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Will OWL Competitors Hurt Its Future?

Will OWL Competitors Hurt Its Future?

The Overwatch League (OWL) has brought in millions of viewers from all over the world. Its first week drew over 13 million viewers, outpacing the latest NA LCS season in League of Legends. Blizzards OWL might be finding views are dropping during the second week but reports are coming in that viewership is stabilizing. However, will this last with the recent bad press OWL is experiencing?

Conduct of the competitors and viewers continue to be a topic of discussion. Racist and homophobic remarks and memes are popping up in the stream chat as well as the actions of some competitors are calling the professionalism of the competition into question.

Owl, overwatch league, blizzard, blizzard entertainment, eSports, pro gaming, pro gamers, professional gaming, code of conduct, gaming news

This Is Just The Beginning 

Blizzard set out to create an eSports league unlike any other. Salaried competitors, one of the most popular games in the world, and holding individuals accountable just like professional football or baseball players. However, not being aired on national television opens up some questions about what type of conduct will be tolerated.

Owl, overwatch league, blizzard, blizzard entertainment, eSports, pro gaming, pro gamers, professional gaming, code of conduct, gaming news

Players are already feeling the impact of the OWL’s Code of Conduct. Friday, January 19th, Dallas Fuel player Felix “xQc” Lengyel was suspended for four matches and fined $2,000 for violating the Code of Conduct during his individual stream. The official Overwatch League website stated that the league “takes standards of player behavior seriously whether during league play or otherwise, and is committed to responding swiftly when violations occur.

Where Is The Code of Conduct?

Even though the officials of the OWL say they take the Code of Conduct seriously, there is still no way for the general public to see what they actually are. Overwatch league’s commissioner, Nate Nanzer has still not made these rules public. “We just haven’t gotten around to it,” Nanzer told the Telegraphic. “I don’t know the exact timeline, but it’s something that we’re working on, and I think we’ll have it published within the next few months.” http://bit.ly/2nbMDOI

Owl, overwatch league, blizzard, blizzard entertainment, eSports, pro gaming, pro gamers, professional gaming, code of conduct, gaming news, nate nanzer

Having a solidified Code of Conduct available to the public will be an important step toward further legitimizing the Overwatch League. They need to be clear, set in stone, and competitors must be held to the standards. Blizzard is allowed to set their own rules and conditions, but it will be important for the public to be able to understand what will be allowed in the professional eSports league so it doesn’t feel as though Blizzard is making things up as they go along.

Things Start Slow

Just as in professional Baseball and Football, standards and the code of conduct continue to evolve. Now, football players aren’t allowed to spike the ball in the end zone or celebrate with a dance. Rules and regulations of the NFL have changed over time and the Overwatch League is still brand new. It will be quite some time before the Code of Conduct will mature to a point where viewers and gamers can both surmise what’s acceptable behavior. Furthermore, the fact that these events aren’t on national television and instead streamed through services like Twitch could impact the decision making when creating the rules.

It will be important for the future of the league to address these issues. Blizzard is building the foundation for an impressive eSports league. However, if these issues continue to persist, the future of the OWL could be in jeopardy. There’s no telling if these streaming services will pull the plug if these kinds of violations continue to escalate.

Be sure to check back on Gigamax Games as the Overwatch League progresses. This is only the second week and there is sure to be more news coming out of this impressive tournament.

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Sources:

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/news/21363702/xqc-suspended-and-fined

https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/25/16933532/overwatch-league-profit-middle-finger-xqc-rules-code-of-conduct

https://compete.kotaku.com/overwatch-league-commissioner-just-hasnt-gotten-around-1822393347

https://compete.kotaku.com/racist-jokes-keep-showing-up-in-overwatch-league-broadc-1822376195

Overwatch Skins Update Arrives Soon See What’s Coming

New Overwatch Skins are Around the Corner

Tomorrow marks the launch of Blizzard's latest update to their wildly popular hero based shooter, Overwatch and it includes a ton of new looks for some of the most popular characters. Overwatch skins are some of the most sought-after collectibles in gaming, mainly because of their unique nature that not only looks nice but adds more depth to the heroes. Altogether there are 16 new skins for fans to collect and they can all be acquired through the Cosmetic Loot Boxes.

