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Riad Chikhani, Founder & CEO at GAMURS Group – Interview Series

Riad Chikhani, Founder & CEO at GAMURS Group - Interview Series

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Riad Chikhani, Founder & CEO at GAMURS Group - Interview Series

Riad Chikhani, is the Founder & CEO of GAMURS Group, leading esports media network redefining gaming media.

When did you first fall in love with gaming?

I fell in love with gaming at the age of six when my late-uncle Sam bought the first Age of Empires in 2001. I sat down with him to watch him play and try to learn myself, and I remember just being absolutely enamored by what was happening on the screen. From there, after finishing the game, he bought Breath of Fire which was pivotal for me – that’s when I fell in love with RPGs.

You founded your first company Rune Gear, an online portal for the game RuneScape at the age of 14. What was it at the time that made you choose to launch a business?

I founded Rune Gear to ultimately solve a problem I was facing. At the time I needed a place to share with my friends the milestones I was achieving in RuneScape, but couldn’t do it publicly on Facebook. I didn’t want my friends to label me a ‘nerd’ or ‘antisocial’ or anything like that, which was something I cared about at the time. So, in response, I created Rune Gear for me and my closest RuneScape friends. A year or so later it began to take off which was really exciting for me and the team.

Were your family and friends supportive of this business?

Besides the extremely long hours I was putting on my computer (12-14 hours a day), my family loved that I was pursuing my passion at such a young age. They are big believers in working towards your passions and deriving as much fulfillment out of your life, and they believed Rune Gear fell under that.

In 2014, you then went on to launch GAMURS Group, one of the leading esports media networks redefining gaming media. Could you share some of the genesis story behind launching this company?

Funnily enough, a group of friends and I actually started the GAMURS Group (at the time “Gamurs”) to offer what Rune Gear had offered, but for all games. We began by initially developing a forum with some exciting features that replicated some functionality that a traditional social network would have, and then it quickly became a social network itself. We continued working on the social network well into 2015 when we had joined the Slingshot Accelerator program and raised our first $500k seed round, until pivoting it into esports in early 2016.

GAMURS Group has a large number of websites including Dot Esports. Could you discuss what this website offers?

Dot Esports is our flagship platform. It is the leading and most authoritative publisher of esports content globally, serving over 7m unique readers a month across thousands of published articles for dozens of games. It offers readers a level of comprehensive and unbiased coverage of the esports and competitive gaming industry across our websites, apps, and social media platforms. Since bringing it under the GAMURS Group, Dot Esports has served more than 125m unique readers and over 250m website visits.

One of the more interesting offerings by GAMURS Group is Teamfind. Could you elaborate on what this is?

TeamFind was a platform we developed between November 2015 and February 2016 to provide players with a team and player finding platform. Back then, and arguably now, players relying on online gaming matchmaking services are constantly frustrated by the players the game puts on their teams. You may be matched with someone who doesn’t have a microphone, or is from a different region so your connection is weak, or just with an overall bad player. Teamfind solves that for you by allowing you to select players and teams to play with based on a set criteria of your choosing. We built it over a four month period and merged two existing websites which we had acquired to power it: Teamfind and CSGOTeamFinder.

Being so busy with the large GAMURS Group network of websites do you find time to still play games?

I think time management is something that a lot of executives need to work on, since most of us are naturally poor at it until we make an effort to fix it. Being so engrossed in the gaming industry every day of your life forces you to view games in a ‘business opportunity’ lens which takes away the appeal of gaming. The immersion in the game, the environment, the story, and the characters is what hooks you – when you’re not 100% in the game, it can lose its appeal. Nonetheless though, it’s imperative that I stay engaged in the ‘why’ of starting this company, so I regularly force myself to take time out to play something, even if it’s only 30 minutes. This could be anything from an iPhone game, to a quick match of COD or Fifa with my friends.

Another product that is offered is StatBanana, a  strategy planning tool for Dota 2 and Overwatch, which provides professional players and coaches access to the tools and resources they need to plan and prepare for their competitive matches. How popular is this platform and what type of user feedback have you received?

We acquired StatBanana in late 2018 and brought it under the GAMURS Group. At the time it only provided tools for Overwatch, so we expanded that into Dota 2 and are looking to further bolster that with LoL and Valorant. From a statistics side, I can share that it’s used by thousands of people globally and virtually every single Overwatch League team. Users love our software that we provide and also the overhead overwatch maps images we offer on site.

What’s next on the agenda for GAMURS Group?

