Guest Feature: Lindsay Elyse

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Lindsay Elyse is a world recognized cosplayer and streamer who started gaming at the age of 5 after her grandfather introduced her to the Nintendo Entertainment System. Like many of us, those first few games sparked a lifetime of passion in Lindsay’s life. Playing video games first led to an interest in cosplay for Lindsay in 2005. Over the past 10 years, she has traveled around the United States, Canada, and South America to compete in cosplay competitions with other enthusiasts from around the world. Her talent as both a cosplayer and costume crafter, (with experience in woodwork, sewing, prop making, armor making, and painting) has led to representing game industry companies such as CAPCOM, Bethesda, 2K, and Ubisoft.  In addition to cosplay, Lindsay has worked an an on-air hostess, panelist, and contest judge for over 10 major conventions, including E3 and MLG.

Present day: as a partnered Twitch streamer and member of the Astro Stream Team, Lindsay is well practiced in every genre of game, from MMOs to first-person shooters to real-time strategy games.

Lindsay will be joining us at Gamers for Giving 2016 as part of the Gamers Outreach Stream Team – helping us raise money to build GO Karts for hospitals around the country!

Be sure to say hello if you see her at the event, and give her a follow on Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook!

We’ll see you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

Guest Feature: Walshy

Red Bull LAN in New York City. Dave 'Walshy' Walsh in New York city.

Known within the competitive gaming community as “Walshy,” David Walsh is a man who’s identity has become synonymous with the world of esports. As one of the original pioneers for competitive gaming on consoles, Walshy is a three time Major League Gaming National Champion, and boasts a resume inked with victories across multiple tournaments from around the world.

His desire to contribute to the progression of the video game industry extends outside the edges of his TV screen. Walshy continues to work with Red Bull as one of their sponsored esports personalities, and recently completed a tour through Asia with Microsoft to promote Halo 5: Guardians. For fans of the Halo Championship Series, Walshy provides unparalleled in-depth analysis of pro game play, drawing on his former experience as a top Halo competitor.

Aside from his impressive resume of gaming accomplishments, Walshy is finishing his pursuit of a Computer Science degree at Grand Valley State University. When he’s not worrying about discrete structures or calculus, he can be found streaming on his Twitch.tv channel.

Walshy serves on the Board of Directors for Gamers Outreach Foundation, and has been an advocate of our efforts since 2008. Gamers for Giving attendees will be able to find Walshy in the caster booth for our upcoming Halo tournament, streamed in partnership with Beyond Entertainment.

Be sure to say hello to Walshy if you make it to the event! You can also hit him up on Twitter to let him know you’ll be attending.

We look forward to seeing you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

Discord Server

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Big news! We’ve just launched a Gamers for Giving Discord server! If you’re looking for a way to communicate with Gamers for Giving attendees or our staff, come join us on the platform!

The Gamers for Giving server is open to the public, and can be found here:

In case you’re not familiar: Discord is a new communication platform built specifically for gamers. It’s a friendly, accessible alternative to software like Ventrilo, TeamSpeak, and Skype.

Throughout Gamers for Giving, our staff will be making use of the Discord server to convey important announcements, relay tournament information, and provide you with an outlet to communicate with other attendees.

This server is especially important for PC gamers participating in the LAN. Many of our event announcements will be conveyed through Discord, so be sure to make an account and get prepared for this year’s event!

We’ll see you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

Smash Friendlies

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Quick update for Smash players: our Wii U consoles will be fully set up on Saturday, March 12th of Gamers for Giving. While the Smash tournament will only take place on Sunday, we’ll be making the stations available for friendlies throughout Saturday.

If you’d like to catch some casual games with other participants, you’re more than welcome to make use of the consoles on Saturday! Please remember to bring a wired GameCube controller! Non-smash competitors will be able to sit down for casual matches as well.

We’ll see you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

New Fundraising Platform

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Over the past few years, we’ve frequently received emails from supporters across the country who’ve wanted a deeper, more long-term involvement with Gamers Outreach programs.

Today, we’re excited to unveil a new tool to help our supporters do just that. We’re proud to launch the 1.0 version of the Gamers Outreach fundraising platform!

