Outside Key Arena in Seattle, gamers from all over the world have converged to watch the Dota 2 championships.
Dota stands for Defense of the Ancients. The strategy of this game is pretty simple. Two opposing teams try to capture the other’s base. Think about capture the flag when you were a kid.
Izzy Avanesov lives in Seattle and she’s dressed as Bristleback, one of the heroes from the game. She describes her costume as warrior-esque.
“You’ve got these nice bracers that have spines on them,” she says. It looks like she has a porcupine back.
“He does a quill spray,” Avanesov says of her character, “which is really powerful and it kind of like, it attacks the enemies and it hurts more and more, like the more and more quills that he sprays, the more it hurts.”
The Dota2 gaming tournament has been running all week drawing more than 10,000 fans a day. Players are competing for up to $20 million in prize money. The champion will be decided this weekend.
Outside near one of the big screens, Chris Earls hangs out on the grass.
“Screenname Earthbound Giygas,” he says.
Earls is dressed as the Oracle. He describes his costume: “I’ve got these big blue and gold shoulder pads, I’ve got a big golden helmet with some red gems, a big bracelet. I’m all blue, I’m painted blue.”
The Oracle is a big guy who does support work for the team, Earls explains.
“He heals everybody,” he says. “He disarms people and he keeps people alive.”
Earls came from New York; others have come from China, Ukraine, Sweden, South Korea, Russia.
“You get everyone from around the world,” Earls says. “It’s neat.”