I love looking at statistics. There's something so solid and factual about the cold, hard truth of numbers, and these numbers are impressive. Minecraft finally has some statistics about how many people are playing the game at any given time, and it's a little on the incredible side.
One of the biggest events in eSports each year is Dota 2's The International. With the top teams going head to head, it is like the Super Bowl or Curry Cup for eSports. Even people who don't play much Dota watch it; it's made particularly accessible with excellent viewing options. And it's coming back this year a little later in the calendar.
We’ve been slacking on the Dota news ever since Matty, intern of the century, left. But that stops right now, because there’s a brand new shopkeeper you can grab for Valve’s MOBA, and it’s the definition of awesome.
I’m incredibly disappointed that Valve have cancelled Christmas in Dota 2 this year. I know they have their reasons (something about an engine overhaul or something), but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a spoilt Internet brat and demand free stuff anyway! Dear Gaben, please send a update with lots of extra snow flakes and candy sprinkles. Lots of love from Porra #2.
One thing I really dig about modern day gaming is that some developers release content that coincides with the season or theme at hand. In Dota 2 for example, Valve gave us Diretide to commemorate Halloween and Frostivus to prepare for Christmas… or at least, that’s how things used to be. There was no spooky celebration this year, and it looks like Christmas has been cancelled too.
I’ve been abandoned…abandoned I tell you! Zoe and Darryn have been struck down by the almighty Eskom (who literally took away their power), Geoff has run off to live his life (pffft), Gavin is MIA (probably off drinking beer), and Sandy is on a flight back to Jhb (from Hipsterland). Looks like I’m alone on this lonely ship today, I hope I can keep it afloat!
It’s been many months since we first heard that YouPorn were looking to sponsor a competitive eSport team. To my knowledge, many people thought it would be Team Secret – the team comprising of former Na’Vi, Fnatic, and Aliiance players, that landed the partnership. This does not seem to be the case. The sponsorship has now been announced, and a Spain-based team has grabbed it.
Have you ever tried explaining the concept of eSports to a non-gamer? It’s really difficult! Those with an old train of thought just can’t get their head around the fact that some people play games for a living. Even then, they don’t understand how stressful and dedicated someone has to be to be truly great. For that reason, I love all the eSport documentaries that have been coming out, as it gives some insight into the world of competitive gaming. Valve kicked off the trend with Free To Play, and not too long after, Riot Games debuted Road to Worlds. Razer are following their footsteps. They’ve unveiled their very own documentary.
I love the smell of fresh Dota 2 news in the morning! A few days ago, Valve gave us a hint of things to come. They’ve now shared details, putting fans (and myself) out of their misery. The update will include a new hero, Oracle, a new arcana set for Phantom Assassin, as well as some other awesome extras!
With a map rework, new rune, and long list of balances, Patch 6.82 really changed Dota 2. It came out nearly two months ago, and everything has been left pretty much untouched since then. That won’t be the case for much longer though. There may not be any significant changes in the foreseeable future, but it looks like there definitely is a new hero. Valve have teased Oracle!
The Alliance Dota 2 team hit their prime last year, claiming The International 3 and cementing their line-up as the best of 2013. There was something about the meta that they understood, and not many teams could stand up to them. This year, however, is a completely different tale, as they have been unable to find that former glory. They’ve won a lot less, and performed a lot poorer overall. Last night saw them pulling out of DotaCinema’s XMG Captains Draft tournament. Why though?
It’s quite something to see how our local eSport scene is developing. rAge alone had insanely high prize pools, something which made me incredibly happy. We’re not done for the year though, as there are still other tournaments taking place. One is the Orena Lifechild Invitational. It will not only bring together top Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams for a shot at a possible R75000+ prize pool, it will also raise funds for charity.
Nobody likes match fixing. It’s a dodgy business, one which can see participants receive all kinds of bans (and rightly so) if caught. Arrow Gaming, a well known team in the Dota 2 scene were disqualified from The Summit, a top tournament. Affiliates of the team placed high value bets against them, which seems odd, and also points to potential match fixing.
I really do enjoy the odd fighting game now and then. I’ve been too scared to challenge Geoff at Street Fighter though, because quite frankly, I’m terrible at the game, and he would literally use my hair to mop up the floor once he is done destroying me. I have not had the training or practice to face our scary editor just yet, but that may change. This YouTube series shows what a Dota 2 fighting game would be like.
Remember the Saxxy Awards - Valve’s equivalent to The Oscars for Source Filmmaker animations? They recently announced the winners for 2014. All of the nominated videos were rather good, and it amazes me just how much of that content was produced in people’s spare time. One of the entrants, Palingenesie, entered a short about Dota 2’s Tidehunter and his questionable tactics into the comedy category. Sadly, he never won, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing his series. A sequel has just recently been released.