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Browse Buff's collection of helpful blogs as we explore gameplay tips and tricks from the pros, review and recommend the latest games, and take an inside look into loyalty gaming and earning rewards.
Esports5 Legitimate Ways to Make Real Money From Playing GamesIf artists and musicians can get paid for doing what they are passionate about, why not gamers too? As the gaming industry continues to grow, it's becoming very possible to do just that: make real money from playing games! If you're thinking of getting serious about this, we've made a list of some of the legitimate ways people have made real money from the gaming world so that you can turn your favorite hobby into an income. 1. Stream Your Gameplay on Twitch/YouTube One of the most popular ways to make money by playing games online is to stream your content using Twitch or YouTube, and starting up is pretty easy! Both sights have a well-written startup guide to get the ball rolling (Twitch or YouTube), but you'll need more than a fresh account to start making some real income. Here are 3 big tips that we've learned that make a YouTube or Twitch steam more successful: Tip #1: Find a Unique Way to Present Content Let's be honest, there are already thousands of gamers streaming COD, Battlefield, LoL, and all the other games we love playing. In such a saturated market, we have to find something unique that makes people click on our streams and stay there. There are many ways to do this, but unfortunately, no one can tell you what your unique feature should be. For example, some people are naturally funny and have comedic themes in their streams, some put on personas like Dr. Disrespect, an overly aggressive role-playing gamer, and some streamers are just absolute pros that are too good to even need personalities. Tip #2: Make a Schedule So here's a scenario: you've had a bunch of viewers that stumbled across your stream, liked your content enough to follow your channel (great!), but they have no idea when your next stream is going to happen, so they accidentally miss it. That sucks for both you and your viewers, so it's important to have a schedule to let your viewers know that you—hypothetically—stream every Friday at 19:00. Post the schedule to your homepage so that everyone knows what to expect. Tip #3: Consistency Is Key We've seen streamers that have put hundreds of hours into their streams without much success, just because they never made their "recipe" work for them. If you're playing games in one stream, then doing artwork in the next, then your gaming viewers might not be interested in your art stream, and vice versa. Make sure that your viewers know what they're up for when they hop into your next stream. If you enjoy doing a variety of different streams, consider separating them into different days or times, such as art on Tuesdays and games on Thursdays and Fridays. 2. Join a Platform That Rewards You for Playing Did you know you can earn free rewards by playing the games you're already playing? I know, sounds too good to be true, right? However, there are free platforms out there like Buff that reward you simply for playing the games you already play! Playing earns Buff Points that you can spend on real-world items like PC peripherals and gift cards. Additionally, Buff gives you weekly and daily challenges you can complete to earn those points, and it's completely legit. You might be thinking "well what does Buff get out of it?" Buff primarily receives revenue from ads and premium subscriptions to the service, so you aren't impacted at all. » Ready for some free rewards? Get Buff now! 3. Create Video Game Tutorials & Guides We've all had that moment before when we think "man, I wish I knew that earlier," or "why isn't this common knowledge?" If you feel like you could teach a few tips and tricks to people on the game you've been playing, making tutorials or guides is a good way to help those people out and make some money doing it! YouTube is an extremely popular platform to post tutorials and guides onto, and getting an account started there is fairly simple. The trick is learning to efficiently record your content—we recommend free software like OBS for this—and editing your footage in a way that makes it entertaining for the duration of your tutorial. After enough people subscribe and watch your videos, you will be able to monetize your channel and start earning passive income from all your videos, new and old. 4. Compete in eSports Tournaments If you've found yourself feeling like you've mastered your game—like you're always carrying your team and could compete with anyone—then maybe it's time to try and sign up for a professional eSports team. The eSports scene is huge, and growing bigger every year, so the search for the best players in the competitive titles means that there's an ever-growing opportunity to sign up and compete in major tournaments for huge prize money. You'll be up against the best of the best here, so get ready to sweat for those rewards. Some eSports organizations create teams in multiple games, while others are limited to one game. Finding one to join will be different for each game, so you'll have to do some research about how different eSports organizations recruit their players. » Want to become an eSports pro? Take a look at the games with the biggest eSports prize pools. 5. Establish a Video Game Coaching Business So you've mastered your game, but you don't want the stress of eSports publicity, or maybe you're feeling too old to compete (the average peak age for eSports players is 19-22) or maybe you just want to get paid to help people improve, then consider becoming a coach and privately train players to gain a competitive advantage. The easiest way to get started with coaching is to sign up for a coaching platform, such as GamerSensei, Pro Guides, or freelance platforms like Fiverr. Start Earning Now Turning your gaming hobby into an income has never been more possible than it is today. Not only do each of the methods above provide viable ways to make some money, but you can also do all of them at the same to maximize your earning potential. The only thing holding you back is the amount of time and effort you put into making this a reality, so you better start soon!
