‘Mortal Kombat 11’s’ New “Kombat League” Kicks Off June 18, Includes Ranked Matches & In-Game Rewards

'Mortal Kombat 11's' "Kombat League" Kicks off This Week

Source: WB Games / NetherRealm Studios

Since it’s launch back in April, Mortal Kombat 11 has been teasing the arrival of the “Kombat League” in the game’s multiplayer menu. Now we know when we can expect to take part in what NetherRealm describes as a seasonal challenge and that day is June 18.

That’s right, starting tomorrow, players will be able to take part in the “all-new seasonal ranked mode” that will put them up against other Kombatants allowing them to rank up in hopes to earn exclusive in-game rewards.

The free content when it launches will have players competing in ranked matches against similarly skilled opponents during a four-week season that will see them try to progress through nine tiers. As part of the upcoming update, a meter will be added that will display yours odds at beating the opponent you are matched up against. The goal is to climb up the ranks where you will start off as an Apprentice and if your MK11 skills are up to snuff will see you earn the highly coveted title of Elder God. As you progress, you will be rewarded with exclusive in-game items which are described as cumulative by NetherRealm in a press release.

Players can also earn in-game items by completing daily and seasonal quests, for example, this first season is called “Season of Blood” so you will be rewarded for the amount of blood you spill while competing. The rewards for all of your hard work will be skins that are black and white with traces of red, as seen in the announcement trailer.

The “Kombat League” is an excellent addition to an already fun game to give it even more legs and keep players engaged. The new competitive online mode arrives on the same day when Kombat Pack 1 owners get exclusive access to DLC character Shang Tsung. Coincidence? We think not. To get a full detailed breakdown of Mortal Kombat 11’s “Kombat League” check out the trailer below.

Photo: WB Games / NetherRealm Studios

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A Look Back at 5 Memorable Player-Fan Altercations in Major League Sports

When it comes to sports, emotions can — and frequently do — run high. Sometimes, this leads to fights between players, as was the case when a Chicago White Sox infielder infamously charged the mound after veteran Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan hit him with a pitch. But when fans get in the mix, it’s a whole other ballgame, so to speak.

This issue most recently rose to the surface of sports discourse when a fan shoved Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry after he went flying into the crowd during Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals. It later came to light that the fan in question, Mark Stevens, is a part owner of the Golden State Warriors.

The incident occurred after Lowry slammed into a group of fans seated courtside at Oracle Arena while trying to save a loose ball in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game. Stevens, who wasn’t involved in the collision, then reached over to shove Lowry out of the way. Lowry complained to a referee, and Stevens was ejected from the game.

During a SportsCenter appearance following the game, Lowry said that he felt Stevens should no longer be allowed to attend NBA games. “Honestly, I hope he’s never allowed to come to an NBA game because he shouldn’t have done that,” Lowry told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. “There’s no place for that. Luckily, they threw him out. I talked to the league security already and explained myself. The fans have a place. We love our fans. But fans like that, they shouldn’t be allowed to be in there because it’s not right.”

Lowry’s fellow NBA star LeBron James also spoke out against Stevens’ actions. James took to Instagram on Thursday to call for Stevens to be further disciplined.

There’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL. There’s so many issues here. When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor and if you don’t know it’s on the back on the ticket itself that states the guidelines. But he himself being a fan but more importantly PART-OWNER of the Warriors knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for. He knew the rules more than just the average person sitting watching the game courtside so for that Something needs to be done ASAP! A swift action for his actions. Just think to yourself, what if @kyle_lowry7 would have reacted and put his hands back on him. You guys would be going CRAZY!! Calling for him to damn near be put in jail let alone being suspended for the rest of the Finals all because he was protected himself. I’ve been quite throughout the whole NBA playoffs watching every game (haven’t missed one) but after I saw what I saw last night, took time to let it manifest into my thinking I couldn’t and wouldn’t be quiet on this!

The NBA also issued a statement on Thursday calling Stevens’ actions “beyond unacceptable” and announcing that he will not be allowed to attend games as their review of the matter continues.

The results of this particular altercation seem to be skewing in Lowry’s — a.k.a. the player’s — favor. But ahead of Game 4 of the finals, let’s take a look back at how some of the memorable fan-player confrontations in major league sports history have played out.

The Malice at the Palace

Back when Metta World Peace went by his real name, Ron Artest, and played for the Indiana Pacers, he was involved in a fan-player brawl so infamous that it has been given its own name: The Malice at the Palace.

The events leading up to Artest fighting a fan during a 2004 game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons included Pistons center Ben Wallace shoving Artest after Artest fouled him, Artest laying down on the scorer’s table to try to cool off, and a fan — a man named John Green — throwing a drink at Artest while he was lying there.

What followed was a massive brawl that began with Artest attacking a man who he thought was Green, but was actually just a random spectator.

“There were roughly half a dozen elements that caused that brawl to happen,” Mark Montieth, who covered the Pacers for the Indianapolis Star, told Grantland in 2012. “If Artest doesn’t make that hard foul on Ben Wallace, it doesn’t happen. If Ben Wallace doesn’t react the way he did, it doesn’t happen. If the referees control the situation, it doesn’t happen. If Artest doesn’t go lay down on that scorer’s table, it doesn’t happen. If the fan doesn’t throw the beverage, it doesn’t happen. There was a continuation there, a succession of things. You take away any one of them and the whole thing doesn’t happen.”

Five Pacers and four Pistons were suspended following the melee. Artest was suspended for the remainder of the 2003-04 season — the longest fight-related suspension ever levied in the NBA — while his teammates Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O’Neal were suspended for 30 and 25 games, respectively. Artest also lost approximately $ 5 million in salary.

Green was convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years’ probation. He was also banished for life from Detroit home games.

Strangely enough, Artest and Green are now friends.

Albert Belle

Albert “Joey” Belle became known for a number of outbursts throughout his career. But the incident that sticks out in most MLB fans’ minds is when he chucked a loose foul ball at a heckling fan during a May 1991 game between the Cleveland Indians and California Angels. The fan in question, Jeff Pillar, had apparently been taunting Belle, who had spent 10 weeks in an alcohol-rehabilitation program the previous summer, about “throwing a keg party” and inviting him.

The Indians issued an apology to Pillar — who was left with a bruised chest bone — on Belle’s behalf and the American League suspended him for six games.

Shaun Ellis

In the wake of a 13-3 loss to a less-than-stellar Seattle Seahawks squad in 2008, New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was caught on camera heaving a chunk of snow at Seahawks season ticket holder Robert Larsen as the Jets were pelted with snowballs while running off the field at Qwest Stadium. Despite the fact that Ellis claimed his reaction was “all in fun,” the NFL slapped him with a $ 10,000 fine for the incident.

Larsen also sued Ellis in 2010, a full two years later, for both physical and emotional damages.

Frank Francisco

When an altercation between the Texas Rangers bullpen and Oakland Athletics fans made then-Texas reliever Frank Francisco see red during a 2004 game at the Oakland Coliseum, Francisco hurled a metal folding chair into the stands that hit a heckling fan’s wife in the face and broke her nose. Francisco was ejected from the game, suspended for the rest of the season, and fined $ 10,000 by the league. He was also arrested on a charge of aggravated battery.

The fan’s wife, Jennifer Bueno, later filed a lawsuit against the team, the players and the security firm employed by the A’s. It was settled out of court when the Rangers agreed to issue a public apology as well as a sum of money that was not disclosed.

“It’s going to be something that is part of my life forever,” Bueno said during a 2005 news conference announcing the lawsuit. “I’m fearful of any confrontations happening around me.”

Vernon Maxwell

There are some trash talk lines that should never be crossed — that is, if you don’t want a 6-foot-4 inch, 180-pound NBA player coming after you.

Violence is obviously never the answer, but when then-Houston Rockets shooting guard Vernon “Mad Max” Maxwell allegedly heard a Portland Trail Blazers fan making fun of his wife’s recent miscarriage during a 1995 game, he went bounding up into the stands during a timeout and hit the heckler, a man named Steve George, in the jaw. For his part, George, insisted he was simply taunting Maxwell for only having scored five points.

