Dota 2

Spotlight

FeatureMeet the man Gabe Newell called an ass on Reddit

James "2GD" Harding on Dota 2, Diabotical and drama.

Free to Play film review

Valve's Dota 2 doc humanises eSports stars, but only hints at the real story.

Dota 2 review

Definitely MOBA.

FeatureValve's Gabe Newell

CS: GO, Steam, Portal 2 DLC and Half-Life 3.

Key events

4th April 2014

Free to Play film review

16th July 2013

Dota 2 review

6th January 2012

Interesting Sequels of 2012

22nd November 2011

Dota 2 Beta Preview

Esport "killer games" aren't right for Olympics, says IOC

"We cannot have ... a game which is promoting violence."

Don't expect to see esports in the Olympic Games any time soon. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach believes the video games being played still promote violence and killing too much to be included.

Valve accidentally launches Steam.tv early

Valve accidentally launches Steam.tv early

Steam Broadcasting refresh in time for The International.

Overnight, Valve accidentally launched Steam.tv - what looks like a take on Twitch - early. The company pulled the website offline shortly after, but not before people got a chance to play around with it.

Cnet went hands-on with Steam.tv in the hour or so that it was online, and said it was showing The International - the big Dota 2 tournament that's going on right now.

Accessible via Steam.tv is the new Steam Chat friends list and group chats, Cnet reports, and you're able to watch videos with friends. There's voice chat, too.

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On 5th August, five expert Dota 2 players sat down to play against a team of bots created by non-profit research lab OpenAI. They lost decisively. Just a few days from now that same team of bots, perhaps with the benefit of a few more weeks of training, will appear on stage at the biggest tournament in Dota 2 - The International - and play against a team of the world's best professional players. Winning there that would be a huge victory, a milestone for both AI and the games industry, and after seeing the bots' performance earlier this month it seems like the most likely outcome. You might be forgiven for feeling like this was the end of an era for game AI as we know it.

Well, that was Amazon Prime Day 2018. The summer sales festivities are now over - if you managed to grab some bargains, good on you - but if not, fear not - Black Friday 2018 is just around the corner, like it or not. We've already got our guide to the best Black Friday gaming deals up and running, ready to update with all the latest deals and discounts as and when they arrive, so be sure to bookmark that one.

Best-selling Steam games of 2016 revealed

Mix of old and new, big and small.

Happy New Year! Valve has revealed the top 100 best selling games on Steam in 2016. And given the size and dominance of Steam in the desktop gaming marketplace, the results are worth noting.

Valve brings back paid mods with Dota 2 Custom Game Pass

Pay $1 for extra perks in Roshpit Champions.

Last year Valve introduced paid mods on Steam when Bethesda allowed its fanbase to sell Skyrim mods. That experiment was short-lived, but Valve is having another crack at it, this time handling things itself through one of its first-party games, Dota 2.

Dota 2 to receive Fallout 4's Mister Handy Announcer Pack

Dota 2 to receive Fallout 4's Mister Handy Announcer Pack

A free bonus for buying Fallout 4 on Steam.

Dota 2 will receive a Fallout 4 crossover in the form of an Announcer Pack staring three-armed floating service bot Mr. Handy.

Purchasing Fallout 4 on Steam will give players access to the upcoming Announcer Pack, due mid-November.

Publisher Bethesda noted that this bonus is a "limited time offer," but no details are given regarding when it will expire.

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Dota 2's Rick and Morty announcer pack out now

Dota 2's Rick and Morty announcer pack out now

Rick and Morty time, all day long forever.

Dota 2's latest announcer pack brings Adult Swims' Rick and Morty on board as narrators for the popular MOBA.

Priced at Ł5.35 / $7.99 on Dota 2's official site, we get to hear surly scientist Rick and his terrified grandson Morty frantically comment on everything that's happening. Clearly there is a universe where Dota is real and the pair have jobs as commentators, so it all makes sense, you see?

The new add-on contains 47 minutes of audio. If you want to spoil it for yourself, YouTuber Waylaid Wanderer has uploaded a recording of the whole thing.

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Huge Dota 2 update adds nod to Terry Pratchett

Huge Dota 2 update adds nod to Terry Pratchett

It was octarine, the colour of magic.

Valve just released a huge update to its phenomenally popular multiplayer online battle arena game Dota 2, and while players are still digging into the details and discussing their impact, the community has discovered a clear nod to author Terry Pratchett.

Dota 2 now has a new endgame item called the Octarine Core, formed from Mystic Staff and Soul Booster. According to the patch notes, it provides an impressive boost to Intelligence, HP, Mana, HP regeneration and Mana regeneration, and includes a passive reduction of 25 per cent on all cooldowns, as well as a passive Spell Lifesteal. It's pretty powerful for all mage type heroes.

