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Free To Play now free to watch

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Free to play

Free To Play is the film made by Valve to promote eSports and particularly Dota. The documentary follows three pro-gamers from different ends of the world as they compete in the first Dota 2 International Tournament – the tournament had a $1 million top prize and cemented Dota 2 as a top eSports game.

You can watch the entire feature-length documentary:

Believe it or not, it is actually really interesting to watch. Not only does it follow the three pro players, it also looks at the team components – what does it take to make a good team, how is it similar to other professional team sports? The film also looks at the importance of that first International. It took eSports to a whole new level, with a particular focus on Dota 2. Sure, other games were offering prize money, and some eSports can be even more lucrative than Dota 2, but the reality is that Dota 2 was the first eSport to offer this large a prize amount, skyrocketing its importance.

If you are interested in becoming a pro gamer, or an eSports advocate, or truly have any interest in eSports whatsoever, I’d recommend watching this documentary. It shows all the ups and downs, the sacrifices and triumphs. It’s not just a matter of enjoying playing games – becoming an eSports professional requires just as much time, commitment and determination as going pro in any traditional sport.

I am so impressed by the passion and dedication of these gamers, particularly considering how little support some of them received from family and friends. Oh, who am I kidding, I just enjoyed watching Dendi. And, for those who still haven’t checked it out, Dendi’s sister is quite the looker – adding eye candy to the documentary.

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Last Updated: March 20, 2014


  1. Jedi JJ

    March 20, 2014 at 15:33

    I saw this on Steam last night and was two minds about it. Sounds like I should check it out.


    • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

      March 20, 2014 at 15:39

      I would recommend watching it right now and getting some tissues. It definitely comes with a first class ticket to the feels train along with just seeing how awesome eSports can be.


      • VampyreSquirrel

        March 20, 2014 at 15:43

        Especially without the MSSA?


        • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

          March 20, 2014 at 15:45

          Precisely! DOTA2 TI shows that you don’t need all that BS. You get your team together and a call name and then you go and show them what you are made of.

          The MSSA needs to start realizing that it is not a honor for the player to wear the SA colors. Is the the country that has the honor of having someone of that caliber representing them.


          • VampyreSquirrel

            March 20, 2014 at 15:55

            Well said

        • Jedi JJ

          March 20, 2014 at 16:04

          The MSSA makes me a sad panda.


      • Brendyn Zachary

        March 20, 2014 at 20:26

        Agreed, Volvo did good.


  2. UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    March 20, 2014 at 15:38

    I would recommend this to anyone who has ever wondered or even just thinks about knowing how it feels to be in eSports.

    It is amazing and I loved every minute of it. Go watch it guys!


    • ToshZA

      March 20, 2014 at 17:05

      Fully agree. Really good documentary.


  3. VampyreSquirrel

    March 20, 2014 at 15:41

    I will give it a go… so how long I last… I’ll report back on Monday if I survive Whitecouch


  4. ElimiNathan

    March 20, 2014 at 15:52

    Downloaded it keen to check it out


  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 20, 2014 at 16:28

    I think it should be called a(lternative)sports instead of esports.


  6. Rags

    March 20, 2014 at 17:05

    First eSport to offer this kind of money? CPL? Painkiller?


    • Matthew Holliday

      March 24, 2014 at 09:38

      the overplayed quite a few things.
      but it was the first million dollar prize for any moba.
      a million dollars is still a shit tonne, even when taxxed, split between team mates, managers etc


      • Rags

        March 24, 2014 at 10:14

        Yes for moba, but there exists a wide esport community outside dota, lol cod and bf.

        I am contesting this quote:
        “but the reality is that Dota 2 was the first eSport to offer this large a prize amount”
        That statement is false. $500 000 for 1st in painkiller is 250% more than an individual would get for this $1m tournament.
        And then the old SC leagues where players where paid very large salaries. That was surely the game that really pioneered esports.


  7. Brendyn Zachary

    March 20, 2014 at 20:26

    ? ? ?_? ?? VOLVO GIVE DIRETIDE, never forget.


  8. Matthew Holliday

    March 24, 2014 at 09:44

    I was really excited for this, but then I watched it…

    Thought it was overdone.
    cheesy attempts at feels.
    was like watching an episode of Pokemon.

    gamers arent the easiest people to work with in front of cameras, so i understand the need for minor scripting, but still, make it less obvious.


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