How are we going backwards?
The Dota 2 Lima Major is facing fair play concerns as player interviews and footage suggest that the player booths may not be soundproof, despite organizers installing them to address the issues that arose during The International 2022.
Soundproofing vulnerabilities were exposed as home crowd favorites Evil Geniuses continued to advance in the main event. Whenever the South American representatives were matched against a team from another region, the crowd made loud noises to give sound cues to EG.
Whenever EGs opponents used Smoke of Deceit or went into the Roshan pit, the crowd would whistle as loud as possible. According to a short video by Shopify Rebellions Tal Fly Aizik, it looks like these noises could easily be heard by teams on the stage.
SRs captain also went over the situation briefly with Sean “Snare” Rihlamvu in a post-game interview, hinting that they were also able to hear the crowd.
Though EG had the crowds power behind them, SR could still knock them out of the tournament after a three-game series. However, the situation raised concerns over EGs previous match versus Team Aster, which was also a three-game series, as the inferior player booths caused Aster to play at a huge disadvantage.
During TI11, the main event commenced in a booth-less setup for the first time, as PGL decided to handle soundproofing with only headsets. Players could hear casters and fans, gaining various advantages during a match. While this has also been a proven method preferred in CS:GO and League of Legends tournaments for years, it didnt fly in the first days of the biggest Dota 2 event of the year. The issue was later fixed after multiple complaints.
While booths have been seen as the perfect soundproofing solution within the Dota 2 community due to their iconic involvement in almost every TI stage, there have been concerns regarding their overall effectiveness. A soundproofing booth is essentially a box with white noise generators, and they would still struggle to block off fans excited roars.
That being said, the Lima Major has been one of the more underwhelming ones in terms of crowd presence. Given the low number of attendees, the sound could be dampened with quality headsets which look to be not the case amidst all the production flaws.