The story earlier which mentioned that DOTA 2 keys would no longer be required was partially correct and a lengthy blog update from Valve has been posted this evening explaining how they are going to move DOTA 2 from a beta phase to launch,
The update states that they are to “retire” existing DOTA 2 beta invites while also adding a “larger set of training features” to the game before the game is considered launched.
Valve are looking to gradually ramp-up the player base but they want to do this slowly while they test the server infrastructure as more players join the already large community of players.
Valve will be scaling up their Game Coordinator server which handles the backend login system matchmaking based on the number of players joining the game. They also go on to explain how their game server clusters are organised around the world which also may need to be scaled up to cope.
Players will be kept in the loop with more regular updates as the game progresses toward launch.