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  • How do I Repair Linoleum? (with pictures)
  • Fix: The System Administrator Has Set Policies to Prevent
  • Football Manager 2020 Data Updates
  • DND calls sexual misconduct in military a 'wicked problem
  • FIFA 19 Language Pack Commentary Files For PC
  • Riot Games respond to major League of Legends client

CS: GO News & Coverage

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Queller AI v4.65.0 released

"Your Queller AI is literally best teacher there is when it comes to pure learning how to play this game, especially in basics" - B13, Uber rank #2
This mod is a total overhaul of the AI designed to smooth out the difficulty curve, providing more humanlike challenges that are both easier and harder than the vanilla AI. It features complete support for the Legion Expansion.
Please ensure that if you use this work you credit Quitch's Queller AI.

INSTALLATION

You should download and install this mod via the Planetary Annihilation TITANS in-game Community Mods.

DIFFICULTY

Queller offers a range of difficulties designed to try and mimic the style of human players at particular levels of play. It does not modify the vanilla difficulties.

Casual

  • Economy first opening
  • One army
  • Techs as soon as possible
  • Goes orbital as soon as possible
  • Turtles
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn't adapt to what the enemy is doing
  • Loves fabbers
  • Loves static defence/offence
  • Poor use of fabbers
  • Poor economy handling
  • No micro
  • Terrible threat assessments

Bronze

  • Factory first opening
  • One army
  • Techs as soon as possible
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands slowly
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn't adapt to what the enemy is doing
  • Loves fabbers
  • Loves static defence/offence
  • Poor use of fabbers
  • Average economy handling
  • No micro
  • Terrible threat assessments

Silver

  • Factory first opening
  • Few armies
  • Will tech if it can
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands slowly
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn't adapt to what the enemy is doing
  • Likes fabbers
  • Likes static defence/offence
  • Average economy handling
  • Average micro
  • Poor threat assessments

Gold

  • Smart factory first opening
  • Many armies
  • Will tech if it can
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands OK
  • OK troop selection
  • OK scouting
  • Some adaption to its opponent's play
  • Dislikes fabbers
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Average economy handling
  • Average micro
  • OK threat assessments

Platinum

  • Smartest factory first opening
  • Unlimited armies
  • Techs quickly
  • Goes orbital smartly
  • Expands quickly
  • Good troop selection
  • Good scouting
  • Smartly adapts to its opponent's play
  • Good fabber to troop balance
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Good economy handling
  • Best micro
  • Great threat assessments

Uber

  • Smartest factory first opening
  • Unlimited armies
  • Techs smartly
  • Goes orbital smartly
  • Expands quickly
  • Best troop selection
  • Best scouting
  • Smartly adapts to its opponent's play
  • Good fabber to troop balance
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Best economy handling
  • Best micro
  • Best threat assessments
  • Will use eco bonuses better than other levels
  • Selectable subpersonality

RECOMMENDED DIFFICULTY

Below are recommendations for the difficulty you may wish to start on based on what you set the vanilla AI to or your ladder ranking.
When you need to increase the challenge, but don't want to increase the difficulty, give the AI an eco-boost rather than adding more AIs. Not only will this be better for the sim, but will also stop the problem of there being fewer resources to go around for the AI which in turn makes it easier to beat. Alternatively, put the AI into shared armies.
Comparison between vanilla difficulty and Queller difficulty:
Vanilla Queller Eco
Normal Casual 1.0
Hard Silver 1.0
Relentless Gold 0.8
Absurd Gold 1.0
Suggestions based on 1v1 ranked position or challenge sought:
League Placement Difficulty Eco
Bronze Low Bronze 1.0
Bronze Mid Silver 1.0
Bronze High Gold 1.0
Silver Low Platinum 1.0
Silver Mid Uber 1.0
Silver High Uber 1.2
Gold Any Uber 1.4
Platinum Any Uber 1.6
Uber Any Uber 1.8

SUBPERSONALITIES

By default, Queller at Uber level will adapt its play to try and suit the system and the opposition it faces. You can use subpersonalities to customise Queller's game to your liking or help it play better where it's making poor strategy choices.

