DOTA 2

The International 2014: Techies revealed in All Star match

Chris Thursten at

It might have been rumoured for a while, but it's still unprecedented. Tonight at the International Valve took the lid off Techies, a DotA hero with a cult following due to his continued absence from Dota 2. Like Valve's other great unfinished projects - Ricochet 2, Portal 5 - Techies have become an event so long-awaited that it seemed like it'd never happen at all.

The All Star match is a just-for-fun friendly between two teams of pro players brought together by a community vote. It's an opportunity to see heroes played who aren't favoured in the meta, who aren't available in Captain's Mode, and, you know, who don't technically exist. That was a pun. The Techies reveal came late, after EG midlaner Arteezy had already picked Sniper. Then, with a deafening crack and a blast of on-stage pyrotechnics, his character switched and the crowd went insane.

No word yet on when Techies will be added to the client for everybody else, but it's unlikely to be long. The character is notorious for planting invisible mines around the map that change the way the game is played. Techies can also self-destruct, which is how 90% of first bloods are going to happen in your games from now on.

Revealing the hero at TI4 sets a dangerous precedent for Valve actually giving the community something that they've been getting far too excited about for far too long. What's next? An up-to-date development blog for the company's ongoing projects? Desks that stay locked in place on whatever floor Valve are keeping all their singleplayer FPS developers on? A brave new world is upon us, its birth heralded by the sound of three goblins blowing themselves up in a million pub matches every day from now until forever.

If you'd like to watch the All Star match, you can find streams and VODs here.

Thanks to Philippa Warr for snapping a photo of the big moment.

PC Gamer's coverage of The International 2014 is brought to you by SteelSeries. From now through July 21st, all Dota 2 and team gear is 25% off. While supplies last.