The Zowie Phenomenon
NEWS | Abdullah 'anneKsiy' Adam | Bravado | March 27, 2017
Zowie Gear was founded in 2008 and is arguably the leading e-Sports peripheral manufacturer in the world. Zowie’s slogan, “STRIVE FOR PERFECTION”, clearly indicates the goals of the manufacturer and provided that a company can deliver on a slogan like that, they should have no trouble at all with becoming a well sought-after brand. Many believe that a large part of Zowie Gear’s success stems from their peripherals having two legendary e-Sports players, Emil “HeatoN” Christensen and Abdisamad “SpawN” Mohamed in the development team.
ZOWIE has become an icon. The symbol holds its own prestige, akin to that of say, Montblanc and their famous white star in the pen world. Zowie has directed their products towards the more serious, professional community in e-Sports, boasting products with amazing durability, functionality and simplicity. Despite the craze in high DPI sensors, and the even more recent craze in RGB lighting, Zowie has stuck to their roots and their slogan.
Some argue that the perfect mouse should have a high DPI sensor, RGB lights and still have amazing reliability, but that is not where the “perfection” lies in Zowie’s mice, it lies in the reliability and consistency. By not requiring additional software, having flashy RGB lighting and crazy high DPI sensors, Zowie has created a mouse that has a minimal chance of failing its heavy and hard user and also given itself and its engineers the opportunity to tune the best sensors available, design the most ergonomic shapes and create an experience which is extremely consistent. It is no secret that the majority of professionals use Zowie peripherals, in particular their mice and the reason is exactly that, their reliability and consistency.
A few examples of top players who use ZOWIE mice are f0rest, s1mple, coldzera, kennyS, dev1ce and the list goes on and on and we’ve got the proof that can be found right here.
With laser sensors it is possible to achieve a sensor which is capable of reaching DPI’s well over 10000, however, the issue with laser sensors is their acceleration. Acceleration is the characteristic of a sensor to take the speed it is moving into account, and using that speed to adjust and calculate a different position on screen as to where it would usually land without acceleration. This characteristic causes the player to be inconsistent due to his mouse, therefore it is a feature which is shunned and looked down upon in the competitive scene. So we are left with optical sensors, the only sensors which ZOWIE use. They track accurately and as far as Zowie is concerned, do not have acceleration.
You still may be wondering, why don’t I need a mouse with a trillion DPI, well here’s why: Just like in other sports, the professionals set the bar, and the bar for e-Sports, and Counter-Strike in general, has been to use a DPI between 400 and 1600 (with anything over 800 being rare). The majority of professional players use a DPI of between 400 and 1600, along with a sensitivity in-game between 2 and 3 at 400 dpi (some professional players use different DPI settings, however the easiest way to calculate the exact sensitivity on a specific DPI would be to take the divide the product of the professional player’s DPI and in-game sensitivity by the desired DPI; ProDPI X ProSENS = Y , Y/DesiredDPI = in-game sensitivity). Using a sensitivity in this range allows for control, while maintaining the flexibility and fast movement capabilities a high sensitivity grants you. Thus using a lower dpi helps to keep your sensitivity in-game simple, and also would be comfortable to use outside of the game.
Reviewing the EC2-A
The packaging is very minimal, sleek and eco friendly. The mouse is well protected and it comes with a manual running the consumer through all of the details regarding how to programme the mouse to his/her liking. Prior to using the EC2-A, I was most familiar with the Razer Deathadder. As far as shape is concerned, they are very similar, or at least, look similar. Their aesthetics is where the similarities end as far as I’m concerned (apart from both being gaming mice of course).
As far as software is concerned, there is none, apart from the initial windows driver installation required to use the mouse, there is no other software required to operate this mouse, which is a huge benefit in my opinion as it allows you to plug into any system and start playing without the fuss of downloading software, signing in, etc. This is very important when constantly traveling to LANS and Competitions. The switches (mouse 1, mouse 2, side buttons and scroll wheel along with scroll click) are all very tactile and responsive. The scroll wheel itself is the best scroll wheel I have ever used. Seriously, it’s amazing. It’s large, smooth, has tactile steps, doesn’t scroll accidentally and is easy, but not too easy to click in.
The cable is a part of the mouse which is a yay for some, and a nay for others. Personally, I love it. I always prefer rubber cables over braided cables as they tend to not fray and are easier to manage with/without a mouse bungee. The only wear and tear on my cable is slight discoloration near where I keep it posted in my homemade bungee. The sensor, as is expected from a mouse which is favored by many pros, has, in practical use, no faults. It is consistent, doesn’t spin out, tracks accurately and is very responsive. The lift off distance is very, very low, from my testing. It was lower than 1 CM, which for me is perfect for Counter Strike. The mouse feet… To put it in one word, perfect. This should be the industry standard for mouse feet. There are two huge mouse feet, at the top and bottom of the mouse, that provide for a very smooth and consistent motion across the mouse-pad, and so far have very minimal signs of wear.
Finally, the shape. Like I said, it looks similar to the Deathadder, but in the hand, it feels much more ergonomic and welcoming. It has a relatively high bridge towards the centre of the mouse, which aids palm grip users, while still giving support for my claw/fingertip hybrid. It isn’t too big, it isn’t too small, it’s just right. Overall this is a great mouse. It is my daily user, and has been for almost a year now. It has very little wear, with only minor discoloration on the cable and a bit of the plastic peeling on the right side of the mouse (very little). The EC2-A is my grail mouse.
You can read more about the EC2-A by heading over to the official Zowie website here.
Reviewing the FK-1
The FK-1 is more of the same, with the only major difference being the shape of the mouse. It too, comes in sleek packaging with a useful manual instructing the user on how to change the polling rate and dpi of the mouse. Just like its cousin, the FK-1 boasts a plug and play feature, which allows for use without requiring software. The switches are also, very similar to the EC2-A, being very tactile and responsive. The scroll wheel is good, but not nearly as good as the scroll wheel on the EC2-A. The cable is rubbery just like the EC2-A, and that is the type of cable I prefer. The sensor is also phenomenal. It just never skips a beat.
Just like the EC2-A, it has the humongous mouse skates which provide for a buttery smooth glide with minimal resistance, even on a cloth pad. Finally the shape. It is an ambidextrous shape, with buttons on both sides. For me it’s too large, granted I don’t have the smallest hands in the world, so it is a bit strange. It feels uncomfortable to stretch my hand out to grasp the entire body of the mouse, while my palm gets caught under the rear of the mouse. I didn’t find the side buttons on both sides to be too intrusive, and sometimes it’s nice to have a spare set of buttons to smash when you lose out on beating your bhop record by .4 seconds. I tried various grips besides my claw/fingertip hybrid, but none seemed to work for me. Judging from what I’ve said, the FK-2 should be perfect, as it is a bit smaller than the FK-1.
You can read more about the FK-1 by heading over to the official Zowie website here.
Buying in South Africa
Finally, in-case you haven’t heard, ZOWIE is now available in South Africa and they’re selling like hotcakes!
We’ve seen a variety of products ship into the country and they’re finally being made available by none other than Evetech. Make sure you head over to the Evetech website here. If you want to get directed specifically to the Zowie range, you can visit this link. Evetech now offers a variety of Zowie products such as Mice, Mousepads and Mouse Bungees and we promise, they will not disappoint!
You can also follow Evetech by heading over to their Facebook page here and their Twitter profile here. Alternatively, if you’d like to inquire about any of the Zowie products, you can send an e-mail to their friendly staff here.