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Friday, October 13, 2017

Distant Worlds : Music From Final Fantasy comes to Malaysia again!


Distant Worlds : Music From Final Fantasy (Jiritsu)
Date : 18th October 2017
Venue : KLCC Plenary Hall
Time : 3pm - 6pm

Fans of Final Fantasy will be happy to know that Distant Worlds is coming to KL on the 18th of October 2017. For those not in the know, Distant Worlds is the name of the official orchestral concert by Square Enix and features Nobuo Uematsu, one of the main composers of many beloved Final Fantasy Franchise. Distant World was started in 2002 in Japan.

This year, Distant Worlds Celebrates it's 30th anniversary for it's Final Fantasy franchise and for that, they have specifically included new scores and arrangement for this year's Distant Worlds.

The last time I've attended this was back in 2012 and you can read about my experience here : http://www.duckalot.com/2012/11/distant-world-music-from-final-fantasy.html

Suffice to say, I'm pretty much excited and can't wait to attend the concert next week during the short Deepavali Holiday.

So if you're interested in Distant Worlds, do head over to Ticketpro as they're still some tickets available! :

http://www.ticketpro.com.my/concert/2179481-Distant-Worlds-Music-from-Final-Fantasy-Jiritsu.html

Tickets starts from RM238 onwards.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dota 2 ESL One Genting 2017 @ Genting Highlands

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Thanks to Lenovo I was able to attend the ESL One Genting Dota 2 Tournament.  To those unfamiliar with ESL One, it is a 3 Day Dota 2 Tournament that came with a 250K USD prize pool, with the first prize being 125,000 USD. That's roughly half a million ringgit. 


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We arrived early during Day 1 not wanting to miss any games, Ben even brought along BeaverKnight just in case a perculiar Dota 2 Player decided to show up. Suffice to say we were really pumped to be at ESL being huge Dota 2 nerds outselves.

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The view of the stadium from the stands. 
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A closer look at the player booths, they've even color coded the booths according to which teams are on dire / radiant side

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The numerous food trucks that were available all thru the 3 days. Which was directly outside the stadium, making it super convenient to get snacks in between games

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I've even managed to get a photo with my favorite Dota 2 personality. SirActionSlacks. Who was pretty friendly to anyone who approached him. Kudos to him taking the time to talk to the fans and made sure everyone who stood in line waiting for him got a photo in the end

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In between matches most of our time were spent at Cafe Richard at the newly opened Genting Sky Avenue. Which now I'd rather hangout at instead of the over populated Starbucks outside

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For those that did not have tickets to the stadium, Digi setup it's own tent with Live Twitch Stream of the action inside, which we took the opportunity to watch a few games as our butts were a bit sore from the stadium seats

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We were able to watch the matches inside and outside the Digi camp.

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The Dota 2 Secret Shop is actually located within the Digi Camp :

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Wanted to get something for myself but unfortunately all the items were either sold out or a bit too expensive for me
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Redbull was also present at ESL and they had a mini competition going on where spectators were able to compete in a last hit competition and a 1 on 1 competition in Dota 2

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Day 2 of ESL

There were a few cosplayers that day.

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An adorable female Invoker. One of my favorite heroes to play

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The Vengeful Spirit

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And lastly a pissed off Skywrath Mage, a costume that's sure to bump into everybody on the way in and out.

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The view from the VIP section

At the end of Day 2 I managed to sneak into the stage to take a photo of the ESL One Genting Trophy
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Day 3 The Semi & Grand Finals

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Day 3 was a bit hectic as it was the final day where the Semi-Finals and Grand Finals were, Team Newbee was going up against Wings Gaming in the losers bracket for a spot in the Grand Finals in a best of 3.

It was definitely an exciting match as both teams were from China and the crowds were cheering irregardless of which side was winning.

Spoiler Alert, in the end Team Newbee came out on top just barely, with 2 wins 1 loss in a best of 3.

