Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Source Engine Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)
  • Fixed an engine crash caused by too many precached models in some community maps.
Day of Defeat: Source
  • Fixed an exploit where clients could prevent weapons from recoiling properly.
Team Fortress 2
  • Added several crafting recipes for new weapons.
  • Added a ton of items to the store.
  • Added a ton of items to the random drop list.
  • The following hats are now paintable or have had their paintability improved: Pyromancer's Mask, Detective Noir, Madame Dixie, Buckaroos Hat, German Gonzila, Flipped Trilby, Coupe D'isaster
  • Fixed a spelling error on the "Pyromancer's Mask".
  • Corrected the name of the "Claidheamh Mòr" to the joy of our Celtic players.
  • Made "Le Party Phantom" a misc slot item.
  • Fixed a client crash caused by custom stats panels.
  • Fixed a bug where some new items weren't being dropped correctly.
  • Removed displaying the top 10 players in the leaderboard if you have never won a duel.
  • Updated the localization files.
  • Fixed a regression in Tournament Mode item whitelists.
    • Also added "mp_tournament_whitelist", a convar that allows servers to specify a whitelist file to use.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Source Engine Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)
  • Improved sv_pure:
    • Materials / Models / Sounds / Animations are more comprehensively protected.
    • Switched from CRC to MD5 hashes for stronger per-file validation.
    • Fixed some issues between custom files and server whitelists over level changes.
  • Added HL2:MP to the list of dedicated server games when starting a server via the Tools tab in the Library

Team Fortress 2
  • Added Medieval Mode, a game mode where players are restricted to using olde weapons.
  • 'Your Eternal Reward' changes:
    • Spies can now change their disguise weapon via 'lastdiguise' while using 'Your Eternal Reward'
    • Already-disguised 'Your Eternal Reward' Spies are no longer forced to switch to displaying the melee weapon when they make a kill
    • Spies no longer play speech lines when making a kill with 'Your Eternal Reward'
    • Sentries no longer track 'Your Eternal Reward' Spies after they backstab someone
  • 'Natascha' changes:
    • Spin-up time increased.
    • Slowdown-on-hit effect is reduced over distance.
  • Added 'The Medi-eval Medic', 'The Hibernating Bear', and 'The Expert's Ordnance' item sets.
  • Added new weapons: 'The Claidheamohmor', 'The Back Scratcher', 'The Boston Basher', 'The Fists of Steel', 'The Amputator', 'The Crusader's Crossbow', 'The Ullapool Caber', 'The Loch-n-Load', 'The Buffalo Steak Sandvich', 'The Brass Beast', 'The Warrior's Spirit', 'The Candy Cane', and 'The Jag'.
  • Added 20 new hats.
  • Added a prototype item testing map, and associated functionality, for contributors to test their work. Further details in an upcoming blog post.
  • Spies can now see TargetID's of players and objects regardless of their own disguise status.
  • Fixed some speech lines continuing after the speaker changes class
  • The Spy 'Sap Auteur' achievement now increments in cases where the Spy was the assister in the building destruction.
  • Fixed the arrow burning effect getting stuck on if you changed class in a respawn room with your arrow lit.
  • Fixed a Flamethrower bug that allowed players to rapidly fake the Pyro's airblast effect.
  • Throwing the Jarate or Milk now returns you to your previous weapon, instead of your Primary.
  • Added leaderboard to track duel wins.
  • Added ability for players to donate money directly to the creators of their favorite community maps.
  • Increased backpack size by 100 slots.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Source Engine Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)
  • [Windows] Added support for raw mouse input. Raw input reads directly from the mouse, bypassing Windows control panel mouse settings. This addresses issues with high DPI mice, and provides for a more reliable controller experience at various resolutions
  • [Windows] Improved custom mouse acceleration
  • [Windows] Updated mouse configuration UI to support raw input and acceleration; added tooltips to some of the options
  • [Windows] Fixed UI tooltips so that they display correctly on first hover

