Apparently US$3 Million Isn't Enough For Dota Teams To Get Serious

And in the "Ultimate First World Problems" file, we have this new entry: Chinese Dota 2 teams supposedly playing sloppy at tournaments because they're not used to having to compete for millions of dollars months after The International, a tournament where teams compete for tens of millions of dollars. Boo-hoo.

In case you're not up to speed, Valve's Frankfurt Major for Dota 2 is kind of a big thing. It's the first in Valve's new structure for their sponsored Dota 2 tournaments, whereby The International is supplemented with a series of majors throughout the course of the year.

They're mini-Internationals, in effect, although they're certainly not mini when it comes to the prize pool. US$3 million is on offer at the Frankfurt Major, which is more than what other developers and tournaments give out over the course of the year. And there are supposed to be four of these leading up to The International.

So you'd think this would be a major event for the players. After all, it's the chance to rapidly supplement their income.

But apparently that's not the case for the Chinese teams, according to one Dota 2 veteran. Daryl Koh is one of the modern gaming legends of Singapore, having excelled in the original Dota, Starcraft 2, Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends — all at the same time, mind you — before turning to Dota 2 completely.

He's made a substantial amount of money as a result, having won the 1v1 solo championship event at The International a couple of years ago, finishing fourth with *Vici Gaming at the International this year and taking home just over US$800,000 at The International last year with Team DK. Koh's also one of the most straightforward interviewees in the Dota scene, and one of the few members of the Chinese Dota 2 teams with a fluent command of English.

So when a player of that standing comes out and says that he's not taking a US$3 million tournament that seriously — and that the other Chinese teams aren't either — it's a bit of a staggering admission.

"People are not taking it seriously at least from Chinese side. I’m not really taking it seriously myself," the Singaporean told Joindota. "Probably the reason for it is still lack of understanding of how the Majors work. Also the US$3 million prize pool in comparison to [The International], where it was US$18 million, does not seem so significant or impressive." He went on to stress that the Frankfurt Majors were "still quite big" and that teams weren't quite used to the scheduling or "tradition" of Valve's new structure.

Talk about first world problems though: there's so much money in Dota 2 that even the prospect of a few million isn't enough to be completely switched on. eSports has certainly come a long, long way.

*Update: Meant to say Vici Gaming instead of LGD. Apologies and thanks to those who pointed it out.


    Just the other day I saw someone talking about the Elite: Dangerous $100000 CQC tournament, saying that even if all that money were up as the first prize it wouldn't be enough for them to bother.

    Like... I can't even fathom how the prospect of being paid thousands of dollars to play a game could be the opposite of enticing, especially when you're already playing it for free. Geez.

      I think playing it at that level would take a fair bit of the fun out of it.

    The International has completely dominated the Dota scene in some weird ways. I think part of the reasoning behind Valve having these majors is to try and reduce that impact of TI. Every year, there's a post-TI shuffle where players swap teams, teams disband and the scene generally falls apart. After a few months, things start to piece themselves together as regular tournaments start up again.

    The majors are a way to try and have some stability. Instead of the entire scene focusing on TI and falling apart afterwards, the majors try to make the teams stick together. There's a roster lock for teams trying to compete and with millions on the line, everyone is going to try and compete.

    However, we're still in the post-TI hangover. This is the first major. Teams simply haven't had time to adjust.

    On the other hand, iceiceice is a massive troll.

      Hit him on ladder once back when we were all playing vanilla SC2. TvT match-up. Was that four player space map with the gold minerals in the center as the 3rd/4th expansion.

      He lifted off his base and landed there. By the time I found him he already had more barracks pumping than mine and I couldn't even shut him down with a last-minute SCV pull. It was so hilariously filthy that I stole the strat myself and upset people for months on the SEA GM ladder with it.

      Great times.

        Remember how Terrans going for drop plays would lift off their Factory and use it to scout (or just overlords in general)? At one point in Dota, he did the same thing with a second flying courier. They nerfed courier vision in the next patch.

          Yeah, that still happens regularly if you're going for a bio-only army (since you're not really using the factory). Used to be a common occurrence in TvP as mech was a completely worthless strategy in vanilla, so you might as well float it over and check for expansions (or land it down on the 3rd expansion).

      You can still feel the International fatigue in the DotA community. People are playing it less and there's less activity around forums for it. I think this major was just too close to the International. I mean, I like having DotA to watch, but really enjoyed the more casual tournaments like the summit house.

      Reborn has probably also not helped.

    Daryl (iceiceice ) played For LGD ?????????

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