The Obsolete Gamer Show: Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel (GaCuCon)


12-time world FPS champion Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel returns to talk about the upcoming GaCuCon gamer cruise leaving out of Miami Florida on Jan 26th. He will be on that cruise along with several other guests and we wanted to get his thoughts on the event as well as what he and his brand has been up too.

You can check out information on the GaCuCon gamer cruise here.

Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel talks gaming preparation.

When preparing for a gaming competition gamer’s have different ways that they get ready or keep cool before their match. In this clip from the Obsolete Gamer Show professional gamer and entrepreneur Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel tells us about some of the things he used to do before some of his be tournaments.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel

The Fatal1ty Show

If you ever had someone tell you do stop playing games and just “grow up” maybe you should tell them about Johnathan Wendel, better known as under his gamer name, Fatal1ty. We had a chance to talk to Fatal1ty from Las Vegas and first off let me say I was very jealous of his awesome view of the Vegas strip. For those of you who might not be very familiar with Fatal1ty here is the rundown.

Johnathan Wendel

Johnathan began playing professionally in late 1999 mainly in FPS games and most notably known in Quake. He had won a ton of championship titles and about half a million in cash and prizes from professional competitions. Beyond that he has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes and MTV.

Not only is Jonathan a professional gamer but an entrepreneur as well. He began his own company Fatal1ty Inc. which sells a number of gaming items including motherboards, power supplies, mouse pads and sound cards.

Fatal1ty has been a great friend to Obsolete Gamer first giving us a Gamer Profile and then following that up with a full Interview. He has appeared on the Obsolete Gamer before in our podcast format which you can still listen to. For this episode of the Obsolete Gamer Show we talked about his gaming career, his upcoming product lines and the road from being a gamer with a dream to building an empire.

The Best of The Obsolete Gamer Show 2013

J.A. and Ignacio

For the Obsolete Gamer Show team being able to chat with people about video games is just about the most fun we can have. We get to be silly, have fun, laugh, a lot, and talk with people from all over the world. These are not just podcasts, they are fond memories and good times and we were proud to have them all and wanted to bring you some of the best moments from OGS 2013.

Originally we wanted to do a standard interview type podcast, but let’s face it, it had been done before. We still had fun, but we felt like we were trying to be too professional, then it got crazy. We ditched that format and just talked about whatever we want and honestly it was some of the funniest stuff we ever did.

However, we also wanted to continue interviewing people, so for 2013 we decided to combine the two. We reached out to people in the gaming industry and invited them on to chat via Skype which we then converted into the podcast. Later on, we added our Google Hang Out Live video show so we could have video as well as audio and it has been a hit.

We began the 2013 season talking with Fatal1ty and it was great talking about being a pro gamer as well as mixing the love of video games with being kick ass at it.  Ryan Culver was one of the most interesting guests we had because not only did he play Nathan Drake in the Sony commercials, this guy lives an awesome life and I swear I have to see one of his airplanes one day.

We always are on the lookout for Retro inspired games and we found a cool indie one and had a great conversation with Mike Oliphant, creator of Kung Fu Fight. We discussed indie developing and the challenges of getting your work out there. We also got to talk with Caleb Fox of Wargaming America about World of Tanks, a game our founder Ignacio is very fond of.

Obviously gaming communities are huge and we have been part of the Raptr network for years now. We are currently working on a project with them that we hope to show you in 2014, but we had a chance to talk with Casey Scheld about how the Raptr community has grown over the years and its goals for the future.

So if you have been following us at all you know we have had a relationship with The Jace Hall show for some time. It began with us wanting him to be one of our first high profile gamer profiles and from there we added an interview and more. When they launched their channel 1337 Lounge Live, they were kind enough to invite J.A. Laraque on and it was an awesome time. Since then J.A. has appeared on their channel and their video game talk show Game Talk Live. One of the first people I met on the lounge was host, Xander Denke, and it was great to have him on the show to talk about the lounge and dealing with guests coming on the show. In the video version, he even shows us a little behind the scenes of the lounge so you will want to check that out if you haven’t already.

Now while Obsolete Gamer is mostly about classic gaming we have often talked about all types of subjects from modern gaming to even gaming health and politics, but sometimes you need to get with a legend and be schooled in the ways of gaming and that is exactly what happened when we talked with gaming legend William Volk. This guy knows his stuff and you have to see the full podcast because there was so much awesomeness in it, it could have been 60% of the best of 2013 by itself. Seriously, it was a great and informative conversation and we were honored to have him on.