Team Fortress 2
  • Added the "Team Spirit" paint can.
  • Added Telltale Games items:
    • Dangeresque, Too?: Strong Bad's styling glasses (equipped by the Demoman)
    • License to Maim: Max's Badge (equipped by all classes)
    • The Iron Curtain: The Heavy's first love (equipped by the Heavy, obviously)
    • The Enthusiast's Timepiece: Tycho's favorite timepiece (equipped by the Spy)
  • Updated some item capabilities:
    • Employees badges can now have custom names.
    • The Stickybomb Jumper can now be gift wrapped.
    • The Spine-Chilling Skull and Voodoo Juju hats are now paintable.
    • Improved the Spine-Chilling Skull and Voodoo Juju hat positions on the Sniper.
  • Added the original Ubersaw taunt to the Vita-Saw.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the game from running on Fat32 systems.
  • Fixed a problem with the Sackston Hale achievement sometimes not being awarded correctly.
  • Fixed the holiday gamestartup sound files being included in the random startup selection after the holiday is over.
  • Fixed numerous WebAPI issues.
  • Fixed a Heavy exploit that let him run at full speed while shooting.
  • Fixed a Frontier Justice exploit that let Engineers have infinite crits for their current life/round.
  • Fixed the shotgun reload animations for the Soldier/Pyro/Heavy looping endlessly.
  • Fixed the Medigun charge percent for other players being steppy.
  • Fixed not being able to light arrows after the first arrow is fired unless they're drawn back.
  • Updated the localization files
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Source Engine Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)
  • Fixed a bug with voice recording intermittently not recording after playing in a level for a while (Mac)
  • Fixed a rare client crash caused by text rendering (Mac)
  • Updated the server browser localization files
PC Gamer

The first episode of Eurosport's coverage of the Intel Extreme Masters aired recently, and drew over a million different viewers. The show went behind the scenes at the Global Challenge Shanghai Counter-Strike 1.6 tournament, following the highs and lows of Team Fnatic's campaign to become Shanghai's new Counter-Strike champions.

The Global Challenge Shanghai competition saw world famous Counter-Strike pros team NaVi and Team Fnatic battling it out for the $57,000 prize money. The program concentrates more on the behind the scenes drama and preparation of the teams involved rather than the matches themselves, but nevertheless drew over a million different viewers between its initial broadcast and repeats on Eurosport and Eurosport 2. The program's success acts as another sign of the broadening appeal of competitive gaming as a spectator sport.

The show is available to European viewers on demand on the Eurosport player. For international viewers, the Intel Extreme Masters have put episode 1 on Youtube, part 1 of which is embedded below. Episode 2 will be broadcast on Eurosport 2 on Thursday at 9:30PM GMT, and the series is planning to cover the whole Intel Extreme Masters league season all the way up to the event's finale in Hanover next March. For more information on the competition, check out the official Intel Extreme Masters site.

PC Gamer

We've had a look at esports around the world and rounded up a few of November's hottest gaming tournaments. StarCraft 2, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty 4, Team Fortress 2 and Quake Live all feature as the month kicks off with the massive Multiplay i41 event in the UK, and ends with the even bigger Dreamhack LAN party in Sweden, where the prize pools are worth thousands of pounds.

05/11/2010 - MLG Pro Circuit Dallas StarCraft 2 tournament

3 day event
$17,500 prize pool
1v1 matches with 128 participants
MLG Pro Circuit site

12/11/2010 - Multiplay i41, Newbury UK
A three day event hosting the following major tournaments.

