DOTA2 Articles RSS Feed | DOTA2 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Top 5 Industry Scandals of 2016 Fri, 11 Nov 2016 02:00:02 -0500 Unclepulky

 When it comes to major industries, controversy will always arise. The gaming industry is no different, and 2016 has been filled with plenty of scandals.

2015 gave us Konami's self destruction as they canceled Silent Hills and broke ties with Hideo Kojima, Bethesda and Valve trying to get people to pay for Skyrim mods, Batman: Arkham Knight straight up not functioning on the PC port, and much more.

And oh boy, 2016 was just as juicy. These are the Top 5 Industry Scandals of 2016.

 5. IceFrog: The Truth Revealed

IceFrog is well known within the gaming community as a long time game programmer, as well as the lead designer of DOTA 2. For the longest time, his real name was a secret, with rumors of what it was popping up every few years.

However, this past Spring, the President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Riot Games, Mark Merrill, revealed IceFrog's real identity on Reddit. As with the original article on the site -- in which this was discussed -- I will not display his name here.

We still don't know what prompted Merrill to do this, or even if he realized what he was doing when he made the Reddit post, but fans of IceFrog were understandably not pleased.

IceFrog had managed to stay incognito for a decade, and it's understandable how fans saw the reveal of his name as a form of betrayal on the part of Riot Games.

4. Polygon Reviewers: Does a Good Reviewer need to be a Good Gamer?

This past May, the Doom franchise received a reboot. There was nothing controversial about the game itself, most fans and critics responding favorably to it.

No, this scandal stems from the geek news website, Polygon. Like the majority of other reviewers, they gave the game a positive score, an 8.5 out of 10. The problem was that a gameplay video posted alongside the review showed the reviewer's skills at the game to be, shall we say, less than adequate.

Polygon received an abundance of angry comments, their fans outraged that the people they had reviewing games didn't meet their standards when it came to skill.

While no one is asking the reviewing community to be made up exclusively of pro gamers, it is understandable how someone could think that only players who are good at a game can truly evaluate it.

3. The Binding of Isaac: Too Violent for the App Store?

Very early in the year, February specifically, Tyrone Rodriguez, founder of studio Nicalis, revealed that Apple had rejected The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, from the App Store.

The Binding of Isaac is a very Zelda-esque game in terms of gameplay, while also serving as a satire of the Biblical story in which God orders Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. While the original version was panned for being too clunky, the Rebirth version has garnered a very loyal fan base.

Apple supposedly rejected on the game on account of it depicting violence against children. However, there are many depictions of child violence viewable on iTunes.

This had led many to believe that Apple thinks of games as a lower form of media, beneath music, books, and TV shows. We don't know if this is true, but with iOS being a closed system, it's difficult to get around the ban on the game and play it another way.

2. Pokemon GO: The Most Dangerous Game?

One of this Summer's biggest fad's was Pokemon Go. People are still playing it, but in July and August, everyone was playing it. You couldn't go outside without watching a fully grown man trying desperately to catch a Dratini.

The quality of the game currently is questionable, but at launch it was barely playable. Server's would be down 90% of the time, the game was prone to frequent crashing, and the distribution of gyms and Pokestops throughout towns and cities was a mess.

But all of that is pretty inconsequential when people used the game as a means to commit armed robbery.

In the state of Missouri, a fruitful lead, led police officers to finding four people who were suspects in several armed robbery cases in the St Louis and St Charles counties.

As it turned out, these adults, who were charged with first degree robbery, had been using Pokemon Go as a tool to target people. They'd go to a Pokestop of Gym in a secluded area and wait for an unsuspecting player to come by.

This would be bad enough on its own, but shortly after the game's release, stories involving the game were making headlines daily. Dead bodies were being discovered, homes were being broken into, and car crashes were being caused by drivers playing Pokemon Go at the wheel.

So really, only one question remains.

When are the gen 2 Pokemon becoming available?

1. Mighty No. 9: The Final Product

I wanted this game to be good. We all wanted this game to be good. But sadly, for the gaming community as a whole, and especially for the 67,226 people who backed this game on Kickstarter, Mighty No.9 is not a good game.

By the time the game was delayed for the third time, we weren't expecting much. The hype had long died down since the game's initial announcement, and all we were really hoping for was a fun nostalgia trip.

That is not what we got.

Instead, Mighty No. 9 proved to be nothing more than a paint by numbers platformer, with a short campaign, few features worth coming back to, and painfully slow gameplay.

Sure it looks and sounds okay, but that doesn't make up for what proved to be a major failure from Keiji Inafune, and a waste of the almost four million dollars that went into funding it.

Which of these scandals do you think was the biggest? And were there any I left out? Let me know in the comments!

PowerUP: Reflex Training Only Works When You Do This One Thing Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:10:56 -0400 Seth Zulinski

Welcome back to PowerUP: your source for every tip, trick, news piece, edge, and expert I can find to give you a spotter in your grind to the top. It can be a rough world out there in the new competitive gaming scene. Professional eSports is an untamed frontier, full of the best gameslingers in the business pushing through one showdown after another in an attempt to see who's quick -- and who's dead. 

While other games may be a matter of inches, eSports are more a matter of milliseconds -- while .24 seconds and .14 seconds are nearly indistinguishable to most people, each and every edge counts in the quickdraws, skillshots and noscopes of the gaming elite. A fraction of a second, imperceptible even to most of the viewers watching at home, can be the difference between a runaway victory and crushing defeat. 

Watching the professional scenes, it's easy to believe the big guns on stage are just in some other category than human. They always shoot first, always hit the weak spots, and they never seem to miss. How can an average human compete with that? 

Luckily, a lot of gamers all over the world have done some research on how to clear your holster a little faster. Come with me, and we'll get a clear line of sight on what works, what doesn't, and how you can start firing before your enemies are done saying "draw". 

Reflex training

If you need to be as swift as the wind in your gaming grind (tip: you do), one of the first things that ever comes up in research is reflex training. Usually they stumble across, a "training for gamers" website filled to the brim with a ton of programs designed to focus your mind on speed and accuracy -- two of the most important things in nearly any competitive gaming field. 

And, to be fair, they have a lot of positive testimonials - you'll often see people claiming increases of milliseconds, and sharp improvement in their ability to pop the little colored balloons quickly, and without missing. There's even a set of leaderboards of sorts for those who've registered accounts at the site, letting you stack your reflex training score up against the rest of the userbase. On the first few glances, it seems like exactly the kind of training that can help you click just a little quicker. 

There's just one problem -- it's not terribly effective at actually helping your game. See, aim programs all suffer from the insurmountable flaw of "not actually being the game you're playing". The physics are different, the speeds and timing are different, and while you can certainly improve at the actual game sets they offer, there's little to no guarantee that much of the skill you're gaining there is going to transfer. 

The brain itself is really, really good at adapting to circumstances. It's also not nearly as good at transferring this practice without...well, more practice. So when you log onto a reflex training or aim training sight and manage to grab some high scores popping blue balloons with virtual aim training program bullets, that's what you're practicing - not aim and reflexes, but aim and reflexes when it comes to shooting the blue balloons with the physics of the program. 

When you switch to, let's say Overwatch, not a lot carries over. Hanzo arrows have entirely different physics than the ammunition of aim400kg, and even the more forgiving shots of characters like Tracer (or either side of CS:GO) that calculate hits based almost exclusively on cursor position (rather than keeping track of an actual missile) when firing aren't quite the same. Junkrat isn't exactly a blue balloon, either -- and while your brain might have certainly gotten used to firing at those on sight, it's going to lose those precious gained milliseconds adjusting to a small man with supersaiyan hair throwing grenades and tires everywhere. 

Okay, so what know..."power ups"

When it comes to, "chemical enhancements" (ranging from caffeine to the controversial use of amphetamines like Adderall) we're not faring much better. First off, and I cannot stress this enough --

Under no circumstances should you use prescription grade medicine without necessity, and without the support of a licensed physician. Even if, in some strange world, Adderall did actually help your game on the overall instead of just shuffling pros and cons around, one should not use prescription grade drugs or chemicals in any manner other than the way they were prescribed. 

Luckily, stimulants are a double edged sword that winds up cutting ourselves deeper than our opponent, making an informed decision on this one easier than it was already. Stimulants may help boost reaction time (making your system run faster is what stimulants do, after all), but with it comes corresponding losses in other areas. Sure, your hand will move to the target a tad bit quicker -- but it will probably keep moving as you overcorrect, thanks to stimulants generally bringing anxiety, nervousness, and overstimulation along for the ride.

In easier terms: sure, you're faster - but you're also going to be shaky, especially if you're unused to stimulants and their effects. Whether it's coffee, prescription amphetamines, or an energy drink, it doesn't matter. Relying on stimulants is bad for your aim, bad for your game, and ultimately a lot of time, money, and health down the drain for very little in return. 

Case in point -- let's look at a real life experience with an FPS player that was on a hardcore stimulant playing a card game. He picked up a card, exactly the size and weight that he's handled countless times before, tried to toss it in a different game zone a few inches away -- and threw it across the room. 

Now apply that difference in movement and control to nearly any game. Is that the kind of precision that will win your competitive shootouts and showdowns? Is that level of control what will land headshots? Is that a good picture of a functioning nervous system for eSports competitors?

Not even close. 

So how do we power up our SPD stat?

The answer (both fortunately and not) is pretty simple, but time consuming -- practice the actual game you're playing. If that seems like an obvious answer to you,'s because it is. It's also the best possible answer around to excelling in your given title. 

As we went over above, your brain is very, very good at adapting to things as long as you focus on what's going on - games included. So if you want to improve your AWP shots, or shoot like your ult's always up with Soldier 76, the best solution is to listen to Shia LeBeouf and just do it. A lot. You will get faster, more accurate, and better at a given thing as long as you practice mindfully (which we went over here), and keep focused on improvement. 

