November 21, 2023
Sometimes bad Dota is the best Dota. The International 12, one of the best Dota 2 tournaments in ages, showcased incredible production, a passionate crowd, and a meta that led to some great matches. However, amidst all the greatness, something was missing – mistakes.
Watching bad to average Dota players can be much more entertaining than watching the pros. After years of watching professional players, there isn't much that can surprise seasoned viewers. Only the most back-and-forth games truly capture their attention. However, when you gather 10 players from the lowest ranks of Dota, you can expect a plethora of surprises. Lower-level Dota players never fail to amaze with their complete misplays, strange strategic decisions, and unexplainable actions.
One of the main sources of bad Dota content is the Yogscast, a content collective known for their Minecraft videos. Every Tuesday, Joe Hickson and Daf stream a Dota A-Z challenge on the main Yogscast stream. Daf, not being a great Dota player, faces the challenge of winning a game on every hero in alphabetical order, with Joe as his coach. The wacky games that ensue are what make the streams so enjoyable. From farmed Alchemists sneaking into enemy bases and destroying ancients to unexpected plays, the unpredictability of lower-level Dota creates a humorous and entertaining experience.
Pyrion Flax, a longtime Dota streamer and member of the TI broadcast team, also creates content around bad Dota. He casts in-house games featuring players subscribed to his Twitch channel. The results are often hilarious, as players make the same mistakes repeatedly. Pyrion's love for failure and slapstick comedy shines through as he finds the funny side of bad Dota. The relatability of bad Dota to many people adds to the enjoyment.
The players in these bad Dota games have even taken it a step further by hosting their own tournament called The Goonternational. This tournament, modeled after The International, features community-created teams competing for a community-funded donation to a charity of their choice. The popularity of The Goonternational led to the creation of a podcast to cover the event, with the final match peaking at over 800 concurrent viewers. In addition to the tournament, the players also participate in in-house games, providing them with a chance to play Dota in a way they usually wouldn't. The competitive aspect of these games, along with the opportunity to play the pro format with a full draft, adds excitement and variety to their Dota experience.
The joy of watching bad Dota is not only limited to the entertainment value it provides. It also serves as a reminder that the average player in any game is far from impressive. By celebrating mediocrity and understanding the difficulty of the game, viewers can find success and enjoyment in their own Dota experiences. So, embrace the wackiness, relish the mistakes, and have fun with bad Dota!
Liam "CyberScribe" Fletcher, a Kiwi with a flair for fast-paced gameplay and articulate narratives, has emerged as a prominent voice at EsportRanker. Diving deep into the esports universe, Liam crafts comprehensive reviews, strategic insights, and captivating tales from behind the screens.