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Cloud9 Signs Top All-Women Valorant Team MAJKL, AT&T to Serve as Presenting Partner – TEO – The Esports Observer

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The release of Valorant has already created significant forward progress for women in esports. Just last month, Spectacor Gaming’s FTW initiative became the first tournament organizer to receive official professional-level tournament status from Riot Games for an all-women tournament. Now, esports organization Cloud9 is looking to take that progress one step further with the signing of that tournament’s champion, MAJKL, as a sister team to its existing Valorant roster.

The team will now compete under the name “Cloud9 White” with the (currently) all-male team rebranding to “Cloud9 Blue.” Additionally, AT&T has expanded its deal with the organization to become the presenting partner of Cloud9 White.

While multiple teams including Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming currently field women’s rosters in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and/or Valorant, those teams most commonly compete in all-women events. According to Cloud9 Senior General Manager Gaylen Malone, the organization is committed to turning Cloud9 White into a true sister team competing in Valorant’s male-dominated pro scene. 

She told The Esports Observer that the company’s strategy was inspired by early Korean League of Legends. In the early 2010s, many Korean LoL organizations signed 10 players divided across two rosters with similarly-themed names (Azubu Frost/Blaze, Najin Black Shield/White Sword, etc). These rosters would frequently play practice matches against one another and occasionally exchange players back and forth. “I don’t expect us to exchange players week-by-week,” said Malone, “but I do expect for the coaches and players of Cloud9 Blue to eventually look to integrate some of the women from Cloud9 White into their roster.”

Like those old Korean rosters, the teams will have scheduled practice time competing against one another and will have coaches “sharing systems across both rosters.” In addition to practicing like sister teams, Cloud9 intends to have its two rosters compete in the same tournaments. The two rosters will both aim to qualify for the game’s first official championship, First Strike, which takes place later this year.

For Malone, the decision to sign the MAJKL roster was not only due to their status as the top women’s team in the game, but their approach to competition. “The thing that stood out to me about this team is that they were already playing together and scrimming together. They weren’t a team that were all friends before Valorant and were playing for fun. They are a talented group of women who came together because they all wanted to be the best at the game and were committed to improving as a team. They were already working like a C9 team should, which is what made me so interested in them! This team was already clearly the top women’s team and they are ready to work on becoming the top Valorant talent, not just the top women’s Valorant talent.”

Shizuka Suzuki, head of sponsorships and experiential marketing at AT&T, also expressed her excitement regarding the signing and expanded partnership to TEO. She explained that both C9 and AT&T have a commitment to elevating women in gaming. AT&T recently announced a gender equality initiative for game developers called Unlocked Games.

“We’ve got a huge passion around gender equality in sponsorships overall,” Suzuki said. “Whether that be with the WNBA, whether that be women’s soccer – a lot of different areas where we’re intentionally making investments to help provide women with a platform to make sure they’re being seen by the younger generation or by others.”

In addition to its traditional sports activities, AT&T has been active in esports for several years sponsoring mobile gaming initiatives for ESL. Suzuki noted that, despite the smaller scale of many women’s esports programs, brands should take notice of the opportunities that exist in the space. “It’s almost a best-kept secret. Generally, those rights fees are a little cheaper than in men’s sports. What that allows is for companies of all marketing budget sizes to be able to go invest in world-class athletes.” She did however caution that brands need to make sure that such initiatives align with their values before entering the space. 

While it remains to be seen whether Cloud9 White can compete consistently with the top teams in Valorant, the organization is setting itself up to make significant strides for women in esports, pushing one step closer to the ultimate goal of co-ed teams becoming the norm in the space. 

“It’s going to take everyone,” Suzuki said. “If we all share that same passion of giving women a better opportunity, more opportunities to be seen, and certainly more content around them…it’s going to take all of us as part of that ecosystem to move the needle.”

