A Plague Tale: Innocence – My two Cents

A Plague Tale: Innocence is the upcoming game created by the small Asobo Studio and is being published by video game publisher Focus Home Interactive. The game is set to release May 14th 2019 on Windows, Xbox, and PS4. A Plague Tale was first announced in E3’s 2017 showcase and then again appeared in 2018 to show where abouts the game was. Now two years after its reveal, the game is quickly approaching release date with us patiently eager nerds gamers waiting to dive into the world Asobo Studios has created.

Plague Tale: Innocence takes place in 14th century France; right in the middle of the Black Death – the notorious plague known for killing 30% of Europe’s population. So if you thought it was going to be a happy and shiny France, then you’re set for nothing but disappointment. Asobo Studio created a beautiful yet somewhat haunting world. The story explores the Plague Tale world through Amicia De Rune’s eyes, a young woman from a noble family tasked with protecting her younger five-year old brother Hugo, who has some mysterious illness. You would think it’s just the plague that the De Rune siblings need to worry about, but nope, enter the Inquisition: an army that proves to be a constant threat to Amicia and her brother.

In A Plague Tale, Amicia and Hugo must face two major oppositions:
Firstly the plague itself; embodied by huge swarms of rats. Asobo Studios has said that their game is capable of rendering in at least 5,000 rats at any given time, each with their own mind. These rats can provide some seriously graphic scenes, thousands of bloodthirsty little shi- *Ahem*… rodents with glowing red eyes chasing down anyone who is unfortunate enough to find themselves where the light does not touch.
The second threat to Amicia and Hugo are other people, from cautious city civilians who are reluctant to accept strangers into their society, to an entire Inquisition constantly at the De Rune sibling’s heels. Since the duo are young and therefore fragile, they can’t go around decapitating everyone’s heads like most traditional games have you do. Don’t get me wrong, you do hit some sweet headshots with Amicia’s sling, but it’s not at all the main focus. The game forces you to adopt a more passive playstyle; sticking to stealth or less direct methods of putting down enemies. Well… I say “putting down enemies” but it’s much more graphic than that. Asobo Studios spent a lot of time on immersion, and since the Black Death was an awful time, you will see some pretty revolting sights in the game.

So what’s actually going on?
Warning: Although this section does not necessarily spoil anything, it does talk about the information already provided by the Studio AND explores some possible theories.

As briefly touched on earlier, we know Hugo has some kind of illness, however I don’t think it’s the plague. I thought to myself: “Why would the entire of the Inquisition be hunting Hugo down if he’s just got the plague?” Well I have two theories:

Theory One: Hugo messed up and seriously pissed off the Inquisition. This probably isn’t the case because… well how can a five-year old mess up so badly that he is now on the hit list of the entire inquisition? Plus if you’ve watched the trailer, you would know that Hugo is an absolute sweetheart. Then again, some kids can be REAALY annoying.

Theory Two: His mysterious illness. Hugo was kept isolated from the world since birth and was cared for by his mother, Béatrice, who used her skills in alchemy to keep him healthy. Since Béatrice was mostly focused on Hugo she often neglected her daughter, much to Amicia’s distaste. As a result, Amicia grew a kind of jealousy for Hugo, even though the two have never properly met. This illness Hugo has is probably what the Inquisition are after. May it be to eradicate him so it can’t spread further, or to perform some weird experiments on him. Maybe they want to extract the illness, amplify it and then weaponise it?

The De Runes are a family of nobles, so for 14th century France, Amicia lives quite well off. But little does she know that the world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The world will beat her down to her knees and keep her there permanently if she let it. She, the plague or nobody will h-

*Ahem* got a little bit side-tracked with Rocky there.

Amicia’s problems with her little brother escalated rapidly when the plague hit France, resulting in her having to take care of him. This implies something happened to Béatrice, she probably caught the plague and suffered a very horrible, slow, tragic death… (Oof, F in chat). The De Rune siblings now have to struggle to survive whilst avoiding both the Plague and the Inquisition.

So… what about the father? Where is he in all of this? In the story trailer, the father of the De Rune siblings can be seen on his knees, with a rather “unfriendly” looking chap, asking for Hugo. So who is this rather threatening masked man? He goes by the name of Vitalis, an angry as hell guy who is determined to do whatever he wants to get his hands on little Hugo. He’s not exactly the sort of guy you want to go to the local tavern with to have a couple of drinks. Vitalis is a very determined character, fueled by his faith, allowing nothing to stand in his way by using his brutal methods to get what he wants; what he believes is for the greater good.

Bringing it all together
Throughout the game, the idea of “innocence” is emphasised (who would of thought; it’s not like its in the title or anything). Asobo Studio aims to do this mainly through Amicia, Hugo and the other children you meet throughout the story. Let’s take a look at Hugo, he has no clue what’s happening. How could he? He’s five-years old, living through one of the biggest natural disasters in all of human history. It doesn’t help that he was isolated for his entire life so that, when he finally does go  into the open world, he’s greeted by the Plague. You can see from the trailer Hugo is a vulnerable character and he knows this, he tells Amicia whilst she comforts him “I’m sorry I’m sick” and if that didn’t break your heart then I salute your emotional strength, because it sure broke mine. That’s what I’m looking forward to most in the world of A Plague Tale; the story, emotion and growth each character goes through, especially how Amicia and Hugo bond throughout the game.
You can get a great game that you have fun with, but the most eye opening games, you know the ones that draw you in? They have the most compelling storylines – a series of twists and turns taking you on a route you might not expect.
I’ve seen a lot of people compare this game to The Last of Us, and I can see why (slightly). Don’t get me wrong, there’s a huge difference and by no means am I saying A Plague Tale is comparable to The Last of Us (yet). But take two of the most iconic games this decade: The Last of Us and God of War. In The Last of Us, Joel has his bond with Ellie and in God of War Kratos has his bond with Atreus. These two games absolutely blew apart the industry, earning all kinds of accolades. In A Plague Tale, Amicia has Hugo. Asobo Studio has developed a beautiful game with an intense foundation – which isn’t easy to do as a small team. All we now have to do is wait to play the game and dive into the universe that Asobo has created for us.

Signing off Note
So there’s my first article on a specific game itself! I’ve been really excited about A Plague Tale: Innocence recently and most definitely will get this on release (probably will pre-order it soon!) Expect a review after release!
So what do you think? Do you think Amicia and Hugo will survive the Plague and the Inquisition? Do you reckon the game will be the next The Last of Us/God of War? Let me know in the comments below, I’ll read and respond to them all!

