After a Decade of Champions, the Aegis completed its circle. We hope it isn’t an end, but just the beginning of a new era of the International. We have several suggestions that, in our opinion, will make the best esports event of the year even better.
First introduced during The International 2015, it was seen as a necessity. The Main Event doubled in size, with sixteen teams playing a double-elimination bracket over six days, as opposed to eight teams playing it over four days. It did put constraints on how much airtime each team could get and how quickly teams needed to be eliminated to fit it all in a tight schedule.
However, the International has grown since then: the prize pool has been rising every year and that means this community-funded tournament has been getting more funding. If back during TI5 we could afford six days of high-quality Dota with a prize pool of ~18 mil., we as a community can ask for seven days of high-quality Dota when the prize pool is more than double that.
Twenty-one BO3 and one BO5 series over seven days will mean that each and every team gets to play actual Dota and not a random elimination BO1. It means that a stronger team will always advance and there won’t be as many “what if?” questions. It means that awe-inspiring lower bracket Cinderella runs are going to be even more awe-inspiring.
There are many reasons to prefer watching Dota in-client, as opposed to streaming services. Better quality is the biggest one: 1080 with low bitrate just doesn’t cut it anymore. But for power users, watching in-client also means the ability to check cooldowns, skill builds, fight recaps and many, many other things.
The observer team at the International is unparalleled in how well they do their job and how seamlessly they integrate it into casting, yet sometimes you just need to know whether a certain skill was on a cooldown in a teamfight or whether it was an allied or an offensive Force Staff. We know Valve understands it, given the amazing new timed “override camera” feature, but there are still a couple of problems to solve for comfortable DotaTV viewing.
First of all — sound quality. Broadcasters should not sound this muffled in-client. We as spectators should not choose between better video quality in-game and better sound quality on stream.
Secondly, better transitions between panel and game in-client. The way it is right now is just awkward. Broadcasting the panel into DotaTV during the draft stage would make it considerably less so.
Some way of integrating player cams into client could also be great, but it is probably quite difficult from a technical standpoint.
Finally, a way to rebroadcast it to multiple servers in different regions is necessary for comfortable viewing. The way it works right now, it seems, is it takes data directly from the server the game is played on, with all the associated ping and packet loss for individual users. That can lead to unnecessary jitter and stuttering, especially during teamfights. Usually not a problem if you have a good internet connection and are close to where the game is being played, but can be problematic for Western viewers if TI is held in China or SEA and vice versa.
A surprisingly great addition to this TI was the generated crowd noises. They allowed for better immersion in the action and made great plays stand out even more. The cheering system might not have worked as intended and a “crowd DJ” was definitely necessary this year, but hopefully, we will have a live audience at the next TI.
It doesn’t mean the system has to be fully retired, though. Perhaps it could be used to control the peak volume that is allowed to seep through into the audio stream from the live crowd, or perhaps it could add our own, virtual voices to the chorus. Either way, we feel like there was something to it and we would love to see Valve iterate on the system.
A bit of a non-factor for most of the community, probably, but Fantasy Dota is, in our opinion, a great way to introduce the players and make them stand out. The problem is, right now it works for positions one and two in the core section and the warding support in the support category.
Non-warding support and position three players are left by the wayside and given how this tournament’s MVP was arguably a position three player, we feel it is unfair. A minor gripe, for sure, but if there are no changes to the scoring system, at least separate carries, offlaners, mids, soft and hard supports into distinct categories, so players of all positions get to shine.
While we are on the topic: a seven-day International would probably allow for better scheduling where all of us won’t have to guess which teams will play double series on the day. Not only is it slightly unfair to the teams, especially in the later stages of the tournament, but also introduces unnecessary volatility to Fantasy Dota.
There was a silver lining to several delays to the International: the Nemestice Battle Pass ended up being separate from the International Compendium and we honestly think it is great how we first got to celebrate Dota as a game and a dress-up simulator and then fully concentrate on Dota as a spectator sport and a dress-up simulator.
We all know that at the end of the day Dota is a dress-up simulator, but this time around the different aspects of the game didn’t detract from one another. We didn’t need to finish up our Cavern Crawl quests while the games were on and could watch amazing Dota without missing out on Battle Pass rewards. Please, keep it that way and perhaps we will break the viewership records once again.
We feel like it is a big one. The whole DPC system needs re-evaluation from the last season. We are not saying that there were teams at the International that didn’t deserve a slot or that the system was unfair, but perhaps due to a limited amount of tournaments, it sometimes felt like it.
Consistent in-region results and consistent LAN results should be accounted for, with significantly more weight given to the latter and some points given to the 9-12th places in the Majors.
We need a format where a team needs to win a series to get there. That would already mean that at this point in time they are better or comparable to a team from another region. As such, at this point in time, they should earn more DPC points than what a team in another region gets for fourth place in regional leagues.
That just makes sense. Instead, Top 8 at the international Major with the best competition in the world got the same amount of points as the third place in regional leagues. That doesn’t make sense.
We would also like to see less regional discrimination. Eastern Europe, the current TI title holder, received fewer slots at both the Singapore Major and the AniMajor. Of course, it is easy to argue towards it now, after the fact, but we strongly believe that equal opportunity for all regions with, perhaps, a direct invite to top two from the last Major would make sense.
With two-per-region guaranteed slots and a six-team wildcard between regional third places, it would still allow an overperforming region to field up to five teams to a Major. Only this way each and every spot would be deserved and there would be no bias: a pure results-based meritocratic system. Just the way we love it.
This is our wishlist for the next page in the book of our favorite game. It's been a decade full of ups and downs, but Dota never stops moving forward and we hope it keeps doing so for many years to come.
Do you agree with our wishlist for the next season and next TI or perhaps you have your own wishes to add to the discussion? Don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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