I think when Day9 started playing the game, he said that he thinks Dota is very addictive because of the possibility of amazing highs in contrast to very brutal lows. In a way, you get addicted to the highs and you continue chasing that feeling of when you carried the game and got a Rampage.
I think most people (especially men) are fundamentally competitive. Dota is a game that connects with your inner competitive spirit on a deep, deep level.
Each match is in a way a microcosm of the life of a competitive person. Everyone starts on equal grounds and gives their best to win, but everyone ends the game in a very different place. Since Dota is a game of resources, when you have a very good game you become totally imbalanced compared to other players. If things are going in your way for long enough and you become very farmed, you essentially become a god in that microcosm. You can pretty much do whatever you want. You can play stupidly and still crush your enemies. This tickles your ego a great deal and gives you a sense of achievement and fulfillment:
“I fuckin owned. I am so fucking good. Those other people who were competing against me didn’t stand a chance because I’m so good. Those people playing with me got carried, they must admire how good I am.”
When you read that it sounds very stupid, but you know deep down all of us have thoughts like that, even if we don’t like admitting it. All competitive people desire to be better than the rest and search for validations of that notion.
This notion is why virtually all Dota players believe they are better than their skill bracket. You have your proof – you remember that game where you totally owned 25-5-30 with PA. If you were able to do it that game, surely you have the skill in you, it’s the circumstances holding you back in the matches in which you don’t perform well (the common circumstances to blame being your teammates, but sometimes the picks or even matchmaking itself).
This, of course, is delusional, but if you manage to get over this way of thinking and focus on improving yourself you can unlock a lot of potential. The competitive drive to be better than other people is what pushes us to improve. In fact, the success in this complicated and really, really hard game can give us the belief and confidence needed that maybe we can succeed in life, which is harder and even more complicated.
The problem with all of this is that when you play a support, you don’t really stand a chance of winning the resource race, which means your highs aren’t that high. Yes, you might be a major reason for winning the game, but you are never “imba”. Even in your best games, you are unlikely to 1v5 the enemy team and get rampages.
Most don’t like to, but there are those curious individuals who actually main the role.
In my experience, a lot of girls that try-out Dota (and other role-based games) are drawn to the support role more than men, so (pure speculation), it could have something to do with the nurturing nature of a person. Yet, if you are a caring and nurturing person, you’re likely not that competitive.
If this is true, then why are you playing Dota in the first place?
Whatever the reason, supports deserve a lot more appreciation than what they receive in our pubs. My letter to all of you, precious strange people:
I understand you not. Yet, I deeply appreciate you.
Thank you for every time you tanked a gank, sacrificed your farm, or stacked for me so that I can experience the high of owning those scrubs on the other team and getting a Rampage. Also, thank you deeply for every time you did the same things while being aware I might fail to carry.
A core player.
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