DotA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) computer game created and distributed by Valve Corporation. The game is free to play and is the specific and direct spin off from Defense of the Ancients (DotA) which was Blizzard Entertainment’s group modulation for their famous War craft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne its expansion pack.
Valve Corporation in 2009, recruited Icefrog who was the pseudomonous lead developer of the original module of Defense of the Ancients (DotA) to design a new sequel. On July 09th, 2013, the modernized Dota 2 was released officially on Steam for personal computers with Microsoft windows and later OS X and Linux operating systems after a windows-only beta phase was started two years earlier.
In the gameplay of DotA 2, matches are contested by two teams comprised of five players each, tasked with defending two separately assigned bases on a map. Every player involved has independent control over a powerful character referred to as a ‘’hero’’ with peculiar capabilities and play styles. In order to combat the heroes and other defenses of the opposite team during a match, a player working together with his team is required to collect items and experience points highly useful in the battles. Victory is awarded to the team which first succeeds in the destruction of a large structure known as the ‘’Ancient’’ located at the base of the opposing team.
Upon release, DotA 2 has faced some criticisms with its complexity and steep learning curve. However, more plaudits are being directed towards the game for its faithfulness to its original predecessor, production quality, and rewarding gameplay. Since the release of DotA 2, the game has been the most played on Steam, rising to heights of more than one million simultaneous players. This vast global popularity has resulted in the production of official merchandise for it spanning apparel, toys, and accessories including links for the promotion of other games. Also, the game has been designed to support the creation of new hero cosmetics, custom game modes, and maps by the community which are uploaded to the Steam Workshop. Dota 2 possesses a very broad, dynamic and interactive platform where numerous teams across the world professionally compete in many tournaments and leagues. At the top of these tournaments are some with the highest prize pools in electronic sport, reaching millions of US dollars. Such tournaments are termed Premium tournaments and the largest of them is annually held at the KeyArena in Seattle organized by Valve and it is known as ‘’The International’’. Qualification points for The International are obtained by participating and winning other smaller and frequently organized Valve sponsored tournaments known as the Majors and Minors. Getting enough points at these levels earn an invite to The Internationals.
Media coverage for most DotA 2 competitions is performed by selected on-site staff who provide similar traditional sporting commentary and analysis for the matches. Professional Dota 2 matches are broadcasted on the internet for live streaming and on television networks at times boasting peak viewership numbers of millions.
With the 2017 Internationals between 07-12, August, there is high anticipation as usual and the prize pool stands at $22+ million. The various available ways to watch include; live streams, in person, newcomer stream, in-game, pub stomps and DVR replays.