EsportsDota 2 vs. World of Warcraft: What Is the Difference?You may have heard that Dota comes from Warcraft, and that isn't wrong. Back in 2003, while Warcraft 3's Frozen Throne expansion was at its peak, IceFrog and Steve Feak, two big W3 community map makers at the time, created a game mod called Defense of the Ancients, or Dota as we know it. It quickly became the most popular mod in the Warcraft 3 community. A decade later, Dota 2 came out as a free-to-play standalone title on Steam, which is still massively popular today. But, what are the similarities between World of Warcraft and Dota 2 today? Well, it turns out they're completely different games. » Have some Dota skins you don't like? Learn how to sell your Dota 2 skins on Steam Dota 2 Summarized Game Design Dota 2 is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) that can be compared to League of Legends in gameplay. Its predecessor did so well as a game mod that it formed the standard of MOBA games. On release, Dota 2 was instantly popular, despite the existence of LoL and other MOBAs at the time. Dota 2 is a round-based game, where two teams of 5 players battle each other in a pre-defined 3-laned map. Each player has to control their own unique hero (out of a selection of around 120 heroes), each with their own abilities, attacks, and lore. Each hero has to gather gold by killing creeps or enemy heroes and build effective kits that suit them and their team from the shop. Goal The goal is simple—you need to go into your respective lanes, kill creeps and enemy heroes to win your lane, then push together to destroy the enemy team's base. The execution, however, is not quite so simple. Dota 2 comes with immense strategy and split-second decision-making, and it requires hundreds of hours to even be considered proficient at the game. » Read more about Dota 2 account boosting and why you should avoid it World of Warcraft Summarized Game Design World of Warcraft shares some of its lore and universe with Warcraft 3, though its game style is completely different. In the original Warcraft games, you'd be playing a top-down RTS game, building up a base, managing economies, and commanding hoards of orcs or armies of night elves to overrun your opponents and destroy your enemies' bases. You could have 12 people all versing each other, 1v1s, 2v2s, AIs, and loads of different maps to play on. WoW Community The community side of Warcraft 3 was probably what really made the game so popular, though. There, you'd find tower defenses, mauls, card games, shooters, and pretty much any other minigame you could think of in the RTS world (that's where many of those minigames you might know were born). I gotta hand it to those map makers too, I tried my hand at making a custom map during the peak of Warcraft 3 LANs, and it was certainly a lot to unpack, considering how much you were able to do for free. Goal In World of Warcraft, however, you are playing as a single customizable character from a series of different races and classes in an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). You can level up by doing quests or group dungeons, learn new spells, improve your gear, learn professions, etc. And you can do all that with (or against) thousands of other people doing the same. The game takes hundreds of hours to get to the end-game content, but even then, there's always something new you could do, whether that's farming reputations, getting achievements, or improving your PvP rating. You'll be playing from a 3rd-person perspective, with an action bar full of interchangeable skills and spells, in an open world map that is breathtakingly large and filled with all sorts of fantastical beasts and interesting NPCs with their own stories. You can also join guilds and communities filled with other players that can make the whole experience both easier and more enjoyable. Dota 2 vs. World Of Warcraft: Game & Genre Comparison Dota 2 took over the characters from the original game, which was made with edited Warcraft 3 models, so it's easy to see how some of the characters and visual features seem pulled straight out of the Warcraft universe. As a result, both games are set in fantasy universes that share similar species and monsters, as well as terrain. As for differences, Comparing Dota 2 to World of Warcraft is like comparing Chess to Monopoly; they're both games that require strategy and experience, but fundamentally they're completely different. Dota 2 is a 45-90 min match that you'll play with 9 other players that you might never see again, and you'll start fresh at the beginning of every match. In World of Warcraft, you can play with up to 40 people at once, and you can even choose whether you want to play against NPCs (PvE) or other players (PvP). And trust me, playing against NPCs is not always an easier choice. » Check out our list of best DOTA 2 heroes for ranked games Final Thoughts Though there are a lot of differences between World of Warcraft and Dota 2 today, their history is a constant reminder of the good ol' days in Warcraft 3, going to LANs with friends and rejecting the option of sleep for countless hours of fun. Both of these games are worth sinking hundreds of hours into, though one might struggle to find the time to play both. If you do find the time, why not have Buff open in the background to earn some cool rewards?
EsportsTop 4 Most Thrilling Valorant Tournaments in 2023When Riot announced they were making an FPS game, there were mixed opinions on whether the game would be successful or not. Now, Valorant has almost hit the top of the competitive FPS eSports scene on PC, and loads of pro players have switched over from games like CS: GO. Watching the best Valorant teams go head-to-head with each other in the big eSports games can definitely be a nail-biting experience that may include some cheering (or yelling) at the screen. If you're interested in watching the action, we've made a breakdown of 4 of the best Valorant tournaments to keep an eye out for. Each of these tournaments features the best teams from around the globe, all competing for glory, fame, prize money, and of course—bragging rights. » Learn about the 2 best in-game methods for getting free Valorant skins 1. VALORANT Regional Leagues: Finals If there's any tournament worth watching outside of the Champions Tour, it's the Regional Leagues Finals. The Regional Leagues are split into 2 main sections where teams from 7 regions (previously 8, but CIS was removed this year) battle it out to be the grand champions and take home glory and a portion of a $150 000+ prize pool! The first stage of the Regionals happens inter-regionally, where 8 teams from each region play a best of 2 in the round-robin tournament format (every team plays every other team once each). The top 6 teams with the most wins get selected to enter playoffs, where they battle it out to find the region's best teams. The top teams of each region then progress through to the Regional League Finals, where they'll all be going against each other in a GSL format—a double elimination bracket that can decide 3rd place, 4th place, 5th place, and so on. The stakes are much higher in the Finals, where the 1st place will walk home with more than $50,000 in prize money. If you've made it this far, though, you'll still be rewarded close to $10,000 for coming in last. Here's a breakdown of Valorant's next Regional League: Date of Tournament Stage 1: January 9th, 2023 Stage 2: March 27th, 2023 Total Prize Pool €150 000 (2022 amount, 2023 amount yet to be confirmed) Regions Spain (+ Portugal and Italy)FranceUK (+Ireland)Poland and EE MENATurkeyDACH Restrictions Other than standard tournament rules, you'll have to be part of a specific region to participate. 