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Play League of Legends in college, win scholarship money

The League of Legends North American Collegiate Championship returns for the 2014 - 2015 season with a larger competition layout and new region splits. Last year, 540 teams competed from 300 universities across the US and Canada.

"This year, the competition's even bigger," Riot says. "The season now spans the entire academic year and we've split North America into four competitive regions: North, South, East and West. We're also making it easier for new players and teams to compete by collaborating with four community partners with a solid history of running League tournaments."

The Qualifiers kick off on October 17 and registration for both the Ivy League of Legends and Collegiate Star League tracks are open from now through October 16. Two additional, shorter Qualifier rounds hosted by TeSPA and WellPlayed Productions take place in early 2015. Each Qualifier track crowns one winning team per region, for a total of 16 groups in the playoffs. The playoffs should be held around April or May 2015, Riot says, and the North American Championship will take place in Los Angeles, California, later in 2015.

The top four teams win scholarship money: $30,000 per team member for first place, $15,000 each for second, and $7,500 each for third and fourth. See the full registration schedule and rules in the NACC FAQ, and check out your school's clubs here. Good luck, Summoners of academia!
[Image: Riot]

Dark Souls 2 DLC officially delayed in North America

Yesterday we brought you word that the Crown of the Ivory King DLC for Dark Souls 2 had been delayed in Europe. At the time there was no word on the status of its North American counterpart, though now we know that it, too, has been pushed back.

"The sheer scope of Crown of the Ivory King facilitated the need for a bit more time to deliver a level of polish that the previous two chapters of The Lost Crown trilogy embodied," stated developer From Software via publisher Bandai Namco. "It is From Software's intent to only release Crown of the Ivory King with the highest level of quality possible." Those who read our earlier article will note that this is the same statement we received from Bandai Namco Europe when we looked into the European delay.

On a positive note, the delay is not a lengthy one. Bandai Namco now plans to launch the Crown of the Ivory King DLC on September 30. While you're waiting, you can pass the time by reading our reviews of the first two DLC packs released for Dark Souls 2, Crown of the Sunken King and Crown of the Old Iron King.

Joystiq Streams: Minimum with Human Head and Steam code giveaway

Human Head Studios had a turbulent decade. The Wisconsin-based developer kicked off the HD console generation in 2006 by finishing Prey, a first-person shooter with some interesting ideas about portals released well before cake memes took over the web. After Prey's success, Human Head turned around and started work on a wildly ambitious sequel, but that game met with a rather grisly, obscure end.

After lighter projects on Android and Wii U, Human Head is back with Minimum, an appropriately named third-person shooter with a spare aesthetic. How has the team's development process changed in the era of early access? What's it like making a shooter in 2014 compared to 2006? We'll find out when Human Head sits down with Joystiq for a look at their latest.

Starting at 4:00PM EST, Joystiq Streams will be playing Minimum on Project leader Norm Nazaroff and art director Jim Sumwalt will join Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) and Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski) to discuss the game. Plus: We'll be doling out free copies of Minimum to folks that come out to watch.

That's at 4:00PM EST. Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but we go live other times as well so follow us on Twitch to catch every show.

[Images: Human Head Studios]

Joystiq's big list of games on Steam Curators

We're tastemakers! The Joystiq staff has lovingly put together a list of the games we most enjoy on Steam, using its brand new Curators service. See the Joystiq Curators page right here. Our premiere picks run the gamut from Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, to Always Sometimes Monsters, to Ys Origins. It's a weird list, just like we are.

This introductory curation page is our way of saying hello, not only to you, but also to Steam's new service. As the Curators platform finds its footing, we'll update our list with even more uniquely selected games – ones we like, and we think you'll have fun with as well. Go ahead and follow the Joystiq Curators page on Steam to see all of our new additions as they happen, and join the Joystiq Steam group to discuss the games you love, hate and want to know more about. Enjoy!

Steam reaches 100 million users, adds Curators feature

Valve's digital distribution platform Steam surpassed 100 million users this week, adding over 25 million customers and 3,700 unique titles since January.

Valve commemorates the milestone with the launch of the Steam Discovery Update, making it easier for users to find games that fit their interests. Homepages now closely reflect user activity and preferences, and players can further refine their recommendations to include new releases, Early Access games, and DLC.

