While those of us in the know fully understood Valve played no role with third-party gambling and betting websites, particularly those related to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and recent scandals, the company released a statement earlier today condemning their activities. In a blog post and press release by Erik Johnson, Valve confirms that they have never had any direct or indirect interactions with any of these sites, with the site owners instead simply taking advantage of the Steam OpenID API and bot accounts.
These actions, in particular the shady use of the OpenID API, are not permitted by Valve or the Steam User Agreement, permitting Valve to now clamp down hard on gambling sites and to take legal action against them where necessary. Thanks to recent shenanigans, which we discussed on last week's Round-Up, we're sure CSGO Lotto will be sat rather uncomfortably at the top of Valve's list. We'll likely hear more about this story throughout the community as CS:GO gambling websites slowly but steadily start disappearing or changing format.
Well, this was unexpected. It's been 7 years since Team Fortress 2 played host to all-out class warfare, but it would now seem the winner of 2007's WAR Update is fueling a brand new conflict - this time between the Pyro and the Heavy. The origins of this particular war, known as "Meat vs. Match", are unraveled in a new comic, showing the Heavy breaking into one of the Administrator's compounds to demand more weapons, only to have been beaten there by the Pyro.
Like the previous WAR Update between the Soldier and the Demoman, points earned in-game will be used as votes contributing to either Team Heavy or Team Pyro. However, unlike the previous update, it seems all points earned will contribute to whichever team a player sides with, regardless of whether they're playing as or killing the Heavy or Pyro. Whichever team has earned the most points at the end of an undisclosed period of time will be declared the winner, with the winning class set to receive new achievements, new weapons, and new balancing tweaks in a future update.
While this all sounds very exciting, it should be noted that while Demoman players permanently lost out last time around (and good riddance to 'em), this particular competition is seemingly only a race to see which of the Heavy or Pyro will get their own update first, making the whole thing seem a tad pointless. Now, watch the Spy do his thing.
Regardless, the rest of the Meet Your Match update will introduce four new taunts, the return of Class Starter Packs, and the introduction of new crates for hats and strange-quality weapons. More specific details of the two-part Meet Your Match update are available now the update has been fully released, so check them out while you wait for the patch to download!
We've all known it was coming for a long while now, but after a lengthy closed beta, Valve is now ready to release the highly anticipated competitive matchmaking mode into Team Fortress 2. As you might expect, the "Meet Your Match" update primarily focused on launching this new game type which enables users to enjoy TF2 in a more structured and balanced 6v6 format. Here's a short trailer!
Like competitive modes in other modern titles, TF2's competitive mode will feature a visible ranking system used to pit players, both playing solo and in teams, against those of equal standing in the hopes of making a fair fight. By participating in matches, players are then given a rank associated with their skill level, from the Rank 1 "Fresh Meat" to Rank 18 "Death Merchant". It's a pretty simple concept really - winning games gives you points while losing games takes them away from you. The mode features numerous other important systems used in the competitive modes of CS:GO and Dota 2, including harsh penalties for those found to be abandoning games and a team ranking system which will look to fairly balance teams regardless of whether all players are the same rank.
With all of these new systems in place, it is interesting to learn Valve will be using some of them to massively update the not-so-competitive "Quickplay" matchmaking system we've all come to accept as the norm over the past few years. Instead of simply being dropped into a match with random players in the middle of a game, using the Quickplay system will now match up players of similar skill for an entire unranked game of 12v12, effectively removing auto-balancing. In addition, a new leveling system will keep track of your profile rank even outside of competitive play, helping show off your accomplishments and experience to others.
To support both of these major new additions, Valve are offial-ising three community-created maps, including "CP_Sunshine" (the normal version of 2015's Sinshine), "CP_Metalworks", and "PL_Swiftwater" (about time, huh?). As you might expect, all three of these maps have stood out in the competitive scene for some time and are already regulars for many high ranking players.
What probably hasn't stood out to high-level players is "PASS Time", a sports-themed mode that pits both teams against each other to see who can score the most points by throwing a bomb-laden ball through various goals. The mode has been worked on almost exclusively by Bad Robot and Escalation Studios without much in the way of intervention by Valve and it's good to finally see it released into TF2 as a new gamemode (even if we believe it could very well go the same way as the unloved Mannpower mode).
Phew, that's a lot of content - but apparently we're only seeing Day 1 of the Meet Your Match update, so come back this evening to learn more about what the latest update to Team Fortress 2 has in store. While you wait, be sure to check out this handy FAQ if you're looking for more details about the upcoming competitive mode.
After over a decade of designing and shipping t-shirts, hats, and toys for many of Valve's beloved franchises, the company recently revealed they would be shutting down their own merchandise store to focus all eyes on a new partnership with long-time partner WeLoveFine. With their own store now closed, the primary place to get your hands on Valve-themed merchandise will be "www.valvestore.welovefine.com", with WeLoveFine themselves seemingly handling all of the paperwork, assets, and distribution.
Given the increasing popularity of third-party sites like WeLoveFine and a shifting focus towards community-created merchandise, this transition makes a lot of sense both for Valve as a business and for all of us as consumers. WeLoveFine should now be able to focus on providing even more merchandise than ever before via a much more modern and responsive website, while hopefully allowing Valve to refocus the effort that was previously being put into managing the Valve Store.
More information about these changes can be found over on a brief introduction by the Valve team over on their WeLoveFine hub, so check it out!
In this week's slightly belated Round-Up, we're investigating a recently discovered reference to Left 4 Dead 3 in a Destinations VR tutorial and running through all the details of the biggest CS:GO gambling scandal to date.
With news of a new TF2 update coming thick and fast, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to catch all the latest details! Thanks for watching!
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