Mango the Model

We had a professional photographer/videographer come out to one of our team houses for a photoshoot and filming session, and of course, we had to get Mango in on the action. We had Mango be Tempo Storm’s sponsorship model for SecretLab, Red Bull, and SkyTech:

Mango the Model

Mango the Model

Mango the Model

Mango the Model

 

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Guys look, I wrote a thing

If you haven’t heard yet, a new Hearthstone expansion is coming out that revolves around the Lich King. Tempo Storm partnered up with Blizzard to do a website takeover, and we rebranded to The Frozen Pwn. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you may have noticed that we held a special Fireside Gathering named the “Frostside Gathering,” and the festivities are still continuing.

Blizzard allows community members (esports teams, streamers, broadcast personalities, etc.) to reveal new cards, and Tempo Storm as an esports franchise was able to claim one for our own (rather than specifically having some of our players do it). Most card reveals end up just being very simple and straightforward – people either write an article or make a YouTube video sharing the card. We decided to do things a bit differently.

For our card – Thrall, Deathseer – we decided to integrate it straight into the Hearthstone Standard Meta Snapshot. It was protected under a non-disclosure agreement, so after being told what was going on, from that point, this was mostly a solo mission.

https://tempostorm.com/hearthstone/decks/freeze-evolve-shaman-standard-meta-snapshot-july-31-2017

Here’s a small excerpt:

The Lich King was dissatisfied with all the decks with sub-100% win rates, so he decided to construct his own. After using his great, brilliant mind to craft a fully legal Standard deck (and I promise that the Lich King is definitely, absolutely not standing behind my shoulder right now forcing me to write this), he’s gone undefeated until #1 Legend, which is why we are featuring this deck at Tier S.

At the moment, there are no decks that stand a chance against Freeze Evolve Shaman. The popular aggro decks are unable to push for damage, as they are constantly frozen. Before long, the Shaman develops enough minions and tokens to evolve into an unstoppable board, retaliating with enough face damage for OTKs.

The control decks are unable to outlast the Shaman’s endless stream of evolved resources. Responding with minions results in getting frozen, while trying to use area-of-effect board clears in response to the Shaman’s army results in being Counterspelled.

It is clear that the reason for this deck’s strength is its hybridization with Mage, as well as the extremely powerful new Shaman hero, Thrall, Deathseer. Essentially giving you unlimited evolutions, opponents are put into a kill-now-or-never-kill situation – attempting to kill the Shaman’s minions over multiple turns is impossible, as Transmute Spirit is able to effectively heal a minion back to full health.

We can only hope that deck hybridization becomes a thing for lists not only created by the Lich King, so competitive decks can be created again by commoners. Otherwise, this deck is going to remain dominant for ages to come.

Basically, we tweaked our deck building system so I could create a deck with the new card. I also made it a hybrid deck of both Shaman and Mage cards, just in case people actually thought we weren’t joking (even though the 100% win rates and the all-caps archetype explanation sort of gives it away).

 

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Frostside Gathering

Mango the Yorkshire Terrier went on an adventure yesterday to the Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering, a rebranded Fireside Gathering in San Diego, CA in celebration of the new, upcoming Hearthstone expansion involving the Lich King.

Because I am part of Tempo Storm, we got there a little earlier than everyone else so we could get settled and help set up when needed. reynad, the founder and CEO of Tempo Storm, and his girlfriend Michaela were there as well; Michaela wanted to put sunglasses on Mango.

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

Frodan, one of the co-founders of Tempo Storm and currently a Hearthstone caster and broadcast personality, dressed up as Gul’dan. Here he is calmly petting Mango as he gazes off into the distance, plotting his next world takeover and domination.

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

Jessica Nigri, world-famous cosplayer and personality, was also at the event. She absolutely adored Mango and held him for about half an hour or so.

Jessica Nigri and Mango the Yorkshire Terrier

FakeNerdBoy, Jessica Nigri’s boyfriend and a broadcaster, also held Mango for a little while.

FakeNerdBoy and Mango the Yorkshire Terrier

The event itself wasn’t really that great for me, seeing as I don’t really like parties, but Ed is still over in California visiting from Illinois, and he seemed to enjoy it. I don’t drink alcohol, but Ed does, so he got some free drinks and roamed around enjoying the event. We stayed for around six hours; this photo of Ed is from shortly before we were about to leave:

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

I was the one who ended up driving from Riverside County to San Diego. It’s right around a hundred miles in each direction, and I thought the drive there would be awful (because I hate driving), but it actually wasn’t that bad. What was bad, however, was trying to find parking in San Diego.

