Monday, September 25, 2006

DotA - WGT Chennai 2006

WGT is an international gaming tourney. Its one of the world's largest game tournaments held in 26 countries around the world. Its a rapidly growing tournament that has attracted the elite players to compete against each other for the title of World GameMaster. WGT has come to India or atleast to the Southern part of India. And I’m sure that it will extend to entire India next year. Now that the official intro is over, lets move on to our article. This is basically about WGT Chennai DotA, 2006, but with a difference. This isn’t gonna be like the text heavy articles (like my last one.. :p). This is gonna be a simple picture cum text format, showing or rather introducing to you, the influential players involved in the DotA division of the tourney that happenend in Chennai on 15th, 16th & 17th of this month. I chose this style for my article coz, this is the first national level DotA tourney & unlike CS, most DotA players haven’t met eachother & are unaware of the number of teams & players available. So, here is a quick intro to the Chennai DotA players… Say “Hai”…

There were totally 6 teams for DotA in Chennai. We expected more number of teams, but when it comes to grand tourneys, good teams join their best players together to form a single team. Hence, the number of teams that participated were almost half the total number of teams available in Chennai in normal times. The teams were Gdn, Roar, GO, Birds, BFG, and BD. I’ll start off with very quick intros to BFG & BD and then I’ll move on to others.. Here are short links to the teams u wanna go to, if u don’t have the time to check em all out….

First & foremost, v have BD. I think the name was derived from their captain’s nick, though I’m not sure. He is called ‘Blue Dragon’. They are a bunch of gamers who are regulars at the café ‘Zap’, where the tournament was held. They usually participate in most of the local DotA tourneys here. Its lotsa fun playing with them as BD has a good sense of humour & these guyz crack jokes throughout the game, regardless of the situation. I mean, its nice to have a relaxed environment during a tough tourney.

Next we have, BFG. ‘Best Five Gamers’ is the expansion. They were an interesting group, mainly because, a few of them were meeting eachother in person for the first time!!! Actually, they are a bunch of online players, whom everyone knows very well online. But we got to meet them for the first time in WGT as they have never participated on LAN tourneys before. Their game was so damn different from the usual tournament games. Their line-up was different. Their style of play was different. U could call it the ‘Pub Style’, but it sometimes worked, or rather should I say, worked pretty well. I mean, its not everyday that you see Doom Bringer soloing in mid against Silencer & getting kills.. :s They played pretty well for their first try. They are a group to watch out for. Gokul is the player in their team, who registered his team & was basically there from the start. He is good. Actually, he plays online a lot. SandyChikku joined them from another café as he too plays online a lot. But unfortunately, I don’t know much about the other players..

From here onwards I’ll give the names of all the players involved with their pics. & we shall continue in the reverse order of the final positions in WGT. In simple words, Gdn came Fourth..  Since this is my personal team, I can explain a little bit more about their personal style too. Gdn means Guardians. Gdn is headed by Spk & consists of Arch3r, Maximus, TD (myself) and Siva. Then there are other players in our team who never make it to any tourneys. They are Wolve, 00, . & Scribbler & Anton. Spk is Praveen Kumar & is the elder most player in our active team & therefore is also our leader. He is our replay addict & therefore also our knowledge bank. Arch3r is Raja & he is a gaming prodigy, but is a dumb kid in real life. He is the addict Agi player who knows nothing but hitting last shots. He has been cursed so many times online for ksing.. (Kill Stealing). Then v have our good old Maximus (real name: Vijay) who is simply a gaming addict. Or rather a multiplayer gaming addict. He loves playing online & when he practices a hero, he becomes a God with it. He is best left alone.. Hai!! I’m TD. My name is Deepak. I juz love playing games and in DotA I like to be the team’s ‘Sacrificial Goat’.. :p Siva is simply Siva. He is a new recruit in our team as we had to pick him up juz weeks before the tourney since we lacked players. He is a nice guy, but needs to learn a lot about DotA.. :p Then we have . (pronounced as DOT)..:p His name is Ganesh & is our Guru in Gaming. He kinda retired now. Next is Wolve (Karthik), Vijay’s big brother. He is a good player but the Big Bro has lotsa arrears in his college to attend to & hence stopped attending tourneys.. :p 00 (Riaz) is working now & hence stopped playing. Scrib is rather a famous personality online & in our forums. He has too many nicks like Mad, Abk, Bak, Riddler, etc…. Since he wasn’t even able to stick to one good nick, we kicked him out of our active team :p He is a good gamer though. Anton is the type u call ‘World’s Child’, coz nobody knows where he is or when he may come. He comes & goes as he wishes, but is a superb gamer basically.

Birds came third. They are a bunch of gamers from a different café. I believe they were basically formed by Jiiraiya, who is again a famous personality in our forums & online. They played pretty well. Jiiraiya is well versed in the strategies involved in DotA. This is mainly because, he has spent hours together practicing & trying different combos. He plays a lot against teams like Roar to improve his strategies. Basically, it’s the strategy that wins you the game. Next, you really should check this guy out; his nick is ‘GoD MoDe’ & his real name is Ben Anra. The guy plays damn well with Necro’lic. He farms well with most heroes. Then there is Punisher, who again farms like crazy. When these guyz finish farming, you very well know that the game is over. GG time!! Others are Rashneeth, Alex Thomas and Sami.

Everyone knows them as Agents, but they recruited a few new players & became GO. They are the favorites from ‘Zap’. They are the most successful team in Chennai till date, as they play both DotA & CS and a few other games too. Their main strategist is Jai Prasad, also known as Burn. He is mostly their mastermind. He is a GodLike Gamer… His team plans & strategies are very good & his microing skill is again, excellent. Then they have Ghillli (real name: Zaki). He is this tall, well built player whom u don’t wanna mess around with. He was very famous for his farming and his role in the team with Treant (an old strategy by the Agents). Then we have Shawn, their team leader, who plays online a lot & knows most of the Big Shots… His real name is Narayan. He simply, plays a lot. Abilash is their new recruit. I think he was recruited for his incredible skills with Necro’lic. And I don’t doubt that, he is amazing. The guy simply gets 3 Heart of Tarrasque (HoT) and suicides into the enemy fountain & gets triple kill as the fountain hits him… It’s a sad sight & u don’t wanna see that happen to your team. Then they have Vasanthik. GO must be edging to comeback in the Grand Finals as they won once & lost twice to Roar in WGT. Keep an eye on these guyz in the Finale…

Last but not the least, the Winners of WCG Chennai, 2006 - DotA Division – Roar. Its headed by Erised (Rahul Hinduja). He is a crazy gamer with lotsa time in his hands. He goes all out when it comes to gaming. He contacts people & arranges matches & can be seen very active in our forums (mostly fighting with Tanya)…. He knows his game & has become famous for his Jakiro gameplay. Then comes the, quiet & dangerous ‘DemiGod’… As the name suggests, he is exactly that. U wouldn’t wanna play against him unless u were looking for some real tough challenge. He is a ownage ‘Chen’ player & is known for his amazing microing skills.. His real name is ‘Abhinav Subramanium’. These 2 take a lane together & that lane is mostly raped by em… Then v have Medi, the Chinese guy, who is an amazing Agi player. His name is Anthony Chang. They say he was a noob when they chose him for their team, but no one would say that now. When he farms, he farms.. Next on the list is Necron (Kashif Ahemed). He usually plays ‘Bane Elemental’, (that’s my Hero.. :@) and lanes with Sk. Nightmare & 2 ultis.. I don’t even wanna think about it. Then we have Phobia (Zayd Tanveer). He plays Crixalis (Sand King) mostly, but got really famous for his play with Enchantress in the finals. 2 consecutive games with the same hero in finals & came up with HoT both the times. Its sad to see a HoT on Enchantress with Repel in an early game push. :’( That’s what u call a GG… All in all, a pretty good team who have all the chances in the world to become the WGT champions in India.

Final Comments:

“Both Talking and Writing are signs of those who have failed. Those who are engaged in fighting have no time for these and those who are successful keep quiet. –Lusin”
Sadly, this is my position right now. But anyway…..

Take this also as my credit line as I thank the WGT site for most of the pics that I have used here. This is rather like an introduction to the Chennai DotA Gamers. And be sure that you will be seeing more action from these guys… I’ll get more infos next time & if possible, we will get a short interview as well. Hope to meet these guyz again in another National level DotA event. If I do go to Mumbai to witness the Grand Finals of this event, I’ll get you guyz a good story basically about the event. This time, I had to concentrate on my team & therefore didn’t even witness the entire event. That’s why I had to format the article this way. Anywayz, till then, have a Great Time Gaming…. Good Luck & Have Fun!!!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Looking into the House, Through a Window


This topic is about gaming or rather, the perception of people about gaming & its true face. I intended to write this after reading a few articles where games were (in my words) misrepresented. When people think about gaming, they look at it as a single activity which involves violence, lots of hours in front of computers, mental rage & addiction. Some educated people have went to the extent of calling Gaming as Drug. And this is because, they have no experience in gaming, they haven’t been through it to understand it & they gather information from articles that concentrate on a single aspect of gaming like ‘MMORPG games played online’ or sensational articles that show the life of an addicted gamer & the sufferings he had gone through. I have tried to explain how complex it is & not as simple as shooting someone on the head with a AK-47 with blood spilling all over the place; as it is portrayed in most media.