1v1

  • Slower to enter orbital
  • Uses more T1 bots

Bot

  • Doesn't build vehicle factories

Free-For-All

  • More cautious about engaging in battle
  • Techs earlier
  • Orbital earlier
  • May use a more cautious opening
  • Avoids antagonistic scouting raids

Naval

  • Uses naval opening if possible
  • Unrestricted naval usage
  • Only uses amphibious and hover units from land factories

Rush

  • Techs late
  • Slower to enter orbital

Tank

  • Doesn't build bot factories

Turtle

  • More likely to build defences at its expansions
  • More likely to build titans

MAP NOTES

The spawn the AI starts in and the profile used can make a big difference, even for symmetrical 1v1s. If you find the AI too easy on a map, try a different spawn point for it. And don't use Bedlam, the AI's forces can't pathfind on this map.
Be sure to follow the recommended number of players for any map.

TRANSLATIONS

Please help translate Queller AI to your local language.

KNOWN ISSUES

CANTFIX

  • Will sometimes take much longer than necessary routes to attack
  • Doesn't defend its fabbers
  • Attempts to attack with amphibious units underwater even if they don't have an underwater weapon
  • Will queue buildings on the other side of obstacles despite closer locations (pathfinding wise) being available
  • Won't send interplanetary aircraft between planets
  • Will assign fabbers to assist on a project that they could start earlier than the fabber they're assisting
  • Won't use more than one teleporter at a time
  • Won't use teleporters to move around a single planet
  • Cannot reclaim
  • Combat Fabbers can only be used to build mines or repair troops, not both, even across entirely different AI personalities
  • Legion won't build a different tier of mass extractor on a metal spot that already has a mass extractor
  • Legion can't use orbital transports
  • Doesn't use the Helios teleporter
  • Naval factories sometimes stop producing units
  • All AI Commanders on a team spawn and act together using shared army mode
  • Play From Here in Chronocam can cause strange AI behaviour or even break it
  • Different armies will sometimes build on the same metal spot
  • Naval factories occasionally built on land
  • Attempts to attack land targets with underwater units even if they don't have a weapon which can attack land
  • Slow to start moving troops between planets

WONTFIX

  • Mistakes respawning planets for asteroids and won't behave properly on them

THANKS TO

  • Sorian of Uber Entertainment for:
    • making his AI moddable
    • answering my questions
    • taking on suggestions
    • fixing bugs as they come up
    • adding cool new features which make the AI increasingly smart
  • wondible for his creation of the AI Showdown tool
  • mikeyh for writing the JavaScript for loading Queller's personalities
  • alpha2546 for extensively playtesting Queller during Legion Expansion development
  • Everyone who has helped with translations:
    • K-Orthic | Gamax
    • gmase
    • PRoeleert
    • R.O.S.S
    • DeathByDenim
    • River
    • Felix Köhler
    • tunsel
    • omylist
    • IPWIW
    • Fred
    • CmdrEdem
    • something more than human
    • Linus Petersson
    • Spassky
    • Craeox
    • sevmek
    • fera

CHANGELOG

v4.65.0 - 2020-05-29

  • Uber won't build Bluehawks in response to MLA T2 bots
  • Updated Polish translation with thanks to Craeox
  • Fixed Uber not properly growing its Advanced Fabrication Vehicle presence when alone
  • Uber Tank will use the Stryker more
  • Uber uses more Bluehawks if it hasn't seen advanced MLA bots
  • Fixed Uber Bot being incorrectly cautious
  • Uber tries harder again to maintain air parity with its target
  • Uber invests in more mobile ground anti-air
  • Uber builds Stingray for anti-air again
  • Uber responds more aggressively with Narwhals against air threats
  • Uber focuses less on Typhoons
  • Uber builds Leviathans and Krakens only when it feels it has the sub situation under control
  • Uber will build the Epoch purely for shore bombardment
  • Updated Portuguese (Brazilian) translation with thanks to CmdrEdem
  • Uber won't build the Peacekeeper anymore
  • Uber Rush will use more bots as MLA
submitted by Quitchy to planetaryannihilation

