StarSeries S2: Reporter Expects Better from Pro-teams

Fnatic gets banished to the land of the lower bracket by Navi following a sound defeat in game 3.
Fnatic gets banished to the land of the lower bracket by Navi following a sound defeat in game 3. /

After Fnatic’s crushing defeat by Navi in game 3 of the quarterfinals of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2, reporter laments her unfinished popcorn.

Pro-DOTA events are a big deal to me. Partly because I write for this site, and partly because I love the action. I get home from work, make myself a little treat, and navigate to I get all cozy on the couch and do some vocal exercises so that when I inevitably start yelling at the screen I don’t lose my voice. There’s a whole ritual behind it. I prepare myself to enjoy these games and learn from pro DOTAers.


My snack the other day, in case you couldn’t tell from the heading above, was popcorn. I figured, what the heck, since it was the closing game of the first matchup of SLS2, might as well celebrate, right? I had timed everything just right. The chime from the microwave dinged just before the drafting phase of the game ended. I was ready to rock.

And apparently, so was Navi.

Did you hear a phone ringing? No, because Navi was off the hook

The match between Navi and Fnatic had a quality of deja vu to it. The last time these two teams faced off, it was another 2 – 1 Bo3 series in Navi’s favor. But unlike this time around, the last Bo3 these guys played averaged a little over 40 minutes per game. That’s more than enough time to eat a bag of popcorn. This was not the case in their most recent 13-minute game of SLS2.

From the beginning, Navi was in control. The lanes were stacked against Fnatic. Io (Navi.SoNNeikO) and Huskar (Navi.Ditya) made it all but impossible for Beastmaster (Fnatic.Ohaiyo) to do much of anything. As much as I’m sure Fntic wanted to keep Timbersaw (Fnatic.Mushi) from laning against Sand King (Navi.Dendi), that unfortunate pairing happened. Weaver (Fnatic.MidOne) was their primary hope for a turnaround, but he couldn’t manage a single kill or assist.

Greater Expectations, sequel to the Charles Dickens’ classic

If only my mother knew what I was doing with my lit degree...
If only my mother knew what I was doing with my lit degree… /

For as long as pro sports exist, there will be one-sided matches, I’m sure. But a game that barely outlasts the drafting phase in length? How am I supposed to enjoy that? And, were this an isolated incident, I wouldn’t be so upset, but there was a similar situation with Newbee at Nanyang. Then there was the disgraceful temper tantrum thrown by Ehome following the sound thrashing they received from VG Reborn.

My point is, if we want DOTA to be taken seriously as a sport, there has to be consistency. But not only that, you also have to approach it with the respect and gravity that you want fans to have. I’m not saying I expect all games to last an average of 40 minutes. I’m not saying I expect all games to be evenly matched. I’m just saying that us fans come to these games with certain expectations. And when I’ve blocked off the better part of an hour to enjoy a game, it’s disappointing to watch a pub-stomp.

That being said, I’d like to extend congratulations to Natus Vincere for a sound victory in the quarterfinals. You are the dark horse favorite for this tournament here at DireDota HQ. Take heart, we’re cheering for you!

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