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Your guide to buying a gaming keyboard in 2020.

To qualify yourself as a legit gamer (read: keyboard warrior), you’ll need a good keyboard to go along with your  hard earned gaming stations . Akin to a beautiful katana remaining sheathed in a rusty scabbard, it would be a shame if your true performance was  hindered by a lacklustre keyboard.

If you’re serious about gaming, getting a decent keyboard is necessary. While many brands do offer a truckload of features, namely mechanical switches, anti-ghosting, metal chassis, illumination etc., your purchase decision should be based on how useful these features are to you. Additionally, gaming keyboards aren’t cheap. So if you’re looking to spend your hard earned moolah, it would be best to consider your feature preferences prior to pulling the trigger.

The essentials

How much are you willing to spend?

There is no metric for the best budget allocation for a gaming keyboard. Normally, entry-level keyboards are below RM 200, followed by mid-tier substitutes that come in at around RM300 while the premium keyboard will cost you at least RM400.

The entry-level keyboards usually have an inferior design, posessingswitches that mimic the true mechanical/optical mechanical experience that is generally found in mid-grade and high-end range of products. Most intermediary keyboards come equipped with genuine mechanical/optical switches that are well-received for their durability and great typing experience.

Premium keyboards tend to not only possess all the aforementioned perks, but also throws in a variety of bells and whistles such as macros customisation, metal chassis, illumination, anti-ghosting, PBT keycaps and more into one package. It goes without saying that it should be a joy to type on this specific range of keyboards no matter what activities you’re doing on the PC.

Major considerations when purchasing a gaming keyboard

To go full-size or go TKL?

1. Size does matter

Although full-size keyboards remain dominant for most gamers, TKL (tenkeyless) iterations are gaining more traction nowadays. As the name suggests, a TKL keyboard doesn’t come with a dedicated numeric pad, making it more compact as a result. The extra space will provide more freedom for your hand to manoeuvre the mouse, especially when you’re a low DPI gamer.

Not only that, the compact nature makes it a great choice if mobility is one of your priorities. A typical TKL only measures around 38cm (L) x 13.5cm (W) x 2.5cm (H), so it will fit in most backpacks. In addition, the price of TKL keyboards (or other smaller alternatives in general) is relatively more affordable than its full-size counterparts.

However, if you need a numeric pad to be more efficient and crunch numbers, by all means, go for it. Just make sure you don’t overspend.

2. Find your preferred switches

There are three types of mainstream gaming keyboards: membrane, mechanical and optical. The membrane keyboard is the most common and economical type that can be found on the market. However, it doesn’t share as long a life-span as mechanical or optical switch keyboards.

Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, should be a familiar term for most gamers (except console and mobile peasants). They are widely recognised as one of the finest keyboards for casual and competitive gaming mainly due to its superior gaming performance.

Aside from evoking an admirable typing experience, there is a wide variation of mechanical switches that make up a mechanical or optical keyboard. This is where these kinds of keyboards stand out; where membrane keyboards tend to have all keys somewhat “lumped” together in the manufacturing process, mechanical and optical keyboards have individual switches dedicated to each character key.. Although brands will name these switch mechanisms differently, they are fundamentally categorised into three breeds- linear, tactile and clicky (we are aware that there are other enthusiast level switches out there, but this should serve as a good starting point for all your gaming keyboard needs).

Linear switches have the simplest movement as they move straight up and down without any tactile feedback or clicking noise, which many gamers appreciate. But its linear operation also increases the chance of misclicks since it only requires somewhat minimal force to register a keystroke.

Tactile switches have often been considered the all-rounder switch of choice for gamers and professionals alike. It’s as responsive as linear switches but provides a satisfying tactile feedback at the same time. When typing on it, you can feel a noticeable bump in the middle of the key travel to know when a keystroke has been registered.

Clicky switches are the complete opposite of linear switches. Just like the tactile ones, the “bump” is more distinct on the type of switch. They are ideal for typing (but not gaming IMO) because you can feel a noticeable indication of the keypress. The biggest downside of the clicky switch is the loud sound (many entry-level keyboards tend to mimic the clicky mechanism).

3. Software

Once you figure out your preferred size and switches, you’ll need to look into the keyboard software. It can make or break the overall user experience in a palpable way. If you plan to customise a set of particular tasks on a specific key (known as a macro), it’s best to get a keyboard with excellent software especially if it involves executing a series of complicated commands.

Keyboards that possess on-board software may sound great, but the lack of a visible and straightforward program to work with can be frustrating. In this case, installing software purely for your gaming keyboard is a necessary evil.

