​Your Dota 2 questions answered, vol. 4: with PyrionFlax!

Wraith King

You know who never gives up? Wraith King. He came back from being a skeleton.

Every two weeks, PC Gamer Pro takes your deepest, most personal Dota questions and delivers them to the personalities that can (hopefully) help. You can find the last set here. This week, PyrionFlax delivers hot truth on the following topics: whether we work for Valve; whether you should be able to blacklist individual players; the surrender question; getting into competitive play.

Game Is Hard normally goes up on a Tuesday, but we’re a little late this week because we lost the recording of our initial conversation. As a result we had the same conversation again today, which was in no way weird. Not one bit at all.

If you'd like to send us a question for next week, email pcgamerpro@pcgamer.com with 'GAME IS HARD' in your subject line. Please note! We’re not Valve, and we can’t help with your tech support query. No, seriously. We’re not. Please stop.

Ted 'Pyrionflax' Forsyth


Pyrion’s life as a Dotaman began with his expertly illustrated, pro-quality hero guides and continued through an announcer pack and subsequent appearances at pretty much every Dota event on the planet. We once played in a games industry Dota tournament together, which is notable for this moment, possibly Shane’s finest hour (warning: NSFW language.) Pyrion currently has a new Dota 2 series in the works, Lanin’ ‘n’ Complainin’ with TotalBiscuit.
Twitter @pyrionflax
Twitch pyrionflax

PCG Chris: First up, a man who misunderstands what this is. Hammad writes:

“Why on Earth is it taking so much time for you guys to launch Pit Lord? I want this question to be answered on PCG in front of the whole public. Dying for that hero to come out for ages, at least release him now.”

PyrionFlax: Basically, I don’t understand why he thinks that we control Dota. We do not. This is for people who have questions about Dota in general. For instance, off the top of my head, Chris, “why isn’t there a concede button in Dota.” That’s a question I could answer. Not “why hasn’t Valve done X” because I don’t bloody know.

Chris: Previously we settled on the idea that people were reaching for any opportunity to speak to Valve because they rely on Reddit rather than having their own official channel.

PFlax: Right, yeah. True. We said something interesting, rather than telling the guy to shut up. Valve don’t have a community person. It’s a money-and-manpower-saving option that they’ve gone for. Rather than be hit with a billion questions, 99% of which will be garbage, we’ll let Reddit and sites like that filter all the garbage out for us and they’ll respond to the top ones. So if you’ve got a problem, make a post.

Chris: Regardless of how frustrating Valve’s lack of official communication is, this is not the place to ask where Pit Lord is or isn’t.

PFlax: I don’t have him. He’s not down my sofa or anything. I don’t know where he is.

Chris: What a crazy happenstance, though! Mark just happens to ask:

“Why is there no surrender function in base matchmaking?”

PFlax: Good question, Mark! That’s what I’m talking about.

Chris: Is it a good question, Ted?

PFlax: It is! It is. I’ll tell you: I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, every Dota player should have ‘never give up, never surrender’ tattooed on their heart. If you want to play a game where you can quit, go play League of Legends and quit being a decent person. You’ll never get the comebacks like you got in the Alliance vs. NiP game. If you want to know why you should never quit, watch that.

Chris: A comeback is always possible, even when it seems like it’s probably… not.

PFlax: Also, in games where you can do that people bail on it within five seconds. “My lane didn’t go well, I’m done.” They refuse to come back, they don’t put the work in. You learn so much more about how to play past the laning phase if you actually play past the laning phase.

Go back to DotA 1 and tell me how many games you got to complete. My mates were telling me, what would happen is a guy gets ganked three times in the offlane and he just quits. Or mid doesn’t gank and the safelane farmer says “screw this, you’re not helping, I’m out.”

Troll Warlord

Nobody likes a troll.

Chris: In the event that you do find somebody that just wants to quit, Malvin has a suggestion:

“Why can't players ban some players from ever playing with them again? Before Dota 2 Reborn, after a game, sometimes there’d be a survey that asked you how likely you were to want to play with some players. I was hoping that could be the start of a selective pool of players that you wanna play with.”

PFlax: Solo queue is what it is. Everybody I know who solo queues says “I am literally killing myself in solo queue.” It is painful and agonising to rely on the support of four strangers, some of whom may not even speak the same language as you, some of whom may not have any interest in working as a team, some of whom may be people who are so desperately antisocial that they have no option but to solo queue.

It is tough and there’s no way around it. I do think that the idea of having a ban list of people you don’t want to play with again is an intriguing idea, but the problem is that Valve don’t want to drive people out of the game by having them on some kind of shitlist. Because people can change, Chris! Even a bad Dota player can change into a decent person. I guess.

Chris: Have you literally ever seen that happen.

PFlax: No, but it’s possible, Chris. It’s the same as the concede button, right? Do we want to concede on these people or do we want to accept that they could make a comeback? In the spirit of Dota, we’ve got to allow for that. All you’ve got to do is not solo queue. If you need to, mute everybody, turn off pings and chat wheel, put some music on, ignore your team, and try to relax and have fun. Don’t sweat so much about making new buddies. It’s not a party.

Chris: Or if you do want a party, actually join a party with your friends. It’s right there. Speaking of which, George writes:

“In my time in Dota 2 I have developed a decent amount of skill. I am looking to take my gaming from a casual level to a more competitive level, but I don't see any starting points in Dota 2 or online for that matter. How would I join some kind of amateur team or guild?”

PFlax: Try to get into the LAN scene of whatever country you live in. LANs are a very good way to meet people. Everybody tries their heart out, you will make lots of friends there, you will have fun, especially if you like drinking. In the UK, that is, anyway. If there’s no LAN scene near you I’m very sorry, but even in the UK (that cess pit of pro Dota where apparrently nothing can emerge) we have Dota LANs all the time. Keep your eyes peeled. People are always looking for players.

There’ll usually be a web page attached to a LAN saying “we’re four looking for a fifth” or “I’m one, looking for a team”. Try and get a team together there. You won’t get very far, because you’ll be up against people who play together all the time, but it is invaluable experience. You never know: if you play well, other teams will notice that. You’re never going to go pro. Fnatic aren’t going to go, “that guy! We need him mid!” But it is a great place to play Dota, and you never know.

Chris: You’re allowed to have that dream, though.

PFlax: Exactly!

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PC Gamer Pro is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!

Chris Thursten

Joining in 2011, Chris made his start with PC Gamer turning beautiful trees into magazines, first as a writer and later as deputy editor. Once PCG's reluctant MMO champion , his discovery of Dota 2 in 2012 led him to much darker, stranger places. In 2015, Chris became the editor of PC Gamer Pro, overseeing our online coverage of competitive gaming and esports. He left in 2017, and can be now found making games and recording the Crate & Crowbar podcast.