Dota 2’s Free to Play documentary is coming to Netflix. The movie highlights the journey of three professional Dota 2 players before the first International.
Valve’s Dota 2-themed movie, Free To Play is coming to Netflix. Free to Play is a documentary about Dota 2 and the world’s first million-dollar tournament. It inspired millions of gamers across the world and remains one of the best gaming documentaries to date.
What is 'Free to Play'?
Free to play is a Valve documentary film that takes a critical look at the lives of three professional gamers. It follows the struggles and achievements of Benedict "hyhy" Lim, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin and Clinton "Fear" Loomis leading up to The International.
Dendi’s story shows him using Dota 2 to cope with the grief of his father’s death. Fear had to lead a multinational team and adjust his schedule to that of his teammates who are in completely different time zones. HyHy’s gaming habits have a big impact on his academic grades. He also admits that he is still in love with his ex-girlfriend and hopes that a win at the International will impress her enough for her to give him a second chance.
Each story includes interviews with the players, their families as well as friends. Free to Play weaves through the various stories with dexterity touching upon player emotions, hype in-game moments and comments from the talent and community members. It also highlights the success of esports in Asian countries and how players feel a million-dollar prize pool event is important for the growth of esports.
Free to play received widespread critical acclaim with critics praising the movie’s ability to connect esports with sports. At the time, Dota 2’s International was the only esports tournament with a million-dollar prize pool.
The focus on individual player stories and their struggles coming into The International also added a personal touch to the documentary. Gamers from across the world felt a deep connection to the movie, partly because they could relate to the struggles.