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Mount & Blade 2 becomes Bannerlord of the Rings thanks to a modder’s tinkering

The Fellowship of the Ring has got to be on any list of the top ten warbands. So it makes sense that it would show up in the latest Mount & Blade game, Bannerlord. One modder is making sure J.R.R.’s all stars are represented in Bannerlord, and you can see their work below.

The Fellowship of the Ring isn’t a standalone mod, per se, but rather some detailed character creation using mods. Reddit user Okoii uploaded a video clip of the gang set to a swelling cut from the films’ score, and sure enough, you’ve got the whole crew – even hobbits Frodo, Samwise, Merry, and Pippin. Okoii gets everyone lined up for their group shot, which turns into a real group shot as they’re pelted with arrows from some onrushing enemies. Look for the quick zoom-in on an ashen-faced Legolas, who seems like he’d rather be doing just about anything else.

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord already has a thriving mod scene – no surprise, since mods have been the lifeblood of the series to date, and a big part of the reason Bannerlord’s early access release has become one of Steam’s early big hits of the year.

COVID-19 lockdowns have led to surges in popularity for survival and sports games

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve watched as Steam has continuously posted increasing concurrent user numbers each weekend – it’s an indication of how people are turning to games during social distancing lockdown periods. Now, online marketplace G2A has shared some sales data that sheds light on what games are proving the most popular.

It may come as a bit of a surprise that G2A has seen a 75% increase in demand for survival games over the first quarter of 2020. It seems that being stuck inside during a quarantine or other social distancing measure has people thinking a lot about how they would approach a situation where they had to fend for themselves in a hostile world, and that’s being reflected in the games they’re buying.

Less surprising, perhaps, is the massive increase in demand for sports-related games. G2A says it’s seen a huge uptick in search traffic for FIFA 20 (up 132%) and more than double the norm for NBA 2K. That’s nothing compared to the 2,332% increase in searches for F1 2019. As sports seasons are cancelled or delayed due to the outbreak, it follows that fans are turning to games to keep them occupied while they wait. According to SteamDB, following two free weekends in the past month, Football Manager 2020 is also more popular than ever, hitting an all-time peak of 189,464 concurrent players March 29.

Doom Eternal has a new (free) battle pass and a hipster Archvile

If forced to come up with something I don’t like about Doom Eternal, I’d have to say it’s all the stuff that isn’t perforating and tearing up angry demons. C’mon, this is Doom we’re talking about, right? Its beauty lies in its simplicity. But Eternal adds several layers of candy shell over that gooey core, and one of those is the experience-based progression system – and that just clicked over into a new ‘season’ this week, allowing you to unlock a special skin for the Archvile that gives him a tight black T-shirt and suspenders.

This ‘Hipster Archvile’ skin is one of the rewards offered in Doom Eternal’s series two, which runs until May 14. It’s a free battle pass-style system for unlocking loot, mainly by playing Doom Eternal as you normally would. The Archvile skin also features tight black jeans, some Chuck Taylors, and an annoying haircut with sunglasses to match.

He hangs out on a new pedestal that’s modeled to look like the entrance to a cool urban coffee joint, complete with hand-lettered chalkboard featuring the specials of the day and a bank of community mugs.

This standing desk houses not one, but two gaming PCs

This isn’t the first desk that houses a PC gaming system, but it might be the first one that houses two. That’s right: Lian Li’s DK series can hold up to two fully-featured gaming PCs within its desk surface, and you can even hide the components when you don’t feel like typing over a pulsating RGB lighting system.

You have two options with Lian Li’s new motorised standing desks: the DK-04F, which can hold one gaming PC build, or the DK-05F, which holds up to two. Both feature removable motherboard trays that slot into a surprisingly roomy desktop that’s covered with 8mm of tempered glass that clouds over at the touch of a button to conceal your precious components.

The space for the gaming PCs comes from a large compartment slung under the desk surface and positioned at the back of each unit, which gives your legs room to bounce around while you’re sitting at it. However, a motorised lift system raises the desk surface from 689mm (2.26 feet) to 1175mm (3.85 feet), giving it a good range for a convertible standing desk.

Riot outlines plans for Valorant’s third-party esports scene

Valorant may still be in the closed beta phase, but Riot is already laying the groundwork for an esports scene – a scene that’s going to be handled through partnerships with external organisations and stakeholders. The company has provided some initial guidelines for tournament organisers, and provided a peek at how third-party competitions are going to be set up when Valorant officially launches.

Our sister site The Loadout reports on Riot’s recent press release, which provides a few details on a tiered system for third-party tournament organisation. “We have massive dreams for what this game can be as an esport, and we’re excited to embark on this long esports journey with our players,” says Whalen ‘Magus’ Rozelle, senior director of global esports at Riot. “Our primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organisers, and developers – unlocking them to help us to build the Valorant ecosystem.”

To that end, Riot is starting out Valorant’s esports approach with three tiers of competition. For small tournaments with prize pools of less than $10,000 USD (£8,000), Riot is putting those in the hands of player organisers, and they’ll be held in internet cafes and similar venues.