6

VCS Spring starts tomorrow: Here is everything you need to know! (Bonus: A podcast episode feat. Jensen Goh)

LPL and PCS shutting down, LCK shutting out its audience – just one Asian league doesn’t seem to care at all, Corona virus be damned. All aficionados of savage monkey gameplay rejoice – the VCS fiesta is starting tomorrow, January 31, 10 am GMT. No clue about the players and teams? Understandable, but we got you. Here is an overview of everything you need to know in case you somehow stumble on a game of patented Vietnamese League of Legends.
This piece is divided into several independent segments so everyone can choose to read what they deem interesting.

Let’s start with good news: The English VCS cast will return!

Just like last split, all VCS games will be streamed on Twitch with an English-language cast. Both Yulwei and Everyday will be returning as casters. VODs can be found on YouTube.
If you wish to be part of an active English-language community (including our two casters!) to discuss or keep up to date with the VCS, you can join the VCS Discord.

VCS Spring Promotion 2020: Like Worlds, just really shit

Facing QTV Gaming and CERBERUS Esports who were on the risk of relegation after a disappointing year, two teams from VCS B had been vying for a spot in the upper league: Adonis Esports (now renamed to V Gaming Adonis) and Super Guy Destroys (epic name, not so epic gameplay). Revamping their roster in the off-season, CERBERUS managed to retain their spot with ease, sweeping both QG and ADN in one-sided stomps. After their initial loss, Adonis quickly disposed of SGD to advance to the Loser’s Final where they secured their place in VCS with an unclean 3-1 win against QTV Gaming.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the quality of games was mostly abysmal, so no more words are needed.

The offseason: Five highlights

1) Where is Zeros?

Probably the only Vietnamese player who can equal Sofm and Levi in skill, Zeros had been dominating VCS for the past 1.5 years, joining Levi at GAM last split with great domestic success in what looked to become the next dynasty. However, their failure at Worlds changed his thoughts, and rumours about his future began to intensify in November with many fans speculating about him becoming a streamer.
Never shy about enunciating his intentions, GAM coach Tinikun repeatedly posted pictures of Zeros learning Mandarin on Facebook, and soon it became clear that Zeros would be headed to China. While chatter hinted at Vici Gaming initially, his destination is now assumed to be Victory Five. Nevertheless, Zeros is not registered in the Global Contract Database anywhere. While some say he is fighting visa problems, the current word on the street is that he failed his final tryout. Still, GAM seems to have managed to sell him to a Chinese organization as Zeros was indeed in China before the Lunar Break. Whether he will show up on any team this year remains a great mystery, but this team will not be GAM, at least for now.

2) Bigkoro and Palette split up

Widely recognized as the best and longest-standing Vietnamese botlane, Bigkoro and Palette have been inseparable for their entire career. Close friends even before becoming going pro, both started as a trainee for the Saigon Jokers and then spent the last three years together on Young Generation (later rebranded to Phong Vũ Buffalo).
But all good things come to end: As GAM's recruiting network was working overtime in the offseason as usual, Palette will now become a Marine. To the surprise of many, Bigkoro did not follow him despite GAM also having a vacancy in the ADC role. Whether they were unable to raise enough money to pay for his buyout or Bigkoro decided to stick with his longtime team out of loyalty is unknown. Now matched up against each other for the first time, both will have to say farewell for the time being.

3) Optimus and Noway retire

As Optimus and Noway had already been on hiatus before, their retirement didn’t come as a huge shock. Experienced veterans at the age of 23 and 22 and undisputed legends of the Vietnamese scene, their performances had been in steady decline the past splits, but even past their peak, they were still valuable assets due to their skill and leadership. Both vastly popular, they are now enjoying a career as a streamer.
Retirements in esports are not always permanent, and this is true even more in Vietnam, so seeing at least Noway on the rift again is not beyond the realm of possibility. Optimus however has been vocal about his loss of passion for competitive play and is rumoured to return to the GAM brand. Given his extensive game knowledge, most expect him to become a coach one day.

