Product Update - Valve
- Fixed Lotus Orb reflecting Nimbus Lightning Bolt.
- Bristleback's Quills now point in the correct direction during Quill Spray.
Community Announcements - krAnk0r


The International Dota 2 Championship returns to Seattle's KeyArena from Monday, August 7th through Saturday, August 12th, once again gathering the world’s top Dota teams together to vie for the Aegis of Champions.

Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, April 4th at 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM PDT, with two ticket types available. The Midweek ticket—available for $100—will grant attendance to the first four days of the event, August 7th – 10th. The Finals ticket—available for $200—will grant access to the last two days, August 11th and 12th.

Fans with only the Midweek ticket are welcome to watch the final two days from a free outdoor viewing area on the KeyArena grounds.

Check out the Ticketing FAQ here for more information.

Tickets will be available via Ticketmaster. We recommend that you prepare your Ticketmaster account and log in before tickets go on sale to help ensure a smooth purchasing experience. If you are unsure when tickets will go on sale in your time zone, please use this time zone converter.

  • Seattle: April 4th at 10AM and 10PM
  • Rio de Janeiro: April 4th at 2PM and April 5th at 2AM
  • London: April 4th at 6PM and April 5th at 6AM
  • Berlin: April 4th at 7PM and April 5th at 7AM
  • Moscow: April 4th at 8PM and April 5th at 8AM
  • Beijing: April 5th at 1AM and 1PM
  • Singapore: April 5th at 1AM and 1PM
  • Seoul: April 5th at 2AM and 2PM
  • Sydney: April 5th at 3AM and 3PM

The International Qualifiers will be held after completion of The Kiev Major. Aspiring challengers will battle through the Open Qualifiers June 22nd - 25th, and the Regional Qualifiers will then follow on June 26th - 29th to determine the final contenders.
PC Gamer

In a month, the top Dota 2 teams will descend upon Kiev, Ukraine, for the next in Valve’s series of official tournaments, the Majors. Modeled after the system introduced to CS:GO in 2013, these events began after The International 5 in 2015, each providing a $3 million prize pool and a $1 million grand prize. The event also introduced roster locks, preventing teams from changing rosters mid-season if they wanted to be given an invite to an event or its qualifiers.But the Majors also came with its own set of controversies and legitimate concerns. Namely, there are questions about how these Valve tournaments, regarded by the community as extremely important, have interfered with third-party events. 

For one, the roster lock was presumably intended to prevent organizations from abusing their positions and to protect players. Namely, roster locks reinforce the perception that “Valve invites players,” meaning that a banner doesn’t matter as much as the people who make up the squad. Stronger teams are more likely to stay together, giving players more stability. It was also a solution to the last-second shuffling of teams before The International or other large events, with the knowledge that banners were more likely to be invited to TI anyway. (For instance, Evil Geniuses, TI5 winners, were not directly invited to TI6 due to their frequent team changes; in previous years, the winner would be invited regardless of changes.)

Valve s lack of communication about large events has put many third-party tournaments on thin ice, particularly this year

A major side effect was how this weakened the post-event tournament circuit after each Major or International. These events were expected to be affected if they were too close to The International, but now they need to think about whether they want to risk being the first event after the Major. Massive tournaments now have to make the call about whether or not a squad should be allowed to play if a team locks in a different roster than its original. Plus, many players focus on Majors, and some may come to these other events exhausted or not at their 100% for other reasons.

Speaking of weakened tournament circuits, Valve’s lack of communication about large events has put many third-party tournaments on thin ice, particularly this year. The Boston Major was announced with just two month’s notice, notably affecting DreamLeague and almost affecting The Summit, a fan-favorite tournament. They did announce Kiev Major dates at Boston itself, but then they chose to change them, likely due to a mixture of factors: the stadium was being used for other sporting-related events, and the Dota Asian Championships were too close. DAC is hosted by Perfect World, which publishes Dota 2 in China, and it’s unlikely Valve would want to weaken relations.

Do the Majors affect tournament numbers? Two years in, it’s hard to tell quantitatively. Up until the “seasons” were implemented, there were more and more tournaments every year. In the 2014-2015 season, excluding Valve events there were 24 ‘premier’ and 38 ‘professional’ events, per Valve’s ticketing system, for a total of 62. The year before, 2013-2014, there were 20 and 48 respectively, for 68 total.