As a business, our growth comes from multiple avenues. From a content output perspective, we’re continuing to invest in our content production where we’ve seen phenomenal results over the last three months. Our goal (as a group) is to publish north of 4,000 articles per month by 2021-end which will naturally grow our traffic as we serve our readers better. Furthermore, we’re always exploring accretive acquisitions which bring exciting and strategically linked brands under our umbrella, whether they’re websites or distribution channels. We’re also launching our agency offering shortly to provide both endemic and non-endemic brands with leading services to assist them in their business goals within the esports and competitive gaming market. Ultimately, as our organisation’s focus remains on media, we’re regularly executing upon strategic initiatives to further emphasize that offering.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about GAMURS Group? 

We’re always looking for talented individuals to join our group and for businesses which we can partner with. If you’re either one of those, please reach out at the GAMURS Group website.

Thank you for the interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit GAMURS Group.

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Antoine Tardif is the CEO of Gaming.net, and has always had a love affair for games, and has a special fondness for anything Nintendo related.

Esports

League of Legends: Details of Patch Notes 10.19

League of Legends: Details of Patch Notes 10.19

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League of Legends (LoL) receives champion Samira. The game had the official Patch Notes 10.19 released by Riot Games. The update is of great importance to the esports scene, as it will be used in the 2020 LoL World Championship. The highlight was the confirmation of the newest shooter Samira. It is scheduled for release on September 21, 2020 along with its secondary PsyOps skin. As well as the already video standards demonstrating the operation of each one of them in LoL. Next, check out more details about the new champion.

League of Legends: Details of Patch Notes 10.19

Samira is new to this Patch Notes 10.19 in League of Legends. (Image: Riot Games)

Samira’s skills

So far, Samira’s skills had been shown quite superficially in her official trailer. With the skills summary, you can now get a better sense of your potential in Summoner’s Rift. Below, check out the passive and skills that the new shooter has:

Passive – Audacious Boost

Sequential and unrepeated skills increase Samira’s Style score by one letter, ranging from ‘E’ to ‘S’. Each Style score grants her additional Movement Speed. Samira can deal damage from a distance with his pistols or melee with his sword. The sword deals additional magic damage. In addition, the champion can toss enemies whose movements have been weakened by her allies into the air, prolonging the displacement effect.

Natural Talent (Q)

Samira fires directly with his pistols at a distant enemy. Opponents within melee range take a sword strike instead of a shot.

Sharp Maelstrom (W)

Samira spins the sword around her, dealing damage twice to nearby enemies, in addition to destroying opposing projectiles that are within the area and that enter the area during the skill.

Indomitable Momentum (E)

Samira advances and cuts through enemies (and allies) dealing magic damage and gaining additional Attack Speed for a period. Eliminating enemy champions resets the cooldown of the ability.

Infernal Trigger (R)

Samira fires a volley of shots, hitting all surrounding enemies ten times over the duration. Each shot deals Physical Damage, applies Life Theft and can cause Critical Strike. She can only cast the ability if her Style score is ‘S’ (maximum).

Samira PsyOps

Riot Games says the new PsyOps-themed skins will be released in this update. While Kayle, Zed, Pyke and Viktor received their PsyOps skins this Thursday (17th). Along with the LeBlanc Championship skin, Samira wins the skin on its launch, on September 21, this being its secondary skin. It is a military style outfit with several futuristic and technological elements. The other champions who already own their PsyOps outfits are Ezreal, Sona, Shen, Vi and Master Yi.

League of Legends: Details of Patch Notes 10.19

Samira PsyOps will be available at the champion’s launch. (Image: Riot Games)

