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Head of Xbox Phil Spencer: Game Pass model is “right answer,” calls PlayStation version “an inevitability”

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Rumors of Sony launching a new games subscription service for PlayStation that can rival Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass have been floating around for years, but credible reports actually put some truth to the project back in December

Now, with some steam firing around the new service, codenamed Spartacus, Xbox head Phil Spencer weighed in, calling the launch of Sony’s Game Pass competitor “an inevitability.”

When speaking to IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey, Spencer claims this is less about proving that launching Game Pass was a good move and more that this method of delivering games to the players is how the industry will evolve as innovation continues. 

“I don’t really look at it as validation. I actually, when I’m talking to our teams, I talk about it as an inevitability,” Spencer said. “So for us, we should continue to innovate, continue to compete, because the things that we’re doing might be advantages that we have in the market today, but they’re just based on us going first, not that we’ve created something that no one else can go create.”

Spencer, who has long tackled the issues surrounding games and their availability as time goes on, specifically noted Game Pass and the innovations it has helped bring on have helped the games industry work on new things, while also building on projects from the past.

Through Game Pass, Microsoft started publishing titles on PC and console simultaneously and now allows users to access hundreds of games, whether they are doing it from an Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, or even through the cloud on mobile. And in this instance, it all came from building out backward compatibility on Xbox and wanting a way to get games to more players. 

“I don’t mean it to sound like we’ve got it all figured out, but I think the right answer is allowing your customers to play the games they wanna play, where they wanna play them, and giving them choice about how they build their library, and being transparent with them about what our plans are in terms of our PC initiatives and our cross-gen initiatives and other things,” Spencer said. “So when I hear others doing things like Game Pass or coming to PC, it makes sense to me because I think that’s the right answer.”

In regard to Sony’s subscription service, which is reported as a three-tier model that will replace the current version of PlayStation Plus, Spencer says that he expects it to feature a PC skew and day one availability for Sony first-party titles. 

It is true that Sony has slowly been porting some of its biggest hits from the PlayStation 4 era to PC, such as the recently released God of War, there has always been a significant delay between their console and PC releases. And the initial reports surrounding the Spartacus project claim that Sony isn’t expected to include its bigger game releases day-and-date on the finalized service. 

This information could be dated and Sony might have shifted its priorities to driving subscriptions rather than operating the new subscription model and pushing for first-party sales, however, we won’t know more about the publishing plans or PlayStation backward compatibility until the service is officially announced.

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DRX addresses League roster rumors circulating on social media

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Every League of Legends fans knows that DRX had a magical run to 2022 League of Legends World Championship, but this current offseason has been anything but for the defending Summoner’s Cup winners. For example, the organization recently had to release a statement addressing some rumors that recently began to circulate on social media about their 2022 lineup.

Over the past day, speculation swirled around the organization as supporters wondered what the new roster would be for the following year, including popular Korean mid laner Doinb. The 25-year-old veteran revealed on his stream that DRX supposedly tried to sign superstar jungler Kanavi as an incentive for breakout midlane star Zeka to re-sign with the organization.

When DRX wasn’t able to secure Kanavi’s services for next year, Zeka decided to test free agency. In response, the organization released a statement and reassured the fans that they “made it a priority to renew the contracts with the five existing players.” They also said that they never suggested an outside player to the current roster when negotiating conditions.

When the global offseason period began, all of DRX’s players entered free agency as their contracts ended after Worlds, and multiple pieces of the team began to sign with different organizations. Superstar AD carry Deft signed with DWG KIA, while Kingen and Zeka signed with Hanwha Life Esports.

It was a disappointing end for many fans who thought this Cinderella squad could continue their run together as a fan favorite in 2023. With three of the five player from the 2022 roster departing, DRX will need to rebuild itself once more as they hunt for the magic they managed to capture in a bottle this past October.

If DRX cannot reach the pinnacle of League again, they can still be proud to have one of the greatest runs in the esport’s history under their belt.