2. Red Bull Campus Clutch By hosting the Red Bull Campus Clutch every year, Red Bull has made a sweet opportunity for university students to claim fame in Valorant. Universities around the world hold inter-house competitions to find their best team, after which they play regionally to find the region's best teams. Those teams will then form part of the 300 universities participating across 50 countries, consisting entirely of university students, all competing for bragging rights to be the best team among them all. The Campus Clutch is certainly exciting right from the beginning. As some regions get stomped on while others excel at the start, it'll be interesting to see which teams gain favor during the tournament. The winners of the whole Campus Clutch will automatically enter the world championships, where they can further prove their skills and potentially become the number 1 team in Valorant. Here's a breakdown of Red Bull's next Campus Clutch Date of Tournament TBD: In 2022, the tournament was held from August to December, so expect the same for 2023 Total Prize Pool €20,000 Regions 50 countries around the world. Full list here Restrictions Other than standard tournament rules, you gotta be 18 or older and a student currently studying at a university. 3. VCT: Game Changers The Valorant Champions Tour: Game Changers is a world championship hosted by Riot specifically for female competitors—and it's a biggy. In 2022, the finals reached over 230,000 peak viewers, resulting in VCT: Game Changers being the 2nd most-viewed female-only championship ever. In 2022, the Finals were hosted in Berlin, where the top teams from 8 regions competed for a share of €500,000! These are the best of the best in the female gaming world, and many of them belong to recognizable teams with female divisions, like Cloud-9 White, and G2 Gozen. Game Changers has year-long regionals that have streams running consistently, narrowing down the list of the best teams that will then get a chance to participate in the World Championship and take home the title of being the best female Valorant team for the year. In the World Championship, 8 teams will go head-to-head in a double-elimination bracket, where each game is best-of-three, until the Grand Final, which is a best-of-five. You can find most of the broadcasts over on Twitch.tv. Apparently, VCT: Game Changers will be different in 2023, with more participants, an increased total of final contestants, bigger prize pools, and way more exciting top-level matches that will happen in the Game Changer World Championship. Here's a breakdown of what we know about the next VCT: Game Changers: Date of Tournament While changes are being made to the tournament, dates have not been revealed, but regional qualifiers might be open soon! Total Prize Pool €500,000 (2022 amount, 2023 amount yet to be confirmed) Regions Global Restrictions Other than standard tournament rules, you'll have to be part of a registered pro team in your region to participate. » Interested in free Valorant points? Read our guide on earning free VPs 4. VALORANT Champions Tour If you're going to watch any Valorant streams, you'll wanna watch these ones. The VCT is the ultimate culmination of the best players in the world, competing for the number one title and a prize pool of $1,000,000. Here, you'll find the best commentators hosting the wildest games, with all the teams you've heard of, like Cloud9, NRG, OpTic Gaming, Fnatic, NAVI, G2—and loads of upcoming teams you've never heard of too. In the VCT, teams will compete inter-regionally against one another in multi-stage challenger playoffs. The top 2 teams will continue to the VCT and face the other regions' best teams. The regionals and finals work very similarly to the VCT Game Changers format, though the stakes are much higher. Simply winning the challenger's regional cup awards the team a prize of $30,000 before even entering the finals, while winning the finals meant walking home with $300,000 for the team. Semi-Final and Grand Final matches are the most intense matches you'll experience in the Valorant's eSports scene, each being a best-of-five matchup, with a massive live audience. On Twitch, 1,500,000 viewers came on to watch the final match alone, while some even paid a fair amount of money to travel to Turkey and experience the event live. The next VCT has been announced! Here's what we know so far: Date of Tournament Opening event in Brazil: Feb 13 - March 5, 2023Champions Tour 2023 EMEA League: March 26 - May 28, 2023Champions Tour 2023 Americas League: March 26 - May 28, 2023Champions Tour 2023 Pacific League: March 26 - May 28, 2023 Total Prize Pool €1,000,000 (2022 amount, 2023 amount is still being calculated.) Regions Spain ( + Portugal and Italy)FranceUK (+Ireland)Poland and EEMENATurkeyDACH Restrictions Other than standard tournament rules, you'll have to be part of the specific region to participate. Final Words These 4 major tournaments happen throughout each year, from tryouts to playoffs and finals, so there are hundreds of matches for you to catch live on Riot's site, or over on Twitch. Outside of those, there are loads of smaller tournaments hosted in many different languages around the world. There's probably even a game going on right now. If you're a fan of the game and you like to enjoy some Valorant matches of your own, why not try using Buff to get free rewards while playing?
EsportsValorant Competitive Mode: How Does It Work?Valorant is one of the most popular competitive shooters at the moment. In 2022, there was an average of 22 million monthly players, with a massive percentage of those players grinding ranked matches. Because the ranked portion of Valorant is so popular, Riot focuses a lot of its attention on making sure the game runs perfectly so that the experience is always flawless—and a reliable shooter is the best kind of competitive shooter. Ranked matches in Valorant—or any game, really—are no walk in the park, and it takes a lot of skill and grinding to climb up the ranks. So, why play ranked? Before we answer that, let's break down what Valorant's competitive mode is and how it works. » Learn more about Valorant What Is Valorant’s Competitive Mode? As the name of the mode suggests, it includes competitive features for players who are there to prove themselves against other players of similar skill and ultimately get better at the game. It is a great way to put a name or rank to your skill level and requires patience, perseverance, and practice. The gameplay rules are similar to those of unrated games, though the stakes are higher—wins and losses permanently affect your rank, which is visible to your party, the tab menu, and end-game scoreboard summaries. » Read some expert tips on how to improve your Fracture map strategy in Valorant Ranking System Explained Ranks in Valorant are used to most accurately describe your skill level and place you against similarly skilled opponents in the competitive matches. Those ranks can also act as bragging rights when you've achieved a higher rank than your friends, but you'll still have harder games than them. Before you dive into some Ranked games, you'll need to unlock Competitive mode. There are 2 different prerequisites to unlocking Competitive mode depending on when you started playing the game, and once you've unlocked the mode, there are a few things you'll have to keep in mind if you're aiming to get a rank by the end of that Episode. In Episode 4 Act 1, Riot made a few changes that can be summed up in 5 steps: 1. Unlock Ranked If you've created an account during or after Episode 4 Act 1 (that started in January 2022), you'll need to get your account to reach level 20 by playing spike rushes, deathmatches, and unrated matches for XP. If, however, you've made an account before 2022, and you've played at least one ranked match before reaching level 20, you'll be allowed to continue playing ranked even if you're below level 20. However, if it's an old account but you've never played ranked before, the level 20 rule applies. 