The Power Up talks Call of Duty and the best games of 2020

Our host Narz is bringing you a breakdown of everything happening in the world of gaming, introducing you to rising stars in the industry and special guests every episode in this collab with Complex Networks.

On this episode of The Power Up, Narz spoke with Call of Duty sniper extraordinaire Ashley “MiDNiTe” Glassel about content creation in esports and talked about the best games of 2020 with esports commentator Malik Forté.

MiDNiTe talks about the Minnesota ROKKR, Call of Duty League and content creation

Ashley “MiDNiTe” Glassel is the director of content for the Minnesota ROKKR, a team in the Call of Duty League. But before that, she was best known for her quickscoping and flashy sniping skills.

Women like MiDNiTe are still rare in the Call of Duty scene, even more so in 2010, when she was a content creator for OpTic Gaming. Although she’s been playing video games since she was young, she arrived to Call of Duty relatively late.

“Call of Duty was truly my first love in the first-person shooter genre,” she told In The Know.

She’s come a long way since the sniper compilation days. As director of content, she helped form the ROKKR’s roster for the upcoming season. She’s also a host on the Building ROKKR podcast. 

Narz asked MiDNiTe if she has any words of advice for young content creators. MiDNiTe emphasized the importance of enjoying the content you’re creating, because otherwise, it won’t be sustainable in the long run. The company you keep is important as well: you should be working with people you enjoy collaborating with.

“If you go with the expectation like, I’m gonna be like Ninja or make a bunch of money real quick,” MiDNiTe said. “That could be a part of your journey, but the core of it needs to be that you really love doing it.” 

Narz and Malik Forté wrap up 2020 with the biggest gaming events of the year

Malik “4Play” Forté, a producer and a former host at the Overwatch League, joined Narz to recap some of the best gaming moments of 2020 and their favorite titles.

And what a year it’s been. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted not one but two Among Us streams on Twitch in order to encourage civic engagement among young Americans. Forté noted that while other politicians have used video games to campaign, AOC was the first to actually play games live.

“It’s the first time we’ve seen a politician cross over into the gaming space and do it seamlessly,” he said.

The highly anticipated PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are still selling out within minutes. The reasons why are complex, but one major factor is scalpers who are organizing and using bots to hoard inventory. This happens with every console release, but the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated the practice.

Narz and Malik Forté talk about their favorite games of 2020

It’s been a rough year, and honestly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the game we needed. The light-hearted, gentle life simulator was released shortly before most U.S. states declared the first lockdown orders.

Since then, the game has exploded in popularity, and for good reason. It’s been a great, easy way to connect with friends during quarantine. Many new players to the series like Forté have found Animal Crossing to be a soothing respite from such a difficult year.

“Animal Crossing was like an antidepressant,” Forté said. “Let’s be real. I needed Animal Crossing this year.”

Forté’s personal game of the year was Ghost of Tsushima, which he praised as being a wonderful homage to jidaigeki films from Sucker Punch Productions, a western studio. The game stars Jin Sakai, a samurai fighting off the Mongol invasion of Japan who must eventually abandon his code of chivalry in order to save his homeland.

The game received praise from Japanese developer Toshihiro Nagoshi, which Forté referenced, but it should also be noted that it wasn’t free from criticism.

And then there was the elephant in the room: Cyberpunk 2077. From development to release, Cyberpunk 2077 has sparked intense controversy. Customers were already demanding refunds on the first week of its release. In fact, Sony removed the PlayStation 4 version of its game because of its rampant bugs and broken state — a first for a AAA video game.

Forté has been enjoying his PlayStation 5 version of the game but couldn’t recommend it for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One owners. He said he chose the Street Kid origin lifepath to reflect his personal upbringing. Narz admitted that she went with Corpo. Boooooo, Narz!

The Power Up will return in 2021!

This is the last episode of The Power Up for this year. It’s been a great ride so far and we’re going to be taking a well-deserved break — and so should you!

To end the year, Narz had these words to all of you, our dear readers and viewers.

“Stay well,” Narz said. “Keep those masks on. And from all of us at The Power Up, we wish you the very best for 2021.”

If you liked this story, check out The Power Up episode with cosplayer and ICU nurse Maweezy and 100 Thieves COO John Robinson.

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