a horrible thing” to “a predator”. It’s awful. It’s truly awful. The Uprising did the right thing. I feel horrible for the girls that came forward and those who may not have. I won’t be surprised if there are more but we don’t know that there is. It’s all speculation at this point.

This does show something that apparently needs to happen within the Overwatch. There needs to be a sit down with all of the players with a discussion of “what is actually appropriate behavior”. This includes:

  • Not using derogatory terms
  • Not using “racially insensitive” gestures
  • Do not sexually harass or sexually exploit anyone, including minors
  • Do not send or ask for naked photographs from people who are unwilling participants and/or are minors who cannot legally consent
  • No does mean no
  • Just generally avoid anything that a decent human being would avoid, such as homophobia, racism, sexism, or general douchebaggery
  • If you think that you may be doing something wrong, you probably are

Some could argue that these are young kids getting a ton of money before they have fully matured. “They are gamers, they are just socially inept geeks that only know how to game.” I’m a gamer, socially inept, but I know what appropriate behavior is. This is not only one more notch against the Overwatch League in the eyes of non-gamers, but these are all behaviors that contribute to the belief that the gaming community is a toxic and perverse one.

At the age of most of these players, they should know better. Even if they have the inkling to do stupid things, as would be expected of many people their age, they need to know better. They are in the public eye. The teams should better monitor their players. They are representatives of not only a professional league, but of an entire community of people across the globe. If there was a microscope on this community before, it has only gotten worse today.

This Week in Gaming

This year, I was fortunate enough to make it to at least one day of Pax East. However, one day wasn’t enough to discuss everything awesome that was there, so I will mention some quick thoughts about the event. One, it has grown to be more massive than it was last time I was there, which was about 6 years ago. I was disappointed that they didn’t have the classic arcade there this year, something that my youngest was really excited about. He wanted to play games like the kids from “Stranger Things”. I love that Blizzard and Warcraft had such a huge presence there, especially as an admitted Blizzard fangirl like myself. I do wish I wasn’t too exhausted for the Overwatch photo area, but you can’t win them all.

One surprise that I was really excited about was that Frostpunk was there and on demo to play. I have been dying for this game to come out since I first heard about it months and months ago. From what I saw of the demo, I was not disappointing in anyways. I love the feel of the game as well as the play style of it. It comes out in a few weeks and I will stream the play of it when I get it.

I always love seeing the tabletop freeplay area, but was always disappointed in how small it was. This year it was massive and I wish I had more time to checkout the games, including Thornwatch. But we did get to enjoy some time in the classic console freeplay, which my youngest child really loved.

I was surprised that the Uprising didn’t have a booth there to sell merch. I would have easily blown my entire Pax spending budget on stuff specially if they had those hoodies like the one Striker wore during their match against the Houston Outlaws. It could have been a missed opportunity to make a fortune.

Speaking of the Overwatch League, teams played hard this week and I was very shocked but excited for the destruction that Uprising brought down on Houston. As much as I like that team, I like my home team and love to see them win. There were no other huge surprising during league play this week. I do enjoy looking at the standings list for Stage 3 and seeing the Uprising in Stage playoff position as well as league playoff position. Not bad for a team no one thought would amount to anything.

The news with their star player DreamKazper is more than disappointing. There really are no words at this point to describe the situation. It is disturbing to hear the detail of this incident and I hope the Uprising can still go out and do their job.

A Quick Recap of Gaming this Week

First thing that should be mentioned is some of the gaming related April Fool’s Day pranks.

  • Blizzard released all of their hilarious gags as usual, though I do miss the days when the joke’s were actually believable. That doesn’t take away from the hilarity of how ridiculous they are, like the WoW Dance Battle Arcade system, the new micro-holidays, and the Blizzard Game Room. In fact, check out all of the hilarious Blizzard ones here.
  • Want to up your gaming ability? Razer’s prank promised to give gamers the edge that they need to improve their skills thanks to Project Venom. What is Project Venom? Nanobots that you drink. They even offered signups for the beta, which I did because they probably are going to actually release an energy drink and my husband lives off them.
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online Go was a prank that seemed to mesh the worlds of Pokemon Go and Final Fantasy in one bizarre mobile game.