And as always:
Stay woke, Gamers


Twitter: @GameExhibit
eMail: www.mr.smh@thegamingexhibit.co.uk
Relevant Twitter Pages and Websites:
A Plague Tale: @APlagueTale

Asobo Studio: @AsoboStudio
Focus Home Interactive: @FocusHome
A Plague Tale Reddit Page

All pictures used were taken from the official A Plague Tale: Innocence website.

eSports – How it’s perceived to be – Part II

A Brief Recap
Now if you guys have clicked onto this it’s probably because you’ve read part one of this topic. If you haven’t, it’ll probably be best if you go do that before you continue. The article talks about the survey (which was not professional AT ALL and had very little practical usability) which I conducted regarding eSports. The Article that follows focuses on eSports as an actual talking point; putting the Survey I conducted into some sort of practical use.

If you couldn’t be bothered to read the previous article, shame on you but, I will help you understand the main points as we go through. The main thing we should probably help you understand (if you don’t already) is what eSports actually is. eSports (meaning electronic sports) refers to competitive gaming. When we say “eSports” we talk about players coming together and playing against one another for accolades, glory and usually money in amounts large enough to buy a house.

Now often people have the same reaction when they find that money can be earned through games, and that reaction is: “Wait you get paid to just sit there and play games?!” In fact, this can be seen quite a lot if you look at any time a Gamer is interviewed for a mainstream talk show or even just a news article. The main thing that’s usually asked is “How much money do you make?” Often people find it difficult to comprehend that you can get paid for “just sitting there and playing games.”

From my previous Article, I had some major talking points I wanted to address with some more I want to address too, all of which are listed below:

1 – Why is eSports an actual thing and what do people think of it
2 – The term “eSports” itself
3 – eSports Today

eSports – Why is it a thing and What do people think of it?
When the first game was ever developed, it was created purely for entertainment reasons. It was a game called “Computer Space” (contrary to popular belief, it was not Pong).

Over time as technology evolved, so too did games. We went from the garbage of what we saw above (no offence) to complex games like Call of Duty, Rocket League, Fortnite and Overwatch. From the birth of games there was one goal: to provide entertainment. Whilst that goal remains the same in games today, they do have a competitive element too (especially the ones I had listed), but that wasn’t at all the entire basis of original games.  For example, Call of Duty (which is a very notable game in eSports) had its first tournament in 2009, Call of Duty 4 (Modern Warfare); 4 years after the first Call of Duty game was ever created.
So how does this all relate?
It all goes back to the idea that games are purely for entertainment, just a leisurely activity to kill time. This is the main reason people think eSports is silly. They think “Wait, you can make money off playing games? Well my little Dylan plays games all the time can he become a millionaire??” No he can’t, because Dylan plays Roblox. Dylan’s an idiot.

All jokes aside, this is how people look at eSports; especially older generations. They think of their kid playing games. This isn’t the case. eSports is not easy at all. It’s very difficult and those who get into eSports are some of the best at what they do.

It’s EXACTLY like Football.

Okay maybe not EXACTLY but it has a similar premise.
The most popular part of Football is watching the best players play against each other. It’s not some random kid you watch who’s playing in their back garden (not that I do that. I swear.)
The same principle applies to eSports – You watch the best players play against each other.
To say “eSports is just sitting around playing games all day” is like saying “Football is running about kicking a ball a day.” There’s so much more to it.

The term eSports
Now if you read my article before, you would have seen that some people complained about the name “eSports” itself (though don’t care about eSports as a whole). People relate sports to physical activities, and since gaming isn’t really seen as a physical activity (after all gaming is mainly using your brain and movement of your hands at most), therefore people dislike games being referred to as a “sport”
Now, this makes sense as by definition Sports relates to physical activities. Though the key thing to remember is eSports is not a sport, nor a type of sport; eSports is its own thing. The “sports” part comes from the competitive elements of sports.

eSports Today
As gaming itself gained recognition and increasing popularity, eSports grew alongside it. There’s a huge amount of competitive games that people play and watch alike. Fortnite (which you’ve probably heard of and are sick of hearing of) took the world by storm in 2018. The amount of recognition this game brought (to the casual and eSports scene alike) was huge.

Take the Overwatch Grand Final for example:

This was taken at the New York City Barclays Centre in Brooklyn. Blizzard estimates that over a million people watched the Grand Final.

eSports is gaining more and more recognition and are finding newer ways of broadcasting to the public. Recently Rocket League has been shown on Sky Sports. The market that arises from eSports is huge, and so it makes sense people are investing in it. In fact, PSG and FC Barcelona have a Rocket League team, albeit not the best ones but still; they’re trying! Furthermore, Josh Hutcherson, the famous actor from “Bridge to Terabithia” and the “Hunger Games” franchise made an appearance at the Overwatch League.

Signing Off Note
So there we have it ladies and gentlemen, 3 articles in rapid succession. I’m quite proud of that if I do say so myself. Also don’t get used to it; it’s definitely not going to continue. 
I was just in a really productive mood recently so I thought I would finish up something you all were waiting on (kappa :c ).

If you really want the truth I only started writing the article because Steam was down. I’m not even kidding:
I mean sure it came on by the time I started the article, and I definitely did consider ditching this and just going on Tomb Raider (it’s so good), but I let my better judgement hold onto me for a little while.

I know this article is some-what more serious to the garbage absolute gold I typically write, but I thought it would be a cool thing to address. Let me know what you think in the comments if you have any arguments or if you want to show your support with what I said.
Thanks for reading

And as always:
Stay woke, Gamers


Twitter: @GameExhibit

Emergence – March Newsletter

I know I know “two articles in less than a week, who are you and what have you done with the real writer?!”
First of all, I’m super dedicated to my work (kappa).
Secondly, I only wrote this because the owner of Emergence kept asking me to. I mean, you would think I work for him and have expectations and responsibility of when certain things need to be done or something… Oh wait. I do work for him, I just don’t get paid. This is basically free labour.

Anyway, this March Emergence has been up to… well not much since the COD and Rocket League team both started their break this March. Now what this means is that I have very little to write about so I need to somehow make some sort of entertainment from writing about a somewhat dry week (Thanks, Emergence). But hey, we all have our ups and downs, the times where we go a few weeks without writing a single article (stop looking at me it’s rude). Having said that, Emergence hasn’t been COMPLETELY dry, they do have some news for me to write about.

