Dota Limelight in the Philippines

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.     Internet cafes are often seen with youths shouting while playing Dota.  Taunting, laughing, mocking and ridiculing among opponents can be heard as the popular PC game is widely played by Filipinos.

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.     To the unfamiliar, Dota is a battle-type game between 2 teams of 5 players each. Players each choose a hero (armed with swords, rifles, super powers, etc).  With those heroes (and battle tactics) , the winning team is the one that destroys the Ancient (a sturdy building) of the enemy.

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.     It has become wonderful entertainment for its players.  People have been meeting regularly to play, some even practice on their own. But for several reasons, Dota has enticed Filipinos.

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.     First off would be the fantasy concept. People love the idea of controlling a sniper, an ogre, a boar, or a troll, etc. Each hero looks different, and has his own capability to help the team. A hero named Crystal Maiden calls down hailstorms from the sky. A slender hero named Razor throws out electricity against his enemies. A skeleton, a blue genie, a giant scorpion, a big spider, a hunchback, a dragon,  a walking tree, are some of the sci-fi appearance of the heroes.

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.     Second would be the cheap computer rentals. At around half a dollar an hour, the players discuss, side by side on ways to win. The affordable rate allows even primary school students to play every day if they want, which hopefully they won’t skip school for.

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.     The third allure of Dota would be team play. Next to basketball, Dota would likely be the closest thing to a team effort for a Filipino. Unlike other nations which have regular soccer games, hockey, football, rugby, baseball, the Filipino has to make do with basketball. Dota provides another team effort venue, although it is not a sport. Non-basketball playing people can find comfort in the group mindset of playing Dota. The social setting is wonderful also as some players talk about their game after.

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.     A fourth appeal of the game created by Icefrog, would be the scandals. Concerning money, some groups go out to bet a lot since their team beats many others.  People sometimes run from lost bets.  Also an eyebrow raiser is the 10 million dollar prize Dota 2 tournament which made the front page of some newspapers. A Dota ban has even been proposed in some towns of the Philippines, notably in Valenzuela and Cavite. A player of the game murdered his grandma when she interrupted his concentration. Another case is an 11 year old being murdered over the game as he had been thought to be using a hack (cheat). Although a pleasant game, Defence Of The Ancients has its share of intrigue.

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.     For these reasons, Dota has put a smile on the places of Filipinos.  A jeepney driver has chatted with a passenger about Dota, curious since he is a newbie. Office workers use their lunch breaks to play quick games of 5 vs 5. Even some ladies, often girlfriends of players, have become competitive and won games against male opponents. Needing an hour to learn, but years to master, Dota could possibly go on affecting Philippine culture.

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