This week sees Valve ship the first of a large set of planned features designed to improve Dota's support for high end competitive play.

First up is Tournament view in the game client. From here fans can find current and past tournaments, and choose which are worth paying to watch. For the tournaments you've purchased, you'll find a complete breakdown of the tournament's matches, and be able to quickly jump in and watch them in your game client.

Money used to purchase a tournament will be shared with the organisers of the tournament.

Valve will be testing this immediately with The Defense, and if it works out well the functionality will be rolled out to all tournaments.

Secondly comes better in-game support for competitive teams. The Defense will once again be used to test Valve's new Team system, where players identify themselves to Dota 2 as a competitive team, and provide a set of information about themselves.

In addition to storing a variety of statistics about the long term performance of the Team, the game also detects matches between competitive teams, and uses the Team's information to highlight the match.

Once the Team system is running smoothly it will be opened up to everyone, including the Team Matchmaking system.

You'll find more info on all of this over on the official Dota 2 blog.