2. Play 5 Placement Matches Once you have access to the Competitive mode, you'll have to play 5 matches to determine your initial rank. These matches are vital to getting a good placement at the start of the Act. Valorant uses a system called MMR, which is what determines your skill level against other players. In these first 5 placement matches (especially if they're your first), your MMR will be extremely flexible. This means that you'll both earn and lose a lot of MMR. Depending on what your MMR is by the end of your 5th game, you'll receive the rank that the system thinks suits your level of skill. 3. Play Ranked and Climb Now that you've got a rank, it's time to work on improving it. From the lowest rank to the highest, there are 9 ranks you'll need to grind through by winning games: • Iron 1, 2, and 3 • Bronze 1, 2, and 3 • Silver 1, 2, and 3 • Gold 1, 2, and 3 • Platinum 1, 2, and 3 • Diamond 1, 2, and 3 • Ascendant 1, 2, and 3 • Immortal 1, 2, and 3 • Radiant—the top 500 Valorant players in your region. 4. Brace Yourself for the End of the Act Valorant has extended seasons called Episodes, which are split into 3 Acts, each about 2-3 months long. When you're playing ranked, your wins and losses will only count toward the rank you receive for that Act. When the Act is over, your rank will reset, and you'll have to play another 5 placement matches at the beginning of the following Act. This is great if you placed low and you'd like a good shot at placing higher during the next Act. However, it's not so good if you're at a really high rank and risk placing much lower at the start of the next season. 5. Receive Rewards Since there are 3 Acts in an Episode, there are 3 opportunities during that Episode for you to get different ranks. Your previous rank does influence your next placement, but because the MMR is so flexible, it could go either way—you could place much lower, much higher, or even right where you already were (which is likely and better for skill level MMR for everybody.) At the end of the Episode, you'll receive rewards based on the highest rank you achieved during the end of the 3 separate Acts within the Episode. » Read our guide on how to earn free Valorant points Why You Should Care About the Competitive Mode Other than bragging rights, Competitive mode not only lets you get some sweet rewards by the end of the Episode but is also the best-balanced game mode of them all, since everyone there has their own ranked MMR and they want to keep it that way or improve it. So why aren't Casual modes balanced? Well, you might already know that Casual game modes can be riddled with complete noobs to pros who'll crush you to the point that you'll think they're hacking. That's because the MMR for Casual and Ranked are separate. A pro who plays ranked all day and is sitting in immortal rank might play the odd casual game here and there—and get paired up with players at the silver/gold level, which isn't fun or productive for either side. Playing ranked games makes sure that you are paired with people who are at your level, so you're always playing fair games. Another reason you should care about Competitive mode is that your rank is an indication of your skill level, and it can help you improve. » Learn the differences between Valorant Points and Radianite Points Key Takeaway Competitive mode is filled with sweat-lords who are trying their best to improve and win games, which means that in all likeliness, you'll have a team comprised of the same try-hard nature, even if they're all random players. This might seem daunting at first, but this no-messing-about environment is the ultimate way to improve your mechanics, rotations, positioning, and communication in the world of Valorant. If you're grinding through your ranks, or even sticking to the casual side of the game, try running Buff in the background for some free rewards!
EsportsDota 2 Hero Tier List for Ranked Games—Our Top Picks (2023)Dota 2 international championship has come to a close, with a jaw-dropping prize pool of over 17 million for the tournament alone, so it's time to prepare for next year's ranked season. The roster has grown from its 46 playable heroes to 123 heroes, and the meta has evolved along with it. With so much content available and consistent updates creating different ways to play the game, it is safe to say that there will probably be some changes to the meta, and some nerfs and buffs here and there, but if things stay pretty similar, these are our top hero choices for the next ranked season. » Interested in CS:GO? Learn how to trade your Dota skins for CS:GO skins Tier 1 Tier 1 heroes are typically used as the powerhouses of the team and are almost in every ranked or draft game in Dota 2. They have tons of flexibility, allowing them to be utilized around the map, overpowering opponents wherever they roam. These heroes often can't be countered easily and they are often banned in draft picks, so it's best to get familiar with all of them to ensure you can crush your opponents in the lane. Batrider Batrider is well known as one of the best initiators. He's a really fun hero to play, with very useful crowd control and gap-closing abilities. His full potential unlocks when he can combine his initiation capability with his massive burst damage potential. When you get hit with Batrider's Lasso, you can kiss your sweet life and gold goodbye. Batrider is still OP after loads of nerfs and is very often the target of draft bans. Death Prophet With huge team fight potential, Death prophet is an extremely versatile magic hero. She has the ability to unleash devastating amounts of damage to multiple enemies and structures while sustaining her own health in the middle of team fights. She can also be played to be extremely tanky, so even focusing her as a team can be fatal, landing her a spot in our tier 1 list. Enigma Enigma has the power of creating black holes and could be the single best team fight hero in the game, making him dominate in the late game. Enigma is also extremely strong in the laning phase and has a huge creep-denying capability with his Demonic Conversion spell. This purple death machine is often found in the jungle, striking fear into any lineup when he appears with his black holes. Faceless Void This champion has been revered since way back—DotA 1 days—as an unstoppable disabling machine. In recent updates, he's taken a hit with some nerfs to his laning phase potential. But, as soon as he has his ultimate ability Chronosphere, he becomes a formidable opponent that freezes entire teams and can carry his own team to victory. Faceless Void will likely always be a popular pick in draft modes. Io Io is the extremely versatile amplifier of any team. Io has huge potential to turn an already strong ally into an unstoppable machine, supplying heals, increased spell damage, attack speed, movements speed, and more. Wait, your teammate across the map needs help? No problem! Io can teleport anywhere across the map to a friend in need, tether to them, and teleport back with them, or even right back to home base. Marci Marci is considered to be in a league of her own. She makes an appearance in nearly every draft game and it's basically essential to have this hero either banned or a part of your team. Marci is the most versatile hero and can be played in any role. She's a little slow in the laning phase vs. creeps, but can still be seen destroying enemy champions with better items and more stats on her. Visage Visage is a ranged intelligence attacker that has a unique playstyle involving golems that deal damage while he stays safe by wrapping himself in ethereal amour. Visage has amazing sustain and is incredibly strong in the lane. It is worth learning his