After proceeding to fail at finding an open spot for a good 20 minutes or so, we finally made our way into a parking garage and found a spot. On our way out, I discovered that parking cost … US$60.00. I guess owning a multi-floor parking structure in San Diego is good business.

 

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Review of the Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

FTC Disclosure: This review is brought to you by a partnership between Tempo Storm and Massdrop.

An unfortunate side effect of the convenience of online shopping is the fact that it’s tough to see exactly what you’re getting until it arrives at your front door. However, due to Tempo Storm’s partnership with Massdrop, they sent me some free earbuds – the Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors – so I can analyze the product for you and help you see exactly what you’re buying.

I have a bad history with headsets. I wear glasses, and when I try to use a headset, the large ear pads push the legs of my glasses into my temples and make me dizzy. So, ever since I was a child, I’ve always used either earbuds or speakers.

The earbuds that Massdrop sent me are the most advanced earbuds I’ve ever owned. They’re priced at $99.99, but as of the date of this writing, they’re discounted 40%, and you can get your own for only $59.99. Act quick – the drop ends in only 5 days.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

There are two things I particularly like about this set of earbuds, the first being the massive number of options you have in terms of the actual buds. A lot of upper-end earbuds come with multiple-sized buds, but this is the first set I’ve seen that comes with an “earplug” style of attachment. They work just like regular earplugs – pinch the foam to reduce their size, stick them in your ears, and wait for them to expand and fill your external auditory meatus (yes, that’s actually what it’s called).

These earplug attachments are great for blocking out background noise. Whenever my housemate is streaming, I pop these in my ears to block out the sound of her voice and let me focus on my work. This would be effective on airplanes as well – I used to travel a lot before I moved to Southern California, and I wish I had these to block out the sound of the aircraft engine (even though I’m really good at falling asleep through the noise regardless).

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

The second thing I like is the fact that you can swap out the cables. I personally like the double-twisted cable – they seem to get tangled less often, and if they ever do, they seem to be easier to unravel. I also like the texture of them, and will gently massage them up and down while I’m listening to music or watching videos as a secondary stimulant (sort of serving the purpose of a fidget spinner).

To switch out the cables, all you have to do is yank apart the cable from the listening device. They will separate and the cable will have two golden prongs as connectors. The ease with which this can be done, and how clean the connecting area looks, makes me appreciate the attention to detail with which these earbuds were manufactured.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

Because these earbuds come with so many accessories, it also comes with a convenient, sturdy carrying case – you can use this to store away all your spare accessories, or keep your accessories at home and use it as a travel case.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

I’ve used these earbuds myself on and off for about three weeks now, and I’m overall very satisfied.

The first thing I noticed about them is that they have very heavy bass, so much so that I went into my iTunes Equalizer and changed the setting away from Bass Booster. But, it’s not so extreme that it drowns out the rest of the sound – other sound, especially in the mid-range, still goes through crisp and clean.

On the Massdrop page for this product, it showed photos of people wearing the earbuds with the cable looped up, around, and behind the ear. I don’t wear these earbuds during physical activity (but rather, when I’m just sitting at my desk), so I don’t need the extra secure hold in my ear. I let the cable just fall straight down, and it still provides a very comfortable fit.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with these earbuds. I obviously have only had them for less than a month, so I can’t say much about their longevity, but based on what I see in terms of attention to detail and clean construction, I can’t imagine them going bad any time soon.

 

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Unboxing the Massdrop Jessica GMK Plum Custom Keycap Set & GMK Carbon Add-On Keycap Kit

I haven’t posted a video on my YouTube channel in an extraordinarily long time – over three years, to be exact. Back in early 2015, I actually made my final “annual Buffalo Wild Wings winter trip” vlog, but for whatever reason forgot to upload it, and still haven’t since then (I sort of feel like it’s not really that relevant of a video anymore).

One of my promotional obligations at my workplace involved me unboxing and reviewing a product from one of our sponsors, so I decided to take this opportunity to “revive” my channel by turning this into a video for my channel.

