- Sportz has graciously accepted to do an interview regarding his up and coming in-house tournament, Freelo. Freelo is scheduled to take place very soon, so if you’re looking to join or watch, be sure to take a look!
Hello, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. Take some time to introduce yourself!
I’m Sportz, and I’m the lead admin for Freelo DOTA2–an up and coming Discord community for DOTA2 players. I’ve decided to try and build a community for DOTA2 because I feel like the DOTA 2 scene is lacking that kind of thing–a tight-knit group of people that want to compete, form friendships, and have fun playing the game. As far as I am aware, the only large Discord server for DOTA2 is the one for the r/Dota2 subreddit, and even that one can be inactive at times. I’m hoping that we can build Freelo DOTA2 into an active community where you can go to find party-mates or just chat about anything (DOTA2 or otherwise). To grow the Freelo DOTA2 community, we are hosting giveaways (for DOTA Plus, Discord Nitro, Twitch subscriptions, and others) and hosting tournaments with modest prize pools. Our next tournament is June 6 with a $200 prize pool ($100 for first place, $50 for second place, $25 for third place, $25 for fourth place).
It looks like your first tournament was a success! Have you learned anything new about the first time around, and what changes you will make to this new one?
Our first tournament was this past weekend on May 16, and we had 26 teams competing for a $150 prize pool. We initially set out to have 16 teams participate, and we far surpassed that goal with 26 teams participating. The two biggest things I learned from this past tournament are involving side selection/pick order and in-game tournament/league tickets. I did not know that DOTA2 match lobbies had a way to automate side selection/pick order via coin flip, so I was simply using a random generator I found online to assign Radiant/Dire and first pick/second pick; we will now be using the automated coin flip system from here on out. Additionally, I didn’t know that your tournament needed to have a Valve-approved ticket for the games to be spectated in the DOTA2 client; we have applied for an in-game ticket for June 6’s tournament and hope to receive Valve’s approval.
Do you think it’s important to try and nurture the Amateur/Semi-pro Dota scene especially in NA where it’s slowly phasing out?
We absolutely think it is important to nurture the North American amateur/semi-pro DOTA2 scene. We believe that players of all skill levels should have the opportunity to compete in a competitive environment–not just the upper echelon of DOTA2 players. There seems to be plenty of European, Southeast Asian, and Chinese leagues for amateur DOTA2 players, but this scene is severely lacking in North America. We at Freelo DOTA2 hope to be able to consistently afford North American players an opportunity to compete in a tournament-style competition outside of Valve’s weekly Battle Cup.
Are there any success stories of competitors that you’d like to share?
While only one team OFFICIALLY wins each tournament, our goal is to make sure that each and every participant comes out a winner. Sure, only the top teams get a monetary reward, but that doesn’t mean that only the top teams came out with a victory during our May 16 tournament. In fact, I had several players message me—even players from teams eliminated early in the tournament—to thank me and tell me how much fun they had participating. We had several teams made up of 5 players that had never played with one another, and we hope that some of these teams will stick together and form long-lasting friendships.
What are the prizes and how are you funding them?
The prize pool for our first tournament was $150 ($100 for first place, $50 for second place) and the prize pool for our next tournament on June 6 is $200 ($100 for first place, $50 for second place, $25 for third place, $25 for fourth place). At the moment, all of Freelo DOTA2—the advertising, giveaways, and tournaments—are coming out of my own pocket. Community and comradery are two very important things to me, and I am hoping to build Freelo DOTA2 into a community that fosters these values and allows players from all of the world to connect with one another through their passion of DOTA2. I have spent over 5000 hours of my life playing DOTA2, and I see this as an opportunity to give back to the game that has been such a cornerstone of my life for the last several years.
How can a player/team get in touch or enter the tournament?
We require all participants in the tournament to be present in our Discord server. We mandate this because, as I said above, we are trying to grow Freelo DOTA2 into a popular yet tight-knit Discord community for DOTA 2 players. A permanent invite link to the Discord is provided here: https://discord.gg/pDFbcXj . You can learn how to register for our tournament by reading the #tournament-info channel in our Discord server.
Anything you’d like to say to the NA fans?
We really appreciate everyone that has joined our Freelo DOTA2 Discord server thus far, and we hope to continue to grow into a flourishing community. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, do not ever hesitate to reach out! You can always contact me through any of the following mediums: