When Astralis bested Virtus.Pro in the grand finals of the ELEAGUE Major in January, Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye tweeted that his team “underperformed” in its 2-1 victory. A member of Virtus.Pro took offense, and promised to crush Astralis when they next met. That meeting happened today, in the semifinals of DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017. Over three rounds, Virtus.Pro did exactly what Wiktor “TaZ” Wojitas said it would: crush. On the first map, a 12-3 advantage going into the half for VP led into an undefeated four rounds in the second half. Paweł “byali” Bieliński put up 24 kills total in both of Virtus.Pro’s won rounds, and in total, the team dominated on the maps it won on: 16-3 on Nuke, and 16-4 on Train. In the post-game interview, Wojitas was asked about his tweet and replied, “What can I say? I told you. I told you this would happen.” He added that he was already eyeing SK as a potential opponent in the grand finals, saying “I want to play against SK. They are probably very sure they will win. I want to destroy them as well.” Advertisement Wojitas READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Image credit: DreamHack CS:GO A fevered back-and-forth series between Gambit Gaming and North took game two of the DreamHack Masters Las Vegas quarterfinals match to double-overtime. Advertisement After North established a 10-5 advantage during the first half, Gambit surged back in the second with a 10-5 of its own, forcing the game into the first OT. A tied 3-3 in the first brought up 2OT, and on match point, it was Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke and René “cajunb” Borg who came up big for the win. North, a squad of former Dignitas and FaZe Clan pros picked up by football club F.C. Copenhagen, took 5th-8th in its first showing at the ELEAGUE Major. After the win over Gambit, the squad will move on to the semifinals and its highest-ever placing in a tournament after only a few weeks together with the current roster. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
There’s nothing worse than going on a tear in Counter-Strike, only to get gunned down by some asshole who’s spinning around, one-tapping everybody. He’s obviously cheating. Why hasn’t he been caught? According to Valve, it’s complicated, but they’re working on a new system to bust fun-killers. Advertisement First, here’s the reason Valve hasn’t augmented their Overwatch (not to be confused with the game) anti-cheat system—which has qualified players review reports of suspected cheaters after the fact—with auto-detection software for obvious cheats like spinbots: “Some bad news,” said Valve on Reddit. “Any hard-coded detection of spin-botting leads to an arms race with cheat developers–if they can find the edges of the heuristic you’re using to detect the cheat, the problem comes back.” Advertisement Valve’s solution? Machine learning. Reason being, machine learning, unlike other automated solutions, isn’t static. It’s a kind of AI that parses data and, well, learns from it over time, adapting its behaviors in the process. So, why isn’t this system busting every cheater already? Because it’s extremely complicated in a game like Counter-Strike. “The process of parsing, training, and classifying player data READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
In a ban spanning several lifetimes and then some, third-party Counter-Strike tournament service ESEA has banned a user until 3016 for allegedly harassing a minor. Advertisement This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia. The ban was dolled out to Reece “bloominator” Bloom, whose ESEA account will remain banned until June 6 in 3016, or 365,000 days to be precise. The official reason listed on the account is “Malicious Activity”, although the specifics come down to a series of chat logs and photos between Bloom and an alleged 15 year old. Advertisement The chat logs, which are still available online, show Bloom saying things like “there’s just something about being able to influence young minds” and “I just don’t care that I’m a paedophile”. Bloom was announced as a member of Armor Esports, although most of his profile in the Counter-Strike community was courtesy of his time on the ESEA Invite team Exertus. Exertus has since disbanded, but it once sported players that would go on to gain prominence in other teams, including Mike “shroud” Grzesiek and Jaryd “summit1g” Lazar. Bloom’s ban makes him the READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
On Friday, Valve announced it was removing the CS:GO’s Dust2 from the Active Duty group. While the beloved map will still be playable in casual matches, it’s been replaced by Inferno for tournaments, making it the end of an era for the biggest shooter in esports. Advertisement Valve made the switch in the aftermath of the ELEAGE Major 2017, stating, “Inferno has returned to Active Duty, replacing Dust2, and will be featured at the next CS:GO Major. As in the past, the updated Active Duty pool is automatically selected when you enter Matchmaking.” Dust2 was instead given its own category, meaning players can select to only play that map in casual and deathmatch modes—a testament to the level’s popularity and iconic status. But while teams in qualifying for the upcoming IEM Katowice 2017 tournament still played on the map this weekend, going forward they will need to be prepared to compete on its replacement: Inferno. Featuring a village with narrower streets and busy architecture, Inferno is a big departure from the sand blasted compound feel of Dust2. Advertisement Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Valve issues a statement condemning gambling sites using Team Fortress 2 data, and blocks the use of that data. …Read More The post Valve Restricts Team Fortress 2 Gambling Sites by Jordan Loeffler appeared first on DualShockers.
