Friday, November 11, 2016

We Cannot Give Up

The world watched America tear itself apart. They watched as months of campaigning encouraged hatred, violence, racism, antisemitism, and misogyny. We kept our heads down and just waited for the nightmare to end, truly believing that when November 8th arrived the country would condemn this behavior.  We believed that the bigotry and megalomania would end and we could begin healing, moving forward in a united fashion.

We did not expect that this behavior would be condoned.
We did not expect that violence would be endorsed.
We did not expect to be scared.

To anyone who says that this racism and hatred existed all along and nothing has changed, that might be true. These feelings clearly existed and have always been a problem. The difference is the endorsement of violent crimes and hateful speech. Instead of a society that condemns racism, a world leader encourages it. Instead of trying to learn and move forward, we focus on tearing each other apart. Discussions are approached with bulldozers and personal rights are gone.

https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/796544913525579777


Instead of trying to heal their behavior, people feel justified in their violent outbursts. They are encouraged to perpetuate divides. They feel they are fulfilling a national mandate handed down by the example of our future “leader”. Those who supported him surge forward with what they see as “righteous” behavior

https://twitter.com/LDdota/status/796288739655884800

https://twitter.com/TRmariasanchez/status/796605155277934593


And those who opposed him and lost have turned to his methods, as they are clearly what worked.



We kept our heads down, we saw these stories and hoped they would pass. We did not expect that the horror our world became would continue. Now is when we speak up and share. Now is when we stop letting this be okay. The system failed us when it endorsed a campaign so full of negativity and violence.

I cannot accept just developing a thicker skin and moving on. No one is perfect: we are all guilty of tasteless jokes and employing stereotypes. We are guilty of perpetuating this culture. However, our past actions and our mistakes do not suddenly make us ineligible to speak out against it. Our personal experiences with discrimination do not discredit others’ experiences or lessen them.


We will learn, we will move forward, and we will do our best to educate people and help them move forward with us. Everyone can make a difference. Every time you say something is not okay, or you question if your own words are appropriate, you are an agent of change. Please listen to these stories, please share your own, and please help us actually make this world great.



The original Twitter moments story I took most of these posts from:
Day 1 in Trump’s America

Friday, October 21, 2016

Should There be Female Only Tournaments?

I was asked last evening “Do you think there should be female only tournaments?”


I tend to avoid discussions like these, the stigmas associated with special treatment for women are pretty unfavorable, but I felt in the mood to have a discussion. It is very clear that there are not professional female teams competing at the top level - which is probably what prompted this question.
Olympic dreams crushed.


So why should women get special consideration for leagues and tournaments? This isn’t a physical sport where size and muscle would make a difference, this is gaming. I think there are several issues to consider here. The most obvious comes down to the numbers. There is an incredibly small percentage of people with the potential to have the skill to perform at the highest of levels in anything. Of those people, not all of them have the temperament to play in a team or handle the pressure. Then of those people, you have to have the time to play and train constantly and be willing to give up everything for the chance of making it. This is the general truth for anything - we are not all equally suited to all career and talent paths, and we don’t all have the same abilities to change our lives to pursue a certain path (I know my mom promised me I could do whatever I wanted to do, but I am confident that my Olympic figure skating career is not going to happen).


This brings me to the second aspect of the numbers. Not only do you have to have the potential for skill and an iron will, you also need time. Olympians are not born overnight, they often start at a very young age. Brilliant scientists don’t suddenly one day stumble upon an amazing discovery, they have spent their lives seeking knowledge and constantly asking questions. People do not download their first game and become a professional player. Just like with school, sports, and life, experience matters. The younger we are, the more capable we are to learn and adapt. While I cannot speak to every single person’s childhood out there, I think it is acceptable to generalize here - young boys in the 90’s and early 2000’s were much more likely to be playing video games than young girls. If I didn’t have older brothers, I wouldn’t have been gaming. My friends and I played with barbies, we dressed up like princesses, we raided our mom’s makeup supply and became beauty queens. The guys had gameboys and pretended to shoot each other in massive intergalactic battles. Boys and girls are usually raised differently, and boys were just more likely to be playing video games.