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During the Grand Finals SirActionSlacks was invited to be one of the panelist. Which he had a bit of a bias due to the fact that he's the Team Manager for Digital Chaos. The Team that was in the Grand Finals that will be going up against Team Newbee

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The Grand Finals were one of the most exciting games I've had the pleasure of watching live. It was a best of 5 and Digital Chaos took turns with Team Newbee taking one game from another. The crowds went wild with each team fights but overall you could feel that there were more Digital Chaos supporters than Team Newbee.

When game 5 started it was already around 11PM and if I remember correctly they were streaming the stadium to National Live TV on TV3. Which is a first in Malaysia for Free To Air Channels to air any live E-sports related events.

Sadly we didn't stay until the very end as we needed to work the next morning and as soon as Digital Chaos broke the throne at the end of Game 5, me and Ben went straight to the car and drove back down to KL while watching the Prize giving ceremony on our phones. It's either that or get stuck with all the others on the way down if we were to stay in the stadium.

Irregardless the ESL One Genting was definitely my best Dota 2 Tournament experience ever, which beat the last one *Dota2MajorAllStarscoughcough* hands down. Definitely looking forward to the next big Dota 2 Tourney in Malaysia.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Lenovo Booth @ ESL One Genting 2017 / CES 2017 Legion Gaming Laptops

Earlier this month I was invited by Lenovo to attend ESL One 2017 at Genting. Which featured a Dota 2 competition with a 250,000 USD prize pool. Which I'll be writing about on my next post. What I'll be featuring this post is the products that were featured by Lenovo at their booth at ESL One Genting :


The VR Experience with HTC Vive


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One of the main attractions, I don't mean the chick but the HTC Vive VR experience ;-)

I've only ever tried VR on the Samsung Gear VR and I know for a fact that it isn't the 'best' vr experience one can get, due to the limited pixels that the connected phone can generate (not to mention magnified), with the Vive you can expect to see up to 2160x1200 pixels, which makes a better VR experience, not to mention the included controllers which is a 'must' for a true VR experience

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The VR rig was powered by a Lenovo Thinkstation with a workstation class graphic card, the Nvidia Quadro M6000 :

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3072 cuda cores, 24gb GPU memory, and 317 GB/s of bandwidth. Retails at only around USD 4,500.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube


In my opinion, one of the best looking mini-itx case I've seen to date. Now if only Lenovo sells the case seperately. 
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The Front View, pretty outstanding. Reminds me of a robotic mech
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The side profile 
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How it looks like at the top.It does have some resemblance to the Raven RV03 tower case

Specifications

Processor : 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6700 3.40GHz and up to 4.00Ghz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, 8MB Cache
Operating System : Windows 10 Home
Memory : 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
Hard Disk : 2TB Sata HDD (7200rpm)
Graphics : Nvidia Geforce GTX1070 GDDR5 8GB
Warranty : 3 Year On Site Warranty

SRP : RM6,099

Pretty decent specs, however it's lacking a dedicated SSD drive. Otherwise I'd give this a 5 out of 5. The GTX1070 currently sits between the mid to high end tier. If you plan to get this, it will roughly last you 3-4 years down the road before needing another upgrade.....unless you plan to game with a 4K resolution setup with multiple monitors.


Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900 Desktop


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Processor : 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6700K processor (4.00GHz up to 4.20GHz with Intel Turbo Booster tech 2.0, 8MB Cache
Operating System :  Windows 10 Home
Memory :  8GB DDR4 SDRAM
Hard Disk : 2TB Sata HDD (7200rpm)
Graphics : Nvidia Geforce GTX1070 GDDR 8GB
Warranty : 3 Year On-Site Warranty

*Bundled with Lenovo Y Gaming Mouse Pad, Mechanical Keyboard and Precision Mouse worth RM800

SRP : RM6,799

With a spec sheet similar to the Y710 cube, the only difference is the faster clock speed of the processor and more room for internal future upgrades at an additional RM799 price tag, I would personally choose the cube over the Y900 desktop due to the size. But Lenovo is throwing a bundled gaming-esque hardwares which makes it a sweeter deal.