complex kit to play him to his full tier 1 potential. Tier 2 Tier 2 heroes are a safer pick in draft modes that still have a really good presence in Dota 2 matches. These heroes see fewer bans in draft modes. Tier 2 heroes can be powerful picks in matches that favor their skillset and aren't counter-picked. Bloodseeker Bloodseeker is a formidable opponent in the lane, or in the jungle. He's an easy hero to master and has high sustain and wave push capabilities. He is not a hard carry but can be a bully in the lane against the right enemies. Enchantress Enchantress is a ranged jungler support hero that has a great lane-pushing capability. She's got good sustain with the ability to heal herself and her teammates, and is a lot of fun to play. Lina Lina has been a popular pick at all ranks for ages. She's a ranged intelligence hero that has a massive nuking capability—she can delete her enemies in a flash. Omniknight OmniKnight is a tanky support hero equipped with a massive hammer ready to defend his allies. He's a great part of the lane as he excels at damaging enemies while healing his teammates at the same time. Puck Puck is another ranged intelligence hero in the top picks list. Puck excels in initiating a fight, dealing burst damage, and escaping before opponents can even really react. Tiny Tiny ironically grows to incredible sizes by late game and is incredibly durable. He's a strong carry who excels at disabling enemies and crushing them with a tree. Viper Viper is a flying dragon-like poison-spitting intelligence hero. Viper deals damage over a long range and whittles his enemies over time, slowing them down and draining their hit points. Tier 3 Tier 3 champions are seen a lot less often in draft picks and typically don't see bans hit them. These heroes generally require a great understanding of the game and the ability to adapt well, and they have arguably more shortcomings than in tiers 1 and 2. So, choose wisely and play to your strengths. Dawnbreaker Dawnbreaker makes a perfect last-pick hero as a do-it-all melee attacker. This hero is able to play in all lanes and positions, wielding a solar hammer and jumping across the map to help her teammates with her ultimate ability—Solar Guardian. Ember Spirit Ember spirit is a high-mobility hero with very safe lane-farming skills, allowing him to excel at late-game fights. He also has great evasion techniques that can double as handy initiation or gap closer when you're steamrolling. Morphling Morphling has always been a popular choice in the meta. His most recent updates buffed him to be an incredible anti-carry that can steal enemy statistics and grow stronger himself. Terrorblade This gloomy-looking hero is a strong carry that uses illusions to initiate fights and control opponents with tactical slows. He's a smart counter against heroes that do physical damage, as he has really high natural base armor and can move around quite quickly. Undying Undying is a tanky support hero who has amazing harassment ability to keep your carry farming his lane safely. Undying is the right pick if your team needs a diversion from damage. Undying shines with his ultimate, requiring enemies to kill him before they get a hard debuff, which can turn a team fight on its head. He's also a beginner-friendly hero, so it's easy to pick up. Ursa Ursa has a lot of versatility and can be played in multiple lanes. However, Ursa is really seen as an anti-disabling carry and can be used effectively against choices that have lots of crowd control. Vengeful Spirit Vengeful spirit acts as a damage-boosting support with a unique ability to swap places with either a friendly or enemy hero, creating some epic moments for clutch saves and pick-off initiations. Her scepter ability allows her to continue to have a huge presence even after she's been killed. » Do you have any Dota skins you aren't using? Learn how to sell them on Steam Final Thoughts Whether you're looking to stomp on your opponents with Tier 1 heroes, or play a little safer with Tier 2 and 3 picks, it's always important to consider team composition. Dota 2 is often quite social in draft modes, so communicate with your friendly players to build the right lineup. All that's left is to hit the lanes and win your games, GL HF! » Are you ready to hop into Ranked? Earn free rewards while climbing the ranks
EsportsTop 5 Most Popular LoL Female Champions of 2022Whether you're picking all-girl LoL champions for the theme (we see it quite a lot, even in the competitive scene), you're playing a female-champion-only challenge, or you just really like the aesthetics and personality of the characters, and you don't know which to choose—don't worry, we've got your back. Here are the top 5 most-played female champions for top, mid, and bot lanes in 2022, to help you make the right choice. 1. Fiora The Grand Duelist Fiora fights to restore family honor after her father tarnished the reputation of her house. She's an ultimate duelist with a blunt personality and is often seen in the top lane during the laning phase. She's a melee fighter who excels at 1v1 matchups, and can be seen bullying her opponents with high damage and mobility. Fiora's build allows her to make short work of bruiser champions with high HP. Fiora's Skills Passive: Duelist's Dance Fiora will mark enemy champions with a vital spot—if she hits it, she gains movement speed and restores health.Q: Lunge She dashes in a direction dealing damage to anyone she hits, dealing on-hit effects.W: Riposte Fiora evades all incoming damage for a small period of time, then stabs her weapon. If her ability blocks an immobilizing attack, her stab will hit the first champion, otherwise, it will slow them. E: Blade Work Fiora's next two basic attacks will have increased attack speed—the first will slow, and the second will always be a critical hit.R: Grand Challenge Her ultimate marks four vitals on a selected enemy champion. If she hits all four vital spots or hits at least one before the champion dies, you and your allies in the area will be healed for a few seconds. 2. LeBlanc The Deceiver LeBlanc is a mysterious magic user who uses mirror imagery and trickery to manipulate opponents to get her way. The sorceress has been a pain in the mid-lane since her release, and her re-work made her even more feared than ever before. LeBlanc's kit excels at high magical burst damage and has an amazing knack for escaping fights with her passive ability that creates a clone to confuse opponents. LeBlanc is a glass cannon, meaning she excels at damage output, but ultimately she's a squishy champion. She's a tricky champion to master, but the time required to learn how to play effectively is worth it as popping off with high kill streaks is amazingly satisfying with this OP mid-laner. LeBlanc's Skills Passive | Mirror Image LeBlanc turns invisible for a second and spawns a clone of herself when her health drops below 40%. The clone does no damage.Q | Sigil of Malice She sends out an attack that damages and marks an enemy for 3.5 seconds. If LeBlanc damages that enemy within that time, the target takes more damage.W | Distortion LeBlanc dashes to a location dealing AOE magic damage. Activating the ability again returns her to her starting location.E | Ethereal Chains She sends out a chain that deals damage to the first enemy hit. If the chain stays attached to the target for more than 1.5 seconds, they take extra damage and are rooted.R | Mimic LeBlanc's ultimate casts an empowered version of the last spell she's cast. 3. Camille The Steel Shadow Camille is another super popular top-lane fighter. She's an overpowered agent who's been weaponized with Hextech technology coupled with a perfectionist attitude, whose duty is to keep law and order in Piltover and the Zaun undercity district. Camille's tool kit does take a bit of effort to understand and requires a lot of precision. When you've got her kit down though—you're guaranteed fun and rewarding gameplay with loads of flexibility during the mid-game phase of the match. Camille's Skills Passive | Adaptive Defenses When Camille hits an enemy champion with a basic attack, she'll gain a shield equal to the percentage of her max HP against that champion's main damage type.Q | Precision Protocol Camille can cast an empowered basic attack. She can cast it again, though the second strike deals far more damage if she delays her hit.W | Tactical Sweep She sweeps her leg out in a cone AOE doing damage. The edge of the cone does extra damage, slows, and heals Camille.E | Hookshot Camille can jump onto a wall, where she can leap off at an enemy, knocking them up as she lands.R | The Hextech Ultimatum Camille launches herself at an enemy champion and locks them in a mini arena they cannot escape. She does extra damage to this target with her basic attacks. 