The Multiplay Counter-Strike:Source Cup

£8,000 prize pot
128 teams
Counter-Strike:Source Cup site

The Thermaltake StarCraft 2 cup

£5,000 prize pot
1v1 matches with 512 participants
Thermaltake Starcraft 2 cup link

The Multiplay Call of Duty 4 Cup Sponsored by Rustlers Gamesafe

up to £8,000 prize pool
up to 128 teams
Multiplay Call of Duty 4 Cup link

The Multiplay Team Fortress 2 Cup

up to £9,600 prize pool
up to 128 teams
Multiplay Team Fortress 2 Cup link

13/11/2010 - GOM TV StarCraft 2 Open, Seoul, South Korea
An ongoing tournament, season two running since the 18th of October. Started with 64 players and already down to just 4.

Season Two Finals

£112,500 prize pool, with £56,350 going to the winner of this final

final is a best of 7

free to watch live online, $20 for a season ticket to access videos on demand

GOM TV StarCraft 2 Open link

25/11/2010 - DreamHack Winter
A three day event hosting the following major tournaments.

DreamHack SteelSeries StarCraft 2 LAN-tournament

Battlenet EU
$26,900 prize pool
1v1 matches with 64 participants
DreamHack Winter link

MSI Counter-strike Championship

$34,200 prize pool
64 teams
MSI Counter-strike Championship link

Kaspersky Quake Live Championship

£6500 prize pool
Quake Live Championship link

If you know of any other game tournaments we've missed, let us know in the comments and we'll add them in.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Counter-Strike: Source have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Counter-Strike: Source
  • Fixed performance issues and memory leaks related to scoreboard display.
  • Fixed long-standing bug in which a player would see another player in a grenade-throwing animation when they no longer had a grenade as their active weapon.
  • Fixed animation problem (“crab walk”) caused by aborting bomb plant by using the drop command.
  • Fixed several ragdoll animation problems related to cl_minmodels.
  • Fixed several crashes that could be caused by user modified .res files.
  • Run sounds are no longer heard from players walking with the Scout equipped.
  • Player’s last match stats will no longer be updated if the player did not actually participate in the match (e.g. only spectated).
  • Flagged bot_mimic and bot_flipout as CHEAT vars.
  • Fixed “Cold War” achievement so that it now requires the correct number of opposing players.
  • Fixed hud_showtargetid; added hud_showtargetpos for setting the on-screen location of the targeted.
  • Fixed bug in which the client camera would jump to another player if the player died when mp_fadetoblack is enabled.
  • Removed extraneous/incorrect help text for nightvision goggles.
  • Fixed bug in which the spectator UI would disappear after a mode switch or similar renderer change.
  • Changed the size of the bomb icon on the spectator UI
PC Gamer

Ever fancied yourself as a Counter-Strike master? Ever thought about going pro? There's a lot to consider, even once you're among the best players around. Professional gaming's no easy gig, and there's far more to it than simply knowing how to aim a crosshair at an opponent's face. As such, we've been chatting to Elliot Welsh, aka. 'wez' of leading competitive gamers Team Dignitas, to find out his ten top tips for moving up the ranks in the world of professional Counter-Strike.

1. Get your hardware sorted
If you want to compete on an even playing field, the last thing you want is a dated rig or sloppy internet connection holding you back. In a game whose combat is as finely balanced as that of Counter-Strike, just a slight framerate drop can be catastrophic. "Low fps can affect your recoil, bullet registration and smoothness of your game," says Elliot. "If you're stuck with a terrible computer, you don't really have much chance online against someone with a top-end machine. Also, a good computer and connection will be the same conditions you'll be playing on when you turn up to a tournament, so you won't have to adapt to different conditions when you set up on the day."

2. Find a team you get along with
Sometimes in life we're all thrown into a situation where we have to work with people we aren't so fond of. Like at PC Gamer, for example. Bloody scoundrels, the lot of them. But there's no doubting that getting on with your team mates is going to make things a whole lot easier down the line. In fact, it might even be better to pick friendly souls with potential to improve than switching in the cream of the crop without knowing them well. "Playing with people you get along with will make you enjoy the game much more, and undoubtedly be more likely to stick together," says Elliot. "Changing your lineup every month won't do you much good, even if you're replacing a player with someone slightly better."

