DO NOT REFRAIN FROM READING THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT DOTA. Do refrain for reasons other than that. For example, if you lost interest after the first paragraph or if you have “other more important things” to do. Everybody, except the freshmen, knows about the popular DOTA gang of our college and that I am part of it. Popular might be a strong word to describe us as we’re more nerdy than cool. If you haven’t realized it already, DOTA is not ‘just’ a game but a completely different world. Also, if you did not know what DOTA stands for, it’s Defense of The Ancients which means you’re one of the cool kids or a casual gamer or an adult. I won’t describe DOTA or its mechanics in this article. If you want to know, Google is your friend! Since you might have many misconceptions and prejudices about DOTA, I thought that I would write an article to give you the real picture of what DOTA actually consists of. Also, you may learn something new. For this, I shall go point by point. DOTA is a sport. Many will argue this point and find it ridiculous. You may think that DOTA is just a video game and that there is nothing more to it, I advise you to play DOTA for just a week with an open mind. If that doesn’t change your viewpoint on DOTA then I won’t argue with you. If you say that by definition sport requires physical activity then for DOTA you need lightning fast reflexes and split second decision making skills. It’s not less than a sport because it needs a lot of dedication, practice and time to even play well. And you never stop learning. You suck at DOTA. You might be saying, “What does this mean? Of course I’ll be bad at DOTA if I’ve never played it!” I mean that DOTA is hard, extremely hard. It is demanding and the skill level does not have a higher limit. It has a huge learning curve, there’s a lot to work on and one game can become an hour long but even after a hundred games you will be struggling with DOTA. I have played almost 900 hours of DOTA and you might call me good but I’m not. I suck at DOTA. You win some, you lose more. Since DOTA is quite difficult, losing is a constant reality. And losing feels like you were slapped by your crush on your birthday that everybody forgot and now you’re going to have to eat that birthday cake by yourself. Painful and sad, perhaps exaggerated and foolish but you really do feel like the universe is toying with you when you lose. If you see one of the DOTA gang members, they look like life has been sucked out of them; losing might have been the reason. Maybe losing feels like that because winning feels like out of this world. After winning a really long and difficult match you will find yourself thinking, “Whoa! I’m really good at this! I can be a pro. I’ll win the next DOTA tournament with a 10 million prize and become a king!!” Then you lose the next match. DOTA is complex. I used to play Need For Speed, Assassin’s Creed, Skyrim etc. and every game that came out. I was very happy. But then DOTA happened and now it is the only game I play. Compared to DOTA, every other game comes across as too easy, too simple and too childish. While other games have their own merits that DOTA lacks, complexity is where DOTA cannot be won over. It’s the same map, same items, same objective and all heroes start from level 1 but each game is different. DOTA has endless possibilities and there’s always something surprising that you didn’t know. Since it is a strategic game, you’ve got to understand the game, get your timing right, predict your enemy’s movements, play mind games and lot to win. Yes, you’re a geek if you’re into this. DOTA requires teamwork. Another proof of why DOTA is a sport is that it needs teamwork. It’s a team game where 2 teams of 5 battle each other. If you don’t work with your team, you’re giving the game away. Each of the five players in your team will have different roles to fulfill, such as carry, support, tank, jungler and initiator that work in harmony for success of the team. Now, ideally that is what we are supposed to see in a game but internet is a place filled with all kinds of people. So in an online game, you’ll mostly be paired with 4 kinds of people:- The first kind are those who play really well, carry out amazing feats that you didn’t think were possible, make you feel embarrassed of your skill level and win the game for you. They are as rare as they come. The second kinds are those that have a really good sense of humor, make funny jokes and insult creatively. They may play good or bad but you don’t care because you’re having fun and that’s more important than losing or winning! They are rare too. The third kinds are those who play silently. They will mute you if you talk too much. Their play is probably on the same level with you. They are here to play the game, no nonsense. You do your job, they’ll do theirs. They are the most common of them all. The fourth kinds are those who get on your nerves. They will bring out the worst in you. They curse, trash talk, belittle others, intentionally disrupt the game, rage quit etc. You will get in an argument with them and exchange insults. It will be humiliating. They are uncommon but beware! DOTA is rewarding. Competitiveness, difficulty and prowess aside, DOTA is fun. Of course, it takes a toll on you and your life. Of course, you’ll see yourself sucked into a whirlpool of unfinished projects and assignments. Of course, you’ll be neglecting important things, cancelling weekend plans and appointments. Of course, you’ll waste hours and whole days and feel empty afterwards. But remember that if a match has been found, don’t be the loser 10th guy who never accepts (It’s a wink to my fellow DOTA mates if you don’t understand the joke). Really, DOTA is rewarding. Losing teaches you, insult and humiliation strengthens you, complexity broadens your mind and competition motivates you. Why, I’m a better person now that I play DOTA, aren’t I? I hope that I was successful in helping you understand even a little bit about DOTA. Maybe I missed something and you may have questions. Feel free to ask our college’s DOTA veterans and me.