PC Gamer

The World Electronic Sports Games wrapped up in China this week, with Team EnVyUs taking home the $800,000 prize by defeating Team Kinguin in the CS:GO final. We even got to see TNC Pro Team defeat Cloud9 in the Dota 2 finals. It’s certainly been a busy start to 2017 and we’re not slowing down yet. There’s plenty to watch, from top-tier League of Legends to the CS:GO: ELEAGUE Major. We even have some top quality action from Heroes of the Storm. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: 2017 EU LCS Spring Split

League of Legends fans can tune into the European Spring Split today as the 10 teams from France, Spain, Germany and the UK, as well as Fnatic Academy, battle it out for their chance to represent Europe in the Mid-Season Invitational. We will find out if anyone has what it takes to challenge G2 for the crown. Misfits and GIANTS! Gaming kick things off today at 08:00 PST / 17:00 CET. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to LoL Esports.

League of Legends: 2017 NA LCS Spring Split

The NA LCS Spring Split also returns today and this season might be one of the most exciting to date. Top teams from the last split have all become a little bit weaker, especially TSM who lost their star player Doublelift and replaced him with Wildturtle. Cloud 9 have also acquired new coaching and player talent from South Korea and replaced Meteos with the talented player Contractz. Both these teams will be kicking things off today at 15:00 PST / 00:00 CET, while the full schedule and stream can be found over on LoL Esports.

Dota 2: Pit League Season 5

Eight teams will compete for the season five title and with a minimum prize pool of $125 000 on the line, plus the portion spent on chests and in-game tickets, it is sure to be a fiercely contested event. The tournament is scheduled for this weekend and the top teams are set to clash right from the beginning. Quarterfinals begin today at 01:00 / 10:00 CET and resume tomorrow at the same time. The event can be streamed over on Twitch.

CS:GO: ELEAGUE Major 2017

Sixteen of the best CS:GO teams will battle it out at the FOX Theatre in Atlanta, USA.  The group stage will take place from January 22nd to the 26th, while the playoffs begin on the 27th and end on the 29th. SK Gaming is set to be the favourites after they dominated last year’s headlines. However, the competition will be extremely fierce as everyone will want a piece of the $1,000,000 pie. The schedule can be found here, while the event will be streamed live via the ELEAGUE channel on Twitch.

Overwatch: OGN APEX Season 2

The star studded lineups have been battling since Tuesday in order to grab their share of the $180,000 prize pool. OGN APEX Season 2 has invited four Western teams to compete with the best Korea has to offer. So far the group B bracket has been the group that has received the most attention as it features Asia’s highest ranked team, Lunatic-Hai. However, Europe’s second highest ranked team, Misfits, will also be looking to reign supreme. It’s likely the winner of this group may go on to win the tournament. Group C will be starting their matches today at 02:00 PST / 11:00 CET, while Group D start at 03:30 PST / 12:30 CET. The event can be watched over on Twitch.

Heroes of the Storm: Global Championship stage

Heroes of the Storm’s HGC will see top teams battle for supremacy in regional professional leagues around the world. The best of the best will be tested in international clashes and a mid-season brawl as they fight their way to the finish at the HGC finals. The Heroes Global Champions will take home the crown and the winner's share of the cash prize. Europe’s first match between Team Dignitas and Misfits begins at 09:00 PST / 18:00 CET, while the North American match between Tempo Storm and Team Naventic starts at 14:00 PST / 11:00 CET. The full schedule and stream can be found here.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Cor blimey, it’s only the weekly Steam Charts! As always, these are based on the accumulated sales on Steam over the previous week, not what’s doing best for itself at this exact moment in time.

A nice number one this week, but a rather old-fashioned top ten otherwise – with one unexpected aberration.

N.B. there is NO VENGABUS this week. Repeat NO VENGA BUS. It’ll return when it is most needed. … [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

You can still play the original Counter-Strike on Steam, of course, but perhaps you want to play it with the greater graphical fidelity and technological advances of the more up-to-date CS:GO? If the thought appeals, know that you'll soon be able to mash together both games, via the recently announced Classic Offensive mod for GO. On Steam Greenlight now, Classic Offensive (formerly known as CS: Classic Offensive, until Valve had a word) aims to replicate the experience of Counter-Strike version 1.6 in CS:GO, effectively uniting these disparate worlds in a way that should probably incite angels to sing overhead.