“I’m a fan yelling about the game,” George told the Los Angeles Times. “I was definitely riding Vernon, you know, ‘Five points, four fouls, you’re not having a good night.’ I don’t deserve to get hit in the face for that.”

Maxwell was ejected, suspended for 10 games and hit with a $ 20,000 fine by the NBA.

Sports – TIME


Soccer: Inaugural Nations League finals a wide-open contest

Still something of a novelty, UEFA’s inaugural Nations League tournament reaches its final stage with a four-team mini-competition in Portugal this week, which will be short and sharp and looks to be a wide-open contest.

Reuters: Sports News


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Trailblazing Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson Dies at 83

Crowding the plate, fearsome and fearless, Frank Robinson hammered his way into the Hall of Fame.

His legacy, however, was cemented that day in 1975 when he simply stood in the dugout at old Cleveland Stadium — the first black manager in Major League Baseball.

Robinson, the only player to earn the MVP award in both leagues and a Triple Crown winner, died Thursday at 83. He had been in failing health and in hospice care at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. MLB said he was with family and friends at the time.

“Frank Robinson’s resume in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Robinson hit 586 home runs — he was fourth on the career list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays when he retired and now ranks 10th. An MVP with Cincinnati and Baltimore, he led the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966.

“Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies. We were friends. Frank was a hard-nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done,” Aaron posted on Twitter.

“Baseball will miss a tremendous human being,” he said.

An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons and a first-ballot selection to Cooperstown, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year, a Gold Glove outfielder and a bruising runner.

But his place in the sport’s history extended far beyond the batter’s box and basepaths.

Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians. His impact was immediate and memorable.

The Indians opened at home that year and Robinson, still active, batted himself second as the designated hitter. In the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went crazy, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees.

The Reds, Orioles and Indians have retired his No. 20 and honored him with statues at their stadiums.

Robinson later managed San Francisco, Baltimore and Montreal. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season — the Nationals put him in their Ring of Honor.

More than half the major league teams have had black managers since his debut with Cleveland.

Robinson later spent several years working as an executive for MLB and for a time oversaw the annual Civil Rights Game. He advocated for more minorities throughout baseball and worked with former Commissioner Bud Selig to develop the Selig Rule, directing teams to interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a new manager.

For all he did on and off the field, Robinson was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre played against and worked with Robinson for years.

“He was a tough nut,” Torre recalled at the owners’ meetings in Orlando, Florida. “He never lost that feistiness, which puts a smile on your face … He was always that guy that commanded a lot of respect and he had a presence about him.”

Born Aug. 21, 1935, in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, California, and was a basketball teammate of future NBA great Bill Russell. But it was on the diamond, rather than court, where fame awaited Robinson.

Former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer, who also gained first-ballot entry into the Hall, once called Robinson, “the best player I ever saw.”

Starting out in an era when Mays, Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams were the big hitters, Robinson more than held his own over 21 seasons — if anything, many who watched Robinson felt he never got his full due as an all-time great. He finished with 1,812 RBIs and hit .294 — he played in the World Series five times, and homered in each of them.

Robinson was the only player to hit a ball completely out of old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and once connected for grand slams in consecutive innings of a game. But he didn’t just slug away, as evidenced by a .389 on-base average boosted by 1,420 walks against 1,532 strikeouts. Extremely alert on the bases, he had 204 steals.

Robinson played the game with grace, yet was known as fierce competitor who combined hard work with natural talent. He planted himself near the plate, yielding to no pitcher, and didn’t seem to care about being brushed back or getting hit by a pitch 198 times.

“Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down,” Robinson said. “It made me more determined. I wouldn’t let that pitcher get me out.”

And opposing pitchers noticed.

“Frank Robinson might have been the best I ever saw at turning his anger into runs. He challenged you physically as soon as he stepped into the batter’s box, with half his body hanging over the plate,” Hall ace Bob Gibson once wrote.