These were just some of my favorite ones. I do have to say that I would actually really love the Blizzard Game Room idea.

Overwatch League Stage 3 starts this week, and the Boston Uprising are in the running for the big final playoffs at the end. They just keep getting better and I can’t wait to see what they do in this stage. I also wonder what changes Seoul Dynasty will make to help them overcome whatever slump they seem to be in and see how Spitfire bounces back from the Fusion upset in the Stage 2 playoffs. Stage 3 is going to bring a lot of excitement.

I have been playing in the Battle for Azeroth beta, which has been pretty fun. I like it so far, though my first impressions are they had most of their focus on the alliance side of things. The first zone that I have played in, Stormsong Valley (which didn’t make the stream because I thought that they automatically saved streams on Twitch. They don’t unless you click a button. Rookie mistake that has been fixed.) was very polished looking, the zone didn’t seem as bugged, and I didn’t feel like I was traveling miles for the next quest. The Zandalari Trolls look amazing, though I’m sad the race isn’t playable yet in beta. So far, it is fun and I look forward to seeing more of it. I will be sure to blog more about the beta as well, maybe even dedicating another day of the week to the blog for this purpose.

Lastly, I have started a Twitch stream of me playing the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth beta. You can check me out as I play both the Void Elf priest and a Nightborne mage. Eventually I will also be playing a Zandalari Troll druid, moonkin of course. I try to remember to speak while streaming, but I end up getting in a zone that makes me forget I’m even streaming. I’ll try to be better. I may move onto other games, including when Frostpunk comes out later this month or watching my fails as I play Overwatch (especially in my favorite mystery heroes mode). We’ll see how it goes. But for now, you can see the streams saved on Twitch for your viewing pleasure and I will be sure to save them after I stream there and on my YouTube channel.

 

 

I Don’t Agree with You… and That’s OK

Can you be friends with someone who you don’t agree with? That seems to be the question that everyone is asking these days, especially with the divisive political environment that we live in. People have their fundamental beliefs about what is right or wrong, leading to sometimes overly passionate discussions among friends and family that can quite honestly lead to consequences that are absolutely uncalled for. Said consequences include: denial, name calling, and ending the relationship with the other person. These are the times that we live in.

Me? I like having friends that I don’t agree with. As long as they have an informed opinion of the topic and can articulate their beliefs without using the go-to names that the mainstream media on both sides of the aisle use as talking points, I love a spirited discussion. And no, I don’t agree with everything. I will point out untruths. And if people aren’t okay with that, then that becomes their problem not mine. I won’t refuse friendship with them over that. If they want to, that’s ok. I’m okay with losing a friend that has such little value in our friendship that they dismiss it entirely over something meaningless in the grand scheme of the world.

I will not take arguments seriously if you say, “I saw it on ____ (any mainstream media site, left or right leaning).” These organizations are lying to you and trying to skew you in their direction. Don’t fall for it. Be your own person. Back up anything you see on these sites on other sites from all over and piece together the information yourself. I promise those extra few minutes are worth it. Memes? Also definitely not a source of news. Memes are humorous creations that are there to make people laugh, not to tell facts. Again, take the time to do your research before believing anything. The internet lies, in case you didn’t notice. I will point this out and move on with my life. I really don’t care if you argue or call me names afterwards. If you want to believe you’re right and I want to believe I’m right, that’s done and over with and not worth the back and forth. I don’t engage like that.

The more people realize that this is just a phase in the world, the sooner we can be done with it. I find tantrums on social media as entertaining as ones with my child. I won’t pay too much attention and eventually it will go away. Friendships and family are more important that being right. Will it be worth it 10 years from now to break down a strong relationship for something that won’t matter tomorrow? No. It isn’t.