The creators don't want to be VAC Banned, so they say they're unable to replicate the more mechanical parts of 1.6 in GO—however, you'll still be able to play using the classic map layouts, using a "more simplistic" art style, and without the guns introduced in GO. (Less sweeping changes including scope and price tweaks will be present as well.)

It's a nostalgia mod rather than a slavish recreation of 1.6, and if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, best keep an eye on its Greenlight page for future developments. Or, if you want to play it now, you can grab the beta version of Classic Offensive here.

Ta, PCGamesN.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

So often the bleeding edge of games tech, yet so often fundamentally the same underneath: there’s a reason we can’t get enough of pretend shooting pretend people in their pretend faces. It is a pure test of skill and reflex, a game about movement at least as much as it is about violence, and done right it is absolutely delightful>. And hey, sometimes you get a decent gimmick or story thrown into the mix.

These are our favourite 50 first-person shooters on PC, from 1993-2017. Your favourite is at number 51.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Photo credit: World Electronic Sports Games

This weekend, all eyes will be on China as the World Electronic Sports Games opens its doors. There’s plenty to watch, from top-tier Dota 2 to the League of Legends EU Challenger Series. We even have some top quality action from one of Hearthstone’s highest ranked players. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

Dota 2: World Electronic Sports Games

The World Electronic Sports Games event kicked off yesterday at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Center, China. The LAN finals event is the last part in the race for the whopping $1.5 million prize pool. A total of 24 teams have managed to secure their place in the final stage after nearly five months of gruelling regional qualifiers. However, it’s not all about the money as the tournament marks a historic moment in the Dota 2 competitive circuit. The WESG is currently the only event to offer over a million USD prize pool to teams formed exclusively from five players of the same nation. The full weekend schedule can be found here, while the event can watched over on Twitch.

StarCraft II: World Electronic Sports Games

StarCraft II also has a fairly hefty prize pool up for grabs in China this week. The WESG will be giving out $402,000 in StarCraft prizes, which is considerably less than some of the others games, but it’s still a substantial sum. The quarterfinals start today at 22:00 PST / 07:00 CET, while the semifinals begin tomorrow at 19:00 PST / 04:00 CET. You can watch all the action over on Twitch.

CS:GO: World Electronic Sports Games

CS:GO also kicked off its group stage last night and will resume today. The quarterfinals start tomorrow, while the semi-finals and the grand final will be taking place on the same day, January 15th. There has already be an unexpected surprise as the Swedish CS:GO team GODSENT will no longer be attending the WESG grand final. GODSENT were set to compete against teams such as Signature, Team Kinguin, Space Soldiers, Bravado Gaming, and FIVE eSports Club before they bowed out. The full weekend schedule can be found here, while the event can watched over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: World Electronic Sports Games

Counter Logic Gaming is set to be the favourite for this year’s title, as North American esports organisation welcomed Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert to their roster on Tuesday. His most difficult opponent will likely be fellow European player Liam “Lbdutchboy” Brouwer from the Netherlands.  Xixo was the highest ranked Hearthstone player on the GosuGamers ladder last year, as he won the StarSeries Season 2 and defeated Jon “Orange” Westberg in the European WESG qualifiers. Make sure to check the WESG Facebook page to find the latest schedule times and streams.

League of Legends: EU Challenger Series qualifiers

League of Legends fans can tune into the European Challenger Series qualifiers today as the 12 teams from France, Spain, Germany and the UK as well as Fnatic Academy, will battle out for the final two spots in the EU Challenger Series 2017 Spring Split. The finals will be best-of-five series, with the winner of each advancing to the EU CS Spring Split. Games will be played on patch 6.24 and the tournament will be played under the old six-ban rules rather than the new 10-ban ones. Play kicks off today at 08:00 PST / 17:00 CET, while the playoffs start at the same time on Sunday. The event can be watched over on LoL Esports

PC Gamer

It's easy to take the little things for granted when gaming like, you know, having two hands. That's what Jason, better known online as 'OneHandFPS,' discovered when a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed in his left hand. In an instant, the WASD setup that we all use, along with dozens of other things, became impossible for him. But, amazingly, that hasn't come between Jason and his love of gaming. I would know. I challenged him to a duel in CS:GO and he kicked my ass with what might as well have been one hand tied behind his back.

