Dota 2 today released free DLC that lets you watch live and recorded matches from SteamVR compatible headsets. The new VR Hub adds a social component to the game that lets you and your friends watch Dota 2 together like never before—and just in time for The International.

The Dota VR Hub not only lets you watch live and recorded Dota 2 matches from a virtual theater, but you can also instantly pop into the match in progress to get an up-close and personal look at the action. The real kicker? You can hang out and chat with up to 15 other people, be it in a public lobby, or an ‘invite-only’ private viewing party for your friends.

At first you’re dropped into the virtual theater, a grand space complete with viewing stands, a giant screen, and standard mini-map—all designed aesthetically to fit right in with the Warcraft fantasy realm look. Other avatars zoomed around me and idly chatted as we watched a match in progress.

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Clicking on the mini-map itself, you’re instantly transported into Dota 2—with the ability to teleport to anywhere on the map, zoom in and out for a better vantage point, and watch it all unfold before you—all in the company of your virtual theater buddies, but at a grandiose scale.

I don’t play Dota enough to say I knew what the commentators were talking about, but the constant hum of chatter made it difficult to speak—or even know when/if my fellow spectators were watching.

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“We will continue to improve the Dota VR Hub as we approach The International, so try it out and let us know what you think,” says Valve in an official blog post.

While the Oculus Rift and OSVR HDK headsets are both supported by SteamVR, only headsets with motion controllers are supported at this time, making it a defacto HTC Vive experience. There doesn’t seem to be any available button mapping for XBox One controllers currently.

If you’re dying to get in on the action and you don’t have a Vive though, YouTuber RealityCheckVR has published two great how-to guided on how to emulate SteamVR controllers using both Leap Motion and Razer Hydra.

Installing the VR Hub

  1. Install Dota 2 on Steam.
  2. In your Steam Library, select Dota 2.
  3. Under the DLC section of the library page, click the checkbox to enable the Dota VR Hub.

When running from the desktop, run Dota 2 as normal. A popup will appear that lets you choose whether to run Dota 2 or the Dota VR Hub. If running from within SteamVR, Dota VR will automatically boot when you choose “Play in VR”.

System Requirements

  • A SteamVR capable headset with tracked controllers.
  • GPU: A NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970, AMD Radeon™ R9 290 equivalent or better
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor equivalent or better

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  • James Friedman

    I don’t even like Esports but was intrigued by the demos of this in action months ago. Very cool

  • RavnosCC

    I can’t wait to try this, every new Esport game needs this soon. :D