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Hong Kong Overwatch team ‘proud of representing’ region at World Cup

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Hong Kong’s national Overwatch team raised more than $11,000 to attend Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming Overwatch World Cup following the company’s ban of Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai.

A representative of the Overwatch team told Polygon last week it was “discussing” how to proceed in the Overwatch World Cup after Blizzard banned Chung for supporting ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong during an official Hearthstone broadcast. (Blizzard has since reduced Chung’s suspension to six months and returned his prize money.) Today, the Overwatch World Cup team, called the Fire Dragons, announced it will attend the event in Anaheim, California in November.

“The past few months have been very challenging for everyone on Team Hong Kong and it has been difficult to stay focused on our Overwatch program,” a team representative said. “We have tried our best to ensure that all of our players can prepare without distraction but this is not an easy task especially with the recent news surrounding blitzchung.”

It continued:

After a deep discussion with our players, we believe that the chance to represent Hong Kong spirit and values on the global stage is too valuable to give up. While it could be more comfortable for us to shy away from this event, we believe it is more important now than ever to ensure that everyone sees the faces of players on our team; the faces of Hong Kong people proud of representing their community.

Therefore, Team Hong Kong has confirmed with Blizzard that we will be attending the 2019 Overwatch World Cup.

Thank you to our staff who have worked diligently in their roles throughout the recent turmoil surrounding them.

To the global Overwatch Community: we are humbled and grateful to have received your generous support from here at home and from abroad. Your support has enabled us to travel without burden and we are incredibly thankful for it. Your support has helped us muster the courage to take on this journey.

The team opened up its crowdfunding initiative in August. After blitzchung’s suspension in early October, the campaign received a major uptick in donations from players across the globe expressing their support for the team and the region. Team Hong Kong surpassed its initial goal and raised $11,375. While Blizzard has previously funded team trips for the Overwatch World Cup, the developer is only providing full trips to the top 10 teams participating in the event — all others are on their own, which is why many have taken to crowdfunding.

The Overwatch World Cup will be held Nov. 1 to 2 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California during Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon event.

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TikTok owner ByteDance plans to launch music streaming

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(Reuters) – TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd is in talks with big music labels – Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music – for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

ByteDance is looking to launch its music streaming as soon as next month, initially in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before a future opening in the United States, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

In addition to on-demand music, ByteDance’s app will include a library of short video clips for listeners to search through and synch to songs as they listen, the report added.

ByteDance has not given a name to its music app yet and pricing remains unclear, although it is expected to cost less than the $10 a month charged by Spotify Technology SA, Apple Inc and others in the United States, according to the report.

The company was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Apple announces press event on Dec. 2

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Apple will host an event on Dec. 2

Apple just announced a press event that it will hold at 4 p.m. ET on Dec. 2 in New York City. The event will be focused on “honoring our favorite apps and games of 2019.” A tagline on the invite says “Loved by millions. Created by the best.”

Apple typically issues a press release detailing its favorite apps and games of the year annually, but this time there may be some sort of awards ceremony instead of just a release. New products are not expected at the event.

Reports had suggested Apple was planning to hold some sort of press conference in October, although the company ultimately announced and released products instead of holding a splashy event. Recent announcements included the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and new AirPods Pro with noise cancellation.

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Samsung’s Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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With the impending December 20th release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker looming like a nearby Death Star, Samsung has announced a Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus that’s giving off some major Kylo Ren energy. It will be on sale in the US on December 13th for $1,299.99.

The phone looks really slick. I love the red lightsaber-style S Pen. It’s a black Note 10 Plus with a First Order emblem on the back and red trim on the buttons and around the camera. In the Kylo Ren-themed box, you’ll also get black Galaxy Buds with a red inner casing, a Ren-themed leather phone case, and a Ren-themed “metal badge.”


Samsung says the phone will come with exclusive Star Wars-themed wallpapers, shutdown animations, icons, and sounds.

With a price tag of $1,299.99, it’s a little more expensive than a base Galaxy Note 10 Plus — which you can buy on Samsung’s website at a sale price of $839.99 — but the extra Star Wars-themed goodies might make the extra cost worth it.

Samsung says bundle will be available in Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the US. In select markets, it will be available starting on December 10th, which is a bit sooner than the US release date.

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