4) GAM’s roleswap shenanigans continue

Oops, they’ve done it again: Team Autofill aka GAM Esports once again decided to cover the holes in their roster by roleswapping the players they already have. Starting with Archie in 2017, this has become a longstanding tradition, with Kiaya (top to mid) and Slay (bot to support) changing position last split to accommodate the needs of the team. Both will return to their original position in 2020.
On top of that, Blazes (GAM midlaner from mid-2018 to mid-2019) will be the new starting AD Carry in a bizarre turn of events. He had been in contract hell for the past six months as GAM refused to play or sell him. Reason is his participation in a scandalous affair even for VCS standards: Spot, GAM's jungler at that time, had been intentionally trolling in scrims and actively trying to persuade teammates to leave GAM which resulted in a one-year suspension from professional play. Blazes’s exact role in that drama is still somewhat opaque, but as he seems to have redeemed himself, he will now return to the GAM line-up.

5) Little influx of new talent – a worrying trend?

The youngest league in the world by significant margin, VCS has always relied on its large player base to overcome its structural and economical shortcomings. Mostly filled with teenagers, every year saw a wave of fresh youngsters entering the scene. This year is different: Apart from newly promoted VGA, viewers will barely see any unknown faces as teams mostly shuffled around pre-existent talent.
This may be a sign of stagnation as there seems to be lack of elite talent ready to make the jump. At the same time, this could also be explained with a desire for continuity. Plagued with constant and often nonsensical roster changes for years, barely any VCS team has ever kept a line-up longer than one split. While the small number of rookies is indeed worrisome, this may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as most cores remained intact, allowing teams to work on synergy and cohesion.

Power Ranking: GAM at the top again

New players in italics. Roleswapped players with asterisk.
VCS is an eight-team league which features a double round-robin in the Regular Season. Changing to three days per week, games are scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The bottom two teams will be forced to play in the Promotion Tournament whereas the top four teams qualify for Playoffs. The exact post-season format has yet to be announced, but a return to the gauntlet system is likely. More info on Leaguepedia.

Tier 4: Last but also least

8 - V Gaming Adonis (last split: VCS B)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
CHP (Django) Y1 PHT Vit Biob (Hype, Suffer, Scary) Hope
As a newly promoted team, VGA will be rightfully assigned the underdog label by most fans. While they managed to scrape by a disintegrating QG squad in the Promotion Tournament to ascend to Vietnam’s highest league, their hopeless defeat against CES does not bode well for their chances.
Individually, Adonis is utterly outmatched by most VCS teams. To their credit, they are better than the sum of their parts and may also be capable of confusing some opponents in draft as they possess an unusual champion pool, frequently using flex picks such as Lucian or Cassiopeia. Their core has been sticking together for more than half a year (an eternity for Vietnamese standards), therefore they showcase solid cohesion in skirmishes, but this will most likely not suffice against better competition. As is tradition for Vietnamese teams, they are also fielding not one or two or three but four supports, none of which are good.
Given their lack of individual talent, everything above last place would be a major success. Still, don’t count them out: They are bad, but someone else could be even worse.
Player to watch: Vit. After a depressing first VCS stint in 2018 for Vikings Gaming under the name of Upin where he somehow managed to play four roles in a single split (a VCS classic), he has developed into a high-ceiling ADC centrepiece. A versatile and aggressive carry, he will look to add his name to the long list of explosive Vietnamese marksmen.

Tier 3: Could be good, could be bad. Probably bad.

