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It's an understandably quiet weekend as multiple scenes enter their off seasons in preparation for major summer tournaments. Even so, there's plenty to watch: Dota 2, StarCraft, two different types of League ('Rocket' and 'of Legends'). Cap it off with some awesome charity speedruns and it'll be Monday before you know it.
Dota 2: Global Grand Masters
It might seem like small fry compared to the multi-million dollar International (only a month away!) but a number of top-tier teams will play in Global Grand Masters this weekend. Play starts at 16:00 CEST/07:00 PDT on Saturday and Sunday and continues through to Monday if you still need your Dota fix. Here's the livestream.
League of Legends: NA Championship Series
The NCA LCS continues with two days of play across Saturday and Sunday starting at 21:00 CEST/12:00 PDT. As ever, you'll want to check LoLesports.com for schedule, team and livestream information.
Rocket League: Qualifier 2 Group Stage
The second week of Rocket League qualifiers continues across both NA and EU this weekend. You'll want to check out the official Rocket League esports site for the key details and keep an eye on Twitch.tv for the main stream as well as individual player perspectives.
StarCraft II: Proleague 2016 Round 3
Team SCII featuring some of the best players in Korea. Play starts at 11:00 CEST (02:00 PDT) on both Saturday and Sunday, and you can find the English language livestream here. There are plenty of champions among the team rosters, including 2015 global champ sOs on Jin Air Green Wings.
Speedruns: Games Done Quick
Not quite esports and not 100% this weekend, but you should be watching Games Done Quick anyway. It's a week-long multi-game speedrun marathon supporting M decins Sans Fronti res, and it starts on Sunday at 18:30 CEST/09:30 PDT. You can find the full schedule here and the livestream here.
On behalf of our team here at PC Gamer, I'd like to thank modders for their tireless, passionate work this year. The community of hobbyists, mapmakers, modelers, and countless tinkerers we benefit from on PC have created great things throughout 2016. I invite them to take a break: we've found the only mod we need for the immediate future.
Molkifier, who has previously turned actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf into a Hunter, has repurposed another millennial celebrity's work in Left 4 Dead 2. The Jaden Smith Tweets mod replaces the wall scrawlings found in each of Left 4 Dead's safe rooms with some choice Jaden Smithisms, whose tweets often sound like they're the collaboration of a conspiracy theorist, a spoiled teenager, and a first-year philosophy major.
That prose, as it turns out, works so perfectly in the medium of Left 4 Dead's walls that it's practically canonical.
Some of the tweets, all of which are copied verbatim from Smith's account, genuinely sound like the scrawlings of a desperate person in the post-apocalypse, struggling to make sense of it all. "It's Okay To Cry Guys," one of the graffiti reassures. "I've Bin Drinking Distilled Water For So Long That When I Drink Normal Water It Feels Like I'm Swallowing Huge Chunks of Aluminum," another complains. The text "Who Was On The Plane" appears in Dead Air, and removed from Twitter it sounds a survivor looking for the answer to who caused the infected to spread to the airport.
Others walk the line between humor and believability. "Shia Labeouf Do Not Leave New York City Without Letting Me See You"; "I'm Slowly Realizing I Need To Make A Trip Out To Norway"; "I Don't Like To Tweet But The New Hunger Games is Literally Amazing."
Elsewhere, they're glimpses into the psyche of those who miss the world they lost. It's a uniquely successful parody: one that pokes at Smith's preachy aphorisms while remaining completely at home in the context of a zombie survival shooter.
You can download this celebrity teenage angst from Steam Workshop.
There are four different sniper rifles in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They re all useful, and they can all help you win rounds. The key thing you need to know, aside from how to use them effectively, is when you should be using each one.
Is it worth investing in a sniper rifle at all? Why not just buy another assault rifle instead? Sniper rifles work very differently compared to other weapons in the game. Each one excels in its own area. I d say that it s absolutely worth investing in a sniper rifle every now and then, as long as you know what you want to achieve.
Maybe you want to hold down an area of the map and kill the first guy who peeks. If you suspect that they might have an AWP you should get one as well. Why? Because the AWP kills you with a single hit. That s one of the reasons why AWP has become the most popular sniper rifle in the game: it straightforwardly counters all the other sniper rifles.
