17173 unveiling new weekly show focused on finding new talent

Original: http://dota2.17173.com/news/02282013/193530686.shtml

With the gradual increase in professional clubs and large-scale tournaments alike, the professional scene is on the path to stability and prosperity, while the playerbase grows with each passing day. Yet one awkward problem persists between clubs and players — where to go to find new talent? How to get into playing professionally?

Clubs and managers alike exclaim that the pro scene lacks infusion of new blood, new talent. Simultaneously, there are players at very high skill levels that are interested in playing professionally, that cannot find a way to contact clubs to get a way in, so they lack opportunities to prove themselves in the scene. The vast majority of professional Dota players currently have all hailed from CDEC (China Dota Elite Community, a prime in-house league and networking group for high level Dota players, now inactive) or through the recommendations of old players. But nowadays, CDEC no longer operates, so eager players and ambitious clubs alike, as a result, are stuck in a rut of lack of communication.

In order to create a platform upon which clubs and players can get to know each other, and build understanding, and in order to to bring more high quality matches to Dota2 fans, 17173 gaming channel proudly presents the “Dota Meeting of Elites”, to air weekly at primetime.

In this show, we will invite groups of high level pub players and grassroots teams. They will undergo a series of matchmaking games to display their pub-king skills and mechanics, as well as engage in clan wars amongst each other to display their understanding, teamwork, knowledge. Of course, there will not be a lack of interactive matches involving the audience.

March 1, we will welcome the first episode of “Dota Meeting of Elites”

For this episode, the focus will not only be on renowned and widely-acknowledged player “king of the pubs” Zexbingo, but also will feature the publicly acclaimed “number one in China” pub team Ti9, running the highest level in pub strategies. (Ti9 have recently achieved top 8 in the just-ended GosuCup, only falling to the eventual runners-up, Mith)

No matter the results, our sincere hope is that this can deliver some Dota2 new blood to those clubs that need it, and that this can be a platform for those determined players to have a chance at proving themselves to the professional scene. Furthermore, we hope that we can bring exciting matches to current and potential Dota2 fans alike.

This Friday, 19:00, “Dota Meeting of Elites”, be there or be square.

17173 live pages: http://live.17173.comhttp://www.fengyunzhibo.com/group/2785-43n84q3s.htm

 

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The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [6-9]

A better love story than — oh, fuck it. Yeah. As far as I’ve figured out, this is autobiographical. Respect to him for pouring it out for all to see, and what an amazing window into the life of a Chinese progamer it is that he’s shared with us…

Note that, if you read the entire thing, it is possible to figure out which teams and competitions he is talking about, to give yourself an even deeper view into the progamer side of it all. He covers the time between roughly 2010 to 2013, and mentions teams and competitions, along with how they affected him… For further background reading, directly related, see his response last year from the ACE/EHOME controversy.

Send LanM your wishes and support: http://t.qq.com/guoercwh

This is part 6 through 9 of LanM’s 9-part series. Part 1 through 3 have been translated and are available on Dotaland here. Part 4 and 5 can be found here.

The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [Part 6-9]
by LanM

6. Story III

Ever since the girl tore up the marriage agreement and broke off all relations with her parents, the boy had became enamoured, infatuated, hungry for money. He put everything down to his own inability — if he had the money, then things like age, profession, would all not be barriers. He thus drifted away from the ideals of chasing after your dreams, and settled into patterns of  temperamental outbursts. He’d burn in anger out of nothing, throw things, even hurt himself… But despite the fact that it was her entry into his life that changed his once carefree lifestyle, he never directed his anger towards her, because she was the one he had promised to stand by for life.

Since the girl left home, for good this time, the boy had seemingly been gripped in a madness in his work. And even when she came to him with sweet words and kind gestures, he’d at most give it the bare minimum in response before burying himself back into the world on his computer. Angry, she would ask, “Exactly which is more important, me or your work?”

“Without my work I have no money, without money how do I marry you, what will I have to love you?” were the words in his mind, but not on his lips. Instead, he would respond, “Stop bothering me, go away and be quiet.”

Hurt, she went into the room, shut the door, and cried — oh how she must’ve hoped that he would push the door open, come in, and give her a hug. But he was too far focused on his computer, and by the time he realized his words in those moments had been too harsh, it was late. When he went in, he found that she’d long since fallen asleep, and because of his own fatigue, when he went to lie down for sleep he never noticed that half her pillow had been soaked through in tears, and that was the first time they slept with their backs to each other.

What is it, really, that constantly pushes life in directions away from those we desire?

For the Lunar New Year that year, the girl did not go back to her own parents’ home, and instead went with the boy back to his home. They dared not tell his elders the details between them. Over the past two years, the boy had ceased being seen as that naive youngster, and at the dinner table he conversed freely and fluently with them all while she sat to his side and quietly listened. In the relatives’ eyes, they were seemingly a good match; she was faithful and pretty, he was smart and hard-working. The two of them felt this way as well, and that night, with her arms around his neck, she said, “Let’s name our child in the future Xiaofan, okay?” He asked why, and she replied that it was the name of the main character in the books she was reading at the time, a great character. On an average day, in order to not get in the way of his focus, she’d just sit at home and read on her phone; sometimes for a day at a time, and thinking of this, the boy’s determination in being with her grew ever more, and he kissed her deeply……

His team, because of problems with finances in the past year, had disbanded. He then signed with a newly formed team, but the new team’s progress was slow, and wouldn’t be able to pay him well in the short term. Without pay, how could he prove to her parents, what would he have to show? He ate little and slept fitfully. She saw all of this, but every time she went to console him, to tell him not to worry so much, he always misunderstood her intentions. He faulted her, thinking that she wasn’t dedicated to staying together, that she was blaming him for his inability, his lack of money. And so she took it all, soaked it up like a giant sponge, while he piled it piece by piece upon his own shoulders to carry, each of them alone in their collective worries. Yet, love is like that — once worries cannot be shared, burdens be carried together, then even the smallest of things grow to unmanageable proportions.

