In many ways, this year's Dota 2 International was a turning point for e-sports perception as a mainstream event. Not only did it boast the highest prize pool of any e-sports tournament, but it also found traction with North America's ESPN. The network broadcast the tournament through the streaming service ESPN3, and aired an exclusive grand final preview on cable channel ESPN2. But if you were looking to ESPN president John Skipper to validate a belief that e-sports are a sport, you're in for some disappointment.
The recently-wrapped International 2014 was carried live on ESPN for the first time ever, and the broadcast was such a success that inside sources say the network now wants to dramatically expand its coverage of e-sports events.
Dota 2's The International is here. While the finals won't kick-off until Friday, 18th July, the playoffs for the main competition's few remaining places will start in just a few hours. Here's why you should be excited. One: it's the biggest event in e-sports, with a prize pool of over $10 million. Two: this year, Valve are providing multiple ways to watch, with a separate stream dedicated to those unfamiliar with the game.
It's an exciting month for fans of DIGITAL SPORT. We're only a few days away from the start of The International's play-offs and exactly two weeks from the main event. Valve are preparing for the Dota 2 tournament's kick... er, creep-off with the launch of the official International mini-site. With it, they've announced the competition's prize-pool distribution, and the multitude of ways for fans—and newcomers—to watch.
Some people are really good at manipulating wizards. As the makers of a game that features wizards (also: bears, succubi, venomous man-reptiles), every year Valve invite some of these people to a multi-million dollar wizard-off. That tournament is Dota 2's The International, and is one of the year's largest e-sports events. Valve have confirmed that this year's tournament will run from July 18 - 21, with tickets going on sale later this week. In addition, the event takes place in a new venue: Seattle's KeyArena.
The International, Valve's annual Dota 2 tournament, is one of the largest gaming events in the world, a celebration of Steam's most-played game that last year took over a symphony hall in Seattle. A report at onGamers, citing sources from eSports teams and officials, indicates that this year's event will move from July from August, and according to Valve's Gabe Newell, may take over a sports stadium.
Free to Play, the Valve-made film exploring the highly competitive and demanding world of Dota 2 eSports, will appear on Steam March 19 following a premiere event at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. True to its name, Free to Play won't cost anything to stream or download, but a paid Dota 2 item and skin pack will also be available that will donate 25 percent of purchases toward the players featured in the movie.
Collectors of Dota 2's virtual e-sports bible, The Compendium, have boosted the prize pool for the upcoming International tournament by an extra $1 million. That's not quite as much as Valve themselves have contributed - with them supplying the base $1.6 million that fans have built upon with their Compendium purchases. But then, most International fans don't have Steam's money hose continuously flooding their building.
Valve's DotA sequel will ditch its closed beta status and become 'free for everyone' later this summer, Erik Johnson told me during a visit to the developer earlier this year. We mentioned Valve's comments on the Dota 2 release date in PC Gamer issue 254, and community-run Valve news site ValveTime have since confirmed the release window via an e-mail exchange with Valve.
Valve’s next Dota 2 documentary titled “Free to Play” is just about ready for public consumption, but the developer wants to hear some additional opinions before hitting start.
DOTA 2 is more than a game. It's a lifestyle. It's an obsession. For some, it could even be a career. Valve's first documentary project goes behind the scenes of the pro-gaming community in the run-up to The International, to see what it takes to be the best - both the skill, and the cost. Gametrailers has the exclusive trailer, and you'll find it embedded here for your entertainment and enlightenment.
The second big International tournament for Dota 2 will take place at PAX Prime in Seattle on August 31. Valve are going to top last year's International tournament with a prize pool of at least $1.6 million. With so much cash on the line, we can look forward to a lively contest. If you'd like to swing by and absorb the ambience of the event first-hand, tickets will go on sale on the Dota 2 store tomorrow at 9am PDT / 5pm GTM.
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.