3. Practice your tactics in the best environments
If you're considering competitive Counter-Strike, the chances are you'll already spend a fair number of hours playing the game. But practicing in the right environments is key to your continual improvement. Deathmatch servers are a good place to start - "You respawn as soon as you die, so you're constantly shooting and it's a good way to improve your gunplay," Elliot explains - and clan war practice is pretty much essential. Use a chat program such as mIRC to search for practice games against other teams, and try out all the tactics you've been mulling over in your head. "I'd advise having ten minutes after each match you play to assess what you did wrong, what you did right, and how you could improve," adds Elliot.

4. Watch demos of other players
Practice might make perfect, but there are numerous intricacies to Counter-Strike play that you may be able to pick up from others. Watching demo videos of other players is a great way to assess their mad skills without fear of being gunned down if you take too long to stop and stare. Professionals will have various different ways of moving, aiming, shooting and reacting to different situations. Just make sure you try out your own moves as well: "All players have different styles," warns Elliot, "and one player's style may not be suitable for you or your team." Demos from Dignitas' players can be found on their website.

5. Forget the rest, play against the best
It's always nice to win, so it might be tempting to select weaker opponents for practice matches. But this can be counter-productive. Unless you're playing at the highest level you're capable of, there's not a great deal of compulsion to improve - and certainly less you can take away from both victories and defeats. "Although playing against people below your own ability will still benefit you in some ways," Elliot explains, "playing against top teams will give you an insight into the level of professional play, and allow you to learn from high level players."

6. Communication is key
As with all team-based games, but perhaps even more so with Counter-Strike, it's important to be in good contact with your team mates throughout a match. A lack of communication can be the difference between a decisive victory and an embarrassing, crushing defeat, so talking to each other is tremendously important. But simply maintaining contact isn't enough: it's imperative to be efficient with your communications. "It's best to keep your calls about what's happening short and quick, and explain everything you know, such as how many enemies you see, if you see the bomb carrier, and what weapons they have," says Elliot. And be sure to get hold of a voice chat program such as Ventrilo or Mumble to utilise during practice: they allow you to speak to your team mates whether you're dead or alive, an advantage not afforded by Counter-Strike's in-game chat system.

7. Embrace the community spirit
You might be tempted to pour all your spare hours into improving your game, but there's more to being a professional Counter-Strike player than simply playing Counter-Strike. Your team could consist of the best players in the world, but if no one knows who you are, you're probably going to end up going nowhere fast. "Playing an active role in your country's Counter-Strike community means that there is more general interest, which means there will be more tournaments and therefore more oppotunities to practice in competitions and under pressure," says Elliot. "Also, it allows you to make friends to casually play with when your team may not be online, so you can still practice even if your team mates aren't around."

8. Master the three pillars of skillful combat
Elliot flags three key things to master in Counter-Strike combat: recoil, flashbangs, and smoke grenades. Counter-Strike's recoil patterns are very different to many shooters, and it's imperative to master the technique: "For most professional players, the general technique is to spray at close range, tap fire at medium range, and tap slightly slower at long range, all while moving in between taps to make you a harder target to hit," suggests Elliot. Meanwhile, good grenade use can make all the difference. "Again, watching a professional player's demo will give you some useful tips," says Elliot, "but it's always best to join an empty server with your team mates and practice them for yourself."

9. Financial advice
Counter-Strike isn't all about the combat tactics. It's also a game in which managing your money is key to high-level success. At a professional level, you'll need to make sure your finances are in check whether you're winning or losing, because ensuring your team is finely in-tune and well-timed with quick purchases is essential. Elliot's top tip? "If you find yourself short on money after - say - losing the pistol round, the best thing to do is save your money by not buying anything for one or two rounds, so you can save up enough cash to purchase a rifle and armour."