Overwatch skins, new update, blizzard world, overwatch, gigamax, gigamax games, gigamax news, video game news

McCree, Reaper, Junk Rat, Symetra, Orisa, Mei, Pharah, Hanzo, and Lucio are all getting new costumes that are not part of a larger set but still look incredible. Blizzard has yet to reveal the name of the new unique looks, although they typically they're pretty creative.

Meanwhile, Roadhog, Zarya, Torbjorn, Reinhardt, Mercy, and Doomfist are all receiving new skins based on other Blizzard IP's. The games that the updated skins are referencing include Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Starcraft. Fans of these series will all be delighted to see the hard work that went into detailing all of these skins that fit the characters perfectly.

New Skins Preview

Also included in the update is the latest addition to Overwatch's arenas, Blizzard World. This Disney World like theme park is the newest area where players can test their skills. Blizzard World is home to tons of homages to the game developer's greatest masterpieces and fans are sure to love all the references.

We're very excited to try our hand at rolling the newest skins tomorrow (1/23/18)! We'll be checking out the Overwatch skins update during the Gigamax PowerHour on Tuesday so if you're interested in seeing what the new update has to offer come stop by or check back after it drops for the video which will be located below.

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Diablo 3’s Darkening of Tristram Event Returns

Diablo 3's Darkening of Tristram Event Returns

We're about to step into the new year and as any loyal Diablo 3 fan knows, that means the Darkening of Tristram even is about to go live. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the popular dungeon crawler and this annual event was created to celebrate the occasion. More than just a small update, the developers recreated one of the original dungeons and dropped it into Diablo 3. This included the pixelated graphics, stiffer animations, and other old-school visual elements. Fans around the world loved Blizzards tribute to the series and it's about to come back.

Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane

"Your journey begins on the trail of a group of mysterious cultists causing trouble in Sanctuary. As you hunt them down in Adventure Mode, you’ll uncover clues leading to a portal into Tristram’s past, and the terrifying darkness that took hold of the town so many years ago," Blizzard said.

"Follow the clues and you’ll soon find yourself in a realm of glorious RetroVision™, where an all-too-familiar cathedral looms. Explore the depths and you’ll discover familiar enemies and iconic items, all brought to life in the Diablo III engine. Meanwhile, deep beneath the catacombs, the Dark Lord himself awaits any intrepid adventurer who dares to challenge him." (http://blizz.ly/2DtuUc4)

Has Anything Changed?

If this all sounds very familiar, that's because it is. In the comments on the blog post, many Diablo 3 players are saying this appears to be the same exact event they held last year. Some fans are excited that they'll have a second chance to earn all the loot they missed the first time around, but most are upset Blizzard hasn't announced anything new. The only clue the developer left to lead longtime fans to believe that they could earn anything new is a quote stating that players can earn "unique transmogrification effects, achievements, portraits, pets, and more."

The Darkening of Tristram begins at midnight PT on January 1 and runs until January 30. For all of those that missed last years event, take a look at the video above as the Gigamax crew explores this magical event.

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Moira: Overwatch’s Next DPS/Healer

Moira: Overwatch's Next DPS/Healer

Overwatch is adding another hero to the roster and she goes by the name, Moira. Blizzard also announced a few other new additions to their ultra popular multiplayer game as part of the opening ceremony for BlizzCon 2017. Players can also expect to see a new map that the studio is calling BlizzWorld and draws reference to the studio's other franchises such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo.

Meeting Moira

The biggest announcement from the opening ceremony was the addition of Moira. According to Blizzard she's a shady scientist that has ties to the game's evil mercenary group Talon and their operative, Reaper. As a former geneticist for the bad guys, she comes with a very unique set of skills that includes healing beams, teleports, and a variety of other bionic skills. Overwatch's director, Jeff Kaplan, noted that fans want to see more healing based heroes and that's why her abilities focus on aiding teammates but can also do serious damage when necessary.

A Detailed Look At The New Character

Kaplan also described her as a hybrid character, which is not typical for the game. Adding that he couldn't wait to see the character in the hands of the players. He also jokingly described the character as "OP AF" on Overwatch's official website where a detailed description of her specific skills that are outlined below.

  • Bionic Grasp: Using her left hand, Moira expends biotic energy to heal allies in front of her. Her right hand fires a long-range beam weapon that saps enemies’ health, healing Moira and replenishing her biotic energy.
  • Bionic Orb: Moira launches a rebounding biotic sphere; she can choose between a regeneration effect that heals the allies it passes through, or a decay effect that deals damage to enemies.
  • Fade: Moira quickly teleports a short distance.
  • Coalescence: Moira channels a long-range beam that both heals allies and bypasses barriers to damage her enemies.

