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With The International 2014 steadily approaching its finale and a pair of new work-in-progress Team Fortress 2 maps hanging out in the wild, this week's ValveTime News Round-Up is of course instead focused on videos and Source Filmmaker shorts...for some reason.
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After a hectic and rather unpredictable four day Round-robin event during Phase Two of The International 2014, six teams have been eliminated as the remaining top ten split into two separate groups. Be warned, as major spoilers for the tournament lurk below.
ViCi Gaming and Evil Geniuses, who scored 12-3 and 11-4, respectively, will be skipping Phase Three all together and heading straight into the upper bracket of the main event, securing both teams a minimum of over $500,000 in prize money. On Sunday 13th and Monday 14th, Phase Three of the tournament will play out, after which two more teams will be eliminated before the remaining eight progress into either the upper or lower bracket of the main event at KeyArena on July 18th.
If you're looking to stay up to date with the tournament or if you want to learn more about how it is playing out, be sure to check up on the TI4 Overview page on the Dota 2 blog or our very own International 2014 Spotlight Guide! Good luck to all the remaining teams!
Late last night, Valve revealed the "Mann Co. Beta Maps" program, a new early access system for Team Fortress 2 which allows the community to test unfinished or unpolished maps to send gameplay feedback straight back to the developers. This effectively allows for large scale map testing, something which should provide more detailed feedback to help Valve perfect the design and visuals of new levels and gamemodes in a shorter period of time.
"pl_cactuscanyon" and a space-themed map known as "rd_asteroid", the first of a new gamemode by the name of "Robot Destruction". Cactus Canyon stands as a two-stage Payload map with a large focus on vertical gameplay, while Asteroid features two symmetrical bases filled with team-coloured robots which need to be destroyed in order to build up enough points to win the round.
Cactus Canyon (left) and Asteroid (right).
The update released to TF2 last night also introduce two new songs from the Expiration Date short released last month, entitled "Red Bread", and "Night of the Living Bread", both of which you can find within the game files and across YouTube. For a closer look at yesterday's update and the new Early Access map testing program, be sure to check out the official changelog and the announcement blog post.
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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.
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