Dota 2 is one of the most popular eSports on the planet, played by millions of fans on a monthly basis. Just like League of Legends, Dota 2 is a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game. One of the reasons that made Dota 2 very popular is the fact that the game is completely free to play. This game is played online by two teams of five players that fight against each other. Each team is occupying the base on either side of the map by controlling the heroes in the games. The objectives of the game are to destroy the structures in the opponent’s base and to collect the experience points and items that increase the abilities of the heroes. Dota 2 is actually a sequel to the original Defense of the Ancients Warcraft III map. Over the years the connection between the original Defense of the Ancients and Dota 2 got so blurry that Dota 2 is now considered to be a stand alone game with hardly any connection with DOTA.
In time, Dota 2 has become so popular that even some universities in some parts of the world have created university courses about Dota 2 and how this game is played. Such courses obviously don’t only focus on Dota 2 but rather on eSports in general as an industry. Besides that, Dota 2 has grown so much that these universities are using this video game and the eSports industry as a way to teach their students some of the aspects of real life such as the importance of joint effort or team play, patience and understanding as well as the ability of critical thinking which is very important in professional Dota 2 play. Soon after this game was released, it became a part of the eSports industry. The company that developed and released the game, Valve Corporation, started organising tournaments all over the world which contributed to the rise of popularity of this game globally.
History of the Game
Dota 2 eSports competition started gaining popularity very early following the launch of the game. The first tournament ever that featured exclusively Dota 2 game was The International that was held in Cologne, Germany back in 2011. The event was organised by the Valve Corporation, and since then they have been organising this event each year, and each year, The International broke all records when it comes to the world of eSports. The first Dota 2 tournament ever, featured 16 teams competing for a prize pool of a cool $1 million. Since that moment it became clear that The International, as well as Dota 2, would become a unique phenomenon in the eSports industry because of the popularity of that competition and the fuss it caused despite being released just shortly before the tournament.
Over the years, Dota 2 and The International have been growing hand in hand, and it is hard to separate the two. The International 2016 also feature sixteen teams from all parts of the world, but it also featured the biggest prize pool ever seen in the eSports industry, with $20 million being distributed among the winners. However, The International is not the only big Dota 2 tournament in the world. In order to bring Dota 2 competitions close to a wider number of professional players, Valve Corporation started to organise and to sponsor several tournaments throughout the world that became known as the Dota 2 Major Championships. These Major Championships, unlike The International, have a fixed prize pool of $3 million but the amount is bound to grow as so does the game. The format of these Championships uses the same format of other major competitions which Valve is also organising – those of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The first Dota 2 Major ever was held in Frankfurt 2015, and the winners of that major were OG.
Besides the Frankfurt Major, 2015 featured two other major championships and The International tournament as the biggest Major of them all. Besides Frankfurt Major, the Dota 2 Major championships during the 2015/2016 season were held in Shanghai and Manila with The International 2016 being held in Seattle. For the season 2016/2017, two Major championships have already been announced together with the International 2017. One of those two majors has already been played in 2016, and OG managed to win that title as well. The second Dota 2 Major Championship will be played in Kiev from April 24th to April 30th, 2017.
Greatest Dota 2 Teams & Individuals
Dota 2 has now been present in the world of eSports for about six years. During these years, many individuals and teams have proven their prowess at the game. When it comes to the best team that ever played Dota 2 eSports competition, it seems that the choice is very clear and that team is Alliance who has competed from 2013 to 2015. During those years, Loda, S4, Admiral Bulldog, EGM, and Akke were members of Team Alliance and their achievements throughout those years will hardly be matched in the near future.
Besides Team Alliance, there were several other teams that had a huge impact on the Dota 2 eSports scene. One of those teams was certainly Natus Vincere (NaVi). Just a few short years ago, when XBOCT, Dendi, Funn1k, KuroKy, and Puppey played for NaVi, the team had one of the best lineups in the history of Dota 2 competitions, and their achievements can only be matched by the achievements that Team Alliance had in their career. Besides these two teams, there was another team that is often considered to be one of the greatest in the history of Dota 2 esports competitions and that team is Evil Geniuses. Their squad that competed during 2015, composed of Fear, Sumail, Universe, Aui_2000, and PPD crushed all who would oppose them.
Even though Dota 2 is a team competition, the individual contribution of players can be of crucial significance in any match. This is why some individual players were able to make great names for themselves with their performances. Leading the list of such players is without a doubt Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin, who has been the most popular Dota 2 player ever for a long time. During his career, his signature heroes became Puck, Pudge, and Invoker and his biggest achievements came with Pudge. Besides Dendi, Henrik ‘AdmiralBulldog’ Ahnberg is also considered to be one of the best Dota 2 players ever. During his time in Team Alliance, he managed to win the International, and he is most famous for his style of play that can be described the best as pushing. However, by far the best Dota 2 player ever is Xu ‘BurNing’ Zhilei from China. With his signature heroes such as Morphling, Anti-Mage, Lone Druid and Naga Siren, BurNing managed to carry his teams to some amazing performances and wins at many different competitions.
As it can be seen from the previous parts, Dota 2 has made a huge impact in the gaming community. Besides that, Dota 2 is also responsible for switching from amateur video gaming to professional video gaming on a huge scale. For many years, Dota 2 has been the frontrunner in the number of players and a number of revenues that come in from the tournaments. Because of that, it seems that Dota 2 will remain on the throne for many more years to come.