Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DotA is boring

The (not so) Perfect Blend
article by Phil of MYM

Disclaimer: This article was sourced from

A couple of days ago, Matthieu Dallon voiced his opinion on whether there is going to be Defense of the Anicents at ESWC 2009. While the game wasn't picked in the first round, it was still something the organization had in mind. I have to ask the question; why?

For DotA to be a good choice for ESWC 2009, it has to evolve more in the coming six months than it has done in the last four years. The game has an intriguing mix of individual skill, tactics and teamwork, but falls apart in its complexity. In short, the game is great to play, but boring to watch.

Even experienced DotA players find it hard to sit and watch a single match from start to finish without their interest waning. The game is not defined by any certain happenings in that it doesn't have a structured build up. While games like World of Warcraft and to some extent Warcraft III lack the same kind of identifier, there is a clear-cut difference between them and DotA - time.

The length of a game of DotA can vary a lot, but most top-tier games go beyond the one hour mark. A non-structured game, with game time above an hour per map, in an environment that doesn't give outsiders a chance to understand the action - how does that sound for a spectator? In fact, you have to be a DotA player to understand a spectated game to its fullest.

If this sounds like I am blowing the same horn as people critizising WoW, you couldn't be more right. There a not that many differences between the two games in terms of viewability, besides WoW is constant action, instead of farming.

No Sponsor value
While DotA certainly does cater to a large community, it comes across as an awkward mutant to both event organizers and eSports fans. It can't fit into tight schedules, it doesn't work well on TV and is too complex for outsiders to find it interesting. In short; there is no sponsor value in it besides what the community itself can digg up.

There are no fancy-pancy graphics in DotA, so nVIDIA can try to grab the players and convince them to buy their newest GPU for better performance. There is close to no spectators from outside the DotA-world present at the games, and you have to look really hard for the easy brandable and professional star-players in DotA.

Broadcasted live-games are maybe seen by a couple of thousands, but honestly - where is that going to count? The male CS Semi-finals in San José attracted more than 20,000 spectators online, and earlier editions of ESWC have seen up to 5,000 people watching the games live. That alone is more than you will get for a DotA-match.

If you add to this, that a large part of DotA's fanbase is situated in countries like Malaysia, China and Phillipines, you are going to have a rough time selling sponsorships to INTEL, SteelSeries - or anyone else for that matter.

Sure the numbers are fine. 5 million downloads of the map*. By those means, ESWC should include the 9 million StarCraft-players, the 50 million The Sims-players or the 3 million players that bought Red Alert. Numbers doesn't necessarily attract sponsorships, and frankly DotA, in its current state, is nowhere near its competitors in terms of viewability, accesability and useability.

So why include it in ESWC 2009?

*The total number of WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne-copies sold is estimated to be around 1,000,000.

Do you also think DotA is boring? Share your opinions


  1. Dota is very addicting game ever! is more addicting than counterstrike!

  2. jo, you play on GARENA/

  3. Only 1 million TFT copies sold worldwide? No wonder they aren't enthusiastic about making a warcraft 4.

  4. DotA is so funny i mean rly just go play WoW and see how much fun it is i played Warcraft since Humens and Orcs
    DotA is fail


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