Twitch Is Now The Only Third-Party Place To Watch Blizzard Tournaments

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment Video streaming platform Twitch announced a two-year collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment today, where the service will receive exclusive third-party streaming rights to tournaments like the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship and Overwatch APEX League. As esports continues to expand, securing broadcast rights will start to become a growing contest in the industry. Much like bidding for the rights to broadcast Monday Night Football, locking down the exclusive stream for a major esports league means guaranteeing all eyes are on your channel. A spokesman for Twitch confirmed the company would maintain the third-party rights. Outside of Blizzard’s own platforms, only Twitch will broadcast Blizzard tournaments—no YouTube, Facebook or other platforms—for the next two years. Advertisement When asked about whether it would extend to the upcoming Overwatch League, a Twitch spokesman said that the deal currently extends to the events announced in the initial release, and any additional programs will be announced at a later date. The tournaments this deal currently covers are: Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS Circuit) Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) Hearthstone Global Games (HGG) World of Warcraft Arena READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer DLC, Eternal Collection Launch on June 27

[embedded content] Blizzard has announced that the Rise of the Necromancer pack for Diablo III will launch on June 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It will cost $14.99 USD. If you don’t own Diablo III yet, Diablo III: Eternal Collection will launch digitally on June 27 for PS4 and Xbox One, bundling together the original game, Reaper of Souls, and Rise of the Necromancer. It costs $59.99 USD regularly, but PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold members will be able to pick it up for $39.99 USD at launch. Here’s what’s included with Rise of the Necromancer: In addition to full access to the Necromancer class in both Campaign and Adventure modes, the Rise of the Necromancer pack includes additional exclusive digital items: Non-combat pet A pair of cosmetic wings New Necromancer-themed Banner Shape, Sigil, and Accent Necromancer Portrait Frame Pennant Two additional character slots Two additional stash tabs (PC only) Additionally, Patch 2.6.0 will be available on June 27, bringing these features: Challenge Rifts, The Shrouded Moors zone, Temple of the Firstborn zone, and the Realms of Fate are all free content – if you own the Reaper of Souls expansion pack, they are available for play without any additional purchases. You’ll READ FULL STORY AT…


Overwatch’s new map, Horizon Lunar Colony, is now live.

Overwatch’s new map, Horizon Lunar Colony, is now live. Overwatch’s new map, Horizon Lunar Colony, is now live. After a few weeks on the PTR, the loony getaway is out alongside a patch that makes changes to McCree, Reaper, and Roadhog. Check out Cecilia’s impressions of the map here. Kotaku PC games and (sometimes) MMA reporter person. Mindless vessel for a sentient mop of hair. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


New Overwatch Update Today Adds the Horizon Lunar Colony Map

[embedded content] With the new Overwatch update now rolling out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Blizzard has added the Horizon Lunar Colony Assault map. Here’s the description for Horizon Lunar Colony: Horizon Lunar Colony is an Assault map set in a scientific base on the moon. Built as a first step towards humanity’s renewed exploration of space, the colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation—on human and ape alike. The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising…until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost. Now, many years later, attacking and defending teams must return to the moon and battle for control of the colony’s facilities, all while they discover clues as to the fate of its previous inhabitants. On their forums, Blizzard said Horizon Lunar Colony would be disabled in Competitive Play for the first week, but then later revealed that the server tech to do that isn’t available yet: Apologies everyone but I was mistaken about Horizon Lunar Colony being disabled in Competitive Play during this week. We are considering this for future map releases but server tech for it isn’t available right now. New heroes are disabled for the first week, READ FULL STORY…

