In a short-fused statement on reddit yesterday, Valve CEO Gabe Newell called James “2GD” Harding “an ass,” then went on to say “as long as we're firing people, we are also firing the production company.”
This was all in response to Valve's newest DOTA2 event, the $3 million Shanghai Major tournament. As with all Valve events in recorded history, the Shanghai Major experienced several production delays and slow-downs that forced on-camera personality and veteran TV host '2GD' to buy time, entertaining the audience during between-match pauses. 2GD has been popular among the DOTA2 community since his time hosting the second TI event, but is also known for stints with MTV, SkyNews, and his own game studio. Shockingly for fans viewing the live event, 2GD was seemingly spontaneously fired mid-cast. The commentator released little information to fans pursuant to an agreement with Valve to “put it on ice” and resolve matters privately.
Dota 2 is being Reborn. Valve has begun rolling-out a massive set of changes to the game’s UI, cosmetics, and some general housekeeping. In the midst of all these changes is an updated tournament section, where fans can find live tournaments and viewable replays of previous events.
Showcased amongst these changes, though, is the new Dota Levels system. Players will now earn trophies for playing Dota 2; these trophies contribute trophy points to the player, with every 100 trophy points granting a new level. From information released, these trophies and levels seem to be largely cosmetic, like gamerscore and achievements. Bragging about a number in Dota 2 should now be much easier.
The day’s first game -- a match between Virtus Pro and compLexity Gaming -- started with some interesting draft choices. CompLexity picked up the Bristleback + Io combo that hasn’t been nearly as popular as it was last year, they also managed to get the Gyrocopter through the draft. Virtus Pro also snuck the Naga Siren into their draft, as well as taking the Razor; a hero who was incredibly popular last year, but has since fallen off. CompLexity’s draft combo seemed to be going poorly throughout the early and mid game as Virtus Pro was able to mount a significant lead. The American team, with a five man Smoke of Deceit, was able to pick off three of VP’s heroes and take Roshan. Though the game became a slugfest, it was compLexity that only barely managed to break their opponent and win the first game.
The first day of The International 2015 main event is in the books. The day broke with the announcement that the massive prize pool had broken 18 million dollars. In addition to filling Key Arena in Seattle, the event was viewed in 400 theaters across the nation and with limited television broadcast.
The first match came from the upper bracket, between Europe’s Team Empire and the Chinese LGD Gaming. Game one looked to be in Team Empire’s favor as they took a strong lead with aggressive play in the mid-game; however, LGD was able to find the cracks in Empire’s continued aggression and LGD was able to fight Team Empire all the way back to the European’s fountain, taking game one from the European team.
The time has finally come: Monday is the beginning of the main event for The International 2015, Valve’s DOTA 2 eSports tournament. The tournament has officially collected the largest single-event eSports prize pool in history.
Last weekend, four teams made their final gambits for spots in the event; China’s CDEC Gaming and Korean team MVP Phoenix snuck into the final two spots. This past week, all 16 teams battled through a fierce group stage to determine the final bracket for the main event.
As The International 5 continues to march closer, Dota 2 fans are greeted by an unrelenting wave of good news. Valve sells “Compendiums” annually for $10, they offer up in-game content related to the big event. 25% of the sale of these Compendiums goes towards the prize pool for TI5. Last year set a record for an e-sports event at $10.9 million, but this year -- with weeks still to go -- they’ve broken that record with a whopping $16.5 million.
We’re approaching that time of year again. Dota 2’s “The International” is beginning with its announcement of the invited teams and the playoff stages are firing-off early. As with the last two years, Valve is selling Compendiums to build hype and money for the prize pool. Last year, the tournament set a record prize pool with $10,930,698. Compendiums went live just a month ago and, with two more months to go until the event, there’s already $10,012,360 in the pool. Just the same as last year, Valve initiated the pool with $1,600,000 -- the other $8,412,360 has all come from the fans.
Raptr has just posted its Most Played PC Games for May 2014 list, a compilation that spotlights Dark Souls II’s 12-spot climb to #11. The list details the most popular PC games from May, 2014, to include League of Legends, WoW, DOTA2, and 17 others.
Console gamers have been enjoying Dark Souls II since March, but until April 24, PC gamers have had to wait for From Software’s follow-up. Dark Souls II returns players to one of the most successful (and brutal) action RPG games of the century.
It is little wonder to anyone who’s watched any eSports that the entertainment medium is growing. Twitch.tv just recently announced that it now streams 12 billion minutes of video content per month to 45 million unique monthly viewers, a 2x growth over 2012’s year-end stats. Those metrics measure streaming as a whole, but the competitive gaming scene has grown its own niche and is clinging on tight.
Every year in Seattle, Valve holds its yearly DOTA 2 tournament, called “The International.” Valve ponies up $1,600,000 of its own money for prizes, but that’s not what makes the funding for this tournament interesting: The last two years have seen Valve’s sale of “DOTA Compendiums,” the profits of which go toward the prize pool. Fans raised an additional $1,274,381 last year; this year, with over a month before the tournament, fans have already raised an extra $6,332,765 (as of the time of writing this article).