“As a rule, I’m reluctant to express admiration for hitters, but I make an exception for Frank Robinson,” Gibson wrote.

Robinson carried a similar philosophy as a baserunner, unapologetically sliding spikes high whenever necessary.

“The baselines belong to the runner, and whenever I was running the bases, I always slid hard,” Robinson declared.

Robinson broke in with a bang as a 20-year-old big leaguer. He tied the first-year record with 38 home runs for Cincinnati in 1956, scored a league-high 122 times and was voted NL Rookie of the Year.

Robinson was the 1961 NL MVP after batting .323 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs for the pennant-winning Reds, and reached career highs in runs (134) and RBIs (136) in 1962.

All-time hits leader Pete Rose joined the Reds the next year.

“He had a huge influence on me when I first came up in ’63,” Rose told The Associated Press by phone. “Frank was a really aggressive, hard-nosed player, and it rubbed off on everybody. Frank was the one who took me under his wings, so to speak. … Frank consistently talked to me about playing the game the right way,” he said.

Robinson was an All-Star, too, in 1965, but Reds owner Bill DeWitt decided Robinson was an old-ish 30 and time to make a move.

That December, Robinson was the centerpiece in what would ultimately be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, going to Baltimore for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.

Robinson became an instant hit with the Orioles in 1966 as the unanimous AL MVP and a Triple Crown winner.

On May 8, he became the only player ever to hit a home run completely out of Baltimore’s home park, Memorial Stadium. The drive came against Cleveland ace Luis Tiant and the spot where the ball sailed over the left-field wall was marked by a flag that read “HERE” that remained in place until the Orioles left for Camden Yards in 1991.

Robinson batted .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs during his first season in Birdland. He then homered in the first inning of the 1966 World Series opener at Dodger Stadium and capped off the four-game sweep of Los Angeles with another homer off Don Drysdale in a 1-0 win in Game 4.

Robinson hit two home runs against Rose and the Reds in teaming with future Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson to win another crown for the Orioles in 1970.

All told, Robinson was an All-Star in five of his six seasons with Baltimore, reaching the World Series four times and batting .300 with 179 home runs. The cap on his Cooperstown plaque carries on O’s logo.

Pappas went 30-29 over two-plus seasons with the Reds, Baldschun won one game in 51 appearances over two years with Cincinnati and Simpson hit five home runs as a part-time outfielder for the Reds during two mediocre seasons.

Robinson was traded to the Dodgers before the 1972 season. He played for the California Angels in 1973 and was dealt to Cleveland late in the 1974 season.

His managerial debut came 28 years after Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier as a player.

“Every time I put on this uniform, I think of Jackie Robinson,” Frank Robinson said as he began his new role.

Robinson had coached for the Orioles and worked in their front office when he became their manager in 1988 after the team opened at 0-6. Things didn’t get much better right away as Baltimore went on to lose its first 21 games and finished 54-107. The next season, the O’s went 87-75 and Robinson was voted AL Manager of the Year.

Tough and demanding, he went 1,065-1,176 overall as a big league manager.

A no-nonsense guy, Robinson also had a sharp wit. That served him well in Baltimore where, in addition to being a star right fielder, he was the judge for the team’s Kangaroo Court, assessing playful fines for missing signs, uniform mishaps and other things he deemed as infractions.

At the time, the Orioles had a batboy named Jay Mazzone, whose hands were amputated when he was 2 after a burning accident. Mazzone capably did his job for years with metal hooks and became good friends with Robinson.

Some players, though, initially weren’t sure how to treat the teen.

“Frank Robinson broke the ice,” Mazzone said. “He was running his Kangaroo Court and calling a vote among the players, whether to fine somebody or not.”

“It was either thumbs up or thumbs down,” he recalled. “After the vote, he said, ‘Jay, you’re fined for not voting.’ Everybody laughed. After that, I was treated just like everybody else.”

Survivors include his wife, Barbara, and daughter Nichelle.

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.


AP Sports Writer Joe Kay and AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

Sports – TIME


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