10. For goodness' sake, stick with it
It might sound obvious, but the only way you'll reach the dizzy heights of top-level professional gaming is to keep plugging away until you're good enough. It's a lot of work, and something you'll need to treat like a real job as much as play - even during those inevitable times when morale reaches rock bottom. "A lot of dedication is needed to become a professional," says Elliot, "and there will be times when you and your team are trying to improve and results may not always go in your favour. If this happens, the best thing you can do is stick together, and keep playing through it."
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Counter-Strike: Source have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Counter-Strike: Source
  • Fixed incorrect distance on flashbang effect
  • Reverted changes to de_inferno and de_nuke
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Source have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Shared Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)
  • ServerBrowser now sorts by ping by default once again.
  • Fixed Mac crash on launch when running Mac OSX 10.5.8.
  • Fixed spectator bug where spectating a Sniper looking through scope didn't zoom fov

Team Fortress 2
  • General Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that caused some old demos to crash.
    • The server browser now sorts by ping by default.
    • The Trading dialog now starts with the chat window having focus.
    • Fixed a bug that caused overheal to not work properly.
    • Fixed the Sandvich cooldown not occurring when the Heavy is hurt.
    • Fixed the Heavy's hands being invisible.
    • Soldiers no longer maintain their rage level when changing loadout.
    • Alerts now sort on top of achievement status.
    • Prevented a bad state occurring when someone tried to trade with themselves.
    • Fixed a dueling related crash caused by custom scoreboard UIs.
    • Fixed players not being able to set their default FOV correctly.
    • Fixed being unable to equip customized shotguns & pistols on some classes.
    • Improved the explanation of the item set bonus in set item descriptions.
    • Fixed a bug where items with particle systems would show up at the player's feet or pelvis.
    • Fixed the wrench number for the Golden Wrench not displaying properly.
    • Fixed the medal number for the Gentle Manne's Service Medal not displaying properly.
    • Fixed client seeing incorrect message when changing team while participating in a duel.
  • Economy Changes
    • Added Remove Name and Remove Paint features.
    • Achievement items and store promotion items are now usable in crafting.
    • Gifted items are now craftable and tradable.
    • Attempting to craft a non tradable item will result in a warning that the items produced by the craft will also be marked as non tradable.
    • Community, Self-Made, and Valve items are not tradable or usable in crafting.
    • Changed "Not Craftable" description to "Not Usable in Crafting" to increase clarity.
  • Item Changes
    • The TF badge on the Glengarry Bonnet is no longer team colored.
    • Restored the missing PDA2 Slot Token.
    • Restored the appearance of the Tippler's Tricorne to the version prior to the Mannconomy Update. This item is now paintable.
    • Added a new paintable hat, the 'Rimmed Raincatcher' that has a new Tricorne style appearance.
    • The Earbuds are now nameable.
    • Duel fixes:
      • Fixed Dueling badges using the wrong texture.
      • Fixed an issue where dueling stats did not show up on dueling badges above Bronze.
      • During a duel, the Dueling mini-game item used to initiate the duel cannot be deleted, traded or crafted.
      • The following hats now allow the paint to affect their color more (colors should not be washed out):
        • The Pugilist's Protector, The Hard Counter, The Bombing Run, Football Helmet, Fancy Fedora, Cowboy Hat, Engineer's Cap, Viking Helm, Respectless Rubber Glove, Batter's Helmet, Brigade Helm, Master's Yellow Belt, Killer's Kabuto, Backbiter's Billycock
      • Dueling Mini-Game now drops with 5 uses.
  • Weapon Changes
    • The Battalion's Backup no longer gives rage for falling damage.
    • The Shortstop is now affected by tf_use_fixed_weaponspreads.
    • The Gloves of Running Urgently now using the boxing taunt and boxing glove weapons are now of the type "Boxing Gloves" instead of "Fists."
    • Your Eternal Reward no longer disguises the Spy if the victim survives the backstabbing attempt (because of Ubercharge, The Razorback, etc)
    • Your Eternal Reward no longer disguises the Spy if they are carrying the flag.
    • The Holy Mackerel no longer displays a fish hit message when a Spy disguised as the attacker's team is hit.
    • The Holy Mackerel no longer triggers other death events (like achievements or stats mods) improperly.
    • The Sydney Sleeper no longer penetrates targets.
    • The Sydney Sleeper no longer randomly crits.
    • Milk will no longer spray from the barrels of other Scout weapons when switching from the Mad Milk.

