Dota 2 - the money-spinning game that's changing the face of eSports
Last Updated: 11/10/16 1:42pm
There are few games in eSports as significant as Dota 2.
Dota2 competitions regularly bring in the some of the highest eSports viewing figures while its upcoming tournament - The International 2016 - is offering the biggest prize pool of any competitive game.
But it's also one of the toughest eSports to get into for a newcomer, so what exactly is Dota 2?
In the simplest of terms, Dota 2 is a MOBA - or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena - a genre of game that sees two teams of five battle against one another for victory.
The ultimate goal is to destroy defensive towers located along each of the three lanes of the arena until the final base becomes accessible and can be destroyed. Players will attack one another in a continual tug-of-war of offense and defence.
Each of a team's five players pick one playable character from a roster of well over 100. These characters - which are termed in-game as Heroes - all have unique statistics, appearances and abilities.
Everything is determined by statistics, such as a Hero's health points - which, when depleted, renders that player temporarily unavailable - or numbers that determine how much damage a player can do to another's health.
One character might be quicker than another, one might be stronger or more powerful. They can each activate different abilities, too, and these spells have important effects on the outcome of a fight.
Some abilities can damage an enemy's health or control another player in some fashion, such as locking them in place and preventing them from moving. Other abilities assist the team instead, whether that's healing damage dealt to team-mates or somehow enhancing their stats and abilities.
It's in this way the Hero a player selects affects the role they might play, with some focusing on dealing damage, others on supporting their team while some might act as 'tanks' - a role that requires a player to take as much damage as they can.
This is where the strategy of Dota 2 comes in, and a team will have a selection of Heroes that they prefer to use for their chosen tactics. Since each Hero is unique, some are better than others at particular tasks and roles.
The overall flow of a game is this: teams begin by choosing a lane to defend - which, incidentally, is also the lane they'll be attacking.
They begin by destroying weaker, computer-controlled 'creeps', which are little units that move - in periodic groups - along each of the three lanes from the base of one side towards the enemy's on the other.
Killing these creeps earns that player gold as does destroying towers, defeating or assisting in defeating an enemy player.
This is an important part of the game, since the skill of each team and individual players will determine the outcome of any team fight. The more of these that any squad wins the bigger the gold advantage becomes until, eventually, that team becomes an almost unstoppable threat.
Of course it's not quite as clear-cut as that and many times in Dota 2 eSports we seen turnarounds happen. In many cases a game of Dota 2 really isn't over until that base has been destroyed.
That is what makes Dota 2 such an interesting eSport to watch. It might first take a little learning, but the strategies and skills required to come out victorious are no different to any traditional team-based sport.
Now is the time to get involved in competitive Dota 2 with Ginx eSports TV airing the finals for The International 2016 every day at 18:00 from 9th August to the finals on August 13th.
For a more detailed look at Dota 2 - such as some of the key strategies teams like to employ or explanations of the different roles available in the game - Ginx eSports TV also provide this handy guide.