After hosting and broadcasting half a dozen live tournaments in Overwatch , Street Fighter , and Counter-Strike on TV over the past time, Turner Broadcasting and IMG’s esports brand ELeague is pointing its cameras toward Dota 2 , this time in the form of a documentary series.
Ahead of one of the most difficult esports tournaments of the year, the 2017 Dota 2 International, ELeague is going behind the scenes of the professional Dota 2 scene to follow professional musicians and teams( including CompLexity Gaming) as they prepare for and compete in the $21 million( and rising) tournament.
The four-episode series named is Road to the International Dota 2 Championships and will air exclusively on TBS throughout the month of August. The series is aiming to reach a more casual, mainstream audience but still staying authentic to hardcore Dota fans.
Here’s a preview of what the indicate will look like, featuring Jimmy “Demon” Ho from the team CompLexity 😛 TAGEND
The first episode will premiere on Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. ET/ PT before the tournament kicks off, the second episode will air Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. during the tournament, and the following episodes will air Aug. 18 at 11 p.m. and Aug. 25 at 10 p.m. after the tournament’s conclusion.
Along with the new series, TBS will air a presentation of the 2014 Dota 2 documentary film Free to Play , produced by the game’s developer Valve, which focuses on three musicians who vied in the inaugural 2011 Dota 2 International tournament. Free to Play will air July 28 at 10 p.m. ET/ PT.
The 2017 Dota 2 International runs from Aug. 7 to 12, featuring of the 18 best Dota 2 teams from around the globe combating for a shot at first place and the biggest part of the record-breaking prize pond. This year’s prize pond is currently sitting at $21.7 million, over $20 million of which comes from crowdfunding, and there are still 2 week left until crowdfunding closes.
Road to the International Dota 2 Championships is ELeague’s first foray into Dota 2 and the MOBA genre in general, which is potentially the most difficult genre of games for people outside of esports to read. The game’s mechanics and objectives can’t genuinely be discerned at a glance and the multitudes of playable characters and their unique abilities is very easy to alienate first-time tournament onlookers who don’t have someone to explain exactly what’s going on.
In order to help mainstream audiences understand the complexities of Dota 2 , the Free to Play documentary will be supplemented by commentary from Dota 2 shoutcaster Toby “TobiWan” Dawson and regular ELeague host Richard Lewis.
This documentary series is likewise ELeague’s first time presenting an esports series that features no live tournament and no simultaneous broadcast online through Twitch. This isn’t a sign that ELeague is backing away from broadcasting live esports tournaments( two of which are coming later this year in Counter-Strike and Injustice 2 ), but instead trying out a new direction in esports television.
ELeague is owned by Turner Broadcasting, which also is an investor in Mashable . em>