7 - FTV Esports (last split: #6)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
Rika Potm (Kuroko) Victory Police Tiger Harry, Tea
Perpetual bottom dweller FTV Esports, owned by a video channel named FAPTV (sic), surprised everyone when they finished last Summer with three consecutive wins on the back of hard-carry marksman Police, looking like a good team for the first time since the organization’s inception. A contender in the making or a flash in the pan?
The verdict is still out, but this team has been crap for far too long to be given the benefit of the doubt. On top of that, their roster changes do not exactly inspire confidence. Support Bie had played decently at the end of last year and was consequently poached away by EVOS immediately, leaving FTV with the underwhelming Tiger. On the other hand, jungler Kuroko (also playing mid all the time for no discernible reason) hit a hot stretch in their wins and finally began to show promise. To preserve their tradition of suckage, FTV consequently acquired Potm (aka Pot) from Cerberus Esports, a former midlaner (of course) who performed woefully last split and is therefore expected to have a spot in the starting roster, naturally.
Possibly a superstar in the making, all hopes will lie on Police to carry this roster into postseason. But one person can’t do all the heavy lifting, so his teammates better lose some weight while they ride the bus. Keep an eye on Rika, a limited player who has nonetheless shown glimpses of legitimate skill.
Player to watch: Police. Everyone else is bad.

6 - CERBERUS Esports (last split: #8)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
LL (yT) XuHao Yado Artemis (Zeldris) RonOP Archie, Icarus
Regarded as a potential contender last year after some high-profile mid-year pickups, CES flopped completely and finished the Summer Split in last place. Despite boasting robust individual talent, the end result proved to be utterly disappointing with communication and macro being major culprits.
Jungle and ADC in particular showed unsatisfactory performances, leading to constant substitutions. Correctly identifying the biggest roster holes, XuHao and Artemis were brought in from Dashing Buffalo and Team Flash. While he can’t possibly be worse than his predecessors, there is much reason to have doubts regarding XuHao due to his odd champion pool, stagnant development and disastrous performances at the end of 2019. On the other hand, Artemis equally struggled last Summer but undoubtedly possesses major potential to become a breakout star. Much responsibility will also be burdened onto Yado, a good player coming off a very poor split.
In the end, the most important person will be their new coach Archie: CERBERUS had never lacked individual skill but fell short as a unit. Whether former organizational problems have been solved to enable the roster can only be the matter of speculation. Their ceiling is high, but so is the potential of implosion.
Player to watch: Artemis. One of the very few players to reach Challenger on the Korean ladder while playing with ultra-high ping from Vietnam, he has always been heralded as a great talent. However, as he got autofilled to top/mid in his first split in Spring and then rode the bench behind Slayder most of Summer, his development last year was stunted by Team Flash. Now with a permanent starting spot in a new team, he will finally be given the opportunity to blossom and fulfill his enormous potential.

5 - EVOS Esports (last split: #5)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
Hiro (But1) Sorn Pake (Coyote*) Divkid Bie (Harbinger) Violet
Narrowly missing out on playoffs last split, EVOS has all eyes set on Top 4 but will have to replace Noway who had shared the ADC spot with flamboyant youngster Divkid. Most importantly, they also had to release their best player Dia1 – the solid but ultimately unimpressive Pake will not be able to fill his shoes.
Acquiring Hiro for the toplane is a major coup, and Bie will give them further stability in the support position – EVOS had tried out half a dozen players in those two roles without any success last split. The roster is rounded out with oddball Sorn (good on all champions except those who are meta) and expected to finish somewhere between sixth and fourth.
Overall, there is some potential, but EVOS’s youth may ultimately hold them back. Postseason is not out of the picture by any means, but this year should be considered a learning experience first, especially for the two unpolished youngsters in top and bot: Their time will come later.
Player to watch: Hiro. Just 17 years of age, he is a prototypical carry top who excels on Aatrox and Irelia. (Also the only player in VCS who can play Vladimir.) However, calling him raw would still be an understatement: He can be easily shut down by jungle pressure and randomly fluctuates between god and gold mode. Once he widens his champion pool and stabilizes his decision making, he should become an invaluable asset, but this may not happen this split yet.

