Transcript — Dota 2: Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov TEDx Talk 2016
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Dota 2 – Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov TEDx Talk 2016 – Full Lecture
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov – Gamer
Hello. My name is Clement Ivanov. I’m 25 years old. I am brought to you here by TEDx to talk to you about the world of eSports. I am a professional gamer, and I play a game called Dota 2 for Team Secret, which I also own and I’m a founder of.
Nowadays, if person comes to me and knows what I do and knows who I am, to me he gives me a lot of positive attitude, and he wishes that he could play the game as well as I do.
Well not long ago, if I would tell anybody about what I’m actually doing and how seriously I take gaming, I’d be either scolded or frowned upon. My parents, who bought me my computer, had a very negative outlook on gaming, and I don’t blame them, because all I do is spend my time on playing that computer, and I don’t take anything seriously anymore from the social world like school or something like that.
But I can understand that, because these days, probably further like nowadays, we’re going to have people like kids tell their parents that they want to be gamers too, and they’re going to tell them that they can earn a lot of money from it, and it’s probably an excuse to just spend more time on the computer to waste more time.
Well, society expects a person to go through the stable steps in life. Mid school, high school, university to get a degree, to get a job and you know that’s normal, and you’re either that, or you’re different, and if you’re different, then you most likely will be scolded for that. I did not really care about the social norms. I was confident that school was not my path, and I used that confidence to go my own way.
I myself believe that knowing music was more important than school. I myself believe that earning more money somehow through a game like poker was way more important than school. Dota was just a fun game, and I really enjoyed it, and I still do, and it just makes my brain tingle. I like it.
Realistically, there was no clear moment for me, that I realized I should become a gamer now. It’s more of a learning process. It takes a long time for you to figure out if you’re going to be good at something. It turned from a hobby into a career. Not long ago, I was at Stockholm Airport, and in that Stockholm Airport, I was in a burger place. In that burger place, there was a person, a fan, that came to me and wanted a picture of me, and that same person told me that there’s Magnus Carlsen sitting two tables in front of me, and she said that she wants to take a picture from both of us for herself to put on the internet or whatever the case is, and I was like amazed that right there, I was neatly compared to a young chess grandmaster while if I would think long time ago I was being scolded for the reason of even being a gamer.
Dota is about strategy, momentum, and action. Two teams that play against each other, both consisting of five players play either on the Radiant side or the Dire side, in other words, left or right. The game itself is one big map and it contains resources and objectives. Before a match even starts, each person can select a unique character out of a pool with more than a hundred, who have their own distinctive abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. There are three lanes. In those lanes, there are defensive towers, buildings called the barracks, and the ancient, which if you kill, you win the game.
Now that pretty much sums up Dota in a simple fashion, although the complexity of the game comes from different angles. For instance, a hero’s unique reason of choice is because its strength is to specifically dominate another hero. Many of the heroes have the tendency to synergize with each other. We as gamers use the word counter a lot, which realistically means the opposite, and we use it to talk about which character counters another.
The sequence of countering can also be neglected by the choice of another hero. Keep in mind that there are five players who have all their own characters. At this point, I can tell you that there are position roles like most games in life. The simple explanation for it is that there are limited resources in the game and through that come priorities on who gets them and who does not.
Now the resource called gold can be used to buy items which boost the strength of your hero. Some heroes use the items way more efficiently, therefore are more valuable for you to get gold. The other resource is experience, which makes your hero’s ability stronger and there are a lot of heroes which benefit more from experience rather than gold.
Now, you get more of an understanding what kind of a game Dota is, but I would briefly explain to you a little bit more about these important factors. Let’s say like vision. There’s a thing called fog of war, which basically means that you cannot see that area unless you have vision of it. Things that provide vision are your defensive towers, buildings overall, heroes themselves, sometimes their abilities, units that fight for you, and also an item called the Ward. Having the ability to see the surrounding area before entering a fight can be crucial and make the difference of you winning or losing the game.
Playing around with vision can create a lot of mind games, which change how the game is being played. You might be afraid to be aggressive, if you cannot see what’s surrounding you, but with solid vision, you can maximize your capabilities without any surprises.
Vision is part of Dota strategy and a lot of the big tournaments in this world in Dota have been won because of one team having better vision.
[Video: ….won an absolute match. God, that was so nice, executed by Secret, but we go back to the vision right? Like look at the Wards that Secret have right now. They saw everything that was going to happen. Every single thing, every movement that EG made, was spotted out.]
Lastly, I will tell you about the game mode: Captains Mode. Two captains face off and draft accordingly to their plans in a sequence of choosing and removing heroes one-by-one. There is a marginal amount of time given for you to figure out what the enemy is trying to do and you, yourself, plan to do of course. This is where most of the raw strategy happens. To maneuver, to outmaneuver your enemy in a draft battle is the most successful way of winning in Dota, and it is quite the difficult thing to grasp.
I myself, I like games which challenge me. Games that put me to the test. Dota is my test. It’s my challenge.
About 11 years ago, when I started playing the game and meeting new people online and competing against each other to find out who’s the best. It was all fun and games. It was really enjoyable, but as years passed, and only a few years, it started to be noticeable that the game became harder, because it started to draw more attention, and with attention, it just started to become more complex of a game because a lot more programmers and helpers started developing the game too.
Good teams started to develop. Tournaments started to become more frequent, but that wasn’t the biggest challenge to play the game in a very top pace. The problem was to actually make four other people with you, synergize with each other, and win the game like that.