ESPN Partnering With Valve to Stream Dota 2 Esports Tournament

Dota 2's The International will be streamed on ESPN 3 online through browsers, consoles, the mobile app, and streaming boxes.

This weekend, you can watch the championships for The International, the tournament for Dota 2, through sports network ESPN. Dota 2 developer Valve, which is hosting the tournament, is bringing the tournament to ESPN 3, the online branch of the network.

If you have an internet subscription, you can access the Dota 2 streams on ESPN 3 via the WatchESPN platform on an internet browser; the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles; or the Apple TV, Amazon Kindle Fire TV, Chromecast, or Roku streaming boxes.

In addition, a preview of the tournament's final round will be broadcast on ESPN 2 at 8:30 PM PST this Sunday. You can watch this on TV, or through WatchESPN if you have a cable TV subscription. This preview will feature "highlights from the games, expert analysis, plus interviews with the players and Valve's Gabe Newell," according to a press release.

This is one of the first instances of ESPN collaborating to bring esports to its platforms. In June, Major League Gaming players competed at ESPN's XGames event in Austin. Today's announcement shows a growing push for an esports presence on mainstream media networks.

Qualifiers for this year's International tournament have been going on for over a week. The tournament starts on Friday and features a prize pool of well over $10 million. Given that ESPN's audience could be unfamiliar with the game--which has over 7 million players monthly--it seems likely that the stream would be geared toward newcomers, but Valve is also running a stream for beginners on Twitch.

What do you think about esports being featured on ESPN? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

46 comments
rahuljn
rahuljn

I think even if you go pro its good to have a backup plan. Even if you manage to win the top prize once (which is very unlikely) its not nearly enough money to live the rest of your life on, what will you do when you’re old and can’t keep up with some teenager in Dota 3? The Chinese teams might be able to go all in more easily because even the smaller prizes are good incomes in China but even there I’d plan out something to do after

 http://www.anrdoezrs.net/m7122ox52x4KSNPUNLPKMMPUUQPN

skywalkr2
skywalkr2

Watched this for about 10 minutes... wow... I really can't believe anyone watches this.  Incredibly boring.

crazykid89
crazykid89

Interesting seeing ESPN involved.  If you guys want to watch the tournament on your phone for free, you can download an app from Guild Launch at http://bit.ly/1nWzEMg

archav3n
archav3n

MOBA is like a football game where teamwork is key. It's so interesting that teamwork can turn the tide of a battle. This is why it's huge. It's huge not only in US. It's international.

froidnite
froidnite

I don't see the amount of vitriol and hate to epsorts in any part of internet that I see in the gaming site Gamespot. Wonder why?

Gears_0f_L0ve
Gears_0f_L0ve

Can DOTA  community get mature fast enough?  Watch the language casters...  Don't interview players... lol.

neocommi
neocommi

I love the International and I love ESPN, but I better not be seeing dota plays on Sportscenter anytime soon.

DrKill09
DrKill09

1.  Gaming is not a sport.  2. There is an ESPN 3?!  Since when?

broncosfan
broncosfan

Say what you will about ESPN, but this is huge for eSports. ESPN is the name in sports and competitive entertainment broadcasting. Huge win for Valve.

highpitcairn
highpitcairn

ESPN Trying to get my attention.....NOT.

sethfrost
sethfrost

Smart move from ESPN, since the young audiences are what every TV Channel is trying to catch and hopelessly incapable of (think of advertisers, the way ESPN is making money).

lilflipp
lilflipp

This is cool but this still won't make me turn on my tv. I just don't picture myself going "Oh I want to watch a Dota tourny, let me off the computer and get on ESPN."

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

Maybe soon they will step up to ESPN8 "The Ocho".

joke_man
joke_man

ESPN already shows poker, so why not legitimate another non-sport as something other than it's not.  