Astralis after winning the ELEAGUE Major 2017 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia via Astralis. The ELEAGUE Major 2017 seemed to be missing something. People scattered across social media were surprised by the quality of the matches but felt like the event was missing the gravitas and pageantry of a true Major. But then Astralis and Virtus.pro put on one of the best shows a CS:GO major in recent memory. Advertisement In a week filled with great showdowns, including yesterday’s semifinal between Virtus.pro and SK Gaming that went 19-17 and 16-14 and looked like it might easily have turned out differently, the grand finals did not disappoint. After both teams had secured a win in the best-of-three series, a 13-7 scoreline in the final match seemed to spell the end for a resurgent Denmark side. Instead, Astralis managed to take every round except one until the result was flipped at 16-14 and Astralis became champions for the first time of a CS:GO major. The nearly unbroken nine round swing began with a tense dance around A on Train with the bomb already planted. Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth played the rabbit to Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski’s Elmer Fudd. Pressed for time as the…
Keeping up with esports isn’t easy. Counter-Strike matches are made up of multiple multi-round games. Tournaments quickly turn into time investments. Naturally, you’re gonna miss a few here and there. Or a lot. Advertisement YouWrong has come up with an elegant solution to that problem. Their videos straddle the line between full matches and highlight reels. Basically, you get an abridged version of each major match, with all the most important moments cut together so that the broader narrative is still clear. For the past few days, YouWrong has been focusing on the ELEAGUE Major 2017. Here, for instance, is a recent match between GODSENT and EnVyUs condensed into five minutes: That one was fairly one-sided, though, which makes it easier to cut down. So here’s that crazy triple-overtime Liquid vs EnVyUs match from over the weekend weighing in at a slim, trim 14 minutes: Handy, right? I admit that I’ve fallen off of consistently tuning into Counter-Strike esports over the past few months (brief explanation: life, man), but I’m excited to dive back in. Advertisement You’re reading Steamed, Kotaku’s page dedicated to all READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Team Liquid should have lost to Team EnVyUs well before game’s eventual ending scoreline of 25-21. But Josh “jdm64″ Marzano had other plans, including mowing down the entire enemy team as the last man standing. After watching his teammate get shredded right in front of him, jdm64 gets payback for his fallen captain, Spencer “Hiko” Martin, before moving on to pick off the rest of the French squad. EnVyUs didn’t help matters by staggering their assault, but even so, the odds in a four-man onslaught never favored jdm64. The ELEAGUE Major 2017 kicked-off today with a number of blowouts. The biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament since last fall featuring a $1,000,000 prize pool saw teams ranging from Astralis to Fnatic suffer lopsided defeats at the hands of challenger teams. Advertisement Advertisement But Team Liquid was not among them, delivering the a close-fought nail-biter that ended up going into triple-overtime. thanks to jdm64’s godlike handling of his AWP sniper rifle and leftover flash bangs. In the rounds that followed, Liquid pressed EnVyUs with everything they had. Unfortunately, it turned out not READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Counter-Strike player Sean ‘sgares’ Gares, new member of Misfits, back when he was with Rick Fox’s Echo Foxes. The Counter-Strike players for the esports organization Team SoloMid have all left following a dispute with owners over which leagues they could play in. Instead, the squad have all joined with Misfits, an organization that just this week announced its new partnership with the Miami Heat. Advertisement News came by way of two announcements, first from TSM, acknowledging the departure, and later in the afternoon from Misfits, revealing the roster for its new Counter-Strike team. Sean ‘sgares’ Gares, Russel ‘Twistzz’ David Van Dulken, Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan, Skyler ‘Relyks’ Weaver, and Hunter ‘SicK’ Mims, a week after the team earned a spot in the North America EPL, will all be outfitted in uniforms to match the Heat’s colors before long. The rift between the players and their former team began late last year when the owners tried to restrict them from playing in certain leagues. TSM were partners in a newly formed league called the PEA, one that would be owned and operated by the teams themselves rather than a