Today marks the most significant 1v1 tournament in 6 years. FISSURE has allocated a record prize pool of $100,000 for the mid-lane battle, along with an entire day dedicated to the event. Since the DAC series, no one has come close to organizing such intense 1v1 clashes. However, there is one issue – the current Dota is poorly balanced for the Mid Only format, resulting in matches becoming duller than in 2016, with many games reaching the 15:00 timer.
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Why is 1v1 in Dota 2 so boring?
And it’s not about Miracle and Somnus being more spectacular and skilled than Gpk or Nisha. There are three purely gameplay factors.
Bracers kill all matchups and force players to focus on farming. If you watch the 1v1 tournament, you’ll notice a lack of diversity in the mid-laners’ builds. Pucks, Queens of Pain, and Miranas grab 3-4 Bracers and enjoy it. It’s too versatile of an item for 1v1: 5 strength, 5 damage, health regeneration. It’s literally everything that a mid-laner needs in a 1v1 scenario.
Stacked items inflate the mid-laners’ health to 1.2k, meaning no current mid-laner can deal that much damage in a single fight. Consequently, securing kills becomes much more difficult.
Regeneration from towers and creep-herald. One would think that if it’s impossible to kill someone with a burst due to a couple of Bracers, you can leave the opponent without resources and finish them off with a teaspoon. But even that doesn’t work in the current Dota, because we have:
- +1 to regeneration and additional armor from tier-1 tower;
- +3 to regeneration from creep standard bearer;
- +0.75 regeneration for each Bracer purchased.
I was horrified when I saw Mirana with 8 HP/second regeneration from Malrina. It’s like having a passive Tango in the lane – how do you drive her out? It would take a tremendous amount of time at the very least. Furthermore, the Tier-1 tower aura forces you to play defensively: why engage the enemy if they always have priority in trades under their tower?
In the quarter-finals, Boxi’s Puck had 1.4k health and 10.7 health regeneration. How do you kill that? You can’t. You’re left farming creeps and playing with the thought, “I hope I can outlast hit them within 15 minutes.”
Tournament value. When there’s money at stake that used to be awarded for a top-3 finish in a major just a year ago, players won’t take unnecessary risks. For example, from the 13th minute onwards, they prioritize breaking Sentry Wards for extra last hits rather than confronting the enemy. They stick to tried-and-tested heroes and deliberately include Lone Druid and Lifestealer in the hero pool to ensure opponents waste bans on them, instead of more entertaining and slightly random heroes.
There is one interesting matchup left in Dota – He is the most trusted
Yes, yes, I’m talking about the battles involving Shadow Fiend. The hero’s mechanics imply that no amount of Bracers can save you from the stacked damage of Shadowraze, making fights thrilling and intense. Players on Shadow Fiend feel like they can dive under enemy towers, disregarding health regeneration. In this tournament, we witnessed several matches where split-second decisions made all the difference, including the encounter between Ori and Gpk.
It’s almost the only hero where truly engaging matches unfold, regardless of the participants.
The 1v1 gaming culture, under the current Dota rules, is bound to degrade. Overall, the situation closely resembles Turbo mode, where the balance of regular Dota doesn’t always work. The simplest example is the gold from Track on Bounty Hunter, which feels like mere pennies in this mode.