Dota 2

Lower Division Dota is more entertaining than Upper Division… Here’s why…

Now whilst it is true that I say this only after the Game 1 of Team Bald vs IntoTheBreach the sentiment has always been there at least to some extent.

For a long time Tier 2 Dota has been demoted in the public's mind and opinion as unworthy to watch and cannot garner the interest of Tier 1 Dota but todays game alone is proof that, that is just not the case.

47k+ viewers on Dreamleague Stream Alone and a further 14k+ viewers on the Russian stream and this is on a Tuesday afternoon, on average too early for any US viewership and certainly too early for Prime time evening European viewership.

Yet the numbers are there, now for the most part I will agree it's because of the commerical draw that popular streamers bring to the match such as Xcalibur and of course loveable Gorgc.

But also because…

Perfectly played and executed Dota doesn't equate to the highest entertainment as a viewer

Think of some of the best and most memorable games in the history of Dota. To my memory TI 3 Navi vs Alliance Game 5 Grand Finals (million dollar dream coil), TI 5 EG vs CDEC game 4 (6 million dollar echo slam) and TI 8 OG vs PSG.LGD game 4 (Ceb Call). Of course they all had grand final and TI prestige, but they all came from arguably misplays from the enemy team and great punishments from the other team, which are immortalised into the memories of Dota fans everywhere.

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Then take some of the games of a similar prestige that have been more surgical in nature, such as many of the games of OG's absolute dominance of TI 9 against then team Liquid and Liquid's superiority in TI 7. Both teams had figured the game out, knew how best to win and executed basically perfectly but most of all had reduced their mistakes to a minimum, so all they had to do was follow the formula to victory which they did. Ending in a less exciting viewing experience than some of the closer TI finals.

But Tier 2 Dota is always unpredictable, it's volatile and mistakes/throws are common.

The regular competitive Dota viewer (and in part, players too) have as of recently become a slave to the measurement tool of: Gold and XP lead. In that, if one team is 5k gold lead up at 15 mins, then this team is winning and will eventually win. More often than not, that happens because particularly T1 teams just reduce their mistakes and take that gold advantage to victory. And predictability saps the excitement out of a story. That's why we hate spoilers.

Watching this game 1 of Team Bald vs ITB not only was it back and forth, with throws left and right. One team leads by 5k, than the other by 10k gold. And it was fascinating. No one knew who was going to win, not even Ora-kyle (kappa) and that's what kept us watching. And thats not say T2 dota is sloppy or poor quality, there was some fantastic plays notably 5up's aegis, cheese and shard steals.

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Culminating in the fact that sometimes perfectly executed (albeit beautiful and of the highest callibre) is not always the most exciting as a fan.

But people may say "If that is true why has it been so boring before?"
Although it is true in previous years anything other than Tier 1 Dota has been stale, boring and frankly uninteresting. But I think that is only because Tier 2 Dota has never really been given the same importance.

It's not the quality of the Dota that makes it entertaining, but the quality of the coverage.

Think about it, previously all Tier 2 Dota, whether it be some random online tournament that no body has heard of or even tournaments that have prestige but relegated the games to off-site broadcasters, has only resulted in lackluster entertainment.

However, with the introduction of the DPC (particularly EU/CIS) with coverage Dreamleague/ESL and BeyondTheSummit, it has resulted in each game and every team being given their due in terms of building narratives, story lines and hype. Which as a result gives each game its excitement and it's awesome!

Overall the DPC is critical to the sustainable future of both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Dota scene and I hope it is here to stay after the next TI.

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Is there anything else you think contributes too?

TL;DR – the T2 dota scene has always been fun and exciting, it just hasn't been given a chance. The DPC has given the scene that deserved spotlight. We should be thankful for it.


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