Dota 2 is making changes in its initial stages to be more welcoming to newcomers, anticipating their influx during and after The International 2017, the game's world championship that begins next week.
In an update launched on Thursday, Valve restricted new players' hero selection to "a curated group of 20 heroes" for their first 25 games. Valve chose the heroes out of telemetrics suggesting they were the ones most helpful to newcomers in Dota 2.
Additionally, the latest Dota 2 update will pair new players with those who have "consistently high behavior scores." Valve said it is important that new players "have a good social experience while they are first trying to learn the game." The adjustment means new players will be paired with others not only by skill level, but also by the opponents' behavior.
The International 2017 begins on Wednesday. Aug. 2 and continues to the following Saturday, Aug. 12, at Key Arena in Seattle. As of writing, the prize pool is almost $23 million, about $10 million of which will go to the winner alone.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the portion of the prize pool that will go to the winner of The International 2017. It has been revised.