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PUBG: New State’s first tournament coming next month with $250,000 prize pool

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PUBG: New State’s first official esports tournament is here. The New State Mobile Open Challenge will feature a $250,000 prize pool but only players from South Korea will be able to participate.

The Mobile Open Challenge will be played in the recently released BR: Extreme mode. In this mode, matches last 20 minutes and only feature 64 players. A small part of Troi is randomly selected in each game as the play area.

The mode features more loot and vehicles to offer an “extreme” experience to players. Additionally, all characters are equipped with a P1911 handgun, a smoke grenade, 300 drone credits, and fully-charged boost meters right after they drop into the map to instantly get into battle.

Registrations for the New State Mobile Open Challenge are now live. All players must be at least 15 years old, have Korean nationality, and have a rank of at least Gold in the game to participate. The event is set to take place from Feb. 15 to 19.

PUBG: New State, developed by Krafton, is a futuristic take on the original PUBG: Battlegrounds and was released last November for mobile devices. At the time, the company said there weren’t any immediate plans for esports and that it was focusing on providing a stable game service. But Krafton also said it planned on launching smaller-scale events after the game stabilized and go from there. It seems like the first of these is the New State Mobile Open Challenge.

With Tencent’s PUBG Mobile having a global esports ecosystem with huge viewership, fans of New State will be hoping for something similar. It remains to be seen what Krafton does in the future with esports.

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T1 to kick off VCT 2023 season training with NA boot camp

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The T1 VALORANT players are set to practice against North American teams prior to the start of the season next year, according to T1 player Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong-woo

T1 will compete in the APAC international league in 2023 since the organization was selected to participate in its home region by Riot Games earlier this year. But T1 will face off against top North American teams now as practice since they are likely seen as better-quality opponents. 

T1 player Son “xeta” Seon-ho is in South Korea for personal reasons but he will likely join the team at a later date. He is practicing with the team from South Korea.

Some North American teams have started to practice, such as 100 Thieves, according to one player. A few partnered teams are still on a break, however. 

The season is still months away for partnered teams but Challengers teams will have to compete against each other in the next few weeks. Teams not directly invited to be a part of the Challengers circuit will have to qualify through the open brackets. 

The first event for partnered teams is set to begin next February. T1 are invited to the event alongside all 29 other partnered teams from across the world. All teams will face off against each other in a one-of-a-kind kick-off tournament, set to be held in São Paulo, Brazil

The kick-off tournament will run for three weeks until March 9. The first split for each of the international leagues will begin on March 26, with T1 set to face off against other APAC teams based out of Seoul, South Korea. 

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CS:GO caster Semmler makes transphobic comments while claiming to defend the women’s league he previously trashed

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Current CS:GO commentator and former Overwatch League talent Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat’s name has surfaced on the internet following anti-trans comments regarding ESL Impact season two, a CS:GO tournament for marginalized genders that was finalized yesterday.

“I’m afraid that you’ve been misled into believing that men can become women and vice versa,” Semmler said in a YouTube comment yesterday after the conclusion of ESL Impact season two. “Men should not be competing in a female league.”

It didn’t take long for Semmler’s comment to spark reactions in the CS:GO community—mainly backlash. But that didn’t prevent Semmler from expanding on his transphobic views on Twitter.

“Yes, I care about the integrity of the league for the female players,” Semmler said. “If the female players want to have a league to compete amongst themselves, they should get it. Allowing men to compete in that league defeats the purpose of the league.”

Aside from questioning Semmler’s anti-trans stance, the esports community also called out Semmler for being a hypocrite and for pretending to be on women’s side. After ESL unveiled the creation of the circuit, Semmler said in 2021 there would be no reason for women to compete with men if they could get a “guaranteed payday” in a “far less” competitive environment. Semmler also mocked the creation of the Impact circuit back then by asking when an “all-men” CS:GO tournament would be scheduled.

“He obviously has no clue what it’s like to be transgender human, and that’s exactly why he shouldn’t be making these comments,” a CS:GO fan wrote on the game’s subreddit. “Our nerdy gaming community should be at the forefront of diversity, inclusiveness, and acceptance.”

Semmler barely got to cast CS:GO games on official broadcasts this year. He stayed on the sidelines for the most part aside from casting at the BLAST Premier Fall Final over the past few days. His last gig as a commentator prior to that was at the PGL Stockholm Major in November 2021. Semmler has not apologized for any of his comments.

ESL Impact season two crowned the dominant year Nigma Galaxy had in the marginalized CS:GO circuit. ANa, Ksenia “vilga” Klyuenkova, Alexandra “twenty3” Timonina, Viktoria “tory” Kazieva, and Katarína “Kat” Vašková defeated FURIA in the grand finals just like they did at ESL Impact Valencia and ESL Impact season one earlier this year.



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Microsoft’s 10-year ‘CoD on PlayStation’ offer will reportedly get Activision deal approved

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Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the New York Times reported that Microsoft had offered a 10-year deal to Sony to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation. It seems, however, that this offer isn’t just a show of good faith but rather a potential requirement for Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard to be approved by international regulators.

This offer from Microsoft to Sony would be the main part of concessions that Microsoft will have to make to hold off objections to the purchase made by regulators in Europe and the U.K., according to a new report from Reuters. The other remedies that Microsoft would have to make to have the deal approved are currently unknown but will likely reduce the company’s ability to build a potential gaming monopoly, something opponents like Sony want to avoid.

The offering of concessions could reportedly shorten the regulatory process of the investigation by the European Commission and could also smooth out the processes with the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

“Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about Call of Duty, but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters. “We want people to have more access to games, not less.” This matches with Microsoft and Xbox’s public declarations over the past few months to keep CoD on PlayStation, as well as broaden access to gaming.

Sony has publicly opposed the acquisition since it was announced and has led the process of appealing to regulators around the world.

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