Confirmed: Dota 2 At Gamescom, Out 2011

Hang on, it's all capitals there. How the hell are we supposed to write it, then?

On the one hand this isn’t too much of a surprise, after how earnestly the rumour mill has been grinding lately. On the other – well, given how good Valve are at fooling folk, official confirmation that their competitive strategy game Dota 2 will indeed be on public display at Gamescom later this month is a pretty big deal. Oh yeah, and they reckon the game itself will be released “later this year.” Woo!

Dota 2 (an entirely lower case name appears to be the official take, incidentally, suggesting it’s perhaps not entirely an acronym for Defence of the Ancients any more) won’t be playable as such, but we’ll get to see “the 16 best Dota teams in the world” compete in a “double elimination playoff format” tournament that they’re calling The International. The teams in question are listed here. Oh yes: the winning bunch will walk home with $1 million. Good grief. Oh, why didn’t I become a pro-gamer? Other than, y’know, the complete lack of ability and all that.

So it’ll be staking its claim as a competitive game for the trueblue Dota hardcore, but what about the rest of us? Hopefully we’ll get some sense of that at Gamescom, which runs in Cologone, Germany for 17-21 August.

Oh, and Valve reveal that this has been with some elements of the Dota community for a little while already:

“The International is the first public Dota 2 event and will give the tens of millions of gamers playing Dota around the world their first look at the new game,” said Gabe Newell, president and founder of Valve. “I have had the good fortune to watch the competitors as they prepare for the tournament, and the level of play is extraordinary.”

Exciting! Is this a straight sequel, or will Dota 2 be to DotA as Team Fortress 2 was to Team Fortress? Answers -and new images, hopefully – finally await, in a mere two and a half weeks.


  1. dirtyword says:

    I really can’t wait to see what Valve has cooked up. Mainly because they’ve shown next-to-nothing thus far.

  2. deer says:

    Are Valve mad? “The winning team will receive $1 million.”

    • skinlo says:

      Pocket money for them :p

    • admanb says:

      They skimmed the top off of one of their grain silos full of cash and counted it.

    • NaturalDre says:

      I have the sneaky suspicion this is meant to steal Guild Wars 2’s attention :) ’cause we all know that will (well, maybe not anymore) be the star of the show xD I’m looking forward to seeing the gameplay videos of both GW2 and DOTA2 though xD

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Holy assballs! That’s more than an order of magnitude more than I was expecting. They must really want to start this game off with a bang.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:


      My gawd, that’s more than I make in a month! A lot more. Like, almost exactly a million more.

    • Eukatheude says:

      They will receive $ 1 million.
      In hats.

  3. sonicblastoise says:

    Sso…it’s gonna be free like the first one too, right?

    Also, what ever happened to all the IceFrog hullabaloo?

    • dirtyword says:

      I would not be surprised to see this game debut F2P. Especially considering the competition in the space, and HoN’s change of heart.

    • OpT1mUs says:

      First one wasn’t really free, since you had to own both W3 and TFT.

  4. RF says:

    Yesss! I’ve been wanting a decent DotA game for ages!

    Here’s to hoping it’s F2P.

    • briktal says:

      Unfortunately Valve hasn’t done anything really exciting since the Orange Box.

    • Bret says:


      “4 player online zombie fighting!”


      “TF2 will get new free stuff until HELL freezes over!”


      “Oh, hey. We’re releasing a new game, this little multiplayer thing. You shoot aliens. It’s free Monday”

      “We’re making the funniest game ever.”

      Yeah, no emotional response. You are the wisest of men, Briktal.

    • sonicblastoise says:

      Perhaps he is the owner/operator of one of those Boxes wot Play Games Three-Sixhundredseventy2

      Then again, if he were, why is he on RPS?

    • pupsikaso says:

      Left4Dead gets boring really fast.

      TF2 gets worse with every new weapon they release. In fact it hasn’t really been a viable competitive game since the first round of alternative weapons unless you play on servers that disable everything but the default weapons.

      Alien Swarm? You play that ONCE and there’s no point playing it any more again, because it’s freaking identical every time. Worse than L4D.

      And what other game are you talking about that you say is the funniest game ever?

