Image credit: Valve Valve’s anti-cheating software, known as VAC, monitors public Counter-Strike matches for evidence of cheating, like aim assist or changing value modifiers. Traditionally, any pros found cheating have been barred from competing in tournaments, but one organizer has decided to let them back in. Advertisement ESL, originally Electronic Sports League, updated its Counter-Strike rulebook today, to allow VAC-banned players to compete in ESL-sanctioned events after serving two year bans. ESL runs several major tournaments in the Counter-Strike circuit, including the Intel Extreme Masters series, ESL One and Pro League tournaments. Players like Joel “emilio” Mako, Hovik “KQLY” Tovamassian, and Gordon “Sf” Giry—who have all VAC-banned in the past for cheats ranging from X-ray wall vision to possibly using aim assists—will now be allowed back into tournaments, as they have been banned for over two years. ESL’s new rules only apply to VAC-banned players; it specifies that players with standing bans from either the game publisher (Valve) or ESIC (Esports Integrity Coalition) will still stand in ESL. Match-fixers, for example, will still be barred from competing in ESL events. Additionally, Valve has confirmed to us that the Valve majors will still enforce VAC bans, so if ESL hosts a…
Welcome back to 1999, a year when phones were bigger, jeans and cars were the same size (as each another), and men larger than phones or jeans or cars were prancing around in outer space. Advertisement Facing Worlds is one of the best maps to come out of the Unreal Tournament series, and arguably one of the best multiplayer maps ever. A pitched battle between two towers, the map was open and terrifying. Mounting an assault meant you were exposed to enemy snipers and ground troops, a feeling heightened by the fact that there were no walls around you, nor was there even a sky above you. All you had was the vacuum of space, looming and licking its bulbous lips. You were so naked and afraid that the show Naked And Afraid ought to be paying royalties to Epic Games. Recently, one unnamed modder ported the Unreal Tournament 1999 map into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and another, who goes by the handle Jeisen cleaned it up (it was apparently “horrible” before) and put it on the Steam Workshop. Here’s a video of the map in action, courtesy of Mr. Error: READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Yesterday, Counter-Strike received its first new Valve-developed map in quite some time. It’s called Canals, and it’s based on a (conspicuously unnamed) “historic Italian city” that is definitely Venice. The initial reaction, however, has not exactly been love at first sight. Advertisement Canals, you see, is not a typical CSGO map. It’s got multiple weird routes to the B bomb site for both teams, and the site itself is dangerously enclosed. The A site, meanwhile, is almost the polar opposite: open and surrounded by cover. Many, however, feel like Canals is a poorly balanced first draft, rather than a polished execution of something new. For example, players like DrakePHOSE have pointed out that the terrorist team can reach the B bomb site too quickly, in a way that can deny the counter-terrorist team of precious preparation time: Other players, like Cruxal, have taken issue with how exposed CTs are on the fastest route to the B bomb site, the small size of said bomb site (which makes it perhaps overly susceptible to molotovs), and the general feel and pace of the map: Again, though, Canals is, in many ways, not READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
You do not have to look back to far to find a time when E-Sports was still an unknown quantity to most around the world, however the electronic sports gaming market has grown a huge amount over the past two years, with players competing via computers rather than on a field, with popular games such as StarCraft, League of Legends… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!
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!