eSports Events Dramatically Increase Game Purchases

The rise of eSports has been nothing short of revolutionary and transformed talented gamers into household celebrities. Not only that, players in popular games like League of Legends compete in events with huge prize pools watched by millions around the globe. These individuals are under intense pressure and hone their craft for long periods each day. I’ve always been fascinated to see the impact of competitive gaming events on viewer purchasing habits. According to the latest research from NPD, the eSports industry has encouraged large audiences to spend money on game purchases. More specifically, the report suggests nearly 70 percent of people watching have purchased the game in question or some form of DLC.

On another note, the study found that 44 percent of US gamers watched a formal eSports event or enjoyed competitive streaming in the past six months. Furthermore, the average viewing time is pretty substantial at just under three hours. 18 percent of those surveyed watch eSport content on a daily basis while 46 percent watched contests once a week. When it comes to elite play, viewers appear to be more interested in the game and not the level of prize money on offer:

“It’s the game being played that consistently attracts viewers. Watchers are most influenced by the game, followed by the quality of the commentators and the team/players,”

Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group explained the results and said:

“eSports may have seemed like a niche phenomenon in the past, but it has clearly taken off with strong activity and engagement with consumers,”

“This is positive for the gaming industry on multiple levels, not only bringing excitement from the events themselves, but also from a marketing standpoint as consumers learn and can then potentially spend on games featured at eSports events.”

Two-thirds of those watching already own the game which isn’t surprising because they simply want to see the best players in the world and improve their strategy.

What is your favourite competitive eSports game?

Gabe Newell Personally Explains Why Dota 2 Commentator Was Fired

E-Sports is a large market for anybody, and with a $3 million prize riding on this weeks DOTA 2 tournament in Shanghai, it is no surprise that people have been annoyed by the range of problems that have come out of it. One of which has caught some heat though is the fact that a commentator was fired less than two days into the tournament, something which Gabe Newell personally explains on Reddit why they got rid of the commentator.

The problems ranged from non-existent commentary on the action taking place to cameras being stuck or even the entire stream suddenly dropping, leaving fans and players alike wondering what was happening. James Harding was a commentator for the series, and has been before, but this time, it was short lived with him being fired just over a day into the series.

Valve fired Harding after just a day and a half, with speculation and outcry alike coming from everybody regarding the matter. In his post he stated:

1) James. We’ve had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.

2) As long as we’re firing people, we are also firing the production company that we’ve been working with on the Shanghai Major. They will be replaced, and we hope to get this turned around before the main event.

Harding himself replied, posting that he would be releasing a statement regarding the matter, something which we eagerly look forward to reading.

Valve Games Account for More Than 50% of Playtime on Steam

Steam Spy provides a fantastic insight into the gaming habits and purchasing trends on the Steam store. It allows you to track concurrent players, observe the median playtime and see how many people own a particular game. Shockingly, the data indicates over 50% of playtime is spent on Valve’s in-house releases. This includes titles like DOTA 2, Team Fortress 2, Counterstrike Global Offensive and Portal 2. While the competitive scene in DOTA 2 is monumental, I would expect the figures to be nowhere near this mark given Valve’s reluctance to release new games. Anyone remember Half Life 3?

Honestly, I find this a rather depressing state of affairs. Steam is awash with a multitude of wonderful indie games, and other incredibly fun AAA releases. Instead of sticking to the same formula, the competitive players should broaden their horizons into new genres. Although, to become good at any game involves a huge time investment and I applaud their commitment.

Only recently, I played Shadow Warrior for the first time and absolutely adored it! Looking at the data from a logical viewpoint, I imagine a huge quantity of the playtime is attributed by Valve’s multiplayer games which continue to be extremely popular. DOTA 2’s community is staggering, Team Fortress 2 still has a loyal player base and CS:GO is possibly the more realistic shooter out there. Subsequently, I think most people are trying unusual titles but it’s hard to keep up as bundles and Steam sales rapidly increase your game library.

DDoS Attack Puts a Stop to Valve’s Dota 2 Tournament

Well, Well, Valve’s Dota 2 international competition, The International 2015, is underway and this time things got a bit serious. The competition was reported to have suffered from a DDoS attack that blocked internet connection to the Dota 2 servers.

The attack is said to have taken place when a match between Evil Geniuses and compLexity Gaming needed to be played, halting the competition for a few hours. You know, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, since Dota 2 needs an active internet connection to be played. It would have been nice for the title to have a LAN mode from the very start, to avoid things like this, but there you go, trolling at its best.

The saddest part about DDoS attacks is that there is not a lot that can be done to stop them. Of course, once a DDoS attack takes place, you can isolate and reduce it to prevent it from taking out your severs, but you can’t predict and prevent it. This is why Valve’s competition is still vulnerable to DDoS attacks until the tournament ends on the 8th of August.

The real question here is why did Valve rely on public Dota 2 servers for a competition such as The International? I mean, they could have easily made special modded servers, independent from the Internet, to serve as a secure playground for the tournament. I bet this is one of the things they are considering now for future events.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Find out How to Get Access to Supernova’s Closed Beta

Have you wanted to try a new MOBA for a change? Well, now you can. If you like MOBA and got fed up of League of Legends and Dota 2, you know have the chance to try out a new sci-fi MOBA title called Supernova. From the looks of it, it has a potential, while also breaking away from all the mystical magic you see in the well-known MOBA games today. Take a look at how NVIDIA describes the title on their blog.

It is mankind’s distant, space-faring future. Having tamed their own solar system, the human race has ventured forth into the cosmos to find a universe in peril. Ancient and mysterious portals have brought humanity face to face with vast, unrelenting alien legions, set to wage war across the galaxy. In this time of universal chaos, human and alien races alike must rely on their most skilled commanders to lead their forces in the fight for galactic dominance while uncovering the secrets behind the strange portals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuD6URImaYM

It looks like the title is made by Bandai Namco in collaboration with Primal Game Studios and they are offering GeForce owners a chance to get one of their closed beta keys to try the game before it hits open beta. So stop thinking about it and head on over to NVIDIA’s website and get one today! AMD owners can also have a chance to sign up for the beta on the game’s website. More information about the game and how to sign up can be found on their official page here.

Valve Improves Dota 2 Reborn and You Can Play the Beta Now

The long wait for Valve’s latest Dota 2 title, Dota 2 Reborn, is now over. Despite the many bugs and features which are not fully functional just yet, fans and curious gamers can now play the beta version alongside Dota 2 on Steam.

Dota 2 Reborn brings a lot of features and improvements to its predecessor, including the Source 2 Engine. What this means is that Dota 2 will have a lot of rendering improvements, performance optimizations, higher fidelity content, and not to mention enhanced physics. Valve says that they will further improve cloth and simulation physics in the future too, but they are still awesome as they are now.

Other improvements can be seen in the UI, having Dota 2 Reborn come with a new and improved interface. Players area able to quickly and efficiently search for matches, stay in touch with their friends through newly added party and chat features, as well as see the what your friends (or enemies) are up to.

Now we all know how frustrating it is to have problems connecting or maintaining a connection to a server sometimes. This is why Valve worked hard to offer more reliable network connections through a new backbone and relay protocol. In addition to the latter, a lot of effort has been put into DDoS protection and we know that is a major problem nowadays.

Last but not least, Custom Games is also a nice addition to the series, having it come with better developer tools for modders. While regular users get to play other modes and maps made by fans, modders get the chance to expand their ideas a bit with new tools. The new Hammer Level Editor lets you quickly prep your map, while the Material, Model and Particle editors help shape it to look how you imagined it to be. Also, Valve now offers better debugging with their new Developer Console.

More details about the latest title can be found on their website here, or if you want to get straight into the action, you can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Install Dota 2 if you haven’t already
  2. Start up Dota 2
  3. Go to the Play tab and select Dota 2 Reborn Beta
  4. Click Install to begin your download

Dota 2 Championship Prize May Reach Record $11.5 Million

Dota 2 has been getting a lot of attention lately and it’s now seen in its annual championship tournament, where the prize pool could reach $11.5 million, setting it as a new record in the game’s championship history. Pretty impressive, huh?

