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Ladies and gentlemen: DIGITAL SPORTS

Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. DIGITAL SPORTS!
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 21, 2014 - 47 comments

Dota goes big in 2014

Valve's annual Dota 2 championship was record breaking last year. It took 3 months to raise the prize pool by a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding from 1.6 million USD to 2.8 million USD. This year it took a little more than 1 week to raise the prize pool from the same 1.6 million USD to 5 million USD. And the tournament will only start in mid July. At this rate, even if the winners had never won cash before (and assuming they will the take half of the total money), they will become the highest earner in esports of all time.
(previously)
posted by bdz on May 15, 2014 - 24 comments

DOTA2 - Origins, Launch, and the Road to TI3

Valve is in the middle of hosting The International 3, a DOTA2 tournament with the largest E-Sport prize pool in history - over $2.8 million dollars to be given out this weekend. This coincides with the official launch of DOTA2 itself, which saw player activity spike to over 500,000 concurrent users and 5.7 million unique monthly users. The game launched to wide acclaim, scoring an 89 on Metacritic, praised for its deep and rewarding multiplayer action [Gamespot] and "true" free to play model, where all gameplay elements are fully unlocked for everyone [Destructoid] - possibly the only competitive free-to-play game that is totally uncompromised by its business model. [PCGAMER] [more inside]
posted by xdvesper on Aug 8, 2013 - 84 comments

Mods, guns and hats

How profitable has it been for Anthony? He, like many of the other contributors, was coy about the exact amount: “Let me answer this as indirectly as possible. I am sure that Valve has a new Lamborghini in the staff car park.”

Modding allows amateur and semi-professional designers to fiddle around with commercially-produced games - anything from adding monocles to crabs to recreating Westeros, all the way to a zombie survival mod more popular than the orginal game. While mods have traditionally been free, Valve's Steam Workshop is a marketplace to sell hats and other items for a selection of games, including Team Fortress 2 and DOTA 2 - both sequels to mods. PC Gamer talks to the modders who are making six-figures sums.
posted by liquidindian on Jan 10, 2013 - 22 comments

"Whatever you have in skill it does not matter if the team is not spiritually ready."

The International 2012.
posted by Sebmojo on Nov 17, 2012 - 12 comments

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