reader discussion

Reader Discussion: Why Don't You Play MOBAs?

by Brian Albert on Aug 15, 2013 at 08:50 AM

According to a recent Game Informer poll, about 30 percent of responders had no interest in MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas). Another 30 percent didn’t even know what a MOBA was, and only 10 percent of you played MOBAs regularly.

Last weekend, The International Dota 2 Championships drew in a record 4.5 million unique viewers on Twitch and culminated with winning team Alliance taking home $1.4 million of a $2.8 million pot — the largest in eSports history. My question to you is: why the disparity?

Until this year, I had no experience with MOBAs. I have gaps in my gaming knowledge, but rarely do I know nothing about an entire genre. I began playing Dota 2 with four friends and was immediately hooked by its unbending reliance on teamwork and communication. Unlike in Call of Duty, one bad apple really can spoil the whole bunch.

This isn’t a campaign to get everyone invested in Dota 2 or League of Legends; people play what they like, and that’s great. But what’s holding you back from giving MOBAs a try? Some of the best ones are free to play, and not in an exploitative way. For those without a gaming PC, there are great console options like Awesomenauts or Monday Night Combat that offer twists on the genre.

If you already decided to dive in, what convinced you to take the plunge? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Update: For those asking, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is a subset of the real-time strategy genre in which players control one hero instead of an army of units. Using teamwork and hero skills, players push up a series of lanes lined with turrets and weak non-player characters until they reach and destroy the enemy's base. There are, of course, many variants across different games. Adam's review of Dota 2 goes into more detail.