Hey Dota 2 community. We need to talk.
Hey Dota 2 community. We need to talk.
I debated on making a video or a twitlonger to discuss this. I tried to make the video but I kept getting very angry and just swearing nonstop so I think a twitlonger is the best choice.
There's been a lot of negativity and shit stirring since the latest female members of the Dota 2 talent have emerged. As a longtime Dota 2 fan, it didn't surprise me. I've been the target of many threads telling me how shit I am, had peers talk shit about me behind my back, and received many horrendous messages about how I should leave the scene and end my life. I'd seen the threads against AnneeDroid, heard the rumors about Llama being forced out, and seen how people would spread rumors about how Sheever and Jess Brohard managed to keep getting work. And all the while, these talents have kept quiet, figuring that the best way to handle everything was to simply ignore the haters and become behemoths in their field. The best revenge is a life well lived, right?
Well I'm angry and I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut. I work with some amazing women who are talented and do incredible work. And I'm tired of seeing their work belittled by people who have no idea what they are talking about and who couldn't do their job in front of thousands without wetting their pants. And I'm especially tired of people comparing us to one another.
Frankie: I've admired Frankie for years now. The way she handles herself professionally and also tackles issues head on is an act of bravery and dignity. She first reached out to me years ago when I was having issues with the community, asking me if I was alright and needed someone to talk to. Real queen shit right there. I could go on and on about how many scenes she has worked in, how many desks she has hosted, but honestly all you have to do is google "Frankie Ward" to see her accolades. And trust me, there are A LOT. So I was thrilled to hear she was joining the Dota 2 TI cast because this is a woman who does her homework, has a bright personality, and could only be an asset.
So it was ENRAGING beyond belief to see the push back when she was announced. The gatekeeping coming out of the community was beyond insane. This was a chance to bring in new people with a very professional and talented host joining us! Someone who is highly respected across multiple fields and beloved by many gamers-- it could only be a good thing! Instead, the community slammed the choice and proceeded to harass one of the kindest, most hard working ladies I have ever met. This is a lady who flew to a COVID infested country, in her 3rd trimester mind you, because she had made a deal with Valve and was too honorable to cancel it.
Frankie has been playing Dota 2 for over a year now. She and Purge have been streaming their sessions and they're HILARIOUS. I joined in the last few weeks and was impressed with how much she had learnt along the way. As all of us know, Dota is HARD. It is extremely complicated and takes years to get a firm grasp on. It's one of the reasons we fiend it so hard and why we're so proud of our MMR. It's complicated but very rewarding. Frankie dove in headfirst, even allowed people to watch and laugh at her as she learnt. But for some stupid reason, some people in the Dota community felt the need to gatekeep her and shun her simply because she didn't have as many hours or knowledge as them.
THIS IS BULLSHIT.
Gatekeeping is the fastest way to watch something you love die. I would say one of the major reasons the NA scene is crumbling is because of the massive amounts of gatekeeping that used to occur. When you refuse to let new people enter, your pool stagnates and eventually evaporates. The people who do this are our enemies and are LEGITIMATELY KILLING THE GAME. We should be excited to see new people, we should be extending our hands and helping them learn about this game that we love. If you love something and aren't an egoist, you should be willing to teach and show others so they can love it too. The people who only tout their MMR and how smart they are don't truly love the game, they only love themselves and their own superiority.
Here's where the shitheads come in trying to say they're having a good faith argument by saying "TI is not the place for her to be learning. She should have already done her research." Have you SEEN her research? Frankie made a huge document detailing every team, every player, every history and stat she could find. The data is massive, second only to Sheever's BIBLE OF DOTA 2 she printed. Frankie learnt everything she cold and even reached out to a few of us to fill in any gaps she might have had. She read every stat ileamare sent us and tried to figure out how to work it into her panels and interviews. But here's the thing-- being on broadcast isn't just spewing out facts. It's having conversations and fielding the right data out to your panelists to elaborate on. It's talking to people while also having someone in your ear telling you how you only have 2 minutes left, wrap it up, we need to move onto the next segment while you're trying to figure out the best way to ask your question through a translator and pray it makes sense.
To top that all off, it's very cold, you're very pregnant, and you're exhausted from having to run from the tent to the stadium while growing a human inside of you.
Frankie will never say these things. She's much too professional to ever complain and make excuses. But if people had ANY empathy, they'd consider these things. And the lack of empathy from the Dota 2 community is despicable. Frankie has incredible emotional armor-- you have to have it in this line of work, especially as a lady. But when you're pregnant, your hormones can get the better of you. That armor you've built for years and years suddenly becomes paper thin and I spent a lot of the event worried about her mental state with all the stupid bullshit being thrown at her. Frankie is a warrior goddess and powered through. But you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
The other bit that's got me malding is how often the female talent gets compared to one another. Stop this shit. Stop this shit right now. My fellow female co-talents are incredible and deserves better than this. You can like someone without putting someone else down. You can dislike someone without comparing them to another person you admire. But stop comparing the female talent to ONLY other female talent. Our physical features are not a valid reason to compare us to one another, especially if we have DIFFERENT roles we play in a broadcast.
Gonna end this shit on a positive note because I think it's important and talk about my wonderful, new to the scene, female co-talent.
Ephey: When Mira first got chosen for the AniMajor, I was a bit salty. I'd worked my ass off over the years, begging for a chance and then she just pops up at a Major without any previous casting experience. That being said, I never blamed her for it. If someone hit me up suddenly asking me to cast a Major, I would've LEAPT at the chance. When we first met, we had dinner together and we discussed a lot of things. I'm sure Mira had heard I was being salty and I admitted straight up to her that, yeah, I was jealous for sure but again, I did not blame her. I also felt like it was a disservice to her, being thrown into the spotlight so fast without any warning. But I also told her, she killed it. She knew her shit and was given a chance to prove ladies deserve a seat on the panel. Mira knows how much scrutiny is put upon her and guys, it's overwhelming to suddenly have all this attention, positive or not. Every word out of her mouth gets measured and weighed and critiqued and she's very aware of it. It's a scary thing and she's always researching to make sure she knows 1000% that she's correct lest she get hounded by people eager to see her fail. Mira's persevering though and I'm proud of how determined she continues to be.
Sumichu: This lady is a serious boss. I was so glad I got the chance to talk to her and spend time together. Like Frankie, she has a serious laundry list of credentials and it was fascinating to hear how different other esports are from Dota 2. This is a lady who knows both in-front of the camera and behind it. She is also incredibly kind-- buying small gifts for others because she knows they needed it, stockpiling water for when our very pregnant co-talent was about to arrive because we weren't sure if they'd remember her delivery, and constantly checking in with other talent asking if they're alright, do they need anything? I feel smarter from just being around her and know that in the future, it's okay to ask exactly what my duties will be, it's okay to have a small rider request, and to never devalue myself just because the environment I'm in is changing at a snails pace. She's a force of nature and taught me what real steel can look like.
Sheepsticked: Oh Sheepo, the baby of the ladies. I was unaware she would be joining us but I was SO THRILLED to see her face. This kid has so much knowledge, talent, and a great energy to add to any broadcast. When we were all exhausted, Sheepo's energy helped to rally our spirits. I really hope we see more of her in the future.
Shoutout to all the other talent who worked the event, especially the new guys Avo+, Jenkins, & Gareth. And as always, shoutout to Sheeves who paved the way for us ladies to get our feet in the door.
Now go be kind to each other and stop this shit.