What can we do to relax when we are supposed to stay at home? Game together of course!
With the restrictions on gathering offline, the only option we had for any activities was online. There were a lot of considerations and planning done to make sure if the events bonded the players meaningfully and of course very fun.
After much consideration and support from our partners #SGPlaysTogether (an initiative by SGEA) and The Gym, we decided to launch #SGPlaysTogether TeleMatch DOTA 2, an online community competition for casual DOTA 2 players. We managed to gather 10 teams and we even heard that one of the teams was formed via our DOTA 2 SOOS group! It was the first time that they played with each other and decided to make things work together.
To be honest, the major concern we had was whether there were casters for TeleMatch. We tried looking for aspiring casters and there were none! We were so close to streaming just the game camera when some of the participants offered to cast the games even though it might be their first time.
We only had three main rules for casting:
Be positive and encouraging. (If the caster has an opinion about the play, explain the situation and share how it could be improved)
and have lots of fun
And that was how we started with our #biasedcasters series! Surprisingly, many players tuned in to our Twitch channel, encouraging the teams and casters. We ended up receiving lots of requests from players if they could try casting!
Watch the VODs out below and see how the games and casting turned out! Check the scores of the teams here.
Group Stages: Group 1 on 30 May 2020
Group Stages: Group 2 on 31 May 2020
Semi-Finals and Finals: 6-7 Jun 2020
During the breaks of the semi-finals and finals, we invited professional casters to share more about what they do and give encouragement to aspiring players and casters. We also included interviews with both teams after the games are played.
Last but not least, to end with words of encouragement for the viewers! It doesn’t matter if they are aspiring casters or esports athletes, they always need encouragement and support. We had a short segment when all the viewers’ encouragement to the people in esports were read during the stream.
Facilitators Xing Yong, Ian, Poh Jin, Damian, De Wei and Chuen Yew who volunteered their time to prepare and marshal the games.
Casters Wilson “Sharmomi” Koo, Ernest “Kiseijuu” Chan, Chenkai “Fixers” Leow, Matthew “[email protected]” Lopez and Benedict “Memoria” Lee for stepping out of their comfort zones to help out in the casting.
TeleTrip Express 2019 – DOTA 2 was an exciting TeleTrip not just for the players, but also for the facilitators and organisers as well! We witnessed how the players and facilitators bonded and overcame challenges together as a community.
Start of TeleTrip Express
After many rounds of TeleTrip Campus, we finally returned to playing on computers at the newly opened Bountie Arena with 25 players.
Unexpectedly, we have missed out one player, which meant that until we found four more players to complete the team, he could not play during TeleMatch. It was indeed a tall task to get players to come down as most of their friends were either not awake in the morning as expected of gamers or had prior engagements.
Despite the low probability, everyone tried calling everyone they knew to ask if they wanted to join us so that the player could play at TeleMatch. We crossed our fingers while we continued with TeleTalk.
After TeleTalk and the team discussions, with everybody’s combined efforts, we managed to get the last four players! Two players arrived before the first game while the other two players joined us at the second game. To start TeleMatch, our facilitators JJ and Xing Yong played the first game.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to wait for lunch. Instead of complaining, the players and facilitators took the opportunity to discuss the games! They chatted with one another and their constant offer to help us out deeply touched me.
The games were extremely fun and exciting as all the teams were playing neck-to-neck. This time, we had players with MMR ranging from 2000 to 8000. Every team was balanced with skilled players to lead and hold the teams together.
The facilitators gave their best to provide every team with effective feedback to improve on. The teams were constantly discussing and reviewing their games in preparation for the next game. It was amazing to see how “tryhard” they were while enjoying themselves.
We had five TeleTrip Express winner tags for the winning team. There were prizes for the “Most Improvement Team” and “Best Teamwork” as well. The winning team received the newly released Aftershock Hero-1 Keyboard. “Best Teamwork” received an Aftershock mouse each and “Most Improvement Team” received Aftershock mousepads.
