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The Dota 2 Boston Major is set to dominate the headlines this weekend, while the Overwatch APEX season 1 comes to an exciting end. There’s plenty to watch besides, from CS:GO’S ELEAGUE finals to the grand finals of Rocket League’s RLCS. All the details on this weekend’s action can be found below. Have a great weekend!
Street Fighter V: The Capcom Cup
It's been a long year, but this weekend the best Street Fighter V players in the world descend on Santa Ana to crown a champion. Catch up on the players here, and check out the official site for loads more information play is ongoing, starting at 10:00 PST / 19:00 CET every day. Here's the livestream.
Dota 2: The Boston Major
The Boston Major is finally debuting this weekend at the Wang Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Sixteen teams will battle through a single-elimination playoff bracket in best-of-three matches, with a best-of-five Grand Finals to determine the winner of the $3,000,000 prize pool. The seeding for the Main Event bracket will be determined by the results of Group Stage which starts tomorrow. You can check out the official stream over on .
CS:GO: ELEAGUE Season 2 Semifinals and Finals
The CS:Go ELEAGUE season 2 semifinals kick off today with SK Gaming and Astralis fighting it to try secure their place in the finals. The match starts at 14:00 PST / 23:00 CET, while the finals start the following day at 13:00 PST / 22:00 CET. Turner’s ELEAGUE project has been a resounding success, broadcasting Counter-Strike on a weekly basis to television sets worldwide. But for those of you who don’t have TBS can check out all the latest action over on .
Overwatch APEX Season 1 Final
Overwatch APEX Season 1 is set to come to a climatic end in South Korea this Saturday, with the winner set to take home $90,000. It’s down to Team EnVyUs and AF.Blue, who will contest the final matches. The semifinals saw AF Blue gunning their way to a 3-1 victory over BK Stars, and EnVyUs stole the win over Kongdoo Uncia 3-2 with the help of stand-in Pongphop ‘Mickie’ Rattanasangohod. The finals starts at 00:00 PST / 09:00 CET and .
Rocket League: RLCS Grand Finals
More than ten thousand teams signed up for the second season of the Rocket League Championship Series, and it has all come down to the final eight. Four teams from each region will be competing for the grand prize of $50,000. Players will be revving their engines this Saturday at 04:00 PST / 13:00 CET, while the matches continue Sunday at 05:00 / 14:00 CET. The stream can be .
Heroes of the Storm: Gold Club World Championship
The Heroes of the Storm Gold Club World Championship is now well underway in Beijing, with $300,000 to be won. The final stages of the tournament will be played at the Water Cube—also known as the National Aquatics Center, which was originally built for the 2008 Olympics. The winners’ finals take place this Saturday, with Ballistix and MVP Miracle kicking things off at 02:30 / 11:30 CET. The grand final starts the following day at 03:30 PST / 12:30 CET. Make sure to catch all .
After four years of war-torn terrorising and counter-terrorising, CS:GO has been modified to include interchangeable weather patterns—each designed to alter fighter playstyles.
Courtesy of modders Lewis Palfrey and Luke Millanta, de_dust2_w introduces "varying weather patterns" to one the game's most popular maps, dust2, and also extends to its Cache, Mirage and Overpass arenas. "There is a pool of ten different weather patterns," reads the mod's Steam Workshop description. "At the start of each round one of these weather patterns is selected."
Speaking to Eurogamer, Millanta explains that he came up with the idea for manipulable weather in CS:GO in August, however required the support of someone better versed in map making. Known for his work within the CS:GO and GoldenEye: Source communities, Palfrey obliged and set about helping Millanta realise his idea.
"When raining it is harder to both hear enemies approaching and to see without the aid of a sniper rifle," Millanta tells EG. "This means that while your enemy may have an advantage while AWPing [aka while using the Arctic Warfare Magnum sniper rifle, famous for one-hit kills], it is easier for those stealthy players to sneak up on said AWPers. The feedback thus far has been quite good."
If you're a Counter Striker, I'd love to know your thoughts on this in the comments below. Here's a gallery of Millanta and Palfrey's work in action.
