The new beta update for PUBG Mobile is out. We recently spotted version 0.12.0 that is rolling out globally and brings some new features, which could eventually be added to the commercial version of the game. Expect two new weapons, a new Zombie mode, friendly spectate, crosshair colour options, quick chat updates, companion eagle and more.
Here’s everything we know so far:
Two new weapons are going to be added to the game. First one is the RPG-7 which is a rocket launcher. The second one is the explosive crossbow, where the bolt is going to explode when it hits the target, and it is expected to blow up even if you hit objects like walls and vehicles. Now we are not sure about the availability of these two new weapons as we heard that the two will only be available in the Zombie event mode.
New Zombie Adventure Mode
There is an all-new zombie mode added under the Event Mode section. The description says, ‘Collect supplies during the day and fend off zombies at night. Survive until the rescue arrives to win!’ Basically, this could be a Left for Dead style mode where you need to defend and survive against zombies for a particular time period until you are rescued from the map.
This is probably the best feature where you can spectate your friends that are playing the game. The feature will also allow you to see your friend’s stats and information while you spectate them. You can also check how many spectators are watching while you are playing a game.
An option to change the crosshair colour is also expected to arrive. You can choose between nine colours to customise the no-scope crosshair, while the red do, holographic, 2x and 3x scope crosshairs can be set to either red or green.
A new update for the quick chat option will now add a new male voice. There is also a new voice wheel, which will have up to eight quick chat audio clips for faster in-game access.
An unexpected feature, the companion is basically an eagle which you can include with your character when you are in the lobby or while playing the game. The eagle sits on your character’s shoulder and can also hover around and it even has its own emotes. Not sure if it has any value apart from adding a new cosmetic item to the game.
This Week In Pokémon GO History
With updates, activities, events, and more coming out every single week in Pokémon GO, we thought it was about time to take a look at this week, and how it stacks up with what we have seen in previous years. TWIPGH, or “This Week in Pokemon GO History,” is a series on GO Hub that takes a look at this calendar week from 2019 to 2016.
|This Week in Pokémon GO History Index|
|2019||Community Day / Equinox Event / Comic Con Events|
|2018||Eggstravaganza Event / Unown Event / Maps and Trackers Down|
|2017||Water Festival / Shinies|
|Final Notes||My closing thoughts on this week of Pokémon GO|
Week 12 of 2019
This week of 2019 saw the return of Community Day, a popular event from last year, and the return of a rare Unown event.
This Community Day featured the next starter in line; Treecko! Of course, Shiny Treecko made an appearance, and it also brought with it a 1/4 egg hatch bonus, and the regular 3-hour lures. Not to mention, the exclusive move of Frenzy Plant!
The Equinox Event brought the increased appearance of Grass-type Pokémon and the switching of Lunatone and Solrock from their respective regions. Besides this, we saw a grass-type raid boss shakeup, limited grass-type research, and finally the addition of two new moves.
Mini-News Roundup – Comic Con Events
In one of the first occasions ever, it appears that the same Pokémon GO event took place at different conventions at the same time. During MCM Comic Con Birmingham and Heroes Dutch Comic-Con, generation IV starters appeared more frequently and brought a few bonuses with them. Besides this, we also saw Unown appear at GDC in San Francisco!
Week 12 of 2018
This week of 2018 made hatching eggs a whole lot more fun, Unown events a bit less rare, and sent maps and trackers entirely under! (Yes it rhymes! No, not very well)
This Eggstravagant Event gave Trainers the shot at hatching a few new shiny baby Pokémon and some extremely rare Pokémon from 2 KM eggs! Of course, PokéStops would only drop 2 KM eggs, and any hatched Pokémon would provide you double hatch candy!
Mini-News Roundup – Unown Event
Just as we saw for 2019, Unown appeared at the GDC event in San Francisco! Besides this, confused Trainers started to see the appearance of “closed” PokéStops, and finally, European Trainers were excited to see that Raid times had been extendedfarther into the evening, a change that would quickly become useless with the time change.
Game Data Changes – Maps and Trackers Down
After an API update, Trainers were surprised to see that maps, trackers, scanners, and more had been mostly “shut down.” However, we all know this was a temporary fix. Besides this, the Eggstravaganza eventwas found in the network traffic, and finally, the Shiny Bulbasaur family line was found as well, once again confirming for Trainers that Community Day releases shinies!