7. Story IV

His chance was finally here: his old team was re-forming for a high-prize pool competition, and with many promises to the boy, he unflinchingly made the decision to break contract with his current team to join this team again. What he needed was money, because there was only a year left to the time he had promised to be able to marry her; there was no more time for him to waste. The insults, criticism, character attacks… would all be worth it as long as the two of them could stay together. Finally, he was reunited with teammates of past days, and even though some promises the team made never did come true, by this point he had no retreat. He put practically everything he had into it, even ignoring the girl when she was by his side: all he wanted was to win, win this tournament, take her home. In those days, the girl felt that he had almost changed into a different person, and even the smallest of requests from her would spark him into wrath.

One day, she got sick and ended up having to stay in a hospital far away from his training house. With training every day, he had no way to visit her, so she spent each night alone in the hospital, tears streaming in hope, then despair, all as the boy never showed up. She heart-breakingly wrote a letter to him, a letter of break up. She called him and told him that if he still wouldn’t come see her, then she’d leave. At 4 in the morning, he finally made it there, visibly exhausted, but she still gave him the letter she’d written. He read it, then tore it into shreds in a flurry of his own tears, and from that day on, he’d go and spend the nights after training by her side. In that period, the boy, who already looked sort of goofy, took on the looks of a drug addict in all his exhaustion; but he could not fall, because he had promised.

The day after the tournament, he stared blankly at her QQ avatar on his screen. Despite all her consolation, he still felt he’d lost. Lost everything, lost the tournament, and lost her; he was a complete, through and through loser. In the days afterwards, he struggled… he feared losing her, and lacked the power to face reality. Sometimes he thought to himself, there’s no way to give her what she deserves; he should just stop holding her back. Even though she’d chosen him, he ultimately bowed to the reality of it. He became dark and moody, his actions were as if he wanted her to leave. She’d long since replaced the flashy designer logos in the past with cheaper, wholesale items.

One day, the girl mentioned that she wanted to go back home to grab some of her old clothes, but the boy interpreted this to mean that she had thoughts of giving up on it all, on them. He became irritable, but she was one with great patience, and went on absorbing it all, bit by bit, despite the fact that he’d been getting more and more out of hand. In a flash, another Lunar New Year was upon them, and this time she insisted on going back home to visit her ageing parents. She wanted him to come along, but he was afraid. He was afraid that his pitiful self-respect and dignity would be trampled again. She was upset, but with no other alternative, she went back home for the holiday herself. Just before parting, she said to him, “You promised to marry me this year…” He had nothing to say…

After that, he lost himself. He told her, “Let’s break up.” She thought it was just another episode of his antics… But after he ended it, he went on QQ and began adding all sorts of females that he would’ve paid no heed to beforehand, flirting with them all. He himself wasn’t clear on why he was doing this; he thought no one would care about him, he wanted to forget about her and all of it, their life together had been so much work… But he simply did not see the girl’s side of it at all. She had persisted for two years in the face of pressure from her family, pleading, arguing, trying to convince her parents. Over two years, they had almost relented to the stubborn girl, yet at just this time she was shown chat logs of his interactions with all these new people, and in her heart it was as if a thousand ants tore at it at once, piercing pain. Was this him? Was this really the one that had promised to love only her for eternity?

8. Story V

When her text arrived, questioning whether it was really him, the boy was blank. They’d been together nearly three years, and he’d never hurt her like this before; he’d always tried to keep her safely protected within the palm of his hand. She had always been so easily satisfied, not spoiled at all; during the Mid-Autumn Festival, they’d gone out together and she didn’t want to buy anything, only stopping at a mooncake shop and picking a few of the cheapest ones. They were the best she’d ever had, she had said. But now, now in his chats he was telling these other girls that he’d been training over Mid-Autumn, erasing all of this; what a monstrous thing for him to do. He immediately called the girl, and mired in feelings of both fear and shame, he deleted that other woman’s QQ, hoping to just run from it all like this. From that day on, the girl had nightmares at night, waking in tear-soaked fits — that half a month passed slowly as if it were half a year instead, and he never once called her again during. Finally, she couldn’t stop herself anymore, and dialled in that string of familiar digits on her phone. It was 3 in the morning, he should be sleeping, and she feared that she’d hear the other woman’s voice on the other end.

“Why aren’t you speaking?” his question broke a long silence.
“Who is next to you?” came her response, her voice giving away that she’d cried recently.
“Teammates. You cried?” piercing pains thrust into his heart. He had once been so afraid of seeing her cry; no matter how heated an argument would be, once her tears dropped, all his anger would fade and he’d go to her and hug her for forgiveness… But now he’d let her cry by herself for so long. She hung up. She didn’t know why she had to call him, he was just a lying piece of shit anyway.

When he learned that she often woke up in the middle of the night crying, that her parents were on the verge of agreeing to them being together, he practically wanted to kill himself — because it was by his own hand, his own doing, that he destroyed all of their happiness, their future. Regret came, and he went to her and asked forgiveness. Soft-hearted, the girl eventually accepted, and everything seemingly went back to before; only that, now, she felt there was something different about this person before her, the person who had once promised to only love her was no longer the same person now.

Valentine’s Day, 2013, she gifted him a set of clothes. She’d always liked to buy him colorful, bright clothes. She would cheerfully explain to him, “You’re dark-skinned and ugly, so you should wear colors to brighten yourself up a bit.”

And he’d happily reply, “If I’m ugly then why do you like me?”
“I’m afraid no one else will want you,” she responded, patting him on the forehead.

