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Gaming heaven at Shanghai showcase

By Xing Yi in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-22 09:29
The International Dota 2 Championships is staged at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai this week. [Photo/VCG]

One of the world's biggest e-sports tournaments, the International Dota 2 Championships, is being staged in Shanghai this week, with a whopping $33 million in prize money up for grabs.

Sixteen teams from China, Russia, Europe and North America are battling it out for a winner's check of $15 million at Mercedes-Benz Arena until Sunday.

This is the first time China has hosted the annual event, which has been held in the United States since 2011.

A spectacular opening ceremony featured a Chinese fan dance with a soundtrack performed by a live orchestra.

According to Perfect World Zhengqi, operator of the game in China, the event's 26,804 tickets were sold out in just 53 seconds in May.

He Ze, a college student in Jiangsu province, was one of the lucky ticket buyers.

"I have played Dota for six years. The game has strengthened the bond among my friends and me," said He, who attended the event with his buddies.

"The previous matches were held overseas, so we had no choice but to watch them online. We are so excited that it has come to China this year."

Ben Sloan, a Hong Kong-based American businessman, is another keen spectator.

"Chinese fans are some of the most passionate and they really support their teams and the game. I hope the tournament will be held here again," he said.

Dota is an acronym for "Defense of the Ancients", one of the world's most popular multiplayer online battle arena games in which competitors level up their heroes and try to destroy their opponents' bases.

According to Statista, an online statistics tracker, the game had an estimated 11.19 million monthly active users worldwide as of January 2019.

Gabe Newell, co-founder of the game's developer and publisher Valve Corporation, said: "On behalf of the Dota community I'd like to say thank you to the citizens and the government of Shanghai for your hospitality and kindness.

"We are absolutely delighted to hold the series here in China."

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