Valve’s new Source 2 engine has exciting implications for esports

Valve made a big announcement yesterday, and while it's not exactly Half-Life 3, there's one group of fans that are very excited: esports diehards

Valve made a big announcement yesterday, and while it’s not exactly Half-Life 3, there’s one group of fans that are very excited: esports diehards.

The maker of Counter-Strike and Dota 2 announced the next iteration of its revolutionary Source engine at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday afternoon. The follow up to the landmark technology, known simply as “Source 2,” looks to emphasize “creator productivity,” both on the user and developer level, according to Valve boss Gabe Newell.

One big new change this time around: Valve will make the engine free for content developers. The news comes just two days after Epic released Unreal Engine 4 to the public free of charge.

But the engine isn’t just targeting the pros. “Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not for just the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favorite games,” Valve’s Jay Stelly said.

The latter offers considerable potential for Dota 2 fans, who have already released numerous custom game creations on Reddit and other forums.

The implications for esports fans are manifold. Custom games mean new competitive modes and options for fans of Dota 2. Greater graphic fidelity means less awkward bugs and more beautiful graphics on the biggest stages in esports. Finally, improved performance means less interference between player action and in-game response, leaving competitors to compete instead of worrying about programming problems.

With no definitive time table on an engine upgrade for Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, fans are left to sit and wait for gaming Christmas to come. But with Valve at the helm, fans can rest easy knowing that the upgrade will most assuredly be worth the wait.

Image via Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)