*Cover Image source: Dotablast
With just 4 days left for TI8 the Dota community is hyped up as usual and the biggest Dota 2 event in the calendar year is sure to get fans going. Doesn’t matter if your a casual player who gave up on the going pro dream year ago, or the noob who enjoys spamming Pudge on unranked or the 4k tryhard who feels they can 1v1 Miracle in the midlane, TI unites the Dota lover in each and everyone of us. As usual, Valve brings multiple channels to catch all the action. The group stages generally have 4 games going on simultaneously which means following every one can be a bit hard. However, all the main stage games take place one at a time and all of them have the potential to be something truly exciting. Here’s how you can watch TI8.
One of the easiest ways to catch all the TI action is the stream. The official TI streams will be on Twitch and on the Steam Client but going by the previous years, Valve has always replicated the streams on Youtube as well. During the group stages, there are 4 individual streams - one for each match simultaneously. There’s also the main stream or multicast channel which curates the best matches and moments and shows them. On top of this, there is also the newcomer stream for people who are just getting into Dota. Once the playoffs start, obviously there will be only one main stream and one newcomer stream. English, Chinese and Russian stream will be run via this format.
Of course, there are regional streams as well run by local broadcasting studios such as this Filippino coverage done by Mineski and WomboXCombo.
Another great way to catch games is via the Dota client. The watch tab will feature all the games and you can hop on into your favourite one. This gives you more control including what specific part of the game you want to watch, who focus on in teamfights and you can even check on players and progressions as per your convenience. But undoubtedly the best feature out here for all you tryhards out there is the player perspective feature which allows to you follow how your favourite player plays, reacts and moves in a game of Dota. Of course, we’d suggest that you do move onto the stream in between games because of all the exciting content/interviews and content that is synonymous with the TIs.
Of course, the best way to watch TI is live at the venue which goes without saying but there is still the group stages that need to be watched. Obviously, this one does need a lot of other things going your way. For example - tickets to the event which are already sold out, lodging at Vancouver, Visa and flights to Vancouver if you aren’t a citizen so it’s safe to say that it isn’t really a last minute option - unless of course, you are rich af.
Another great way to watch TI8 is to visit a pubstomp in and around your area. A pubstomp is where members of the community come and watch the matches together at a public place. It’s great for making new friends and hanging out with like-minded dota lovers. However, most pubstomps tend to take place during the main event and that too on the final days. We’ll try and compile a list pubstomps in India before the main event but the good folks at Barcraft United usually update a list here.
You could also call a few friends over and host a mini pubstomp at someone’s house. These generally tend to be a lot of fun especially if everyone can squeeze in a few games but make sure your parents and neighbours are okay with a little ruckus because nothing gets your vocal chords going like some good Dota.