DOTA 2 Could Be Getting a VR Spectating Mode

When it comes to eSports, being able to watch the techniques and strategies used by teams as they compete can be a gripping and thrilling experience. Be it at home or in a stadium, watching people play the game and knowing that in a just a few short seconds the entire game can change excites people, so what would you do if you could get closer to the action? You could soon with Valve teasing a VR spectating mode for the MOBA game, DOTA 2.

The footage was teased by Robert McGregor on twitter, showing off just some of the features. The footage shows a screen, similar to the one you would find watching the game regularly, only looking away from the suspended screen shows you details about the events and characters taking place in the match.

To either side of the screen line up the characters, showing the items they’ve all taken, while straight ahead as if on a table you have the overhead map, complete with markers to show who’s where. Compiled with team network and differences in experience gained, a single glance in any direction can reveal something you might normally miss.

While the new system looks to be made to support the HTC Vive (controllers and all), this is the first it’s been seen in action and if it’s anything to go by, VR spectating could be something that other e-sports look to create in the near future.

eSports to Join the Curriculum in a Norwegian High School

It seems like such a great profession, being paid sums of money to play games all day. Much like being a real athlete, becoming an eSports player requires far more dedication and practice than many are willing to put in. Recognition of the skill and effort required to play at such a high level has allowed a number of considerations given to traditional athletes also offered to cyber athletes. Garnes Vidaregåande Skule plans to do something no other school has yet to try: add eSports classes to their core curriculum.

The school located in Bergen, Norway, won’t be making the subject mandatory yet, being only an elective subject, but it is a bold move. The course will contain at least 5 hours of study each week in the game specialisation of their choice. I’m sure plenty of people would be excited to play games at school for 5 hours a week, sadly for them, this is not the case. It has been confirmed that as well as playing and learning an eSports game, the classes will contain physical training to help concentration and reflexes as well as nutritional and lifestyle advice.

Some of the games planned to be on offer as part of the course are Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well as others, comprising a shortlist, with students able to suggest new games and vote on the list of those to be offered. At first, they will offer only two games as part of the course, for logistical reasons, but I’m sure that if it is a success that more will be made available. Petter Grahl Johnstad, Manager of the Science Department at the Garnes Vidaregåande Skule told Dotablast that they planned to work closely with the eSports community to be able to improve their courses, hoping to have both regular teachers for the subjects and Skype based seminars with professional eSports players. He hopes that the course will be about more than just gaming to the students, with crucial aspects being teamwork, motivation, cooperation and tactics, as well as skill in-game.

Garnes Vidaregåande Skule could lead the way for other schools, both in Norway and around the world to offer classes in eSports alongside those in traditional sports such as football. Whether it catches on, however, it is hard to tell, but at the rate the eSports scene is growing, it isn’t hard to imagine more and more young people entering it. At the very least, students studying this course get supplied top of the end hardware to play on, including Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti graphics cards. I’m jealous.

ESL Testing eSports Players For Drug Usage

Gaming is a big market, and with games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Smite and Dota offering hundreds of thousands in prizes the competition heats up every year with each competition. As with all competitions, people use every chance to get ahead and sometimes these methods are seen as morally bad.

The Electronics Sports League (ESL) are hoping to combat one of the most popular methods for getting ahead in competitive sports, the use of drugs. Pairing up with the National Anti Doping Agentur (NADA) ESL hope to create rules that will enforce an anti-PED (performance enhancing drug) that will allow competitive gaming to continue without being drawn into an area other sports are often resistant to discuss. Hoping to also meet the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), they hope to enforce the ruling and prevent any performance enhancing drugs being used in any area of competitive gaming.

The reason for the sudden and swift response comes after professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, Kory ‘Semphis’ Friesen who stated that not only did he use Adderall, but that other players were using the stimulant, often used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Personally I think this can only be a step in the right direction, taking anything that may help or hinder your performance for something which is meant to be for fun and a little challenge not only ruin the spirit of the games but also the reputation of those who hold such events.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of ESWC’s Interview with Semphis

Play Fractured Space for Free This Weekend and Keep It

Fractured Space is still in Steam’s Early Access Program, but it already looks great and got very positive feedback from reviewers and players. The team-based space-combat game lets you fight it out with your friends and foes in gigantic capital ships with the intensity of a shooter game but with a big strategy side to consider.

The game isn’t normally free, but this weekend you can play it for free on Steam, and best of all, you get to keep it after. Like it is with so many games these days, you can choose to spend extra money on more features, add-ons, and DLCs. So head on over to the Steam store and add it to your library right away, this is too good to miss.

With 5v5 matches, individual skill in combat alone cannot secure victory. Your team must decide where to focus its efforts; when to advance and retreat. Every match is a war to be won through multiple battles. Unity is a strength. Kind of a DOTA in space.

You build your own armada and customize it with weapon loadouts. You can earn credits through battles and purchase new ships and expand your fleet. You can tailor it all to your preferred setup and to give you a unique set of choices and options during a given match. The Fractured space of the universe is yours to conquer.