Gamers For Giving Halo Tournament Cancelled

Contrary to popular belief many gamers enjoy getting out and about, nothing more so than when it comes to a charity tournament. Gamers For Giving Halo Tournament has been running for years now letting gamers play their favourite games with the event raising money for charity. Sadly this year though that may not be so as the Gamers for giving halo tournament has been cancelled.

The tournament has been running for years but “due to encountering an unrecognizable error in the custom games matchmaking platform” the tournament has had to be cancelled as the event couldn’t create the games in a “reliable tournament environment”.

They tried, with everything from testing different network configurations and swapping the hardware itself and even talking with talking with 343 Industries (the creators of the latest halo game), the decision was reluctantly made.

The organisation will be issuing full pass refunds for those who request one by the 21st March, but if you feel like giving that money to charity still they will be offering Sky loft passes to teams who don’t request a refund. Offering passes for teams to come enjoy the event, even though they can’t take part in the Halo tournament part of it, is a great move on their part and a great way for the community to show just how strongly they want to help charity more than show off their skills.

The cause of the cancellation is still under speculation but all signs point to a recent patch in the game. In a blog post on the gamers for giving page its stated that the patch notes contain “improved stability when joining custom game lobbies”, something which alongside the “resolved issues surrounding multiple Xbox ones playing on the same network” would point to changes that may not have been best suited just before a big tournament.

Gabe Newell Personally Explains Why Dota 2 Commentator Was Fired

E-Sports is a large market for anybody, and with a $3 million prize riding on this weeks DOTA 2 tournament in Shanghai, it is no surprise that people have been annoyed by the range of problems that have come out of it. One of which has caught some heat though is the fact that a commentator was fired less than two days into the tournament, something which Gabe Newell personally explains on Reddit why they got rid of the commentator.

The problems ranged from non-existent commentary on the action taking place to cameras being stuck or even the entire stream suddenly dropping, leaving fans and players alike wondering what was happening. James Harding was a commentator for the series, and has been before, but this time, it was short lived with him being fired just over a day into the series.

Valve fired Harding after just a day and a half, with speculation and outcry alike coming from everybody regarding the matter. In his post he stated:

1) James. We’ve had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.

2) As long as we’re firing people, we are also firing the production company that we’ve been working with on the Shanghai Major. They will be replaced, and we hope to get this turned around before the main event.

Harding himself replied, posting that he would be releasing a statement regarding the matter, something which we eagerly look forward to reading.

Mad Catz Announces E.S.Pro 1 Tournament Grade Gaming Earbuds

Ear buds traditionally don’t come with the best sound quality and that is why most people opt for the larger full-size version in order to get that satisfying sounds. Mad Catz latest offering looks like it could mix that up a bit with the release of a the new E.S.Pro 1 gaming earbuds with tournament-grade quality, as they call it.

The E.S.Pro 1 uses larger than usual 13.5mm speakers to deliver better sound than conventional ear buds with an increased bass response and clearer highs. The ear buds feature two different microphones and you can use whichever you prefer and switch as you wish. There is the simple and discreet in-line microphone and there is also a removable omni-directional boom microphone that is ideal when chat is of primary importance.

The 2-meter long cable features an easy to reach remote control unit that allows you to change the volume, mute the chat, and control the track selection for your music pleasure. The In-line microphone also features automatic noise and echo suppression.

 

The added size requires a good fit and the E.S.Pro 1 come with soft-rubber support arms that are designed to gently fit inside the ear and prevent the earbuds from falling out during heated gaming sessions. To aid with comfort and acoustic isolation, the E.S.Pro 1 also comes with optional earbud attachments designed to fit virtually any size ear.

The new Mad Catz E.S.Pro 1 gaming earbuds are expected to ship in January 2016. Included in the package are a standard 3.5mm cable and PC audio adapter that allows you to connect it with almost any audio device from PC over mobile to gaming consoles.

