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Not So Massively: Competitive tournaments edition


Welcome to Not So Massively, our weekly roundup of the top news from popular multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) and other multiplayer online games that aren't quite MMOs. Published every Monday, the column covers games such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Rise of Immortals, Bloodline Champions and more.

In this week's Not So Massively, we look at the latest competitive tournaments for DotA, Heroes of Newerth and DotA 2. With Valve's $1.6 million US tournament set to go live in two days on Wednesday the 17th, all eyes are sure to be fixed on Gamescom over the coming week. Champion Skarner finally goes live in League of Legends this week, while Heroes of Newerth adds two new heroes to its roster with Rhapsody and Master of Arms. With the Realm of the Titans closed beta coming to an end and League of Legends providing some juicy details on its upcoming capture point Dominion game mode, development in the MOBA scene continues at pace.

League of Legends title image
This week's Summoner Showcase highlights the latest awesome fanart from the League of Legends community and the awesome Teleport, a parody of Handlebars by Flobots. Skarner the Crystal Vanguard went live this week, with details of his abilities and some gameplay tips revealed in a new champion spotlight video. Perhaps his most interesting ability is that each normal attack reduces all of Skarner's ability cooldowns.

Not content with the gameplay currently available in League of Legends, developer Riot Games recently announced plans to launch a brand-new game mode. Dominion turns the standard 5v5 DotA gameplay on its head, adding five capture points and a unique adaptive quest system. In addition to launching the visually impressive Dominion website with full details of what's to come, Riot has released a behind-the-scenes video looking at the art and sound design that has gone into the game mode. If you're interested in how LoL's graphics and music are made, check out the video below.

Realm of the Titans title image
The first round of Realm of the Titans' closed beta has now ended, and the developers are looking forward to collecting feedback from players involved in it. If you'd like to get into the next phase of beta testing, head over to the Realm of the Titans page and sign up.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Since making Heroes of Newerth free-to-play and allowing players to buy early access to new heroes, S2 Games has felt the pressure to release more heroes. Patch 2.1.2 went live this week, bringing with it two new heroes: Master of Arms and Rhapsody. Master of Arms is a ranged agility carry with a complex array of abilities focused around two default guns. At any time, Master can swap between a blue electric gun that adds attack range per level and a percentage boost to base damage to his autoattacks and a red rapid-fire gun with a 12-bullet clip and four second reload time.

Rhapsody is a music-themed ranged intelligence hero designed specifically for support, with the ability to buff nearby caster heroes. Her first ability, Staccato, provides five rapid mini-stuns that can be timed with precision to interrupt enemy casts, attack animations and movement. Her second ability, Disco Inferno (no, I am not making this up), summons a dance floor that deals AoE damage to enemies who stand still within its radius. Arcane Hymn buffs nearby allies with spell penetration and the ability to heal for a percentage of spell damage dealt. Rhapsody's ultimate is a ridiculously powerful channeled spell that makes all nearby allies invulnerable to physical and magic damage for a short duration.

GosuGamers reports that this week MSI announced details of its upcoming Beat It tournament scheduled for DreamHack Winter. A total prize fund of over $90,000 US will be split between CounterStrike 1.6 and Heroes of Newerth tournaments. In five qualifying rounds, a total of nine top teams will be given $1,000 in prize money and a free seat at the finals during DreamHack Winter. Two further teams will be added at a qualifier at DreamHack itself, and the reigning DreamHack Summer champions FnaticMSI.HoN will take the final spot. Check out the video below for more details.

DotA title image
With the number of popular MOBAs being released recently, it will probably surprise some people to know that the game responsible for spawning the genre is still very much alive and kicking. As HoN and DotA 2 gear up for their own tournaments, 16 top classic DotA teams will soon meet in the city of Kiev in the Ukraine for the Asus Summer DotA Draw. Four qualifying groups have been drawn, from which the top eight teams will advance to the next stage and have a shot at the prize pool of €6,200.

Dota 2 title image
With DotA 2 due to be unveiled in just a few days at Gamescom 2011, some last-minute changes have been made to the lineup in Valve's $1,600,000 US tournament The International. Having had four of its core members poached by invictus Gaming, top Chinese team LGD has been forced to withdraw from the tournament. A replacement Chinese team would have been unable to get a travel visa in time to attend, prompting organisers to invite French team Virus as LGD's replacement. With a million dollars on the table for the first-place winner and live streaming set to begin on August 17th, The International is sure to be one of the most watched events at Gamescom.

Join us every Monday for Not So Massively, our roundup of the top news from popular online games that aren't quite MMOs. If you think there's a game we should be covering in Not So Massively or you've found some interesting news you think deserves attention in the next roundup, please mail the details to

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