PC Gamer

Team Fortress? More like Scream Fortr oh, I see Valve already did that, as it's the name of TF2's annual Halloween event. Joe brought the slightly disappointing news that there would be no all-new giant spookathon this year; instead, the game is getting a few new titbits, while all the old Scream Fortresses will be returning, as with last year.

The TF blog announces that Scream Fortress VIII has just kicked off, bringing with it "three new Halloween maps! All classic Scream Fortress Maps! All-new contracts! New taunts! And a Creepy Crawly Case with the chance to get our newest unholy Halloween creation: a taunt Unusualifier!" Yeah, that's right, an Unusualifier look it up in your Lexinomicon.

What's more, for the duration of Scream Fortress VIII, "all unusual cosmetics that you unbox from any case or crate will have a Halloween 2016 unusual effect, and the chances of receiving an unusual cosmetic across all cases, even old ones, will be DOUBLED," says Valve. Double-things are almost always good news whoever heard of Single Fine, for example?

PC Gamer

Photo credit: Riot Games

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'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.

PC Gamer


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.

Original story:

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.

Thanks, PvPLive.

PC Gamer

Photo credit: Riot Games

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.

PC Gamer

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's esteemed Inferno map has been given a fresh lick of paint and a host structural renovations bringing its 2012 design in-line with the world of today.

In doing so, three main areas have been the focus of improvement: to advance visibility across the map; to make it easier to move around in groups; and to "fine-tune the gameplay based on community feedback."

Fresh from a stint in its beta phase, the new slant on Inferno is now available to all in the Reserves Map Group, and Valve is keen for Counter-Strikers to test it out and file feedback. Full details on what's been changed and why can be found here, but you can check out how each area has been reworked via the sliders below.

Bombsite A

"We focused on increasing the readability of positions, and giving the attackers more ways to utilize their equipment such as smoke grenades and flashbangs before entering the site itself.

"The overhanging roof on the site was removed, letting more natural light flow in. This also makes sniping between library and balcony more viable for both sides, and allows you to land smoke grenades on the site itself.

"The infamous truck that served as the path onto balcony has been replaced with a simpler cart, which has a more solid shape making gameplay more manageable, and makes navigating onto the balcony easier.

"The upper platform features improved visibility, with less parallaxing geometry for attackers to sift through to be able to spot a defender."

"In addition to these changes, the path leading to balcony has now been opened up, to allow attackers to flashbang into site before exposing themselves. This forces a defender playing from pit to stay alert.

"Another change inside of apartments is the removal of the 'dark' bedroom. This room was a very powerful defensive position for CTs, and Ts would be forced to use some of their grenades in clearing it before even reaching the site.

"This has been changed to a cubby (similar to the 1.6 version of Inferno), which is easier to check, but remains a powerful position for a defender."

Bombsite B

"The final stretch leading into the bombsite has been widened, along with giving Terrorists some additional cover before committing to the site itself.

"The skybox in this area has been tweaked as well, it no longer allows CTs to smoke off B site from other areas of the map.

"On the site itself, there have been some changes. The gap between 'newbox' and the pillar has been closed off, the position near the entrance to the site is now climbable and visibility in general has been improved."


"The biggest change in the middle of the map is that the underpass connecting middle and alt-mid is now halfway walkable. You still need to crouch to be able to enter from middle, but about halfway through the tunnel you are able to walk upright.

"Another minor, but impactful change; the lightpole that has absorbed millions of bullets over the years has been removed, so there is one less object to blame if you miss your shot."

T Spawn

"The T Spawn now finally has its second exit opened up, which puts you directly into alt-mid."

Valve signs off the update with the following: "While there have been upgrades and adjustments throughout the map, the core gameplay remains more or less the same. By releasing the new Inferno early as a beta we were able to collect valuable player feedback and made many fixes ahead of this official release.

"Thank you to those who contributed. We will continue to observe the gameplay and make tweaks and fine-tune the map as we collect more feedback."

PC Gamer

As part of Dota 2's latest Battle Pass, Valve are releasing a new series of documentaries covering the wizard-'em-up's thriving esports scene. Although the developer has produced a number of short videos to support The International over the last couple of years, this new series called True Sight is their most substantial documentary effort since 2013's Free To Play.