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      well, valve doesn’t seem to tickle your fancy.

    • Bankei says:

      pupsikaso get off your high horse buddy, the value of a game isn’t in its competitive community. TF2, L4D and L4D2 are some of the most played PC games on Steam, so there’s enough value in these games that non-pompous people want to play them.

      Also, Portal and Portal 2 has some of the greatest stuff featured in video games, and I would agree that Portal 2 is the funniest game ever made.

      Good luck with the surgery, I hope they get the stick from out of there!

    • Nick says:

      I’m willing to bet the overwhelming majority don’t give two shits about “serious” competetive stuff in online games.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Alien Swarm is the same every time

      I take it you threw your toys out of the pram before the (quite prompt) update that added an AI director. Turn it on and enjoy being absolutely raped by unpredictable swarms when you though you had a moment to patch up and reload.

      There’s a reason only 1% of people have achieved Hardcore, and it’s not boredom from it being a grindy one.

    • Bloodloss says:

      You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The default weapons in TF2 are, in the vast majority of cases, much better than any unlocks. You’re just complaining for the sake of it.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      TF2 is not really competitive? Right, tell that to the people in the various e-sports leagues. Ever been to CommunityFortress? You’d be amazed.

      And no, vanilla isn’t the only way to play this game “seriously”, unlocks have to be evaluated separately since they vary very much in potential. Pistol vs. Winger is not the same as Shovel vs. Equalizer.

    • zeroskill says:

      “Unfortunately Valve hasn’t done anything really exciting since the Orange Box.” By briktal
      What an insightful comment. Im gonna write that down on my desktop notes so every morning when I start up my PC I can have a good laugh.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Oh come on guys, I mean, Episode 3??!! Fuck.

      Or have we given up on that already, and banished it to the realm of vapourware? Or is valvetime kicking back in?

  5. Miker says:

    Holy crap, one million dollars to the winning team. That’s insane money that Valve is throwing at Dota 2, even more than Blizzard ever threw at StarCraft 2. Also, I’m pretty sure Dota 2 will be more like Fortress Forever to TFC than TF2 to TFC — from what I understand, it’s meant to be an engine/matchmaking/backend update more than a revamp of the game itself.

  6. ryryryan says:

    Not interested in the game unfortuantly, but I can’t wait till it’s released!


    No more upcoming Valve games…

    Surely Ep3/HL3 is next. SURELY

    • dirtyword says:

      We’ll see… and don’t call me Shirley!

    • TooNu says:

      ..and don’t call me shir… crap you’ve allready done that great Airplane line :(

    • Marcem says:

      Suddenly, Counter-Strike 2 is announced.

    • Big Murray says:

      It’s true, for all the excitement they want to generate over Dota2, there’s some people like me who are just waiting for what Valve have up their sleeves next …

    • nyck says:

      @ryryryan i was thinking the same :D if Portal 2 is done, and just a piece of that team is developing the DLC. Dota 2 is being finished, so, they don’t have anything to do but a new game :D. But i dont think it will be HL3, they showed some artwork recently. Im sure they will be announcing a new game between November 2011 and February 2012, but i dont think it will be HL related. However, we are talking about Valve, we cant expect anything clearly

    • Dave says:

      ry is a fag.


  7. BerZerK says:

    Great! And Ep. 3? Well? WELL?!

  8. Turin Turambar says:

    Not even one american team. :P

    • Big Murray says:

      If you can’t have cheerleaders with big bouncing breasts, they ain’t interested.

    • Lemming says:

      Big Murray, well I can’t blame them for that.

  9. bglamb says:

    “Later this year”

    So 2014 then.

    • deer says:

      Yep “later this year” means that episode 3 is likely to be released in 10 years or so …

    • Stochastic says:

      Well, based on © Valve Time I’m going to guess February 2012. Sounds about right.

  10. totaldeadbeat says:

    I just want the exclusive pre-order TF2 hat! It’ll be AMAZING.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      That’ll be hard since dota 2 will pretty certainly be free to play. Hard to preorder that.

    • Davie says:

      There will still be hats. You know it in your heart.