For those who did not win a prize, we had a ball pit treasure hunt, where the prizes were thrown into the ball pit and anybody who found them can bring them home. Just when we were wondering who would be the first to get into the pit…
It was encouraging to hear from the players that they felt TeleTrip Express 2019 was one of the most enjoyable TeleTrips they attended so far. The facilitators also shared how much they have learnt from the players.
Thank you Bountie Arena and your wonderful team for all the support before and throughout TeleTrip Express. Appreciate the support from all our partners AftershockPC and Indomie in making this TeleTrip Campus possible. Shoutout to Poh Jin, JJ, Xing Yong and Jean for all the help. Last but not least, to the gamers who came and made TeleTrip such a fun and memorable day for all of us ^-^
Our second TeleTrip Campus for the DOTA 2 players happened at TeleTrip Campus SUTD – DOTA 2 on 29 June 2019. So glad to see familiar faces. This time, we had 15 participants!
This time, we changed the format of TeleMatch to round-robin, which provided the players an opportunity to play against every team! When there is a tie-breaker, the winning team will be determined by the total number of kills earned during TeleMatch. With the number of kills taken into consideration, the teams must now think about how to secure kills and reduce casualties in every match, increasing the challenge of TeleMatch!
During TeleTalk, the players were introduced to roles, teamwork, and effective communication so that the teams are aligned. With that being set, the teams then proceeded to strategise their draft based on their strengths and weaknesses. It was interesting to find out what were the teams’ priorities and considerations during their discussion, such as kill potential and how to create combos out of their hero pools.
Keeping Our Players “Farmed”
As games and discussions can get really intense, we provided snacks and drinks for the players to perk themselves during the games (shoutout to Kangaroo for the tasty nuts).
When it was lunchtime, both Team 1 and Team 2 were still in their games with no sign of ending. Team 3 ended early and had the option to have their meals first. Instead, they decided to watch the ongoing match and waited until both teams ended their games to have their meals together. It was really nice to see how the players were willing to wait for each other.
Below are some key events that happened to each team.
Team 3: Youngest Player with the Most Experience
Even though bots games sounded like a no-brainer to most players, two of the teams were shocked to find out that Team 3 achieved 312 kills in 30 minutes. As a comparison, the other two teams only managed to reach their highest of 152 kills and 134 kills in 30 minutes.
So what’s the secret? It turned out that during the bots warm-up game, Team 3 found out that their youngest player, 15 years old, understood how the AI-controlled heroes react to their actions and which strategy would be best to get as many kills. So how did he actually know this? It was revealed during the pizza party that he would play a game with bots during his free time in school due to unstable internet connection. He would then constantly try to find out how to improve his strategy to kill them and end the game faster by observing the bots.
Team 1: Win as a Team, Learn as a Team
Even though Team 1 managed to win games convincingly and lose games which were close, they always took the time to reflect on what could be improved after each game. They noticed that for the games they lost, they communicated less which might have greatly affected their chances of winning. It was amazing to witness how quickly they learnt that communication was a key to winning and every teammate had a part to play in this.
During TeleMatch, it was obvious that Team 2 was struggling to play as a team. The primary reason was that none of the players had experience in leading a team. Instead of shying away from the problem, they stepped up to take on the team roles that were lacking, such as the captain and shot-caller. Despite playing out of their comfort zones, they were able to take a lot of good team fights that required coordination.
Even though they did not manage to win a game against the other teams, their determination as a team and growth as players during TeleTrip was astounding.
Good job to all three teams!
Prize Presentation and Pizza Party
We had five TeleTrip Campus winner tags for the winning team. There were prizes for the “Most Improvement Team” and “Best Teamwork” as well. The winning team received a Tecware Keyboard each. “Best Teamwork” received Aftershock mouse each and “Most Improvement Team” received Aftershock backpacks.
Like always, we had a chit-chat session with the players over pizza. It was memorable as our facilitator JJ, who is a competitive DOTA 2 player, shared his experience which includes the struggles and how the team overcame their circumstances. It definitely served as an encouragement and a reminder that everyone, not excluding stronger players, faces similar roadblocks. The most important thing is how we overcome them.
Had lots of fun with you guys, hope to see you at the next TeleTrip Campus – DOTA!
Thank you SUTD for providing the venue for TeleTrip Campus! Appreciate the support from all our partners AftershockPC, Kangaroo Nuts and SCOGA in making this TeleTrip Campus possible. Shoutout to JJ and Wah Yi for all the help. Last but not least, to the gamers who came and made TeleTrip such a fun and memorable day for all of us ^-^
We ran our first TeleTrip Campus at National University of Singapore’s Yusof Ishak House on 9 March 2019. Despite registration time being set earlier at 9.30am so that the players could set up their laptops for the games, they amazed us again by turning up earlier!
Taking Initiatives Together
Soon it was time for TeleTalk, our signature workshop which aligns the players through teamwork so that they are ready for play. Usually as an icebreaker, the players are encouraged to introduce themselves. It was surprisingly wonderful that the players took the initiative to walk to the front of the room before addressing themselves.
The players broke into their teams after TeleTalk, and Team 6 was incomplete, because their teammate was on the way from Johor Bahru! Instead of panicking or rushing him, they took the time to strategise while thinking about how to share all these information with him when he reaches. He managed to join them just in time for the warm-up match and lunch.
Win or Learn
The teams returned from lunch and found out their opponents for TeleMatch through a live draw. By a (strange) coincidence, they matched against the same opponents from the warm-up match again. This happened previously during TeleTrip Express, which amused the returning players.
The first match was slightly more tense as the winner of that game will proceed. After the match, the teams who lost were recommended to continue playing to work on their teamwork. For the teams that lost, most thought that they lost through draft or skill, but actually it was mainly due to lack of communication, which led to the lack of coordination.
For example, a player disabled the opponent before his teammates could reach and deal damage, resulting in the opponent fleeing without receiving any harm.
The teams diligently worked on their issues, to the extent that after every game, the two teams will discuss what each other could have done better through the replays.
The Importance of Communication: Team 5
Every team had a unique issue that they overcame during TeleTrip. In the case of communication and awareness, Team 5 struggled initially. It was to the point that it took the coach to realise that mid player was having a hotkey issue to suggest a pause. This incident caused the team to reflect and talk things out after the game. As a result, they committed to changing their roles, communicating and importantly to ask and not assume in the game.
It paid off in their third game against Team 1, when they were playing from behind with almost 20k gold difference, which meant that the opponent had a significantly higher killing potential. Despite the bleak situation, Team 5 pressed on and the moment came when they managed to catch the opponent’s mid player before pushing into the base and ending the game.
Embracing Changes: Team 6
Team 6 had a rough start as well, and nothing seemed to be going right with four consecutive losses. It was even more challenging considering that most of them had limited roles. Instead of giving up, the team continued to swap their roles so that everyone could have a chance to learn and experience each role. Surprisingly, their support player who believed that he could not play other roles, played mid very well, better than support.
With that attitude to learn and explore, they eventually ended up taking a game off Team 4, one of the stronger teams in TeleTrip.
Play on the Strengths, Complement the Weaknesses: Team 2
On the contrary, Team 2 had a strong start at TeleTrip. It definitely helped to have an experienced competitive teammate to lead and direct the team. However, it was still important to play according to the team’s strengths and they learnt this in the finals.
During the best-of-three finals against Team 3, Team 2 managed to win the first game after an hour but lost the second in half an hour. There was a deciding game next, but Team 2 seemed to remain focused on their defeat. They had a draft that looked good and should counter the opponents, yet lost so badly.
It turned out that during the second game, Team 2 indeed have a good draft, but they forgot that there were teammates who were not familiar with the heroes’ capabilities. There was a gap between the experienced and inexperienced teammates as the latter was already struggling to perform their roles at a high-stress game, let alone processing information about unfamiliar heroes.
After realising this issue, Team 2 restrategized and found a draft that is good for the team, with heroes that the team was familiar with. This time, the inexperienced teammates felt comfortable and the experienced teammates could focus on leading the movement instead of teaching about the heroes. After another nail-biting one-hour game, Team 2 managed to emerge as the winners of TeleMatch.
