Author: Natalie Mars

Quick and easy tips to having a great fantasy football draft party

August is one of the biggest months of the year for fantasy football leagues as millions around the world are preparing for another season of NFL action.

While daily fantasy leagues are becoming more and more popular, a lot of people still play in a season format. That puts a lot of focus on the draft and the serious leagues have their own live drafts.

For those in charge of hosting, just how do you turn the draft into one great party for all the owners involved?

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Gamescom 2015: What to expect, who will be there, and more

There can be no doubt that the gaming industry is entering a new era packed with groundbreaking titles set to push the boundaries of what’s possible to new levels.

The recent show-stopping E3 conference in Los Angeles provided a real insight into what the future holds for console gamers, (particularly for those who own an Xbox One) as Microsoft were much more prominent in their showcase events compared to their fierce market rivals. They’ll take the opportunity to be at Gamescom 2015 from August 5-9.

Sony, however, will be absent from the upcoming Gamescom 2015 event, widely regarded as the world’s largest gaming event with well over 300,000 visitors and over 700 exhibitors packed into the Cologne Exhibition Centre, which provides Microsoft with a free run to show off exclusive gameplay footage and demonstrations that they were not able to at E3.

They may have to go some way to topping upcoming releases such as Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War 4 and Fallout 4 which have already received huge acclaim across the gaming community, but although Microsoft have revealed there will be many surprise announcements in store for Xbox console and Windows Phone users, certain game developers have already revealed their hand ahead of Gamescom 2015.

Console games

Unlike E3, Gamescom is open to the public which is arguably why it has become the most important consumer exhibition in the gaming industry in the world.

The seventh year of the trade fair will once again see a huge number of exhibitions spread across the Cologne Exhibition Center to enable avid gamers and journalists to have an opportunity to see and play upcoming games that come with huge promise and may dominate the market.

Microsoft will once again exhibit Halo 5: Guardians in all its glory, but they have revealed that Crackdown, Quantum Break and Scalebound — three games that were announced at last year’s E3 conference but were not featured at E3 2015 — will receive exclusive coverage at the upcoming Gamescom 2015 in August.

It will be the first time that gamers are able to get a feel for what Crackdown and Scalebound are like having been previously teased with cinematic trailers, while Quantum Break will feature more in-depth coverage, following a narrated 16-minute demo released by Remedy last October.

Konami will also feature prominently at Gamescom 2015 by bringing Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to the show. Although both games have generated considerable interest through gripping trailers that reveal the latest gameplay features and integration of next-generation graphics, Konami will enable gamers who attend the event to play both titles at their booth on the show floor.

Other game developers, such as Square Enix, Nordic Games and EuroVideo Medien, will also be present at Gamescom 2015 which promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

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Mobile games

Although console and PC gaming look set to dominate Gamescom 2015, the show floor will also be occupied by mobile game developers who will announce their upcoming game apps. They’ll also be able to open a business-to-business booth in order to meet game developers and publishers in the hope of creating partnerships that lead to hugely successful games.

It will be a clear indication of the major increase in popularity that mobile gaming is currently enjoying, with its ability to provide a huge variety of games and a number of free-to-play titles across a number of genres. The beauty of mobile gaming is that Android and iOS users are able to enjoy the very best online slots, racing, puzzle and adventure games while on the go wherever they are, thus providing the option to play games at their own leisure and convenience.

Microsoft have yet to reveal any details over the list of mobile game producers who will be present at Gamescom 2015 and may choose to leave that a secret until the event, but one company has revealed that they are in attendance.

South Korean developers WEBZEN have quickly developed into one of the leading mobile game publishers in Korea since making the move into the market in April. While their first MMORPG mobile release, MU: Origin, was a huge success in South Korea and around the world, they are looking for new games and potential business partners to work with.

Pocket Gamer is also hosting their own event called Pocket Gamer Mobile Mix on the evening of August 5th, which is purely for mobile gaming developers to network and make new contacts following a 25 minute-long discussion on the most important issues facing mobile gaming.

It is an ideal way for developers and game producers to come together and form strong partnerships towards producing gaming apps that will make a real impact on the market and ensure the mobile industry continues to go from strength to strength.

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5 tips to avoid screwing up your new relationship

Once you have got past the honeymoon period, you will realize that relationships are anything but easy. To make a new relationship work for the long term, it takes patience, effort and lots of hard work.

Despite the negatives that come with a long-term relationship, if you find the right person, it’s always worth the effort. You might be at the start of your relationship right now, but if you want it to last for the long haul, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

To ensure you get off to the best start, here are five new relationship tips to help make yours last:

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The Questionably Classy way to handle your single Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those corporate made-up holidays that most couples know they shouldn’t have to put any effort into but they still do something instead of nothing as to avoid dealing with the repercussions that would surely follow.

But for the souls that happen to soulmate-less on this particular holiday, they’re reminded in every TV commercial break of just how much love and eternal bliss they’re missing out on.

And for a split second, many singles gals out there would drop everything to be able to be in a committed relationship just for the sake of saying it.

But for some of us, sh*t just didn’t work out that way. And that’s ok.

Because there are plenty of reasons to be single and there are also plenty of ways to deal with it. Here are some things to avoid as well things to embrace this coming Valentine’s Day….

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Blythe is a former sports and entertainment broadcaster who quit it alllllll in order to dedicate more time to her growing digital brands. As a solopreneur based in Jacksonville, Florida, this podcast highlights the ups and downs of managing a side hustle in hopes it can lead to that elusive work/life balance.

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