Since Gamescom is not restricted (it’s open to all visitors, in fact), it is able to reach a much wider audience. Which is exactly why Valve skipped E3 entirely, and chose Gamescom for Dota 2′s world debut. But this is Dota. Not just Portal, and not just Left 4 Dead. They can’t just show off a trailer, have a gameplay demo, and call it a day. They need to demonstrate to the action RTS fanbase that Dota 2 is not just a retread of the original, and it’s not a sequel in name only either. So they’re organizing an ambitious Dota 2 championship that is pitting the world’s best Dota teams against each other, in the competitive arena. Winning team takes home one million dollars.
The first day of the championship came to a close earlier today. Six matches were streamed live over the Internet, out of 24, all held at Gamescom. I only got to see three matches today: iG vs EHOME (the very first match), MYM vs M5 (the fourth match), and Na’vi vs Scythe.SG (the fifth match). iG vs EHOME started out slow, with both teams on the defensive, but it slowly ramped up, with EHOME moving on the offensive, followed by iG. The game was quite lengthy, but eventually, EHOME managed to come out on top.
MYM vs M5 started out strong. The teams were not playing around here, and M5 quickly emerged as the dominant team. MYM played well, but M5 managed to defeat them quite quickly. Na’Vi vs Scythe.SG, the second-to-last game, was the first where I suffered some major technical issues with the stream. The stream froze several times, and at one point I completely lost all sound. The teams started out evenly matched, but Na’Vi slowly gained a strong lead, and eventually, they won.
The strongest teams, so far, are EHOME, OK.Nirvana.int, and Na’Vi. All three are leaders in their respective groups, and they have won all of the matches they were in so far. In Group C, teams MYM, M5 and MiTH-Trust were tied for the lead, all with scores of 2-1. Time rating was used to decide the leader here, so MYM came out on top, followed by M5 (we’re actually getting conflicting reports here, as some say M5 are actually the leaders, because they won against MYM).
So far, the championship has gone well. The players did complain of lag, but any lag seemed to be sporadic. There was a lot of game pausing in the first couple of matches, the problem being that instead of saying “GAME PAUSED”, the game simply appeared to freeze due to excessive lag. Obviously, this wasn’t the case in the actual matches. Valve managed to fix this in the later ones, though. The live stream itself was fine at first, but later in the day, I did notice some problems with it. Really hoping Valve gets it fixed over the next couple of days, but hey, supposedly, there were 1.4 million viewers, so what can you do about it?
Tomorrow, we’ll be seeing the quarterfinals for the winner’s bracket, and round 1 of the loser’s bracket. If you’ve missed any matches, or want to see the ones that weren’t streamed, just head over to the International’s schedule page, where they’ve got the results for day 1, the schedule for tomorrow, and replays for most of the matches. For more in-depth coverage, you could check out GosuGamers, where they’ve got some very detailed coverage of the tournament.
And as a reminder to anyone interested in the upcoming beta, the applications area has been re-opened, as the live stream is currently offline. You can apply, but we have no idea how applications will be judged. Will everyone be let in? Will it be on a “first come, first served” basis? Will it be related to the state of one’s Steam account? No idea, but the wording in the beta application area leads me to believe that not every single person who applied will be allowed to enter the beta. Air, one of our readers, also told us that the Steam news press release says “sign up for a chance to participate in the beta”. So it could be similar to CS:S’s May 2010 beta, where the beta was public and on a pretty large scale, but was restricted to only a certain amount of players.
So, did you watch the International? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section.