-Update- Dota 2 still needs beta key to play
We were informed that after going through the tutorials, you can only spectate the game and not play it. You still need to purchase the starter pack in order to play games. Dota 2 will definitely be open to all when the game gets officially launched later this summer. We apologized that we jumped the gun on this one.
Valve has abolished the beta key system and Dota 2 can now be accessed without a beta key. Chinese gamers on a separate client still do not have the priviledge unfortunately.
As we approach the official release of Dota 2, we found out that Valve has activated Dota 2 on Steam and the game is now open for all to play without a beta key. Newcomers to Steam or the game is now able to access Dota 2
and engage themselves in a game after going through the interactive tutorial system.
Upon hearing the news, we made a new accounts from all parts of the world and we can confirm that people anywhere (except China) have free access to the game now. Chinese gamers can receive free access to Perfect World server if they clocked in more than 800 hours of Dota 2 on the normal Steam servers.
Players on the Perfect World Server still need beta keys.
One change we noticed was the addition of the game trailer before the main menu fully loads. We did further testing to see if the trailer pops up in older accounts and the result is negative. Perhaps it is only for new accounts and may not appear again after we go through the tutorial. Further testing required.
According to Gamespot, the game will be officially released this summer and most possibly before The International 3. While a lot of people are happy for Valve, many expressed concern for the release of the game at its current state. Many are also disappointed at Valve's decision to not implement LAN functions before the official release although it may still come in the upcoming weeks.