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What we know about FIFA 22 Ultimate Team so far including revamped FUT Champions

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The most popular mode in FIFA is about to get a refresh for FIFA 22, with EA confirming changes to FUT ahead of the release.

FIFA Ultimate Team was first launched as an expansion for FIFA 09, but was then included as a free standalone mode on the full game for FIFA 12, which was available on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Since then, FUT has grown into one of the most popular and lucrative game modes within EA’s FIFA gaming franchise.

EA has announced that there will be some big changes to the Ultimate Team game mode in FIFA 22, including a revamp of the FUT 22 Champions Weekend League and Division Rivals competitions, the addition of FUT Heroes and enhanced customisation options.

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More information on FIFA 22, including gameplay, Career Mode, Ultimate Team, Pro Clubs and more is expected to feature in EA’s upcoming FIFA 22 EA Play Spotlight event on Tuesday, July 20 at 6pm BST.

But ahead of the event, EA has teased fans with some major FIFA 22 Ultimate Team news, that will have an impact for every FUT player.

This is everything we know so far about FIFA 22 Ultimate Team.

FIFA 22 Ultimate Team – Revamped FUT Champions and Division Rivals

EA has confirmed that the FUT Champions Weekend League, and the Division Rivals competition, will be revamped for FIFA 22 Ultimate Team.

The FUT Champions Weekend League is the most competitive game mode within FIFA Ultimate Team, where professional players are able to get verified for competitive events and players of all levels are able to earn set rewards depending on their results.

The FUT Champions Weekend league is set to be revamped in FIFA 22 Ultimate Team

The rewards on offer from competing in the FUT Champions Weekend League include coin rewards, tradeable player packs, TOTW packs and Ultimate Packs, depending on how many wins you achieve within the set time limit.

Division Rivals is a weekly competition that currently features in the FIFA 21 Ultimate Team game mode, with the competition is spli ten different divisions and each division contains players of differing playing ability, with Division 10 being the lowest and Division 1 containing the very best players on FUT 21.

Rewards for this game mode differ depending on which division you’re in and which individual rank you’ve placed in within that week.

On their official website, EA say : “FUT 22 redesigns Division Rivals and FUT Champions to create a more accessible way to test your skills and progress against other players.”

There’s no information yet about how the FUT Champions Weekend League or the Division Rivals competition are being redesigned, but this could be huge for the playing community.

FIFA 22 Ultimate Team – FUT Heroes

EA say that the FUT Heroes FIFA 22 campaign will “Celebrate some of football’s most memorable players”, with these player item stats representing the player during unforgettable moments during their footballing career.

FIFA 22 Ultimate Team will feature FUT Heroes
the FUT Heroes FIFA 22 campaign will “Celebrate some of football’s most memorable players”

FUT Heroes cards have unique league-specific chemistry, so they will provide a green club link to any player within the same league, as well as the usual nation link, with these cards not being assigned to a specific club.

EA has also confirmed the first nine FUT Heroes who will be coming to FUT 22, with more to be revealed in August.

  • Mario Gomez (Bundesliga)
  • Tim Cahill (Premier League)
  • Diego Milito (Serie A)
  • Jorge Campos (Liga BBVA MX)
  • Fernando Morientes (La Liga Santander)
  • Sami Al-Jaber (MBS Pro League)
  • Robbie Keane (Premier League)
  • Abedi Pele (Ligue 1)
  • Clint Dempsey (MLS)

Players who pre-order the FIFA 22 Ultimate Edition by August 11, 2021 will get an untradeable FUT Heroes Player from December 1, 2021.

FIFA 22 Ultimate Team – New Customisation Options

Ahead of the FIFA 22 EA Play Spotlight event, EA has also confirmed that new customisation options will be coming to FUT 22.

On their official website, EA say: “Even more ways to make your club your own with new depths of customisation both on and off the pitch.”

You can already upgrade your stadium, change themes and colours of the stadium, choose custom kits and badges and much more, but it looks like FUT 22 players will be able to do much more than this in FIFA 22. Exactly how much more customisation we can expect is yet to be revealed, but it’s exciting news nonetheless.

FIFA 22 will be released worldwide on Friday, October 1, 2021, with the game available to pre-order now on Xbox, PlayStation, PC and Stadia.


