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ESPN "delighted" by Dota 2 viewing figures; expect more eSports coverage in the future

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ESPN "delighted" by Dota 2 viewing figures; expect more eSports coverage in the future

While there were a few people who tuned into ESPN’s coverage of the Dota 2 International and became distressed, confused and, in some cases, downright angry, the sports broadcaster was “delighted" with how the coverage went. 

The apparent success of ESPN’s International schedule has, a source close to the broadcaster told The Daily Dot, led to it looking to expand coverage of eSports.

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NewBee wins the 2014 Dota 2 International

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NewBee wins the 2014 Dota 2 International

NewBee have beaten ViCi Gaming in the Dota 2 International 2014 grand finals for a total of over $5 million dollars. The Chinese team have had a rollercoaster of a tournament: only last week they were fighting elimination from the playoffs. But since then they stormed through the brackets to secure their place in the grand final on day one of the main event.

The first place prize ensures that each player will receive at least one million dollars each, and automatically places them as the highest earning eSport players in the world.

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ESPN2's coverage of the Dota 2 International is just too much for some viewers

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ESPN2's coverage of the Dota 2 International is just too much for some viewers

The growth of eSports, you could assume, has laid to rest the tired old arguments of what constitutes a sport and how Dota 2 or League of Legends don’t fit the bill. There are fewer and fewer things that separate traditional sports and eSports, and the latter becomes more like the former every year. 

It looks like there are still plenty of folk who aren’t ready for eSports to be considered real sports, however. And there are quite a few who are genuinely outraged, because outrage is a compelling hobby. The Dota 2 International has been airing on ESPN2, and people have taken to Twitter to express just how devastating this is. 

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The Dota 2 International grand finals are tonight; final prize pool $10,931,105

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The Dota 2 International grand finals are tonight; final prize pool $10,931,105

The Dota 2 International 2014 grand finals are here. Sixteen teams have battled over the past two weeks to have a shot at the Aegis of Champions, and with it a slice of just under $11 million dollars; the winner of which will take home over $5 million. The mammoth best of five is between two Chinese teams: ViCi Gaming and NewBee. It’ll mark the first International where fan favourites Na’Vi have not made it to the finals.

The broadcast is starting right now over on Twitch, and you won’t want to miss it for the world.

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Dota 2 International main event: Day Two

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Dota 2 International main event: Day Two

Today was a tough day in the International main event: teams were going to be eliminated from the tournament. Between Na’Vi, Cloud9, IG and LGD, two teams were destined to have their International dream come to a halt.

For those stung with disappointment, there was always the All-Star game to fall back on, and boy did Valve deliver. Spoilers ahead as I dissect day two of the Dota 2 International main event.

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Dota 2 International main event: Day One

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Dota 2 International main event: Day One

Day one at the main event has come to a close. The upper bracket was populated by some of the best teams in Dota 2, demonstrated by their previous performances in last week’s playoffs. But only one could make it all the way to the grand final, and the rest would be exiled to the lower bracket for one last chance at retribution.

What transpired was no less than phenomenal; a perfect start to this four day event.

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What to expect from the Dota 2 International main event

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What to expect from the Dota 2 International main event

The Dota 2 International main event kicks off in just under an hour, and it’s set to be the biggest eSports event in history. A record-breaking prize pool that dwarfs some of the world's most popular sports like The Masters, and just a whisper away from that of the NBA. Eight prestigious teams from around the globe will fight between a crowd of 17,500 at Seattle’s Key Arena.

And if you think it stops there, you’re in for a loud surprise. Valve are going to release the second most anticipated thing next to Half Life 3. 

Techies.

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The International 2014 Dota 2 Championships will be broadcast live on ESPN

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The International 2014 Dota 2 Championships will be broadcast live on ESPN

You’ve probably heard of ESPN, if only during the sports sections of Microsoft’s E3 conferences. They’re pretty damn big in the States, and they cover serious sports like football, basketball, and Dota 2. 

Yes, this year ESPN expands its boundaries to eSports with coverage of The International 2014 through its online ESPN3 channel. Not only that, but a preview of the tournament final will be broadcast on ESPN2, a cable network accessable by 97,717,000 US homes. 

Looks like Dota 2 is invading the America living room.

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Valve’s Erik Johnson on The International: “a lot of the same things could be applied directly to Counter-Strike”

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Valve’s Erik Johnson on The International: “a lot of the same things could be applied directly to Counter-Strike”

With Dota 2’s The International in full swing, Valve have to be looking at their other games and thinking they could, too, have a massive tournament. According to Erik Johnson, one of Valve’s business development authorities, “a lot of the same things [that work for The International] could be applied directly to Counter-Strike."

