Roccat is one of the biggest gaming brands on the market, offering a huge range of peripherals that have been winning over consumers at home, pro gamers in the eSports community and beyond. Their gaming mice, keyboards and headsets are often regarded as some of the best in the business, and from what we’ve seen in previous reviews here at eTeknix, they certainly know how to impress.
“Armed with the latest proven ROCCAT® technological innovations, the successor to the ROCCAT® Kova is equipped to the teeth. The new ROCCAT® Kova[+] unites powerful technology with intelligent software and an advanced V-shaped design for left or right-handed use.” – Roccat
“Put what you’ve learned to use and combine new experiences so skillfully that your thinking and actions are always one and the same.” Dr. Erik J. Dale, ROCCAT Scientist
The Kova comes equipped with all the right features for competitive gaming. You’ll find a high-quality optical sensor, which offers up lag free tracking with high IPS and acceleration capabilities, so we’re expecting great things from this in our testing section.
3200dpi optical Sensor
130 ips maximum speed
1000Hz polling rate
16-bit data channel
2m USB cable
Width 6.4 cm , Height 3.8 cm , Length 12.8 cm , Weight 98 g
First of all, let’s check out this quick product feature trailer from Roccat, as it’ll walk you through some of the unique aspects of the Kova.
The packaging is typical Roccat, keeping the same box shape and general design we’ve seen on all their mice for years now. There’s a clear image of the product, as well as a rundown of all the major specifications.
Around the back, a bit more technical information, but let’s move onto the fun stuff and get it out of the box!
In the box, you’ll find the mouse, which comes hard-wired with a 2-meter black braided cable, as well as all the usual documentation.
Some people argue that video games take as much skill and preparation as actual sports, hence the attraction for people to take part in the competitions that now offer millions in rewards. In light of this, we want to introduce everyone to the eGames International gaming tournament.
Set to debut this summer alongside the summer Olympic games in Rio, the eGames International gaming tournament will take place in every Olympic year, be it the summer or winter games, and will take place in the Olympic games host cities. That means after Rio we will get a tournament in Pyeongchang in 2018 and one in Tokyo in 2020.
In the years in between people can accept national qualifiers, making the games as equal as the sporty Olympic games. Open to gamers of all kinds aged 18 and over, gamers can expect to face some tough competitions from all over the world as they face the world to represent their countries.
In Brazil, the game will be show-cased with a two-day pop-up tournament and the event already has the backing of Britain, Canada, Brazil and the USA. Designed as a not-for-profit initiative, the schemes been set up with support from the UK government and with aims of “positively shaping the future of competitive eSports gaming”.
With Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on the line, will gamers be enticed to step away from prize pots for the chance to gain national recognition? With more details coming out this month and in May, we may see a list of the games that participating countries will be facing off against each other in.
The rise of eSports has been nothing short of revolutionary and transformed talented gamers into household celebrities. Not only that, players in popular games like League of Legends compete in events with huge prize pools watched by millions around the globe. These individuals are under intense pressure and hone their craft for long periods each day. I’ve always been fascinated to see the impact of competitive gaming events on viewer purchasing habits. According to the latest research from NPD, the eSports industry has encouraged large audiences to spend money on game purchases. More specifically, the report suggests nearly 70 percent of people watching have purchased the game in question or some form of DLC.
On another note, the study found that 44 percent of US gamers watched a formal eSports event or enjoyed competitive streaming in the past six months. Furthermore, the average viewing time is pretty substantial at just under three hours. 18 percent of those surveyed watch eSport content on a daily basis while 46 percent watched contests once a week. When it comes to elite play, viewers appear to be more interested in the game and not the level of prize money on offer:
“It’s the game being played that consistently attracts viewers. Watchers are most influenced by the game, followed by the quality of the commentators and the team/players,”
Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group explained the results and said:
“eSports may have seemed like a niche phenomenon in the past, but it has clearly taken off with strong activity and engagement with consumers,”
“This is positive for the gaming industry on multiple levels, not only bringing excitement from the events themselves, but also from a marketing standpoint as consumers learn and can then potentially spend on games featured at eSports events.”
Two-thirds of those watching already own the game which isn’t surprising because they simply want to see the best players in the world and improve their strategy.
Mionix are one of my all time favourite gaming brands, as they’ve created some of my own personal favourite peripherals over the years. Of course, I’m not the only one who thinks this, as Mionix products have won many awards around the world and that fills me with confidence that their latest gaming mouse, the Mionix Castor, is going to be something special.
Equipped with a fast processor, ergonomic design, fully programmable buttons, RGB lighting and more, the Castor is certainly well equipped, so let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer. First up, however, here’s a quick product video from Mionix, it’s a little strange, but I’d love to know what on Earth they’re pretending to play here; any guesses?
The world of desktop mice is very competitive, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the office, a stay-at-home gamer or involved in eSports, when it comes to buying a new mouse, you’re going to want the best mouse you can possibly get, assuming you’ve got the budget of course. Enter the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum, said to be the most innovative and best-performing mouse on the market, not just in terms of what Logitech has created before it, but even compared to their many rivals high-end products too. This is a bold claim and it’s something we’re eager to test today, so let’s take a look at what the G900 has to offer.
Professional Grade Wireless
“In high-pressure moments, latency can be the difference between winning it all or losing. With millions on the line, or just some e-cred with your buddies, PC gamers can depend on the G900 Chaos Spectrum to get the GG. With a 1 millisecond report rate, and our highly optimized 2.4GHz wireless connection, the G900 Chaos Spectrum outperforms the competition’s solutions, even the wired ones!” – Logitech
Advanced Optical Gaming Sensor
“The G900 Chaos Spectrum utilizes the PMW3366 optical gaming sensor, which is widely regarded as the best optical sensor on the market. The PMW3366 sensor precisely translates hand movement onto the screen, even at high-sensitivity. It delivers exceptionally accurate and consistent responsiveness at any speed across the entire DPI range (200-12,000DPI) with zero acceleration and zero smoothing thanks to Delta Zero technology.” – Logitech
Wireless has often been a sticking point for competitive gaming, as it has a history of lower latency, problems with interference and more, but Logitech has thrown every bit of research you can think of at their new design and the end result is a wireless mouse (although it can be used wired mode also) that has the lowest latency on the market, even compared to wired mice, the most consistent signal even in the most demanding scenarios, an ultra-light design and none of this has come at the compromise of features, as the G900 is one of the best equipped and most feature packed mice you’ll find.