CS:GO Gets TV Spot On Fox Sports 1

E-sports are becoming more and more of a publicly known event, it used to be that players would gather around with their friends and watch their teams fight out through their web browser. There have been documentaries about e-sports in the cinema and now tournaments are also backed by crowd funding events, making their prices and people’s interest in the events seem to grow day by day. Now it would seem that you may soon be able to watch your favourite teams fight out on your TV.

Fox Sports, one of the main broadcasters of sports in Australia, have hidden in their schedule a slot for none other than the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament that starts on Tuesday. While it is common for e-sports to have some representation in the media, it will be the first time that Counter-Strike matches have been shown in full, and not just in a highlight reel, on TV.

With international tournaments picking up speed, with games like Heroes of the Storm and Smite joining the likes of Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Dota with large prize pools and even larger audiences, could you soon see a mainstream channel dedicated to all of your favorite e-sports games?

Thank you Kotaku for the information.

Latest Unreal Tournament Build and Pre-Alpha Season Trailer Released

I’m sure a few of you have already been enjoying the pre-alpha build of the new Unreal Tournament, I know I have! And so far, it’s been pretty epic. For those that have been and, of course, for those who have yet to download it, the latest build is now available.

Epic Games have also released a new trailer for their free-to-play arena shooter, showing off the games newly added characters Skaarj and female NEcris with unlockable upgrades. There’s also three new maps in the build, perfect for those who’ve grown a little weary of the current line-up, but most importantly is a modern remake of one of the most iconic maps in Unreal history, Facing Worlds is back!

You’ll also find a new progressions system as well as offline challenges, adding to the already exciting game and we’ll no doubt see many more updates in the not too distant future.

Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Got an itchy trigger finger and want to take the game for a spin? Head over to the official site to download the game here.

Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.

DDoS Attack Puts a Stop to Valve’s Dota 2 Tournament

Well, Well, Valve’s Dota 2 international competition, The International 2015, is underway and this time things got a bit serious. The competition was reported to have suffered from a DDoS attack that blocked internet connection to the Dota 2 servers.

The attack is said to have taken place when a match between Evil Geniuses and compLexity Gaming needed to be played, halting the competition for a few hours. You know, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, since Dota 2 needs an active internet connection to be played. It would have been nice for the title to have a LAN mode from the very start, to avoid things like this, but there you go, trolling at its best.

The saddest part about DDoS attacks is that there is not a lot that can be done to stop them. Of course, once a DDoS attack takes place, you can isolate and reduce it to prevent it from taking out your severs, but you can’t predict and prevent it. This is why Valve’s competition is still vulnerable to DDoS attacks until the tournament ends on the 8th of August.

The real question here is why did Valve rely on public Dota 2 servers for a competition such as The International? I mean, they could have easily made special modded servers, independent from the Internet, to serve as a secure playground for the tournament. I bet this is one of the things they are considering now for future events.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Dota 2 Championship Prize May Reach Record $11.5 Million

Dota 2 has been getting a lot of attention lately and it’s now seen in its annual championship tournament, where the prize pool could reach $11.5 million, setting it as a new record in the game’s championship history. Pretty impressive, huh?

This year marks the fifth International Dota 2 Championship event and it is said that the prize reached $11.4 million this Friday thanks to the money brought in from virtual Compendium. This is really overwhelming since the prize pool started off with a $1.6 million budget at the end of April.

However, in just a matter of days, the prize money reached $5.5 million. This was mainly due to a lot of Compendium sales, which is the sum of in-game challenges, fantasy league-style predictions and in-game cosmetics rewards. Thanks to its fans and players, competitors now will have the opportunity to have a lot of fun, fight for the top and maybe even end up filling their bank account with a small fortune.

In terms of Compendium sales, the basic one costs you $9,99. Should you want to spend more, there is also a $27,99 variant, 25% of which goes to the prize pool. This year Compendium owners are said to have more rewards as they level by watching games, collecting player cards and other such activities.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

The Best Selfie in World of Warcraft Will Get You to Blizzcon

If you are a World of Warcraft fan, chances are that you have been at Blizzcon at least once by now. If not, then there might be a chance for Blizzard to send you there this year. What you have to do is get your best World of Warcraft selfie face on.

