Three premier Dota 2 tournaments, ESL One Manila, The Manila Major, and the Manila Masters, were held in the Philippines to ultimately prove that Filipinos, hands down, are the greatest Dota 2 fans in the world. They are renowned for their passion towards the game; cheering for every single thing, exceptionally for their local bets.
I’m proud to be a part of the greatest Dota 2 fans in the world. I’ve been watching Dota tournaments since it piqued my interest back during the rise of Warcraft III DotA, and I would (biasedly) say that few other can match the #PinoyPride. Relive the crowd reaction during the Alliance vs Mineski-Dota match in the first round lower bracket of the Manila Major, and I dare you to tell me otherwise.
I was inside of the Mall of Asia Arena when that happened and the grounds of the 20,000-seater arena literally trembled. What if, however, we recreate the exact same scenario today with the exception that both teams will do it with their current line-up: Mineski-Dota’s Mushi, Moon, iceiceice, Jabz, and ninjaboogie against Alliance’s Loda, miCKe, Boxi, iNSaNiA, and Taiga in the grand stage of the Mall of Asia Arena in front of the roaring Filipino crowd. Would they roar as loud?
I don’t think so.
Mineski-Dota was no longer the #PinoyPride they were once known for since its management decided to represent the entirety of the Southeast Asian region instead of just the Philippines. The devoted Filipino fans furiously expressed their disappointment as the once all-Filipino Dota 2 team suddenly turned into a SEA powerhouse with a single Filipino support who also happens to be half-American, “ayoko na sa Mineski, wala nang Pinoy.”
There is nothing really wrong if a fan suddenly decided not to root for a certain team; it’s a free country, you can do anything you legally want. What’s wrong, however, is when a fan suddenly decided not to root for a certain team, specifically because there are not enough Filipinos in its line-up. If you think that not rooting for non-Filipino teams makes you more supportive of Filipino teams, it does not. It only reveals that you’re a condescending racist.
RELATED: The Ugly Side of Pinoy Pride
A study from the University of British Columbia in 2012, reveals that the way individuals experience the universal emotion of pride directly impacts how racist their attitudes toward other people are. UBC Psychology Prof. Jessica Tracy, a co-author of the study, reveals that pride are categorized into two: authentic pride, which is based from achieving something through hard work, and hubristic pride, which comes from achieving something because of a characteristic an individual already possesses--like being a Filipino, in the case of Pinoy Pride.
According to the researchers, “authentic pride creates a self-confidence that boosts empathy for others, which in turn reduces prejudices towards stigmatized groups. In contrast, the feelings of arrogance and superiority that result from “hubristic pride” reduce empathy, thereby exacerbating people’s prejudices against stigmatized groups.”
Meanwhile, another study suggests that hubristic pride also signifies insecurity. People who exhibit signs of hubristic pride, such as boasting, tend to be vulnerable to threats from other groups.
"When you hear groups starting to get into that type of rhetoric it may be because they're starting to realize they're in a losing position and that they need to do something to try to drum up respect, to drum up the kind of status that they feel they're lacking," Cynthia Pickett, associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, said.
When TNC Pro Team, the Filipino Dota 2 team’s version of Manny Pacquiao, pulled off their historic upset against the European powerhouse Team OG after long, excruciating hours of training, what they felt was authentic pride. This was genuinely exhibited during Kuku’s post-game interview. He said that beating OG was unbelievable because of their impressive track record, but achieving so undeniably made them more confident.
On the other hand, when the Filipino Dota 2 fans celebrated TNC Pro Team’s success simply because they are fellow Filipinos, that’s hubristic pride playing. TNC Pro Team made history in the competitive Dota 2 scene as Filipinos and not because they are Filipinos. The same goes for Mineski-Dota’s case. Filipino fans can no longer fathom the idea of a non-Filipino team is dominating the scene which was once dominated by Filipinos and it hurts their hubristic pride.
Another example includes TNC Pro Team post-The International 2017 slump. The Filipino fans not only they felt insecure when the once mighty TNC Pro Team suddenly fell into a losing skid, but they also cried about kicking 1437 to make room for a Filipino player. If the source of hubristic pride is being Filipino, hatred toward those who are not Filipino induces.
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong about being supportive for your fellow countrymen. Mineski-Dota thrusted the Philippine flag in the world of esports and TNC Pro Team made sure it remains up to this day. Despite the everyday struggles of life, which often includes players who constantly demand two tangos and one ward after first picking Anti-Mage, we Filipinos would still celebrate when given the chance, right?
The Philippines is a Dota-loving country and we Filipinos deserve to be acknowledged as the world’s greatest fans. But being the world's greatest fans do not warrant us the right to look down on everyone whose race is different from ours. Discriminating other race just to feel superior to yours is not and will never be patriotic--it's just racist.
So before you lash those 'Indogs' and/or 'Malayshit' comments in social media, ask yourself this: will this make me more of a Filipino or merely a peenoise? If you have concluded with the latter, congratulations, you're one step ahead of recognizing the difference between patriotism and sheer toxicity.
Keep this in mind or no more pride will be left in being a Filipino.