Except, this time it wasn’t the vibrant colors of before, and in its place was the lifeless tone of black. She said, “The North is cold, take good care of yourself.” And the boy, as usual, was careless and didn’t pay enough attention to notice all the pressure she was under.

A few days later around noon, the boy called her as usual after getting up, yet he never though that this would be their last time speaking. He asked if she’d be online later, and after a long silence from her, the response came, as if she was busy and couldn’t answer conveniently: “Just go and find something to do with your friends,” and then she hurriedly hung up the phone. Feeling something wasn’t right, he dialled her number back, but all he got was the busy signal, and then she sent a text over: “Mom and dad are taking me to go meet someone.” Angered, he felt she shouldn’t be going, but no matter how he called her, she wouldn’t respond again. In her lowest days, she had told her parents that she’d been discarded by the boy, and her parents, already lacking any good impressions of him, took the chance and flooded her in a new deluge of lecturing. You’re not young anymore, you should go and find a proper partner as soon as possible. She never wanted to accept any of it, but this time even though they had gotten back together, she dared not confront her parents with it again.

In madness, the boy called, sent texts, begging her to give him another year, to believe in him one more time. But she only responded once, “Sooner or later you’ll meet someone younger and prettier than me, who will make you love her even deeper. You must work hard to do better for yourself. Our love has been the greatest time of my life, but this time I cannot wait any longer, I don’t want to hurt my parents any more.” No matter how he begged, she never replied again.

9. Story VI

In the following days, he drank, wasted away online, and even went without eating entire for entire days, returning home only after night had passed and daylight came again. At home, he could only fall asleep after exhausting himself from crying. In his waking hours, he still dialled her number, but there never was an answer. Though he put on a different face in front of friends, he wasn’t normal. Every time, going downstairs, at the bottom of the stairs he’d habitually stoop down to let her piggyback along… but she wasn’t there anymore, wasn’t there anymore to tell him to grow some meat on those bones, or else you won’t be able to carry me anymore…

Half a year later, that familiar number appeared at the head of a text message. This past half year, he’d been in a haze. Once in the past, upon meeting her, he had a drive to life, that she was his dream. But everything’s gone now… “May 1st I’m getting married, will you come?”

“Oh, okay.”

That day, the boy tidied his by-then shoulder-length hair, shaved. Long since stored away, he dug out the leather jacket, jeans, and green sneakers they had once bought together. When they’d bought it, he had been a little timid in accepting a gift from her. She told him, “Eh, don’t be afraid to accept gifts I buy for you!” Somehow, now, she was about to step into her wedding gown, into a marriage with someone else. He watched as they exchanged rings, kisses, vows. He didn’t feel pain any longer. These past three years of struggle ultimately lost out to reality, and now he had no more regret, no well-wishes, just numbness. As the new bride and groom went around toasting the guests, he stepped onto the stage and picked up the microphone…

Once ago, now, things past will not come back
Bright red, falling leaves, rest long in the dust and dirt
The beginning and the end, ended up never changing
At the edge of the heavens you drift, away from the clouds
A sea of pain, in its waves stir love and hate
In this world, difficult to escape from destiny
Matchmaking, an untouchable boundary
Or I should, just believe this is fate
Lovers, upon farewell, will never, return (a disappearing love)
In silence, solitude, gazes on the world beyond (hopes of continuing on in days to come)
Fresh flowers may wither (only wish) but they may bloom again (for you)
A life’s love hidden (with you) on the other side of those clouds (waiting)

After that, it was as if he’d set down a lifetime of burdens as he peacefully walked toward the door. The crowd, stunned by this stranger’s exit, had no response; only the girl, seeing his soulless shadow departing, her tears quietly fell within her heart…

If you all don’t like this story, this ending, then I’ll tell another one.

It’s been 11 days. Tears, pain, heart rendering yells. All unable to fill all this emptiness in the heart. Remembering back our bits and pieces together, everything seemingly like it happened yesterday. He still promises that, in this life, it’s her or no one. Only this time, what he needs are witnesses, what he needs are well-wishes. If he fails, then just let the love of yesteryear be sealed up with this unfinished story. If he succeeds, he will keep his promise for life, and come back to put another ending to this story.

By the time you’ve read this far, he’s already started out. He hopes that, for each of you that has perservered and read his story to this point, to be generous in your wishes and support for him, to be his witnesses. And help him face reality, so that he may never bow his head down again.

Send LanM your wishes and support: http://t.qq.com/guoercwh

Previous: Part 1-3Part 4 -5

Update 2015: LaNm has gotten married with his girlfriend, and has a daughter with her born in the summer of 2015. It’s a happy ending to his stories of yesteryear!

The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [4-5]

A better love story than — oh, fuck it. I don’t even know what to say about what LanM has shared with the world here. As far as I’ve figured out, this is autobiographical. Respect to him for pouring it out for all to see, and what an amazing window into the life of a Chinese progamer it is that he’s shared with us…

Note that, if you read the entire thing, it is possible to figure out which teams and competitions he is talking about, to give yourself an even deeper view into the progamer side of it all. He covers the time between roughly 2010 to 2013, and mentions teams and competitions, along with how they affected him… For further background reading, directly related, see his response last year from the ACE/EHOME controversy.

This is part 4 through 5 of LanM’s 9-part series. Part 1 through 3 have been translated and are available on Dotaland here. Parts 6 through 9 are here.

The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [Part 4-5]
by LanM

4. Story I

The girl is 26 years of age now. Over the two years of time since graduating college, she’s only held a job for half a year of that time. Back home, her family had been rushing her to get married, but in her heart, her ideal marriage would be to one that she herself truly loved and shared the promise of a long life together with. Still, her family remained unrelenting, and the countless arranged dates grinded on her, such that she finally just randomly settled on one of the prospective suitors in order to quieten them. Only, from that day on, she found herself falling further than she ever had, into the depths of the deeps. Each day, facing the prospect of spending the rest of her life with what amounted to a stranger, she grew annoyed, then restless, and made up an excuse that she was going to Beijing for work, then packed her bags and left for the city.

