Dota 2

The Peruvian massacre and a new decade for Brazillian doto.

2020 was really hard for Brazillian doto. The structural problems that had always been the issue were accentuated to a point that the scene almost vanished. I say 'almost' because of the effort of some players that were able to find ways to keep playing despite everything. One of them actually had the best year of his career, I believe, and that's Lelis. But it's hard to attribute his success as a success of the scene cause he plays on NA. In the SA competition, we saw Peru completely dominate and end up with 13 out of the 16 slots of the DPC regional league. The hole keeps getting deeper and deeper, but we do have ways to get out of it and i would like to share some insight on that.

The first time a brazillian team played in the international qualifier was in 2014, with CNB. Their core trio (4DR, Kingrd and Tavo) actually became the core of the scene for a long time. They were together with SG on that Kiev major run, then the last two showed up big again with PAIN, playing on the big stage of The International, and now 4DR and Kingrd are together on the only brazillian team playing on the DPC SA upper division. Tavo grouped with HfN last minute and couldn't qualify but do have the potential to be one of Brazil's powerhouses. The ones that did, Crewmates and Incubus, have the chance to fight for at least 7k USD plus the experience of playing on a Valve sponsored event. There's Anoobs Gaming, went far on the OQ, and the ex-Midas boys playing on the CIS second division with a legion like Dendi. But that's it. I can think of players, but i can't think of any other squad that would contend against the Peruvians right now.

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The biggest problem is very clear: there's no money. Brazil as a whole comes from a decade of economic recession and, on this day, 1 US Dollar is equivalent to more than 5 'reais' (Brazil's coin). The price of electronics exploded and games like Dota 2, which demands little bit better computers, can't really become popular like LOL and CSGO could. As the market doesn't grow, there's very little outside investments or brands, so the professional players most of the time play by themselves and it's really hard to get organized that way. The regional league is an opportunity to help solve this issue, as the first division pays more than 200k USD overall and a minimum of 22k to each one of the teams. If you don't have a well functioning structure behind your team, with more than 100k ‘reais’ you should be able to start to build one. If you are not there yet, my advice is that you try to use the chaos to help you build an indestructible work ethic. When your time comes, you will be prepared and will make the most of the opportunity.

Please don't misunderstand what i just said. Real life is very tough. People need to pay their bills and it's hard to do that when your job doesn't pay you. The psychological pressure must be insane. But try to think about the people that are unemployed, which is common in Brazil nowadays, and does not have a dream to pursue. Dota 2 still is a global platform that can be used in a lot of ways to individually make profit, with streaming being the obvious example. Most players do stream, but there's very few with a regular 100+ audience because of the unpopularity of the game in the country. I don't know if streaming in english would work, but that's maybe the only option. Maybe mix PT/EN to maximize the viewership. Another thing would be to explore more of other platforms, like Youtube. Coaching, merchandising… Every possible way to make money need to be considered. Actually, coaching is maybe a path to other way to help the scene grow: young players. If you are less than 16 years old, or sometimes even older, there's a great chance you still live with your parents and don't have such a rush to make money. These kinds of players could be the stabilizers because they can focus just on the game a lot easier.

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Now that there’s a reliable source of income for the whole region, the competition will only get tougher. Also, we can’t be hostages of Valve’s money. That’s why I believe a national championship is crucial for the development and survival of the scene but would only work if all people involved with Dota 2 in Brazil were really engaged in making this thing happen. Organizers, players and even viewers, everyone have their share of responsibilities. The format could be exactly the same as the DPC, so teams can have a guaranteed spot in a relevant competition to refine their skills and someday that could even become linked with the DPC as kind of Brazil's own qualifier.


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