Moira seems like a fun new addition to Overwatch's fast growing roster. It is always exciting when Blizzard announces any new content for the game, mainly because everyone knows there won't be a price tag. Moira is sure to hit the PTR soon so be sure to check back with Gigamax for more info on this interesting character!

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Have Mercy: Blizzard Buffs Popular Healer

Have Mercy: Blizzard Buffs Popular Healer

It seems that every few months Blizzard likes to change the meta for their insanely popular hero based shooter, Overwatch. This time around their monthly update includes changes to the way D.Va and Mercy operate. As of now, these updates are live on the PTR for gamers to test out and fans will notice that those aren't the only changes.

The most robust overhaul is coming to the popular healer, Mercy, who is getting a completely different ultimate. Not to worry though, she can still resurrect people only now it's a standard ability. Instead of reviving all her teammates with her ultimate, now it only resurrects one partner within five meters, has a 30 second cool down, and she is not invincible while casting the power.

Mercy, update, d.va, overwatch, overwatch update, gameplay, gigamax, gigamax news, latest games, pc, ps4, xbox one

The Dawn of Valkyrie

Her new ultimate is aptly named Valkyrie, which according to Blizzard "unleashes the full power of Mercy's Valkyrie suit." This power buffs both her suit and weapons in an extraordinary way. Check out the full list of what happens when the ultimate activates:

  • Caduceus Staff: Mercy's healing and damage boost beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff's effective range has been extended
  • Caduceus Blaster: Granted infinite ammo, while simultaneously increasing damage and fire rate
  • Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed
  • Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast
  • Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed
  • Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage

Blizzard explains why they decided to update the beloved healer, "While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy's gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems," they continued "It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It's still an important part of Mercy's kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, the new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity to make big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her."

Mercy, update, d.va, overwatch, overwatch update, gameplay, gigamax, gigamax news, latest games, pc, ps4, xbox one

Nerf This

Also new to the update are Blizzards previously detailed and controversial changes to the way D.Va plays. To make her a more formidable attacker she's been given a cluster of micro-missiles as well as the ability to fly and shoot at the same time. Sound a little unfair? It probably is and that's why they are also nerfing the recharge rate of her defense matrix. Finally, the only other character change is while Reinhardt has his shield up players can click the attack button and spin the camera 360 degrees.

Overwatch fans are certainly voicing their opinions on the latest changes and as usual they range from anger to overt happiness. We hear at Gigamax just love to watch the chaos following a dramatic update to this insanely popular game. It is not surprising that fans get so emotional during these times considering how invested many players are and the competitive nature of the game.

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Overwatch’s Doomfist: Meet the Brand New Fighter

Overwatch's Doomfist: Meet the Brand New Fighter

After a big origin story reveal last week, Blizzard surprised everyone and made the long awaited antagonist, Doomfist, playable on the Public Test Realm (PTR). This powerhouse is a welcomed addition to the already jam packed character roster. Mixing melee with a bit of ranged makes Overwatch's Doomfist a formidable opponent. To herald the announcement, Blizzard released a short animated clip that shows the characters escape and how he got put in jail in the first place.

Dommfist: An Origin Story

Doomfist's origin is a bit of a sad one. Once a highly intelligent and charismatic public figure, Akande Ogundimu, was born to a wealthy family that owned a prestigious prosthetic technology company. Ogundimu expanded his family's company to new levels and in his free time dedicated his life to learning various forms of martial arts. After the big Omnic Crisis he unfortunately lost his arm which was quickly replaced with a good ol' robot arm. But because this is a bad guy origin story, the robot arm made him ineligible in the martial arts tournaments he once held close to his heart. Eventually trying to fill this void led him into the arms of the evil mercenary company, Talon, which he quickly took over his business. After years of running the mercenary group he was taken down by our heroes over at Overwatch and locked up until his recent escape.

