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Posted by on Mar 14, 2011 | 3 comments

Maelk's Thought About DotA 2

Recently, has managed to get an interview with Jacob 'Maelk' Toft-Andersen. Maelk is one of the most popular DotA player in the world. In this interview, he is talking what he thought about DotA 2 and the future of DotA-genre game. Let's go!
You've been playing DotA for almost seven years now, do you feel there's a decline of interest and activity recently?

Jacob 'Maelk' Toft-Andersen:
This June it'll be seven years. I feel the attention from larger organizations has gone back partially due to release of HoN and LoL drawing all of the genres attention, and then of course because they already tried it once without success presumably because of unprofessional teams and the lack of tournaments to promote themselves in.
What are the consequences of the fewer attention from larger organizations? What exactly has changed since the release of HoN and LoL?

A lot less live LAN-tournaments despite the online tournaments having a larger prizepurse than ever before. Also, fewer teams get to treat the game as serious as they could have with the motivation it gives having an organization behind them: something I've always enjoyed and that has kept me focused. Well, both the new games drew a lot of new players to the genre and suddenly the organizations and sponsors focused their attention on that instead of DotA – in what I can only assume is an attempt to be on the cutting edge of development and trying to be forerunners for new projects.
Would you think the announcement of DotA 2 is helping the scene right now, instead of putting all those games in some kind of waiting loop?

I think it will cause sponsors to have DotA on their mind when looking into new ventures rather than putting all their effort into HoN or LoL, the same way it did with StarCraft: Broodwar teams and players months before the release of StarCraft 2. It's my personal wish that, with DotA2, the scenes are merged together and both HoN and LoL will fade out.
Do you and your whole team plan to switch over to DotA 2 completly once it's released?

You've said already, that organisations are less eager to pick up DotA-squads nowadays, still SK, EG or fnatic are sponsoring HoN-Teams. Do you think the HoN-Players are more professional?

No, I just think that they're the flavor of the month so to speak. Unlike Counter-Strike and StarCraft 2, the respective HoN teams

will get the boot when a new game in the genre – in this case DotA2 – comes along. HoN is a trend, nothing more.
Unlike DotA, there is a real developer behind HoN and LoL. It's assumed that's what's missing for DotA, a company to promote and support the game financially. Couldn't that be a deciding difference that could make them more successful?

It could defi

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nitely contribute to it, yes, but I believe other stuff such as graphics, matchmaking, rankings and all that stuff that DotA can't offer on the WC3-engine, to be a bigger contributor. If the entire DotA-community was all placed on the same platform rather than hundreds of different ones, I'm sure the game would be a lot more succesful.
The ESL picked up LoL recently for their featured EPS. It's endowed with 10.000 Euro Prize-Money, a chance DotA was never really offered. Why did the ESL choose LoL over DotA or HoN?

DotA had its chance in ESL, albeit with a lower prizepurse, but never really broke through. Possibly because of severe unprofessionality by the teams. LoL is easy approachable and works great as game for everyone to play without having a steep learning curve nor require particularly much skill thus being very popular – for the time being.
One might think that DotA-players should have made the experience to be looked upon, when there has been a lot of discussion about the amount of skill required to play either Warcraft 3 or DotA. Still, nowadays DotA-players treat HoN or LoL-players inferior. Isn't that a major problem of the scene?

I think the difference lies in the fact that Warcraft 3 and DotA were two entirely different games whilst DotA actually resembles LoL and especially HoN a lot thus being much easier to pass judgement on. I don't look down upon HoN-players as such, there are some very talented players on the HoN-scene, but I've both played and watched LoL-games and it struck me as very different in terms of individual skill.
What exactly differs in LoL from DotA or HoN that makes it require less skill in your opinion?

For one, I think they did a huge mistake on removing the denying-factor of the game although I understand their reasoning behind it. I just don't agree with it. Furthermore I feel the spell-usage is far too easy, not nearly as complex in terms of timing or precisioning as in DotA/HoN. There's a lot of minor things that all adds up to a different game experience.
Is there a difference between HoN and DotA?

Yes, there is a difference in HoN and DotA – anyone having played both, regardless of preference, can attest to this. I can't specify what it is since like LoL from these games, it's all the small things that adds up.
Do you think that players could switch from DotA to HoN and contrariwise without losing too much skill?

Yes, essentially both ways work as it would most likely solely depend on how well the player adapts and if the game he moved to fitted him better than his original one. A good example of a person swapping game with huge success would be Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbueckers – I believe he was nominated best All-around player of 2010.

That's the part of the interview which talked about the DotA genre, the rest is talking about Maelk's game. It's nice to know the opinion of a pro-DotA player. Hope Valve and IceFrog can live up their expectation!


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  1. This is really interesting, it is funny how he dislikes HoN and LoL. But there is a rather large difference between DotA and other similar games, can’t wait for DotA 2 to get released.

  2. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your excellent writing because of this problem.

  3. is better website for DotA, DotA2 and soon will be open League and Tournaments