This new series will follow teams as they reshuffle in the aftermath of August's International and prepare for the $3m Boston Major in December. The first episode follows South East Asian hopefuls Fnatic and 2015 International champions EG, both in the aftermath of some significant roster changes.

Access to the series is limited to owners of the Fall Battle Pass, which costs $9.99 and includes the usual array of cosmetics, quests, cosmetics that you earn from doing quests, and so on. You'll be able to watch the first episode through Valve's own streaming platform starting at 16:00 PDT today, which is 01:00 the following morning CEST. Click here for the English language version.

If you can't make the first showing, don't fret: broadcasts will repeat every two hours for 24 hours following the first one. After that, Battle Pass owners will find the documentary available to view at any time through their Steam library.

PC Gamer

After six years of consecutive harrowing Team Fortress 2 Halloween events, Valve took last year off to work on its then new Invasion update. It seems the same is true this year, as the developer is instead "working on something even better."

Similar to last year, every prior Scream Fortress event will briefly return including 2015's Merasmissions while a new Pyro Pack, improvements to Comp Mode, a new update, a new campaign, community maps, and a new taunt are but a few of the things TF2 is introducing to ensure All Hallows' Eve doesn't pass us by.

In typical Team Fortress fashion, here's some weird words taken from the game's blog:

"And it wouldn t be a Halloween pre-announcement blog post if we didn t scare most of you TO DEATH. For instance: What if just now you heard the rattling moon-lit sound of a SKELETON? No, nothing? Everybody still alive? Okay, but what if that sound was coming from INSIDE YOUR OWN BODY? Because there s a SKELETON in there RIGHT NOW? Oh, you already knew that, did you? Well, what if we were to tell you it s STEVE BUSCEMI S SKELETON?

"How did it get INSIDE you? What did he do with YOUR skeleton? Why don t you ask him, because he s RIGHT BEHIND YOU! No, look down! Farther! Because he s just a puddle of flesh with two BULGING EYEBALLS staring up at you! And a SNAGGLE-TOOTH! That s right, you just BODY-SHAMED STEVE BUSCEMI! Because it was YOU writing this blog post the WHOLE TIME! AWOOOOO!"

Make of that what you will. No exact date just yet, however you'll be able to revisit your favourite TF2 Halloween events at some stage "next week."

PC Gamer

Another packed weekend coming up as both League of Legends and all of Blizzard's games close in on their respective World Championships. That's not all, however: there's also top-level Dota 2 in China, loads of CS:GO in Europe, the culmination of the Smite season, the first big event of this season of Rocket League, and Capcom Pro Tour stops all over the world. Enjoy!

League of Legends: Worlds 2016

After a dramatic start to the group stage, this is becoming the most competitive Worlds to date. There's loads more group stage play taking place this weekend, with games starting this evening and continuing through until Monday. Catch games starting at 13:00 PDT/22:00 CEST every day. As ever, your best resource for team info and the livestream is LoLesports.

Hearthstone: Europe/Asia-Pacific Last Call Invitational

These Last Call invitationals offer one last chance for top Hearthstone players to qualify for the World Championship at Blizzcon. This weekend, the tournaments will take place in Europe on Saturday beginning at 14:00 CEST/05:00 PDT and in Asia-Pacific on Sunday starting at 21:00 PDT, which is 06:00 Monday morning in CEST. Find the livestreams for both here.

World of Warcraft: Americas Regionals

Although not given the prominance afforded to Blizzard's other esports, WoW Arena still has many fans. This weekend, the best players in the Americas will fight for the chance to represent their region at the World Championship at Blizzcon. Play begins on both days at 12:00 PDT/21:00 CEST. Here's the stream.

StarCraft II: WESG 2016 Europe & CIS Qualifier

After a run of dramatic recent upsets, now is a great time to start watching top-level StarCraft II. This weekend, players in Europe and CIS will fight for a spot at the WESG 2016 main event, with a $27,000 prize on the line. Play begins at 10:00 CEST/01:00 PDT on Saturday and 16:00 CEST/07:00 PDT on Sunday. Here's the stream.

