Dota 2 Esports Glossary
DotA 2 — Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA release first in 2003. Originally created as a custom game for Warcraft III by a group of independent developers such as Icefrog and Eul, Dota has now been remade by Valve into a stand alone game.
MOBA — Multiplayer online battle arena ~ a genre of strategy games. Players control a character in 1 of 2 teams with the objective of destroying the enemy main structure with the help of computer-controlled units that walk down set paths.
Valve — One of the most popular game developing studios, responsible for games such as Dota 2, Counter Strike, and Team Fortress 2.
Servers: Regions in Dota are fairly loose, as players can play on any region easily. The following are abbreviations of regions where servers are situated:
NA — North America ~ America & Canada
EU — Europe Nordic & East ~ England, Netherlands, Greece, etc
CIS — Commonwealth of Independent States~ Russia, Ukraine, etc
SA — South America ~ Brazil, Peru, etc
SEA — South East Asia ~ Philippians, Singapore, Indonesia, etc
Competitive Scene: Professional Dota 2 is a high risk high reward scene. Tournaments in Dota rarely last longer than a week or two, and players rarely have contracts or regular pay. This means that players have a less steady form of income, however performing well is more economically rewarding, as they receive a large amount of money from their tournament winnings.
In terms of tournaments, the previous tournament system has recently undergone a large shift. In the past, tournaments would be separated into three categories; Independent tournaments, Majors, and the International.
Independent tournaments, such as Starladder or Dota Asia Championship (DAC) have the smallest prize pools, but are a significant showing of which teams and play styles are most dominant.
Majors in the past have been held by Valve in changing locations, such as Frankfurt, Germany and Kiev, Ukraine. These tournaments have larger amounts of money on the line, and often decide who is given a direct invite to the International
The International, or TI, is the largest Dota 2 tournament held each year. Occurring in Key Area, Seattle the top 18 teams from around the world are invited to participate in a tournament with a prize pool of over $20 million. This prize is largely crowd funded, meaning each year as the game grows more popular, the prize pool grows as well.
Competition Terms: In tournaments, there are many roles beyond just the players, each contributing to the competition in a major way.
Caster: A caster is very similar to a sports commentator. Their job is to describe what is happening in each game of Dota. Often times, a game will be cast by two people for each language. There will often be one caster who will make play by play commentary, while the other will observe longer trends in each game, and make predictions on what will occur. While these roles aren’t specified to the audience, they are clearly defined beforehand to reduce any sort of conflict within the commentary.
Observer: One of the least appreciated roles, observers control the camera and what the audience is able to see. Since the playing field in Dota is far too large to watch all at once, the observer has to pay attention to what is occurring on each part of the map, and show the spectators the most important areas and events.
Coach: An increasingly popular trend in Dota is for teams to have coaches. These are players that do not play during the game, but give guidance to players before and during each match. Often times coaches will spend much of their time analyzing different playing habits of opposing teams, and pay attention to which heroes may be either overlooked or overestimated.
Analyst Desk: A group analysts who discuss possible strategies, team compositions, and predictions before a game starts. They also compare previous games and activities that each team has gone through to provide a thorough prediction for how each game could play out. After each game, they also provide thorough analysis and rewatch specific sections of the game to explain possible thought processes going through each players mind. Analyst Desk is sometimes composed of players from the tournament itself.
Other phrases used as reference for competitions.
Meta: The meta, or meta game, is all elements of the game that do not occur during the game itself. This is often used to refer to the most powerful heroes or strategies, however it can also include player mindset, mental stamina, and mind games that occur before or after a game.
Draft: Before each game of Dota, a draft occurs where teams take turns banning and picking heroes. Banning a hero means neither team can play the character, whereas picking means that a player on your team will play that hero during the game. In Dota, many if not all of the heroes are often viable, meaning that each draft is far different from the next, and there is no “correct” way to draft a lineup.
Pubs: Short for public games, pubs are games of Dota which are played outside of tournaments, often with random players as opposed to a set team of people. Often times in tournaments, there will be several players which are referred to as “Pubstars”. This term means that the player performs very well in their public games, however has yet to prove themselves in a tournament. Playing with and against a coordinated professional team adds many new elements of coordination and strategy that inexperienced players often have difficulty adapting to. Because of this, Pubstars are often viewed as some of the weaker players in tournaments, despite their high rankings on leader boards.