Gabe Newell makes surprise appearance during Dota 2's Midas Mode - Dexerto

Gabe Newell makes surprise appearance during Dota 2’s Midas Mode

Published: 24/Sep/2019 23:32 Updated: 25/Sep/2019 0:05

by Isaac McIntyre


Dota 2 tournament Midas Mode 2.0.

It’s not often Valve’s co-founder ‘Gaben’ makes appearances relating to Dota’s esports scene. Outside of his addresses live on-stage at each year’s The International, Newell keeps relatively clear of the professional scene altogether.

The game’s founding father seems to have made an exception to his unspoken appearance rules, however, gracing Midas Mode 2.0 spectators with a brief message in a similar vein – albeit a little less grand – to his opening ceremony speeches from TIs of years passed.

Early in the tournament’s September 24 stream, as the presenters filed out on to the lavishing gold-covered stage in fitting with the money-theme of Midas Mode, the announcers stunned viewers with a call-out for Valve’s leading man: “And now, Gabe Newell!”

Newell appeared on-screen in a short ten-second video that panned across his office to reveal the man himself lounging in his chair. “Welcome… to Midas Mode,” he said.

The budget appearance of the world-famous Valve developer tied in with the event’s ‘bootleg’ style, which started from the very first moments of the stream.

The Midas Mode personalities and commentators filed out on stage armed with streamers, poles, and woodwind instruments, playing out a version of the Dota 2 entry theme. While it had all the hallmarks of an International ceremony, there were just a few things missing.

The tongue-in-cheek ceremony and Gaben welcome message were all very much in line with what SirActionSlacks aims to achieve with his Midas Mode tournament – lighthearted fun.

The tournament features a unique format where teams are given ‘Moonbucks,’ which allows them to pick and ban heroes, choose sides of the map, force pauses, and more. Thus out-of-game economy, supplemented by a stock market, is the basis of the event.

One example of the humorous aim of the twelve-team competition was sponsor’s abilities to create custom-made characters for the event. One stand-out was submitted by OG captain Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, who invoked Dreamwork’s Shrek franchise for his Ogra creation.

Fans tuning in to the second iteration of Midas Mode were certainly impressed, with one shocked spectator in disbelief had secured the developer’s appearance: “LOL I can’t believe they got fucking Gaben.”

Others made jokes about SirActionSlacks’ growing power in the Dota 2 community, and how his meme-based personality had clearly rubbed Valve the right way.

“Slacks is growing ever powerful,” said one fan, while another seemed simply in awe of the host’s trajectory. “Slacks went from shitposting memelord, to shitposting memelord who organizes tournaments with three TI winning teams and fucking Gaben himself.”

FELIX FRANK, DREAMHACKSirActionSlacks had a heavy hand in founding the tongue-in-cheek Midas Mode tournament.

After a host of dramas surrounding Valve-sponsored Pro Circuit events being scheduled right on Midas Mode’s already announced dates, the tournament has finally kicked off.

The star-studded team lineup, including major rosters like Alliance, Fnatic, Vici Gaming, and two-time TI champions OG, are currently battling for the $150,000 prize pool. Alliance got the event underway with a 2-0 victory over Sir Sadim’s Stunners on the opening day.


ESL and DreamHack get dedicated TV coverage in SPORT1 deal

Published: 28/Oct/2020 9:51 Updated: 28/Oct/2020 10:43

by Adam Fitch


ESL Gaming have expanded their partnership with German television channel SPORT1 to broadcast Dota 2, StarCraft II, and other titles.

Starting on November 3rd, both ESL and DreamHack will have some of their tournaments broadcast on eSportsONE, a new esports-focused linear TV channel, through the renewed deal.

SPORT1 will serve as the exclusive TV partner of ESL’s Dota 2 tournaments, effectively making the channel one of the main broadcasters for some of the organizer’s flagship events like ESL One Birmingham, ESL One Hamburg, and ESL One Los Angeles.

eSportsONE will also broadcast the ESL Pro Tour for both StarCraft II and WarCraft III in Germany, as well as events for NBA 2K and Rocket League.

ESL One Hamburg SPORT1
Bart Oerbekke/ESL
ESL One Hamburg is a fan favorite Dota 2 event.

An emphasis is also to be placed on “exclusive, original produced analysis” that will account for over 1,000 hours of TV per year alongside events.

Media rights deals are common in traditional sports, with the highest percentage of revenue for many sports actually coming through transactions with television channels. Esports are not on that same level yet but this type of partnership has become more prominent and expected in the past couple of years.

“Having seen the success of eSPORTS1 in German-speaking countries, we are excited to join forces with long-term partner SPORT1 for the rollout of the linear channel eSportsONE across Europe,” said Frank Uddo, ESL’s SVP of global media. “ESL aims to serve the esports community all across Europe, and eSportsONE’s comprehensive and versatile portfolio makes it a great option to view premium esports content.”

With events moving online in the first quarter of 2020, and there being no end in sight at the time of writing, eSportsONE will have a lot of content to choose from.

ESL One Dota 2 tournaments have typically been split up into regions, with China, Europe & CIS, North America, South America, and Southeast Asia all having their own competitions and winners. ESL One Germany is currently ongoing but will end before this new deal comes into effect.