In Beijing, there had been a boy; he’d never been in a relationship before. A simple kid, dusty, unrefined, even. Every day, when she’d get bored or lonely, his QQ avatar was always lit up online. In their chats, she never mentioned that she’d already been promised to someone, fearing that mentioning this would scare the boy off. Finally, when the pressure from her family became unbearable, while the caring from the boy grew ever more warming, she ran.

Upon receiving news of the girl’s arrival in Beijing, the boy was beyond himself with excitement. He washed up, put on what he felt were his most presentable clothes, and went to the airport. Even though in other people’s eyes he might still seem like that dusty-faced kid, but the smile that shone through on his face was effervescent in its joy. Later on, the girl would say that that period of time was the happiest of her life. They lived on the eighth floor. Going downstairs together, for each step down, he’d turn back and give her a kiss. The two of them squeezed together on one single-sized bed, no more than 1 meter by 2, the boy holding tightly onto her, even as half of his body hung out over the edge. Because the boy’s family wasn’t ever rich, on his own modest 3000 RMB salary, they would only eat 10 RMB meals of meat and potatoes over rice in order to save money. And even if there were only potatoes, the girl never had any complaints.

Every evening, she would go and buy some watermelon, bring it home, cut it up, and feed pieces to him. Although simple, they still felt blessed in the moment nonetheless. Then one day, a call came from home, and she snuck out to the balcony to answer it. Her mom asked her how her work was going, and told her that the marriage preparations had all been set and were in place for the end of the year, and asked her to go back and get married. She tried to keep things from surfacing in her words, yet in her heart she’d long since become lost, fluttering. She dared not tell the boy, that his profession was something that her parents wouldn’t ever understand… And plus, in a few days there was a very important competition, so she mustn’t distract him. That night, she fiercely bit down on the boy’s wrist and said to him, “Without me, you must still take care of yourself.”

The boy held her tightly, not understanding, “What nonsense are you talking?” The girl didn’t answer.

On the day the boy headed out, the girl left too. He went through security at the airport first, happily waving back at her, yelling for her to wait for his return. Because of his weak eyesight, he never saw the tears in her eyes. Her family had always been quite well off, and she knew that they would never accept him. Not this kid, whose parents had separated, whose job was hard to describe, and so this time, heading back, she had no idea what to do anymore. While overseas competing, he took the limited free time he had to chat with her, and she would wait in front of the computer for each snippet, sometimes falling asleep that way. On the day of his return, he was excited… excited to let her know that, he’d achieved good results, and with the prize money he’d won, he’d be able to buy her new clothes, a new bag, now.

5. Story II

But she just couldn’t cheer up. The pressure from her family back home mounted with each successive day, and it was already October, drawing ever closer to the marriage date of January 1st. The groom — her groom — repeatedly asked her to go out, meet up, and she could only excuse herself with her work, saying that she was busy. Instead, she just stayed inside, on the computer, chatting with the boy. Finally, one day, her parents said that they needed to go back home and prepare for the marriage. Filled with anxiety, she went to her friends and asked, “What do I do?” Her friends told her, stop hiding it, just tell him… you’re going to need someone to go through this with, so you don’t get crushed by yourself. That day, the boy had just taken a 5AM flight back to his hometown. Just as he arrived back home, he got a call from the girl, asking him to get to Chengdu as soon as possible. The distress in her voice left him distraught, and without another word he booked an afternoon flight to Chengdu.

Upon arriving in Chengdu, as they sat together eating, the girl told him. This being his first relationship, the boy suddenly felt that the world, after all, wasn’t such an open and free place to be, out of one’s own control. She repeatedly said to him, it’s alright if you don’t want to go meet my parents, yet he’d already come this far, what could make him give it all up so easily? And despite the fact that they’d spent time going through scenarios, ultimately the boy was blocked by the girl’s parents’ questions — he was speechless in the face of their querying and demands, unable to fulfill the type of material wishes they had.

Yet, beforehand, they’d agreed — no matter how hard the path may be, they would support one another and be there for one another in passing through it together. The girl’s mother’s expressions were unpleasant throughout, and upon seeing the pair’s hands tightly gripped around one another, she even hit her. Though he put himself between them, her arms still bruised. All the way to the point where the parents ran out of steam and retired for the night, their hands remained as one. She went to bed to get some rest too, and he lovingly caressed her bruised arms. The girl, reciprocating, asked him to lie down too, get some rest alongside her, but even though he was tired as well, he couldn’t…

The next day, her parents were up and about early. Different from the past day, there were fewer insults and scoldings directed at the girl, and in their place were lessons and lecturing for the boy. He was relatively younger, only 22 that year. The girl’s father said, “Even if you two get married, you’ll still be strong and healthy when she’s gotten older. Plus your parents are separated, so all this means that you haven’t got an idea of home and family. You can’t even take care of yourself, how can you take care of our daughter?” Though the father’s words were gradually becoming more grounded in reality, they still pierced the boy’s dignity. Yet, he did not waver, because he had promised, so he would not give up. They stuck together even more firmly, with seemingly nothing that could come between them.

But when the girl’s mother threatened to cut off all contact with her, at that moment, she suddenly let go. Tears that he had held back all night, strugglingly, finally betrayed him and cascaded one upon the other. Their eyes met then, brimming with longing, and within that, tears — tears that he knew held meaning, that he was just about to lose her. The helplessness in her eyes finally broke him; he picked up the fruit knife on the table, and in a flash of fury, swung it down into his thigh. The bright red of blood quickly inundated his jeans, the flow of the liquid following the weight of gravity down his leg. The girl wailed fearfully, fitfully, as she held him. And, between sobs of emotion, the boy said to the parents… “For her, I am willing to do anything.”

