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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.
It's a little later than planned, but this week's edition of the ValveTime News is finally here. In this episode, we're recapping all the latest Dota 2 and International 2014 news alongside a variety of community headlines and SFM crossovers!
With all of the Compendium rewards for Dota 2 now unlocked, Valve are working hard to introduce as many of them into the game as possible ahead of The International 2014 tournament later this month. Today's update, known as the "Overflowing Compendium", has introduced 4 previously unlocked rewards alongside a new "Live Rewind" feature.
The introduced rewards include additional styles for the Lieutenant Squawkins courier, the Mini-Pudge courier, Chat Emoticons, and Weather Effects. It would appear Valve are also looking to further incentivise leveling up the compendium as most of these rewards feature alternate styles which are unlocked as more levels are reached. All of the level requirements for the included items are listed below:Owning a Compendium: Mini-Pudge CourierOwning a Compendium: All 25 Chat EmoticonsOwning a Compendium: Snow Weather EffectOwning a Compendium: Moonlight Weather EffectOwning a Compendium: Rain Weather EffectLevel 4: Standard Lieutenant SquawkinsLevel 24: Green-Feathered Row Boat Lieutenant SquawkinsLevel 41: Red-Feathered Sail Boat Lieutenant SquawkinsLevel 50: Golden Hook Mini-Pudge CourierLevel 65: Moonlight Weather Effect (Previous requirement, now removed)Level 120: Rain Weather Effect (Previous requirement, now removed)The "Live Rewind" feature introduced with the update allows spectators to dynamically pause, rewind, and replay within live matches, making it easier than ever to keep up to date with competitive games. A number of important assets for the Techies have also been found in the game files, including all of the hero's voice lines, but it looks like the hero isn't quite ready to go just yet. Expect to see them arrive in the game sometime after the conclusion of The International 2014.
After 48 days of crowd funding, the prize pool for The International 2014 surpassed the $10,000,000 mark earlier today.
After the original ultimate goal of $6,000,000 was passed in late May, Valve expanded the list of stretch goals with a bunch of new incentives to promote continued support given the significant two month long time gap between the goal's completion and The International 2014 tournament next month.
Since there is still three weeks to go before the start of the event on July 18th 2014, it remains to be seen whether Valve will introduce any additional stretch goals to push additional donations. We don't think it's entirely likely given how slow the prize pool's growth has become in recent weeks, dropping to around $30,000 per day over the past week or so.
While it is pretty unlikely that the prize pool will rise much further, the recording breaking $10,000,000 amount is already unprecedented for an eSporting event, eclipsing the previous top tournaments, including all three previous Internationals, by a substantial amount.
With so much money on the line, The International 2014 is going to be quite the exciting event, and we can't wait for things to get underway.
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