For many people, eSports cropped up when they weren't looking, growing out of the passionate local communities built by game creators and players. Professional teams now compete in high-stakes leagues for prestige, tournament winnings and lucrative sponsorship deals -- but only in places where eSports is encouraged to take root. Many countries don't offer pro game players the same ease of travel as traditional athletes, leading lawmakers to continue debating just how much the state should support the local video game scene. Such is the case with Sweden, but national Parliament member Rickard Nordin is rallying his peers to embrace the financial and cultural benefits eSports can bring, and he's reaching out to fans (near and far) on a platform fitting his mission.
How should politicians connect with younger voters? How do you cut through the relentless waves of promises, speeches and the rest? If you're South Korean presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, you take to Starcraft. Perhaps even more surprisingly, he's actually a legitimate, tenable candidate who could well be the country's next leader, according to recent polls. Moon Jae-in has launched two free maps on his campaign blog, a clever idea in a country that loves it some Starcraft.
With each new editor at Engadget came a new direction, meant to reflect the state of technology. In those early days, we were the go-to place for exhaustive hardware news, and as gadgets went mainstream we followed suit. We broadened our vision beyond the narrow scope of gadgets, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a tech blog. We took on gaming, entertainment, politics, culture and science. We acquired the archives and expertise of early digital publishing pioneers like TUAW, Joystiq and gdgt. We moved away from aggregating press releases and started focusing on original reporting, invested heavily in new formats like video and social. Some of those changes paid off; others proved to be a distraction.
Valve is changing the way Dota 2 is played, at least on a meta level. Beginning May 4th, players will be required to register a unique phone number to their accounts in order to queue up for ranked matches. That's one account per phone number, ostensibly placing a hard limit on the number of ranked accounts that any one player can have.
The idea that learning another language should be free is the core idea behind Duolingo. Over the past few years, the app has strived to make learning a new tongue convenient, portable and fun. Now the company's trying to turn its free language learning tools into a profitable business by introducing a premium service. Don't worry, though -- Duolingo Plus doesn't take away your free language course, it just gets rid of its ads.