Garter retires from Dota 2 to start LoL career, talks Dota 2 vs. LoL

By Neslyn Apduhan


Jan 7, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

A Dota 2 veteran has left the professional scene due to the lack of support for tier-two teams and the game’s inconsistent MMR system.

With a career dating back to Dota 2’s inception, Ylli “garter” Ramadani has decided to leave and pursue League of Legends instead. In a TwitLonger post, he pointed out several flaws in the current pro scene.

Dota 2 vs. LoL an easy choice for tier-two pros

Dota 2 enthusiasts have been crying foul on Valve’s unstable tier-two professional scene. While top-level organizations like Team Liquid and Team Secret can enjoy incredible financial success for years on end, some good teams can struggle to make ends meet.

Discussion over why this is the case has lingered on for much of the game’s history, with many pointing to The International as the main culprit. 

While Valve’s season-ending tournament is an almost peerless esports spectacle, it carries a disproportionately large percentage of Dota 2’s total annual tournament prize pool. This results in institutional instability at both the tournament organizer and organizational levels outside the upper echelons of Dota 2.

“Any high level or even $500 salaried team can poach any player from your team at any given time. Midseason, one day before qualifiers, mid-event even,” Garter posted. He goes on to discuss how this prevents aspiring tier-one teams from ever gaining enough of a foothold to become a threat to established brands.

Garter may not be a familiar name for most Dota 2 fans, but it’s easy to see where he’s coming from. He has played with a number of top Dota 2 stars over the years on smaller teams including Neta “33” Shapira, Brian “BSJ” Canavan, and Sébastien “Ceb” Debs. Each of his stints with a successful independent team ended quickly and unceremoniously when a larger organization poached one of those players.

The best example of this is Team Tuho, which Garter joined in 2017. The team itself was short-lived, but time would prove that it could have been something special as three of its players form the core of the current Team Liquid. 

Given time, Team Tuho likely would have gained some traction. Instead, Digital Chaos and Alliance ended up snatching away four of its five players.

Complicating matters even further is the dwindling Dota 2 tournament scene. While games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have abundant events and regional leagues operated by big-name tournament organizers, Dota 2 has far fewer events that are handled by less-established companies.

He also emphasized how the organizers of tier-two professional scenes do not pay out winnings on time or ever, in some cases. He did not name any specific names in this regard.

Garter blasts Dota 2 matchmaking

The last straw for Garter is the MMR system. The new ranked roles is a drastic change especially for Immortal players who can play whichever role. The current system has resulted in longer queue times, larger skill gaps, and increased toxicity.

Valve recently took action to further enhance the matchmaking system by bringing back the strict solo queue to Immortal players. Garter last played for TeamEquilibrium during The International 2019 Europe Open Qualifiers. The team was knocked down in the 8th round.

As he is too young to retire, he will switch to League of Legends to pursue his professional esports career.

“I really hope that the LoL fans and community will give me a warm welcome just as much as I hope that my Twitch family will follow and join me in my new adventure,” Garter told fans with high hopes.


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