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PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to The best highlights from CS:GO’s ESL One Cologne 2014 tournament">csgo-esl-one-highlights







The ESL One Cologne 2014 CS:GO championship went down as the most-watched Counter-Strike event in history, with over 400,000 combined viewers watching live in-game or through the ESL stream over the weekend. There were plenty of memorable frags, clutches, and comebacks during the 16-team, four-day event, the best of which I ve collected here.



Every ace (one player notching five kills) from the tournament





The final moments of the last in the three-match series between Cloud9 and NiP





LDLC s apEX notches a 3K on a terrific eco round





Dignitas dupreeh walks through smoke and is rewarded for a moment





A disgusting jump-USP headshot at the end of this clip





Semphis with an amazing stealth retake on de_dust2 s bombsite B





One of our favorite matches of the tournament, an incredible double-OT comeback





The moment of victory for Swedish team Ninjas In Pajamas



PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to CS:GO ESL One Championship: watch these two amazing matches">csgo championship







The group stage of the ESL One Cologne 2014 just wrapped up today, whittling down the beginning 16 teams to an elite eight. We've already had two incredible matches out of Group D, and both have featured American team Cloud9, which faced Titan (France) and Team Dignitas (Denmark) as an underdog.



Read the full tournament breakdown on the Kniferound wiki.

WEDNESDAY

Cloud9 (USA) vs. Titan (France)

Map: de_dust2





Watch live video from esltv_cs on Twitch

THURSDAY

Cloud9 (USA) vs. Dignitas (Denmark)

Map: de_mirage











With the quarterfinals beginning tomorrow, there's no clear contender for the tournament win. Cloud9, the remaining American team and "comeback king" of the group stage, faces NiP, the team that dominated 2013 and took second at the EMS One Katowice 2014. Before that, the Katowice 2014 winner Virtus.Pro, who crushed US challenger iBuypower, is matched against Team LDLC from France. Epsilon, who beat out NiP in its group match, will face a rebounding Dignitas. Fnatic is favored in its match with Na'Vi. Check the full tournament bracket for schedule information. All matches can be watched live through CS:GO's in-game client or on the ESL Twitch channel.
Announcement - Valve
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*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The week’s highs and lows in PC gaming">SteamHigh







Each week PC Gamer s writers gather around a seance table and ask the previous seven days to reveal themselves. Not like that.



Tim Clark: What kept you, Snake?

I m mostly not much one for boss battles, but the fight with The End from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is, by a distance, my favourite. It s funny, tense and startlingly creative essentially everything that s good about Hideo Kojima s stealth series. Kojima s detractors inevitably point to his narrative excess and his games debatable interactivity but, honestly, screw that noise. Metal Gear Solid V coming to PC, in the form of both The Phantom Pain and its Ground Zeroes prelude, is great news. As Tyler pointed out in his

rousing piece earlier this week, this is an interesting, systems-based game running on a powerful engine. The PC version will likely be the definitive one. Now we just need Konami to confirm P.T. next...



Phil Savage: Craving curation

Steam is changing. Today saw the release of some new library upgrades, and, thanks to the dataminers of SteamDB, we've got an idea of the upcoming improvements to the service's store. This is all good news. Few things this week excited me more than realising I can now select multiple games in my Steam library. No, don't look at me like that. I own a lot of games and have a need to categorise them all.



Okay, fine, the potential store changes are more notable. Specifically, the idea of following individual and group curators for personalised front pages. It's a necessary move the continued sale of games like Air Control proves that Valve aren't interested in running a curated platform. Here's the thing: they never were. For years, they allowed unmitigated shit onto the store because they had deals in place with the publishers who shat them. Being on Steam is not, and has never been, a guarantee of quality. But being on the recommendations list of some reliable curators could be.







Tyler Wilde: Shadow Realms

Last week, I was griping about BioWare s live action You ve Been Chosen teasers. I m skeptical of any game revealed by not telling us what the game is. This week, however, we ve all begun forgetting about the teasers in favor of having thoughts about Shadow Realms, the game they were teasing. And Shadow Realms sounds pretty cool. It s a 4v1 episodic RPG, where the one is the Shadowlord, who s essentially a dungeon master. The Shadowlord attempts to stop the party haunting them, setting traps, casting spells, summoning monsters, and controlling any monster in the level." And despite last week s cryptic marketing, which usually suggests there s nothing real to show, alpha invites are going out next month. Find out more in our interview with BioWare Austin General Manager Jeff Hickman.



