Free to Play

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FREE TO PLAY is a feature-length documentary that follows three professional video game players as they compete for a $1,000,000 prize in a competition that could change their lives forever. In August 2011, a five-day international tournament for the popular online strategy game Dota 2 was held in Cologne, Germany. Gamers from countries such as Ukraine, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and the United Stated signed up to participate in this revolutionary event.

When the massive prize was announced, gaming blogs and social media sites went crazy because this was the largest amount that any gaming competition had ever put up for stake.

Because of this, professional gamers began to see gaming as a career choice and not just a hobby. It’s not easy being a gamer at all. Many of them have to put up with judgment and criticism coming from well-meaning family members who still value traditional career choices. But these young people patiently endure the torturous questions as they follow their own life paths.

Why have e-sports become so popular in the last five or six years? One gamer states that he became an adult the day he started playing Dota. Another gamer states that one way to forget about pain is to do something that you will be into completely, like computer games. Ironically, e-sports have become one of the most widely-practiced forms of competitive sports today. Put away your balls and bats because computer games are becoming much more attractive to modern youth.

Dota has been described as a game of momentum; a combination of soccer and chess. In Dota, a team of five players battles against another team. Every player controls one unit and the main objective of the game is to destroy the final enemy building. The possibilities are endless with this game; it never gets boring. It becomes like a way of life. Dota offers the opportunity to become someone you can only dream of. Someone powerful that can fight against others and break all the rules without ever getting arrested, states another gamer.

A million dollar tournament forever changed the landscape of the gaming world. For elite players at the top of their craft, nothing will ever be the same again. This film documents the sacrifices required of players who want to compete at the highest level. In the end, who becomes the Dota millionaire? Watch now.