In its latest update, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive moves closer to becoming a full-pelt military catwalk sim with the introduction of new cosmetic gloves. Now you needn't flaunt your impeccable taste in fatigues via the medium of gun alone: now your gloves can be nice-looking, too. I dare say it'll also prove a lucrative new microtransaction beat for Valve.
Here are a few examples from the Glove Case, which boasts 24 all-new gloves, as well as 17 new weapon skins:
One thing's for sure: they are both glove skins. The update ushers in a few other new additions as well, such as Steam Group Lobbies. These allow you to join lobbies based on the Steam Groups you follow. Meanwhile, there is new Music Kit too, from the likes of Hundredth, Beartooth, Blitz Kids and the delicately named Skog.
The full update notes are over here, though that's about the gist of it.
Photo credit: Abraham Engelmark for Dreamhack. Click here for the full version.
Although Dota 2's Boston Major and the World Cyber Arena are just around the corner, there’s still plenty to watch, from top-tier CS:GO to the semi-finals of Overwatch’s Challenger Season. We even have further action from this year’s Dota 2 Dream League. All the details on this weekend’s action can be found below. Have a great weekend!
Heroes of the Storm: Gold Club World Championship – European qualifiers
The 2016 Heroes of the Storm Gold Club World Championship, is a premier international invitational tournament jointly hosted by NetEase and Blizzard Entertainment. Between now and December 3rd, battles will be waged by the top Heroes of the Storm teams from around the world as they battle it out for the GCWC title and a share of the $300,000 prize pool.
The Heroes of the Storm GCWC European qualifiers kick off this Saturday at 05:00 PST / 14:00 CET and will continue at the same time on Sunday. The qualifiers serve to determine the second two teams that will qualify for the HGC League starting in January of 2017. Be sure to watch the live broadcast over on .
Overwatch: DreamHack Winter 2016
Eight teams will compete for the DreamHack Winter trophy in Sweden. Two qualified European teams, two qualified American teams and four teams from the BYOC qualifiers will battle it out to claim glory. There will be a bunch of familiar faces as panel host Soe will be joined by Jason Kaplan, Ubershouts, ZP, MrX and Hexagrams as casters. It’s sure to be an exciting experience that Overwatch fans won’t want to miss. All times and streams can be found over on .
Overwatch: APEX Challengers Season 1
Currently living and competing in South Korea for OGN’s APEX Season 1, EnVyUs are headed to the semi-finals after they created an upset by defeating Rogue on November 21st. The American team is now the only non-Korean group still standing in the tournament and will face KD Uncia today at 02:00 PST / 11:00 CET. You can check out all the action over on .
Dota 2: Dream League Season 2
Dota 2 fans will be pleased to know that the Dream League Season 2 Winners’ Final is kicking off this Friday. A double-elimination affair will determine who is worthy enough to walk away with the trophy for Season 6. Each match will be best of three, with a best of five grand final. Matches start today at 02:00 / 11:00 CET, while the grand final will be broadcast this Sunday at 07:00 PST / 16:00 CET. All the latest information and links to the streams .
CSGO: DreamHack ZOWIE Open Winter 2016
Eight CS:GO teams from across the globe will compete at DreamHack Winter in Jönköping, Sweden for their share of a $100,000 prize pool. Both Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming could again mark another big tournament win for North America, but the Swedish team GODSENT are looking to prove they can perform well despite no longer holding a spot in the ELeague Major. More information about the event and its schedule .
It s looking to be a quiet weekend as we begin to ready ourselves for the various major events waiting just around the corner. Last weekend saw the lively finals of five of Blizzard s games , , , World of Warcraft and . We even had frenzied punch-up at the American Finals in . However, like all good things, they must come to an end. Don t feel too bad, mind, as we still have a few exciting events to kick-start your weekend.