Dota 2: Shanghai Dota 2 Open

The best Dota 2 teams in China (with a few exceptions, like TI6 champions Wings) are about to reach the end of this $90,000 tournament. There's only the lower bracket final and grand final left to play, with only four teams left in contention Newbee, CDEC, and the winner of LGD.FY vs. EHOME, which is ongoing at the time of writing. BeyondTheSummit have the English language livestream.

CSGO: The World Championships 2016

There's $100,000 to be won in this contest between national CS:GO teams. The final eight qualified nations France, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Singapore, Tunisia, Canada and Argentina will do battle in the Kombank Arena in Belgrade. Play begins at 10:00 CEST/01:00 PDT on both Saturday and Sunday and you can find the stream on Azubu.

CSGO: World Electronic Sports Games 2016

Meanwhile, in Kiev, loads more European CS:GO talent is going to war. There's about $75,000 on the line, and an unusual spread of teams that includes traditional powerhouses like Virtus.pro and EnVyUs alongside newly-qualified hopefuls and national teams for the Ukraine, Russia, and Norway. Games run throughout the weekend. Here's the stream.

Rocket League: Mid-Season Classic

There's $10,000 on the line as Rocket League Season 2 reaches its midway point. There's no specific start time listed, but the tournament is due to run over Saturday and Sunday. Find out more information about Rocket League's esports scene here and catch the livestream on Twitch.

Capcom Pro Tour: South East Asia Major 2016 and more

The latest CPT Premier event takes place in Singapore this weekend, joined by three Ranking events running concurrently in Dubai, Barcelona, and Raleigh, NC. In Singapore, expect top tier Guilty Gear, Street Fighter, King of Fighters and more running from 10:00 SGT, which is 04:00 CEST or 19:00 PDT the previous night. The final stages of the Street Fighter tournament are scheduled for Sunday at 10:00 CEST/01:00 PDT. Check out the Street Fighter V section on Twitch for streams of both the amateur and pro aspects of the event.

Smite: SPL Fall Group A

Qualification begins for next month's Smite Super Regionals, a vital step along the road to the Smite World Championship in January. This weekend, two teams will survive the battle for Group A a clash between Team eLevate, Sanguine Esports, Dignitas, and OrbitGG. Games started today and continue throughout the weekend starting at 17:00 CEST/08:00 PDT. Check out the livestream here.

PC Gamer

After years of player-led lobbying, Valve has reintroduced graffiti sprays to Counter-Strike. There is, however, a catch.

Absent since Counter-Strike: Source, graffiti sprays have now been added to Counter Strike: Global Offensive as consumable patterns which means players can obtain them in one of three ways: purchasing individual patterns from the Steam Market; purchasing Graffiti Boxes which "feature art created by Steam Community Artists"; or collecting patterns via free weekly drops as rewards for ranking up.

Now, while modern Counter-Strikers are pretty accustomed to monetisation a process which inadvertently facilitated the recent skin betting scandals Valve has also applied restrictions to the use of the sprays in-game.

As outlined in this Steam Community Q&A update, once players unseal graffiti, they can apply the pattern 50 times (players who unseal a graffiti pattern already housed in their inventory will receive an additional 50 charges to their existing supply). Players can only apply graffiti once per round, however or every 45 seconds if matches run longer and one application of graffiti lasts just seven minutes and "degrades over time until it is no longer visible."

Check out the Q&A in its entirety for the minutiae of the matter. A few threads have popped up on the CS:GO subreddit, where some players don't seem best pleased with Valve's decision see here and here many of whom consider it a cash-grabbing exercise.

I've not played CS:GO for a long time myself, so I'd like to put this one to you guys: how do you feel about the return of graffiti sprays in this guise?

PC Gamer

Over the last few months Valve have released a steady stream of updates for CS:GO, replacing the audio for every gun and tweaking many other aspects of the game. Behind the scenes they ve also been hard at work fixing some of CS:GO s longstanding bugs and peculiarities. By tying the camera to the player model, hitboxes have been improved significantly, leaving no more excuses for those missed headshots at least until the next issue is found. Also gone are bizarre aerial exploits in which a player could land precise midair shots by counter-strafing or weapon swapping, as shown below.

These changes have been long-awaited, and it s great to see a renewed interest from Valve in fine-tuning the game. However, CS:GO is no stranger to bugs, and plenty have haunted it for a long time. Collected below are some of the strangest ones that you can still find in the game today.

