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Gigantamax Bulbasaur and Squirtle available in Sword and Shield to celebrate new Pokémon Home update

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In celebration of Pokémon Home’s latest update, players in Sword and Shield can score themselves both Gigantamax Bulbasaur and Squirtle starting today.

The two Pokémon are available via Mystery Gift from today until June 30. If you want to add them to your collection, simply go to the Mystery Gift option in your Sword or Shield game and select get via the internet.

These two Pokémons’ Gigantamax forms were introduced during the Isle of Armor DLC after players completed the first trail at the Master Dojo. But now players who don’t own the expansion can score it for themselves.

Players who scored one of these starters using the DLC can take advantage of this Mystery Gift, alongside the Charmander gifted to players once they complete the story, in order to collect all three starter Pokémon with a Gigantamax factor.

Today’s update to Pokémon Home, version 1.4, boasts the addition of a model viewer as well as a catch calendar for players to track when they first added Pokémon to their collection.

Pokémon Home is available both on mobile and on the Switch and allows players to curate all their Pokémon into one hub where they can keep a track of their collection as they endeavor to catch em’ all.

If you plan on scoring yourself one of these Gigantamax starter Pokémon, we suggest you take advantage of the Mystery Gift rewards now, as it isn’t clear when they’ll be made available again outside the DLC.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/pokemon/news/gigantamax-bulbasaur-and-squirtle-available-in-sword-and-shield-to-celebrate-new-pokemon-home-update

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Overwatch’s competitive voice chat reportedly bugged

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Overwatch’s competitive mode is often stressful enough, but a new bug that emerged on Sept. 26 has made the mode far more enervating.

Around 7pm CT, reports of voice chat being bugged in competitive (or ranked) mode began coming in from users on social media and on the official Blizzard forums. Per a Blizzard employee response, the team is “looking into it” and will update as the night goes on. 

The bug makes it look like no one on the competitive team has joined the voice team chat, leaving only the current player in the voice channel. Each player will also appear muted in their own team chat menu, regardless of if their mic is actually working. 

Screencap via Overwatch

Having only one player join the voice chat is a pretty common occurrence at some levels of competitive mode. Most players noticed the bug when attempting to join the chat after multiple games in a row, however.

Occurrences of the bug seem to focus on the competitive mode, based on reports from forum users and anecdotes from players. Other modes, such as quick play and custom games, appear to be fine for some users and not for others

Technical support forum agent Jambrix, associated with Blizzard, updated that the company is “looking into it” at approximately 8:02pm CT. This situation is ongoing.

Update 8:36pm CT Sept. 26: According to Jambrix, Overwatch engineers have “identified the issue” and will be working on a solution to get voice chat working once more.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/overwatch/news/overwatch-competitive-voice-chat-currently-bugged

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Blizzard seemingly removes a reference to Jeff Kaplan in Overwatch 2

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Fans on Reddit have noticed that a reference to former Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has been removed from the upcoming sequel’s New York City map. Players spotted that the Sept. 25 Bastion Rework announcement video for Overwatch 2 shows the pizza shop formerly called Jeph’s Corner Pizza is just Corner Pizza.

Fans can see the change for themselves around the 1-minute mark in Bastion’s announcement video, which shows the hero’s new ultimate and the pizza shop in the background. The nod to Kaplan doesn’t seem to be on the shop’s sign, however.

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

The measure is likely a part of Blizzard Entertainment’s push to remove in-game references to its employees in the wake of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

Since the lawsuit’s filing, the company revealed it would rename Overwatch‘s McCree, named after a Diablo 4 lead game designer. A statement from the World of Warcraft team said the staff would “remove references that are not appropriate” for Azeroth—presumably referring to easter eggs involving Alex Afrasiabi, a former senior creative director for the game who was directly named in the lawsuit.

In April, Blizzard announced that Kaplan was leaving the company. He was replaced by Aaron Keller, a prominent member of the Overwatch team who helped design the beloved King’s Row map. Kaplan’s departure came before the wave of lawsuits filed against Activision Blizzard. 

In the official news release, Blizzard said Kaplan “has decided to leave the company after a long and storied career.” At the bottom of the release, Blizzard included a “personal note” from Kaplan, where he says, “It was truly the honor of a lifetime.” Kaplan’s reason for leaving Blizzard remains unclear.

Now, as Blizzard continues to grapple with multiple lawsuits, the company has begun to erase numerous employee-related Easter eggs and references that appear in Blizzard games. The removal of “Jeph” comes as Blizzard makes changes to company policy.