4. Build quality

While a metal chassis feels more premium to the touch, brands do occasionally end up charging users an arm and a leg for it.. If you can afford one, go-ahead but if the budget is tight, please save up for a set of PBT keycaps instead. The keycaps are a more worthwhile investment in our books.

That being said, as long as the frame is rigid, the keyboard should last you a good three to five years of extensive use (and abuse). Some mid-tier keyboards and most premium boards have aluminum chassis. Unfortunately, metal frames are a rare feature on entry-level keyboards.

What’s that?

1. N-key rollover

It’s a feature that registers all keystrokes no matter how many are pressed simultaneously. Imagine yourself spamming random keys on your gaming keyboard, with every key press being fully registered. It can be useful if you can type/perform extremely fast on your keyboard through “anti-ghosting”.

2. Ghosting

A term where keystrokes are "unregistered" due to the inability of a keyboard to process simultaneous signals.

3. PBT keycaps

PBT is the short for polybutylene terephthalate. PBT keycaps are a type of high-class keycap that is more durable than the ordinary ABS keycaps. It’s more sweat-resistant (in theory, the printed character/font on the PBT keycaps are impossible to fade, due to the nature of a second layer of plastic used to form and shape the keyboard characters themselves), making it a top choice for many keyboard enthusiasts.

In a nutshell

There is too much marketing and advertising for gaming keyboards, making it tricky to find the right keyboard. Dare I say, most brands are overcharging all sorts of “gaming-related” products. If you’re patient enough, there are tons of great deals during the sale period. And when that time comes my friend, it’s your best shot to grab a brand new gaming keyboard.

A good mouse is more than just its sensor, shape and size.

The gaming mouse market flourishes as the year of the mouse approaches. There are a plethora of great mice ranging from well-known brands to enthusiast boutique entities. According to Rocket Jump Ninja (RJN), a figurehead in the gaming mouse community, most mice nowadays rock perfect sensors with virtually no latency. Hence, the shape and weight should be a priority if you want your next mouse to fit you like a glove.

If you simply want to know what’s the greatest gaming mice available, check out our top recommendations here. With help from BenQ Zowie, one of the most prestigious esports brands in the globe, we worked out the tips and tricks for your journey to find the perfect “grip” and “click!”

The fundamentals

1. Find the right shape

The difference between top optical sensors (like the Pixart PMW3360 and PMW3389) are miniscule and visually unnoticeable. The shape of the mouse, however, can feel entirely different even if the margin is tiny. BenQ Zowie believes that the shape and size have the biggest influence on agamer’s performance. An ergonomic mouse will offer maximum comfort for the hand, and more importantly, feel natural to use.

The ideal scenario is to use the mouse effortlessly as an afterthought, as if the cursor became an extension of one’s arm in the game. Once you lay hands on the right mouse, you are guaranteed to perform better. Hence, it’s vital to understand the pros and cons of each grip style: palm grip, claw grip and tip grip (fingertip grip).

Image source: Epic Gear.

Palm grip

Typically, the palm grip is the most common grip type which provides great comfort to the hand by supporting the palm. Mice tailored for this grip style are usually longer, wider and have a higher back arch. The strength of the palm grip is having a relaxing position for repeating delicate movements in MOBA games.

Zowie’s EC and ZA series are the iconic mice which fit the palm grip mould. These two models feature a wide body and a steep back arch which give extra support for the palm. While the EC is designed exclusively for right-handed users, the ZA series sports an ambidextrous shape suitable for both left and right-handed gamers.

Did you know: All Zowie mice are available in various sizes with the greater number being smaller in size. For instance, the EC2 is smaller than the EC1.

Image source: Epic Gear.

Claw grip

Unlike the palm grip style, the claw grip doesn’t have that much of a contact point between your hand and the mouse. The hand is arched up to form a claw-like shape to gain more agility compared to the palm grip. Mice made for the claw grip are normally shorter in length, sporting a less aggressive back arch for rapid action across the screen, especially in FPS games.

The Zowie S series is the latest addition for this grip style. It has a shorter overall length allowing users to easily wrap around and hold the mouse firmly. The space between the palm and back edge of the mouse is enough for the user to move freely during vertical movements.

Image source: Epic Gear.

Tip grip

This grip type is the total opposite of the palm grip. As the name suggests, users only use the tip of their fingers to maneuvre the mouse. It has the least contact point between the hand and the mouse among the three grip styles. This grip type will grant the ability to perform intense mouse movements, because your thumb and pinky finger hold the mid-section of the mouse.