This year marks the fifth International Dota 2 Championship event and it is said that the prize reached $11.4 million this Friday thanks to the money brought in from virtual Compendium. This is really overwhelming since the prize pool started off with a $1.6 million budget at the end of April.

However, in just a matter of days, the prize money reached $5.5 million. This was mainly due to a lot of Compendium sales, which is the sum of in-game challenges, fantasy league-style predictions and in-game cosmetics rewards. Thanks to its fans and players, competitors now will have the opportunity to have a lot of fun, fight for the top and maybe even end up filling their bank account with a small fortune.

In terms of Compendium sales, the basic one costs you $9,99. Should you want to spend more, there is also a $27,99 variant, 25% of which goes to the prize pool. This year Compendium owners are said to have more rewards as they level by watching games, collecting player cards and other such activities.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Would You Play DOTA2 in Third-Person Shooter Mode?

Well, well… I’ve been thinking about a Dota 2 FPS-style mode for a long time now (but didn’t actually do anything about it). However, it looks like a modder out there created something similar and, if you ask me, it has transforms the gameplay into something like World of Warcraft.

A redditer first posted the mod called ‘Action Dota’, as the video title states, on the /r/Games Subreddit. Its developer, redditer BMD_, then replied to the thread a few hours later. In his post, he explains what he used and how he used it to turn Dota 2 into Action Dota 2.

“This is done as a Dota 2 mod using the Source 2 Dota 2 engine, but I did completely blow away and recreate my own keyboard/mouse control system instead of using the built in Dota controls. I created my own system of motion that allows me do to things like have characters jump and strafe, and turn at an infinite rate. In fact, no unit orders are given at all in the game, nor are any hero abilities or items used.” he stated in his post.

Though it works, the project is still in the Alpha stages. The redditer tells us that the some features do not have proper physics and that the camera ‘just works’, meaning that the mod needs a lot of work before he can get the full 3D environment set up properly.

“The camera controls are extremely hacked-in (but functional), and you can probably see in the video that each player has to select a flying enigma unit at the start which I detect and then use as the object to point the camera at. There is no facility currently available for me to manually reposition the camera except by locking the camera to the created “camera” unit, which results in some unfortunate limitations.

I currently use the built-in Dota 2 LinearProjectile system (which is used in game for things like Mirana’s arrow or Puck’s orb), but I’m going to have to tear down and recreate that entirely as it doesn’t support any 3D collisions (height is ignored) or other dynamic behavior.” he added in his post.

There’s now question that other issues will crop up in it until we see a proper final Beta, but why wait until then and not start your own project? The redditor stated that he constantly releases the systems he creates for other modders to use too; feel like making your own mod now?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=100&v=hDZg6Z5vecM

Tickets for Dota 2 The International Sold Out in a Record-Breaking Six Minutes

The biggest eSports event of the year, Dota 2 “The International”, is approaching and fans are getting really excited for the even. Possibly too excited.

The previous tournament took place in Key Arena, Seattle, between July 18th and 21st. The tickets have sold in less than an hour, so fans were urged to be quick on buying a ticket sine then. But nobody expected all the tickets for this year’s event to be sold in… six minutes?

It is said that this year’s tournament will be held in the same Key Arena in Seattle, but in August this time around. The lucky people who were fast enough to buy a ticket are likely to be eagerly looking forward to the start of the tournament.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

DOTA 2 Rejected Character Concept Recreated by Player In-Game

It looks like DOTA 2 player, MaxOfS2D, has recreated a ‘failed’ character concept designed by Valve; the recreated concept can be viewed in the video below.

Valve has provided access to its database of rejected concept design for the highly anticipated Faceless Void remodel over the weekend. The character model is said to have been offered as a compendium reward during last year’s DOTA 2 International.

