With less than 12 hours before the Qualifiers for The International 2015 Dota 2 tournament begin, we feel like now is a pretty good time to recap the information you'll need to know if you want to keep up with all the action (that is, unless you're reading this two weeks from now -- because then you're screwed).
As with previous years, the Qualifiers have been split up into four separate events, with each representing different international regions. These include the Chinese, American, European, and Southeast Asian Qualifiers, all of which will see 10 different teams of varying skill and pedigree battle it out for the six final slots in the main tournament set to take place from August 3rd through the 8th. The winner team from each Qualifier will progress straight to The International 2015 main event, while runner-up teams from each will need to battle it out for the two remaining "Wild Card" slots prior to the start of TI5.
Check out the spoiler tags below to learn more about each of the Qualifier events and the teams taking part.
Chinese Qualifier - May 25th - 28th (Starts 02:00 GMT)
Vici Gaming Potential
Wings Gaming (Open Qualifier Winner)
Americas Qualifier - May 25th - 28th (Starts 17:00 GMT)
Wheel Whreck While Whistling
North American Rejects
Unknown.xiu (Open Qualifier Winner)
Southeast Asia Qualifier - May 29th - June 1st (Starts 02:00 GMT)
Can't Say Wips
Invasion eSports (Open Qualifier Winner)
European Qualifier - May 29th - June 1st (Starts 10:00 GMT)
4 Anchors + Sea Captain
Alliance (The International 2013 Winners)
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Natus Vincere (The International 2011 Winners)
Yellow Submarine (Open Qualifier Winner)
Now you're up to speed on all of the different Qualifiers and when they will be taking place, you're probably (and hopefully) wondering "But where can I check out the events?". Well -- good question Hypothetical Reader, as a wide number of English and Russian streams will be covering every game of every event live over on TwitchTV, while Chinese viewers can check out the games over on Perfect World's Dota 2 website.
The place to be to check out live coverage of the Qualifiers is undoubtedly going to be The International 2015 Qualifier Hub, which will act as a spiritual successor to the extremely popular EU and NA Hubs hosted last year by The GD Studio and Beyond The Summit, respectively. The Qualifier Hub, which begins tomorrow (Monday 25th 2015) will see 35 different personalities, casters, hosts, players, and analysts from the Dota 2 scene gather together in Bucharest to provide entertaining content across four individual streams, including three for game commentary and one relaxed "Lounge" stream. The long list of guests set to arrive at the Hub over the next week include Purge, Blitz, TobiWan, 2GD, ODPixel, Godz, LD, Ayesee, PyrionFlax, Wagamama, and many more, all of which you can read more about over on the Reddit announcement page.
That's basically everything there is to say about the Qualifiers for now - Will you be tuning in?
After being unlocked via the Interactive Compendium a week ago, pockets of the community have been looking for more information regarding the Dota 2 Short Film Contest which will see talented creators take home $20,000 each. A recent post to the Dota 2 blog covered the contest in great detail, including discussing that submitted shorts will only be considered if they are no more than 1 minute in length, related to Dota 2 in some form, include no advertisements or promotions, and that they are rendered at 720p or higher.
While these rules might seem a tad restrictive, creators are allowed to use any Valve IP alongside Dota 2 using animation and/or live action, as using the Source Filmmaker is not a requirement (even if it would be the go-to tool for most users looking to enter the contest). The submission deadline currently stands at 4am PDT on July 13 2015, giving entrants just under two months to get something ready. As with the annual Saxxy Awards, entrants will be shortlisted by community votes on the Steam Workshop before winners are selected by Valve. Any and all winners will receive $20,000 each, while it's not currently clear what, if anything, runner-ups or special mentions will be given as a reward. Selected winners will also have their short shown off at some point during The International 2015's livestream event in August, showing it off to hundreds of thousands if not millions of viewers.
If you're looking to take part, be sure to read the full Film Contest Guidelines over on the International hub, as it provides some pretty clear and concise instructions regarding how to go about submitting your entry ahead of the aforementioned July deadline. Now, what are you waiting for? Get to work!
Surprise! Our Round-Ups have been AWOL for a few weeks after a bunch of delays and personal changes for a few members of the team, but we're back with a brand new episode covering all the latest and greatest news stories from the past two or three weeks. These include the reveal that Team Fortress 2 will soon receive a Competitive Matchmaking mode, the release of The International 2015's Interactive Compendium, the announcement of Portal Pinball, and much more!
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our other video content, to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and TwitchTV. Thanks for watching!
With the hype surrounding The International 2015 continuing to grow, Valve have revealed which 10 teams have been directly invited to the tournament due to their recent performance in the professional scene or their past glories. These 10 teams have automatically made it into the main event at KeyArena in August 2015 and will not need to do anything else to secure a place. The teams include Vici Gaming, Evil Genuises, Team Secret, Invictus Gaming, LGD Gaming, Cloud9, Team Empire, Virtus Pro, NewBee, and Team Malaysia, as shown below.
As you can see, the direct invites include TI2 Champions "Invictus Gaming" and TI4 Champions "NewBee", both of whom will return to defend their honour. TI1 Winners "Natus Vincere" and TI3 Winners "Alliance" have not received direct invites and must instead fight through the European Qualifier due to poor performance and multiple roster changes over the past year.
The remaining 6 slots in the tournament will be filled by 4 winners of Regional Qualifiers and a pair of Wild Card Winners, who will be selected from a potential 4 runner-up teams who will fight it out after the conclusion of all regional qualifiers. While most of the participants for the Regional Qualifiers have already been decided, each mini-event features an extra slot available for more teams to participate should they win any of the Regional Opens. Teams looking to participate in these Opens must sign up via the Invite Announcement page, so be sure to head on over and check it out if you're interested.
Following a brief hint last week, Valve and Zen Studios have today revealed "Portal Pinball", a Portal-themed pinball game (duh). The game, created by Zen Studios, features Portal 2 assets, its distinct visual style, and a series of themed gameplay mechanics as you "guide Chell and Wheatley through test chambers" by playing pinball on various specially designed tables.
The game will ship on Zen Studio's pinball platforms sometime during the week of May 25th 2015, with no price point currently available. While it certainly isn't quite "Portal 3" or the direct sequel/prequel many would have hoped for, I'm personally pretty happy to see the Portal brand expanded in this manner without it having any canonical effect on Valve's established universe.
Take a look at some screenshots from Portal Pinball below and let us know what you think!
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