Dark Sided Welcomes Heroes of the Storm

It is with great pleasure that today, Dark Sided announces their journey into the Heroes of the Storm scene with the official acquisition of the roster formerly known as 'Morton’s List'. With the Gamestah Blizzard ANZ HotS Season 3 just kicking off and the boys showing incredible promise defeating the region giants 'Nomia', now couldn't be a better time to welcome them to the team. Dark Sided are confident in the roster and look forward to supporting them in achieving their 2017 goals.

We caught up with the team's manager, Morton who gave us his thoughts moving further into 2017 with Dark Sided.

Having Dark Sided sponsor our former team 'Morton's List' is an exceptional opportunity not only for the team but for the entire ANZ community... The Heroes of the storm scene in Australia/New Zealand is seemingly unrecognisable relative to the main 4 regions who play but through the investment and recognition of esports organisations into the ANZ community, heroes in Australia/New Zealand will soon begin to flourish with support and maybe one day soon compete with the more developed regions on even playing field

Daniel 'Morton' Morton, Dark Sided HotS Manager

Please give a very warm welcome to Dark Sided's Heroes of the Storm roster!

Be sure to tune into their debut performance at 8pm AEST in the Gamestah Season 3 ANZ HGC Qualifiers via www.twitch.tv/GamestahTV1 .

A look back at May 2017

We made it! We survived May.

Dark Sided had an absolutely huge month on the ground with some massive local events and some even bigger international experiences. Before we get to that, I want to personally thank everyone that ordered a Dark Sided Custom Jersey from our Store, we got so many tweets from fans and supporters this month showing us their jerseys and anyone that participated in our first birthday giveaway! Interactions like this are so important to us because without our supporters we couldn't have made it this far.

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As I mentioned previously, Dark Sided had a huge month of LAN events starting with the SMITE roster playing at the first ever Intel Extreme Masters in Sydney. Of‘course this was a momentous occasion because it was the first IEM to visit our shores but also the first LAN event for the team under Dark Sided. After taking a loss in the first game on stage the boys managed to regroup and gain a good lead early in the second game, but when push came to shove the boys weren't able to close out the game and lost in straight games versus Legacy Esports. Nevertheless it was great to watch them play up on the Community Stage at such a huge event. Personally, I got to learn a lot about SMITE and interact with some of the community members which is always great.

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Just a week later we had probably the biggest week in Dark Sided history. The Counter Strike roster set off to London to compete in the ESEA Mountain Dew League Season 24 LAN Global Finals which saw them face off against teams from both Europe and the United States. The team were set to face Sweedish powerhouse GODSENT in their first game of Pool A and the boys didn't disappoint. Pulling out all the stops after being 8-1 down on Mirage the boys managed to push the game into overtime but ultimately falling to GODSENT 19-17 in a super close finish.

Up next the boys played Enigma6 on Overpass and started the game on a completely different foot than the last, jumping out to an early lead. The US based Enigma6 managed to claw back a few rounds winning 4 straight which made for a competitive end to the first half. The second half started a little rougher than the first for Dark Sided but they managed to close out the game 16-10

The final game of the group stage saw a runback versus GODSENT on Cache. The Dark Sided boys won the first two rounds before the Sweeds showed what they were made of dropping just one round for the rest of the half on the CT side. Second half was a similar story with Dark Sided off to a great start but it was too little too late with GODSENT closing out the game 16-11.

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Failing the defeat GODSENT resulted in not making the playoff bracket and eliminating the boys after quite an impressive weekend of Counter Strike. We managed to catch a bunch of the games over the weekend (while at BAM9!) really late at night and for me personally, the first game was one of the most thrilling games of Counter Strike I'd ever watched. Maybe I just wanted to see the boys come out on top so bad!

Meanwhile, back in Melbourne everyone else was attending Battle Arena Melbourne 9 which for me, has been the highlight of the year so far. Naturally, coming from the Fighting Game Community (FGC) I would probably say something like that. It's always great to see people at what Esports people call "LANS" even though, there is very little networking done between consoles for a fighting game tournament.

