Typical competitive interaction in Dota 2

Common interaction in Dota 2 revolves around the gameplay, as this is true for a large amount of interactions that occur in games.  However, the competitive interaction that occurs in Dota 2 primarily revolves around how well a player is performing in a match.  There are plenty of other situations that arise where the interaction varies, but the most common interactions are seen during actual matches with players.  I call this competitive interaction because the player to player discussion that occurs revolves around the fundamentals of the Dota 2 match and how each player is performing in this competition.  The examples I will provide show the interaction of players being centered on the competition, as well as the gameplay of teammates and opponents.

A common interaction that is seen in online games is the typical “glhf” (good luck have fun) that is said at the beginning of the game and the “gg wp” (good game well played)  which is said at the end of a game.  These are common courtesy in professional matches of Dota 2, but in my experience the glhf is actually rare to see in a regular game while a gg is usually said by all players.  I think this is driven by the way the game starts in that players are having to be active at the very start of a Dota 2 match and they do not have much time for a common courtesy interaction.  Conversely, players are typically done with playing the game at the end and can extend the courtesy of a “good game.”  Below are a couple pictures of players I experienced performing both interactions.

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As can be seen, a player on my opposing team wished us good luck and I responded with wishing his team good luck as well.  What can also be seen in this screenshot is a new type of interaction that Valve recently added after the 2014 International championship.  This is an item to predict if your team will win the match. You can see this on the left side of the photo. If you predict correctly, a counter on the item will go up and the more successful predictions you have in a row, players will be able to see this.  If you lose, the counter resets.  Even this small addition into the game fuels a very competitive atmosphere as players will gamble long streaks on games and want to win to keep their streak going.

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In this photo, it can be seen that the game is drawing to a close and my team and the opposing team are exchanging a “good game” call with the other team.  The storm spirit on my team even extends a “well played” specifically directed to my team.  I typically see this happen when a team is interacting well with each other and the players are nice towards one another.

Game interaction is not always as friendly as it can be a toxic and mean environment where players are sour that they are losing or their teammates are not playing well.

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Here we see two of my team members arguing with each other and accusing one another of being a bad player.  Another player on my team even states that the other two need to stop complaining and just play the game.  A lot of times players will argue with one another and this arguing will affect the way the game is played.  Players will refuse to come to team fights or they will intentionally throw the game if they are mad enough at their team or the opposing team.  Throwing a game in Dota 2 typically means a player performs actions that intentionally make his/her team lose the game.

Players on the opposing teams will typically trash talk each other as the game defines them as opponents.  Dota 2 is designed to pit players against each other in a 5 v 5 fashion.  From this design it is not surprising to see players talking bad to one another.  However, this interaction can be taken too far.

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Here we can see a series of images where the Death Prophet on the other team is expressing her anger onto my team and is actually verbally abusing players on my team.  This kind of action is something that can get a player punished if that player is reported by the community.  But we can see players on my team and the other team both being frustrated with this person as well as egging on this type of behavior.  In the last few images we see a player on my team taunting the other player with a sarcastic “well played” as well as saying that his middle lane was easy.  The angered Death Prophet on the other team defends her gameplay saying that she won it rather than the Kunkka on my team.  This type of interaction where players are comparing who they are performing in the game is very typical, especially when the interaction is ill mannered.

In rare cases, matchmaking games in Dota 2 can become silly and support a creative interaction between the players.  I found that this typically occurs when I am playing with a full party of people that I know and the other team is also queuing up as a party of 5.  Other times I find this to happen is when the players on my team are nice and enjoy performing interactions that are not common to see in the game.  The following screenshots shows me and some friends all putting ourselves up a cliff in the game and then asking a person on the other team to come to the cliff as sacrifice.  This is definitely an atypical interaction and does not serve a purpose in the competitive aspect of the game.

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