Fully programmable buttons, Logitech’s legendary adjustable scroll-wheel, one of the best sensors on the market, a fast processor and premium grade switches. Of course, the most important thing here in my eyes is that it weighs just 107 grams, which is virtually nothing for a mouse and even more so for a wireless mouse! There’s nothing more we could ask for in a mouse, so let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.
6-11 programmable buttons (depending on side button configuration)
Lightweight hyperfast tilt scroll wheel
Customizable RGB Lighting
Metal pivot main key design
Metal spring button tensioning system
Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
Max. acceleration: >40G*
Max. speed: >300 ips*
* Tested on Logitech G240 Gaming Mouse Pad
USB data format: 16 bits/axis
USB report rate: 1000 Hz (1ms)
Wireless report rate: 1000Hz(1ms)
Wireless technology: Custom 2.4GHz
Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM
Weight: 107 grams (mouse only)
Dynamic coefficient of friction**: .11 μ (k)
Static coefficient of friction**: .17 μ (s)
**Tested on wood-veneer desktop
Buttons (Left / Right): 20 million clicks
Feet: 250 kilometers
The packaging is quite compact with a nice image of the mouse on the front, as well as the usual branding.
Around the back, a quick rundown of the major features such as the 1ms wired or wireless report rate, 107g weight, sensor and button configuration.
The slip cover comes off the box, revealing a durable presentation box.
It opens out to reveal the mouse prominently displayed and surrounded by lots of custom cut protective packaging.
Under the mouse, all the required accessories.
There’s a lightweight braided cable for using the mouse in wired mode or to simply charge the mouse. There’s also a wireless dongle and additional side buttons.
The ambidextrous mouse allows you to remove the side buttons and swap it between true left/right-handed modes, or even configure it to have dual side buttons to suit your taste. The dongle is a simple USB device but also comes with a block that can be used as an extender, which we’ll see in action shortly.
Picking the right mouse can be a daunting task, as there as so many to choose from. However, when it comes to eSports, Steelseries think they’ve got the perfect mouse for the job with their new Rival 100. Competitive gaming is big business, but one thing most pro gamers will agree on is that a mouse that offers great precision, manoeuvrability and minimal fuss is what separates the winners from the loser; although being good at the game is obviously also a big advantage.
Forged in eSports, Designed for all. “Whether this is your first gaming mouse, or you’re already topping the leaderboards, the Rival 100 is the gaming mouse for you. Equipped with Prism RGB illumination, six buttons, an ergonomic design, and unmatched performance – we sacrificed nothing. The Rival 100 is the only fully-equipped gaming mouse in its class.” – Steelseries
The Rival 100 may not pack a lot of features, but when it comes to games like CS:GO, League of Legends and many other popular tournament ready games, you really don’t need a dozen macro keys, crazy LED lighting effects and anything else that does well in the general consumer market. You need something focused, and that’s exactly what the Rival 100 is aiming to be. Equipped with high-quality switches, a high-performance optical sensor, programmable buttons, on-board storage and more, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what it has to offer.
The packaging offers a nice look at the general design of the mouse, as well as the quote “best in class optical gaming mouse” although that’s something we aim to be the judge of too.
Around the back, a nice technical breakdown, showing the optical sensor, RGB lighting, 2000 DPI, 30m click switches and 20G acceleration.
The mouse comes hard-wired with a lightweight 6ft cable and a standard USB header. The mouse is plug and play ready, but if you want to get into all the features, you’ll want to download the latest SteelSeries engine.
Ready to take your gaming to the next level? We’ve teamed up with the awesome people at QPAD to give one lucky winner the chance to win their award winning DX-20 Pro Gaming Mouse, as well as their lovely CT Pro Mouse Pad.
Having just won our Editors Choice award here at eTeknix, we’re very happy to have a brand new DX-20 gaming mouse for our readers, and with performance suitable for eSports and competitive gaming, we’re sure the winner is going to love their prize.
Flawless sensor performance, exceptional build quality, customisable RGB lighting, high-quality Omron switches and more, are just some of the features we loved about this mouse and if you want to find out more, you can check out our full review right here.
QPAD have a long history of making high-quality, high-performance gaming peripherals, and today looks set to be the perfect example of this with the release of their new QPAD Dx-20 Optical, a premium-grade gaming mouse designed for those who take their gaming seriously. Equipped with a gaming-grade optical sensor that promises “game-critical zero-mouse acceleration, precisely matching 1:1 movement.”
When it comes to eSports, or even just being a competitive gamer at home, having a sensor that you can trust is vital. If you twitch for a headshot or that important attack in your favourite game such as CS:GO or LoL, you want that confidence that the mouse is going to be as accurate as possible; if it misses, you’ll only have yourself to blame. With that in mind, I’m really hoping the Dx-20 lives up to the high standards required for competitive gaming.
Advanced Optical sensor for optimized tracking performance
High quality Omron main switches with a distinct mechanical feedback
Zero Mouse acceleration, one-to-one relationship between the mouse and the screen
Bottom plate RGB LED
“QPAD’s DX-20, the company’s latest mouse, breaks new ground in more ways than one. The DX-20 is the first new mouse shape from QPAD in seven years. Equally important, it’s an multi-surface mouse, meaning you can use it on more surfaces than any previous optical gaming mouse.” – QPAD
The sensor isn’t the only high-end feature on offer today either, with Omron switches, 20G max acceleration, RGB lighting, adjustable report rate, a lag-free ARM cortex M3 processor, on-board memory and more, the DX-20 is shaping up to be a great mouse.
The packaging is really nicely designed, with a clear image of the mouse design on the front and prominent display of its RGB lighting features. There’s also a quick rundown of all the major features, such as the 2500 CPI, zero acceleration and 7-button design.
Around the back, a more technical breakdown (see specification chart above) and a few more pictures of the mouse design, but we’ll take a closer look at that in just a moment.
Removing the slipcover for the box, you’ll find a durable inner box with “E-SPORT FOR LIFE” on the box.
Opening up the box, it’s clear this is designed to look and feel like a premium experience. There’s thick foam padding around the mouse, as well as a hard box at the top protecting the cabling, as well as a nice welcome message on the inside of the lid from QPAD.
In the box, aside from the mouse, you’ll also find an extra set of slipmats as well as a protective carry pouch for the mouse.
QPAD were also kind enough to include their new FX 44 pro gaming mouse pad for us to test. They’re such a subjective thing overall, but it should make a nice match with their latest mouse.
Microtransactions were originally implemented on mobile games which adopted the free-to-play business model. This gave developers the freedom to create a large user-base among casual players and attempt to monetize their creation through optional micropayments. As we all know, this can be a very flawed concept and involve an absurd amount of grinding to experience the game without paying any money. Unfortunately, microtransactions have become an integral component of modern gaming and even included in full priced releases. This is really shocking because microtransctions were designed for a free entry point and not an additional source of revenue for $60 titles. One pertinent example is Halo 5 which allowed players to purchase weapons and items for the Warzone multiplayer mode.
In theory, you can acquire credits through gameplay and there’s no obligation to pay real money. However, it is fairly insulting considering one of the packs has an eye-watering price of $100. These payments go towards funding Halo eSports events which might encourage users to adopt a more forgiving attitude towards these microtransactions. According to Microsoft, the Halo World Championship prize pool has increased to a whopping $2.5 million:
“Since we first announced a starting prize pool of $1 million at gamescom 2015, the winnings for the Halo World Championship has grown immensely due to community crowd-funding via the Halo 5: Guardians REQ System. The final prize pool is now locked and players will compete to win their slice of $2.5 million at the Halo World Championship. And if being the best Halo team in the world wasn’t enough of an incentive, this might be: the first place team will take home a total of $1 million – the biggest individual prize pool in console esports history.”
This means the game has made at least $1.5 million through REQ pack sales. It’s quite shocking to see players spend so much money on multiplayer packs, and emphasizes how rapidly the industry is progressing into competitive play. I do worry though because it’s alienating single player gamers, and the constant onslaught of microtransaction is making consumers very wary of game publishers in the long-term.
The legendary Steelseries Siberia gaming headset returns, with almost a decade of being one of the most popular headset ranges on the market, SteelSeries are back with their latest edition, the Siberia 200. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the iconic design remains mostly unchanged, but that doesn’t mean the headset isn’t still improving with each iteration. If you’ve ever used any of the Siberia headset range over the years, you’ll no doubt know why it has proven so popular, not only with at home gamers, but also a huge portion of the eSports and pro gaming community. The build quality, the comfortable fit, the competitive price and most importantly, the great performance are all just right, but will the latest edition improve or, at least, live up to the standards set by previous models?
Check out the new Show Your Colours promotional video from SteelSeries. If the video leaves you a little confused, it’s more about their new customisation options, even if that’s not really clear from the video. The Siberia 200 is available in a range of funky colours, although we’ll just be taking a look at the iconic while model today.
Equipped with powerful 50mm Neodymium drivers, a good quality microphone and multi-format 3.5mm connectors, the Siberia 200 is ticking all the right boxes in terms of features. What’s nice is that you can use the headset on PC, Mac, Mobile and PlayStation devices although anything that supports 3.5mm 4-pole or dual 3.mm cables will work just fine too.
The packaging is nicely designed, with a great image of the headset on the front. Please ignore the crushed corner of the box, that’s got a lot more to do with the courier than it does with Steelseries. At least if the headset is in one piece, we know it’s well protected.
Around the back, you’ll find a quick rundown of the main features, such as the lightweight and comfortable fit, auto adjusting headband, balanced drivers, in-line controller and improved cable design.
In the box, you’ll find the hard-wired headset as well as a dual 3.5mm to single 3.5mm 4-pole adapter cable.
All cables come with a really nice quality rubber coating which should help prevent tangles and also looks pretty great too. All of the jacks are gold-plated too, so they shouldn’t corrode or fade over the next few hundred years.
The in-line controller is pretty slim, but has a nice and large slide switch for the master microphone mute, with a clear red indicator so you can quickly see when it’s muted. there’s also a master volume wheel on the side.
eSports is a big market, with every game looking to get in on the action with their own competitions and every game that’s released seeming to include competitive multiplayer in order to drag you into the world of competitive gaming. eSports are a serious sport for many with players being banned for everything from cheating to throwing games. It’s rare though to see well-established games enter the scene, no matter how much their gameplay leads to competitive gaming, but since when have Valve been ones to follow the trend and not do something different.
The popular game of Team Fortress 2 was made free to play in 2011 in the hopes of attracting more players to the fast paced (and sometimes comedic) gameplay of the class based shooter. You can now be selected for the Competitive beta stream group if you are randomly selected, but you will need three things first.
You need to have either made a purchase from the Mann Co. Store or purchased Team Fortress 2 before June 23rd, 2011
You will need to have Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled on your account
You will need to have a phone number associated with your Steam account.
With these measures in place, you could soon see yourself playing competitive games against other people of the same skill level, offering everything from the wacky life of the pyro to the expensive trading of hats. With competitive gaming being a big market for both gamers and developers alike, and with Valve already in the market with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, do you think Team Fortress will make with so many other games all striving to be King of eSports?
Italian developer, Milestone produced a number of officially licensed world rally games which left racing aficionados disappointed due to the sub-par graphics, synthetic audio design and lacklustre career mode. Eventually, the company lost the WRC license and decided to work with rallying legend, Sébastien Loeb. The latest WRC game was created by Kylotonn, formerly known as 4X Studios. Unfortunately, this release has received a fairly mixed reception with the general consensus describing the game as competent but no match for Codemasters’ DIRT Rally. In a press release, the company outlined their plans to create a highly competitive eSports scene. However, as astounding as this might seem, they are going to charge players to compete in any eSports event. The press release reads:
“Players just need to download one of the eSports Pack (the first DLC that is currently available is priced at $7.99/£6.49) to get access to the dedicated stages of each rally. From this moment, practise is unlimited but during the rally weekends, they will have only one opportunity each day to record their best time (from Thursday to Sunday noon). On Sunday afternoon, the ESL crew will invite the best drivers for a Sunday tournament which will be broadcast on Twitch. At the end of this Sunday Tournament, the best 3 drivers on each platform will gain their access to the semi-final and to the grand Finale. See the calendar below for more details.”
To access an eSport event, you have to pay $7.99/£6.49 for one of the eSport packs in addition to the base game. This is unbelievable and bound to destroy any hopes of creating a large online community. It’s also quite insulting and I cannot believe they have attempted to charge for competitive play. Clearly, many publishers are looking for new avenues to make money, but it’s occurring at the expense of player engagement.
It seems like such a great profession, being paid sums of money to play games all day. Much like being a real athlete, becoming an eSports player requires far more dedication and practice than many are willing to put in. Recognition of the skill and effort required to play at such a high level has allowed a number of considerations given to traditional athletes also offered to cyber athletes. Garnes Vidaregåande Skule plans to do something no other school has yet to try: add eSports classes to their core curriculum.
The school located in Bergen, Norway, won’t be making the subject mandatory yet, being only an elective subject, but it is a bold move. The course will contain at least 5 hours of study each week in the game specialisation of their choice. I’m sure plenty of people would be excited to play games at school for 5 hours a week, sadly for them, this is not the case. It has been confirmed that as well as playing and learning an eSports game, the classes will contain physical training to help concentration and reflexes as well as nutritional and lifestyle advice.
Some of the games planned to be on offer as part of the course are Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well as others, comprising a shortlist, with students able to suggest new games and vote on the list of those to be offered. At first, they will offer only two games as part of the course, for logistical reasons, but I’m sure that if it is a success that more will be made available. Petter Grahl Johnstad, Manager of the Science Department at the Garnes Vidaregåande Skule told Dotablast that they planned to work closely with the eSports community to be able to improve their courses, hoping to have both regular teachers for the subjects and Skype based seminars with professional eSports players. He hopes that the course will be about more than just gaming to the students, with crucial aspects being teamwork, motivation, cooperation and tactics, as well as skill in-game.
Garnes Vidaregåande Skule could lead the way for other schools, both in Norway and around the world to offer classes in eSports alongside those in traditional sports such as football. Whether it catches on, however, it is hard to tell, but at the rate the eSports scene is growing, it isn’t hard to imagine more and more young people entering it. At the very least, students studying this course get supplied top of the end hardware to play on, including Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti graphics cards. I’m jealous.
Major League Gaming – the once-premier eSports company in North America, which organised StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty tournaments – is all but dead, with Activision Blizzard buying up “substantially all” of its remaining assets for $46 million, according to eSports Observer. MLG’s board of directors agreed to the Asset Purchase Agreement following a special meeting held on 21st December.
The following letter was sent to shareholders shortly after the agreement was made:
While ordinarily, such a sale would require approval from shareholders, the board used Section 228(e) of Delware General Corporation Law to force “corporate action taken without a stockholders’ meeting by less than unanimous written consent of our stockholders”:
“The Asset Purchase Agreement was also approved by the written consent of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of the Corporation’s Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock, Series B-1 Preferred Stock, Series B-2 Preferred Stock and the Series A Common Stock, voting together as a single class on an as-converted to Series A Common Stock basis.”
Sundance DiGiovanni, the CEO of MLG and holder of one of the coolest names I’ve ever heard, has been removed from his role, replaced by former Chief Executive Greg Chisholm.
Many stockholders are furious at being bypassed, with one anonymous party lamenting, “I got f*****d on stock,” with money from the sale paying off MLG’s debts.
It is not yet known whether MLG’s planned Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship in Columbus, OH will still go ahead, but the company as we know it no longer exists.
The first Revolt gaming desktop by iBuyPower was released back in 2013, and it enjoyed incredible success among enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. The next iteration of iBuyPower’s premium gaming rig is the Revolt 2, which is based on a highly original case and a plethora of high-end components. What makes the case special apart from its unique shape is the fact that it offers a clear view of the system’s graphics card, as this is arguably the most crucial part of any gaming desktop. The graphics card is showcased through a see-through window located at the top of the case, and it is flanked by customizable Smart Lighting technology.
As for the motherboard, it features a mini-ITX form factor and is complemented by full ATX components. The system can accommodate a full ATX power supply, a 280mm liquid cooler, a pair of solid state drives and one HDD. Moreover, iBuyPower has worked closely with several eSports organizations in order to create a special SSD swapping system, which is bound to receive praise from enthusiasts. Below you will find a complete list of specifications for iBuyPower’s Revolt 2 eSports gaming desktop.
Researched and developed along with an extensive eSports network.
Support for 2.5 slot GPUs 300mm long, showcased under a transparent window.
Cooling Flexibility: Compatible with two 120mm, one 120mm and one 140mm, one 240mm or one 280mm radiator.
Allows for Full-size PSU, two solid state drives, and one mechanical hard drive.
