We say life, but what we mean is Dota. Which some might argue is life. It certainly has been the life for Bravado Gaming’s rampantly successful Dota 2 side. But all things, good or bad, do have to come to an end. Even Dota’s 11 year streak as patch 6.xx has finally been broken. And no matter how invulnerable Bravado’s Dota 2 squad may have seemed, after they play in the WESG Global Finals in Shanghai, they will officially hang up their headsets.
If your response to the name “Bravado Emotion” is “Huh?”, here’s a quick catch up: They are the most successful South African Dota 2 team. Ever. Their list of awards is about as long as a short novel. Seriously, it’s multiple pages. And who better to talk to about the whole sad situation than our extremely well-informed friend, Devin ‘HellbirD’ Rigotti.
So let’s begin with how the loss of the behemoth that is Bravado will affect the local scene. They have been the team to beat for the last two years, and their disappearance will undoubtedly result in some sadface.jpg’s.
“Although I think there will be an argument saying that a lot of teams have been playing on the EU circuit and that’s where they get their skills from, I think the hunger to win is always improved by having a local side that is really, really powerful. You’ve got to be better than them at least. And then you’re one step closer to being on that international standard.
And if you think about it, these players are a driving force of the quality of SA Dota. They have effectively been the people that have set the standard. And although we have, at this point, the side of WRG who is capable of beating them, and perhaps others, they are still the trend-setters that got us to this point. They are still the players that made SA Dota better.”
Without Bravado, South African Dota 2 – and esports in the country in general – would not be what it is today. That is a fact. But remember, before you go burning your Bravado jersey with your hand on your heart and Enya playing in the background, the MGO will still be there next year. They will just have a different line-up. Or, just maybe, someone else’s line-up?
“That’s a really good question.”
Thank you, HellbirD.
“Because if you think about it, the sides that are in the Dota scene that are established – we’re talking about eXdee, White Rabbit Gaming, ApG, and probably CarboN – those are the sides that are considered to be the better of the SA lot.
Now I can’t imagine WRG going anywhere. They seem to love their MGO. And Bravado would have to do something pretty amazing to steal that team away from them. The same can be said for ApG as well, and the same can be said for eXdee.”
Odds are they probably won’t be picking up any of the established teams, then. While a good bit of shake up drama is always exciting, our local pool of top players is perhaps a bit too small to allow Bravado to buy a team wholesale.
“So where does that leave Bravado as an organisation? Where do Bravado find a team that can potentially win? Because that is part of Bravado’s repertoire. They are true contenders to any crown in SA gaming. So they’re not going to pick up a side that can’t win.
And that is going to be quite an issue for them. Do they just make these top teams an offer they can’t refuse so they can keep up with that legacy?”
Now that is a great question. But with the recent release of Dota 3, patch 7.00, there have been so many changes to the game that maybe Bravado don’t actually want to sign an established team, and would rather find some new blood. So if you’ve been keeping your Dota talents (Get it? Because Dota has talents now? We crack ourselves up.) hidden from the world, waiting for your time to shine, it’s possible that the time is right now.
All this talk of rosters and performance and legacy aside, when you get down to the bottom of it, we are saying farewell to some godfathers of SA esports. It’s something that every single gamer in the country should be upset about.
But we also need to think of it as a coming of age of sorts. These lads are arguably the best Dota players in the country, and have been for some time. So maybe it is time for them to move on up, and once again be small fish in an enormous pond.
“Some of the guys are going to Europe to pursue professional careers, and I really cannot hope more for anything else in this world right now than to see these guys reach the highest echelons of Dota 2. Because I think it would be great for putting South Africa on the map.
But, more importantly, I think that they actually deserve it. They truly are legends in our environment, and I think it will just be sad to see them go and then never hear from them again because they end up having unremarkable results in tier 2 tournaments.”
So while it’s a big loss for us as esports fans, we should also be damn flipping excited to watch our local boys on the international scene, and give them the support they deserve. Because let’s get real, making it as a pro in Europe is essentially every gamer’s dream right now.
HellbirD puts it perfectly.
“I think it’s a big loss. And I’m sad to see them go. But let’s look at the positives and say, ‘Hey, let’s hope these guys go out and win.’”
Who knows, maybe we’ll see Doni and Flarez in Will Ferrell’s esports movie? Which should definitely be called Keyboards of Glory. TallaDota Nights would be good too. Here’s hoping.