We asked some of the top minds in four of today's top e-sports about the state of their games.
Will "Blitz" Lee is a professional Dota 2 player, streamer, and sometime caster. You might know him for his Storm Spirit, for his work on the International 2014 newbie stream, or for his role as waifu to Purge's husbando. Formerly of Team Zephyr, he crossed the elusive 7K MMR barrier in January.
What was the highpoint of 2014 for Dota 2?
I'd say the TI matches between DK and EG. All the matches these teams played between one another were highly innovative and close, demonstrating the best of the west, and the fan favorites of the east.
How would you describe the health of the Dota scene?
Fairly strong, I think the active user base is growing, but I hear unrest from competitive players. It feels with how much TI is worth, all other tournaments are just sideshows along the way. There needs to be some way to incite interest again, maybe making tournaments worth seeding points or something.
If you could ask Valve to make one change, what would it be?
Be more transparent with how TI invites are sent, and how tournaments are weighted. Are ones earlier in the year worth less? etc.
In terms of Dota, what do you think was the funniest thing that happened last year?
That I hit 7k before Arteezy.
What is the biggest challenge that the competitive Dota scene faces in 2015?
Probably figuring out how to grow the tournament scene without relying on massive prize pools. It seems the tournaments that pay out 50k+ which is really good money have been left behind or interest is waning for them. I'm not sure how to solve this issue though, just random thoughts.
Who are the players or teams that you think will make the biggest impact this year?
Iceiceice is probably the x factor for VG, think Secret will do well but that isn't really a surprise.
What heroes are you personally enjoying right now?
Storm, Phantom Lancer, Sniper, Lina, all seem really fun and active around the map.
What do you think are the key components of a good Dota stream?
Humor, being able to make fun of yourself/take a joke, being informative, and not letting the chat get to you. Interaction with your stream is also huge, being able to make a personal connection with everyone helps bring people back.
Which Twitch meme makes you secretly smile?
"I sexually identify as an attack helicopter."
Where do you expect the next big innovation or upset in the Dota scene to come from?
Probably a team like Hellraisers or the Koreans, I feel team's like Phoenix/Rave/HR just sort of do whatever fits them without paying attention too much to whatever is popular in other regions.
How would you describe the current state of Korean Dota? Where is it headed in 2015?
Strong, Phoenix and Rave make good cases for being invited from the SEA region, and both can upset top teams, in 2015 I think one Korean team will make it into the main event, but if they make a splash remains to be seen. Maybe one more year till they get top 10 worthy, but with the work ethic it’s possible.