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The first day of The International 2014 Playoffs has now concluded, bringing the Wild Card tournament to a close. As qualifier runner-ups, Virtus.Pro, MVP Phoenix, CIS Game, and Team Liquid were all determined to make it through the Wild Card tournament in order to secure the 16th and final spot in the rest of the Playoffs. Be careful if you're looking to watch the Wild Card matches for yourself as spoilers will follow, so don't say we didn't warn you!
After two pretty one-sided Best-of-Three rounds, Team Liquid has come out on top as the winners of the Wild Card tournament. While underdogs MVP Phoenix were able to take out Virtus.Pro 2-0 in their first round, they were no match for Team Liquid during round two, losing 2-0. As such, Virtus.Pro, MVP Phoenix, and CIS Game have all been eliminated from the tournament.This puts Team Liquid into Phase Two of the Playoff events alongside the 15 other already-qualified teams, who will all begin to battle in a series of Best-of-One tomorrow, 9th July 2014. Phase Two will last four days, so come back on Saturday to find out which teams will make it into Phase Three of the Playoffs and which four will be eliminated.
With less than 24 hours before The International 2014 gets underway, we're going to use this ValveTime Spotlight to cover just about everything you'll need to know if you're going to be spectating either from home or at the event.
The sun is out and summer is in full swing (for half the world at least), but right now is unfortunately a pretty good time to stay indoors playing CS:GO and Dota 2 given how Operation Breakout and The International 2014 have arrived within one week of each other!
With the Playoffs of The International 2014 getting underway next Tuesday, Valve have released a new "Overview" page which details how the tournament will be taking place, how you can spectate the event, and what the winning teams are likely to take home as prize money.
The page opens by reiterating the event's schedule before revealing how the $10,000,000 prize pool will be distributed amongst the winning teams. Given how much money is on the line, the top 14 teams will now receive prize winnings, rather than just the top 8 like previous years. At the time of writing, the first place prize is sitting at a cool $4,736,161, while the second place team will receive $1,389,960. The prize pool continues to be distributed proportionally until the 13th and 14th place, who receive $20,592 each.In order to further improve the viewing experience for spectators watching the tournament from home, Valve are introduced a new "Spoiler-Free DVR Broadcast", which will only list match results from the previous days' games. The broadcast will also feature a new "International Multicast" livestream comprised of the most interesting games and best moments, something which should be useful for those not interested in swapping between various livestreams during the busy playoffs. It's always pretty hectic trying to keep up to date when three or four different matches are happening at once, so it should be nice to have a Multicast stream complete with commentary and desk analysis.An additional "Newcomers Broadcast" will also be available, featuring English commentary aimed at easing newer players into the complex and exciting world of competitive Dota.In order to make The International 2014 the best possible experience for the live spectators attending the event in person, Valve are bringing back the Secret Shop merchandise shop as well as the digital Player Autographs and Workshop Creator Sessions from last year. An absolutely massive range of new Dota 2 themed merchandise will be debuted at the Secret Shop, including trading cards, daily gifts, vinyl miniature "Demiheroes", pins, even more plushies, clothing, masks, foam fingers, posters, and so much more.If you're not going to be attending the event in person, all of the new merchandise will be made available on the Valve Store shortly after the conclusion of the event, while all of the in-game items included with those pieces of merchandise have already been added to the Dota 2 Store.There's certainly a lot to take in, so be sure to check out the International Overview page and the Secret Shop catalog to find out everything you'll need to know for the event. Be sure to keep up to date with all the events surrounding TI4 with Valve's own Dota 2 Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram pages. July 8th can't come soon enough.
The most recent operation for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has arrived in the form of "Operation Breakout", the first custom map pack available to all users without the need to pay for an access pass.
Operation Breakout features 6 community-made maps taken directly from the Steam Workshop, all of which will be available to play on official Valve servers from July 1st 2014 through October 2nd. These new maps include Insertion, Mist, Overgrown, Rush, Blackgold, and Castle, several of which appear to focus on interesting new gameplay concepts such as vertical gameplay or having the ability to choose from multiple spawn points.While all 6 of these new maps can be accessed without having to purchase a pass, players will still need to purchase the Operation Breakout Pass if they want to get their hands on a number of additional features. Purchasing an operation pass provides map creators with a percentage of the revenue from every sale while also allowing users to access the upgradeable Operation Breakout Coin, Breakout Missions, the stat tracking Operation Journal, and 4 new item sets, including the Baggage Collection, the Cobblestone Collection, the Overpass Collection, and the Operation Breakout Case.The Breakout Missions introduce specific objectives to players before providing in-game loot upon completion, while each of the new item sets feature a total of 45 unique weapon finishes inspired by certain maps or the current operation.A significant number of other map and weapon rebalances have also been made, including increased fog visibility for areas within Nuke and Inferno, and reworked pricing and damage outputs for guns such as the SSG08 and the XM1014. Unsurprisingly, the accuracy for the CZ75-A has been reduced while the accuracy for the Desert Eagle has improved.
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