First of all, one of Emergence’s streamers (Mavwarrior2) has hit 500 followers on twitch. Of course this is a huge milestone that represents growth (and also means I can leech off more viewers from him, thanks Mav). But in all seriousness a 500 follower milestone is a great point to reach, and hopefully this number just keeps increasing! You can see Mav’s twitch channel by clicking this link. Show him, some love!


Emergence Store – Launch
The second bit of news is that Emergence has finally released some new merch, and in my opinion it’s pretty awesome and I wasn’t even paid to say that I swear, I’m not paid to anything I just do it out of the goodness of my heart (and not at all to yoink viewership). The merch is on display on the tweet and it features a jersey which you can have your own custom name written on the back, alongside your real name and a flag of your choice! Furthermore the merch has a tracksuit set (A black hoodie, joggers and hat) with a more miniscule look, just in case you want to keep it casual. In fact, Emergence were kind enough to send me the hoodie for my work as they should have due to the blood, sweat and tears I have dedicated to writing for them (I’m joking please don’t fire me I need to steal your viewers this writing opportunity).

A new Face
And finally, Emergence has seen a new face in their works: Tom Ellis. Now Tom is a new member of the Emergence Organisation, becoming a co-owner from as soon as he joined (he definitely paid the actual owner for the high rank). Since he’s new, I thought it would be a pretty good idea to interview him on how he thought Emergence was going. Now, given my track record; me and asking people questions doesn’t really go too well (see my previous article as to why) but you know, I need to get content from somewhere am I right guys?
Now Tom said that joining the organisation was pretty welcoming and very driven which is everything he was hoping for. I agree with this, the dedication shown by Emergence staff has been amazing, and have been working a hell of a lot since it’s start (if you’ve read the previous newsletters you’d see just how much they have already accomplished baring in mind this is a completely new organisation, and if you haven’t read my previous articles you are awful human beings). Tom hopes to grow the community and to see just how far Emergence can be pushed. Finally I finished by asking him who his favourite person in Emergence, and he said the Owner (Charlie). Of course this was excluding me because anyone standing next to me stands no chance, let’s be honest.

Signing off note
And that ladies and gentlemen, is Emergence in March. I know there wasn’t much to write about but hey, you can’t expect super activity during every month, Emergence have still been up to some stuff!
Let me know what you think of the Emergence Merch in the comments below I’ll be answering you all as soon as I can!

And as always:
Stay woke, gamers.

Twitter: @GameExhibit

Twitter: @Emergence
Store: GamersApparel

eSports – How it’s perceived to be – Part I

eSports is a rapidly growing industry fuelled by gamers. Although its growth has seen a rapid increase in the past years, not everyone knows what eSports is. I decided to investigate eSports further, and have created two articles about it. The first one (this one) talks about the survey I conducted regarding eSports, and the second one talks about the actual perceptions of eSports.

I conducted my questionnaire rather professionally through three different mediums: Snapchat, Discord and Whatsapp.
Through this questionnaire, I learned three things.
Firstly, The perceptions of eSports is hugely different from person to person
Secondly, Never conduct a questionnaire over Snapchat, Discord or WhatsApp.
Thirdly and most importantly, my friends are all as bad as Xbox players. Don’t even try to hide it Xbox Gamers, you suck. Embrace it.

In total I had asked 20 separate people two questions:
1) If I said the term “eSports” to you? What would the first things you say be?
2) Do you think it deserves more or less recognition than it already has?

Now before we continue, I know I know there was a typo in the first question, but that’s how I presented the question to everyone. This is why you proofread before you send something like this out. However I would like to mention how not one of these people realised there was a typo (so I’m hugely disappointed in all of them. You know who you are).

The First Question – Responses
“If I said the term “eSports” to you? What would the first things you say be?”

The answers, or should I say responses (the majority of them were in no way, shape or form valid nor applicable answers) to the first question were interesting at times, and largely moronic the rest of the time; often I questioned why I was in contact with some of these people. One person replied with “IT’S IN THE GAMEEEEEEEEEEEE!” It turns out he was drunk so I decided it was best not to ask him the second question. Another person simply replied with “Gay.” To which I slammed him for being extremely homophobic to which he responded with “Gay” yet again. I thought it was best to not ask this guy the second question either. Multiple people questioned the format of the interview; “Why is this question in bold?” “Why does this look copy and pasted.” “Why are you saying this out of context” This baffled me. I genuinely don’t understand some people. They look past the words and focus on the font of the question?? Why? What’s the point? Why trigger me? JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION.
And finally one person, and this confuses me to this day, replied with “Look at my gun” and proceeded to show me pictures of his new Air-soft rifle. I’m not even kidding. Imagine that; I asked him what he knew about eSports, and he replied with “Look at my gun.” And to those who don’t believe me:

I mean if i’m honest it’s a pretty sweet gun, but ANSWER THE QUESTION FOR FU-..

10 minutes later and I’m back with some tea. I’ve cooled down, I let the rage leave me; so now we can get back to writing this “article”.

Through all the, what I can only describe as a shambles of a response, I did actually get some decent answers believe it or not.
Overall, 25% of those who answered said they didn’t know what eSports was, and the remaining 75% said the opposite. It should be mentioned that the sample was not random, I asked people who I talk to somewhat frequently, so it makes sense if the results are tilted to one side (in this case it would be favoured toward those who do know what eSports is, since the majority of my friends play games too). In a completely random sample, the percentage of people who don’t know what eSports would probably be significantly greater.

Now before we continue, it would make sense to explain what eSports is, so in a nutshell;
eSports (meaning electronic sports) refers to competitive gaming. When we say “eSports” we talk about players coming together and playing against one another competitively for accolades, glory and usually money in amounts large enough to buy a house. The money you can get from eSports (if you’re crazy good) can range from thousands to millions. The biggest game of 2018 (Fortnite: Battle Royale) has recently announced a huge pool of money in their eSports scene, investing $100 Million into a single tournament. The lucky winner will win $3 Million and anyone who even qualifies are guaranteed to take home $50,000. Talk as much smack about soccer-skin tryhards as you want but they gon’ win some cash.