Discworld fans will know octarine as the colour of magic in Pratchett's fantasy universe. The Colour of Magic is the name of the first Discworld novel, released in 1983. Here's a quote from it:

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Razer announces eSports documentary Team Razer: Great Games

Razer announces eSports documentary Team Razer: Great Games

A three-part series focusing on StarCraft, Dota and League of Legends.

Hardware manufacturer Razer is following in Valve's footstep by producing a documentary about eSports.

Just as Valve made the free-to-watch Dota documentary Free to Play (which our editor Oli Welsh reviewed), Razer is going to follow the trials and tribulations of eSports competitors.

Dubbed Team Razer: Great Games, the documentary will be a three-part series, with each episode focusing on a different game's origin in eSports and its top players.

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Has Valve just soft-launched the Source 2 engine?

Has Valve just soft-launched the Source 2 engine?

Dota 2 Workshop tools reference new engine.

Overnight Valve released the Dota 2 Workshop tools, and some people reckon in doing so the company soft-launched the long-awaited Source 2 game engine.

"Everything in this package is a new game," wrote RoyAwesome on the Dota 2 subReddit.

"It's all the Dota assets and code ported over to Source 2. That's why Hammer is different. That's why the console is different."

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If you found Dota 2's competitive team-based dynamics too intimidating and pined for something simpler like a racing game, then you're in luck. Modder and Redditer "bmddota" has customised the popular strategy game to resemble an isometric variant of Mario Kart.

Valve announces Newcomers' Broadcast for Dota 2 The International tournament

New to the overwhelming world of Dota but fancy watching the upcoming Dota 2 tournament The International? Valve's got your back.

It's launching a new Newcomers' Broadcast, one of three new broadcasts planned for The International, to help people understand the massively popular multiplayer online battle arena game better.

"New to Dota? Or maybe you play Dota but have never gotten interested in the professional side of the game. Welcome to the Newcomers' Broadcast, an English stream happening alongside the main stream, featuring commentary aimed at easing people into understanding the exciting world of BKBs, tri-lanes, and counter-picks," reads the official description.

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Compendium sales boost Dota 2 International prize pool over $10m

Sales of the Compendium virtual booklet have boosted the Dota 2 International tournament prize pool over the $10m mark.

The Compendium costs Ł5.99 / $9.99 and lets players of Valve's hugely popular MOBA keep up to date on this year's tournament.

But there's a lot more to it than that. By playing Dota 2 you level up your Compendium, earn rewards for use in the game and collect player cards. In truth the Compendium is a game in of itself.

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Free to Play film review

Free to Play film review

Valve's Dota 2 doc humanises eSports stars, but only hints at the real story.

Earlier this year I wrote about a Gran Turismo film produced by Sony, and now we have a movie about the competitive gaming phenomenon Dota 2 made and distributed by its creator, Valve. This is typical of the self-sufficient Seattle outfit, which always prefers to do things its own way; this is the studio that built its own digital distribution network rather than trust anyone else to do it, after all. But it's also part of a wider trend. There's quite a lot of documentary film being made about gaming at the moment, but a troubling amount of it is commissioned and bankrolled by games companies themselves, or by the gaming community on Kickstarter. Most of the projects are well-meaning and made with love, but they can't help but carry an agenda. They come not to examine gaming, but to praise it. As entertaining as these films can be, by default, they aren't real journalism.

In the case of Free to Play, Valve's agenda does at least extend beyond making its game look good (although animated scenes and specially reconstructed game footage make the matches far more attractive and exciting to watch than Dota 2 ever could be, to an uninitiate at least). The film profiles three top Dota players - the Ukrainian Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, the American Clinton "Fear" Loomis and Benedict "hyhy" Lim from Singapore - and follows them through the International tournament Valve hosted in Cologne in 2011. In doing so, it seeks to humanise the players and legitimise the world of eSports, which despite its massive popularity remains an insular and impenetrable demi-monde outside its east Asian heartlands - and which is still dogged by stories of corruption and exploitation.

As far as turning the players into human heroes goes, Free to Play is a big success. The three young men are awkward, charming and vulnerable, and the film fleshes them out with clear-eyed empathy and just the right amount of sentiment. It turns the image of the professional gamer from that of a taciturn, spotty, sporadically aggressive teen into something a lot less alienating to those outside the scene. For Ishutin, gaming is a refuge after a personal tragedy, a private place to rebuild something he's lost. Lim pines for an estranged ex-girlfriend, another Dota player, whom he hopes to win back with success in the tournament, as well as lifting the burden of his family's disappointment in him. Loomis is a classic underdog - "the Rocky Balboa of Dota", according to a friend - playing far from his European team-mates in rural Oregon, his old CRT monitor propped up on books on a desk he salvaged from scrap.

