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Valve open new curated Steam Workshops. Creators have made more than $57m since 2011

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Valve open new curated Steam Workshops. Creators have made more than $57m since 2011

For the first time in history virtual hat designers are making more money than actual milliners.* Valve’s revealed that since launching the Steam Workshop in 2011 content creators have made $57 million.

Until now you could only sell creations for Valve’s games - Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That’s going to change as Valve invite other games to sell through their workshops, too.

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Valve’s economist has become Greece’s new Finance Minister. Fear the hat event horizon

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Valve’s economist has become Greece’s new Finance Minister. Fear the hat event horizon

UPDATE: No longer just a tip or rumour, Yanis Varoufakis is now Greece's Finance Minister. Sky News' political editor Faisal Islam broke the news on his Twitter feed

Almost three years ago Valve hired an economist to analyse and direct the Steam Market. Yanis Varoufakis was going to chart the sale of Dota 2’s vanity items, the purchase of Counter-Strike weapon skins, and try to understand why the hell everyone was buying hats.

Varoufakis is now tipped to become Greece’s new finance minister.

All fear the coming hat event horizon.

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How to get better at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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How to get better at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

By Mitch Bowman

With Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s release in 2012, and the subsequent reinvigoration of CS as an esport, the game is larger in the public eye than ever before, and that’s bound to bring in some fresh meat. If you’re one of those new players who’s been sucked in by Global Offensive’s recent popularity, here’s some quick pointers to improve your CS skills.

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Lights, camera, action: Steam Broadcasting and FPS counter leaves beta

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Lights, camera, action: Steam Broadcasting and FPS counter leaves beta

Valve’s newest endeavor into taking over the world, this time competing with the likes of Twitch to enable streaming of their games to the masses, has finally left beta. Steam Broadcasting allows players to stream any game they play to either their friends, or the public, and without a whole lot of effort either.

Also heading out of beta today is the long awaited, but much welcomed FPS counter in the Steam overlay.

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Dota 2 Asia Championships prize pool breaches $2 million dollars

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Dota 2 Asia Championships prize pool breaches $2 million dollars

China’s Dota 2 Asia Championships is aiming to topple that of Valve’s 2013 International, with a mighty crowdfunded prize pool of its own. With the help of an in-game digital compendium, the tournament has raised over $2 million dollars, and rising.

With over 22 days left until the grand finals occur, there’s a good chance that the prize pool will become the second largest in the world.

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Steam adds Captcha confirmation process on all trade offers to help thwart thieving malware

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Steam adds Captcha confirmation process on all trade offers to help thwart thieving malware

In another attempt to stop the bad guys getting away with it, Valve have added a new Captcha system to any and all Steam trade offers, to help prevent users from being swindled by nifty malware. Users will now need to type in the cryptic code displayed on each offer they submit. According to Valve, this is due to malicious malware being able to make trades on the users behalf, effectively cleaning out their accounts.

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Valve aren't running Steam Dev Days this year but "are planning a larger than usual presence at GDC"

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Valve aren't running Steam Dev Days this year but "are planning a larger than usual presence at GDC"

Last year was the first Steam Dev Days conference. Valve invited developers from all over the world to come and learn about what the company was working on (Steam Machines, VR, Linux support) and also to share what they’d learned from the data they pulled from Steam.

Instead of run another event, Valve have announced they’ve no plans to repeat the Steam Dev Days event just yet. Though they will be making an appearance at GDC.

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Dota 2 modeller builds GabeN Shopkeeper in time for New Bloom

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Dota 2 modeller builds GabeN Shopkeeper in time for New Bloom

The disappointment of yet another cancelled Frostivus has given way to preparations for the annual Dota 2 springtime event, New Bloom. And the thawed fingers of crafty community modellers have begun to yield miniature masterpieces. Some are items based around the themes of Chinese New Year, Chinese history and springtime, as requested by Valve - but this one belongs to the cult of GabeN, which lasts all year round.

