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Why Is Anti-Lag Such a Big Deal in CS2?

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With all the fuss surrounding the release of Counter-Strike 2, you could be forgiven for wondering what on Earth is going on. With a flurry of negative reviews making, it one of the most controversial new games of the year, why is anti-lag such a big deal?

The Story of a Problematic Sequel

CS: GO is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series and was released in 2012. The predecessor made a massive impact in the gaming industry and is one of the most popular games of all time. Naturally, this means that it’s a hard act to follow in terms of creating a sequel that keeps everyone happy.

Yet, no one expected the launch of CS2 earlier in 2023 to result in such a bloodbath that it would leave some streamers wondering whether the series will end here. The initial reviews were gentle enough, but things turned ugly when hard-core players began to post tens of thousands of enormously negative reviews that left it floundering at the bottom of Steam’s list of Valve games.

What Is the Problem with CS2?

Newcomers to the Counter-Strike series and casual CS: GO players might not notice a lot of differences between that game and CS2. In fact, a large percentage of the early CS2 reviews mentioned improvements like better graphics and more useful grenades.

It seemed like a decent if relatively unambitious sequel that wasn’t going to cause any big problems. This early review at www.polygon.com points out that it’s been a smooth transition to the new game that the developers have done a wonderful job on. It also mentions how the number of players grew substantially in the build-up to the release of CS2.

However, when the more experienced players got their hands on Counter-Strike 2, they soon let the world know that it wasn’t what they expected. There was talk of the gameplay being “off” and shooting precision being a lot worse. This was reflected in a growing number of poor reviews and then in falling player counts.

The Anti-Lag Issue Exposed

As if this wasn’t bad enough, a massive issue blew up with the game’s anti-cheat system. Stunned players were getting banned from playing CS2, and they had no idea why this was happening.

It was a bit of a mystery until it was revealed that the AMD Radeon driver was causing the game to detect a form of cheating, as explained by as explained in this article by www.tomshardware.com. The problem appears to have arisen from the hardware’s Anti-Lag+ support, which supports Counter-Strike 2 but was making it appear that the players were cheating.

 

How Has CS2 Fared in Replacing CS: GO?

After all the excitement of the build-up to the new game, it turned out to be a huge disappointment when CS2 hit the shelves and people started writing intensely critical comments on it. Will this game replace CS: GO or will the bitter online backlash cause Valve to bring back CS: GO?

A sign of what will happen next can be seen in the competitive gaming world, where CS2 has already replaced the earlier game. You can start making a bet on CS2 at Thunderpick as the new title has already replaced CS: GO in esports events. For example, major tournaments across the planet and with the leading teams are all covered. You can also find alternative games such as shooters and sports to bet on.

The BLAST event to be held in January 2024 as part of the Copenhagen Gaming Week is a sign that Valve is ready to keep the faith with CS2 as we roll into the next year. The reaction of pro teams to the next game is going to be crucial in this respect.

What Happens Next?

AMD has withdrawn the affected driver from the market while they fixed the issue, with Valve promising that anyone who has been banned because of it will be identified and reinstated. This should resolve the immediate issue but the big question that remains is whether the game has already taken too much of a hit to be successful.

The reputational damage suffered by CS2 over the anti-lag issue might not be the game’s biggest problem right now, as it languishes on Steam with a rating that looks awful to anyone who might be considering trying it. However, perhaps the team at Valve see this as a being a chance to recover some goodwill in the gaming community by sorting out a potentially embarrassing issue swiftly and without any fuss.

Will CS2 recover from this setback to become as widely loved and played as CS: GO? It’s still a long road ahead for this game to turn around the early bad feeling that hard-core players talked about so bitterly in forums like Reddit.

Yet, the first reviews that were written before the problems arose suggest that at the heart of CS2 lies a slick and attractive game that isn’t too far removed from the hugely popular CS: GO. If the criticism settles down and no more problems crop up, it has every chance of still being a mid to long-term success.

Balkans

Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin

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Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin
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Hacksaw Gaming and the swiftly up and coming Alphawin solidify their new partnership with the launch of 12 of Hacksaw’s top picks on their site.

As of the 10th of April, Alphawin’s players will be able to enjoy the likes of Chaos Crew, Wanted Dead or a Wild, RIP City and many others. Set to be a hit amongst Alphawin users in Bulgaria, we are anticipating the launch of even more of our fan favourite games in the near future. In a market that has been dominated by local well-known brands for a while, we look forward to seeing how Hacksaw games make waves with Alphawin’s players.

Founded in 2007, Alphabet Gaming now has a sizable network of over 10 land-based casinos and has easily been named one of the region’s industry leaders with its growth. Moving and adapting with the evolution of online gaming, they established Alphawin in 2021. They currently boast one of the largest online casino portfolios in the region, featuring 27 slots and 6 live casino providers. With hopes to add more before the close of 2024, the future is looking like a bright one for Alphawin.

“We are very excited to start our partnership with Hacksaw Gaming.” Alphawin’s spokesperson stated that “the company offers an innovative and unique take on the concept of casino gaming and is an excellent fit for us!”

Set for star positioning, Hacksaw Gaming’s games will see the spotlight in the initial launch with banners, targeted ads and top lobby positions. CEO Marcus Cordes shares Alphawin’s positive outlook on the partnership – “Another strong collaboration under our belts! We’re absolutely sure that the avid Alphawin players will enjoy our artistic visuals and enticing bonus features of our most loved games. With of course plans to expand the Hacksaw portfolio in the future”

As both parties broaden their horizons and look onwards, what do we foresee? Well, we see Hacksaw Gaming and Alphawin, a truly prime pairing.