Logitech have a long history in the peripheral business, having created some of the most popular desktop and gaming mice around. With that in mind, we’re very happy to see their latest mouse, the G502 Proteus Core in the eTeknix office, as it comes equipped with some pretty awesome features that should make it a lot of fun to test.
The G502 Proteus comes equipped with a high-end 12,000 DPI sensor, which Logitech claim is the most accurate sensor on the market, a claim I won’t be taking lightly in our testing. An accurate sensor is obviously something we all want in our mice, be that for gaming or otherwise, how well it tracks can be the difference between catching that all important headshot or defeat.
A fast built-in 32-bit microcontroller, a (hopefully) super accurate sensor, weight tuning system, and so much more on offer with this mouse, the G502 is certainly ticking a lot of boxes.
Most accurate sensor on the market
3 on-board profiles
1 millisecond report rate
Primary buttons rated to 20 million clicks
Improved keyplate design for better click feeling and performance
Braided cable with hook and loop cable tie
Sleep mode disabled
3 DPI indicator LEDs
Magnetic weight-cavity door
The new sensor promises great performance, but to ensure you can get the best out of it, it can be tuned to your surface of choice.
“Wood, Laminate, Steel, Mouse Pad, all surfaces have different properties. Proteus Core makes sure that no matter where or what you game on, your mouse is optimized.”
If tuning the sensor isn’t enough, there’s also a weight tuning system to allow you to tweak the balance and overall feel of the mouse.
“Proteus Core allows you to change the weight, balance, and enables you to adapt to wherever you choose to play. Customize it to the way you game and make it yours!”
The box shows a cool picture of the mouse, as well as some of the tuning weights.
Around the back, a quick breakdown of some of the features of the G502, such as the programmable buttons and surface tunable sensor.
In the box, you’ll find a small plastic box with the Logitech logo on it.
It’s a handy little storage box that houses five 3.6g weights.
We’re big fans of Astro here at eTeknix, time and time again they’ve delivered absolutely jaw dropping products, and for me personally, the best of the best when it comes to gaming headsets. Their latest headset, the Astro A40 TR is their latest and greatest wired headset, while also coming paired with their premium grade MixAmp Pro TR, offering a huge amount of features and performance enhancements that will no doubt please the gaming masses, eSports teams, Twitch streamers and so many others.
“Immerse yourself in Call of Duty: Black Ops III on Xbox One with the new A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR and the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Mod Kit. We’ve worked with both professional gamers and top audio designers to deliver pristine Dolby Headphone Surround Sound. Transform the A40 TR Headset from open-back to closed-back in moments with noise-cancelling ear cushions, a voice isolating microphone, and closed-back Speaker Tags. The MixAmp Pro TR takes absolute control, allowing you to adjust your Game:Voice balance, or use the stream output to capture your audio for livestreaming.”
To get the full Astro experience, they’ve been kind enough to supply us with one of their fantastic mod kits too. This is a completely optional addition, but it’s a prime example of how you can really make each Astro product your own. You can change backplates on the drivers, have your own made to match your team logos, or pick from the selection available on the Astro site. The Mod Kit goes one further, however, adding a new microphone, head support, ear pads and backplates, giving you a very different look for your headset of choice.
Equipped with the Mix Amp Pro, the Astro A40 TR comes with a vast amount of cool features. You can customise every input every output, the EQ, tweak streaming audio to suit your needs and your audience’s needs, and best of all, you can link multiple Astro headsets for high-quality team chat, with zero lag!
“Free ASTRO Command Center software for PC and Mac users allows the customization of every input and output, as well as the creation of your own EQ settings.” “Control what your stream audience hears, including chat and game audio levels. Broadcast in 2-channel Dolby Surround Sound.” Reads the Astro website. “Faster than the speed of sound, this fully digital connection enables interference and lag-free local voice communications.”
With high-quality components throughout, this is certainly a well spec’d headset, let’s go take a closer look at what it has to offer.
First, here’s Astro to take you through some of the innovative features of the A40 TR, Mix Amp Pro and their new Mod Kits.
The packaging is really nicely designed, with clear images of the headset and mix amp, giving off a nice premium product vibe already.
Around the back of the box, a quick breakdown of all the major features and component specifications, but we’ll take a closer look at those ourselves in a moment.
As I said before, Astro also included their completely optional, but seriously cool Mod Kit for the A40 TR. This includes a new headband padding, backplates, microphone and driver padding.
In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation covering warranty and the setup process, although there’s also some very handy videos on the Astro YouTube channel for this, which we’ll take a look at shortly.
All of the included cables are finished to a high standard, with soft rubber tangle free coatings. There’s a long optical cable (TosLink), 4-pole 3.5mm for the headset, with in-line controller, a propriatory link cable for daisy chaining multiple Astro headsets for team chat, and a long USB cable for primary power to the Mix Amp Pro.
There’s a fully detachable microphone, with a flexible boom.
It’s finished with a very durable metal housing around the gold jack-lug, as well as a metal finish on the head.
Competitive gaming is big business, as like any other sport, having the right equipment can help you perform better and also just improve the experience for you personally. Mad Catz has been working closely with pro gamers for years now, so it comes as no surprise that their latest headset is tailored to be suitable for that market.
“The F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 is a new tournament quality 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset optimized for competitive multiplayer gamers with an unrivaled level of audio personalization and an advanced dual microphone system for precision communication with teammates.” Said Mad Catz.
The name is a bit of a mouthful, it looks like a bad pick from the bag while playing Scrabble, but I don’t doubt the performance of this headset. Having used the F.R.E.Q.5 and the F.R.E.Q.7 over the last couple of years as part of (one of) my gaming setups, they’ve proven they can last a long time, sound great and provide a comfortable fit and the new TE looks to follow the same design cues as its predecessors.
