The four-month gap the Boston and Kiev Majors in Dota 2 has been especially vacuous, as precious few tournaments gave fans a chance to gauge each team’s potential headed into today’s Kiev Major group stage play. After Boston it seemed like TNC Pro Team was in disarray, but Kiev is showing that just might not be true. Advertisement The southeast Asian squad made a name for itself at last year’s International, where it shot up through the qualifiers and eliminated OG, a tournament favorite, before finishing at 7th/8th. The months since have not been so kind to TNC, as they failed to qualify for Boston after most of their players scattered to other teams during the offseason, and only recently did three return for this week’s Kiev Major. Despite all this, TNC has had an incredible run so far in Kiev, taking down the North American titan Evil Geniuses 2-0 and Thunderbirds, formerly of Digital Chaos, at 2-1 in the group stage. In a chat conversation, team coach Muriel “Kipspul” Huisman expressed extreme confidence, and said he expected to defeat Evil Genuises: Advertisement “We knew we could take READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Image credit: Valve, Twitch The upcoming Kiev Major is one of the most important tournaments of the Dota season, a big tournament in its own right, and an important qualifier for the multi-million dollar The International, Dota’s equal part World Cup and Super Bowl. But if you haven’t been plugged into the Dota community for the last few months, you’re not likely to recognize some of the teams playing in Kiev. Advertisement Winning at Kiev means garnering favor in the eyes of Valve, who determine which teams get a direct invite to The International, and which teams have to earn one through a gauntlet of qualifiers. Last year, five of the top six teams at the major prior to The International received a direct invite. A win in Kiev doesn’t just mean the lion’s share of a $3 million prize pool, but also a surefire shot at the grand prize. But who are the teams competing in Kiev? Ad Finem, the Greek underdogs who took second at the Boston Major, are now under the Mousesports banner. After a Facebook post describing a mutual termination, the former five were picked up by hot-and-cold READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
As a result of the abusive use of multiple accounts for Ranked matches, Valve has announced a new update coming to DOTA 2 to require phone number registration to a single account, as well as a few new matchmaking and report features. …Read More The post Valve Announces DOTA 2 Update Requiring Phone Number Registration for Ranked Play by Jordan Loeffler appeared first on DualShockers.
Image credit: Valve In an update to the Dota 2 matchmaking services today, Valve announced that players will have to register a unique phone number in order to compete in ranked matches. Advertisement This move was made to combat players who use multiple accounts to ruin others’ ranked matches. The act of “smurfing,” or creating secondary accounts to play on, is common for most free-to-play competitive games, but in Dota 2 it can result in players tanking ranked matches without real consequences. A two-week grace period, starting today, will allow players time to register unique phone numbers to their Steam account. Starting May 4, any account without a registered phone number will no longer be eligible to compete on the ranked ladder. Advertisement Dota pros and personalities took to social media to express their thoughts on the change: Other changes, including an option for solo queue players to only match up with other lone wolves and adjustments to party calculations, seem set to further deal with issues of smurfing in the Dota scene. Low-priority bans also apply duration-based bans to ranked matchmaking, and a few underpopulated READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Gaming can be categorized in several different forms. Just as we have people who derive great pleasure playing video games all by themselves, going through story lines, and maps, so do we have those that like to play slots with no deposit. Irrespective of which category you fall, you sure would find one that would interest you in the list… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!
At about 11:00 p.m. local time a day ago, in the European West servers of Dota 2, 10 players queued up for an average, unranked match. Over the course of five hours, these players would rage, taunt, abandon, create new accounts, and become good friends. It was an odyssey of Dota matchmaking, a play in five acts, and God bless it, a damn glorious battle. With no real “surrender” option, Dota matches can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour-plus on the long end. Five hours, though, is a grand new high—for comparison, the longest competitive match was a qualifier match between SFZ and Cloud9 in 2015, which went for 3:20:34. Unlike that match, there were no map breaks or fire in this one, but still plenty of exponential scaling. As commenters on Reddit pointed out, the game had all the natural trappings of a game that was going to go late. It included Sniper and Techies, two heroes who can hold a defensive line for a long time; a Legion Commander, whose Duel ultimate gives her bonus damage if she duels a foe and wins, allowing her to scale infinitely; Invoker, READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The lower bracket seems like a strange place for a match-up like Evil Geniuses and Wings Gaming to happen, but in the first round of the Dota 2 Asia Championships bracket, both teams found themselves on their last leg in a best-of-one match. Back against the wall, both teams turned to oddball strategies, leading to one wild ride of a match. Advertisement The draft stage, where each team picks and bans heroes from a pool of over 100 characters to compose their team lineup, was normal to start. As the game commenced and carried on though, it was the Panda Brewmaster and Invoker combination on Wings Gaming that raised some eyebrows. Panda Brewmaster’s ultimate splits him into three separate, fully controllable pandas representing the three elements Earth, Wind and Fire. These pandas have their own grooves and specialties, but it’s the Earth’s that is important: the Earth Panda does 300 percent damage to buildings. Combine this with Invoker’s Alacrity spell, which massively boosts attack speed, and you have this exact moment below, where Brewmaster can rush down a set of barracks and escape with little worry. This strategy, alongside a few READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Image credit: Valve Designers who say they are able to make a living selling outfits and skins for Dota 2 say they may need to get new gigs now that they’ve noticed an unannounced change to the game’s economy affecting their bank accounts. Advertisement In a post on the Dota 2 subreddit, a collective of anonymous artists alleged that Valve has not only