Free to Play is a 2014 documentary, which explores the lives of professional video game players, as they prepare to compete in a massive tournament. The competition brings teams from around the world to go head to head in the game, Dota 2, which is a massively popular online game. Defense of the Ancients is played by millions of individuals throughout the world.
What happens when players are giving the opportunity to compete for a million dollars? The documentary gives the viewer an in-depth, personal look into the lives of the players, as they struggle to overcome personal struggles. Some of the teams will go home disappointed, but ultimately one team will capture the crown as the best DOTA 2 team in the entire world. With the title, they’ll also claim the massive one million dollar prize.
The documentary speaks with players around the globe, as it explores their personal interactions with their teammates, as well as each community views the players. It offers an insightful view of each country’s stance and view regarding personal video gamers. The viewer is shown interviews with the players, as well as fans of the game including NBA superstar, Jeremy Lin, who shows true enthusiasm for the game.
As the documentary churns on, teams are eliminated. Players emerge as new legends. Relationships among teammates grow stronger, before a team is finally crowned the champions.
Overall, Free to Play is definitely an interesting, insightful look at the world of professional video gamers. While there were many moments of joy and humor, there was only one winning team, which forced the film into a bleak area. It was hard not to feel bad for the players, as they were forced to go home, without accomplishing their goals.
Although I’ve never played the game and don’t understand the mechanics, the battles actually felt exciting and intense, which is an accomplishment. Despite feeling satisfaction for the champions, it is difficult to overlook the sorrow of those that fell in their path. The documentary is definitely worth a watch. A 7 out of 10 should suffice.