Overwatch esports league expanded and ready for th

first_imgOverwatch esports league expanded and ready for the road AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email With eight new franchises and plans to take its regular season on the road, the Overwatch League is opening its second year a few steps closer to its goal of becoming a truly global, city-based esports league.The circuit’s inaugural season was an industry-shifting success. Launched with 12 teams from three continents, the Overwatch League drew hundreds of thousands of online viewers to its regular-season matches in Southern California and packed Brooklyn’s Barclays Center during a two-night championship between the London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fury. The league got financial backing from traditional sports heavyweights like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, signed on with major advertising partners, and landed a two-year broadcasting deal with ESPN — its Grand Final was even the first live esport event aired by the traditional sports giant in prime time.It was a promising debut, but executives for the league have been clear that their aspirations are higher. Commissioner Nate Nanzer envisions his players becoming “global superstars,” seen in the same light as Lionel Messi or LeBron James. In 2018, the league proved it could lay the groundwork for such a stage. Now it’s time to find out if the foundation can bear the weight of some additions.The league begins play Thursday with a rematch between London and Philadelphia. Here’s what to expect in season two:LOOKING BACKA quick refresher on the league and the game: “Overwatch” is a first-person shooter released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2016, and it was built with competitive gaming in mind. Each team gets six players, and the squads compete to escort vehicles across intricate maps or protect designated zones from enemy capture. Players can choose from 29 characters with varying abilities. It’s heavy on teamwork and strategy, and it can be dizzyingly fast paced, especially to new viewers and players.The league sold twelve expansion slots for the inaugural season for a reported $20 million each. The teams recruited their own rosters, with players coming mostly from South Korea but also the U.S., Canada, Europe and elsewhere. The minimum salary was set at $50,000, and Nanzer has said the average salary is well above that. Players were almost all provided housing by their clubs, as well as physical trainers and team chefs.Teams vied for a share of a $3.5 million prize pool, with the champion Spitfire taking home $1 million after sweeping the Fury in in the finals. The two-day match drew 10.8 million viewers globally and was crowned Esports Live Event of the Year at the 2018 Esports Awards.GETTING MORE GLOBALNanzer’s goal is to have 28 teams, each connected to a city — an unprecedented endeavour for competitive video games. It added eight franchises during its first off-season: Paris joins London as the only European clubs; Washington and Atlanta expanded the U.S. contingent; Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia, became the first Canadian teams; and China got franchises in Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.Eventually, all those franchises will have arenas in their home cities, hoping to draw hundreds or thousands of fans to each match. That won’t happen until at least 2020, and Nanzer was noncommittal in an interview with The Associated Press last week about the timeline for those homecomings.The league is giving fans in some cities a taste of live action this season. It will hold Homestand Weekends in Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles, an experiment that will inform future decisions on how to build a full home-and-away schedule for the league.With expansion, competitive balance could become a concern. There was a bit of a skill gap even in the inaugural season — the Shanghai Dragons, for instance, went 0-40. But Nanzer is confident the league’s new teams — built largely with players coming from Overwatch’s top minor league, Overwatch Contenders — can keep the bar high enough to satisfy a demanding fanbase.SEEKING STABILITYMarket research firm Newzoo projected this week that esports revenues will surpass $1 billion for the first time in 2019, yet traditional advertising partners have been apprehensive investing in some esport circles. In part because of its structural resemblance to traditional sports leagues, Overwatch has had more success there. The league debuted with major sponsors like Toyota and T-Mobile, and it added Coca-Cola as an advertising partner this month. It has also entered a multiyear partnership with sports merchandise retailer Fanatics to boost jersey sales, plus there’s the non-exclusive broadcast deal with ESPN.That advertising support — and accompanying revenue — are noteworthy in this industry. Just last summer, Riot Games — the company behind esports giant “League of Legends” — revealed it was not close to turning a profit despite its massive popularity. Nanzer wouldn’t comment directly on the Overwatch League’s finances, but he and the league’s investors have expressed confidence in its financial direction.“I think the inaugural season exceeded expectations on all fronts,” Nanzer said. “I think we’re definitely pacing ahead of schedule.”___More AP esports: https://apnews.com/Esports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsJake Seiner, The Associated Presscenter_img by Jake Seiner, The Associated Press Posted Feb 13, 2019 11:54 pm PDTlast_img read more

