More than a game: Dota 2 in other media

Many people love playing games because it allows them to destress from their usual activities. Before, players only played games to have fun. As technology improved the gaming industry, many people have started to play competitively. This led to the rise of esports where players are considered professionals and make a living out of competitive gaming. 

One of the most popular games that are featured in the esports industry is Defence of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2). This multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game from Valve is known for its impressive gameplay that earned it the reputation of being one of the best games in the industry. 

This game also hosts one of the most prestigious esports tournaments called The International. Aside from showcasing the impressive skills of their players, this tournament is also known for having the biggest prize pool in the entire gaming industry. 

Not only is Dota 2 an esports behemoth but also a cultural fad among gaming enthusiasts. The game is often used as a major inspiration for several spin offs in TV, film, art, and literature. If you are Dota 2 enthusiast, here are several ways you can learn and appreciate the game beyond its competitive sector:


To learn more about the ins and outs of the esports industry, here are a few documentaries that players can watch. This will give players and game fans a better idea about the secrets behind the game and the tournament’s popularity. 

Heroes of the Game 

Heroes of the Game, as seen on ONE Esports YouTube channel, shows Dota 2 players about the situation of the esports industry when the pandemic crashed. Released in 2021, this documentary reminds people of the ONE Esports Singapore Major which was held in early 2021. It also shows players how the esports scene had to prepare for the resumption of the tournaments after going into a long hiatus. 

True Sight 

True Sight is a documentary series produced by Valve. By watching the four episodes of this docu-series, players can learn more about the participating teams and players in the previous Dota 2 tournaments. Aside from their performances in the competitions, they will also have a glimpse of how the players prepare for the events. True Sight is available for viewing on Valve’s YouTube Channel. 

Free to Play 

Players who want to reminisce about the first-ever season of The International tournament held in 2011 should watch this documentary from Valve. By watching this, they can go back to the early days of esports and the days when TI wasn’t a multi-million dollar competition yet. This can be watched on Netflix and Valve’s YouTube channel. 


There is also an animated series that Dota 2 fans can watch on Netflix. Here is a closer look at it. 

Dota: Dragon’s Blood

Dota: Dragon’s Blood is an animated fantasy television series that was based on Valve’s Dota 2. This is set in a fantasy world of magic and mysticism where a character named Davion hunts and kills dragons to make the world a safer place. After an elder dragon merged his soul with Davion, he must work with the moon princess Mirana to stop the demon Terrorblade from killing all the dragons. This was produced by Studio Mir and was animated by Production Reve. This anime series can be watched on Netflix after it premiered in March 2021. 


Players who love to read will also appreciate the comic series that Valve has made. By reading this, players will be taken to the world of Dota 2 where a lot of secrets can be learned. This comic series gives players an idea about the myths and character backstories that aren’t well explained in the game alone. 

Reading these comics will show players how all of the stories are interwoven. With the impressive connections between them, players will be impressed by how carefully the stories are well-thought of. 

These comic books are available on the Dota 2 official website and can be downloaded as PDFs. There are nine comics that are available as of writing. Here’s a closer look at them in chronological order. 

  • Are We Heroes Yet?
  • The Contract
  • The New Neighbours
  • The Summoning
  • The Last Castle
  • The Sundered Moon
  • Tip of the Spear
  • Dark Purpose 
  • A New Journey (Monkey King Comic)

Short films 

Aside from the content that Valve produces, there are also films that are created by Dota 2 fans. Valve also hosts a short film competition where the winners are to be announced during The International finals. The creators of the winning film will bag home $25,000 while the 2nd and 3rd placers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. 

This proves that The International is not just a showcase of playing skills but also of their players’ creativity. Here are some short films that have caught a lot of attention of players throughout the years. 

Carried Away (2021) 

The latest winner of the competition shares an adorable story about Couriers who try to defend the throne. This shows viewers the struggles and the frustration of seeing their base destroyed as their respawn timer shifts. The animation of this film is highly impressive, making it an entertaining video to watch. 

The second and third place awards in this season went to ‘Haul of the Hoof’ and ‘Blood & Fire’ respectively. 

Path of Vengeance (2019) 

Path of Vengeance is a visually stunning short film that depicts a simple story of revenge and unexpected endings. One of the factors fans loved most about this film is the great usage of lightning and the facial expressions of the animated characters. 

The second placer in this season was ‘The Curse of the Immortal’ while the third spot was claimed by ‘Donkey Spirit’. 

On The Cliff (2018)

This short film created by Keller Max won the recent competition. This film takes a comedic approach to the common struggles of several Dota 2 heroes as a Rubick. With Telekinesis, these heroes are placed on a cliff which is a common struggle in public Dota 2 matches. 

The second and third place awards in this season went to ‘Ursa Minor’ by Alexander Frey and ‘GLHF’ by 4fun and Septimus. These are just some of the media forms that will help players gain a deeper fascination with Dota 2.