Through the new Fundraising section of our website, anyone who wants to support Gamers Outreach programs can create a custom fundraising page, track donations, and rally friends and family to support a long-term goal!

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Here’s the best part: if you raise enough to build a GO Kart, we’ll deliver it in your name to a hospital of your choice! You’ll even be able to see photos from the delivery, and pending availability, visit the hospital to learn how the GO Kart will be serving patients and staff! Your donation will also be showcased on the impact map, located on the home page of our website!

So when would you want to make use of the fundraising platform? Here’s an example: let’s say you frequently stream video games and have a community of viewers. With your own custom fundraising page, you can rally your audience, collect donations, and keep track of funds you receive from viewers. Collectively, with enough support, you can eventually build your own GO Kart! Stream players can be embedded in the fundraising page, and you can direct viewers to your page as you build support around your efforts.

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Or maybe you don’t really play video games yourself, but have an interest in supporting Gamers Outreach programs throughout the year. With the fundraising platform, you can keep track of your donations over time, and add to your impact by recruiting support from friends and family, or through social media.

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Keep in mind: this is the first version of the platform! With time, we plan to roll out a number of features and upgrades to help make the platform better. Our goal is to help make our initiatives as tangible as possible, and ultimately, provide recreation to children in hospitals all across the country.

You can create your own custom fundraising page by visiting http://fundraise.gamersoutreach.org. If you’re unable to attend our upcoming event, Gamers for Giving, launching your own fundraiser is a great way to get involved!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or feedback! We look forward to hearing from you, and hope you’ll make an effort to help others level up!

Call of Duty: Now on PS4

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Huge news, console players: Gamers Outreach is partnering with Michigan esports (MES) as the official equipment provider of the Gamers for Giving Halo and Call of Duty tournaments!

If you’re interested in participating in our Call of Duty tournament, this next part is super important…

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve received a large amount of feedback from players who’ve expressed interest in competing in our upcoming Call of Duty tournament. There has been a clear desire from the community for this year’s Gamers for Giving event to align with competitive Call of Duty standards. With the support of MES, we have decided our upcoming Call of Duty tournament will take place on the PlayStation 4 console.

As part of this partnership, MES will be providing Gamers Outreach with PlayStation 4 consoles for use in our tournament this March. This will not change the tournament format or guaranteed prize structure. We are only changing the platform of the tournament itself. The tournament will be capped at 32 teams.

In case you’re not aware: MES is a growing provider of LAN competitions and online tournaments in the Midwest region. We’re excited to partner with them on this year’s Gamers for Giving, and have cooked up a few additional benefits which will be available to all console competitors:

  • Both the Halo and Call of Duty tournament brackets will be seeded based on a team’s total number of MES points (which are attributed to each individual player). If you have not participated in an MES competition, your team’s seed will be influenced based on our original method of seeding.
  • In addition to the $3,000 prize pool per tournament, winners will now also receive 10,000 MES points, which influence seeding at future MES events. If you’re a regular MES competitor, Gamers for Giving offers a perfect opportunity to capture points that will influence your participation in later MES events. Additional points will be awarded to teams as follows…
    • 1st Place: 10,000 points
    • 2nd Place: 6,000 points
    • 3rd Place: 4,400 points
    • 4th Place, 3,600 points
    • 5th – 6th Place: 3,200 Points
    • 7th – 8th Place: 2,800 Points
    • 9th – 12th Place: 2,200 Points
    • 13th – 16th Place: 1,800 Points
    • 17th – 24th Place: 1,200 Points
    • 25th – 32nd Place: 800 Points
  • Tournament winners will receive free three month premium subscriptions to the MES online competition platform.

MES points can be earned week by week through the organization’s online platform, MESLive.tv. Competitors interested in earning points to influence seeding prior to our upcoming event can register for an account on the website, and participate in online tournaments between now and the event.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop us a line on Twitter, or send us an email. Team passes to participate in both the Call of Duty and Halo tournaments are available to purchase here.

We look forward to hosting our first Call of Duty tournament on the PlayStation 4, and can’t wait for an exciting weekend of competition.

Whether you’re competing in Halo or Call of Duty, we hope to see you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

Oddshot.tv Supports Gamers for Giving

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We have plans to push out a wide variety of content from this year’s Gamers for Giving, and we’re excited to welcome aboard Oddshot.tv as our official replay tool during this year’s event!

