Gamers Unite

Edition 28 - June 14th to June 20th

Good morning gamers. We’d like to thank everyone for the support on our E3 Recap - Special Edition newsletter last week. Even though E3 is over, the gaming world keeps pushing out some exciting news. Last week, Call of Duty launched its Season Four update, Pokemon Unite confirmed a release date and FIFA made a change to their Loot Boxes. So, pause your game and check out what’s going on in the gaming world.

CALL OF DUTY - Season Four

Season Four just began in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. Season Three saw Verdansk undergo its biggest changes since release. 

Crashed Satellites can now be found around Verdansk. According to their blogpost, there are four satellite crash sites, each having a different impact on the surrounding area which offer players a new gameplay experience. The satellites are located in Farmland, Bloc 18, Summit and Gora Bridge.

Gulag has been updated in Warzone. The Gulag is now modelled after the map Hijacked that was originally introduced in 2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The gulag was previously modelled after Standoff, which had mixed reviews from players. 

The Dirt Bike is now a mode of travel in Warzone. The addition of the dirt bike is the first addition of a new vehicle since the launch of Warzone. The dirt bike is now the fastest way to travel around Verdansk with a buddy.

Call of Duty: World War II Vanguard will be getting its own Battle Royale map in 2021. According to data miner and leaker Nanikos, the points of interest (POIs) for the new map are in the current Warzone game code. The new POIs are: Resort, Capital, Radio Station, Subpen, Farms, Airfield, Lagoon, Beach Head, Caldera, Mines, Village, Airstrip, Docks and Arsenal.

POKÉMON UNITE - A new way to be the very best! 

Pokémon’s first strategic team battle game, Pokémon UNITE, will be releasing on Nintendo Switch next month before coming to mobile devices in September. The cross-platform game is being developed by Tencent’s TiMi Studios and is reportedly free-to-play. Here’s everything we know so far.

Gameplay: Pokémon UNITE is a 5v5 team-based MOBA game similar to League of Legends. Players will always begin with their selected Pokémon at level 1 but will be able to unlock new moves and evolve their pokemon as the game progresses. Some key ways of gaining Aeos energy (experience points) is by scoring game points, battling your opponents and catching wild Pokémon along the way. With enough Aeos energy, players can even unlock a powerful ultimate-like ability called a Unite Move. You win the game by having more points scored than your opponents when the time runs out. 

Setting: The game is played on an unexplored island known as Aeos Island. 

Pokémon: Unlike the traditional games, UNITE doesn’t have type strengths and weaknesses. Each Pokémon fills a unique role with unique individual stats such as attacker, defender, speedster, supporter and all-arounder. Some of the Pokémon available include Pikachu, Venusaur, Gengar, Charizard, Machamp, Snorlax, Mr. Mime and a handful more. 

Extra Content: UNITE will launch with a seasonal battle pass and a selection of cosmetic items for both the pokemon and the players. Aeos coins and gems will serve as the in-game currency which can be used to unlock various types of items. 

FIFA - Loot Boxes Changing?

EA Sports releases a FIFA title every year and the majority of players purchase the game to play FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT). FUT is a game mode which allows players to play with their favourite players against others to earn rewards. The game mode earns revenue through the sale of Loot Boxes, otherwise known as “packs”. 

According to Daniel Ahmad, EA Sports earned a Net Revenue of $1.49 billion in Fiscal Year 2020 and $1.37 billion in Fiscal Year 2019 from just FUT. Superstar players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale recently began to question EA, as they are not paid for the use of their likeness in FUT. 

Pack Previews were implemented this week on FUT 21. Players are now able to open any pack in the store and preview its contents prior to making a decision on whether to purchase it or not. The previews reset every 24 hours, so players are able to log in daily and view the set pack contents and decide to purchase them with the in-game currency or with FIFA points. 

Why? EA Sports is making this feature available solely for their ongoing Festival of FUTball campaign. The added feature has two purposes, firstly to push a player who doesn’t spend money on the game to do so and secondly, EA is testing the waters on potential changes they will have to make to their system in the future. EA is currently in the midst of several legal battles with regards to Loot Boxes encouraging minors to gamble. Belgium banned FIFA points as of January 31, 2021.

Esports Corner

A Record-Setting ALGS Event 

The Apex Legends Global Series has finally come to an end and the champions have been crowned for each of the major competing regions. Congratulations to Team Kungarna (North America), SCARZ Europe (EMEA), WOLFPACK ARCTIC (APAC South), FENNEL Korea (APAC North) and Paradox Esports (South America) on your championship runs. 170 total teams qualified for the event but only 20 of the best teams from each region could compete in the finals for their portion of the $2.58 million prize. It was the largest prize pool in Apex Legends history where more than $1.5m was crowdfunded through special in-game bundle purchases. 

The Big 12 Confirmed 

The International 10, one of the worlds biggest esport events is six weeks away (beginning August 5th) and it will have a record-breaking $40m prize pool. 18 teams will qualify for the event, 12 of which get direct invites through the Dota Pro Circuit. The final 6 wildcard spots (one from each region) will be determined through regional qualifiers taking place at the end of the month. The 12 teams who have already secured their spots include Evil Geniuses, Virtus.Pro, PSG.LGD, Quincy Crew, Invictus Gaming, T1, Team Secret, Team Aster, Vici Gaming, Alliance, Beastcoast and Thunder Predator. You can get an early preview of the regional qualifier brackets on Liquipedia

LEC Spot Up For Grabs

European Football Club Schalke 04 have reportedly sold their LEC spot to Swiss team BDS for a shocking €30m. The professional football team finished last in the Bundesliga this year (the top tier German Football league) and have been relegated to the second tier division. As a result of this lacklustre performance, and in addition to struggles brought on by covid-19, the club is now facing major financial issues. The sale of their LEC spot becomes a top-5 asset transaction for the European club, behind only the sale of world-class players. We are still waiting for the official confirmation from the club and there is no word regarding the future of Shalkes current League of Legends roster. 

This Week in Esports

Game Review - Chivalry 2

Chivalry 2 is a multiplayer first-person hack and slash action game set in the medieval ages. It has different team-based game modes and a free for all mode. The 32 v 32 team death-match game mode is a chaotic but beautiful sight to see.  It does have a learning curve to it so we definitely recommend going through all the tutorials before going into battle. This game is the definition of "value,” as it has a low price and is loads of fun.  This is a great game to play with a friend. We give Chivalry 2 a score of B. 

Gaming Roundup

  • Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes were revealed as the cover athletes for Madden 22 releasing on August 20, 2021. It is the second time both players are featured on the cover but the first time two quarterbacks are featured together. 

  • Hellblade 2 might be in early development according to an update by developer Ninja Theory. They’re currently focusing on a specific chunk of the development while characters and costumes are still being scanned in. 

  • The Last of Us Part I (2013) and Part II (2020) both celebrated their release anniversaries this week. The franchise is expected to be remastered for the PS5.

  • Grand Theft Auto Online will be shut down on December 16, 2021 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The decision was made to facilitate the launch of the expanded version of the game for the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in the Fall.

  • Xbox Design Lab has returned allowing players to customize their controllers and even engrave their Gamertags. The program was paused in October of 2021 during the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. 

  • Among Us, the 2018 online multiplayer social game celebrated their third anniversary this week. To celebrate, they released 15 player lobbies, 6 new colours, mobile controller support, updated art, new kill screen meeting menu and modifications on The Airship.

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