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There’s no doubt that DotA 2 is the most popular game in the country. You know it, I know it, and Neil “NSJ” San Juan from team PH Heroes of the Storm team Deadly Kittens knows it. In fact, despite being a storied League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm player, NSJ admitted that. at one point, he defended the Ancients, “I have tried playing DotA2 but I stopped because it felt like an entirely new game for me because of the new items, heroes and the meta.”
You see, despite falling under the same game genre, HotS is not your usual MOBA. It doesn’t need you to brood over last hits to buy items because there are no last hits in HotS. You and your teammates also share the same experience; the level of one is the level of all. Don’t get me wrong, while it patently looks simpler, what you need to win is still a solid display of teamwork on top of your individual mechanical skill.
That’s why NJS prefers it more than any other game, “HotS focuses more on teamwork, you also play different maps every game with different objectives so you are forced to use different kinds of strats.”
More than just the gameplay per se, DotA 2 and HotS differ in almost every other aspect as well. The most evident gap is the competitive scene of both games. And NSJ wants you to know that the PH HotS competitive scene is alive and kicking.
“HotS competitive scene is quite big in major regions like North America, Europe, Korea, and China, but not so much in the minor regions because of the small player base,” he said.
NSJ also laments about the pre-existing challenge about being a professional HotS player in a predominantly Dota 2-loving country, “as a HotS player in PH, the difficulties we face are the lack of tournaments and support for the game in the local scene.”
Deadly Kittens Ronel 'Stronger' Tan, Bjorn 'Zeys' Ong, Michael 'Mirr' Luo, Keiron 'Enavil' Goli, Neil 'NSJ' San Juan
The same goes for its community. The flex player from Deadly Kittens revealed that due to the game’s lack of exposure in the local scene, its playerbase and fanbase are evidently smaller compared to Dota 2’s.
Does this make HotS an inferior game to Dota 2?
No, no game is ever superior anyway. But as NSJ said, there are a lot of good things in HotS that are just waiting to be discovered.
“I think the best thing in HotS is it gives a fresh and new experience for MOBA players because of the different maps and different kinds of objectives that would help you win the game,” he added.
Despite all those differences, first time HotS players rarely find themselves lost in the Nexus as it shares multiple features with DotA 2 or LoL. You also get to pick from a vast pool of hero choices, all with varying specialties and skillsets, to strategically pave your way on destroying your enemies’ Core. Sounds easy, right?
In the long term, NSJ believes that the growth of HotS in the local scene is heavily in our hands. Just by giving it the attention it truly deserves, the gaming organizations, along with the Philippine esports community at large, can significantly help improve the current state of our professional HotS scene, especially its players.
When this piece has been published, NSJ, along with his teammates at Deadly Kittens, will be at Jönköping, Sweden to represent the SEA for 2017 Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Mid-Season Brawl. They’re our Philippine representatives, so whether you play HotS or not, support for them is much appreciated.
Just feel free to try the game out yourself when you see just how hype the games can also be.