In August, a Blizzard rep told Kotaku that “[Blizzard] will be reviewing the real-world references currently used in our games and making decisions based on how they best represent core values for our games.” That month, the company announced it would change McCree’s name.

Jeph’s Corner Pizza wasn’t the only reference to Kaplan, however. Reddit users also spotted a coffee cup saying “Jeph” in Overwatch 2, a nod to a picture in which Kaplan holds a cup of coffee with a misspelled version of his name. The cup stands on a copy of a book called “The Green Hills of Stranglethorn,” a quest from World of Warcraft also designed by Kaplan, as spotted by a user. It’s unclear if that reference will also remain in the sequel.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/overwatch/news/blizzard-seemingly-removes-a-reference-to-jeff-kaplan-in-overwatch-2

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Twitch celebrity meetup Sh*tCamp 2021 begins today

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ShitCamp 2021, a multi-day event where top Twitch personalities meet up for IRL shenanigans in Los Angeles, California, kicks off today. The event will run from Sept. 26 until Sept. 30, offering viewers the chance to watch some of their favorite Twitch and YouTube personalities interact and create content with each other in real time. ShitCamp comes after the success of ShitCon, a similar event which occurred in May 2021.

On Sept. 9, QTCinderella released a trailer for ShitCamp 2021 on YouTube. The trailer announced all of the different content creators in attendance, including Adeptthebest, Austinshow, Hasanabi, Justaminx, Ludwig, xQc, Myth, Sodapoppin, and more.

Sixteen Twitch streamers will be “staying in a house together and live-streaming ‘organized’ events,” according to the event’s website. ShitCamp will function like a reality show, where streamers will engage in a number of different activities for viewers on Twitch. 

ShitCamp events will be broadcast on a number of different creators’ channels, so viewers should check out the official schedule to make sure they tune in to the right Twitch broadcast for each streamed activity.

The “Opening Ceremony” for ShitCamp will take place tonight at 9pm CT on xQc’s Twitch channel. The streamers will be starting with trivia and games of Mafia. Tomorrow’s events include a streamed Pancake Breakfast, a Chopped Competition, a Mogul Money event starring Ludwig, and an IRL scavenger hunt. 

Specifically, the scavenger hunt will be live on two streams simultaneously, so viewers can watch it from xQc’s or Hasanabi’s Twitch channels. After the scavenger hunt, there will be a Ghost Stories and S’mores event featuring streamer WillNeff.

Sept. 28’s broadcast will include a French Toast breakfast stream, followed by a live hiking stream hosted on Myth’s channel. In the afternoon, Hasanabi and xQc will be doing a livestream from a real gun range. In the evening, there will be a PJ Party stream with “Face masks, nail painting, Never Have I Ever, and Who’s Most Likely To” games. 

On Sept. 29, there will be a Grand Slam breakfast followed by an IRL kickball tournament featuring members from 100Thieves and OfflineTV. According to the ShitCamp website, there will be 32 streamers at the kickball tournament hosted on Ludwig’s channel. After kickball, the “Closing Ceremony” will take place at 9pm CT on QTCinderella’s channel.

Ludwig calls the kickball tournament “The most ambitious crossover event in history.” In response to Ludwig’s announcement video for the kickball tournament, OfflineTV wrote: “We are going to destroy everyone.” 100Thieves content creator Valkyrae also expressed her excitement, exclaiming in all-caps, “TIME TO KICK BALLS WOOOO.” 

Twitch streamer Anne Munition expressed her disappointment in not receiving an invite to the tournament, writing: “wow imagine not inviting me when I was back-to-back champion of my elementary school’s kickball tournaments.” 

Content creator ConnorEatsPants also weighed in on Ludwig’s announcement, writing, “i will be there too even tho im not in 100T, OTV, or Shitcamp. Connor Esports representative.”

Fans of ShitCamp should know that this won’t be the last event of its kind. According to the ShitCamp website, there will be a related event called ShitSummit later this year. ShitSummit does not have an official date yet, but it is being planned for the upcoming winter season.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/streaming/news/twitch-celebrity-meetup-shtcamp-2021-begins-today

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Most important takeaways from the Overwatch 2 exhibition match

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A lucky group of players got to show off some of Overwatch 2’s new features in the middle of the action-packed Overwatch League Grand Finals match, in which the Shanghai Dragons claimed a sweeping victory over the Atlanta Reign.

Ten players previously eliminated in the playoff bracket got to team up and play an exhibition match for league viewers. They fought it out on one of the sequel’s new modes, Push, in which an adorable robot moves a barricade to a point on the map as players defend him.

The match included tons of information about maps in Overwatch 2, updated hero abilities, and how professionals will use all these shiny new features when the fifth season of the Overwatch League launches on an early build of the game. 

