Screenshot from 2GD Studio's TI4 EU Hub, featuring Draskyl and 2GD.

Dota 2 Hub Streams: Friend Simulator 2.0

Jun 30, 2017

Bring back any fond memories?

The famous GD Studio TI4 hub is actually what got me into Dota. I had a friend convince me to check it out by promising me there were kittens.

Indeed, there were kittens.

After watching the stream for a few minutes, I was hooked. I barely understood anything that was going on, had never heard of Dota before, and couldn’t figure out why Twitch chat was spamming text about some guy whose name was a misspelling of “puppy.”

It didn’t matter.

There was just something about the interaction between the people in the house, their genuine excitement, and the hype brought to the games that made it difficult to stop watching.

It’s hard to believe that was three years ago. It’s hard to believe that this is the seventh iteration of The International. And it’s even harder to believe that despite not understanding a damn thing during the GD Studio hub broadcast, I’m now writing articles about Dota 2 for a website.

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Each year, various studios offer up a Hub stream during the Qualifiers for TI. These streams have a similar appeal to The Summit tournaments: a casual, laid back place to virtually hang out with a bunch of Dota pals. Everything’s better together, right?

SirActionSlacks even singlehandedly set up a Scrub Hub for TI5 where he invited literally anyone to show up at his house and cast games from his living room.

Due to their popularity, especially with new viewers, many studios have been using this “hub” style stream for Majors. If you have the space, flying in a bunch of casters, pros, and personalities to hang out on your couch for a week seems to be a lucrative business decision.

2017 is no exception: Both Beyond the Summit and Moonduck Studios hosted hubs for the TI7 qualifiers.

Each year, the Hubs include more ‘fluff’ content, like extra games and memery.

Moonduck offered a “Casters’ Crucible” this year, where amateur casters could compete for a chance to join Moonduck on the main stream and [hopefully] jump start their career.

Moonduck has also made some rad caster profiles. Hey, remember when Zyori had dreadlocks and worked for BTS?

Once the qualifiers have ended, the highlights live on. Check out the BTS and Moonduck YouTube channels to relive your favorite moments from the Qualifiers.

If hanging out with people IRL isn’t your thing, the TI hub streams are a great place to get your daily dose of human interaction, and there’s significantly less risk of creating an awkward situation that will haunt you socially for years.

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Kara Jacobacci
Kara has been following professional DotA2 since the TI4 qualifiers. When not watching matches on Twitch, she can be found working (or attempting to find work) as a geologist and enjoying nature.
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