The Model of the 12 months contest is heating up, and I’m right here to inform you why my favorite peripheral firm, SteelSeries, deserves to win this yr’s crown.
Within the curiosity of full disclosure, I initially encountered SteelSeries in, of all locations, a Staples clearance part. I had acquired my first substantial desktop and was wanting to dive into my Steam library in earnest, so I sought some high quality instruments that wouldn’t break the financial institution. Regardless of having no real interest in the sport itself, I grabbed their World of Warcraft gaming mouse purely for its ergonomic design, and was so impressed I went again for a Siberia headset and APEX[RAW] keyboard.
A few years later, that very same desktop is displaying its age horrendously, however the peripherals are nonetheless working pretty much as good as new.
SteelSeries is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this yr. Based in Denmark, it has a protracted listing of “firsts” underneath its belt—the primary gaming mousepad (Icemat) in 2001, the primary gaming headset (Icemat Audio) in 2004, the primary mechanical gaming keyboard (Steelkeys 6G) in 2006, to call a number of. In 2002, they had been additionally the primary to collaborate with eSports gamers and sponsor an eSports occasion, changing into “the unique eSports model.” To this point, professional gamers have received extra prize cash with SteelSeries merchandise than with another firm.
SteelSeries produces nearly every part PC avid gamers want on their desk—mice, keyboards, headsets, mousepads, and extra. Console gamers can profit from their varied headsets as properly, both in common or specialised fashions just like the Arctis 7X and 7P. In line with their eSports roots, they not too long ago launched a brand new Prime line of eSports merchandise developed in partnership with sponsored gamers. Their pro-level suggestions was included to create the following era of peripherals engineered for eSports.
However they aren’t only for skilled avid gamers. Together with Apple, SteelSeries has additionally designed the Nimbus+ controller to redefine how iOS customers work together with their favorite pastime. Hooked on a selected Apple Arcade sport, or a port of a beloved retro journey sport, however uninterested in contact controls? Plug your iPhone into the included mount, sync up immediately through Bluetooth, and recreate the expertise of enjoying on a house console wherever you go.
My private favorite must be the Arctis 9 headset. It ruined different headsets for me with its lossless 2.4GHz, encompass sound audio alone, however the actual sport changer was its simultaneous Bluetooth connection. It doesn’t matter what I’m utilizing the headset for, I can join concurrently to my telephone to talk with associates or keep related to notifications even whereas I’m immersed in a sport or track.
Since founder Jacob Wolff-Petersen sought to enhance the dust-magnet mousepad that precipitated fellow Counter-Strike gamers grief 20 years in the past, SteelSeries has filed over 40 patents for his or her improvements as they search to stability skilled high quality and sturdiness with trendy design. After producing the primary gaming headset, they added the retractable mic. Their Ikari mouse was the primary to incorporate onboard profiles, and so they had been the primary to make a devoted MMO mouse with further keys.
In the previous few years, they’ve introduced haptic suggestions and true 1:1 monitoring to mice, and excessive constancy audio to headsets. They took keyboards to the following stage with omnipoint adjustable switches, permitting gamers to customise the sensitivity of every particular person key. This yr SteelSeries seeks to take this even additional with their PrismCaps—common keycaps that add sturdiness, guarantee your keys’ lettering won’t ever fade, and improve RGB lighting, even on rivals’ keyboards.
On the software program facet, the corporate has made the leap to a brand new engine known as SteelSeries GG. Customers can fine-tune their gadgets mechanically and aesthetically, or use the included Moments function to clip, edit, and share gameplay highlights.
SteelSeries has lengthy labored with Apple, with their Nimbus and Stratus controllers, and is at present providing 3-month trials for Apple Arcade for individuals who buy the Nimbus+. This yr they’re additionally collaborating with another huge names—because the unique peripheral provider for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas eSports Workforce, and as Peripheral Companion for the Crimson Bull Solo Q and Flick tournaments. They’re at present companions with FaZe Clan, Crimson Bull’s Workforce OG, and TYLOO, China’s #1 CS:GO staff, to call a number of.
Maybe extra importantly, the corporate can be devoted to sustainability in lots of kinds, to do proper by future generations of avid gamers. When it comes to materials, they’ve dedicated to utilizing 100% recycled paper of their inside packaging buildings and 100% plant-based inks, whereas decreasing materials and packaging supplies as properly—their Aerox mice use 25% much less plastic than commonplace mice.
However sustainability additionally consists of social issues. SteelSeries is a signatory of the UN World Compact, particularly devoted to 4 of its Sustainable Improvement Objectives (SDGs)—gender equality, reasonably priced and clear power, respectable work and financial development, and accountable consumption and manufacturing. Stream income from their Twitch web page—which at present has 131k followers—is donated to causes like Black Lives Matter and Asian People Advancing Justice.
Final month, their charity companion was the Trevor Undertaking, the main nationwide group offering free, 24/7 disaster intervention and suicide prevention providers to LGBTQ youth. Earnings from restricted version Arctis Professional speaker plates had been donated to the trigger, a quantity then matched by the corporate. That is the newest within the firm’s effort to enact constructive social change, each in and past their workforce.
A historical past of innovation? Examine—who is aware of what gaming peripherals would appear like now if SteelSeries hadn’t offered so many firsts. One thing for all ranges of avid gamers? Examine. Dedication to not solely their clients, however the bigger neighborhood? Examine. SteelSeries has all of it, and I imagine they deserve your vote for this inaugural Model of the 12 months contest.
(Make sure you take a look at the Model of the 12 months homepage and forged your vote!)