Valve may be planning a 'Counter-Strike' version of The International

Valve may be working on a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive version of The International, their $10 million Dota 2
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Valve may be working on a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive version of The International, their $10 million Dota 2.

Based off what Valve’s Erik Johnson told Prodota.ru in an interview in Seattle, it seems likely.

“We don’t have anything to announce right now, but as a company there’s a lot of data in how much the community has responded around The International, and how its grown, and that’s something that’d be pretty difficult to ignore for any game team,” Johnson said.

This week, the fourth iteration of The International will turn its winning team into instant millionaires. It’s one of the largest crowd funded projects in history. Its $10.7 million plus prize pool funded mostly by community contributions through sales of The Compendium, an interactive virtual guide to the tournament. The sales unlocked stretch rewards like in-game items, model updates, and even new Dota 2 features.

This is the fourth year Valve has run the tournament, with the revenue raked in increasing every year—the company take was over $30 million for TI4, so there’s a lot of incentive to make that model work for their other titles.

“I don’t know if it would be called The International, but the guys working on Counter-Strike have made a lot of progress on supporting the professional community around that game,” said Johnson. “Given how successful this tournament has become I don’t see any reason why a lot of the same things couldn’t be applied directly to Counter-Strike.”

In fact, Valve already has a proof-of-concept in Counter-Strike. Valve used sales of the esports keys, which unlock esports cases that contain special in-game items, to fund an esports war chest. Instead of hosting their own event, Valve enlisted the Electronic Sports League to give out the money in their $250,000 ESL One tournament.

But, as Johnson says, there’s no reason Valve can’t make that work on a bigger scale, for their own event. And with the success of The International every year, the real questio should be why hasn’t Valve done a Counter-Strike version sooner?

Image via Valve

Hiko vents about his experience with Team Liquid during livestream

The veteran player didn’t mince words.
Sam Nordmark
CS:GO and Dota 2 Writer

Despite being one of North America’s most successful Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rosters, Team Liquid appears to have been troubled from the very start.

At their height, Team Liquid were able to place second at ESL One Cologne on July 10—the highest placing of any North American CS:GO team at a Valve Major since the competition’s creation in 2013. But beneath the team’s successful run at the $1 million event, the roster was in a state of turmoil, according to former Team Liquid rifler Spencer “Hiko” Martin.

During a livestream on April 25, the CS:GO veteran recounted his time with the organization— revealing that internal conflicts within the team almost reached a breaking point on multiple occasions. Hiko’s monologue lasted for nearly two hours, providing a rundown of the team’s eventual decline, as well as a rare glance into the stressful environment top CS:GO teams experience.

The 27-year-old revealed that the team’s former Ukrainian superstar Alexandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and former in-game leader Eric “adreN” Hoag were butting heads constantly. On one particular occasion, a confrontation between the two was so heated that it almost lead to one of them leaving the squad—mere days before the MLG Columbus Major in March last year.

The team’s internal issues remained throughout 2016, despite their continued success, and gradually began affecting Hiko as several of the players began discussing the team-related issues with him in private. This caused Hiko an incredible amount of stress, he said, as he had to act as an intermediary for all of his teammates own problems.

While some of the statements Hiko makes throughout the video are certainly damning towards certain parties close to the situation, the player didn’t shy away from placing blame on himself. Towards the end of his time on Team Liquid Hiko entered a deep slump, and failed to perform up to the standard expected of him, a fact he acknowledges throughout the video.

The full video is an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at one of North America’s most successful CS:GO teams—and certainly shows that consistency and longevity in esports is a rare occurrence.

SK Gaming emerge on top of the cs_summit

The Brazilians took home their first championship of 2017.
Jamie Villanueva
CS:GO Writer

Beyond The Summit’s first-ever international Counter-Strike event concluded with SK Gaming taking home their first championship of 2017.

On their road to the championship, SK blew out Team EnVyUs on Cache and Mirage with 16-9 and 16-3 scorelines. Marcelo “coldzera” David totaled 24 kills on Cache and 26 on Mirage with an ADR of 107.3 split between the two maps.

Cloud9, however, proved to be more of a problem for the Brazilians in the semifinals. Braxton “swag” Pierce’s impact on Inferno almost gave Cloud9 the first map win, but a read on middle map late in the game by Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo solidified the win by a slight 16-14 margin.

Surprisingly, SK dropped Train to the North Americans 16-9. On Mirage, a strong Counter-Terrorist side from SK gave them the early lead, and an even better showing on their Terrorist side left Cloud9 dazed, leaving them with only two rounds on their Counter-Terrorist side. SK handed Cloud9 their first loss of the weekend once they closed out Mirage 16-8.

The winners bracket finals seemed to be a breeze for the Brazilians. SK topped Gambit Esports on their best map pick, Cobblestone, 16-4, and then later on Cache, 16-7. SK Gaming sent Gambit to the losers bracket finals, but the two teams met once again in the grand finals.

In their grand final rematch against Gambit, SK started off slow on Inferno, trailing Gambit until the final round of their Counter-Terrorist half. On their Terrorist side, SK struggled to kickstart momentum as Gambit shut down their late pushes towards the A site. Gambit ended Inferno in their favor at 16-10.

Cache was a different story for the CIS squad. SK steamrolled Gambit on Cache 16-2, with coldzera amassing 31 kills and a 157.2 ADR. On Train, SK started off at 8-0 on their Counter-Terrorist side, consistently stopping Gambit in their tracks on almost any push. Later in the first half, Gambit began to show signs of life by eliminating the Brazilians one by one without having to plant the bomb.

Gambit continued the uphill battle on their Terrorist side. They soon tied and led the game for a short period of time. Eventually, FalleN began to see the holes in their defense and capitalized on Gambit’s mistakes with mixed executes on the A site. This led to Gambit crumbling under pressure and SK ending the tournament with a championship win after a well-fought 16-13 victory on Train.

This victory at the cs_summit secured $63,750 for SK, as well as their first tournament win in 2017, tying them with Astralis, Virtus.pro, and FaZe Clan for championships this year.