Every Noob’s Guide to DOTA 2 & The Manila Majors 2016

In addition to being a mother, wife, and daughter, I am also a gamer. I began gaming almost 12 years ago and never really looked back. Recently I have taken an interest in DOTA 2 (or Defense of The Ancients 2). Now, if you’ve never heard of DOTA 2, or are wondering how this pertains to a cooking blog I’ll cut to the chase before I lose you: I’m a pretty big nerd/geek.

My husband and I love to watch the professional DOTA 2 teams compete, and sadly we can’t be in Manila for the majors. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate it, and watch it from the live streams! πŸ™‚ So, this week I will be creating delicious dishes that represent all 16 teams that are competing in the Manila Majors. This week we’ll be munching amazing foods and talking about what makes each team unique. If you are new to DOTA 2, stick around, and join me in this noob-friendly geek-fest! Who knows? Maybe you’ll be watching the live streams too! If you’re wondering, “yes, but what is that?!” don’t worry, I’ve got your back!Β Let’s break it down together noob-style…

The Mall of Asia in Manila is buzzing with Manila Majors excitement!
The Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines is buzzing with Manila Majors excitement!


Every Noob’s Guide to Defense Of The Ancients (DOTA 2) & The Manila Majors:Β 

Type of Game: DOTA 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (or, MOBA)

Player Population: Currently there are approximately 370,000 active players

Created: DOTA 2 was created by the Valve Corporation and released July 9, 2013

Objective: This is important. Each player controls a “hero”. In teams of 5 versus 5, players start at opposite corners of the map and race to kill “creeps” (computer controlled monsters). Each creep drops gold and experience which then allows the player to buy items in game to get stronger. As a player gets stronger they, (and their other teammates), attack the opposing team as they are racing towards their enemy base. At each base lies an “Ancient”. This is a critical tower that must be killed to win the game. (Think capture the flag… but online). The first team to breach their enemy base and kill the Ancient wins.

Is DOTA 2 Noob-Friendly: Yes! There are plenty of tutorials to help new players integrate into the game.

Is the user interface organized: Yes. Once you learn what each part of the screen indicates, it’s smooth sailing from there!

Things to Look For in a DOTA 2 Live Stream:

  1. Net worth: You’ll notice on the left side of the screen, bars indicating which team (red or green) is leading in their net worth (aka gold amount). The more gold a player has, the stronger they are in game because they probably have more items to use and will be difficult for the other team to kill.
  2. Number of Kills: This is located in the top center of your screen. You’ll see a number next to each team. For each kill the number goes up. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the team with the most kills wins, but it helps indicate who is getting the killing blow on the other team more often.
  3. Number of wins: Sometimes games are best of 2, or best of 3, or even best of 5! In the top center of your screen you will see a yellow/gold bar that will indicate which team won a match. For each win they get a “tick” (gold bar) next to their name.
  4. Who’s playing: This is an obvious one, and really what makes the match exciting. After watching free, live streams for a while you’ll notice which teams are stronger and which teams struggle a bit. Their names will be in the top right and left areas next to the green and red bars. Look for their logos.
  5. Battle map: This is located in the bottom left corner. Watching a live stream, you will be able to see both teams on the map and see where they are strategically going. Obviously in game you cannot see this while you’re playing. But it makes it more fun to watch both teams and to try and understand their strategy.

Yes, but what does all of that have to do with the Manila Majors…. and cooking?!Β 


  1. What are the Manila Majors and why is it so important? The Manila Majors are a quarterly LAN (in person) tournament hosted on (Group Stages: June 3-4, 2016, and Playoffs: June 7-12, 2016). Every season an international city hosts this tournament and teams from all over the world travel there to compete for the cash prize. In this case, the prize pot for the Majors is $3 million dollars.
  2. How many teams are competing? There will be 16 teams competing in the Manila Majors.
  3. How is the tournament ranked? First of all, 16 teams are divided into groups of 4. They are labeled groups A, B, C, and D. Within each group they will battle each other. The top 2 teams in each group are placed in an “upper bracket” and the losing teams will be placed in a “bottom bracket”. Then, all the teams in the upper bracket will compete, as will the teams in the lower brackets. The trick is, if you fall into the lower bracket you end up having to play more matches to advance and earn a place to fight in the grand finals. Also you are at a greater risk of elimination from the tournament. (See bracket diagram).

So who will be competing for the 3 million dollars?… I’m glad you asked! πŸ˜‰

Here are the 16 teams that will be competing:Β 


  • Team Secret
  • Team Liquid
  • Evil Geniuses
  • MVP Phoenix
  • Wings Gaming
  • Vici Gaming Reborn
  • Fnatic
  • OG
  • compLexity Gaming
  • Alliance
  • Natus Vincere (Na’Vi)
  • LGD Gaming
  • Digital Chaos
  • Newbee
  • Team Empire
  • Mineski

The group they are placed in (see photo to the right) indicates which teams they will be battling first, and that will determine if they fall in the upper bracket or lower bracket. Here’s how the tournament brackets are set up (see right):

Manila Major Bracket System
Manila Major Bracket System

Lastly, what does all of this have to do with cooking! What makes this game so interesting to me is that all of these players come from all parts of the world. These teams are composed of international players, most of whom have played with each other at some point in their professional gaming career. So I like to think of it as an elite “V.I.P. Gaming League”. Each team elects a captain who helps make strategy calls, etc. But who are the people behind these great team names? And that is what you’ll learn about this week! I want to cook dishes from their home countries and honor these incredible players. I want to show you where they’re from, what makes their team unique, and how I feel they will do in the tournament.

As we munch and cook delicious goodies we will sit back and watch teams battle head to head. May the best team win! Come along with me on this epic culinary journey. Tune in to Twitch (for FREE) to watch the live stream tournaments. Group stages (battles) begin June 3rd, 2016! I hope you enjoyed this informative post everyone! Stay tuned for the first team’s dish coming later this afternoon! πŸ™‚



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s