At a glance something has certainly happened, as in 2015-2016 there were 17 ‘premier’ and 22 ‘professional’ events for a total of 39. This year the scene is on track to reach similar numbers, though the elimination of a Major seems to have helped a bit. At this time last year, 11 premier and 14 professional tournaments had taken place since The International. The year before saw 11 and 14, and 2014-2015 saw 14 and 27 respectively. Still, as the Major system continues to settle in, we’ll see how it affects tournament production timeline-wise. There’s also the chance that outside investors don’t want to commit to Dota, given the increasing pool of esports that tournaments organizers can choose from.

Another tier down, meanwhile, smaller tournaments are affected by Valve’s lack of attention to unofficial events. While Dota 2 was originally acclaimed for hosting and being supportive of in-game tournaments of all levels, including during its beta years, in the past year or two several complaints had arisen from tournament organizers. The Reddit Dota 2 League, which has hosted many pros, including CompLexity’s Moo (and even professional actor Asa Butterfield) claimed that Valve had been ignoring its routine requests for in-game tournament hosting. Around the same time, other organizers reported similar issues, including UK’s BGL and a small university cup, and there have been other such complaints throughout the past few years.

If it s a change on Valve s side, one could speculate that they re trying to avoid too much money being drained from their own tournaments profitability

The issue likely began over two years ago, when the Dota 2 Canada Cup was informed by Valve that there were several changes to how tournaments were permitted to run. Namely, while tournaments ticketed as ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ were given similar permissions, Valve chose to restrict in-game item distribution to premier tournaments only. The Canada Cup wished to distribute a courier named Bearzky, stating “we felt this was the proper way to attract viewers, get sponsors, pay teams a fair prize pool in the North American scene and pay designers and casters, put the profits towards larger prize pools.” In this original PSA, some players did comment that they didn’t necessarily want to pay larger amounts to get the cosmetic, which was a trend among these tournaments.

In hindsight, meanwhile, there’s the chance that Valve also had an extra motive for slowing the distribution of in-game items: the Compendium system. Valve supposedly allows Compendiums for Premier tournaments that can boost the tournament’s prize pool, including DAC 2015, but the DAC 2017 Compendium has been the first since the DotaCinema Captain’s Draft in January 2016. (In 2014, when the system was introduced, there were five third-party tournament compendiums, and in 2015, when the seasonal Compendium by Valve was introduced, there were three.) Either Valve has been reprioritizing which tournaments should receive one, or tournaments aren’t focusing on the Compendium as a prize incentive.

If it’s a change on Valve’s side, one could speculate that they’re trying to avoid too much money being drained from their own tournaments’ profitability. And, if that’s the case, it likely affects the prize pool of these premier tournaments, as Compendiums alone raised hundreds of thousands of dollars—sometimes into the millions—for these events.

Of course, the Majors circuit can’t entirely be just about Valve putting out cash cows. Otherwise, Dota 2’s infamously vocal pros and fans alike would be more critical (though they certainly were after teams were given only three weeks for the first roster lock). Valve clearly wanted to make a tournament system that added longevity to the core professional scene, and it has largely accomplished that task.

The roster lock system, especially with this year’s new “drop/add dates,” has been increasingly praised for protecting its players. For its all its flaws, as mentioned, it succeeds in making orgs and players less casual about shuffling and dropping its players mid-season. 

The presence of multiple Majors distributes the pressure of professional play more evenly throughout the year. Teams would arguably prepare for The International alone (for instance, Newbee streamed RPGs for several months after their TI4 win), but now they’re given motivation to work year-round towards each Valve event. 

Similarly, fans may be more likely to understand what’s going on throughout the year when they’re given a consolidated, official series of events to follow, allowing for greater scene loyalty. This is likely enhanced by Valve’s in-game advertising and the Compendium’s promotion of the Majors, including the True Sight documentary. (And speaking of Compendium, workshop artists’ creations are pooled into the Treasures within the Compendiums.) 

All in all, for players and Valve itself, the Majors system is a mostly win-win situation: players are given a reliable tournament circuit with good cash and more predictable stability, while Valve is profiting off the Compendiums and tournaments. Of course, there’s no denying that the system must affect other parties, but it has yet to be seen how the dust will settle. After all, a system that spans a year may take several years to show its true impact on everybody involved.

