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Climb the Overwatch Ladder

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Orena has announce a new Overwatch Seasonal Ladder, an opportunity for local teams to compete daily to top the rankings over three seasons, each with a R10 000 prize pool. It will include both PC and PlayStation 4.

Since its announcement and the first day of Beta, players have been aching to get their hands on the new title. From a record breaking Beta to one of Blizzard’s most successful launches, Overwatch remains an exciting prospect in the gaming scene.

Competitively, however, is where Overwatch sets itself above the rest. Bringing something new to the first-person shooter world, Overwatch has ensured its longevity by being both exciting to watch, and play. Already tournaments are springing up around the country, and now Orena, in partnership with Steelseries, Megarom and Blizzard, is launching three seasonal ladders with a grand total of R30 000 in prizes.

The Seasonal dates are as follows:

  • Season 1: Began on June 13th and ends on August 1st [PC]
  • Season 2: Begins August 8th and ends on October 3rd [PS4]
  • Season 3: Begins October 10th and ends on December 5th [PC]

Teams can enter the ladder at any time throughout each seasonal ladder, but we advise you do it sooner than later to secure your top spot and challenge other teams.

The Ladder will also have a broadcast schedule with games being streamed live

on Orena’s Twitch Channel every Monday and Wednesday. The game will be shoutcasted by Kyle “Congo” Wolmarans and Lutz “crazymonkey” Ngqkakaza.

All ladder matches will be run on a best of 3 format with all maps and heroes available. A full ruleset can be found HERE.

After a full season of ladder matches have passed, the top 4 teams will enter into a Single Elimination Battle Royale to determine the season’s winners. This single elimination “mini-cup” will take place on the last Sunday of every season!

“We’re ecstatic to have Overwatch as an official title on the Orena ranking system. With this being the first Blizzard title on the Orena platform, we look forward to dealing with something fresh and that has been so well received on the “eSports circuit”. With the support of our prestigious event partners at SteelSeries, we envision an epic start to what looks to become a staple in the competitive gaming market”. – Luca Tucconi, CEO at Orena.

“eSports is in our hearts, it pumps in our blood and we are passionate about development of eSports not only within South Africa but globally too. With this in mind we are excited to set a new challenge for the community and bring forward with ORENA the Overwatch Champions Ladder. Overwatch has already created a lot of hype in the community, and we hope to add fuel to this fire and encourage all forms of gamers to #RISEUP and take the challenge. Good luck to all teams competing and may the best team win.

Remember, winning is what we do. It’s not just everything in this new age of eSports, it’s the only thing”.

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ConceptD: Creatives get a tech brand of their own

The unveiling of a new brand by Acer recognises the massive computing power needed in creative professions, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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It’s a crisp Spring morning in Brooklyn. The regular water taxi from Manhattan pulls up at Duggal Greenhouse on the edge of the East River. It’s a building that symbolises the rejuvenation of Brooklyn as a hub of artistic and creative expression.

Inside the vast structure, global computer brand Acer is about to unveil its own tribute to creativity. Company CEO Jason Chen takes to the stage in faded blue jeans and brown t-shirt, underlining the connection of the event to the informality of the area.

“Brooklyn is become more and more diverse,” he tells a gathering of press from around the world, attending the Next@Acer media event. “It’s an area that is up and coming. It represents new lifestyles. And our theme today is turning a new chapter for creativity.”

Every year, Next@Acer is a parade of the cutting edge in gaming and educational laptops and computers. New devices from sub-brands like Predator, Helios and Nitro have gamers salivating. This year is no different, but there is a surprise in store, hinted in Chen’s introduction.

As a grand finale, he calls on stage Angelica Davila, whose day job is senior marketing manager for Acer Latin America. But she also happens to have a Masters degree in computer and electric engineering. A stint at Intel, where she joined a sales and marketing programme for engineers, set her on a new path.

Angelica Davila, marketing manager for Acer Latin America

For the last few months, she has been helping write Acer’s next chapter. She has shepherded into being nothing less than a new brand: ConceptD.

Click here to read more about ConceptD.

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Which voice assistant wins battle of translators?

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Take the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.

OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6. 

Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  (See chart). All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.

“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.” 

A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.

OHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard. 

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