It was amazing to see how every team overcome their problems and not forgetting to help the other teams as well with feedback. The winning teams also voluntarily shook their opponent’s hands at the end, displaying sportsmanship. Awesome job teams!
Prize Presentation and Pizza Party
We had five TeleTrip Campus winner tags for the winning team and one “Best Support” tag. We had an additional prize for the “Best Survivor” as well. Every winner received a Sliver mousepad by Aftershock. Besides the winner tags and mousepads, the winning team brought home mouse and backpacks from Aftershock.
After a long day, it was finally time to say goodbye to the players. When everybody was about to leave after getting their goody bags (shoutout to Kangaroo Nuts), suddenly one of the players approached us to ask for a group photo. Thankfully, most of the players were still around and managed to get a group photo!
Again, there were many players who stayed back to talk more about the games but this time, they continued to stay as there was no closing time for the students’ lounge. Till we meet and play again in person… meantime, online works too!
Cassey “ReckLesS” LowDespite being a relatively new player to DotA (since 2017), TeleTrip taught me many new things and also helped me discover new points that I can work on such as effective communication to be a better player. I also befriended many players through this platform that I can now play with online. Above it all, it was refreshing to experience such an exciting atmosphere that I thought I could only feel through watching The International 😀Zhong Hua “Sibeibudget” LowThe teletrip was an amazing and fun platform for me to foster friendship and play with people regardless of what skill level they are in. Through this workshop, I learned to grow to become a better player be it individually or as a group because we learn to support, motivate and forgive each other even if we had bad games. Furthermore, I also want to thank Ruth for being a good host in organising and planning this event and really enjoyed myself. I hope there’s more these event, so we can keep the dota spirit alive.
Thank you National University of Singapore E-gaming Society for providing the venue for TeleTrip Campus. Appreciate the support from all our partners, AftershockPC, PEZZO, Kangaroo Nuts, SCOGA, Esports Academy and NYC in making this TeleTrip Campus possible. Last but not least, to the gamers who came and made TeleTrip such a fun and memorable day for all of us. =)
The first TeleTrip Express Singapore 2018 happened last Saturday on 24 Nov 2018. Excitment filled the air about 15min before 10am when players started streaming into Gam3.Asia. Sat mornings are not easy for gamers, as some of you might know. We are so encouraged and was determined to put in our best for the gamers who came.
We kicked off the day with the Teamwork TeleTalk by Ruth Lim (a.k.a. potatofluff). The TeleTalk gives the understanding and premise of teamwork for the TeleMatch that follows for the whole day.
At the start of Teletrip Express, most of the players were shy and afraid to share their thoughts and ideas. This was partly because many of them are strangers and partly because they felt they were not good enough.
During the breaks between games, the players were encouraged to contribute their perspectives as they might be a great value to their team. The most important thing is that they do their best and trust their team to have their backs.
Their progress within a day was astonishing. Even though the teams had players of different ages and skill gaps (from beginners to veterans), they were playing head-to-head and games were really intense and exciting. The youngest player (aged 14) stepped up, leading his older teammates to victory! Perhaps you can try to guess who is the 14-year-old player of the winning team from the photo below.
It was amazing to see how everyone opened up to each other, discussing strategies and encouraging each other. Everyone gave their input and the leaders provided their respective teams with good directions. This was a huge contrast to the initial first game they played which was full of uncertainty. Great job everyone!!
Prize Presentation and Pizza Party
We had five TeleTrip Express winner tags for the winning team as we did previously. This time round, instead “Rampage Achiever”, we gave an award to “Best Support”. Besides the winner tags, the winning team brought home the hand drawn postcards by Botjira and the high-treasured Dota 2 figurines. We also had three prizes: a SCOGA Esports T-shirt, a mousepad and a mouse for correct answers to a quiz.
It was hard to say goodbye so much so that the staff at Gam3.Asia had to “chase” us out so that they can clear and close the area. Appreciate your kind patience the staff at Gam3.Asia. Some continued to game at home till past midnight through Discord. Till we meet and play again in person… meantime, online works too!
