Join The Elder Scrolls Online Free Play Week

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As part of their three-year anniversary event, The Elder Scrolls Online will open its digital doors this week. The Free Play Week begins tomorrow, April 11, at 10 am Eastern/7 am Pacific on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and Mac (Steam). It ends April 18 at the same time.

When the Free Play Week begins, you’ll be able to download The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The Free Play Week includes the base game, but not any of the DLC areas. When creating an account, you’ll receive 500 crowns to spend in the in-game Crown Store. You can purchase XP boosts, unique outfits, and other items.

Any character progress and Crown purchases you make will carry over if you decide to purchase the game after the Free Play Week. Likewise if you have participated in previous Free Play events, your characters will still be preserved and ready to play (assuming you use the same account).

The three-year old MMORPG’s anniversary event also grants some additional goodies. A unique cake vendor will spawn in Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall, or Davon’s Watch depending on your faction. Completing his quest will reward you with the new 2nd Annual Jubilee Cake. Anyone in your group can eat a slice of cake to enjoy a two-hour 100% XP boost. Additionally all daily and weekly quests completed during the event grants an Anniversary Gift Box. These boxes contain the usual crafting materials, but also at least one rare item. The three-year anniversary event also ends on April 18.

The Elder Scrolls Online originally released on April 4, 2014 as a spin-off MMORPG to the popular single-player RPG series. It began with a subscription model and was met with mixed reactions. A year later in 2015, it dropped the sub model and was re-branded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Now it’s a one-time purchase, along with a real-money store for extra stuff and DLC that adds new areas and content.

The first major expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online is Morrowind, coming this June.


UT Arlington Wins Heroes of the Dorm 2017 Championship

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It was the year of absolution for UT Arlington. After a close loss to Arizona State in the Heroes of the Dorm Grand Finals last year, UT Arlington coasted to an astonishing 29-0 record to take the championship title on April 8. The UT Arlington “HOTD” defeated LSU “Pick Rick” by winning three matches in the final Best of Five. All six team members (five players plus an alternate) will win free college tuition.

“Congratulations to the 2017 Heroes of the Dorm, UT Arlington, for an awesome run through this year’s tournament,” says Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard. “The teams competing represent the future of competitive gaming, and it’s been a thrill seeing them in action. We appreciate all the students and college sports fans who participated in this year’s competition, and we’re looking forward to even more Heroes of the Storm esports leading up to BlizzCon this November.”

UT Arlington maintained their unprecedented undefeated run all the way to the finals. Early takedowns would bolster their attacks and keep their foes constantly reeling. The University tweeted out their support:

Team captain Yusuf “Kure” Sunka mentioned that they want to move forward as a team into professional esports, like many members of last year’s winning ASU team. “All of us want to continue going forward as a team and see what we can do off the momentum of this win,” says Sunka. “We’re looking to keep maturing as a team, and this is only a first step for us.”

Heroes of the Dorm is a fun competition based on one of my favorite games of the last few years. But this year’s Heroic Four and Grand Finals fell a bit flat. Nearly every match was a decisive, one-sided victory. Both matches in the Heroic Four ended 2-0 (Best of Three), and the Grand Finals ended 3-0 (Best of Five). UT Arlington was the clear favorite from the very beginning. I’m glad they got their win, but I hope next year’s tournament is a bit more competitive.