Though his accident was only eight months ago, Jason streams his attempts to get back into gaming on Twitch. Unable to play by traditional means, he uses a Razer Naga MMO mouse—the one with 12 buttons on the side—to do just about everything I would use a keyboard for. He's still able to use the weight of his left hand to push a button or two on his keyboard if he absolutely has to, but everything from moving to swapping weapons is done on the mouse. If it wasn't for the second webcam pointed at his hands when he streams, you might never notice that Jason is only using one of them. That's how good he is. But getting there, he tells me, has been a struggle. 

The road to recovery 

What was supposed to be another day of riding motorcycles with his brother turned into a disaster when Jason lost control and steered into a wall, flipping over and falling 35 feet to the ground below. "I broke multiple vertebrae," he says. "I have a T5 [spinal] fusion in my back. I broke my scapula. I broke my right arm, my left hand was severely dislocated. They said I broke all of my ribs. My spleen also exploded, so that had to be removed."

In all, he spent nine days recovering in the hospital. But when his left hand still hadn't regained feeling, Jason worried something was wrong. "After going through a bunch of tests, they determined that I severed some nerves in my brachial plexus which is in my neck," he says. "So they think I pulled them out of my spinal column." The diagnosis wasn't positive. While there might be some procedures to restore a little bit of movement, Jason's left hand was paralyzed.

For Jason, who tells me he's been playing on the PC for years, that was hard to take. "Gaming is a huge part of my life, it's like my favorite thing in the world," he says. "I was like, how am I going to play games? Am I ever going to be able to play Counter-Strike again? Am I ever going to be able to play games with my brothers and my friends?" 

But Jason didn't waste any time trying to figure out a way. He very quickly figured out that a game like Diablo 3 could easily be played entirely using the mouse, so he started slaughtering demons to help pass the time he spent at home in recovery. Take one look at the most played games on his Steam profile, however, and it's easy to see that Jason is a Counter-Strike guy at heart. Eventually he longed for the sandy corridors of de_dust2.

After a somewhat successful attempt to play the Overwatch beta, he decided it was time to give Counter-Strike a try. "What I did was I went into a deathmatch—I didn't change any [settings]—and I just sat there. I let people come to me and I'd just kill them." It was hardly playing, but it was just enough to motivate him to try a little harder. "I was like, if people are missing this bad while I'm standing still, it can't be too bad if I try moving around," he says. "So I decided to try to rebind [the controls] of Counter-Strike."

With some experimentation, Jason found a setup that worked. And with each match he played, a sliver of his previous ability came back. In the time that we spent dueling each other, it was obvious that Jason is the better player. His aim is deadly, but movement is where he can stumble. Using his thumb to control his character means that he can't strafe and peek as effectively as most players. He also tells me that in hectic situations he'll sometimes switch guns due to hitting the wrong button. Still, that hasn't stopped him from ranking at Gold Nova III. "I definitely get frustrated," he says. "I know where I used to play at skill-wise, so sometimes it gets frustrating especially when I'm in a [competitive match]. I always telling everyone that the only reason that I'm probably where I'm at right now is because of what [knowledge] I have of the game."

But knowledge in Counter-Strike goes a long way. The first few times Jason came out on top, his brothers would always brag in chat about him pulling it off one-handed. When players didn't always believe them, they started encouraging Jason to stream himself playing. Though he was apprehensive at first, he quickly realized how sharing his story could be a positive thing. "It's been amazing," he says. "Through the streaming and whatnot, I've met a bunch of great people. It's helped me tremendously—talking to these people, talking about my accident, and not just storing it away."  

Becoming King of the Kill 

Months later and Jason streams just about every single day of the week. Though his audience is small, he delights in sharing his moments of triumph. Just over a week ago, he had what might be the most meaningful of those experiences. Out of the 150 people that stepped into a match of H1Z1: King of the Kill, Jason was one of two still standing. His opponent crouched behind a large boulder while he took cover behind a tree. Using a molotov for cover, Jason broke cover and rushed his enemy. Just as he closed in, his opponent opened fire but Jason proved to be the better shot. His reaction to winning is priceless. 

"I play with two hands and I've yet to win," writes one commenter. "You put me to shame."

"I'm super proud of myself," Jason says of that win. "That meant the world to me at that moment."

And already he says he's pushing himself towards his next challenge. Fans have been clamoring to see him tackle the will-breaking monstrosities hidden within Dark Souls, a game known for its difficulty but that's already been beaten with a guitar controller, the world flipped upside down, and using only voice commands. He sounds nervous when he tells me about it, but says he's willing to give it a shot. That kind of attitude is at the heart of Jason's message: "After my accident, the only thing I could do was be positive. When I started playing games again the only thing I could do was be positive and know that I would never play on that same level," he says. "I want to tell people that, yeah, this happened to me not too long ago, but we can still work through obstacles in our lives and we can still be positive."