Week 12 of 2017
This week of 2017 introduced us to a new world of Pokémon, starting very small.
What started as an innocent event quickly turned into one of the most monumental in Pokémon GO’s history. The Water Festival gave Trainers the increased chance of catching Water-type Pokémon out in the wild, and for the first time, this meant the introduction of Magikarp’s shiny form! The very first shiny in Pokémon GO!
Game Data Changes – Shinies
With the Water Festival nearing, Trainers were able to find some cracks in Niantic’s PR referencing shiny Magikarp! Making the first shiny Pokémon leak in Pokémon GO. Besides this, new code referencing shiny Pokémon was discovered and even a badge to feature shinies inside of your Pokédex. Finally, we found the introduction of redeemable codes and a new throw mechanic.
This Week In Pokémon GO History Final Notes
If there’s one word I would use to describe this week, it would be fun! That’s it, fun. From seeing the happiness that ignited Trainers with their long overdue shiny search in 2017, to the hunt to hatch rare eggs in 2018, to the scramble of checking every Solrock and Lunatone to find their shinies. In one word, I would describe this week as fun.
Do us a favor, tell us about this week in your own POKÉMON GO history, what was your best catch this week? How about your best catch this same week of 2018? How about from 2017? How has your Pokémon journey evolved since then? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.
It took them four hard-fought games, but Splyce are finally moving on to the next round of the LEC Spring Split playoffs after taking down SK Gaming today. It was a battle between two teams who were looking to prove all the doubters wrong and show that they’re contenders for the LEC CHAMPIONSHIP.
In this series, we saw Splyce show a bit of their flexibility as a roster, which helped them secure a few of their games. Generally, Splyce are known as a team that loves to play for the late-game. Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup has been one of the most important players for Splyce this split, and he ended up winning First Team All-Pro honors because of it.
SK Gaming didn’t go away quietly in the night, though. Even though they made a lot of mistakes, they pushed Splyce to their limits in almost every match. They even mounted an incredible comeback in their first game and looked poised to upset their opponents.
But Splyce demonstrated that they weren’t just a late-game team and that they could play around the early-to-mid game as well. They even brought out a Vel’Koz AP carry in the bottom lane for Kobbe in game three, which was a surprise pick that ended up helping them secure the victory.
This was an amazing series from Kobbe, who was one of the main catalysts for Splyce’s success. Whether it was playing Vel’Koz in the bottom lane or carrying the team on his undefeated Vayne pick, he showed that he deserves to be considered one of the best ADCs in the region.
For SK Gaming, this was an impressive season for a team made up of multiple rookies. Their inexperience showed in this series, but they still have a ton of room to grow as individuals and as a team. Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek, Jorge “Werlyb” Moreno-Torres, and Juš “Crownshot” Marušič had some bright moments during their games and should be excited to prove themselves in the summer.
Splyce, however, now look ahead to face off against Fnatic in the second round of the LEC Spring Split playoffs on Friday, April 5. We’ll see if they can continue their underdog story against one of the best teams in the league.
This week’s News Roundup is an exciting one Trainers, as a lot is going on in the land of Pokémon GO! Earlier this week, Deoxys Defense Form arrived in EX Raids, together with the appearance of new EX eligible gyms. Niantic also announced a series of Earth Day 2019 events, followed by April’s Community Day featuring Bagon, a new Bug-type event, and additional countries added to the PokéStop Submission Beta. The most exciting news, however, is the announcement of Summer of GO: a series of worldwide Pokémon GO live-events coming later in 2019. Let’s take a look!
Summer of GO
Get excited Trainers, as Niantic just announced Summer of GO: a series of worldwide POKEMON GO live-events coming in 2019! The announcement came in the form of a catchy new video on the official Pokémon GO YouTube-channel. As of now, we don’t know much. Niantic will release a full announcement on April 4.
In the video, we get a summary of all official Pokémon GO events of 2018, accompanied by some astronomical numbers of last year!
Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago and the 4 Safari Zone Events in Taiwan (2), Dortmund and Yokosuka brought around 3,000,000 Trainers together.
