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League Of Legends – Team Liquid Co-CEO Steven Arhancet Interview

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Team LiquidWith the first gaming tournaments occurring in 1972, eSports has grown beyond the imagination of anyone in that time. When the first League of Legends World Championship took place, it attracted 1.7 million unique viewers. 1.7 million is a large amount of people to watch a gaming tournament, but the 2016 League of Legends World Championship lured in 14.7 million unique viewers. In the span of five years, the viewership multiplied almost ten times and the prize pool for the players went up from $100,000 to $5,000,000. With the scene evolving rapidly, who knows what’s in store for this season. Steven Arhancet is the Co-CEO of the eSports company Team Liquid and a gaming enthusiast. Steven Arhancet has always been an entrepreneur, even when he was young with a lemonade business on his street. Steven Arhancet always loved playing games and spent most of his time doing so. Steven, or as the gaming community knows him “liquid112”, began his gaming interest playing Oregon Trail and Civilization 1. His gaming career started with Civilization IV. In the game, Steven Arhancet owned the competitive team Team XXX. When League of Legends was released, he expanded Team XXX into League of Legends. Steven Arhancet did not play competitively for too long before he stepped down and became the Director of eSports for Curse and later departing and partnering with Team Liquid.

There is no doubt that Steven Arhancet knows what he is doing and does it well. Knowing what it is like to be a professional gamer helps him understand what his players need and how to treat them.

League of Legends

What is a day like as the CEO of Team Liquid?

My day starts around 8:00 am and I go and get Starbucks on my way over to the office to dive right into emails. We aren’t just an esports team, we are an agency and a production company. Team Liquid’s other CEO is in Europe so they have about a 4 hour head start. I go to crossfit 3-4 days a week and it kicks my butt but I have to stay in shape. We have our scrims so I’m there to make sure everything goes accordingly and if there are no scrims, I check my emails again or go to company meetings. I get home around 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm and sit down and play a game or two of League of Legends and then it’s time for bed.

What was it like switching from Curse to Team Liquid?

With Team Curse it was mainly just League of Legends, Super Smash Bros, and a little bit of Counter Strike, but we weren’t really in there. I was running a lot of the process at Curse so when we split I already knew a lot of what to do. One of the hardest parts was learning how to run a company with somebody else. I didn’t even know that a Co-CEO was a thing, I had to Google it. It is a different experience because we both have responsibilities and we have to exchange the information. Having a Co-CEO is a lot like getting married at first, complimenting each other at what we were good at, pointing out our flaws and rounding everything out, but that change was huge. Within the first year, we went from 1 million viewable hours to 5 million viewable hours, introduced 4 new teams, and increased our website traffic.

What made you want to become a part of Team Liquid?

When we split with Curse I had two options:

1. Make a completely new team and start from the ground up

2. Merge with an existing team and save myself all that trouble and start right away

It was a clear option to merge with an existing team to make it easier and get our team situated to start their practice.

How has eSports changed you life?

Esports has been a realization of a hobby that became incredibly lucrative. I remember playing Civilization 1 on a floppy disk and my parents yelling at me to get off the computer. I would want to go to class so badly just so I could play Oregon Trail. On top of that, I have always been entrepreneurial. I was always the kid with a lemonade stand trying to make money. I had a separate backpack because I would burn songs onto CD’s and sell them to kids for $20. When the opportunity came up and I could start a professional gaming team and make money doing it, there was no turning it down. It’s a passion that very few get to experience, and I love doing it.

Do you ever miss being a Pro Gamer?

If my skills were still up to par with the professional level then yes, absolutely. I would love to be a pro gamer again, but the reality is that I’m not as good as I used to be and the amount of time it would take to regain those skills is not worth it. My skill set has changed over the years from a professional gamer to running a company, and that is just the way it is.

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Gaming

Half a million dollar Playstation 5

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A solid gold-plated PlayStation 5? Wow, that sure sounds expensive. Caviar, the same company that released a pure gold iPhone, extended its ‘Midas’ touch to the world of gaming. According to Caviar jewelers, they can’t pass the opportunity to give the most advanced PlayStation a luxurious makeover. 

Golden Rock

Caviar’s console has an embossed, playful geometric design as if cut from a boulder of gold. It makes perfect sense to call the PS5 collection “Golden Rock.” 

At first, Caviar’s website did not announce a price list for the 18-karat solid gold-plated console. 

