Ukrainian team Na'vi lifted the novelty over-sized check for $1 million at Valve's Dota 2 tournament The International on Sunday, beating Chinese team EHOME in a wonderful best-of-five finals. As video game grand unveilings go, watching five days of top-level competitive play streamed live online was pretty lovely.
EHOME don't go home paupers, though, scooping a respectable second-place prize of $250,000. Another $350,000 went between the rest of the top-eight. Video replays of the finals, and indeed the whole tournament, have been uploaded to YouTube, if you want to relive the excitement.
The International will return next year, Valve announced today, though the date and venue are not yet settled. Valve notes that it's also "in discussions with organizers of upcoming Dota events to offer Dota 2 during its beta phase," so we may see more before it even launches.
Valve's Gabe Newell said last week that he expected Dota 2 to launch in 2012, but today's press release states that it "will be available for the PC and Mac later this year." That may not necessarily mean it's actually officially released, though. Valve also said last week that it planned to begin beta testing within a few weeks, ramping up in scale until launch. Shacknews has asked Valve for confirmation.
Hopefully Dota 2's in-game spectating will be in place for any beta tournaments. Like a juiced-up HLTV, it'll let fans watch matches from within their game client, complete with commentary streams.
For now, though, we'll have to make do with poor, sorry, 1080p YouTube videos, such as this one of the invigorating first game of Sunday's finals: