Of Toxic Communities And Getting Good In Dota 2, Tohka Speaks

The MOBA community is known for many reasons. It’s huge player numbers from games like Dota and League Of Legends (LoL), and of course, the huge prize money in e-sports tournaments and their.. less than friendly demeanour online. And that’s putting it lightly.

But that hasn’t stopped our featured gamer of the week, `Ammar Aryani bin Abdul Rani, to get better and be competitive enough to be in a team.

Also known as his in-game name Tohka (a reference to the Date A Live anime series), ‘Ammar described himself as a casual gamer, but has aspirations to make moves in the Dota 2 competitive scene. His competitive drive can be attributed from sibling rivalries ever since childhood, where his brother and him competed in various games including Command & Conquer: Generals, Warcraft 3 and later the original DoTA mod.

“My brother would pwn me a lot because I didn’t even know how to play the game at the first place and I used cheats a lot just to defeat my brother. He still won though [laughs]”, he said.

After moving from Kedah to Kuala Lumpur in 2012, ‘Ammar games even more thanks to having access to cyber cafes. He has played Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, LoL and even Counter-Strike: Global Operations (CS:GO) with his classmates after school. He even met new friends along the way. ” During my time at TF2, I was playing in a Jailbreak server when i got close to a couple of people (which is John and Kielzu) and we stuck together in games like CS:GO and DOTA 2.”

Interestingly, the competitive passion of ‘Ammar has only just been rekindled recently, after he somehow be part of a team in an online Dota 2 tournament called Wintertide Awakening. ‘Ammar recalls how he ended up joining a team dubbed Monsters for the tournament:  “It was 2 weeks before the tournament.I was sitting in front of the computer editing when a friend of mine invited me to an online tournament called Wintertide Awakening.

“At first,I didn’t want to play the tournament because the tournament prize pool was in Indian [Rupees]. Plus the timing was on like midnight in Malaysia while the tournament starts in Indian time. But I agreed because I need more experience at that time. So we gathered a group of people from India, China and Malaysia since we’re playing on SEA server. “

It didn’t end well however. There was a delay in match time due to the opponent team arriving late, and while Monsters put up a fight early on but the team fell apart due to miscommunication, which meant a loss in a single elimination bracket. The team quickly disbanded but ‘Ammar was not put off by the loss. In fact, he did what a good player who seeks to improve do: watch the replay and take note of all the mistakes and positioning issues.

In regards to playing competitive in Dota, ‘Ammar did not shy away on highlighting an issue that most gamers know about the game (and MOBAs in general): the toxic community. He highlights a few things that make this community being labeled that way, particularly in the South East Asia servers. There’s the usual trashtalking, and then there’s boosting (buying accounts with high matchmaking rating).

“People in lower ranks would resort into buying higher ranking accounts in order to show their ranking to their friends. But in exchange for ego, they destroyed the balance of the game,” ‘Ammar explains.

Lastly he mentions the odd behaviour that is intentionally suiciding and thus giving the enemy tons of advantage. This seems like what most people who don’t know how to Dota would do, and would be worse if done intentionally. (Hint for new players: Don’t do that! Go read this long how-to-play guide first or play with a friend who has experience before jumping online!)

It indeed becomes a source of frustration. ” Whenever someone dies in the first 3 minutes, they just give up and type “GG” in all chat or feed the enemy team by dying to them and giving them free money and experience. For most of us, it is frustrating because not only it destroys the fun of playing the game but it also wasted our time.”

In his opinion, the developers should step in and figure out how to address these indecent behaviours. LoL developers Riot Games have been in the forefront of making changes to reduce toxic behavior, which includes using research in psychology to curb these issues. Hopefully Valve does the same for Dota 2.

But outside of that, ‘Ammar offers some sage advice on how to brave your way in each match and get good, despite the potential toxicity:  “If someone in the game blames you for their loss, learn from your mistakes and apply the solution in your next games. Train hard in your game and one day, you might be able to prove yourself in the competitive scene.”

‘Ammar saw the potential of a career path when it comes to video games. Hence why he started his YouTube channel, RY4N Gaming. “Most parents would just want their children to study and have a good job in the country. They don’t know what are the benefits of gaming and just tell their children to not play games and just focus on study,” he added.

It is indeed how the society in Malaysia perceived gaming at the moment. Which is a shame, since plenty of content creators and streamers can now actually make a living out of playing video games.

His video content ranges from the many games he plays to vlogs. This also includes events he had attended such as the Selangor Cyber Games last year. When asked about the his opinion on local gaming events, he says that “The Malaysia Cyber Games was a big success because it bought the e-sports scene into the local news. Plus even the PM came to see the event and spoke with Team Secret.” Though not all events are great. AGES, the South-East Asian event that promised RM1,000,000 in prize have yet to deliver the prizes to the winners.

‘Ammar continues to make video content to prove to his own parents that gaming can lead to a career, as well as helping to encourage more aspiring gamers. Other than that, ‘Ammar wants to be in the company of good, non-toxic Dota players. ” My dream would be to play in the competitive scene with a team of people who didn’t care about their MMR (matchmaking ratings) and just having a fun time.”

And what a wonderful time it would be if it comes true. We hope more level-headed players like ‘Ammar stick around in the community.

You can find ‘Ammar on Fundeavor and on YouTube.

This feature was written as part of a partnership with Fundeavour, a site that helps aspiring gamers around the world to get a head start on beginning their journey as content creators, streamers and eSports players. Want to be featured and share your stories with over 20,000 readers? Check out more info here or sign up with Fundeavour.com!

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