I know it sounds a bit odd for a selfie in World of Warcraft, but hey, Blizzard are known for cropping up weird competitions and getting you involved in the process. It looks like this competition will follow how players can work on making the best selfie in a lot of spots Blizzard picks for you.

So what Blizzard does is pick a spot for you each week. Then, you can go when you want during that week to the latter spot and try to do the best selfie you can imagine. The grand prize will be two tickets to Blizzcon this November, but that’s not the only thing you can win.

Blizzard says that each submission is eligible for weekly prizes and goodies, such as Blizzard branded gear, Battle.net codes and even an iPhone 6 to help you with your selfie problem in real life. Just kidding. In order to take part, head on over to the WoW Selfiel Scavenger Hunt website where you can find more details.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Millenium.org

Razer Releases BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma TKL Keyboard

Razer is about to release a new and more compact version of the pretty popular BlackWidow Chroma keyboard, the new BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma. The more compact size originates from the TKL, or ten-keys-less, design where the num pad has been left out. Technically TKL is a completely wrong description as there are 17 keys less on these keyboard compared to an ordinary PC keyboard, but that’s the term it goes by.

The new tournament edition still holds all the great features of the original keyboard, including the 16.8 million customizable colour backlight option and the detachable USB cable. The compact form factor and removable cable makes it easy to carry and take with you to LANs and tournaments, and that’s where the name comes from.

Users can define their own key zones with individual coloured backlighting and the colours and areas shown in these press images are just one way it can look. You could easily create a setup where you just highlight the buttons you need for the game you’re currently playing. The keyboard is using Razer’s own mechanical switches with optimised actuation and reset points for improved performance and with a distinct tactile feel. Each of these switches is built to last up to 60 million keystrokes.

The new Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma Keyboard will be available in the Razer online store starting April 16th for a price of $140 or April 22nd for €169.99 in Europe.

The bad news for most of us is that this is another US-layout only keyboard. Razer has a tendency to release their top-tier and best-featured keyboards with just the US-key-layout. It’s beyond me why they insist on keeping it this way, or why they don’t offer a localized add-on package for purchase so I can replace the keycaps myself. It can not be that hard for a company like Razer to laser-engrave a couple of keys with a different print. Well, it is their loss as I’m heading to my favourite online shop now to order a Ducky Shine 4 instead.

Tickets for Dota 2 The International Sold Out in a Record-Breaking Six Minutes

The biggest eSports event of the year, Dota 2 “The International”, is approaching and fans are getting really excited for the even. Possibly too excited.

The previous tournament took place in Key Arena, Seattle, between July 18th and 21st. The tickets have sold in less than an hour, so fans were urged to be quick on buying a ticket sine then. But nobody expected all the tickets for this year’s event to be sold in… six minutes?

It is said that this year’s tournament will be held in the same Key Arena in Seattle, but in August this time around. The lucky people who were fast enough to buy a ticket are likely to be eagerly looking forward to the start of the tournament.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

Game:ref, Hardware Based Anti-Cheat system

So we already have or at least know of anti-cheat software, most pre-installed into most multi player games, but what if a program is smart enough to work its way around the system. Introducing a prototype hardware based system. Game:ref is an input based anti-cheat system, it detects your input from mouse and keyboard and cross references that with what happened in the game; i.e. if you tap spacebar once, you only jump the standard height, not fly into space.

I guess some could see this as something that is unnecessary, you know you’re not going to cheat so you won’t buy or use one. Well what about the other players? Going to a gaming tournament, Insomnia or PAX, could become a lot more fair with the compulsory hand out and use of these little devices. This device will be based on open source platform to allow the maximised collaboration with developers and will be brought to Kickstarter soon with the hopes of raising enough money to become a real product.

Let us know what you think this anti-cheat device will bring to the table on our Facebook page and forums.