Rocket League: Championship Series Season 2, North America and Europe
The Rocket League Championship series will come to an exciting end this weekend as both the North American and European teams battle it out. The North American RLCS competition will be broadcast this Saturday from 12:00 PDT / 20:00 PM CET, while the European competition will take place on Sunday from 9:00 PDT / 17:00 CET. On the North American side the top team is currently Orbit, who formed from Team Exodus after the organisation bought them out following the close of RLCS season one. For Europe, Northern Gaming is currently the favourite to win, but last year the team failed to make it to the grand finals last year. Be sure to check out both streams over on .
CSGO: Northern Arena 2016, Montreal
Eight of the world s best CS:GO teams are headed to Montreal, Quebec in Canada to compete at the Northern Arena CS:GO Montreal LAN Finals presented by Bell for a prize pool of $100,000. The finals will kick off on November 13th at the Bell Centre where fans will get to meet their favourite players and teams. Tickets for the Sunday final can be , or you can watch the stream over on . To see the event time and schedule .
CSGO: iBUYPOWER Masters 2016
iBUYPOWER Masters (Formerly known as iBUYPOWER Cup) is a premier Counter-Strike:Global Offensive tournament located in Southern California, where the best teams from all over the world will battle for a chance at securing their portion of the $400,000 combined prize pool. Cloud 9, Team SoloMid and FaZeClan are just a few of the eight teams competing at the event this weekend. Doors will open this Saturday at 9:00 PDT / 18:00 CET and entry is completely free. Find out more about the .
StarCraft II: World Cyber Arena StarCraft 2016 American Qualifiers
The online three day tournament organised by the Brazilian eSports National League (LNEe) will be taking place this weekend. The goal of the qualifiers is to send the two of the best players to the World Cyber Arena 2016 StarCraft Finals in China. The eight players will compete for $13,900 Prize Pool, and the top two players will be invited to the offline finals in China. More information about the event can be found over on the .
There s plenty to watch this weekend from the explosive action of CSGO to the exciting finals of four of Blizzard s games Hearthstone, Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Heroes of The Storm. Meanwhile, the Capcom Pro Tour: North American Finals stand to pack a punch as players gear up to unleash some deadly combos in Street Fighter V.
CSGO: ELEAGUE Season 2
CSGO s Friday night league will bring more explosive action to our screens as teams from each group try to secure a place within the elimination playoffs. Group B including Virtus.pro, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports and Echo Fox will play tonight from 18:00 PDT / 23:00 CET. If you don't have TBS, you can also catch the games on .
Hearthstone: World Championship Global Finals
The finals of the Hearthstone World Championship take place at BlizzCon November 5th with $250,000 going to winner. Four groups of four players will compete in a dual-tournament format until only eight remain, at which point the competition will shift to a single-elimination bracket. The quarterfinals start 4th November at 12:15 PDT / 20:15 CET, while the semi-finals commence the following day at 10:30 PDT / 18:30 CET, ending with the finals at 14:00 PDT / 22:00 CET. Catch all the action on the .
Overwatch: World Cup 2016
Overwatch s first ever World Cup concludes this Saturday with the top eight countries in the world duking it out to claim worldwide recognition. There's no prize pool for this exhibition, but the top teams competing at BlizzCon will receive an appearance bonus and a free trip to BlizzCon. The quarterfinals kick off today at 12:15 PDT / 20:15 CET and the finals will begin at 11:30 PDT / 19:30 CET. You can when it s live.
World of Warcraft: Arena World Championship group stage
Heroes of the Storm Fall Global Championship
The HoTS Fall Championship will conclude this Saturday as four teams battle it out to win the $1,000,000 prize pool. You can watch the elimination rounds today at 16:00 PDT and midnight CET. The South Korean lineups MVP Black and Ballistix are considered to be the favourites of the competition, with the edge going to MVP Black. The semifinals will start the following day at 12:00 PDT / 20:00 CET, while the finals begin at 16:00 PDT / midnight CET. You can watch the livestream over on .
