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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Some claim that summer doesn’t start until the 21st, but Valve says it’s time for the Steam Summer Sale and we haven’t heard anything from the solstice lobby—so, happy first day of summer! As always, it’s celebrated with a ridiculous store-wide Steam sale renowned for its low prices and intoxicating effect on the PC gaming community. Everything looks great when it’s 80% off, but before you start filling up your library, here are our favorite picks of day one.
Sorry, Battlefield: Hardline, it's nothing personal. Your cops and robbers CTF battles have the subtlety of a playground pile-on, but I've managed to extract a few moments of fun from the chaos. I like the violent, bass fart of your P-90, as I did in Battlefield 4, and Battlefield 3. And I like the way you use the Frostbite engine to fill the air with floaty bits of burning chaff even though I have no idea where it all comes from. The problem is the competition. There's just so much more laughter and joy to be had in a seven year old free game called Team Fortress 2.
After kneading the community into a yeasty mush of excitement, Valve have finally pulled their update out of the oven. Love and War is available now, bringing a selection of new taunts and weapons. In addition, they've slightly tweaked their long-standing secret recipe. By which I mean they've seriously altered the balance of the Demoman's Sticky Launcher.
This week’s mysterious Team Fortress 2 ‘Love & War’ campaign has so far spawned a fifteen minute movie and a handful of new emotes, but Valve has gone further today with the announcement of a huge drop of new weapons and items. Among the lucre is a new level 1 Scattergun called The Back Scatter, a level 1 Shield dubbed The Tide Turner and a new parachute called The B.A.S.E. Jumper which slows your descent when falling.
The first day of Team Fortress 2's countdown-teased update was light on game content reveals but heavy on entertainment.
The Team Fortress 2 blog has updated with a brief and mysterious message. It leads to a countdown page, called "suspense.html", ticking down to... something. Whatever that something is, it'll happen in just over 13 hours, at 1am BST.
Those are the facts, all that remain now are questions. Questions like, what do Valve have planned? Why are Reddit's TF2 community suddenly obsessed by bread? And how are Valve managing to reignite my interest in TF2 for the first time in almost a year?
At one point in the last 24 hours, the number of concurrent users on Steam peaked at around 6.9 million people. A lot of time is spent staring at Steam's familiar grey interface, and it's time for a change. Fortunately you can reskin your Steam client with user-made varieties, which change the look, feel and functionality of Steam's familiar old tabs. Read on for our pick of the best Steam skins, and a round-up of some of the most outlandish designs.
Paul 'ReDeYe' Chaloner has been involved in e-sports for fifteen years as a shoutcaster, host, and presenter. He's seen every part of the business, from amateur bedroom casting to addressing thousands of people on stage. Next week, he'll be hosting his first Dota 2 tournament—ESL One Frankfurt. Earlier in the week I spoke to Paul about his expectations for the tournament, how he goes about preparing for an event this big, and how the business of presenting e-sports has changed over the years.
I have good news for those of you who can't wait to get your hands on Super Lemonade Factory, I am weapon or Car Disassembly 3D: Steam has given the Greenlight to 75 more titles, including those three and one that's actually been banned.
Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes silly, sometimes serious column about Dota 2.
Yesterday I discovered a phrase that I like. I was reading this article about faster-than-light travel in the Washington Post, an article that includes probably the most exciting picture of a spaceship on the internet at the moment. The article links back to a previous interview between io9 and leading NASA engineer Harold White in which he describes the search for his "Chicago Pile moment".
"Chicago Pile moment" is his own coinage, and refers to the development of the first nuclear reactor in Chicago in 1942. It generated very little power, looked like a stack of bricks, and took up most of a large room - but it was proof that nuclear power was a possibility in practical terms. After the Chicago Pile, building a viable reactor was a matter of improving on proven principles. It's the difference between trying to tame the yeti in your garden and trying to prove that the yeti exists at all.
You may remember CS:GO's M4A4: Howl as one of the most expensive weapon skins available for the game. Today, Valve announced their receipt of a DMCA takedown notice, stating that both the skin and the Howling Dawn community sticker were not the original work of the item's Steam Workshop contributors. "This matter is extremely serious," Valve wrote in a post to the CS:GO community, "and we have taken appropriate action to resolve it."
E3 remains the place for big developers and publishers to reveal and showcase their games. We love PAX, Gamescom, and GDC, but E3 is where Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA, et al. come out swinging with millions of marketing dollars to try and outdo one another in spectacle in a series of Monday press conferences.
The PC, lacking a sole, corporate representative or elected monarch, doesn’t have its own press conference at E3. Our platform has a great presence on the E3 floor, which we’ll be covering tirelessly this week, but we can’t help but wonder each year: if PC gaming a press conference, what would it be like? As we’ve done in 2013 and 2012, here’s our vision.