It certainly builds anticipation, as the price itself deserves a grand reveal. However, no one expected the price to be as high as $499,999. Yikes, that’s a hefty amount for a shiny game console. 

Currently, the golden console is available on Caviar’s website. But unless you have half a million on your account, you probably don’t want to add this PlayStation 5 to cart. 

Console Specifications

Overall, the solid gold plate’s total weight around the console and gamepad weighs about 3.8 kilograms. The designer paid close attention to details by applying an original technique to add volume and texture to the console. Aside from mimicking the outlines of a rock, the designer wanted buyers to experience a “real tactile pleasure” using the gamepad. Caviar’s designer used genuine crocodile leather to clad the controller set included in the Golden Rock collection.

According to Caviar’s press release, each console takes at least four months to create. Also, the company announced their collaboration with a contractor specializing in gold jewelry to develop a test sample. The brand stressed that this collection is a limited edition and will only release nine Golden Rock PS5. 

Meanwhile, if a luxurious console sounds overwhelming, a non-gold PS5 that’s worth $499 presumably functions just the same. Of course, minus the golden Midas touch. 

Public’s Reaction

Sure, “Golden Rock” is probably the last thing our world needs now, but there’s anticipation for some. Ever since the announcement last December 28, the company has received more than 1,300 applications for the new product. According to Caviar’s Youtube channel, famous basketball player LeBron James is one of those who showed interest as a buyer.

Other interested buyers are well-known Russian businessmen and equally famous American businessmen in the IT field. However, the names of the potential buyers are not disclosed for privacy reasons. 

Due to the high demand, the brand decided to release a single piece but decided on a small series. After seeing the positive response, Caviar announced that it would release nine sets of Golden Rock. However, that’s still not enough to satiate more than a thousand interested buyers. Now, I’m wondering who’s on the very top list of the buyers. 

Other than a solid gold console, the luxurious gadget customization company offers other editions for Sony PlayStation 5. 

Conclusion

In the end, Golden Rock is the most expensive PlayStation 5 customization in the market to date. If you’re interested in buying the gold console, Golden Rock is still available on Caviar’s website.

For other gaming and technology-related articles, you can read more here at Owner’s Mag!

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6 Awesome Indie Games to Watch for in 2021

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Gaming is truly at its peak in 2021. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X released late last year, and presumably they will stop selling out long enough for more people to be able to buy them at a reasonable price. Nintendo will be upgrading to the Nintendo Switch Pro soon. Competitive gaming is booming in cities like Las Vegas and Philadelphia. While it’s fun to to think about rumored for a new Pokémon remake and Halo sequels, lets not forget all the awesome indie games that are due out this year.

1. 12 Minutes

12 Minutes is a single-player mystery game centered around a 12-minute loop of time. As the story goes, the protagonist’s wife announces that she is pregnant. Shortly after, a police officer shows up and accuses the wife of murdering his father. After a scuffle, the officer knocks out the protagonist and kills the expecting wife. You then rewind 12 minutes and are tasked with trying to alter the events ahead. The gameplay is a top-down adventure style taking place in a small apartment.

12 Minutes is set to release on PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One.

2. Stray

In this open world game, you play as a stray cat. That’s right, not a super hero, not an black ops soldier, or an electric mouse – just an ordinary stray cat. In this futuristic cyberpunk city, you can roam the alleyways, making friends and solving puzzles.  The imagery is beautiful and intricate, especially for an indie game.

Stray will release in October and will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

3. The Medium

Video games of the honor genre need to be unsettling to pay off. The Medium certainly delivers on this front. The main character, Marianne, is a pregnant medium who can exist in both the real world and the spirit world at the same time. Players must use this dual-reality system to solve puzzles and forge ahead. Gaming is breathtaking with hyper-realistic graphics and a suspenseful score that will give you goosebumps.

The Medium released on January 28th and is available on PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One.

4. Sable

Sable is a third person open world game. Play as the titular character Sable, as you travel through a desert wasteland, scavenging and meeting new characters. Sable gets around on her glider which looks like a lot of fun. The graphic novel-like design looks like an early-gen Borderlands, and is very pleasing.

Sable will release later this year on Mac, PC, and Xbox Series X.

5. 30XX

This old school platform game has all the 32-bit look and sound of your favorite SEGA game. This sequel to 20XX has everything you want in a visually nostalgic game. The pixels are purposely reminiscent of Mega Man. Be patient, though. One death, and your character goes all the way back to the beginning of the game.

