Olympics got you bummed out? Watch The International instead!

$20M up for grabs

Regardless of you interest in sports, you’ve no doubt heard plenty of awful news surrounding this year’s summer Olympics. It’s not anything new, really, since plenty of dilapidated and/or corrupt cities have held the Olympics, distracting viewers with shiny things while people suffer mere miles away. Who wants to support that?

Instead, why not watch people play videogames for millions of dollars? Dota 2‘s International, the “Super Bowl” of eSports, has just had its prize pool surpass $20 million, making it the only eSports tournament to ever reach that milestone. Every year, The International breaks its own insane record from the previous year. Best of all, it’s the fans that contribute most of that money that they know goes right to the players and teams.

This really is the best time to get into Dota 2, even as just a spectator. Players widely consider this one of the most balanced instances of the game ever, with 101 Heroes of the possible 111 being chosen so far in the group stage. I’ve compiled a list of resources to help anyone who’s brand-spankin’-new to the scene. 

Goes over the basics and has a ton of information, plus it’s all parsed out into different sections making it easy to take in. 

James Archer over at RockPaperShotgun put together a sweet introduction to the entire tournament including the teams and Heroes to look out for. Perfect place to brush up on who’s who and what’s what.

reddit’s massive compilation of information is great to have open and reference when needed. Plenty of links to discussion of matches as well.

Great compilation of all the cool and crazy shit that’s happened so far. The group stages determined the current bracket, and teams definitely fought their hearts out to get here.

Okay, I’m in! How do I watch it?

Good question! There are many options available for watching The International 2016.

  • Newcomer Stream – A stream of tournament games specifically catered towards players unfamiliar with the game.
  • Twitch.tv – Just click on Dota 2 when a match is up (it’ll be the top game on Twitch) and choose the stream for your language!
  • Dota 2 client – The client is free, and it’s the best quality you can ask for. You do miss the production value on Twitch though, like multi-lane camera or replays. However, you’re able to watch the game from a player’s perspective and see every single one of their mouse clicks, camera movements, etc. Great way to learn high-level play. Additionally, if you want to really get into it, buy a Compendium and make bracket predictions and contribute to the prize pool! You’ve gotta move quick though, since the predictions will close once the games begin!
  • Dota 2 VR – Valve recently added in VR support for spectating Dota 2 games and it is AMAZING! There is a lot of looking downwards, which can cause strain, but holy crap, watching Dota 2 while standing right there next to the Heroes is outstanding. 
About The Author
Patrick Hancock
During the day, he teaches high school kids about history. At night he kicks their butts in competitive games like Rocket League, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike. Disclosure: I've personally backed Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Dead State, SPORTSFRIENDS, Torment: Tides of Numera, STRAFE, and The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls. I have previously written for AbleGamers.com and continue to support them whenever possible (like HumbleBundle).
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