zoom Newbuilding orders of tanker ships have seen a sharp reduction, but the slowing trend needs to be sustained for the longer-term health of the market, global shipping consultancy Drewry said in its Tanker Forecaster.After numerous orders in recent years, newbuilding activity in the tanker market declined sharply in the first quarter of 2016 as only 34 vessels (2.6 million dwt) were ordered during the period, far below the hefty 368 vessels (45 million dwt) ordered in 2015.“Challenging conditions in capital markets and tight credit availability from banks have subdued new ordering. Although this will not arrest the strong fleet growth and corresponding decline in freight rates over the next two years, as many vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2016-17, it bodes well for the future, especially if this is a reflection of cautious ordering by owners,” Drewry said.However, Drewry believes that if the current decline is just a breather after the hefty ordering in 2015, when owners increased orders to avoid stringent Tier III regulations for the vessels ordered from 1 January 2016, any increase in ordering in the coming months would hurt the longer-term outlook for the tanker market.Despite the slowdown in ordering in the first quarter of the year, the total orderbook remains high at 63.7 million dwt, 18.6% of the crude tanker fleet. About 80% of the vessels in the orderbook are scheduled to be delivered in the next two years, and we expect more than 200 crude tankers to be delivered by the end of 2017.“Newbulding prices declined during the quarter on account of the slowdown in tanker ordering, which coincided with weakness in newbuilding activity in other sectors as well, keeping prices under pressure. If ordering remains weak in the coming quarters, newbuilding prices could soften further,” said Rajesh Verma, Drewry’s lead analyst for tanker shipping.“The tanker market is expected to be oversupplied in the next two years due to hefty deliveries and relatively slow growth in the crude oil trade. If the slowdown in ordering continues further it will keep fleet growth in check in the later years, which in turn will support tonnage utilisation in the tanker market,” added Verma.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Activision is widening the scope of e-sports competition for “Call of Duty” players.The publisher of the hugely popular military shooter franchise is expanding its e-sports program next year from an annual tournament to year-round international leagues, as well as increasing the prize pool from $1 million to $3 million. The international leagues will be comprised of professional and amateur divisions, culminating in a championship at the end of the year.“This is going to mark a new era of e-sports for ‘Call of Duty,’” said Rob Kostich, senior vice-president and general manager for “Call of Duty” at Activision. “It signals Activision stepping up our commitment to what we’ve been doing with e-sports. We’re expanding our season to make it a fun, competitive year leading into the ‘Call of Duty’ Championship.”The Santa Monica, Calif.-based publisher is calling the revamped e-sports offering the “Call of Duty” World League. The competition will launch in early 2016 with leagues in North America, Europe and Australia and New Zealand. The three territories will each feature independent seasons concluding with 32 teams at the “Call of Duty” Championship in fall 2016.“It felt like the right time to do it,” said Kostich. “We’ve learned a lot over the past few years and talked a lot to our community. We think we have an agenda that’s going to be really attractive to them, and we have a new game coming out, ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops III,’ that we couldn’t be more excited about to lead us into this new era of e-sports.”Activision first hosted a $1 million “Call of Duty” tournament in 2011 during an official “Call of Duty” fan convention and has organized the “Call of Duty” Championship since 2013. Kostich said next year’s expanded e-sports program was devised to offer a deeper level of engagement with pro gamers while also encouraging casual fans and aspiring competitors.“The pro division is really the cream of the crop, the top 150 guys who are actually going to make money from playing this game,” said Sam Cooper, senior director of product management for “Call of Duty” at Activision. “One of the big things we wanted to do with the league was make it much more financially viable to be a pro player in our ecosystem.”Cooper noted that players from regions outside the three pro leagues could compete for a spot in the “Call of Duty” Championship through the amateur division, which will feature both online and in-person competitions. He said that each match in the pro division would be broadcast but declined to specify how, outside of the “Blacks Ops III” live event viewer.Kostich also refused to comment if Activision would drug-test players at its e-sports events. The Electronic Sports League began working with the World Anti-Doping Agency to administer e-sports’ first random drug tests during its ESL One Cologne tournament in August. ESL said all players tested negative but did not specify how many players were tested.ESL began the drug testing after a player said in a YouTube video posted in July that he and his team used the drug Adderall during an ESL tournament in March where players competed for $250,000. Previously, ESL and several other e-sports organizations prohibited the use of drugs, alcohol and other performance enhancers but did not test for doping.Over the past 10 years, e-sports has evolved from a niche genre of gaming to a lucrative sport that draws tens of millions of spectators online and in person. Activision said earlier this year during the “Call of Duty” Championship that more than 175 million copies of “Call of Duty” have been sold across all platforms since the series debuted over a decade ago.___Online:http://www.callofduty.com/esports___Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang. Activision expanding ‘Call of Duty’ e-sports competition to year-round league FILE – In this June 10, 2014 file photo, models dressed as characters from the video game “Call of Duty” stand at the Activision booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, in Los Angeles. Activision is expanding its “Call of Duty” e-sports competition from an annual tournament to a year-round season. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) by Derrik J. Lang, The Associated Press Posted Sep 24, 2015 12:05 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email