We are all different. We have to accept those differences because that is what makes this country so great. The fact that we are allowed to have our own opinions is something we should treasure, not berate each other for. As someone who has given up faith in supporting either of the major parties, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this is all a scheme from both the Democrats and Republicans to occupy us so that they can destroy our country without us paying attention to them. If it is, it’s working perfectly. We are too busy fighting each other and resulting to schoolyard insults that it’s honestly embarrassing at this point.

 

Overwatch League Stage 2 Finals and Other Gaming Announcements

The Overwatch League was full of fun this week, with some really shocking moments. My Uprising wasn’t in contention for the Stage 2 playoffs, but they went out strong with an unexpected California sweep, defeating both L.A. teams in their matches this week. In their match against the Gladiators, the Fusion waited in the crowd to see their fate in the playoffs which rested in the hands of the Uprising. If they were to at least win 1 game against the Gladiators, Fusion would get the 3rd spot in the playoffs. Uprising ultimately went 3-2 in the match, which meant Fusion would go up against the Stage 1 champions the London Spitfire.

Without the Uprising in, I defaulted to my second favorite team. I expected them to easily take on Fusion, then go against New York for the championship again. In a 3-2 match, Fusion upset the Spitfire and went against the top team in the league: New York XL. This match also went into the tie breaker map, only Fusion fell to XL and New York took home the Stage 2 championship trophy and money.

The next stage will bring in some interesting changes, especially with the Shanghai Dragons being able to play their new players including the much hyped Zarya player Geguri. They are currently 0-20, so here’s to hoping that they don’t go the whole season without a win. I’m especially excited to see Geguri, not because she’s the first female in the Overwatch League but because her videos of playing Zarya are just insane. I wish I could play tanks as well as she can.

In other gaming news, I have recently received my Alpha invite to the “Battle for Azeroth” World of Warcraft expansion. After much convincing, I’ve decided to not just blog about it but to also stream and post videos of game play. I’ve never streamed before and I’m told I sound like a Smurfette on the headset, but here’s to trying. Look for me on Leighanneore on Twitch and I should be starting sometime this week.

Can I Just Homeschool the Boys Already?

That is what I texted my husband today. I’m pro-school. I look forward to those precious moments that I have to enjoy snacks without sharing with my kids or getting work and projects done or even just enjoying the house being clean for at least a few hours while the Hurricane and Tornado are at school. Homeschooling my children never even crossed my mind, except to decide that it wasn’t what we wanted.

Every time a school shooting takes place, I hold my boys a little tighter. It shouldn’t be that way. There has to be a better way. Even in a relatively safe location like mine, there are enough violent cities close enough to me to know that anything can happen. School shootings can happen in my quiet city as they can happen anywhere. That is scary. It is scary to know they are supposed to be safe while at school, but they really aren’t.

I received a call from my oldest kid’s school informing me that all week they have been doing lockdown drills. Since this weekend, there have been numerous “hoax” threats against schools in the area, including one threat towards a school in my city. It’s scary. I’m glad that they caught the individuals who made the threats. It should have been comforting to know that these were hoaxes and not credible threats, but it wasn’t. Anything can happen anywhere, and it is scary as a parent to not have any control over that. Especially when a bullet is found in a classroom in a school very close to us, just across the bridge in the next city.

I’m not going to make it about gender. In these cases, girls were involved in the threats. I’m not shocked by a girl doing it when statistically boys are. Girls are just as capable of malicious intent as boys are. I would even argue a point that of all my friends to cross, I would be more afraid of my female friends (honestly, me, I would be more afraid of me) than I would be of my male friends. Gender has nothing to do with these threats. Society has everything to do with this. Maybe they found it funny to cause panic. Maybe they didn’t care about the consequences because they didn’t think they would have any. I hope the books get thrown at them and they get hit in their bratty little faces with it.

If our children aren’t safe in schools, where are they safe? This is not a gun issue. If someone wanted to harm our kids and do that much damage, they could easily make bombs to cause destruction and death. This is an issue of what we are going to do to protect our kids. I’m scared. I can’t let them see it. But I’m really scared. We need to do better.