There are two possible levels of knowledge regarding Dota 2, Valve's upcoming entry into the fantasy strategy genre. There's the longtime aficionados, who've been keeping up with Dota since it was Defense of the Ancients (a popular custom map for Warcraft 3), know the tricks and strategies unique to the mod and have been refining them as the title transitions into standalone don't-mention-the-original sequel... and then there's the general public, who think Dota is a Pearl Jam song. For the title's public unveiling, the former have been invited to show the latter – and each other – how it's done, for a prize of... ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
It's a ballsy move, unveiling a title to the Great Unwashed at Germany's Gamescom by way of telling them, “this is the first time you've seen this thing and already look how much these guys could kick your ass at it” – but the strategy just shows how well Valve knows the title's market. Much like Counter-Strike before it, Dota has always commanded an audience that values ridiculously overclocked gaming skills, with Gabe Newell himself citing the competitors' level of play as “extraordinary.” The prize money will be ponied up by Nvidia, who're also supplying the equipment for the tournament in a bid to assure and/or remind you of their hardcore credentials.
Above: China's Nirvana team swears that they don't need a gun, but a responsive mouse wouldn't hurt. Bet they've never heard that one before
The tournament will be broadcast live via [http://www.dota2.com/ the game's site] in four languages. This means Chinese-language viewers will be able to cheer on teams CCM, LGD, TyLoo, EHOME and the Chinese wing of OK.Nirvana, Russians can root for M5, German players can keep up with GGnet, and English-language fans can keep an eye on the international arm of OK.Nirvana. The latter, of course, was originally European team Browned Potatoes, but has been folded into the Chinese-based Nirvana clan to create an international juggernaut of unmatchable Dota prowess – and on the off chance that you didn't know any of that, you'll probably be among those most impressed (and/or perplexed) when the tournament kicks off on August 17-21 at Gamescom.
Aug 1, 2011