As the best example around -- consider TSM's roster in League of Legends circa 2015. This is one of the best known teams in the world, and easily among the best of the best in the western hemisphere. Sporting huge contracts, incredible tournament payouts on the line, and supported by one of the most serious gaming houses in one of the largest eSports arenas, TSM and its players have access to nearly every cutting edge piece of research and training around. As some of the best in the business, they'd take any advantage they could any time they could -- their competition certainly was, after all. You know how much "reflex training" they did? How many "chemical supersoldier serums" they downed? 

None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Bazooper. 

You know what they did do in order to keep up with the skillsets, reflexes, and abilities of their competition? 

They played League of Legends. A lot. Upwards of 50 hours a week as a team, and even more by themselves or in Duo queues. They didn't use third party training. They didn't practice on aim training or reflex booster third party software. They played League of Legends -- because the physics, aim, timing...the everything...involved revolves around the way that specific game works. You wouldn't practice Overwatch to make you click faster in Dota 2, and you wouldn't run through a few games of SMITE in order to draw and fire faster in CS:GO

So why are we shooting little blue balloons, or clicking A or D when flashing lights and sounds pop, to get better at our incredibly complex video games? 

So get out there and stop splitting your focus -- we'll all need it in the games to come. Don't practice a thousand reflexes in a thousand games one time -- practice the right reflexes in the game you're playing a thousand times. Practice it over and over, and leave popping funny colored balloons with a mouse arrow to the competition.

Do that, and when it comes down to it -- when the tumble weeds are blowing past, the clock strikes noon, and the enemy makes their play...well. There's the quick, and there's the dead. 

We'll be plenty quick. 

Wings Gaming are the Dota 2 TI6 Champions Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:28:21 -0400 Ken How

On the final day of the Dota 2 TI6 Main Event, it came down to two final teams -- Digital Chaos and Wings Gaming -- to face off for the championship title. The winner of this Grand Finals match at KeyArena in Seattle would take home the first prize of $9.1 million, while the second prize is $3.4 million.

Digital Chaos (DC) had come off with an incredible three-game series against Evil Geniuses, which brought them to the Grand Finals stage to take their revenge on Wings Gaming -- who had previously knocked them down to the Lower Bracket. Both teams looked strong into the Grand Finals in a best-of-five series (BO5). But Wings ultimately came out on top. 

Game One

A quick first blood was drawn just after the horn was triggered, as DC picked up a kill on Wings' Storm Spirit, but lost both early Bounty Runes at the river. DC looked confident at the start of the game. By the 5th minute of the game, Wings went for a three man gank at mid lane to take down w33, but he managed to counter-kill the Storm Spirit before his death. Wings began to rotate around the map to find some pickoffs once Faith_bian's Slardar had his Blink Dagger online to bounce them back into the game. Although they had the kill lead, DC had the map control advantage after securing most tier 1 towers on Dire side.

Wings continued to gain more advantage as the game progressed, managing to deny their top tier 2 tower and winning a team fight against DC's push. However, DC found an opening at the 23rd minute near the Roshan pit, as Wings were trying to take it down. Sloppy moves by Wings allowed DC to crush their line-up and claim Roshan. 

DC was in control throughout the rest of the game, getting kills across the map. And with such an advantage, they rushed into Wings' high ground in the top lane and took a set of barracks. Wings was hopeless in the end and called GG in the first game of the Grand Finals.

Game Two 

This time around, Wings secured the first blood to their name. We saw smart plays by Y's Oracle, as he juked into the treelines (to buy some time) when three of DC heroes tried to kill him. On the other side of the map, however, his teammates managed to kill Moo's Doon at the bottom lane. DC soon secured themselves two kills on Wings' Slardar and Sand King at the top lane. Even after the tenth minute, both teams looked fairly even. Although Wings had a slight advantage on kills, they were down with two towers going to DC's favor.

Going towards the 20th minute, Wings was ready to claim another advantage in the game as they started to find kills around the map. They went for a smoke gank and found two kills in their Radiant jungle. After securing those kills, they went to take Roshan without being contested by DC. A team fight broke out near Roshan's pit at the 37th-minute mark, and Wings managed to kill two cores alongside one DC support. MiSeRy's Naga ultimate was used to control the fight, but that was not enough to save his teammates.

Moments after, Wings took down another Roshan and DC was were caught off guard by Wings' initiation, losing three heroes to the death timer. While Wings marched to DC's high ground, Resolution's Razor was caught by Shadow's Chronosphere and cost them more heroes. DC was forced to call GG at 40th-minute mark.

The series sat tied at 1-1. 

Game Three

First blood went to Wings once again at bot lane, as Moo's Timbersaw was unable to escape from Faceless Void and Oracle. Both teams traded kills for the next couple of minutes in the early phase of the game. Wings began to take the game lead once again, perfectly rotating around the map to find kills as soon as their ultimates were online. They were playing meticulously, as they were ahead in the game and had full map control that they intended to keep. Wings' team fights were on point with their skills, securing more and more kills in their favor. DC had no answer to Wings' playstyle, and thus the score stood at 20-7 by the 20th-minute.

In a desperate move, DC managed to sneak and take down the Roshan without Wings knowing. With Aegis going to DC's way, they started feeling a little confident with the current state of the game, although Wings looked unstoppable. After failing to secure any team fights, DC found an opening to kill three of Wings' heroes, giving a triple kill to Resolution's kill streak. From then on, DC found their momentum in the game. But it just wasn't enough.

After Wings secured the Roshan at 35th-minute, DC was countered-ambushed by Wings, who crushed DC's line-up and killed four heroes. Wings took the advantage by pushing DC's high ground, and DC was unable to contest orndefend their base.

After DC lost two sets of barracks, they were finding it harder to come back from the loss as Wings' heroes were strong. And by the 45th-minute, DC called GG. Wings totally outplayed DC in this game, which gave them a 2-1 lead in the series.

Game Four

Wings was one game away from claiming their championship title. Could DC make a come back for a 2-2 draw and go for a decisive game five?

Once more, Wings started off with a good counter kill on DC heroes, who tried to initiate on Wing's Elder Titan. But it was instantly traded by DC. Both teams were able to find some kills through the next few minutes, but DC managed to find an opening at top lane to initiate on Wings and kill three heroes -- including Shadow's Anti Mage. They soon gained map control.

After Wings started to get items on their heroes, they started to move around the map to counter DC's aggression. Although they managed to start a good team fight, they did not have enough burst damage to kill any DC heroes. By the 22nd minute, DC lead the scoreboard with 19 kills to 8 for Wings. 

The game changer happened at the 25-minute mark, where w33's Slark tried to pick off the Batrider. But he failed his attempt, and Faith_bian's Axe managed to end w33's Wicked Sick streak with an 800 gold bounty to his name. DC struggled to find the opening to recover from the fight and lost Moo's Beyond Godlike streak with a 1200 gold bounty to Blink's name. DC lost three heroes, and the gold swung to Wings' favor after the fight.

Wings then headed to Roshan's pit to reclaim the Aegis, while DC made their way to Roshan's pit to stop the Roshan kill. But Misery was caught by Axe's Berserker's Call with Elder Titan's Earth Splitter/Echo Stomp combo at the choke point near the Radiant jungle ramp towards the Roshan. Wings took a good team fight in addition to taking down Roshan.

By 30 minutes in, Wings had the game under control and slowly took down some towers. However, DC did not give up hope, they managed to clean up three heroes from Wings and took down Aegis too. Minutes later, Wings managed to secure another team fight -- taking down the aggressive Slark and  sending two more heroes to the fountain. They went offensive toward the bottom high ground to force a buyback/team fight from DC. In a desperate moment to save their barracks, DC burned through a lot of buybacks but could not stop Wings' push and lost their bottom barracks. Wings were minutes away from winning game four and taking the championship title. 

With his buyback on cooldown, w33 made another desperate moved and tried to sneak-kill Axe near the Dire ancient. But his attempt failed -- and due to his aggressiveness, his death timer was extended, which opened up the door for Wings to take down the mid barracks. 39 minutes into the game, in the final fight at the top lane, Wings obliterated DC and DC was unable to contest the game anymore and called GG. Wings Gaming won game four with a score of 3-1. 

Wings are the International 6 Champions after a fantastic run throughout the tournament. Congratulations!

Here are the TI6 final standings.
Dota 2 TI6: TI4 Champions Eliminated Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:06:40 -0400 Ken How

The fourth day of the International Main Event commenced with a match of East versus West as the last European team, Liquid, faced off against the Chinese powerhouse, Newbee.

Newbee, the former TI4 champions were sent to the to the lower bracket by Evil Geniuses after an epic showdown by both teams in the Upper Bracket Quarter Finals in the Day 2 of TI6 Main Event. This time, Newbee faced Liquid in a best-of-three series in the LB elimination match. 

Game One

The first match of the series began with Newbee drafting the Batrider and Lifestealer, with a strong team fight controller Naga Siren to allow them to reset or escape from Liquid. Liquid responded with a Keeper of the Light and an Ember Spirit, which was countered with a Nyx Assasin to destroy the Radiant line-up.

Liquid got off to a good start, as Kuroky got himself a double kill in the first minute of the game. FATA, on the other hand, was very effective with his early game ganks, which brought Liquid to an advantage of 9 kill score to 0 by 14 minutes into the game.

With Liquid's advantage into the mid phase of the game, Newbee were forced to play it safe, retreating from their own Dire jungle. Liquid gave all they have to pressure Newbee from gaining any advantage thus, delaying Hao's Lifestealer farm and Naga Siren's Radiance, which were key for split pushing. However, all of Liquid's heroes were capable of pushing and clearing creep waves to pressure all lanes.

As the game went on, Newbee felt the lane pressure, and they decided to send Nyx with infested Lifestealer to roam around the map and look for kills. They managed to pick off both Ember Spirit and Mirana with huge streaks to their name, and regained the Chinese team's momentum in the game. Soon after, Naga Siren was farming well and fully slotted before the 35th minute. During that moment, Liquid went to siege Newbee's high ground. But they were sloppy with their execution, which turned the whole situation around; Newbee won their first team fight and successfully defended their base, then claimed Roshan.

Moving forward towards the late game, Liquid found themselves losing multiple team fights to Newbee's heroes, which became difficult to deal with. Around 45 minutes, Newbee claimed the middle barracks. This time, Liquid's formation started to fall apart. After Liquid claimed Aegis, Newbee rushed into Roshan's pit for another team fight, killing two of Liquid heroes. At that moment, Matumbaman decided to go for Divine Rapier to defend Newbee's high ground aggression. With aegis in hand, Liquid decided to go for a team fight to find an opening to end the game, but Newbee's ability to control team fights turned the scuffle around. Matumbaman lost his Divine Rapier and the first series was claimed by Newbee.

Game Two

The second game's draft was pretty similar to the first game, but with a mix of uncommon heroes in the draft such as Chen and Undying.

First blood was spilled at top lane by Morphling on kpii's Batrider, giving Matumbaman a good start into the early phase of the second game. Unfortunately, Chen was unable to find an opening to go for a gank on any Liquid heroes. By 10 minutes, Newbee was unable to gain any good team fights to their advantage. One team fight at the Dire jungle had crippled Newbee's game progression, where Morphling got a triple kill to Matumbaman's name. Shortly after, Newbee had lost their game coordination, and they got picked off all over the map. Unable to handle the pressure, they surrendered the game by 17 minutes to go for a decisive game three. 

Game Three

For the final game of the series, Mirana and Shadow Demon were picked again by Liquid. Newbee picked Morphling for themselves, but Liquid gave them the Anti Mage and Axe surprise.

In the early phase of the game, both teams went full on aggressive mode, exchanging kills. Newbee managed to get four kill score, as compared to two on Liquid. Matumbaman's Anti Mage had a fantastic early game, uncontested free farm and gaining about 10.k net worth. But Newbee's aggression on mid tier 1 tower at 11th minute turned everything around. Liquid managed to defend their tower and turned the fight in their favor. Ater some of Newbee's skills went on cooldown, Liquid secured four kills to their name. 

Toward the 19th minute, Newbee went to contest Roshan while Liquid was inside the pit to take it down. Newbee's attempt to ambush failed -- Liquid tore them apart and won the team fight. Newbee struggled to regain momentum after the fight, in addition to the pressure of lanes being pushed towards Newbee's base. Liquid once again dragged Newbee to another choke point to force another team fight, and Newbee had throw all their skills just to bring down Anti Mage's Aegis.

With all Newbee's skills on cooldown, Liquid ran over them in a devastating fight and forced the GG call at 36 minutes.


Despite a good come back by Newbee in game one, it did not deter Liquid from jumping back on the track and eliminating Newbee from TI6. Liquid secured top 8 placement and will be facing Fnatic in the following LB match. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more highlights, recaps, and results.  

The Best Game of Dota Ever Played; EG vs EHOME Game 1 UB Semifinals TI6 Thu, 11 Aug 2016 05:04:32 -0400 Rothalack

This game was 75 minutes of adrenaline and heart attack. I had to re-tighten the screws on my computer chairs arm rests after watching this game. If you aren't interested in eSports, this is the only game you ever need to watch. You will understand why eSports are becoming mainstream popular.

The 5 Best Dota 2 streamers you should be watching Mon, 08 Aug 2016 09:22:05 -0400 Ken How is currently the most famous and probably the best streaming platform to date. Due to the fact that streamers with more views and subscriptions get paid by Twitch, this has established a new full-time career for streamers in the gaming industry. Dota is always fun, especially when you get to watch some of the pro players' gameplay. Here are five of the most famous Dota streamers of all time.

#5 Arteezy 

Arteezy is regarded as the world's best mid-player currently playing for Team Secret. His flawless skills and understanding of the game mechanics launched him to the top of the MMR leaderboard. He is also famous for raging and flaming (salt) teammates in his streams.

 #4 Dendi

Dendi has been the mid-player for team Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) since the end of 2010. He is the only original player left from the main squad that won the first prize of $1 million in The International hosted by Valve in 2011. His performance with his team dominated the scene from 2011 until the end of 2013.

During the earlier days of his streaming, he usually shared some of the tips and tricks on how to play a particular hero against the enemy team and some game mechanics that will change your gameplay. 

Although the video above is from DOTA WC3, the mechanics are still applicable in DOTA 2.

#3 Wagamama

Wagamama is considered one of the veterans in the Dota scene. He is well known for his stream, as well as his insightful, analytical commentary. Waga also has a list of the top 60 donations he received during his stream.

Besides doing full-time streaming, he also co-casts some professional tournaments such as The International (TI) 3 and 5. This year, Waga is back to cast together with the other casters in TI6.


He has also has compiled a guide (for noobs) for better gameplay in Dota

#2 AdmiralBulldog

AdmiralBulldog made his debut as a famous pub player playing his signature hero: Lone Druid. He was then brought into the competitive scene by Dendi who asked him to stand-in for Na'Vi. Then, he ended up playing competitively with his first team, No Tidehunter, which later became Alliance who won TI3. "Rat Doto" was the strategy introduced by Alliance to push lanes to their advantage with Bulldog pushing strategy heroes such as Natures Prophet and Broodmother.

Bulldog usually interacts with viewers' messages from the Donation Alert system which makes viewing so much more interesting and funny. Despite trolling so much in his games, he still manages to pull it off and win.

#1 SingSing

SingSing started Dota in beta mode and has been streaming since. His trolling play style in his streams gained a lot of attention from the community, and he is now one of the most-watched streamers on with more than 39 million views and over 280,000 followers. He occasionally plays with Gorgc, YapzOr, and Babushka. Trash talking with his teammates is the best part of his stream.

He often uses certain catchphrases such as "yellow rune for yellow people", "never scare", "give him the D" and swearing fluently in Russian that has enraptured the Dota community. 

Similar to Bulldog, he will interact with viewers using the Donation Alert system. The catchy song that pops up when SingSing receives a donation goes as follows:

Watching some of these streams will be fun and helpful if you are trying to improve your game mechanics and skill/item build of a particular hero.

Different players have different play styles and it is up to viewers to watch their preferable Dota streamers on any streaming platform. Have fun watching GLHF!

Dota 2 TI6: From the Wild Card to the Main Event Wed, 03 Aug 2016 04:43:33 -0400 Ken How

The Wild Card round has ended with two teams eliminated from the biggest tournament in DOTA 2 history -- compLexity Gaming from the NA region and Execration from the SEA region.

Congratulations to EHOME and Escape Gaming, who made it to the last two spots at the TI6 with the remaining 14 Teams. The 16 Teams will be divided into Group A and Group B, and they will play in a round-robin format. The Group Stage (GS) will kick off from 3rd August (9AM PDT) to 5th August. 

The Round-Robin Format

All matches played in the Group Stage will be in a best of two series. Teams will be rewarded points for the following:

  • A win (2-0) will secure 2 points.
  • A draw (1-1) will secure 1 point.
  • A loss (0-2) will get 0 points.

The top four teams in each group will proceed to the Upper Bracket in the Main Event while the lower four teams will proceed to the Lower Bracket in the Main Event.

Good luck to all teams and GGWP!

ESL One Manila Dota 2: Final results Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:49:39 -0400 Seth Zulinski

It was the final day of the ESL One Manila 2016 Dota 2 tournament, and only four teams remained to battle it out for the lion's share of the $250,000 prize pool. While the easy money was on the Shanghai Major finalists Team Liquid, it was actually the underdogs of Wings Gaming that would take home first place -- and the $100,000 paycheck that went along with it. 

Match 1 - Fnatic vs. Wings Gaming (Wings 2-1)

Game 1

Radiant: Fnatic
Picks: Enchantress, Beastmaster, Spectre, Pugna, Vengeful Spirit
Bans: Bounty Hunter, Io, Witchdoctor, Alchemist, Drow Ranger

Dire: Wings Gaming
Picks: Chen, Nature’s Prophet, Lion, Windranger, Necrophos
Bans: Invoker, Batrider, Gyrocopter, Puck, Disruptor

The powerful Fnatic squad has been crushing most of their competition lately, and they started the series off no differently -- picking up first blood a mere 5 seconds into game 1. While a trade up top evened the score to 3-3, Fnatic soon roared ahead again with a triple kill -- all before 5 minutes on the clock.

The teams traded tier 1s in several lanes, but by 10m the Chinese lineup of Wings Gaming had lost map control and every tier 1 tower. Fnatic pulled ahead to a solid 9-5 lead, and widened the gap even more by 15m, scoring twice Wings' kills at 12-6 (though their own tier 1 line had fallen in the meantime). 

Fnatic's lead grew despite losing Roshan, as they claimed a 2-1 trade in the Pit, followed by a homerun fight in the midlane that gave them another 5-2 trade and kept the snowball rolling to19-9. By 22m, Wings' entire map had collapsed, and Fnatic was knocking on their front door, claiming bot tier 3 but getting pushed off before they could crater the barracks. 

The killing calmed for some time until Fnatic formed up and scored a double in a midlane skirmish, downing Chen and Necrophos before turning the advantage into a free Roshan and his Aegis of the Immortal. Wings fired back with a pick and a tower, but when push came to shove around 31m into the game, Wings got shoved hard, suffering five casualties for no kills. Fnatic jumped on the opportunity and claimed victory at 32m. 

Winner: Fnatic

Game 2

Radiant: Wings Gaming
Picks: Bounty Hunter, Witch Doctor, Doom, Phantom Lancer, Spectre
Bans: Nature’s Prophet, Batrider, Gyrocopter, Pugna, Medusa

Dire: Fnatic
Picks: Enchantress. Beastmaster, Death Prophet, Lion, Sven
Bans: Io, Invoker, Dark Seer, Queen of Pain, Venomancer

This game started quietly, with first blood coming at a "late" 2:28 after Fnatic found a 3v1 against Wings' Doom. They pulled ahead again early, grabbing onto a 3-1 lead by 4m, though they lost Death Prophet soon after. A series of skirmishes broke out and saw trades all over, though Fnatic managed to keep their lead 7-4. 

Eight minutes into the game, the match asked "Who ganks the gankers" as a surprise attack by Wings Gaming turned into them being surprised. But they were able to grind back to 6-8, and eventually brought it to an even 8-8 at just after 10 minutes with a series of well-timed picks and ganks. 

The Chinese team pulled ahead by a single kill soon after, as Fnatic found themselves constantly hunted down and picked off one by one. It was soon 10-8 as the usually hyper-aggressive Fnatic lineup played reactionary -- and was punished for the misstep. 

Fnatic did find their war faces though, grabbing two tier 1 towers for their effort, thus sweeping the entirety of Wings' tier 1s as well as a toplane tier 2 just before 18 minutes. 

War broke out as Fnatic kept up the charge, and while they forced a buyback, Wings pushed them off and kept their 14-11 lead before they lost any in-base structures. Not having any of this aggressive sass, WG brutalized a team engagement 3-1 and claimed the bottom barracks of Team Liquid before being run off. They added to their pile of kills 23-14, though, as Fnatic's defense fell and they headed back into the fray -- claiming the midlane barracks as well for their trouble. 

Wings finally backed out, resetting and claiming the rest of Fnatic's outside towers before pushing into Fnatic's toplane. While Fnatic raised their shields and attempted to defend their base, it was too little too late, and Wings claimed their first victory of the set 29-15 at a rather quick 25 minutes. 

Winner: Wings Gaming

Game 3

Radiant:  Wings Gaming
Picks: Beastmaster, Witch Doctor, Lone Druid, Outworld Devourer, Treant Protector
Bans: Batrider, Invoker, Puck, Nature’s Prophet, Doom

Dire: Fnatic
Picks: Enchantress, Spectre, Vengeful Spirit, Pugna, Nyx Assassin
Bans: Bounty Hunter, Io, Alchemist, Phantom Lancer, Chen

First blood came at 1:17 as Fnatic found themselves on the winning end of a 2v2. But the tables were soon turned. After a brawl down bottom and a greedy grab for the mid tier 1, Fnatic suddenly found themselves down 2-6. While Wings was eventually forced to deny a tier 1, Fnatic did likewise to their first tower topside. 

Fnatic kept the demolition coming, though, claiming bottom lane's tier 1 and picking up two kills in the struggle. As they tried and forced the issue up top, however, Wings made them pay for nothing and pulled ahead 8-4...9-4...10-4 -- then took the fight to Fnatic's midlane tier 1. Fnatic held and claimed a kill of their own, but the powerhouses were on the back foot 10-5 at 14 minutes in.

More kills and towers went Wings' way. Fnatic's weakness when playing from behind really started to show, as their entire mid and bottom lanes were cleaned out just before Wings claimed a relatively uncontested Roshan. At 20 minutes, Wings drove up the midlane, though they were forced out after claiming most of the structures there. Fnatic's top tier 2 tower fell, and the noose began to tighten. They pushed Wings off their top structures twice, but the third time was the charm as Wings came out ahead 19-5 and destroyed everything there was to destroy topside. 

With nearly twice the gold, Wings seemed unstoppable as they claimed defender after defender, and barracks after barracks by 26 minutes. With mega minions coming and most of their defense destroyed, GG was called as Wings pushed up and onto the Ancient at 26:27, winning the series 2-1. 

Winner: Wings Gaming

Match 2: Team Liquid vs. Team Empire Dota 2 (Team Liquid 2-0)

Game 1

Radiant: Team Liquid
Picks: Beastmaster, Lone Druid, Rubick, Lycan, Winter Wyvern
Bans: Enchantress, Bounty Hunter, Spectre, Sven, Tidehunter

Dire: Team Empire Dota 2
Picks: Doom, Puck, Vengeful Spirit, Nightstalker, Phantom Assassin
Bans: Nature’s Prophet, Earth Spirit, Invoker, Death Prophet, Tusk

Don't let their team graphic fool you. Liquid, finalists in the Shanghai Major, were anything but the dark horse headed into the tournament -- though you'd be hard pressed to tell as a 1-1 exchange just over 5 minutes into game 1 gave Empire the first blood. Another kill was Empire's 3 minutes later, but the Liquid squad picked up a mid tier 1 to rally back. 

After a losing exchange 2-4, Liquid picked up a top tier 1 at around 13 minutes -- though it was in exchange for the Roshan that Empire grabbed uncontested. Soon after, Empire claimed a solid 3-1 trade, pushing themselves up 8-4 and claiming two outside turrets while they did it. 

At around 18 minutes, Liquid managed to come away up a kill, as a midlane brawl turned out 4-3 their favor. A greedy hunt from Empire paid off, but Liquid made them answer for it, and soon narrowed the score to 11-12, favor of Empire. 

The Empire struck back as Liquid got a little greedy themselves, and though they managed to keep almost even at 15-17, they came ahead way up as nearly all of Empire's outside towers fell. 

The next battle broke out just shy of 28 minutes, and Liquid pulled ahead on kills 18-17 with a huge pick. On the back of their momentum, they brought the fight to the Empire, pulling ahead 24-17 as they assaulted the base from the midlane. Empire defended their Ancient about as well as the Death Star, and at 30:25 Liquid took it. 

Winner: Team Liquid

Game 2

Radiant: Team Empire Dota 2
Picks: Nature’s Prophet, Spectre, Crystal Maiden, Batrider, Legion Commander
Bans: Doom, Bounty Hunter, Lone Druid, Lycan, Queen of Pain


Dire: Team Liquid
Picks: Beastmaster, Witchdoctor, Shen, Anti-Mage, Death Prophet
Bans: Earth Spirit, Enchantress, Zeus, Puck, Enigma

A much earlier first blood, Empire found a kill on Witchdoctor at a minute and a half. Liquid's Death Prophet died soon after -- but not before picking up a triple kill of her own, and after a few more trades the score was set at 3-6 by 7m. 

Liquid found an earlier tier 1 top tower, as the majority of the squad battled Empire down in the bottom jungle. Liquid was punished quickly, however, and Empire scored some much-needed gold as they brought the score back to 7-7 a little after 10 minutes in. The message was clear: Empire was going to make Liquid bleed for every inch of the map. 

A few minutes later the tides turned, as Liquid's seemingly indestructible map crumbled a bit, their tier 1 top and entire midlane getting wiped off the face of the map by a strong push from Empire. The same push propelled Empire into a 9-8 lead. 

A massive fight at Roshan broke out, and at 18 minutes Liquid claimed a 4-1, bringing the score back into their favor 12-10. Empire tried for Roshan again at 23m, but backed off to push different objectives -- a decision that would come back to haunt them as Liquid turned a pick on Batrider into an Aegis of the Immortal, and a 12-15 lead their favor. Empire lost 2 more bodies topside just after 25 minutes, and while their top and mid lanes had been totally cleaned out, Liquid claimed more than a few structures of their own -- finding Empire's entire tier 1 finished by 27 minutes. 

A two-prong push forced Empire to group bottom (and forced a deny on one of Liquid's few remaining outside turrets), but they couldn't stop the push as Liquid destroyed their bottom lane tier 2. While Empire claimed a top lane tower themselves, they also soon forced out Liquid's bottom lane offense. 

Two more Liquiders fell by 31 minutes, leading to the death of their last outside turret as Empire's rushed the bottom lane, keeping two towers ahead. Unfortunately, they were still two kills behind at 17-19, favor of Liquid. 

Liquid grabbed another Aegis at 34 minutes, finding a few picks as they climbed to 17-22 before driving down toplane and turning a knock on the door into a full-fledged wrecking ball as Empire's defense fell 0-5. The GGs start rolling across chat, and the Radiant Ancient died at 36:33 as Liquid claimed the set 2-0, and moved on to the finals against Wings Gaming. 

Winner: Team Liquid

Grand Finals: Wings Gaming vs. Team Liquid (3-0 Wings Gaming)

Game 1

Radiant: Wings Gaming
Picks: Bounty Hunter, Batrider, Queen of Pain, Phantom Lancer, Keeper of the Light
Bans: Enchantress, Earth Spirit, Death Prophet, Lycan, Earthshaker

Dire: Liquid
Picks: Beastmaster, Nature’s Prophet, Vengeful Spirit, Lone Druid, Enigma
Bans: Invoker, Doom, Witch Doctor, Spectre, Winter Wyvern

Wings started the show off strong, showing no fear in the face of the Shanghai Major finalists. They scored first blood as Vengeful Spirit fell to a 2-man gank just above midlane at 2:24, and the Chinese underdogs blazed out of the gates to a 4-1 lead only 5 minutes into the game. 

By 10 minutes, the story was the same -- Wings exploiting their lead to claim Liquid's top tier 1 and scoring a few picks as they murdered their way to a 10-5 score, though they'd lost two tier 1s of their own. 

Liquid wasn't about to go quietly, though, and roared back, claiming Wings' entire bottom lane and Roshan by 16 minutes. Though Wings Gaming had only two of their outside turrets left, Liquid remained way down in the kill count at 8-13 as Wings' mid-game dominators ran the show.

A rumble in the jungle found Liquid losing nearly all of their defenses, and tier 3 towers traded on top and bottom -- though Wings Gaming claimed a melee barracks and two kills in addition. 

Liquid started their rallying Roshan just before 30 minutes into the game, but Wings was ready, and claimed three kills as they rushed to defend -- as well as the Aegis of the Immortal. 

By 35 minutes, things were looking grim for crowd favorite Team Liquid, as their base had suffered heavy losses and the squad was more or less trapped inside. The siege went long until 38 minutes when the teams collided, and while Wings suffered several buybacks, so did Liquid. When Wings was up ten kills, 28-18, they pushed the 5v3 fight for Liquid's base, claiming several more structures, kills...and the game at 31-18. The Ancient fell at 39:16.