The great thing about Gamer Profiles is it gives us that opening to reach out to people in the gaming industry. Sometimes you get a little knowledge about the person and move on and sometimes you create a friendship and have an awesome chat via Google Plus. That is exactly what happened with actor William Watterson who among many other things was the voice of Jim Peyton in Lost Planet 3. When we do a podcast we are not sure how long it will be. Sometimes the guests have time constraints and sometimes they are not as talkative. Sometimes you just click and the conversation flows as if you have known them for years. Honestly, it was great and we talked about everything from gaming to comic books even sports and of course movies and acting. We added the complete 55 minute interview and I know you will enjoy all of it.

Included in this 217 minute podcast is also some of our funnier segments where we talk about everything from hiring in-gamer assassins to gamer girls who are not completely girls as well as an extended intro clip track. Now we know it is a lot to listen to and we can break it up into individual segments later, but it’s a fun listen especially if you have time to kill.

I hope you all enjoyed listening and watching our podcasts as much as we enjoyed doing them and for 2014 it is only going to get better. We have a lot planned with lots of guests, more interaction and additional shows and programs that will cross over with OGS.

We want to thank everyone who came on the show and a special thanks to all the listeners because without you there is no OGS.

As for the podcast itself, head on over to our Podcast Page to choose how you want to listen or download the show.

or listen here [mp3j track=”http://obsoletegamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Best-of-The-Obsolete-Gamer-Show-2013.mp3″]

Until next year!

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

obsolete gamer

After a long hiatus the Obsolete Gamer show is back and better than ever. In this week’s episode we welcome gamer extraordinaire Fatal1ty to the show where we talk about his life as a professional gamer and the challenges of being one of the best. We also talked with indie game developer Mike Oliphant creator of the mobile game Kung Fu Fight and his experiences of being an indie game developer especially in the mobile gaming market. Finally the panel discusses what we have gained and what we have lost in the advancement of video games.

Remember you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

Or listen here.

Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional Review

Sound_Blaster_Recon3D_Fatal1ty_card

For many, building a gaming system is all about the processor and video card. People will take the time to research everything about the processor speed or video ram, but when it comes to the sound card that duty is given to the motherboard. In the 90’s almost every gaming rig had a sound blaster inside, but today, far too many leave it up to the mainboard and far too many are missing out.

Now, let us be fair, onboard sound can be pretty good. I personally have used on-board sound and I thought it was just fine. The trick is you do not know what you are missing until you try it out and see the difference. It is like going from 720p to 1080p you will notice the difference especially in games with 3D sound effects or where having true surround sound is important.

First, we start with the Sound Core3D. This is a quad-core audio processor that allows all the technologies running within the card to function at peak performance. Sometimes you might see within games that you can crank up the sound quality, but it might lower performance, not with this card.

Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional - Box

Next, we have the THX TruStudio Pro, which is all about realism. When you are playing a game like Battlefield 3 or World of Tanks, you want the sound of the bullets and explosions to sound real. It is all about immersion and that is what 3D surround sound does, it makes you feel as if you are right there just as much as high resolution graphics does.

Crystal voice is all about audio communications, which is so important in today’s games. Ever listen to horrible sounds via Ventrilo, Team Speak or Mumble? It is not always a bad microphone or that the person never uses push to talk. Many of the times, it is just a bad audio card or setup and crystal voice fixes that allowing you to adjust your settings within the control panel so you come through clear without the need to yell.

Staying in the world of voice the beam-forming microphone I found is great for voice communications. We talked about push to talk, but sometimes in some versus games you might need to be able to constantly talk and what is great about this microphone is it creates an acoustic zone suppressing noise outside that zone. What does this mean? It means when talking your speaker noise is less likely to be heard allowing you to speak freely without others hearing your background noise. I tested this in games like BF3, Star Wars the Old Republic and League of Legends and it works like a charm.

Connections

If you have been reading our previous hardware reviews you know I am rocking the Diablo III headset and it works perfectly with the Recon 3D. This card has a dedicated headphone amp that provides the power needed for high quality headphones, which is important since many gamers are spending the big bucks and high-end headsets and the last thing you want is an underpowered device running them.

Finally, we have the Dolby Digital Live encoding which allows you to connect your system to a home theater system using a single cable. I personally have not tried this function yet, but for those of you with a home system this could be the perfect piece to finish your setup particularly if you watch television and movies or listen to music within your office.

Setting it up was a snap. The back of the card has color-coded connections with clear markings of what goes where. I have a 5.1 speaker system with a center speaker and sub and was able to connect my speakers within moments. Just remember that if you have existing onboard audio you will want to disable it because Windows will use it by default and you might end up wondering why you do not hear anything.

Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional - Control Panel

The microphone while small has a very long cable which is good for people like myself with a large desk and I noticed while configuring the mic that I do not have to speak loudly or lean into the mic which is great.

