eSports

Top 10 Dota 2 memes of all time

Ah yes, Dota 2 memes. For what it’s worth, they serve as something of a time capsule into Dota 2’s decade-long existence. Now, these aren’t your run-in-the-mill memes copy-pasted on the Dota 2 memes subreddit.

Instead, many of these featured Dota 2 memes have ssports significance or, at the very least, part of the pro-scene drama. After all, that’s why they’ve stood the test of time.

༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ GIVE DIRETIDE

Diretide is the iconic Halloween event that got Dota 2 players to play for rares (in-game cosmetics). The rares were a fun treat for the festive season, but it was the Golden Baby Roshan and Platinum Baby Roshan couriers that really hooked them in. These skins could fetch up to $2,000 during their peak, hence the reason why players greatly prized the event.

In fact, they prized it so much that the entire player base rallied to beg the Dota 2 developers to bring back the event annually. However, the lack of response from the dev team led to the spam of the now-iconic “GIVE DIRETIDE” copy-pasta. At one point, Dota 2 fans even began spamming the text on unrelated pages, notably Volvo, with an alternate iteration of the spam text, “GIVE DIRETIDE VOLVO”. The automotive brand page was nice enough to join in on the banter, asking Valve to give the fans what they want.

As such, Valve remembers to deliver the Diretide event annually to please the fanbase. Although new iterations do not offer as grand of a reward, it’s still a great throwback to the most-anticipated event of Dota 2 history. Diretide was the seasonal event in 2022’s TI Battlepass too, with a number of arcanas up for grabs if players were lucky enough to roll for them.

Dota 2 diretide

Dota 2 seasonal game mode Diretide

James is an Ass at Shanghai Major 2016

The Valve co-founder, Gabe Newell, is usually a man of few words, albeit he’s humble enough to respond to random strangers’ emails. However, the Shanghai Major 2016 viewers never anticipated that Gabe would write on the Dota 2 Reddit about firing the event host, James “2GD” Harding. Specifically, the iconic text from his post was, “James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again”.

The announcement came from Gabe several days after the Shanghai Major 2016, where James was bluntly and excessively cursing while hosting. Since then, fans reference the iconic moment by spamming “FIRED” every time talent curses during a Valve-sponsored event.

Today, James’ career is well, and he still gets invited to host other Esports events. In fact, he made a triumphant return to Dota 2 at TI11, where he hosted panels alongside Dota regulars. Perhaps not everyone who hires James for his host role minds his unorthodox personality, after all!

2gd dota 2

SGD

OSFrog

Fortunately, a Shanghai Major fiasco isn’t the norm in recent Dota 2 Majors and that meme has died down over the years. However, the same can’t be said for the OSFrog meme, or more specifically, the Twitch emote of a green frog. The OSFrog meme has overcome the test of time as players still often spam it during streams of the Dota 2 Major and Internationals. It’s no surprise that this particularly occurs when players land an overpowered play or combo. It’s a tribute to the Dota 2 founder itself, Icefrog, who many still believe to be responsible behind the scenes for every Dota 2 update.

Given that the Dota 2 meta is always everchanging, the OSFrog meme will certainly live on to be one of the best Dota 2 memes of all time.

Osfrog dota

Osfrog meme

Most Popular Twitch Emotes – BabyRage, DansGame, s4Head

Staying on the theme of Twitch emotes, many general Twitch emotes have become iconic favorites in the Dota 2 competitive scene. For the most part, it’s to flame a particular pro player whenever he makes an appearance or his signature play.

For instance, BabyRage often flames Artour “Arteezy” Babaev for his irritated demeanor whenever the game doesn’t go as he anticipated. DansGame comically highlights Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg for his uncanny resemblance to the face emote of DansGaming, a former Twitch streamer.

Then, there’s s4Head to symbolically represent Gustav “s4” Magnusson whenever he’s playing. Albeit spamming s4Head doesn’t have any meaningful purpose behind it besides to represent s4.

S4 Dota

S4

Arteezy’s 3rd Curse and Clifteezy

Arteezy is a prominent Canadian player who currently plays for Shopify Rebellion, after the entire roster was droppedEvil Geniuses at the end of TI11. He’s arguably the most popular player in the scene, who hasn’t won a single International to date, which is an important detail to note. Throughout his career, Arteezy made his appearance in countless Dota 2 Majors and Internationals. Yet, even in EG’s prime, third place seems to be their best achievement in every single event.

