If you remember last month around the time the Vive first launched, Valve teased what could potentially be VR integration for its extremely popular flagship MOBA, DOTA 2. According to a recent Steam update, it appears that VR integration could be coming very soon.
The short teaser clip they released previously showcased what appeared to be a spectator mode that let the viewer not only watch the match in a virtual room, but also see a table that laid out the map and match itself, in addition to stats and rankings. You an even hear announcers in the background commentating about the match, implying this new mode could be used as a direct competitor to Twitch’s popular form of streaming and broadcasting esport competitions.
Given the increasing popularity for using VR to spectate standard sports from companies like NextVR, esports were a natural fit as well. However, the documentation for the actual Steam update itself is pretty vague. All it says is that a new file named “game/dota/maps/dota_vr.vpk” was added to the game. Since “maps/dota_vr” could theoretically mean a lot of things, it’s hard to say if this is leading up to the spectator mode after all or not, but I’d be willing to bet that’s exactly what it is.
The timing is particularly interesting as well, as our most recent episode of Gamecast that released yesterday posed the question of: “Is Valve holding out on VR by not leveraging its IP?” With the release of the standalone Portal 2 fan-made mod, Portal Stories: VR on Monday, we thought it was appropriate to address the relative lack of first party content for the Vive from Valve itself. While a spectator mode for DOTA 2 would be far from an original game built for VR specifically, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
What do you think is in store for DOTA 2 with the recent Steam update hinting towards VR support?