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Valve's The International 2014 Dota 2 tournament announced

Valve has announced this year's The International Dota 2 tournament.

It will be held on 18th July at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. Tickets go on sale this Friday, 4th April at 3pm Pacific time - that's 11pm in the UK. Four-day tickets cost $99 for general admission, $199 for floor seating and $499 for VIP level.

Can't make it to Seattle? Fear not. The International will be broadcast worldwide free of charge, with commentary in multiple languages.

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Newell on Source 2, CS:GO Linux and... Ricochet 2

Valve boss takes on Reddit AMA.

Valve boss Gabe Newell has concluded his Reddit AMA (conducted to support the fundraising effort Valve is doing for the Seattle Children's Hospital), and in the process has offered a few snippets of information on what the company is up to.

Huge Dota 2 Diretide update adds two new heroes

Huge Dota 2 Diretide update adds two new heroes

Coaching! Showcase view! More!

Valve has revealed the hotly-anticipated Diretide update for multiplayer online battle arena game Dota 2, set to be rolled out from today.

Highlights include the addition of two new heroes, an in-game coaching system, crafting and socketing systems, and the new showcase camera view.

The two new heroes are Earth Spirit and Ember Spirit, both cousins of Storm Spirit.

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Dota 2 review

Dota 2 review

Definitely MOBA.

It's the summer of 2010. Typing to a backdrop of Chatroulette and Chilean Miners, it becomes clear that none of us in the Rock, Paper, Shotgun staff chatroom, where I worked at the time, know how to react to the news that Valve, a company famous for giving gamers what they want before they know they want it, is making the sequel to Defense of the Ancients.

Today, Valve's characteristic accuracy is intact. Dota 2's beta is the most popular game on Steam, boasting a peak of 329,977 simultaneous players. This falls far short of League of Legends, Dota 2's biggest competitor, which was able to boast five million concurrent players earlier in the year, but this month the real race starts. Valve is rolling out access to Dota 2 in successive waves, and while Dota 2 is arriving late, it's doing so with an inarguably more generous free-to-play business model, which only charges for cosmetic upgrades.

Yet for the growing shadow that Dota 2 casts, it remains intimidating, or even bizarre to all of us looking in. Which isn't unfair. Dota 2 is bizarre. It's a game where a cockney porcupine can work together with a god of destruction and a ghost to try to temporarily kill a particularly high-level tree.

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Dota 2 launches properly as two years of beta come to an end

Dota 2 launches properly as two years of beta come to an end

Valve adding players in waves to maximise game performance.

Dota 2 has launched properly after two years of beta, Valve has announced.

The company is adding players in waves to maximise game performance. The Starter Packs and Access Passes have been discontinued.

Dota 2 is Valve's free-to-play follow up to the Defense of the Ancients mod for Blizzard's Warcraft 3 real-time strategy game. It is phenomenally popular, and enjoys a monthly user base of more than three million - the largest in Steam's history. Peak concurrent users are over 300,000.

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Valve announces third DOTA 2: The International

Valve announces third DOTA 2: The International

Invictus Gaming return as champions.

Valve has announced the third DOTA 2: The International championships.

The event runs for five days starting 7th August at the Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.

The first team invited to The International are Chinese collective Invictus Gaming, who return as champions of last year's event. 12 more teams will be announced over the coming days.

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Blizzard: UFC-style reality shows could propel eSports into the mainstream

StarCraft 2 maker on the tipping point for professional gaming.

With the emergence of hit video game streaming websites such as Twitch.tv and in-client tournament viewers, eSports is booming. But while hundreds of thousands visit packed venues and millions tune in online to watch their favourite professional StarCraft, League of Legends and Dota players and teams battle it out, eSports is yet to hit the mainstream in the west as it has done in South Korea. Some believe it can. Some believe it can't. Some believe it shouldn't even try.

FeatureThe Dota 2 Experience, Part Three

Our team of Dota 2 noobs have to ship up or ship out, in the final instalment of our diary.

Last week our Dota 2 noob superteam took on actual humans for the first time. They got taken apart like a bad sandwich, and vowed to get their revenge. Here's what happened next.

FeatureValve Interview: Gabe Newell Isn't The Boss of Me

Jason Holtman gives a peek inside Valve's unique structure

The employee handbook that hit the internet earlier this year pulled the curtain back on Valve, suggesting staff float about the company's Seattle offices working at desks made of gold and sitting on chairs made of clouds.