Once the software was installed, I opened up the control panel and viewed the various options for configuration. For the novice, don’t sweat it. There are a lot of settings you can change, but right out the box you will notice the difference in quality without changing anything.

Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional - Control Panel

For the most part I only played around with the equalizer because I wanted to create different profiles for games, movies and music and anyone who has ever used Winamp EQ or another audio program will see how to adjust the highs, mids and lows.

The speaker/headphones setup is also nice because it allows you to adjust for the difference between the two devices. A lot of times you will want to boost the forward speakers or lower the bass with headphones and all this can be done on the fly.

Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional - Control Panel

Under the Crystal Voice, settings you can boost your mic output or adjust the noise reduction making sure you sound perfect within games or just normal voice chat.

Overall, the Recon 3D Fatal1ty changed my view on sound. I can hear people sneaking up on me in first person shooters and immerse myself in the battle music of SWTOR. For those of you who take your gaming seriously a top-notch sound card is a must because it does give an advantage just as much as a better monitor or video card does.

Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional - Control Panel

Besides that, being able to enjoy movies and music with high-definition sound truly makes your computer the main entertainment center, so if you spend a lot time with your PC then you want a great audio experience and the Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional sound card delivers just that.

The Interview: Johnathan Wendel: Fatal1ty

Johnathan Wendel -Fatal1ty

I’m sure everyone who has played an FPS, RTS or even PVP game in a MMO sees themselves as a pro gamer. Johnathan Wendel, better known as Fatal1ty, is not only a true professional gamer, but also a business man and philanthropist. Last year you saw his gamer profile and Obsolete Gamer had a chance to ask him some questions.

Tell us about your early days of gaming. What was your first video game experience?

First video game experience was playing games like Microsoft Flight Simulator on PC and some Ikari Warriors on the Nintendo.  I did mess around with Atari, but I never owned one.  Mostly played it when I went to friends’ houses, etc.

At what point did you realize you had the talent and want to become a professional gamer?

I guess when I was 18. One of my good friends, Eric Paik, who was a pro gamer and traveled a lot, told me I was very talented and should definitely go to a tournament.  You will win money for sure!  So I saved up about $500 and went off to Dallas, TX and won a qualifier and took 3rd at my very first pro tournament winning $4,550.

Johnathan Wendel -Fatal1ty

So your first professional match was playing Quake 3, what was it like your first time playing competitively? 

Exhilarating!  I was amp’ed every second and wanted to play to my full potential.  It was a do or die experience for my gaming career as I was putting all my money on the line.

Tell us about how you train and prepare for tournaments?

Play about 8 hours a day in the virtual world working on my movement, timing, strategies, fighting skills and hearing the sounds of the game.  I want to be so knowledgeable about the game that if I hear a pin drop or an item picked up from anywhere on the map, I know exactly where my opponent is at all times and where he could be in the next 5 seconds.  Predicting your opponent’s moves is very important.

Personally, what differences do you notice between playing in a tournament solo versus with your team?

I’ve done both extremely heavily but I feel, in a solo environment, you can only blame yourself if you lose.  When you win, you know you won and when you lose, you know you lost.  I enjoy it the best, when the game is in my hands to win or lose.

Johnathan Wendel -Fatal1ty - Motherboard

Tell us about a day in the life when you were actively entering tournaments?

My routine was to play 4 hours, go run 2-3 miles, have lunch, play another 2 hours, relax and play another 2 hours before 4 AM so I could wake up and repeat it the next day.

Many people still don’t understand professional gamers, are there any myths or stereotypes you would want to address?

Most professional gamers are actually in shape and have a pretty good social life in their virtual and real life.  We mostly come from some other competitive sports that we played forever as kids and we’re able to use our skills of hand eye coordination and out thinking our opponents just like we do in our traditional sports.

Which game did you like competing in the most?

PainkilleR was a great game to play because we had a full season where we traveled for almost 18 months, continuously playing all over the world and winning loads of money.  It was also the biggest payday of my career in competitive gaming, taking home $150,000 for the World Tour Finals in NYC.

Johnathan Wendel -Fatal1ty

Do you still have people trying to challenge you to this day?

Yes, I actually go on tour promoting my products to distributors and buyers in different regions of the world, and I do exhibition/show matches for the crowd/press at these events.

What made you want to start Fatal1ty Inc?

I wanted to create a brand that a gamer who lived in the battlefield understood what competitive gamers wanted and needed in order to experience their game at the highest level.  When people shop at the store or online, I want them to know that when they buy a Fatal1ty product, they’re buying a Gaming product.

Thanks for the interview and game on,

-Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel