On launch day of the HTC Vive, Valve debuted a webpage that featured a number of videos highlighting the capabilities of the newly launched VR system. Buried in one of the various video clips, Valve slipped in a preview of an unexpected VR feature for DOTA 2. Now, that feature is available.
The preview clip showed what looked to be a spectator zone for people who wish to watch live DOTA 2 matches from their Vive HMD. There was a giant screen on the wall that showed a match in progress. To the left and the right, there were life-size avatars of all the heroes participating in the match, and a model of the map was in the center of the room. Valve had been quiet about the status of the VR spectating mode for DOTA 2, leading us to wonder if it would be available in time for The International, Valve’s upcoming DOTA 2 world championships.
We no longer have to worry about that, though. Valve released the DOTA 2 VR Hub as part of the DOTA 2 Compendium update for The International, which went live on July 27. The VR Hub will let you and up to 15 others spectate live matches and watch recorded replays on a large virtual screen. We already knew about the life-size hero avatars that show up in the spectator room on either side. We didn’t know that we’d be able to experience them in full-scale while in battle, though.
You’ll be able to select a point on the map in front of you and transport right to the action. You’ll have control of the camera so you can get a bird’s eye look at the action, or you can get right up to the heroes if you prefer an up-close look. Once you’re on the map, you can teleport around to wherever you want to be.
The DOTA 2 Compendium update is already out. If you have DOTA 2 installed, you’ll have it already. You’ll have to opt into DOTA 2 VR Hub from the Beta tab of the game’s Steam library page. Once you have the DOTA 2 VR Hub installed, it will prompt you to open the VR Hub whenever you launch DOTA 2. The VR Hub will automatically launch if SteamVR is running and you select “Play in VR.”
Curiously, the system requirements for the DOTA 2 VR Hub call for an i7-3930K equivalent or better. If you’re running an older i5, you may run into trouble based on this requirement suggestion.