Counter-Strike: Source
  • Fixed a bug where the player crouching/standing animations were delayed until after (from the player's local viewpoint).
  • Changed the way that scope zooming works so that it is no longer affected by client-server latency, and zooming begins immediately for the local player. This fixes an issue that would give an advantage to lower ping players and penalize higher ping players.
  • Fixed animation problem caused by aborting bomb plant by switching weapons (“crab walk”).
  • Crosshairs now have customizable size, thickness, and color:
    • cl_crosshairsize specifies the size of the crosshair in pixels at 640x480 resolution
    • cl_crosshairthickness specifies the thickness of the crosshair in pixels at 640x480 resolution
    • The crosshair now scales proportionately for all screen resolutions. This replaces the old scaling behavior, and the cvar cl_crosshairscale is no longer used. Players can revert to old crosshair behavior by setting cl_legacy_crosshair_scale to 1.
    • Setting cl_crosshaircolor to 5 enables the use of custom crosshair colors, specified by cvars cl_crosshaircolor_r, cl_crosshaircolor_g, and cl_crosshaircolor_b.
    • The default of cl_crosshairuseapha has been changed to 1. Alpha blending makes the crosshair much more visible on new HDR maps, and it is recommended that existing players enable this setting manually or through the options interface (Multiplayer->Crosshair appearance->Translucent).
    • Cvar cl_legacy_crosshair has been renamed to cl_legacy_crosshair_recoil for consistency.
  • Fixed inverted translucency preview on crosshair configuration panel.
  • Removed the ability for players to temporarily stand on and jump from thrown grenades and jumping players. Legacy behavior can be enabled by setting sv_enableboost to 1.
  • Fixed issue with players “stacking” on ladders. Players are no longer prevented from moving off a ladder when they are in contact with a player beneath them.
  • Fixed UI issue causing Steam dialog boxes to be unreadable over certain backgrounds.
  • Fixed a bug which allowed players to move the bomb with +use when sv_turbophysics was enabled.
  • Fixed a bug that caused crosshair to expand when attempting to fire an empty gun or when holding trigger on pistols.
  • Players are no longer kicked for team killing during mp_spawnprotectiontime if mp_autokick is not enabled.
  • Fixed a bug which caused incorrect FoV on zoomed sniper rifles after reload.
  • Fixed FoV on wide-screen display modes.
  • Fixed a bug which caused incorrect zoom for a spectator watching a player with a sniper rifle.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur if a player disconnected shortly after attacking a bot.
  • Bomb icon now has priority over dominated/dominating icon on scoreboard.
  • Deathcam now allows a short period of camera movement (matching pre-OB behavior) when a player dies.
  • Bots now use distinct Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist icons on the scoreboard, voice indicators, end of match, and freeze panel.
  • The round clock on the spectator UI is now replaced with a bomb icon after the C4 has been planted.
  • Fixed a bug which caused models to occasionally appear non-animating when cl_minmodels and low violence mode were both enabled.
  • Fixed the Buy Menu not taking into account the discounted price for Kevlar + Helmet if you already have Kevlar (not damaged) or a Helmet.
  • Fixed cases where flashbang was not visible but still blinded the player.
  • Reduced blindness amount when looking away from a flashbang.
  • Added a checkbox to the Options->Audio dialog to control muting the audio when the game window is in the background.
  • Fixed crash in custom maps using the trigger_camera entity.

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