All 12 Community Days counted up encouraged around 100,000,000 Trainers to go out and play.
Trainers worldwide walked over 5 billion km and caught over 70 billion Pokémon.
The new Friendship feature connected over 190,000,000 Trainers with each other.
What to expect?
Niantic will give a full announcement on Thursday, April 4. As of now, there is not much that we know. We could only speculate about upcoming events, but we expect there will be an announcement about Pokémon GO Fest 2019 and some additional Safari Zone Events.
As for the rest: mark down April 4 on those calendars Trainers!
New Giratina themed raid bosses
Following Giratina’s return as a Tier 5 raid boss, several other raid bosses have changed:
Bagon Community Day
On April 13th, the long-awaited Bagon Community Day will take place! For the second time, the time window is from 3 – 6 pm local time. Be sure to look out for increased spawns and shiny rates of Bagon, in addition to 3-hour lures, 3x catch XP and an exclusive move for Salamence yet to be announced.
Be sure to evolve your Shellgon into Salamence between 3 – 7 pm local time, as this will be your only chance of getting the exclusive move. TM’s and/or second charged moves will not allow your Salamence to get the exclusive move.
A new Pokémon GO Event has been announced: Bug Out!. From Apr. 2, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PDT to Apr. 9, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PDT, BUG type Pokémon will be appearing more frequently in the wild. Also, Incense will last twice as long (60minutes!) and will spawn more Pokémon when activated! Limited-time Research tasks featuring BUG type Pokémon will also be available during the event. As of now, no new shiny Pokémon have been confirmed.
Earth Day 2019
For the second year in a row, Niantic announced their annual Earth Day campaign. From April 13 – 28, worldwide cleanup events will be organized by Niantic in partnership with Playmob and local NGOs.
Just like last year, achieving specific global goals will reward Trainers from all around the world with in-game bonuses. Unlike last year, rewards this year will be available in both Pokémon GO and Ingress! In-game rewards will be released within a 48-hour window from the end of the Earth Day Campaign. Additional info will probably be given by then. More info, as well as all goals with their rewards, can be found here.
New EX Raid Gyms
Earlier this week, Niantic pushed a silent update which caused a certain amount of gyms to become EX Raid eligible! Multiple reports have shown these changes appeared worldwide. However, all gyms which have become eligible after this update were Pokéstops that existed on the map prior to the EX Raid system being implemented. Gyms that were directly created from approved Ingress portals and did not exist as Pokéstops on the map back then did not become eligible. Additional info can be found in the article published earlier this week.
Defense Forme Deoxys Arrives
On March 25, Deoxys altered to it’s Defense Forme and is making its first appearance in EX Raids on March 27/28. You can receive an EX Raid pass by successfully completing raids on eligible gyms. The arrival of new eligible gyms can help you to receive an invitation for you and one Ultra Friend. You can see which gyms are eligible through a handy tag in the top right corner of the gym details.
Be sure to check our Defense Forme Deoxys Raid guide and Heat Map to prepare yourself for battling this Mythical Pokémon!
Pokéstop Submissions Beta in Latin America
A beta version of the Pokéstop nomination feature has become available for level 40 Trainers in many countries in Latin America! Trainers in Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic), Guyana, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, and Belize have been granted access to this beta feature. The newly added countries join Indonesia, Peru, Vietnam, Argentina, Chile, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, and South Korea to test this feature.
EGX Rezzed 2019 in London
A small Pokémon GO event will take place on EGX Rezzed at the Tobacco Dock in London. Starting April 4th through April 6th, in game bonuses will be available at the event. These bonuses include increased Pokémon spawns, 4 hour Lure Modules and 2x Stardust. EGX Rezzed is a gaming event where you get the oppurtunity to enjoy “playable pre-release games on both PC and console, developer sessions by well known game designers and the opportunity to chat with developers on the show floor.” It takes place daily from 10am – 6pm.
We asked you which Tristana skin you wanted most, and after over 4 million votes around the globe, the winner is…
LITTLE DEMON TRISTANA!
Here’s the breakdown:
Sugar Rush: 30%
Galactic Gunner: 27%
Little Demon: 43%
We had to know: Did the hardcore TRISTANA mains who’ve mastered the art of Rocket Jumping into battle choose the same skin? The results were unanimous.