third-party. The teams involved READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The sheer number of games on Steam is overwhelming, and more new ones come out per day than ever before. Despite that, Steam’s upper echelon has calcified, with an Old Guard looking down from the top of the most-played list at all the peasants below. Advertisement GitHyp, a tool that tracks Steam’s most-played games (among other things), posted an analysis of the most-played games of 2016. A few findings stand out. First off, if you look at average number of players per hour throughout the year, you get a top five list that looks awfully similar to 2015’s, with zero games that came out in 2016: Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015) Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015) Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015) Grand Theft Auto V / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015) Sid Meier’s Civilization V / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015) Steam users like Valve games. Shocking, I know. But it is surprising to see Civ V gain ground in the year that Civ READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The ESEA is an esports community that runs a popular online Counter-Strike league. In late December, its security got breached in a big way. Now the details of that breach are coming to light, with 1.5 million users affected after the ESEA refused to pay a hacker $100,000. Advertisement It all began with an announcement from breach notification service LeakedSource on Saturday, January 7. They claimed to have added 1,503,707 ESEA records to their database (via Salted Hash). Today, the ESEA confirmed that 1.5 million users were affected. They’ve also published a timeline of events in which they say a hacker first contacted them “demanding a ransom payment of $100,000 to not release or sell the user data” on December 27. After verifying the hacker’s claims, consulting with legal council, and patching the breach, the ESEA notified their community of a possible leak on December 30. The ESEA decided not to play ball with the hacker, who continued threatening them from December 31-January 6, but didn’t leak anything. Then the hacker stepped up their efforts. On January 7, they breached a game server directly and quickly made their presence known. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Earlier this year, a new esports league, The Professional eSports Association (PEA), burst onto the scene. It was unique in that it was owned by bigtime esports teams, rather than a third party. Immediately there were worries of impropriety. Now, in the wake of a recent controversy, the PEA has suspended its Counter-Strike league. Advertisement It began in December, with reports emerging that the PEA might outlaw member teams from competing in the ESL, which is easily the biggest third-party Counter-Strike league. In response, member teams Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, and Team Liquid published an open letter penned by Scott “SirScoots” Smith, the teams’ elected representative. “We realize that we might be at the point where eSports as an industry is now just too big for trust alone to reasonably protect everyone’s interests,” Smith concluded after claiming the PEA controlling board’s vote structure was rigged against players and in favor of team owners, and players weren’t actually able to choose which leagues they played in. “Either way, you can’t have trust without honesty, and you can’t have honesty without transparency.” Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Reliving Counter-Strike 1.6 Is One Reason We Generally Love Modders An extra gift for CS:GO gamers in the form of a mod. Hither, a giver in the form of a modder named ZOOL has released a beta version recreating Counter-Strike 1.6. As you have no doubt guessed, the mod comes with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but scales things back for the players who found their niche 1.6. So you get to keep the maps and improvements amassed over Counter-Strike’s years without paying an extra dime. Furthermore, the nostalgia resurgence will be a bonus. You know it. We know it. Hence, back to the balances as they were with Counter-Strike 1.6 in conjunction with all of Global Offensive‘s fixes. All the good maps we remember, all the best from the latest features. Modder ZOOL’s whole purpose in this is to let players experience the best of both worlds. That is to say, anyone interested can download the mod right now, right here. Test if 1.6 is to your liking. But also note, a finished poll release by ZOOL indicates that his Counter-Strike 1.6 will stick to an authentic art style for maps. This also means no new skins and no new weapons that do not stick to that version’s original script.