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The International: A Disappointing Start

Image courtesy of Dota 2’s blog.

While The International has become renowned for being one of the biggest and most important tournaments in esports, let alone in Dota 2, if you judged it on day one this year alone, you wouldn’t have a clue. On the biggest stage of them all, Valve are dropping the ball. And Dota 2 is hurting for it.

The Issues

Among a few different complaints of quality when comparing this year’s International to previous iterations; one of the most egregious has been the time between the matches in the group stage.

That’s because where other major esports like Counter Strike and League of Legends have analysts, information, panels and more, The International has featured absolutely nothing. Sometimes 10 minutes at a time or longer of dead air waiting for the next matchup. For one of the most visible and reputable events esports has, this lack of insight, professionalism, and engagement is sorely disappointing and a let down to the esports world. Especially when in this same tournament last year had been filled properly with panels, discussion, and important insight. It has taken steps back since.

Alongside the presentation, Valve’s controversial choices regarding terrain for the in-game aspect of The International is equally egregious, and has also stained the tournament thus far. It has the potential to detract from gameplay, from viewer experience, and sway results of the most competitive and important matches Dota 2 will have all year. That’s devastating for a strong esport ecosystem built on skill and performance on the regular maps, not in adapting to new map layouts with plenty of variables.

But it’s not done for just yet.

Time to Work

Thankfully, the most important days of The International lie ahead of us with the Main Event running from August 7th – August 12th, following up on the Group Stages that run until August 5th. While Valve’s lack of presentation is a blow to the tournament’s esteem, there’s more than enough time to fix it, and a bigger stage to show it on.

As the biggest Dota 2 tournament, the scene has moved to crunch time, closing out the group stage and moving on to the Main Event. We’ll soon see how the pressure weighs on the competing teams, but also on Valve itself. In presenting the peak of Dota 2 competition, we can only hope it’s given the respect it deserves.

What do you think of The International this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Brandon Ridgely

I'm the League of Legends Editor for Realsport, and a longtime competitive League of Legends fan. I focus most on the LCS but watch a bit of everything. I'm probably the only person that misses Team Vulcun. Well met.

The International: A Disappointing Start

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