Behind the Concepts
Hi there, I’m Janelle “Riot Stellari” Jimenez, the product lead for the Player Choice Tristana skin. Let’s talk a little more about Little Demon Tristana!
When we were initially coming up with the concepts for the Player Choice Tristana skin, we worked with our concept artist Jesse Li to design three options based around beloved themes. We wanted a “fun” skin, a “sci-fi” skin, and then asked him to create the third choice based on what he felt Tristana needed.
We usually kick off all new skins with a product brief. This super glamorous document has a logline (like a slogan), pillars, and creative goals. We make this so everyone on the team knows where we’re headed and so the artists can feel empowered to flex their creativity within that sandbox. We like to have this document before we enter pre-production—the concept and exploration phase—but for this skin, we had the art first and needed to wait for the results of the vote before we could start production.
Once we knew the winner, we got started on production right away.
Kicking off Skin Production!
Our pillars for Little Demon Tristana (her code name) are the following:
Adorable and demonic, not “edgy”
Right-hand yordle of Little Devil Teemo
Fiery and mischievous
Our next step is to have a “blue sky” meeting where we talk about all the good, bad, and insane ideas for a skin. We can’t possibly do all of them, but we like to let people go a little crazy since it might unlock a great idea. I personally call these meetings “grey sky meetings” because I’m the kind of producer that likes to be realistic, so I’m that rain cloud on your parade. 😉
As you can see, there are some crazy ideas on the board. Some are awesome, some are questionable, and some conflict with each other. And that’s okay!
Next we’ll test out some of the ideas that we love but aren’t sure how they’ll look in game. Sometimes there are amazing ideas that look great as 2D concepts but unfortunately don’t translate into the game very well. As a product manager, I’m accountable for the final skin, so that means part of my job is finalizing what features make it (and which don’t). I make this decision collaboratively with direct input from the team, art and craft leads, delivery leads, engineering teams, marketing, and any partner teams (such as the winning team in the case of World Championship Winner skins).
We know that Dragon Trainer Tristana has red fiery effects, and we want to make sure Little Devil Tristana is unique but also cohesive with Demon Vi, an older skin in this thematic. This is why we’re exploring magenta “demon fire” effects as well as blue “spirit fire” effects (and a few others)—let us know what you think of these explorations in the comments below!
Join Us Next Time
We’ll be back on Nexus every two weeks with updates on our progress, which will continue until the skin is scheduled to launch in patch 9.11. In our next update, Riot Sirhaian will go deeper into what we think about for skins VFX, and we’ll also take a look into the splash creation process. Thanks again to everyone who voted! We’re really excited to work on this together with you.
PUBG ban was implemented on March 14, 2019, post which 20 people were reportedly arrested in different cities, including Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara
Ahmedabad police has lifted the ban on PUBG after a huge outcry on social media criticising the ban. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds also known as PUBG has been in the midst of controversy. PUBG ban was implemented on March 14, 2019, post which 20 people were reportedly arrested in different cities, including Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara. The arrests were made under section 188 of IPC.
Earlier, Gujarat government had banned the popular mobile game PUBG from primary schools. Some academic institutions had claimed direct correlation between the violent game, like PUBG, and the mental health of kids. Even Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) had issued an advisory against games like PUBG and said that it has an harmful, negative and an adverse impact on the brain of the children.
Earlier, Gujarat government had banned the popular mobile game PUBG from primary schools. Some academic institutions had claimed direct correlation between the violent game, like PUBG, and the mental health of kids. PUBG has also been blamed for low academic grades of students. Even Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) had issued an advisory against games like PUBG and said that it has an harmful, negative and an adverse impact on the brain of the children.
Discontinuing the ban, police commissioner of Ahmedabad, A K Singh said, “..as the exam session is over and the direct trigger to initiating the action is not valid any more, we will not renew the proclamation. We have also taken public reaction into account”.
“However, we are still concerned about the matter, as we are coming across extreme use of the game. We have decided to take more aggressive affirmative action. Maybe we will initiate a discussion and helpline services to provoke various resources in the civil society”, Singh added.
