On national Chinese television last week, Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播), the official Chinese government-sanctioned nightly news, reported that DOTA 2 would be part of a national esports tournament from the 20th of June (if I have got my Chinese right). They showed footage of the game, and remarked that a Chinese national esports team would be selected from the players in the tournament. According to Dotaland, no other game was referred to by name.
More details have come to light: specifically, the tournament will be hosted by the Zhejiang Daily Newspaper in conjunction with the e-sports broadcaster Gamefy.
Alliance have won the Dreamhack Summer Dota 2 tournament in a tantalising final against Quantic. The best of three game looked like it could've gone either way as it went into the final game. Alliance displayed utter dominance in the first game, only for Quantic to return the favour in game two. Game three was the decider.
Then Alliance went 22-0 in under twenty minutes. GG.
Icefrog, the Dota legend himself, has posted on his Facebook page the new poster for the Dota 2 documentary Free To Play, which follows the lives of those players competing in the annual Valve-hosted International Dota 2 tournament.
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StarLadder TV have announced the immediate ban of the roX.KIS team from their Dota 2 tournament, including a lifetime ban for roX.KIS member Solo. The bans come after “Solo" was caught betting against his own team, and reportedly throwing the matches in order to score quick cash. roX.KIS have denied all allegations, stating that they are completely innocent.
It’s the weekend! What better way to spend your precious days of freedom than to coup yourself up in your room and watch people play video games. Dreamhack is in full swing with all the best games: Starcraft 2, Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter Strike, and even some Super Street Fighter IV if you fancy that. You can go outside, but only if it’s to get some beer or something.
Dota 2’s eSports scene is picking up pace. Nexon have announced that they will contribute a whopping $1.7m to Korean amateur and pro leagues in 2013 alone. Meanwhile Game Evolution have revealed a new tournament to be held in Dubai’s World Trade Centre for $40,000 in November. All the while Valves very own tournament, The International, is slowly increasing in funds thanks to the Interactive Compendium. At the time of writing, there’s $2,333,000 up for grabs.
You’ll know Bloodseeker, even if you think you don’t - it’s his ugly mug Valve use to promote Dota 2. Big bloke, awful teeth; imagine the Mouth of Sauron packed in the day job and turned quarterback.
Like all Dota heroes, Bloodseeker has an ultimate. His is Rupture - a ranged attack that splits open its target’s skin, causing massive damage if they try to move. It’s popular - but League of Legends developers Riot have no plans to implement it, or anything like it, in their game. Here’s why.
It looks like Dota 2 is finally coming to Korea according to a page from mega publisher, Nexon. Information is pretty scant, but it’s clear the number thirteen is of importance. Could we see Dota 2 in Korea on the 13th? Maybe it’s a countdown to the 24th? Either way, Koreans are set to invade from their own servers soon.
Valve have just updated Dota 2 to version 6.78, with it deploying one of the largest rebalances the game has ever seen. It's survived the testing bed of the original Dota mod for Warcraft 3 with little issues. Few heroes have made it through the patch without alteration. Captains Mode has seen a revamp, adopting a 2/2/1 system to make the picking and banning stage more reactive. Valve have also appeared to have included the beginnings of a native offline mode.
With the International 2013 less than two months away, there’s precious little time for the professional teams to get their strategies and builds in order. Because it’s Dota 2, but not as we know it.
Last month, Valve introduced Dota’s most divisive feature to date - chat bans that feed directly into the game’s existing report system by temporarily gagging the most foul-mouthed and black-souled elements of the game’s humongous playerbase. And it’s working: since the system was implemented, Valve have recorded 35% fewer negative communication interactions, as well as some encouraging statistics about rehabilitated rude people.
I keep forgetting that Dota 2 hasn’t been released yet. And the reason I keep forgetting is that it’s more massive in beta than any of its rivals could hope to be on launch day. Apart from League of Legends, of course. But take yesterday. If you’d rounded up all the players of the other nine games in Steam’s top ten most-played list, they still wouldn’t have matched the total boasted by Valve’s MOBA.
Every family has a relation with a memory problem - one of the favourite tales in my own is that of the great-aunt or gruncle who attended to the fire with a full bladder and found themselves shovelling coal into the toilet bowl, ho ho - but only in the PCGamesN family of N games are they rewound to a earlier version as a consequence. That’s what’s happened to Dota 2 this morning after its new patch introduced a memory issue for players running the game on 32-bit Windows.
Papa John’s are offering eSports fans 50% off if they order using the promo code “PIZZAGG", and major eSports organizations like Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Onemoregame.tv, and ROOT Gaming are all participating in the chain’s eSports initiative. It’s clearly a significant moment for eSports, since Papa John’s is a massive pizza chain and exactly the kind of mainstream brand that many eSports stakeholders want to attract. Over on TeamLiquid, a statement from EG, Liquid, and ROOT suggests, “If you feel like eating a pizza (or two or three or ten) this week, please consider using Papa John’s and help us show them what we can do!"
The reaction from other members of the eSports community, however, has not been quite as universally enthusiastic. What’s interesting is that the objections aren’t about “selling out" or the highly debatable quality of Papa John’s pizza, but about values. It’s a debate that may have ramifications for how eSports culture differs from that of traditional mass-entertainment.
German eSports mammoths Mousesports secured their place in the final of Valve’s annual Dota tournament in a 3-1 victory over dd.Dota last night. They’ll have a shot at The International 3’s prize pool, now the largest ever for a single event.
Last week saw the launch of Steam’s trading card game, a new system that sees cards dropped while playing through some of Valve’s catalogue. Collect a full set of cards and you can craft them into a badge for XP that levels up your player profile. Collect a set of cards again and you can craft a better badge.
The International is the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world. With Valve slapping down over one million dollars in prize money, the best teams from the around world flock to Seattle to claim their share.
A lot has happened since the last International. No Tidehunter (now known as Alliance) stomped at Dreamhack Winter. One of the most famous teams in the world, Na’Vi, has had multiple team alterations to try and reverse their declining performance. It would be rude not to mention Invictus Gaming, The International 2012 champions who put China on the Dota 2 map. They’ve been training hard since that day, and are ready to do it all over again.