DotA 2: The International 2017 - Digital Sport's


It’s that time of year again!

The Group Stages have just begun, and the Main Event begins Monday 7 August; the prize pool this year stands at over $20,000,000, with the winner taking home around half of that. This is also the first International since the 7.0 patch.

For anyone new to DotA 2 there’s a newcomer stream to teach you basics of the game as you watch. Rather than the Caster-based newcomer stream of the 2014 International this one is the same as the main stream but with an overlay that displays some helpful information, so you get the same yelling at big stuff as everyone else but with some fun tutorials!

Links for watching:
Main stream hub
DotA 2 Newcomer stream - Normal stream with an informative overlay
shaneomad’s Newcomer Stream - for people who prefer someone explanation through spoken commentary
For anyone who is unfamiliar to DotA watch this youtube playlist!

Also for anyone with questions feel free to ask in this thread if you’re not sure. I’m sure someone with experience will be happy to help you.

Monday 7th August Main Event Schedule:
-Upper Bracket, Best of 3-
Team Liquid vs Invictus Gaming
Evil Geniuses vs Newbee

-Lower Bracket, Single Elimination-
Team Secret vs Execration
Cloud9 vs Team Empire
OG vs Infamous
iG.Vitality vs Digital Chaos


I’m really looking forward to it, I tend to dip out of Dota for most of the year (just because it’s such a time investment) and then come back for TI. As someone who rarely plays the game I can attest that you can totally be a viewer without being a player, though there is still a fairly hefty initial investment of time.

My initial gripe so far during this first game is their use of the new Reef map skin. I know they’ve gotta show off their fancy cosmetics, but the weird non-river thing in particular is pretty confusing visually and even as a long-time viewer I’m finding it difficult to parse at times. I’d be a little worried that it might baffle newer players.

As Lilly said, I’m happy to answer any questions if you’re new and watching for the first time! I did actually make a video 2 years ago specifically on watching the game if you’re new to it - but it’s now rather out of date in quite a few areas, so perhaps don’t rely on it. I kinda wish they’d do something similar that they could run between games on the newbie stream, though.


I still can’t believe they give this drama away for free (even just first day low-stakes group stage and I’ve had good fun with game 2 of Secret vs Infamous). Also a fair-weather fangirl who only really tunes in for the annual TI week (and haven’t played much more of the game than the tutorials).

It’s certainly replaced StarCraft 2 in my eSports event viewing (another game I’d never play competitively but with enough solo content and a tradition of playing with friends to get more actual play out of - but never at a level where pro-tier insights would actually help much). I’d say that going into the game and trying to emulate the pros would probably work extremely poorly, which shows how it can work as a viewed sport without needing you to engage with or be any good at the game.


Speaking of Starcraft 2, goold ol’ Day9 is hosting the tournament this year, who seems to just make an infinite amount of money being the host for literally anything PC video game related now.


i must always root for jacky eternalenvy mao, whatever team he plays for, he must win, he must make anime real


I actually really liked RedEye last year, so I’ll miss him a bit. But as a long-time fan of Day[9] I certainly can’t begrudge him hosting - that dude has been probably one of the most influential gaming-related people to my life (in a super positive fashion).

Also it’s been fun watching him learn Dota 2 over the last few months with Purge’s guidance - I think it might actually make him a really strong host, because he’s got this perspective of someone who only had a fairly basic understanding a year ago but has learned a lot about the game of late. He should have a pretty good feeling for what might confuse newer viewers or could be interesting to explain to those not up-to-date on the current meta.


Don’t know if this is the right place to ask but I have a hard time understanding Dota (and MOBA’s in general) as a spectator sport. Is it something that I would need to play and figure out myself in order to appreciate? I’ve tried watching Dota in the past and understand some of the general conditions for winning but a lot of the nuance and excitement is lost on me.

If I wanted to watch and enjoy the International is there something I could read/watch to bring me up to speed? Is there something I should be looking at during tournament play that stands out as “good play” vs “bad play?” I sincerely apologize if it sounds like I’m downplaying Dota and Moba’s, I’d much rather be understanding than remain ignorant here.