    • Johnny Lizard says:

      If it turns out not to be free to play after all there’s going to be some angry men on that internet.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Dude, achievment hats. I am willing to bet five of whatever currency you use in your respective country to someone that there will be Dota related hats. Maybe even the hat on the only picture they keep spamming all accross the web. I am totally cereal there.

  11. Matt says:

    Hurry up and release this already so the news trickle can move on to titles I care about!

  12. skinlo says:

    I think this is a direct remake of the original, I don’t think they are trying to completely innovate the field here.

    • dirtyword says:

      I really doubt this… Why would Valve get involved? If it’s a straight-up remake, I’ll eat my chain mail.

    • Zelos says:

      I hope you’re hungry, because it’s pretty much confirmed the game is a straight up remake with improved graphics, technical and social aspects.

    • Garg says:

      I seem to remember an interview with Gabe saying pretty much this. They mainly wanted to focus on the backend stuff, paticularly things like mentoring and ensuring a good game experience from a social point of view. A similar vein to those statements from Valve a while back saying “wouldn’t it be cool if someone who contributed loads to TF2 got to play it free, or got bonuses, and someone who was a jerk was banned from using voice comms and chat” (paraphrasing).

    • zeroskill says:

      People should go have a look at the offical blog before they comment. Its stated there that gameplay will be untouched.

  13. Raziel_Alex says:

    New game in Humble Indie Bundle 3.

  14. pakoito says:

    I’m for HON but wel..this is too juicy to get past it. Will try.

  15. bleeters says:

    Something about ‘pro gamers’ tournaments featuring astronomical sums of money as prizes rubs me the wrong way.

    • Stochastic says:

      I wish they would distribute that money more evenly. A game cannot exist as a viable esport if 90% of the prize money is directed at a single team.

    • Bishbosh says:

      Anyone receiving astronomical sums of money who isn’t me rubs me up the wrong way.

    • iGark says:

      Anyone who receives astronomical amounts of money that isn’t Brishbosh rubs me the wrong way too.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Anyone who rubs me up the wrong way isn’t receiving astronomical sums of money.

    • Benevolence says:

      It is weird. Also a really unever distribution of countries, but I guess that could be organic. I’m sure all 16 teams in a similar Starcraft II tournament would be South Korean.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Anyone who isn’t receiving the money way rubs me up astronomical sums of wrong.

    • The Colonel says:

      I like to rub myself up the wrong way with wads of money…

  16. Vandelay says:

    Zero interest in the DOTA/Dota genre, but I’m interested to see what Valve is going with here. It is so different to what they usually do that the outcome is bound to be fascinating and certainly something I want to support.

    Going for the competitive angle is something I think more games should risk. SC2 is the only multiplayer game I can think of that I’ve put any real extensive time into and had a desire to get better with, so seeing other games trying to follow a similar philosophy is something I welcome.

    I will certainly be keeping an eye on this and I hope they release all the tournament videos.

  17. Nero says:

    Yeah I’m not that interested in the game myself, not because I think it will be bad it’s just that I suck at these kind of games. I like watching them being played though.

  18. Jockie says:

    This might sound a bit weird, but i’m most excited to see what kind of community/social features the game has. As good as LoL and HoN are, neither have successfuly solved the problem of aggressive unfriendly communities.
    Have Valve mentioned some kind of veteran mentoring system previously, or did I imagine that?

    • cosmicolor says:

      I believe they mentioned a coaching system, something which appears in TF 2 which is probably being used as a testbed for it.

      Unfortunately this genre will always suffer from aggressive communities, I don’t think it can be stopped, just mitigated somewhat.

    • bglamb says:

      Pretty much this entire project from Valve is one in making a good community.

      That’s all they;re aiming for.

    • Reapy says:

      The problem is not the community of these games, but the GAME itself. DOTA style games are designed in a way to make you completely pissed off at your teammates. It’s a game with randoms that demands extreme cooperation to succeed, already a problem. Next, if the game is not played on equal footing between all the players in the game, you very quickly get into situations where a bad player, on your team, is feeding the other… essentially creating for you 45 minutes of gameplay with no chance to succeed…. all because of your teammate.