Winner: Wings Gaming

Game 2

Radiant: Wings Gaming
Picks: Invoker, Beastmaster, Earthshaker, Slark, Bane
Bans: Nature’s Prophet, Bounty Hunter, Outworld Devourer, Doom, Shadow Shaman

Dire: Liquid
Picks: Earth Spirit, Phantom Lancer, Tidehunter, Lone Druid, Enigma
Bans: Batrider, Enchantress, Sven, Anti-Mage, Disruptor

It was Liquid's turn to claim first blood, just before 2 minutes, showing Wings that they weren't going to go quietly in this set. Picks happened around the map, trading one for one for one for one, and by 10 minutes the score was a dead even 4-4, as Liquid's Earth Spirit pulled them back in from a slight early deficit. 

A rumble in the top lane around 12 minutes finds Wings pulling way ahead, coming to an 8-5 lead and claiming the tier 1 mid tower soon after. Not bad for underdogs. 

Though Liquid tried to defend, Wings found both a few more kills and the tier 2 top tower by the midgame at 16 minutes, and though Liquid was keeping in the game, their map control is crumbling quickly. 

Wings certainly had a game plan -- react, and let Liquid make mistakes. The plan seems to pay off, as by 21m Liquid had lost nearly all of their outside towers, and found themselves on the losing side of a 17-10 scoreboard. 

Wings claimed Roshan's Aegis at 26 minutes into the match, and were up 7 kills (19-12), and had lost only a single tier 1 tower. Liquid defenders fell mid lane, then top lane -- and while they bounced back to defend their turf, they were soon down even farther at 23-17. 

Wings regrouped and pushed up mid lane. Liquid was waiting, but the Cinderella story wouldn't be stopped, and Wings Gaming claime the entirety of the mid lane base structures to complement their total destruction of Liquid's top lane before being forced away.

Another Aegis at 37 minutes and three kills deeper by 40, Wings seemed unstoppable. Liquid's bottom section of their base crumbled, leaving their last line of defense destroyed. Wings Gaming swooped in for the kills, and carried off their second victory as Liquid packed it in for Game 3 at 41:31. 

Winner: Wings Gaming

Game 3

Radiant: Liquid
Picks: Doom, Outworld Devourer, Witchdoctor, Dark Seer, Spectre
Bans: Beastmaster, Invoker, Lone Druid, Death Prophet, Lycan

Dire: Wings Gaming
Picks: Bounty Hunter, Batrider, Tusk, Venomancer, Alchemist
Bans: Earth Spirit, Nature’s prophet, Oracle, Ursa Warrior, Ember Spirit

Team Liquid claimed first blood before the countdown's even finished, though Wings quickly fired back, leading to a tied score at 1-1 before 10 seconds into the game. Soon the lead widened 3-1, favor of Wings, as Liquid pushed up into the mid lane and was mercilessly punished. 

It was bloodbath in what would be the final match of the tournament, as a series of skirmishes and battles left the former series favorites Team Liquid up 7-6 by 4 minutes. 

While the game quieted for a few moments, the bloodshed soon picked back up as Liquid lost their tier 1 top lane tower, though they punished Wings for still having all their buildings. Soon enough, the score was 11-8 as Wings' Alchemist fell to a roving killsquad.

Deaths and kills never seemed to stop, as Liquid climbed to 12 kills, then 9 deaths, then 13 kills as they were forced off of Wings' tier 1 mid tower. The body count rose higher and higher, ending 17-12, favor of Liquid, by 15 minutes. And they'd even claimed two of Wings' towers for their trouble. 

As the brawl continued mid lane and Liquid widened their lead 20-13, then 25, it seemed as if resident heroes Team Liquid may run away with the game. The hope grew as they climbed to 29-15 by 30 minutes in, though Wings' tier 2s were still holding strong. 

As for the Chinese squad, they'd been waiting patiently amidst all the deaths, and found a way to punish Liquid 3-0. The Wings began to fly high as Liquid's push up into bottom lane was successfully defended, giving them 3 more kills and a free Roshan (as well as several other objectives), leaving Liquid only two outside towers as the comeback continued. 

Wings' Alchemist soon went on a rampage straight through the Liquid base, claiming a kill near Liquid's tier 4 towers as his squad continued the destruction just outside. Though the kill count was 31-25, the Chinese line-up seemed to control the entire map as Liquid bled structure after structure, teamfight after teamfight. 

Wings came to the bottom barracks on Team Liquid's side of the map, and claimed what they came for before rotating mid. The Liquid squad showed up to defend, but the kill count rises to 33-30 (favor Liquid) as Wings claimed the mid lane barracks as well. 

At 40 minutes, and Liquid was making a last stand. They finally downed the nearly unstoppable Alchemist, but not his buyback. As defender after defender fell, Wings finally pulled ahead 38-40 just before they finished dominating the Shanghai Major finalists Team Liquid, and won the third (and last) game of the series at 42:50. 

Winners: Wings Gaming

And with that, you have it - and the new champions of Dota 2's ESL One Manila tournament:

Wings Gaming!

Emerging game video sharing platform reached 10 million active users Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:44:36 -0400 StratGamer48

With the rising of popularity of gaming videos, the streaming industry is growing too. Besides Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and FACEIT, there's another game video sharing platform that's thriving on this trend. is a platform where gamers to share their "best hit" moments with others.

On April 6, the site finally hit its 10 million monthly active user milestone, with 4 million content creators. According to a report from CNET, the number of active users on the site is the equal to the number of active users on Instagram by the time the app celebrated its first birthday.

"We're the only platform in the world that can actually read what you do in the game. And is starting to offer tools to help more game makers feed that data into player's videos."

-- Dennis Fong, co-founder of allows users to interact and notify their friends and opponents in game by recording with the Client. After recording and posting on, the player also can share their videos on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms. Besides this, users also can follow their favorite players and games. 

Popular games being played in and their short videos recorded by players

At the moment, has covered popular games like League of Legends, DOTA2, Battlefield 4, Hearthstones... Ultimately, Fong's goal is to make into "Gamers' Facebook" -- a large platform where majority of gamers gather and share their best moments.  

Mastering Dota 2: Does experience really matter? Follow-up Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:56:50 -0500 Review Yobo

A while ago, I wrote an article investigating how a player's experience affects their skill in Dota 2. Some of the keenest readers pointed out a couple of flaws in my methods, some of which I already considered and one that caught me off-guard. In this article, I would like to bring out some new data and address those criticisms.

Examining the MMR

The key pitfall of my previous analysis was not considering the effect of the matchmaking system. You see, although the Dota wiki does say this:

"...over time, win-loss ratios will naturally settle around 50/50 for all but the very best players..."

It is clear that, overall, the win rate is not an accurate proxy for a player's skill. Following this line of reasoning, the best proxy for skill is in fact the matchmaking rating (MMR). More games played should translate to a higher MMR, right?

While there is not too much data on the MMR around, I was willing to put in the effort for the sake of sound science. With this in mind, I collected data on the MMR and amount of matches played by 46 players out of the European leader board and Dotabuff. Here is the end product - a small sample, but with quite a bit of variation.

The next step was to plot the data. I put the amount of matches played on the horizontal axis and the MMR rating on the vertical axis.

And what do we see? Unfortunately nothing. I had high hopes for this one, but it is quite apparent that there is no statistically significant relation. While kind of a let down, it is at least in line with the previous article. Mind you, this is the data for top players with 2,000 to 10,000 matches played (1-5k hours), and it is expected that the learning curve flattens out with time.

The real learning curve probably looks something like this.

As a result, the regression in the 2,000<10,000 matches played region actually shows no significant relation. This could be because at this level of skill, there can only be so much variation in MMR over the course of games played. The best of the best don't really have to improve. But unfortunately, low MMR player data is not easily available.

If you would like to contribute to figuring this out, add your data to this sheet (can be anonymous), and I will run the numbers once we reach 50 players with less than 4,000 matches of experience (no smurfs, please).

Brief account of early analysis

A couple of my friends filled in their Dota 2 stats, and here are the early results for the mid MMR player analysis.

Even with a few mid-MMR players, the early learning curve starts to become more apparent. The logarithmic pattern is a guess -- I would not like to start drawing conclusions just yet. It is, however, obvious that players with <3,000 matches played are more likely to have a lower MMR.


The goal of my last two articles has been to figure out if extra experience increases a Dota 2 player's skill. I've considered a couple of proxies from top players (Win rate, KDA ratio, MMR) and they all lead to the same conclusion - there is no significant relationship between the time spent playing and the player's skill. When also considering average players however, one can see a hint of a steep learning curve pattern.

Data from the top players teaches us that after the first 4,000 matches, simply pouring more time into Dota is not the way to become a better player. Whether it is talent, team work, methodical study, or organized practice, it is crucial to keep in mind that, aside from time, there are many other much more important factors improving your play.

Given that people pitch in with their numbers, future articles will consider the mid-MMR learning curve in depth. I am also interested in examining what differences there are in the distribution of Solo MMR and Team MMR. Is it the case that players learn how to play alone faster than mastering teamwork? Can we distinguish players in types according to individualistic or team preferences? There are many good questions to have a look at.

I hope this addresses the criticisms brought forward by the Dota 2 community. If you have ideas to share - leave us a comment!

Review Yobo

Mastering Dota 2: Does experience really matter? Comparing players with 500 vs 3500 hours played Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:30:49 -0500 Review Yobo

They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill and no doubt this is also true with video games. However, does sinking more hours into Dota 2 really raise your chances of being a great player? Here we will have a look at a sample of casual Dota 2 players and see if we can separate fact from fiction. All data is gathered from and takes into account players with 500 to 3500 hours of time played.

Is more actually better?

To figure this out, let's take the stats of the 100 top rank players listed on Dotabuff and do some simple analysis. To start off, though, I want to have a little example, so the method is clear. Let's take those same 100 players and plot their win rate (% of games) with respect to the kill, death, assist ratio.

So, in the graph we can see a clear relation between the two - the more kills and assists the player realizes per death, the bigger the portion of matches he or she wins. The math works out at around a 1% increase in the win rate for each point of KDA. So that's straight forward - on average, the better you are at killing, the more likely it is that you'll win.

Now, what about the link between the win rate and the total amount of hours the player has spent on Dota 2? Surely, the more you play, the better you get at the game, especially in the first hours, when you are learning the ropes. However, does this extend into the later stages of the learning curve? Well, let's have a look.

