Valve has finally released the Dota 2 virtual reality spectator hub for the HTC Vive. The mode was originally teased way back in April, and we correctly assumed that it would be appearing in time for TI6. Of course, those who already own the Vive can now download the update and give it a go.
The Dota 2 VR spectator hub introduces a completely different experience for watching Dota 2 games. The hub itself shows the match on a giant screen flanked by information about the two teams. Spectators are able to customise the information they want to see, but it shows the current status of the two teams by default.
To help recreate the experience of watching Dota 2 in an arena, the VR spectator hub also features a group viewing mode. Up to 16 people will be able to connect to a single hub and watch the game together. It features a chat option for people to discuss the game, and each spectator is represented by an in-game avatar. These avatars are silhouettes with Dota 2 hero masks, and we assume that more options will be made available in the future.
Aside from spectating games, the hub also contains a Hero Showcase – much like the one in the regular game client. Naturally, this one includes the option to view heroes in VR and means that there are more viewing angles for checking out your favourite hero.
The Dota 2 VR spectator hub is designed to work with the HTC Vive, and is available as an optional DLC. It was a nice idea for Valve to keep the update separate, seeing that not everyone can afford the HTC Vive or the hardware to run it. That being said, this could be the start of a completely new way of watching eSports.