been paying them less for items, but doing so without having properly notified them. We reached out to this collective, who agreed to discuss the issues on condition of anonymity because they fear Valve will retaliate against them. (We also reached out to Valve for comment, but did not receive a reply by publication time.) Cosmetics are an attraction for any game, letting players customize their favorite character’s appearance for a small price. In Dota 2, custom content is a marketplace, where independent artists can create sets of cosmetics and sell them. Recent changes, however, have turned what was once a thriving economy into a hollow shell. When an artist creates a set—a complete collection of cosmetics that gives a hero new pieces of armor READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Ludwig “Zai” Wåhlberg isn’t even 20-years-old and he’s already won over $1.1 million in esports prize money. In an exhibition match on Friday against recently formed Onyx, the Evil Geniuses player decided to transform into a tree and try to mess with his opponents just for the hell of it. Advertisement Monkey King is the latest character to be added to Valve’s popular competitive strategy game. The Dota 2 character can, among other things, change his appearance using an ability called “Mischief.” That’s what Zai did early in the second King of the Hill best-of-three series when he found himself behind enemy lines with a chance to snipe the enemy team’s courier. Players in Dota 2 rely in part on upgrading items to get more powerful, and the courier is one way to transport them around the map. “Sniping” it can cause the opposing team a world of headaches, effectively shutting down their supply chain for a few minutes before a new one can respawn. It’s the kind of play that’s hard to resist. Beyond the material advantage it bestows, it also doubles as a sort of “fuck you” READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Art by Sam Woolley “I wanted a game that hated me.” That was how Sean Plott, also known as “Day9” in the professional gaming world, described the allure of Dota 2. Plott had made a name for himself in the days of StarCraft, where he taught players new and old how to better themselves at the strategy game. Now, he’s the student again, trying to wrap his head around a game that’s popularity is rivaled only by its vast and complicated intricacies. Advertisement Launched in full release in 2013, Dota 2 is the spiritual successor to a mod for WarCraft III, a standalone game produced by Valve that has become one of the titans in the esports scene. Pitting two teams of five players against each other, the goal is simple: destroy the enemy’s ancient to win. How that plays out is what makes Dota interesting. The myriad of different heroes players can utilize and the tactics they can employ to win stacks up, creating layer-upon-layer of theory and strategy. Like chess, you can know in what manner a knight moves, but add on the layers of castling, different opening moves READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Dota 2 uses terrain height in a unique way: depending on the distance, it can cause attacks to miss, provide a vision advantage, or in this case, trap an enemy player on a cliff for a long, long time. Advertisement In the winner’s finals of the CIS regional qualifiers for the Kiev Major, Virtus.pro and Team Empire were on match point. Empire’s Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk went diving for VP’s captain and support, Alexei “Solo” Berezin, apparently forgetting the core mechanics of Berezin’s character, Rubick. One of Rubick’s abilities, Telekinesis, allows him to lift an enemy and then drop them. Berezin uses this skill to drop Kadyk on a cliff, where he cannot come down from. At this point, Kadyk would be an easy kill, but Virtus.pro toys with Kadyk; after all, a kill would only take him out of the game for half a minute or so. The easiest method of escape for Kadyk would be a teleportation scroll, a basic item that lets you teleport across the map to any allied building, but he wasn’t carrying one when he got trapped. Leaving him on the cliff, with no teleport scroll to escape, means he has to bring a scroll…
The regional qualifiers for the next Dota 2 major have been exciting, with over 100 matches played in the last 48 hours. The Kiev Major boasts a prize pool of $3 million, and so everybody and their grandmother has been competing to earn a spot, including one team that made a desperate move to Southeast Asia to do so. Prestige World Wide is an American team that moved to Southeast Asia to compete in the region’s Champion’s Cup. Normally, to earn a spot in a regional qualifier, and thus a chance to qualify for the major, a team would have to play in through open qualifiers. This year though, Valve opened up the Champion’s Cup, which let teams that won enough of its automated amateur tournaments (called Battle Cups) and had a high enough matchmaking rating play into the regionals through the Cup instead. Knowing this, Prestige moved to Southeast Asia, where they were the only team in the Southeast Asian Champion’s Cup, and therefore won by default. There was some irony in the fact that no team signed up for the North American Cup either—so Prestige could have saved in READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Image credit: PGL/Valve The qualifying system for Dota 2‘s majors has its roots in an egalitarian impulse where—theoretically—a team of amateurs could win an open and then regional qualifier, and find themselves competing in a major against professionals. But for the upcoming Kiev Major, that egalitarian has ran smack dab into the reality of tournaments with only one or zero teams, and a team of commentators conceding in a final because they were accidentally winning. Advertisement The major system—there are three majors this year, counting The International—serves as the closest thing Dota 2 has to a regular season. Millions in prizes can be earned, and Valve looks to the winners and best performers at each major when it comes time to send out direct invites to The International, Dota 2‘s multi-million dollar World Cup. For each major, Valve directly invites several teams to compete based upon a mix of recent results, roster stability, and whatever logo comes up in Gabe Newell’s magic eight ball. For Kiev, eight teams got direct spots, while the other eight will go to the winners of the regional qualifiers. Regional qualifiers also have a mix of READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Today, the British Academy Games Awards has revealed its nominations for 2017, and Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End leads the way, being shortlisted for eight awards, including nominations for Best Game, Best Narrative, Artistic Achievement, …Read More The post BAFTA Games Awards 2017 Nominees Revealed; Uncharted 4 and Inside Lead With Most Nominations by Tyler Fischer appeared first on DualShockers.