Counter-Strike: Global Offensive PC game | PCGamesN

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive PC Game | PCGamesN

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update adds Music Kits to help "establish your identity"

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update adds Music Kits to help "establish your identity"

The latest update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has brought in an interesting addition: Music Kits. These digital MP3 players replace the ambient music in different parts of the game, from in the main menu all the way to planting the bomb. There’s nine unique kits available on the store today from a variety of artists and composers, all tailor made for CS:GO.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros will grapple for $250,000 at DreamHack Winter

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros will grapple for $250,000 at DreamHack Winter

Valve announced plans this weekend for a $250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive prize pool at DreamHack Winter 2014. The Swedish eSports and LAN organisation’s Jönköping flagship event will welcome eight quarter-finalists from ESL One Cologne, plus eight teams yet to be decided by regional qualifiers.

This will be the fourth $250,000 CS:GO Major prize pool offered in the space of a year - rounding off a total $1 million awarded to CS pros since last November’s DreamHack SteelSeries Championship.

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Bomb's been planted: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive dethrones Dota 2 on Twitch for August views

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Bomb's been planted: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive dethrones Dota 2 on Twitch for August views

August was a surprising month for Twitch - and not just because Amazon had officially snagged them for $970 million dollars. The monthly top game ranking reveals that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, along with Hearthstone beat the likes of Dota 2 and Minecraft as the most watched games. Naturally however, League of Legends remained firm at position one.

To find out why, some small detective work is required.

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Valve get the builders in to rework Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's Cobblestone

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Valve get the builders in to rework Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's Cobblestone

Did you know? Counter-Strike: Global Offensive celebrated its second birthday a couple of weeks back. Its community workshop is more active than ever, and 409,000 watched the ESL-One Cologne grand finals last month.

Valve are determined to fix the unbroken, however. Cobblestone is a CS:GO map scarcely six months old, but it’s had some major work done.

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ESL One Cologne: 856 years of Counter-Strike was watched by nearly half a million people

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ESL One Cologne: 856 years of Counter-Strike was watched by nearly half a million people

EMS One Katowice was a pretty big competition, pitting Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams against each other in one of the largest eSports tournaments at the time. But that was back in March, and ESL One Cologne recently broke records for Counter-Strike viewership, outdoing Katowice by almost 160 percent. 

Viewership, both in-game and through Twitch, reached a whopping 409,369 people, all watching world-class teams compete for the $250,000 prize pool. 

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Valve’s Erik Johnson on The International: “a lot of the same things could be applied directly to Counter-Strike”

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Valve’s Erik Johnson on The International: “a lot of the same things could be applied directly to Counter-Strike”

With Dota 2’s The International in full swing, Valve have to be looking at their other games and thinking they could, too, have a massive tournament. According to Erik Johnson, one of Valve’s business development authorities, “a lot of the same things [that work for The International] could be applied directly to Counter-Strike."

He didn’t “have anything to announce right now" but “the guys working on Counter Strike have made a lot of progress on supporting the professional community." It sounds like they might be gearing up to it.

I mean, Valve have already made more than $30 million from Compendium sales, the digital item

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ESL One Cologne will see Counter-Strike: GO teams battle it out during Gamescom for $250K

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ESL One Cologne will see Counter-Strike: GO teams battle it out during Gamescom for $250K

After the hugely successful EMS One Counter-Strike tournament in Katowice, Poland, ESL is gearing up to host yet another big event. Once again, a $250,000 community-funded prize pool is up for grabs as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams duke it out, this time in Cologne, Germany. 

ESL One Cologne 2014 will take place during this year’s Gamescom between August 14th - 17th.

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One strike and you're out: Counter Strike weapon skin removed due to copyright infringement

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One strike and you're out: Counter Strike weapon skin removed due to copyright infringement

Quick and decisive are not words recently associated with Valve given the recent seepage of questionable greenlit and Early Access games rife with dishonest advertising and even copyright infringement. Air Control, for instance, is still being sold on Steam despite numerous complaints and media attention revealing how customers have been misinformed and assets have been taken from others without permission. 

