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Gamers Descend On Key Arena For Dota 2 Championships

The International Dota 2 championships
Simone Alicea
A smaller group gathers on Fisher Pavillion to watch The International Dota 2 championships while the teams play in Key Arena next door.

Forget about the Rio Olympics; Gamers from all over the world are gathering this week at Key Arena for The International, the championship Dota 2 tournament.

Dota stands for Defense of the Ancients, and Dota 2  is an online multiplayer game developed by Bellevue-based video game company Valve. 

As the line to get into Key Arena wound through Seattle Center Monday morning, KPLU had the opportunity to catch up with some of the spectators, who talked about the way the game brings people together.

The tournament features 20 teams with five players each. The teams choose monsters and battle each other in a kind of arena.

Even though computer games may not seem like a big-league sport, the teams face big-league stakes with a $20 million prize pool. The first-place team will win $8.8 million, and the rest of the purse will be split among the top 15 teams.

The tournament ends August 13. Those who don't have seats in the arena can watch from Fisher Pavillion or online at the Dota 2 website.

A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.
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