Too impulsive, too emotional, too young… too dumb. Nothing here can be too harsh of a judgment, because in front of elders, this display could only serve to further alienate; how could they give their daughter to someone like this?

The mother threatened her own life to force the girl; the girl’s eyes had been cried out, and then some. Seeing all this before him, the boy’s heart was on the verge of shattering, shattering into a million tiny pieces… and while the girl was trying to stop her mother, the boy quietly stepped out of the room. Let it be, I shouldn’t have disturbed what was originally a harmonious family. He hailed a taxi on his own, went to a nearby hospital; the doctor asked him what happened, and he just said that it was an accident, he’d bumped into something. As he was picking up medication, the girl’s voice rang through the hallway, calling his name. Crying, she ran over to him and grabbed him. Shaking him, “How could you be this dumb? Why would you hurt yourself?”

“For you…” he couldn’t stop his tears from falling once again, but he stopped himself from speaking those words.

Next: Parts 6-9 here.

Dotaland weekly recap: The two-week “not much is going on” version, Feb 14 — 27, 2013

Missed DOTALAND? Worry not — in the interests of keeping things, well, interesting, last week’s recap was skipped in favor of consolidating recaps in the face of a general lack of news and pieces to report on and translate. In the span of the past two weeks, with everyone still recovering from the once-a-year Lunar New Year holiday across Asia, happenings haven’t picked up much, but nonetheless, the world of Dota has provided just enough to keep us all on our toes.

A preview of G-League has us looking forward to March 9, SGamer brings us some humorous critique of the average Dota player, ZSMJ pops up again with rumors of his team joining VG, Perfect World continues their efforts for Dota2 in China with rumors of a TI3 qualifier, and finally, LanM pulls us into his world with some well-written accounts of his path so far.

Feb 18

Gamefy G-League preview, hype piece, by BBC

Not only does BBC appropriately hype up the upcoming G-League finals, but he also does so while giving some insight and reflection on esports as it has grown from his point of view.

Feb 19

SGamer’s Top 10 Factors Holding Players Back

A bit of a humorous take, this nonetheless covers many relevant topics in things to improve on for the average Dota player. Lots of good advice here, and some jokes, this makes a good read in case you’ve got half an hour and want to read something.

Feb 24

ZSMJ and team join VG? Perfect World to host TI3 qualifiers?

The rumors suggest that ZSMJ’s team will become VG’s second official competitive squad, following the breakdown of ZSMJ’s previously lined up sponsor. Perfect World is rumored to be planning qualifiers for TI3, to come complete with a substantial prize pool.

Feb 26

The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [part 1-3]

A nine-part series penned by LanM himself, this is a sentimental, detailed, and personal accounting of his own path in esports. It touches on his struggles, where he’s coming from, and more. Another classic piece in esports insight, Dotaland will bring parts 4 through 9 in the next few days.

 

 

The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [1-3]

Original: (LanM’s blog, posts agglomerated on SGamer)

Dotaland note: Written by LanM himself, this is a look back at his roots, his journey, and his reflections. A great read. This is part 1 and part 2 of a 9-part series. Stay tuned for parts 4-9 in the next few days!

Note that, if you read the entire thing, it is possible to figure out which teams and competitions he is talking about, to give yourself an even deeper view into the progamer side of it all. He covers the time between roughly 2010 to 2013, and mentions teams and competitions, along with how they affected him… For further background reading, directly related, see his response last year from the ACE/EHOME controversy.

The Chronicles of LanM: “Stories of Yesteryear” [Part 1-3]
by LanM

Preface

As someone with a relatively lower level of education and no inherent talent in writing, composing stuff like this isn’t necessarily an easy thing for me. My goal is to faithfully reproduce and represent the livelihood and lifestyle of a professional gamer’s place in the real world and society. The hope being that not only will this bring more mainstream recognition and acceptance to the profession, but also to serve as a record of those trailblazers in esports that once led the charge from the forefront, fighting for their families, their dreams, and their love of the game.

1. A Youth Without Energy

In the fog of a mild headache, perched stomach-first on the edge of the bed to hit the power button on the computer case, I finally took the majority of my blankets to block out the rays of light sreaming in from outside, and shut my eyes again. About an hour later, as the sound of the fans in the computer case rotated ever more resoundingly, I finally got up and out of bed. With only one foot clad in a slipper, after hopping over to the computer chair and sitting down, I started up QQ, and clicked on the notification, represented by an avatar of a pretty girl.

“I’m up, let’s play.”
“Wait, almost done, already took a set of rax,” the response came a few minutes later.
“Fuck, still not done, I thought you’d broken a lane already,” my impatience shortly afterwards.
“Damn it, these dumbshits won’t push the rest of the base, all they do is fountain dive, I can’t even stop them.”
“Hurry up, if you can’t then just Alt-QQ.”
“Fuck off, those are my ladder points.”

This was Li Haigui. On the VS ladder, he was the one that snatched the renowned ‘SKY’ ID. I, in the hopes of making friends with a hero of Chinese gamers, had originally added this ID thinking that it would get me closer to that goal. After realizing eventually that it was not the real SKY behind the ID, I came to find that, in reality, this fun-loving character behind the ID was in fact just another passionate, fiery gamer, with a side of youthful naivete.

“How’s it going between you and the girl in your avatar, Sea Turtle? (Haigui is the same sound as the phrase for sea turtle, thus a joke is born)
“Don’t ask, I’ve been all over her QQ space, and haven’t even successfully gotten a friend add.”
“You should just give it up. I’m gonna go brush my teeth.”

