The Dota 2 International starts today – here’s how to watch

Valve has outlined all the ways to tune into this year's International contest

While this year’s Dota 2 International tournament will no longer have a live audience, there are still plenty of ways to catch all the action. The 2021 International – the first in two years because of the pandemic – kicks off today (October 7) and runs until October 17. Now, developer Valve has outlined all the ways to tune in remotely.

First up, there’s a new section on the Dota Pro Circuit site dedicated to The International, which you can find right here. This will be the go-to place for all live streams of the contest across five languages, and you’ll find two viewing modes to pick from when you head to the site: standard and spoiler-free. The former offers the “optimal viewing experience with the latest match-ups, scores, and standings right at your fingertips”, while the latter will “automatically track which VODs you’ve watched and block information regarding unknown match-ups and standings”. You can hop between these two options any time.

While the group stages are live, there’ll naturally be multiple games going on at once, so you’ll find the main stream hosts the “Multicast” – a stream following the most exciting games of the day. You can switch to one of the other games going on, though, by picking one of the alternative numbered options, catchily titled ‘dota2ti_2’, ‘dota2ti_5’, and so on.

Elsewhere, there’s a brand-new cheering feature created for this year’s event which is currently slotted into the game’s client, and soon to be available on Twitch. “Simply click on the team logos at the top of the screen to send a cheer for your team,” Valve explains. “We take all of the cheers from the entire audience and sum them up, then represent them visually on screen as well as with the roar of the crowd. So while we can’t hear you in person, your passion and voices will still have an impact on the event.”

For Twitch viewing, Valve has partnered with bukka and SUNSfan, who created the Dota 2 Tooltips Twitch extension, to enhance the experience. There’ll be full tooltip info available to view by hovering over an ability or item, Compendium Points to earn by correctly predicting how a match will play out, the cheering feature mentioned above, and some Twitch drops.

For the full details, head to Valve’s blog post at that link.