Can you see it? I certainly can't. Upon examination, it becomes painfully obvious that the variation in win rates can not be explained by the players experience. One can see players with win rates exceeding 80% all the way from 500h to 3500h of experience.

One might say that the win rate is far from a good proxy for the overall skill of the players. The key critique here is that the win ratio depends a lot more on the teams performance and a lot less on the individual players skill. Moreover, this method can not take out the effect of smurfs (players creating extra accounts, thus presenting themselves as less experienced). With that in mind, let us examine our other handy proxy - the KDA ratio.

Unfortunately, the numbers here show a similar situation.. While there is a small increase of the KDA, associated with more experience, the overall effect seems negligible. Moreover, the players with less than 1000h of experience obviously can have a relatively high KDA ratio. Presumably this is due to concentrating on individual rather than team play. However, there is next to no indication that spending those extra 3000h on Dota 2 will make you any more efficient at massacring enemies. The drawback to this data is that Dota 2 has many roles. A hard carry position is likely to get many kills, while a support, even with a pro at the wheel, will possibly have no kills at all.

I was not happy with this result, so I decided to get another bunch of data, this time the people who have played the most amount of matches according to Dotabuff. Here is what I got from this bunch of 100 players:

Nothing. Virtually no relation what so ever...

The inconvenient truth seems to be that after around 500 hours, or 1000 matches of practice, the direct return of those hours grinds to a complete halt. Even if you sink another 3000 hours in the game..

I will revisit this conclusion at the end, however now I want to do some numbers that might actually help you guys. So - there must be some actual relations we can find in the players data, right?

Well - here is a good one. According to the numbers, more experienced players are likely to finish their matches faster. Here is the relation:

What we can see is that each thousand hours of experience reduces the length of the players average match by around 70 seconds. This might seem like a very slight reduction, however the trend is quite noticeable. If you compare a complete newbie and guy with 3500h under his belt, the difference will be around 4 minutes or 10% of the match. So here is a little top tip - if you want to learn from the best, learn to cut the games short.

So, experience does not matter?!

Well. Surely it does. Every hour you spend playing let's you learn more strategies and master more skills for more heroes. However, when looking through the averages, there seems to be next to no indication that more experienced players are necessarily better at playing, in terms of match wins and KDA ratios. The lesson here then is that how much time you spend playing matters precious little. If you want to get better at Dota 2, immerse yourself in the game and be methodical.

Concentrate on developing your strategies and play with improvement in mind, rather than just clicking away, hoping for fairy pixies to come and improve your play after 10,000 hours.

If you found this interesting, leave a comment with any extra questions you pondered. If not - tell me where I went wrong!

The first grand Dota 2 tournament of 2016 - The Shanghai Major Thu, 25 Feb 2016 11:54:03 -0500 Review Yobo

The Shanghai Major is one of three official Dota 2 tournaments, and the only one hosted in continental Asia. Whether or not the Chinese people will withdraw from League of Legends tournaments and flip the channel is still unclear, but the stage is set for a great show!

Now, most of you probably know exactly what to expect. But in case you have missed out, I have put together a brief rundown. Here you can learn about the team lineup and current favorites for the $1 million grand prize.


Firstly, let us have a look at the tournaments schedule. In the first stage, the contestants will be split into four groups of four. The word around the campfire is that there are three main contestants for the grand prize -- these teams are bolded in the list below. Truth be told, any of these three teams could take the tournament by surprise.

As you can see, our three favorites will not meet in any of the first stage games coming over the next few days. At this very moment, Team Secret is already in a fight for the lead in their group. They won their first game against CDEC; however, Korean team MVP Phoenix proved to be a more than worthy competitor, beating Team Secret with a 2-0 record.

I will keep a close eye on the progress, and a full review along with highlights of the tournament will follow shortly after the final game.
At this point however, let us look at our three favorites and what we can expect in the tournament.

Team Secret

As most of you know, Team Secret was originally formed by legendary players from a couple of well-known teams, such as Fnatic, Alliance and the iconic Natus Vincere. In the past, this team's lineup has included such players as Arteezy and Zai. For this tournament, the team composition is as follows:

Note that the position column ranges the players' roles from hard carry players (1 - weak in the early game and very offensive in the late game) and support players (5 - providing resources, items and strategic support to the former, while getting less involved in direct combat).

As we can see, while Team Secret undeniably has strong players, due to frequent changes the team has spent only half a year in this lineup. Puppey is the senior player, with a year and a half under his belt. However, the rest of the field players have less than half a year of experience. On average, it works out at 7 months of experience per player. This is sure to be a painful drawback, as they will have nowhere near the level of coordination and amount of rehearsed strategies as the more experienced teams.

That said, this might be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to surprising strategies and breaks in the meta-game. Keep your eyes peeled, as Team Secret is sure to provide us with a good show.

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses is where we find the previously mentioned players – Zai and Arteezy. While Zai is bogged down with high school, Arteezy is the clear favorite of the team, sharing the hard carry position with SumaiL. EG more than trumps Team Secret in terms of experience, with 22 months of experience on average. Moreover, Arteezy was only absent for half a year, bringing his total experience to well over a year. Evil Geniuses then have a clear advantage in terms of seniority. And with Arteezy and SumaiL in the offensive positions, it will take a miracle to stop the end game pressure from them.

Their first game will be on the 28th of February, against compLexity Gaming. This match will be the first indication of whether or not EG has the moves to steamroll this tournament and claim the grand prize.


OG is a very new team, composed of players from various backgrounds. The favorite player is N0tail, and many people expect great things from OG this tournament.

OG players have solid 4 months of experience of playing together, and this tournament is sure to make every minute of that practice count. Their lineup includes a similarly flexible strategy, having two possible hard carries.
Their first game will be on the 27th of February, against Team Archon. This then is a game to tune in for, as it will show what tricks OG has learned in the past 4 months.


In brief, The Shanghai Major will be a grand showdown of the greatest Dota 2 players. All the teams are strong, all of them are serious. And, while some have more experience than others, each has a secret trump card up their sleeves. If you want to tune in and try to pick up some cool moves, you can do so here.

The final games will take place on the 6th of March, and directly after that I will upload an overview of the main results and tournament highlights.

[Review Yobo]

Raptr reveals most played games of November 2015, League of Legends at the top Wed, 20 Jan 2016 12:42:05 -0500 Damian A. Hinton

The online gaming platform Raptr recently revealed the PC titles being most played right at the onset of the most recent holiday season.

The leading title of November 2015 by far was Riot Games' popular League of Legends, occupying 22.92% of all time spent on Raptr. Counter Strike: Global Offensive (6.88%) comes in at second on the rankings, with Fallout 4 (5.78%) , DOTA 2 (5.09%), and World of Warcraft (4.82%) rounding out the top five.

It is no surprise to see two MOBA's occupying the top-five in time spent, especially as the popularity of eSports continues to grow

Fallout 4's placement is quite interesting, as a relatively new game that managed to surpass numerous other titles in terms of time spent. It's also quite notable that World of Warcraft continues to persist among the most popular online games, even as its subscribers begin to dwindle.

Here is a list of the top 20 PC titles, as provided by

    • League of Legend - 22.92%
    • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - 6.88%
    • Fallout 4 - 5.78%
    • DOTA 2 - 5.09%
    • World of Warcraft - 4.82%
    • World of Tanks - 3.48%
    • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - 2.14%
    • Minecraft - 1.97%
    • Smite - 1.3%
    • Grand Theft Auto V - 1.29%
    • Heroes of the Storm - 1.16%
    • ARK: Survival Evolved - 1.15%
    • Guild Wars 2 - 1.12%
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic - 1.1%
    • Diablo III - 1.08%
    • StarCraft II - 1.04%
    • Spider Solitaire - 0.89%
    • Battlefield 4 - 0.8%
    • Final Fantasy XIV Online - 0.73%
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops III - 0.72%


A look at the unreleased Dota 2 characters pt. 2 Thu, 01 Oct 2015 02:30:02 -0400 Review Yobo

In the last article we evaluated Pit Lord - one of two unreleased Dota 2 heroes that were in the original Dota. Now it is time to have a look at the second one.


(Drumroll, please.)

Arc Warden


Arc Warden is an Agility hero, that is played mainly as a core.

During the last patches of Dota, Arc Warden was fairly unbalanced, and was considered by many to be overpowered! Therefore we will most likely see some changes, when it comes to Arc Wardens spells. Especially the ultimate spell, Tempest Double, which was the main cause of peoples dissatisfaction with the way this hero was balanced.


#1 Flux

Engulfs an enemy unit with swirling volatile energy, slowing its movement speed and dealing damage over time if it is alone. The effect is muted if there is a nearby enemy unit.

Flux is a fairly straight forward ability, you slow the target, target get's damaged over time (up to 360 damage when maxed), as long as the spell isn't muted. So it's great against solo offlane!

Extremely long slow, with decent damage, when ganking solo target, fairly useless during team fights.

The mindset behind this ability, is similar to Juggers ultimate in early game. You don't really want to cast it when someone else is near, as that will disable the ability. 

#2 Magnetic Field

Distorts space, generating a circular field that grants evasion and bonus attack speed to allied heroes and buildings within.

Not much to explain here, it's like a reverse working Riki Smoke Screen, without the silence. Instead of making enemies in the area miss attacks, it gives friendly targets 100% dodge.

Great for getting out of ganks, turning around fights, or even defending buildings, since the spell effects buildings as well.

This spell works great with Axe's Berserker's Call, and Legion's Duel!

#3 Spark Wraith

Summons a Spark Wraith that takes 3 seconds to fully materialize. It haunts the targeted area until an enemy comes within its range and then fuses itself to the player, dealing magical damage.

The idea behind this spell is similar to Techies bombs. You place them, and hope that someone might step there, or just throw them on your enemies during fights.

