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Ramblings of a Saint

Accept it, Dota 2 is better than LoL... Or is it? Part 2

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Different philosophies on eSports... Do you even APM (yes, that is a joke about a dead competitive game I'm not even talking about)

Valve has a somewhat more lax approach to the Dota 2 eSports, allowing a lot of things to be community driven. Different organization organize tournaments and have their own standard of quality within their own tournaments. ESL, JoinDota, Beyond The Summit, DreamHack to name a few. Valve of course has an annual event, The International, which is the grand poobah of all eSports tournaments, if the increasingly spectacular prize pool is anything to go by (TI4 raised more than $10M with the help of the community through compendium purchases since Valve only puts up $1.6M... The technicality of that is another argument though). This allows for a multitude of opportunities for teams of all tiers to get a piece of the pie. It allows different organizations to get a piece of the pie, and it honestly equals a lot more Dota 2 events which is a yay for spectators. Spectators also feed into the prize pools of the premium tournaments by buying themed items and interactive compendiums, along with tickets (started by The International 2013). In truth, the game's design does so much heavy lifting that Valve can afford this lax approach that is beloved by the community.

The uglier side of this is that even though teams have more opportunities to gain glory, the team structures and organizational structures, don't lend themselves to a stable ecosystem which is why rosters are never a stable thing as Valve doesn't really control that outside The International invites. Production outside what you get game can also prove inconsistent as each organization, including Valve will have varying levels and standards of quality, sometimes to the detriment of the spectators.

Riot, on the hand, have a more structured and controlled approach. They have a say and a hand in most premium LoL tournaments (heck, they helm most of them). And they have guidelines and rules for premium tournaments. They have five major regional professional leagues which all have a role feeding (not a pun) and leading into the World Championships which averages $1-2M in prize pools which is solely funded by Riot. Since LoL as a game doesn't lend itself to the competitive viewership as well Dota 2, Riot has to do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of production. This is evident in the consistency and production quality at display when games are streamed. In terms of the eSports ecosystem, it may seem like there's less opportunity, which is true. Riot does a lot to compensate, shoutcasters are actually given training and get income from Riot. Team structures are formalized which means stable income (granted this can vary within different tiers). Which is to say Riot's treatment of eSports is akin to mainstream sports treatment than any other game out there.

This does mean it's somewhat constricted, and one can't simply ignore the fact that the game's design lends itself poorly to the eSports side of things.

tl;drIn conclusion, if you're still reading (goodness knows how you survived my rambling), the real question is, which is better suited for you? Depth in Complexity or Depth in Accessibility? All you can play Hero buffet or Champion rotation with slightly more incentive to learn more champions? Riot or Valve, and their take on eSports? Cake or Pie?

tl;dr tl;dr Dota 2 and LoL are somewhat similar yet different enough that a simple which is better argument does a disservice to both games, their fans, and those coming in blind


Updated 06-06-2016 at 04:38 PM by Saint_Dee