After Dropping A Tier, I Am Freaking Out About My Overwatch Rank

After a difficult string of placement matches for the current Overwatch competitive season, the unthinkable happened. I dropped to a lower tier. I had spent multiple seasons comfortably sitting in the Platinum tier, and suddenly I was Gold. I have become obsessed with undoing this demotion. I like to think that I’m a decent video game player. In most games, I straddle the line between intermediate and advanced. Sure, I have bad games now and then, such as a recent Quake Champions game during which I demonstrated a reckless disregard for the movement techniques I mastered years ago. But in general, I know I’m pretty good at video games. Not great but still dang good. With Overwatch, I’ve consistently ranked in the Platinum tier each time I’ve made the effort to qualify. Until now. The criteria for Overwatch ranks is unclear at times but the progression of ranks is straightforward: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster. There’s also a separate rank for the top 500 players. You’re given an initial rank after ten placement matches and can work up to the next through strong individual play and winning matches. I’ve been content with a consistent Platinum that signals…


The Necromancer class comes to Diablo III on June 27.

The Necromancer class comes to Diablo III on June 27. The Rise of the Necromancer DLC pack will be available for $14.99 on PC and consoles. A Diablo III: Eternal Collection will also be available on Xbox One and PS4, bundling the original game and the Necro update for $39.99. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Damn, This Overwatch Pro Is Good At Widowmaker

GIF During yesterday’s European Overwatch Contenders group stage, Esporati player DIDS put together a highlight reel of Widowmaker shots in short succession to secure the round. In my own experience, a Widowmaker on offense is usually a bad sign. But utilizing Widow’s mobility and power, DIDS makes quick work of the low-health line-up of Team Expert. Impressive stuff. I’m hoping my next Overwatch competitive game has more Widowmakers of this caliber. Regardless, the match ended 3-1 in Expert’s favor, and Esporati ended the day 0-3 in group play. Advertisement Advertisement The North American group stages kick off later today, with teams like Selfless, CLG, Immortals and Luminosity all competing. You can follow the action when it goes live on the Overwatch Contenders Twitch channel. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Overwatch’s Tracer Receives a Figma Statue Available Now for Pre-Order


I Can't Handle Overwatch Voice Actors Doing Their Dance Emotes

GIF Holy shit. I can’t deal with this. This video killed me. I am dead now. Over the last year, it’s been awesome to see the voice actors behind our favorite Overwatch characters hang out and have a good time with one another. They all genuinely seem like best buds. But this footage above by sweeetanj, AKA Anjali Bhimani of Symmetra fame? It’s on a whole other level. You’ve got almost everyone here, from Winston to Orisa, which is a treat. Even when they’re not dancing very well, it’s a hoot. East coast beats west coast’s ass for sure. Of course Lucio can do the splits. And that black and white Widowmaker footage is obligatory. Amazing. GIF READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Overwatch Pro Suspended After Griefing And Streaming Anime Porn

Image credit: Blizzard. Daniel “Dafran” Francesca is an extremely skilled DPS player for Selfless, one of the best pro Overwatch teams out there. He’s also an unapologetic griefer and troll, and his antics have finally come back to bite him. Today, both Blizzard and Dafran’s own team have suspended him from play. This means he’s no longer allowed to compete in Overwatch Contenders season zero or season one as a pro, nor in competitive mode’s fifth season as a regular player. He’s also been booted from his team’s active roster indefinitely. Dafran’s been a controversial figure in Overwatch’s pro scene for months, stemming from his tendency to lose on purpose when playing in Overwatch’s ranked competitive mode. It all came to a head last night, when he fully admitted that he was “trying to throw games” while streaming cat girl dating (and fucking) sim Nekopara atop his Overwatch matches. He was also yelling about maybe getting banned from Twitch (warning: clip is NSFW), leaping off ledges, and generally trolling as much as he could. Advertisement This led to a deluge of threads on Overwatch’s official forums and multiple Overwatch subreddits. Throwing matches, READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Overwatch Double XP Weekend Event Starts, Last Chance for Anniversary Content