4. Vayne The Night Hunter Vayne is a challenging ADC who seems simple at first glance. She's an incredible bot-lane champion who has insane skills. Her kit takes a long time to master and her abilities are much closer-ranged than other ADCs in the bot lane, putting her in the heat of the situation at all times. Vayne struggles in the early game with no wave clear abilities and requires precise timing to farm during the laning phase, but becomes one of the most overpowered carries in the game, in later phases of the match. Passive | Night Hunter Vayne gains 30% extra movement speed when running toward an enemy champion.Q | Tumble Vayne rolls in a direction, empowering her next basic attack. W | Silver Bolts Vayne stacks basic-attack marks against enemies, and on her third consecutive hit, deals bonus true damage based on a percentage of the target's maximum health.E | Condemn She fires a bolt that knocks a target back, dealing damage. If the target hits a wall, they take extra damage and are stunned.R | Final Hour Vayne empowers herself for a short period of time, gaining extra damage and invisibility during her tumble, which has faster cooldowns and extra movement speed from her passive. 5. Katarina The Sinister Blade Katarina is a hybrid assassin mid-lane champion that is feared by most ADCs and melee attackers. When you get her combo right, her mobility and burst damage make her fun to play, but rather challenging to master. Katarina deals both physical and magical damage, making her hard to build a defense against in a lane or in a team fight. Since her release in 2009, Katarina remains one of the most popular female champions to play in League of Legends. Her abilities work around movement and attacking enemies with her daggers. Katarina's Skills Passive | Voracity If an enemy that she hurt dies near her, Katarina's cooldowns are shortened dramatically. And if she picks up a dagger she's thrown, she'll dash through nearby enemies dealing extra damage.Q | Bouncing blade Katarina throws a blade that bounces between enemies dealing damage before landing on the ground.W | Preparation Katarina tosses a dagger into the air above her and gets a burst of movement speed.E | Shunpo She flashes to the target friendly, striking the nearest enemy upon landing. This will always prioritize champions over minions.R | Death Lotus Katarina spins on the spot throwing loads of daggers at up to three enemy champions, dealing huge magic damage. These female champions are some of the top picks in LoL at the moment. Each has some amazing skins to choose to personalize your champion so you can dazzle your teamies and opponents in the rift. » Are you practicing your female champions in the rift? Earn some points through Buff and redeem rewards while practicing
EsportsTop 7 Most Iconic Moments in League of Legends HistoryRiot Games has seen over a decade of intense, hair-raising gameplay from players all over the world in their highly successful MOBA: League of Legends. Since the game's launch, the fantasy universe and aesthetic it birthed have grown into multiple game genres, from card games to FPS shooters. With so much content from Riot out there, there are bound to be some stand-out moments that have shaped, influenced, or outright mind-blown the League of Legends fanbase. Here are our 7 favorite moments that went down in the League of Legends history books. 1. SKT T1's Wombo Combo (Worlds 2017) I've watched this moment consecutively more times than I'd like to admit, just to decipher what happened in this chaotic moment of team perfection from SKT T1. Let's set the scene: It's day 2 of the 2017 World Championships, and the stakes couldn't be higher. SKT T1 is up against EDG, and they've been taking a beating. It's 30 min into the match, and the team kills are 9-0 to EDG, SKT has a 10k gold deficit, has lost 5 more towers than their opponents, and Baron is about to spawn. At this crucial point of the match, both teams are forced to either push mid or contest Baron Nashor. Feeling aggressive with their lead over SKT, EDG decides to push mid. They extend just far enough to let SKT pull off what could be the greatest moment of synergy in professional League of Legends history. All within a 3-second window: SKT initiates with Rakan's charms and knock-ups pulling EDGs whole team togetherThis is followed by Cho'Gath's flash-silence and MORE knock-upsThen, Faker lands a beautifully placed Orianna shockwave (yeah, another knock-up), and Jarvan IV gets a flag-jump through the crowd providing yet another knock-upDuring all of this, Twitch deals constant huge damage, piercing through all his targets with his ultimate It's a lot to break down, but with the commentators going nuts and the live crowd screaming in the background, the moment certainly induces a wave of goosebumps. It is definitely worth watching a few times over to truly appreciate the infamous wombo combo by SKT T1. » Find out how to get rewards just by watching LoL esports streams 2. Faker vs. Ryu 1v1 (Hot6 Champions Summer 2013) This epic moment in 2013 was the true start of Faker's fame as the face of LoL and the best player of the game. During the intense 5th match of the grand final of the Hot6 Champions Summer Tournament, both teams could select their champions at will in a blind-pick match. Both SKT T1's Faker and KT's Ryu picked Zed, generating tons of excitement at the potential 1v1 Zed plays in mid-lane. However, little did anyone expect the jaw-dropping outplay that would come from this matchup. At the 32-min mark of the match, Faker appears to overstep into KT's base, taking loads of tower damage. Then, just as Ryu shows up to finish the job with his own Zed, Faker displays a show of incredible decision-making, timing, and raw skill that could remain unmatched to this day. Simply googling "Zed vs Zed" will have this clip show as the top result, and it's definitely worth checking out if you want to witness the highest level of League of Legends skill the world has to offer. 3. ROX Tigers PraY's Famous Arrow Long-Shot (Worlds 2016) In the semi-finals of Worlds 2016 against SKT, ROX Tigers' PraY showed us all just how effective Ashe's ultimate can be—even if it's not during a fight or securing a kill. Many avid LoL fans claim that Worlds 2016 was one of the best series to date in the professional LoL world. The atmosphere and goosebumps-inducing screams from the crowd and commentators were spectacular, as PraY sent off his Crystal Arrow across the map to prevent SKTs Ekko from recalling. This gave ROX enough time to push the game to victory. 