It was great to watch our Dark Sided Street Fighter V trio of Somniac, Falco and ZG team up for the SFV 3v3 tournament. I particularly enjoyed watching how much Somniac played the "team tournament" metagame utilising blind pick and changing up the team order. Each of the boys did so well on the weekend, both Falco and Somniac placing in the Top 32. Unfortunately ZG wasn't able to join them bowing out in the Losers Final of his pool after being knocked down by INFILTRATION but such are the woes of double elimination brackets in a tournament setting.

Speaking of making it all the way to Losers Final in Street Fighter V, Wazminator having a breakout performance over the weekend showing us all the (now familiar...) force of a pad playing Boxer powering his way up the loser bracket but eventually falling to the legendary Sakonoko. However, this was but a warm up for Waz as his true test was to come to the day after in the Mortal Kombat XL tournament. He powered through his pool just narrowly avoiding a loss to SAGGAT83 with a rather large comeback and defeated long time rival Gilbagz in the opening round of Top 8.

So close, yet so far to the trophy Wazminator had to face off against previous BAM champion GooGie in the Winners Final. Wazminator managed to defeat the reigning champion to make it into the Grand Final and in true fighting game story cliché fashion, the defending champion came back for revenge out of the Losers bracket. Wazminator was not phased though and managed to seal the deal and claim the title of BAM9 MKXL Champion!

Seems like a lot went down that weekend at Battle Arena Melbourne 9 but I'm not finished with this story. Dark Sided still had Spud competing in Super Smash Bros Melee. Now, I'm not a huge Smash fan... I've never really sat down and watched a lot of Melee because usually when I'm around Melee I'm also around Street Fighter and that's where my interests lie but I gave myself a goal for the BAM9 weekend to become more interested in Melee and watching Spud destroy these boys in the Top 8 only dropping just a single game in the Top 8 was nothing short of amazing.

There were some really great storylines that emerged from the Melee tournament at BAM9 like Spud being knocked down into Losers bracket during Top 64 by Zxv who is considered to be Australia's best (and only?) Sheik player. Zxv went on to terrorise the Top 8 eventually copping a loss to BAM9 runner up Sora. His amazing run would see him face off again with Spud in the Losers Final which was one of the best sets of the tournament with Spud looking to an alternate character to adapt to his opponent. Spud went on to face Sora in the Grand Final and win 3-1, 3-0 to become the BAM9 Melee champion.

That was just the first two weeks of May. Lucky for me, not much out of the ordinary happened in the last fortnight of May. We've got a whole lot of stuff on the horizon across the board which I'm excited to share with you guys but now is not the time or the place for that. Just keep your eye on Dark Sided and hopefully I'll see you at the next event!

Changes to Dark Sided SMITE

It is with a heavy heart that Dark Sided SMITE says goodbye to Nick 'Swifty' Thomason and Tyler 'Shred' Hall. Both players have been incredible personalities within the Oceanic SMITE scene, bringing us many laughs and even more ELO. Dark Sided would like to wish Nick and Tyler the absolute best with all of their future endevours and hope to see them in the competitive SMITE scene for years to come.

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Nevertheless, it's with great excitement that Dark Sided would also like to announce their replacements on the SMITE roster in the form of veteran talent and multi-role magician Riki 'Yada' Wellington as mid laner (former Legacy Esports' Jungler) and Dylan 'JustLaney' Lane taking over the AD Carry position.

The new look Dark Sided roster cannot wait to hit the ground running with the SMITE Oceania Pro League Split 2 starting this week. They boys will be facing off against reigning champions, the LG Dire Wolves.

Catching up with Falco

Another week to BAM9 with only 9 days remaining to train up and prepare for one of the biggest events on the Australian fighting game calendar, we take a moment to catch up with Adric 'Falco' Middleton.

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Steve: Hey Falco, what have you been up to? Been hitting the esports gym?

