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NBA partners with YouTube

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and YouTube have announced the launch of the NBA’s first YouTube channel dedicated to fans in sub-Saharan Africa.

Click through to read about what the partnership brings.

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The NBA’s partnership with YouTube goes back more than a decade when it became the first professional sports league to partner with YouTube and launch its own channel in 2005, and the first to join YouTube’s “Claim Your Content” program in 2007.  Last year, YouTube TV became the first presenting partner of NBA Finals and WNBA Finals.  To date, the NBA YouTube channel has generated more than 5.4 billion views.

The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010.  Opening-night rosters for the 2018-19 NBA season featured 13 African-born players, and there are more than 80 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers: Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Last month, the NBA and FIBA announced their plan to launch the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa.  The BAL will build on the NBA’s existing grassroots and elite basketball development initiatives on the continent, including the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa and The NBA Academy Africa.

Since The NBA Academy Africa opened in May 2017, 25 elite male prospects ages 14-20 have received scholarships and training after scouting programs conducted with local federations across the continent.  Three NBA Academy Africa graduates have gone on to commit to NCAA Division 1 schools.

The NBA has held three sold-out Africa Games, in Johannesburg in 2015 and 2017 and in Pretoria in 2018, in support of charities including UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA).  Through NBA Cares, the NBA has created 87 places for children and families to live, learn and play in seven African countries.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis

Ubisoft has announced the release date for the episodes of the second post-launch story arc of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Fate of Atlantis. The first episode, Fields of Elysium, will release on April 23 across all available platforms. Throughout Fields of Elysium and the following two episodes, players will continue their Odyssey in the Greek afterlife to uncover the great mysteries that lie within the ancient realms of the gods.

Click through to watch the trailer, and to read about the downloadable content.

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As the story of Fields of Elysium unfolds, players traverse the paradise of Elysium, a realm of great beauty, to reveal sinister secrets while facing against the might of the Isu. Players encounter both new factions and familiar characters, and acquire new legendary weapons and gear.

Fields of Elysium also introduces new Ability enhancements, which modify existing abilities to alter their function, giving players the opportunity to further fine-tune their playstyles. Ability enhancements are divided into each branch of the skill tree – Hunter, Warrior and Assassin – and several are introduced in each episode, starting with Ares Bull Charge, Might of Artemis, Kronos Time Warp and Ares Madness in Fields of Elysium.

Following the first story arc, Legacy of the First Blade, The Fate of Atlantis sees our hero confront deities, encounter terrifying beasts of myth, and forge new bonds with a colourful cast of characters. After Fields of Elysium releases on April 23, the second episode, Torment of Hades, and the third episode, Judgment of Atlantis, will complete the second story arc mid-2019 on all available platforms.

The Assassin’s Creed Odyssey post-launch plan is the biggest and most ambitious in the franchise, and Season Pass owners will be able to access two major episodic storylines, Legacy of the First Blade and The Fate of Atlantis. Players can dive into new episodes as they premiere, or experience the epic adventures in their entirety once all episodes are available. The Season Pass also includes Assassin’s Creed® III Remastered and Assassin’s Creed® Liberation Remastered, which released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on 29 March 2019.

In order to play The Fate of Atlantis, players will have two different options:

  • Following the main game, players will have to complete the questline Between Two Worlds, the mythological main game story arc, and Heir of Memories, the Lost Tales of Greece questline that is available after completing the former questline. Finally, they must have reached character level 28 or above.
  • Otherwise, players will be able to use a shortcut created specifically for those who would like to play The Fate of Atlantis and who do not fulfill all the above conditions. Thanks to this shortcut, players will enter Greece level 52 with preset Abilities and resources enabling them to start their adventure into the afterlife with the Lost Tales of Greece questline Heir of Memories. They will also have the opportunity to choose their hero. However, contrary to the previous option – players’ progression using the shortcut will not carry over to the main game save, and they will not be able to obtain achievements.

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Stream of the Day

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series

Step into a galaxy far, far away and experience the first Star Wars story designed exclusively for virtual reality with Oculus.

Click here to watch the trailer and to read about the VR series.

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Descend into Darth Vader’s mysterious fortress alongside new allies and encounter fearsome enemies, including the Sith Lord himself. Viewers will be at the centre of a story in which they hold the key to the galaxy’s salvation… or destruction. The story will be told in three parts, and will be an interactive story. The first episode’s trailer looks like viewers will be able to interact with the environment with Oculus controls.

This VR series can be experienced on the Oculus Quest, or with a PC and the Oculus Rift S.

The release date has not been announced yet. For more information, visit: https://www.oculus.com/vader-immortal/

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