“Connecting via standard USB, the F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 delivers highly immersive 7.1 surround sound via state-of-the-art audio customization software, placing the gamer in the heart of the action and in full control over their audio landscape. High quality 50mm audio drivers present the audio with precision clarity, providing the gamer with a full 360 degrees of positional awareness. In addition, the removable boom microphone with dual-chat mic system work in unison to actively cancel out environmental background noise and boost the clarity of the gamer’s voice to teammates.” Added Mad Catz
“As the next generation in our award-winning F.R.E.Q. line of high performance gaming audio headsets, the F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 exemplifies Mad Catz’ commitment to delivering products tailored to needs of today’s competitive gamers,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “In-game audio is vital to the performance of the player, and we believe that our F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 will offer the competitive edge eSports and competitive gamers require to stay ahead of the competition. We’re confident that our strong line up of products spanning multiple gaming formats will see us build considerable momentum as we move towards the Holiday’s and into 2016.”
Mainstream media outlets like the BBC have ignored gaming for a substantial amount of time and often produced inaccurate hit pieces to discredit the industry. However, it’s impossible to ignore the dramatic rise of eSports and the huge prize total during major competitions. Unbelievably, many of the leading players in Starcraft 2, DOTA and League of Legends are on a salary beyond our wildest dreams. Finally, the BBC has decided to cater to the roaring popularity of eSport events and broadcast for the first time ever, the League of Legends World Championships.
However, please note that this isn’t major television coverage as the event can only be accessed online. It’s unknown if this was an intentional measure or simply falls in-line with BBC Three’s online future. Additionally, it seems a sensible strategy as the majority of eSports coverage is watched via Twitch or other streaming platforms. Whatever the case, it’s a headline moment for eSports which shows even the major non-gaming media outlets are taking events seriously.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three said about the announcement:
“We jumped at the chance to collaborate with BBC Sport and bring this massive UK event to a wider audience. BBC Three will always experiment with new ways to deliver content that young people want, in ways they want. I think this is an exciting way to cover something millions of young Brits love, in a BBC Three way.”
I’m fascinated to see how professional the coverage is and the overall viewing figures. Clearly, BBC Three’s younger audience is suited to gaming livestreams, and this could bring fans into the eSports genre.
Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.
Cougar has announced an eSports version of the highly-rated 700M gaming mouse which adopts a striking red/black or blue/white colour scheme. The device utilizes an Avago ADNS-9800, 8200 DPI laser sensor for ultra-precise and responsive movement. Additionally, there are 8 programmable buttons, an aluminum shell and rubber coating on the side to enhance comfort. Technically, the mouse is virtually identical to the existing 700M but the eSports branding refers to the revised, and quite flashy aesthetic design.
There’s no indication of the mouse’s price but expect a noticeable increase from the base model’s $60 tag. As with any mouse, the suitability revolves around your grip style and personal taste. The 700M should work rather nicely with smaller hands and users who prefer a claw grip. As the financial success of eSports grows year-after-year, manufacturers attempt to cater to a new breed of gamers looking for professional-grade hardware. Despite all the advances in sensor technology, I’m still waiting for a mouse which matches the feel of my old, trusty Logitech MX518.
The 700M is an excellent choice for gamers wanting a reliable mouse with an unusual style. I personally love the white and blue colour scheme which matches my all-white custom build extremely well. Therefore, I can see this becoming a popular model as the black and red colour design is quite common on a wide range of popular mice.
The SCUF Infinity1 is the latest creation from the skilled craftsmen at SCUF Gaming. They take your everyday controller, in this case, the Xbox One controller, and customise and tweak it within an inch of its life, turning it into a hardcore, feature packed competitive gaming device that any enthusiast gamer would be proud to own. Of course, there’s more to it than just making it look awesome, these controllers are fine tuned to be as competitive as they are stylish, making them very appealing to the eSports community.
Naturally, all this customisation doesn’t come cheap, as you’re going to be paying a skilled team to hand make each controller to your own desired specifications. This is an “off the shelve” controller at heart, but the end product is capable of being truly one of a kind and you’re not likely to get that kind of service elsewhere. You can pick the colours of all the components, the types of analogue sticks, d-pad, grips, remove features like rumble and headphone ports, adjustable triggers, add extra control paddles and so much more! Still not content with that level of customisation? The SCUF Infinity1 is no ordinary SCUF controller, if there is such a thing. This one you can keep customising after you’ve purchased it! That’s right, you can detach the D-pad, the analogue sticks and more, swapping them out to suit your tastes or needs on a per game basis.
There’s a whole range of configurations, which is no bad thing for those who want to match their controller to their eSports team colours, or even just to match their pillows and favourite T-shirt, the choice is yours and the combinations are extensive.
The packaging is really nice, with a great tear down image of the controller, highlighting some of the possible adjustments that can be made.
Around the back, you can see even further customisation and adjustment options, but we’ll take a closer look at those in a moment.
In the box, you’ll find a host of accessories, such as the electro magnetic remapping guide, extra grips, adjustment tools, USB cable and a wrist strap.
Scuf also included their accessory package, which includes this custom Infinity1 clamshell case, perfect for keeping your controller in perfect condition when not in use.
There’s also a tube of Gamer Grip (anti-persperant for your hands), Precision Thumbsticks, as well as the thumbstick lock and the Scuf Adjustable Trigger & Pro Grip Combo Kit; overall, not a bad selection of goodies!
Finally, a small backpack, perfect for storing all the above together when travelling to a gaming event!
It has been a few years since we reviewed a product from Scuf. We last saw their Scuf Xbox 360 Controller, which was pretty amazing, but let’s be honest, it’s a little out of date now and with new-er consoles already on the market, we figured we’d take a look at something a little more modern. We have in the eTeknix office today, the Scuf Gaming 4PS, a heavily modded PlayStation 4 controller designed for the competitive gamer, be that a pro gaer, or someone who just likes to give their friends a good thrashing.
I’m really looking forward to testing this, I loved the last Scuf controller we tested, so I have high hopes for this new one, so let’s just jump right in and take a look at what you get for your money.
