I recently have decided to start up a new smurf for League of Legends (LoL) just for the heck of it. And regardless if you like either LoL or Dota 2, there is one thing I truly appreciate as an option between the two games – the ability to surrender is allowed in LoL, whereas Dota 2 does not have such a function. I believe Dota 2 is doing a disservice to its respective community for not enabling any possible way of forfeiting a match.
Yes, I am talking about throwing in the towel, calling it quits or however else you want to label it. Surrendering is surrendering. In the context of MOBA as a genre, I believe it is a necessary evil. First and foremost, I would like to preface this with, in no shape or form, am I trying to advocate conceding whenever the going gets tough. There are far too many quitters and players who lose all hope too early, especially in this MOBA genre. Instead, I will be emphasizing more about the OPTION to surrender and why it is actually extremely beneficial.
I Can Quit Anytime, Right?
In LoL, Riot Games grants a team the means to surrender by initiating a voting system. As soon as a minimum amount of time has passed, which is the 20-minute mark in a regular match, anyone for either team can begin the voting process. If at least 70 percent of a team decides to vote “yes,” the match is forfeited and the game ends. If too many “no” votes are cast instead, the surrender attempt fails and more time has to pass before another surrender attempt can occur again.
Overall, I am content with the system for the most part. It is not always perfect because so many separate group of friends tend to vote their own way, which can make voting become a standstill. In any case, I am thankful my team can always surrender, with the ‘can’ part being the important word here.
Whenever I play LoL or Dota 2, I play to win. I loathe losing, but I realize you cannot win every match for whatever reason. As a result, there comes a point where a team must think about giving up as a last resort. I just perceive it as a waste of time for both sides. Some matches reach a particular state where something delays the inevitable conclusion. I am not referring to close matches, either. I am talking more about those games where it is completely lopsided. One side clearly is ahead by a lot (in kill count, map control or whatever), but that team just does not want to go for the coup de grâce and put their opponents out of their misery.
So what can happen? Padding.
In most of the worst cases, the (winning) team wants to go for padding. They camp, they focus on hunting down their opponents to rack up extra kills toward their KDA and they just basically torture their opponents until they finally forfeit. It is unsportsmanlike conduct to the nth degree, but this type of behavior is stopped completely in its tracks if the (losing) team intelligently decides to raise up the white flag. This way, the other side gets their win, while the losing team saves face. No more further frustration. No more further game stalling. The match has ended. Everyone can move on to the next match/their lives. If you were on the receiving end of a stomp, you have at least stopped the bleeding with a surrender.
Never Surrender (Because You Can’t)!
Conversely, let’s look at the forfeit options for Dota 2 now. Oh wait! It does not exist.
If you find yourself in an especially grueling match where you really do contemplate quitting, you technically cannot do so without consequence. If you do leave the game or choose to AFK back in base for an extended period, the game’s system hits you with an Abandon. Accumulate too many Abandon tallies to your account, and you will be punished with Low Priority matches or worse.
And here is where many people would like to argue, “Well, this just means the losing team has to buckle up and try to make a comeback!”
In theory, yes, because the game does not end in Dota 2 until a side’s Ancient (equivalent to a Nexus in LoL) goes down. In this sense, a losing team technically has some probability of bouncing back. However, this assumes the losing team knows how to claw their way back while being behind.
From my own experiences in Dota 2, in matches where I wish I could just forfeit already, I probably won maybe 5 percent of those games, if that. And I realize I am just one sample size, but those particular comebacks did not come easy. Barring an excessive throw or goof from the opposing team, these major comebacks required every single member of my team to come together. As in, every member had to do everything correctly after a deficit, for any semblance of a chance to steal the win from the other side.
The fact is, and this is the key aspect here, losing a match significantly siphons team morale. As time goes on, the whole vibe of a team is essentially beyond repair. At which point, this becomes the ideal and opportune moment to forfeit. Stop the misery. The will of all five members is destroyed. It is best to conclude the match before the losing players sustain any extra damage, both emotionally and mentally.
Again, I am not advocating a defeatist attitude or anything of the sort. You should play every match with the intention of coming out victorious. I simply want Dota 2 to add a reasonable means of surrendering when a match reaches that game-deciding moment. When your allies have lost all hope, and no one wants to play any further, this calls for a surrender. Heck, I recall playing the original Dota back on Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. I joined an informal, but popular “league” of sorts on Battle.Net called TDA (Team DotA Allstars). And in this league, they eventually added a built-in option to surrender. A particular reason why the surrender had to be implemented?
The opposing team would try to stall the game out by padding their scores instead of winning. This happened more than five years ago, and history has repeated itself into modern Dota 2. Shouldn’t Valve learn from Dota‘s past mistakes and fix something so inherently flawed with the modern game?
All Dota 2-related images belong to Valve. All League of Legends-related content belong to Riot Games.