The company is said to have dropped quite a few redesign options, including the wand-bearing dinosaur interpretation of Faceless Void and Lobster Void. Valve apparently has strict guidelines regarding what hero creations enter the title. It is said that one guideline involves heroes that have to get along with the game’s lore, which is why we won’t see this Faceless Void character anywhere beyond a player mod.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Chinese Teams Competed for a Share of $6.4 Million in Tournament

So the final is now over, I personally haven’t been watching any of it but all I know is that two Chinese teams, who else, competed in the final. NewBee and Vici Gaming are the two teams who battled it out for insane amounts of money with the victorious team (Team Newbee) leaving with an insane $5 million and the runner up (Vici Gaming ) left with a cool $1.4 million, I wouldn’t be complaining if I came second…

I don’t have any interest in Dota 2 or LoL (League of Legends) because their just not for me, I enjoy racing games and shooters but that’s just me, millions play Dota 2 on steam which is why the prize pool became so enormous.  Valve themselves donated $1.6 million to the prize pool and the $9.3 million came from the players themselves, all hoping to be with a chance of winning a big chuck of it.

The final isn’t the only place where people have won big, there is another $4.5 million we haven’t talked about yet! That money was distributed between the other 19 teams that were in the tournament and by doing some simple maths that averages at $236,000 per team which have 5 members in so each player, just by being there, basically got $47,368 which is incredible.

Esports is becoming so big that the final of this years The International was aired on one of ESPN’s channels, that’s insane. A huge global television network airing a video game! It’s amazing to see that gaming has come along way in such a short space of time.

Thanks to BBC for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Steam.

Rival: DOTA 2 Edition Gaming Mouse Revealed By SteelSeries

SteelSeries have just revealed their new DOTA 2 branded gaming mouse, the Rival. The mouse is based on their massively popular Rival Optical Mouse, but not only has it been treated to a new colour scheme, but it also comes with an exclusive in-game item, Hell’s Glare for Doom.

TOURNAMENT-GRADE PERFORMANCE

Whether you’re part of the Dire or Radiance, winning is everything. This precision gaming tool was carefully crafted after a rich history of tournament-grade mice created for the best professional players around the globe. Gamers can tune their CPI, polling rate, mouse acceleration, and a full arsenal of performance mods in an easy to use interface courtesy of SteelSeries Engine 3. All of these things together create a mouse that is guaranteed to never be the reason why you miss another last hit.

ENDLESS CUSTOMIZATION, DOTA STYLE

The SteelSeries Rival Dota 2 Edition is the ultimate mouse built for fans of the globally loved title from Valve. Each part, from the stone-gray body and side buttons to the blood-red rubber grips is carefully crafted to be a true item of beauty. Players can further customize the mouse using exclusive Dota 2 themed illumination modes that can shift according to player preference.

EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME ITEM

A once divine weapon, now corrupted by the devouring darkness of its new master, this Radiance-inspired sword is a must-have for any Dota fan. The Hell’s Glare for Doom has been exclusively designed and only available with purchase of the SteelSeries Rival: Dota 2 Edition Gaming Mouse.

Those attending the International 4 DOTA 2 Championship in Seattle, Washington will be some of the first to get access to the Rival 2 DOTA 2 Edition gaming mouse.

“We believe that Dota players deserve the best, so we set out to give fans a mouse with a design they would love without sacrificing the functionality they require,” said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. “We extensively tested our Dota 2 Edition of the Rival Optical Mouse with professional players from Natus Vincere, Invictus Gaming and Fnatic which has resulted in one of the most powerful mice we’ve ever built – and to make it even more special for the Dota 2 community, we’ve added a unique in-game item.”

Pre-orders will be available after the tournament has finished, with an MSRP of 69.99 / €69.99.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Raptr Reveals The Most PC Played Games, They Are…

Which PC games were the most popular in June 2014? Well it is impossible to say for all PC gamers in the world, but using the Raptr statistics as a barometer reveals some interesting results. At number one is League of Legends with a staggering 16.76% of all PC gamers, that’s more than twice the share of second place game title DOTA 2 which has 8.15%. World of Warcraft, Counter Strike Global Offensive and Diablo III make up the rest of the top 5. The biggest gainers are WildStar, Watch Dogs, Battlefield 3 and PayDay 2 while the biggest losers include The Elder Scrolls Online, ArmA III and Star Wars: The Old Republic who all dropped significantly.

