CBKBeebies: Dota 2 International’s ‘Newcomer’ Commentary

Top dad jokes in Dota.

“Furion’s playing rat doto” – four words full of meaning to the well-informed Dota 2 player but to most people, half of those aren’t even words.

Valve’s Dota 2 tournament The International later this month will be by far the highest-paying digital sports competition yet, with a prize pool currently sitting at $10,466,388. It’ll also be the most confusing digital sports competition. What a weird game Dota is. But the pageantry and big numbers will surely lure in the curious and confused, so Valve are planning a special commentary stream aimed at newcomers.

Valve’s International page explains:

New to Dota? Or maybe you play Dota but have never gotten interested in the professional side of the game. Welcome to the Newcomer’s Broadcast, an English stream happening alongside the main stream, featuring commentary aimed at easing people into understanding the exciting world of BKBs, tri-lanes, and counter-picks.

I’m curious to see exactly what level it’s pitched at, and how effective it’ll be. The idea is certainly sensible. Dota 2 has 107 playable characters, 130-ish items, matches often running up to an hour long, and it’s own specialist lexicon, making it baffling to people who aren’t pr0 like me. But it’s all so weird and complex and learning it is a series of small lessons building upon the previous.

Maybe I’m being cynical. It’s fairly clear by now that people will happily watch someone else play a game they don’t understand at all as long as the presenter’s fun and interesting enough, and do pick bits and pieces up even if they don’t see everything. It could come out as a sort of ‘Let’s Play Dota 2,’ only watching the best players in the world.


  1. altum videtur says:

    Hey, I know what that means and I only played doto like 2 months.

    But I can see how it might be confusing for people who should GET GOOD.

    • toxic avenger says:


      To have free time again, what a wonderful gift that would be!

  2. Martel says:

    DOTA2 is surprisingly a lot of fun to watch, at least at this level of competition, so it’s good to hear they’re trying to make it enjoyable for as broad an audience as they can. I hope this works out. I know I still have a ton to learn about the game so I’ll be trying this commentator out myself.

  3. nopol10 says:

    It would be cool if they did a comedy commentary that pokes fun at the events in the game and requires viewers to have no knowledge of the game.

  4. Zankmam says:

    I hope that it’s fun, I might watch the “Newbie” stream too if done well – Despite me already being a, what, 7+ year veteran?

  5. Crazy Horse says:

    Never mind rat doto. Just cliff jungle a rapier.

  6. Skeletor68 says:

    QOP top and POTM bottom ;)

    I’m kind of baffled at my own excitement level for this year’s tournament. IG look scary but who knows what people are holding back pre-tournament.

    Edit: got to show love for that headline.

    • Banyan says:

      The most baffling thing for me was people using Dota 1 or slang that doesn’t appear in the game. “rhasta – plz get chicken so I can bottle crow” sounds like the lunatic ramblings of a syphilitic mind. It’s amazing so many people bother to stick around longer after their first game.

      • GHudston says:

        As someone who has never played DOTA 1, I wish that this would go away. I know the names now just for the sake of my own sanity, but it’s needlessly complicated for new players and gets a bit confusing in some cases. (Naix vs. Nyx)

  7. TehK says:

    Love that idea and I’ll definitely check it out. Also P-Flax said he’ll be casting on that stream, so that’s a huge bonus for me ;)

    • vampire squid says:

      I enjoyed watching the tail-end of TI3 as someone with no knowledge of the game, but stopped following DOTA shortly after it ended. It wasn’t until a few months later that I actually decided to start playing and learning so that I could follow along while watching Pyrion’s A-Z. For a long time it was nothing but a mess of particle effects, but having someone funny narrating kept me interested. I’m really glad Valve decided to do this and I hope the beginner stream is successful at bringing in new blood.

  8. Leeroy says:

    I’m pretty tempted to watch the newbie stream regardless, with PFlax, Blitz and Purge doing some of the commentary it should be pretty funny and insightful.

    • field_studies says:

      After playing for almost a year now, I feel like I finally have most of the vocab under my belt, but I suspect there will be a lot of players with a lot more experience than me still tuning into this stream. There are so many things to ‘be new’ at in DOTA, from lexicon to the pro scene to the meta to strategy, the prospect of a broadcast that makes any of that more accessible (and entertaining!) is exciting. Smart move.

      And if I’m really lucky, maybe my girlfriend will actually find it watchable!

    • Banyan says:

      Pyrion Flax is one of the announcers? I’m in. His “Put Your Axe Into It” song is so great. link to youtube.com

  9. BooleanBob says:

    It made sense to me but two of the words were redundant. :)