In part, Cloud9 is able to help potentially move that needle due to groundwork previously laid by the women’s ecosystem of CS:GO. The similarity in gameplay between it and Valorant allowed for women’s teams to more easily migrate over from what is currently the most professionalized women’s esports infrastructure in the industry. Malone echoed the sentiment of this requiring a collaborative effort:

“I think that CS:GO was able to make such great strides because of the community and the TO’s pushing for it to happen. It is apparent that Valorant is making similar strides through a concerted effort between the community and the developer. Riot Games is making decisions early on to include women in competition and to ensure those women will be supported in the scene. I think that other titles could find similar success if they invested resources to the same degree while making conscious decisions to be more inclusive and provide stepping stones for women.”

That commitment from Riot Games is also part of why Cloud9 made the decision to sign a  women’s roster. “We have seen opportunities to jump into women’s CS:GO in the past, but I think our relationship with Riot Games really made this a unique opportunity. Having

an open line of communication with the developer and being able to talk about long term goals, really made us want to jump in and start developing talent for Valorant.”

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Cyber Monday phone deals: Big savings on Samsung Galaxy S20, iPhone 11, Google Pixel and Moto Razr – CNET

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Black Friday may be over, but Cyber Monday is just getting started. You’ll find big discounts on smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and others, on both the individual phone-makers’ websites as well as online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. In many cases, these cell phone deals are a return to the prices we saw on Prime Day— and in some cases, the savings are even better.

If you’re looking to snag a new iPhone, check the Apple Store for the latest discounts. Apple has now permanently cut prices on older models, including the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 (check out our iPhone 12 Black Friday deals roundup too). 

Note that prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication, but are subject to change. Make sure to check back often for the latest deal prices, as we’re updating this article on a rolling basis to account for newer, better deals and expired offers.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is Samsung’s most advanced (and expensive) flagship phone, released earlier this year. Its greatest feature may be its camera, with a 108-megapixel sensor, 100x zoom lens and 40-megapixel selfie camera. The phone also has a huge 5,000-mAh battery for extended battery life. 

Read our Galaxy S20 Ultra review.

Angela Lang/CNET

The midtier S20 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen and supports the fastest 5G speeds, released earlier this year. It also offers excellent camera image quality. The 128GB phone deal is available in cloud blue, cosmic gray and black.

Read our Galaxy S20 Plus review.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Though it’s not technically part of Black Friday, Apple cut $100 off the price of last year’s iPhone 11, which CNET has called “the best $700 iPhone Apple has ever made.” With the iPhone 12 already on sale, you can now pick up an iPhone 11 for as low as $599. It has fast speeds, improved battery life and excellent cameras, including a Night Mode feature.

Read our iPhone 11 review.

Angela Lang/CNET

The 2018 iPhone XR includes most of the same features as the more expensive iPhone X and XS, including an excellent big screen in a comfortable body, fast performance, Face ID and wireless charging, and a great camera. Again, it’s not a Black Friday deal, but it is an extra $100 off, making it a great less-expensive iPhone option that still gets you a lot of great features.

Read our iPhone XR review.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is a do-everything phone aimed at Android power users. You’ll find an exceptional 6.9-inch screen, sharp 5x optical zoom camera and a swifter stylus for annotating screenshots and taking notes.

Read our Galaxy Note 20 review.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Galaxy Note 20, released in August, has several of the same premium features as the pricier Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, including strong battery life. While it can’t quite keep up in terms of screen technology, camera specs, build material and RAM, it’s a solid option. You can find the 128GB version of the Note 20 in mystic bronze, mystic green and mystic gray at Samsung.

Read our Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.

Juan Garzon/CNET

Our reviewers noted that the Pixel 4 XL has a big screen that refreshes 90 times a second, so everything looks real smooth. It also takes outstanding photos, and its face unlock is among the fastest we’ve seen. While the phone is usually on the pricier side, you’ll find it for $549 on Amazon on Cyber Monday — a savings of $350.

Read our Google Pixel 4 XL review.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

The Motorola Edge features a 6.7-inch FHD OLED screen, four cameras and a 4,500 mAh battery. You’ll find it on sale for Cyber Monday at Amazon for $395.