Meanwhile, PUBG has also decided to implement digital lock for its users under 13 years of age. The digital lock system will lock out players under the age of 13 and they would have to ask their guardians or parents to open the game for them.
PUBG recently celebrated its first anniversary in March 2019. Launched in March 2018 in India, PUBG Mobile has become the most downloaded game with over 200 million downloads as of December 2018, according to Tencent Games.
Posted on March 29, 2019
Raids now follow a set pattern based on difficulty to determine the exact number of groups that will spawn as part of the raid: Easy – 3 Normal – 5 Hard – 7
If you or your fellow village mates brought more than one level of Bad Omen into the village during the raid or at the initial trigger of the raid, then you will experience a bonus wave equivalent to the final base wave you would normally see for your difficulty. Ex: Bad Omen levels 2-5 would experience 4 waves on easy, where the fourth wave is the same as the third.
You can now get up to Bad Omen 5, and you only get 1 Bad Omen at a time from killing a captain. Each person that brings Bad Omen into the village will increase the Bad Omen level of the raid on that village up to Bad Omen 5. A higher level of bad omen means a higher chance that the enemies you face will have enchanted weapons.
HERO OF THE VILLAGE:
You now get an effect called Hero of the Village after successfully defending your village from a raid! The level of this effect that you get is equivalent to the Bad Omen level of the village that was raided. This effect will last for ~2 in game days and will give you great discounts on trades, with the discount dependent on the level of the effect. Villagers will also show their gratitude, so look out for your new fans in the village after you save them!
If the bell is rung, villagers will run into a random nearby home and hide for a short time.
All Illagers can now open doors, but Vindicators will still chop them down if they feel like it
All raid waves have been rebalanced, with certain waves more heavy on specific mobs than other waves and the earlier waves being significantly less easy than the later waves.
Evokers will spawn in waves 5-7, as opposed to just in the final wave before
Raiders are much better at going door-to-door now, and seek to be constantly moving during raids, always looking into houses to try and find villagers
Villagers now sweat all the time during raids, not just when you try to trade with them
Also you can trade with villagers during raids again!
FIXED BUGS IN 19W13A
MC-132313 – Buttons and levers can be placed on the bottom of hoppers
MC-137467 – Ender dragon does not spawn if render distance is set to 10 or below
MC-139376 – Crash when putting spaces and clicking on “Done” in the jigsaw GUI
MC-139798 – Bad Omen disappears upon entering villages in spectator mode
MC-141009 – Clicking “done” on a Jigsaw disconnects client on dedicated server
MC-141358 – Tridents have the SoundEvent tag, but don’t use it
MC-145758 – Villagers constantly breeding but don’t produce baby villagers
MC-146282 – Entering Command Block UI Causes All Music to Stop
MC-146346 – Backup world file saved without .zip
MC-146350 – Splash water bottles do not put out fires
MC-146353 – Structure integrity does not work, RNG runs for all blocks at once
MC-146359 – Crash whilst rendering overlay
MC-146360 – Exiting bed always puts the player or villager in blocks
MC-146367 – Hostile mobs spawning on glass
MC-146377 – Beacon UI is nonresponsive and doesn’t allow you to change the beacon effect
MC-146380 – After sleeping in a bed, the player always spawns on top of it if there are no blocks next to it
MC-146381 – Sleeping in a bed always resets the player’s spawn point to the world spawn point
MC-146387 – Monsters spawning on leaves during night time
MC-146454 – Eating food no longer plays the burp sound
MC-146470 – Entities in forceloaded or world spawn chunks cannot be selected
MC-146594 – Villager babies don’t have biome-specific skin
MC-146707 – Splash text in main menu changes every time you resize the MINECRAFT window
Posted on March 29, 2019
From March 28th at 1 PM PDT through April 2nd at 1 PM PDT, Giratina (Altered Forme) returns to Tier 5 Raids to be immediately followed by Giratina (Origin Forme). Because the two Formes have the same typing, the same moves are super effective against them both, but as they have different base stats and movesets, the effectiveness of their counters do vary.
We’ve produced both a Giratina (Altered Forme) Heat Map and a Giratina (Origin Forme) Heat Map, but as Altered is only with us for a week, you could be forgiven for just setting up Battle Parties for Origin and using them to counter both Formes. If you’re planning on battling a lot of the Altered Forme and/or battling it with smaller groups, then making specific parties for both Formes would still be a good idea.