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Tourists fined $500 for touching Hawaiian monk seals

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U.S. authorities say a Louisiana woman who was honeymooning in Hawaii has been fined $500 after a social media video showed her touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched an investigation last month and found the woman violated the Endangered Species Act, said Dominic Andrews, a spokesperson for the agency’s Office of Law Enforcement.

A video posted on TikTok and other social media showed a woman touching the seal at a Kauai beach in June. The video showed her running away after the seal snapped at her, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

The Associated Press wasn’t immediately able to reach the couple Thursday. The couple previously apologized and told the Star-Advertiser earlier this month that they love Hawaii and didn’t mean to offend anyone.

There are an estimated 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and 300 in the main Hawaiian Islands.

Under state and federal laws, it’s a felony to touch or harass a Hawaiian monk seal. Penalties can include up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Authorities warn people must remain at least 50 feet (15 meters) away from the animals or 150 feet (45 meters) away from pups with their mothers.

NOAA also fined another traveler $500 for touching a resting Hawaiian monk seal. It is unclear when that encountered occurred, but an Instagram account shows the visitor recently visited Oahu in May, the newspaper reported.

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Climbing at the Tokyo Olympics: Start times, how to watch and how it works

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Adam Ondra is probably the best climber in the world right now.


Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Sport Climbing is about to make its long awaited (by me) debut at the Tokyo Olympics. We’re extremely excited.

Regular old rock climbing has been around since — well, since the first time someone tried to climb something rocky. But modern recreational climbing started in the 19th century, with sport climbing only emerging in the 1970s and ’80s. 

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Traditional climbing takes place outside without a predetermined route.


Getty Images

In the Olympics, climbing will take place on engineered or indoor routes. They practice in pursuit of physical perfection and strategy as opposed to vertical height.

Rock climbing has evolved as a catch-all term for many different sports, including everything from free soloing to bouldering. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about sport climbing at the 2020 Olympics.

When to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics 

The Olympic master schedule has already been released, with sport climbing qualifying events on Aug. 3 and 4. 

Here’s the breakdown for the men…

  • Qualifiers for men’s speed climbing take place August 3 at 4 a.m. EDT (1 a.m. PDT).
  • Qualifiers for men’s bouldering takes place August 3 at 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT).
  • Qualifiers for men’s lead climbing takes place August 3 at 8 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. PDT).

And for the women…

  • Qualifiers for women’s speed climbing take place August 4 at 4 a.m. EDT (1 a.m. PDT).
  • Qualifiers for women’s bouldering takes place August 4 at 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT).
  • Qualifiers for women’s lead climbing takes place August 4 at 8 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. PDT).

The finals will be on Aug. 5 and 6. In the US, NBC will broadcast events, with the BBC securing rights in England and Channel Seven, 7Mate and 7Two in Australia. All events will take place at the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.

How climbing works at the Olympics

Sport climbing will be broken up into three separate disciplines: speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering. Not every country will be represented; only 20 athletes per gender (40 climbers total) will be allowed to compete at the Games, and only 2 athletes per gender per country will compete in any given event.

FYI, the International Olympic Committee currently recognizes only two genders — female and male. There are currently stipulations for athletes that identify as transgender, both female and male, to compete. But there aren’t any guidelines or rulings for athletes who don’t identify as female or male — including those who are nonbinary, agender and genderqueer.

The combined nature of climbing at the Olympics has been somewhat controversial. Speed climbing requires a completely different skillset compared to bouldering and lead climbing. In the next Olympics speed climbing is being broken out as a separate event, leaving bouldering and lead climbing as a combined event.

Speed climbing

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Two climbers, one wall.


IFSC

Speed climbing is relatively simple: there are two climbers with safety ropes and one 15-meter wall set at a 95-degree angle. The climbers race against each other to get to the top, with the fastest one winning. The speed route is the exact same at all times: the same holds in the same position at the exact same angle. The addition of speed climbing has been somewhat controversial in the climbing community, because it requires a completely different skillset compared to other climbing disciplines.

Bouldering

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Athletes use physical and mental precision to climb to the top of a bouldering route.


IFSC

Bouldering takes place on an shorter wall, where climbers take turns attempting to scale as many routes on a four-meter-tall wall in 4 minutes. Each route (also called a bouldering problem) is laid out with hand and foot holds in a specific color, and they vary in difficulty based on the size of the holds and the way they are spaced out. A climber completes a problem by grabbing the top hold with both hands.