… No, my channel is not actually “revived,” because I won’t be doing this on a regular basis. But here’s the video.

As I mention in the video, the story behind this product is that I wanted Massdrop to send me one keycap with their logo on it, so if my keyboard were to ever appear in a video or a stream, it would essentially act as next-level product placement. But, instead of one keycap, Massdrop decided to send me 186 keycaps.

In the video, I unpackage the keycaps and show what they look like, investigate the double-shot plastic and explain how that ensures quality and longevity, then proceed to install the Massdrop logo keycap onto my Escape key (after filing down the sharp edges off-camera, because that matters on a bezelless keyboard).

 

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HCT Americas Spring Playoffs

Today, I went to this thing: https://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/fireside-gatherings/33412

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

A whole lot of people were complaining on social media about how this Hearthstone event was taking place at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, and how distracting it would be … but it actually ended up just fine. I got to meet up with some of my buddies from Tempo Storm, and even got to enjoy a nice … wait, what even is this?

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

If you guessed “mold,” you would be correct. This was my first time trying blue cheese, and I was a little bit confused when I received my burger and it smelled distinctly moldy. The only reason I ordered it is because I had never had it before, and I like trying new items on the menu … but I didn’t exactly look it up first to see what I would be getting.

In other news, one of my co-workers with whom I met up at the event has nearly THIRTY THREE THOUSAND unread emails. It was so mind-boggling to me, as I always use my inbox as a to-do list and archive emails after I’m done addressing them, that I snapped a photo of her Mail app.

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

And finally, remember how, back during our Fireside Festival, I saw Hyped, a professional Overwatch player for Immortals, and proceeded to take a photograph together with him so I could tweet at Baemax (his girlfriend) and say “hey look who I found”?

Well, I got to do it again today, except in reverse.

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

 

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KBBQ trip during our Overwatch boot camp

My guide on how to get the most out of a self-cook, all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue trip is still a work in progress. And by work in progress, I mean that I haven’t started yet. But, until I get started, I’m building up some good experience by continuing to go to KBBQ.

Tempo Storm’s Overwatch team is currently in one of our southern California team houses for a boot camp, and I accompanied them to a KBBQ trip.

KBBQ during Overwatch bootcamp

Coincidentally, our League of Legends team, which also has a team house in southern California, also stopped by the same KBBQ place, so I snapped a photo of them too. (I had to blur out a few faces because they’re new members of the team who we haven’t officially announced yet.

KBBQ during Overwatch bootcamp

 

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Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

Tempo Storm hosted a Fireside Festival in Rancho Cucamonga, CA earlier today.

The Fireside Festival was essentially a regular Hearthstone Fireside Gathering, but a lot larger than usual with way more events and notable attendees. Because we were the organization hosting the event, I set myself up in the corner to ensure that there were no problems and the event would run smoothly. I was in the back with Rentaro and RagingCherry, who was running the tournament part of the Festival.

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

Usually, I post photos of the stuff around me, but I decided to actually post photos of myself today for a change.

First up is a photo with Hyped. He’s a professional Overwatch player for Immortals now, but he used to be a professional Hearthstone player for Tempo Storm, and was one of the people who ran the classic Tempo Storm Hearthstone Meta Snapshot. I’m friends with his girlfriend, so I tweeted this photo at her and said “hey look who I found.”

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

Part of the activities that were offered were designing your own card and putting your face in the space where the card art would be. I made myself an 8/8 for 8 mana that has a Battlecry of bringing your opponent down to 1 HP, then losing the game anyway. I thought it would fit me well because I tend to play aggro decks a lot, and my opponents tend to be really good at making a comeback after they’re down to single-digit health.

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

There were also dry-erase boards in the shape of emotes, so I made one that said “Lost board control on turn 2? I concede to you.” I tend to get really frustrated at cards like Knife Juggler and other RNG-based cards that just completely destroy your early board (so much so that they basically just win the entire early game if their Knife Juggler hits, or they get smashed the entire game if their Knife Juggler misses). So, this is actually pretty accurate.

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

And finally, one of my friends convinced me to write “♥ I love reynad ♥” and hold the sign up while standing next to him. He was in a meeting with someone in this photo, but the person with whom he was talking actually noticed me and alerted reynad to my presence, thinking I was an actual fan who wanted his attention, rather than an employee at Tempo Storm just joking around … lol

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

 

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