Photo C/O McMaster Esports Club

By: Coby Zucker

In week one of the College League of Legends tournament, McMaster’s team was rated 11th overall by ESPN. That’s 11th out of 350 teams across North America.

“We didn't expect it to be that high,” said coach Pedro “Photograph” Ribeiro. “We knew that we had to make a name for ourselves because a lot of teams, typically when they see McMaster, they underestimate our ability just because a lot of these other schools on these rankings do have esports programs at their schools.”

Ribeiro and the team let the pressure fuel them throughout their strong 5-1 regular season performance, only dropping games in their set loss to York University. The hiccup in their otherwise dominant season meant they had to face off against the Rochester Institute of Technology in the first round, while other playoff teams were granted an automatic bye into the second round.

“It was a pretty thrilling series,” said Ribeiro. “I've never really been through something like that.”

The first game in the series against Rochester went Mac’s way in a fairly one-sided victory. In the next game, the team’s collective focus wavered, and Rochester snapped up a quick response to level the score at one game apiece.

Game three was a 42-minute slugfest that eventually went in the favour of Rochester. After the game, Mac put in their substitute Jungler in an effort to shake something loose. The result was an assertive win to put the series score at 2-2. More than four hours into the series, the last game of McMaster’s season began.

“I don't know how to describe that final game,” said Ribeiro. “It was just a really exceptionally played game by both sides, and it was a true skill match up. They were definitely on par with our abilities which, going into it, we didn't expect them to actually put up too much of a fight. But they really did give it their all.”

The early exit for the highly-touted squad was particularly difficult as a number of players and staff are graduating this year, including Ribeiro and the team’s Support player, Marty “Diminish” Kyorskis. Nonetheless, Ribeiro thinks that the remaining players will be back with a vengeance.

“That’s unfinished business,” said Ribeiro. “They want to avenge us next year. At least some of the guys, that's what they're saying. I know they're probably going to go hard and try to make up for the mistakes and get better.”

The season might be over, but Kyorskis still has much to be proud of at the end of his collegiate career. As a progenitor of the McMaster Esports club, Kyorskis was able to help start legitimizing competitive League of Legends and the rest of the esports scene at Mac. He feels that even more can be done in the coming years.

“I think [McMaster] is reluctant to support gaming, as they see themselves as more of an academic institution,” said Kyorskis. “They think that it's going to affect their image, for example. But as the sort of train departs the station, more schools will say, ‘Okay, we need to get on this because it's a big thing’. It is a thing. And we don't want to look like that school that's stuck in the past.”

Kyorskis would encourage anyone interested to take the same dive into the world of collegiate esports that he made in his first year at Mac.

“Work hard at it,” said Kyorskis. “It's not a walk in the park. It's a serious commitment. You're going to have to put in a lot of work and you're going to have to be able to balance your life around getting better at the game and surviving school, because naturally we don't want to give up academics in favour of playing the game. The potential is there because we've set up the structure. So work for it, earn it, and you can do it.”

So what’s next for Kyorskis and Ribeiro after they graduate? Kyorskis, as one of the best Support players in North America, seriously considered pursuing a career as a pro-gamer before deciding that it was not for him. Instead he is going to work on growing his Twitch.tv following to stay involved with the game.

Similarly, Ribeiro can see himself involved with pro or semi-pro League of Legends but feels that he will more likely keep up his competitive League of Legends presence by supporting the McMaster team as an alumnus.

 

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Expand upon your post-secondary studies to discover your pathway to an exciting career in health information. Learn and apply industry standards for the collection, use, and analysis of personal health data.  Study information management’s principles and practices for privacy, confidentiality and security, and how these are applicable to health information systems. Learn  how electronic information management is revolutionizing health care within service sectors: primary care, administration and research.

As the Canadian health care delivery system evolves, so does data collection, health information usage and analysis, privacy and security, and the integration of information systems.

That’s why McMaster University Continuing Education is thrilled to announce that its Health Information Management Plus Diploma program is now accredited by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM). This accreditation means that the program has met the strict regulation requirements upheld by both the certifying body and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA), the national association representing leadership and excellence in health information management across the country.

This post-graduate, part-time, instructor-led program is an online learning experience designed by leading experts in the country in consultation with professional associations. Graduates of the program are eligible to become Certified Health Information Management (CHIM) professionals, who are in high demand in a variety of health care settings across the continuum of care and within provincial and federal governments. These professionals will use electronic information management to revolutionize health care.

The CHIM credential is recognized across Canada, and our members play key roles in the Canadian health system, including privacy and information analytics, to decision support and the coding and classification of records.

McMaster University Continuing Education provides its learners with academic programs that are well-designed, accessible,  and relevant to the professional field.  Programs within health information are designed for learners with an undergraduate degree or college diploma seeking to build upon their prior knowledge and skills.

