Friday, March 21, 2014

[Movie] Free to Play

Free to Play is 2014 documentary movie produced by the Valve, about 3 professional DOTA (Defense of the Ancient) player and all the events surrounding them during The International DOTA 2 Championships tournament of 2011.

If you were wondering what kind of movie this would be like, the closest example would be like The Social Network movie or, probably like National Geographic or something. Haha, what do you think it would be like? Its a documentary movie, not some re-boot re-enacted Hollywood movie.

The story revolves around three pro gamer from 3 different country. Hyhy from Singapore, Dendi from Ukraine, and Fear from the United States. The cast is the real person, this is more like a peek into the life of a gamer who turn their hobby into a career. In fact, I'm pretty sure what this movie intended to do, to expose and to raise awareness on the existence of e-sports. No, no, not the ESPN. That would be the Entertainment and Sport Programming Network.

The e-sports is also known as the electronic sports. A term coined for the organized video-game competition, which actually not a new thing in the video game culture. But usually, such activities are hosted in your friends house where the loser would need to pay for pizzas and beers. Fortunately for us gamer, the world have moved forward, in the name of globalization ,and more and more people could join in a dedicated hosted games, making it feasible for video games to be organised at international level. And the winner, will get more than just some cash to pay for pizzas and beer kegs.

There is a lot of e-sports tournament in the recent years. There are World Cyber Games, Evolution Championship Series, Intel Extreme Masters, and many more in the arena internationally and possibly locally as well. I don't know you guys, if you a gamer then you might want to check you neighborhood for such competitions. You might want the opportunity to further expand on you 'career', professionally. I'm just saying.

For this movie, Free to Play, it revolves around The International DOTA 2 Championships, hosted annually and first began its prestigious event on 2011. The same year when this documentary was made. It means that by now, there are 2 more of this tournament that been hosted, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2014, they are rumored to be hosted in mid-July in a place that have yet to be revealed. Story has it, that they are looking for a bigger place. Hmmm..   

Why is that?

If you have watched the documentary movie, you will know, this is how they fought in the tournament. 1 big glass room divided in half, each team were given sets of high performance computer. The audience will be sitting around, not that they are looking the players in the glass room. No, there is a huge monitors and electronic wall displays, projectors or something, that will show the fans and audiences what is happening within the inside of the game. Whatever the player is doing, the game commentator will follow them (if you played DOTA before, you'll know there is a spot for non-playing game spectator/ commentator that can view the whole fight) and show it to the spectators out there. It will also televised but, for video game competition, the main medium for media is usually the internet, like Youtube or Twitch (Twitch can be broadcasted live).

For the tournament of The International DOTA 2 Championship 2011 the winner is team Na'vi, short for Latin word Natus Vincere which means 'born to conquer'. Dendi, one of the gamer that is included in this movie, is the member of the winning team. It was a close call though, they had the final fight with the Chinese team, EHOME, very formidable team. The documentary was quite touching though. Not exactly up to date, (the news about this tournament is like almost 3 years ago) and much have changed since then. Rumor has it Hyhy won't playing again or he might be joining another team, you know, stuff like that.

But yes, very touching. Its when they first started, and people were not that confident that they can do it, especially their close ones like their father and mother, because, hey, its a video game. Isn't gamer are usually those nerdy guys with bald spots and skin problems? Well, if you thought gamer are like that, then I'm sorry to break it down for you, you are wrong. And also, you watched too many of TV, you need to get up from the couch and smell the roses outside of your house.

This is real, gaming now have reached the level where it have becomes international e-sports events and now it pays to play games. You just have to be, really-really good at it.



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