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Valve announced today that the Counter-Strike community has built up a whopping $250,000 prize pool for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive winners at ESL One Cologne 2014.
The tournament, which will take place August 14th - 17th at Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany, will feature 16 teams - eight of which are quarter-finalists from EMS One Katowice, and the other eight teams will be from online regional qualifiers (six from Europe, one from North America and one from Oceania/Australia). The event's matches will be streamed live courtesy of ESL.
The Invited Teams
TEAMGLOBAL (former LGB eSports)
The crowd-funding initiative began last August with CS:GO's Arms Deal Update. A portion of the sales revenue from those items was put together to form this $250,000 tournament prize pool.
"Through this initiative the Counter-Strike community has funded three events, each among the largest cash awards in Counter-Strike's history," said Valve in today's press release. "The previous two community-sponsored events, the 2013 DreamHack SteelSeries CS:GO Championship and the 2014 EMS One Katowice CS:GO Championship, have also generated record-breaking viewing audiences with the latter event reaching over 240,000 concurrent viewers for the grand final."
If you're looking for more information about ESL One Cologne 2014, you can find some at www.esl-one.com/csgo.
After the absence of a Steam Spring Sale earlier this year, we're happy to report the Steam Summer Sale 2014 has officially begun! This year's sale, which is known as "The Summer Sale & Bonus Summer Adventure", is set to run for 11 days from June 19th until the 30th.
Like other Steam Sales, this year's Summer sale welcomes the return of the 24-hour "Daily Deals", the 8-hour "Flash Sales", and the 8-hour "Community's Choice", all of which provide large, limited-time offers on a number of game titles.
Hundreds and likely thousands of other game titles and downloadable content are also on offer across the Steam Store, so be sure to seek out the games you want as you may still be able to grab yourself a bargain even if they aren't necessarily included in any of the larger deals. Just remember the golden rule, only purchase games or DLC during the larger sales up until the final day on June 30th, as you might end up spending more than you need to!
Like last year's Holiday Sale, Valve are providing extra opportunities for players to receive in-game rewards and content with the newly introduced "Summer Adventure". Crafting the Steam Summer Adventure 2014 badge (previously disguised as the "Mysterious" badge) will reward players with new themed emoticons, backgrounds, and in-game items such as cosmetics, community items. "Team Tokens" are also awarded and will provide point boost bonuses for the Summer Adventure mini-game.
By visiting the Summer Adventure page, players are randomly placed into one of five coloured teams which are made up of their friends and other participating Steam users. By crafting badges, players will receive points which are put towards their team's overall score.At the end of each day, the total points will be assessed and the team with the highest score will be declared the winner. 30 members of the winning team who contribute points will receive 3 games from their wishlist (for free), while everyone else on the same team will receive two bonus Summer Sale trading cards. Starting on Day 5, 20 member of the second place team will win 2 games from their wishlists, while 10 members of the third place team will win 1 game. Members of runner-up teams will receive a single bonus Summer Sale card for participating.
For more information about this year's Steam Summer Sale, be sure to check out the Steam Storefront and the Steam Adventure FAQ! (Red team to win it all!)
Valve has added two new features to the Steam Community Market - just in time for tomorrow's kickoff of the Steam 2014 Summer Sale.
Credit Card Verification
The first feature is Credit Card Verification. Before today, when you used a new credit card to add funds to your Steam Wallet, you had to wait a week before you could access those funds through the Community Market. But now you can go through a simple verification process that removes any such restrictions.
This process begins on the new card verification page. A link to this page is located on your account page and the Community Market page.
The verification process is straightforward and one that is used by a lot of other businesses. Steam will post a transaction to your bank account or credit card account, depending on the card. The transaction amount that is posted is the "verification code" for your new card. Locate this transaction amount by either logging in to your banking account online, or by getting your statement by telephone, and enter that amount into the new Steam card verification page. Then viola, you are good to go!
If you experience any bugs or issues with this process, Valve wants to know. You can post in this forum thread on the Steam Community.
The second feature are Buy Orders. A buy order is an order to purchase a commodity item at or below the specified price. The order stays in place until it is either fulfilled or canceled.
Buy orders are only applicable to commodity items, or items that are identical to each other in terms of function and description. For now, Valve has only appointed Half-Life 2 trading cards as commodities. As time goes on and as the system is ironed out, they will expand further.
Valve has some more details:
- You can have multiple buy orders outstanding - up to 10 times your current wallet balance.
- If an item gets listed for a lower price than what you have on your buy order, you will receive the lower price.
- The buy order with the highest price gets priority for purchasing newly listed items.
- If there are multiple orders with the same high price, the oldest buy order gets fulfilled first.
- Buy orders can be cancelled at any time, by you or the system - if the item changes, if you no longer have enough funds in your wallet, or if there are any issues during an attempted purchase.
