Jack Chen, DotA Writer for team Evil Geniuses, takes a look at the progress made from the announced of DOTA 2:
Just before noon on October 5, 2009, a blog post appeared from IceFrog, the designer and prime creative force behind DotA. But unlike most other developer’s blog posts, this one didn’t introduce a new hero, detail a new patch, congratulate a standout team, or extend holiday greetings. IceFrog announced, with the vagueness that one might expect from a figure who has managed to preserve public anonymity in our all-exposing internet age, that he would be leading a team at Valve. So began DotA’s long ascendance and transformation out of its Warcraft 3 cocoon and into an independent eSport titan.
On the first day of August 2011, eight months after the official announcement of DotA 2, Valve showed just how serious it was about the game. It introduced the first public showing of DotA 2, which would take place over four days at Gamescom in Cologne, where 16 teams would battle for the greatest prize pool in eSport history – a total of $1.6 million – with a staggering million dollars going to the winning team. Complimenting the unprecedented spoils would be coverage truly worthy of an international event, with live streaming match casts in English, Chinese, German, and Russian.
For many entities in the DotA 2 universe, the time leading up to the International 2012 has involved playing catch up. The available hero pool has increased on a roughly weekly basis, doubling from 46 to 90, and is now not far off from that of DotA 1. Anti-mage and Spectre were the most frequently banned heroes of International 2011 and, together with the Weaver, major considerations in almost every draft phase (Anti-mage was picked or banned in over 90% of International 2011 matches). But as additional heroes steadily increased the availability of counter-picks and counter-strategies to these staple carries of last summer, Spectre and Weaver are now seldom seen in serious games. Even the mighty Anti-mage has seen a drop in activity lately, humbled from his once lofty perch as the game’s dominant carry.
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