This past week I signed up on an online betting platform, loaded $100, and placed several bets on Dota 2 matches. I’ve had a stellar record of predicting match outcomes for years, and after doing very well at a fun prediction game for a recent tournament, I felt compelled to interrogate why it is that I’ve never tried to make money from this skill set. I mean I’m literally busy with a Masters degree which was generously crowdfunded by my social network. …


Marci, from Dota: Dragon’s Blood, looking through a telescope

Before the Singapore Major I wrote a preview which turned out to provide a fairly accurate overview of power rankings going into the event. While I’m inclined to make another attempt for the Animajor, it feels significantly more difficult this time round. This is because many teams are already qualified for TI now, with a full 9 teams locked in if we set our threshold of interest to 99%+ of being qualified.

Why should qualification status affect power rankings? Well, because, the reality is that Dota teams have a strong tradition of not trying their hardest for anything but TI…


Disclaimer: In 2021 I do not consider myself a Dota 2 expert. I have reduced the amount of time I spend playing, watching and analysing the game, and I have not cast any games or coached any players or teams in over a year.

Because of this, my analysis will primarily be of the zoomed out sort. An advantage of this may be that it is easier for more people to engage with. …


This is first and foremost a personal essay, about my own experiences. While I plan to make some broader observations, it must be understood that I speak from a privileged position. I’m young, have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a supportive family. Covid-19 has been most devastating to those already in very vulnerable positions, attacking their health, security, freedom and dignity. Ultimately, my story must be understood with this broader context in mind.

For most of my life I have struggled with depression and anxiety. For the past four years I have struggled rather acutely. At…


This hilarious Brexit propaganda photo has nothing to do with this article except that it echoes the title and I thought it would be funny to include.

There is a popular narrative circling the Dota 2 community that suggests Valve should be giving EU more slots for DPC events. The argument goes that EU simply has a larger portion of the best teams, and the DPC should be about creating events where the best teams in the world compete. I disagree with this line of thought, and think the current safeguards for regional representation are both necessary and valuable toward the end of creating a circuit for the best teams in the world.

The importance of regional representation

In a time long past, professional Dota 2 had…


This week’s episode of We Say Things saw Synderen and Sunsfan discussing the harm TI is causing to the Dota 2 ecosystem. This isn’t a new idea — Will Partin wrote an excellent piece on the topic a full year ago — but it’s one that has been gathering steam as the DPC has started to settle a little and people have had some time to reflect on the state of Dota 2 as an esport.

Simply put, because TI eclipses every other event, every year, there are too many things that depend on this one event to allow for…


I’m writing again for two reasons. The first is that I’ve gotten responses from all three of the above companies since Monday and would like to share them for people who are interested — as well as to respond clearly to them.

The second reason is that I would like to stress something that I didn’t focus enough on in my original article. The treatment I’ve received from these companies is not exceptional. I am not unique in being exploited in this space. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are going through and have gone through similar…


The last two years have been very hard on my career. All three of my major employers over the period have let me down in big ways, to the point where I find myself forced to consider a change in career.

At various points I’ve considered writing to expose some of the harmful practises I’ve encountered but I’ve usually been advised against it by friends in the industry. I’m told it might hurt my potential for future employment — some people might not want to hire a person who publishes complaints and criticisms about their employers.

For a long time…


This week there’s been a lot of talk about the “competitive integrity” of DPC events inviting certain teams to their LANs, or even to their qualifiers. But people are missing the point. The problem isn’t that organisers are making bad decisions. The problem is that the system enables them to make those decisions. A lot of organisers make very little profit, or even run at a loss for some events. If you give them the power to make decisions based on financial motives (inviting teams that are easier sells to sponsors), they absolutely will.

And that’s the best case scenario…


I’ve noticed that people are speaking as if breaking the roster lock will force a player/team to go through qualifiers in order to attend The International. This is how the roster lock worked in previous seasons. However, none of the published rules regarding the 2017/2018 circuit mention this anywhere. In fact, the most pertinent rules to this issue strongly imply this is not the case.

This is a screenshot of the relevant section of the FAQ on the Majors registration page. It’s not clear if the penalties will be exactly the same as those using subs since it’s not specified…

Anthony Hodgson

Anthony is a former Dota 2 coach and commentator. He is currently studying towards his Masters in Public Health.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store