Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Ooh – the direct invitees for The International 2016 (that’s the massive annual Dota 2 [official site] tournament with the eye-watering prize pool) have been announced. There’s also a bunch of information on how the qualifiers work so YOU, dear reader, could theoretically be in the running to scoop part of that $12.4m. Well. $12.4m so far….

Two-time Major winners OG are obviously going straight to Seattle, while star squad Secret and last year’s winners Evil Geniuses will need to work their way through the open qualifiers. That’s thanks to some roster swap action which means both violated Valve’s roster lock conditions.

Read on for the full list of direct invitees as well as who’s going to be duking it out in the regionals so far:

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

The winner of Dota 2 s Manila Major [official site] has been crowned and multinational squad, OG, are now the first team to win two of the Valve-sponsored mega-tournaments. The team’s latest win comes seven months after OG claimed the inaugural Frankfurt Major and prompted a stage invasion by fans.

OG – consisting of Fly, Cr1t-, N0tail, Miracle- and MoonMeander – bested Team Liquid in the grand finals with an unusual Elder Titan/Wraith King draft to win $1,100,000 and score a historic Major double.

Read on to see what you might have missed – who excelled, who crashed and burned, and which games offered up the best competitive Dota 2!

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Now that we’re a few days into the Manila Major [official site], and given how unimpressive the Shanghai Major was in terms of showcasing professional Dota 2 [official site], I wanted to say how much I’m enjoying this event and how much better of a production it is.

This isn’t an in-depth look, more of a pat on the back, but I think there are three or four elements I particularly like:

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Cobbett)

Hello there. This week, I’m writing not just as an RPG columnist, but as president of the newly formed League Of Folks Who Don’t Really Play MOBAs But Are Bizarrely Hooked On All The Trappings. As far as I can tell, our membership is roughly a billion people and counting. That’s what happens when the likes of Blizzard and Riot spend literally tens> of dollars creating gorgeous videos to promote their worlds, yes, but it goes somewhat deeper than that. Have you ever watched a new character reveal for a game you know you’re never going to play? Then the sickness might have spread.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

Dota 2 s Manila Major [official site] is almost upon us. The full complement of 16 top teams were decided by a combination of direct invites and the regional qualifiers that took place early in May. They’ll be competing for a cut of $3,000,000 at the Philippines tournament – the third and final Valve-sponsored Major before August s annual grand Dota-fest, The International.

Valve slightly changed up the invite/qualifier system this time round. Ostensibly faced with too many high-achieving squads to choose from, Gabe and co. directly invited twelve teams instead of the usual eight, leaving just four spots for the four regional qualifier winners. Now that they ve been filled, all that s left to do is wait until the main event kicks off, possibly while praying that the many and varied catastrophes that befell March’s Shanghai Major don t repeat themselves.

Not up to speed with the invitees or the Manila Major? Here’s what you need to know!

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

This doesn't illustrate anything in particular. I didn't want to use any of our older Dota 2 screens so I spectated a random match. Look at all those wizards.

Vulkan is the new big exciting Thing That Might Make Your Games Run Faster Without You Having To Buy A New Graphics Card Or Anything, Jeremy recently explained in slightly more technical detail, and now Dota 2 [official site] supports the new graphics API too. In beta. And it might not make a difference for you. Or may be worse. If you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology (a phrase which always makes me think of eXistenZ> and meatcomputers), you can now download and try Dota 2’s Vulkan beta.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Valve have announced this year’s Dota 2 [official site] compendium for The International – it’s part of The International Battle Pass – so I’ve locked my wallet in a drawer before writing this news post because I can’t be trusted around compendia. 25% of the proceeds go to bolstering the prize pool for the tournament. There are no stretch goals this year but there are special rewards if this year’s prize tops the $18,429,613 of 2015.

This year’s shebang features a Vengeful Spirit taunt where she does Lindsay’s chicken dance from Arrested Development, the ability to turn the river into blood rather than water, and weekend mini tournaments…

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

I was in a long distance relationship for over two years and gaming was incredibly useful for keeping in touch with my partner*. But not every game was a good fit, either because of relative game experience or temperament or any number of other things. So here are some of the games which worked and some of the games which didn’t. I’m going to explain them from my point-of-view because I don’t want to presume to know exactly what his experience was!

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Valve have announced the teams getting a direct invite to its Dota 2 competition in the Philippines; the Manila Major [official site].

The Manila Major is the final Valve-sponsored uber tournament for Dota 2 before the massive annual event that is The International. It’s the first year the Majors have taken place and some have worked out better than others but they’ve been a big deal and mark an attempt by Valve to be slightly more hands-on in terms of guiding the development of the pro scene.

So here’s who’s definitely off to the Philippines:

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Big Dota 2 [official site] patches are exciting for me. Even small changes can have huge rippling effects in the butterfly effect ‘em up that is Dota, so big patches rebalancing and reworking and adding loads are… I don’t even know. Looking at the patch notes for Dota 2 v6.87, I have no idea what shape the game will take now. Along with new items, nerfs and buffs, map layout changes, and all that, it gives teams a long-cooldown scan ability? I don’t know, man.

… [visit site to read more]

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