With the IEM Katowice Major coming up for CS:GO, the Pick’em Challenge has become a sort of tradition. This time, however, Valve has introduced a completely different format for getting those sweet Souvenir Packages and making picks for the Pick’em Challenge.
In order to take part in the Pick’em Challenge, players must purchase a Viewer’s Pass. The item can be bought for $10 (8.75€) from the Steam store. Upon purchasing the pass and activating it from the CS:GO inventory, the user gets a multitude of items and options from the get-go.
This time, instead of the classic Pick’Em trophy after making correct picks in the challenge, users are given an Event Coin. The coin starts off with the standard bronze but can be upgraded to silver, gold, and diamond. To upgrade the quality of the coin, the player must complete a series of challenges. The coin will be upgraded to silver after completing five challenges, gold after seven, and finally diamond if all challenges are completed.
The Souvenir Package system has also been completely overhauled. Viewers will no longer be able to get Souvenir Packages from purely watching the game and getting random drops. This time Souvenirs are attained by completing the challenges, the same ones used to upgrade the coin. Each time the coin is upgraded, one Souvenir Package can be opened. Up to three Souvenir Packages can be obtained.
This time around a user can choose from which completed match the Souvenir Package will originate. A random MVP from that match will then be selected for the signature of that particular drop from the Souvenir Package. This is a nice addition that gives users some leeway and increases their chances of getting their favorite players’ signature.
Naturally, the Pick’Em Challenge makes a return for IEM Katowice, as it is with each Major tournament. This time, however, there is no need to purchase team stickers in order to make your picks. The whole Pick’Em Challenge experience is fully unlocked upon purchasing the Viewer’s Pass. This makes things a little more simple as buying each consecutive sticker to make a pick seemed like a drag at times. As always, Viewer’s Pass holders will make picks for the consecutive stages, starting off with the Challengers Stage to Group Stage and then finally the Champions Stage (playoffs). In order to upgrade your Event Coin, you must make some correct picks in each stage.
A nice addition in this new iteration of Viewer’s Pass is team graffiti. A Viewer’s Pass holder obtains graffiti of each participating team in the tournament and may use it in-game. Show your support for your favorite team after clutching a 1v4 by spraying the graffiti on your enemies’ corpses!
Obviously, the overhauled format of the Pick’Em Challenge is to match the now free-to-play model of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If no changes were implemented, then we would have even more fake accounts set up in order to obtain the Souvenir Packages from watching the matches. Besides, the Viewer’s Pass simplifies a lot of things for players. It reduces randomness and luck factors and rewards smart picks of teams in the Pick’Em Challenge. Naturally, this comes at a price. The Viewer’s Pass is a little more expensive than purchasing certain stickers for picking teams. And very lucky viewers are now limited to dropping up to three Souvenir cases. Nevertheless, the Viewer’s Pass model is simple and brings nice additions to the overall experience.
You can find the official update notes here.
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I like to give out free AK-47 headshots in CS: GO, spend some quality time in the kitchen marinating a tender chicken breast and approximately 3 times a week I lift some relatively heavy metal stuff at the gym. Oh, and I also like to write about e-sports and everything related to gaming. Who knew one could have such contrasting interests?