2016 is almost over, and we here at The Meta are celebrating by paying tribute to the teams, players and vague concepts that made it worthwhile. Our MVP awards will be ongoing throughout the holiday season, so check in now and then to see who and what we decided to shower with praise.
In mid-September, Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner was challenged by fellow personality Toby “TobiWan” Dawson in a race to 5000 solo MMR in their home turf, Dota 2. Many in the community assumed Slacks generally had no freaking clue what he was doing, and so community analyst and guide creator Kevin “Purge” Godec was recruited to give a brief coaching session. The community’s assessment of Slacks was…pretty much correct. It was determined that Slacks’s late-game fell off hard, and his builds were hyper-unconventional. Going off builds and numbers alone, Slacks should have been losing much more than he was
Except Purge made a revelation about Slacks’s style that broke ground in the community: he is actually untiltable in pub matches, or “immune to ragers,” as Purge put it. In the intensely team-oriented MOBA, his drive to create cohesion in his team effectively raised his stack’s MMR by 500. Slacks ended up reaching 5k MMR, to the delight and dismay of much of the Dota 2 community.
After Purge’s discussion on SirActionSlacks, a wave of Reddit fans reported that they did better by—surprisingly—being positive and encouraging teammates. The content creator had an unintended but astounding effect on a community known for its persistent bitterness and high skill floor.
The half-ironic slang “Positive Mental Attitude,” or PMA, was originally made popular by pub stars, who are known for tilting in front of live audiences. On the other hand, Slacks is the actual embodiment of what it could unironically mean, regardless of whether he’s in pubs or on stage.