This kind of lifestyle, these kinds of mornings, were the norm for me from the time I finished high school all the way up to age 20. My father, after losing everything gambling, had left, leaving my mother to float around to this day. Since then, my father had long since re-established himself with another family. As for myself, living at my grandmother’s house, whenever relatives and family visit, I’d always lock myself in my room, to avoid all their lectures and advice. Sometimes, even from inside, I could hear my aunts and uncles and their words of pity and sympathy for me. Perhaps it was because over time I’d heard too much of this, and perhaps because of my naturally rebellious nature, from then on I gradually became more and more invested in building and realizing my own value and dreams. Sometimes, one of my closer uncles would knock on the door and come in, and tell me, “Get out there and look around, don’t always just stay at home. Even waiting tables can get you 800RMB a month.” And even though somewhere inside I thought, “Only 800?”, I still understood that 800 was money anyway, and it’s not like my parents had good conditions or anything. My proud mother would never ask my dad for a single cent of money or help, and so I relied on my grandparents’ 1500 RMB monthly pension to finish middle school.

In high school, in the face of many ‘fail’ marks, I rode an uncle’s connections into a specialized high school art program. As someone who had never had any interest in art, plus coveting more time to play, I gave up on school and dropped out on an impulse, rationalizing it by noting the program’s high fees and costs. Because my parents weren’t nearby, and my grandparents couldn’t really stop me, over time it became accepted in the family. After soaking in the internet cafe for a month, mom feared me falling in with the wrong people and influences, and so she borrowed money to buy me a computer, knowing that I’d always loved playing games. From that day on, I officially began my recluse lifestyle (otaku-style). It was precisely this kind of quiet, low-key entertainment, that accompanied me through what should be a person’s most vibrant, energetic years in life.

2. Dreams I

Even though dreams are made of the stuff of our desires, they also hold within them our passions, responsibilities, as well as the purest of our original intentions. Joy is nothing more than fulfilling our dreams, and sorrow is nothing more than having to give them up.

Our elementary school teacher asked everyone in the class what they’d like to be when they grow up.

“Like mother, a doctor…” the responses came one by one, in all forms, undoubtedly emulating their parents, relatives, or a hero of theirs.

Watching others say that they’d like to be like their parents, I always felt very out of place. During that period of time, I lived at my teacher’s house, only going back home over the weekends to my parents’ house. All I remembered was that every time back home, once evening came, the space would be filled with all kinds of people, the atmosphere filled with their smoke. Father loved gambling, and oftentimes after a session there’d be huge arguments, escalating occasionally to violence. In summary, I really hated being at home then, and especially hated the nights, because at least in the daytime I had schoolmates and friends to play with. At night, sleeping by myself in my room, I was afraid of the dark and the monsters that might get through the window, but then… it was so noisy and boisterous out in the main room, at least it served a purpose in making me less afraid.

“Zhang Zhicheng, what do you want to be when you grow up,” the teacher asked.
“A scientist,” I picked a term I was familiar with.

In truth, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, what kind of person I would be, and maybe I never had an idea before I was 20 years old. But at the time, I knew I had to have a textbook answer for the teacher, to prove that I wouldn’t be a bad kid. Thinking back now, my skills in fabricating lies on the spot have their roots in practice from all the way back then. In this society where many things are out of one’s own control, this skill has seemingly proven to be quite useful.

“LanM, why aren’t you following up, what the fuck?”
“My bad, I just dazed out for a second,” I typed out to Haigui, with a tinge of embarrassment.

My (Chinese) ID, “国土无双” was what gaming friends came up with to call me. We had played a game previously, based on Three Kingdoms lore, that had a text indicator saying the same, displayed in a way that we all felt was quite cool, so I ended up using it as an ID. In reality the original version was 国士无双, yet, with mistakes in typing and earlier Chinese keyboard input software, it ended up becoming 国土无双 (difference being in the 土 and 士).

Those days were full of fun, and quite relaxed. We endlessly pursued First Bloods, exalted every Beyond Godlike, cheered for every brilliant counter maneuver a teammate pulled off, excitedly celebrated every death-defying comeback. Though once we took off the masks of our gaming identities we were still just students, kids, what we truly loved was those masks and what they allowed us to be.

3. Dreams II

They wondered why we were so into a game, said that we played too much and lost ourselves. Because they didn’t understand that this was our outlet for the pressures of the world, and this was the place where we learned teamwork, cooperation, forgiveness, determination in the face of defeat. It was here that we made friends, true friends, without the worries of real-life profit and benefit.

They all say that this is a world where the strong eat the weak, the fittest survive. From childhood I’d been cooped up, put to work on solving the questions presented to me in my books, yet books wouldn’t teach me the rules of survival in the real world — reality would. After growing up, we’re taught that we must still follow the path laid out for us by our parents, and once we veer from this path, we get the label of ‘unfilial’ tagged onto our heads. In the face of relatives, our love and respect for our parents, we finally relent and agree, because without their support, we have nothing, we are nothing, to the point that we don’t even have anything to survive with. So, like this, we do our best to follow our parents’ plans for us, our parents’ finally satisfied gaze follows our shadows as we gradually follow this path further and further away from them. Sometimes we look back at those stifled dreams of ours, reach out a hand to give them some life, and yet, we’re pushed further ahead and away by countless pairs of hands.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, I myself do not belong to this group of people amongst my peers. Even still, from the day this reality emerged, it has exerted its force upon me and my dreams, crushingly, to the point of shatter.

“You going? If you’re going, let’s do it,” Haigui said.
“Where are we going? Is it legit?” I only half trusted this.
“Shanghai. Their team was the champion of the WCG Shanghai 3rd region. Some of their members have left to go to school, the remaining ones want to create a pro team.”