Top results in a Google search for images with the query "playing video games". 
This brings us back to the numbers. Not only is it likely that there are more male players, it is more likely that they are going to start off with an advantage. They trained gaming related reflexes and situational awareness in games from a younger age. So no, men don’t have an automatic advantage like they might in basketball, but they have a higher chance to have the capability to play at the highest level. It is likely that this decreases in the future as gaming becomes increasingly prevalent and everyone is playing.


The last obstacle is actually forming a team and competing. If you are a high level female player you can either choose to form a team with other women, or joining a male team. Finding five high level women that all have the time to play competitively and have personalities that can work together would be pretty hard when you have so few to start with. The current scene has a hard enough time working with each other: imagine that with a significantly smaller pool. Joining a male team is possible, but is it likely to happen very often?


Female only tournaments would alleviate several of these issues and eventually even up the odds. Competitive gaming requires dedication, opportunity, and experience. Players need reasonable goals to aspire to if they are even going to start trying. A high individual skill level is nothing if you don’t learn how to work with teammates in high pressure scenarios. Small tournaments that cater to female players would give women competitive experience and would be the first step for women to have a chance at player at the highest tier. Most importantly, this would actively recruit more female players as they see role models and opportunities.


This is in no way me advocating for female divisions of major tournaments. I do not think we should try to establish a separate female tier 1 scene. If you are capable of playing in a major, then you play in the major against everyone else. We don’t need to hit a quota of female players. But we should consider why there is not a single one.


Not everyone is equal. That is the koolaid your kindergarten teacher made you drink so you would play nice. People come from different backgrounds and they have different opportunities. If we want to see accurate representation of player demographics at the professional level, something needs to be done at the semi-professional level to foster the necessary growth.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Twitch Revamp: If Porn Sites Can Do It, I am sure Twitch can Handle it


I have been streaming for about two and a half years now and I have seen the stats on twitch change, but twitch itself has stayed stagnant. Getting partnered is a problem (one I will touch on at the end), but growing a stream and maintaining a viewer base afterwards is equally if not more challenging. This is made even more of an issue by the rampant botting on the twitch page over the last two months. I have an imgur album from ten minutes spent on twitch just checking streams. (I have shared this with Twitch and they were quick about responding. They seemed receptive to considering other options!)


This isn’t occasionally botting on one or two channels, I am talking about dozens of channels 24/7 botting themselves to the top of the page. They are new accounts with dead chats, low followers, and they’re not being hosted. They are also entirely russian - I have yet to check in on a high viewer stream that fits this criteria that isn’t russian. Why do I feel affected? I’m not a competing russian streamer, but my stream is not growing. I have a year of stats showing my average stream growth, and since the botting began, my channel has been stagnant. Of course I am noticing this for selfish reasons, my channel growth is important to me, and it should be important to twitch. Partners should be shown some kind of courtesy, yet we are being destroyed by someone spending $5 for a few hundred fake viewers to boost them to the top of the page.

Since I began streaming seriously in Jan 2015 I could expect 300-400 follows/months. February has shown no growth despite no change in schedule on my part.

There is a little trick that not many people know. If you add /en to the url when you are looking at a twitch games page, you only see english streams. When I do this, myself and other real streams show up at the top of the page! If you leave off the /en, you have to scroll for quite some time to find us, because there are at least ten if not twenty or more fake streams in the way. I am annoyed and I am frustrated. If I were a regular twitch viewer, I would be annoyed. I would like to only see streamers in my language. On top of that, I can usually only watch streams with mobile quality settings, so I need a partnered stream.

Twitch has no filtering options. This may have been okay three years ago when there were fewer streams and a lower viewer base. Why do we not have a language select option? Why is there not a “quality settings necessary” option? In fact, I think that on a game page, it should show all partnered streams in one column, and all unpartnered streams in another column. This would shove all the bots over and stop hurting streams that twitch should be protecting. If botting is ever dealt with, this would also give newer streams more exposure and give people who like new streams easier access to them. It would also profit twitch; giving partners more exposure would give twitch more opportunities for money.
The column idea is my dream, but I am sure it makes way too much sense for it to be anything we can expect to see. Filtering options are reasonable, and it is stupid that we don’t have them. Language, quality options, partnered, viewer count min/max, gender (don’t get on your moral high horse, we all know some people love female streamers, and some people never want to see them), and who knows what else could all be added at the top of the page. I worked hard to make my stream how it is, I would prefer that it doesn’t die out because there is some new russian botting program ruining the entire system.