4. xPeke's Backdoor (Intel Extreme Masters 2013) Every time I've watched the clip of xPeke backdooring SK Gaming's base with Kassadin on low HP, I'm hit with a strong feeling of nostalgia. I remember watching this match live with my friends during a LAN, the room erupting after a tense hour-long match. I also remember playing League of Legends right into the early hours of the following morning trying to replicate the move. It was an incredible moment that feels like it was set in time as one of the best moments in LoL eSports history. The backdoor maneuver that xPeke pulled off was so notable that, to this day, players still refer to the move as an "xPeke" when done successfully. 5. KT Rolster & Invictus Gaming Base Race (Worlds 2018) I've never come across another professional League of Legends match where I couldn't tell who's going to win till the announcers called it. If you're unfamiliar with what a base race is, it's where both teams are inside each other's base, racing to take down their opponent's nexus for the victory. This match was so tight that a split seconds difference could have determined which team stayed in Worlds 2018. In a 5-match battle to see who'd win the quarter-finals, KT Rolster was 2 matches down against IG in Worlds 2018. In an amazing show of effort, they won the tightest base race ever and pushed all the way to match 5 before IG took the win. 6. First-Ever Finals Pentakill by Suning's Bin (Worlds 2020) There have been loads of pentakills during Worlds over the years. However, none had seen the finals of Worlds until 2020, when Bin from team Suning would show the destructive power of Fiora in the hands of a pro. It's no wonder she's one of the most popular female champions in the game. During the 2nd match of the finals, Suning put all of their efforts into feeding and snowballing their already-strong Fiora. After 30 min, Suning's Bin had been fed enough gold to become a problem for DWG, and he and his team were waiting for the right moment to strike. So, when Ornn missed his Call of the Forge God(a crucial initiation for DWG) during a bunch-up in mid, Suning wasted no time in rounding their opponents up for Bin. Sadly, with the lockdown in place during the Worlds 2020, the lack of the live crowd does make the moment feel like it's missing something, despite how amazing the casters were. » Interested in LoL cosmetics? Learn more about the rarest LoL skins 7. The Elder Drake (Worlds 2017) The opening ceremony of Worlds 2017 in China was as impressive as the tournament itself. The show kicked off with a heartfelt clip from Riot Games about how the game brings people together and keeps them connected across the world. This was followed by amazing live performances by globally-known performers, hundreds of backup dancers, amazing audio, and great lighting. Finally, there was a giant friggin' Elder Drake that flew around the stadium, landed on the stage, and roared at the crowd before flying off. Of course, the dragon wasn't real, but its the closest thing they could get without actually building a giant robot Elder Drake that actually flew into the stadium... Who knows, maybe they'll pull it off one day, but until then, we're going to be seeing the dragon in AR(augmented reality) only. AR performances usually mean that effects and models are added into live footage of the stadium, making it seem like there are actually giant statues, a ferocious dragon, or popstar Ahri herself on stage. The effect appears much more "believable" when you're watching from home than it is live, though the whole thing must have been breathtaking regardless. Final Thoughts I feel privileged to have witnessed some of these epic moments when they happened, and honestly, I'm glad I got to revisit those epic times while writing this piece. League of Legends really did—and still does—have an amazing production team, a loyal fanbase, and a well-polished game that culminates together to create some awesome experiences that are worth revisiting over and over. If watching all of this League content got you inspired to play a bit and hop into the rift, why not have Buff on in the background to score some free rewards? Check it out here.
Esports7 Most-Streamed Games to Watch on Twitch Right Now Unlike in the very early days of Twitch, nowadays there are many viewers, many streamers, and many games to watch. If you are completely new to the scene, it can be pretty overwhelming to decide what games to watch since scrolling through them seems to be endless. Explore our list of the 7 most-streamed games that can guide you in the right direction and help you choose, depending on if you are more into casual entertainment, esports, or the same games you play. » Want to stream instead? Discover the 7 best Twitch games to stream now 1. Overwatch 2 With the release of Overwatch 2, there's obviously going to be a lot of hype for Blizzard's MOBA-FPS franchise. When Overwatch was first released, it was revolutionary with its combination of the MOBA and FPS genres, especially since both genres were at the forefront of esports at the time. According to Stream Charts for Overwatch 2, there was an average of 5,677 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 138.5 million hours to watch. With the game being so popular amongst esports fans and casual players, it is no surprise that this one is our first recommendation. If you don't currently play, this could be the best time to start, with the Overwatch 2 launch being so recent! Especially considering the high quality of the twitch drops recently, with the Werewolf Winston Legendary Skin being super clean. Seriously, start watching. » Play Overwatch 2 and earn Buff coins 2. Apex Legends Apex Legends made history with it hitting the 10 million player milestone in the first 72 hours. Though there's a lot of controversy over their initial marketing tactics during the first game launch, they have been super consistent with updates and improvements to the game. There's been a big move of the COD Warzone crowd to the game as well, so it shouldn't be too difficult at all to enjoy some streams and then pick up some games with your squad. According to Stream Charts for Apex Legends, there was an average of 3,439 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 32.9 million hours to watch. Like other games, there are some sweet skins and rewards to be earned from watching during some of the bigger tournaments. » Earn free rewards while playing Apex 3. Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is one of the most interesting titles on this list. While GTA V is the latest game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, it was actually released back in 2013. The game has not only remained popular but is actually going strong—one of the biggest reasons for this is the GTA V Roleplay server and community. It's a super interesting viewing experience you can't get with most other games, with some of gaming's biggest names and streamers partaking in it. According to Stream Charts for GTA V, there was an average of 2,617 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 95.9 million hours to watch. While there have been leaks about GTA 6, there is no well-defined date of release just yet, and GTA V still continues to scratch the itch for many viewers and players. 