I don’t play Dota 2, but even I know that a Dota 2 match lasting for 98 minutes is excessively long. This was exactly what happened during last week’s The International 3, during a Round 1 match in the upper brackets between two Chinese teams, Invictus Gaming and DK. So what happens when you pair up a 98-minute Dota 2 match with two (bored) Korean shoutcasters? Absolute and utter commentary madness.
DK had a very clear opportunity to win the match early on (which would have advanced them to the next round), but they chose to hold off their assault on iG’s base and proceeded to farm for gold instead, which gave iG a chance to mount a comeback. By the 50-minute mark, the Korean commentators had totally lost their patience and sanity with the stalling tactics from both teams.
I have tried to do live commentary in the past for a competitive tournament match, and it is an incredibly difficult task to accomplish. Calling out the play-by-play action as it happens is one thing, but to find the vocabulary and humour to keep the audience entertained at the same time requires a totally different level of skill and talent. I have nothing but the fondest admiration for the two Korean shoutcasters, who were just simply trying to keep themselves and the spectators entertained in such a boring match.
The irony of it all? DK ended up losing the match in the end, forcing the set into a decisive third match. They did not make the same mistake twice, and proceeded to soundly trounce iG in the third match to advance.
It may have taken 98 minutes for DK to learn their lesson, but the age old sports adage still applies to eSports: if you’re not out there to win, losing should come as no surprise.