These figures compare fairly similarly to Steam’s Statistics, although many of the games in Raptr’s list are not counted in Steam’s statistics so making the comparison is difficult. Steam’s top 5 includes Dota 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Team Fortress, Football Manager 2014 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Raptr is an online gaming platform with 22 million users in over 100 countries. Raptr recently signed a partnership with AMD to provide the backbone behind the “AMD Gaming Evolved” app.

Source: Raptr

Image courtesy of Raptr

The Stanley Parable Narrator Heading To Dota 2 DLC

I love it when two great games come together and now it looks like Dota 2 will be getting a new voice in its next DLC, the narrator from Indie smash hit The Stanley Parable. Dota 2 is certainly no stranger to guest spots for the narrator, we’ve already heard the charming GLaDOS from Portal keeping the pace and before that we had the soothing tones of Rucks from Bastion.

The Stanley Parable is an odd game to say the least, I’m not even sure it’s what most people would call a game. However, the narration and the experience of The Stanley Parable is simply stunning and unlike anything else out there, but more importantly here the narration is superb and while Dota 2 isn’t a narration driven title, I think it is a great thing to see both development teams working together on this DLC.

The writers from The Stanley Parable will be on board to ensure we get the same great of dialogue, and the cooperation between the two teams was confirmed recently by The Stanley Parable creator David Wreden on Twitter.

We expect this will be a paid DLC upon release, but for now there are no extra details.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Eurogamer.

MLG Fall Invitational at Full Sail University This Weekend

Major League Gaming is heading to Winter Park, Florida for the MLG Fall Invitational on October 18 & 19 at Full Sail University. This weekend (Friday 18th) four of the top NA Dota 2 teams will compete for $15,000 and a spot in the International tournament at the MLG Championship in Columbus, Ohio. On Saturday, October 19, the top four teams in Call of Duty: Black Ops II will compete for $15,000 in prizes. Fans can purchase VIP and general admission spectator passes online to watch in person or catch all the action broadcast live on MLG.tv starting Friday at 1pm ET.

The Games and Teams

MLG Fall Invitational – Dota 2 – Friday, October 18 at Full Sail Live

Dignitas, Typical Mistakes (formerly Pretty Boy Swag), noM (formerly Shadowfiend Eats Cake) and The Joikernaught will compete LIVE for $15,000 in prizes. The first place finisher will receive $10,000 and an invitation to compete in the International Tournament at the MLG Championship in Columbus, Ohio, from November 22-24. The second place finisher will receive $5,000.

MLG Fall Invitational – Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Saturday, October 19 at Full Sail Live

Complexity, Optic, 8-12 UNiTE, and FaZe – the top four Call of Duty: Black Ops II teams based on the MLG NA Xbox 360 Pro Points Rankings as of September 16 – will go head to head for $15,000 in prizes. The competition will be the last time teams will compete playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II at an MLG Pro Circuit event before the switch to Call of Duty: Ghosts at the upcoming MLG Championship in Columbus. First place will receive $10,000, second place will receive $5,000 and all teams will earn at least 1800 Pro Points.

How to Watch in Person:

The tournament is being held at Full Sail Live at Full Sail University, 141 University Park Dr. Winter Park, Florida 32792. Fans can buy a General Admission or VIP Spectator Pass online in the MLG Store to watch in person. General admission passes are available for each day for only $15 or upgrade to a VIP pass to watch both days of competition with reserved seating, a behind the scenes tour and an MLG hoodie.

Broadcast Info – How to Watch Online at MLG.tv:

The MLG Fall Invitational will be broadcast live on www.mlg.tv. Dota 2 fans can also purchase the In-Game Ticket for full spectator-mode access and live commentary in the Dota 2 client. Tickets are available now for only $4.99 directly in the Dota 2 store in-game and online.

The Dota 2 broadcast starts Friday, October 18 at 1pm ET with the Dr Pepper Pre-Game show and tournament at 1:30pm with commentary by the Beyond the Summit team (@BeyondtheSummit) and floor reporting by Alex “Jax” Conroy.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops II broadcast kicks off Saturday, October 19 at 3pm ET with the Dr Pepper Pre-Game Show, and matches at 3:30pm ET with commentary by Chris Puckett (@MLGPuckett) and John “Revan” Boble (@RevanJB) and floor reporting by Alex “Jax” Conroy.