4 - Dashing Buffalo, formerly Phong Vũ Buffalo (last split: #4)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
Hasmed (Pun) Meliodas (DK) Naul Bigkoro H3 Fenry
After losing Zeros to GAM pre-summer, Mr. Buffalo spiraled down to fourth place, and with another cornerstone in Palette leaving for yellow and black colours, DBL may find themselves outside of the playoff picture soon. Recruiting H3 (old name: Hai) as a replacement looks like an inexplicable choice at first glance, but then again, better alternatives were maybe not available.
If DBL wants to stop their downward trajectory, the reliable Bigkoro will need more help from his other lanes. This applies to Naul in particular, Vietnam’s best midlaner for a long time who is currently facing an identity crisis as he failed to adapt to the CertainlyT meta whereas Naul prefers waveclear mages. As long as he can update his champion pool to version 2k20 and regain his form, the buffaloes may still have a formidable carry duo.
In the toplane, DBL retained Hasmed (old name: Raizo) and Pun (old name: Kaido), two 17-year old SoloQ stars who have not managed to consistently translate their talent to pro play yet. Despite some solid highs on the international stage, Meliodas has never been more than a mid/bottom-tier jungler in VCS, but will most likely remain unchallenged by new substitute DK. As DBL’s drafts had always been a point of criticism, the new coaching staff may be enough to drag the buffaloes over the finish line, but another disappointing split wouldn’t be too surprising either.
Player to watch: Hasmed (= Raizo). Often ridiculed for his astounding chainfeeding abilities once set behind, he is also an exciting mechanical talent and gifted laner who however refuses to acknowledge the existence of the enemy jungler. Fundamentally unsound and relentlessly aggressive, he has never seen a trade he doesn’t like which has severely capped his impact as map play and teamfighting are not exactly his forte yet. All that in mind, some of his faults can be attributed to his sudden and extemporized roleswap mid-2019 to fill in for Zeros’s unexpected departure. With another offseason to get used to his new role and polish up his game knowledge, the former ADC may be a raw gem waiting for his time to shine, but also has realistic chances of leading DBL directly into relegation.

Tier 2: Wannabe contenders

3 - Lowkey Esports (last split: #2)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
Hani (Coated) DNK Artifact Celebrity Venus (Yin) Nixwater, KingJ*
Last year’s Worlds participant has kept their entire roster intact but, thank God, added a substitute in the top lane. Hani’s struggles are no secret for any VCS viewer, and unless he magically transcends to a tolerable level, he is destined to be Lowkey’s big weakness as he is regularly accumulating double-digit CS deficits. Realistically, all hopes should lie in Coated to be good – if not, don’t expect LK to challenge the absolute top.
Their solid core should still be enough to comfortably keep them in playoff contention, and if their mid-jungle duo can maintain their domestic form, they will be one of the strongest teams in Vietnam. That said, their team mentality has always been put into question and is said to be in constant jeopardy of self-combustion, so you never know.
The only NA-owned organization in VCS, Lowkey Esports is pretty much bankrupt and had to release most of their teams, but have stuck with their VCS roster up until now. Nonetheless, a speedy disposal should be somewhat expected. One potential candidate to acquire the team, if you want to believe the rumour mill: Team Secret.
Player to watch: Venus. Beginning his career as a jungler, he has been a full-time support for three splits now and consistently improved his play, starting from an admittedly low level. While he is still not fit for international play, the potential is there without doubt. Provided that he can expand his champion pool and show better calculation during the laning phase, he should aim to establish himself as Vietnam’s second best support after Palette.

