When I saw that there was a new Compendium for sale, I dismissed it like many other tournament options for sale. When I am not actually playing DotA (usually when I am writing or editing for GUG), I’m constantly doing something DotA-related to upgrade my game. Oftentimes, I am watching people on my friend’s list. Who I watch depends on my mood; I’ll watch someone worse than me to make me feel better about my recent failures, or I’ll watch someone better than I am to gain a better understanding of the ever-changing meta, which includes how I was completely, terribly, awfully wrong about Troll Warlord. Previously, I explicitly said that “there were better carries,” which may be true, but there is no denying of Troll’s power, because he can outright kill a variety during the lane phase once he reaches level 3, solo Rosh like Ursa, and generally melt entire teams after getting a BKB. Still, he tends to fall off once the BKB diminishes to lasts for five seconds. I was correct with saying that Juggernaut was already strong, but I underestimated what the AGI increase combined with the (imba) MoM would do. Lastly, Axe has always been popular, and alongside heroes like Drow and Bloodseeker, is considered a “mascot” of sorts to DotA, but due to IceFrog buffing Axe practically every patch, he has now found himself in an obscene number of matches. Axe is supposed to be manly, not mainly!
I am getting ahead of myself, though anyone playing DotA in the past few weeks is well-aware of the frequency that these heroes are picked. Again, I noticed the Compendium and dismissed it until I saw a friend sporting Queen of Pain’s newest item, the Bloodfeather Wings, which reduced her previously expensive Wings of the Ruby Web to the price of rare item. I had to have them. Unfortunately, purchasing the DotA 2 Asian Compendium not only bought me entry into a tournament that I had no interest in and no knowledge of, but I also only had a one-in-six chance of getting the item I wanted. I had recently spent an embarrassing amount of money on the Treasure of the Frosted Flame trying to get the Luna, Drow, and Legion Commander sets—the latter being a purchase of acute insanity since I have yet to play with LC but, I thought the hood would look good with my inevitable Arcana purchase down the road—and of course, I ended up getting the Sniper and Rhasta/Shadow Shaman sets,
forcing encouraging me to buy more treasures to acquire what I actually wanted. Thus, I was wary of buying a Compendium that, should I not get the QoP item on the first try, I might have to go $20 deep or so to get more Genuine Blessed Luckvessel drops.
Well, RNGesus may not have smiled upon me when I needed an extra bash when I had a Cranium Basher on Phantom Assassin, but it certainly did when I opened my Luckvessel. Bloodfeather Wings on the first try!!! I have yet to actually use them in-game because QoP is still considered a weaker hero compared to other options like Lina, but I have to admit that I have caught myself looking a bit too long at her NSFW-ness. I mean, she’s a friggin succubus, for goodness sakes! She devours men’s souls because of their lust!
Item-hunting aside, the DAC Compendium is really about the actual tournament. In between writing and editing, I found myself watching a couple of matches after all. “Just a couple of matches” ended up being being the entire Main Event.
I wish I could find a larger picture, but one of the reasons why Valve (and Perfect World and MarsTV) hosted the DAC in the first place is because of China’s…insular…attitudes toward exterior influence. DotA 2 is truly an international phenomenon, so why not promote the product (and E-Sport) by bringing it directly to Shanghai? Interestingly enough, the irony of all of this is also a punchline. Team Evil Geniuses, who has always been strong in its showings at tournaments but had been unable to capitalize on a “big one,” has finally done just that. EG’s victory over Vici Gaming is a huge, HUGE story linked with several other sub-plots going on in the tournament. On EG alone, going from left to right in the above photo, there is Fear, whose life and pursuit of winning a “big one” is chronicled in the Free2Play documentary. He is twenty-six years old, considered ancient by E-Sport standards, yet his hard work, dedication, and sacrifice has finally paid off in his eyes. PPD, the team captain and brains behind the operation, could be the GUG logo if it were not for his lack of humility. It is no…heh…Secret, that he and Arteezy had beef, so there was some serious darkness in the shade that tweet throws. Next is Universe, who I have always thought to be consistently the best on EG’s roster, as well as one of the best offlaners in DotA. SumaiL, freshly added to the roster as a stand-in after Arteezy’s departure, is a 15 year-old Pakastani who completely outplayed the best mid solos in the world with his Tinker and Storm. What the frick is a 15 year-old gonna do with his $200k cut of the $1mil EG just won?!?! When I was 15, I was being chaperoned on my first date! This dude…well, anyway….. Last but not least is Aui_2000, who I knew from the days of DotaCash, and who was recently removed from Cloud9’s active roster. Well, being a stand-in for EG and winning $1 million bucks ain’t bad, huh? His Twitter is still lousy with C9 material. Awkward!
EG’s victory is not only a big deal for the individual players and their respective professional DotA careers, but also for the North American DotA scene, which has been a sort of laughing-stock for the majority of DotA’s popularity. EG just went into Asia’s backyard and beat down the best, including a team that I personally wanted to win, BG or Big God, because I mistakenly thought that iceice (who does not even have a personal page because he is merely a pubstar stand-in) was iceiceice and had joined Burning and rOtk—an honest mistake, I swear! I have to say that the surprise of the tournament was Rave, a team from the Philippines. In the xenophobic environment that is NA DotA, I have to admit that it was pleasant watching them smack down several well-known teams. Here’s hope for a Peruvian team!
I learned quite a bit watching the DAC. Sniper and Drow are legit picks and not just pubstars or gimmick picks. Sniper‘s shrapnel gives vision over elevation at a distance like an activated ward, and the incoming damage penalty added with MoM does not matter with a hero like Drow because she is squishy anyway and hits like a rapid-fire tank when she is equipped with one. Phoenix was picked for her (yes, I call Phoenix “her”) ability to suppress auto attacks and creating chaos with supernova, the best-animated ult in the game. SumaiL reminded everyone that Storm and Tinker were still good heroes who were just nerfed so that they would no longer be OP. We got to see Fear dust off Anti Mage and Burning got to play Medusa again. In fact, as many as 93 out of the 100+ heroes were seen in this last tournament which demonstrates that 6.83 is one of the most balanced patches in a long time—outside of a few renegade heroes, of course. I’m still waiting on core Lina pick though.
If none of this stuff excites you, you probably don’t play DotA, or you’re still in the trench. Well for the latter, you have no choice but to be excited because we are about to get a new (temporary?) mode and hero with the next few weeks. At the end of DAC, Valve provided the teaser below. Stay tuned for the Frost Wyvern addition and Crystal Maiden Arcana coming soon!