StarCraft II: WCS Global Finals
Capcom Pro Tour: North American Finals
A few years ago, Valve rolled out a community-run tool for judging unwanted player behavior for the online FPS Counter-Strike: Global Offensive called Overwatch. Unrelated to the Blizzard FPS of the same name, Valve's Overwatch system gives select players the ability to watch replays of bad behavior reported by other players and impose penalties "proportional to" the offense: "Suspects who are convicted of griefing are given a moderate cooldown, whereas cheaters are removed from the game entirely," the CS:GO Overwatch FAQ explains. But the update released yesterday takes some of that discretion out of the hands of judges, and imposes significantly harsher penalties on repeat offenders.
Along with a small number of fixes, tweaks, and a wish for a happy Halloween, the October 25 patch notes states, "A temporary griefing conviction assigned by Overwatch will now be elevated to a permanent conviction if the suspect had a previous temporary griefing conviction." Two strikes and you're out, in other words, and even as someone who enjoys watching cheaters eat a hard swing of the banhammer, that seems a bit harsh.
Not everyone thinks so, though. This guy expressed his displeasure with his cooldown becoming a permaban, but most of the commenters in the follow-up thread, and quite a number of people in the CS:GO subreddit, seem to be in favor of the change and have little apparent sympathy for anyone who falls victim to it. The trouble, at least potentially, is that players who happen to be caught up in a false positive are faced with a real hassle: The "Competitive Cooldowns and Bans" FAQ opens with a stern warning, outlined in red, that "cooldowns and bans are non-negotiable and cannot be removed or reduced by Steam Support."
Watch your step, kids.
Although League of Legends' upcoming semifinals dominate the headlines this weekend, there's plenty to watch from top-tier CS:GO on both sides of the Atlantic to fantastic Street Fighter V to Rocket League and Smite. Have a great weekend!
League of Legends: World Championship Semifinals
Not long now until League of Legends crowns its 2016 world champions. This weekend, the four remaining teams will convene in Madison Square Garden to determine which two Korean teams have what it takes to advance to the grand finals. One of those teams could be European hopefuls H2K, of course, but... yeah. We'll see. Check out Cassandra's preview for more on the semifinalists, and find the livestream via LoLesports.
CSGO: ELEAGUE Season 2
CSGO's Friday night cable TV league starts up again today with $1,100,000 to play for between now and early December. Group A including mousesports, C9, FaZe and Immortals will play tonight from 15:00 PDT/midnight CEST. If you don't have TBS, you can also catch the games on Twitch.
CSGO: Epicenter 2016 Playoffs
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the best of European and CIS CS:GO clash in Moscow for a share of $500,000. Play begins at 02:00 PDT/11:00 CEST on Saturday and an hour earlier at 01:00 PDT/10:00 CEST on Sunday. Epicenter's Dota 2 finals earlier in the year were fantastic, so the CS:GO community should be in for a treat. Watch the livestream here.
Rocket League: League Play
There's another weekend of Rocket League season 2 play ahead, with NA going at it on Saturday from 12:00 PDT/21:00 CEST. On Sunday, the best of Europe will compete from 09:00 PDT/18:00 CEST. The official Rocket League Twitch account has the stream.
Capcom Pro Tour: ranking events
A relatively modest weekend of fighting games ahead after a busy couple of months. This weekend sees two ranking events: Malaysia's FV Cup and an online event in Asia-Oceania. Many top Asian Street Fighter V players are attending FV Cup, along with the UK's Ryan Hart. Play continues throughout the weekend, starting at 20:00 PDT every evening, which is 05:00 CEST the following day. Here's the livestream.
Overwatch: Alienware Monthly Melee
Despite the Blizzard scene being deep in preparation for the opening week of BlizzCon next week, there's still some Overwatch to be found if you know where to look. Another round of the Alienware Monthly Melee will take place this weekend, with a selection of top NA teams competing for a share of $5,000. Play kicks off at 14:00 PDT/23:00 CEST and you can find the livestream at GosuTV.
Smite: SPL Fall Group C and European Challenger Cup Finals
The Smite schedule is only going to get busier ahead of the Super Regional in November. The two remaining teams in the European Challenger Cup will fight for a spot in the big leagues on Sunday, while group stage play among the top teams continues from today through to Sunday starting at 10:00 PDT/19:00 CEST. Catch the action at HiRezTV.