To commemorate Overwatch’s anniversary, Blizzard is flipping the switch for an Overwatch double XP weekend which starts today, Thursday, June 8, at 5 p.m. PDT and ends Monday, June 12 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. It’s been an incredible year, and we’re so thankful you were a part of it. To celebrate our first Overwatch Anniversary together—and the community that made it all possible (that’s you!)—all players who log in this weekend on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One will receive double experience. This bonus will apply to nearly all sources of in-game XP, including: Time spent in a match Completing a match Completing consecutive matches Winning a match Backfilling a match in progress Earning medals It will also stack multiplicatively with existing group and IGR bonuses. The only experience it will not affect is your First Win of the Day bonus—which will remain at 1500 XP. As if the headline wasn’t a dead giveaway, this your last chance to get Overwatch’s Anniversary Event content, which of course, includes those sweet character skins, and Overwatch dance emotes that can ONLY be obtained during this anniversary event (confirmed by the official Overwatch Twitter). The dance emotes are Overwatch Anniversary event items. — Overwatch…


Overwatch’s Most Famous Lucio Player Would Rather Have Fun Than Go Pro

Image credit: Blizzard. When DSPStanky first started making Overwatch videos, he wasn’t planning to become an overnight internet folk hero, let alone the guy thousands of people associate with one of the game’s most-played heroes. He just wanted to quit his crappy job. DSPStanky is one of the most popular Overwatch players out there, and easily the most popular player of rollerblading healer/support/DJ dynamo Lucio. He’s got hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitch and YouTube who admire his skill level and unique, wall-ride-heavy play style. And while he built a decently-sized following during Overwatch’s early days, a single incident catapulted him into the public eye. While he built a decently-sized following during Overwatch’s early days, a single incident catapulted him into the public eye. In September 2016, DSPStankey released a jazz-infused Lucio montage called “King of Swing,” where he bounced off walls and booped countless poor saps into oblivion. It got over a million views and rocketed to the top of the Overwatch subreddit. People loved it. “King of Swing.” Advertisement Despite the hype, some people gave him shit for playing Overwatch on console. “Bet you won’t be good on PC,” cried READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Overwatch Ranks You Lower Than It Should So You Feel Better About Yourself 

Overwatch’s 5th Competitive season debuted last week, and in its wake, players are finding themselves demoralized and embarrassed. Skill ratings, Overwatch’s measure of how good you are, have plummeted about 200 points across the board since the end of last season. And, of course, adamant players are flooding Overwatch forums with protestations that these numbers do not reflect their skill. It’s not a new complaint—for months, player have noticed a few hundred points bleeding out from their SR between Competitive seasons—but it is one that feels particularly bad after dozens of hours grinding in Season 4. Today, we spoke with Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer about what goes into skill ratings and why, in fact, these salty players are both right and wrong about how good they are. Of the numbers we use to measure our worth—weight, salary, Facebook likes—our rankings in online video games are often more inscrutable, though still a little superficial. They’re not just measures of our kill/death ratios, damage healed or headshots; in online games, they determine who we play with and, often times, how they play. In Overwatch’s Competitive mode, it can really suck to miss out on the possibility of great teamwork and coordination…


A Look Inside The Art Of Overwatch 

Coming this fall from Dark Horse, The Art of Overwatch is more than 300 pages of the illustrations and concept art that Blizzard produced while creating its frighteningly popular hero shooter. We’ve got four of those pages, and they’re quite nice. As someone who loves looking at Overwatch much more than actually playing, I’m looking forward to Dark Horse’s art anthology, and not just for the pictures. Each page includes commentary from members of the development team, and I am a sucker for art with commentary. It’s like Pop-Up Video, only without the popping up. Or the video. Just look at the pretty pictures. Click to enlarge. Right click and open in a new tab to really enlarge. The Art of Overwatch goes on sale October 24. The regular hardcover edition will set you back $50. The special limited edition hardcover runs $100 and comes packaged in a magnetic clamshell box with three original prints and a cover that’ll make you rethink the way you place books on shelves. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!