The International is drawing closer, and next week we will be releasing The International Compendium, along with a major balance update. Soon after that we will be announcing the teams that will be invited to The International.
Today, however, we would like to talk about our plans for improving the competitive landscape as a whole. As fans of the game, we love watching teams compete in high stakes tournaments, but we also recognize that there is room for improvement on a more structural level. While the lack of roster stability and major focal points during the year had its advantages, it has eventually come at the cost of fan engagement and competitive stability for the players.
The Dota Major Championships, starting this Fall, will be an annual series of four marquee tournaments, one being The International. The three additional tournaments will be Valve-sponsored events hosted by third-party organizers at different locations around the world. Teams that participate in these events will be required to adhere to limited roster trade periods during the year.
As the Fall event approaches, more tournament details will be announced.
Tickets to The International will be available to purchase at this link and will be on sale soon. The first wave starts at 10:00am PDT March 27th and followed by the last wave at 10:00pm PDT March 27th.
Q. How many tickets can I buy?
Ticket purchases are limited to 5 per household.
Q. When will tickets go on sale?
Tickets will be sold in two equal waves. The first wave will be sold at 10:00am PDT, and the last wave will be sold at 10:00pm PDT. Use this time zone converter if you are unsure when tickets will be sold in your time zone.
Q. Can I purchase from both waves of tickets?
Yes, however you are still limited to a total of 5 tickets per household across both waves.
Q. Can I sit anywhere, or will there be preassigned seats?
There are no assigned seats. You will be able to sit anywhere.
Q. How can I purchase a VIP Ticket?
All tickets sold will be General Admission. We will not be directly selling VIP tickets.
Q. Can I trade my ticket if I cannot attend?
Yes, but please note that if you are picking up your badge from Will Call, you will have to contact Ticketmaster support and request a badge holder name change.
Q. Can I get a refund on my ticket?
Yes. If you contact Ticketmaster support within 48 hours of your purchase, they will help you secure a refund.
Q. I purchased a ticket and I live within the US. Can I change my shipping address?
No. Ticketmaster will only ship to the address you supplied at checkout. If you need to adjust the ticket to a Will Call ticket, please contact Ticketmaster support.
Q. I purchased a ticket and I live outside of the US. How will I receive my ticket?
Your ticket will be at the Will Call booth at the event. You will need to provide a picture ID to pick up your ticket. If you will not be the person picking up the ticket, please contact Ticketmaster support to add an additional pick up name to your order.
You can find the purchase page for the tickets here. We recommend going there and creating an account ahead of time so you will be ready when the tickets go on sale.
Dota 2 returns to KeyArena in Seattle this summer from August 3rd through August 8th.
All tickets will be general admission, which will cost $99 and give you access to all six days of the main event, where the top 16 teams in the world will compete for the Aegis of Champions.
We are not directly selling VIP tickets this year, but stay tuned for details on the VIP experience.
Tickets will be made available through Ticketmaster at two separate times next Friday, March 27th.
The first batch of tickets will be sold at 10:00am PDT, and the last batch will be sold at 10:00pm PDT.
Not sure when that is in your time zone? Here’s a list of times to help you get ready for when the tickets go on sale:
- Seattle: March 27th at 10:00 and 22:00
- Rio de Janeiro: March 27th at 14:00 and March 28th at 02:00
- London: March 27th at 17:00 and March 28th at 05:00
- Moscow: March 27th at 20:00 and March 28th at 08:00
- Beijing: March 28th at 01:00 and 13:00
- Seoul: March 28th at 02:00 and 14:00
- Singapore: March 28th at 01:00 and 13:00
- Sydney: March 28th at 04:00 and 16:00
Still unsure when tickets will go on sale in your area? Check out this handy time zone converter.
When Faceless Void won the Model Update vote in last year’s Compendium for The International, we admit we were a bit unsure about how to proceed. After exploring a number of different directions, we ultimately weren’t confident that the community would be happy with a significant redesign, since it seemed like a lot of people enjoyed the general idea of the existing model. When we turned to the community, we learned that for the most part people were not looking for drastic design changes.
So instead, we decided to give old Faceless a facelift. We rebuilt the hero from scratch, using largely the same design, but with better model execution and texture quality. We added more detail, adjusted the face design, and gave him a new set of legs (it turns out Time Walk is tough on the ankles).
However, some of the early redesign concepts were pretty interesting:
- Pro: Attractive. Chiseled abs. Great-looking hair.
- Con: No one would want to play as any other hero
- Pro: Would be popular with sought-after archeologist demographic
- Con: Is large purple dinosaur — too lovable?
- Pro: Adds exciting new Lobstoid race to Dota lore
- Con: Looks too much like Dragon Knight
- Pro: Combines best parts of every animal
- Con: Too subtle
- Pro: Finally has a face
- Con: Oh God what were we thinking
Today we fixed a subtle pathfinding bug that had been in the game for a while.
We get many reports of issues in the game, and the trickiest ones are the reports of subtle, often fleeting timing issues that result in incorrect hero or spell behavior. The bug we fixed today was inside the pathfinding system, but it manifested in extremely rare cases around blink dagger usage. We’ve seen reports of weirdness around blink dagger usage for a long time, but every time we spent some time digging into it, we couldn’t reproduce the events in those reports. A couple of weeks ago we decided to add a lot more tracking data to replays, so that the next time we received a match ID it would tell us more.
Early this week, we got lucky. Or perhaps you could say Loda got very unlucky. In Esportal Dota 2 League game #2 between The Alliance and Ninjas in Pyjamas, Loda reproduced the pathfinding bug at 18:26 game time. As Slardar, Loda had given a move to position order near some trees, and the generated path included an erroneous sharp turn at the very last step. Just as Slardar reached this last step, Loda activated his blink dagger. However, since Slardar was incorrectly trying to turn at the same moment, he was no longer within the required 11.5 degrees of facing the target position. Many players forget that your Hero does have to face towards the blink target before the blink actually starts. Exactly 0.07 seconds later, before Slardar had completed turning back towards the blink target, Loda cast Slithereen Crush, which replaced the blink dagger order. Sorry Loda!
Once we received the report of this occurring, fixing the bug was straightforward, because we finally had what we needed: a match ID containing the bug at a known time, and a new replay with the full unit and command information for each player. It took only a few hours to carefully analyze that replay and figure out exactly what was going on, compared to the many prior days fruitlessly spent combing over code and user reports looking for clues. There may still be other bugs that result in weirdness around blink daggers, and it’ll take more replays to catch them, but at least we know that this one is no more.
So, if you’re one of the many players out there that are great at noticing the really fine details in this massively complex game we all love, make sure your reports include a match ID and rough game time at which the bug occurred, since replays are now much more helpful in debugging these rare issues. That information can be the difference between a bug being fixed in a day and a bug that plagues us for months.