FeatureThe Dota 2 Experience, Part Two

Our team of well-meaning Dota 2 noobs go up against actual humans. This is gonna get ugly.

Welcome back! When we left off, our Dota 2 noob superteam was about to have its first game against real humans.

FeatureThe Dota 2 Experience, Part One

A touching tale of learning to play Valve's hardcore opus. It can't be that bad. Can it?

This started in a pub. Of course it did. I remember agreeing to something about Dota 2 between a fourth and fifth pint of foamy lager.

Every Rezzed attendee to receive Dota 2 beta key!

EGXEvery Rezzed attendee to receive Dota 2 beta key!

All existing and future ticket holders get access to Valve's action RTS.

Hello everyone! As you've probably noticed from the massive banner on the homepage and bombardment of announcements lately, we're doing a new event in Brighton next month on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th July called Rezzed: The PC and Indie Games Show.

Obviously we already do the mighty Eurogamer Expo each year, but Rezzed is a new adventure for us and we really want to thank those of you who have supported it. With that in mind, we've teamed up with our friends at Valve to give out a free Dota 2 beta key to every single person who buys a ticket.

Yep, Dota 2 keys will be distributed to everyone who comes to Rezzed. When you check in on the day, our entry system will make a note and you'll be sent a key a few days after the show. If you've bought multiple tickets for friends and relatives, then you'll receive one key for every ticket, which will be handy since Dota 2 is best played with friends.

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Dota 2 confirmed as free to play, Dota Store announced

Dota 2 confirmed as free to play, Dota Store announced

Free to play but not pay to win insists Valve.

Dota 2, the eagerly anticipated action strategy game from original developer IceFrog, has been confirmed as a free to play game - though Valve insists that it won't be pay-to-win.

An official Dota Store has launched ahead of the game's release later this year, and offers items crafted by both the developers and by the community. Those in the beta can use it to purchase items, which can then be carried into the release proper - and it's possible to muscle in on the game now by buying the Early Access Bundle.

"With support for the Steam Workshop, the majority of the items made available on day one were created and being sold by members of the community," said IceFrog. "By making the game free to play, we hope to give gamers the ability to decide how - and how much - they want to invest in the game."

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Valve launches Steam remote downloads

Valve launches Steam remote downloads

Download pre-loads, new releases and latest purchases while out and about.

Valve has launched Steam remote downloads.

The feature, which was in beta, enables Steam users to manage their library of games remotely via the internet. If you leave Steam running on your PC or Mac, you can log into the Steam website or mobile access and download pre-loads, new releases and latest purchases, as soon as they're available. When you're home, your new downloads will be installed and ready to play.

You can do this from the Games list on the Steam Community site, which you can access from a web browser or the Steam mobile app. The Games list will reflect the installation state of your library on that machine. Find your game and hit install to trigger remote download.

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Valve reveals The International Dota 2 Championships 2012 details

Valve reveals The International Dota 2 Championships 2012 details

Moves from Cologne, Germany to Seattle, USA.

Goodbye Kölsch and hello coffee - Valve's moving The International Dota 2 Championships from Cologne, Germany to Seattle, USA.

That's right on Valve's doorstep, which makes sense.

The International debuted last August at huge German gaming expo Gamescom, and offered a glitzy $1 million grand prize.

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Dota 2: Valve confirms LAN mode and mod support

Dota 2: Valve confirms LAN mode and mod support

Vows to reduce lag, but still no release date news.

Valve has confirmed the inclusion of a LAN mode in Dota 2.

The move is sure to please those who enjoy LAN parties, but will delight the hundreds of thousands of Dota players in China, where the many Defense of the Ancients games are most popular.

"Dota 2 will have LAN mode," project boss Erik Johnson told JoinDOTA.com.

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Interesting Sequels of 2012

Tom's already offered you a rundown of this year's Actual New Games - the ones that are offering, in their own ways, something unique - and now here's the slightly less glamorous look at the other side of the coin.

They're big business, these blockbuster sequels, and for all that we lament the lack of innovation it's these big-budget series that inevitably garner the most attention and inspire the most devotion from the majority. That's nothing to be scorned - iteration's an important thing in games development and indeed the development of games - and a composite of evolved features designed to fulfil a particular desire, be that the needs of a sports fan or those wanting a fresh shooter fix, can be just as important to the progression of the medium as the advent of a new game mechanic or control concept.