Érika García/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy A71 5G phone first went on sale this summer, with a 6.7-inch FHD Plus Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display, quad-camera array with a 64-megapixel main lens, and 25-watt fast charging. It has 128GB of internal storage, 6GB of RAM, 4,500-mAh batteries and onscreen optical fingerprint sensors. It also comes with microSD slots, letting you add up to 1TB of additional storage. It’s one of the least expensive 5G phones on the market in the US, especially with this discount.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

With 5G support, IP certification for water resistance, a total of four cameras — one at 48 megapixels — and a large 120Hz display, the OnePlus 8 Pro earned high marks from our reviewers, with the only big downside being its high price. But for Cyber Monday, you can buy the phone at Amazon for $750, saving almost $250.

Read our OnePlus 8 Pro review.

Angela Lang/CNET

The much-anticipated 2020 Motorola Razr marked the return of the flip phone, along with new cameras, support for 5G and useful enhancements to the external quick-view display. Not to mention that it folds down to conveniently fit in your pocket. (Note that you can get bigger Razr 5G discounts with trade-ins and line activations from wireless providers, too.)

Read our Motorola Razr 5G review.

Sarah Tew

The Moto G Stylus is also the same as the Moto G Power at its core, with the same gigantic 5,000-mAh battery and 64GB of storage, along with a 6.4-inch display and triple-rear camera array. But the stylus adds a level of precision that makes navigating the phone more efficient.

Angela Lang/CNET

Of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 5G phones, the S20 is the smallest and cheapest — and our reviewer’s favorite. It’s just as stuffed with top-shelf features as the Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, from its tack-sharp screen to advanced camera capabilities. Apart from screen and body size, there aren’t many big differences between the three phones. You can get the 128GB phone in cloud blue or cosmic gray at Amazon.

Read our Galaxy S20 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The LTE version of Samsung’s budget Galaxy A51 went on sale in the spring, and includes a 4,000-mAh battery, 128GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and expandable storage up to 512GB. During Amazon’s Cyber Monday sale, you’ll find the A51 in black, blue and white.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

The Motorola One Zoom is a midpriced phone with great value and a smooth matte finish, so you won’t get fingerprints all over the back. It also has four high-quality cameras on the back (and the one on the front) and a large battery for up to two days of charge.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Two more Motorola phones have gotten nice price drops at Best Buy. 

The 2020 Moto G Power features a wallet-friendly price, a gigantic 5,000-mAh battery and 64GB of storage, along with a 6.4-inch display and triple-rear camera array. Motorola promises that the phone will last up to three days of regular use on a single charge, and in our testing, it’s held up so far. It’s on sale for $175 at Amazon for Cyber Monday.

The Moto G Fast has many of the same features as the Moto G Power, including the 6.4-inch display and triple-rear camera array. However, it does have a smaller battery, less RAM and half of the storage, as well as lower screen resolution. It’s on sale for $145 at Amazon

See 2019 Moto G7 models compared.

César Salza/CNET en Español

Chinese electronics giant TCL‘s 10L phone was released in May as a solid budget phone. While it doesn’t have many flashy features, it admirably handles basic tasks and has an elegant design. You’ll find it on sale for $175 at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and B&H until Nov. 29.

Read our TCL 10L review.

Angela Lang/CNET

In 2019, CNET’s review called the Galaxy Note 10 Plus “the most premium Android phone for your money.” A year later, the phone still holds up, with it’s large 6.8-inch screen, all-day battery life and excellent camera tools. At Amazon, you’ll find the phone for $800.

Read our Galaxy Note 10 Plus review.

Juan Garzon/CNET

The Pixel 3A XL includes a large screen, a fantastic camera, a long-lasting battery and a headphone jack — all at a more affordable price than the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. It doesn’t have as many features as the later Pixel models, but for $299 on Cyber Monday, it’s a great option. 

Read our Pixel 3A XL review.

Juan Garzón/CNET

Sony’s 2019 Xperia 1 flagship phone has a large 6.5-inch screen with 4K resolution, and uses OLED and HDR technology to make colors look vibrant. You’ll find the stand-alone phone on sale for Cyber Monday at Amazon for $480.