Please note that Scuf controllers are customizable to a great extent, the design and features of this controller were pre-picked by ourselves to represent a typical Scuf controller, while also showing all the available options you may want on your own. The controllers aren’t cheap, as this is a stock controller, extra hardware, time taken by a skilled craftsman to create the controller and a few extra bonuses. However, you know the saying “you get what you pay for”.
Our controller came with an added surprise, the Scuf Gaming Player’s Pack. Think of it like an add-on accessory kit of bonus goodies, because that’s exactly what it is. The controller box is nicely designed, a far cry from the box that the old Scuf controller came in!
Inside the box, you’ll find a quick run down of the features, such as the extra grips, custom handles, precision thumbsticks and more.
Under that, you’ll find the controller is carefully protected in a custom cut foam padding; an expensive controller deserves good packaging.
In the bottom of the box, I found some Scuf Fangs, these stick onto the rear triggers for extra reach and there’s also a clip/strap.
Frist impressions of the controller are extremely promising and its design is very unique; no doubt about that. The blue digital camo appearance looks stunning and also has a light grip texture to it that feels very comfortable to the touch, especially compared to the standard plastic feel of the stock controller.
Here you can see how the design is printed onto the top part of the controller, not the bottom. All the standard stuff is still here too, so you’ll find your headset connectors located on the bottom edge.
There’s an extra grip on the left and right bottom sides of the controller.
Things are pretty standard around the back.
On the underside, there are some major changes going on. First we’ve got those very tough rubber grips on the back, so there’s virtually no chance of this thing slipping from your grip. Then, of course, the Scuf Pro paddles on the back. These are customizable on the Scuf website to your favourite button configurations, you could have jump or melee for example, meaning you never have to take your thumbs off the sticks while gaming. The small logo between the paddles can be used to remap the paddles with the EMR feature and the tag that came included in the box.
Their custom shape makes them easy to control and they sit comfortably behind your finger tips.
There’s also a little grip texture on their tips, adding even more control and stability to the extra buttons.
There are a few stick configurations available from Scuf, we’ve gone for a Concave long on the left and a Dome Long on the right. You can also choose to keep the stock sticks if you want, or short, medium and long stem versions of the two types we have installed here. We’ve also gone for the all black buttons, which look pretty slick.
Both sticks are really nice quality, feel stunning and really smooth to control.
So what about that extra box of goodies we received? In that, you’ll find a new cable, carry case, nd a tube of Gamer Grip.
the cable is of a very high quality, with a thick braiding, durable connectors and it’s nice and long at 10ft, perfect for those who like to sit back from their system.
Gamer Grip is an interesting extra, it’s antiperspirant for your hands! I don’t suffer from sweaty hands while gaming, so this isn’t much use to me, but I know people who do and it certainly couldn’t hurt to have it in your gaming tool kit.
The carry case is stunning, perfectly crafted to fit the 4PS controller and keep all the buttons nice and safe.
The custom shape provides a snug house for your new premium grade (and priced) controller.
The soft interior should also help protect against scratches.
TteSports, the gaming division of legendary manufacturer Thermaltake have been a dominating force at eTeknix many times in the past, winning many awards for their great gaming products. Now we’re happy to see another entry in their product range, the Theron Plus Smart Mouse. Now, there’s something obviously unique about the name, what exactly is a “smart mouse” anyway?
The THERON Plus SMART MOUSE – the classy sheen smart mouse that built with an upgraded AVAGO laser sensor with up to 8200 DPI that consist an additional integrated Bluetooth communications device to sync your mobile device (iOS/Android) with Tt eSPORTS PLUS+, the mobile application that can store gamers’ stats to the Tt eSPORTS PLUS+ Community & Data Management Platform
This mouse incorporates the “Internet of Things” or IOT philosophy, much like the current trend of smart wearables, the mouse tracks your gaming performance data, allowing you to analyze statistics, improve your strategies and more, as well as share this information with your team or fans; this could be a real hit with eSports gamers and their fan bases!
On the basis of the I.o.T. (Internet of Things) concept, users can obtain and share gaming performance data. Additionally, users are capable of analyze statistics records for improved strategies via data management on both PC or mobile devices – anytime anywhere. With Tt eSPORTS’ Plus+ mobile application, you can even review all recorded performance histories on your mobile devices.
As you can see, the Theron Plus is targeted at the eSports community, who are obviously the best ones to benefit from the smart tracking features.
The box opens up, giving us a sneak peak at the mouse design as well as running through some of the major smart features; cloud integration, stat tracking and more.
In the box, you will find a protective pouch, a few product documents and the hard-wired mouse.
The cable features a high quality braiding, a fixed velcro cable tidy and a good quality gold-plated USB connector.
The mouse is really nicely designed, with an oversized body that promotes a comfortable hand resting position. There’s a pair of switches down the left side and their bright red finish provides a nice contrast from the glossy black finish.
Around the back of the mouse, you’ll find a set of LED indicators between the top and left side panel. There’s also a colour customisable LED strip along the bottom left side, the back and the right side of the mouse; well take a closer look at this shortly.
The right side of the mouse features a single switch near the front, handy for deploying extra macros or profile changes.
Both the left and right mouse buttons are heavily recessed with a curved shape; this provides a great finger resting position and should help prevent your fingers from slipping away from the mouse.
There’s a deeply recessed scroll wheel, which features a soft rubber grip coating, a light tactile bump when turned and a fast rotation speed; perfect for making quick and accurate adjustments mid-game.
On the underside of the Theron Plus, you’ll find even more features! There’s two large slip-mats that provide an excellent amount of glide, a profile switch, lock and on-the-fly polling rate adjustments.
The bottom panel can be clipped off, where you’ll find five add-in weights, to help you better tune the mouse performance to your liking.
The included carry pouch is of a good quality and handy for those who need to travel with the mouse; it’ll help keep it free from scratches.