Bouldering has traditionally been about power and finger strength, but recently competition route setters have been creating problems that require delicate co-ordination and explosive gymnastic movements. This one will be fun to watch. 

Lead climbing

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In Lead climbing, participants secure themselves with a rope as they climb higher.


IFSC

Lead climbing is arguably the most recognizable of the three events. The climber has six minutes to climb as high on a wall that is taller than 15 meters. They use safety ropes that attach to quickdraws on their way up, allowing the rope to run freely while they stay anchored to the wall. If two athletes reach the same point on the wall, the person who got there first is the winner. 

In both bouldering and lead climbing, climbers are not allowed to practice climbing on the routes before they compete or watch each other scale the wall, and they only have a couple of minutes to study the routes and decide their strategy before the timer begins.

Medaling system

tokyo-2020-medals

The Olympic and Paralympic medals are made from recycled electronics. The Olympics won’t change the year on the medals, by the way.


Tokyo Olympics

If you thought the qualifying system was a bit complicated, take a deep breath. There’s only one set of medals awarded per gender, so all three events will go into determining which country gets the gold, silver and bronze.

The speed climbing discipline will be done in a bracket format, with athletes competing head to head, while bouldering is in a leaderboard format. Lead climbing will have a point system in which each hold on the wall counts as one point and the athlete who climbs the highest will obtain the highest score.

Once all the athletes are ordered by placement per event, their placement numbers will be multiplied, and the climbers with the lowest scores will win medals. Because of the scoring format, each climber will compete in each event. For example, if an athlete gets second place in speed climbing, third in bouldering and first in lead climbing their overall score would be six (2 times 3 times 1 equals 6). 

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AMD’s new Radeon RX 6600 XT offers 1080p RDNA 2 gaming for $379

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AMD has a new entry-level RX 6000-series GPU: the $379 RX 6600 XT, which is still based on the same RDNA 2 architecture as its beefier cousins, but it offers a more wallet-friendly price point. The new card promises the “ultimate 1080p gaming experience,” for customers who don’t necessarily need a next-gen 4K gaming setup.

At a suggested retail price of $379 (AMD isn’t selling its own version of the card), the RX 6600 XT slots at an even cheaper price point than the $479 RX 6700 XT that the company released earlier this year, which targeted 1440p gaming.

The RX 6600 XT features 32 compute units, 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, a 2359 MHz base clock, 2589 MHz boosted clock, and draws 160W of power. For comparison, the top-of-the-line RX 6900 XT 80 compute units, while the RX 6700 XT offers 40 compute units.

The RX 6600 XT, compared to AMD’s other 6000-series GPUs
Image: AMD

AMD’s logic here, though, is that most players don’t actually have the setup necessary for a full 4K gaming rig, which requires not only the latest and greatest in GPUs but also a processor and a display that can pump out enough pixels. The company cited research from IDC that claimed that roughly two-thirds of gaming displays sold last year were 1080p panels — but also that growth in high-refresh displays was 20 times higher than lower-refresh rate models.

The RX 6600 XT is meant to slot into those trends perfectly, promising to be able to run AAA titles like Battlefield 5 or Cyberpunk 2077 at high frame rates on maximum 1080p settings. The new card isn’t meant for someone who wants the latest and greatest GPU — it’s for customers using an outdated GPU like the aging GTX 1060 (which still accounts for almost 10 percent of all graphics cards in Steam’s hardware survey and can struggle with more recent games).

RX 6600 XT benchmarks versus the RTX 3060.
Image: AMD

The new RX 6600 XT also offers a big boost over AMD’s 5000-series cards, offering 1.4x or greater improvements in FPS rates compared to the RX 5600 XT and RX 5700 for titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Doom Eternal. AMD also claims that the new card outperforms Nvidia’s similarly entry-level RTX 3060 GPU, which (at least in theory) starts at $329.

AMD is also aware that supply may be an issue for the new card, commenting at a press briefing that “we’re doing our best to get supply, but the demand is unprecedented, and also the supply constraints are real, so we are working with those situations at hand.” Given the general difficulty in buying new GPUs these days, it might be best to prepare for another round of hard-to-find cards, though.

The RX 6600 XT will be available starting on August 11th from AMD’s usual slate of partners, including ASRock, Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, XFX and Yeston, with prebuilt systems set to arrive sometime in August, too.

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