Aspiring terrorist hunters, assemble! Have this year’s Halloween preparations left you without enough pennies to continue with your terrorist hunter training? Well, I bring you good news, for thanks to the wonders of Steam’s free weekends, Valve’s latest game – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, released little over two months ago, is now free to play for the entirety of this coming weekend, until Sunday at precisely 1 PM PST (roughly 9 PM GMT).
This free weekend is set to coincide with the 2012 Electronic Sports World Cup international tournament, taking place in Paris. The first matches will be starting tomorrow, at 1:30 AM PST (roughly 9:30 AM GMT). You will, of course, be able to watch them from the official ESWC website; but since Global Offensive is free for everyone, this means anyone can spectate the matches directly in-game through the newly implemented GOTV spectating client, developed using feedback from the teams competing at the ESWC. It isn’t anywhere nearly as sophisticated as Dota 2′s spectating client (there isn’t any direct menu integration at all, and you have to manually input an address through the dev console, which isn’t exactly user-friendly), but it’s the best Valve has made available, so far.
This is a pretty significant tournament, so half of the CS:GO team have travelled to Paris to watch the games, and talk to the competing players. Consider checking at least a couple of the matches out, if you have the time. Valve will offer direct GOTV links to the matches right from the game’s main menu, and I’ll definitely be watching them from there. Also be sure to tuned to the official CS:GO Twitter page, as well as the official CS:GO website, for updates and images from the event.
But in any case… CS:GO is free! Do you have what it takes to kill lots of angry men, while bombing random places with lots of boxes in them? If so, then check your Steam Library, as the game has been automatically added to your games list for the duration of the free weekend. If it’s not there, just restart your Steam client. Be warned – while there are no hats, Valve have instead included dangerously awesome in-game ranks. So if you see a Legendary Eagle Master in-game, then you might as well instantly quit the game, because that’s a goddamned Legendary Eagle Master.