      Honestly, it is not in any way, shape, or form, the people that play DOTA games that are terrible, but in fact, the design of the game itself that is terrible for pub play. The same people that play dota, play every other multiplayer game, its just in most of those other games, the amount of fun you have and the outcome are not so dependent on your teammate’s performance.

      As long as the game is still a “DOTA” game, it will always have people getting mad at their teammates rather than the competition, which will in turn make you despise the community much, much more than you would if the harsh words were coming from your opponent.

      Until those game mechanics are solved, DOTA communities will forever suck.

  19. Rikard Peterson says:

    DOTA will always read as “Day of the Aliens” for me, even though it doesn’t look like that game ever will be finished.

  20. Crainey says:

    Valve will show you how it’s done. Can’t really think of a better way to get people talking and looking than announcing a 1 million dollar tournament showing the first footage of the game. As usual Valve showing how good they are at marketing, they got peoples attention time to make money. This will firmly establish Dota2 as a eSport before it’s even out!
    This is going to be epic though, greatest event of the year perhaps?

  21. AS says:

    According to “leaked” patch notes, Dota 2 is more or less lined up with 6.72d – the official tournament version out now. So all of these teams will be able to play on a map they’ve been playing for a while now, and already know what to do.

  22. inertia says:

    So I gather from the above comments that nobody will dote upon this one?

    I’m sorry. I’m tired. I just want to make puns. Help me out here.

    • The Gear says:

      By the looks of that $1 million prize money, it looks like Valve want to set up a defense against the behemoths of LoL and HoN, even though they’re ancients compared to this. 2.

  23. PFlute says:

    If it was anybody but Valve, I would barely even acknowledge this. My experiences with the original DOTA were pretty much akin to running one’s head into a solid brick wall. Now that I’ve become accustomed to LoL, some of the gameplay concepts (Like denying) just seem a bit ridiculous in theory.

    Obviously DotA WAS hugely popular, so I’m not writing it off completely either way, but…

    I’m seriously curious, since it’s Valve. It doesn’t strike me as their style to release something that’s heavily obtuse and generally repellent to all but ardent fans.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Another one here in the “interest limited due to being spoiled by LoL” group, checking in.

      I have a lot of faith in Valve to put out a great product, but I’m just not going to be interested if DotA2 winds up an iteration of the DotA status quo. Especially given the innovations and streamlining that games like LoL, HoN, and Bloodline Champions have brought to the table.

      I’m sure there will be a big playerbase willing to just play DotA with a better backend, but as PFlute points out: It seems odd for Valve to just ignore that notoriously steep DotA learning curve – mentor system or no.

    • Baka says:

      A few months back someone told me the worst thing in DotA is that casters don’t really scale. There’s no Spell Ability/Magic Damage-Items. Does this still hold true? I always wondered how caster carries were supposed to work then.

  24. Gamer-DealZ says:

    Is it confirmed that Dota 2 has denying? If true the game just died for me.

  25. The Dark One says:

    Newell is a co-founder of Valve.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      We don’t talk about that daiquiri-sipping, boat-floating quitter Mike Harrington any more. :)

  26. matrices says:

    No Half Life 3 no sale.

    (Yeah, I’m one of those guys. What of it?)

  27. edit says:

    I’ve never actually played StarCraft2, yet I’ve enjoyed watching many competitive matches. There’s a lot of room for e-sports to grow and it’s good to see Valve getting in there. I hope to see Husky cast some Dota2…

  28. Hatsworth says:

    I and most of my fellow WC3 players at the time always saw DotA as a bit of a joke when it came to competition. I suppose it’s kind of like how BW players viewed us. Only we weren’t wrong of course! Sarcasm aside this does seems ridiculous, though nowhere near the levels of Activision’s 1 million $ CoD console tournament of course.

  29. Fumarole says:

    Isn’t Cologone the name of a laxative?

  30. Andrexx says:

    Am I the only one hoping it’s not F2P?
    I play LoL and I’m hoping it doesn’t fall into that, great game but I hate grinding for two weeks so I can play a new champion. I’d much rather have a “pay once and get everything” type deal.

    Admittedly they could be doing F2P with all heroes available but I doubt it.