Valve has now issued a response to the Washington State Gambling Commission's call for action on the matter of CS:GO skin gambling, saying that it does not "facilitate" gambling through Steam, and that "there is no factual or legal support for these accusations." The company said it is "surprised and disappointed" that the WSGC has chosen to pursue the matter publicly, but added that it has taken steps to discourage skin gambling on third-party websites, and is "open to further cooperation with the Commission."
In the firm but amicable letter, Valve's legal counsel notes that the company has no business relationship with gambling sites, does not promote them, and does not earn any revenues through them. These sites take advantage of two well-used Steam services in order to operate: the ability to purchase and trade skins, and the "ubiquitous" OpenID system of authentication that "allows a Steam customer to identify himself on a third-party website by association with his Steam account, without having to give his Steam credentials to the third party site."
"We do not want to turn off the Steam services, described above, that skin gambling sites have taken advantage of," Valve's response letter says. "In-game items, Steam trading, and OpenID have substantial benefits for Steam customers and Steam game-making partners. We do not believe it is the Commission s intention, nor is it within the Commission's authority, to turn off lawful commercial and communication services that are not directed to gambling in Washington."
Despite expressing doubt that it is in fact breaking any laws in the first place "If there is a specific criminal statute or regulation you believe Valve is violating, please provide a citation," the letter says Valve points out that it has already taken action against more than 40 skin gambling sites so far, first with cease-and-desist letters, and then by shutting down their Steam accounts. In the eyes of Valve's lawyer, though, it isn't realistic to expect Valve to hunt down every item-trading bot created by these websites. "Cleverly designed bots can be indistinguishable from real users," reads the response, "and their methods and techniques are constantly evolving."
"Valve can enforce its user agreements against the Steam accounts of skins gambling sites, where we can identify the site and identify the corresponding account. In fact, we would be happy to cooperate with the Commission, if it is able to identity more skins gambling sites that are illegal in Washington and the Steam accounts through which [they] operate," the letter says. "We welcome the change for further communication with the Commission, if it would like to clarify the legal allegations against Valve, or alternatively to work with Valve to identify offending Steam accounts of gambling sites."
It is in many ways a bold response, although if the commission hasn't identified which laws Valve has broken after 18 months of talks, Valve is probably in a strong position within Washington State. But it also lays bare the complexities of the matter: Can Valve he held responsible for Steam users "cashing out" on third-party sites? Can it be held accountable for the actions of those third-party sites, whether or not it is actively "facilitating" them? Is Valve's sluggishness to police skin gambling an issue? To my non-lawyerly eyes, it would seem unlikely, but that 18 month stretch of negotiations works both ways: The WSGC clearly thinks it has some basis for complaint.
On an unrelated but interesting note, the letter also confirms that Valve's employee headcount is "approximately 360." This is the first updated measure of Valve's size that we've seen in years: Wikipedia lists it as having about 330 employees, but that's based on data from 2013.
A couple of weeks ago, the Washington State Gambling Commission gave Valve until October 14 "to respond and explain" how Steam, and specifically the role it plays in skin gambling, is in compliance with the state's gambling laws. Failure to do so, it warned, could lead to "civil or criminal action" begin taken against the company. This was from an official state agency, so unlike our weekly cat gif email, the request could not be ignored. But this is also Valve we're talking about, and so naturally, the response did not arrive on time.
"At the close of business on October 14, 2016, a representative of Valve Corporation notified Commission staff that the company is still working on a reply to the Commission's Letter and a reply will be provided Monday, October 17, 2016," the WSGC said in a press release put out today.
It almost feels like a gag, doesn't it? Valve can't even respond to an inquiry from a powerful state regulator on time. But unless there are some shenanigans afoot that go beyond even the most elaborate Freeman-based hoax, this is all entirely legit: The link to the release is front-and-center on the official WSGC website.
"I am disappointed that Valve Corporation missed Friday's deadline, but encouraged that they have committed to responding today," WSGC director David Trujillo said. "I look forward to reviewing their response in detail."
Protip for Dave: I look forward to playing Half-Life 3 someday, but I'm not penciling anything in on my calendar. You may have legislative clout on your side, but you can't change the tides. All you can do is learn to swim.
I've reached out to Valve for more information and will update if and when I receive a reply.
Although many of you will be glued to the League of Legends Worlds quarter finals this weekend, there's plenty to watch elsewhere in the world of competitive gaming. Get your regular fill of Dota 2 and CS:GO, check in on the Blizzard scene on the eve of BlizzCon, and don't miss some of the best Street Fighter V players in the world fighting for a shot at the Capcom Cup in the EU finals. Plus: Rocket League, Smite, and more!
League of Legends: Worlds Quarter Finals
The month of Worlds continues with the quarter finals in Chicago. You can catch favourites SKT vs. China's RNG tonight from 15:00 PDT/midnight CEST, with ROX vs. EDG at the same time tomorrow and H2K vs. ANX on Sunday. That last one's going to be a heartbreaker, as H2K are the last European team in contention and ANX are the wildcard-done-good. Only one team can advance to the semi-finals and claim the honour of being taken apart by a Korean team as per tradition. More info and the livestream can be found on LoLesports.
Dota 2: The Summit 6 qualifiers
Qualifiers for November's $100,000 Dota 2 tournament are taking place all over the world this weekend. It's a great chance to take the pulse of new lineups like Team NP and remember that Dota 2 is a videogame and not just a deep reservoir of esports drama (though Valve have got you sorted on that account.) There's play happening more or less all day over the weekend, so just check out the livestream for the latest action.
CSGO: ECS Season 2
Lots of top-tier CS:GO this weekend in both EU and NA as ECS Season 2 rolls on. There are games happening right now (here's the stream) and play will continue through the weekend. Thanks to matches taking place in both EU and NA, you should find something to watch whenever you tune in. Failing that, the full schedule is visible on Gosugamers.
Hearthstone: Americas Last Call Invitational
BlizzCon is very, very close, and the majority of the studio's games have wrapped up their qualification processes for the biggest event in the Blizzard calendar. Not so Hearthstone, which is providing players in the Americas with one last chance to qualify for the forthcoming World Championship. Tune into the official Hearthstone stream tomorrow from 09:00 PDT/18:00 CEST to catch the action.
Heroes of the Storm: Nexus Games North America
These one-off Heroes of the Storm tournaments are intended to give teams a shot at competitive play on the latest patch ahead of the Fall Championship at BlizzCon. This weekend sees the finals of the NA schedule, with games on Saturday and Sunday starting at 15:00 PDT, which is midnight CEST. Watch them on the official HotS stream.
Overwatch: MGA 2016 Championship Regional Finals
Regional finals for this international Overwatch competition began today and continue through to next week on a region by region basis. Today and tomorrow sees play in the Americas starting at 18:00 PDT (02:00 CEST the following morning.) One team from each region will earn a spot at the grand finals in London in December, with a $40,000 grand prize on the line. Here's the stream.
Rocket League: Season 2 League Play
With the Mid-Season Classic behind us, there's another two weekends of regular league play ahead in Rocket League's pro scene. NA plays on Saturday, as usual, with EU following on Sunday. Expect games throughout the day and check out Rocket League on Twitch for the livestream.
Smite: Pro League Fall Split
Group play is ongoing in the biggest event of the Smite season. Tune in from 10:00 PDT/19:00 CEST from today until Sunday to watch some of the best teams in NA go at it. As ever, you can find the stream on HiRezTV.
Capcom Pro Tour: EU Regional Finals and SoCal Regionals
A relatively modest week for the CPT this weekend with only two premier events. How will you cope? You can catch the SoCal Regionals on west coast time from today until Saturday click here for the stream schedule and here for the stream itself.
As Andi notes in this week's column, the EU Regional Finals at Milan Games Week represent many players' last shot at qualifying for this year's Capcom Cup so expect drama. Loads of top talent are attending, with the livestream starting at 03:00 and 04:00 PDT on Saturday and Sunday respectively (noon and 13:00 CEST). Find the livestream on CapcomFighters.