N0tail Reveals the Origins of Dota 2's Tipping Culture

Dorjee Palzang
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Johan "N0tail" Sundstein revealed during a live stream that Virtus.Pro, not OG, initiated Dota 2's 'toxic tipping' culture.
He added that OG simply embraced tipping after experiencing its psychological impact and spread its use within the Dota 2 community.

In a recent live stream during The International 12 (TI12) watch party, an unexpected revelation disrupted the narrative surrounding a contentious aspect of Dota 2's competitive arena. Johan "N0tail" Sundstein, the iconic player from OG, divulged information that challenges the widespread belief about the origins of the now-infamous 'toxic tipping' culture.

For the uninitiated, 'tipping' in Dota 2 isn't about gratuities; it has become a symbolic tool of psychological warfare. This feature, seamlessly transcending linguistic barriers, has firmly planted its roots in the global fabric of the game. While it can manifest as a gesture of camaraderie, it often appears as a taunt, meant to unnerve opponents.

The 2016 Battle Pass is credited with introducing this feature, and it has long been held that OG were its masterminds. However, Sundstein emphatically denies this claim. "It's all Virtus Pro's fault. I take no responsibility for this," he stated during the stream, passing the baton of inception to Virtus.Pro.

Tipping: A Tool of Mental Destruction

It's essential to understand that OG’s eventual embrace of tipping wasn't purely for the love of the trend. The team had been on the receiving end of its psychological effects, recognizing its potency even in their moments of triumph. They decided if they couldn't escape it, they'd join it, thereby accelerating the spread of toxic tipping within the vast Dota 2 community.

However, not all tips are meant to deride. The feature can equally be used to applaud an adversary's exceptional plays, showcasing the duality of tipping as both a weapon and appreciation in the heat of competition.

While they may not be its architects, OG’s contributions to the tipping culture cannot be understated. Their enthusiasm for using voice lines, notably during The International tournaments in 2018 and 2019, cemented their prowess in the art of mental gameplay. This led to a curious development: opposing teams began to preemptively mute OG as tipping and voice lines could disrupt concentration, increasing chances of in-game mistakes.

This intricate dance of voice lines and tipping underscores the rich psychological tapestry of Dota 2. It's not just about agility and strategy; it’s also about psychological warfare.

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Dorjee is an avid Dota enthusiast, he has been playing the game since it was just a map in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne back in 2009, he transitioned to Dota 2 in 2014 and can't stop playing ever since!

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