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Valve realizes that a large segment of Dota 2 players want to watch both live and saved footage of matches. With that in mind, they've included Spectator support for the game as well as a few features that make sure you get the most out of the experience.
"Overall we felt that spectating should be treated as importantly as playing the game, so we started with a WATCH button featured prominently in Dota 2′s main menu," reads a new blog post on the Dota 2 website.
The game will feature a filter for replays. This will allow you to find matches that, for example, featured a Hero unit that you're trying to learn to play. You'll also be able to easily find replays from other players that you're following.
The blog post also mentions two camera perspectives for spectators. The Player Perspective mode allows you to see what a given player is seeing, and all their mouse/keyboard work. It should give you a clear sense of how they play and could potentially help you up your game as well. The Directed Camera mode, meanwhile, is a smart camera that follows the action of a game. This allows all the spectators to kick back and comment on the match as a group.
Valve also mentioned that match commentary will be baked into the replay itself. If you download a replay of a tournament, you'll be able to watch it with the accompanying commentary.
"If you don’t have Dota 2 yet, and haven’t had a chance at seeing these features for yourself, you’re in luck: there are a ton of players out there streaming the game, so take a look and let us know what you think," said Valve. "A handy site we’ve been using ourselves is StreamDota2.com, which provides a nice set of streams to choose from."
Dota 2 is slated for 2012. Valve recently said that they're trying to release the game to the public as fast as possible.