SFV, Hearthstone & Team Building

We held two Street Fighter V tournaments over the weekend, which was a great reminder of how awful I am at this style of fighting game.  I had flashbacks to the old video arcades of my childhood, where there would always be one kid monopolizing the machine as he shredded opponents while a crowd gathered awaiting their turn.  I had a perfect losing record on those machines, and would often wander off to a Pac Man machine where my pocketful of quarters would stretch further.

The new game features beautiful character and level design, but is light on content otherwise.  New characters & campaign downloadable content is expected later in the year.  There is still a lot of excitement surrounding the game in the shop and amongst the staff.  We're looking at ways to draw in new players; SFV will be a part of our free "friendlies" night offerings starting this Wednesday.

Hearthstone is a game I get a lot of enjoyment out of.  You'll find me streaming Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 PM here at our Twitch channel.  90% of my gaming life has revolved around MTG, WoW & poker, so Hearthstone is a game that has managed to merge all three.  The game has become a bit of a Wild West with a diverse set of cards.  You can easily sit down for a set of 10 ranked games and never face the same deck twice.

Blizzard recently announced the addition of a "Standard" format for Hearthstone ranking, which will only allow the last two calendar years worth of sets and will become the official ranking.  "Wild" ranking will still exist as an unofficial format.  I understand the reason for the change - the card variety makes it impossible to balance the game at a competitive level.  I still feel this is going to boil the fun factor down to something more stale along the lines of MTG standard competition, which removes a great deal of what makes the game fun to play.  Dropping old sets should at least open up some new card possibilities that would be otherwise horribly broken.

The LAN Mob team tries to get together at least once a month to play a game as a team building exercise.  Gaming is a great platform for working on communication, teamwork and identifying underlying problems.  Last week we were able to fit in a match of League of Legends, a game we all enjoy playing & spectating.  We all had a lot of fun fighting our way to a win, and Sona kisses were blown everywhere.

Super Smash Brothers for Wii U has become a game I'm investing a few hours a week into between playing & spectating.  With the Pound 2016 sponsorship we're giving away, and the year-long sponsorship event, Sm4sh is getting a lot of our attention this year.  I can feel myself improving week to week, but am still light years behind our top competitors.  If the old adage of 10,000 hours of practice to reach mastery in any life skill holds true for Sm4sh then I'm only 5% complete on that achievement.
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