When I left Benaroya Hall late last night the final three competitors in the tournament had been decided. It's been a really exciting competition, with major upsets and strong showings from teams that few would have predicted would make it this far into the big money. Today promises to be one of the biggest contests in e-sports history. It feels like hyperbole to lay it out like that, but it's hard to see how it could be any different: from the prize pool to the level of play, competitive Dota has never been this strong.
Today, Valve announced that the second annual tournament for a game that isn't out yet will take place at PAX Prime in Seattle. 2012's Dota 2 tourney will run the weekend of August 31st at the Benaroya Hall, alongside a stop on the $3 million League of Legends tournament organized by rival MOBA-developer Riot. The International uses an invitational format, and so far only two teams have confirmed their invites: China's DK, and last year's champions, Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) from the Ukraine.