DOTA 2 is a "free" game where you and 4 others kill creeps, towers, and 5 other heroes in an effort to kill their base throne before they can kill your base throne.
*Caution* this game is not free and many a GAFer has spent hundreds or thousands of dollars buying digital hats to dress their waifus and husbandos in the latest fashions
Why is the game so popular?
1. It is skillfully rebalanced every few months by the mysterious developer IceFrog to keep the gameplay fresh and rotate meta heroes/strategies
2. Rabbid fan communities all around the world
3. The most lucrative and well funded Esports presence $126 Million awarded as of Sep 22, 2017
4. A somewhat fun cosmetics economy and workshop
Although this is an Official Thread many of DotaGAF is split between here and Discord.
Also a lot of people have quit/scaled back Dota 2 in the six years since launch or just watch for the compelling Esports experience.
If you do not have the Discord link you may try to ask for it kindly.
That being said there are still plenty of people around to answer basic questions or chat about professional Dota or patch/balance changes.
If you want to chat about non-Dota gaming or anime or world news that is also welcome here, just be mindful of others and keep it civil.
IF you are new to Dota there are plenty of resources available in the next section.
IF you want to group up with people it is best to leave your Steam link and region in this thread or try joining /r/dota2pubs.
IF you are coming from League of Legends there is a handy-dandy hero suggestion matrix based on your LoL playstyle.
Saprol has made a wonderful little suite of emotes for Grease/Tampermonkey that works for Chrome and Firefox [link]
Cyborgmatt has a much leaner suite of emotes on the Google Chrome store for use on Chrome and is less CPU intensive [link]
Use emotes to cheer and give your energy to your favorite team or augment any NeoGAF post
If you want to play this game you will need to devote at least 100 hours of your life to scratch the surface of understanding the subtle nuances of this game.
It really helps to have someone explain to you how to do things because a lot of Dota things are counter-intuitive or very different from other games.
That being said you can dive right into games and pick the most OP meta heroes or you can use some excellent community resources.
The great thing about Dota 2 is that everything can work.
By default almost everyone that has ever started Dota 2 has begun by watching Welcome to Dota you suck by Purge
In his newest teaching series Purge teaches total noob Day9 and covers a lot of topics, heroes, and scenarios in a simple and digestible manner.
/r/Dota2 is an excellent place to get news and memes but not so much for beginners.
Advice and teaching is also time based so advice from a month ago may not hold true today.
There are some excellent learning subreddits dedicated to making you a better player that is meant for beginners:
https://www.reddit.com/r/learnDota2 - Learning the game
https://www.reddit.com/r/dota2tutor - Find a tutor or students
https://www.reddit.com/r/analysemydota2 - Dota replays
https://www.reddit.com/r/dota2ndq - No dumb questions, ask any simple question
https://www.reddit.com/r/HeroBuilds/ - How to skill and itemize your hero
Once you have played a few hundred hours you will realize that solo queue is for suckers. If you want to improve further or see what 5v5 team game or Captain's Mode is like try these subreddits:
https://www.reddit.com/r/compDota2 - Looking for team/serious parties for practicing and tournaments
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dota2pubs - Looking for players or groups for matchmaking and inhouses
https://www.reddit.com/r/trueDota2 - Discussion and links to informative content
https://www.reddit.com/r/captainsmode - Drafting discussion and advice
Beyond these basics Dota 2 is whatever you want it to be: a grief inducing nightmare of an experience or a once-in-a-lifetime multicultural language exchange.
Points as of Oct 29, 2017
Dota 2 Pro Circuit - Valve's announcement and schedule
Dotabuff - Esports page
Liquipedia - Tournaments page
Twitch Dota 2 - Link to main streaming page
Despite the falling Steam players Dota 2 has an insanely popular Esports following where the upcoming season will consist of eleven $1 Million dollar prize pool Majors and sixteen $300k Minor tournaments. These tournaments provide over $15 Million in prize money to players and points toward being invited to the final tournament in late Summer, The International 2018, which will undoubtedly surpass $20 Million USD in prizepool.
Dreamleague 8 Draw
DreamLeague 8 - MAJOR
NA - EG
SA - Infamous
4 EU/CIS - Secret, Liquid, VP, Navi
SEA - fnatic
CN - Newbee
Dota 2 prize money surpasses almost all other Esports payouts combined as of today (Sep 22, 2017):
- 49 out of the top 50 Esports earners are Dota 2 players
- 12 out of the top 13 Esports prizepools are Dota 2 tournaments
ßT1 by Swag aka Sebulon3k t=158d
ßT2 by Artanisix t=167d
ßT3 by Artanisix t=126d
ßT4 by Artanisix t=87d
ßT5 by Artanisix t=69d
OT1 by Artanisix t=92d
OT2 by Teknopathetic t=81d
OT3 by Artanisix t=82d
OT4 by Teknopathetic t=57d
OT5 by Artanisix t=49d
OT6 by Teknopathetic t=116d
OT7 by Artanisix t=78d
OT8 by Teknopathetic t=88d
OT9 by Teknopathetic t=83d
OT10 by Steve Winwood t=68d
OT11 by TUSR t=81d
OT12 by Dreams-Visions t=83d
OT13 by Hylian7 t=108d
OT14 by Artanisix t=125d
OT15 by Artanisix t=415d