To qualify for the Health Information Management Plus Diploma (45 units), students must complete all ​required courses for the program. In agreement with CHALearning, McMaster University Continuing Education students will register and complete 3 coding courses offered by CHALearning. Upon successful completion of the 3 courses, students receive 6 units of study to be applied to the HIM Plus Diploma. All program courses are offered online. This diploma program is accredited by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (2018-2020).

Applications for the winter term cohort open on January 2, 2019. To find out more about admission requirements, please visit mcmastercce.ca/health-information-management or contact us at mcmastercce.ca/contact-us.

 

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Photo by Kyle West

By: Drew Simpson

On June 26, the McMaster University board of governors, specifically the executive and governance committee, approved recommendation from the senate executive committee to establish the Centre for Networked Media and Performance.

According to the Oct. 18 board of governors meeting agenda, the vision for the CNMAP is “the production, exploration and analysis of new forms of expression, communication and collaboration enabled by networks and networking techs.”

As highlighted in the agenda, the approval for the centre comes as the rapid proliferation of technology continues to outstrip discussions about their human uses and impacts. At the heart of the technological revolution is the advent of “the network,” namely connections such as shared software, online communications and new electronic and data environments. 

“Humanities research has a special role to play in this context,” reads part of the agenda.

“Research and research-creation in the media and performing arts offer a setting in which new configurations of our networked landscape can be imagined, actualized, evaluated, and transformed in experimental ways.”

As of its launch this past summer, the CNMAP has been utilizing the networked imagination laboratory and the black box theatre in L.R. Wilson to organize workshops, conferences, interdisciplinary collaborations and other forms of artist-centric research.

According to the board of governors agenda, the centre has interest in hosting an interdisciplinary national sound conference at McMaster in 2019.

Some examples of the ‘nodes,’ or research spaces, that are said to comprise the centre include the cybernetic orchestra, pulse lab, networked imagination laboratory, software studies reading group and the sounds studies reading group.

The the CNMAP also connects these nodes through an online platform aimed at facilitating communication and collaboration.

Some anticipated CNMAP expenses include national and international conferences, server software costs for the online platform and the cost of graphic design and promotion, which can involve hiring undergraduate multimedia students.

Revenues allocated to these expenses include the seed funding of $40,000 by the humanities faculty vice president of research.

In its first semester, the CNMAP was involved with organizing and promoting a number of events, including four free live coding workshops and the “Imaginary Landscapes” exhibition, which occurred in Dec. 2018 and featured soundscape performances, a cybernetic orchestra concert and an informative artist-centric poster demonstration.

Students interested in receiving updates and getting involved with the CNMAP can contact David Ogborn, the centre’s director, at ogbornd@mcmaster.ca and/or follow the centre on Facebook and Twitter

 

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In a quick six-song EP, the world’s only “trap band” manages to create a completely unique listening experience. Almost every single track exceeds expectations. The EP as a whole is difficult to succinctly describe as anything but a carefully crafted electronic set that is recommended to anyone who is a fan of any EDM-related genre.

Each of the widely varied influences is used to great effect to add a great deal of originality to their songs. The opening track, “Understand Why,” begins with a quick buildup with vocals to the main section of the song that wastes no time. The main beat of the song constantly changes and shifts under repeated vocals that never feel like they overstay their welcome. This also applies into the short time of every song as each one clocks in at between two and four minutes, which is just enough time to get the point across and move on. “Hypnotik” has these same tendencies, but with dramatically different results as different influences are combined together. This strips away the clutter while taking it slower in pace and shifts, which unfortunately makes it a relatively poor point on an otherwise impressive EP. Keys N Krates seems to work most effectively with constant clutter, more levels, and many layers to change and craft together.

“Are We Faded” and “Yes We Faded” represent complete mirrors of one another as progressive house types of buildups and lulls with spurts of glitch production give way to steady snare and bass with plenty of layering on top. This manages to climax in an odd combination of influences from the two that on paper simply should not work, but absolutely does on the track. “Your Love” provides a change of pace with light melodies and synths with a larger amount of noticeable sampling. The last track, “She’s So High,” takes the glitch influence that represented a backdrop to the EP previously and puts it right into the forefront. Crisp treble, deep bass, and uncluttered midrange are tendencies throughout all of the songs to demonstrate fantastic mixing and mastering in using all audio ranges effectively.

All in all, your enjoyment of any one song will most likely depend on your current take on all the different forms of EDM. This EP represents the best collaboration of these subgenres and how they can be used to amplify one another, even if they are adjusted based on Keys N Krates’ own stylistic choices. It is highly recommended, and you should be continuously hearing bits and pieces in popular sets throughout the rest of the year.