Thanks to PCGamesN for this information.

ESPN to Air 10 Million USD Dota 2 Gaming Tournament

As released today, Valve has announced ESPN will be showing live coverage of their 10 million dollar electronic sports tournament, simply labeled ‘The International’.

The International has been run yearly since 2011, with Valve pitting 1.6 million dollars of funded prize pool in recent times. To help increase this incentive, Valve pitched it to their Dota2 community for further support. For $10 USD, any player can purchase a ‘compendium‘ which delivers $2.50 into the prize pool directly and also give the user a bunch of in-game items, skins and benefits. Doing the math, this means roughly 8.4 million was raised directly from the communities donation, with a ton more going directly to the game manufacturer.

Currently, the International has just finished its playoff stages and has come up with a final eight teams all fighting for the trophy. As according the Valves press release, ESPN are now set get in on the action:

“Valve today announced that coverage of The International Dota 2 Championships will be presented in collaboration with ESPN on its live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3. In addition, an exclusive show previewing the final match will be presented on ESPN2 on Sunday at 8:30 pm Pacific. Live access to ESPN2 is also available on digital platforms via WatchESPN.” Steampowered

Valves Erik Johnson commented on the partnership:

“From the success of the Compendium to the collaboration with ESPN, this year’s International really demonstrates how much competitive gaming has grown to rival traditional sports. We believe the teams have also pushed to a new level of play this year and will further demonstrate the incredible advances made across this tournament since it first began three short years ago.” Steampowered

This is huge news for the eSports community, whom are always pushing for their favorite pastime (or in some cases, occupation) to be pushed into the mainstream-media spotlight. Another positive note is that this years 10 million dollar prize pool is a massive jump to that of 2013, which grossed only 2.8 million in comparison. This may be just the push that eSports needs to make its way into more homes.

Wondering how this 10 million dollar prize pool matches up with ‘regular’ sporting events? Thanks to Tournament.com we’ve had it laid out easily for us.

For those who don’t have the ability to watch on ESPN, Twitch.tv will be running multiple online streams of the finals.

Is there anything else valve have up their sleeve? We’re waiting with twitching anticipation for any further announcements.

Image courtesy of Gosu Gamers

Rival: DOTA 2 Edition Gaming Mouse Revealed By SteelSeries

SteelSeries have just revealed their new DOTA 2 branded gaming mouse, the Rival. The mouse is based on their massively popular Rival Optical Mouse, but not only has it been treated to a new colour scheme, but it also comes with an exclusive in-game item, Hell’s Glare for Doom.

TOURNAMENT-GRADE PERFORMANCE

Whether you’re part of the Dire or Radiance, winning is everything. This precision gaming tool was carefully crafted after a rich history of tournament-grade mice created for the best professional players around the globe. Gamers can tune their CPI, polling rate, mouse acceleration, and a full arsenal of performance mods in an easy to use interface courtesy of SteelSeries Engine 3. All of these things together create a mouse that is guaranteed to never be the reason why you miss another last hit.

ENDLESS CUSTOMIZATION, DOTA STYLE

The SteelSeries Rival Dota 2 Edition is the ultimate mouse built for fans of the globally loved title from Valve. Each part, from the stone-gray body and side buttons to the blood-red rubber grips is carefully crafted to be a true item of beauty. Players can further customize the mouse using exclusive Dota 2 themed illumination modes that can shift according to player preference.

EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME ITEM

A once divine weapon, now corrupted by the devouring darkness of its new master, this Radiance-inspired sword is a must-have for any Dota fan. The Hell’s Glare for Doom has been exclusively designed and only available with purchase of the SteelSeries Rival: Dota 2 Edition Gaming Mouse.

Those attending the International 4 DOTA 2 Championship in Seattle, Washington will be some of the first to get access to the Rival 2 DOTA 2 Edition gaming mouse.