Jason might never reach that same level of skill he had before his accident, but I don't think he minds all that much. And you know what? Two hands or not, he can still kick some ass. If you ever see him in a game of CS:GO, tell him I want a rematch. 

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

It’s the weekly Steam charts! These are the games which sold best on Steam last week. This week, it’s the first true> chart of 2017, as the last one covered the arse-end of 2016. All change, all change.

I’m even going to do this one upside-down. New year, new rules! And I don’t want to spoil the surprise right away.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

2016 is well and truly behind us and it’s time to look forward to what 2017 has to offer. There’s plenty to watch this weekend, from top-tier Dota 2 to the Overwatch Winter Premiere. We even have action from the Hi-Rez Expo as both the SMITE World Championship and Paladins Invitational are set to thrill fans. All the details on this weekend’s action can be found below. Have a great weekend!

Dota 2: ESL One Genting 2017

ESL is kicking things off in style with the first Dota 2 stop for ESL One in 2017, at the Resorts World Genting in Malaysia. The first ever Malaysian ESL One event will see eight of the world’s best teams battle it out for their chance to win the $250,000 prize pool. The event will take place today at 03:40 PST / 12:40 CET and will carry right through to Saturday, while the finals start very early Sunday at 02:00 PST and later at 11:00 CET.  The full weekend schedule can be found here, while the event can be watched over on Twitch.

Overwatch: Winter Premiere

Overwatch’s Winter Premiere kicked off Tuesday, with eight teams vying for their share of the $100,000 prize pool. The Premiere has already been filled with a few surprises as both Cloud9 and Fnatic made the decision to drop out of the tournament despite qualifying, while the Renegades took down FaZe Clan (Fnatic’s replacement) 2-0 in the first round of the group stage. Things continue to heat up as we enter day three of the group stages and there’s plenty of action to look forward to. You can find the tournament schedule and stream here.

CS:GO: ESEA Season 23 Global Premier Challenge

The last major CS:GO tournament of 2016 saw Astralis outgun OpTic at the Esports Championship Series in an explosive final at the Anaheim Arena. It was a great event and many of us will miss the frenzied firefights, but you needn’t worry as we have another CS:GO tournament to look forward to. Eight teams are heading over to Burbank, California to participate in the ESEA Season 23 Global Challenge for their chance to play in the in the Season 5 ESL Pro League. Semifinals begin Sunday 09:00 PST / 18: 40 CET, while the finals start later at 16:40 PST / 01:40 CET. Check out all the action over on Twitch.

SMITE World Championship

The SMITE World Championship at Hi-Rez Expo 2017 will once again feature the top PC SMITE teams from around the world. Players will compete for their share of the $1,000,000 prize pool and will battle it out to determine who the best team is in Season 3. The event will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Make sure you check the schedule times and stream over on the Hi-Rez expo site.

Paladins Invitational

There’s a newcomer to the world of digital sports as the first-ever Paladins HRX Invitational started yesterday at the Hi-Rez Expo. The eight teams who qualified from regional tournaments in North America, Europe, LATAM/Brazil, Australia/New Zealand, and China will compete for their chance to win the $150,000 prize pool. Group play resumes today, with the first match beginning at 09:00 PST / 18:00 CET. The semifinals start tomorrow at 07:00 PST / 16:00 CET, while the finals begin the same time Sunday.  You can find the full schedule here and watch the livestream over on Twitch.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Valve capped off 2016 by revealing the year’s 100 highest-grossing games on Steam, which is a pretty interesting list. If you’ve been following Alec’s prolonged breakdown over the weekly charts you’ll not be shocked by revelations that Grand Theft Auto V and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are near the top, but you might not expect them to be joined by the likes of No Man’s Sky or the free-to-play Dota 2.

When I asked Alec if he fancied writing up this chart too, he began hissing “The Venga Bus is coming the Venga Bus IS coming the Venga Bus is coming to take me away ho-ho hee-hee ha-haaa” so you get me and my GIFs instead. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Out with the old, in with the new. By which I mean ‘and our weekly Steam Charts, showing the ten games which sold best over the previous week, returns – replete with most of the same names as last year.’

SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT AND NEVER BROUGHT TO MIND?

Welcome back. … [visit site to read more]

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