Resolut1on wants to train with substitutes instead of pub players: “I don’t want to play pubs against guys from different jobs. I want to train with professionals.”

Should Dota 2 competitions allow substitutes? Team Secret gives a hard agree.

In TI11's press conference with Team Secret, Roman "Resolut1on" Fomynok and the team talked about the benefits of having a substitute system in Dota 2. According to them, practicing Dota 2 against the substitutes would be great to improve themselves, a system widely seen in traditional sports. But team captain, Clement "Puppey" Ivanov also pointed out monetary issues that come alongside implementing substitutes.

Puppey and Resolut1on talks substitutes in Dota 2

During a TI11 virtual press conference held on October 25th, Team Secret talked about the pros of implementing substitutes in Dota 2 competitions. Ace from Dota2Bra asked, "Would it be helpful having substitutes and being able to swap players during games?"

Puppey responded jokingly, "Just like pub games. If Zayac or Reso uses a Black Hole and misses, *snaps 'Get out of here!'" The team burst into laughter.

"That is so sick actually would love to see it." Resolut1on said. "But on a serious note, I think it should be happening in Dota because it gives motivations to the players to be the very best versions of themselves. Like there's always somebody behind your back so you got to keep improving yourself."

Unlike most mainstream sports like football and basketball that have substitutes, Dota 2 is strictly a 5-men game. The only way for pros to practice is through scrims or pubs. However, Resolut1on is not happy playing against random players in pubs that are not serious in the game, thus opting for team substitutes that he can practice against.

"I don't want to be playing pubs against guys from different jobs and they are just enjoying games. I want to play with professionals to train myself. No basketball players go on the street and play with some random street dudes to improve himself, he plays with his teammates. That's what I want too, a team with 10-12 people and we can practice with each other."

Puppey then pointed out the monetary issues that comes with implementing a substitute system in Dota 2. "The issue lies on the fact that we don't really get to generate as much money in order to afford a 10-squad team. Obviously it would be great if we can scrim against each other the whole time - get better against each other. That's how football teams work."

Should Dota 2 implement the substitute system?

The substitute system, replacing one player in a team with another, is fairly common in traditional sports and even esports. Substitutes are usually brought into the game to replace a tired or injured player and are especially helpful for lengthy games that can wear players out. This system would fit Dota 2 pretty well, as there are many instances where it can improve the overall quality of the game.

For example, instead of forcing a sick member to play in a condition where they can't perform well, teams can bring in substitutes. This is a case at TI11 itself where Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and beastcoast had most of its players affected by COVID and were forced to play under weakened conditions. This might have led the teams to their demise at the tournament.

Unlike most other esports that have about 20 minutes (or less) game time, Dota 2 is incredibly lengthy. Throughout TI11 so far, the average match duration is 40 minutes long. Coupled with the complexity of the game, Dota 2 can easily tear down the mental stamina of players thus dropping game quality. Substitutes are a great option to maintain the energy in games, however, some would prefer to keep the mental strength factor in Dota 2.

One thing is for sure, having substitutes in official Dota 2 matches would bring a massive shift to the scene. Whether it's for good or bad is up for discussion.

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