Dota 2’s The International has always featured soundproof booths for the main event—until this year. These special boxes allow players to perform on stage without hearing the casters or the crowd, which can be distracting when the stakes are at their highest.
Though it’s generally not ideal to have an outside audio source while playing Dota 2, it’ll be a whole other story if the sound belongs to the casters who are shoutcasting valuable information. As more teams got off the stage after the first day of TI11, players like Gaimin Gladiator’s (GG) Anton “dyrachyo” Shkredov revealed they could completely hear the casters while on stage.
“It’s a scary thing that you can hear absolutely everything that casters say,” dyrachyo said in his post-game chat on Nix’s Twitch stream. “We could hear every smoke and Rune.” While this may sound like a trivial issue to the casual Dota 2 viewer, it can create game-breaking situations, especially when one of the teams on stage doesn’t speak English.
During the interview, dyrachyo pointed out they were able to dodge Smoke gangs and notified of a Double Damage Rune going Fnatic’s way, allowing GG to adjust their plans accordingly.
PSG.LGD’s XinQ also said they could hear the casters, but they couldn’t understand it. The LGD player had another issue with the soundproof headphones, as they made him feel sick and raised his blood pressure.
Hearing the casters is a major problem that has to be addressed before tomorrow’s games. For all we know, the situation may have even caused some teams to get eliminated from the tournament since it prevents all game-changing plays from Smokes to Rune pickups. The problem doesn’t get any better when both teams are fluent in English, either, since the constant information flow can also turn matches into starting contests.
Considering this hasn’t even been a talking point in previous TIs, the situation boils down to the only difference, the booths. The production crew tried fixing the absence of the booths with soundproof headphones, which can be nowhere as impactful.