The Second Question – Responses
“Do you think it deserves more or less recognition than it already has”

eSports is growing rapidly, and often some people don’t appreciate it. In fact someone mentioned that eSports have “sweaty teenage boys who live in their mum’s basement when they’re 26 years old.” Of course he said this as a joke, but it is a stereotype that is linked with gamers typically (more on this later).
Those who actually were able to answer this question had various answers. Some said it should grow organically in its own time, others agreeing it has got a large enough industry already. However one person said that eSports it’s going to get much more recognition as mainstream celebrities have already “popularised” gaming and made it to be “socially acceptable.” An example of this would be Ninja (otherwise known as Tyler Blevins) who played with numerous celebrities such as Drake and various members of the English Football team (yes football, not soccer, we’re not weirdos in my blog). Other people mentioned how the term “sports” should not be used to reference eSports (more on this later).

Post Survey opinions
As a result of my “survey” I found out what my friends thought about eSports. Although the responses were largely… stupid? I’ll go with stupid; I decided to go ahead and create this article anyway (because I’m out of content ideas but we’ll gloss over that shh).
The results, as restricted as they were, did shed some light on some key points I want to talk about:
1 – eSports should not be referred to as a Sport
2 – Why is eSports an actual thing?
3 – eSports is full of nerds.

Now these three are all very important talking points I want to try and address, but that will be in Part II of this article.
Now now, I know what you are all asking:
“Oh incredibly clever and talented Writer (who is probably also insanely good looking), when ever will you post part II of this well delivered, well structured article?”
Although you are right I am talented (and how did you put it, Insanely good looking?) part II will be posted in the regular schedule as the previous posts, so about 5 weeks. 4 weeks if you’re lucky.

I’m kidding I’m kidding I’ll post it soon (I won’t give a proper date yet but I’ll work hard on it you have my word!)

Signing Off note:
I’m sorry for the low frequency of articles but I’ve been very busy (and also slightly lazy if i’m honest shh). However, I should be posting much more frequently now since I have more free time.
I appreciate you reading this long article, and for those who just scrolled down to the bottom and read the last two paragraphs only – You’re dead to me.
But in all seriousness, don’t forget to comment your opinions on this topic, because this is one with various opinions. Note that I won’t be revealing too much of my opinions on certain things until the second part of the article (which will actually talk about eSports itself). I just didn’t want to have a super long article!
Thanks for reading and remember to follow me on Twitter (Just click the nifty twitter icon on the left, or at the top if you’re on mobile!)

And as always:
Stay woke, gamers.

Emergence – February Newsletter

Hello, hello! Welcome back to the blog! I know I’ve been away for awhile but in my defence I’ve been crazy busy (and by “crazy busy” I mean crazy lazy, kappa). But have no fear ladies and gentlemen, for I am back with a new article. This article is written on behalf of Emergence, the eSports team I talked about in my last post which you can read about by clicking this convenient link right here (you’re welcome). Honestly I’m surprised Emergence asked me to write another article because between you and I; I tend to write a lot of nonsense (LOL JK I WRITE ABSOLUTE GOLD).

Emergence has been on a real grind recently for their eSports teams. The teams in the spotlight this month are their Rocket League and Call of Duty team. Though Emergence is looking to recruit two new teams (more information on that further down). In addition to this, there are a few sorry goodbyes and some new recruits that should be welcomed!

Call of Duty
Starting off with the Call Of Duty team; the achievements collected by this team are great. Having being the team that featured in Emergence’s first LAN event ever, the CoD team has been busy at work. It participated in a tournament (hosted by Console Gamer League last weekend). The team won the tournament, gaining the winners title and a cash prize of $75. Although this prize might not seem a lot, winning a tournament means a lot for competitive teams, especially newer/smaller ones (more information on that further down).

Rocket League Team
The Rocket League Team is one of Emergence’s first eSports team. As previously mentioned, the team was competing in a 12 week tournament (facing a rivalling team once a week). Now, I tried very hard to not write this in a braggy way but it’s kind of hard not to; the team didn’t lose a single match meaning winning the tournament with a completely perfect slate. For such an impressive achievement, the team must have been awarded with something amazing, right?… Right…?
Wrong. The team won £10.

Between 5 people.

12 weeks of tournaments, hard work and constant training, to win nothing but £2 per player.

In this Tournament teams will play in play-offs once the league has finished. These play-offs have monetary rewards but unfortunately the team won’t be able to attend as one of the players is on holiday (WAY TO GO ALCHEMY)! However the playoffs are set to be taken at another date.
Now remember that tournaments aren’t just about winning money (unless you have crippling debts from buying a high-end gaming PC which you simply can’t afford, which I TOTALLY did not do… Don’t look at me like that I have zero regrets). As mentioned, tournaments can be great for small teams, but more on this later down in the article.

Unfortunately there is some sad news about Emergence in terms of Rocket League. Their entire Academy team decided to leave Emergence. Furthermore, “Zulu”, a player formerly apart of the primary Rocket League decided to leave too. Emergence wishes the best for these players in the gaming scene (or any other endeavour they face).
However, there is good news too; say hello to the new recruit, Exst who plays for the Rocket League team! Emergence welcomes him aboard and are excited for everything the future holds!

Why even bother with Low Prize Tournaments?
All jokes aside about winning a small amount of money (or none at all), winning a tournament has a really positive effects on teams, especially smaller ones. Smaller teams don’t have the exposure since no one really knows who they are; and the organisations that host the tournaments which these teams compete in don’t tend to have the finances to fund a big prize pool (if any at all). Winning tournaments for a small team such as Emergence is great for getting recognition, getting the team’s and player’s names out into the public and into the competitive scene. Slowly the team grows into a bigger thing, and they become well known within the competitive scene. This means they can feature in bigger tournaments, with bigger viewership and bigger prize pools. It all leads to a snowball effect, so long as the team can keep on outperforming the others.
This is something Emergence has been doing well. Think about it, Emergence signed on their first CoD team and within a month they were featured in a $2,000 LAN tournament. Putting teams in competitive environments is one thing; but performing well in them (as Emergence has been doing) whilst being completely new, is a whole new, much more difficult thing.

Apex Legends – Recruiting
If you guys have even so much as opened your eyes for about 20 seconds you would have heard of the new Battle Royale game that’s taking the gaming world by storm: Apex Legends. I’ve got an article coming up on this sometime soon so stay tuned, but all in all Apex Legends in a new Battle Royale game that’s free to play.
Of course it created an eSports scene almost instantly and eSports teams are eager to get involved; Emergence is no exception.
Emergence is taking requests of Apex Legend teams, and if you want to be considered all you have to do is direct message the Emergence Team on twitter with your stats. If you’re confused just ask them a question and I’m sure the team will be more than happy to respond!