What’s a Heat Map?
Most Raid Boss counter lists assume that you have maxed out versions of each POKÉMON on it, but in reality, the majority of people do not. With our Giratina (Altered Forme) Heat Map, however, you can identify whether for example, a lower level Pokémon will do more damage to the Raid Boss than a higher level one, due to it having a better and more effective moveset. An excellent example of this is how a level 30 Rayquaza with Dragon Tail and Outrage will do more damage to a Giratina Raid Boss than a level 40 Rayquaza with Air Slash & Outrage (given the same amount of time).
There are several different methods for ranking Raid Boss counters, but the one we’ve selected to use is TTW, which stands for ‘Time-To-Win.’ This metric tells you which Pokémon would potentially beat the Raid Boss in the shortest amount of time so if you’re short of Trainers, this will give you the best chance of beating the Boss before the time runs out. Not only that, but doing more damage can mean more Premier Balls with which to try and catch the Raid Boss!
So to supplement our Giratina (Altered Forme) Raid Guide, here’s the Heat Map that we’ve made. Below, we’ll explain how to read and use the Heat Map to get the most out of your Raid squads:
Giratina (Altered Forme) Heat Map
(Shoutouts go to Pokebattler.com for the data, Redditor u/Rayunge for his guidance in compiling the data, and GOHub Artist OrangeHeart for creating the Giratina Heat Map info-graphic)
*This data assumes that you don’t know the moveset of the Raid Boss, that no moves will be weather boosted, and that you aren’t getting a friend damage bonus, so basically, almost the worst case scenario; unless the weather boosts the Raid Boss’ moves, things can only get easier.
While Attack Forme Deoxys and Haunter were both high on the list of TTW counters, they’ve been omitted from the heat map due to their fragility – both will be knocked out way too quickly to warrant using the excessive amounts of resources needed to power them up to a useful level.
How to use our Heat Maps
As detailed at the bottom of the graphic, to use a Pokémon GO Hub Heat Map, you first need to identify which of the listed Pokémon you have, whether they have the specified moveset (If not, you can of course use some TMs) and what level they are. As a rough guide:
If your Pokémon is fully powered up (and you’re at Trainer Level 38 or above), it’s at Level 40.
If it costs around 8000 Stardust to power up, it’s at about level 35.
If it costs around 5000 Stardust to power up, it’s at about level 30.
If it costs around 4000 Stardust to power up, it’s at about level 25.
If it costs around 2500 Stardust to power up, it’s at about level 20.
Try to identify your 12 best counters so that you can fill two Battle Parties because if Giratina defeats your first Party and you don’t want to use Max Revives, you’ll then have your next-best-optimized one ready to go straight back into battle.
Once you know which of these Pokémon you have and roughly what level they are, it’s time to put them in order of best to worst; The numbers in the grid represent how long that counter, at thatlevel, with that moveset would take to beat the raid boss if the counter had unlimited HP. So the lower (and greener) the number, the better.
When you have ordered your Pokémon from best to worst, you can make a couple of battle parties so that you’re ready for every encounter you have with the Raid Boss.
Best of luck in your battles with Giratina, and if you have any feedback, suggestions or changes you’d like to see in our future Raid Boss Heat Maps, please Tweet @GoHubQoncept or join us on the GO Hub Discord and tag @Qoncept with your comments.
Posted on March 28, 2019
Once you get past the fact that the 100 Thieves’ star-studded lineup featuring a world champion, former LCS MVP, and former top lane first team all-pro missed the Playoffs (feel free to take a moment to reflect on your life, 100 fans), you’ll see that all the usual suspects are here. TL, C9, and TSM lead the way as we set out to crown the LCS’ representative for MSI this year. They had a three-way ouroborus type of relationship with each other that goes TL > C9 > TSM > TL etc., and now they’ll try to rewrite that narrative. They are joined by first-timer Golden Guardians, a veteran FlyQuest roster, and a surprise appearance from a surging Echo Fox. Here’s 6 thoughts on each of the championship hopefuls!