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Watch out: Aliens: Colonial Marines and Aliens vs Predator have been abducted from Steam

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Watch out: Aliens: Colonial Marines and Aliens vs Predator have been abducted from Steam

If you jumped on Steam today - or a lot of other retail outlets - you’ll be trumped if you try and search for either Aliens: Colonial Marines, or 2010’s Aliens vs Predator in the store. Strangely vanishing at the start of the new year, both games seem to have done a runner, and customers can no longer purchase the titles.

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Dota 2 heralds the new year with over ten million unique players last month

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Dota 2 heralds the new year with over ten million unique players last month

Dota 2 is Valve’s most popular game right now, and probably will be for a long time yet. In the last month, the game has clocked over 10,123,495 (so close to being sequential) unique players, and rising.

Although it’s not really a surprise is it - Dota 2 does have a habit of outnumbering all the games in Steam’s top 100 most played, combined.

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How Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is turning into the world's most exciting eSport

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How Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is turning into the world's most exciting eSport

By Mitch Bowman

There was a time not so long ago when Counter-Strike appeared to be a dying game. As competitive esports, both the original game and its successor, Counter-Strike: Source, were waning in popularity. Source had been hit particularly hard by the 2008 demise of the Championship Gaming League, the largest competitive league for the game, and original CS (generally referred to as “1.6" by players), was being eclipsed in the public eye by the RTS and MOBA esports du jour.

Even in 2012, with the release of a major new version of the game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, things were still looking grim. Many of the organizations that had kept competitive CS alive had folded, leaving a dearth of leagues and tournaments for professional players to compete in. To make matters worse, CS:GO itself was simply not very good when it first launched, and most pros were more inclined to stick with Source or 1.6.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cheats hit by biggest ban wave in its history

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cheats hit by biggest ban wave in its history

Valve Anti-Cheat likes to stalk its prey. It’ll flag up and silently follow cheats for days or even weeks until - just before Christmas - it strikes, disguised as a scotch pine and waving its hammer without impunity.

Thousands of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cheats were permanently excluded from one of the best first-person shooters on PC yesterday, and several of the game’s most popular hacks compromised.

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Strap in: the 2014 Steam Holiday Sale has officially launched; here's all the best offers

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Strap in: the 2014 Steam Holiday Sale has officially launched; here's all the best offers

Hold onto your wallets - the Steam Holiday Sale is upon us! It’ll be a hard journey; your temptations will be tested from today, all the way until January 2nd. If of course you’re in the market for some pc games for ludicrous prices, then you may as well embrace it.

Day six is here in time for some last minute Christmas shopping. 

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Team Fortress 2 bulks up with Mannpower: a beta mode with grappling hooks for all

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Team Fortress 2 bulks up with Mannpower: a beta mode with grappling hooks for all

There’s something taking shape in the stocking of the Team Fortress 2 Smissmas update - the same patch divined decades ago in classics like ‘Merry Smissmas Everyone’, ‘Last Smissmas’ and ‘Driving Home for Smissmas’. 

It’s named Mannpower Mode, and enlivens Capture the Flag with two of gaming’s best-loved features: grappling hooks and power-ups.

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The best Dota 2 Heroes for beginners

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The best Dota 2 Heroes for beginners

So you’ve finally gained access to that 'Dota 2' game everyone on your Steam friends is playing all the damn time. You boot it up, hit the 'find match' button, and after a short waiting period you’re in your first game. “All pick" the announcer bellows, as you’re presented with a dazzling selection of heroes to choose from. Going by the infallible logic of “pick the best looking", you pick Invoker.

That was my thought process when I got my hands on Dota 2 back in 2011; you can see the results of my first game here, but you can already guess the outcome. I did not perform well.

Luckily I found some patient souls from Sweden who taught me everything I know today, and now I want to try and pay it forward. Here’s the best heroes for you beginners out there.

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