Thank you Gam3.Asia and your wonderful team for all the support before and throughout TeleTrip Express. Appreciate Botjira for the beautifully hand-drawn postcards as prizes for the winning team. Kelvin for helping out in many ways and for contribution to the winner prizes from your own collection. Douglas for so willing to help us. Appreciate the support from all our partners, PEZZO, SCOGA, Esports Academy and NYC in making this TeleTrip Express possible. Last but not least, to the gamers who came and made TeleTrip such a fun and memorable day for all of us. =)
So we came back from Subang, KL Malaysia on Wed late night after 3 days 2 nights of Tele Trip KL – DOTA 2 at Pantheon, an esports center. We started off with a dream of DOTA 2 gamers coming together for trips that is all about DOTA 2. We imagined how fun it will be that everyone in the trip all plays DOTA 2 and thus it is an easy conversation starter where we can make new friends and play the game with people we otherwise would have never met before. So we decided to put out Tele Trip and see how many DOTA 2 players will respond. We were hoping for a minimum of 30 sign ups so that we can book a nice coach, but in the end we had 10 which is perfect for a nice mini bus. So we decided to go ahead. This almost insane idea became a reality for us this week.
Highlights of the First Tele Trip
From the feedback of our trippers, all of them love the DOTA 2 gameplay time they had and also the new friends they made through the trip. We had a bunch of Malaysian friends who came together as a team to come and play with us on the last day. It was great making new friends with Malaysian players! Both having fun playing and making new friends were the objectives of Tele Trip. We wanted gamers to enjoy playing the game together, rather than playing on your own in your own room at home. After some intense gaming, the meals together were key points of bonding where we continued to talk more about the gameplay before and discuss topics about DOTA 2.
Pantheon Esports Center was definitely a highlight for the gamers as it is not just a LAN cafe. Being able to play in the VIP rooms gave much motivation to them and they loved the experience of playing in a team within a private enclosed room. Just want to take this opportunity to thank Pantheon for their generous hospitality. When we had problems with our game accounts with the game server, they troubleshoot to make sure things work. The team switched 10 computers to run the game from hard disk instead of server to minimise the possibility of game interuption. Kudos to the Pantheon team who tirelessly help us beyond their call of duty! The gamers took a break from DOTA 2 and tried Omni VR gaming as well which was great fun.
With playing together as one of the objectives of the Tele Trip, the mini workshop by Ruth Lim (Potatofluff) is about playing as a team. We split our 10 gamers into two teams, and not everyone in the team knew or played with each other on the same team before. The two teams worked towards the mini friendly match on the last day. The two teams played against each other and the winning Singapore team played against the Malaysian team.
The winning team got winner tags with limited edition DOTA 2 pins to remember their victory in this trip. None of the gamers went home empty handed as we had a goodie bag for each of them too. Each player got a limited edition DOTA 2 card which they had fun exchanging with one another for the characters they like in the goodie bag. On top of that they got a Tele Trip T-shirt, a cute portable speaker and notebook from Informatics and a Predator cap.
The chatter on our ride back from KL to Singapore was a lot more than the ride to KL. All the ten players got to know each other more and there seems to be endless topics and chats they can engage with each other. Through this, we know that the objective of making new friends is definitely achieved. We heard some of them continued playing with each other after the trip!
We were very proud of the players for their attitude and responses. We had problems with the server and some players had their gameplays being interupted several times, an issue which Pantheon had no control over. As frustrating as it can be, all of them did not lose their cool and was patient in working around the issues. The players were also patient to wait for each other so that they can play together. Not simply because this made things easier (of course we are absolutely thankful), but it demonstrated the players’ admirable character, values and priorities beyond gaming. All you trippers deserve a big pat on your back!
We kept the schedule rather loose for this trip as we were uncertain how the players will respond to a more structured and intense schedule. Based on the feedback, almost all is open to a more structured format. We took in the various feedback and will work them in for the next Tele Trip. Below is the FB Photo Album of the trip.