While the TF2 Competitive Matchmaking Beta Steam group has been pretty quiet since its creation several weeks ago, that all changed this evening with a new post by Valve's John Schoenick (Steam name: Jill). The post outlines the team's enthusiasm for the upcoming beta before discussing how the slow, gradual expansion of the closed beta will progress. Users invited to the beta will receive an in-game item called the "Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass", which will grant them access to the on-going and evolving beta program.
Users that meet the following conditions will be more eligible for a beta invite:
- Have either purchased a copy of Team Fortress 2 prior to June 23, 2011, or have made a purchase from the Mann Co. Store. (AKA premium accounts)
- Have Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled.
- Have a phone number associated with your Steam account.
After being removed from CS:GO many moons ago, the recently released and equally overdue "Operation Wildfire" has brought about the return of classic map DE_Nuke, which has received a full visual overhaul and a partial redesign. The new Nuke features the same high-quality visions as that found in the redesigned Train, increasing overall visibility and readability. Also like Train, it features a small number of new routes and paths which can be used whether attacking or defending, including a new Decontamination Room, raised flooring in Bombsite A, and several new ladders around the outdoor rooftops.
The Operation Wildfire included with the update will run until June 17th 2016, can be purchased for $5.99, and features a wealth of missions and objectives in two separate "Campaigns", a new weapon case and 16 community-created skins, and a whopping seven new maps. These maps include Coast, Cruise, Empire, Mikla, Royal, Santorini, and Tulip, all of which are available to play in Competitive, Casual, and Deathmatch modes whether you own an Operation Pass or not. These maps are shown in alphabetical order below.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players enjoyed a new Operation, but Wildfire seems like it was worth the wait!
Despite being a relatively quiet week as far as official news out of Valve, it did see Gabe complete his transformation into the white, male, nerdy version of Oprah Winfrey, while new updates to the HTC Vive Pre and SteamVR helped further prepare the service for launch later this year.
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In this week's Round-Up, we're celebrating Lunar New Year with Valve by checking out a new Steam Sale and a Quest Path for Dota 2, while also bidding farewell to one of Valve's longest-standing animators, Doug Wood, who will retire later this month after 19 years at the company.
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After nearly 19 years at Valve, Doug Wood has announced that he'll be retiring in the coming weeks.
Doug Wood is one of the founding fathers of the Half-Life saga. He was responsible for animating characters and creating some of the most iconic scripted sequences in the series, including "tentacles that pull unsuspecting scientists through the ceiling." Of course, his skills were applied across a variety of other Valve titles, including Left 4 Dead.
Citing Doug's Facebook, he said:
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