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Dota 2 Flood yet drought?

Artem Uarabei

Hello everyone, I wanted to share some thoughts to help provoke your own thoughts on something which is important for the scene of Dota 2 and isn't easily solved.


These thoughts are sparked by a Reddit thread by VP NS where he states "A large number of tournaments on Dota 2 reduces interest in them". I have linked the thread but the TL;DR version it basically uses the recent viewership of DreamLeague as an example for an over saturation of events/games in the scene, leading to a lack of interest by the viewers.

Now we get to my thoughts on the matter

I will state before I start this that these thoughts are my own & all that jazz. When you read this read it all, even tho it is going to be long there is nothing worse than someone arguing a point which was already answered

I will also state that this is my thoughts, so don't expect a well written piece! There may be some bad language and yes I am talking about grammar

Ok lets start with over saturation, this has plagued many scenes and is most evident in the Starcraft 2 community. To put it simply there is just too much good stuff happening too often and when that happens nothing is unique anymore. Before we say lets cancel all tournaments but 4 lets actually look at the reason why over saturation happens, the answer is quite simple:

  • See a successful game
  • Want to do something (for money or love)
  • Find sponsors to make it happen
  • Battle for attention which in turn makes a successful tournament

Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and people will keep making better pies. Of course this encourages competition which in turn makes better products, which in turn demands more of the primary brands (teams/commentators/sponsors), which in the end will flood the scene to a point where no one can drink anymore, or they just don't know which beverage to choose which point you go for what is most comfortable to you or give up on the whole choice and find a different place to settle your thirst.


So that brings us too how do we stop ourselves from killing our own scene. This I am afraid is the hardest question of them all as it requires either a dictatorship like what Riot uses (one tournament to rule them all, with all the teams to bind them), or it requires a full community wide co-ordination by either the developer (which can fail horribly if the developer doesn't know what they are doing) or a organization like ACE/KESPA that regulates the top teams and top events.


Lets looks at the Riot approach to start with as this for me is one of the most interesting. Riot have all the top teams playing in a regulated schedule in an event which has massive funding/advertising/production and in general better hype than any other event in the Esports world.

The upside of this is the teams don't get too tired as the schedule spaces out their games, the games also remain fresh because the match ups are not repetitive and are capable of having hype created because of the well formatted schedule/marketing. You also have one focused place the community has to look to find everything they need when it comes to the competitive scene which is able to be marketed correctly to viewers who are outside of the competitive scene.

What I mean by "outside of the competitive scene' is in order to expand your viewer base/followers/scene you must reach people who don't know about the scene...pleasing the current audience is the work of the production, the marketing has to go beyond those people. Riot is capable of doing this because they reach their casual gaming audience.

The funny thing is Valve already does this with their Counter Strike GO client, when being inside the game I can see what streams are live it has a tournament news update panel with actually information and links to extended reading places. When you currently launch Dota 2 you might see an advert for a set which is linked to a tournament and a light saying to watch inside the client, but this does not grant you any exposure to help build the scene and reach a new audience due to the fact that the user would look at it all as spam advertising (we all have done it..deleted an important email just cause the title looks like all the other spam in our inbox).

The downsides are the fact that if you are not part of the dictatorship you are a nobody as why would anyone want to sponsor a low tier tournament and how do you make a reputation for your event and involved talent when no one wants to watch. You also remove a way for the community to develop new talent, something which was a massive problem for Riot in the early stages but they have been actively trying to fix.

While I am not making a huge negative list here the points already made are big enough.


Alright...the big one...full community wide co-ordination!

Such an organization would have to:

  • Create global tournament rules
  • Create a system of player trading (to stabilize teams)
  • Create rules surrounding membership conditions (who is allowed in)
  • Juggle the schedule of all members events
  • Enforce fair contract conditions
  • Be impartial **This is the biggest one**

Now this is the short list of what this group would have to do, but it allows me to make my point, which is such an organization would effectively decide who lives or dies in the scene. All the teams which would be under it's roof would have all the wonders of everything listed above and more but it would leave little to no space for any other tournaments to be run.

Now the big question this a good thing? and who really should decide what the scene should need?

I would pose a bigger question, would the organization have to care. Once they have the teams and everyone appears happy then they wouldn't have to bow to anyone's pressure, the community would find it hard to go against them because they would be running all the best events with all the greatest teams/personalities. There would be only one organization that could in the case of Dota 2 stop them and that would be Valve themselves, but at the same time that goes against the valve policies of interference which publicly they have only done in the case of protecting privacy of users and income of item creators.


So lets wrap this up before I give more points for people to debate in the comments I will do more of these in the future as well primarily to get people thinking more about what influences our scene...and also to subject you to my bad grammar and thoughts

A reminder discuss the topics in detail, if you want to make a point try and back it up with thought.

EDIT: I just want to make clear..this is all thoughts, not saying this must happen in the scene but more text to lead your mind to think of the situation and possible options. This is the tip of the iceberg not every possible angle/point we should be looking at.