Valve competing amongst themselves in ‘The Internal’, focusing heavily on Esports in Dota 2 going forward

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I bet you were excited about the International, looking at the end of August, weren’t you? I bet you’d packed your hat, the one with the ear muffs and the toggles, especially. Not because it’s cold, no. But because you were going to Valve HQ to watch it, and Valve loves hats. Well I bet you didn’t know that right now, as you read this and as I was writing it, Valve are fighting among themselves in the noblest of sports. They’re having a massive internal Dota 2 tournament.

Dubbed ‘The Internal’, it runs as a sort of dress rehearsal for the International, testing all the systems that they’re going to be using at the end of the month, from making sure everything with the players runs smoothly to ensuring that the spectator features are all ticking over smoothly. “We will have our internal version of the International (dubbed “The Internal”) with 16 internal Valve teams these days, where we do a dry run of all of the systems of the game to make sure everything goes smoothly for the real event.” Erik Johnson, Market Director of Operations at Valve (bucking the trend of ‘no titles’) told Gosugamers.net.
It speaks of a Valve’s dedication to getting Esports right with Dota 2. The way spectating works, with you being able to watch games from within the client, complete with commentators and cameras, is all but revolutionary for the competitive scene, and now that they’re letting you buy passes for tournaments, directly supporting the establishments that run them, is just pushing things further in that direction.
“In the case of tournament organisers and professional players, they are a relatively small group of people that generate huge amounts of value for lots of people, so it makes a bunch of sense to build a system that allows people to watch tournament games live in the client. We have a long list of things we want to try out similar to this, and the Dota community seems to ahve lots of different areas where people are doing cool things that people really love.” Erik continues.
This mirrors what Dustin Beck was saying in regards to League of Legends earlier today, when he stated “eSports is the most important aspect of the success and rapid growth of League of Legends”. It builds community, and is a very visible, and powerful aspect of these games, especially when they’re so skill based. What better way to learn how to be better than to watch the pros, and obsess over their tactics?
With the hero pool finalised until after the International, and the hero tiers being laid in stone until that date, it’s looking like Valve’s big tournament is going to be a pretty major Esports event, not just for Dota 2, but for gaming as a whole. I can’t wait.