Oddshot.tv is a browser plugin that enables streamers to quickly capture “replay” moments during live broadcasts. Once captured, these moments can be shared across a variety of media platforms online. The tool was created to help facilitate easy replay functionality for competitive gaming, but has also been adopted by casual / variety streamers as a way to capture fun moments during live broadcasts.

If you’re watching Gamers for Giving from home, install the Oddshot.tv plugin, and share your favorite moments from the weekend’s broadcast with us on social media! Sharing clips from the Gamers for Giving stream broadcast is a great way to help spread the word, and generate awareness of the cause!

We’re glad to welcome Oddshot.tv on board as a sponsor of Gamers for Giving 2016. We’re incredibly thankful for the generosity they’ve demonstrated in support of Gamers Outreach programs. Crew members from the company will be on site at Gamers for Giving, and will be providing a variety of swag items for attendees and our invited streamers during the event.

Be sure to show them some love on Twitter, and give them a Like on Facebook!

We’ll see you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

Infiniscene Supports Gamers Outreach

Infiniscene_Logo_2We’ve got big streaming plans at Gamers for Giving this year, and we’re so thankful to welcome the team from Infiniscene on board as supporters of our cause!

Not heard of Infiniscene? Feel fortunate you’re reading this now. One day you’ll be able to say you were a fan before it was mainstream. Infiniscene is quite possibly the coolest thing to happen to streaming since Twitch played Pokemon.

Infiniscene is a cloud based platform that lets you easily broadcast gameplay onto your favorite streaming website. The software automatically detects all of your possible streaming inputs (desktop, cameras, microphone, etc.) and enables live broadcasting with the click of a button. Gone are the days of steep learning curves and convoluted software. Infiniscene requires no weird configurations to sync your gear, and features a beautiful interface that is simple and intuitive.

Did we mention this all happens in the cloud? Turns out that’s really important because it lets streamers effortlessly do some pretty cool things.

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We really believe the team at Infiniscene have created a tool that will help better serve the streaming community. The Infiniscene crew will have a booth at Gamers for Giving, and will also be helping us manage our streaming lounge – an area for our invited guests who will be broadcasting throughout the weekend in support of our cause.

Be sure to give Infiniscene some love on Facebook and Twitter, and get a demo of their software during this year’s Gamers for Giving!

We’ll see you on March 12th & 13th at the EMU Convocation Center!

Smash Bros Prize Pool

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Heads up, Smash players! We recently received some feedback from a few members of the community who’ve requested the payout for our upcoming Smash Bros. tournament at Gamers for Giving be restructured. After discussing the topic with our TO, we’ve decided to reorganize the prize pool and distribute the tournament’s prize money as follows:

  • 1st Place: $400
  • 2nd Place: $200
  • 3rd Place: $125
  • 4th Place: $75

As noted above, the tournament will still have a guaranteed $800 prize pool. However, players that finish in the top 4 will now receive a cash prize. The tournament’s prize pool may increase in the event of excess or specialized sponsorship, but will otherwise remain constant regardless of the number of tournament participants.

The entire format for this year’s Smash tournament can be found here. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out via Twitter or email!

We look forward to seeing you at the EMU Convocation Center!

Special Guest: LEGIQN

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Raised by feral hamsters in the rain forests of the American Midwest, and considered a boy wizard to much of the gaming community, LEGIQN has been attending and playing in FPS tournaments since before the nimbus-3000 was released.

After a tragic quidditch accident forced an abrupt end to his professional career, LEGIQN discovered his true passion: yelling about things that happen while other people are playing video games because he’s not good enough to compete himself.

Thanks to the power of the internet, it wasn’t long before his new-found talent(?) blossomed into a full time career. He’s been making YouTube videos ever since leaving the competitive scene.

In seriousness – we’re excited to welcome one of gaming’s favorite funnymans to Gamers for Giving 2016. LEGIQN will be joining us at this year’s event to help host various streams throughout the venue in support of our $100K fundraising goal.

Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter, and stop by his YouTube channel for the lols.

We’ll see you on March 12th & 13th at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center!