After placing third in six majors and two Internationals, the fanbase believes that Arteezy’s curse is indeed real. While many consider securing the top three in multiple majors and Internationals as a blessing in disguise, Arteezy’s recurring themes certainly aren’t exclusive to this one.

Arteezy also gets an infamous alternate nickname, Clifteezy because he gets stuck on a cliff too frequently. Whether it’s an accidental Force Staff push or a Dark Seer’s Vacuum, whenever there’s a Clifteezy reenactment, the viewers go wild.

Arteezy Dota 2

Arteezy

The Question Mark, “?”

Sometimes, the simplest things can become iconic memes. You need to look no further than the question mark.

It’s got to be the most tilting character to type in all-chat when your opponent does a misplay. That said, we like to believe that it started off as a genuine question-mark, but was misunderstood as a disrespectful method of conveying a message. Valve even transformed the usual exclamation mark for denied creeps into the question mark as a feature in Battle Pass 2017. After all, missing hits on creeps will surely be a sign of poor performance by a carry player.

The meme eventually received a spark of attention after Invictus Gaming player, Zhou “Emo” Yi used it during the grand finals versus EG at the Singapore Major 2021. EG was very close to securing the match with an overwhelming advantage and would have won the Major. However, a prolonged team fight led to too many EG casualties, and IG somehow manage to pull off a comeback.

When EG players were down, and IG was knocking on their base, Emo didn’t hesitate to question-mark in the all chat. This is because EG had no way of defending their base, but didn’t want to call GG. Hence, Emo didn’t hesitate to taunt EG for still pretending they could win the match.

Emo ? Dota

KA LE

KALE originates from two Chinese words, which means something is lagging. Viewers spam KA LE when there’s a technical pause, disconnect, or the stream just lags due to poor connection.

While there’s certainly no harm behind pauses and disconnects, several teams have come under fire for using tactical pauses. By pausing when a fight breaks out, the pauser’s team gains enough time to react to the incident.

If caught or the play was blatantly abused, it’s a poor showing of sportsmanship by the pauser.

Ka Le Dota 2

The Art of Throwing – 322

The number 322 is synonymous with throwing the match. It all began when Alexey “Solo” Berezin got caught betting against his team for $322. Solo is the first case of throwing in Dota 2 scene, which Valve let off lightly with no lifetime bans.

However, pro players will eventually realize Valve takes throwing matches seriously, sentencing lifetime bans for future cases. Of course, it’s to send a clear warning to pro players, considering of making a quick buck.

Solo

Voice line – Lakad Matatag Normalin Normalin

The phrases are from the Filipino casters, which eventually made their way into the International Battle Pass exclusive voice line pack. It was only a matter of time before team OG overused the voice line during their games. OG fans claimed that the spams are part of OG’s elaborate mind games to get into the opponent’s head, something they’re well known for.

At some point, PSG.LGD, who fought OG in TI8 Grand Finals, even pre-muted OG because the spam was distracting.

Dota 2 voice lines

Fly’s betrayal at TI8 – friendship ended with N0tail

Many things happened at TI8, and perhaps the most crucial one is Fly and Notail’s drama, aka Fly’s betrayal. It’s a shame that we won’t see the meme brought up anymore since Johan “N0tail” Sundstein retired from the scene.

However, the extent of Fly’s unceremonious departure from OG crippled the team’s chance to play at TI8 altogether. OG was off to a rough start during the DPC leagues in 2018 but could have made the cut if they’d participated in the Supermajor. Desperate for a chance to play in TI8, Tal “Fly” Aizik and s4 left OG just weeks before the Supermajor.

With two required stand-ins for the event, Notail had no choice but to withdraw from the final Major. OG then went on to climb the ranks from open qualifiers to TI8 itself, where they won their first TI.

While we aren’t certain if the two former teammates made amends, it’s the hottest drama that became a blessing for OG.

Dota 2 Fly

Fly

And the best Dota 2 meme of all time goes to…

In hindsight, Dota 2 memes have significant importance in Dota 2 history, and fans love them to this day. While we’ll probably have new Dota 2 memes, which take the Dota community by storm, let’s be wary that not all sense of humor make great Dota 2 memes.

For instance, when Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko, a Virtus.pro player in 2022, thought it was a funny joke to draw the militarist Z symbol on the mini-map. Although he and the rest of VP tried to cover it, Valve caught wind of their despicable action and disqualified them from DPC EEU Tour 2 Playoffs. However, VP didn’t hesitate to kick Pure after just six months since he joined the CIS powerhouse.

Now that’s a joke gone absurdly wrong, which will not make its cut into the Top 10 Dota 2 memes of all time.



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