Lenovo Ideapad Y900 Laptop


Dubbed the Ultimate Gaming Laptop by Lenovo. It does feature some really outstanding quirks, such as a built-in mechanical keyboard that comes with macro keys and backlight, as well as turbo button that overclocks the processor and graphic card to give you the extra FPS that you need during gaming sessions. Other noticable features include a full HD 17.3" display with G-SYNC technology with anti-glare IPS tech.  
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One thing that makes the Y900 truly stand out is the brushed metal chassis from top to bottom. Which gives it a very premium finish.

Processor : 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6820HK processor (2.70GHz up to 4.20GHz,8MB Cache)
Operating System :  Windows 10 Home 64bit
Memory :  16GB DDR4 SDRAM
Hard Disk : 1TB Sata HDD (5400rpm) + 128GB PCIE SSD
Graphics : Nvidia Geforce GTX980M 8GB
Warranty : 3 Year On-Site Warranty

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the price listing for this. Lenovo US lists this unit at USD2,499.99. Which roughly translates to RM11,250.00. Would I recommend this? Well if you MUST have a high end laptop by Lenovo, by all means go for it. But if you're willing to wait a bit, I'd recommend the next two laptop series;

Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop


Though not available at the Lenovo booth that weekend, the Legion Y520 is the latest gaming laptop announced at CES 2017 (Consumer Electronics Show)
image sourced from Lenovo.com

With a light chassis and moderate performance, the Y520 will definitely suit most casual gamers that want to game on-the-go. The Y520 comes equipped with Intel's latest processor "Kaby Lake"

Highlights 
- Custom-tuned audio (The Y520 comes with 2x2W Harman spoeakers with Dolby Audio Premium to deliver customized audio for different types of consumption habits
- Illuminated gaming controls (The Y520 features an optional crimson backlight keyboard that provides 1.7mm of key travel for crisp accurate and responsive keystrokes)
- Portable Design (Only 2.58mm thin and at 2.5kg the Y520 is very portable and comes in an aluminum-brushed body)

Specifications

Processor :
7th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor
OS : Windows 10 Home
Graphics : Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 Ti
Memory : up to 16 GB DDR4: 2x SODIMM Slots
Storage : 
128/256/512 GB PCIE SSD
500GB/1TB/2TB Sata HDD
Audio : 2x2W Harman Certified Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
Battery : 3 Cell 45 WHr Li-Polymer Battery (Up to 4-hour)

Design

Display : 
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Ratio IPS with Anti Glare
Dimensions (W x D x H) : 380mm x 265mm x 25.8mm
Weight : From 2.4kg depending on configuration
Color : Black

Connectivity

- 1 x 1 WiFi 802.11 ac or 2 x 2 Wifi 802.11 ac
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Gigabit Ethernet Port
- 2x USB 3.0 Ports
- 1x USB 2.0 Ports
- 1x USB 3.1 (USB Type-C)
- 1x HDMI Port
- Audio & Microphone In
- 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)

The Y520 comes with a mid tier graphic card and a 7th Gen i7 processor, but with no price in sight, I can't really give it much opinion without sound too biased (Lenovo did offer me tickets to ESL), I'd say if it priced around 4-5k range it'll be a good deal.

Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop


Image from cnet.com
To be released this April 2017, The Y720 is VR Ready thanks to it's hefty Geforce GTX1060 graphics card, which means you can show off your Oculus Rift to your friends without lugging a heavy desktop around

Highlights 
- Dolby Atmos audio
- Integrated Xbox One Wireless Controller support
- VR Ready (The Legion Y720 is Oculus Certified)
- 4k Gaming (Optional QHD IPS Anti-glare display at 3840 x 2160)
- Optimized Thermal cooling (Built in dual metal fans and rear air vents keeps the Y720 cool during intense gaming sessions)

