The world’s most-watched sporting event has begun. Panama and Iceland make their first appearances in the soccer tournament — as do video reviews to help referees make the contentious calls — although popular teams from Italy, the Netherlands and the U.S. failed to qualify. Also new is the $11 billion Russia has spent as host. Many bookmakers favor Brazil, with Germany, Spain, France and Argentina next in line. EA Sports, the video-game company that correctly predicted the last two winners by simulating the entire tournaments, says France will beat Germany in the final. Not new: zealous fans cheering for their national teams. Game on.