I reread this after finishing it and it’s abhorrently negative and mean spirited, but since none of it is really untrue, and I don’t feel like rewriting it to be nicer, I will instead balance out the tone by adding a cute tiny cat picture every couple of paragraphs.
This season really kind of flew by. Magic of a BO3 centric format I suppose.
I don’t really remember much of the preseason in terms of what I was sorta planning on doing; I’d dropped enough MMR to realistically belong in Div 2, even post-adjustment, but Ekken was set on having me on whatever team he ended up on and I frankly didn’t mind that — and in general, I prefer playing in Div 1 even if (or maybe particularly when) I’m the worst player there.
For a brief moment the plan was that Crispy Bacon would all-in for Ekken and then look to nab me as well, but nfd stepping up to captain eliminated that possibility, since he’d have most coins and it was pretty apparent what he’d do with them. It was a weird situation to be drafting for Crispy knowing full well I’m not going on that team, and then inevitably getting picked onto the nfd Ekken stack, but thankfully there weren’t really any situations in the draft to make me feel conflicted — I could afford to draft what I felt was best for Chris’ team knowing it didn’t conflict with the pool of options nfd had for our team.
Having finished that team I was also content with the final two picks nfd got, as both Omega and Nappa were on the list of options that stood out to me for the two roles we still needed (the others being, off the top of my head, Dekait and Dan for mid, and Sassy and Calli for 4/5 — from what I know, the Omega Nappa choice was Ekken’s call).
Cue drama, act 1. Nappa is tilted that he got drafted into div 1 and this team in particular, and insists he’ll dodge until the realization that he’d get a longer than usual ban (since he’d dodged a prior season) got to him. His solution? He’ll join the team Discord only for matches, play almost entirely muted, then leave afterwards. Fun.
Come week 1, Omegasaw and myself are sat there waiting for everyone else. Nfd is sat in a separate Discord playing custom games and refusing to leave despite it being past start time. Nappa needs to be sent an invite to the Discord. Ekken might’ve been late as well? I don’t remember, but he probably was — it’d be a safe assumption.
Week 2, Ekken is gone because he’s doing tryouts. Having to get a standin for our 10k+ player is annoying, but whatever, the reason’s valid enough and we can sorta just choose anyone. Gabepork is in, I play offlane, we bin the Maff team, go next.
Week 3. Ekken is in a Counter Strike game. Nfd is probably afk. We should’ve started a couple minutes ago. Whatever, I don’t really feel the need at this point to insist on people acting like normal humans anymore, so I’m down to just tank a defloss. Omegasaw asks if this is what it’s gonna be like every week, Ekken says yes, Omega says ight I’m good and dips (there’s more to all of this but I don’t feel the need to talk about it in Omegasaw’s stead so I’ll leave it at that — I would’ve obviously preferred for him to stick around, but if he’s done he’s done).
Ekken is done with his CS game so like 10 minutes past start we get ponpo as a standin and play. Nappa is still engaged in his whiny performative outrage and thus not in the Discord as all of this happens, but does join, mute himself for most of the series, play out the games and leaves.
We get ponpo assigned as FA. Things mostly proceed as previously; show up to games, play them, move on. We eventually get to Chris’ team in the UB and lose the series 2–1 in sorta rough fashion (which is to say we could’ve likely won g3 but just didn’t play well enough).
LB finals are a rematch against Maff, once again a pretty straightforward set of games altogether.
Day of finals I’m greeted by a message from ponpo saying he can’t make it in the Discord. Unluck! Nfd wants to get Bunny standin, this gets declined, I tell Nfd what the most likely outcome of contesting it is and advise him to simply ask for jihadi or whoever else so we don’t have to spend multiple hours doing a useless back and forth and wasting time for a dozen different people. Nfd is too inept at interacting with 3D people and ignores this, so a couple hours are wasted — lo & behold, Midking is declined by unanimous decision and we play with jihadi.
The finals are another fairly straightforward win — Ekken wants to get it over with so he can talk to [REDACTED] and advise them on whether [REDACTED] is a good idea, so he puts on his tryhard pants.