PS4 Overwatch – Recruiting
Now, Overwatch is known for having one of the biggest eSports scene in gaming, though most of this is on PC only, there are still PS4 Overwatch teams. In fact, Emergence has been working together to build a new Overwatch team, featuring some players from the former team plus some new guys. Sporticus (Captain), Roundaldo (Vice-captain), Wetington and Roemer are all returning faces whilst Aeth and Goldie are the two new guys. They are expected to perform in some scrim matches tonight, and hopefully all goes well for them!

Website and Store
Now I know a lot of you have been begging for a website and store to get that sweet Emergence drip (Well I’m assuming you have, I have no idea if you guys been actually begging for this stuff but it sounded like something the owner would like me to write). But we should be expecting the website and the store to be launched soon (around the end of March), and when it does you can yoink your mum’s credit card and buy some of their merch in no time!

Signing off note
So there we have it guys: February in Rewind for Emergence. If you’re interested in Emergence show them some love in the comments section, post your opinion and let me know what you think! I’ll respond to them all because I’m an eager writer who loves his audience (even if there are a solid four of you, you know who you are, you the real MVP). Also give them a follow on their twitter @Emergence and show them some love there too, I’m sure they would appreciate it.
Having said that, why don’t you show my twitter some love too @GameExhibit I’d appreciate it too!
And finally as always;
Stay woke, gamers.

Emergence – January Newsletter

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re back and we’re here to announce a new opportunity! So, I’ve been making moves, making some new friends, some contacts, you know, big boy stuff. As a result I came into contact with a new, rising organisation that’s penetrating the eSports scene.
But firstly, some of you unfortunate souls don’t know what eSports is. eSports (or electronic sports) is a term used to refer to competitive gaming, where typically the best players of a particular game will play against each other for accolades, glory and in most cases; a huge amount of money. Usually people get triggered by the name “eSports” and cry the same thing; bUt WhY iS iT cAlLeD a SpOrT iF YoU’rE NoT dOiNg AnY PhYsIcAl AcTiViTiEs? Despite the negative perceptions; eSports is growing rapidly.
Introducing Emergence; an eSports team based currently in the EU and in NA. Emergence features two Rocket League teams (Their main one and their academy), a COD team in NA (who attended Emergence’s first LAN a couple days ago) and a FIFA… guy? FIFA player? I don’t know some guy that plays FIFA competitively. Emergence also features a stream team, streaming different games every stream, and commonly streaming Fortnite (Because there’s not enough Fortnite content out there amirite?)

The COD Team
Emergence has hired a very promising Call of Duty team based in North America. The team was actually at a LAN event just the other day (26th January). This was Emergence’s LAN event debut, and unfortunately they didn’t get a win from it, but they did make it to a Top 12 position (out of 50 teams). Despite the loss, they performed well and Emergence is super proud to have them on their side. The COD team is expected to participate in another tournament (hosted by the NGE league) which they had to go through a smaller tournament to qualify. The team decimated the tournament, finishing at 1st place. The date of the tournament is yet to be announced (as teams are still being gathered).

The Rocket League Team
Rocket League is a growing eSport, and I can’t deny; It’s super entertaining to watch. I used to play Rocket League quite a bit a few months ago, but decided to stop since, well I’ll say it bluntly; I was trash. As said before, Emergence has two Rocket League teams: their main team and their academy team. Their main team is currently in a 12 week tournament. In the tournament, they have to challenge one team every Sunday. It’s rather long winded in my opinion, but hey; a tournament is a tournament; and the team is doing amazing – having not lost a single game.

The FIFA… Guy? Player?
Most eSports have a group of players in a team for games, like a Fortnite team, a Rocket League team and so on; but FIFA usually only has solo players, which means there’s no one to blame when you screw up (don’t deny it, we all do it). Emergence has a FIFA player called “Shortnamegame.” In fact, he played in a tournament quite recently, and although unfortunately he didn’t win, he did achieve 2nd place. Honestly, as monka ass as that is, it’s pretty awesome. Finishing second place at any tournament is huge, but of course it’s heartbreaking too. Shortnamegame definitely punched his screen.
FIFA has been competitive for a while, I mean why wouldn’t it be; the game it focuses on has arguably the world’s most recognised tournament (The World Cup).

Other News
Emergence has announced a new sponsor for their organisation; Love and Playz! Love and Playz is a organisation that has over 10 years of Graphics experience. They primarily create graphics for Streamers.

Signing off note
Now I know this isn’t like my usual content I post (even though my content posting isn’t that frequent) but Emergence (and eSports as a whole) is a very interesting and complicated topic that I thought I could write about. Don’t expect too much content regarding Emergence on this website, since it’s primarily for Emergence. If the owner of Emergence decides he likes my writing (which he should I’m pretty awesome if I do say so myself) then I’ll continue to make content revolving around Emergence, but it would be on their upcoming website.
In all seriousness, leave a comment, let me know what you think; I’ll reply to them all (since I’ve got nothing better to do).
Stay woke, gamers.

Product Review – Steam Controller

Steam, the platform that us superior gamers PC gamers know and love. We buy the majority of our games on this platform, we play with all of our friends on this platform, and we spend our life savings on the seasonal sales. No? Just me? Anyway…
Steam has developed a controller to be used on PC. However the advertising is so low that I’ve only seen it during seasonal sales. But I set out to answer a question that has been around since the dawn of gaming; is the steam controller worth it?
This article will contain my detailed review of the product, down to a final verdict.

What’s in the box?
As listed by the Steam Website, the following items are included:

  • USB wireless pairing dongle – Needed for wireless functionality with the controller
  • 2 AA batteries – Since the controller is battery powered
  • Dongle extension dock included – Extends your USB port and is meant to have the Pairing Dongle plugged in it.
  • 2m long 2.0 USB to Micro-USB cable – Provided for the extension dock, or for wireless functionality
  • Steam Controller – Provided because if it wasn’t then things would get really awkward really quick.