He didn’t “have anything to announce right now" but “the guys working on Counter Strike have made a lot of progress on supporting the professional community." It sounds like they might be gearing up to it.

I mean, Valve have already made more than $30 million from Compendium sales, the digital item

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Gamefy apologise for leaking Team DK's tactics at The International

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Gamefy apologise for leaking Team DK's tactics at The International

Gamefy have apologised for its camera crew at this year’s Dota International, saying they “entered and began filming the player’s rooms without the permission of Valve and Team DK." The footage they uploaded contained DK’s drafting strategy for their upcoming match against Evil Genius.

While DK still won their game against Evil Genius, Weibo user Dr_Kleiber wrote to Valve saying that “DK’s core strategy and their drafting ideas has been completely exposed in this video, which would put them in a very negative situation in their following games not only against EG but also against other teams." And calls for a strict penalty against the company.

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Six teams eliminated from the Dota 2 International; TI3 champions Alliance among them

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Six teams eliminated from the Dota 2 International; TI3 champions Alliance among them

It’s been a busy week for the Dota 2 International, as all sixteen teams faced off for one of ten spots to progress into the next phase. Only ten teams remain, with six being eliminated from the tournament after over 120 games of Dota 2. The results were surprising to say the least: last year’s champions, Alliance are out with a paltry 6-9 score at 12th place.

Phase three of the playoffs start tomorrow, where eight teams will play to determine their seeding in either the winners or losers bracket for the main event, and two more teams will be sent home.

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If you're interested in starting Dota 2, you should watch the International 4's newcomer's broadcast

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If you're interested in starting Dota 2, you should watch the International 4's newcomer's broadcast

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.

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Dota Dash is the MOBA engine Mario Kart nobody thought to ask for

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Dota Dash is the MOBA engine Mario Kart nobody thought to ask for

Dota 2 is already halfway to becoming a kart racer. It’s got lanes, projectiles, and a roster of colourful characters three or four times the size of Nintendo’s. The designer of Dota Dash decided to go ahead a bridge the gap.

“Race with fast-paced sliding controls!," writes BMD. “Use greevil shells to blast your enemy! Drop banana peels to send your enemy slipping!"

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CIS-Game arrive in Seattle for the Dota 2 International after visa trouble

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CIS-Game arrive in Seattle for the Dota 2 International after visa trouble

After being denied US visas on three attempts, Dota 2 team CIS-Game has finally secured their visas, landing in Seattle earlier today in preparation for this years International. CIS-Game were the runners up in the China qualifiers, and will face off with three other regional runner ups for the last spot in the prestigious tournament: where over $10 million dollars (and still growing) is up for grabs.

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Valve to split ginormous Dota 2 International prize pool more evenly this year

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Valve to split ginormous Dota 2 International prize pool more evenly this year

In all the goodwill surrounding The International’s community-funded prize pool, the only grumbling point was its distribution. A few Dota 2 pros would become millionaires one evening in Seattle, it seemed, but the rest would be no better off for all those Compendiums sold.

Valve have redressed the balance: the 10-million-dollar-plus prize pool will be split more evenly between The International’s winners than in previous years.

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Dota 2 tournament ESL One Frankfurt had over 12,500 spectators in the arena each day

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Dota 2 tournament ESL One Frankfurt had over 12,500 spectators in the arena each day

ESL One Frankfurt 2014, the recent Dota 2 tournament, was the largest eSports competition in Germany and one of the largest worldwide. More than 12,500 spectators crammed into the Commerzbank-Arena to watch the matches each day, while ESL says millions more watched the streams.

We really do need more of this sort of thing in the UK, something Jules championed in regards to League of Legends live events earlier today. As someone who only goes to see the occasional rugby match, I don’t often find myself getting the chance to enjoy passionate crowds roaring and cheering as teams and players clash.

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See ESL One Frankfurt from the perspective of a professional Dota 2 player

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See ESL One Frankfurt from the perspective of a professional Dota 2 player

Eight of the biggest Dota 2 teams have been battling this weekend at the Frankfurt stadium in Germany over an ever increasing $200,000 prize pool. With it being held in a football stadium, it’s not surprising that it’s the biggest eSport event ever held, with over 35,000 spectators.

One of the team members of Dota 2 team Alliance, Jonathan "Loda" Berg, took it upon himself to record the event from his perspective to show off the sheer scale of the event.

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