Translation:The game is about to start!
I think "The game starts soon" would be acceptable. Reported on Nov. 19, 2017.
What does 要 do here? Does it indicate future tense here? If yes, can we use 会 instead?
In this sentence 要 is similar to "is going to"; 会 is approximately "will" in English. You can say the meaning is more or less the same, but there's a subtle difference.
I've always understood 比赛 to be a competition of some sort. On the other hand, I suppose all games are types of competitions.
This has to be the worst lesson so far. Far too many characters to learn in one go, far too little tolerance in English answers, and you are just thrown in the deep end to struggle.
It’s one of those usages you’d never pick up on unless someone told you, which I think is a weakness of Duo's method. You use 了 in cases where the time expression signifies that something will happen very soon, but not at a definite time. For instance, if you said 我马上就要到了 (I’ll be there quickly) you use 了, but if you said 我四点钟要到 (I’ll be there at 4:00) you don’t use the particle.