All changes to Patch Notes 10.19

  • Ahri: Fox Fire (W) mana cost and cooldown reduced. Mana cost was fixed from 55 to 40 and the cooldown went from 10/9/8/7/6 to 9/8/7/6/5 seconds.
  • Akali: Base damage and multiplier of Five Point Strike (Q) ability power reduced. The ability now causes 30/55/80/105/130 (+0.6 ability power) and no longer 35/60/85/110/135 (+0.65 ability power).
  • Aphelios: Base attack damage growth increased from 2 to 2.4.
  • Azir: Surja’s (W) additional attack speed reduced from 20/30/40/50/60% to 15/25/35/45/55%.
  • Caitlyn: Base attack damage and reduced attack speed growth. Base damage went from 64 to 62 and the attack speed increased from 4% to 3.5%.
  • Irelia: Base damage to the dam and the perimeter of the Vanguard Blade (R) increased in the last levels – both went from 125/225/325 to 125/250/375.
  • Ivern: Sluggish Seed (E) increased from 40/45/50/55/60% to 50/55/60/65/70%.
  • Lucian: Base attack damage growth reduced from 2.75 to 2.3.
  • Senna: Chance of appearance of Specters of the Mist (passive) reduced in troop kills – 8.33% in troops that Senna kills (approximately once every 2 waves) to 4.166% in troops that Senna kills (approximately once every 4 waves).
  • Sivir: Lightfoot (passive) additional movement speed increased from 30 – 50 to 35 – 55 (levels 1 to 18).
  • Sylas: Usurpar (R) cooldown reduced at last levels. The skill has now gone from 100/80 / 60s to 100/70 / 40s.
  • Twisted Fate: Base movement speed reduced from 335 to 330.
  • Udyr: Phoenix Posture cone-shaped damage (R) increased from 50/95/140/185/230/275 (+0.6 ability power) to 60/110/160/210/260/310 ( +0.7 ability power).
  • Vayne: Increased Final Hour (R) attack damage increased from 25/40/55 to 35/50/65.

 

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League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

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League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

Faker, Uzi, Rookie and other big names in the League of Legends scene will not be present at Worlds 2020. This is the main event on the Riot Games calendar. The championship, which this year will take place in a bubble system due to the coronavirus pandemic. You will surely miss several names that ended up being left behind, either because they did not qualify, for retirement, bad time, among other cases.

Faker (T1)

After lifting the Worlds trophy for the last time in 2016, Faker will once again not compete in the world championship. The only time he was out was in 2018, one of T1’s darkest years. After the redesign, the team reached the semifinals of the event in 2019, but did not go beyond.

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

Faker will once again not compete in the world championship of League of Legends. (Image: T1)

Teddy (T1)

Even with an unstable T1 year, Teddy is still one of the best snipers in the world and will be missed at Worlds of League of Legends.. Despite the team not having a good time, Faker’s teammate managed to make some good presentations during the last two stages of LCK, including one of the highlights of the 1st Split, when T1 lifted the trophy.

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

Teddy is still one of the best snipers in the world and will be missed at Worlds of League of Legends. (Image: T1)

Doinb (FunPlus Phoenix)

Current champion of the world, the FunPlus Phoenix team failed to qualify for the Worlds in 2020 of League of Legends. Consequently, it will be a year without Doinb in the middle route. One of the highlights of last year, the player and his teammates had a lower than expected performance in the LPL this year and in the last Split they fell to V5 by 3 to 1 in the first bracket.

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

FunPlus Phoenix team failed to qualify for the Worlds in 2020 of League of Legends. (Image: FunPlus Phoenix)

Rookie (Invictus Gaming)

Rookie is, without a doubt, one of the best players in the world. However, the year was not the best for Invictus Gaming. Although it was decisive at various times in the LPL, the medium was not able to “load” the team. Not being able to change the unstable scenario in time to get the spot for Worlds of League of Legends. The IG ended up eliminated after the 3-0 against LGD in the quarterfinals of the Chinese league and lost the chance to qualify.

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

Rookie is, without a doubt, one of the best players in the world of League of Legends. (Image: Invictus Gaming)

TheShy (Invictus Gaming)

TheShy’s exotic choices on the top route will not be present at Worlds 2020. Like Rookie, the player failed to qualify and fell behind after a season of underperforming personal performance.

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

Another great League of Legends player outside Worlds 2020. (Image: Invictus Gaming)

Uzi (Retired)

Uzi’s retirement was one of the most memorable moments of the League of Legends in 2020. The sniper arrived as one of the big names for the title in all editions of the tournament he played in, but unfortunately he couldn’t keep up until, in fact, lifting the trophy of the championship.

League of Legends: 10 Players Who Will Be Missed at Worlds 2020

Uzi’s retirement was one of the most memorable moments in the League of Legends in 2020. (Image: LPL)

Blaber (Cloud9)

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Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

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One of the initiators of Valorant, Sova is one of the characters that collects the most information on Riot Games’ FPS. Similar to Cypher in terms of vision, Sova has a bow that can be equipped with three types of arrows. One revealing, one shocking and one that crosses almost the entire map. In addition, the agent also has a drone to clear areas and acquire information for himself and his team. Of Russian origin, “born under the eternal winter of the tundras” as his biography reveals. Sova is one of the best choices for the current goal of Valorant, due to the popularization of the agent.

Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

Sova is one of the best choices for Valorant’s current goal. (Image: Epic Games)

Skills and tips

Owl Drone (C): Cost: $ 300

Sova equips a drone and launches it into the air once every round. In addition to piloting the drone collecting information, Sova can tag up to one enemy per charge by revealing it to his entire team.

Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

Sova equips a drone and launches it into the air once every round. (Image: Riot Games)

  • Use the Owl Drone whenever you need to clean somewhere. The idea is to always provide security for your team without exposing anyone.
  • Use the Owl Drone to match your ultimate skill. Unlike the Tracking Arrow that reveals an area, the Drone marks a target, that is, there is no escape from its ultimate.
  • It is possible to deactivate the drone manually, anytime you want, by pressing the same button used to activate it – by default it would be the letter C.
  • After firing once with the drone, the bar on the right side will reload for a new shot; only one shot per “full charge” can be made.
  • Another bar must be taken into account on the drone, the main one being looked at: the bottom one. If no enemy shoots the drone, it is this bar that will indicate when the drone will disappear – as if it were a consumption bar.
  • Agents with greater mobility like Jett and Raze can shorten the distance very quickly when they hear the activation of the Drone – be careful.
    Drone Owl can open the Bind portal. That is, you can be on A and clear one of the entries from B.

Shock Arrow (Q): Cost: $ 100 (up to two units)

Sova equips a shock arrow that explodes on impact and if it hits an enemy it causes damage. Despite being low, Shock Arrow damage can take on allies.

Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

In Valorant, Sova equips a shock arrow that explodes on impact and if it hits an enemy it does damage. (Image: Riot Games)

  • There are three “force bars” on the arrow. The longer the time holding the left mouse button the more strength the arrow will gain, the shorter the time holding the left mouse button the less force the arrow will gain.
  • Shock Arrow has up to two ricochets that can be selected with the right mouse button to hit the walls to their destination.
  • Use the Shock Arrow to take off an enemy’s vest or even part of his life. With very low damage and being relatively difficult to kill with the dart alone, use it to annoy enemies and lower your life.
  • If you have information about a hidden enemy, use the Shock Arrow to get it out of position. If he doesn’t leave, he will take up to 180 damage, which would eliminate him from the round.

Tracking Arrow (E): Cost: zero (available after 45s after first use)

Sova equips an arrow that reveals in the area, that is, different from the Owl Drone that marks an enemy, the Sova Tracker Arrow can reveal all the enemies that are in the place.

Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

Sova equips an arrow that reveals in the area. (Image: Riot Games)

  • There are three “force bars” on the arrow. The longer the time holding the left mouse button the more strength the arrow will gain, the shorter the time holding the left mouse button the less force the arrow will gain.
  • Tracking Arrow has up to two ricochets that can be selected with the right mouse button and can be destroyed by enemies – before or after revealing them.
  • Use the Tracking Arrow to enter bombs in combined action with your teammates. The arrow reveals the position of the enemies not only for Sova, but also for his allies.
  • Thin walls or anything that looks like wood on maps can be trimmed. That is, use Tracking Arrow in an area and if it reveals an enemy behind a thin or wooden surface do not hesitate to shoot to shoot it down. The same goes for when you lose sight of enemy smokes.
  • The Tracking Arrow is Sova’s main skill. There are several spots where it can be done to reveal specific areas in Valorant.
Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

This is one of the spots where it can be done to reveal specific areas. (Image: Valorant)

Hunter’s Fury (X): Cost: seven points of ultimate

Sova equips an arc with up to three shots that cross practically half of all maps. The shots go through walls and enemies, and mark them for your team. That is, it is possible to kill more than one enemy at the same time, if they are in a row.

Valorant: Tips On How To Play With The Character Sova

Sova equips an arc with up to three shots that cross practically half of all maps. (Image: Riot Games)

  • Whenever you have the ultimate in a game played, try to make the difference early in the round. Score with the Owl Drone or track with the Revealing Arrow and try to kill the enemy at the beginning of the round to gain the numerical advantage in Valorant.
  • Hunter’s Fury is a great skill for 1v1 moments when Sova defends the bomb on the attacking side. Hide in a safe place, wait for the opponent to click to defuse and use the ultimate through the minimap where the bomb is.
  • Although not ideal, the Hunter’s Fury can be used right at the beginning of the round without information yet. Starting the round by hitting a beaten spot, where enemies normally stay, can make a difference in the round.
  • Hunter’s Fury can also be used to stop rushing on the defending side. With or without information from the Tracking Arrow or the Owl Drone, don’t hesitate to use it when you hear a quick rush in your bomb, for example.

 

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