Valve, the major game developer, is hosting The International 4, aka Valve’s fourth major gaming tournament beginning July 8th with playoffs. The name of the game is DOTA 2 and the prize is—drum roll please—10 million dollars. I did not stutter.
Basically DOTA 2 is a game within a game (*cough* game-ception) and is the second installment of DOTA, Defense of the Ancients. DOTA players manage one unit, unlike some games like World of Warcraft, and the players are on a team of five against another team of five. For the past decade or so, China, Europe and Russia along with the U.S. have picked up DOTA and DOTA 2 like hot cakes. Therefore, the crème de la crème of DOTA players worldwide are invited by Valve to the International to play in the ultimate showdown for a hefty wad of moola.
Now, DOTA 2’s $10 million mega prize is broken down between 14 participating teams—1st place gets $4.8 million, second 1.5 million and so on and so forth. Each team or squad consists of five players. Therefore the lucky first place winners are getting a whopping 950,000 each… I kid you not. And the prize pool is still growing. Now DOTA 2 is a free game to play, and players boast the addictive and challenging aspects of the game.
The schedule, thanks to dota2.com/international, is as follows:
Tuesday 8th: Playoffs Phase One (Wild Card Solo Championship)
Wednesday 9th- Saturday 12th: Playoffs Phase Two
Sunday 13th- Monday 14th: Playoffs Phase Three
Friday 18th: Upper Bracket
Saturday 19th: Lower Bracket, All Star Match
Sunday 20th: Lower Bracket
Monday 21st: Grand Finals, Pre and Post-Match Press Conferences
Furthermore, even watching the super showdown is free. The entire tournament also will be broadcasted live on Twitch.tv and there are local events in many areas as seen through Pubstomps, where fellow DOTA fans unite to cheer for favorite teams. There will be international multicasts, where four games simultaneously occurring during Phase Two of the Playoffs will be streamed live in a fifth modem. Just go to the site http://www.dota2.com/international/watch/July8/ and change the date to the current day.
The International multicast will consolidate all the “interesting games, unexpected picks, big team fights, catastrophic misses and clutch plays into one package, complete with commentary and desk analysis.” Essentially this is all too legit to quit and is compared to the World Cup of the gaming sphere.
Check out dota2.com/international/overview/ and maybe get your head into the game to show your favorite players or countries your support. Side note: If you’re new to the DOTA world, there is even a DOTA newcomers broadcast. This is an English stream “happening alongside the main stream, featuring commentary aimed at easing people into understanding the exciting world of BKBs, rei-lanes and counter-picks.” Thus, the transition of being the new kid on the block plays out a little easier.