Dota 2 is a Universal Language

March 12 2019

This article was originally written in Chinese

For a long time, the East and the West have been the two forces that have battled for supremacy in the Dota 2 world. Two months ago, during the Chongqing Major, the East and West came together in an unexpected way. Team Liquid's player, Miracle-, was unable to participate in the Chongqing Major due to an emergency. With the tournament just around the corner, Team Liquid, who had already arrived in China, decided to look for a Chinese native carry player as a substitute. TI6 champion Shadow was the best candidate for the job.

Fitting the Tactics

After receiving the invitation, Shadow, who had been temporarily away from the professional scene, was very excited. He immediately agreed to play as a substitute for Team Liquid during the Chongqing Major. He stopped his streaming and quickly arrived in Chongqing. As soon as he arrived, Shadow and the rest of Team Liquid immediately got together in the training room and began to discuss what tactics they would use. Team Liquid has not changed members for over two years, and due to that, the level of tacit understanding between the players can be said to be ingenious. This time, not only was the carry replaced, but the native language of the substitute player was not English. With such a tight schedule, communication and cooperation undoubtedly became a huge challenge to Team Liquid and Shadow.

First, KuroKy asked about the heroes that Shadow usually likes to play. Shadow chose PA, TB and Gyrocopter in the meta of “Gyrocopter and IO”, which were very popular in the patch. Team Liquid's laning is flexible and their position 1/2 are known to be interchangeable. When Team Liquid asked if Shadow was willing to go mid, Shadow considered that he seldom played the mid lane in that patch, so eventually it was decided that he should play carry.

Because Shadow himself has played in the SEA region for pubs, he is familiar with the heroes' English abbreviations and English names of the lanes. Therefore, during their tactical discussions, problems seldom occurred.

Sign language Dota, BEST DOTA

Communication within the game is much more urgent than before the game. Whether in the ban-pick phase or in the match itself, the players need to quickly judge and react; even a small mistake can have a fatal impact on the match. At crucial moments, the players even used sign language to communicate.

All across social media, there is a gif of Kuroky communicating with Shadow by using gestures. In the playoff game against Team Secret, Kuroky asked Shadow if he would prefer to play Jugg or another hero. Shadow chose Jugg. Kuroky said that the Battle Fury was not good for Jugg, and hen Shadow pointed to Sange&Yasha, Kuroky crossed his arms to show the shape of the Sange&Yasha and gave a thumbs up, expressing that Sange&Yasha was the right choice for the game. This process made Gh and Mind_Control laugh, and this funny process was also retweeted like crazy by fans on Weibo. Although the game was eventually lost, the team members earned a deeper understanding of each other.

In addition to "Sign language Dota", Shadow also explained to us some of the terms they commonly used, such as "go", "back", "smoke", "fight", etc. Also, all Dota 2 players are able to understand the chatwheel and ping signals. Team Liquid's cooperation with Shadow is sometimes very tacit, such as “Gyrocopter and IO”, because Shadow and GH's understanding of the hero duo is virtually the same. Their judgment on the situations they found themselves in were consistent, so they knew how the other would play. There were a few mistakes, such as the in the last game, as TB fought a losing battle with his teammates against Fnatic.

In the end, Team Liquid was stopped in the quarterfinals of the Chongqing Major.

More than just Dota 2

The Chongqing Major was full of twists and turns for Team Liquid. First, Miracle- couldn’t participate because of an emergency. Then, during the game, Shadow had a bout with acute gastroenteritis and was admitted to the hospital. The players were concerned about the condition of Shadow, and they had to use translation apps on mobile to communicate between themselves.

Once, Shadow vomited in the toilet of training room. Mo the manager came over to give him a banana and touched his stomach, telling Shadow that it was good for his stomach. Then Shadow vomited again and told the manager "Banana is out." The players couldn’t help but laugh: "Fine, banana is out."

Although the process was difficult, everyone cared about each other and according to Shadow, the atmosphere was joyful and harmonious.

On the bus back to the hotel after their loss to Fnatic, Shadow was silent because he blamed himself for their loss. On the contrary, Team Liquid's players quickly got over the loss and discussed how many burgers MC could eat all at once. Though Shadow didn’t talk a lot — and sometimes he just stood alone because he couldn’t understand the inside jokes —, Team Liquid's player would take him by the shoulders and let him feel that he was part of the team.

In the eyes of Shadow, Team Liquid is confident and happy. They care more about the joy and enjoyment of the game, rather than winning or losing. In the eyes of Team Liquid’s players, Shadow does not like to talk but is diligent. The character and styles of players from varying cultural backgrounds may be different, but they have the same goal — that is to win!

Written in Chinese, and Translated into English By // Vikki Wu
English Editor // Patrick McCleary