If it was too much to absorb at once, we’ve compiled a few of the most important points fans and competitive enthusiasts can take away from the exhibition match. 

Massive environment improvements

Many Overwatch 2 sneak peeks over the past year have focused on the enhanced beauty and interactivity of the game’s new maps, but the exhibition match showed us the more functional, competitive improvements developers have made.

Pros fought it out on Rome, an extensive Push map full of corridors, stairs, and long sightlines. While the map is stunning to look at, one thing that stood out from a competitive standpoint was the significant lack of “choke” points that are nearly ubiquitous in Overwatch’s current iteration. 

Think about maps like Hanamura and certain points of King’s Row and Havana, for example. At certain parts, there is only one defined way for a team to attack and push ahead, like Hanamura’s entry gates. On Overwatch 2‘s Rome, none of these points appeared to exist. Caster Matt “Mr. X” Morello noted during the cast that “no hard offense or defense” sides exist. 

Screengrab via Overwatch League

As players encouraged T.W.O., the mode’s robotic companion, to push his barricades through winding streets, they took fights seemingly everywhere. Players emerged from tunnels to trade blows on stairwells or split up and rolled into a set of archways to cut off the enemy team. It was clear from the footage we saw that the era of obnoxious, fortified choke points appears to be over. 

More understandable UI and gameplay 

While Overwatch seems intuitive for those who have been around for years, parts of the game can be downright confusing for new players. Various additions to the user interface (UI) of the game, as well as new map and sound cues, should allow players to pick up Overwatch 2 more quickly. 

Screengrab via Overwatch League

On the Push map, progress can be tracked using a bar at the top of the screen, much like in base Overwatch. This tracker, however, clearly shows the direction the “payload” is being pushed and who is in the lead. Checkpoints are evenly spaced out instead of placed at random spots on the map, making the mode feel more intuitive. 

We got a lot of looks at individual UI screens of players that have updated images and notifications. If a player is being healed or damage boosted by Mercy, for example, an icon will show her status and her location relative to the receiving player. Elimination notifications are smaller in the center of the screen to detract less from gameplay. 

Sound design is also crafted for a more player-friendly experience. When a teammate is eliminated, a chime now plays, an effect taken directly from elimination arcade modes and PvE events in base Overwatch. This allows you to tell, without even looking at the kill feed, how quickly the fight may be lost. It’s a small change that will immensely help new players. 

Damage-heavy fighting 

“For me, it felt like every character was a DPS,” said Los Angeles Gladiators tank Indy “SPACE” Halpern during the Watchpoint pre-show. After seeing the exhibition match, that assessment seems to be correct. 

Every hero, from supports to tanks, appeared to dive directly into the fight in Overwatch 2. In base Overwatch, many heroes tend to hang back for fear of elimination; in this iteration, players like Jung “Closer” Won-sik of the Washington Justice turned Mercy into a devastating dealer of both healing and death. Even sneaky Sombras consistently ended up on the payload fighting it out instead of gingerly trying to eliminate supports in backlines. 

Fights also happened more consistently and more chaotically, at least in the Push mode we saw. “We were just going at it, respawn after respawn,” SPACE said. “[We had] nonstop battles.” 

Tuning not included 

When mere mortals and developers showed off PvP modes during a February livestream, some of the new hero reworks seemed balanced and fair for everyone involved. Now that professionals have taken a crack at some heroes, it’s immediately obvious that intensive tuning needs to be done before Overwatch League starts up again in April. 

SPACE and his tank opponent, Kim “Mag” Tae-sung of the Justice, pushed Reinhardt’s new abilities to the absolute limit. Dual Fire Strikes allowed them to snipe players across the map and the ability to steer Reinhardt’s Charge turned them into unstoppable freight trains. 

Even game director Aaron Keller noticed and said “the tanks were even more effective than I was expecting them to be” during halftime.  

Similar issues seemed to exist with DPS heroes. Kevin “Kevster” Persson of the Gladiators, a talented Sombra player in the base game, demolished teams with her new EMP ultimate. At one point, Kevster dropped his ultimate and targetted MAG as Reinhardt, who was then chunked down in under a second. Obviously, that’s not ideal for the future of the Overwatch League.

Luckily for professionals (and the rest of us waiting for any updates we can get), developers have ample time to continue reworking heroes and fine-tuning abilities. No release dates were mentioned during the Overwatch 2 exhibition match, but Keller confirmed all 32 base game heroes would be available for players when April 2022 rolls around. 

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Source: https://dotesports.com/overwatch/news/most-important-takeaways-from-the-overwatch-2-exhibition-match

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