Overwatch's Doomfist

Combat and Abilities

Doomfist has a host of abilities available to him in order to take out the competition. His main weapon is a short range "Hand Cannon" that is like a shotgun version of the mega buster. Not very good at a distance, this gun is able to close the gap for the character to start using his Doomfist gauntlet, the real damage dealer. Doomfist is also able to close the gap with his seismic slam ability that lets him leap through the air and upon landing, nearby enemies will be dragged toward him. Once up close the anti-hero can use his rising uppercut ability to deal massive damage and launch his opponents into the air. Another handy move in his bag of tricks is the rocket punch, which deals a ton of damage after a short charge and will do even more if the enemy hits the wall. Doomfist will also gain shield charge upon successful ability hits and his devastating ultimate, meteor strike, sends the character to the sky to come crashing back down killing all that land in the blast radius.

Doomfist sounds like an awesome and unique character but that's not surprising considering Blizzard's recent additions to the game. This launch follows up their recent "Lunar Colony DLC" and fans can't wait for the antagonist to be available to all. Currently, Doomfist is only available on the PTR but Gigamax will be sure to have footage when he launches on the PS4 so be sure to keep checking back for more info!

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Is Doomfist Finally Coming to Overwatch?

Is Doomfist Finally Coming to Overwatch?

After much speculation and waiting, it appears that fans may finally see Doomfist in Overwatch. This hero has been teased almost since the game's first additional hero, Ana was introduced. From in game posters to a major celebrity visiting Blizzard's office, players have been anticipating the much fated reveal for almost an entire year.

Overwatch's latest PTR update suggests that all this waiting is finally over. Aptly titled "Doomfist / Summer Games" it seems Blizzard is finally ready to show off a brand new character and reintroduce the first seasonal event they held. The name for the PTR update was revealed to players that experienced crashes while using the new highlight saving feature, which lets fans save their best "Play of the Game." After the crash, the following crash log referred to the current version of the PTR as "Doomfist / Summer Games." As of now the reference has been removed but you can see a screenshot of the original crash log below.

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Image Source: http://bit.ly/2tLWu09

Jake Kaplan Weighs In

While the game's director, Jake Kaplan, has stated that the summer games event could return, no one at Blizzard has said anything about Doomfist. The backstory to the character was only made clear after fans fell in love with the idea of him joining the game. This could all potentially be a joke on Blizzard's part to extend the hype for the character or the beginning of a long series of frustrating hints, much like Sombra's reveal. Although Blizzard never officially revealed anything, it hasn't stopped fans from creating lore or Terry Crews from petitioning to play the character.

The introduction of Doomfist into Overwatch would be an awesome treat for next month. Recently, Blizzard stated that they would like to add something new every month. With the Lunar Colony map released last week fans were already speculating what July would hold and this could be the answer. Gigamax will be keeping a close eye on the Doomfist rumor so make sure to keep checking back for more!

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Necromancer Ready For Its Debut

Necromancer Ready For Its Debut

Finally, Blizzard announces a release date for the Necromancer in Diablo 3. Expected to drop June 27th, both long time Diablo fans and those new to the series are ecstatic about the news. For a long time, Diablo 3 players were promised this new class with very little information on when they will actually receive the update. But now, the time has come.

Necromancer, Diablo 3, new release, DLC, diablo update, diablo, new games

Gamers will only have to wait a few days to get their hands on the expansion. Those looking for an excuse to redownload or pick the game up again, now have the perfect reason to go back. Even though the class was compared to the Witch Doctor, the developers had to make some changes to the core game to accommodate its unique gameplay.

The Necromancer Stands Out

Let's take a look at what makes the necromancer stand out and why it might have taken so long to make it available to everyone. One of the main obstacles the developers had to hurdle was the lack of corpses in the original release. When Travis Day, Sr. Game Designer was asked about this, he explained they added enemy corpses when a necromancer is on the map. This may have been one of the leading causes of the hold up in regard to its release.

Necromancer, Diablo 3, new release, DLC, diablo update, diablo, new games

While the necromancer may have been a headache for the developers, it’s also a treat for the community. A melee focused Necromancer will still be possible in Diablo 3 and the popular summon, Golems will be making an appearance. Unfortunately they will be taking out the poison aspect of the class but the bone skill tree will remain.

There's Always More At Gigamax!

If you're a Diablo fan or curious about Diablo 3, jump over to the Diablo Let's Play Page. There you will find a bunch of videos covering different Diablo 3 updates and discussion surrounding the once elusive Necromancer update.

Check back on Gigamax Games soon for even more information and videos surrounding the upcoming Diablo 3 update.

