Valve

The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 11

PC Gamer at

Steam's sales traditionally end with the most popular offers from previous days being resurrected for a sort of victory lap, and this year is no different. They've put most of the daily deals on offer again, so if you missed out on Dragon Age or Skyrim or XCOM and you've been ruing your indecision ever since, now's your chance to make up for it. It's also your last chance to pick up any other games on offer in the sale, now that there's no chance of them being reduced further in a daily or flash sale.

Don’t forget to check out GOG’s summer deals, too, which coincidentally will be ending at around the same time. GOG have resurrected all of their previous daily deals, along with a ton of flash sales refreshing every couple of hours.


ESL One Frankfurt: Mousesports' Pajkatt talks Axe, iG, and why Dota 2 should be played live

Chris Thursten at

Image via the official ESL Twitter account.

Per Anders 'Pajkatt' Olsson Lille has been playing competitive Dota since prior to the first International, which he attended with Online Kingdom. He played for LGD.int at TI2 and will return this year with Mousesports, formerly Team Dog, who earned their place in TI4 with a fantastic performance in the European qualifiers. Yesterday, they got knocked out of ESL One Frankfurt following a close-fought – and very exciting – series of matches against Invictius Gaming.

I spoke to Pajkatt an hour after the game to talk about that first blood, the reasons why they lost, the danger of Pugna and the plan between now and TI4.

ESL One Frankfurt: day one in review

Chris Thursten at

Images courtesy of the ESL Twitter account.

What an incredible day for DIGITAL SPORTS. You get used to the idea that these events are always going to get bigger; that the next step up is always going to mean a larger stadium and more impressive production values. But there's something pretty startling about seeing games played at the highest level in an environment like the Commerzbank Arena. It's more than you get from attending other kinds of large gaming convention: it's not just about having something in common with thousands of other people. It's about the catalysing impact of sport, the way a hobby can grow and grow and grow until it becomes a spectacle.

The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 10

PC Gamer at

It's always a bit weird seeing how quickly game prices depreciate, particularly when a Steam sale is involved. The pick of today's deals - Wolfenstein: The New Order - is only a few weeks old, but it can now be had for a delicious 50% off. The question is, with only a few days left of the summer sale, what other surprises lie in store? The other question is: can your wallet take any more of this? If the answer is 'yes', join us after the break.


The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 9

PC Gamer at

There aren’t any big surprises in today’s Daily Deals (how many times has GTAIV been discounted?), but cheap games are cheap games and there are some good ones today. There are also some holdovers from previous days, such as the BioShock Triple Pack, which has only lost 8% of its discount since Wednesday. Peek at our picks from previous days to see if any former Daily Deals are still discounted.


Dota 2's Compendium raises $10 million for The International prize pool

Phil Savage at

And, thus, the Dota 2 community did buy many internet sticker books. And yea, they did fill those books with non-corporeal points. And so, Valve did set aside 25% of each purchase—creating an International prize pool of $10 million, and much wealth and happiness for their own accountants.


ESL One Frankfurt preview: the matchups we're excited to see

Chris Thursten at

Later this afternoon I'll be heading to Germany to begin a weekend of coverage of ESL One Frankfurt, the last major Dota 2 tournament before The International. It's shaping up to be really exciting. The scene is in good shape, with varied and exciting play coming from a broad range of teams. Eight of those teams—Alliance, Na'Vi, mousesports, Fnatic, Cloud 9, Evil Geniuses, Vici Gaming and Invictus Gaming—will be competing in Frankfurt for a crowd-boosted prize pool of over $200,000. I sat down with fellow Dota nerd Janusz Urbanski to go over our predictions for the event.


The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 8

PC Gamer at

The Steam Summer Sale is always dangerous, threatening to take money from your wallet and hundreds of hour of your life away with tantalizing games. But today's best deals feel especially life-threatening, because there are some masterful strategy games on sale. Civilization 5, Rome 2: Total War, and Europa Universalis IV are all heavily discounted, and any one of these games could keep you occupied for months of economic planning, political trickery or open warfare. The deal of the day, though, is Dishonored, a top contender for 2012 game of the year.


Three Lane Highway: ways to think more usefully about your Dota 2 MMR

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes serious, sometimes silly blog about Dota 2.

Last week I wrote off the concept of MMR as part of a not-entirely-serious list of 'meaningless' numbers in Dota. My thinking at the time was that discussing the problems raised by ranked matchmaking at all was going to attract a particular attitude in the comments, so I'd be better off treating it as a punchline. That was an error. I tried to use irony to mask something that I think and care about rather a lot, falling into the same trap that I'd accused certain competitive players of falling into only a week earlier. Sly winks don't carry well on the internet, and when you're discussing the relative worth of somebody's internet wizard skill rating it's fair to assume that most readers are going to take it pretty seriously.

