UPDATE: Thanks to Air, we now know that there will be another International tournament in 2012, straight from IceFrog!
Who was the victor, you wonder? None other than Na’Vi, from Ukraine! After utterly demolishing their opponents, with only one loss (match 2 of the championship final) in the entire tournament, they’ve finally walked away with 1 million dollars. Second place, a $250,000 prize, goes to EHOME, from China, who were defeated by Scythe.SG in the Winners’ Bracket semifinals, but fought their way through the Losers’ Bracket for a second confrontation with Scythe, which they won.
Na’Vi had the one-game advantage, but in the second (technically first) match, EHOME managed to win, after one of the most exciting Dota matches I’ve ever seen. However, next match, they lost to Na’Vi. The fourth, and most crucial game, didn’t last for long, as Na’Vi yet again, emerged victorious.
But they weren’t the only winners! Third place went to Scythe.SG, who walked away with a cool $150,000, and MYM got fourth place, a $80,000 prize. M5 and iG also got $35,000 each, and OK.Nirvana.int as well as MiTH-Trust both got $25,000. These guys may have won the prizes, but every team that participated is a winner, especially since they’ll all be getting their own TF2 hats. Let me make myself clear – I would kill for Storm Spirit’s Jolly Hat. Hell, everyone who got to watch it at Gamescom is a winner! And I mean that literally. If the championship had gone on for a day longer, I might have lost my ability to control myself from literally strangling the live stream system to death.
Valve is currently uploading replays of all the matches, but they’re still working on it - there are still some matches with no replays available, or no 1080p support. So hang in there! In addition, if you haven’t seen the championship, Valve has designed the website so that you can watch it from start to finish without being spoiled with the results. Obviously, you know the results right now… but maybe you’ll forget about them soon, or something.
You can check out their championship end blog post here, and you can find the tournament’s webpage here. What I find interesting is the mention of “the first Champions of the Dota 2 International Tournament” in the blog post, and a variation of that (where it says “first ever”) in the champion announcement picture on the main tournament page. Could we see more Dota 2 International tournaments? Perhaps organized yearly at Gamescom? You heard it here first, folks. Unless… you heard it somewhere else. But that must be impossible. Right? Why are you staring at me like that, fellow staff members?
But now let’s move on to the real deal – Dota 2 has been delayed, from its initial fall 2011 release date, to 2012. Just 2012. The news came from this interview between Gabe and Eurogamer. They also did a text preview of Dota 2. Preview is quite interesting, you should check it out. But the delay… well, I can’t call it surprising. Even if it’s been in development since at least October of 2009, Dota 2 is no easy task for Valve. They’ll need to ensure it’s perfect. Gabe also talked about the way the game will evolve as a service, even before it’s released:
Valve plans to launch an invitation beta after the Gamescom tournament ends. After that a public beta will launch. “And then we’ll probably start worrying about how we’ll monetise it,” Newell told Eurogamer. “We’ll just go into progressively wider and wider distribution. I don’t think it’ll be shipped until next year.”
But then,” Newell continued, “with a game like this, you just keep shipping. You add new heroes. You try out new game modes. You are constantly tweaking item and hero balance. It’s very much an ongoing thing.”
Could Dota 2 end up going free-to-play, like Team Fortress 2? “We don’t know. We don’t have plans yet,” Newell said. “The problem isn’t to figure out what your monetisation strategy is. If you have something with a super careful monetisation strategy and it sucks, it doesn’t matter.
“The most important thing is to do something that resonates well with the existing Dota players and creates a vehicle for new players to join into the community. That’s the hard problem. That’s the interesting one to solve.”
Very interesting statements. I’ll go out on a limb and be the first one to say that I would not like seeing another in-game micro-transaction store for Dota 2 at all. I wasn’t that ticked off when it showed off in Portal 2, because it was a great way to add individuality to your co-op bot, and because it seemed like a good idea, what with all the talk of pre-order bonus skins (strangely, the pre-order skins in question never made it to the in-game store). It certainly seems like it was an experiment in itself for Valve – “would micro-transaction do well outside of TF2?”
But here, we’re dealing with an action RTS. How would you implement micro-transaction without adding useless cosmetics that bog down the visuals, or causing a “pay-to-win” imbalance in the playerbase? Can Valve find a solution that will avoid both extremes? As I said, I personally would prefer if they avoided this tricky situation completely by not featuring any micro-transaction, and just going with a one-time price tag. And that’s all the financial talk I’ll be doing for today. Don’t want to bore you all to death with talks of in-game economies, though we are thinking about doing a little “EconomyGeneration” spin-off website. One gaming economy rant per day. You’ll like it. We’re sure.
And if you hail from sunny Germany, you might be interested in HLPortal’s coverage of the championship, more specifically, this article, featuring actual footage from the event’s conclusion. One of my German friends sent it to me, and he knows I’m not among the best German speakers in the world, so he must have been trolling me or something.
I have it on good authority that we do have a couple of German readers, so you guys should check this out. And even if you don’t speak German, you should check it out regardless, as the cheers of victory can be understood in any language. And stuff. Hey, what if they quote me on that? That’d be pretty cool. I just hope they wouldn’t end up putting the quote in one of those wacky Call of Duty game over screens. That’d be pretty silly.
In any case, that’s it for our Gamescom coverage! We’ll keep covering Dota 2, as we should be seeing a launch of the invitational beta very soon, and a public beta launch not too long after that.