During a Q1 sales call, President and CEO of NVIDIA Jen-Hsun Huang, speaking about the company’s growth in its graphics processing division, pointed to the next generation of gamers being an emerging market, claiming that “every new human is a gamer”.
When asked what tangible data there is that gaming is a potential growth market, Huang responded, “I think you’re getting a lot of anecdotal evidence from multiple directions that suggests that PC gaming is growing. First of all, eSports. You know that eSports is largely PC gaming. And eSports has become so large now that it’s even highlighted on ESPN2 – ESPN. You know that the number of stadiums that have sold out as a result of eSport tournaments is growing over time. So there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that video games is growing.”
“I think it’s also pretty clear that almost every new human is a gamer,” Huang continued. “The previous generation before me, very few are gamers. My generation, I would say probably is 25% gamers. My kids’ generation is probably 75% gamers, and the generation after that’s got to be 100% gamers. And so games is no longer a niche. Game is really a pop culture now, and we expect that gaming to continue to expand.”
With the company taking a hit due to PC sales – tablets and smartphones are now dominating the computing market – gaming is now NVIDIA’s most lucrative market, evidenced by the release of the NVIDIA SHIELD gaming tablet. Huang, though, has high hopes for a market boost to PC sales with the release of Windows 10.
Asus are highly regarded in the PC industry, as they’ve won many awards for their high-end hardware components, such as their graphics cards and motherboards. Their Republic of Gamers brand, better known as ROG, is easily one of their most popular ranges, focusing on high-end gaming equipment and while that does cover the usual motherboards and graphics cards, it also caters to gaming peripherals, such as the one I’ll be taking a look at today.
The Asus ROG SICA gaming mouse has been designed with competitive gaming in mind, it’s focused design is intended to be most useful to the MOBA crowd and has been developed with the support of the pro gaming community; let’s find out if it’s any good!
First things first, we’ll be taking a look at two products today, the SICA and the Whetston mouse mat. The SICA, named after a curved sword and the Whetstone, which are known to be used for sharpening blades, so the branding seems like an obvious match-up.
“Since the debut of our magnificent Maximus motherboard, ROG has steadily expanded its gaming line-up to ensure you get the most out of your games. Today, ROG Sica joins our gaming empire. The Sica was a short, curved sword used in Ancient Rome. It proved to be a formidable weapon, and was effective in battle. Now it’s your turn to wield the Sica to write your own legendary chapter in gaming.”
The SICA comes hard-wired with a gold-plated USB connector, so it couldn’t be much easier to get it setup and ready to go.
The design of the mouse is really cool, with a black and red trim down the side, and some really high-quality plastics on the top that will help improve grip, especially for those who suffer from sweaty hands while gaming.
The rubber grip finish at the back edge of the mouse has a funky Mayan-inspired decal to it.
The mouse is ambidextrous, so the right side looks identical and has more of that lovely Mayan themed grip.
The mouse is quite small and has a long and low-set form factor that makes it best suited to a fingertip or claw-grip play style.
The scroll wheel is set quite low, but is nicely separated from the mouse buttons and has been treated with a grippy rubber coating to provide you with reliable control.
Around the back, there’s a ROG logo, which has LED backlighting that can be configured through the downloadable Armoury software.
On the base of the SICA, there are three Teflon slip mats to provide extra glide, the optical sensor and two rubber caps over the screws. The caps can be removed to access the interior of the mouse, where you can switch out the two main switches, should you ever feel the need.
The Whetstone is by far one of the nicest looking and feeling mouse mats I’ve ever seen. It’s a good size, has a high-quality finish and feels pretty durable over all.
Much like the SICA mouse, the mat also has that awesome Mayan texture.
Over the last few years, we have seen the rise of esports with it taking shape of what should become a massive industry. Now the veil has been lifted on Unikrn, a platform to facilitate spectator betting on esports around the world.
There are now many ways to bet online for various sports but there hasn’t been a great platform for betting on esports, like League of Legends. Today that will change for Australian citizens and soon for other countries regions around the world thanks to Unikrn. The company will be the esports partner of Tabcorp, the large Australian wagering company. This may explain why the bets are first being accepted in Australia. The betting will be legal and will only accept bets placed from locations that it is legal to do so. Having the foot in the door with other countries and areas will definitely help the site as they aim to become the leader in esports betting.
Unikrn CEO and co-founder is Rahul Sood, longtime computer gaming industry veteran. Rahul was founder and president of Voodoo PC, CTO for HP Gaming after the company acquired Voodoo PC, advisor to the board of directors of Razer, and left his position as global head of Microsoft Ventures to start Unikrn. The company name seemingly is a nod to Rahul’s previous job, with unicorns being startups that hit a billion dollar valuation in fundraising.
An eSports star, captain of a top League of Legends team, has been forced to retire from professional gaming at only 22 years old. Hai Lam will no longer be eligible to participate in team games, according to the website of Cloud9, his former team.
It seems that years of high-intensity gaming have left their mark on Hai, who cites a wrist injury as the cause of his retirement. He has been playing with the injury for some time, but it has grown so serious that he can no longer ignore it, with the condition affecting his ability to play at the level he desires.
This is not the first time Hai has been sidelined by injury – he was forced to pull out of an All-Star event in Paris last year after suffering a collapsed lung – but his potentially chronic wrist condition has forced a permanent exit from the sport dedicated much of his young life to. Last month, The Daily Dot published a story about Hai developing tendinitis of the wrist, though it is as yet unconfirmed whether this is the same condition that has forced his retirement.
Repetitive strain injuries are common in even amateur gamers, so there are concerns that as eSports grows in stature, that the demands it puts on competitors could see stories like that of Hai Lam become commonplace.
Following his retirement, Hai will adopt a new role as Chief Gaming Officer for the Cloud9 team, which will see him seek out new gaming talent and strike up relationships with partners and sponsors.
Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.