MOBA competitors are gunning for LoL

This isn’t exactly fresh news, but I do think it’s interesting to see some of the tactics employed to unseat League of Legends as king of the MOBA world. As you probably heard, Heroes of Newerth went free-to-play over the weekend. The rollout included some interesting ads on various gaming sites. One such ad encourages players to “stop laughing” and “get serious.” I can only imagine that’s a dig at the LoL acronym everyone is using for League of Legends.

The more serious threat is obviously Valve and DotA 2. I wasn’t surprised to hear that the game would be unveiled at Gamescom – there had been rumors about the tournament for weeks – but the prize purse for the tournament shocked me. For those who aren’t up to speed, Valve is flying the top 16 DotA teams to Germany to compete for a $1 million prize purse. Yes, again, a million bucks. That’s not buy-a-new-computer-and-pay-for-college-supplies money. That is life-changing money, money that could support a professional gaming career into the forseeable future. The benefit to Valve for making that commitment is obvious – they want every competitive team to come play DotA 2.

Will it work? Absolutely. I cannot imagine any of the top teams in competitive strategy games not taking a crack at DotA 2 with that kind of prize purse available. As for HoN, well, I think the game has enough barriers to entry that players entrenched in other games are unlikely to leave.


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