Petition to keep printmaking school open after access barred

first_imgTHE founder and owner of the Hambis printmaking school in Platanistia village in the Limassol district launched a petition on Monday calling on the government to open the access road to his school, blocked by the village’s community leader last week over a land dispute.Hambis Tsangaris, in his petition to the government, launched through Avaaz online platform, is demanding the access road to the Hambis printmaking centre be opened and therefore comply with a 2015 report by the ombudswoman who had pointed out that the school ought to have receive assistance to carry on serving its cultural role.Earlier in the month, Tsangaris said, the ombudswoman gave the Limassol district administration and the community council 10 days to explain why what had been asked in the 2015 report was not applied.The artist announced last week that his engraving school that also includes a museum would close because the road leading to it had been blocked off by the community leader of Platanistia, who claimed that it was part of a plot belonging to his son.The paved road, he said, was constructed in 1997 by the Limassol district administration, on the suggestion of the then community leader, to facilitate access to the school but was also used by many others.Platanistia, Tsangaris told the Cyprus Mail, is a Turkish Cypriot village and all property is being leased to individuals by the interior ministry’s guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties.He said he founded his school there in 1995, but access to it had been a dirt road.“The former community leader, who had appreciated my work, arranged for it to be paved by the Limassol district administration,” Tsangaris said.A house on another part of the plot adjacent to the school was used by other tenants, but after the previous tenants left, the new community leader arranged for the plot to be given to his son to live in. According to Tsangaris, he also blocked access to the school, claiming that the path in question is within his son’s plot.“Since access to our school has been closed, we suspended its operations until the road is opened again,” he said. The school was offering free printmaking courses and were in memory of Tsangaris’ teacher, the renowned Greek engraver A. Tassos.Tsangaris said that even though the Limassol district officer has said he would find other access roads for his school, there was no other way.“I am waiting for him to come over and find another passage to the school,” he said.He added that he had been encountering numerous problems over the years caused by the community council, such as blocking the entrance with obstacles, irrational taxation and yelling and swearing in front of pupils visiting the school and museum.“They want to choke the museum and school,” Tsangaris said.An official source close to the case, told the Cyprus Mail that there were two other roads to the school and that the disputed access road is illegal as it is passing through another person’s plot.But in his petition, Tsangaris said that the disputed road is the only viable access to the school for vehicle access which is necessary when transporting heavy equipment and materials and for disabled people to visit.Without this entrance, there is no school, he said.“The school is dying and there is no alternative entrance because it is impossible for a car to enter from any other point to the school,” he said.The community leader of Platanistia was not immediately available to comment.In a written statement last week, Tsangaris said he was closing down his school, which had offered free courses to thousands of people in its 23 years of life, as there was no longer access to it.Many were outraged by what happened including Akel, which called for the decision to be reversed. Former President Demetris Christofias urged President Anastasiades, to intervene and put an end to the blocking of to the engraving school.The petition may be found here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/community_petitions/Kratos_Na_anoixei_to_perasma_pros_tin_Eisodo_tis_Sholis_Haraktikis_Hampi_3/?emEzDpnb&utm_source=sharetools&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition-552109-Kratos_Na_anoixei_to_perasma_pros_tin_Eisodo_tis_Sholis_Haraktikis_Hampi&utm_term=EzDpnb+en You May LikeUPRIGHT GO Posture Training DeviceThis Device Could Stop Your Back and Neck Pain At The Source!UPRIGHT GO Posture Training DeviceUndoWoodworking Toolkit10 Best Router Tables – Reviews & Buying GuideWoodworking ToolkitUndoKelsea VenturesThe Ultimate Guide To Rhodes GreeceKelsea VenturesUndo Korkolis brings magic to the stageUndoFresh case of Blue Nile virus in northUndoAt least 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate’s office in KabulUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more