Samuel Roberts: Metal Gear? It can t be!

I have to echo Tim s enthusiasm for Metal Gear Solid V coming to PC I m a huge fan of that series and I ve completed all of them multiple times (except MGS4, since life s slightly too short for me to sit through its ludicrous hour-long closing cutscene again). I now want Konami to take it further. Some PC players would like an education on Metal Gear and why it s been so critically and commercially successful on consoles for such a long period of time. Konami already ported the original to PC years ago. Why not bring it out on Steam? Likewise, a few years ago, Konami employed port specialists BluePoint to remake MGS2 (eh), MGS3 (amazing) and PeaceWalker (very odd, but with a lot of connections to MGSV). MGSV is a great start from Konami, and I m glad it s not being seen as an afterthought release-wise like Revengeance was, but I think re-releasing the older games on PC could see that series be even bigger on Steam than it is on consoles. As Andy pointed out a few months ago, Metal Gear Solid has always belonged on PC.







Evan Lahti: Go, go, go!

I m so happy to see CS:GO gaining more popularity as an e-sport. On Thursday, during only the group stages (the seeding rounds) of the ESL One championship in Cologne, Cloud9 s match against Titan peaked at 270,000 concurrent viewers. Those aren t Dota 2 or League of Legends numbers, of course, but that figure exceeds what CS:GO drew during the grand finals of its last tournament. Valve made some improvements to CS:GO s spectating experience in a recent patch, and its comment during The International indicates that they might be throwing more of their support behind the game on most days the second-most popular on Steam in the future. It s inherently tougher for FPSes to catch on as e-sports because perspective-swapping between players isn t necessarily a great experience, especially for non-players, but continued support from Valve would have a huge impact on the scene.



Tom Senior: Rise of the PC

PCs are everywhere at Gamescom. They're pushing Ryse to 4K monitors in Crytek's booth, rendering 4 vs. 1 battles in Evolve and Shadow Realms. They're powering Firaxis' Civ: Beyond Earth demoes, sitting under tables in Paradox' booths and enabling huge League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive contests on the show floor. The Metal Gear Solid 5 announcement is the big news of the week, but it's symptomatic of the quiet ascendency of a platform that wasn't taken seriously by some publishers five or six years ago. There are a few holdouts, sure. I reckon Rise of the Tomb Raider will make it over late, and we may never see a PC version of Destiny, but these instances are proving increasingly rare. Hopefully in future, if we're lucky, we'll see more simultaneous PC/console releases for more big budget games, but let's not go too crazy.











THE LOWS



Samuel Roberts: Gamescom blues

Gamescom is like the local/mid-term elections in the realm of trade shows. If you re a journalist or one of the thousands of people being squashed in Cologne, I m sure it s delightful, as the show is notably better for access than it is for news but from the outside looking in, it felt like a bit of a non-starter for announcements outside of the great news about Metal Gear (I also share Tim s love of The End, MGS3 s astonishing boss battle), the reveal of Shadow Realms from BioWare and the Tomb Raider thing that pissed absolutely everyone off (even though the whole thing might be a timed exclusive it s pretty hard to work that bit out). A bunch of EA titles that probably should ve made an appearance Star Wars: Battlefront, Mirror s Edge, any of the other BioWare games in production didn t, meaning it ll likely be another ten months before we get even a whisper out of them again. If you re at home watching out for Gamescom announcements, I can t imagine it was nearly as exciting as the E3 shows were. There s plenty to look forward to in the rest of 2014 and early 2015, but for actual new things, it was kind of quiet.



Tom Senior: Gamescom attendees deserve a little more

Three hundred thousand people bought tickets and stormed the Koelnmesse this week, and many queue for a long time to be ushered into a theatre and shown some trailers at ear splitting volume. Ticket holders deserve a chance to catch some advanced access for their cash, so here's a shout-out to the developers who put playable builds on the show floor this year. Often games aren't ready for mass consumption in the wild conditions of a conference hall, but when you walk past rows and rows of packed-out Fifa kiosks every day it's clear how much that exclusive access matters to people. People were even enjoying a few battles in PIllars of Eternity in one noisy corner of Hall 9. I can only admire their powers of concentration.







Tyler Wilde: Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox exclusive

I don t care much about exclusivity deals that keep games off the Xbox One or PS4 (though I m sure I would if I owned one or the other), but when the PC gets lumped in? And by Microsoft? It makes me feel unwanted, alienated. Why can t you just be an Xbox gamer?



