With over $25 million (£19m) now in the prize pool for Dota 2‘s The International tournament, Valve need a certain level of hype and energy to match that. Enter Gabe Newell, the softly-spoken CEO, knife-collecting uncle, and megacorp mascot. A new voice pack for Dota 2 has Newell deadpan through announcing large numbers of murders, delivering lines including “Megakill”, “Monsterkill”, “More than two kills but less than four kills”, “Ownage”, and “Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know about your rampage” with characteristic drama. See him bring the energy to the booth in this video skit below.
I am always glad to see Kaci and SirActionSlacks back out for The International. A good pair of goofs humanising something that–no offence to most other esports events–could be so dry.
Newell’s dazzling quips are now in a Mega-Kills Announcer pack available to everyone who buys The International’s Battle Pass, Valve’s sticker album/bucket of challenges/bundle of cosmetic doodads. The Pass costs £7/$10 and, unlike many of its shinies, you don’t need to level it up at all to get this voice pack. Newell has only voiced the announcements for murders, mind, and not the other sort of Announcer pack which covers all the other goings-on.
I’m so done with Half-Life 3 jokes and the mock worship of Gabe Newell but ah, it’s a spot of fun, isn’t it. It is weird to be jovial or chummy with a huge company seemingly unaware of–or unprepared for, or indifferent to–the consequences of their decisions and indecisions as the de facto storefront of PC gaming. And while it is vital to remember that companies are made of people and their decisions are made by people, treating those people as cheery mascots and meme machines (or as the sole agents of awfulness, as many other video game CEOs are) is weird and awful. People say I’m a lot of fun.
If you want to hear all the calls without having to actually go out and commit a load of megakills and teamwipes yourself (don’t worry, I know you could any time if you wanted), the DotaCinema mob rolled them all into one video: