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PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Three Lane Highway: exploring the expensive e-sports hype trailers of tomorrow">Aegis of Champions







Three Lane Highway is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.



Today I watched a very dramatic and slick and expensive-looking trailer for League of Legends' Worlds 2014 tournament. I thought about it in relation to the game of my own preference, and how I spent part of July in a basketball stadium getting really worked up about international wizard conflict more or less because a man with a deep voice told me to. I've written about the narratives that surround the rise of e-sports before. Today, for these reasons and despite many others, I felt compelled to do so in the form of a science fiction press release.



Here you go and I am sorry.



ISHUTIN STATION, EARTH'S MOON, August 17 2161-



The International 150 began in earnest today as Valve Software unveiled its latest demonstration of the ever-growing reach and relevance of digital sports. In a spectacle timed to coincide with both the 150th anniversary of the terrestrial Dota 2 tournament and the 45th anniversary of the first Lunar International, Valve's array of antique Overwatch satellites were fitted with high-yield nuclear weapons and explosively decommissioned at strategic points across the Mare Cognitum.



"Today, as it has ever been, e-sports are a vibrant and fast-expanding way to create value for our audience" said Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, speaking via the company's proprietary Steam Afterlife digital consciousness storage service. "Today, we create value for our audience by nuking the moon."



As glittering dust settled across scattered lunar colonies, the extent of Valve's explosive remodeling operation revealed itself: a vast plain of dark glass extending across much of the Moon's Earth-facing side. This, then, was the answer to weeks of speculation about hidden files uncovered in the game's latest update: a set of classic lunar spacesuit cosmetics for Techies; a new 'Nuclear Supernova' kinetic gem for Phoenix; a pre-emptive letter of apology to the people of Earth.



Then, the first images flickered to life across that blasted surface as beams of light converged from a ring of orbital projectors. Their lines traced the Dota 2 logo, along with all that it has come to mean since the great E-Sports Marketing Escalation Wars of the early 21st Century: wizards, competition, community, vast expense.



"Welcome to The International" boomed the voice of Robot John Patrick Lowrie as a hyper-accelerated montage of a century and a half of competitive wizard-clicking flashed before the eyes of every man woman and child on planet Earth. "Please stand for the national anthem."



Vi sitter h r i venten och spelar lite DotA



Synthesisers in the darkness. Then, from that bright blue world below, the traditional call-and-response.



I hear you, man!



Vi sitter h r i venten och spelar lite DotA



I feel you, man!



Great-grandparents wept as strains of familiar eurodance transported them back to their childhoods. They remembered days of innocence, when e-sports tournaments took place in football stadiums and not specially-constructed orbital thunderdomes; when prize pools capped out at a few million dollars and did not exceed the gross domestic product of the United States of America. A time when there was a United States of America, or indeed nations at all. Before civilization became a game played between supercorporations, before war became a battle to see who could produce the fanciest trailer for their digital sport. Before a video depicting teenage pro-gamers as magical lasers; before that first disastrous attempt to turn teenage pro-gamers into actual lasers.



Before the rise of the League Hierarchy and its on-again, off-again conflict with the people of the Dota Core. Before the Secession of the Storm and the exile of the Federation of Other MOBAs. Earth remembered, and listened to Basshunter.



"We really think that digital sport is only going to get bigger from here" said a masked and anonymous spokesperson for Valve, taking questions shortly after the event. "I mean, it's really big, isn't it. And it's only going to get better, isn't it? It's very, very, very important, and big, and good, and growing. That what everybody always says at these things, isn't it? Is this going well? Did I do it right? Please do not incinerate me."



This year's prize pool includes a gift from every extant human being, with the exact value of each gift to be determined via Compendium vote. Analysts are divided in their choice of favourite, but Earth Prime Team DK, Robo-Alliance and The Zephyr Memorial Medibears are all expected to do well. Na'Vi, most analysts agree, will come second.