“We believe that Dota players deserve the best, so we set out to give fans a mouse with a design they would love without sacrificing the functionality they require,” said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. “We extensively tested our Dota 2 Edition of the Rival Optical Mouse with professional players from Natus Vincere, Invictus Gaming and Fnatic which has resulted in one of the most powerful mice we’ve ever built – and to make it even more special for the Dota 2 community, we’ve added a unique in-game item.”

Pre-orders will be available after the tournament has finished, with an MSRP of 69.99 / €69.99.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

World Of Warplanes Prepares To Enter The World Of eSports

Wargaming have revealed the details of their latest update for World of Warplanes, Update 1.2 will bring a wave of new features for its flight combat MMO action game World of Warplanes, getting the game ready for the world of competitive eSports.

“The upcoming update will heighten gameplay experience, injecting it with depth and comfort,” said Vlad Belozerov, Director of Global Operations for World of Warplanes. “Our goal is to grow World of Warplanes into a game that is exciting to watch via live steams and gratifying to play, be it on casual or pro level.”

Enhanced camera effects will facilitate live streaming, making online tournaments in World of Warplanes even more thrilling to watch, while the option of creating replays will be helpful in learning useful combat tactics. Of course it’s always best to have a proper spectator mode for eSports so that people can direct their way around the action for live stream and attending audiences at competitions and events.

Along with growing the game’s competitive component, Update 1.2 will introduce detailed post-battle stats, allowing players to refine their skills and improve their strategy more efficiently, while the new Battle Missions System will challenge pilots, offering them to complete combat objectives and participate in special bonus events to win extra credits.

eSports is big business and the following for World of Warplanes is certainly growing, plus it’ll be great to see some awesome dogfights the next time we’re at a LAN gaming event, endless FPS gaming and LoL can get a little repetitive sometimes.

Thank you World of Warplanes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of World of Warplanes.

Replay Events Ltd Taking Classic Gaming Championships On UK Tour

Replay Events have just launched the UK’s first nationwide Classic Gaming Championship. Qualifying heats will be held at various events and expos throughout the UK with the grand final taking place at Play Expo in October 2014. Heats have been confirmed at some of the UK’s biggest video gaming events such as EGX, EGX Rezzed and Play Expo. Replay are speaking with a number of other major event organisers to ensure good coverage across mainland UK (event organisers are encouraged to contact Replay Events should they wish to hold a heat at their show.)

Confirmed heats will be held at;

  • Game Expo East Kent – 21-23 February, Margate
  • EGX Rezzed – 28-30 March, Birmingham
  • Play Blackpool – 3-4 May, Blackpool
  • EGX – 25-28 September, London
  • Play Expo – October, Manchester

Heats will feature five games from a shortlist of fifteen. All shortlisted games must be a minimum of fifteen years old and are organised into pots covering first to third generation, fourth generation, fifth generation, Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo.

The first five shortlisted games have already been confirmed as;

  • Kaboom (Atari VCS)
  • R-Type II (PC Engine)
  • Super Puzzle Fighter 2 (Playstation)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Megadrive)
  • Super Mario Kart (Super Nintendo)

Entry to the tournament is free, however contestants must have purchased a general show ticket for the event where the heat is being held.  Heat winners will receive a specially produced CGC heat winners medal and an expenses paid trip to Manchester, where they will compete in the grand final against the best gamers in the country for the title of Classic Gaming Champion 2014!

It’s great to see something like this in a world that is currently focused on titles like Call of Duty, League of Legends and other modern favourites, it’s easy to forget how competitive gaming started and a visit to some great titles from years gone bye will no doubt make for a highly entertaining tournament. If you’re heading along to any shows like Rezzed or the Play Expo, be sure to check it out.

Thank you Replay Events for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Replay Events.

New Standalone Client Available For Quake Live

Bethesda announced on their blog this Friday that the Free-to-Play variant of Quake 3 Arena now has a new standalone client. The browser-based game originally launched in August 2010, but there were concerns about browsers and how their improvements could affect gameplay and performance.

