If a documentary is meant to provide an objective view of real-life stories, Free to Play is an utter failure. It's a puff piece -- a bit of advertising meant to show the positive influence of a product.
Free to Play is a "documentary" about Dota 2 made by Valve, the proprietors of Dota 2. As a result you shouldn't really expect it to provide a negative or even balanced depiction of their own product and, more specifically, esports.
Snippets of match announcers and interviews with team managers constantly drive home just how big, how swift, how valid professional gaming has become. It may be true; I quite enjoy it myself, so I can’t entirely deny that it’s something worth exploring. However, it’s a story that’s perhaps best not taken at face value from the people who stand to profit most.
Of course, that doesn't mean the stories on display are bad, or the film itself uninteresting. In fact, it's a quite well-put-together little piece that provides a fascinating, if not particularly fair, view of three young people exploring a new form of entertainment. Read more »