Moneyball
News

Dota 2 might be nearing its Moneyball moment

In one of the most famous single season performances in Major League Baseball history, the 2002 Oakland Athletics won a league-topping 105 games on a paltry $33 million budget. Their secret? Sabermetrics—that is, the use of statistical analysis, rather than subjective judgement, to evaluate players’ relative strengths and weaknesses. The value of this kind of analysis is rather self-evident now, but, in 2002, the notion that the right statistics were more reliable than the best scouts was heresy. Even today, some remain wary of teams that use sabermetrics. As the old timers say, they’re not playing baseball; they’re playing moneyball.…

Dota 2
News

Watch a rare, perfect game of Dota 2

Perfection is a rare and beautiful thing in Dota 2 (2013) no less than any other competition. In terms of prestige, a flawless game in Dota 2—by which I mean a game in which the winning team destroys the opposing team’s ancient without suffering a single death—ranks up there with a hole-in-one on a par five or a perfect nine inning outing in baseball. It’s really, really rare. Entire careers will transpire without ever being involved in one. To wit, elder Dota 2 statsman Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen estimates that perhaps a dozen have occurred in thousands upon thousands of professional matches…

idra8
Feature

The loneliness of the professional gamer

If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Sutak, producer and director of The Foreigner, a new documentary about professional StarCraft II (2010), you can take solace in knowing that you’ve probably seen some of his work. Not, mind you, the two independent dramas—Up The River (2015), a romance, and Don’t Worry Baby (2015), a comedy—he’s produced; you haven’t seen those. What you have seen are the many trailers and TV spots he’s edited, for films as far afield as Everest (2015) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). If not exactly a Hollywood insider, Sutak nevertheless approaches filmmaking from the perspective of…

CourtesyIntelandHelenaKristiansson
Feature

Does eSports Have a Drug Problem?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the aftermath of one professional player’s admission to using Adderall, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) is cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs by instituting a new set of standards and tests, positioning the league as a role model for professional sports leagues of all stripes. When Oakland Athletics homerun slugger Jose Canseco released his tell-all biography Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big in 2005, it landed like a bombshell. The book sparked one of the largest drug scandals in the history of professional sports.…

indiaesportslead
Article

Can India become an eSports powerhouse?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The eSports fever that has taken the world by storm is largely driven by its popularity throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. But there are still billions of people on the sidelines in countries where competitive gaming has yet to take off. India, the second most populous nation on the planet, for instance, is one of the more prominent holdouts. As of the time of this writing, there are exactly zero players residing within the country who play eSports for a living. While pro players elsewhere in the world can bring in a…