Non-Stop Gaming:

Let me start off with the limits of gaming. People say when we spend too much of our time on games, we start to get addicted to it & thus ‘Games stop being fun’… Actually, anything that crosses the limit will become a overkill. As the saying goes, ‘Too much of anything is good for nothing’. Anything that is overdone, anything beyond a limit is bad. Its not just limited to gaming. They say ‘Get addicted to books instead’. Well, no one can read books 24 hours a day, neglecting work & family. The same goes for Gaming. Ofcourse we shouldn’t be playing 24x7, any activity if given so much time will arouse problems in our daily life. This is where the issue of getting addicted comes in. People say that, games are like drugs, once you try, you will want more & more. Now, this is an entirely different topic, which we are now moving to.


For any normal mind, the word addiction has meaning only when combined with drugs. Drugs can disable our ability to reason and therefore will get us addicted to it. Other than that, there is no question of addiction in any other field. But yes, some people are addicted to Chatting on the internet, some are addicted to messaging on the cell phones, some are addicted to driving their vehicles fast; yes they do exist. But that’s because of their own personal lack of resistance towards the activity. Not all Internet users are Chat addicted, not all mobile users are SMS addicted, not all drivers are speed maniacs & similarly not all gamers are addicted to gaming. Meaning that, Games are not equal to Addiction, therefore Gaming is not equal to Drugs. I have seen in articles where old gamers say “The game almost ruined my life”. Well, old friend, ‘games’ don’t ruin your life; your inability to forget your game, your inability to stop playing & your inability to give importance to other things in life, almost ruined you. If it was the mistake of the game, then all the people who ever played the game should complain the same way. But that’s not the case, is it! Many have made it a profession & not as an addiction. It is within us to understand the difference; to understand the limitations. Addiction is when we spend too much time on unwanted things. So, the solution here is, either, the time spent on gaming should be limited and in this case, it has lots of positives & is basically fun. Or, if the person spends too much time in gaming, then he is obviously interested in it & so let him make a career out of it & look for ways of making it a lucrative job. Having said all this, still, there exist certain cases of game addicts. And to understand that, we need to look into the different genres of gaming.

Gaming Genres:

The complaints that have been raised globally are from young adults who play games on the internet all the time, neglecting everything else in life. Where people miss the obvious difference is that, these are MMORPG games otherwise known as Massively Multiplayer Online Games. These are the types of games where, a player takes the role of a single character that he created online & then pursues endless missions to achieve endless goals. These are games played for time pass. Meaning that, they should not be taken seriously & time spent on such games should be very less. Only in such games exist the question of addiction as some weaker minds are unable to come out of the characters that they created & instead they cease being the real them. Such games actually help shy people & people with lack of self confidence to come out of their shells. The collaborative & competitive nature of working with or against other players give it the social aspect that they lack in their real life. This should be used as a learning tool to create friendship & start relationships. After gaining confidence, they should move on with their life. But if they are unable to come out of this, then they should have never started this. But this is only 1 genre in games. But unfortunately, when people think of the word Gaming, only this comes to their mind. And yea, one more thing that comes to their mind is, of course ‘Violence’.

Again, ‘Violence’ exists in 2 genres of gaming. One is in ‘Action’ games, where we use a gun to fight for a cause. Well, if you don’t like the bloodshed, then there is always an option in these games to switch off the bloods etc… Then all that would remain is a game, where we need quick minds, high concentration, hand-eye co-ordination, basic sense in gaming. All these are good for the player & not detrimental. The other genre of games to have violence is ‘RPG’, abbreviated as Role Playing Games. This is once again where the problems are raising. These games are single player games, where we are asked to do certain tasks, which involve violence. Well, they are no different from a violent movie. There is absolutely no question of addiction here, as the games come to an end after a month’s hard work in front the monitor. As far as the violence is concerned, doing something violent in the game doesn’t motivate me to do the same in real life. I’m saying this as a personal gamer myself having finished most of such games. Consider any product for that matter, its our responsibility to use it properly. As Mr.Scott McDaniel, vice president of marketing for Sony Online Entertainment rightly said “You don't see disclaimers when you get in a car saying 'Don't run over people.' People have to exhibit their own good sense, and if they have kids, they need to pay attention to what they're doing”. Even movies use violence for comedies. Such comedies and reality shows with violence on televisions have more possibilities to induce violence than such games. From my personal experience, after watching a few wrestling matches as a kid, I tried it on my pillow & friends; this is very much true. But after playing hours of action games, I didn’t feel like killing someone or bullying someone. Such a thought never occurred to me. So basically, I don’t think gaming leads to violence.