Falco: Hey there Steve, No I haven't been going to ESG that much its a fair distance to go to on a weekly basis so instead I've been analysing the latest matches, seeing what other top competitors are doing wrong that I could use to my advantage, shifting paradigms to get the edge, maintaining a healthy lifestyle to keep my mind AND body prepared for whatever challenges await me. The next DotA2 patch is mine.

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Steve: Wow! What a reply, I dare say that your ZQ Racing Alien XL chair is doing wonders for your posture then. How are your preparations for Battle Arena Melbourne 9 going? Have you had much time to check out the Season 2.5 changes for Street Fighter V? I heard you've been playing some Ibuki, have you given up on Chun-Li?

Falco: You know I've never actually done any special training for when an event comes up. Last night I decided to try out Lisa and some random ass co-op game called Bloody Trap Land and before that it was going to a wedding and playing Nier:Automata. I've also been playing Garou again recently because that game is great.

The 2.5 change list does nothing for either of the characters I play so nothing will change for me there. As for the rest of the changes it will just reinforce how offensive based the game is with the removal of jump back tech and tiers will remain roughly the same with Guile and Urien getting a slap but not hit too hard. Other characters like Vega got buffed but the buff is just making him better at what he is already good at not buffing the part of his game that he struggles with.

At the moment I still feel more comfortable with Chun-Li and I also think Chun-Li is better in a few match ups than Ibuki is so she will stick around for now.

Steve: Interesting observation about improving characters strong points rather than their weaknesses. Creates a bit of a requirement to have a pocket character. Recently you were on the I Dont Even Podcast with Youssef and Gamrah and there was a lot of discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of Street Fighter V as a game and a bunch of other interesting stuff about how to give yourself a kickstart in learning a new fighting game. With what you know now, if you could go back in time 5 years, what advice would you give yourself about becoming a better player?

Falco: If I could go back in time I would either have bought a stick when I first started fighters OR just got a hitbox but they werent invented yet as I had started as a keyboard player then switched and I couldve saved a lot of time with just execution things to this day if I had started with one or the other and stuck with it. But if I had done either of those things I then would have just used training room time with more purpose and focus.

Steve: Having a purpose or focus for each lab session is definitely better than mindless grinding. Switching gears here, have you been playing much Guilty Gear Revelator? Being the current OHN champion, do you feel any pressure to win going into BAM9?

Falco: I've been playing it more recently during my trip up to Brisbane as well as when I got back. As cool as winning Guilty gear was getting second at BAM8 and reseting the bracket was more of an achievement to me than OHN due to the competition at the event. A great pleasure I get out of playing Guilty Gear is entertaining people in Adelaide as they either watch me in Blazblue be complete shit at it and try and win with Hakuman counters alone or in Guilty Gear's case having them have fun watching me do shotgun pressure or unblockables to people that is not them.

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Steve: Hakuman... I remember playing Blazblue: Calamity Trigger back when I was starting fighting games and getting obliterated by the AI doing "psychic" parries hahaha. I heard you were up in Brisbane recently and ended up playing a FT10 with a local player, Ando, tell me more about this.

Falco:

So on the subject of going up to Brisbane I went up there for a wedding and was then INFORMED when I got there that on the Sunday I would have to play a whole bunch of the QLD players in sets. I got told that this was for room and board and I couldnt tell if they were serious or not so on the Saturday night after the wedding I hit the Dustloop Wiki , I checked the tapes, I made sure all combos were working to specifications and I made sure to have a light snack so my tummy wasn't upset. Then the big day came and yes I felt nervous but at the same time I was excited at the prospect of a new challenge on a brand new day. I remember as I sat down to face my first opponent there was a cold sweat running down my back but as I got into the rhythm of things that cold sweat turned into the sweat of a working man; a man who takes pride in his work, a man with a smile on his face because he knows win or lose at least he tried his hardest. Oh right the FT10... Well after I played several of the qld players I then was told that I would be doing a FT10 with Ando who is currently BAM champion and runner up of SXC, both great achievements. A funny thing during the match was there was this move that I kept trying to burst but I didnt know the timing of it so I kept screwing it up and after doing it about 6 times I said screw it I'll just get hit by it. The match boiled down to who got their offense going because both of us were terrible at dealing with the other person's offense. I remember thinking in the last round to just backdash and pull out the shotgun and run at him. It worked.

