Valve have revealed their plans to support full tournaments within the Dota 2 client. In a post on the Dota 2 blog, the team describe how players will be able to pay for access to live matches and replays that run in-engine. The money raised will be split between Valve and the tournament organiser in a similar manner to the Steam Workshop. This functionality is due to launch later in the week.
The Defence tournament will be the first to use the system, which Valve say is just the beginning of the game's support for competitive play. "This won't be the end of our features for tournaments, or players, but we think it's the right first step – helping tournaments become more financially stable helps all the players participating in them."
Valve aren't trying to force out traditional stream-based casting, stating that "[they'll] continue to do the best we can to support them. Some customers will always prefer to use their web browser to watch matches." They're paying particular attention to the needs of tournament sponsors, who need a way to declare their support and display advertising.
The other major new feature will be Teams, which allows a group of players to declare their affiliation formally within the game. Dota 2 will detect when two teams are playing and make appropriate changes, such as displaying team logos and banners. Ultimately, this will be expanded to include Team vs. Team matchmaking.
Earlier in the week we rounded up a number of the Workshop items that we'd like to see added to Dota 2. Do you think Valve's support for in-game tournaments and player-made add-ons has what it takes to give Dota 2 the advantage?