The International is the biggest eSports event in history; boasting a whopping $10 million plus dollar prize pool. Sixteen teams are all smashing their digital avatars together for the biggest slice of the pie, in Valve’s most played game: Dota 2. It’s one of those MOBAs you see - five on five battles of attrition that can last an hour or more. The intimidating numbers don’t stop there either. It has over a 100 heroes to pick from, representing over 400 unique abilities and you’re gonna have to memorise each and every one if you want to be good.
It’s all a mad jumble of knowledge and numbers; only thousands of hours of play can begin to make sense of it all.
But don’t worry. Because there’s a phenomenally easy way to get in: the International 4’s brilliant newcomer’s broadcast. It’s lovely.
So what’s this newcomer's broadcast all about? Well for a new player, Dota 2 can easily overwhelm you with information. Notable events also tend to happen very suddenly and very quickly. As a quick example, watch the video below of an amazing play in the EG vs Liquid match from yesterday.
Did you understand all that? If the answer is yes you can probably ignore what I’m writing and watch any of the normal broadcasts, or even all of them at once for maximum Dota 2 goodness.
If the answer is no however, you’ll want to read on.
The newcomer's broadcast - otherwise known as the “noob stream” - is designed to explain what’s going on in the game, without ruining the flow of the match. The casters will explain what the heroes do as they’re picked during the pick/ban phase, and why they were picked.. If an item is purchased or used they’ll explain why the player bought it and what it does. When the inevitable team clashes occur, they’ll walk you through it on an action per action basis.
There’s no assumptions here; everything is concisely broken down to its most raw form.
New to Dota 2 and don't know which heroes to play? Take a gander at our best Dota 2 heroes for beginners guide.
It’s also hosted by a few well known Dota 2 personalities; some for their knowledge and some for their friendliness. Purge is known for his famous “Welcome to Dota, you suck” noob guide, as well as his informative stream. Sunsfan is part of DotaCinema: a YouTube channel who produces hero guides as well as other tricks and tips. Joining them are Pyrion Flax, Blitz and shaneomad, all known for their slapstick humor, professional play and casting knowledge respectively.
Their work also extends outside of the Twitch livestream. Although you would be passing on some awesome production value, you can also listen to the noob stream commentators within the game using Dota TV. Paired with their casting audio, you can browse the game on your own terms. And thanks to the implementation of Live Rewind, you can replay any section of the game as many times as you want. It really is the best experience.
If you’re relatively new to Dota 2, or even if you’ve never heard about it, there’s very little reason you can’t enjoy watching this year’s International. Valve have made it easier than ever to be a part of the biggest eSports tournament in the universe.