2 - Team Flash (last split: #3)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
Yoshino (Stark) YiJin Kati Slayder CBL Sergh
Originally established by Optimus and then bought by Team Flash, this team will have to deal with the departure of their founding father. As a midlaner, Optimus was solid but flawed and should have been replaceable in theory – the acquisition of Kati from Super Guy Destroys who didn’t even stand out amongst VCS B competition proved otherwise in reality. Expect this to be a major weakness all year long.
On the other hand, VCS regular Stark (who allegedly torpedoed FL’s Worlds chances last year just by himself with his toxic attitude and refusal to communicate) has continuously declined and will have difficulties to find a starting spot in the league due to his bad reputation. Although he is still part of the roster (despite being accused of matchfixing by his own owner), he is being replaced by Yoshino, an astonishingly talented carry who will be FL’s biggest weapon together with ADC Slayder.
One question remains: How can FL fill the void that the charismatic but napoleonic Optimus has left as a leader? Acting as a main shotcaller and de facto head coach, he dominated every aspect of the team’s play. While his demanding leadership style may have been become a detriment in the end, Optimus’s intangibles will still be sorely missed.
Player to watch: Yoshino. Arguably the best player in the league in the first half of Summer Split when he subbed in for Zeros (who had been banned for the first three weeks), he spent the rest of the year on the bench. After leaving GAM, now is his time to shine: A strong laner and heady teamfighter who favours melee carries but can also play utility, Yoshino is destined to become of VCS’s new faces if he can prove that his ascent last split was not a statistical outlier.

Tier 1: They got Levi

1 - GAM Esports (last split: #1)

TOP JGL MID ADC SUP Coach
Kiaya* Levi Dia1 Blazes* (Slay, Easylove) Palette (Hieu3) Yuna, Tinikun
New year, same story: GAM is once again the big favourite to take it all. Losing Zeros is a tremendous loss, but getting Dia1 (from EVOS) and Palette (from DBL) should make up for it. Palette is the undisputed support king of VCS and brings a gigantic champion pool as well as decisive engage sense to the table, two things GAM had been lacking before.
To make room for prodigy Dia1, Kiaya will return to his original position. While he showed tremendous growth in the mid lane, his performances as a top had actually been rather underwhelming and volatile in the past, so GAM will have to bank on him carrying over his progression. As long as they have Levi, GAM should still be VCS’s MSI representative.
The biggest question mark will be in the bot lane where ADC debutant Blazes has to show that his fine mid mechanics still hold up on marksmen. Slay is listed as a sub but expected to mainly be a streamer for this split.
Player to watch: Dia1. Having turned 18 just a few months ago, he is one of Vietnam’s biggest talents, flexing his strong laning, impeccable mechanics and a true champion ocean. His last split was serviceable yet not outstanding, but much of this can be attributed to the struggles of his former team as EVOS tried different roster iterations nearly every week. His ceiling is not lower than Levi’s, so fans rightfully hope for him to establish himself as GAM’s second star.

Top 10: The best players in VCS

Who are the players to look out for? Five VCS viewers have ranked their top 10 players: Jensen (former EVOS head coach), Migraine (esports writer), Yulwei (caster), T15 (dedicated fan from the VCS Discord) and myself (supreme Reddit analyst).
Rank Aggregate Panda Jensen Migraine Yulwei T15
01 GAM Levi Levi Dia1 Levi Levi Levi
02 LK Artifact Yoshino Levi Artifact Yoshino Palette
03 GAM Dia1 Bigkoro Slay Bigkoro Artifact Artifact
04 FL Yoshino Slayder Artifact Palette Police Dia1
05 GAM Palette Artifact Yoshino Dia1 Kiaya Kiaya
06 FL Slayder Palette Palette Kiaya Bigkoro Slayder
07 DBL Bigkoro Dia1 Naul Slayder Slayder Slay
08 GAM Kiaya DNK Slayder Artemis Dia1 Yoshino
09 GAM Slay Kiaya Artemis LL DNK DNK
10 FTV Police YiJin Stark Yoshino YiJin YiJin

Big Brain Time: Three ludicrously bold predictions which will make me look like a genius if they come true, but they won’t.

1) GAM will go undefeated.