Aesthetics and Ergonomics
Since I had never bought a physical steam product before, I was in the dark in terms of what to expect. But upon opening the box, I was genuinely surprised. The controller looked amazing. A sleek, jet black device that just felt right to hold. The controller featured the classic ABXY controller layout. It had a joystick, Wait… NANI? There was only One Joystick? Of course this is vastly different to a traditional controller. Instead of a second joystick, it had a circular pad. One thing I was blown away by was the fact that the controller felt like it belonged in my hand. I had used other controllers before (PS3 and PS4) and I could already tell that the steam controller just felt better (especially the PS3 one, don’t get me started on PS3 controllers, dear lord). The steam controller trigger and bumper buttons were angled to support a more natural finger placement. In fact, the trigger buttons featured a contour which lets your fingers just rest on the buttons comfortably. Additionally there were new buttons at the back of the controller, which I like to call “paddles” (they’re officially called the “grip” buttons but I’m a trendsetter and from this point onward they’re paddles, it’s my article not yours). Having extra buttons that don’t compromise other buttons is always a benefit.
The USB dock was a very small and was surprisingly weighty for what it was. Though this is not something we’d pay much attention to, Steam managed to make it look so good but yet so minimal; Simple, yet seamless. The dongle is meant to be inserted into the port, and it did so without looking clunky.

The actual controller functions amazingly. Its complete list of features are down below:

  • Left trackpad (with the etched cross)
  • Right track pad (which can be pressed)
  • Joystick
  • STEAM button
  • BACK button
  • START button
  • ABXY Buttons (known as the FACE buttons)
  • left and right BUMPERS (the two buttons at the back and top of the controller)
  • Left and Right TRIGGERS (the two buttons at the back and bottom of the controller)
  • Left and Right PADDLES (or GRIPS, located underneath the controller)
  • Gyroscope (the weird magic thing that means you can tilt the controller physically to act as different inputs)
  • Door at the back to hide the batteries
  • The Charging slot in between the TRIGGERS/BUMPER

The two games I used my controller for are the famous Rocket League, and the new Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive age (I know I made an anime reference AND I play a JRPG but trust me, I’m not an anime-junkie, I was born better). In both games, I use the new Paddles which are missing on traditional controllers. Although I could make do without these buttons, they are much better to have allowing for an easier game-play.
As soon as I connected the controller, I noticed you can use the right track pad as a mouse, the Left trackpad as a scroll wheel and the two bumper buttons as left and right clicks. Although a cool feature, I knew it wasn’t one I would use. I won’t dive too much into the controller’s functionality as a mouse, because that’s not what the controller was primarily designed for, I wanted to get into gaming with it.

Gaming with the Controller
The first game I decided to play was a game called “Rocket League,”a game designed to be played with controllers . Rocket League meant I could use the paddles straight away; I configured one to show the scoreboard and one to switch off/on the ball-cam. This meant I didn’t have to stretch my finger to different buttons and it let me keep a finger on the face buttons at almost all times (apart from moving the screen). I was using the paddles a lot and boy did I love it. It was very helpful that the paddles were located underneath the controller; where my natural hand position meant that my fingers are there already.

The controller was light weight, and since there was no cord I could relax as much as I wanted to and play with it. With most PC-controllers you usually have to plug in a cord and this cord could get annoying quickly.

Having said this, there was a downside I noticed with the controller; the right trackpad. I’m used to having two joysticks (As most are) so I expected it to function as one. Instead it worked in a pretty strange way. If you dragged from any point on the trackpad, it would move the screen in that direction by the same amount you moved your finger. This would mean if you wanted to do a full camera pan, you would have swipe your finger across the trackpad multiple times. Typically a Joystick would mean you have to just hold to one side, and job done. It was a noticeable problem that I didn’t like, but I knew I could probably change it. This led me on to the second problem; the settings. You couldn’t actually change how the trackpad worked from the settings, you had to go onto each individual game and then edit the controller settings on each game. I’ve only had to do it on two games (since I only use the controller on two games) but I still find it tedious. It would be easier if the settings can be changed for every game all at once, rather than having to do it individually, then you could choose to change each settings individually per game if need be.

The only other downside I have is the controller’s batteries. It doesn’t exactly take a genius to know batteries run out, even Billy knew. I found myself having to buy batteries more often than I thought. PS4 controllers and Xbox Controllers are all rechargeable, meaning you never need to switch the batteries (unless you do a Billy and throw the controller around the room when you get killed and break it). The reason I prefer being able to recharge the controller is because the controller isn’t always in use. When you’re playing other games that you’d rather use a keyboard and mouse for, you could have been charging your Steam Controller. However since it is battery powered, it means you can’t ever recharge it. I’ve had my controller for a year and have replaced the batteries three times already.

I’m still using the controller for well over a year now, so I would say it was a successful purchase. It’s priced at a reasonable £39.99 (considering other controllers are priced at either the same amount or much higher. Controllers that feature paddles tend to be more pricey).  Though if you wait until summer or winter sales, the price is usually reduced by about half. The controller is in pretty much the same condition as it was when I first opened it up, meaning it’s very durable. All of the buttons are working perfectly. However after 10 months of using the product, the left trackpad started acting up; not registering clicks properly. Although the problem seemed huge, all you had to do was calibrate the controller again (which takes a few seconds).
I definitely am glad that I have the controller, but there would obviously be no reason to buy it if you don’t intend to play controller based games, since an old-fashioned keyboard works perfectly fine.

Air58 Mouse – The new tournament grade mouse


I know I know, I haven’t posted in 2-3 weeks but let’s be honest, no one is really reading these but I’m still gonna do these posts. I’ll try and get back on track with posts but don’t expect a post every day or something.

Today’s post is about the new “Air58 Mouse” by finalmouse. These are the mice that “Ninja” (the most popular streamer on Twitch) has endorsed. But before I get into the meat of this story let’s take it back to the start.

Ninja tweeted that some serious crap was about to go down on December the 1st (not his actual words) involving Finalmouse. Let’s stop right there. As soon as we saw this tweet, we all thought the exact same thing: Who the hell is Finalmouse and what the hell do they do? I mean I put two and two together in my head and assumed they sell mice (which they do). In fact, they only sell mice. If you go over to their website, you can see that mice are all they sell. To be honest, Finalmouse are so confident in what they sell that they’ve dubbed it as “THE BEST ESPORTS MOUSE IN THE WORLD” which is a huge leap, and I’m wondering who the hell said that considering no one even heard of these guys until Ninja tweeted about it.