To be completely honest, this is maybe the single weirdest season, or at bare minimum the weirdest season win, I’ve experienced. For as “drama” fueled it was, once we actually got into games it was like 99% completely normal and fine, but it’s hard to explain how flat you feel when your presence in the lobby doesn’t matter at all. I could’ve let a bot play my hero and I don’t know than anyone would’ve noticed. Just coasting to a win I never felt like I had any part in accomplishing — the power of the 10k simply deciding to play core, I suppose. I feel like I even played as garbage as I did purely because there’s no part of me that ever considered I have to do anything other than exist and apologize about my teammates in allchat when they’re being dumb or toxic or chat wheel gging.
Overall it feels very odd to write this because I can’t avoid this veil of negativity even though it wasn’t actually that bad an experience — simply one that isn’t engaging or emotionally energizing as what I’m used to. It felt like I played 20 games of inhouse and got the 10k on my team in all of them.
I’ve done quote unquote serious reviews of every player on this team except for ponpo so I’ll be brief. I suspect this section will come out similarly negative as the prior segment, but I realistically don’t mind playing with any of the people on the team (though I’d frankly avoid saying I’d be happy to play with the goons until they’re like, marginally more mature as humans). So, most of this will be character assassination instead of gameplay reviews. They click buttons as well as you’d expect each of them to!
Ponpo | I’ve been waiting for my eventual ponpo team for what feels like years at this point and find it very odd that this is how it’d happen, and reviewing him in general feels odd since he hasn’t actually played that many games on the team, coming in as a mid season FA and then missing the final game. I have a hard time saying much about his gameplay, because I get the impression that his experience in this team mirrors my own, insofar as he was mostly just a spectator to the Ekken show. He’s also not very active and doesn’t play much Dota at the moment, compounded additionally by the shenanigans surrounding his RD2L team, which reduced the number of games he’d play further. In that respect, I can very easily tell he wasn’t at his best, and his performances were on average slightly underwhelming — though I’m certain they’d have been closer to his usual level if they, well, if they needed to be. In general he’s a quiet boy as always, but is a competent player, and he’s probably the one person on whom my opinion has shifted the most since I first encountered them. It’s ancient lore at this stage, but I thought ponpo was a very mediocre player, and then one day he decided not to be and starting winning left and right (including against me in finals, smh). Which, I suppose, brings me to the one notable thing that could be of future interest to captains; ponpo is, I feel, a player who improves drastically with vocal leaders who have the drive and capacity to work towards players improving, and has as such historically been someone who’s very easy to drag potential out of for the likes of a Codex or Ekken. Cool guy in general. You see the Gobert thing? Wild.
Ekken | I gushed over Ekken in two prior reviews, so if you want to read an attempt at insight go there. He’s obscenely good, and this season served to, for the first time, ascribe some minor merit to the idea that it would maybe be healthy for the league to disallow him from playing because he’s so incredibly far ahead of the curve that it takes a combination of having other extremely high level players, and him individually choosing to not take a game seriously, for him to lose. Past that, he’s a very communicative person, occasionally funny, highly attention starved, immensely disrespectful of, and harboring little regard for, the time of others, but overall a good guy who I like having as a friend. Does take getting used to though, since he doesn’t seem to comprehend that not everyone interacts with each other through the lens of being a walking talking shitposting content machine (and his grasp on boundaries in that regard is similarly poor).
Nappa | My suspicion is that Nappa has developed this online persona that exudes an air of being perennially annoyed, and it’s festered for a long enough time that he struggles to pull himself out of it and just behave normally. It’s a shame, because he’s also a passionate person who doesn’t shy away from investing energy and effort into things he’s passionate about, but when that’d require dropping the whiny “I’m so bad guys” facade, it’ll come down to a coin flip. There’s a self-centeredness to his behavior this season, registering and knowing full well how things work, then threatening to leave and doing whatever it is he did when every other person didn’t cater to him. Absolutely perfectly fine once you get into a game of Dota, at which point he’ll easily live up to the common reputation of being a support player with stability and consistency far surpassing his MMR — and thankfully you, dear reader, will not have to deal with 90% of these issues in your experience with Nappa, since they stem almost entirely from being on this specific team with these specific people in this specific season.
Nfd | Anime profile pic number 3, so you damn well know what’s coming. Self-centered, has little regard for the value of anyone and everyone’s time, and eclipsing any other issue by gargantuan margin, quotes anime unironically. Mostly just a teddy bear though. Is making me watch Blue Lock (he’s not Nagi).
Madsen | The worst subhuman of the bunch, and because of Nfd I can’t even pull out the “whatever, at least I don’t watch anime” card. Fuck sake.