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Frostivus Arrives

For too many seasons have the horrors of The Greeviling and Wraith Night kept our formerly festive heroes huddled near the warmth and safety of an Ancient’s glow. But this year a handful of heroes have gathered to ensure the true Frostivus spirit emerges from the traumas of the past.

To kick off the season, today’s update unveils an all-new Frostivus Treasure, filled with 18 community-created item sets and offering the chance to unlock a Rare Batrider set, Very Rare Wraith King set, or Extremely Rare Puck set.

And what would Frostivus be without a return of the Season of Givening?! This year, every player has the chance to earn one free Frostivus Treasure gift simply by going about business as usual. It’s easy — just win three games of Dota to claim your present.

Now to truly foster the holiday spirit and resurrect the tradition of the truce, everyone is invited to partake in the Frostivus Festival Special Event. Queue up to enter the fray and compete against friends and strangers alike in a madcap series of mini-games (randomly selected from a larger pool for each match) that will test your skills but never diminish your holiday cheer.

Please join us in offering a hearty congratulations to VicFrank, the Workshop contributor who created this winning entry and has secured the $30,000 grand prize. Thank you to all of the contributors who worked hard to help make this contest a resounding success.


Seasonal Ranked Update

Today’s update reworks the Ranked matchmaking system, as our inaugural six-month Ranked Season is ready to begin. Entering the season, all players will be able to earn a new Rank Medal on their profile that represents their highest performance level for the current season. A Seasonal Rank Medal never decreases in rank once you’ve achieved it. Initial calibration games will be seeded roughly based on your previous skill.

There are seven levels of Rank Medals, and within each level are five stars of progress to earn towards the next Medal. These Medals are: Herald, Guardian, Crusader, Archon, Legend, Ancient, and Divine.

Your performance in both Party and Solo games is considered when evaluating your skill and determining when your Medal gets upgraded, with Solo games having a bigger impact. In order for players to achieve either the Ancient or Divine Medals, only Solo-game performance is considered.

This update also expands the Leaderboard system to include many more players. Players with 5 stars on the Divine Rank Medal (the highest rank) will now have a leaderboard number listed with the medal that broadcasts their position amongst other players. This leaderboard position will always be displayed alongside the Medal, and will be visible to all players in the game and on your profile.


7.07 Update — The Dueling Fates

Today the Dueling Fates collide, as two new heroes—Dark Willow & Pangolier—join the battle of the Ancients.

And neither arrives to the fight empty-handed. Each hero has a debut Immortal item available in the Emblems of the Dueling Fates bundle, which also contains a Ward set, courier, and taunts for both heroes.

Along with the new heroes, Dueling Fates also introduces the 7.07 Gameplay Update; new ranked seasons for MMR; an entirely new game mode; and more. Visit the update page for details on each hero and all the other changes we’ve made.

Looking beyond today’s update, we’re also currently reworking the Battle Pass system and will have more information on those changes coming in the future.


Broadcasting Dota 2

Recently, as we’re preparing to get into the swing of a bunch of great tournaments, there has been a lot of discussion happening around who is allowed to broadcast professional Dota 2 matches. While there is a tendency to oversimplify issues like these, often times it takes a fair amount of effort to work through what the right outcome is for the community as a whole.

With any change to any of our products we tend to start with a framing question of “What is best for our customers”. This means all customers, not just the ones who care about professional play, but also those who ardently follow specific streamers, along with tournament operators and their sponsors. Generally we tend to try to tread pretty lightly around areas where the community outside of Valve is doing a lot of the work, primarily because we don’t want to stifle invention that leads to someone doing something really cool that we hadn’t thought of. The community has built many beneficial things for itself — websites like Dotabuff, contributions to the Steam workshop, independent broadcast studios, sites like DatDota, streamers with unique communities of fans – and because of that we think that the community should have broad license in terms of what is allowed.

Hopefully that background is useful when considering the specific issue of who should be broadcasting Dota 2 matches.

Broadly speaking, we see two groups of fans (with some degree of overlap). Some fans follow competitive play – they have favorite teams, players, casters, tournaments — and want to consume content directly from tournament organizers who are producing events. Other fans have strong affinities to specific personalities, and they watch them play games, talk about games, and cast a variety of professional, amateur, and pub games. We want to make sure that there is content available that serves both groups of customers.

To that end, in addition to the official, fully-produced streams from the tournament organizer itself, we believe that anyone should be able to broadcast a match from DotaTV for their audience. However, we don’t think they should do so in a commercial manner or in a way that directly competes with the tournament organizer’s stream. This means no advertising/branding overlays, and no sponsorships. It also means not using any of the official broadcast’s content such as caster audio, camerawork, overlays, interstitial content, and so on. Finally, this is not permission for studios to broadcast each other’s events. In general, everyone should play nice together, and we think the boundaries should be pretty clear.


True Sight – The International 2017

Each year, The International grand finals has fans on the edge of their seat because, after all, anything can happen in Dota. But who could have anticipated that Newbee – dominant in the upper bracket – would fall to Team Liquid in an unprecedented three straight games? Our film crew managed to capture what it truly feels like to win AND lose in grand fashion. It was an emotional ride for everyone involved and it’s an honor to present to you the next episode of the Valve documentary series, TRUE SIGHT.

TRUE SIGHT is a documentary series that takes you behind the scenes of the journeys of professional Dota 2 teams. This episode follows Team Liquid and Newbee through the grand finals at The International 2017. Pressure builds as the two teams compete for the grand prize of $10.9 million, the largest in eSports history.


Frostivus Custom Game Contest

To help celebrate Frostivus this year, we are happy to announce a new custom game contest. Each entry must be a new multiplayer custom game heavily themed around the Frostivus season, and may be either cooperative or competitive amongst the players. To enter, you must submit the final copy of the custom game by November 20th. We are excited to see all of the Frostivus game submissions for this contest.

The winning entry will be selected by Valve and will receive a prize of $30,000. While the deadline for submitting the final copy is November 20th, we suggest that you involve the community during your development process earlier and have them play the game to give you feedback. Make sure to tag your game with “Frostivus 2017” so fans can find your game on the workshop. Check the Frostivus 2017 Contest Rules page for all of the entry requirements.

Ahead of the Frostivus season, we have a couple other things in the works. Our next big release will be The Dueling Fates update. We are still hard at work on it and don’t have an exact release date, but we are expecting it to take about another month to finish the content. We are also putting the finishing touches on the next True Sight episode, scheduled to be released on Tuesday next week. We have put together a teaser for it, check it out here.