Global gaming tournament The International returns in August

April 28, 2013

A selection of characters from ‘Dota 2’.A selection of characters from ‘Dota 2’.LOS ANGELES, April 28 — The International invites the world’s best teams to prove their competence in online game “Dota 2” with US qualifiers starting mid-May and grand finals August 7-11; last year’s champions walked away with a grand prize of US$1 million (RM3 million).

Despite its status as a US-based tournament, the winner of The International 2012 was a Chinese team, with seven runners-up distributed between Ukraine, China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Like other games of its ilk, notably “League of Legends” and the upcoming “Blizzard All-Stars,” “Dota 2” traces its lineage back to a 2003 fan-made title “Defence of the Ancients” or “DotA,” which soon became a staple of the pro-competition circuit.

Instead of commanding armies, small and tightly-knit teams pick just one character apiece, each choice intended to cover for the others’ inherent weaknesses, together combining into a superior force.

High-level matches are often lengthy, action-packed and intensely strategic; a round’s fate can be decided by split-second decisions or a momentary lapse of judgement, therefore calling for co-ordinated teamwork and quick thinking.

And while “Blizzard All-Stars” is still being kept under wraps, the genre’s growing global popularity has meant that “LoL” and “Dota 2” were able to preside over million dollar tournaments in recent years — “Dota 2” with its first International in August 2011, and “LoL” at its Season 2 finale in October 2012. — AFP/Relaxnews