Why a CS:GO sale hurts CS:GO

Evan Lahti at

I want more people to play CS:GO. With caveats made for its flaws (64-tick servers, uninspiring stat tracking, the modest number of official maps, and imperfect cheat detection), CS:GO is the best competitive FPS on PC today. Until Evolve or Rainbow Six Siege come around, I expect that to continue uncontested.

But for the veteran player, someone who’s thrown hundreds of hours at that competitive mode, a CS:GO Steam sale like today’s—$7.49 / £5.99 until Friday—isn’t a happy event. It’s a harbinger of hackers and competition-souring “smurf” accounts.


The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 7

PC Gamer at

We've now been living and breathing the Steam Summer Sale for a week, losing sleep for every flash sale, antsy with anticipation every time the new deals tick over. We're feverish from the savings, but it would be madness to stop saving now. Today's deals fuel our appetite for strategy, shooting, and launching valiant little green men into space on absurdly oversized rockets.


Sony Worldwide Studios boss admits scepticism towards Steam Machines

Shaun Prescott at

Sony is in an enviable position at the moment: it’s claimed an early victory in the next-gen console wars, with sales of the PlayStation 4 edging ahead of its closest rival the Xbox One. Of course, gaming is a volatile industry and you just never know what’s going to happen. Sony Worldwide Studios boss Adam Rohde agrees, admitting in an interview that the Steam Machine may compete in the same space one day, but that Valve has a lot of work to do to make this happen.


Two Asian teams denied US visas for Dota 2 International championships

Shaun Prescott at

Two teams appear to have been denied US Visas for next month’s Dota 2 International tournament. China-based CIS-Game and Southeast Asian team Arrow Gaming are both facing the possibility that they’ll lose their place in the tournament, which takes place July 18-21 and offers a prize pool of nearly $10 million dollars.


How the internet tried to rig the Steam Summer Adventure, and how Valve is trying to stop them

Evan Lahti at

A few days ago, members of the Steam community schemed to rig the Steam Summer Adventure competition, a metagame running in parallel with Valve’s 12-day Summer Sale. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a malicious plan, but a kind of alliance meant to bring equal victory to everyone on Steam. As intended, Team Pink won Sunday. Blue won Monday. Purple will win next, if things go smoothly. On Wednesday, a Red victory is scheduled, then Green.

Is a small collective actually having this big of an influence on a Steam-wide, public competition? Valve has already amended the contest to encourage more competition. I took a look at the evidence and spoke to a few of the people caught up in the dark business of virtual trading card market-manipulation.


The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 4

PC Gamer at

Just when you thought you were out of the Steam sale racket, they pull you back in - today's crop boasting some delectable bargains across a variety of genres, including the pork-bunniest game of recent years.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal. Also, GOG.com are having their own, equally terrific summer sale at the moment, so be sure to check that out too.


The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 3

PC Gamer at

It's day 3 of the Steam Summer Sale, and though your wallet might be pleading with you to stop throwing money at your monitor, the bargains keep on coming - and some prime deals await you today. There's a couple of very good deals in the dailies right now, so if you've been waiting for a steep reduction on a certain dragony shouting game, this is your moment to swoop. In case you'd forgotten, GOG.com is having its own sizzling summer sale as well, so be sure to check that out too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.


The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 2

PC Gamer at

After a good start yesterday, day two of Steam’s dozen-day Summer Sale isn’t necessarily obliterating our minds with savings, but there’s still some great values available today or through shorter-term flash sales. Within, find our picks for the best current deals on Steam. Don’t forget that GOG is having a summer sale of its own, too.


Three Lane Highway: a guide to Dota 2's most meaningless numbers

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes silly, sometimes serious column about Dota 2.

Dota 2 is a numbers game, but then again they all are, really, aren't they. Counter-Strike is about shooting numberbullets into the other guys' numberfaces until all of their numberbrains fall out. Football (see also: soccer) is about how many goals you score and how many shirts you sell and how much it costs to ship vast premanufactured chunks of stadium up the Amazon.

It's all numbers, and Dota 2 has no greater or fewer than any other game. But it does host some truly, spectacularly, galvanizingly pointless numbers. Digits that communicate nothing and convey no worth. They exist outside of any formula or algorithm, and to treat them as if they mean anything is to slip into the kind of superstition usually reserved for numerologists. We're dealing with the unknowable, here, with un-knowledge: you might want to sit down. Some people can't handle it.

Valve announces $250,000 community-funded prize pool for CS:GO winners at ESL One in Cologne

Andy Chalk at

The world's best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams will compete for a $250,000 "community-funded" prize pool at ESL One Cologne 2014, Valve announced today. The prize money was raised through last year's Arms Deal Update for CS: GO, which directed proceeds from sales of a special eSports weapon case toward larger prize pools and greater visibility for competitive gaming.


Valve launches Steam "Buy Orders," making it easier than ever to blow your money

Andy Chalk at

The great minds at Valve have figured out another way to save you money on Steam while sucking more of it out of your pocket than ever before: "Buy Orders," a standing order to buy "commodity items" at or below a particular price.