Sequels take many forms and capture our attention for many reasons. Some build their features up year by year, like FIFA and Call of Duty, and will continue to be brilliant when we encounter them later in 2012. Others build on the storytelling or world-building of games a few years past, like Gearbox's brilliant-looking Borderlands 2 or the sure-to-be-spectacular finale to the Shepard's tale in Mass Effect 3. And some are interesting because of their circumstances - Halo 4, for example, is another big-budget sequel on the near horizon, and with a new and as-yet unproven developer filling Bungie's big boots, we're just interested in that out of morbid curiosity as devotion to the series.

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Dota 2 Beta Preview

FeatureDota 2 Beta Preview

Changing lanes?

I must be going soft, or I must be getting old. Perhaps both. Maybe I've become pulpy and aged, like an over-ripe fruit that's due for the bin, because the Dota 2 beta is punishing me.

It may well be that I've spent far too long amongst the warm comforts of its accommodating and enormously successful peer League of Legends, with that game's gentle tutorials, helpful replays and precisely-tuned player matchmaking. Side by side, a game of LoL now seems like a finely-honed fencing match where opponents parry and riposte, while Dota 2 is an unforgiving broadsword duel in which one false move spells disfigurement or even death.

What's more, while opposing LoL players may give knowing winks as they feint and strike, more than a few Dota 2 players practically spit in each other's faces. Like the original Dota, Valve's Source Engine update has no sense of sympathy. That's not what you play it for. Nor is it what you expect from the remake of a game whose beginner's guide is simply titled "Welcome to Dota. You suck." Highlights include a section on "DISGUSTINGLY COMMON NOOB ITEM MISTAKES," you disgusting new person, you.

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Blizzard's Morhaime firm on DOTA trademark

But "we're very friendly with Valve".

In a Eurogamer interview at BlizzCon, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime has reiterated the company's opinion that Valve should not trademark the term DOTA.

FeatureValve's Gabe Newell

CS: GO, Steam, Portal 2 DLC and Half-Life 3.

Gabe Newell sits proudly inside Valve's Gamescom booth knowing his company's latest game, Dota 2, has a fantastic chance of being a huge hit. Outside, hundreds are watching it being played live in a tournament with a huge $1 million grand prize. Online, thousands are poring over every detail. Things are going well.

FeatureDota 2

It's Valve time.

"Being honest, I don't know how DOTA got as big as it did, given how hard it is to sit down and play it with your friends," says Erik Johnson, the man charged by Valve boss Gabe Newell with the task of heading up the Dota 2 project.

Blizzard DOTA launch plans revealed

Blizzard DOTA launch plans revealed

It'll be out "near" Heart of the Swarm.

Blizzard is aiming to release its StarCraft 2 DOTA mod at around the same time as Heart of the Swarm, the developer has revealed.

Speaking at a press conference at Gamescom earlier today, senior game designer Jonny Ebbert said that Blizzard DOTA will be out "near the launch" of the next chapter in the StarCraft 2 saga.

Heart of the Swarm is still without a firm date, though earlier this year a 2011 launch was deemed unlikely.

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Valve opens DOTA 2 beta registration

Valve opens DOTA 2 beta registration

Steam sign-up for RTS sequel.

Sign-up for RTS sequel DOTA 2's open beta has commenced.

Though Valve hasn't confirmed when the test will begin, it's inviting fans to register their interest now through the game's official site.

The follow-up to the beloved 2003 Warcraft III mod makes its first public appearance at Gamescom in Germany this week, with a $1 million tournament featuring 16 of the world's best DOTA teams.

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Valve confirms 2011 release for DOTA 2

Valve confirms 2011 release for DOTA 2

Gamescom reveal, tournament announced.

Valve will finally lift the lid on keenly anticipated RTS sequel DOTA 2 during a tournament at Gamescom later this month, with the game due on shelves before the year is out.

As detailed on Steam, the contest, dubbed The International, will see 16 of the best DOTA teams in the world compete for a whopping $1 million first prize during the five-day trade show in Cologne, Gemany.

That's presumably when we'll get our first official look at the sequel to the hugely popular Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients.

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Valve to attend gamescom

DOTA 2? Portal 2 DLC? Half-Life 3?

After a no-show at E3 last week, Portal 2 maker Valve has confirmed it will present at August's show gamescom.

IceFrog: DOTA2 won't replace DOTA

But creator says sequel is "future" of IP.

DOTA creator Abdul Ismail (better known as IceFrog) has assured the Defence of the Ancients community that Valve's new sequel won't override and replace the original.

Valve making DotA 2

Sequel to RTS behemoth due in 2011.

Valve has announced that it's working on a sequel to the hugely popular online RTS title, Defence of the Ancients.