The International is here, cramming roughly twelve thousand hours of DOTA 2 into one week. That's a lot to keep up with! Don't worry about trying to catch every moment of the event. If you miss out on anything just refer to this recap, which can be applied to any match in the tournament.

Team Introductions

Both teams had terrible names. Every player had a terrible nickname. At least one dude's nickname was literally something you'd put in an arcade machine's high score list if there weren't enough spaces.

Most of the players were seven years old. They all wore team shirts plastered with sponsors like LegalCDKeyZZZ.darknet, Red Bull Anti-Immigration Blast, and Oversized Jet Fighter PC Chairs.

Hero Pick

The teams spent ten minutes choosing between the game's 300 heroes. Sounds like a lot of characters, right? Well, not really.

There are only four archetypes that make up the 300 hero roster. These are represented by slight model variations of the following:

Fish guy on a horse or ghost tiger or something
Floating demon fairy
Culturally appropriated elemental animal knight
Sexy mechanical spider alien

Early Game

There was a heck of a lot of walking back and forth in very small circles. Players stood nearby as NPC "creeps" battled, without actually participating in the fights themselves. Other players hid in trees.

Welcome to the exciting world of DOTA.

Mid Game

The camera whipped across the map to capture a team fight. 6-10 heroes walked back and forth in very small circles near each other as the screen filled with water, dark holes, pentagrams, and exploding trees. I have no idea who did what or why any of it mattered.

It did excite the announcers, though, who called the fight as if they were auctioning off a herd of cattle while spiders crawled up their arms and necks.

Late Game

There was a lull in the action. The announcers filled time by checking in on a big NPC named Roshan. How's Roshan doing? Is he okay? Are there any players near Roshan? Shut up about Roshan and tell me more about your beautiful accent you Scandinavian bastard.

Several heroes bought items with weird names. BKB. Aegis of the Immortal. Cheese. These items were all game-changers. You could tell because when they were used, the heroes who had been walking back and forth in small circles walked back and forth in small circles while the crowd cheered.

Finally, something seemingly benign happened and one team forfeited by typing "GG" in chat. That was how it ended.

Environmental storytelling should always involve skeletons, but I'll give this game a pass. 8/10

The Surge
Not as bad as Lords of the Fallen, which was in turn not as bad as Nioh. 6/10

You could have based your fighting game on exaggerated depictions of any human body part, and you passed up thumbs? 6/10

Splatoon 2
I don't know if this feels like a full-fledged sequel, but it's very popular so I'll nod and go along with everyone. 8/10

Valkyria Revolution
A third reminder that Valkyria Chronicles was a superb game that could have gone horribly wrong with just a few changes. 3/10

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
How was Hellblade not the title of a full-motion cyberpunk horror game in the 90s or a third person game with a light/dark mechanic in the 2000s? 7/10

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Still the best Final Fantasy that I never finished. 9/10

Injustice 2
Punch, kick, it's all in the Brainiac. 7/10

Hey Pikmin
Never mind, Pikmin. 4/10

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell (@DennisFarrell)

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