A Breakup Letter To Dota

It’s not you Dota, it’s videogames.

868 hours. I’ve played you for over 36 days. A little over a month. I like to claim that most of this time was spent watching pro-games but I do that via twitch so that’s untrue.

868 hours.


I’m giving up on you for the games I never played. Resident Evil HD remaster, Valkryia Chronicles even Wolfenstein. There’s a mountain of games I bought and dutifully installed on launch day only to never play them. Instead I chose to feed my addiction by chasing the Roshan with another night of wizard fight club.

I think I should play other games. We should see other people.

There’s a world of great gaming experiences that aren’t Dota. I could replace that slow methodical farm with cutting demons to pieces with an axe or dropkicking zombies. Those hour long wars of attrition could be used to prevent a nuclear apocalypse or execute a near perfect (but never quite) heists.


We’ve had our good times. The Troll Warlord games that so often see me murder the entire enemy team at 15 minutes, or the five man black hole that lead to us storming the highground and crushing a tough game. I’ve yelled with elation and roared with triumph during our better moments together.

But there’s a problem.

You don’t treat me well. When we’re together I become the worst version of myself. Paranoid and twitchy, fast to call out the mistakes of others and too happy to dwell on my own. I get sullen, frustrated. I would say maybe 75% of the time when I play you I get unhappy. Frustrated at the game and the fact that when I realise I’m having a bad game 20 minutes in, I’m stuck in that cycle of death and rebirth against impossible odds until the bitter end, often 30 minutes later.


The realisation was slow. When I play Dota I’m at my worst. I hate being any less than pleasant to everyone. It’s not just me, either. Several other people that I’ve played with feel similarly. It makes a bunch of people feel like crap with its toxic community and incredibly high pressure.

Lots of people get a lot of great experiences from the game, and if you’re lucky enough to play in the international you’re probably making quite a bit of money out of it, but I’m a delicate snowflake, and so for now I’m going to take a break from playing it alone. Time to go and finish Wolfenstein.

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