Mice made to suit the tip grip tend to have a narrow body with a flat back edge. Although the tip grip excels in terms of speed, it generally lacks the control over slow, precise and delicate gliding movements. The FK series features a flat body with narrow mid-section which is great for tip grip users.

2. The depth of your wallet

How much are you willing to spend on a mouse? The budget plays a pivotal role in terms of choices. Undeniably, the bigger the budget, the wider the options. Usually, the entry-level gaming mouse is priced below RM120 while mid-tier mice can go up to RM260. Expect a hefty price tag for a high-end gaming mouse if you desire the best of the best.

Mice that use wired connectivity are more affordable than its wireless counterpart by far. A wired connection is nearly universal for gaming. Not only is it easier (less tech involved, resulting in lower cost) to manufacture a wired mouse, but wired mice tend to have less latency issues.

However, the development of wireless technology has gained a big leap with Razer and Logitech. Their top-notch mice like the Viper Ultimate and G Pro Wireless are trusted by professional esports players, including EliGE, allu and Kjaerbye.

Three major considerations when choosing a gaming mouse

1. Shape and size

As mentioned, it’s extremely important for your hand to feel natural when using the mouse. Ideally, you wouldn’t even be aware of the existence of the mouse when gaming, so to speak. A handy mouse size should take up roughly 60 to 70% of your hand size. For example, a mouse that is around 12cm in length will most likely fit well for a 17cm hand. Any shorter or longer lengths will cause discomfort or fatigue. However, the feel of using the mouse still matters the most.

The length of the mouse will affect your grip comfortability while the aim ability depends on the width. Naturally, smaller mice require less effort to make micro-adjustments and feel more agile while bigger mice will provide more comfort.

2. Sensor, DPI and Lift-off Distance

In the past,  a sensor’s performance used to be the defining benchmark in determining how great a mouse is.. Fast forward to today, things have started to change as most gaming mice nowadays come equipped with a good sensor. According to RJN, the sensor on any decent gaming mice will be precise enough for most games.

The DPI (Dots per inch) is a measurement for mouse sensitivity. The higher the DPI, the more sensitive the mouse is, i.e., a small mouse movement will result in the cursor on screen moving much more further than usual.. So don’t be fooled by the ridiculously high DPI because it’s more of a gimmick than a usual feature. Anything higher than 3200 will be extremely hard to control, let alone making delicate cursor movements in-game.

The lift-off distance is a crucial element for aim consistency. It refers to the point where the mouse stops tracking the cursor when it’s picked up from the surface. Generally, the shorter the lift-off distance, the more consistency you’ll gain (this tends to make it easier to predict the movement, which enhances your muscle memory).

3. Buttons

Buttons are equally as important as the sensor, period. Imagine how desperate you’ll be if the mouse failed to register the “click” during the decisive moment in-game. So, you’ll need to check if the actuation (click mechanic) suits your preference. Some require less force to actuate (register the click) while some require a tad more. In theory, buttons that are easier to press will offer a feel of faster actuation and vice versa. Nevertheless, there’s a higher chance for you to misclick if the switch only requires bare force.

For the number of buttons, mice that possess five buttons are the sweet spot- two main buttons, one scroll wheel button and two side buttons. Practically speaking, most esports players tend to use a simple mouse. More often than not, it’s harder to use the mouse if it has too many buttons or a complicated button layout. So, be cautious of what you plan to (and what you can) do on the mouse.

Mouse customisation

If you have the urge to own a dream gaming mouse that checks all the boxes, then it’s better for you to customise an already near-ideal product. Replacing the cable and mouse feet are one of the more straightforward ways to make the mouse more desirable, though, with the risk of voiding warranty.

Cable

Rubber and braided cables are often considered relics from the last decade. Presently, paracord (a lightweight nylon Kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes) cables are a hot prospect for mice enthusiasts because of its flexibility and aesthetics.

The traditional rubber and braided cable are thick and often cause disturbance when gaming if you don’t use a mouse bungee. Secondly, they will develop serious creases not long after using them.

The paracord cable, on the other hand, is thinner and more flexible. To some extent, it provides users a wireless like feel. Aesthetics wise, paracord cables are available in a huge variety of colours to suit your mood!

Mouse feet

The mouse feet (skates) are easily overlooked since it’s located at the bottom of the mouse. Mouse cable asides, it’s the only component that makes contact with the mousepad. The gliding smoothness of the mouse is heavily dependent on the material of the mouse skates.

While most mouse feet are made of the PTFE (aka Teflon), a synthetic polymer known for having a very low coefficient of friction, not all mouse feet have high PTFE purity. Quite often, the mouse feet will have a blend of other plastic along with PTFE, resulting in higher friction. According to thegamingsetup, the purest PTFE skates are completely white and provide the smoothest glides.