Advanced search settings are present everywhere else, it is time we got them on twitch.
If porn sites can do it, I am sure that twitch can handle it.


While I am speaking from a perspective of a partnered streamer, I do want to touch on growing a stream to the point of partnership. I had an incredibly frustrating experience with it; I was told my stats were not sufficient for twitch to make money off of me. I had started out looking to earn partner on my own, but following the immensely questionable instant partnering from the Mango stream raid, I lost my cool and did what everyone else does. I used the friends and connections (okay maybe it was mostly the boyfriend connection) to get in contact with someone at twitch who actually knows something about Dota and how the community works. I got my button two days later. I had someone nice assigned to my stream to help me out with any issues that might arise (he recently got his face on a global emote and everything) - I had finally made it.


Did I feel bad? I did then, and I still do. I feel like it is immoral to use my personal connections to push my stream forward, but in reality, I think that is how it always works.



The cursory glance over my application ignored my growing twitter following, my presence at closed events, ties to the community, and decent potential for growth. They have no metric to know how many people will subscribe; basically they have no way to know if will they profit from their initial investment in you.




I know it is easy to criticize, every system has flaws. I won’t point out a flaw that I don’t have a suggestion for. What if streamers who were looking to get partnered, but don’t have the requirements twitch is after (an average of 500 concurrent viewers-hah), had an option for some kind of campaigning? Imagine if there was a “pledge to subscribe.” People give twitch the $4.99 and pledge their support for a streamer getting partnered. If the streamer cannot generate a decent amount of support in a set time frame (3 months maybe?), people get their money back, and the streamer can try again in 4-6 months. 

We already see twitch losing money over to patreon (or a new one called Gamewisp) - streamers move to using these for establishing “subscribers” when they are unable to break through the bureaucracy of partnering. In my push for partner, I had several people hoping to subscribe, and in my first week with a button I got at least 40 people. I am one of those people who is happy to say I told you so. So, twitch, I told you so.

Not everyone has my options of connections, but that doesn’t mean they deserve less recognition or opportunities. There is a large community aspect for how twitch works; small viewer stream may have much more of a community than a larger one, and it can have more potential for profit. The community should be given a chance to speak up and show their support.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Positive reinforcement never hurt anyone



I am competitive, I am critical, and I judge. I can always find room for improvement or an area someone can work on. I have previously advocated for constructive criticism for casters - I said that we need to move past the flame and on to something that can help people improve. I heard an amazing cast from Durka and Motpax the other day, and I realized there is another side to this; we do not always need to be critical to help others improve.


Positive reinforcement never hurt anyone

Think about that. Do you lose anything by complimenting someone? WIll this have a negative impact on your life? There is nothing to lose by telling someone they are doing a good job. I am not talking just about casters here. Streamers, hosts, writers, anyone who is essentially providing you a service for your enjoyment. In general, compliments are just a way to be nice, and there isn’t anything wrong with being nice. Compliments give people confidence, and helps them continue to do well. To be completely honest though, I am not advocating positive reinforcement for the nice aspect, I believe in more selfish goals.



These people are your entertainment. We spend a lot of time getting our fill of esports, we are reliant on other people to keep us busy. I personally want these people to entertain me how I prefer to be entertained. Constructive criticism is one way to steer people towards what you want, but what about that positive reinforcement?


Here is an example. I may have a few songs on my playlist that you absolutely hate, and let’s be honest, the more you whine about it, the more I will probably play them because I resent you trying to control my stream. However, if there are songs of a style you prefer and you compliment those, I see something I can do to make my stream a more pleasing place. Instead of pissing me off by questioning my music choice, you are offering me a gentle incentive to shift the music to something you would enjoy more.


People are defensive. People in the public eye need to demonstrate they cannot be pushed around or influenced by “random 12 year olds on the internet.” The most well intentioned criticisms can be easily ignored using that justification. But who gets defensive when you compliment them?

A compliment will probably always be received better than a criticism, and will likely be more effective in communicating your point. It can be hard to compliment someone when they are doing something that annoys you, this is where selfishness comes in. If a caster constantly tells boring personal stories (or the current fad of our hate on excessive meming), find a moment where they shout casted an amazing team fight, or analyzed an item choice really well. Point out that with a very sly “You stayed focussed on the game so well here, it was one of my favorite moments in your casting.” This gives a caster incentive to cover the game and leave their own life out of it.

What else? Everyone is frustrated with “click-bait” or sensationalist titles, but telling the writer that the article let you down as compared to the title will just lead them to the “What do random people know, I’m the writer, I’m right.” Think if you tell that writer that the topic was really interesting, you wish you could read even more about it. This gives the writer the information that people would appreciate more depth and information without putting them on the defensive.


Everyone can improve; we are all constantly learning. Positive reinforcement can help to encourage that learning and keep people motivated. It can also serve as a nicer way to steer someone away from behaviors and styles you don’t like.

There’s nothing wrong with being selfish and there is nothing wrong with being nice. There is no reason you cannot be both.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Man, it's so easy for you as a woman

frequently have people envious of my female status in esports. Whether they directly tell me they’re jealous, or that I have it easy, or they are silently thinking something along those lines, I deal with that sentiment with most people I interact with. Esports is predominantly male, or at least the vocal part is. There are few women, and it often seems like we have a shorter road to the top.


So what are my perks? Well, I have a massive amount of information at my disposal because I am dating a professional player. Since we don’t have female pros, women do have a better shot at dating a pro and accessing that level of information and connections. Sorry guys, I guess my love life is really getting me ahead, must be a massively unfair advantage. The girlfriend gets much more respect than the friend, right? The girlfriend is never viewed as a distraction, or a sign a player isn’t focussed, correct? Think about the cultural ideals you have about girlfriends. If I was a guy getting VIP access at TI because I was a player’s friend, would any of those stigmas apply to me? Even better, imagine if I was me, but single, and I was just a friend. What would be said about me and that player? Would people think, wow, she must be super cool and smart to be friends with someone who has such a unique and busy life? Or would they perhaps be more focussed on the “friend” status and take bets about how long until my pants get invaded?


Let’s talk about the clearest perceived perk. You have boobs, your life is easy.


Ok so yes, women can use their attractiveness to their advantage. Most people know me for my cosplays, something that gives me easy attention! Just put on a bra and some black eyeliner and I can be Queen of Pain and become internet famous! Well, first of all, cosplaying takes an immense amount of time and money, so easy is definitely the wrong word. The biggest issue with this thought lies in the belief that female cosplays are equal to positive attention. When I make a cosplay, I stare at the in game model with crazy exaggerated features and adjust my neck and hemlines as much as possible to stay true to the character, but avoid the negative stigmas. Every decision I make is carefully calculated to avoid  being called an “attention whore” while still bringing a character I love to life. 

I just went and re-scanned the reddit comments from my Mirana and Beastmaster cosplays. A large amount of comments are directed towards congratulating me on NOT baring everything. People don’t see the craft, all they see is me deviating from the female stereotype. When people come to check out cosplay streams, they are surprised I have a personality and actually want to play the game. I face so many stereotypes and preconceived notions when I put on a cosplay, and I have to fight constantly to demonstrate that I do it out of passion, and that I do indeed have a brain.



Imagine if a guy did as many cosplays as I did. Quality male cosplays face much less cynicism , and are almost universally applauded for doing something unique. People do not focus on body type or request “more battlefury” for the cleavage boost. There is no discussion of the amount of skin shown or how desperate he must be for attention. Remember this the next time you see a cosplay on the front page of reddit and you think of how easy that girl must have it.


Outside of cosplay, in general female streamers are assumed to only be successful because they are women. When you are a new streamer it is easier to get viewers if you are a woman. Once you have a solid cohort of viewers? It is immensely challenging to grow. People see a female stream and make assumptions about the stream. They expect cleavage, white knights and neckbeards in chat, and a streamer who has no idea how to play the game. No matter how hard I work to improve, interact, and have a fun and focussed channel, new people to the stream will generally assume I have gotten my partnership and viewer numbers by flaunting my femininity. I personally feel like I had a faster trip to mediocrity, but growth beyond that is much more challenging as a woman, and I struggle with stereotypes and negative expectations every day.

What this all comes down to is respect. I can easily get attention, but only as a superficial blow up doll. Any intellectual contribution I have is viewed through the lense of me as a cosplayer or streamer, not as a person. My article seeking a better feedback mechanism for casters was deemed an attention whoring mechanism to seize drama and promote myself, rather than me recognizing a lack of a service in the community and attempting to help. People may envy my partnership, my “insider knowledge”, and my front page reddit accessibility with cosplays, but they don’t realize that it means nothing, because I am regarded as nothing. Everyone has to work hard. I am not saying men have it easy or that other people work less. Men have a harder time being noticed and I am sure they put in just as much time as me. However, they don’t have to face the stigmas and negative stereotypes. I would like people to really think about what it is they are envious of the next time they accuse me of having it easy. I didn’t struggle as much with being noticed, but every day is a battle to prove again and again that I am a person with passion, goals, and a desire to contribute in a way that extends beyond emptying your tissue box.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My concussion has made me a better player



About a year ago, I was doing a standard experiment in lab and I fainted. Apparently my head made a resounding crack on the tile floor; I woke up to concerned faces and paramedics loading me onto a backboard. I don’t remember much of what happened at the hospital, I just remember staggering outside and climbing into an uber so I could go and lay down. It took me a few days to really notice, but in addition to the pounding headache, fatigue, and an almost insipid calm fog of apathy, I seemed to have entirely lost my sense of smell and taste. I can’t remember much about the months following my concussion, I am currently finding it terrifying how little I do remember. I remember the intense headaches lasting for about 6 weeks. I remember the only time I could find relief was laying in the sun in the late afternoon. I remember burning things multiple times because I couldn’t smell that they were done. I remember not feeling emotions; I would know something should make me angry or happy, but I couldn’t actually feel rage or joy.


Mirana Cosplay with Nahaz
 MLG Columbus 2015
So how does Dota fit into this? I continued to stream, but I focused more on crafting cosplays and playing casually. I still traveled to MLG Columbus, but I made sure I had friends around to watch out for me. I went and worked at The Summit 3, and my concussion almost seemed like a blessing. I was assigned to watch the players practice room: a room with no airflow, snacks littered everywhere, and sweaty player occupation 24/7. I was quite happy I had lost my sense of smell. I was convinced that the loss of smell and taste were the only long term side effects of my concussion, and I was very slowly gaining those back. My headaches subsided, my emotions became less apathetic, and I was learning ways to cope. I still had trouble concentrating and it took much more effort to commit anything to memory or learn new concepts.


Dota was excellent therapy to retrain my brain. There is a constant learning curve, a high priority placed on decision making, and a need to keep several things straight in your head all at once. At the same time, it only exists as a single finite match, so a game didn’t represent an extended source of mental stress. I could tax myself for a short interval, rest and reset, and try again. I started playing ranked, and I was winning. I played a couple heroes over and over again to grind their mechanics into my brain and hone my instincts. I’ve noticed something as a result of this. If I haven’t spammed a hero since my concussion, I cannot play that hero well. My reactions that might be lightning fast (for me) on my QOP, my first hero spammed post concussion, but they are slow and pathetic on Tinker, a hero I had trained on with the help of a coach for several weeks pre-concussion.


My skill level is immensely dependent on how my week has been going. If I get 15 minutes less sleep than I need, I am incapable of winning. I lose all focus, make poor decisions, and seem trapped in a cycle of self-destruction. If I am well rested and not feeling any kind of stress, I am unstoppable. I can play any of my favorite heroes and dominate any lane I am in. These are concepts that probably hold true for any player, rest and an uncomplicated day lead to you playing better, why are these specific to trying to play following a serious head injury?


I recently started exercising again. I am an active person, and having to be still for nearly a year was slowly destroying me. I have taken it slow and been careful, but in a moment of sleepy stupidity, I decided to warm up with jumping jacks. The first nine were fine, but the tenth had me on my knees in agony as a fierce headache took over everything. It went away, and I figured, okay, no more jumping jacks. I entered a losing streak in game, nothing I could do seemed to change anything. Any position I played, any choices I made, they all seemed to be wrong. I stopped playing ranked and decided to learn new heroes, or just relax and play casually for a bit. Then I realized something very important. Every day since the jumping jacks, I have had a low grade headache. I am much more likely to be impulsive, I have no filter, and I have very poor decision making. Even simple items builds take twice as long for me to decide on, and standard spell combos have noticeable delay before my brain can tell my fingers what keys to press. I am quick to notice others mistakes and I often join in on fights against my better judgement, but the little voice telling me to ignore my team is dwarfed by my desire to run in.


These are traits normal of a lower skilled player (mid 3ks, reporting in), but they are noticeably worse for me when my concussion symptoms resurface. It is my belief that my concussion impaired my ability to make decisions and critically analyze situations. While Dota does seem to be excellent therapy for training my brain, I have to be continuously aware of that little voice, and ensure I learn to follow it.

A Dotabuff graph of my win rate since my concussion, the trend seems clear to me!
I think that my symptoms represent the challenges most average players face, mine were just exaggerated enough by the head injury for me to notice how important they were. We ignore the rational side of our brain, we struggle to control our emotions, and we lack the focus necessary to understand everything that is going on in the game. Normally, I blame my head injury for my inability to improve, but now I realize that it has given me a vehicle for understanding exactly what I need to work on. I know that I am slow to mentally process combos, but repeated practice lets a different part of my brain take over and allows me to excel. I know I make impulsive decisions, but emphasis on listening to the tiny rational piece will eventually elevate my decision making. I might have a steeper climb than without the concussion, but I think that I develop as a better player overall since I can clearly recognize my weaknesses, even if they will be a struggle to overcome.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Are Tournaments Oversaturating the Scene?

Lately, we have noticed a clear absence of certain teams from LAN events, such as EG from the $650,000 prize pool WCA, or Team Secret from The Summit 4, while OG seems to have been present at every single possible LAN they could fit into their schedule (excepting WCA, they did not exist during this qualifying stage). Fans expect these high profile tournaments to be infused with top talent, almost like we get TI over and over again. We are disappointed when a well-produced LAN (such as The Summit) is missing the team we want to cheer for and see crush the competition. Are teams just getting lazy? Or are their schedules becoming saturated?


Every week I browse Reddit and Twitter in a frantic attempt to stay on top of all the tournaments that are popping up everywhere. We have seen a massive increase in tournaments and prize money since the release of Dota 2 as its own engine. The number of online and LAN events increased with every passing year, with LAN events often having a large online time requirement. DatDota lists over 150 tournaments (including online qualifier portions of LAN events) in both 2014 and 2015, with total prize money available in Dota increasing over 1700% since 2011. 

We all know that a large portion of prize pool increases are from The International, but we are also seeing an increase in LANs prize pools. Organizers and sponsors are stepping in to offer more and more money, with the percentage of LANs with impressive payouts increasing. In 2011, Dota 2 saw 6 LAN events, with a peak at 42 in 2014, and the distribution of the prize pools for these LANs has swung to over 60% having total prize pools of over $100,000 USD.
All of these stats are interesting, but also fairly expected. What does this mean for the scene in general? Dota requires an immense amount of preparation and mental ability. Players need to be well rested, and captains need to study every opponent and determine the best strategy to win. There doesn’t seem to be a massive skill gap between players, with games usually being decided based on team coordination and drafting strategy. Oversaturating your schedule with LANs (and their online qualifying components) could be incredibly detrimental to your ability to perform well as a team. OG had more games on the 6.85 patch than the teams they faced there, and it was evident as they launched themselves forward to win the first majors. Since the Frankfurt Majors, they have struggled to replicate their success falling short at The Defense 5 and The Summit 4. On the couch at The Summit they said that with playing and travelling so much, they can’t practice new strategies. Any teams that go up against them know exactly what to expect, and they have had the time to practice for it. On the other hand, Team Secret is swept a few LANs leading into the Majors, but are now struggling. They very rarely play in events, struggled in the Starladder online qualifiers, and they were knocked out of WCA group stages without even getting a shot at the main event. Chinese teams are falling off, and many cite that players can make more money by streaming than by practicing. More money is a great thing for growing the scene, but it may also bring more problems as teams and players need to decide their priorities.

The increasing money may create scheduling conflicts at the top tier, but the various “tiers” of competitive Dota are flourishing under the explosive growth. Earlier in the year, the team union announced their teams would not participate in online only events. Many people were outraged at this, but should a top 8 team in the world that can have their pick of tournaments play in a small tournament for $10,000?  These online leagues are (and should be) for less experienced and unsponsored teams to have a shot at a highly competitive environment and some money.

People like to say there is an “over saturation” of tournaments, but it really seems like we are experiencing booming growth. The Majors system will force top teams to prioritize their schedules for high value events while giving newer teams some breathing room to compete for the smaller tournaments. We are fortunate to be able to experience so many teams all playing at such a high level of Dota that they all cannot be at the same event, and just enjoy that we have so many more events to experience.