Read our Xperia 1 review.

Juan Garzon/CNET

The OnePlus 8T is another 5G phone that fits in between the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. The OnePlus 8T has a similar design to the 8, but carries over some of the better specs of the 8 Pro, including a 120Hz display and four cameras on the back. It also comes with a 65-watt charger that juices up the phone quickly. You can find it on Cyber Monday at Amazon for $630, a savings of $119. 

Read our OnePlus 8T review.

LG

The LG K31 is a budget phone with a 5.7-inch HD display, 32GB of storage and a 3,000 mAh battery. You can find it on Cyber Monday at Amazon for $120. 

César Salza/CNET en Español

Until Nov. 30, Amazon will have Black Friday deals on a few Nokia phones, including the Nokia 5.3, Nokia 2.3, Nokia 1.3 and Nokia 8.3 5G. The Nokia 5.3 features a 6.55-inch HD Plus display and a quad rear camera for capturing pictures and portraits even in low light.

Offers expired/out of stock

These offers are gone for now — keep checking back as they may return at some point.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Moto G7 Power is a 2019 member of the Motorola G budget phone family, offering a wallet-friendly price, several premium features and a gigantic battery (the same size as the one found in Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra). The 2020 Moto G Power — that’s G, not G7 — is faster and newer, but it currently costs $50 more than this model (keep scrolling to find that deal). If you’re on a budget and looking for a phone with superstrong battery life, the Moto G7 Power is worthy of consideration. You can find it on sale at Best Buy unlocked for $130 for the 32GB version. (You can also find it for $80 if you activate it today.)

Read our Moto G Power review.

Angela Lang/CNET

B&H isn’t just a store for photography anymore — it has some amazing phone deals too, like this OnePlus 7T. This smartphone has a large 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio, which is perfect for taking camera photos. With 128GB of storage and running Android 10, it makes a great gift for someone (or really yourself) this holiday season. Act fast, because this phone is half off through Saturday only.

Samsung

The budget Samsung Galaxy A21 sports a 6.5-inch HD Plus Infinity-O display, 4,000-mAh battery, 15-watt fast charge support, 32GB of internal storage and 3GB of RAM. It also has a 13-megapixel front-face camera and four camera lenses on the back: a 16-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultrawide, 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth camera. The phone can be expanded to 512GB of storage through a microSD card. 

Angela Lang/CNET

The TCL 10 Pro offers an attractive AMOLED display, four rear cameras and a premium design. For Black Friday, you’ll find the phone for $315 at Amazon (make sure you add the coupon for the discount), Best Buy, Walmart and B&H until Nov. 29. That price drop is a discount of $135, putting the phone more in line with its competitors, the iPhone SE and the Samsung Galaxy A51.

Read our TCL 10 Pro review.

Cricket Wireless

The LG Stylo 5 has a 6.2-inch screen, and, as the name suggests, a built-in stylus pen for writing and drawing. It also features face recognition and a fingerprint sensor. You’ll find it at Best Buy for $250.

Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung’s 2019 premium version Galaxy S10 Plus and budget Galaxy S10 Lite get a discount for Black Friday. The Galaxy S10 is a high-end phone with a reasonable price tag, especially when on sale. It doesn’t have 5G capabilities, but it does have a sharp screen, long battery life and some noteworthy camera features, along with reverse wireless charging.

Before Black Friday, you’ll find the following Galaxy S10 phone deals:

Read our Galaxy S10 review.

Juan Garzon/CNET

When the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 debuted in Sept. 2019, CNET called it “the best Galaxy phone to buy right now” thanks to its compact body and great features. You can find one discounted to $532 at Amazon.

Read our Galaxy Note 10 review.


