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IBM introduces AI-driven Overwatch League Power Rankings

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Global technology and data services firm IBM has introduced Power Rankings with Watson, an AI-powered method of evaluating player and team performances in the Overwatch League

According to the release, the solution will provide a weekly automated ranking system utilised across the league’s digital, broadcast and social platforms. 

Image Credit: IBM

RELATED: Overwatch League unveils 2021 structure and $4.25m prize pool

Power Rankings with Watson is set to commence on April 16th, which is when Overwatch League’s new season begins.

Noah Syken, Vice President of IBM Sports and Entertainment Partnerships, commented: “Gaming and esports are the future of entertainment and we are proud to be adding the best-in-class analytics to enrich the fan experience.

“It’s a powerful demonstration of what’s possible with data and AI today. We’ve used many of the same technologies to drive digital transformation at banks or airlines, or retailers for years. But now, millions of Overwatch League fans are going to see what IBM Watson can do.” 

The introduction of a new ranking system is a part of the agreement made between IBM and the Overwatch League last year. The partnership announcement revealed that both entities will ‘develop various data-driven solutions for the league using the IBM Watson artificial intelligence and cloud-based infrastructure.’ 

IBM also promised to create tools to help the league process in-game data, produce more accurate ranking information and create predictive analysis elements for broadcasts. The deal is expected to run until the 2022 Overwatch League season.

RELATED: IBM enters esports with Overwatch League data and sponsorship deal

Jon Spector, Vice President of Overwatch Esports at Blizzard, added: “We’ve got really talented analysts that follow our players and teams, but there is so much happening in these matches no human being could possibly observe and evaluate it all. We needed a way to capture and analyze every player’s move and feed all that insight into a ranking system that is totally objective and reliable.”

“It is also a great source of conversation for our fans and broadcasters. Overwatch League fans love debating stuff like ‘Who is the best main tank in the world?’ The Power Rankings make that conversation richer and more fun.”

Esports Insider says: Having data giants like IBM helping with the development of tailored analytics solutions in esports contributes to improved accuracy of the retrieved data, as well as to richer fan experience and increased engagement. It will be interesting to see what other innovative solutions will the tech firm bring to the table. 

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Source: https://esportsinsider.com/2021/04/ibm-overwatch-league-power-rankings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ibm-overwatch-league-power-rankings

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Here are Destiny 2’s Season of the Splicer patch notes

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Destiny 2‘s Season of the Splicer kicked off with the Last City plunged into endless night by the hands of the Vex, but the latest update also brought a series of balancing adjustments to the game (and a Honeydew error or two).

The new season touched on several weapon archetypes that became extremely popular, with 120rpm hand cannons (such as Igneous Hammer) taking the brunt of the nerfs. Vortex Frame swords like Falling Guillotine also saw a slight increase in ammo consumption, and all swords lost their chip damage.

Bungie also touched on a series of perks with the new season to make them more appealing. The rolls include Subsistence, Sympathetic Arsenal, and Unrelenting, as well as the less-than-popular Celerity and Bottomless Grief.

Stasis subclasses also saw changes with the new patch. The most significant is with the Revenant Hunter super, Silence and Squall, which saw a decrease in detonation radius. Here’s what’s new, according to the patch notes.

Weapon archetypes

For aggressive frame hand cannons, the damage falloff and aim assist falloff distance dropped by “between two and four meters” based on the range stat. “This roughly halves the range buff they received in Beyond Light,” according to Bungie. The weapon type became particularly popular in PvP, with Steady Hand and Igneous Hammer as two of its most popular representatives.

In addition, the heavy ammo cost for a fully charged heavy attack with Vortex Swords such as Falling Guillotine, increased to six (up from four).

As far as weapon buffs go, precision auto rifles (450rpm) received an increase in damage per bullet (18, up from 17) and Linear Fusion Rifles received a buff across the board, with an extra 15-percent precision damage and 20-percent increased ammo reserves.

Weapon perks

The handling bonus on Quickdraw dissipates one second after switching to a weapon or upon aiming down sights, and new and existing drops of Felwinter’s Lie and Astral Horizon will have it replaced with Surplus instead. The change aims to tone down the prevalence of those two weapons in PvP.

