Hearthstone Enters Open Beta

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As many of you are probably aware, Blizzard recently announced that their digital card game “Hearthstone” has left closed beta and is now available to the general public.

While we don’t have plans to moderate Hearthstone activities in any official capacity, that doesn’t mean your fellow LAN neighbors won’t be interested in playing! If you’re a PC gamer participating in the LAN and would like to play Hearthstone, or you’re someone who would like to discuss the other titles you’ll be playing at Gamers for Giving with fellow attendees, don’t forget to check out the LANFest forums! The forum is a place for you to discuss the games you’ll be bringing to the LAN, and find other players who are looking to play the same games as you!

The Facebook event page is also a great resource to find fellow gamers attending the event! You can join the event on Facebook and link up with fellow attendees here.

We hope to see you at Gamers for Giving 2014, February 8th & 9th!

Special Guest: “Axeltoss”

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Professional StarCraft 2 commentator Alex “Axeltoss” Rodriguez will be joining us for his second year as an on-air personality at Gamers for Giving 2014!

During Major League Gaming’s tenure with StarCraft 2 and the WCS in 2013, Axeltoss served as the on-air host for multiple tournaments and on-air broadcasts within the organization. His resume as both a major event’s caster and organizer spans back to 2011, when his notoriety as an on-air personality quickly escalated after casting events such as the North American Star League Seasons, the Team Liquid Open Series, and MLG Providence.

In 2012, he played a major role in organizing and launching the Lone Star Clash, an event bringing together multiple universities and professional gamers to compete in a live streamed StarCraft 2 tournament. Additional casts include the World Cyber Games USA Qualifiers and National Finals event in 2012, and the Battle.net World Championship Series Global Finals.

Axeltoss will joining Gamers Outreach supporters at Gamers for Giving 2014, and will be assisting with stream activities throughout the weekend.

We hope to see you on February 8th & 9th at Gamers for Giving 2014!

Halo & KI Settings Posted

Settings and tournament regulations for both Halo 4 and Killer Instinct have been posted! Both tournaments will be taking place on Sunday, February 9th. Team passes for Halo and individual passes for Killer Instinct can be purchased here.

The Halo 4 tournament will have a $1,500 prize pot. $1,000 will be awarded to the team that finishes in 1st place. $500 will be awarded to the team that finishes in 2nd place. Killer Instinct will have a total prize pot of $800.00. $500 will be awarded to the player that finishes in 1st place, $300 will be awarded to the player that finishes in 2nd place.

Settings can be viewed at the following links…

 

Special Guest: “StrongSide”

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Perhaps best known to those in the Halo community as “StrongSide,” Michael Cavanaugh is one of the most decorated competitive Halo players to date. His love for gaming started at age five when he and his mom began playing Super Mario Bros. As a teenager, he branched out into cross country, soccer, and swimming to fill his afternoons, but competitive gaming quickly became his number one priority.

Michael began entering some of his first Halo tournaments while still in high school, and his endless hours of practice soon began to pay off. In 2006, Cavanaugh made his professional debut as a member of Team Carbon before he was quickly recruited by what would become the world’s greatest Halo team, Final Boss.

In their first season, Cavanaugh and team Final Boss went on to win five out of seven tournaments that year (they placed second in the other two events), earning them a place in the MLG National Championship in Las Vegas. Team Final Boss stormed through the tournament without dropping a single game, and were the first team in competitive gaming history to do so. Their triumphant play won the team a $100,000 paycheck, and title as the number one Halo team in the world.

Fast forward to present day, Michael is still winning tournaments. Most recently he was declared the victor of the 2013 Halo 4 Infinity Challenge, hosted by 343 Industries and Virgin Gaming. The grand Prize? A Halo themed Ford F-150 Raptor with an estimated value of around $200,000.

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When he’s not playing competitively, Michael authors strategy guides for Prima Games, and is currently working on the company’s official  strategy guide for Titanfall, to be released later this year.

Michael’s love for gaming extends beyond life as a competitive player, and he recently approached us with a desire to become more actively involved in the charity space through Gamers Outreach Foundation. Michael will be joining us at Gamers for Giving 2014 as both a guest and as host of a special Peggle 2 tournament taking place on  site at the event (details TBA).

We hope you’ll join us at Eastern Michigan University on February 8th & 9th, 2014!

 

Special Guest: Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez

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Known by some as the “swiss army knife of eSports,” Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez joined the gaming scene years ago as a player when he experienced the same competitive sensations behind the controller as he had as an athlete throughout high school. His love for eSports led to pursuing tournament  titles in Halo, Call of Duty, and even Asphalt 4 for the cell phone.

His lovable personality and positive reputation as a community mentor unexpectedly put him at the forefront of the industry when in 2011, at the MLG National Championships for Black Ops, Alex was invited to cast his first major event. Since then, he has been invited to host events for the likes of Activision, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, MLG, IPL. WCG, UMG, eSports Services, Paradox Interactive, and Twitch. He is also a regular contributor to gaming news giant Kotaku.com, and is a frequent guest on console gaming discussion shows.

