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Chinese TV Inexplicably Uses Dota 2 Documentary Footage [Update]

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Free to Play is Valve's terrific documentary on the Dota 2 scene. A recent eSports documentary by Chinese governmental television inexplicably uses footage from the Valve film. Inexplicably, because the Chinese film leaves Dota out.

CCTV (China Central Television) is a state broadcaster in China, and the gaming documentary it recently broadcasted is, as Games In Asia points out, a more fair look at gaming than we've seen in the past in the Chinese media. However, as Games in Asia also notes, the documentary allegedly borrows a handful of scenes from Free to Play.


For example, as Games in Asia points out, the below clip shows how a graph from Free to Play popped up in the CCTV documentary. However, the Chinese documentary doesn't feature Dota 2, and it instead concentrates on games like Dungeon Fighter, which Tencent operates in China.


The full CCTV documentary is around 45 minutes long, and it features loads of other, non-Free to Play footage. It also features other bit that appear to be from Valve's film. Regardless, you can watch the Chinese state television program here.


The odd thing about the CCTV doc is how Free to Play scenes are recut to either make the Chinese documentary look more, I guess, international, as well as to have Dota players appear like they're not discussing Dota, but other games entirely or totally different eSports scenes. Hey, open source television!

So, for example, when the prize money graph for the International is shown in the Chinese documentary, the narrator says (via Games In Asia): "This is the highest prize ever offered in an eSports competition to date." Dota 2 is apparently not specifically mentioned.


It's as though Chinese state television decided to use Free to Play, a wonderful documentary, for b-roll footage. Kotaku is following up with Valve to see whether or not permission was granted to use the footage in this manner.

Another odd thing, Games in Asia adds, is that while the documentary focuses on Dungeon Fighter and Crossfire, Chinese pro gamers are more likely to win big bucks playing Dota 2—the game that, once again, isn't shown in the CCTV program.


Kotaku is following up with Valve and will update this story should the company comment.

Update: Valve tells Kotaku it did not grant permission to CCTV for this use of Free to Play.


Chinese state TV cuts footage from 'Free To Play', makes it look like it's about other games instead of Dota 2 [Games In Asia Thanks, Julian!]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


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