We’re rapidly approaching that time of year again. That time when I commandeer our television set, and stream DOTA 2 games for 5 days straight.
I’m talking, of course, about The International.
This year’s prize pool has already skyrocketed past $14 million dollars, and will only grow faster as the event approaches. Which means it’s entirely likely that the winning team will go home with over $10 million; an insane amount of money for playing in a video game tournament.
That said, these kids have devoted their entire lives to this game. Typically the teams of 5 players live in the same house, and they spend their every waking moment practicing and honing their DOTA 2 skills in preparation for this event.
I’m a big fan of the game, and it lends itself quite well toward broadcasting, even if you’re not entirely clear on the rules. Even ESPN got in on the act last year…
Sadly, however, I can’t bring myself to play DOTA against other people. I love the game, and I adore playing it, but the community is so utterly toxic and hateful toward one another that I’d rather just play against “bots,” which are the game’s automated opponents. The alternative to this would be to listen to a cadre of teenage boys scream at each other about how they suck, need to be reported, should uninstall the game, and how they hope the other players get raped by cancer and die. (That’s not hyperbole; they really talk that way.)
I don’t exactly have oodles of free time at my disposal these days, and with the small amount that I do get to take advantage of I’d rather not weather verbal assaults from nearly pubescent malcontents.
This is coming from a guy who regularly healed LFR and PUG raids in World of Warcraft for years. I’m very familiar with the online abuse inherent in video games. That should tell you quite a bit about just how bad the DOTA community is.
And it’s unfortunate, because Valve has made one hell of a game and one that I really enjoy playing.