Now, what most people fail to see is this genre, ‘Strategy’. Well, these games are like a game of chess. I’m personally a trained chess player & my favorite gaming genre is ‘Strategy’. These are the games where we take control of a civilization, gather resources, make technological advancements, create militaries, make strategies, use counter military units & attack with an army to defeat the enemy stronghold. These games take a while to learn & are not easy to play at the beginning. They are similar to chess, because, they need quick thinking, they need tactics & plans, they need time management & all other aspects of a game of chess like sacrificing a pawn to kill a Bishop. Such games require a master mind to play. The advantages of playing such games are too many to bring under this topic & besides, my aim is not to say that games are good, but to change people’s perception of games & to show that it has a lot more than just violence & addiction.

Then there are other genres like ‘Racing’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Simulation’ etc.. Racing is a real cool genre where we need to know the physics of a car, like Aerodynamics, Gear Ratio, Suspension etc.. Its no more as simple as getting behind the wheel of a car & driving it. Adventure is a genre for fun & to be awed by the graphics.. And some adventure games really make us think as we will have to find clues & discover ways to the next step. It’s a lot of fun & very interesting & it comes to an end very quickly. Simulation is something used by professionals, like Pilots or Soldiers. Its used in training people. Its more complex than we can imagine. These are the major genres of games that we should know about.

Competitive Gaming:

Now, this is the aspect of gaming that I really support. This is where I learned a lot about life. Its not like, if I play in tournaments I will learn life. Its more complex than that & very hard to explain in words. Still, I’ll try my best to explain my feelings.. Competitive gaming mostly involves teamwork. We are made to play & learn as a team. Now, a team isn’t formed from nowhere. We create a team after spending some time in local cafes. Then, we try to know which games we are good at. Then, we get in touch with people who are good at those games. There are ways to get in touch with them, like gaming forums, playing online, visiting cafes & participating in tournaments. Once we meet them, we then form a team with like-minded gamers. Then we start to work as a team to win in competitive situations.

Team Work:

I’ll shortly explain the things I learned during my hours spent with my team. First, when we formed the team, I felt as if I’m on top of the world, as I have just formed a dream team with the best players in my area. As time passed by, I learned that forming a team (or starting a project) is not all. Its just the beginning & there is a lot more to go. I learned from these experiences that, not everything comes from luck or by sitting relaxed & doing something that we enjoy. I learned that, a good start counts only when we do a lot of hard work. Ofcourse, you may say that “We have always taught you students that hard work is a must”…. But tell me, how good is hearing a few words when I’m saying that I was able to experience it personally. I mean, I had so many dreams when I started gaming that I’m going to be so successful & only when I really stepped into the tournaments I realized that life is not that simple. I realized that everything needs lots of hard work, devotion & time to be spent for success. I learned that forming a team is not the difficult part, but to maintain a team, to lead a team, to take decisions as a team is very difficult. I learned to cope with people who have different views from myself. I learned that everyone has their own egos & self respect. I learned that I won’t get anything done by just shouting or getting angry. Instead we need to talk to people, with a understanding voice. This is something not even most grown ups have learned or controlled to the full.

Personal Experience:

When I first entered gaming, I was this silent boy in the class, who won’t speak to friends much or didn’t even have many friends. But I also had this other character in me because of my personal life, where I was very angry, I would easily get raged or upset. Not many knew of this, but it was always inside me. After a year of gaming, I learned to improve both these characters. I started to speak out more & started opening my mouth atleast in situations where I must. I reduced my anger, I learned that anger won’t get my anywhere. I learned that, as much as I want to, I cannot live alone in life. I learned to go well even with people who are rather offensive & with different opinions.


All I want to say is that, gaming is not just violence & addiction. And its definitely not a drug. There is a lot more to gaming, that most people are yet to see. So, don’t jump to conclusions about gaming, as it is rather a vast subject. Basically, what people are doing is looking at a single aspect of a single genre of gaming. Its like looking into a room through a window, when we should be looking at the entire house. Competitive gaming is a sport. Its like cricket or football. Narain Karthikeyan once said in an interview that when he approached a company asking for sponsorship, the person there asked him to join cricket as it is financially more lucrative. Such is the situation of Cyber Gaming in India now. But nonetheless it is a sport & a lot of gamers are truly athletes, not spoiled brats, but the latter exist too…