WePlay Is Hosting Live ‘Dota 2’ From A Studio Despite Coronavirus Lockdown
An article from Forbes
The coronavirus pandemic has effectively put a stop to all major esports events taking place in person. Hundreds of events have been postponed, cancelled or in most cases moved online. Thanks to the digital nature of esports the tournaments can often be played online with everyone being inside their own homes, but WePlay! have done things a little differently, and currently have broadcast talent and production crew working out of their studio in Kiev for the WePlay! Pushka League Dota 2 tournament.
The teams themselves are still competing remotely, which has made for some very entertaining games with high ping and mid-match roster swaps, but some of the broadcast talent and production staff are still working live from the WePlay! studio in Kiev. Analysts Admir "lizZard" Salkanović and Kyle “Kyle” Freedman are on air most days for the broadcast, and gave their perspective on the situation and how the online nature of the competition has changed the broadcast.
Mike Stubbs: How have you found the tournament so far, and what's it like working in the studio during the pandemic?
Admir "lizZard" Salkanović: Working in the WePlay! Pushka League studio during the pandemic could've been a bit scary, but we took all necessary precautions and all my colleagues are following the general guidelines. It doesn't feel any different from working under normal circumstances. The tournament is on the same level as all other WePlay! events, even during the pandemic, so working here is a pleasure.
Stubbs: In your view, how has the pandemic impacted the world of Dota?
Salkanović: I'd dare say the pandemic impacted Dota in a positive way as it reignited the love of many sleeper fans. Plus, the teams are all trying hard as there are no LANs in the foreseeable future.
Stubbs: We have seen some very entertaining games, with crazy picks, players on high ping and mid match roster swaps, why do you think it has been so chaotic and entertaining?
Kyle “Kyle” Freedman: I'd say the patch has definitely spiced things up, not to mention coronavirus complications. Lots of teams are multinational, one of the things that I love about Dota, so with everyone mostly home, it's not many teams that are still all in the same geolocation. That can lead to some interesting Dota.
Stubbs: Which match has been your favorite of the tournament so far?
Freedman: My favorite match was probably Team Liquid vs Team Secret. They reminded me of my ‘rivalry’ with Evil Geniuses. They'd constantly kick our ass, much like Secret always beat Liquid, so when we finally took a series off of them when it counted, it felt great. Awesome Dota to watch.
Stubbs: It's been quite a while since we saw so many big teams competing in online only competitions, do you miss top tier online Dota like this?
Salkanović: High quality online Dota is fun. Seeing players struggle and adapt to ping is so much fun for us even though it might be an excruciating process for them.
Stubbs: How does online Dota differ from LAN Dota?
Salkanović: Online Dota can be higher in pure mechanical skills because most competitors are playing from the comfort of their homes. It's a disadvantage for those that thrive in front of the crowd, though.
Stubbs: We just got a new patch, how do you think that will change things?
Freedman: The patch is gonna slow things down a bit. We desperately need more gold for hero kills/rotations, things have become somewhat dull as roaming is rather dead.
Stubbs: Which teams do you expect to see make it to the final?
Freedman: I expect an all EU final, likely Team Secret vs Team Liquid or Alliance.
Stubbs: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Salkanović: Yeah, these times are rough, and it's even more justifiable to be a blob that only sits and plays or watches games. Take care of yourself, watch for your physical and mental health. Dota isn't going anywhere!