The International 6: My reintroduction to Dota 2

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A few weeks ago I watched the documentary “Free to Play” and it immediately piqued my interest in Dota 2. The stories that were told about the featured players got me more interested in eSports than anything ever had previously. I found myself caring about these players, and I was excited to watch Fear and Dendi’s progress throughout the film. Once I finished watching it I wanted to know when the next International tournament was, and to my surprise it was only a week away.

On Saturday morning I tuned into The International and was hooked from the start. They did a great job telling the story of the tournament so far, and made it easy to cheer for Digital Chaos and their underdog story even if you had never heard of them before the tournament.

I got so into the experience of the tournament that I ordered the TI6 attendee grab bag that the Dota store was selling, and it arrived yesterday!

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I had a great time unpacking the bag, and was impressed with the quality of the pins included. It’s pretty cool that the pins have codes to unlock matching “genuine” pins that you can display on your Steam profile.

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Since TI6 I’ve tried to learn to play Dota, but have found it quite time consuming. I’ve played a few matches, and it’s been an uphill battle. During the first match I played after the conclusion of TI6 I had my entire team quit within the first 5 minutes of the match, and it was me taking on a team of 4. I guess I could have quit the match without penalty, but I saw it out and got pounded into the ground. Soon afterward I finally found another player willing to give me a hand and I started to learn the ropes.

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I won two matches in a row and started to have fun playing! That said, the time commitment required to play Dota 2 is still a little off-putting. It’s not fun to spend 45 minutes or longer facing an uphill battle just to lose in the end. It’s especially unpleasant when no one communicates on the team. It’d be nice to have a team of people I could play and chat with, instead of feeling like I’m playing with a team of AI.

Ultimately I’m going to keep trying to learn to play Dota. There are so many characters, and I’ve only played as two so far (Doombringer and Chaos Knight). I look forward to learning more about Dota, and I can’t wait to watch the next competition!

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