Palestinian-American Smash Player Uses Top Ranking To Advocate For Palestine

Palestinian-American Smash Player Uses Top Ranking To Advocate For Palestine

Anees “Free Palestine” Assaf uses his handle in a much different way than most fighting game competitorsPhoto: Free PalestineSpending time in the fighting game community makes you accustomed to referring to people by names like SonicFox, HotDog29, and Dr. PeePee. The latest rankings of Super Smash Bros. Melee players are full of such names, and one high-level Smash competitor is using his gamer tag for an explicitly political purpose: advocating for a free Palestine.As of the 2019 rankings, Anees “Free Palestine” Assaf is considered the seventy-second best Super Smash Bros. Melee player in the world, thanks to performances at events like The Big House and Full Bloom. His placement is a large leap from just missing out on the top 100 in 2018. Previously, Assaf was known as “Milhous,” a handle he chose as a way of poking fun at the middle name of former American president Richard Nixon. In April 2018, Assaf changed his tag in response to a Twitter trend asking players to explain the handle they chose for competition. A little under a year later, he published a Twitlonger further clarifying the reasons behind his decision to change his name and providing a primer on the issues facing the Palestinian people.Although he was born and currently resides in the United States, Assaf holds dual citizenship with the Palestinian state and has made many trips to the region throughout his life. This has given him a first-hand look at the ways that what remains of Palestine’s territory has been treated under its occupation by Israel, which he equates to an apartheid state in his original Twitlonger post. Palestinians have very few rights compared to their Israeli counterparts under current legislation, and despite numerous United Nations resolutions condemning the treatment of the Palestinian population, the United States has routinely blocked any action from being taken and has stuck by its support of Israel.“I thought about how big of an issue this is to me and how I’d already gotten a few opportunities to explain this issue to Smash players during tournaments and road trips,” Assaf told Kotaku in a conversation about what had prompted him to change his handle. “Once the tag ‘Free Palestine’ came into my head, I immediately switched it on [tournament sign-up site] Smash.gg and Twitter and haven’t looked back.” Assaf described responses from the Smash community to the name change as “generally positive,” and he offered an added level of appreciation for his local scene at Ohio State University for their support and willingness to learn about Palestine. As is usually the case, however, online interactions via platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Twitter have been completely different and often racist. Assaf said he has been told to “keep politics out of Smash” by people whose privilege allows them to ignore the suffering of others, but for the most part, he’s found players are genuinely uneducated on the circumstances and willing to listen.“People’s understanding of the situation differs greatly from person to person, but I’ve had people talk to me about very current issues and about the history of the conflict, which shows they’ve thought about it for some time,” Assaf explained. “But the other side of that is definitely more common. I’ve had people tell me that they thought Palestine was a city. I’ve talked to people who thought that I’ve been talking about Pakistan the whole time. From the moment I switched, I’ve had people DM me to ask questions about the issue, and at tournaments plenty of Smashers I barely know have asked me about this and given me a chance to explain my perspective.”Assaf doesn’t put much weight on his placing in the Super Smash Bros. Melee rankings for 2019, apart from what it can do to spread his message. He described being “a little upset” that he didn’t make the cut in 2018, but since then he has come to the conclusion that Smash players put too much emphasis on the rankings. That said, the reach of these rankings also means the Free Palestine tag will be seen and considered by a much larger portion of the community, allowing Assaf’s message to spread further than it already has. Since the announcement of his ranking, Assaf shared that he’s even been contacted by old high school classmates who don’t play Smash.“I just want people to look into the perspective that Palestinians have,” Assaf said. “Even the facts alone don’t speak for how it feels to be stopped and searched in your own country and to be barred from most of it due to being Palestinian. Even when this is brought up in good faith in our media, the people speaking about it often aren’t Palestinian, so our perspective is lost.” Ian Walker loves fighting games and loves writing about them even more. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.

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Here’s why there will only be six new ops in Rainbow Six Siege this year

Here’s why there will only be six new ops in Rainbow Six Siege this year

Rainbow Six Siege is about to enter Year 5, and Ubisoft has confirmed a bit of information stemming from an early leak: there will be only six operators this year instead of the usual eight. That decision has proven controversial among the Siege community, but the developers say the cutback is to focus on features that will more broadly impact the game.
“We are investing our resources on building more features and systems that will impact every player in every match,” according to game director Leroy Athanassoff. Ubi-Fanch adds on Reddit that “the Year 5 Pass reflects this direction focused on features that benefit all players, not just those playing the newest operators. It will lead to additional content for all players, such as free events, extensive reworks, and other core gameplay features.”
Exactly what form those new features will take – here’s hoping that Tachanka rework will be among them – will be clarified as part of the full Year 5 reveal at the Six Invitational in February. We’ll also see how that change in direction “leads into Year 6 and beyond” as part of the event.

The comments here echo those Ubisoft made when the lead developers of Rainbow Six Siege shifted. At the time, Athanassoff said “if you look at player experience, we need to stop thinking about exclusive features and start implementing inclusive features instead. What I mean is that we need to deliver content that will impact every player and the whole community.”
For details on everything we know about Rainbow Six Siege Year 5, you can follow that link. We’ll get a whole lot more detail in the week leading up to the Six Invitational, and the full reveal should take place on February 16.

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Acclaimed story-driven platformer Horace is currently free on the Epic Games Store

Acclaimed story-driven platformer Horace is currently free on the Epic Games Store

And you’ve got a week to claim it.