The International 150 will conclude on August 21, 2161. In the weeks to follow the Earth will hold its traditional How Big Are E-Sports Really Festival, a celebration of traditional arts and crafts with headline events including 'Early 21st Century Gaming Op-Eds: A Guide' and 'Inside The Comments Thread: But Is It Really Sport?'



Riot are expected to respond by engraving the League logo into the surface of Mars or something later in the year.



To read more Three Lane Highway, click here.
Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Added Alien: Isolation promo items and enabled Full Moon holiday for one week
  • Added Limited Quantity Item attribute on items that can no longer be crafted or purchased through the Mann Co. Store
    • Limited Quantity Items can be placed on the Steam Community Market
  • Removed Audition Reel from crate drop list
  • Added Director's Cut Reel to crate drop list
  • Added Limited Late Summer Crate to crate drop list
  • Fixed the Festive Bat using the lowest LOD for the first person view
  • Fixed the Scorch Shot taunt attack not firing a projectile
  • Fixed incorrect bumpmap setting for the Frenchman's Beret
  • Updated the equip_region for the Mustachioed Mann
  • Updated sounds for the Boston Basher
TF2 Blog
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:


  • Added Alien: Isolation promo items and enabled Full Moon holiday for one week
  • Added Limited Quantity Item attribute on items that can no longer be crafted or purchased through the Mann Co. Store

    • Limited Quantity Items can be placed on the Steam Community Market

  • Removed Audition Reel from crate drop list
  • Added Director's Cut Reel to crate drop list
  • Added Limited Late Summer Crate to crate drop list
  • Fixed the Festive Bat using the lowest LOD for the first person view
  • Fixed the Scorch Shot taunt attack not firing a projectile
  • Fixed incorrect bumpmap setting for the Frenchman's Beret
  • Updated the equip_region for the Mustachioed Mann
  • Updated sounds for the Boston Basher
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Someone has recreated Gone Home as a Counter-Strike map">gonehomecounterstrike





Not being able to shoot things really annoys some people. There are few better demonstrations of this enduring truth than Fullbright s first-person exploration game Gone Home. Not only has it spawned an hilarious parody featuring lots of things being killed, but now you too will be able to kill things in the titular home, thanks to this Counter-Strike: GO map.

"Your family is mysteriously missing again," so says the Steam Workshop description. "But you can figure that out later. Right now you have more pressing issues to attend to, like the fact that your house is full of terrorists and some dude has been taken hostage. Rescue him by taking him to the garage where you can make a swift getaway on that old bike thats been sitting there for twenty years."

The hostage map is recommended for less than 32 players, and can be downloaded here. Of course, you could go ahead and play Gone Home again, which comes highly recommended.

Thanks Joystiq.
Portal 2 Blog



It seems Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 have launched Merchandise Workshops, where the community can submit, vote on and sell their own non-virtual, actually real t-shirts and posters. And so far, the response from their communities has been overwhelmingly positive. So we thought: What if we applied that same idea, but to a good game, with a smarter, more attractive community? Introducing the Portal Merchandise Workshop, where you can heroes can bravely design their own Portal universe concepts.




"But what if my ideas are bad and I don't have any talent?" you ask. Don't sweat it, you're still covered.


Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed a server crash related to the vote kick system
TF2 Blog
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:


  • Fixed a server crash related to the vote kick system
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Left 4 Dead 2 patch grants Australians access to uncensored version">9 left 4 dead 2







When Valve resubmitted Left 4 Dead 2 for classification in Australia earlier this month, many wondered whether the company had plans to re-release the game. Well, anything is possible, but in the meantime if you own the censored version of Left 4 Dead 2 a free patch is now available on Steam which will grant you access to all the gratuitous violence you've been deprived of.



