Coronavirus-quarantined CS:GO final sets a viewership record

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Coronavirus-quarantined CS:GO final sets a viewership record

The final of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 tournament set a viewership record for a non-major Counter-Strike event, possibly owing to a last-minute quarantine in light of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

The analysts at Esports Charts pegged the final’s peak viewership at 1,002,132, which it says is a new record for the ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters series. It’s also more peak viewers than last year’s Berlin Major and 2017’s Krakow Major.

FIFA 20 esports qualifiers decided by Rock, Paper, Scissors when players can’t connect

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FIFA 20 esports qualifiers decided by Rock, Paper, Scissors when players can’t connect

Some qualifying-round matches for the latest stage of FIFA 20’s FUT 20 Champions Cup had to be determined by a round of virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors when competitors couldn’t connect to each other.

The FIFA series’ subreddit this morning posted reports of match problems in the esports tournament’s qualifying round, two of which were resolved by roshambo. One player defaulted an elimination match, apparently when they were unable to connect while their opponent could.

Ubisoft/Tomb Raider crossovers continue with Lara Croft in Brawlhalla

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Ubisoft/Tomb Raider crossovers continue with Lara Croft in Brawlhalla

Man, what the heck is going on with Crystal Dynamics and Ubisoft? The bromance between the two continues with Lara Croft jumping into Brawlhalla — remember that? — earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, Tomb Raider’s hall-of-fame hero lent her likeness to a skin for operator Ash in Rainbow Six Siege. Now she joins Ubisoft’s 2D Smash Bros. clone as the latest Legend transported in from another dimension/game.

Crusader Kings 3 will let players seduce the pope

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Crusader Kings 3 will let players seduce the pope

The developers behind Crusader Kings 3 are back for another monthly deep dive into their work on the grand strategy game, and this video is about the lifestyles system that will help players develop deep, emergent stories in their alternate histories. Among them is the chance to get busy with His Holiness.

Players will be able to choose from five lifestyles for their rulers, and those lifestyles have three perk trees and three foci, which carry bonuses supporting a wide variety of lifestyles. Paradox Interactive went over these in an even more detailed series of blog posts over the past month, too.

Game Developers Conference postponed as major game companies pull out

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Game Developers Conference postponed as major game companies pull out

This year’s Game Developers Conference has been postponed from March to summer in the wake of high-profile withdrawals by companies that had planned to attend. Sony, Microsoft, Epic Games, Unity, Activision Blizzard, Amazon, and Facebook, including Oculus, all canceled plans to attend the show, citing health concerns related to the spread of the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19.

GDC 2020 was scheduled to be held March 16-20 in San Francisco, but organizers say the show — or rather “a GDC event” — will now be held sometime this summer.

GameStop lays off longtime district managers

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GameStop lays off longtime district managers

GameStop has laid off a number of district managers, sources tell Polygon, as part of a middle-management cost-cutting exercise. According to multiple sources, the company recently cut as many as 10 district managers, whose job was to monitor multiple stores and supervise store managers. The layoffs could mean additional work for already stretched-thin GameStop employees.

Two sources told us that managers who were previously tasked with handling around a dozen stores are now handling more than 20, spanning greater geographical areas than previously. Some of those who lost their jobs had been serving at the retail giant for more than a decade. Recruitment site Indeed lists GameStop district managers as “similar to an innovative business entrepreneur and owner,” and as “leaders of their district’s performance development strategy.”

Here’s how a sly PUBG cheater got banned for 10 years

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Here’s how a sly PUBG cheater got banned for 10 years

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a popular game, and with that attention comes something else — cheaters. The mobile version of the battle royale is particularly rife with fraudsters, which has led to thousands of bans every day. To better combat that situation, Tencent Games and PUBG Corp. have launched something called Project Ban Pan, and this video about it sheds some light on how the studio catches cheaters.

The trailer is admittedly very dramatic, but it’s worth watching because it’s based on an actual situation, Tencent said in a news release. At first, PUBG Corp. received a variety of reports on a player, but when they looked into his gameplay, everything seemed fine. It wasn’t until the developer took a closer look at what happened toward the end of the player’s matches that they noticed something was amiss.

Baldur’s Gate 3 lets you kill enemies by throwing your boots

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Baldur’s Gate 3 lets you kill enemies by throwing your boots

On Thursday, developers from Larian Studios showed off live gameplay from Baldur’s Gate 3 for the first time. During an hour-long demo, Swen Vincke, studio founder and the game’s director, did something extremely silly. He made one of his characters take off his boots and throw them at the enemy. To the delight of the crowd at PAX East, they dealt exactly four damage and killed the creature instantly.

It seems like a lighthearted moment, but for fans of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons — which Baldur’s Gate 3 is based on — it’s evidence that the team at Larian gets it. The latest version of D&D is all about improvisation. It’s part of the reason why actual play experiences have become such a big deal. Anything can happen, and it’s fun to bend the rules. The team at developer and publisher Wizards of the Coast goes to great lengths to give Dungeon Masters the tools they need to be flexible.

Who would pay a thousand dollars for a ticket to E3?

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Who would pay a thousand dollars for a ticket to E3?

Public tickets for E3 2020 went on sale earlier this month, with the basic “Gamer Badge” going for $165. But there’s also a “Premium Badge” that costs a hefty $995. So what does all that extra money actually buy?

The big benefit appears to be access to the E3 show floor on the first day of the show (Tuesday, June 9). The Gamer Badge is valid only on Wednesday and Thursday. In theory, this means Premium Badge holders get extra access to games on the show floor, without competition from other members of the public.

Fallout 76 players are spending months getting their characters sick

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Fallout 76 players are spending months getting their characters sick

In the real world, folks everywhere are taking extra care right now to wash their hands, and avoid situations which might put them at risk for contracting a virus. But in a digital recreation of Appalachia, some wastelanders are running head-first into health-compromising situations.

“If I didn’t have an active disease then I would engage diseased enemies that I could have avoided, slept on dirty sleeping bags, [and] ate rotten food from my inventory or random plants,” Fallout 76 player Darth Obnoxious told Polygon, recalling some video game escapades from last year.