Steam's new Discovery Queue further refines the store browsing process, giving players a daily lineup of recommendations that they can choose to follow, ignore, or add to their wishlist. The update also introduces a Steam Curators feature, allowing users to craft lists of recommend Steam games with short blurbs and supplemental links.

[Image: Valve]

The Long Dark ventures to Steam Early Access

Hinterland Studio launched its first-person exploration game The Long Dark on Steam Early Access this week, making the in-development survival simulator available for PC and Mac users for $20. Set in the pacific northwest, the game forces players to scavenge for resources and survive the threat of starvation, wolves and more.

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston joined the developer earlier this month. Rolston adds to a well-credited crew at Hinterland, which includes Far Cry 3 Narrative Director Raphael van Lierop. The Long Dark's journey took off with its success on Kickstarter in October 2013, at which point the developer earned $248,899. Those that want a taste of the game should revisit Joystiq Streams' archive from July, in which Hinterland took us through the dark woods for an hour.
[Image: Hinterland Studio]

Triad Wars is online PC game in Sleeping Dogs universe

United Front Games has begun detailing Triad Wars, the studio's follow-up to Sleeping Dogs and set in the same world, which was revealed by trademark filing last year. Using Sleeping Dogs as a foundation, Triad Wars is an online open-world action game.

"Your goal is to rise to power as a criminal kingpin of the Triad underworld. As an Enforcer and mastermind of your criminal enterprise, it's up to you to construct an empire the likes of which your enemies would never dare to mess with," United Front Community Manager James Baldwin describes on the game's site.

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Legend of Grimrock 2 plumbs the depths in mid-October

Developer Almost Human has revealed that its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock 2 will debut on October 15.

Alongside the announcement, the developer also revealed that pre-orders for the game are now open, and those who purchase the game within the next 22 days will receive a 15 percent discount, which reduces the game's price to $20.39. Additionally, fans who somehow missed the original Legend of Grimrock can purchase a bundle which includes both that game and its upcoming sequel. Like the aforementioned pre-order this bundle has also been discounted, allow players to grab both fantasy adventures for a total of $25.49.

For more details on Legend of Grimrock 2, including its required tech specs and a bullet list of features, visit the game's website. If you'd rather just toss your money at Almost Human immediately, drop by the new pre-order page.
[Image: Almost Human]

Joystiq Streams: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! with Gearbox [Update: It's over]

Moons haven't gotten so much love as they have by video games in the past month since Buzz Aldrin landed on one in 1969. Link pulls one down to smash up dragons in Hyrule Warriors, and the good Guardians playing Destiny have spent an inordinate amount of time blowing up Wizards from around the lunar neighborhood. Everywhere you look, moons! In anticipation of even more moon action, Joystiq is bringing you an early look at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, a game that places tiny, chatty robots on the moon and gives them many, many guns.

On at 6:00PM 6:30PM EST, 2K Games and Gearbox will be hanging out with Joystiq's own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) to check out the ins and outs of this side story to the only shooter RPG with a bartender named Moxxi. Come by and ask questions of both the team and Luddy in the chat.

We regularly broadcast on every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but if you want to catch specials like today's show, make sure to follow on us on Twitch.
[Images: 2K Games]

Humble's End of Summer Sale Encore offers free Tropico 3

The Humble Store's End of Summer Sale Encore event features a number of solid deals in its final hours, including free copies of Kalypso's dictator sim Tropico 3 for all customers.

Sale highlights include Telltale's episodic adventure game series The Wolf Among Us for $9.99, Messhof's one-on-one swordfighting game Nidhogg for $4.99, roguelike side-scroller Risk of Rain for $2.49, and FTL: Advanced Edition for $3.33.

The sale also features several games from Ubisoft and Warner Bros, including Far Cry 3: Deluxe Edition for $7.99, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition for $4.99, Rocksmith 2014 for $14.99, and the Game of the Year Editions of Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Asylum for $4.99 each. Sale prices are effective through September 24.