While Spark Wraith has higher damage than Techies bombs (150/200/250/300), and has a larger radius, they cannot be stacked in one spot and only last for 50 seconds.  So don't expect to cover your entire forest with these bad boys, and hope for easy kills.

Spark Wraith also has a tiny cool down of just 4 seconds, so you can use it to damage enemies during a fight, or prepare your fighting area, before the fight. A good example would be, placing Spark Wraiths near a tower, when you can see the lane being pushed.

#4 Tempes double

By vibrating at extreme speeds, Arc Warden is able to create a perfect electrical incarnation of himself, at the cost of his current health and mana. This incarnation can use any spells or items he has, and spawns with his health and mana after the cast.

This is the whole reason, Arc Warden was considered to be unbalanced or simply broken. While creating a perfect copy of yourself, isn't something new, and won't change the early game, when built with the right items, this spell becomes extremely powerful!

Get an early Dagon, and enjoy 800 damage burst with level 1 Dagon, or 1600 damage with level 5 Dagon.

Get Necronomicon and enjoy pushing down lanes with 4 little demons by your side.

Get Midas, and enjoy even more money and xp!

These are just few examples, there are many more combos!  However, without at least, mediocre micro skills, no matter how great of a combo you build, you won't be capable of doing much!


Once both Arc Warden and the Pit Lord are released, Dota 2 will have all 112 heroes of the original Dota. Which means it will be time for some completely new heroes! Which is surely more exciting than just waiting for old heroes to be rereleased!

By the way, don't expect the cool downs, damage, spell radius, duration, to be exactly the same as in the old Dota. In fact, with previous experience, some of these spells might be completely different! This article just explains what you should expect.

Leave a comment, of which of the heroes you want to see in game first, and why!

I personally can't wait for Abyssal Underlord, since I mostly play supports, and love setting up ganks with my team!

A look at the unreleased Dota 2 characters pt. 1 Thu, 01 Oct 2015 02:30:02 -0400 Review Yobo

Back in 2010, when the early Alpha version of Dota 2 was released, it only featured 24 of the original 112 Dota heroes. New heroes were added pretty much every few months, with the hero count quickly reaching 101, before Dota 2's official release from beta, in 2013.

As of right now Dota 2 has 110 heroes, meaning that just two of the original heroes are yet to be released. In this article we will look at the first of the two heroes. Click here for a look at the second hero!

Abyssal Underlord (Pit Lord)


Abyssal Underlord, or as we it was called in Dota, "Pit Lord". The Pit Lord is a strength hero, mostly played as a support, or as a utility hero. Abyssal Underlord possesses 4 powerful AOE (Area Of Effect) spells, that can damage and weaken the opponents, making it a great hero for team fight focused picks!


#1 Firestorm

Calls down waves of fire that damage enemy units in the target area, an
d continues to burn them for additional damage over time.

Firestorm is a Target Area spell that deals damage in an area selected by the player. This spell can be quite deadly, having 400 yard radius, and dealing 70 damage with every wave (6 waves in one cast, 70 damage each wave when maxed), can deal a total 420 damage in just few seconds. And that is excluding the bonus burn damage after the spell has ended!

This spell is great when paired with AOE lockdown spells like, Enigmas: Black hole, Disruptors: Kinetic Field + Static Storm, Magnus's: Reverse polarity, and easily any other spell, that would force people to stay in this spell longer!

#2 Pit of Malice

A deadly pit is conjured at the target location; any unit that enters is unable to move for some time and takes damage. Each enemy unit can only be affected once.

Pit of Malice is a Target Area lockdown spell, disabling players in an area, for up to 2.5 seconds, when the spell is maxed. It also damages the enemies with magical damage, but the damage is only 100, at all levels!

It is obviously meant to be used with Firestorm, however, while Firestorm has a radius of 400 units, Pit of Malice has a measly 275 unit range. Yet, for a 2.5 second disable, this radius is quite nice, however this spell has a painful 0.6 second cast time, making it quite hard to land! So pairing it with a slow or Eul scepter, will make landing this disable a lot easier!

#3 Atrophy Aura

Nearby enemy units are weakened, losing a portion of their base damage. If it dies while under this effect, Abyssal Underlord gains temporary bonus damage.

Atrophy is by far one of the most powerful auras in Dota! Reducing enemies base damage by up to 42%, with a giant 900 unit range!

While there are ways to get around this Aura, like focusing on buying items with bonus damage, rather than attributes, since the spell effects only bonus damage. Or pick heroes with loads of spell damage. It will still be a big pain in the ass during the planning phase, for your enemies, that is... The damage reduction will painfully effect last hitting ability of your enemies.

#4 Dark Rift

Opens a dark rift at the targeted friendly unit's position. After a short delay, Abyssal Underlord and all nearby friendly heroes are teleported to that unit's location. Dark Rift can be cancelled at anytime during the cast. If it is cancelled in this way or the target unit dies before the spell becomes active, Dark Rift goes into cooldown.

Dark Rift is the "Bread and Butter" of the Abyssal Underlord. This is why so many pro teams can't wait for this hero to be released!

Dark rift is Abyssal Underlord's ultimate ability. We all have seen how top pro teams love to set up Boots of Travel ganks, coming in all at once, on few enemy targets, slaughtering them like some lane creeps! This spell is like getting Boots of Travel, at level 6, that you can share with everyone around you, making for some awesome ganks, if you have good communication with the team...

It can also work well as an escape mechanic, if your team get's ambushed without expecting it.

Keep in mind - don't expect the cool downs, damage, spell radius, duration, to be exactly the same as in the old Dota. In fact, with previous experience, some of these spells might be completely different! This article just explains what you should expect.

The word around the camp fire is that Valve is already working on animations for the Pit Lord. If it is to be released first, Dota 2 will have 111 of the 112 original heroes. Click here to read about the last of the classic heroes!

Zipf's Law: It connects gaming to everything and everything to gaming Thu, 01 Oct 2015 02:30:02 -0400 Review Yobo

A short while ago a friend of mine suggested I watch Vsauces video on Zipf's law, Pareto's principle and their mysterious appearances all around us. Here is a little teaser to gain your attention - 80% of all people live in 20% of most popular cities; 80% of all land belongs to 20% of wealthiest landlords; 80% of all trash is on the top 20% trashiest streets - as predicted by Zipf's law and Paretos principle.

Not enough? Well, as I discovered yesterday, the rabbit hole does not stop there... Full of scepticism, I decided to look at how much time people spend playing Steam games... Well. 80% of people's time is spent playing 20% of the most popular games... Interesting? Well, read on, there is more to this story.

Clocking in at over 20min, Vsauces endeavor is awesome and explains a lot of the big picture stuff about Zipf, however he is very shy at showing us the core mechanism that is widely believed to contribute to why Zipf works how it does. So before we go on I would like to briefly explain that.

Zipf's law explained

There are several conceptual ways to explain the intuition behind the 20/80 principle. The best example, in my opinion, is the one about Moon craters.

Basic experiment

So, imagine if you will, that there is an untouched Moon - a perfectly smooth surface. Now, say there are some randomly sized asteroids that hit the Moon willy-nilly. When the first asteroid lands, it leaves a crater. Now another one hits, leaving a crater elsewhere. Each crater is a part of the total surface area, therefore there is a chance that the next random asteroid will hit close to an existing crater and join with it, forming a group. The chance of a new asteroid hitting a given crater is then proportional to the craters and asteroids existing size. This means that the next random asteroid is more likely to join the largest existing group, making it even larger. A kind of cumulative process, which then creates a rich-get-richer poor-get-lonelier mechanism.
Keep this in mind, because that's believed to be the general explanation for "why" Zipfs law works with such mysterious universality. The asteroid example is quite simple, however the question is what will happen over many repetitions

A little bewildering?

Well, I made a gif to drive this initial point home. NB! the graph will be discussed later, just try and picture the experiment.

If we observe the actual Moon, it turns out that, as the amount of asteroids increases to large amounts, the crater diameters observed grow such that the top 20% of biggest craters approach 80% of all the surface area.

So as we go to more asteroids, the distribution of most popular to least popular groups approaches some kind of "ideal distribution" with this 20/80 property - a Pareto distribution. If you do the math, it turns out that (in general), if the largest group has size N, the second largest group is around size N/2, the third N/3 and so on and so forth. This is called the Zipf's Law. The weird thing is Zipf's Law and Pareto distribution works for a bewildering amount of elements (asteroids) and groups (crater clusters). Of course, there are skews and random disturbances, but the general trend is undeniable.
I hope you can see how asteroids being more likely to hit large craters on the Moon connects to cities being more attractive, if there are already more people living in them. However, one has to realize, cities are far from the only "groups" that behave according to Zipf.

Here are some examples from Mark Newmans research on Pareto distributions. NB! The graphs are in log-log scale which smooths out the hyperbolic form of the curves, presenting a nearly linear relation.

Initial y = aX^(-b)
Logs of both sides => log y = log a - b log X

Interestingly enough, the same trend is also displayed by religious cults... The shared property of most of these phenomenon is simply this "large-groups-get-larger" tendency. So Zipf's law is persistent in mechanisms, where the preferences of elements is positively connected to the groups size (meaning, the larger the group, the more likely it will grow). This is why I like to think of groups as clusters and elements as cluster-ers.

Zipf's Law in Steam markets

Suspicious of that last one? Here is the amount of time people spend on the most popular games on Steam.. Data from SteamSpy.

If you do the math, it turns out that 20% of most popular Steam games account for 80% of the total amount of playing, so the Pareto 20/80 mystery works like a charm here... One must notice, however that for Zipf to be true, CS:GO needs to account for 37,5%/2 = 18,8% of total time instead of a whopping 30%. But aside from this outlier (STOP PLAYING CS:GO), the Zipf-like distribution is clearly there.

Here is the amount of copies sold for the most popular games.

Looks much nicer eh? Copies sold does not have large outliers so it fits very well, which is a noteworthy difference. However, there is something more interesting to conclude from the differences of the last two graphs.
Do you notice how the "tail" going to the right is kind of fat in the second graph? Well, in simple terms, this tells us that the "relatively unpopular" games are actually quite a lot more popular than in the previous plot.
In fact, it turns out that 20% of most popular games account for only 60% of sales, versus 80% of playing. Interesting? You bet your ass it is.

