The Problem With Players

Dota 2 Gosu “GosuGamers” Gamers

The opinions expressed by the author do not represent the views of GosuGamers.

If you follow the convoluted community that is DOTA2 you will notice something strange just about every day. It seems as if the notion of a “team” is treated with almost no regard when compared to any other competitive atmosphere. Every day we see “this player had a feud with this player” or “Artstyle is being a d-bag again” or some other drama that takes a dominant squad and shatters them over petty arguments or circumstances. The liquidity of DOTA2 teams is staggering, especially when you consider the money that flows through the e-sport even while it is still in beta.

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"Lets talk about Sing Sing. Yes, he is hilarious, yes he is vulgar and smart and a talented player. In this writer's opinion he is the dominant player personality in DOTA2 at the moment."



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This may seem befitting to some as he is a sort of “legendary” figure, however just as in basketball one Lebron James cannot win you the title.



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"His ejections from M5 and DTS played out just a little smoother than Lebron moving to South Beach, sans the jersey-burning. Ruffling the feathers of the e-sports establishment did earn him some credit however, mainly in the form of publicity and notoriety."



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"Electronic competition does not require grueling physical exertion so the season is 24/7-365."



Why is this the case? Why do individual players hold so much power over entire organizations in a game that takes 5 perfect pieces, not just one productive individual?

Lets talk about Sing Sing. Yes, he is hilarious, yes he is vulgar and smart and a talented player. In this writer's opinion he is the dominant player personality in DOTA2 at the moment. He does not enjoy the same infamy as say Artstyle, but that is due to the fact that he does not openly flame his squad mates in the view of the public. Wehsing enjoys this sort of cult icon status due to his extremely entertaining stream play and the fact that he is 100% purebred troll to public players while still maintaining an amazing level of tight professional play. Of course, this well manicured public image may be in danger of losing its grandeur. The betrayal of twiSta has brought about the very question I am seeking to answer, do single players have too much power in this game? We as outsiders of course will never know the whole story, but from the limited information we have it seems as if Sing Sing has complete control over squad mouz. This may seem befitting to some as he is a sort of “legendary” figure, however just as in basketball one Lebron James cannot win you the title. DOTA2 more than any other e-sport is completely dependent on a close-knit squad that functions as a perfect unit, a thing of pure beauty when executed properly.

Look at Artstyle, a man who has been through more player drama in a year than most will see in their entire careers. Most would say this is due to his own overwhelming personality; while the dude is quite skilled at DOTA2 he is solidly inept at schmoozing fellow players and the e-sports community as a whole. His ejections from M5 and DTS played out just a little smoother than Lebron moving to South Beach, sans the jersey-burning. Ruffling the feathers of the e-sports establishment did earn him some credit however, mainly in the form of publicity and notoriety.

As DOTA2's competitive scene develops it becomes increasingly apparent why players hold all of the power. Organizations provide funding, sometimes a house in which to live and food to eat, but they do not seem to have any influence on the actions of their sponsored players. In a traditional sporting organization the team managers and administrators have complete control over the squad roster, any changes in direction the team wishes to have, and maybe most importantly of all team strategy. In e-sports we see none of this, the players themselves are almost manager and talent in one, doing and saying as they please without any fear of getting blackballed by the establishment. Why do players hold all of the power? E-sports have not progressed to the point of actual organized sporting. Even though we see formalized teams with rich competitive histories there is no concrete “E-sports League” with a set season schedule. Electronic competition does not require grueling physical exertion so the season is 24/7-365. It is a weird sort of scene where organizing a tournament with a purse is a far more difficult task than stitching together a team, making traditional team administration dynamics almost non existent. In DOTA2 players do indeed hold all of the power.

Is there really a problem with this?

It is so refreshing to see a competitive scene where talent gets to call the shots. Weh Sing gets to be his troll self and entertain the DOTA2 community in his off time without fear of reprimand by some “boss” figure; ArtStyle gets the freedom to be as much of an ass to anybody he pleases and still flaunt his formidable skill. Sure there are just as many squabbles that destroy epic lineups due to petty personal issues, but at least they are problems between the players themselves; problems that could surface mid competition and hinder their game rather than petty power struggles between some no name manager and a top recruit.

Yes it can be harmful to the scene for individuals to have complete control over a squad of five. I like to see it as a sort of “natural selection” though; the best players have the most power to form the best team for themselves. If Sing Sing or ArtStyle were simple scrubs they would not be able to act at all in the manner in which they do. Talent begets talent, and in e-sports, talent is everything.

The opinions expressed by the author do not represent the views of GosuGamers.