eSportPulse – Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment‘s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character, known as a “hero”, who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team’s heroes in player versus player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team’s base, called the “Ancient”.
Dota 2 has a large esports scene, with teams from across the world playing in various professional leagues and tournaments. Valve manages an event format known as the Dota Pro Circuit, which are a series of tournaments held every year that award qualification points for getting a direct invitation to The International, the premier tournament of the game with a prize pool usually totaling over US$20 million. Media coverage of most Dota 2 tournaments is done by a selection of on-site staff who provide commentary and analysis for the ongoing matches, similar to traditional sporting events. In addition to playing matches to a live audience in arenas and stadiums, broadcasts of them are also streamed live over the internet, and sometimes simulcast on television networks, with peak viewership numbers in the millions.