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Middle-earth: Shadow of War drops limb-severing Online Fight Pits in free update

Just under three weeks ago, WB Games announced Middle-earth: Shadow of War would receive five free updates before the end of the year. Scenarios in Endless Siege and Rebellion arrived on November 21, alongside its Enhanced Photo Mode. Today marks the arrival of Online Fight Pits—Gladiator-esque combat arenas wherein players can train their followers.

Cue rivers of blood, tortured screams and the occasional flash of dismemberment. Meet Ar-Gul the Merciless:

"This is the reigning champ," says the narrator-cum-ring announcer above. "He's risen through another player's army, gaining new skills and stats with each pit victory. He's bloody, he's hungry, from the Slaughter Tribe: Ar-Gul the merciless."

Ar-Gul goes to toe-to-toe with Bork the Destroyer there, but when you're playing online it could be any other orc by any other name (with the exception of Mozû the Blight—as Tim will tell you, that asshole orc is dead).  

"Online Fight Pits allow players to train up their Orc followers by pitting them against Uruks and Ologs from other gamers’ armies around the world," so says WB Games in a statement. "Through this ultimate fight to the death in the arena, players can earn powerful rewards and upgrades that can be used to improve their army and continue the battle for Mordor. "

Middle-earth: Shadow of War's Online Fight Pits update is available free-of-charge today. Here's our review of the base game