2020’s roster iteration is considered a sidegrade or even slight downgrade from last year by public opinion, and while this may be true if we just add up individuals, 2019 GAM was ultimately inherently flawed as Kiaya was only capable of playing melee champions mid, forcing GAM into a one-dimensional brute-force philosophy relying on risky tower dives. On top of that, the Marines had tunnelled themselves into an asymmetric playstyle due to the imbalance between their timid bot and dominant top, resulting in them regularly sacking one side of the map in order to snowball Zeros.
While this worked domestically through sheer brawn, this concept proved faulty on the international stage and robbed GAM of one of their biggest assets: Unpredictability. They will miss Zeros’s individual skill, but his map-warping aggression may have also prevented GAM from developing a multi-faceted playstyle. Perhaps this year’s GAM does not have the raw punching power of last year, but this is a well-balanced line-up with big champion pools fighting against opposition with blatant exploitable holes in top (Lowkey) and mid (Flash). In previous years, GAM had regularly started slow due to roster experimentation to then steamroll through VCS – as they seem to have a fixed five-man unit this time, Levi and his boys should be strong from the get-go.

2) Top will become one of the strongest roles in VCS.

A rule as old as VCS when it comes to its distribution of talent: Jungle and ADC are strong, top and support is a meme. With Zeros being MIA and Stark fading away, predicting this to change may seem odd, but this perception disregards the influx of new talent which has been entering the league in the past 1.5 years. Everything needs an incubation period before the symptoms begin to show, and this may be the year where the seeds begin to blossom. Two potential stars in Yoshino and Kiaya had been hidden on GAM’s bench respectively midlane, and with Hiro and Hasmed, there are two 17-year olds who may or may not become good players but have shown glimpses of brilliance already. Often forgotten, CERBERUS Esports is also fielding not just one, but two solid toplaners in LL and yT.

3) EVS Divkid will win MVP.

Definitely one of the weakest ADCs in Vietnam based on last split, Divkid was not just overshadowed by the flashier Sorn and Dia1 in other lanes, but also by veteran Noway who was occupying his own position. However, EVOS has been vocal about being invested into developing Divkid since acquiring him mid-2019, and giving him equal time on the rift despite having an internationally proven ace in Noway should be proof enough for the confidence they put into him, even flexing Noway to support temporarily to make room for Divkid.
Unsteady and error-prone, Divkid’s career until now has been marred by poor environment: Not only did he play with poor teammates for FTV in his rookie campaign (but still performed admirably), he also had to endure three different supports last split at EVOS. With newly acquired Bie by his side, Divkid should finally have the right conditions for him to unleash his considerable talent. At the tender age of 18, Divkid is a carry player at heart and has been leading all VCS marksmen in Damage Share in both splits last year despite an average gold income.
As VCS’s MVP voting system is flawed (they use the LCK system of accumulating points for Player of the Game) and the responsible casters have shown to put great emphasis on KDA and pizzazz, it is entirely possible for an oddball candidate to slip into first place without being a top-tier player – this happened in Spring 2018 when ADC Zin won the award. If Divkid manages to take a leap in his play, he should be in a good position to accumulate plenty of MVP points although his team may simply not win enough games. A far reach? Sure. But stranger things have happened.

Conclusion: What can we expect from Vietnamese teams this year?

Probably not too much. The talent pool took a prominent hit with Zeros’s departure and has overall stagnated or even deteriorated. Apart from CES, no team got stronger by a clear margin, and an embarrassing showing at the World Championship in 2019 has shown that Vietnam has to stop reaching for the stars and look to defend their position as the best emerging region first.
The overall future is still promising, and improving infrastructure as well a hefty influx of foreign money may reap benefits in later years. For now, VCS should compare itself to PCS, CIS and TCL, not to main regions, as unreasonably high fan expectations proved to be a burden in the past two years. Vietnam has to embrace its underdog role again – they have been performing the best in this role anyway.

Bonus: VCS Podcast - feat. Jensen Goh

You want to hear more in-depth discussion on the teams? Say no more: In the fourth episode of the only VCS podcast in existence (yes, there is one), Between Wildcard and Dark Horse will discuss the upcoming split with none other than Jensen Goh, former head coach of EVOS. He was part of the coaching staff of Splyce/MAD Lions last year and will be the head coach for OPL’s Legacy Esports in 2020. He also appeared twice on Listen Loco. Jensen Goh? Here we go!
Check it out on Spotify or YouTube.
submitted by the_propaganda_panda to VCS