Halo Championship Series Pro League - Week 4 Day 2 Recap

The roster tweaks pay off for teams like LOL and Luminosity in week four of the HCS Pro League, but not for Evil Geniuses (EG) and Allegiance. Day two competition does no favours for struggling teams as LOL surges through the standings in hopes of a top four spot.

Allegiance vs. Luminosity Gaming | Luminosity wins 3-0

Poor play for Allegiance continues on day two as Luminosity sweeps without much resistance. In game two Regret – Slayer, Luminosity and Allegiance trade kills up until the 25 kill mark. What looks like a close game gets away from Allegiance when the team wipes seconds before the Overshield respawns. Once Luminosity takes Overshield, the lead expands and they win the game 50-39.

Halo Championship Series Pro League - Week 4 Day 1 Recap

After a two week break from the Halo Championship (HCS) Pro League, teams return with new players and LAN practice. While teams did not compete online, four pro teams and various players participated in a mid-season LAN in Orange County, California. The open bracket tournament saw OpTic Gaming protect their position as the best Halo team in the world.

With the Fall Season returning to its weekly schedule, teams hope for a top-four spot for the Fall Season Finals.

Day 1

Luminosity Gaming vs. OpTic Gaming | OpTic wins 3-2

OpTic kept their dominant roster intact, but Luminosity made an unexpected change by dropping Eco for Evil Geniuses’ (EG) Victory X. The change reunites two long-time Halo veterans, Naded and Victory X, with their first match against the world’s best.

Luminosity’s changes make an immediate impact as Victory X helps start the series with a win on Fathom - Capture the Flag (CTF). Although OpTic captures the first two flags, Victory X turns the game around with the Camouflage. His sneaky plays starts a run of three unanswered flags for Luminosity.

The series goes to game five where OpTic steals a win from Luminosity on Rig – Slayer. Both teams trade kills up until the 25 kill mark, but OpTic Lethul use the sniper rifle to builds a small lead. The game ends with time and not kills, the final score recorded at 48-45 for OpTic.

PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio not Upgrading Consoles as Expected

Once every week I push my red lawn mower around my yard. If I owned a riding lawn mower maybe I would use it, but it wouldn’t help. No matter what I use, the sun beams down and the trees block the way. But a farmer with a huge yard rides off into the sun, trimming the grass faster than any push mower available.

Like a riding mower, the PS4 Pro targets a very specific buyer. The hardware touts improved visuals on 4K televisions and allows for people to play in virtual reality (VR). But the rest of us, the ones sweating over our grass patches, wonder if the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio improves how we play.

Applying Purpose and Improving Interaction in an Open World Game

When DICE revealed Mirror's Edge Catalyst, the shift from linear parkour to an open world didn't matter. I waited eight years to play another Mirror's Edge and nothing would stop me. As I slow my sprint through the City of Glass, I also stop to understand the purpose of an open world. While Catalyst recreates the awe of free-running parkour, I don't credit its huge city for discovering that feeling. The main character, Faith, still runs regardless of the world around her. Without tying her movement and mechanics to the landscape of rooftops, the space leaves voids between the focal points of a game.

Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) haunts me with the dozens of lost hours spent driving. Whether you play a mission, go to a mission or explore away from a mission, you spend way too much time driving. With such a large open-world, cars speed up travel. Rockstar doesn't give you a better option for fast travel besides a paid taxi ride. And since many missions require some sort of vehicle to even trigger the event, why bother fast travelling with a taxi. Despite an elaborate heist story, GTAV's best use of city exploration and travel is to plop you in a car.

The Effects of Cosmetic Sales, Free Updates and Paid DLC

As players grind levels for loot boxes in Overwatch, I assume Blizzard works hard on their promise of free DLC. They fund free updates with revenue from selling randomized loot boxes of items already in the base game. Even after the retail sale, Blizzard wants players to spend even more by locking dozens of skins and emblems.

Some people may not qualify skins as content, but it does affect the value of a game. Item rarity takes from Overwatch's already thin launch package, and questions the effects of free DLC plans. Cosmetic marketplaces keep the community at the same version of game, yet it adds an item grind not found with paid DLC plans.

In Battlefield 4, players must pay for more content, but in Overwatch players can also invest time. The maps, weapons and vehicles in each Battlefield DLC also bundle camouflage variants, weapons skins and new emblems. The skins and emblems DICE considers as "extras" in each DLC, Blizzard positions as the main source for paid content. If players don't buy loot boxes, then they must invest time to level up, all the while performing at a high level. There are no experience boosts or quests rewards, it comes down to performance, time and luck.

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