In my mind, images of Sky’s triumphs in WCG floated to the top, and it was from then on that my dreams began to sprout. But afterwards, I didn’t go to Shanghai, and neither did Li Haigui. The reason being that we feared going there and finding it was all just a scam. He said if I didn’t go, he didn’t want to go either; he likes to play with people he can get along with. Nowadays, I really regret not going, really regret not getting into this scene earlier. Because if I had gone, I wouldn’t have at first lost my dreams, and then lost her too.

For those chasing your dreams, when an opportunity visits you, don’t hesitate. While you’re still young, you can still take failure.

The next opportunity would be two years later. In June of 2010, DK was founded, and through a friend’s recommendation, I unflinchingly accepted their invite, and officially stepped into the professional scene. At that time, Li Haigui had been gone from Dota for a long time. He told me, he had graduated university, his dad had gotten him a job, and it was time to look towards settling down in a career and getting married.

The day before I set out on my new journey, I opened up my QQ and flipped to that old account of his, one that had been grey (offline) for so long now. I quietly reminisced about those days we fought side by side. His QQ had been hacked before, and it was a long time after that that he finally got it back. After that, the avatar was never again respresented by all kinds of pretty girls, and instead was just that default penguin. He’d only talk a bit before seemingly hurriedly rushing offline. He said to me “Dumbass, while you’re still young, go and fight for it, give it a go. Remember to bring a championship back for me too.”

Shamefully, I’ve let his hopes for me down so far, and haven’t won a title for myself yet.

I’ve said so much, and some readers might feel like I’m full of blame for people and things around me. Well, let me tell you a story then.

Next: Parts 4-5 here

[rumors] ZSMJ’s team joins VG? Perfect World holding International qualifiers in June?

Original: http://bbs.sgamer.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=11173329

Dotaland note: Nothing has been confirmed by the parties said to be involved as of yet, and all our sources are forum posts from random people, both in English and Chinese.

ZSMJ’s team, with Show, Ran, Li, and Ch, has joined VG club. The truth, as many had said, was that YaphetS’ team joining VG was ‘only for fun’ and not a serious thing — however, ZSMJ’s team joining VG is supposedly serious. Other Chinese forum-goers have suggested that the reason ZSMJ is joining VG is that recently, his previous sponsor cancelled their involvement.

Additionally, it is said that in June of this year, Perfect World will hold Chinese region qualifiers for the next International, and the prize pool for these qualifiers will be 80,000 USD.

 

SGamer’s Top 10 Factors Holding Players Back in Dota

Original: http://dota.sgamer.com/201302/news-detail-163763.html

Dotaland note: SGamer presents this opinion piece, from one of their writers, on the top 10 factors holding players back in Dota. Fairly tongue-in-cheek, Dotaland has translated it and taken some liberties in reproduction in English for the flow of the piece. A good read, with some true gems of wisdom for anyone looking for some introspective reading, along with some humor — keep in mind it is an opinion piece and all opinions are of the original SG writer.

SGamer’s Top 10 Factors Holding Players Back in Dota

10. Your friends’ questionable advice

Countless people first came into contact with Dota via some classmate, thus beginninng the cycle of building up key items, blinking in with a shout, and leaving the win or loss to fate; dreams all gravitate towards images of streaks in Dota, memorizing item builds, skill builds, ability usage, playstyles… Because of friendship, here we’ll be lenient, and only rank the shady advices of school-age Dota friends as our 10th in terms of things holding you back in Dota.

9. The so-called invincible, all-purpose strategy

From the early years where it took extensive Baidu searches, a translation, and some luck to find a usable guide to today’s fingertip availability of a myriad of styles for every single hero, Dota’s metagame and strategy has been like a calling card for those of this generation. All the advertised guides promising dominance over high skies and heavens as long as you built X item by a certain time, skilled X at certain levels, went into the jungle with X starting items, pushed with this, or that… After all is said and done, is it really that simple, that if your opponent happened to follow one of these guides to the dot, that your only remaining option would be to type out GG and then follow it up by tossing your keyboard out?

The chase for the mythical ‘unbreakable’ strategy, number 9 in things holding you back in Dota.

“I told you to not fucking rush Radiance naked… it’s been 50 minutes, dude”

8. Everyone wants a cup of the soup

The creators of first person vods documenting flashy plays and top level dominance are not necessarily showing anything spectacularly new or brilliant. Instead, what they are doing is creating a product — geared first and foremost at gaining views and clicks. So when you click on that vod link and see the multi-million number in hits, remember, at car shows it’s about the models, in movies it’s about the celebrities, and in gameplay vods it’s about style. Without that, where would the views come from? Those who create these vods are fine, but those who blindly seek to reproduce what they see in these vods are in trouble — the 8th greatest thing holding you back in Dota.

7. An outdated, out of place nostalgia for past trends

As my late language teacher taught me, the ideas of “non-mainstream” and “counter-mainstream” are greatly different. “Counter-mainstream” is a derogatory term, commonly used to refer to those blind adherents to a certain bland, crude humor associated with a certain Korean culture (insert applause here). “Non-mainstream” is a neutral term, just as name brand Meters-Bonwe’s slogan declares: “Walk on the un-taken path, gain the feeling of flight”. “Mainstream” refers to those things that everyone knows, everyone understands, and everyone follows. This is why there are so many noobs and newbs on the servers perpetually, because they’re all following some outdated formerly mainstream style. With each patch version, Dota changes and shifts, yet people’s playstyles remain often unchanged. Only accepting the mainstream style, and thus becoming sealed in a cycle of non-innovation, ranks 7th in things holding you back in Dota.