Product Update - Valve
7.04:
====

* Hurricane Pike recipe increased from 250 to 500
* Silver Edge recipe increased from 300 to 500
* Ghost Scepter cooldown reduced from 25 to 20
* Sange and Yasha proc chance increased from 35% to 40%
* Heaven's Halberd cooldown reduced from 22 to 18
* Slippers of Agility are no longer available in the Side Shop

* Centaur: Stampede Scepter damage reduction reduced from 50% to 40%
* Monkey King: Primal Spring slow rescaled from 40/50/60/70% to 30/45/60/75%
* Monkey King: Spring winding up sound effect can be heard by nearby enemies
* Magnus: Base attack time increased from 1.7 to 1.8
* Magnus: Reverse Polarity cooldown increased from 120/110/100 to 120
* Abaddon: Strength gain reduced from 2.7 to 2.5
* Abaddon: Mist Coil projectile speed reduced from 2000 to 1600
* Lifestealer: Base damage reduced by 2
* Keeper of the Light: Base damage reduced from 43-57 to 43-50
* Brewmaster: Drunken Brawler cooldown reduced from 16/14/12/10 to 13/12/11/10
* Nature's Prophet: Level 10 Talent increased from +225 Health to +250
* Nature's Prophet: Level 15 Talent changed from +35 Movement Speed to +4 Treants Summoned
* Razor: Level 20 Talent increased from +30 Attack Speed to +40
* Razor: Level 20 Talent increased from +275 Health to +325
* Death Prophet: Level 10 Talent increased from +10% Magic Resistance to +12%
* Death Prophet: Exorcism spirit damage increased from 55 to 58
* Queen of Pain: Shadow Strike cast point reduced from 0.452 to 0.4
* Phoenix: Level 15 Talent increased from +120 Gold/Min to 150
* Phoenix: Level 15 Talent increased from +50 Fire Spirits DPS to +65
* Kunkka: Level 10 Talent increased from +25 Damage to +30
* Kunkka: Level 15 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +30
* Lycan: Base strength increased by 3
* Arc Warden: Strength gain increased from 2.3 to 2.7
* Lone Druid: Level 15 Talent increased from +30 Spirit Bear Damage to +50
* Ancient Apparition: Cold Feet manacost reduced from 150 to 125
* Broodmother: Insatiable Hunger lifesteal increased from 60/90/120% to 60/100/140%
* Broodmother: Insatiable Hunger damage increased from 60/90/120 to 60/100/140
* Bristleback: Quill Spray AoE increased from 625 to 650
* Puck: Base damage increased by 3
* Lich: Chain Frost cooldown reduced from 120/90/60 to 100/80/60
Product Update - Valve
- Fixed the wagering panel blocking clicks at the start of the game.
- Fixed the interaction of the ward dispenser and double-tap casting.
PC Gamer

The open qualifiers for Dota 2’s Kiev Major were an opportunity for teams and players throughout the world to earn a shot at one of the biggest prize pools in esports. According to tournament organizer FACEIT it drew the most teams of any open qualifier for a Valve event yet, with over six thousand teams across the globe entering the various regional qualifiers. Unfortunately, even in an esteemed tournament, large crowds can draw troublemakers.

Case in point: a team called ‘Holocaust N****rs’ was able to progress through the first five rounds of the European open qualifiers. When a Reddit user drew attention to the team's name in a thread that has since disappeared, outrage and debate followed as the team continued through the event. The matter even drew ire from OG player Fly.

Many on Reddit and Twitter found themselves wondering where the FACEIT admins were during this period. When reached out for comment, a representative for the site explained that the team had worked around the administrators by using the offensive name in match lobbies. When used as a lobby team name, the FACEIT tournament system wouldn’t display the name to human FACEIT admins.

Had the team been caught before their loss, this means they would have been barred from playing for the duration of the tournament

“Their name while on the FACEIT platform was absolutely normal and contained no offensive language” FACEIT told us. “While on the FACEIT platform all team names are visible to our admins and can therefore be controlled.” “However, once the tournament has started and in-game lobbies have been formed, teams can then use a different in-game name from their FACEIT team account name. So in this instance once they joined the Dota 2 in-game lobby what they do within the new server client is outside of our control as it cannot be seen by our team and it’s no longer part of our platform. By the time the issue was raised the team had already lost the tournament so we were unable to take any action.” 

They point to their policies, which state that an inappropriate name or avatar is cause for a one-week matchmaking ban. Had the team been caught before their loss, this means they would have been barred from playing for the duration of the tournament. This also raises the question of whether opposing teams or spectators in earlier rounds were willing to bring up the issue with the admins, or were aware of the anti-obscenity policies in place (or cared at all). 

Dotabuff co-founder ’Lawliepop’ also responded to the controversy, sharing the site’s official stance:

“This is a cut and dry situation. Names including hate speech are completely unacceptable,” she says. She explains that they already have anti-obscenity and anti-hate policies in place, including censoring avatars and team or player names. However, there’s only so much the site could do, given that they merely scrape data from the Valve API. 

