posted by Meliora.Infinitum,
The International 2014 is set to kick off tomorrow with its final playoff stage, where 8 of the best teams in the world contend for a record-breaking, over 5 million dollar grand prize. Just a few hours ago Valve announced that the coverage of the TI4 will be presented in collaboration with ESPN, and on its live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3.

For the first time ever, ESPN cooperates with Valve and Dota 2 in a joint effort to provide all the matches, interviews, and analysis happening over the course of the four-day event, on ESPN3. On top of the comprehensive coverage on their live multi-screen sports network, an exclusive show previewing the finals of the most prestigious Dota 2 event of the year will be presented live on ESPN2 on Sunday at 8:30 pm Pacific, putting Dota 2 truly on the big screen for the first time.

This is a massive step towards an eSports title being recognized as a true sport and especially great for Dota 2, as ESPN is one of the premiere sport networks in the world. Even Erik Johnson of Valve seemed ecstatic stating:

From the success of the Compendium to the collaboration with ESPN, this year's International really demonstrates how much competitive gaming has grown to rival traditional sports. We believe the teams have also pushed to a new level of play this year and will further demonstrate the incredible advances made across this tournament since it first began three short years ago.

This is now the fourth edition of the Valve hosted annual event The International, with more money on the line than ever before, and it’s no wonder that with such a gargantuan base of players and fans alike, Dota 2 is quickly reaching the public knowledge even amongst the most traditional sport sites. With their collaboration, ESPN has shown that they recognize the potential of Dota 2 and furthermore realize that its steady growth and future prospects make it a worthwhile investment. This is another big step for eSports as a whole, and quite literally the cherry on top of the most successful year of Dota 2 yet.

The whole main event of the International 2014 will be accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, with everything culminating on the preshow of the Grand Finals on Sunday at 8:30 pm Pacific on ESPN2.

Sources: Steam News

This article was written by fi Teemu Ikonen, joinDOTA's Senior Writer. Meliora.Infinitum got absorbed into Dota during a LAN party between TI and TI2, and has been captivated ever since. Spends his spare time outdoors taking photos and writing a book. Believer of alternate universes, no legs strat and Half Life 3. Location: Espoo, FinlandFollow him on @MelioraInf.