Valve’s Dota 2 tournament, The International starts today

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Today is Friday, which is good because it’s nearly the weekend. It’s also even better because the biggest Dota 2 tournament on the planet is starting today: The International 2013. The Dota fans among us will be already vibrating with excitement, many have likely waited the entire year for this moment.

For the others among you, I hear you ask “Why should I care?”.

Well don’t fret, because we’ve got you covered for the entire duration. Below we’ve got a quick survival guide packed with everything you need to know to get the most out of your International experience. We’ll also detail all the coverage you can expect from us. Spoilers: a lot.

First things first, you need to be able to watch the matches. You can do this in a multitude of ways, so I’ll start with the best: Dota TV. From within the Dota 2 client you can spectate any live game, as well as every match during The International. Because you’re inside the client, it offers you the best quality in the house as well as full control over the camera. If you’d rather some other boffin do the camera work for you, then you can choose one of the many casters to hear their commentary and follow their camera view.

Next up is the Twitch.tv stream. What it lacks in control and quality, it makes up for in extra production values. It’s only on the official Twitch stream where you’re going to be able to see the crowd and the players in person. Not only that but you will also see the likes of the analyst desk between matches and exclusive interviews with players and personalities alike.

For those of you of legal age, there’s one last way to experience The International. Head over to here to see if there’s any local pubs hosting their very own pubstomps in your area. I was at one in London for The International Qualifiers, you can read all about how successful it was. They’re ace.

Now that you’ve chosen your method, it’s time to detail our own coverage of the gigantic event. Just like you, we’ll be watching as many games as humanly possible, and squiggling down various match reports as we go along. There will be dedicated match coverage pages that will be updated often with the highlights as they happen.

Stay tuned today for a preview of each team in The International 2013, as well as our Wildcard match coverage starting at 9PM BST when the whole thing kicks off.