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Compliance Updates

IOC and UEFA host joint betting integrity workshop

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© IOC/Greg Martin
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Sports betting entities and international federations joined UEFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 11 April for a full-day workshop focused on how sport and the sports betting industry can work together to fight match-fixing. Co-organised by the IOC and UEFA, and held at Olympic House in Lausanne, the workshop explored opportunities for cross-sector collaboration with a focus on integrity exchange in support of the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the UEFA Euro 2024.

The workshop kicked off with presentations by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) and UEFA’s Anti-Match-Fixing Unit, exploring each team’s strategy for combatting match-fixing, engaging with the sports betting industry, and detecting and investigating potentially fraudulent betting activity.

UEFA promotes integrity through dedicated education, prevention, and awareness raising programmes and by detecting, investigating, and sanctioning match-fixing. Collaboration with stakeholders within football, particularly the network of integrity officers who work for UEFA’s 55 member associations, as well as the wider sports community is vital to this work.

UEFA upholds the integrity of all UEFA competitions via tailored, competition-specific integrity measures. Building on the integrity success of previous UEFA competitions, UEFA’s approach for EURO 2024 will feature close collaboration with host and participating nation stakeholders, public authorities, and sports betting entities as well as real-time betting market monitoring. Our secure UEFA integrity website will allow players, referees, officials, and members of the public to report suspected cases of match-fixing confidentially and anonymously. During the workshop, UEFA shared its competition risk assessment and mitigation strategy and explained the escalation, triage, and assessment approach for any potential integrity concerns.

“Sport alone cannot eradicate match-fixing. We must work together – raising awareness, sharing information, ensuring robust prevention and detection systems are in place – to protect sport and athletes. During the UEFA EURO 2024, our Germany-based staff (supported by the entire Anti-Match-Fixing Unit based in Nyon) will work hand-in-hand with betting integrity entities, betting operators and regulators, public authorities, and the national associations.” Vincent Ven, Head of Anti-Match-Fixing at UEFA

“The main objective is to ensure robust 24/7 monitoring of the competition in compliment to our dedicated prevention and education programme for all participating athletes and officials. UEFA’s multi-stakeholder Anti-Match-Fixing Assessment Group will manage pre and in-competition monitoring, ensuring that UEFA can immediately review and address any potential integrity threats to the tournament.”, Ven added.

“Collaboration is essential. During the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, we will work together with a series of betting operators, associations and major betting regulatory authorities to exchange relevant information about irregular betting patterns or suspicious betting activities detected that might imply competition manipulation.” Friedrich Martens, Head of the OM Unit PMC

Panel discussions with several sport governing bodies and betting integrity entities provided insight into best practices, trends, and success stories from each sector’s perspective, whilst two betting operators took the floor to share examples of recent fruitful cooperation with UEFA and the IOC on prevention and investigations.

The afternoon featured frank discussion regarding how to enhance cooperation between sport and sports betting entities, recent trends in sports betting and their potential impact on sport integrity, and how to improve information sharing in support of match-fixing detection and investigation.

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Gaming

Sortium Revolutionizing Video Game Development with Groundbreaking AI Tools Launch and $4 Million+ Funding Round

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In a significant leap forward for the gaming and entertainment sectors, Sortium, a leader in the wave of generative AI within gaming, has launched innovative AI tools for artists and game developers, marking a new era of creativity and efficiency. These tools, leveraging the Polkadot infrastructure, are set to transform the gaming industry by enhancing the creative process, streamlining production workflows, and producing high-quality user-generated content.

This transformative step is supported by a successful funding round Sortium just closed, surpassing $4 million. The round was led by industry stalwarts such as Signum Growth, with significant contributions from a diverse array of investors, including Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management LLC, IDG Blockchain, IVC Fund, Polygon, and 1881 S Group AG. This wide-ranging support underscores the industry’s confidence in Sortium’s potential to revolutionize 3D video game design and entertainment production.

Sortium’s AI tools integrate seamlessly into existing game production ecosystems, automating challenging content creation tasks. This innovation enables studios to significantly speed up production times and reduce costs, allowing them to focus more on innovation and design while empowering users across any system to design their own characters, thereby opening new creative freedoms and revenue streams for developers and individual creators alike. Sortium’s team, with deep expertise in game development, AI, and IP rights management, ensures the smooth adoption of this technology.

According to Angela Dalton, CEO & Founder of Signum Growth, “The Sortium team’s technical capabilities are impressive. Perhaps even more importantly, they possess deep expertise, relationships and understanding across the traditional gaming industry. Generative AI is in its broader market experimentation phase, leading many to ignore IP rights in the spirit of progress and innovation. Sortium’s believes that IP rights will ultimately matter – baking them into the technology at the outset, and respecting artists’ work, are core tenets of the company that we fully support.”

Building on this foundation of technical excellence and ethical commitment, Sortium’s innovations also translate into tangible benefits for the gaming community.

“Sortium is leading the frontier of AI in gaming and creative applications. Sortium gives creatives unparalleled freedom in leading gaming environments like Unreal,” said Lex Avellino, Founder & CCO at Passage, one of Sortium’s partners. “The team is breaking technical barriers, and it adds a huge value for our consumer audiences who want to take advantage of the latest virtual tech but need to act with speed and simplicity.”

Sortium is actively forming partnerships with major intellectual properties and leading gaming platforms. A recent major collaboration with Bit Brawl, a game utilizing Sortium technology to deliver live content to over 5,000 users, showcases the versatile application of Sortium’s tools across various gaming environments. Its technology’s wide compatibility with leading development platforms ensures extensive adoption potential and effortless integration into professional industry practices. Sortium’s enterprise solutions, such as the LiveOps API, aim to enhance gaming experiences and enable continuous creativity through endless, tailored content generation.

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