“I think with this particular name, it's an egregious situation due to the fact that it is in a Valve qualifier,” she says. “Ultimately, this is a place where Valve has the opportunity to improve the standards they have for names in Dota. Anything Dotabuff does is just a band-aid on the problem and not a real solution.”

While the Dotabuff staff often comes together to figure out how to implement anti-hate policies, even the moral question of doing so as a data aggregator is tough to answer.

“I want to remove the names, but at the same time I feel conflicted. This is a part of the community, and often Dotabuff will be the only record of it. I don't want erasing the existence of hate to convince the community that these things don't happen. I don't think that part of playing a game should include subjecting yourself to hate speech to participate.”

“I really hope that 5 years from now we can look back on this as part of Dota's ugly past and something we have moved on from.” 

It’s already become a tricky situation. In the brief time between the statement and the time of writing, a Reddit user claimed that the word ‘negro’ got filtered out on the Dota 2 results site. This drew claims of anglocentrism: while the word is a slur in many countries, specifically both American continents (especially in the USA) and Europe, it’s the direct translation of ‘black’ in Spanish. 

Controversy surrounding racism and other “-isms” isn’t new to the Dota 2 community by any means. The most pertinent example of a race-related meme is 'three Merlinis,' referring to the respected Asian analyst, player and caster. The joke is meant to imply that three Asians on a stream look similar, even if they’re far from it.

The community has the ability and responsibility to discuss and inform about harmful actions that could hurt both those within the game and onlookers

Most recently, caster TobiWan became upset when a similar 'fat, normal, skinny Tobi' joke rose to the front page of the Dota 2 subreddit, featuring three white, blond men of different sizes, including Tobi in the middle. While the community came to support him when he expressed his discomfort, many pointed out that when woman personalities faced similar harassment, Tobi himself told them to deal with it or grow a thicker skin, highlighting a double standard in the community for different personalities.

Veteran player Singsing was also recently brought into the spotlight when his channel submitted and had approved racist emoticons, featuring blatantly crude black stereotypes, as well as mods with crude commands for ASCII art, including one that spelled out the n-word in a fancy font. It was also noted that Sing had some of the ASCII commands and modded bots for at least a few months, if not years. While Singsing himself was put under blast for the emoticons themselves, it brought Twitch’s credibility into question given they approved the emoticons. Plus, there was the issue of how Twitch staff would let the streamer use these tools when many staff would spectate and often participate in the stream and its chat.

The community and developers in the Dota 2 community have had mixed experiences with, and reactions to, the various offensive and crude happenings that come with such a vast and diverse international community. While the developers of the game and its peripheral sites hold a degree of power over what makes it into the public, the community has the ability and responsibility to discuss and inform about harmful actions that could hurt both those within the game and onlookers, especially given how user-centric the Dota 2 scene is. A politically turbulent age brings those looking to escape from everyday life into Dota 2, and the scene will have to learn how to confront hostile and exclusionary viewpoints so everyone can play fairly and safely.

Product Update - Valve
- Fixed the display of particles in the portrait window.
- Fixed Shadow Fiend's Demon Eater (Arcana) steaming while in the river.
- Fixed Juggernaut's Bladeform Legacy - Origins style hero icons for pre-game and the courier button.
- Improved threading configuration for AMD Ryzen processors.
- Workshop: Increased head slot minimum budget for several heroes.
Community Announcements - Ward


Today the Juggernaut receives a new 'Origins' style for his Bladeform Legacy Arcana. Score ten kills with Omnislash to unlock this second form. With a new gem counter and overhead effect that track your total Omnislash kills, you can watch your tally increase in each battle as the Juggernaut's mask burns with the energy of the fallen.

This update includes the release of Player Cards for The Kiev Major. Head into the Compendium section of your Battle Pass to unwrap your cards and start planning Fantasy Challenge rosters. You can also add Player Cards to your Dota 2 profile to show off your favorites.
Product Update - Valve
* Bonus Tower Armor based on nearby enemies is now shown in the HUD only to the attacking team
* Fixed an Earth Spirit lane pull abuse
* Improved server region auto detection
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Jakiro from Dota 2 [official site], once thought to be the world’s most popular flying plastic bag since that one in American Beauty, has been revealed as a two-headed dragon. Valve yesterday pumped out a Dota 2 update which included the long-promised new model for the support character(s), which makes clear that Jakiro are actually a dragon and not a burst bin bag. Who knew! The new Jakiro mostly follows the same concept, though Blue Head’s cute beard o’ barbels has become a jawline so stern even Judge Dredd would envy it. Update v7.03 also brought a fair few balance tweaks, and one of those mega-expensive ‘Arcana’ cosmetic sets for Juggernaut. … [visit site to read more]

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