30XX is available now on PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

6. Skatebird

Skatebird brings you the money thing missing from all the Tony Hawk Proskater video games: a bird that rides. Simply put, play as a bird on a skateboard as you kick flip and ollie off skate ramps. The game shares many of the mechanics of the Tony Hawk games as you play from a 3rd person angle. As you can imagine, gameplay isn’t heavily grounded in reality. This just means that more trick combinations lead to wilder stunts.

Skatebird will release later this year on PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

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Pokémon Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary!

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Pokémon, the worldwide phenomenon, turns 25 this year. Feeling old yet? For some, the thought of Pokémon conjures up some nostalgia as they think back to their childhood. For many others, the thought has them reaching for their phone to play the mobile game. To celebrate its birthday, the Pokémon company promises all kinds of fun for 2021. From the trading cards to Pokémon GO, let’s unpack the pocket monster craze and see what’s in store for the birthday celebration.

Pokémon Trading Cards

Pokémon hit America by storm in ’96 and kids everywhere couldn’t get enough. Forget about Pogs, no one cared about Beanie Babies anymore. Everyone wanted Pokémon cards. Like Magic the Gathering, Pokémon TCG is a turn-based game where you stacked your monsters up against the other players. For many, it was much more about collecting than actually playing. The crown jewel of the Pokémon TCG was the First Edition holographic Charizard. Stories of people selling their holo Charizard today for thousands of dollars have collectors calling their mom to dig through the attic.

TV Show

If you were a fan of Pokémon in the 90s, you are no doubt singing the theme song in your head. The anime followed young Ash Ketchum and his Pokémon, Pikachu as they travelled across the land, making friends, catching Pokémon, and battling trainers – trying to become the very best like no one ever was. The show introduced fans to Team Rocket, the regular villains of the series who wanted to use Pokémon for nefarious purposes.

Pokémon on Gameboy

How far games have come since the original Pokémon video games were released. Pokémon Red and Blue released in tandem for the Gameboy in 1996. A brilliant marketing ploy – Game freak released two nearly identical games to the public. The gameplay was the same, except that players needed to play both games to get all 150 original Pokémon. Sure, you could trade with your friends to complete your PokéDex, but most kids just begged mom for both. Remember Mew? Mew was the legendary 151st Pokémon. Game freak built-in code for this Pokémon, but never gave fans an official way to see or catch it. There were rumors that Mew was hidden under a truck by the SS. Anne, but that was bogus. Bust out your Gameshark and enter the cheat code if you wanted a full PokéDex.

Red and Blue have seen many sequels, and the franchise has evolved (no pun intended) with better graphics and more Pokémon. There are now over 800 unique Pokémon that you can catch in the latest games: Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Pokémon Go

In 2016, Pokémon got an adrenaline shot and thrusted back into the mainstream with Pokémon Go. The mobile game lets players use the real-world GPS on their phone to walk around and catch Pokémon using augmented reality technology. Just like the card game or Gameboy, the goal is of course to Catch ‘Em All. Players can team up to take down strong monsters or trade to get what they need. The game is regularly changing and adding new features. Various events like Community Days encourage players to meet up and play together. The game is made so that kids (and adults) can go outside and get some exercise – you have to walk around to find Pokémon, but with COVID-19, adjustments were made so that people can play safely from home.

What’s in Store for 2021

Katy Perry

Pokémon announced that they will be releasing Pokémon themed music throughout the year. Their first collaborator: Katy Perry! More artists are lined up to be announced throughout the year.

Merch

Pokémon promises a rollout of cool merchandise. They teamed up with Bear Walker to release Pokémon skateboards. McDonalds will have Pokémon toys in their Happy Meals. New Trading Cards will be available all year. Build-A-Bear will have your favorite Pokémon available to build and take home.

Games

Another favorite game, Pokémon Snap is getting an overhaul. The reboot displays shiny new graphics and will be released in April of this year.

Pokémon Go is celebrating the original 151 Pokémon with their Kanto Event. The mobile game will highlight the original characters from the red and blue Gameboy games.

Diamond and Pearl?

Rumors are flying around about an announcement that will be made later this month. Fans are speculating that it will be a reboot of the Diamond and Pearl installments of the Gameboy games. Nothing has been confirmed yet.

Pokémon promises all this and more for their 25th anniversary. Whether you haven’t played Pokémon since middle school, or you have kids that play – or you haven’t stopped playing all this time, 2021 is sure to be a nostalgia packed year for fans all over.

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