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Zygna vs. Microsoft: The After Hours Gaming League StarCraft 2 Tournament Pits High Tech Companies Against One Another

G4TV.com will be live streaming the the After Hours Gaming League StarCraft 2 tournament which is different than your average StarCraft 2 tournament. Instead of pitting the best of the best SC2 pros against one another, the AHGL featured eight teams from high tech companies including Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yelp and Zynga in a 7 week tournament to help legitimize eSports in the west, and to show how Starcraft 2 is an amazing platform for fun, friendly competition and teamwork. The company who wins the event will get the chance to donate $5,000 to a charity of their choice.

The finals will be held on Friday, August 19th at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, CA  from 6 PM PST to 10 PM PST and we will have the live stream right here for you!

The semifinal games will feature Microsoft vs. Amazon and Google vs. Zygna. The semifinals are  single-elimination and will be cast by the amazing Sean "Day9" Plott and Mike "HuskyStarcraft" Lamond.

For more information on the teams, their player bios and team descriptions can be found on the AHGL's website.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter! 


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Dota 2 Not Coming Out Until 2012?

According to Valve boss Gabe Newell,Defense of the Ancients 2 probably isn't going to come out until 2012. Ugh.

Valve is planning to launch a closed-beta after the one million dollar Dota 2 tournament from Gamescom 2011 ends, and after that a public beta will launch. Once the public beta is out, then Valve will start considering how to monetize the fantasy strategy game. You can sign up for the beta on the Dota 2 website.

"With a game like this, you just keep shipping. You add new heroes. You try out new game modes," said Newell. "You are constantly tweaking items and hero balance. It's very much an ongoing thing."

He didn't mention whether or not Dota 2 will be a free to play game like League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth, only that they haven't even begun to consider how they're going to make money on it. "If you have something with a super careful monetization strategy and it sucks, it doesn't matter. He's right, and that's why Valve got the help of the IceFrog, one of the original developers on Dota Allstars for WarCraft 3 mod to help them create an amazing product.

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"The International", also known as the Dota 2 one million dollar tournament from GamesCom 2011 is starting today, and we'll have the live stream of the entire event, straight from Cologne, Germany. Sixteen of the world's top Dota teams will be competing for a chance at one of the largest prize pools in eSports history.

For those who aren't familiar with Dota 2, it is the sequel to the WarCraft 3 mod "Defense of the Ancients" which gave life to the entire moba genre that has been dominating the eSports scene lately with games like League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. Dota 2 is being developed by Valve, with the help of one of the developers of Dota, Icefrog. The International will be the first time that Dota 2 has ever been shown to the public, and the competition will be fierce with this much money on the line.

The tournament will uses a group stage for the first day, which will feed into a winner and loser brackets for the following days.

All of the games will be commentated, so even if you've never seen Dota before, these professional commentators will keep you up to speed with play by plays on all of the action.

To watch the Commentated version of the Dota 2 Live Stream, click on the blank button between the quality settings and full screen button and switch it from "No Commentary" to the language of your choice!

Are there any Dota fans in the house? I have to know what your initial thoughts are on Dota 2. Let me know below as you watch the live stream, or via my Twitter.


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Valve has just released a new Dota 2 trailer from Gamescom. The trailer shows off the game's beautiful painted art style through the narrative of the title's colorful shopkeeper.

Dota spawned the current massive online battle arena genre craze that has grown to amazing proportions with League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. It's awesome to finally see the trailer for the game and some Dota favorites like Blood Seeker, Traxex, Lina, The Dragon Knight, and more in action.

Dota 2 Gamescom 2011 Trailer »


We'll have more Dota 2 news from Gamescom this week, including the details from the $1 million Dota 2 tournament that's going on there, so be sure to stay tuned. 


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Counter Strike: Global Offensive Confirmed For Early 2012 Release

We've got a lot of new details on the newly announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive thanks to a write-up from the renowned owner of eSports Entertainment Association, Craig "Torbull" Levine. Torbull was one of twenty top Counter-Strike: Source players invited by Valve to test out CS: GO. Here's what we know so far:

Counter-Strike Global Offensive is being developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment for an early 2012 release for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The game will be a platform, team based first-person shooter similar to its predecessors Counter-Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, and Counter-Strike: Source. CS: GO is being designed on the updated Source Engine, and isn't built off of Counter-Strike: Source.

The game is currently in pre-beta, so be sure to take all of this information with a grain of salt. It could all change on a whim, but right now this is what Torbull tested out. CS: GO will maintain the traditional de_ and cs_ map types (he didn't test any new game modes). Both casual and competitive modes will be supported, and Valve is implementing a built in match making system and support for dedicated servers.

For a lot more information on the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive check after the break.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive Confirmed For Early 2012 Release

As was previously rumored, Valve has just announced Counter Strike: Global Offensive, a first person shooter targeted for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam for early 2012. The game is is being developed by Valve, in cooperation with Seattle-based Hidden Path Entertainment. CS: GO will expand "upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched exactly 12 years ago."

CS: GO
will feature new maps, characters, and weapons and will deliver updated version of classic Counter Strike content. CS: GO will also introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leaderboarders, and more.

