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The Overwatch League Ruled Esports. Then Everything Went Wrong

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Enlarge (credit: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Since its formation in 2017, the Overwatch League—the professional esports program for Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch hero shooter—has drawn frequent comparisons to traditional sporting institutions. Its stated aim, as WIRED put it in a 2017 feature, was to become the new US National Football League.

The two institutions certainly overlapped: The Overwatch League was the first major esports league to franchise local teams in major cities, and it features live spectator events with hometown crowds and salaried athletes. The goal was to offer esports fans a more traditional sports model, where they could go to a local arena or venue, see their hometown team play against an “away” team, and cheer during the event. The model offered local pop-up stores, team merchandise, ticket sales, media rights, and licensing.

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Original Post: arstechnica.com

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Electrify America Is Raising Its Prices in March

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Enlarge (credit: Electrify America)

Road-tripping in an electric vehicle might be slightly more expensive this year. On Thursday morning, Electrify America informed its user base that starting on March 6, the company will raise its prices.

“We’ve tried hard to maintain our current pricing, but rising operational and energy costs have now made adjusting our pricing necessary,” the company wrote in an email to customers. “We shall continue to maintain simple, uniform pricing across the country, and this adjustment ensures we can uphold our commitment to drive electric vehicle (EV) adoption and the future of electric mobility.”

Currently, guests (i.e., people without an Electrify America account) and Pass members pay $0.43 per kWh in states that allow billing by unit of energy. That’s increasing by 11.6 percent to $0.48 per kWh starting next month.

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Original Post: arstechnica.com

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Ford Follows Tesla’s Lead, Cuts Prices on Mustang Mach-E

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Enlarge / It’s not been designed to be a Nürburgring taxi, but switch the Mach-E GT Performance Edition into Unbridled Extend if you’re going to autocross it. (credit: Ford)

If you’ve been on the fence about buying a new Ford Mustang Mach-E, good news: Ford has dropped prices across the lineup of its first battery-electric vehicle. At the low end, there’s a $900 drop on the RWD standard-range base model, listed at $45,995. At the other end is a $5,900 decrease for the GT Extended Range, which now carries a $63,995 MSRP.

In addition to the price cuts, Ford will also increase production of the Mustang Mach-E. The carmaker now plans to build 130,000 BEVs for the North American and European market, a massive increase from the previously planned 78,000. The production increase will in turn decrease wait times for new cars, a sticking point for drivers ready to trade hydrocarbons for electrons. Those who have already ordered new BEVs from Ford will get the lower prices as well.

2023 Mustang Mach-E
Former MSRP
Updated MSRP
Change

Select RWD Standard Range
$46,895
$45,995
$900

Select eAWD Standard Range
$49,595
$48,995
$600

California Route 1 eAWD Extended Range
$63,575
$57,995
$5,580

Premium RWD Standard Range
$54,975
$50,995
$3,980

Premium eAWD Standard Range
$57,675
$53,995
$3,680

GT Extended Range
$69,895
$63,995
$5,900

Ford’s move comes just two weeks after Tesla discounted some of its models by as much as 20 percent. At the bottom of the lineup, the Model 3 RWD is now $43,990—$3,000 cheaper than it was last year. The Model Y has been heavily discounted as well, with the Long Range and Performance models seeing a $13,000 discount.

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Original Article: arstechnica.com

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The Flight Tracker That Powered @ElonJet Has Taken a Left Turn

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Enlarge (credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

A major independent flight tracking platform, which has made enemies of the Saudi royal family and Elon Musk, has been sold to a subsidiary of a private equity firm. And its users are furious.

ADS-B Exchange has made headlines in recent months for, as AFP put it, irking “billionaires and baddies.” But in a Wednesday morning press release, aviation intelligence firm Jetnet announced it had acquired the scrappy open source operation for an undisclosed sum.

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Original Source: arstechnica.com

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