Following on from my MOBA games: Why so serious? article a few days ago that questions the level of competition seen in public matchmaking games, we now have yet another example of why it’s not surprising that the professionals take their gaming so seriously.
The International is a annual Dota 2 tournament hosted by Valve, which this year took place in Benaroya Hall, Seattle over the course of five days. Swedish five-man team Alliance scooped the $1.4m prize money; Natus Vincere took home $632,370 in second place while Orange.Neolution made third and gained $287,441. The cash itself came partly from Valve – who put up $1.6m – and the rest was generated from an interactive compendium for the event sold to fans in the months running up to tournament. It’s a very impressive amount and is the largest prize ever awarded in a video game event; you can easily imagine the pressure these teams would be feeling in the run-up to the competition.
I totally understand why players at this level are so competitive considering the prize money and prestige of the event, but I still wonder why this level of competition is demonstrated at the unprofessional level of randomly-matched players in public matches. Referring back to my previous article, if you have an opinion on this or have experienced it first-hand then please do contact or us let us known in comments section below.
Back onto the subject of professional gamers: it was recently reported that a Canadian eSports player was granted visa entry into the US based on his status as a League of Legends pro-gamer. Riot, the LoL developer, argued that the events these players competed in generated enough revenue to be qualified as a major sports league therefore aiding in the visa being given.
This is definitely new ground for video games and can only be seen as positive thanks to the profits generated; it all goes back into creating better titles and funding more eSports events. The gaming industry is already growing bigger than the movie, and these competitions help grow it even further so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a video game round in the Olympic Games sometime in the future.