Sunday afternoon/evening I had the immense pleasure of attending the DOTA 2 international pubstomp at the bar Dear Mom. Now usually I’m not so much of a DOTA 2 fan: no real story line, no pretty characters, and somewhat annoying noises. Ryan (my boyfriend) plays it, as does his younger brother, but it just isn’t my favorite video game to watch. However, as a professional e-sport, it’s pretty epic.
With significant cash prizes for those placing 1-8 (the winners get 1.5 million dollars), and 16 teams competing, it’s a huge event. In fact, at one point in the night, one of our newly minted DOTA 2 fan friends looked and saw that about 20 million streams were viewing the final matches live. 20 million! Remember, some streams, like the one we were watching, were public events with well over 50 viewers, so I have no idea the total count everyone watching. Our pubstomp at Dear Mom was very crowded, rowdy, and a bunch of fun. It was a pretty diverse crowd, mostly male, but a variety of ages, looks, and styles. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was friendly. If I didn’t understand what was happening, anyone in the room was willing to explain it to me. In fact, even though it was so male dominated, I still felt completely comfortable and totally relaxed (something I can’t claim at other sporting events for example).
The final set of games (best of 5 wins) was Alliance versus Na’Vi. It was amazing. Alliance quickly won the first game, with Na’Vi taking the next two. At this point, things were heating up. Alliance had gone through the entire International competition only losing 1 game before this final, so the fact that Na’Vi now won two in a row was a big event. The crowd was about half and half Na’Vi fans versus Alliance fans. However, the interesting thing about DOTA 2 fans is that more than teams, they follow play style. For instance, even if they wanted Alliance to win, but one of the Na’Vi characters, let’s say Dendi, made a particularly badass kill, everyone would be on their feet screaming. Skill and interesting game play is paramount.
After two more long and extremely close games, Alliance ended up winning the tournament. I unfortunately had to leave about 5 minutes before the very gripping finish (let’s just say I had to be a responsible adult and come take care of the adorable dog we have at home), but even as I was leaving, both teams were making incredible plays. The text I received to tell me who won: “Alliance. Glorious.” That about sums it up.