While ranked matchmaking in Dota 2 has been a thing for a while now, a new update released earlier this evening has made it that little bit easier to receive a matchmaking rank for full 5-man teams.
By forming a party of 5 players, users can now choose to use a team identity while using ranked matchmaking in order to receive an official MMR grade for the team's performances. While optional, this system will allow teams to show off their own banners and logos on the in-game map while battling against other closely-matched 5-man teams. The team roster size has also been increased from 5 to 7, allowing even more members to join and manage teams (only 5 players can participate in a match at any one time, obviously).Alongside numerous bug fixes and minor tweaks, the update has also overhauled several elements of the UI, including the main menu's "Play" tab and the Hero Picker screen, which you can check out below. While a lot nicer to look at, the new Hero Picker screen also allows newer features, such as the game starting gold reduction, to be shown off in an easily understood fashion, something not really possible with the old design.Two new compendium rewards have also been introduced, including the 1v1 Practice Mode, which allows players to casually battle together in order to test their skills in the mid-lane, and the Favourite Hero Challenge, which tracks and rewards players for trying out new or lesser played heroes.
After an exciting Day 1 with "Love" yesterday, Day 2 has arrived and is bringing the "War" to the Love & War update for Team Fortress 2. As many suspected, today's reveal has mostly focused on the introduction of brand new weapons for various classes. Before we get into the juicy details, check out this short 30 second teaser Valve have released to preview several of the new taunts and weapons coming up with this update.
Valve are making up for over a year without any new weapons by revealing nine new ways of killing your foes. Five of these weapons are brand new, while four of them are bread-themed reskins of existing weapons.First up is "The Back Scatter", a new Scattergun for the Scout. As a primary weapon, this new gun appears to function similarly to the Pyro's Backburner by providing minicrits when an enemy is attacked from behind at the cost of a reduced clip size, no random critical hits, and less accuracy.Next is "The Tide Turner", a new shield for the Demoman. While this captain's wheel would probably better suit Kunkka from Dota 2, the secondary weapon will provide enhanced fire and explosion resistance, similarly to the Chargin' Targe, but will also provide "Full turning control" while the Demoman is charging. Should the Demoman kill an enemy, the charge meter will be instantly replenished.Regular readers will be familiar with the "The B.A.S.E. Jumper", a new parachute for the Soldier and the Demoman. As a likely replacement for the Soldier's Shotgun and the Demoman's Grenade Launcher, the B.A.S.E Jumper will allow players to press the "JUMP" key while airborne to deploy the parachute and slowly glide back to earth. Valve have previously described the parachute as providing position-based benefits at the cost of reduced maneuverability and movement speed while in the air.Next up is "The Classic", a new Sniper rifle for the Sniper. This new primary weapon will allow the Sniper to charge and fire shots without having to use the scope, unlike every other rifle in the game. Don't fret, however, as this shouldn't turn the game into your typical 360noscoping match of Call of Duty given the fact The Classic cannot headshot targets without being fully charged, and any body shots will receive a 10% damage reduction. Veteran players may also recognise The Classic, as the weapon features a very similar design to that of the Sniper Rifle originally used in Team Fortress Classic.Last but definitely not least is "The Air Strike", a new Rocket Launcher for the Soldier. This new launcher provides increased attack speed while rocket jumping before also increasing the gun's clip size should the player score a kill. To balance the weapon, the Air Strike features a 25% reduction to damage and the initial clip size, and a 15% reduced explosion radius. This new rocket launcher should combo quite nicely with the B.A.S.E. Jumper, making Soldiers an even greater airborne threat.Now for those reskins we mentioned earlier. In keeping with the bread theme from yesterday's Expiration Date short, Valve are releasing bread-themed versions of the Sniper's Jarate, the Spy's Sapper, the Heavy's Gloves of Running Urgently, and the Scout's Mad Milk. All four of these yeasty reskins can be acquired by opening a new "Bread Box" crate, which is available via crafting. These items will only be available for a short period of time, however, as the recipe to craft the Bread Box expires on July 9th, giving players just under a month to get their hand on some delicious beauty mark filled bread (those aren't tumors, but that doesn't mean you should try to eat them).Like Day 1, Day 2 has also introduced a bunch of new achievements. While yesterday's batch were entirely themed around the new interactive taunts, today's batch all appear to be influenced by the use of the 5 new weapons detailed earlier in this post. Oh, and in case you're interested in hats and cosmetic items, you may want to rewatch that short teaser trailer we listed earlier, as it gives a pretty neat overview of several sets we expect to see included with the update.With Day 2 over and done with, the Love & War update for Team Fortress 2 is now live on the game client! Click here to check out the full changelog, which also includes a few balance tweaks for existing weapons. Before you go, check out our little summary of the update below.Now what are you waiting for? Get on out there and get killing, mercenaries!
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