Emil Englund
Dota 2 Faceoff: Arrowhead vs Talawa

By the end of 2012 Arrowhead was struck with the affliction commonly known as Dota 2. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dota 2, it’s Valve’s sequel to the Warcraft 3 mod DotA (Defense of the Ancients) in which you have two teams – with 5 heroes on each side – trying to destroy the other team’s  home base.

Just before Christmas, we faced off against Talawa Games - another small studio located here in Stockholm and one of the developers of Unmechanical - in an epic battle that would decide the fate of the next after-work, or at least who would buy the beer for it.

We gathered our most battle hardened players, people having played at least 15 games of Dota 2 in the past.

Get your game face on; it’s time to shine.

We managed to find 5 people who had caught the Dota-flu, however only 4 of us could play from the office, since Calle – our excentric artist who had slept in a ditch the night before – had caught an actual cold and had to play from the comfort of his own home.

It was a game heavy with prestige, but at times some of us even had fun.

Arrowhead’s setup:

  • Slardar (Axel)
  • Viper (Malin)
  • Zeus (Fluffy)
  • Riki (Calle)
  • Treant (Me)

Facing off against Talawa’s:

  • Drow (André)
  • Tidehunter
  • Witch doctor
  • Necrolyte
  • Skeleton King

Sorry you other guys, but I don’t know your names yet. Maybe we’ll find out, the next after-work.

Designer scarves. They also help you win games.

We later learned that we had chosen a horrible setup, but a strong laning phase gave us the head start we needed to keep up. Me and Calle (Treant and Riki) had a tough time in our lane though, because of Talawa’s clever use of truesight wards, but we managed to not get overrun thanks to some timely ganks from Malin (Viper). Also, wearing my designer scarf gave me that important edge when it came to second-to-second gameplay decisions.

While writing this, I really wish I had some gameplay footage to show off, but the replay seems to be unfortunately lost in cyberspace, and no one recorded the thing. I resolve to remedy this the next time we have a developer faceoff. Hmm maybe some kind of live streaming would be cool… Anywho!

Oh, Viper, you so crazy. Spitting poison down that mid-lane

After the laning phase, the game was a lot of back and forth and it wasn’t clear until the very end, who would claim the victory. Talawa’s Drow was dealing heavy damage to anyone coming even close, so, being the tactical geniuses we are, we decided to try to kill her as quickly and often as possible.

It was a close call, but in the end the forces of good (referring to the Radiant, not Arrowhead, even though we are pretty good) prevailed over the minions of evil (referring to Talawa. Just look at their dark website and that evil looking creature with a propeller on it’s head).

Flawless victory! Ok, maybe not flawless.

"No, you're supposed to get the LAST hit."

When the dust had settled, a thorough post-mortem of the game was performed, with the help of the replay, and many lessons were learned.

The whole match was great fun, and we’re bound to do this again, whether it’s in Dota 2 or any other game. In the end, the greatest lesson we all learned was that the most important thing in life, is winning.

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