Specifications

Processor :
7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor or
7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300HQ Processor
OS : Windows 10 Home
Graphics : Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 with PCIe
Memory : up to 16 GB DDR4: 2x SODIMM Slots
Storage : 
128/256/512 GB PCIE SSD or
500GB/1TB/2TB Sata HDD
Audio : 2x2W JBL Speakers and 3W Subwoofer Doly Atmos
Battery : 4 Cell 60 WHr Li-Polymer Battery (Up to 5-hour)

Design

Display : 
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Anti-Glare
Dimensions (W x D x H) : 380mm x 277mm x 29mm
Weight : From 3.2kg depending on configuration
Color : Black

Connectivity

- 2 x 2 Wifi 802.11 ac
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Gigabit Ethernet Port
- 3x USB 3.0 Ports
- 1x HDMI Port
- 1x Thunderbolt (USB Type-C)
- Audio & Microphone In
- Display Port

I'm not a laptop gaming guy. In fact I've tried gaming on an Alienware laptop but I've never gotten comfortable enough to make it my daily driver, It's partly due to the unusual-sized keyboard on the laptop and the heat generated from the underside of the keyboard, but that was 7 years back since I've touched another 'gaming' laptop. However this would definitely be my gaming laptop wish-list If I ever had one, due to the desktop grade graphic card and 4k monitor option.

So if you're interested in the new Legion series Laptop by Lenovo, do head over to http://www3.lenovo.com/my/en/ and keep an eye out on their announcement 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tiger Beer Presents Tiger Streats!

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During the end of December last year, Tiger Beer held a one-of-a kind culinary experience where over 700 food lovers were invited to check out their 'Tiger Streats' event (A wordplay on Street a treats geddit geddit???)
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Held at a pop-up restaurant event space, MH Platinum Warehouse in Setapak, one would be easily mistaken that they were at some hawker street lane at Jalan Pudu

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Chef Jeff Ramsey and Hawker Chan Hon Meng with their dishes at Tiger STREATS
So what's the treat you ask? Tiger Beer brought in a Michelin Starred Chef. Hawker Chan. One of the first hawker stand operator that won a pretigious Michelin Star. For his Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Singapore. As well as Jeff Ramsey, former Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Mandarin Oriental Tokyo hotel and current owner and chef of progressive modernist restaurant Babe KL
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The dish with a Michelin Star. Hawker Chan's Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice. Much awesome I must say. Couldn't get enough of it that night.

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Guests were welcomed to mess about with the marquee words

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"Laksa Injections" By Chef Jeff Ramsay. Prawns skewered in tubes packed with the flavors of three types of Laksa

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'Down the Rabbit Hole' by Chef Jeff Ramsey, a rather intriguing take on nasi lemak and roti banjir, personally I found this a little too eccentric for my tastebud

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There was a Tikam Wall where you could win prizes depending on what combination of numbers you get from the paper on the wall

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Some of the nostalgic-esque prizes that could be gotten that night. My personal favorite being Choki-Choki. I used to suck of them all the time during school ;-)

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Fried Cempedak Ice Cream

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BY INSIDE SCOOP

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Roti Ais Krim 

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ALSO BY INSIDE-SCOOP

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"Two Makes a Blossom" a collaboration dish by Hawker Chan and Chef Ramsey

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Chicken Varuval Appam by Hoppers

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Loh Mai Kai with a Twist by Tujo Bar-serrie & Grill

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As the night went on, we were served with a special Tiger STREATS inspired Yee Sang! In conjunction with the commencement of Tiger Beer's Chinese New Year 2017 campaign. Instead of the usual ingredients, it was served with dried prawn crackers and satay sauce.

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Indeed a night to be remembered, not only were we served with great food but there were also performances by Tiger Jams finalists, Rozella and Son of a Policement to keep the crowd entertained.

Commenting on the event, Tiger Beer Marketing Manager, Jessie Chuah said, “It is an honour to have two renowned chefs as part of our Tiger STREATS campaign and to see food lovers from all walks of life sitting together around the table, making unexpected new connections. Having scrumptious food accompanied by ice cold Tiger brews just adds to the celebration.”

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