Back when I was trying to get into Dota, purge’s guide was helpful -

Also, you should watch the newcomer stream that is linked in the OP. Teamliquid also did a bunch of articles about each team which you can read here -

I hope that’s somewhat helpful :slight_smile:


It’s definitely one of those things that you kinda just have to dive in on knowing the basics (grind out gold & xp, push up the lanes, destroy the enemies buildings and finally their base) and then you’ll slowly start to pick up stuff as it goes.

I’d say it didn’t take me too long to have a rough understanding of what was going on. When I was first watching TI, I would have the wiki open and if a hero seemed particularly interesting or important I would read into their skills.

Watching in-game can also be a good way to do that, as you can click on an individual hero and mouse over their spells one-by-one, as well as scroll the view out to a wider perspective that can make things a little easier to follow at first.

As I mentioned earlier, I did make a video specifically about coming to Dota as a viewer, but it’s two years out of date now. You might still find it useful, but the general gist of it is along these lines:

  • Don’t worry too much about specifics at first.
  • Focus on the positioning and movement of heroes.
  • Look at objectives for an idea of who is ahead - towers and barracks are gone forever when destroyed, so they’re the clearest indicator of who’s ahead in the game.

After that, you’ll slowly start to fill in the specifics over time. Initially you might not realise quite why people are getting so excited about a certain thing, but some stuff will be obvious (such as an Enigma catching the whole enemy team in his Black Hole ultimate). Other stuff you’ll start to recognise happening repeatedly across multiple games.

As well as the newcomer stream (which is going to have helpful overlays on it), they’ve generally improved with mid-game replays of big events where they’ll slow things down and explain what happened - even for an experienced viewer, things go fast sometimes! Yesterday there was a big Lich ult (he has a ball that keeps bouncing between enemies if they’re close together and deals a ton of damage) that they broke down after the fight ended.

Also feel free to ask as many questions as you want! There’s no harm in being curious, and there will always be people willing to explain things to anyone who is interested in learning more.


Cloud 9 are currently running a position 1 Pugna if anyone’s interested in a clowny EternalEnvy draft

Update: pieliedie snatched the Aegis blind


Day 1 of the main event is today! I updated OP with the schedule in case people don’t know the matches.

What teams are people supporting (cough cloud9) ?


I love Kuro and Puppey as players but I’ve heard way too much about how they are as people :frowning:

Here’s my take on how to watch the game for new people: the team that is ahead feels safe walking in more areas of the map. Kill lead, tower lead, and team composition all add subtleties to this, but map control is what people tend to be indirectly playing for.

Why? Without getting too in depth, because controlling the map is what you need to do to either farm or win the game. You have to be able to safely visit lanes and the jungle to farm, and you have to be able to safely visit enemy buildings to kill them. If you are able to safely visit more of the map than your enemy, you are better able to do these things.

A higher-level thing to be on the lookout for is when heroes are strong. This is something you hear about in every Dotalike, but I find that it’s especially true here. When the announcers say one team “needs to hit a timing”, they mean that the team comp relies on using one power spike to win the game. Try to make a note of what they say about the power spike, because it’s frequently how the game will play out - that team playing well enough to grab the power spike and get a decisive advantage, or the other team playing well enough that they can survive the spike (and get to one of their own).


I’m waving the flag for Infamous, however short their time in the finals may be.

Never a dull game.


game 2 of the first series is a really good watch so far

e: and sven is my large wonderful son


*Waving an Xxs flag*

These games are very good.


Fantastic first series to kick the finals off. Very excited for more.

I’ve always been a pretty neutral spectator when it comes to esports and that’s served me well. If I’ve ever leant towards anyone, it’s been Alliance (and even then only slightly so), but they’re not a factor here so I’m just going to enjoy the Dota.


Newbee vs Evil Geniuses is about to begin! I don’t hate EG but I like them less than I hate “#bleedblue” and USA chants.


Despite keeping a constant stream up for the past few years, I haven’t been watching the tournament so far this year. Then I just turned on EG vs Newbee Game 2 on a whim, and daaaaaaaamn now I want to do nothing but watch DOTA again.


Added a link to shaneomad’s Newcomer stream, for anyone new to DotA who would prefer a nice Irish man explaining things to them in more detail.


Only just caught up to yesterday’s LFY games. Wow!