    • RenegadeRed says:

      Don’t you see your comment is EXACTLY THE REASON WHY these games are “free2play”? Game devs know that it’s super tedious to farm all the heroes and so they hope you break down and buy from their microtransaction store. You’re part of the lucrative “Gotta Catch Em All” demographic.

    • Xizor says:

      I too hope it isn’t F2P. I am afraid that F2P is way more lucrative than the conventional model and so we’re out of luck. To be able to compete with LoL and Hon Esports-wise they have to make it F2P simply because it ensures a bigger following.

      I think the $1 million dollar tournament is a great idea for them. It will make all the competitive players in the genre move to Dota2 instantly on release and I think a lot of people will follow them.

    • cosmicolor says:

      I get the feeling that Valve *might* pull off F2P without the rotating-hero model. The sort of guys they’re trying to attract with this game hate that stuff on another level of hate, so I’m sure that Valve are aware that doing this will annoy more people than it’ll attract. Perhaps they’ll offer a lowish, one-time payment for all current and future heroes if they do go with that model.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      Is it me or is there something perverse about this situation:

      Play a game for entertainment -> Reach a point where it’s tedious -> Pay to remove tedium.

      How have we reached a point where games are tedious by design?

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      In my opinion the tedium begun when they implemented unlocks in FPS. Why?! WHYY?!?

  31. aerozol says:

    Hmm can actually see that final match getting solid coverage (eg mainstream news time).
    I will definitely watch it, that’s crazy money, and will be some crazy serious ‘play’.

  32. Eukatheude says:

    Totally uninterested in the genre and i’ve never heard of the first Dota before Valve came along.
    However as a Valve fanboy i guess i’ll end up preordering anyway.

  33. Daz says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t $1 million the largest e-sport prize ever announced?

    It’s great that e-sports is getting the recognition and validation it deserves. MLG over the weekend was absolutely epic, I’d love a time when I can invite all my friends over to watch the sc2 tournaments without getting strange looks ;)

  34. Dawngreeter says:

    Maybe Dota 2 is a team-based point and click adventure?

    And, if I recall correctly, RPS already has a professional adventure gamer in their ranks.

  35. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    I don’t know what Dota is. It’s point and click? So basically like a multiplayer Monkey Island? With lots of cussing?

    How does that work?

    • Okami says:

      It’s more text based cussing. You start a game and then proceed to throw as many homophobic and racist remarks at the new player in your team as possible. Whichever team first manages to scare away their new guy and make him vow to never, ever touch a game of this kind again, wins.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      The real question at hand is: Is Dota a RPG?

    • cosmicolor says:

      They are session-based RPGs with a splash of tower defence. Each team consists of 5 dudes and the objective is to get to the base of the other dudes and destroy it. The tower defence aspect comes in the form of towers that shoot at your team as you go near them, necessitating their destruction. The RPG aspect is much like an action-rpg, as you gain levels you get points to put into your character’s skills and you gain money to buy new gear with.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Sorry Cosmicolor, my comment was ment as a jibe at the ongoing discussion…wars (?) on the forums. I’ve played DotA and would agree with the action-RPG classification. ;)

    • cosmicolor says:

      I was talking to Raiyan :P

  36. gulag says:

    So can anyone else draw a direct line between Valve ending up with DotA as a commercial release and Blizzard deciding to ring-fence Diablo3 from the moddings?

    Sour grapes much?

    • Okami says:

      Umm.. no..

      While Warcraft (starting with Tides of Darkness) and Starcraft always shipped with powerful editors and strong mod support, the Diablo games did not.Though there are a few Diablo mods in existence, modding isn’t the defining feature of Diablo. That’s why the news that there won’t be any mod support for Diablo 3 weren’t really news. It’s about as newsworthy as the fact that the next Elder Scrolls game won’t feature multiplayer.

  37. Lemming says:

    Does anyone else get the feeling that with Valve’s focus on Community-based games (CS, TF2, DOTA 2, L4D1/2..) that they are gearing up for their own kind of ‘con? If that’s been the aim this whole time they really are freaking business genius’…geni-eye….geniuns,…clever people.