"For the past 12 years, [Counter Strike] has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world," said Doug Lombardi, VP of Marketing at Valve. "CS: GO promises to expand on CS' award-winning gameplay and deliver it to gamers on the PC as well as the next gen consoles and the Mac."

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TwitchTV Leads Video Game Broadcasting With 8 Million Viewers In July

TwitchTV, the eSports streaming site which Justin.tv launched back in June has gone on to become the world's largest video game broadcasting community, attracting more than 8 million unique viewers per month.

The key to TwitchTV's growth has been their partner and user-centric philosophy. "Our goal at TwitchTV is to help people connect around the games they love," said Kevin Lin, COO of Justin.tv. "To that end, our partner program supports the ecosystem from the ground up by helping our broadcasters, from gaming culture curators to pro gamers, support themselves financially doing what they love - gamimg!"

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This year EVO 2011 featured more than just the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, it was also a place where fighting game fans could learn more about their favorite games via panel discussions. This panel was all about Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition.

Moderated by Seth Killian, the panelists included members of the Third Strike team including Derek Neal, Christian Svensson, Neo G., and Dave Lang. Check out the entire panel in the video below.

 

Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition EVO 2011 Panel »



What did you think of the Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition panel? Let us know!

 

In this episode of Fighting Words, Ernie Moreno heads down to EVO 2011 at the Rio Resort in Las Vegas to chat with CompLexity Gaming's Filipino Champ and Clockw0rk about the amazing fighting game tournament. The panel discusses their favorite parts of EVO, get in to a short debate about game pads vs. sticks, and talk about what they expect to happen down the road for future fighting game events. Daigo even makes a brief cameo!

 

Fightin' Words Episode 7: EVO 2011 Edition »


What was your favorite part about EVO 2011?

 

During Major League Gaming's Anaheim event, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with MLG CEO and Co-Founder Sundance DiGiovanni for an interview and go on an awesome backstage tour with him throughout the MLG Anaheim 2011 venue. In the interview, DiGiovanni discusses how MLG has grown and evolved since its inception in 2002. The tour gives you an exclusive look at both the front and back stage at MLG Anaheim.

MLG Interview With Sundance DiGiovanni »


For the back stage tour video, check after the break.

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At MLG Anaheim 2011 we got the chance to catch up with pro gamer turned Call of Duty: Black Ops coach, Mike "hastr0" Rufail. Rufail knows all about the ins and outs of the business, and in our interview he let us in on what it's like to be a team manager and coach for his Black Ops team EnvyUs. He also gives us the tiniest glimpse as to what's next for him down the road.

MLG Anaheim Interview With Mike "hastr0" Rufail »


If you're interested in hearing from more pro gamers, you should check out our interviews with the winners of MLG Anaheim 2011, or check out our MLG Anaheim 2011 photo gallery.

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QuakeCon 2011 has begun in Dallas, Texas but if you weren't able to make the trip you'll be able to catch all of the action via the QuakeCon Live Stream! You'll be treated to world-class QuakeCon Live coverage. On hand for the tournament will be James “2gd” Harding, Alex “Jehar” Popa, and Steve “GreasedScotsman” Huff providing top quality commentary of the Quake Live tournaments.



The QuakeCon Live Stream will also feature interviews with pro gamers, tournament admins, QuakeCon staff, developers, and more. There will also be exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of the tournament, expo, and BYOC areas.

You won't want to miss the stream, or G4TV.com's coverage of QuakeCon featuring hands on with The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim for the first time, as well as spending a ton of time with Rage, Prey 2 and Dishonored.







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MLG Anaheim was an amazing eSports event and G4TV.com was able to get interviews with both the Halo: Reach winners, Team Instinct, and the Call of Duty: Black Ops winners, Team Quantic Leverage. With over 20,000 live attendees and over 35 million live stream views, we're sure a few of you were checking out these amazing gamers during Major League Gaming's third pro circuit event.

MLG Anaheim CoD: Black Ops Quantic Leverage Interview »



After the break, you'll find a before and after interview with the undefeated Halo "God Squad," Team Instinct.

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"Good Game" is the upcoming feature length StarCraft 2 documentary by Mary Ratliff. In the film, Mary follows members of the team Evil Geniuses as they compete throughout 2011 at various pro gaming events. In order to get everyone more familiar with the stars of her film, Mary will be releasing short teaser videos featuring the members of Team EG. Check out this first sneak peek with Geoff "EG.iNcontroL" Robinson.

If you want to help support Good Game, be sure to check out goodgamemovie.com for more details.



MLG Anaheim Photo Gallery -- Check Out The Winners From The Pro Gaming Tournament 

If you missed any of Major League Gaming's Anaheim pro circuit tournament, you should definitely check out our MLG Anaheim photo gallery featuring all of the winners from the event. MLG Anaheim was amazingly successful, with over 15,000 live spectators in attendance over the course of the weekend. However, with the South Korean StarCraft 2 competitors and the legendary Halo: Reach team Instinct competing, no one else really stood a chance. Nevertheless, it was a blast to watch such high levels of competitive play, and we'd love to know what you thought of the event. 

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