The downfall of Swedish Dota

I found myself writing in English, so i kept going. I believe the reason i started is since some people with English as their language talked to me regarding the state of Swedish Dota. So its all good, remember English is not my first language, and i did not proofread much. Try to enjoy it anyway, and feel free to leave a comment.

The DownFall of Swedish Dota
Or something like that. Atleast thats the feeling im left with after this TI7 Qualifiers. Its not fair to say that this is the downfall of Swedish Dota. It really is not. We got Zai and S4 in the top, but we wanted more. Maybe a fully swedish team, or atleast some more players. Pajkatt also lost with Navi. When im writing this PLD is still in it tho. But other from that it was horrible. It really was, and its time to look at the teams abit, and consider what might be the problem. Because its not just Alliance that have issues, it seems like more teams have the same issues, and i would like to try to understand what is going on.

Leadership is not only calling what to do during games, it’s also having ur team under control in general. And ofcourse the pickingsequence of the game, regardless if a team is drafting all together or in silence, the captain or the leader has to take the final decision for his team. If there are too much opinions taken into consideration the risk is that you end up with poor drafts, and that has happened more then once for the swedish teams during this ti7 qualifier. Sometimes it’s almost 100% clear that 1 hero is rated high, maybe because someone wants to play it, or for other reasons, but the rest of the draft is not working together with this hero. A huge problem, and this is something that the drafter or leader has to deal with. It might be a person saying that ”Give me SK and i will own everyone” and that might be true, however as the leader you are in charge of the grand scheme of things and cant allow ur plan to be ruined by that. With this said, a great leader also always listens in to his team. So im not saying its easy.

Making calls ingame – this is the other thing the captain or leader has to do. And you need to establish a leadership that is not questioned during games. Either you make sure that you are holding down the general idea of things and players make their own calls, or you are more strict. It doesnt really matter. But seeing for the 50th time someone going in, and then stepping back, and then going in again, and this movement missing opportunities in every single match or map is so frustrating. It’s clear that people are not feeling comfortable going in, and i know, sometimes you have different opinions about what a good go is or not, but the leadership in a team has to be strong enough to make people attack and blindly go anyway, even if they dont believe it. Otherwise you end up in semi initiations and these things might work versus worse enemies, but not really versus good teams.
In some of the games, and in all of the teams it has been obvious that the Swedish teams has issues with this. It might be more understandable with a more newly formed team then a team that played together for a long time, but it is still not a workable way of winning dota2 games.

I do think the Swedish mentality about democracy and letting everyone share their opinion might be an issue regarding this. Im NOT saying you should stop getting input from your team, but in the end the leader has to be the leader. You cant ask ”How do you feel about this go” to everyone, you just have to go. And yeah, as much as i enjoy hearing that teams have a great spirit and listen into each other i also want to see decisionmaking and won games.

Problem is, when leadership is not working properly the team starts to under perform, and this is not only as a team but also as individuals. Spells are used in wrong times, cooldowns are faulty timed, teamfights end up beeing completely horrendous, and everyone seems like they have not got a clue what to do. But remember that leadership is just the top of the iceberg in one sense, in a group of 5 individuals the leadership also needs to be accepted by the others in the clan, it also have to be maintained by the others. This is a team effort, and the symptom of the crisis is leadership.

I can tell some of the players really have done their homework when it comes to lasthitting and controlling their hero at a maximum pace. I was impressed by not only a few individuals but many, and i do believe that if you look at Swedish Dota and just check out the microskills and level of individual play of all the players, we never had a better playerpool ever in Dota history. There are many players at a really high level, it’s awesome to see. But im starting to get worried when it seems like players rather then focusing on building up their teamskills towards their own team, they are only working on their own individual skillset.  This might be because most of the Swedish teams are newly formed, atleast in some sense, and it might be abit unfair to make this conclusion, i know, but still i would like to put it as a reminder. The MMR-battle is a perfect tool to make yourself great as a individual player. But if you reached Limmps, Era’s, Eskillz or lets say Pablos level of gameplay, that will no longer be what keeps you from not going to a TI. Other things, like how you communicate with the cores in your team, like the timings on runes or in how well you know when its time to go help your offlane will determine if you win games or not – hence you need to put the effort and focus on practicing with the team rather then focus on increasing your own individual skill. I have no idea if this is the case with the Swedish dotascene, im just guessing based on what kind of gameplay i saw during the competition this weekend.

I can easy see that Sweden would be able to set up 2-3 really good teams and these teams would eventually compete at top level, but instead of making sure that these 2-3 teams are competing, i have this feeling that Sweden right now rather created 4-5 teams which are decent. It might be time to mix things up, and to put pressure on some of the players that are not good enough, or that are too hard to create a competetive enviroment around. I know Dota requires you to know your teammates really well, and making changes in teams is always very risky. Im not saying you should just break up teams either, im just saying you should carefully consider ur lineup a day like this, and then make sure everyone is on the same page. If thats the case, well then make sure to start praccing for real.

External help
Old Alliance took help from SyndereN. I have no insight in how that cooperation worked, and i have no idea in what way Synderen helped out Alliance, but i would like to say that when i see the Swedish teams right now, i dont know if the strategies are the issues (If that was what Synderen worked with) As i said in the beginning, the issues are rather the fact that leadership is lacking. There are options to strengthen a leadership in a group, and its not even hard. To have someone externally come in and look at these things might be key for some of the teams. Not everyone have the option of hiring people to help out, but friends might be able to help out or getting insight in how leadership and group-dynamics works might help out aswell.

If leadership and group-dynamics work properly in a team you should become better then the sum of skill of the players in the team. You should be able to create things that you never have been able to do by yourself – but when things are not working out properly instead you are getting worse then ever in a team. Alliance is the perfect example having some really high level players, but when drafting or shotcalling is not working, some of the players seem extremely poor in their play. Its very frustrating to watch this happen to perfectly capable players, and i know its even more frustrating for the players. I’d like to see this Dotanation shine and be great again. And i believe. I have to believe.

Ending this text i’d like to give some honorable mentions regarding swedish players, because even if we have seen teams underperform, there has been some nice individual performances that should be mentioned.

Micke – The future of Swedish Dota2? This guy has a bright future ahead of him if he keeps it up. Its safe to say that talent is still growing in Sweden with this guy beeing a part of the scene.
Xcalibur – Crescendo was a rough team to be a part of in this qualifier, but i saw some games with Xcalibur (One storm game for example) where you could tell how talented this guy really is. Made me happy.
EGM – This guy performs better outside of Alliance, why i dont know, but he gave us some moments of god mode, and i really hope to see more of him.
Limmp – I think its safe to say that Limmp definently is a toptier midplayer these days, when playing for Allliance with issues drafting and shotcalling it might be hard to tell, but he has some brilliance in his midlane that he surely deserves to be mentioned for.
Era – When you provide Era with good supporting and a good team hes brilliant. You could tell he had issues at times as well, but he had a few tinygames where i could just sit back and enjoy the greatness. Awesome!
Pablo – This is pablos first really big team. No biggy for him. At times during this qualifier you saw him shine, and at times he also looked lost. New player in the team, but talented as hell.
Eskill – Taking the captainrole and position 4 and doing it really well. I believe hes growing as a player still and there was a reason he got his clockwerk very few games this qualifier, people feared it.

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