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.