Posts Tagged ‘Valve Corporation’

A definitive ranking of CS:GO’s festive chickens

Chickens in their Christmas best!

Valve has dressed its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] chickens up in many a festive outfit over the years, from chicken-sized Christmas jumpers to pink Easter bunny ears. But how do these festive fowl stack up against one another in terms of holiday loveliness? There’s only one way to find out: an Alice and Pip chat.

Pip: Alice! It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiiiime of the yeeeeeeeear. With the CS: GO chickens all wearing their knitting and I’m of good cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer! It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiiiiime of the year.

That said there are other wonderful times of the year if we’re talking chicken dress-up. Halloween! Easter! CS:GO’s birthday! Can we truly decide which is the *most* wonderful time of the year?

Alice: It’d take two grizzled experts with a long history of dressing up imaginary characters. Two hardened veterans committed to arguing the toss. Two people who understand that the Halloween chickens wearing spooky ghost sheets are the best and if you don’t agree I WILL END THIS FRIENDSHIP RIGHT HERE. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2: The New Journey – why update 7.00 is such a MASSIVE game-changer

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For an idea of how much Dota 2’s New Journey/7.00 update is A Big Deal, consider this: Dota, in general, has been in version 6.somethingsomething since 2005 – the Dota All-Stars mod days. It was around this time that the mysterious Icefrog originally took over development. That’s endured all the way through Valve’s Dota 2, right up until now, when all our expectations of the game’s patch number conventions crumbled like so many tango-munched trees.

Moreover, the preceding patch – 6.88 – is held in unusually high esteem by both the community at large and the professional/competitive scene. Other than the questionable strength of certain illusion-spam lineups, 6.88 was remarkably well-balanced, with almost no heroes considered unviable and a relatively broad range of strategies, from drawn-out split pushing to full-davai five-man gank rushes being employed in games at all skill levels. [Don’t worry about the terminology if you’re less steeped in on Dota slang – just know that 6.88 was really versatile! – Ed]

Nonetheless, Valve – and Icefrog – have held little back for 7.00, introducing not only a new hero in Monkey King, but the kind of fundamentals-altering additions that go even further than what skipping 0.11 version numbers would suggest. Perhaps the most impactful of these changes are Talents. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 Boston Major: Highlights and must-see matches

Boston Major

Another multimillion-dollar Dota 2 Major tournament has come to a close this weekend as top teams from all over the world battled for the Boston Major‘s Eaglesong trophy and a share of the $3m prize pool. Would OG be able to defend their title with a remixed lineup or would some feisty newcomers be able to snaffle it away? In case you’re still avoiding spoilers all of this will be revealed after the jump, as well as the must-watch matches so you can condense your viewing into a single action-packed evening! Read the rest of this entry »

How to watch Dota 2

Dota 2 [official site] begins its next season of multi-million dollar Major tournaments in earnest on December 3, with the Boston Major set to take over the lavish Wang Theatre. While only a relatively small number of viewers will be able to fit inside to see the ridiculously monied spell-storms up close, potentially millions more will be watching via stream – including you, if you so desire.

Indeed, watching top-tier Dota can be even more entertaining, and significantly less aggravating, than playing it yourself. Yet surely you’d need at least a decent amount of hands-on experience with the game to derive any understanding, let alone enjoyment, from spectating others?

Fret not. It is a remarkably complex (and ever-changing) game, but it’s also surprising easy to pick up the basics when it’s just ten heroes duking it out, while a team of casters and analysts spell the action out over mic. Better yet, read this guide – a primer on both the essentials and the intricacies of a game of Dota 2, beamed through the prism of pro match viewership like Tinker’s Aghs Q! Read the rest of this entry »

The Steam Autumn Sale: what are the Steam Awards?

Steam Awards

As I went to purchase a bundle of my beloved Hidden Object Adventures I was asked if I wanted to nominate them for THE STEAM AWARDS. “How would I know?” I thought. “I mean, I haven’t played them yet.” Then, another question. WHAT ON EARTH ARE THE STEAM AWARDS? Why am I expected to learn new things? ALSO the Steam Autumn Sale has started?

So, having made the Autumn Sale Brendan’s problem, I’m going to look at what on earth the Steam Awards are: Read the rest of this entry »

Scream Fortress VIII (EIGHT? Oh God, We Are Old)

Scream Fortress VIII

Team Fortress 2‘s [official site] annual Hallowe’en festivities are upon us and, although there are nowhere near as many of them as Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror episodes, the Roman numerals are still contriving to make Alice feel hideously old. So that’s something!

So what’s the haps this Hallowe’en-tide? Read the rest of this entry »

BT Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Valve

British Telecommunications (BT) have filed a lawsuit against Valve claiming patent infringement. The action was brought “based on Valve’s continued willful infringement” of four patents (I’ll go into what they are in a moment) and was filed in Delaware on 28 July.

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One Dota 2 Team Will Win An Eye-Watering $9m Tonight

This is it! The grand final of The International 2016, Dota 2’s [official site] ultimate world championship, is mere hours away. Two matches and three teams remain so if you’re still catching up with Friday’s action BEWARE SPOILERS!

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Watch Dota 2 Monkey King Teaser Trailer

With the upcoming release of Underlord (The Artist Formerly Known As Pit Lord) there was more than a smattering of “What next for Dota 2 [official site]? Is that it for the hero roster?” Answering those questions at The International 2016 was Valve’s teaser trailer for new hero Monkey King! The simian sovereign will be coming in an update this autumn/fall called The New Journey. OBSERVE:

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Dota 2 Welcomes The Artist Formerly Known As Pit Lord

The All-Star match at The International 2016 saw the reveal of new Dota 2 [official site] hero, Underlord. We wrote about it in our TI6 daily recap but he’s been so long anticipated that he deserves his own post.

Vrogos, the Underlord – formerly known as Azgalor, the Pit Lord in DotA and Warcraft thanks to DotA’s origins as a mod – will be added to the game from 23 August. Underlord completes the Dota 2 roster in terms of heroes also present in DotA so from then on we’re entering uncharted territory in terms of the Dota 2 roster and whether/when further heroes will be added*.

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The International 2016: Day Of The Underdogs/Underlord

Day four of The International 2016 main event was all about underdogs (and one Underlord, but we’ll get to that in a bit) – the incredible rise of one, the heart-wrenching fall of another. And, as fate and lower bracket scheduling would have it, these two young Dota 2 [official site] teams would have to face each other in the very first series of the day.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

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The International 2016: Definitely DO Call It A Comeback!

Much exciting Dota 2 [official site] occurred during the night, and now not only do we have our last eight teams left fighting at The International 2016, but we know two of the guaranteed top three finishers.

SPOILERS AND HEART-STOPPING COMEBACKS AHEAD!

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The International 2016: Dota 2 Semi-Finals Pre-cap

Dota 2’s International 2016 is almost halfway done, and good grief, what a digital sportstorm it’s been so far. Champions have been slain, underdogs have dominated, and panels have turned into hand puppets for completely unstated reasons. Here’s everything you need to know (besides a puppet explanation) ahead of today’s upper bracket semi-finals.

Obviously HERE BE SPOILERS:

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The International 2016: I Watched A Dota 2 Game From In The Rosh Pit

For The International 2016 I watched a game of Dota 2 [official site] entirely from the Roshan pit in virtual reality.

Dota 2’s VR hub is all about offering viewers new ways in which to spectate matches, new ways to present information, and new vantage points from which to observe professional players’ comings and goings. You can sit in a darkened area watching a massive VR screen if you want, but you can also teleport yourself into the actual map and shrink yourself to life-size proportions as you follow pro-players about.

Well, I wanted to see what it was like to be Roshan, or at least Roshan’s lodger – never moving outside the pit that the huge monster inhabits on the map and entirely dependent on distant sounds to make sense of what’s actually going on. Oh, and also seeing what a team attempting to fight Roshan looks like close-up, when suddenly a violent house-party of spells and punching breaks out and Roshan has to… uh… go away for a while to recover.

Here’s what happened:

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Dota 2: Everything You Need To Know About The International 2016!

The International 2016 is here! Valve’s own Dota 2 [official site] uber-tournament is underway in Seattle, with sixteen teams wizard-fighting for a share of the frankly ludicrous $19,860,000 (and rising) prize pool.

Even ignoring the cash this is very much “the big one” where competitive Dota 2 is concerned – victory at TI6 will earn the kind of prestige that even the previous Frankfurt, Shanghai and Manila Majors can’t confer.

The group stages have already concluded, and on Monday 8th August the proceedings move to the main stage at long-time TI hosting grounds Key Arena, concluding with the grand finals on Saturday 13th August. Since the group stages only determine which teams are assigned to the double-elimination format’s upper and lower brackets, all sixteen teams are still in with a shot – here’s who they are, and who to keep an eye on!

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Dota 2: The International’s $18.5m Prize Pool Breaks Own Previous Record, Is STILL Growing

The klaxon which has been going off since I got up this morning tells me that the Dota 2 [official site] prize pool for The International 2016 has now surpassed its own previous world record for an esports tournament prize pool and is now sitting at over $18.5 million.

$18.5 million. To be shared amongst people who are very very good at digital wizard sports.

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Dota 2: Who’s Scored A Direct Invite To TI6?

Ooh – the direct invitees for The International 2016 (that’s the massive annual Dota 2 [official site] tournament with the eye-watering prize pool) have been announced. There’s also a bunch of information on how the qualifiers work so YOU, dear reader, could theoretically be in the running to scoop part of that $12.4m. Well. $12.4m so far….

Two-time Major winners OG are obviously going straight to Seattle, while star squad Secret and last year’s winners Evil Geniuses will need to work their way through the open qualifiers. That’s thanks to some roster swap action which means both violated Valve’s roster lock conditions.

Read on for the full list of direct invitees as well as who’s going to be duking it out in the regionals so far:

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Dota 2 Manila Major: Highlights And Must-See Matches!

The winner of Dota 2’s Manila Major [official site] has been crowned and multinational squad, OG, are now the first team to win two of the Valve-sponsored mega-tournaments. The team’s latest win comes seven months after OG claimed the inaugural Frankfurt Major and prompted a stage invasion by fans.

OG – consisting of Fly, Cr1t-, N0tail, Miracle- and MoonMeander – bested Team Liquid in the grand finals with an unusual Elder Titan/Wraith King draft to win $1,100,000 and score a historic Major double.

Read on to see what you might have missed – who excelled, who crashed and burned, and which games offered up the best competitive Dota 2!

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