Defense of Ancients (DOTA) is an online multiplayer strategy game that’s a modification of World of Warcraft III. Also known as “battle arena” games, DOTA’s premise is for one team to destroy the other teams fortresses, or “Ancients”. Each player picks a game character. The characters cooperate to defeat the opposing team. Up to five people can make up a team.
There is a huge gaming community in China, larger than the population of the U.S. Dota 2 is immensely popular. Thousands of spectators and most of the winning teams’ players came from China for the event.
The grand prize was $5 million. Team NewBee beat fellow Chinese team, Vici Gaming. Of the 8 other teams in the finals, 5 were from China.
“I think the game appeals to the Chinese gaming mind-set more,” said attendee David Lew. “Around the U.S., games like Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto, and other shooters are pretty popular for their focus on huge and spectacular settings and plot lines.” Lew believes that multiplayer strategy games are more popular in China (though also very successful in the U.S.) because they are “more strategic, somewhat akin to a game of Go or Chinese checkers.”
In fact, China’s sports bureau, the General Administration of Sport, formally endorsed eSports as China’s 99th certified sport, even pledging to help organize events to promote Chinese gammers’ abilities. Also contributing to the popularity of computer games is that gaming consoles, such as Nintendo and Xbox, have been banned in China for the lasted 13 years.