1. TEAM LIQUID [14-4] — In times of trouble…
If you’ve ever played a normal draft game and at some point got ganked and died for the second time, and your team wasn’t listening to your pings to ward Baron, maybe you’ve thought, “Whatever this isn’t ranked.” That’s what Liquid’s play has felt like the last couple of weeks. It hasn’t been particularly awful, but it’s lethargic and lacks some of the decisiveness we saw earlier in the season from them. Surely this is in part because they clinched the #1 seed so early — it’s hard to really judge them on the games that didn’t matter as opposed to the games that did matter earlier in the season. But the pessimistic side of this says that winning is a culture, and they’ve alluded to having difficulty in scrims at times even earlier in the season, so maybe there is cause for concern? I feel like they’ll be able to turn it up a notch in the Playoffs and focus a bit better (like they did all of last year), but I also feel like last year’s TL didn’t have any competition as stiff as C9 or TSM right now. I don’t expect them to run roughshod over everybody again, but that’s also for the better — some competition now will sharpen them ahead of MSI (if they get there). Overall, though, this was still a super dominant season from them. I expect CoreJJ to win the MVP award, and I still think they’re the odds-on favorite to win the Spring Split. This week’s bye should help them sort out their mentality — let’s see if they can get back to a do-or-die form. Or just reset ranked again.
Was it overkill for Cloud9 to play the reigning Academy Worlds champions to end the regular season? Absolutely. In fact I expect the commissioner’s office to fine them for smurfing in the LCS. But now that C9’s true secret weapon has been exposed, I expect teams to be extra wary of them come playoffs… Honestly though I think this is the team I’d be most scared of facing — not only do they have flexible players in their core five, they can also substitute the likes of Blaber in to give the team a fresh identity if things start to sour. The starting five, though, have a honey-badger kind of identity to them where it really just seems like they do not care about their own well-being sometimes. They are aggressive (at times to a fault), and that has won them a lot of games, but I wonder if that’s something that can hold up over an extended set where teams actually have a chance to become accustomed to the pace. My gut says this team has the highest ceiling in NA right now, but it’s not going to be easy for them to even get to the Finals — especially with a likely Semifinal matchup against TSM looming. It was an unexpectedly dominant regular season from them — their best in years — and a lot of that credit has to go to their staff for continuously developing their players and placing them in positions to succeed. Really just kind of nuts to think they could do this after losing Jensen — it’d be pretty ironic if they finally won another split after Jensen leaves.
Last week I asked if TSM would be the favorite going into Playoffs if they went 2-0, which they did, so now they’re riding an 11-1 streak (the one loss was to C9 in a game they very easily could have won). Let’s take this one step at a time. Are they the favorite to beat Echo Fox? Absolutely — I’d go as far as to say that anything short of a 3-0 would be disappointing, even. Are they the favorite to win the whole thing, though? Well, just looking at the odds, you figure they’d have to go through both C9 and TL, and at best they’re a 60/40 favorite in those matchups (I think it’s actually even lower). If you compare those made-up numbers to my made-up numbers about TL’s chances being 80/20 and then 40/60, then I think TL wins out in terms of overall likelihood of winning. The TSM vs. C9 match would be a bit of a meat grinder like the 3-2 C9 Semifinal win from last Summer. Honestly I can’t really remember the last time we had a three-headed beast like this at the top of the LCS all fighting for supremacy. TSM has looked very good during this run, and Bjergsen appears to be excelling in a calm manner. Maybe it’s just the beard, but it actually feels like even his play has matured so that he makes more plays and fewer mistakes and tilts less easily. There’s some good old “my dad can beat up your dad” energy in his play. TSM hasn’t looked this good domestically since 2017 — I’m excited to see if they can put an end to their short spell of actually missing Finals. First up is FOX — surely we won’t see a repeat of what Clutch (with Apollo, Hakuho, and Solo) did last spring, right?