6. Rebelling for the sake of it, impulsiveness

Since the mainstream isn’t working out for us, why not go opposite of it. In the minds of young people, things are black and white — if not A, then it must be B, thus mixing and ignoring the importance of certainty and uncertainty. The mainstream, despite any flaws that may arise with changes from each edition, is still the mainstream for a reason in that it must still have useful lessons within. There are still times when the mainstream style can be the strongest, and with some adjustments it can be a good starting point for any success. Yet, the complete rejection of the mainstream in favor of whatever isn’t mainstream is a sign of immaturity. Those that cover themselves in tattoos and piercings just to display how different they are from others are in actuality displaying only a lack of depth. “Oh, no one else goes Vanguard on Tidehunter? Then I will. Others don’t go HoD on Ursa? I will, then. Everyone else’s Tinker goes BoTs? Then I absolutely must go Phase Boots and Midas.”

What’s even scarier than this blindness it the loss of direction it rbings about. Such is in life, and the same is in Dota. Making strange item choices for the sake of being unique, number 6 in things holding you back in Dota.

5. In defeat, your opponent is your best teacher

Even though you’re beyond beastly, your teammates are of course simultaneously shit beyond belief. But a loss is a loss — your opponents showed that they knew how to avoid the tough bone that you presented, and instead go for the weak joint that was your teammates, and thus caused your teammates to drag you down with them. When things are going well, when everything’s going as planned, these are the types of games everyone knows how to play. Everyone can stomp noobs and feel good, flashy, and dominant. It’s the attitude that goes into playing those tough uphill games that is key — and it is right within these tough games that countless people miss out on their best learning opportunities. Dota’s greatest joys: mega comebacks is top, flashy play is second, long satisfying sessions being next, with going beyond godlike rounding out the top joys in Dota. And in order to pull off said mega comebacks, the sky must fall before it can be put back into place beyond all odds. Sadly, most people completely lack the guile, strength, and determination and thus the legend of the second Sacred Relic solidified its role in history.

Lacking the ability to properly accept and assess defeat, the 5th greatest thing holding you back in Dota.

4. Attitude, mentality

The fear is not godlike opponents, it is pig-like teammates. The fear is not pig-like teammates, it is the teammates that show off and play for attention (could be analogous to the Western concept of ‘tryhards’ who talk trash).

“Wang Mazi’s (ancient Chinese paper-cutting artist — hence the pun about cutting noobs) Divine Rapier, perfect for cutting noobs!” The next day on the forums, a thread crops up detailing some Radiant hero having a good game, building a Rapier, then losing to the Dire that held out for 70 minutes to come back.

Trying too hard to impress or express are signs of an incorrect attitude. Even if you’ve got high skill, with this attitude all you can achieve is to beat on some noobs; you’re bound to lose when facing strong opposition. Mentality, 4th in things holding you back in Dota.

3. The search for the ultimate solo

The search for the ultimate solo brings with it a plethora of conditions under which any given hero may be the best: at a distance of 900 units, no autoattacks, and see who wins — Necrolyte. With 6 Hearts of Tarrasque, an ult, and no movement allowed, who wins — Skeleton King. The point being that every hero in Dota can be number one in certain contexts. Dota, ultimately, is a tower-pushing game, the first to push their opponent’s base into ruins wins. In that process, a Crystal Maiden can carry, while your big late-game carry does nothing. You could get destroyed by Furion, or Techies, or insta-gibbed by a Vengeful Spirit. Dota is not all about finding that perfect hero, and when you’ve lost again with a seemingly ideal team composition, you should reflect on that.

The search for the ultimate hero is a production line for creating noobs, yet it only ranks 3rd in things holding you back in Dota.

“With this Quelling Blade, my dream of stomping ZSMJ is no longer unachievable”

2. Gods

What are gods? Gods are the main characters, the higher quality players in this game universe that IceFrog has created. The rest of us, we’re just the leftovers, the low quality toys. Countless people dream of one day becoming one of the gods in this game, yet something as miniscule as a small change in mechanics made by the creator, IceFrog, can strip away a god’s right to their power. In this game, there is only strong and weak, and anyone can be defeated at some point. Yet strength is a quality that cannot be defeated or brought down in itself. So those that can only copy, emulate, can thus never become the directors in their own act.

Even still, as long as there are enough people willing to be the subjects, there will be gods and kings. Mindlessly following the gods of this game, not finding one’s own style and skill — the aforementioned search for the ultimate hero creates noobs, while this adherence to god-culture creates puppets; the 2nd greatest thing holding you back in Dota is an over-reliance on the gods and trendsetters to direct your own play.

1. More overlooked than introspection is hard work, more overlooked than hard work is passion

Perhaps you’ve grasped countless mechanics, read up on thousands of tactics, techniques, and other posts. Perhaps you’ve even formulated your own comprehensive framework of understanding for the world of Dota, and coolly learned from and analyzed thousands of replays. Yet one thing remains true always: without practice, you can only go backwards.

The drop in quality of play from 2009’s first vods to currently is something that all can see. It’s not only limited to retired players — from when 820 switched between carry to support back to carry, he gradually found it hard to replicate his abilities of yesteryear. For many people who have gradually faded from Dota, what they’ve lacked is not technique or skill, more so it is time. For someone who lacks time to train, the stage of Dota is one that perhaps no longer suits them, or, at least for them it cannot any longer be a competitive game. Why do they play on, then?

Their reason is one that is different from many that still spend all their time and focus on Dota — or rather, grinding in Dota, on various platforms, for ranking and matchmaking points. The point score becomes the goal, and whatever playstyle guarantees the most points is the one that is pursued. Those that play Dota just for Dota are few and far between, and those that display true skill absent the judgment of an arbitrary matchmaking score are even rarer. How many can say they play Dota purely for the passion for the game itself?

Once you’ve achieved a high ranking score somewhere, does this mean you’re a pro, or high skill player? Since you aren’t, then what is the point? Number 1 in things holding you back in Dota, a lack of true passion for the game itself.