Maybe you don t expect them to have an AWP and you want to hold down a narrow corridor where they likely will try to smoke you out? Then an auto-sniper might be the gun you re looking for.
And sometimes it s not just about getting kills. You might be low on cash and want to peek certain spots as safely as possible: behind the van on Mirage, for instance. Then the SSG 08 might be the right choice. You can jump and still shoot accurately when compared to the other sniper rifles, but you will need to land a headshot to kill an enemy with one bullet unless they re close and didn t buy armour. The upside is that the SSG 08 allows you to move around almost as fast as you can without a weapon equipped, making it the ultimate weapon to use when you want to peek for information and stay alive at the same time.
First of all you need enough money. The AWP costs $4750, the SCAR-20 and G3SG1 both cost $5000 each and the SSG 08 is yours for $1700. When you use a weapon that expensive (SSG 08 excluded) you really, really want to buy armor as well. Sometimes, when you think it s crucial in order to win the game, you can buy an AWP without armor, also known as a glass cannon. Like I mentioned earlier the AWP kills enemies with a single bullet. That s the key to glass cannons being viable: kill them before they get a chance to shoot back. That s not the case with the other sniper rifles, however, which is why I almost never use them without armor.
Next, let s look at the kill rewards. A kill with the AWP will give you $100 and with all the other sniper rifles you get the normal $300. What this means is that if you use the AWP you ll not only get $200 less per kill, but with each kill you ll deny your own team that same amount of money. As you can see it s pretty important that you have a good reason to buy an AWP. In order for the other team to lose as much money as your team does when you die you need to kill either another AWPer or two riflers. You can t however only look at numbers. At the end of the day you need to win 16 rounds. How you do that is up to you, but it s a lot easier if you maintain a healthy economy throughout the game.
Obviously you can find yourself in a favorable position by being creative and snipe from unexpected positions, but there are a few questions you should ask yourself first. Do I have a backup plan? Make sure you can back off safely in case you miss. Your weapon costs a lot of money and you won t help your team win the game if you re dead. Am I likely to win the duel if they have a sniper on the other side? Practice a lot and get comfortable with all the angles you might need to peek. Come prepared!
Here are some examples of spots I like when using different sniper rifles:
By the van on Mirage. Excellent spot to play with the SSG 08. You can peek B-apartments and stay relatively safe at the same time.
This is a spot where I like to use an auto-sniper. Most teams smoke lower before pushing, in which case I can spam the smoke and hopefully pick up a kill or two and stay safe at the same time. When I play from here I like to have a teammate playing around the bomb train peeking upper. After I ve spammed the smoke I m ready to assist my teammate from far back, using the long distance to my advantage.
Ask a teammate to throw a flashbang over the roof towards long and use your AWP to take control over the area. Practice a bit so that you aim at the right spot when you come around the corner. That way all you have to do is to click and you should be able to score the kill. You should practice how to use angles to your advantage no matter what weapons you use, but it s even more important when you ve invested in a sniper rifle.
It s been little over a year since Valve lowered movement speed while scoped in when using the AWP, which means you now have to move around the corner and then scope if you want to be able to fire as fast as possible. Practice the technique, however, and eventually you ll master it and wreck everyone on the server.
Find all of our other Counter-Strike: Global Offensive guides here:
Disgaea PC is currently 25% off at the Steam Summer Sale. Buying it at a discount not only gets you the game, but also nets you some exclusive Disgaea-themed TF2 cosmetic items when released (Prinny Hat, Prinny Pouch and Prinny Knife).
Those of you who've been waiting patiently for the opportunity to put a the hollowed-out carcass of a combustible wooden-legged penguin on your head it's all come down to this moment. Swing away, Merrill.
Often reserved and camera-shy, professional gamers can make for unconventional interviewees. Cloud9 s outspoken and cheerful Jordan n0thing Gilbert is the antithesis of this. Backstage at the ECS Finals in London it s clear Jordan is a man who everyone knows, and who knows everyone, stopping regularly to chat or break a joke with players, casters and crew. After their victory over the Danish Astralis, Jordan sat down to share his views on North American CS and the weight of competing for his nation s hearts.