A fun fact about this team is they are tied with Team Liquid and GGS for having the most players on their roster with a domestic title at three players: Pobelter, Santorin, and WildTurtle. Which means the FLY vs. GGS matchup this weekend will feature 6/10 players who know exactly what it takes to win it all. Does that actually mean anything? Maybe not in the sense of them being favorites, but it does mean their players aren’t going to be shitting their pants if they find themselves in an early hole against GGS. I think veteran presence and leadership is really critical in an extended set, where nerves not only appear but have time to stew and develop if left unchecked. If you find yourself getting bopped by someone or getting ganked repeatedly, you can quickly become a liability, and if you fall into the mentality that the game is over just because you lost your lane, then that could spell trouble for the whole team. The reality of it, though, is you can’t win every lane, and FLY will do well to remind their rookie top laner V1per of that especially. GGS’ three former winners are Froggen, Hauntzer, and Olleh, so it’ll be a tight fight between very evenly matched teams. Winning a tight set might even give them momentum to topple a struggling TL in the subsequent round. I don’t think FLY has enough firepower to take it all, but they’re also not going to hand you the game (*camera pans to Turtle with Flash up*) — anyone who knocks this team out is going to have to bring their best shot.
Local Summoner’s Rift hip-hop artist Fire Drake once rapped, “We started from the bottom of the 2019 LCS Spring Split and now we’re here.” To go from 0-4 to Playoffs is a super impressive turnaround (especially considering they finished 10th both times last year), but I don’t think I’d say they’ve made enough strides to be considered a major contender for the Playoffs. There are a lot of players on this team who will feel like they have something to prove — Froggen, for example, has not made Playoffs since 2014 (so you could say he literally got Kabumed out of relevance). Olleh, Contractz, and Hauntzer came from each of the top three teams in the league respectively, and eventually upsetting any one of them would be a pretty memorable stick-it-to-them moment for them. They have the most unorthodox mid lane picks thanks to Froggen, who’s played Anivia, Karthus, and Vel’koz among others this split, and maybe in an extended set that kind of versatility will make them harder to prepare for. The most interesting matchup in their match against FLY will be in top lane — if Hauntzer can play at a high level, then I feel like he should be able to impose his will over the rookie V1per. Top lane is, however, often won by junglers, so more likely it’ll be a duel between the top/jungle pairs from both teams. It’s been a good split for this team, and I expect the matchup against FLY to be super close (probably five games). If they want to go further, though, then I think we’ll need to see them take another leap like the one made in reversing their start.
If I were a betting man, I would’ve bet a lot on FOX not making Playoffs when they were 4-10 and staring at a tough schedule that featured matches against both TL and C9. And my bet would have gone as well as my cryptocurrency venture last year (which is to say not well at all!!). I’m going to out myself and say that I felt like the over/under line for wins for this team before the season started was two wins. I did not have any confidence in them at all for a whole variety of reasons, so them coming out of the gates at 4-4 was a pleasant surprise. Them going 0-6 after that was about what I expected, and then going 4-0 to end the split and make playoffs completely shattered my perceptions. Apollo securing the Playoff berth with a pentakill was such a nice sweetener to cap the run for them, and I hope they can ride that high and prove me wrong again. I just feel like there’s three distinct tiers of teams in the playoffs, and the gap between each is pretty massive, and FOX is two tiers below TSM for me. That doesn’t mean their season has been disappointing — far from it — but I do think they won’t be able to keep up with TSM this week. Unlike CLG, TSM isn’t going to gift them the game after securing an early gold lead. If they are to hang in it, though, then that’s probably going to come down to Rush significantly outplaying Akaadian. He just hasn’t been consistent enough for me to see that happening three times. Kind boy will need to be a mean this week.
Posted on March 28, 2019
Trainers, attention! Bagon is the featured Pokemon for April’s Community Day in Pokemon GO! On Apr. 13, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time), Bagon will appear much more frequently. A shiny Bagon is also expected to make an appearance.
|Event||Bagon Community Day|
|Date & Time||Globally Apr. 13, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time)|
|Bonuses||3x Catch XP|
We’re quite excited for this Community Day, as Bagon is essentially Generation III’s equivalent of Dratini. The introduction of a CD exclusive move could help Salamence outperform Dragonite, if the exclusive move is Outrage. However, there’s a lot of speculation about Fly being Salamence’s CD exclusive, given that it fits with Bagon’s lore and Pokedex entry:
“Bagon harbors a never-ending dream of one day soaring high among the clouds. As if trying to dispel its frustration over its inability to fly, this Pokémon slams its hard head against huge rocks and shatters them into pebbles.”