Today we will be discussing the world of DOTA 2, a video game that has grown in popularity the last few years. The largest DOTA 2 tournament of the year took place in Seattle a couple weeks ago, and I was there to witness it in all its bizarre glory. It was the largest DOTA 2 tournament, but it also boasted the largest prize pool of any single E-Sporting event to date, as 16 teams vied for their cut of over 16 million dollars.
For the uninitiated, DOTA 2 is a free game where two teams of five attempt to work together to defeat each other in wizarding battle, using different wizards that do different wizarding stuff. That is the idea anyway, what DOTA 2 ACTUALLY is, is 10 people being forced to sit and scream at each other for half an hour at a time. Imagine the worst commenting boards you’ve ever seen where the thing the commenting board is attached to is discussing something people get passionate about, religion, or politics, or philosophy, or whatever. Now imagine the worst people on those commenting boards, the people that, through the power of anonymity, feel comfortable with vomiting hate on anyone in range. Now imagine putting 8 of those people in the same chat room, and 2 people that really just want to play a video game for half an hour whom are now wondering why they even try to play anymore, and are fairly rapidly losing all faith in humanity. You now have a pretty good grasp of what a match of DOTA is like.
Anywho, The International tournament was actually fairly exciting. Thousands of people gathered to watch giant screens of the current match in progress, as the best players in the world sat in cages on the stage facing each other. I’m sure many glares and intense stares were cast across the great divide, but other than that no real contact was had between opposing teams except to shake hands before and after matches. As the days wore on and teams were eliminated it became increasingly likely that a Chinese team would be taking home the Aegis. Oh, sorry, yeah the Aegis is the trophy teams take home if they win the international. It’s basically a big gold shield, which I have to assume someone uses to LARP with… thats a 6 million dollar PVC pipe and styro foam protection device if I’ve ever seen one. But a US team, EG (Evil-Geniuses) was able to claw its way through the brackets and eventually take home the win. I say US because that is where they are based, but much of their talent has been out sourced. I present to you the 16 year old SumaiL.
(not his real name, his gamertag) the boy wonder who, with his entire family moved from Pakistan when he was 9, so that he could play DOTA 2. You heard that correctly, his family believed in their 9 year old sons dream of making it big in, at the time a small E-Sport scene enough to pick up stakes and move to ‘Murica. Obviously it payed off, since the kid cant drive yet but hes a millionaire. Although reportedly he still sleeps in the same room as his siblings, his parents are apparently pretty strict, even with their millionaire son. I wonder what the dynamic is like in that house.
I’ve explained everything I can about the tournament itself and the game itself, and yet we haven’t even touched on how metal this is… And that’s kind of the point right? I think I can sum that up fairly quickly,
These are plushies/keychain things which resemble some of the characters in the game. They were being sold for $15 a pop, which is fine I guess. They were randomized, so when you bought them you didn’t know which one you were getting. The result of this was people buying 30 of them to get the one they wanted, and instead of hiding the fact that they just dumped $450 on a bunch of stuff they are probably going to be throwing out in a month or two, they proudly made giant necklaces out of them, which appeared very much like a cluster of the severed heads of their fallen enemies, if their enemies were cute, soft, and cheap. I wish I had a picture of this, but I was worried that if I attempted to take one of their pictures they would attempt to add my head to the cluster using the plastic axe that they had just spent $60 on and wanted to test its battle readiness. Rampant consumerism and exploitation of people that clearly have no impulse control (or entirely too much money) is decidedly not metal… Plus I’m mad they all sold out so fast, I really wanted that stupid Juggernaut plushy.
So DOTA 2, Metal? probably not, except that there’s a character named Juggernaut in it. Is it still pretty awesome? I think so, and I’d recommend you give it a try. Just remember to mute absolutely everyone before the game starts.
We will be returning to normal next week, as Gunnar will be returning from his training with the Shao Lin monks of Dengfeng.