[Image: Kalypso]

Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass includes game set in China

Ubisoft unveiled a season pass for Assassin's Creed Unity today, and it includes a full standalone game. The pass costs players $30 and "opens up every piece of DLC" for the game, including Dead Kings, a story campaign set after Assassin's Creed Unity. The full game available to Unity's season pass holders is Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, which has players hopping and skipping along the Great Wall of China.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is set in the 16th century Middle Kingdom and stars Shao Jun, a female assassin that trained under Ezio Auditore, star of Assassin's Creed 2. Shao Jun previously appeared in the 2011 animated short Assassin's Creed: Embers as well as the Assassin's Creed Revelations novel by Oliver Bowden. It's noteworthy that Ubisoft is opting for a female lead with the 2.5D side-scrolling platformer, as it suffered criticism for its growing lack of diversity in the past with Unity's co-op multiplayer mode prior to its introduction of Elise, a Templar in the game.

Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass will also give players "over 30 new weapons, equipment and outfits" on launch day. The game will arrive on November 11 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and the season pass content will all be released by early 2015.

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P.T.'s ghost makes a spooky cameo in Metal Gear Solid 5

Lisa, the terrifying ghost woman featured in the Silent Hills demo P.T., will make an appearance in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, developer Kojima Productions revealed during TGS.

The video above, cropped from a streamed TGS presentation, shows Snake harassing enemies with the "Active Decoy" item, which summons Lisa to the battlefield. Naturally, a ghostly demonic figure has plenty of useful combat applications, letting players spook enemies off cliffs and scare away curious wolf puppies. Kojima Productions gave another glimpse at Silent Hills with a TGS concept trailer last week, following up on the recent launch of the PS4 demo version P.T.

Metal Gear Solid 5 is slated to launch in 2015.

[Video: The Grate Debate / Konami]

GTA 5 adding first-person vehicle view on PC, next-gen

A since-pulled support article on Rockstar's website points to some new features for Grand Theft Auto 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. According to the article, seen above, the revised versions of GTA 5 will feature a first-person mode for vehicles "that shows the interior of the vehicle, including working speedometers, tachometers, dash lights, and more." The game will also include a first-person mode "while on foot."

Rockstar plans to offer an "overhauled character selection screen" as well as new Easter eggs and random events for the game's story mode. The developer noted that new animals will appear in the city of Los Santos, and appears to be determining whether animals will also appear in the game's online modes. Lastly, it added that players transferring characters from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game will receive "new weapons and a free garage in GTA Online." GTA 5 will reach PS4 and Xbox One on November 18 and launch on PC in 2015.

Destiny retains UK No.1 against Disney Infinity 2.0, Hyrule Warriors

Destiny "comfortably" held on to top spot in the UK, says data compilers Chart Track, despite new releases Disney Infinity 2.0 and Hyrule Warriors charging into second and third. Sales of the space-roaming shooter had a typical second week dip, going down by 78 percent, but it was enough for Bungie's guardians of the galaxy to see off Marvel's guardians of the toy box.

While it didn't take top spot, Disney Infinity 2.0 sold 32 percent better than the first entry did in its debut week in the UK. Similarly Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo's link to the Dynasty Warriors, notched one of the best UK charts debuts for a Wii U game, only bested by the likes of Mario Kart 8 and Pikmin 3. In other Nintenews, 3DS nostalgia-fest Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call fell short of the top ten, placing 17th in its first week.

For the full UK top ten (and customary music video), head below the break.

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Dark Souls 2's 'Crown of the Ivory King' pushed back [update: NA too]

Update 2: Bandai Namco has confirmed that Crown of the Ivory King has been delayed in North America. Like its European and Japanese counterparts it will now debut on September 30.

Update: We've yet to hear back from Bandai Namco America, and the game's US homepage is still advertising the DLC for tomorrow, September 24. Once we confirm if the delay includes North America or not, we'll update this story.

Bandai Namco Europe announced a week's delay for 'Crown of the Ivory King,' the third and final chapter in the coronation trilogy of Dark Souls 2 DLC. The add-on content was due on September 24, but according to Bandai Namco's European branch launch it's due now on September 30 for Xbox 360 and Steam, and October 1 for PS3. Also, Famitsu reported a delay to September 30 in Japan. We've reached out to Bandai Namco America for stateside info.

When approached, Bandai Namco Europe provided Joystiq with From Software's statement on the delay: "The [sheer] scope of Crown of the Ivory King facilitated the need for a bit more time to deliver to level of polish that the previous two chapters of The Lost Crown trilogy embodied. It is From Software's intent to only release Crown of the Ivory King with the highest level of quality possible."

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