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Walmart’s Cyber Monday deals are even better than its Black Friday discounts – Yahoo Canada Sports

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CBC

Vancouver Mayor wants Indigenous leaders to head possible 2030 Olympic bid

It was during one of the early planning sessions for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics that Chief Gibby Jacob heard a provincial government official talking about the Callahan Valley, which would eventually host cross-country skiing and ski jumping during the Games. Jacob, who participated in the bidding process for the Olympics and was a member of the Games organizing committee board, finally put up his hand. “I asked who the hell is this Callahan and how the hell did he get his name on our lands,” the Squamish Nation hereditary chief said with a chuckle. “They all looked at each other. I said find out and let us know.” It turns out the Callahan Valley, located near Whistler, B.C., was named after one of the early surveyors in the region. “That was the start of our big push to get our names back on places,” said Jacob. Indigenous groups had a voice in organizing and hosting the 2010 Games. But Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has suggested any movement to bring another Games to the city should be headed by Indigenous leaders. In early November, Vancouver city council voted to postpone a decision on whether it wants to explore making a bid. City staff are expected to present a report to council in early 2021. Stewart has said one of his conditions for supporting a bid is that the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh — the three Indigenous First Nations whose traditional territory includes Vancouver — head the Olympic bid committee. “I have talked to the Nations about this and there’s interest there,” the Vancouver Sun reported Stewart saying in a state-of-the-city address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Emails to Stewart’s office asking to explain the mayor’s proposal were not immediately answered. Khelsilem, a councillor with the Squamish Nation Council, isn’t aware of any formal talks about leading a bid. “We haven’t had any formal discussion about it,” he said. “We haven’t made any formal decision about whether we want or don’t want. And we haven’t had any formal discussions with our neighbouring nations.” Representatives of the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh did not respond to interview requests. Khelsilem said before any decision is made, the pros and cons of hosting an Olympics must be weighed. “The reality is that something like hosting an Olympics requires a significant amount of investment and support from both the federal and provincial governments,” he said. “While there are a number of reported advantages, there’s also a number of drawbacks. “I think a lot of that workflow needs to be figured out, especially in the context of the challenges that we’re going to face over the next decade and the challenges that we’re facing on a number of fronts.” Furthermore, Jacob said: “there’s a lot to be gained by being involved [in a bid] for our people.” “I don’t think that our nations, given what we have as far as leadership resources and how fast they seem to change, would be able to take things right from scratch to completion,” he said. Creating a common agenda With 15 of the venues used for the 2010 Olympics built on First Nation traditional territories, Indigenous support was crucial for the Games success. The Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Lil’Wat nations formed The Four Host First Nations, a non-profit organization with the goals of uniting Canada’s Indigenous people and encouraging inclusion across the country. “I think it created a common agenda,” said Jacob. “By doing that and achieving what we set out, it was totally outstanding. “I think it showed leadership that the four separate First nations could work together for a common purpose and get benefits from it.” WATCH | President of 2010 Games says Vancouver should bid for 2030: Involvement in the Games raised awareness of Indigenous issues across Canada, he said. “When we first started out, we were pretty invisible in our own territories,” said Jacob. Indigenous groups did “fairly well in compensation for the use of our lands,” he said. The Olympics also led to traditional Indigenous names being returned to locations and landmarks plus recognition of First Nation arts and culture. John Furlong, who was head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), is part of the group looking at the 2030 Games. He said any bid would be impossible without Indigenous participation. “I see no scenario at all in which First Nations are not involved,” he said. “They were a difference maker in 2010. “First Nations are in multiple new business since 2010. My instincts tell me they will be keenly interested in being involved again.”

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Italy's antitrust fines Apple 10 million euros for misleading commercial practices – The Journal Pioneer

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ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust authority said on Monday it had fined Apple 10 million euros ($12 million) for “aggressive and misleading” commercial practices regarding its iPhones.

The regulator said in a statement the company advertised that several iPhone models were water-resistant without clarifying they were only so under certain circumstances.

It added that the company’s disclaimer, saying that its phones were not covered by warranty in case of damage from liquids, tricked clients, who were also not provided support when their phones were damaged by water or other liquids.

Apple declined to comment.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina, writing by Giulia Segreti; editing by Valentina Za)

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