Horace, the ambitious story-driven 2D platformer that Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson liked really rather a lot on its release last year, is currently free on the Epic Games Store, meaning you’ve yet another opportunity to expand your interminable gaming backlog.Developed by Paul Helman and Sean Scapelhorn, Horace casts players as the titular hero, a small robot “learning of life, the universe and Douglas Adams”.Horace is, at least in part, a richly inventive platformer, offering up its own unique spin on the rather well-worn Metroidvania formula. But it’s also very British love letter to video games as a whole, tipping its hat to host of classics through a slightly anarchic, and gently nostalgic array of sharply observed nods, winks, and playable pastiches.

While that perhaps doesn’t sound so far removed from countless other games riffing on the wonders of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, Horace really sets itself apart through its unexpectedly cinematic narrative, one with enough warmth and character to inspire Martin to call it “one of the most winningly human games I’ve played”.”Yes, Horace is thick with references,” wrote Martin, “though they’re not cloying – they’re merely the backdrop to a gently told story of an emerging consciousness, forming the fabric behind the same awakening many of us would have had in our teens in whatever godforsaken corner of this rainy isle that we grew up on.”It’s all rainy afternoons and rundown housing estates with the splashes of colour provided by trips to the VHS rental store and the local arcade.”Horace, for those sufficiently intrigued, is free to download on the Epic Games Store right now and will remain so until next Thursday, 23rd January. And for anyone interested to learn about Horace’s lengthy gestation, Martin had a chat with its creator late last year.

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List of New Pokemon in The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra Expansions – Pokemon Sword and Shield Wiki Guide – IGN

List of New Pokemon in The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra Expansions – Pokemon Sword and Shield Wiki Guide – IGN

Don’t worry, if you do not purchase the expansion pass, you will still be able to receive these exclusive Pokemon via Link Trade, and transfer the 200+ old Pokemon via Pokemon HOME.See every new and returning Pokemon revealed for the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansions in the slideshow below!
Every New and Returning Pokemon Announced for the Sword and Shield Expansion PassThis lists all new Pokemon and Legendary Pokemon exclusive to The Isle of Armor.
Galarian Slowpoke[edit]Galarian Slowpoke can evolve into either or Galarian Slowbro Galarian Slowking with the use of items exclusive to The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, respectively. See How to Get Galarian Slowpoke right now – even if you haven’t purchased the expansion!
Kubfu – Legendary[edit]
Kubfu is a Fighting-type Legendary Pokemon that comes from a faraway land not normally found in the Galar region. Category: Wushu Pokemon
advertisementUrshifu – Legendary[edit]
Kubfu evolves into the Legendary Pokemon Urshifu which has two different forms.
Single Stike Style Urshifu is a Fighting- and Dark-type. Rapid Strike Style Urshifu is a Fighting- and Water-type. Both have the ability Unseen Fist.
From the official Pokemon website: Kubfu will evolve into either Single Strike Style Urshifu or Rapid Strike Style Urshifu. Which form it evolves into will change depending on choices made during your adventure. The forms are not tied to the game version you are playing.
Each Urshifu form can Gigantamax, too, which you can see above.
Gigantamax Rillaboom[edit]Gigantamax Cinderace[edit]Gigantamax Inteleon[edit]This lists all new Pokemon and Legendary Pokemon exclusive to The Isle of Armor.
Calyrex – Legendary[edit]
Calyrex is a Psychic- and Grass-type Legendary Pokemon you’ll encounter in The Crown Tundra expansion. It’s known as the “King Pokemon” and is said to see every past, present, and future event.
Galarian Articuno[edit]Galarian Zapdos[edit]Galarian Moltres[edit]Regi??? Dragon?[edit]This Legendary Pokemon is relate to the Regi- series of Legendary Pokemon originally from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
Regi??? Electric?[edit]This Legendary Pokemon is relate to the Regi- series of Legendary Pokemon originally from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
Gigantamax Venasaur[edit]Gigantamax Blastoise[edit]Returning Pokemon to The Isle of Armor[edit]
If a Pokemon has a ? by its name, a Pokemon in its evolutionary line has been shown, but it, technically, hasn’t been.
SquirtleWartortleBlastoise (and Gigantamax)BulbasaurIvysaurVenasaur (and Gigantamax)Fletchling?Fletchinder?TalonflameHorsea?Seadra?KingdraPsyduckGolduckHappiny?ChanseyBlisseyAzurillMarill?Azumarill?DedenneZoruaZoruark?Rockruff?LycanrocLarvesta?VolcaronaMagnemite?Magneton?MagnezoneGalarian Slowpoke*Galarian Slowbro*Galarian Slowpoke can be received without an expansion pass
Returning Pokemon to The Crown Tundra[edit]
If a Pokemon has a ? by its name, a Pokemon in its evolutionary line has been shown, but it, technically, hasn’t been.
Nidoran Male?NidorinoNidoking?Nidoran Female?Nidorina?Nidoqueen?Zubat?Golbat?CrobatElekidElectabuzz?ElectivireGible?Gabite?GarchompBeldumMetang?Metagross?CryogonalAmaura?AurorusSpheal?SealeoWalrein?SolgaleoLunalaTapu BuluTapu FiniTapu LeleTapu KokoXerneasYveltalZygardeReshiramZekromThundurusLandorusTornadusDialgaPalkiaAzelfUxieMespritGroudonKyogreRayquazaHo-OhLugiaRaikouEnteiSuicineMewtwoCresseliaLatiosLatiasGiratinaNecrozmaKyuremHeatran

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When Zelda Meets Horizon Zero Dawn

When Zelda Meets Horizon Zero Dawn

Fine ArtFine ArtFine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you’re in the business and have some art you’d like to share, get in touch!Victor Herranz is a 3D artist at Gameloft, who figured he’d combine two of the best games of 2017 in one character.You can see more of Victor’s stuff at his ArtStation page.

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