I'm gonna start a petition for ESPN to show chess tournaments as well...It's a travesty that people still don't recognize chess as a sport!!!  Who's with me?!?!?!?!

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

@skywalkr2 Yeah I think its kind of boring too, but its popular because lots of people play it. Watching games is more interesting when you have played it

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

@archav3n 

MOBA eSports is like Arena Football.  By that I mean really boring and no one watches it.  

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

@cody7786 

No, it is a game.  It is no more of a sport than WSOP or billiards.  Both require the same amount of skill as "eSports".  You can claim time/skill/whatever investment all you want, but it doesn't make it a sport.

quicktim3
quicktim3

@froidnite well gamespot already spun off all their esports stuff to "ongamers.com"

joke_man
joke_man

@froidnite


Because it's called Gamespot and not Sportsspot.  People here know their place...

blackothh
blackothh

@Gears_0f_L0ve I never understood why sports shows interview the players, all you ever get out of them is unintellectual garble while they are sweating like they are in the middle of a rainforest after a game.


As far as dota goes, yea be ready with those censures!

holtrocks
holtrocks

@DrKill09 Why not what defines a sport? Competition? This is a competition. 

Gears_0f_L0ve
Gears_0f_L0ve

@DrKill09 It sure is, when you are competing, but thats why they call it ESport, not Sport

Smosh150
Smosh150

@lilflipp But it isn't on tv other than that first preview, just on streaming devices/programs. Regardless of that I agree with you.

wEEman33
wEEman33

@SerOlmy That's a bold strategy, Cotton, let's see if it pays off for them.

highpitcairn
highpitcairn

Chess is not a sport, it's a game, it just that people finds it boring to watch.

Holoogamooga_
Holoogamooga_

@joke_man I'd say dota2 probably takes more physical ability, skill, and finesse than poker or dominoes, so why not? They've set the bar low enough for gamers to jump it.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

@joke_man Its not a sport but its a game of skill and competition with a decently high skill ceiling so call if whatever you want. If enough people watch who really cares? Personally I wont watch, but I do watch starcraft or street fighter once in a while

bldgirsh
bldgirsh

Dota 2 is a game of chess. (Google it)

cody7786
cody7786

What is a sport ? And why ?

froidnite
froidnite

@joke_man @froidnite I just find it funny the rest of the internet give more respect to esports than people at gamespot. MUST be the super mature all knowing view point we possess as you say.

joke_man
joke_man

@Gears_0f_L0ve


So, any time you're competing you're involved in a sport?  That's a non-sequitur that I'd like to abuse...


I'm pretty sure a spelling b falls within that category...I can't wait to tell little Timmy that he can go home and tell his friends and family that he is involved in sports because he got 7th place in the local spelling b.  Little b*st*rd is going to feel like king for a day having been involved in sports...

broncosfan
broncosfan

@joke_man @broncosfan Hence why I said sports and competitive entertainment broadcasting. Very aware that this isn't the only "non-sport" that they broadcast.

joke_man
joke_man

@abcdefgabcdefgz


It's deceitful. Watch it, but don't pretend it's something it's not to garner greater interest and respect.  


It's competitive gaming (period).  The person who called it e-sports is probably some guyin the PR department of some random sponsor who didn't want to turn people off...

joke_man
joke_man

@froidnite @joke_man


Your premise serves as a false conclusion: Nobody respects "e-sports."  Maturity begins when you realizing competitive gaming isn't a sport--in any respect.  Like I said, people at Gamespot know their place ;)

al_is_here
al_is_here

@joke_man @Gears_0f_L0ve how do i chess?

joke_man
joke_man

@broncosfan @joke_man


And I'm just pointing out that it may not be the "win" they're looking for if their goal is to legitimate themselves as a "sport."  Pretty much seems we agree, only in slightly different respects...

joke_man
joke_man

@al_is_here


Chess is a sport as well...You have to move pieces like a champ and hit a timer button like nobody's business.  These are facts...