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Who Really Owns Dota: Federal Court to Decide

Who Really Owns Dota: Federal Court to Decide

When Defense of the Ancients (Dota) was first released it was a mod for the popular RTS Warcraft III. Being a mod, it is hard to pinpoint exactly who was the most responsible for its inception as it was worked on by a ton of different people. The game also allowed for community feedback and at some point,became the center of a court case between Valve, who bought the rights from the original owner and Dota, court, gaming, valve, ucoolBlizzard, the creators of Defense of the Ancients. The case was eventually settled and Valve was deemed the owner. Blizzard was given permission to associate the name with its games but now after almost a decade, the case of who owns Dota is back in federal court.

Ars Technica Speaks Out

Dota, ars technica

In a report from Ars Technica, the case is centered around the recently released mobile games, Dota Legends and Heroes Charge. These games may be infringing on the original copyright. The first thing that needs to be decided is if the game is a collective work, which means a collection of work that's assembled. Developer of Heroes Charge, Ucool, made the claim that it is a collective work. This argument was eventually thrown out by Judge Charles Breyer stating "By that logic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be a collective work because it arranged the most popular Star Wars heroes, settings, and one-liners into a new movie."

The second argument revolves around Blizzard's end user agreement which states that no one can use any of the games creation tools to make something for commercial gain. The third and final argument is about a forum post from Dota's caretaker on September 23rd, 2004. The post stated "from this point forward, Dota is now open source. Whoever wishes to release a version of Dota may without my consent, I just ask for a nod in the credits to your map." Judge Breyer believes that this could mean anyone could make a version of the game to sell, he says that the vagueness leaves it open to interpretation.

Letting The Courts Decided

The case will be moving onto jury soon as Breyer has denied Ucool summary judgement. This case will set a huge precedent for the gaming industry and if Valve wins, it will secure their ownership of the game. If Ucool wins, the market will be open up to a ton of Dota clones. No matter what the results are, Gigamax will have the report. Make sure to keep checking back with Gigamax Games for all the latest in gaming news and updates!

Sources:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/05/does-valve-really-own-dota-a-jury-will-decide/

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2017/05/21/federal-court-case-questions-dota-39-s-real-ownership.aspx

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Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. recently announced the formation of a new division which will oversee Overwatch’s esports efforts. This will be a separate entity from Blizzard's current Esports division and will use the Major League Gaming name and all of the organization's assets which the company acquired in 2015 for $46 million. Blizzard made a statement back in November of 2016 that it planned to launch an Overwatch league with hopes of building the “world’s premier esports league.”

esports, activision, blizzard, mlg, new division

The new division will oversee management, operation, sales and distribution for all Overwatch’s esports programs which include the upcomingOverwatch World Cup and Overwatch League. The Overwatch World Cup finals will take place at BlizzCon 2017. It will be interesting to see how the finals go as Blizzard has complete control over every facet of their hit titles’ championship event.

What's The Official Word?

MLG, esports, blizzard, overwatch, activision

“The new division which will retain the MLG name, will build on Blizzard’s nearly 20-year history as a leader in esports and leverage MLG’s extensive experience with live events and content distribution," Blizzards press release read. “It will also operate the MLG-branded media network, which will broadcast both Blizzard and Activision esports content as well as other premium gaming programming.” http://pvp.live/2q1Rxkr

Blizzard thinks Overwatch is the next big thing and it’s beginning to look as if they’re absolutely right. However, the organization isn’t putting all their eggs in one basket. Their other games will continue to be run by Blizzard's original team for games like, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, leveraging the MLG division’s sales, media production and distribution capabilities along the way.

Nowhere To Go But Up

Esports continues to become more popular, gaining international attention and expanding every year. Blizzard is an economic powerhouse and it’ll be exciting to see how far Overwatch can go in the esports world with a dedicated division focused on the development and expansion of Overwatch’s competitive presence. However, Blizzard's new division could just be a way for the company to keep tabs on the quality control of all Overwatch tournaments, media and advertising. Only time will tell how or if this new move will impact  MLG’s future. Be sure to check back on Gigamax soon for the latest gaming industry developments.

For more, take a look at the complete Press Release from Blizzard

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Sources:

https://pvplive.net/c/blizzard-forms-new-division-to-oversee-overwatch-l
http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-integrates-mlg-to-form-new-esports-division-dedicated-exclusively-to-overwatch/
http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/802496/Overwatch-World-Cup-2017-Group-UK-USA-Blizzard

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