Steve: Sounds like this would make a pretty good runback at BAM should you guys meet each other during the tournament. I also heard that down in Melbourne, a few of the guys have nominated a player to learn Elphelt to train against in order to slay the mightly Falco. Thoughts?

Falco: This amuses me.

Steve: What an answer! Hahaha alright, KOFXIV, recently SNK have released the 2.0 patch, mostly to blow up my boy K' (not really but really), have you had a chance to play much? How do you feel about the changes to far standing b into MAX mode combos?

Falco: I am very much enjoying KOF again. I dont think it is KOFXIII level but every patch SNK has done has been in the right direction. The max mode changes are noticable but doesn't change how the game is played. The buffing of lower tiers has made character selection more interesting thus making the game also more enjoyable to watch because of the variety.

Steve: Would you rather take on 50 hot wings or a 20 foot hotdog?

Falco: The wings.

Steve: Lets talk about BAM9. RZR|Xian recently announced his attendance along with a tonne of other international players. Last year you placed a very respectable 5th (and I believe were the highest placing Australian player) losing to Rzr|Xian and Mago. Do you have your hopes set on some revenge against Xian? Is there anyone you've got your eye on that you want to play against?

Falco: Equal 5th with Furyblitz from Sydney. In fact I got 5th at every Australian tournament in 2016, internationals or not... I'm crazy like that. I dont really want revenge against Xian just a general desire to play international competition.

Steve: Do you have a particular strategy or mindset during tournament pool play? Do you try to save your energy early on in pools or is tournament stamina not something that bothers you?

Falco: My mindset going into pool play is to play as safe as possible and let the opponents make mistakes. This is just my playstyle in general with Chun-Li at least and just use her fireball and range to harrass people into doing dumb things. Every now and then it backfires because it's a style of play that gives people more chances to come back and in Street Fighter V that is a very scary thing. Tournament stamina has never bothered me in fact warming up makes me play better and I dont mean hopping on a casual set up before it starts. The tournament matches warm me up a lot.

Steve: That's interesting, you seem to get stronger as the tournament progresses like some kind of fighting game Saiyan. Final question! Who do you think will win BAM9?

Falco: If Haitani is coming. Him.

Be sure to catch Falco on Twitter and you can also come down and cheer for Falco at Battle Arena Melbourne 9! 13-14th of May at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

DARK SIDED: WELCOMING AORUS

Dark Sided is pleased to welcome its newest addition to the family as we announce our latest partnership with AORUS – GIGABYTE's premium gaming brand and one of the new leading providers of hardware across todays market. We are excited at the prospect of helping drive and push our players and community alongside a team as committed to connecting with the scene as AORUS.

I’m pleased to be announcing our latest partnership with AORUS. They have proven on both an international and national level to be a strong supporter and provider for many gaming related events and professional players. They also have a clear understanding of why it's important to help grow Esports particularly in our developing region. I’m blessed with the opportunities this new partnership will be able to create for all players under Dark Sided

Jayden 'taim' Earley, Dark Sided Owner & Founder

The new deal struck with AORUS comes as Dark Sided enters into arguably its biggest month since the brands rebirth into an organisation nearly 12 months ago. The team is set to compete at IEM Sydney (Australia’s first Intel Extreme Masters event), Battle Arena Melbourne 9 (Australia’s first ever Capcom Premier Event) and then to conclude an occupied month our Counter-Strike roster will be taking the stage overseas in London to play in ESEA's Season 24 Global Challenge against other international talent.

To learn more about AORUS and connect with them – make sure to check out the following links:

Website

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