As I argued earlier this week, Square Enix might be getting a good deal by making Rise of the Tomb Raider a timed Xbox exclusive, but I m still disappointed whenever risk abatement involves withholding games. I get it, though. Developing games is expensive and any way to help ensure success is welcome. But for the brave, a lot of money can be made on the PC, and I fear console-focused publishers will never have a chance to figure it out amid their exclusivity deals and pre-order bonuses. The response to making less money on PC, where there are no discs to print, no used games, and long-term promotion, should be to solve it.



Oh, also, hey Microsoft, I d buy a PS4 before an Xbox One, so seriously, don t worry about keeping games off the PC. It won t help anyway.



Phil Savage: Exclusively empty

I get that words change their meaning over time. This is a natural and healthy part of the evolution of language. But sometimes evolution goes wrong. This has happened to the word exclusive . It hasn't changed its meaning; it's lost its meaning. It is meaningless a carcass of a word that rots the sentence that it's dumped in.



I watched Gamescom's console press conferences in a state of constant confusion. The word exclusive was deployed in so many ways, for so many scenarios, and none of them applied to what the word should mean. Even worse was the phrase first on console for Xbox/Playstation, which was liberally spat out for games already on PC. The phrasing is deliberately ambiguous. It can be read in multiple ways, but specifically applies to one. If a core part of your business strategy is to mislead your customers through empty phrasing, you are doing something wrong.







Tim Clark: A beastly problem

Just when I thought I couldn t QQ any harder about the seemingly endless stream of Zoo players in Hearthstone this week s highlight: queuing into five straight Zoos in casual back come the bloody Hunters. Between the Webspinner and Haunted Creeper, the Hunter class already had its early game bolstered by the new Naxxramas cards, but with the arrival of the secret-spawning Mad Scientist this week the class is now likely out of control again. Hey, you like playing against secrets right? Wait and see how much you like playing against opponents who don t even have to pay any Mana for them. The salt is strong with me.



Evan Lahti: Steam needs an overhaul

Steam updates constantly, but the design of the client itself has remained almost untouched for at least a few years. SteamDB sniffed out an upcoming update to Steam, but it only seems to address a few piecemeal issues rather than being a skin-to-bones reimagining of the program, which I think Steam desperately needs. The glut of indie games, DLC, Workshop content, and software that s flooded Steam in the past few years has rendered the store page and other corners of the program less useful; it s unlikely that tweaking Steam s lame tags system or adding a discovery queue will address Steam s fundamental problem: there s too much stuff, and it isn t meaningfully organized.



PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to CS:GO championship ESL One Cologne begins today">csgo esl one championship







Competitive Counter-Strike continues to draw a healthy amount of spectators as Valve s FPS has grown significantly since the end of 2013. Following Katowice earlier this year, the ESL Championship begins 3 AM Eastern on Thursday, the first matches of ESL One Cologne 2014 will kick off in Germany, culminating in a final match on Sunday.



Here s the full ESL One Cologne tournament schedule. 16 teams are competing for a $250,000 prize pool, with favorites like NiP, Dignitas, and Virtus.pro matched against challengers, as the ESL teams page puts it, like Copenhagen Wolves, NaVi, and iBuypower. Thursday s matches will determine the seeding of these teams within their four-team groups, with Saturday quarterfinals preceding the semi and grand finals on Sunday.



Earlier this week, Valve patched CS:GO to improve the in-client spectating experience a little, allowing you to natively view the game from the perspective of the match s caster. There s also a new camera transition animation that makes swapping between different players perspectives less disorienting. On Twitch, matches should appear on the ESLTV_CS channel.



As has been the case for other events, watching tournament matches in-game or with a Steam-linked Twitch account gives you a chance of collecting special in-game items.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The PC Gamer Show episode 3: Videoball, GTA 4 no-friction and more on LPC Jr., Arma 3 Zeus mode">pcgamershow3-teaser







It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode three we're introducing the new Large Pixel Collider Jr. with an afternoon of special living room gaming challenges. Can Counter-Strike maven Evan Lahti win when he's forced to play with an Xbox controller? Who will survive the frictionless mayhem of GTA 4's Carmageddon mod? Plus, we play upcoming electronic sport Videoball, and PC Gamer UK walks us through ARMA 3's awesome Zeus mode.



In this episode...