The BBC Essential Mix is a two-hour weekly radio program, and for all the hype claiming that Rustie’s show defined the sound of 2012, electronic music was more splintered last year than ever before. How can you define the sound of a year whose best records spanned the range of Grimes’ humanist pop, Death Grips’ cyberpunk and Future’s inimitable moanings? I won’t try—so instead, here are three of the most (subjectively) interesting sounds of 2012 and two predictions for the sound of 2013.

 

EVIAN CHRIST

For my money, no producer was more exciting in 2012 than Evian Christ. The eight tracks of his debut EP Kings and Them all draw heavily from the same source material, making the EP feel like a single composition in eight movements: a sonata for Tyga samples, warped 808s, and mutated trance pads. His minimalist production alludes to hip-hop and juke, but Kings and Them defies categorization. On “Fuck It None of Y’all Don’t Rap,” the EP’s darkest cut, Leary manipulates Tyga’s voice overtop codeine-drenched sub-bass and ethereal pads into a dark hypnotic stupor, while “MYD,” a masterpiece of rhythm, layers the exact same elements to build an ecstatic tension. The highlight is penultimate track “Thrown Like Jacks,” which weaves an ambient Grouper sample in and out of a skittering, bass-heavy backdrop. Aside from a couple B-sides, the only other music Leary released in 2012 was a four-part, 20-minute experimental classical piece inspired by a mysterious Soviet radar system. His sophomore effort promises to be one of this year’s most exciting releases.

 

FOOTWORK

Footwork is a hyper-regional genre that’s received almost no media coverage outside its birthplace of Chicago since its beginnings almost two decades ago. 2012 saw the release of two crossover footwork albums that presented staggeringly different views of the genre’s future. One, Traxman’s Da Mind of Traxman, interpreted footwork’s signature double-time beats with a globe-trotting bevy of samples. His crate-digging, Avalanches-esque spin on footwork was an exciting attempt to bring a genre that’s been alienated from pop music since its inception into the popular sphere.

 

The year’s other highlight, DJ Rashad’s Teklife Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi, went in the exact opposite direction. In Rashad’s footwork, beats never settle into a groove or a pocket: instead, they skitter around it, with a convulsive, psychotic energy which mirrors that of footwork dancers. Rashad’s vision of footwork is an intensely psychedelic one. Strangely, though, almost every track on the album dissolves into a dark, ethereal space by around 90 seconds in.

 

What’s most striking about Teklife Vol. 1 is how unclassifiable and untraceable the music is. While Traxman’s jazz and soul samples locate his footwork within a lineage of funk and jazz fusion, Rashad’s cold, stripped-bare beats are a disorientating anti-humanist product of the digital age. Between its cold, schizophrenic rhythms and its dark-ambient turmoil, Rashad’s footwork is fundamentally warped, twisted, broken—and it sounded like nothing else made in 2012.

 

MIKE WiLL MADE IT

Evian Christ might have been the year’s most interesting producer, but Mike WiLL Made It was the most successful: at one point, three of his beats were on the Billboard Top 10 at the same time. What made him stand out in 2012 was his versatility—what other beatsmith could have worked with both Gucci Mane, Jeremih, Schoolboy Q and Brandy? But the highlight of his output was his beat for Future’s breathtaking trap ballad “Turn on the Lights,” which set Future’s auto-tuned wheezing overtop new-age synths and a new kind of 808 bass hit—and, in the process, created one of the year's truly heart-stopping songs.

 

SOUNDS OF 2013

 

2012 saw the emergence of dopewave, a genre that owes as much to trap as it does to chillwave, fusing woozy synths with mutable, unconventional percussion and a willingness to experiment with hip-hop rhythms appropriated that’s equal parts juke and J Dilla. One of its practitioners, Windslo, is a Denver-based producer whose hazy future-R&B ballad “It’s Too Late,” featured on the DOPEWAVE IS REAL compilation, was one of the year’s standout tracks. Likewise his remix of Lloyd Banks/Juelz Santana collaboration “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley,” which forsakes the original’s trunk-rattling bass in favor of an off-kilter 8-bit funk. His Instagram hints tantalizingly at a full-length release.

 

Sounding a different note is Blanck Mass (Benjamin John Power, one half of Fuck Buttons). His eponymous debut, released in 2011, presented a naturalistic update on Fuck Buttons’ atmospheric drone-pop and was featured prominently in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. But while that LP rarely strayed from its nucleus of ambient washes of noise, this year’s 12” recreated the drone of his Fuck Buttons’ oeuvre with the textures of ‘90s techno. The most exciting thing he released this year was “HELLION EARTH,” a 10-minute epic that’s equal parts Orbital and Brian Eno. It’s an apocalyptic space-disco soundscape that features auto-tuned snares and is arguably the most exciting Fuck Buttons project since their 2008 debut.

By: Michael Skinnider

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