Replace the mouse feet if you want your mouse to glide like butter on a hot pan (but don't forget that the texture of mousepad matters much too)!

Check out your mouse polling rate here.

How does it all click?

The short answer, as cliche as it sounds, all boils down to personal preference. There are no absolutes with regards to how one should grip their mice or how a specific shape would fit one’s hand like a glove. This guide serves as a solid point of reference, for gamers to use it as a foundation and find their own ideal gaming mice. It is all about the process and journey, you may not find that ideal mouse right away, but trust that the gamer in you will find the perfect match when the time comes.

This six-week league features 10 teams, including Berjaya Dragons (MY), Resurgence (SG), Nova Esports (TH), and Liyab Esports (PH).


League of Legends fans are in luck. The Pacific Championship Series is coming soon!

Starting 29 Feb, you can catch the epic League of Legends (LoL) actions live on eGG Network every Saturday and Sunday at 5PM (GMT+8). After week 1, the tournament continues every Friday to Sunday at 5PM daily until week 6 (4 Apr).

The competing teams are:

The PCS is a result of a merger between the League of Legends Master Series (LMS) and League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour (LST). The merger will see an increased competitive level for LoL teams from SEA, Taipei and Hong Kong, while fans enjoy a more engaging experience with more diverse gameplay and tactics. The PCS marks the return of League of Legends on eGG Network, with more LoL esports tournaments for fans to catch in future.

Visit League of Legends for more information.

It's one of the most valuable monitors we've laid eyes on with HDRi, high refresh rate and great speakers.

While the current gaming norm is to have a steady 1080p gaming experience with 100+ frame per second (fps). A higher resolution is always welcomed by gamers. In fact, many desire a bigger screen and higher resolution monitor in 2020.

The EX2780Q from BenQ is a 2K gaming monitor primarily geared towards gaming at a 144Hz refresh rate. With BenQ’s exclusive HDRi technology, this monitor certainly gives great “liveness” to the displayed images. The monitor supports AMD’s FreeSync technology, making any in-game animation extra fluid.

Not only that, the attached speakers and remote controller is a powerful duo. For RM1,799, this monitor is loaded with tonnes of perks!

The design and connectivity

To be honest, BenQ’s EX2780Q is one of the best-looking gaming monitors currently. The mainframe and the metal stand of the monitor are bronze in colour, giving it a premium feel. Unfortunately, the stand is only a solid piece of metal without any height adjustment and can’t be swivelled.

The only ergonomic element is the control for screen tilt, which is only passable given its asking price. So the best solution is to wall-mount the monitor if you wish to customise the viewing angle and the screen’s distance from your eyes.

The connectivity is sufficient with one HDMI 2.0 port, DisplayPort and USB Type-C port. BenQ’s cable management mechanic in the stand is a nice touch because all cables can be hidden within the monitor stand.

The overall design of EX2780Q is rustic yet practical. It’s a far cry from the seemingly immutable black and grey design we’ve become accustomed to as gamers.

The panel

The top and side bezels are slim, which is a standard feature on most modern monitors. The screen’s bottom bezel, on the other hand, is necessarily thicker than usual due to the implementation of the Trevolo speakers (BenQ’s audio side of their business).

The 27” screen size and 1440p resolution are a respectable combo, especially when you only have a single monitor setup. Although the 24” screen is the go-to size for the competitive scene, the extra three inches on the 27” monitor make a huge difference, especially when multitasking.

Additionally, the 2K resolution looks sharp and clear because of the relatively high pixel density (PPI) that the EX2780Q possesses (although not as high as a smartphone’s PPI). Worry not, individual pixels aren’t apparent from regular viewing distances.

The EX2780Q has an IPS panel, which is arguably the highest-tier panel compared to the vertical alignment (VA) and twisted nematic (TN) panels. That said, the colour reproduction and viewing angle are excellent on this monitor.

The HDRi is BenQ’s fashionable HDR amplifier. The “i” refers to intelligence, meaning the HDRi will further enhance the “ordinary” HDR content on your monitor, giving it extra sharpness and liveness. When the HDRi mode is activated, the images are extremely sharp and vibrant. It’s immersive to look at, to say the least.

The EX2780Q comes with the three pre-set modes- Game HDRi, Cinema HDRi, and Display HDR. Your visual enjoyment can be customised according to personal preference under various scenarios.

The BenQ’s pioneering HDRi technology combines active intelligent brightness control, colour saturation/balance optimization, and proprietary HDR image techniques to accentuate image contrast and clarity. Using a built-in sensor, the EX2780Q gaming monitor detects ambient light levels as well as image content to automatically adjust screen brightness.

