Gaming

Riot Games lays down Esports plans for VALORANT in 2021

In partnership with seven Esports organizations across Southeast Asia

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Riot Games struck gold when they introduced the world to VALORANT, their take on team-based shooter games. With the launch of the VALORANT Ignition Series, they hoped to kickstart their game’s rise in Esports. With 2020 possibly ending soon, they turn their focus to the future of the game, and providing more competitive opportunities. For them, that all begins in 2021 as they lay down plans for Southeast Asia!

Essentially, Riot Games partnered with seven Esports organizations across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong for regional tournaments. These tournaments hope to bring the best out of these markets when it comes to the character-based 5v5 shooter game. Now, it will be up to these organizations to host these tournaments and showcase intense and high-stakes action. Eventually, teams who participate and win have a chance to represent their country on the international VALORANT stage.

Also, Riot decided to extend the invitation to the collegiate ranks to cultivate the next generation of gamers in the Esports scene. These will bring an exciting series of tournaments to college students who wish to experience the thrill of insane competition.

To know more and possibly participate, kindly reach out to the following organizations for your respective markets:

  • Mineski Philippines (Esports) and AcadArena (Collegiate) for the Philippines
  • The Gaming Company for Malaysia and Singapore (Esports)
  • PGL and Eliphant for Singapore Collegiate
  • Professional Gamers League and Eliphant for Singapore (Collegiate)
  • Talon for Hong Kong and Taiwan (Esports)
  • Taiwan Mobile and TeSL for Taiwan (Collegiate)
  • ESL for Thailand
  • ONE Up for Indonesia

Update as of October 21, 2020

In addition to these 2021 plans, a nationwide VALORANT tournament is already underway in the Philippines via VALORANT First Strike: Philippines. The eight teams that will battle it out in this PhP 500,000 (around US$ 10,300) tournament will advance from the Mineski VxV community cup. Registration is ongoing and will close on October 28, 2020.

On other VALORANT tournaments

RIOT: Mineski has been appointed to handle official VALORANT esports and collegiate in the Philippines for 2021, but this doesn’t stop other organizers from running their own community VALORANT tournaments. We are always looking to support community-led initiatives and competitions, and organizers will be able to work directly with Riot on grassroots activities.

Gaming

Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for nearly US$ 70B

Massive acquisition

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Microsoft Activision

Here’s a move no one saw coming. Microsoft has just acquired gaming company Activision Blizzard for a whopping US$ 68.7 billion in an all-cash transaction.

This means every studio and every game under Activision Blizzard now belongs to Microsoft. These include the creators of popular franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and more.

The acquisition will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Bobby Kotick, who has been embroiled in several issues concerning company culture will remain as CEO of Activision Blizzard. Once the deal formally closes, he and his team will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

Exclusives?

The initial statement release stated that the Microsfot will continue to be present in the platforms that Activision Blizzard has established communities in. This could have allayed fears that the acquired titles will now be exclusive to Microsoft and Xbox. However, this line is no longer present and has been replaced with statements from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer.

“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Satya Nadella.

“Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want,” said Spencer.

Game Pass

The acquisition bodes well for Microsoft’s Game Pass. It already boasts of hundreds, if not thousands of gaming titles as well as over 25 million users.

The acquisition will add some parts of  Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries. It will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry.

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Gaming

My Hero Academia is getting a battle royale game

In closed beta right now

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Image source: Gematsu

Just when you thought the battle royale craze was over, a new contender has approached. Capitalizing on one of the most popular anime series in modern history, Bandai Namco is launching a battle royale based on My Hero Academia. My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble is currently undergoing a beta test now.

Officially teased by Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine (spotted by Gematsu), the upcoming battle royale game will come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Like other battle royales in the genre, the game will be free-to-play.

Image source: Gematsu

However, instead of an all-out brawl between dozens and dozens of players, the game will only feature 24 players in a single round. Though Bandai Namco has not announced a launch date for the battle royale, a closed beta announcement means things are rolling smoothly. It might not take long before an open beta and an eventual launch happens.

My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble makes sense as a spin-off of the popular anime series. Put simply, My Hero Academia takes place in a world where superpowers are commonplace. It’s easy to see how a battle royale based on the anime can work especially with different powers acting as a way to eliminate opponents.

Curiously enough, the game is coming out in older console generations, rather than the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S.

SEE ALSO: FF7 series launches new PS5 update, mobile battle royale

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Gaming

Microsoft has stopped making all Xbox One consoles

To focus on Xbox Series X/S

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Despite the global shortage, the gaming world is steadily moving towards next generation dominance. Both Sony and Microsoft want gamers to use either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X/S exclusively. However, the ongoing problem is preventing gamers from switching. To help with the shortages, Microsoft is discontinuing all Xbox One consoles.

This has been a slow death for the previous Xbox generation. Back in 2020, Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition to pave the way for the then-launching Xbox Series X/S. That was only part of the equation. Gamers could still get other variants of the Xbox One series. Of course, that ends now.

Microsoft has stopped producing new units of all Xbox One consoles. If you want to purchase an older Xbox, you’ll have to rely on existing stock.

According to a statement sent to The Verge, the company pushed through with the decision to focus its production more on the still-scant Xbox Series X/S. With enough luck, the move might help the shortage. Both the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5 still notoriously sell out seconds after new stock is announced.

Ironically, Sony is trying the opposite strategy. Because of the ongoing shortages, the PlayStation maker is instead manufacturing more PlayStation 4 units this year, ideally to fill in the lacking PlayStation 5 stock.

Which strategy will prevail? At this point, no one is. Both consoles are still missing from stores despite overwhelming demand.

SEE ALSO: Xbox creates a SpongeBob-themed Xbox Series X

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