Ever since I started to play League of Legends, probably five to six years ago (start of season 2), I saw multiple mobas being created. As It was the “flavor” in the gaming industry, everyone wanted a piece of the cake, and so everyone created their perspective of what a moba is supposed to be like. Having spent so much time, effort and money onto League of Legends and having so much fun with it, I had no intention of switching to another game. Back in the days out of my 20 gamer friends, 18 played league, 1 played Dota, and the other one played HoN. I got introduced to Dota2 as the new dota that is still in beta and, to be honest; I feel I heard the phrase “still in beta” for years when talking about dota2. If you don’t know me, you should know that I hate playing games that are in beta, because, for me, it isn’t the game the devs wanted the audience to play but just a version for people to scout bugs. Dota2 didn’t attract me at all because it wasn’t released and I never was a fan of the data mod in Warcraft III (shout out to all the Footman Frenzy fans out there).
Throughout the years I played League of Legends, I eventually became passionate, and I didn’t want to hear about any other games. I became a high-ranked player, a coach, an analyst, a shout caster for a French LCS studio and even created my own League of Legends school in Brazil. I was convinced that League of Legends would crush every single mobas out there thinking naively, that every game that wasn’t League was “wrong”. Now that I grew up and that I pay attention to what the gaming industry has to offer I do start to appreciate more games, also because I have become less involved in League of Legends lately.
A few years into my league of legends experience, I eventually became friends with a dota2 passionate that took the time to explain to me what was going on in the industry and the game. He taught me the game a bit so I wouldn’t be lost, mainly by using the standards I accumulated with L.O.L, and he told me about the International, which is the biggest Dota2 event that happens on a yearly basis. When I heard about this, I was very surprised, so much money in cash prize, so much viewership and I had no idea that was going on back in that time. I felt like I was in a bubble of League of Legends soloQ, LCS, and more to the point that I totally forgot about the rest. I underestimated the community and the show that was dota2. But in 2015, the international was already over once I heard about it, and I promised myself that in 2016, I would at least see the final best of 5.
While I thought that I would be watching the final bo5 in my room sipping on fresh bubble tea, I stumble upon Razer tweet that announced that they would be hosting a viewing party at their recently opened Razer Store in San Francisco. I knew about that big screen, and I thought that It would be fun to meet some fans and chat, plus they promised pizza.
While on the Uber on my way to the Razer store, I watch the end of EG vs. DC, and that was some intense matches. I was looking forward to re-watch Sumail and his team playing another final, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I was also happy to see an Underdogs going to finals. It’s always interesting.
After a long break between the two matchups, I was ready to watch some exciting e-sport content and tried my best to focus on the actions; Dota2 is a nerve racking game where a lot more happens in early-game than league of legends. I recognised some of the most famous champions such as Pudge, faceless void, Mirana and many others, but they were some, I had no idea what they were. I was confused at first, but things got easy to catch up to since I know how mobas work and mechanics throughout games aren’t different. Dota being the foundation of the moba, I learned on-the-go.
Overall the show was epic. Great matches, great production ( did you see those augmented reality champions ?!) and most of all, great shout casters. The fact that they understood that a good percentage of the audience wasn’t familiar with the game; reminding us what something is for, why they reset the jungle for example, or the whole process of the dota2 draft was splendid. Props to them. Besides that, matches weren’t THAT long, I really thought I would have to endure a good 10-15 minutes laning phase full of last-hits, but turns out dota 2 is a very dynamic game with teleportation on buildings, many mobile champions. Roaming is key to victory in those games and for the audience, this means more fights, therefore, easier entertainment.
I have to say that I was rooting for DC as they were the one who had shut down EG (Evil Geniuses – the 2015 champion), but even though the Chinese team won, I was jubilant to witness this beautiful moment of e-sport.
Can Dota 2 become the #1 e-sport ?
As an e-sport passionate, while in the #TI6 hype, I was asking myself that question. Is there a way that people will shift to Dota2 in the future. After all, the viewership is there, the cash prize is insane compared to any other game and sponsors are also involved. My opinion on this topic is that, even though Dota2 is a fun game to watch and in the circumstances of a final where 10+ million dollars on the line, anyone could be hype by such an event, I still think that Dota2 isn’t the best game to play. Again, it’s my opinion.
Dota2 is a game that isn’t welcoming new players to its community, I’ve tried to play it, and because I suck, I really couldn’t fit in any game. I didn’t feel useful, and I am not talking about the constant spamming of pings, voice messages, etc.
A perfect online multiplayer game doesn’t exist, but I feel that if dota2 were working on welcoming new players they would be so much more successful. I feel like dota2 is for dota players only and it’s just too hard to get started. If you are a dota2 fan, don’t get me wrong. I know the many amazing features that dota has. The fact that every champion is available for free etc. but this isn’t something that attracts me in a way that I don’t even know what to pick, where to go, what to build, etc. I am sure that many content creators out there are creating content to help people like me, but if the game doesn’t attract me at first, I don’t see a point in investing time in watching guides. However, this is just my opinion, and I am sure you have your own. I still think that Dota has fantastic mechanics and is a very hard game to master.
The International 2016 was excellent, and I can’t wait for the 2017 edition, and who knows? I might fly to Seattle and attend it.