Despite his youthful exuberance, Jordan is actually one of the most experienced faces in the North American scene, and as captain of Cloud9 he faces a lot of pressure for the team to perform. The rise of Luminosity Gaming has rocked the American scene, and while C9 no longer hold the top spot, they see LG s story as an inspiration.
I think it takes away some of our excuses, says Jordan. Because it shows that a team who not only came to North America without being ranked in the top ten, then also grinded their way to the top ten. That just goes to show that if you re hungry, if you re passionate and a tight-knit group of guys that really works together then teamwork is well there s no I in team right? It s actually pretty funny, I set my desktop background to a picture of Fallen s bedroom because they had to share a bed, him and Fer, and I literally have a big bedroom out in Cali. I used it as motivation because those guys came in and showed us that there s no excuse if you can be mentally strong and work hard as a team you can achieve anything.
With the likes of Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming and TeamSoloMid all vying for attention, NA CS has entered one of it s most contested periods, making for exciting viewing. American audiences dominate online, comprising a huge portion of discussion on sites such as HLTV and the Global Offensive subreddit. While this gives NA teams an enormous support base, it also presents a onus for success many players struggle to handle.
One of the toughest things in North America is the weak mentalities across the scene, Jordan begins. I feel like a lot of NA teams lose the psychological battle. In terms of mechanical skill the Europeans aren t dominating us, it s not like they have the best 3-point shooters in basketball. Most of it comes down to overall talent in teamwork and decision making. It s great to see more North American teams competing because we have that mechanical skill, we just have to up that psychological game. If we get there then the conversation can end and the stigma can go away.
The ever-present divide between North American and European CS the former often struggling to compete in spite of a vast player spectrum and monetary support has dogged the NA scene for years. American fans expect victory, so when things aren t going well, playing for one of your country s top hopes can be grueling. Far from being limited to Cloud9, the internet is with of North American failure. While the great majority is in good humour, there is also a significant amount of aggression.
It takes a certain mindset to realise that there s gonna be a lot of supporters and a lot haters, says Jordan. [We ve] gathered a lot of fans over the summer who enjoy watching our streams, so when they see us play if we don t perform up to the standard they re used to watching then they like to jump on us. I can t blame them for being upset but there s obviously a lot of immaturity. You have to kind of ignore that and hope it doesn t affect any members of the team.
The contrast between streaming and competition performances isn t an easy thing to convey to viewers, particularly those younger or new to the game. When individuals draw huge streaming audiences, it becomes very easy to disappoint on the stage.
That s shroud s biggest problem, Jordan says of his teammate. Because people on his stream watch him dominate singlehandedly. And the truth is, he doesn t care on his stream, he s having fun and purposely not playing like he would in a match. People are very hard on him because he s on reddit all the time with stream highlights. That crosses over into competition and people criticize him. A lot of it stems from jealousy but there are real fans who just want him to succeed.
The semi-anonymity and speed of services like Twitter can lead to a real disconnect in people s attitudes compared to face-to-face interaction. Online abuse is in no-way unique to esports, but it remains an enormous issue in the competitively-minded landscape.
It s crazy to me that when I m on Twitter or anything and people are talking crap about me or my team, Jordan says. I reply to them and say hey, why would you say that and can you elaborate on your point? After that first malicious statement they say hey my bad I didn t mean it bro. I just wish you d played better. People don t realise that just because you re on twitter or behind a screen, there s no facade here, you re still a person just throwing words in the air.
The problem clearly frustrates Jordan, especially without an easy solution in sight. Nevertheless, with more outspoken and respectful players as role models, there is always the chance the community will evolve.
I hope people will start to take more seriously what they re saying, Jordan says. Even you and your friends can get confused texting each other, let alone a stranger. How do you expect people to not misconstrue things [online]? I just think people should start to be more respectful and thoughtful with the way we speak on the internet. As Counter-Strike s audience continues to grow, It s a lesson many could stand to learn from.