It's good news for Australians, as until now we've had to jump through hoops in order to play the unedited version. Originally denied classification in 2010 due to its extreme violence, the game was resubmitted for classification following the introduction of an R18+ rating back in early 2013. The patch can be accessed via the Left 4 Dead 2 Steam page over here in the 'downloadable content' section.



To make matters better, if you've never played the game before then it's currently available with a 75 per cent discount, which is nice. There's never been a better time to hack zombies to death with wrenches.
Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed a client crash related to the robot destruction HUD
  • Fixed an exploit where players could circumvent successful kick votes
  • Demoman can no longer detonate sticky bombs while taunting
  • Strange Ranks are no longer displayed on the web (Trade, Steam backpack, Market) and only show 'Strange' as a prefix
  • Default value for convar sv_vote_issue_scramble_teams_cooldown has been increased to 20 minutes
  • Fixed sound clipping issue for the Demoman's Spent Well Spirits taunt
  • Added Jarate lightwarp preset to the Steam Workshop importer
  • Updated the model/materials for the Neckwear Headwear to fix a lighting issue
  • Updated pl_cactuscanyon
    • Increased amount of time the middle gates remain open before and after a train passes in stage 2
    • Adjusted spawn times at end of stage 2
  • Updated rd_asteroid
    • Removed env_sun from the skybox
    • Optimized skybox performance
    • Lowered Scout/Sniper damage against robots
    • Fixed doubled-up health kits on the bridge
    • Added area portals to the base interiors to improve performance
    • Continued art-pass process
    • Fixed zebra-style art on static props on systems that used lower texture quality
  • Added experimental cpu_frequency_monitoring convar to detect thermal throttling. If you have TF2 performance problems on Windows, add "+cpu_frequency_monitoring 2" to the TF2 command line to see if CPU thermal throttling is an issue. If the displayed CPU frequency percentage drops below about 80-85% then you may have a problem with your CPU slowing down due to overheating. If it drops below 50-55% then you may have a serious problem. CPU overheating can be caused by overclocking, insufficient cooling, insufficient airflow, failing or dirty fans, or other causes. The CPU frequency results are displayed with cl_showfps or net_graph. For more detail see https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=2715-YIPD-6873
TF2 Blog
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:


  • Fixed a client crash related to the robot destruction HUD
  • Fixed an exploit where players could circumvent successful kick votes
  • Demoman can no longer detonate sticky bombs while taunting
  • Strange Ranks are no longer displayed on the web (Trade, Steam backpack, Market) and only show 'Strange' as a prefix
  • Default value for convar sv_vote_issue_scramble_teams_cooldown has been increased to 20 minutes
  • Fixed sound clipping issue for the Demoman's Spent Well Spirits taunt
  • Added Jarate lightwarp preset to the Steam Workshop importer
  • Updated the model/materials for the Neckwear Headwear to fix a lighting issue
  • Updated pl_cactuscanyon

    • Increased amount of time the middle gates remain open before and after a train passes in stage 2
    • Adjusted spawn times at end of stage 2

  • Updated rd_asteroid

    • Removed env_sun from the skybox
    • Optimized skybox performance
    • Lowered Scout/Sniper damage against robots
    • Fixed doubled-up health kits on the bridge
    • Added area portals to the base interiors to improve performance
    • Continued art-pass process
    • Fixed zebra-style art on static props on systems that used lower texture quality

  • Added experimental cpu_frequency_monitoring convar to detect thermal throttling. If you have TF2 performance problems on Windows, add "+cpu_frequency_monitoring 2" to the TF2 command line to see if CPU thermal throttling is an issue. If the displayed CPU frequency percentage drops below about 80-85% then you may have a problem with your CPU slowing down due to overheating. If it drops below 50-55% then you may have a serious problem. CPU overheating can be caused by overclocking, insufficient cooling, insufficient airflow, failing or dirty fans, or other causes. The CPU frequency results are displayed with cl_showfps or net_graph. For more detail see https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=2715-YIPD-6873
...

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