4. Valorant Valorant is the game to watch if you like to see headshots galore. Valorant is Riot Games' take on the Tactical FPS genre, most famously started by Counter-Strike. This is a captivating viewing experience that's really easy to get into if you've had any experience with CS:GO or CS 1.7 in the past, and we are actually seeing a lot of the Counter-Strike community move over to playing Valorant as the game continues to rise in popularity. Giving the genre some Riot Games flavor, we see the addition of abilities to replace smokes and mollies from Counter-Strike and even allow for some really diverse gameplay. According to Stream Charts for Valorant, there was an average of 4,704 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 69.7 million hours to watch. Being a fresh game and explosive esports relatively new to the scene, the drops are easily obtained, with the annual Valorant Champions Twitch being a great opportunity to add things like exclusive titles, sprays, and cards for the game. » Use Buff to get free Valorant points 5. Minecraft If you are looking for a mix of creative and entertaining content, both can be found in the world of Minecraft. There are so many mods that exist for the game that you can practically watch Minecraft streams for a variety of viewing experiences: speedrunning, competitive, building showcases are all on the table for the channels you find under Minecraft on Twitch. According to Stream Charts, there was an average of 1,893 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 43.5 million hours to watch. Earning rewards on Minecraft through Twitch Drops is slightly more complex and not available out of the box, but there are certain Minecraft servers where Twitch Drops are enabled, allowing you to earn while watching a streamer on a specific server as long as you are also playing on the same server. 6. League of Legends League of Legends is one of the most notable esports there is. There have been tons of new games coming in—new esports titles, MOBAs, multiplayer games in general—but LoL is still at the forefront of the gaming industry. According to Stream Charts, there was an average of 2,813 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 159.4 million hours to watch. There is so much variety and complexity in the game, with some of Twitch's most popular streamers playing the game almost exclusively, that there will always be a reason to watch. » Get Buff and play League of Legends for free RP 7. FIFA 23 FIFA has actually been the entry point into the world of gaming for many gamers across the world. Sports games have historically been one of the strongest bridges between the gaming community and those existing outside of it, and what is better suited than arguably the most popular sport around the globe. According to Stream Charts, there was an average of 1,525 channels to choose from in October 2022, amassing over 61 million hours to watch. Seeing as the game was just recently released, be on the look out for any Twitch Drop viewing opportunities. If you have Twitch Prime, be sure to grab the already available rewards. Watching streams is not only a great form of entertainment, but there is also so much to gain from it and so much to explore. If you really care about getting better at one of your favorite games, you should definitely start watching popular skilled players, and make notes. » Ready to test your skills? 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EsportsTop 5 Earners in CoD: Warzone & How Much They Made (2022)The Call of Duty (CoD) competitive scene spreads widely, with different leagues and tournaments across different games. Vanguard is home to the CoD League (CoDL), while Warzone tournaments for money are hosted on a variety of platforms and organizers, Activision included. While there isn't an official, publisher-backed league for Warzone, the potential earnings for pro players dropping in are no joke. According to data grabbed from Warzone Earnings, the biggest Warzone pros are not just racking up cash to buy stations in-game, but are also making big bucks IRL from their winnings. Keep reading to learn about the top 5 earners in CoD: Warzone. » Learn more about CoD: Warzone 1. Thomas "Tommey" Trewren Tommey, arguably the most famous name in competitive Warzone, comes in as the top Warzone earner, with $416,722.61. Although Tommy has been playing CoD since 2010, he was also one of the first pro CoD players to dive into Warzone and its competitive scene upon its March 2020 release. Tommey recently left the 100 Thieves streamer umbrella, but he isn't giving up his #1 spot anytime soon. While Tommey is no stranger to competitive shooters, Warzone has really set a new level for raking in dough for the CoD veteran. In 2022 alone, Tommey brought in 5-figure prizes from multiple tournaments, including: OpTic Texas 100K Warzone Trios: 1st Place, $40,000eFuse Joe Wo's Cladera of Passion: 1st Place, $10,000 2. Ben "Almond" Rosendahl Coming in as the 2nd highest earner with $381,521.77, Almond made his debut in 2020 and cemented himself as one of the best competitive Warzone players since. Even without a super long history, his talent on the sticks and in content creation led him to being quickly picked up by Minnesota RØKKR back in June 2021. Almond's earnings from Warzone tournaments had definitely added lots of dollars to the 23-year-old's bank account, especially with his streak of 1st place wins in the last four tournaments he has played: World Series of Warzone Season 2 NA Trios: 7th Place, $8,000JoeWo: Battle for the Crown 2 Day 2: 1st Place, $6,000eFuse Battle of the Titans: 2nd Place, $6,000$20k 2v2 ChainGames Warzone Finale: 1st Place, $10,000 » Got your own CoD skills? Learn about the online CoD tournament entry criteria 3. Aydan Conrad Trailing 2nd place by just under two grand, Aydan comes in as the 3rd highest earner with $379,274.27. Formerly a competitive Fortnite player, Aydan showed that his skills could apply to just about any game with crosshairs. After leaving Ghost Gaming back in April 2020, Aydan is officially part of the content creator team for the New York Subliners (NYSL), the official CDL franchise team of New York. Aydan was previously the highest earner for Warzone back in March 2021, being the first pro player to break the $300,000 in tournament earnings milestone. While he's been overtaken by fellow pros, he is definitely not out for the count: World Series of Warzone Season 2 NA Trios: 4th place, $15,000eFuse Batttle of the Titans: 1st Place, $13,714New York Subliners $50K WarzoneMania 3 Day 1: 1st Place, $10,000 4. Ethan "Fifakill" Pink New to the top 5 list, and coming in as the 4th highest earner is Fifakill, with $258,582.82 earned. At just 21 years of age, Fifakill is a young star in the CoD scene, arguably one of the most OG FPS franchises there is. Currently representing the UK as a part of Quadrant, a gaming org backed and built by fellow Englishman and Formula One driver, Lando Norris. Most notably, Fifakill had an incredible showing in September of this year in the World Series of Warzone NA Solo Yolo, which pushed him up 6 spots in the earnings rankings with a 1st place prize of $100,000! Here are Fifakill's biggest wins of the year: World Series of Warzone Season 2 NA SoloYolo: 1st Place, $100,000BoomTV x TimTheTatman 2v2 Kill Race: 1st Place, $66,000 5. Jordan "HusKerrs" Thomas Last on this top 5 list is definitely not the least known. HusKerrs has been in the Warzone scene since the beginning and was the first player to earn $100,000 in Warzone tournaments. Though currently unsigned today, HusKerrs was a part some of the biggest teams in esports, being a part of Rogue in 2020 and NRG Esports, which Buff proudly sponsors, across 2021. Though HusKerrs may not be seeing the same level of dominance he did back when Warzone first started, he is undoubtedly still one of the strongest contenders: eFuse SuperEvan's Judgment Day: 3rd Place, $2,000JoeWo: Battle for the Crown 2 Day 2: 2nd Place, $4,000New York Subliners $50K WarzoneMania 3 Day 2: 1st Place, $10,000 » Looking for an esport to compete in? Discover the highest esports prize pools Final Thoughts The surprising thing about the list is the diversity of the players. Coming from different gaming backgrounds, ages, controller, or keyboard and mouse, they share at least one thing in common: they have all made six-figure earnings from this one game alone. This number will only continue to go up as we saw with World Series of Warzone Season 2 staying strong. Going into Season 3, let's see who might break the million-dollar earnings milestone first! » Earn free rewards while playing CoD: Warzone—Download Buff