The refresh rate

Everything on-screen is a lot smoother than a typical 60Hz refresh rate monitor. Even the simplest action like moving the mouse cursor is so much more fluid. Although some would argue that 144Hz isn’t the optimum refresh rate for gaming, it’s more than enough to meet most of your needs.

The high refresh rate doesn’t only provide a superior gaming performance, it also enhances a PC user’s overall experience. The smoothness of the high refresh rate will inevitably make your PC feel snappier to use.

The competitive edge of having a high refresh rate monitor over lower bands is significant, especially in first-person-shooter games. Once you experience the glory of the high refresh rate, there’s no going back.

The bonuses

The controller that comes with this monitor is unreal. It’s an accessory one would consider superfluous until you start using it. Although the EX2780Q has its control panel on the bottom right corner of its screen, which feels ergonomic to use, utilising the controller is handier.

With a few simple gestures, the controller allows users to seamlessly switch between different modes, giving the EX2780Q a distinctly luxurious feel. Now, you don’t even need to reach behind the monitor to adjust its settings.

The BenQ Eye-care tech is well-implemented. The sensors can accurately track ambient lighting and provide suitable brightness settings and blue light filter to best protect your eyes throughout your usage.

The speakers

Speakers on many monitors are normally inferior (to the extent people don’t even bother to give it a second chance). However, the EX2780Q has one of the best sounding speaker sets on a monitor.

The volume is loud enough for casual entertainment, including listening to music, watching a movie and gaming. Its 2.1 channel sound is pleasing to the ear. What’s even more surprising is that the 5W subwoofer actually does its job well. The bass is decent, but might not be powerful enough to stir you to headbang when listening to heavy metal.

Conclusion

The EX2780Q has a sharp IPS display with 1440p, HDRi technology and a good set of speakers, making it a superb option for gamers and professionals alike. It is a monitor that does it all, high refresh rate and colour accuracy of 10-bit colour depth and 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space is a sweet combo in modern gaming. So it’s capable of competitive gaming as well as casual video/image editing work.

The HDRi is not a marketing gimmick on this BenQ monitor - it beautifully enhances one’s content consumption experience. The build quality is top-notch too. Absolutely no rattling with a full metal frame and stand.

The bonuses like the remote controller and Eye-care technology are extremely practical. If you’re looking for a minimalistic yet luxurious setup, the EX2780Q is for you!

Fredo, Jumper, Kofmaster and H-Tail are all in the telecom's great expansion.


Yoodo is expanding rapidly in the esports scene with its refreshed Yoodo Gank (PUBG Mobile) roster and a brand new fighting games team, Yoodo Flash Vision.

Firstly, Yoodo is bringing new firepower to the team by adding highly popular streamer – Fredo (Ahmad Fuad Razali). Also new to the team is 2019 PUBG Mobile National Championship (PMNC) winner and Most Valuable Player – Jumper (Muhamad Izzrudin Hashim).

The current Yoodo Gank consists of:

That's not all, the telecom also partnered with the local esports team management organisation, Flash Vision (FV) Esports, to form Yoodo FV. The team will feature 10 Tekken 7 players and 6 Street Fighter V players.

The Yoodo FV Tekken 7 players are:

The Yoodo FV Street Fighter V players are:

Yoodo is also the official digital telco for the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League - Malaysia and Singapore (MPL-MY/SG) Season 5, which kicks off its Regular Season this weekend.

The Malaysian MLBB team will be competing in Season 5 starting this weekend.

Team SMG (Still Moving under Gunfire) has acquired Malaysian Mobile Legends: Bang Bang team, Makan Cendol. The current roster includes:

Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing markets for mobile esports and with Team SMG, we are confident in building a place where we can cultivate and grow local talent in the region, starting with MLBB, and expanding to other games soon.

Kenchi Yap, CEO of Team SMG.

The MLBB team -  known as Team SMG as well - will compete in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League - Malaysia and Singapore (MPL-MY/SG) Season 5, featuring a total prize pool of RM410,000.

The team is coached by Ahmad “Bonezzyy” Syazwan Bin Anuar, and managed by Muhamd “Padel” Fadil Bin Hishamuddin.

This surprising acquisition should grant more exposure to MPL-MY/SG by featuring more Team SMG MLBB’s news.

Team SMG was founded by Singaporean singer JJ Lin, alongside former Dota 2 player and coach, CEO Kenchi Yap. Established in 2017, the team quickly rose to prominence in the esports scene after winning the Arena of Valor (AoV) International Championship in 2017.

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