Ethereal ‘nades

The inclusion of bouncing projectiles in hitscan shooters is always going to cause trouble, but grenades still provide more than their fair share. Clip a teammate when throwing any grenade, and you ll find it no longer collides with doors. Used on Cache s A-bombsite, defenders can be caught by an unexpected flashbang.

Line up the angle just right and the grenade will skim your teammate without slowing, allowing you to set up useful smokes and Molotovs from a position of relative safety.

Highlighted as far back as 2013, Valve don t seem in any rush to release a fix. Fortunately doors are far from common in competitive maps, reducing this bug s impact.

Invisible Molotovs

There s no questioning how dangerous molotovs can be, with even the best falling victim from time to time. Despite the large visual warning, It s easy enough to step accidentally into the hotzone during a firefight. A risk which becomes all the more deadly when the fire itself is invisible.

If a Molotov or incendiary detonates just as it hits a player s feet, they will appear to smother the flames, spawning no fire around them. This won t stop the damage or audio, however. Moving will cause the flames to reappear, and few will stick around when a Molotov comes their way, making this bug unlikely to offer much of an advantage.

Run boosting

Like bunnyhopping, run boosts offer players an alternative method of movement with which to catch opponents off guard. While Valve has done much to curb use of the former, run boosting remains an effective strategy. By standing one player on top of another and running in tandem, the boost-ee is flung forward at high speed when jumping. Most often put to use in reaching unconventional spots on the map, it can also be used to take a waiting AWPer by surprise.

Requiring two players to work in synchronisation, run boosting necessitates a high degree of risk in it s setup, making it a situational option at best. Popular with pros and fans alike, however, it s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Watch Virtus.Pro put this to use against G2 here.

Venting frustration

Valve s approach to updating maps is far from consistent. Levels are chosen here and there for revamps. It s great to see older maps receive a bit of polish, but it can also lead to some unusual differences worth knowing. For an AWPer, it s crucial to land that single-shot kill, an advantage removed when firing through any object. Shoot through a vent on Cache, Nuke or Mirage, and you ll find your damage drop below 90, even when aiming through the gaps. Repeat the exercise on Cobblestone however, and you can shoot through without breaking the vent itself.

Vents have proven an interesting testbed in CS:GO, behaving differently on each map, and even made open and closable in Nuke s revamp (a change since revoked). An AWP failing to kill in one hit can be a matter of life and death for the shooter, making it well worth learning each map s individual quirks.

Smoke bomb

Counter-Strike s terrorists have tried as hard as possible to make their bomb noticeable, attaching a huge blinking light to the front. This might make it easy to find should you leave it lying around, but can also lead to some unintended downsides. Try to sneak through a smoke grenade while carrying the bomb, and you may find yourself an easy target. Those with a careful eye can also take advantage of this to spot when a dropped bomb is picked up inside smoke.

Visibility of the bomb through smoke grenades is wildly inconsistent, but seems dependent on the bomb's position relative to the grenade. To reduce the chances of showing up, try to make sure you stick to the centre of the smoke or the far side of your opponent. When trying to recover the bomb, make sure the smoke overshoots the bomb s position slightly.

Assorted oddities: stairs, swaps and sound

Beyond vents, GO s maps exhibit some further irregularities in design, including smaller but noticeable differences in the way stairs behave. While some act as smooth ramps, others cause the player s viewpoint to bump up and down as you traverse them. Youtuber 3kliksphilip does a fantastic job of explaining the differences here.

If you ve ever had trouble picking up a gun at a crucial time, you re not alone. GO contains a 'press E to swap weapon' feature which proves unreliable at best. Should the gun lie anywhere near a grenade, the bomb or even another weapon, you may be unable to retrieve it, a problem which even causes the pros some consternation. Given the option, swap by dropping your original gun instead.

Far from a bug but still an issue, CS:GO s surround sound leaves a lot to the imagination. While Horizontal audio is acceptable, verticality is all but indistinguishable, made most dangerously evident on Nuke s overlapping bombsites. A remedy would likely require an overhaul of the map, and that's unlikely to happen any time soon. CS:GO may have a long life ahead of it, but it s likely that many of these bugs will be along for the ride.


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