Let’s explore their older products. In fact, there were three: The Ultralight Pro, The Ultralight Sunset and the Ultralight Phantom. In fact, I’m going to join the “Ultralight Pro” and the “Ultralight Sunset” into one product, since they essentially are the same product but the sunset version is a limited edition version, which is orange and has some fancy writing on it. They described this mouse as “The end game for eSports mice,” one that “Professional Gamers all over the world will utilize for years to come.” Well actually they wrote “Professional Gamer’s” which is grammatically incorrect so I thought I’d fix that for you, thank me later. The mouse is at a surprisingly low 67g which I won’t lie, is quite good. My mouse (G502 Proteus Spectrum) weighs about 168g which is a lot heavier. However, I don’t really have a problem with this. Never have I said to myself “Oh wow I need a lighter mouse because that will definitely improve my gaming reflexes.” Though to be honest, I haven’t used an ultralight weight mouse before so maybe I will be able to tell the difference. I won’t comment on the need for a lightweight mouse due to this fact. My main problem is the marketing, which I’ll go into in a minute.

So what about the Ultralight Phantom? It’s pretty much the same product. The difference is they have a new “Phantomcord.” Which is just fancy for “We have a wire that doesn’t weigh much and has little resistance.” Never have I been restricted by my mouse’s wire but sure, let’s go with it. The mouse itself is the same (just with a starry reskin).

Nonetheless, I was intrigued. I won’t lie, I was excited. Can you blame me? The marketing done for this mouse was insane! I was hyped for December 1st for Finalmouse to reveal their new game changing product. Let’s explore some of the marketing finalmouse did for their product.

The following Video is tweeted by finalmouse, and it’s a short animation. I’ll let you guys watch the video:


They went on further to say that it won’t be branded:

So after that video I was pretty hyped, I thought this product, whatever it is, is going to be crazy. They then went on to say this:

On November 29th Ninja teamed up with Finalmouse to tease the product with the following video tweet:

Now we actually know what the product is, it’s a mouse. The marketing was insane. Finalmouse made it sound like every unit they sell will come with a personal Ray Gun you can use to shoot your childhood bully with. They made it sound like you get a god damn master-ball you can use to YEET at the girl or guy of your dreams and have forever. Naturally, I’m doubting the hype. What can a mouse do that the leading gaming-mice doesn’t already do? Then again, I thought “That’s the point, this mouse is being marketed like crazy. It’s going to be nuts, it’s going to be game changing!” And just like that, my hype was back. I was excited. I thought this mouse was going to have RGB lights that sync up with the frequency of the waves coming from your brain so that you can control it with your mind or something. I thought this mouse is going to have a built in Cortana to say “BILLY FOR GOD SAKE YOU’RE SUCH A BOT” everytime you die to a remotely good player in Fortnite (Don’t lie, you all do it). Obviously I’m over exaggerating, but I was genuinely hyped.

Also I’d like to point out how Ninja asked how finalmouse is going to outlive the hype of their old product. Excuse me? What hype? There isn’t nobody anywhere in the world who has heard of finalmouse ’till Ninja talked about it. LETS NOT BE LYING TO ANYONE HERE.

Come December 1st. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The reveal and release of the mouse. What is it? Well, don’t worry you don’t need to do the research. I spent blood sweat and tears to do it myself! I totally did not get Billy to do it for me…

Revealing the all new Ninja Air58 mouse! The new Air58 mouse has the following game changing features:

  • 9 grams shaved off their former Ultralight Pro (now weighing 58grams)
  • The Phantomcord!
  • “Ninja air58” inscribed onto the mouse
  • Handmade haiku-scrolls for the scroll-wheel.
  • Two side buttons (like every other mouse you can get north of £10)
  • Nothing else
  • Wait that’s it?
  • For real that’s it?

Not gonna lie, I slapped Billy for doing the worst research ever. There’s gotta be more to this product that everyone was hyped about. So… I conducted the research myself.

Billy wasn’t lying. I slapped him again because of the poor marketing Finalmouse did. I had to unleash my rage somewhere.

Now don’t get me wrong. A mouse that weights 58g is crazy light and that’s awesome. But you want me to pay $89.99 for a mouse that’s…. light? SO THIS IS THE HYPE WE WERE ALL WAITING ON? PEOPLE WERE WAITING IN LINE FOR A GODDAMN LEIGHTWEIGHT MOUSE?

… Okay, breathe. I won’t talk ill of the mouse itself because it’s a cool idea. I mean sure it looks like the croc-equivalent of mice, but it’s super lightweight. My main problem is the marketing. That’s the only issue with this entire finalmouse episode. I, and several others, were led to believe that this product was going to be so game changing, and that the product will revolutionize the industry. They described it as the bridge between two worlds. They described it as “the next century is our time”. They gave us a lightweight mouse…

Furthermore, even though they said that there would be no branding, they branded it anyway. I don’t really have a problem with the branding it’s not really a big deal. But if you say you’re not going to do something, don’t do it. That’s just basic logic right?

That’s the entire thing I saw with this mouse. An extremely over-marketed product that gave an extremely underwhelming result. The mouse is extremely underwhelming for the marketing that was done for it. I definitely won’t buy the new mouse (although I know a tonne of people will) and will stick to my G502 which I love more than my own soul.

This is definitely different to most of the articles I’ve written before (Most? I’ve written three others but shh). I felt like I had to explore this topic because honestly, it was quite possibly the biggest flop since Titanfall. (No offense Titanfall, we all know it’s true).

Thanks for reading, and as always; stay woke gamers.


PS. 0 Billys were harmed in the making of this article. We treat our Billy with respect.

An Idea – The W Gang

If you’ve been keeping up with new trends in gaming, then you’ve probably heard of Fortnite. And if you’ve been keeping up with Fortnite, you’ve probably heard of “the W gang.” I first heard of it when I was watching “Daequan Loco” (a member of the TSM Fortnite organisation) using a pair of pump shotguns to, I quote “BOP KIDS.” (RIP Double Pumping, you will be missed.) Now before you cringe out at the thought of Fortnite, give me a chance to explain what “the W Gang” means and represents, because in my opinion, it’s pretty cool.