But a very different Valve reacted to copyright infringement in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Valve was sent a DMCA takedown notice in regards to two community created weapon skins, the M4A4 Howl and a sticker, and action was swift and punishments were strict. 

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How to get a HUD in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: Valve enable custom UIs

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How to get a HUD in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: Valve enable custom UIs

CS:GO came out two years ago now, and wasn’t looking so shabby then. But through regular, incremental updates, it’s lately become both vibrant eSport and crate-fuelled community celebration - the beneficiary of all the lessons Valve have learned with Team Fortress and Dota 2.

The latest of those updates is like the rest: nondescript, but deeply important to somebody. Players now have the option to fiddle with the game’s HUD elements.

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Even esports had a montage: watch the Katowice 2014 highlights

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Even esports had a montage: watch the Katowice 2014 highlights

Katowice, Poland played host to one of the biggest esports events to date, recently. Intel Extreme Masters World Championship finals featured both Starcraft II and League of Legends, while the EMS One finals pit Counter Strike: Global Offensive players against each other for a prize of $250,000. It was won by Virtus Pro, who walked away with $100,000 of the sizable prize pool. 

If you missed the live streams, you can catch up with the highlight reel ESL has put together. Take a gander below. 

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Three nights only: final qualifiers for $250k crowdfunded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament

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Three nights only: final qualifiers for $250k crowdfunded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament

We are rapidly gaining on EMS One, the Counter-Strike tournament hosted in Katowice, Poland - best pronounced as a TV Batman “KATOW!", followed by a cool-as-you-like “-ice". It’s especially notable this year, not only because Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player numbers are on the rise, but because its sizeable prize pool has been composed entirely from the contents of the holey pockets of those very same players.

The main event is a couple of weeks away still - but six of its 16 team slots have yet to be filled. That’s what this evening’s European qualifiers are all about.

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Friendly fire: Valve launch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's third community map initiative - Operation Phoenix

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Friendly fire: Valve launch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's third community map initiative - Operation Phoenix

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community have spent the past few weeks - well, they’ve spent it shooting, haven’t they. But in between trigger squeezes, they’ve voted on the best maps from the last two Operations - limited-period initiatives in which players have been able to pay a small fee to play community-made maps on low-ping Valve servers.

They’ve pieced together eight favourites - now playable on official servers for the next few months of Operation Phoenix.

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Gabe takes to Reddit to clear up Valve Anti-Cheat rumours; "Do we send your browsing history to Valve? No."

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Gabe takes to Reddit to clear up Valve Anti-Cheat rumours; "Do we send your browsing history to Valve? No."

Valve Anti-Cheat is the software first developed for Counter-Strike and used in at least 60 other Steam games. It does not and never has sent your browsing history to Valve so that they can peruse your favourite porn sites.

That was the worry of some concerned Redditors, who suspected that VAC transmitted DNS cache information - i.e. the IP addresses you’ve visited - to the company to determine who’s cheating and who’s not. As users began to list potential uses of DNS information for far greater nefarity, our lord and saviour Gabe Newell made a rare public address to counter the claims.

“Do we care what porn sites you visit?," he wrote. “Oh, dear god, no. My brain just melted."

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive goes teenage: updated with underarm throws and stickers

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive goes teenage: updated with underarm throws and stickers

Leaving the house with an automatic weapon of any sort is usually enough to turn heads - but how do you stand out from the crowd in a scene where every bugger wields a firearm of some kind?

It’s precisely this first-person problem that Valve addressed in yesterday’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update. CS:GO players will now come across sticker capsule drops as they play. Opened with a dedicated key, each capsule contains one sticker waiting to be slapped on any weapon you own. Repeat the process ad infinitum, and you can cover the surface of your gun like a teenager’s laptop.

There’s plenty more new: including a way to throw grenades that’s simply not cricket.

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