Valve’s upcoming DotA 2 has confirmed that it will be a free-to-play game, and that, while it will feature an item shop, all items in the game will be purely cosmetic with no gameplay effects. Additionally, all heroes will be available free of charge. DotA 2 players will be able to create and submit items through the Steam Workshop in a manner similar to the current system for Team Fortress 2. DotA 2‘s new FAQ also makes mention of using the game’s economy to “directly contribute to professional players”, which is good news for e-sports fans.
Source: DotA 2