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Ramattra’s gameplay revealed in Overwatch 2 trailer

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A new tank is heading to Overwatch 2 alongside the upcoming season planned for Dec. 6, and his abilities look scary. Ramattra’s gameplay was revealed in a video trailer earlier today, showing his weapon and abilities.

The video shows a shield ability similar to Sigma’s, as well as abilities revolving around form-changing. Similarly to Bastion, Ramattra can temporarily transform to focus on either shielding himself or dealing damage to the enemies. Overall, he looks like a versatile addition to the tank’s roster.

Here is what we learned in Ramattra’s gameplay reveal video in Overwatch 2.

Related: Who is Ramattra’s voice actor in Overwatch 2?

Ramattra’s gameplay in Overwatch 2

The gameplay shown in the video trailer wasn’t entirely new, since the upcoming hero’s abilities previously leaked through PR documents.

It has confirmed that information, however, and showed how they will look like in game, including more details on their range and other details on how to use his abilities.

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

First, Ramattra is now confirmed to be a shield tank. His primary fire is similar to Sigma’s: you can fire streams of projectiles using left click, and generate a shield with right click. It doesn’t look like it can move once put up, however.

His alternate mode is called Nemesis and it lasts around eight seconds. It reduces damage taken, but only from the front side, and it reduces the movement speed. It can be used when Ramattra is receiving heavy damage from an ultimate or when he has low HP.

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

Additionally, Ramattra has some utility in the form of the Vortex of Gluttony, which generates a large circle where enemies are pulled to the ground, which makes it highly effective against every hero who can fly or jump high.

His ultimate, called Destruction, is pretty straightforward: it switches Ramattra’s form to Nemesis and deals damage all around him for a short while. Its effect can last longer, however, if the hero is dealing damage to enemies.

Based on those abilities, Ramattra seems to be a strong counter to heroes who are dominating the meta. There are a lot of jumping characters, such as Sojourn and Baptiste, who are particularly strong in Overwatch 2‘s first season. Overall, the upcoming hero could be a strong addition to the game’s roster of tanks, due to a large versatility.

More information on Ramattra are likely to be revealed in the coming week. The hero will release on Overwatch 2‘s second saison, which is set to release on Dec. 6.

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‘I’ve got less than a million’: Sneyking reveals the math behind winning Dota 2’s TI11

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Winning The International is the ultimate dream of many Dota 2 fans, regardless of their skill level. Fans generally divide the prize money by five to guesstimate players’ earnings from the event, but Sneyking recently shared that the calculations had more than five variables after a viewer asked how much he received from winning TI11 with Tundra Esports on stream.

“I won’t say the exact figure,” Sneyking said. “I received less than a million dollars. TI win looks nice, but on paper, there’s so many fees and taxes, and you don’t end up with that much.”

Though Sneyking didn’t disclose how the TI pie was cut between all parties involved, community members came up with assumptions of how much the players may have gone home with after winning the most prestigious Dota 2 event of each year.

In an ideal scenario with zero liabilities, each member of Tundra would take $1.7 million off their combined winnings. With Tundra potentially taking 10 percent, federal taxes costing almost 39 percent, Sneyking’s earnings would already drop to $930,000 without taking state taxes into account.

This isn’t the first time a TI-winner shed light on the math of lifting the Aegis, however. Two years after winning TI3, Alliance’s AdmiralBulldog mentioned on a stream that he only made about $100,000 after organization cuts and Swedish taxes out of Alliance’s $1.4 million TI3 cheque.

While there will always be additional costs and taxes to pay after winning TI, Tundra also won one of the least lucrative iterations of the event in recent years. Ever since TI4 in 2014, the event’s prize pool has been increasing substantially every year, topping at $40 million in 2021.

In a surprising turn of events, Valve followed a different route with the battle pass while rolling out mediocre content that made fans think twice before purchasing the battle pass. Considering it was also released only a month before the tournament, there was so little time to fund TI11 compared to previous years, hence its lower prize pool of $18 million.

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