What can we learn about Steam?

Well, the fact that game popularity follows Pareto distribution tell's us that, indeed there is some kind of a positive Network effect, which makes players choose games which are already being played by more people. What the difference in fatness of tails tells us is that Steam users are a lot more "group-size-blind", when buying games than they are when they play them.
Think about it - the more people buy games regardless of the "current popular opinion", the more flattened out the Pareto distribution gets, as it is less likely for large games to grow further. If nobody gave a rats butt about how many people already play a game and the availability of all games was the same, then we would expect 20% of most popular games to account for about 50% of sales and playtime (e.g. assuming individual preferences are normally distributed).


So there are two factors that contribute to the Pareto distribution in Steam markets - how innovative the developers are (how many new Moon craters are being formed) and how much the gamers (asteroids) value the current group size, when choosing which group to join. As it turns out, gamers are very group-size-blind when buying games, but just the opposite when they play them. Cool huh?

If you want to learn more about Zipf's Law and Power Law distributions, here is a nice lecture. Furthermore, be sure to have a look at Newman's paper!
If you want to read more of this kind of stuff, soon enough I will try to join this observation to a model, which shows that more popular multiplayer games have higher prices (which links to gamers preference to join groups of larger size). See the article here. The Piece De Resistance article will try and join these theories together explaining how multiplayer games, social networks and cities are in fact all anti-rival goods with network effects, (the more people consume a good, the more each individual consumer benefits) which has entitled them with this Zipfian mist of mystery...

Until then - enjoy yourselves!

P.S. Pop in a comment with a fun idea for a 20/80 relation you think might be true.

Mine are:
80% of peoples nostalgia is caused by 20% of their happiest memories (actually proven for the rate people forget information at)
80% of mass is concentrated in 20% of the largest space objects (actually proven for distribution of gravitational force)
And of course
80% of the mess in your toilet comes from 20% of what you eat (no academic research to speak of)

Top 5 most popular Dota 2 heroes Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:15:32 -0400 Review Yobo


1. Pudge!!!!!


With a whopping 260 million matches under his belt, Pudge is by far the most popular Dota 2 hero ever!


Pudge is a difficult hero, since it's main spell "Meat hook" is a skillshot spell. So it's really hard to land, and if you miss it, you are met with a painful 14-11 second cooldown. But if you do land a good hook, you damage the player you've hit for 90-360 damage (depending on the Meat Hook level), and pull the player to yourself, letting you butcher him to bits!


Pudge has gained popularity mostly thank to the famous Ukrainian player Dendi. Who used to be often seen playing this rather unpopular hero (at least in the pro scene), during tournaments with prize pools exceeding 1 million USD!.


I would be lying if I'd say that I wasn't inspired to go and play Pudge, after watching a match of Dendi playing Pudge!


Hopefully you enjoyed this list, be sure come back later for more Dota 2 tips and tricks!


2. Sniper


Sniper has 211m matches recorded, and that is not a surprise!


I'm certain that Sniper has been the first hero for most of Dota 2 players! This is especially likely, since you are taught how to play this simple hero in the tutorial. Sadly this hero is mostly popular only between new players. The sniper is what people call a "Glass Cannon": Hits like a tank, breaks like a porcelain tea cup! And because good players will most likely figure out a way to approach the Sniper at close range (SB charge, invisibility, sneaking from the back), Sniper is not a popular choice in high rank games.


3. Phantom Assassin


Phantom Assassin has a total of 175 million recorded matches.


This is hero is as popular among newbies, as between groups of hardcore pros. That's because Phantom Assassin has only two active spells. And the passives are extremely powerful. These passive skills make Phantom Assassin hard to hit with physical attacks, not to mention, they charge up her critical damage numbers to over 1000!


A professional player can take Phantom Assassin to the next level, using her strength to quickly farm to a higher level and then proceed to destroy anyone in her way fairly early in the game!


4. Juggernaut


Juggernaut has a total of 157 million recorded matches, so it's not that far ahead of Invoker.


Juggernaut has 3 active spells and 1 passive spell. Since two of the active spells are fairly straight forward, he is a relatively easy hero to master. However, make no mistake - he's still a very rewarding hero to play. It's quite simple - no matter how far in the game you are, if you happen to find a single enemy away from any creeps, it's an almost certain kill, thanks to Juggernauts powerful ultimate!


5. Invoker


With a total of 156 million recorded matches, Invoker is the 5th most picked Dota 2 hero. This is quite surprising as Invoker, without a doubt, is the most difficult hero to master, or even just play! However, the ones who have mastered this complex hero (with a total of 14 abilities instead of the usual 4-5), is capable of pulling off some amazing combos, often enough to wipe out multiple enemies in seconds!


Dota 2 - The most popular game on Steam


Right now, Dota 2 is played by the equivalent of the population of New York. That's 8.5 million people, with another six New York's sitting on a copy of the game. So, if you are into gaming, you ought to have a look.


The trailer is awesome and does a fine job at displaying the strategic and involving nature of Dota 2. However, whether its strength, agility, or cunning you're looking for, choosing from over 100 heroes will not be easy. This list will lend you a hand, as we will examine the 5 most popular heroes and identify their strengths and weaknesses.


Data gathered from here.

eSports: Team YouPorn expands with a North American DOTA 2 team Tue, 15 Sep 2015 20:19:09 -0400 Charly Mottet

Back in December 2014, the popular adult website YouPorn decided it was about time they started getting involved in the eSports world. They became sponsors for Play2Win, a not very well known Spanish team with players Luis Ragabash Dorado, Javier LolQoP Ortega, SolmyR, Lawliet_91 and Mengue. 

Unfortunately, the team did not go very far in the Gamergy DotA 2 Tournament in Madrid that year. However, this does not mean that YouPorn gave up on eSports. They announced on September 11th that they had acquired a new team to expand eSports Team YouPorn (or Team YP): No Broodmama

Haven't heard of them? It's normal. They are not very well known either. The Canadian-American team is composed of players eleven-, Eraj, Kengan, and NorthernPeru, and No Broodmama is set to compete exclusively on DotA 2. They participated this weekend in the ESL One New York qualifiers and unfortunately did not make it very far...

YouPorn wants to be the best in eSports

The popular adult website has not been getting off to a very good start in eSports, but the site's Vice President Brad Burns is determined to make the YouPorn Team one of the best: 

“We’re especially excited about this partnership, for it’s a validation of our vision for our future within the eSports industry. Formed 1 year ago, Team YP is now looking to affirm its presence as one of the world’s best eSports gaming organizations.”

For now, it does not look like Team YouPorn is going to make it as one of the world's best eSports teams, but maybe they'll do better next time. Perhaps they will compete in other tournaments and boost their results, washing away this rocky start.

DDoS attack responsible for DotA 2 TI5 tournament delays Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:58:34 -0400 David Fisher

Almost every year we hear about DDoS attacks ruining the online experience for players, locking people out of their favourite games for days at a time. Today, DotA 2's Evil Geniuses and Complexity Gaming were apparently shut out of their LAN game by DDoS attackers. 

This stopped their match from continuing for almost three whole hours, the games only just resuming at about 4:30 PM PDT. This took place almost simultaneously with an attack on League of Legends tournament.

Thankfully, unlike the League of Legends game, the TI5 match was salvaged using DotA 2's replay mechanic. This placed players on a new server in the same positions they were in prior to the DDoS attack. While fans watching the game in person and live on the in-game match viewer were visibly upset, it was comforting to know that this mechanic was able to salvage the game.

This comes in not long after Turkish League of Legends players complained about having to play a game where they had been DDoSed and were forced to play an unfair game. In that match, they were forced to random a champion, leading to problems, and ultimately a forfeit match under unfair circumstances. 

Essentially the DDoSers got to pick who won the game, and that is simply unprofessional from a game as big as League of Legends.

Considering that many MOBA eSport games have thousands (if not millions) of dollars at stake, I think that Riot Games should take an example from Valve's model. People's lives are sometimes on the line with these games as eSports are their career, and forcing players to go through a game without the ability to play the match on their grounds is like forcing a football match where an all-star player has been swapped out with some kid they pulled off of the street. It is simply unfair, and it can ruin a team's career.

Hopefully, this will not be a problem for future games during DotA 2's TI5 tournament. With a prize pool of over $18 million, it would be a shame to have any game decided over something as unfair as a DDoS attack. Then again, Valve has already shown they won't make the same mistakes involving DDoS attacks with DotA 2 as Riot did with League of Legends. 

The fans seem to still be in high spirits too.

Dota 2 International: No tickets? No problem Tue, 04 Aug 2015 09:14:32 -0400 Andrea Koenig

The 2015 DOTA 2 International Championships are already underway this week (8/3 - 8/8) at the KeyArena at the Seattle Center as 16 teams face-off for a chance to place first for the grand prize $6.49 million of the $18 million prize pool. Many fans of DOTA 2 are tuning in already.

If you missed your chance to reserve a ticket for you and your friends, that's not a problem. The main championship event is available to fans via other resources. For those who want to see the entire show live, they can check it out through live streams through services such as SteamYouTube, Twitch, or even on WatchESPN. You can also sit down your friends who don’t know Dota and have the Newcomer Show fill them in on the basics during a special broadcast every day so that you can focus on the end of the last match. Spread the Dota love, all in the comfort of your home.

What, you can’t fit all of your friends all onto one couch? No worries, Dota has you covered there, too. Fans in the U.S. this week can exclusively check out the Grand Finals in one of hundreds of local theaters all across the country. And for fans all over the world, fans are teaming up to create local events called Pubstomps in several countries. Just select your country from the list and check out the matches with your fellow Dota fans.

Then, after a long day of Dota (or if you missed a match), you can always check out the previous day’s complete broadcast and replay your favorite matches online. Relive every throw-down all over again, and stay tuned to the DOTA 2 Twitter account for live updates on upcoming matches and events.