Dota 2: Our picks for the best entries in The International 2022 short film contest

After watching all the entries for Dota 2's short film contest for The International 2022, these are our picks for the best three this year. (Photos: 4fun, W YX, dmurio YouTube channels)
After watching all the entries for Dota 2's short film contest for The International 2022, these are our picks for the best three this year. (Photos: 4fun, W YX, dmurio YouTube channels)

The Dota 2 short film contest for 2022 is currently open for voting.

Since 2015, Dota 2 developer Valve Software has allowed the Dota 2 community to use the Source Filmmaker (SFM) software and other tools to be creative and make a 90-second film.

The short film contest has also become a part of the yearly spectacle around The International (TI), Dota 2's annual multimillion-dollar world championship tournament.

The best three films every year are showcased during the tournament and their creators are awarded a cash prize. Winning the short film contest awards US$25,000 for first place.

Last year's winner was Carried Away, a film about using Couriers to defend the base when all heroes and hope are lost.

This year, we've gone through all 21 entries and highlighted our three favourite movies for this year:

#3 - Re:Turn

Ever wondered how exactly the Aegis of the Immortal works? What happens to a hero when they are brought down while holding the Aegis?

Well, Re:Turn by 4fun answers that question by showing what happens to a poor Anti-Mage (depicted as Wei, the Anti-Mage persona character) as she gets ambushed by the enemy squad.

The opposing team uses all their abilities, including Chronosphere, resulting in a dead Anti-Mage.

But the story doesn't end there.

With a twist rivalling M. Night Shyamalan's best writing, it turns out Anti-Mage had an Aegis and stands up one more time, ready to fight the entire enemy team by herself, as most pub carries do.

We loved the way the movie used time reversal to showcase how Anti-Mage died the first time, instead of using a generic combat sequence. The use of the Aegis and the ending were fantastic as well.

#2 - Glimmer Of Hope

Do you know how many times people have made a comeback after losing all their barracks?

Neither do I. But that is what the Glimmer Of Hope short film by W YX showcases.

In Dota 2, losing one set of barracks gives the enemy Super Creeps in one lane while losing all the barracks awards the opposing team with Mega Creeps, who have much higher stats than the common lane creeps.

Winning a Dota 2 game after losing all your barracks is extremely difficult, as lanes are constantly being pushed in.

With a 99% chance to lose the game, players often stop playing or even abandon instead of playing until their Ancient falls.

There's a tiny chance of winning a Dota 2 match against Mega Creeps, it's a tiny ray of sunshine, a Glimmer of Hope.

This is what the SFM highlights, as a determined Sven motivates his team to fight despite overwhelming enemy forces and a numerical disadvantage.


Sometimes the best entry isn't the one that is the most accurate to the gameplay or strictly follows the lore. Some of the best films are the wackiest, most out-there things you can watch.

And that's just what DISCOBAIT by dmurio is.

Realising his Throne is exposed and that he has to defend his base, a creative Axe has to resort to some... unorthodox methods to keep the enemies at bay.

In a video featuring sick dance moves, a disco ball, a subtle reference to Shrek 2, and a surprise appearance by Dota 2's creator, DISCOBAIT is my personal pick for the best entry of the 2022 short film contest.

It's well-animated, tells a good story full of humour, and it has a fantastic ending.

The Dota 2 short film contest is currently underway and fans can vote in the Dota 2 client. Voting ends in two days so be sure to vote for your favorite entry before then.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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