The new update finally touched on two unpopular perks, Celerity and Bottomless Grief. The former increases reload and handling, while the latter will give a boost to magazine size in addition to the usual effect.

Subsistence lost its main drawback; the perk no longer reduces reserves. Submachine guns benefit from this perk even more, too. Bungie has increased the amount of ammo restored with each kill to keep it in line with auto rifles.

Perks that relate to the subclass type, including Osmosis and Elemental Capacitor, will now work with Stasis classes, and Elemental Capacitor will grant an improvement in recoil direction and reduce the penalty to movement speed when aiming down sights.

Sympathetic Arsenal and Unrelenting also got a buff to make them more competitive. The former will retain its main effect and grant a regular increase to reload speed. The latter will heal for 20 percent more and immediately trigger on enemies with orange health bars.

Exotics

The new season made a few tweaks to Exotic weapons. The Lament took a hit and received a 16-percent damage reduction on its revved heavy attack. Bastion no longer deals chip damage, but will intrinsically stun Unstoppable Champions and had its spread angle increased by 13 percent. And the catalyst on the Mida Multitool moved to No Distractions (previously Outlaw).

Abilities, Aspects, and Fragments

Season of the Splicer touched on a few Stasis subclasses across Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans.

In addition to the balancing adjustments, each class received a new Stasis Aspect quest from the Exo Stranger, available after completing the Beyond Light campaign, the Born in Darkness quest line, and obtaining all other Aspects.

Bungie reduced the Freeze Detonation from the Hunter ultimate, Silence and Squall, to 8.5m (down from 12), and the enemy Squall will have a red ring to mark its area.

Titans’ melee energy is now refunded after Glacial Quake ends. Previously, using the melee during the Super would deplete its energy and refill it again quickly. If the ability timed out, however, the remaining energy would have to fill up at the regular pace.

Warlocks also got a small tuning to the Bleak Watcher aspect, which now grants two fragment slots.

In addition to these changes, developers also fixed numerous bugs and issues and added a series of visual and quality-of-life improvements. A full list is available in the full patch notes.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/destiny/news/here-are-destiny-2s-season-of-the-splicer-patch-notes

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MAD Lions’ Kaiser talks about gaining confidence after MSI scrims, explains why Cloud9 and RNG are the most fun teams to play against in Iceland

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The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational started less than a week ago, but the group stage has already given us plenty of spice to liven up the competition. And to no one’s surprise, the LEC’s MAD Lions have been right in the thick of things, topping their group with only one loss heading into the rumble stage.

Their stellar record doesn’t exactly show how close each of their games were, however. The fiery young pride of Europe was challenged at a high level by all three of Group B’s teams. And now, the European League of Legends team must prepare if they want to stand a chance in the next stage of the tournament.

Dot Esports talked with MAD Lions’ starting support Kaiser after his last match of the group stage about the team’s experiences in Iceland thus far, including his first thoughts on his squad’s performance and the expectations he had for their group.

“I think we were expecting to be stronger than this,” Kaiser told Dot Esports. “Scrims told us that we would be 6-0 in this group and just smashing everyone, but we should have maybe even lost three of the games. So, when we came out 5-1, maybe [there was] a bit of luck, I guess. Of course we didn’t play that badly. We definitely deserve to win some of the games, so I think we shouldn’t be too unhappy about it. I think we learned a lot from our mistakes, especially in draft and early game.”

Photo via Riot Games

Throughout the first week, MAD Lions actually had to dig deep in a handful of games, including a last-minute victory against paiN Gaming and a tough loss against the TCL’s Istanbul Wildcats. These games could serve as proper learning lessons to help them against more established teams like the LCK’s DWG KIA, the LPL’s Royal Never Give Up, and the LCS’ Cloud9, however.

The MAD Lions support spoke about his experience scrimming against these top rosters for the first time this year. The 22-year-old said something he lacked after Worlds 2020 was confidence on international stages. Kaiser said that after last year, he thought that “maybe [they’re] just not meant to play competitive internationally.” But he’s recently found a renewed motivation to succeed after pitting himself against the best in the world.