Broadcast schedule available at www.mlg.tv/schedule.

Thank you MLG for providing us with this information.

Source 2 And Left 4 Dead 3 Spotted At Valve

Click for full-size

Players taking part in the International DOTA 2 tournament have been given the opportunity to visit the offices of game developers Valve. While there one of them decided to whack out their camera and grab a few shots of what was going on at some of the systems running there. One of them struck a bit of a gold-mine with an image of current and previously unknown projects. This list includes information about work on a Source Engine 2 project and Left 4 Dead 3.

Valve hasn’t delivered a new Left 4 Dead title since Left 4 Dead 2 in 2009. The Source Engine 2 is thought to be in development in order to power new Valve titles for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and upcoming PC Titles.

Unsurprisingly there was no update on the possibility of Half Life 3.

Image courtesy of DOTA 2 Players (Imgur.com)

Dota 2 Finally Out Of Beta, Valve Will Bring Game Online In Batches

Dota 2 has been in the beta stages for what seems like a century now. Yesterday Valve confirmed that Dota 2, its longest in development free to play multiplayer game, is now out of beta and can be downloaded by Steam users worldwide. That said there is a catch. The new game will be phased-in in a load of batches to ensure the server infrastructures don’t crumble under intense load.

Dota 2 has been in closed beta since late 2011 but has managed to rack up 3 million players thanks to the ability for each player to invite friends to join the game. Apparently for Chinese and South Korean users Perfect World and Nexon, respectively, will regulate access into Dota 2 but for everyone else Valve’s Steam software is in control.

The game will have a queue and users who download the game will be entered into that queue. Email confirmation will be sent out when your time in the queue is up and you finally get to play. This queuing system will not last forever but will be used to regulate the launch as to prevent any catastrophic server failures or overloads.

“Our thinking is that we want the existing audience to have uninterrupted access during the launch, in addition to bringing new players into Dota 2 in a way that isn’t frustrating. Simply put, we want to smooth out the traditional launch spike, but at the same time allow anyone to come in and try out Dota 2…Dota 2’s user base is already larger than any game we’ve ever made, and it continues to grow. Knowing this launch moment was coming, we’ve spent the past year working on getting both the backend infrastructure and new user experience into a state where we can welcome in anyone that wants to give the game a try. With that work now complete, it is time for us to invite anyone and everyone to come play.” said Valve in its announcement.

Image courtesy of Valve

DOTA 2 Players Set New Record On Steam, Most Concurrent Player Record

The Valve development team has just come out to announce that its own game DOTA 2, the multiplayer online battle arena title, has managed to smash another Steam record. That record is the most number of active/concurrent gamers playing any steam title at any given time. If you look at the steam stats regularly you will probably notice that DOTA 2 is always top, followed by other Valve games (like TF2, CS:S), Football Manager 2013 and Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. Yet DOTA 2 is by far the most played game, other game titles don’t even get close.

The new record was 329,977 gamers playing DOTA 2 all at the same time. This smashed the previous record which was around the 297,000 marker, also a DOTA 2 record. DOTA 2 is still in beta stage and those who are interested in the modern evolution of the classic concept can ask another player for an invite. The game also has a rapidly rising competitive eSports scene with an international tournament coming later this year, organised by Valve, with an expected prize pool of $2 million and rising.

Gamers can increase the prize pool by buying the DOTA 2 compendium.

As I write this article there are 200,000 people playing DOTA 2, followed by 32,000 on Team Fortress 2 and 26,000 on Football Manager 2013. Valve are clearly doing something right and while many will argue that with Valve games being “Steam only” titles Valve games have an advantage but that isn’t strictly true as a lot of PC games these days are being made Steam only titles anyway. Though that said there are bigger games and gaming platforms outside of Steam so Valve do hold a significant advantage. Therefore, take these results as they are – Steam records – not PC gaming records.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you play DOTA 2?

Source, Via