In most games, you would have to control some sort of character, and if you’re playing a game that requires a keyboard, you’ll probably have to use the “WASD” keys to move. The most important button there, would be the “W” key, the key that makes your character move forward. This powerful key, “The W key” is what birthed “The W Gang.” It’s a guideline to the player, to you, despite being shocked by a Seeker Mine, stunned by a 9-Bang and radiated by a Reactor Core all at the same time, to mash that escape button, hold down fire and Usain Bolt the hell away from that hellhole. It’s a guideline to the player, to you, to clutch that 1v5 even though they have a Clash shocking you like you’re on Death Row and a Maestro watching you on his camera’s like a stalker, WITH the defuser on site whilst you’re two floors below. It’s a guideline to the player, to you, to keep playing Fortnite despite that brief 24 hour period where explosives penetrated through walls (SIKE I CTRL + ALT + DEL’ed FROM THAT CRAP REAL QUICK).

The W Gang” is a collection of people who abide by the “W” key, a collection of people who move forward despite all broken mechanics happening in front of them. But the most amazing thing about it is that the “W” key is not limited to a keyboard or a game. I mean sure it comes from PC gamers but it seeps its way into the real world, into us. It’s motivation from the PC gaming world to encourage you to force your way forward in life, with no regard to the horror and awfulness, to push hard even though everyone doubts you. To move forward no matter what’s happening. And I don’t know about you, but as a gamer, I think that’s amazing.

Now, let’s leave the gaming world for a minute and get real. Really real. The W key tells you to move forward in life, but sometimes you simply can’t. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to press the S key in life. I know I know, it sounds cringe, but it’s true. Press whatever key you want, so long as you make your way back to the W key. However whatever you do, don’t get salty enough to press the two buttons of rage: Alt + F4. Billy did this. Don’t be like Billy. Nobody likes Billy.

Black Ops 4 – The problem with Multiplayer

Black ops 4 has been out for nearly a month (with its release being 12/10/2018), and it’s understandable to see some elements on the game being unbalanced. I’m not going to go through all of the problems in Multiplayer since I’d be here for a long time (insert kermit drinking tea meme). However, I will try and attempt to explain my main problem with the game. This article doesn’t aim to throw shade at the game, but rather provide some constructive criticism from a player. (Okay I lied it aims to throw some shade but MAINLY constructive criticism).

So I bet you’re dying to know what my main problem is with the game, right? It’s simple. Scorestreaks. More specifically, scorestreaks that are controlled by an AI (that is a scorestreaks that does not require the player to control). The main ones I’m referring to are the Strike Team and Sniper Support.

Before I drone on about this I should explain what a scorestreak is. Most of you should know but I’ll do it anyway. Scorestreaks are rewarded to players when they achieve a certain score without dying. You can select up to three scorestreaks. In theory this doesn’t make sense, why would you give support to a team who’is overpowering the other team, just to make the process of overpowering that team easier? Though that’s not the point of this article. This concept has been in the Call Of Duty games for as long as I can remember and so I won’t mess around with the core mechanics of the game.

In every Call of Duty game, AI controlled scorestreaks were always somewhat inferior to having a player controlled scorestreak, and this makes sense. Why would there be a scorestreak that is better than a human player? It’s overwhelming to the losing team. I mean of course it’s meant to provide them with pressure and make their lives harder, but it shouldn’t make them become toxic for a minute and then rage quit so hard that they uninstall the game and hop back onto Six Siege where it’s normal to call each other the worst things that their brains could ever think of (Don’t deny it Six Siege players, you aint fooling nobody).

Now I’m not going to be ranting about things without actually explaining them or providing a proper argument, so lets move onto the first scorestreak: The Strike Team. Once unlocked, you can, at the push of a button, deploy two soldiers of which you can command where to move by holding down the reload button. However, these soldiers have pinpoint accuracy, extended health/armour and quick reflexes. In fact, most primary weapons can’t take down one of these guys. If he’s in your sights, there’s a very high chance that you’re screwed (would have used another word but thought I’d keep it at least SLIGHTLY professional). Now why am I here whining to you few people reading this? I mean you could argue “It’s a hard scorestreak to achieve so players should be rewarded.” However, this scorestreak essentially adds two players to a team, with a lot more health, usually better accuracy, and quick reflexes. As if the opposing team wasn’t suffering enough. There’s a point in which scorestreaks just completely pinpoint a team, and this is one of them. How could this be better? Several things. Decrease their health, damage, accuracy, reaction time. Any of these factors need to be carefully analysed and tweaked, but I can’t say which ones for sure yet.

Next up is the Sniper Support. Okay, bare with me here, because this is quite possibly the most broken aspect of the system and therefore has the most writing about. I might lose myself in anger here, I apologise in advance. But… Which one of you developers at Treyarch worship Satan to the point you even drafted this scorestreak? Come on, we want answers. In all honesty, it’s a very cool concept, if wasn’t completely and utterly broken. I once witnessed (on the map Icebreaker) this Sniper Support team gather a kill every 0.5 – 1 second. This thing was literally killing players faster than you could respawn. Sure you could shoot it down, but it requires three shots: one to trigger the flares, one to damage the chopper, and one to send the thing to it’s long deserved death. I’ve seen team mates getting bored because they haven’t seen an enemy player for some time because of this monster ripping through the enemy team. If the enemy team is lucky enough to even have someone using the Rocket Launcher, he/she would probably have to go through at least two lives to down this bird. Poor Billy changed his class just to shoot this thing down, and by the time he could have got the third shot off, it flew away! Billy is now playing Six Siege. So what’s my advice for this? Make the time to kill a player increased. I would go as far to say that it would require two shots to kill a player (Perhaps each shot damages for 100, so those with body armour are still killed with two shots), and speed up the fire rate. Of course this needs to be in such a way that the time to kill is increased, otherwise it’d still be broken. I’ve not seen anyone happy about this yet, and it’s clear why.

Before I sign off, remember that I’m not a developer and I’m just the guy that whines/praises aspects of the game (Notice how “whine” comes first). In all due respect, I expected there to be more problems with Black Ops 4 on launch. It’s only a month old so it makes sense there’s balance problems, but in due time things will be tweaked to ensure a more playable ground for everyone, the Akimbo Saug SMG’s being a prime example. I bet the person who thought of that also thought of the Sniper Support team (You know who you are, we’re not happy). Note that I am a player and I have opinions that i’m just vocalising. Do you agree or disagree? Vocalise yours too. What do you think of these two scorestreaks? Let me know in the comments!

Signing off note: “F” in the comments if you feel bad for Billy.