“Playing scrims against those top dogs really showed me that I’m not really far off or maybe even on par with some of the best teams in the world,” he said. “And we, as a team, perform really well when we have the confidence that we can play aggressive, we can show people how strong we are, and how much fun we have in the game. So I think if we have this confidence going into the rumble stage, I think we will [do well].”

Photo via Riot Games

The 22-year-old also gave insight into some of the most fun teams to play at MSI—the North American and Chinese representatives. Kaiser said the NA vs. EU rivalry is still strong with the banter that happens whenever C9 hops into scrims with MAD Lions. He said they both love to joke around and they always have fun in their games. On a pure gameplay level, however, Kaiser thinks RNG are the best to play against because they execute their game plan just like MAD—they love to fight.

“[RNG’s] bottom lane is really nice to play against as well because they like to play aggressive, and Gala-Ming, they’re a really strong duo,” Kaiser said. “They don’t stonewall the lane like some other teams do, and we’d like to play against that because skill checking is just our style. Me and Carzzy just want to go in, they want to go in, so yeah, level one bot flip, and we’ll see what happens. That’s our style, that’s their style. I think once those sides clash in competitive, it’s going to be like a bloodbath.”

We’re still a few days away from the rumble stage, but fans should get ready for some electric League action. You can watch Kaiser and MAD Lions when the tournament continues into its next phase on Friday, May 14.


Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/mad-lions-kaiser-gaining-confidence-msi-scrims-c9-rng-most-fun-play-against-iceland

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Respawn delays fix for Apex’s Phase Runner ‘ghost rock’ exploit—but it’s still a bannable offense

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Reproducing the latest Apex Legends exploit can place you between a rock and a hard place.

Apex Legends players discovered a “ghost rock” on the Phase Runner Arenas map that lacked collision detection, allowing you to hide inside of it without taking damage from incoming fire. While a fix was supposed to go live in today’s playlist update, it’s been delayed due to “quality-control reasons.” But reproducing this exploit in-game is still a bannable offense, Respawn said today.

Without collision detection, players can walk straight through the rock without being impeded. But any bullets shot at someone hiding inside the rock don’t register. This allows the exploiter to hide and heal but still have vision of their enemies. They can then pop out and deliver more shots at full health.

While Respawn hit a little snag when trying to fix the bug, it won’t let anybody off the hook who reproduces it in their Arenas matches. Respawn’s Conor “Hideouts” Ford doubled down on those sentiments, commenting that he “will ban for this, it’s true.”

Even though a fix for the “ghost rock” exploit isn’t in this update, players can expect extensive nerfs to the once-overpowered Bocek Bow and the Spitfire. The bow has been a menace to deal with, offering a bunch of damage and a quick fire rate to the wielder. The nerfs will limit its max charge body shot damage and increase its charge up time, as well as limit its stack size and inventory slot count. The Spitfire will deal one less damage per bullet and hold less bullets when equipped with a purple or gold mag.


Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more Apex Legends news and analysis.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/apex-legends/news/respawn-delays-fix-for-apexs-phase-runner-ghost-rock-exploit-but-its-still-a-bannable-offense

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Destiny 2 down for ’emergency maintenance’ after Season of the Splicer release

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When it rains, it pours.

Destiny 2‘s launch day for season 14, Season of the Splicer, is going less than ideally. The game has been taken offline for emergency maintenance following a wave of connection issues for players. As of now, there’s no announcement of when this maintenance will end.

A spike in players experiencing both the “HONEYDEW” and “CHICKEN” error codes indicate a serious issue with getting players connected to the game on season premier day. On top of that, the original ongoing maintenance period was supposed to be extended an additional three hours—but with the caveat that the game wouldn’t have to go do down.

Unfortunately that’s clearly not the case anymore, since the game is down. The solution for these issues isn’t to re-install your game, or go into the replies of Bungie’s official Twitter accounts and be rude. The solution is to just be patient as the Destiny 2 team is assuredly working themselves to the bone to get the game back up and running as soon as possible.

This isn’t the first time there’s been an issue with rolling out content on this scale in Destiny‘s history, and it likely won’t be the last. But after all the issues are fixed, Guardians will be able to hop back in their ships, play the new activities, earn new rewards, and make themselves look spiffy with the new Armor Synthesis system.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/destiny/news/destiny-2-down-for-emergency-maintenance-after-season-of-the-splicer-release

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