Act I: As if Octodad: Dadliest Catch wasn't already wacky enough, Evan and Tyler race against Wes and global EIC Tim Clark in a competition to become the best co-op octo-pair.

Act II: The gang goes two-on-two again in Videoball, Action Button Entertainment's upcoming minimalist electronic sport.

Act III: Evan tests out his Counter-Strike skills by playing on the LPC Jr...with a controller. Meanwhile, Tyler plays with a keyboard and mouse, as any sane man would.

Act IV: Our program heads over to the United Kingdom, where the other half of the PC Gamer team play Arma 3's Zeus mode. Vengeful god Andy Kelly controls the battlefield from above to torment his teammates.

Act V: It's carmageddon in GTA4's famous no friction mod. We race through the chaos to see who can survive the longest in a whirlwind of flying cars.



The PC Gamer Show is a new and evolving project for us, and we want your feedback to help make it better. What kind of segments do you want to see? What games should we play and talk about? Who should we have on as guests? What's coming up next?



Shout at us in the comments below, or shoot us an email directly at letters@pcgamer.com. We're listening. And we'll see you in two weeks.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Sure, okay!

One mode in the free-to-play Counter-Strike Online 2 sees players turn into a deadly cartoon pig. Another gives terrorists cloaking devices, and of course the game does zombies too. The original CS Online has an event starring giant bug men. In Japanese arcades, Counter-Strike Neo had sexy cyberbabes. The straight-faced man-shooter lives a fabulous double-life thanks to Valve licensing it to Asian developers, who rebuild in weird ways we don’t usually see. But!

Later these year we’ll all get to coo and prod at one of these oddities when Nexon bring Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies to western players through Steam, free-to-play.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies announced, from the team that brought you Counter-Strike Online">Counter-Strike zombies







It's easy to forget that Counter-Strike Online is a thing, given that Valve don't typically license out their games to other developers and publishers, but the free-to-play spin-off has been going for about six years now, under South Korean developers and publishers Nexon. Following the release of Counter-Strike Online 2 a couple of years ago, Nexon has announced another entry in the series and, naturally, it's themed around zombies. Free-to-play multiplayer FPS Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies will be heading to Steam this Summer/Autumn.



It seems that Zombies will mix more traditional CS game modes such as Hostage Rescue and Bomb Diffusion with new ones that will shove zombies in as well. These modes haven't been detailed yet, but Counter-Strike Online's Left 4 Dead-like Zombie Darkness mode might hold a few clues.



Valve's Doug Lombardi can hardly contain his excitement:



Today we are announcing the latest creation from Nexon in the Counter-Strike world, one that builds upon years of success in developing CS Online for Asia. This title showcases that work in new, zombie, and classic form.



Here's hoping Nexon goes the whole hog and chucks in a Portal gun and TF2 characters for their next Counter-Strike game. Zombies is out soonish, and unlike Counter-Strike Online, you'll be able to find this one on Steam.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Better than betting your house.

At the time of writing, there’s eight days, eighteen hours, two minutes and thirty-five seconds until the ESL One Cologne Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament kicks off. In the tournament, happening adjacent to this year’s Gamescom, the sixteen best CS:GO teams will fight for a $250,000 prize pot.

As a reader of a PC games website, it’s 50/50 about whether you’re more interested in this or the sticker-betting Pick’Em Challenge Valve just launched for CSGO in support of the event. More details and a wub-heavy trailer below.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Counter-Strike: GO launches Cologne 2014 Pick’Em Challenge ahead of ESL One">CSGO pro







Pro Counter-Strike players are, like their job suggests, really good at Counter-Strike. They are better at Counter-Strike than, say, you (even though I'm sure you are really good). That's why, for the upcoming ESL One Cologne 2014 CS:GO Championship, Valve have arranged a system in which the pros get to play Counter-Strike, and you get to play with stickers.



The Cologne 2014 Pick'Em Challenge event lets you predict the winning teams of each ESL One match. It's a bit like gambling, only there's no money involved. Or, more accurately, there is money involved, but all of it goes to Valve.



To pick a team, you'll need an unused sticker available from in-game sticker capsules, or from the Steam Marketplace. Once used, each sticker will be locked for the day, but can be reused for future matches.



Do well, and you can earn a Pick'Em Challenge trophy for your Steam profile. Also, the knowledge that you're really good at determining who's really good at Counter-Strike.



Valve have more plans for the event, which they'll be announcing soon.
...

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