bittah.com!~ [Tournament] DOTA2 "The International" 3 (2013)

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Post » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:46 am

[Tournament] DOTA2 "The International" 3 (2013)

I really wanted to write a bit of a review about the recent DOTA2 “The International” (also known as TI3 – as it is the 3rd international to have occurred since DOTA2 was “released”. In reality, the first international was held while the game was still in closed beta, and from memory, the top pro teams from DOTA1 were invited into it, allowing people to spectate it before they could even play the game. This alone was a completely ingenious concept, as it not only whipped up interest in an as of yet played game, but allowed people to watch people play it ‘the way it was meant to be played’ – ie several cuts above your everyday pub stomp.

Anyhow, DOTA2 has come a long way since then and has evolved into a considerably polished game. It was looking like LoL would be the far and away winner in the MOBA department, and while it remains ridiculously large, DOTA2 is possibly now no.1. Regardless of which title has been crowned king of the genre, both offer very different experiences to players, and both are continually evolving.

Now getting back to DOTA2 – TI3 was a new experience for me as a gamer as I haven’t ever really jumped on the e-sports bandwagon. I’ve watched a range of competitive games across a variety of platforms – from watching LoL’s championships, to spectating championship Starcraft 1 & 2 games – but I have never really invested myself beyond being mildly interested.

That changed with TI3. Why? Simply – the Compendium.

I saw this compendium on sale for several weeks and paid it no heed. It was being sold to players at a cost of 9.99 USD, and setup like your typical kickstarter – complete with stretch goals. You can read all about it here: http://www.dota2.com/international/compendium/
The compendium offered a range of things, such as the ability to create your own fantasy DOTA team (like a fantasy football team) – which like the footy equivalent, I have no interest, to giving players a courier (basically just ingame aesthetics), a rare item, the ability to predict the tournament winner, and a ton of variables in between – such as the most gold farmed in any game, the amount of first bloods within or under 5 minutes etc. None of this really interested me….at first. There was also a nice battle bonus buff, which would increase player experience in games, for the duration of the tournament.

Most of that money from the compendium sales then went directly into the overall prize money – and this continued to grow as the tournament progressed.

And then one night, on nothing more than an impulse, I bought the compendium. I thought the buff would be nice (as you score an item each time you level), I’d like the custom courier, and well, that was about it. As it became closer to the tournament actually starting, the end game drops started to be polluted by player cards. At first I found these annoying as hell – but as I began to collect them, and they translated through the compendium into ‘smeevil treats’ – which are essentially a way to upgrade/evolve the appearance of your courier – somehow I found myself actually interested in what cards I was getting, and actually seeking to swap them. I can tell you that I haven’t been interested in any form of card swapping in at least 30ish years – back when I was swapping Hulk Hogan for Andre the Giant.

I went through the compendium and made by predictions – mostly having no clue. I had no idea who most of the pro teams were, other than Na’vi and maybe Alliance, who were arguably the most popular. I picked an overall winner by guess (and completely failed – lol Rattlesnake was my choice) - and really had no interest.

As I started watching the games, I became invested. I began to be familiar with not only the teams, but the individual players. I began to recognise players who had specific strengths – such as super good solo mid players – or strong support players. And as it went on, I began to root for various teams, again, not unlike football – until such a point that by the final, I was all over it, and really pumped to see two particular teams square off (which they did in the finals), and enjoyed every minute of it.

This as mentioned, has been a new experience for me, but it has been one that has been thoroughly, and surprisingly, enjoyable. The integration of TI3 into the DOTA2 client is nothing short of superb. It is seamlessly integrated in such a way that you can stream the games lag free, listen to commentary (in a variety of languages), and watch the action as guided by the commentators. With various stats popping up, random facts, areas of the map being drawn on etc – it really is evolving like an IRL sport equivalent. And if you miss the games, they are very easily downloaded (with steps to protect result spoilers), and they even come down complete with the commentaries already integrated into the replay itself. The fact that by watching you can possibly get a rare item drop if you witness things like multi-kills, first bloods, overall wins etc, adds further incentive. They also linked Twitch accounts to Steam accounts, so that if you cant watch through the client, you are still eligible for these.

I am already looking forward to next year’s tournament – and if you had asked me whether I would or not a few months back, it would have been a firm – meh. For me it has been a really interesting experience, and has given me considerably more interest in the game as a whole (particularly from an e-sports point of view), than I honestly would have thought possible. I came out of the tourney with favourite teams and favourite players. I look forward to trying to predict outcomes - this time with a few clues (as opposed to none).

Based on the entire package, from the seamless integration, to Valve’s masterful compendium idea, I would definitely award the entire experience with 5 stars.
Deepjay
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Post » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:56 pm

I had a similar experience with LoL tournaments, watch one and suddenly you're invested.
Sotha
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Post » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:23 pm

deadpixel
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Post » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:09 am

interesting write up
As I started watching the games, I became invested. I began to be familiar with not only the teams, but the individual players. I began to recognise players who had specific strengths – such as super good solo mid players – or strong support players
key to promoting any competition, be it kickboxing, PC gaming or bowls

gotta make "stars" and get people interested in specific players
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Post » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:12 am

One thing i liked, were these 'solo mid' 1v1 bouts between some of the star players - guys like Ferrari from - was it Orange gaming? Vs Mu from - Liquid? God i cant remember - anyway, these intense battles over the mid lane until either 2 deaths or two tower kills - started out quite dull, but man some of the strategies they'd use to get each other. One particular battle was Templar Assassin vs Templar Assassin and it was just insane what these guys were doing in the end. To then see them play in the proper games, you'd consider them your favourites, not unlike a good sportsman.

Was a great experience overall.
Deepjay
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Post » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:38 am

Templar vs templar? Impossible.
XU1
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Post » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:46 am

Go watch the replays - it went for a very long time
Deepjay
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Post » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:15 pm

I have to say, the all-star match was amazing. Well worth the watch in my opinion.

http://www.twitch.tv/dota2ti/c/2712961

Probably on youtube too but haven't looked.
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Post » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:32 am

Image in 1v1 final
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