In the summer of 2018, tens of thousands of rabid fans congregated in Vancouver's Rogers Arena for one of the largest sporting competitions of the year. Gleefully applauding while donning team jerseys, they resembled any enthusiastic crowd on game day. But this was no ordinary sporting event. This was The International, an annual tournament that welcomes a global collection of players who battle it out in multiple rounds of the Dota 2 online video game. True Sight is an infectiously entertaining document of this event, and a peek inside the world of e-sports tournament players.
Played by millions of users all across the world on a daily basis, Dota 2 involves two teams and a host of "hero" players who fight to defend or destroy an ancient stronghold.
The centerpiece of the film takes place during the finals of the tournament as Team OG attempts to beat Team PSG.LGD for the Aegis of Champions title. Included in that battle are all the ingredients you want from a soaring sports story: an epic showdown of skill and mental acuity, a down-to-the-wire conclusion, personal tales of determination and willpower, and an underdog on the precipice of greatness.
"It's a sick mental game that brings out the best and worst of you," says one young player at the film's opening. Cocooned in glass booths, donning headsets and trying to shirk off the pressures of competitive game play, the teams spend their time thoughtfully strategizing, trying to read the approach of their opponents, and questioning their every move after each round.
The film shifts between the intensity of game play and the journey taken by both teams to snag a spot in the finals. We witness the passion, intelligence and mental toughness of each young player as they take their place behind the controls.
Bolstered by a triumphant score and the pulsating ambience of a roaring stadium, True Sight has the charge of a Rocky-style underdog story. For gaming enthusiasts, the film will be a pleasing portrait that evokes profound suspense and excitement. For others, it will serve as a fascinating glimpse inside a thrilling, thriving culture.