Most recently, Alex emceed and cast the Halo Global Championship, which was broadcast to thousands of viewers online and through the Xbox Live dashboard. Alex will be attending Gamers for Giving for the first time this February as one of our on-air personalities during the event’s broadcast. His talent and experience as a caster will provide valuable insight and entertainment to Gamers for Giving viewers and attendees as we make our attempt at raising $20,000 for Gamers Outreach programs.

Forums Created

Looking for that 4th player to round out your Gamers for Giving Halo team? Interested in discussing PC games with fellow Gamers for Giving LAN attendees? Now you can! We’ve just launched the Gamers for Giving 2014 Forums over on the LANFest website. The forums are accessible to anyone who has an account with LANFest, which should be true for just about everybody who already has or plans to register for Gamers for Giving.

If you have any questions about the event that require an answer from Gamers Outreach directly, send us an email via contact@gamersoutreach.org, or hit us up on Twitter, @GamersOutreach.

CoD Champs Qualifiers

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Late last week, news broke from Major League Gaming that the 2014 Call of Duty Championship qualifiers would be hosted online. Rather than gaining entry through live events, players will have the opportunity to participate in two online qualifiers on the dates of February 1st and February 8th

Fortunately, for those players interested in making the run for Champs, it’s possible to participate in both Gamers for Giving and attempt to qualify! Here’s how it works…

Step 1) Call of Duty players can purchase seats in the Gamers for Giving LAN party to participate in the CoD Champs qualifier on February 8th. Aside from being able to take advantage of Eastern Michigan University’s godlike internet connection, players will benefit from the opportunity to compete with teammates together in a live environment. For teams who are interested, we are also exploring the possibility of showcasing certain qualifier matches on the Gamers for Giving live stream.

Step 2) For those players who are also interested in competing in the Gamers for Giving Call of Duty tournament (a separate activity from the LAN mentioned above), we will be making special arrangements to delay matches in the bracket to accommodate the schedule of the CoD Champs Qualifiers. Players who wish to compete in the CoD Champs Qualifiers can do so from the LAN of Gamers for Giving (see Step 1). Given our Call of Duty tournament goes through both Saturday and Sunday, we expect that, at worst, the tournament may take some extra time to complete in the afternoon on Sunday due to potential delays. Details on how the matches will flow during the tournament will be explained on-site at the event. Team passes can be purchased here.

We hope to see you at Gamers for Giving on February 8th and 9th!

More PC LAN Activities

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We’ve expanded the list of activities for PC gamers attending Gamers for Giving 2014! Below is an updated schedule detailing what PC gamers will be able to expect at this year’s event. Keep in mind, free play activities occur throughout the entire duration of the LAN. Many of your LAN neighbors will want to play the same games as you, so don’t be shy! Gamers for Giving is a chance to meet new like-minded gamers and make friends.

We’ve also created a Forum for this year’s event over on the LANFest website. Registered members of the LANFest website can discuss what games they plan on bringing to the event. You can also use the forum as a way to find teammates for tournaments.

LAN Activities

  • On-site Servers:
    • Counter Strike: Global Offensive Free Play & Tournament (Sunday).
    • Team Fortress 2 Free Play Server.
    • Chivalry FFA Tournament (Sunday).
  • Online Activities
    • League of Legends Headline Tournament (Saturday & Sunday. See Tournaments page).
    • StarCraft 2: Headline Tournament (Saturday. See Tournaments page).
    • Battlefield 4 Free Play.
    • DayZ Server.
    • Dota 2 Tournament (Sunday).
  • Other Activities
    • Free Red Bull for event participants.
    • Raffle with hardware prizes from LANFest sponsors.
    • PC Benchmarking Contest.
    • PC Case Mod Contest judged by CPU Magazine.

Special Guest: Bonnie “Xena” Burton

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Exciting news for those who love Halo! Yet another special guest from the gaming community will be joining us at Gamers for Giving 2014! Bonnie “Xena” Burton will be on site managing this year’s Halo 4 tournament!

At the young age of 12, Bonnie Burton became Major League Gaming’s first professional female gamer in Halo. She competed in the league for five years before turning her attention to marketing, where she’s spent the last five years assisting various companies at major gaming trade shows across the US. Aside from her experience as a competitive player, Bonnie was selected as G4TV’s E3 Booth Babe in 2010, and has been featured for her skills as a gamer in publications ranging from Wired and USA Today, to ESPN and MTV’s True Life series.

Don’t worry, Halo players. Bonnie will be participating in this year’s Gamers for Giving as the head moderator for our Halo 4 tournament. You won’t have to worry about running up against her in the brackets.

We hope to see you at Gamers for Giving 2014 on February 8th & 9th! Halo 4 Team Passes can be purchased here.

League & StarCraft Settings Posted

The competition guidelines for both League of Legends & StarCraft 2 have been posted! Players who wish to compete in either of these tournaments need only purchase a ticket in the BYOC LAN. All PC attendees are eligible to compete in the Gamers for Giving LANFest tournaments. Team information and registration will be conducted on site at the event.

Settings for both tournaments can be found below. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop us a line via contact@gamersoutreach.org or on Twitter, @GamersOutreach.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swam Settings

League of Legends Settings