“Quake Live remains free to play and offers extended access and features to members with Premium and Pro accounts,” the blog states. “And to celebrate the New Year, Pro subscribers may now host matches for standard users on all seven Premium game modes, including Freeze Tag and Domination!”

Player profiles, match stats, clan rosters, and other commonly accessed pages are now located in the standalone client and can be accessed directly in-game without the need of a web-browser. Only the official forum and external links will open in the default web-browser as they state on their blog.

Some functions will remain on the website, such as the ability to manage clans, view profiles, manage certain account settings and even launch Pro matches can be accessed from the browser. Bethesda notes that messaging and chatting with friends, viewing the match browser and joining games will require Quake Live to be open.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Quake Live

GAME Partner with Multiplay and Razer for StarCraft II Wings of Liberty Tournament

Leading video game retailer GAME today revealed that they are teaming up with revolutionary gaming technology provider Razer and global games service provider Multiplay to launch a Starcraft II tournament for UK gamers. The Farewell to Wings of Liberty tournament is a chance for gamers to say goodbye to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in style, ahead of the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.

UK gamers who fancy testing their StarCraft skills can sign up for 1 of 512 places from today until the 24th of February here. Two weeks of intense online competition will follow, with three nights of tournament knockout action whittling the field down to two finalists. The finals will take place in London on the 11th of March at London Barcraft’s Heart of the Swarm launch event. The final battle will be played out on the night in front of a live crowd before celebrating the launch of Heart of The Swarm with the UK StarCraft community watching Blizzard’s official live stream!

The two finalists and top placing players will walk away with prizes ranging from Razer’s officially-licensed StarCraft II: Heart of The Swarm range, GAME reward points and more, with additional spot prizes available for both Sportsmanship and plays of the Tournament.

For a blow-by-blow account of the action, fans and spectators can follow the action on GAME’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with the hashtag of #GAMESC2Swarm, at the GAME Facebook and Twitter pages. Each week will have live video content commentated and streamed on GAME’s new Twitch TV channel, and video highlights will also be available on GAME’s YouTube channel at TwitchTV and YouTube respectively. The hosts for live coverage will be popular UK Starcraft casters Adam “Madals” Simmons and Robert “Pughy” Pugh, both bringing their many hundreds of hours of Starcraft 2 commentating experience to the occasion to add extra insight and excitement to the proceedings.

Anna-Marie Mason, Director of Marketing, Game Retail Ltd, said “Our community events program has rocketed out of the gates already in 2013, bringing gamers all around the UK exclusive and unique chances to get closer to the games they love. Whether in a friendly or fearsome spirit, competition is part of gaming DNA – and we’re excited to be teaming up with Multiplay and Razer to give the UK StarCraft and gaming communities an opportunity to test their skills and to support E-Sports in the UK.”

Craig Fletcher, Managing Director, Multiplay added “We are very excited to be able to work together with GAME to bring the community one final Wings of Liberty tournament. We have close ties with the UK Starcraft community and believe that this competition will be a great send-off for the current edition of the game, while we welcome the brand new Heart of the Swarm expansion into the community!”

Nick Haywood, Head of Marketing, Razer UK added “Razer is delighted support the GAME StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty tournament. Razer peripherals are the first choice for gamers of all abilities and our Starcraft II products are designed to give all players that crucial edge in competitive play. With the precision of the Razer Spectre StarCraft II mouse, the elevated keys on the Razer Marauder StarCraft II gaming keyboard and the amazing sound quality of the Razer Banshee StarCraft II headset, players can take on Terran, Zerg or Protoss armies confident that they have the very best Razer technology at their fingertips.”

To find out more about this and other events that are happening throughout the year, please visit www.game.co.uk/events.

StarCraft II: Heart of The Swarm is available for pre-order at GAME in Standard and Collector’s Editions both in-store and online through the following link – http://bit.ly/YDH9a9

To learn more about StarCraft II and Heart of the Swarm, visit the official website at www.StarCraft2.com. To set up a Battle.net account and to opt-in to Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, please visit the official Battle.net website at www.battle.net.