Esports Express

Harry Potter Dota: The International

Welcome to the seventh chapter of our ongoing series, which answers the question: In Harry Potter, what if instead of magic, it’s Dota 2?

Previous Chapters:

Oct 27 2014: 01 The Wardmaster
Jan 02 2015: 02 The Fogwards Express
Jan 09 2015: 03 The Shuffling
Jan 22 2015: 04 The First Blood
Jan 30 2015: 05 The Juking Lesson
Feb 25 2015: 06 The Mirror of Atod
March 25 2015: The International

Harry’s summer was uneventful. Freed from the Dursley’s oppression by his Shadow Amulet, he eagerly awaited his second year of Dota learning at Fogwards.

The new school year brought with it old faces, new classes, an entirely fresh set of first year students, and an unexpected surprise: Harry was reshuffled out of SlytheriNA and into Ravencleu, along with Ron and Hermione both.

Their first class was Dota Statistics.

Classroom Bruno

A strangely dressed man smiled vaguely as he walked in the door, placing his bright purple briefcase on the teacher’s desk. He was wearing a white-green suit patterned with pictures of cats and a shirt with a deep-V cut, exposing his ample chest hair.

“Good afternoon. I am Professor Carlucci but you can call me Bruno,” he said. “Would you please put all your books back in your bags. Today’s will be a practical lesson. You will need only your wands.”

Ron meekly raised his hand. “Is a stick okay?”

Malfho sniggered in the background. Bruno ignored him.

“Only if you can tell me, Mr. Weasley, how many extra charges a wand holds over a stick.”

Ron looked like a Enchantress in headlights, as he had failed to read the 6.83 Patch Notes at all. Hermione whispered “How many children do your parents have?!!”

Harry thought it curious that Hermione’s code of honor prevented her from simply telling Ron the answer, she had to poorly disguise it in the form of a question so he could work it out himself.

“Seven?” Ron answered tentatively.

“Correct!” Bruno clapped loudly, causing the large sunglasses he was wearing to fall from his face. He turned, and wheeled out a large locked chest. “Does anyone have a key?”

Hermione spoke up. “Sir, you don’t need keys anymore to open chests.”

“Ah, Ms. Granger, but this is very old chest.” Bruno looked pleased with himself.

Hermione wasn’t satisfied. “Didn’t the Ministry of Dota destroy all the old chests?”

“Not this one.” Bruno laughed. “There’s a Replicant in here. As soon as he is let out, he will take the form of the greatest fear of the person standing in front of him.”

“Professor Bruno, what does this have to do with statistics?” Hermione asked.

“Anyone can teach you who picked what and how many times,” said Bruno. “There is a lot of randomness in Dota, and this is practical statistics, which means we will do random things without any reasons.”

He continued. “Now, if you could, say something random.”

“Uh,” Hermione stuttered. “Lanes, Courier, Aegis, Tree.”

“A nice attempt, but those are all Dota terms, and somewhat related,” Bruno said, while unhinging the Replicant box. “Mr. Weasley, say something truly random.”

“Boobs?” said Ron, red faced.

“Mr. Weasley, that is pseudo-random at best, as you are simply saying what you think about most during the day,” Bruno said. “Care to have a try at it, Jacky Mao?”

Jacky immediately responded with “Bishonen, kogal, dojinshi, omake, seiyu, zettai ryouiki.”

“Wonderful! I have no idea what any of those words mean, or if they’re words at all!” said Bruno. “Ten MMR points for your solo rating!”

“I won!” Jacky exclaimed.

Harry watched as the Replicant box, now fully free, shuddered back and forth. Bruno gestured for the students to form a line.

“The spell that repels the Replicant is simple, yet it requires force of mind,” said Bruno. “We shall practice it first. After me, please… purge!”

“Yello,” Purge said from the back of the room. “I just say my own name?”

“No, Kevin. Welcome to statistics, you suck.” Bruno said. “Been waiting all morning to use that line, haha!”

He continued. “Everyone repeat after me… purge!”

“Purge!” said the class together.

“Well more precisely it’s Demonic Purge,” said Bruno. “Alternatively you could use Dispel Magic, but that involves splitting into three parts and I’m not sure you are ready for that yet.”

He continued, gesturing at Ron, who was first in line. “Now we shall find out, Mr. Weasley, your greatest fear.”

Ron opened the box. The Replicant changed into a gold artifact with a face and three red gems: a Sacred Relic.

“Your greatest fear is an item you’ll never farm enough to afford?!” Malfho shouted from the back of the line.

“P-p-purge?” Ron said, but nothing happened to the Replicant. The Relic was starting to morph into a glowing red sword, growing hotter and hotter.

Bruno pointed his own wand at the Replicant. “Purge.”

“Yello,” Purge said from his place in line. Bruno shot him a disapproving glance. The Replicant disappeared, and the box closed.

A young first year boy was next.

“That’s Sumail, he is taking second year classes because he was in the advanced NEL program,” said Hermione, with obvious jealousy.

“You must be the young SlytheriNA prodigy!” said Bruno, who deadpanned, “Don’t be afraid, it’s only your greatest fear!”

Sumail slowly opened the box. The Replicant, murky at first, quickly changed into a bearded man wearing a black jacket with sponsor logos.

“You only fear Fear himself?” said Ron, incredulous.

“Ah, you fear old age!” said Bruno. “Use the spell now!”

Sumail, eyes wide, pointed and said, “Kill yourself, Replicant.”

“That’s not it,” Bruno said, and was forced to purge the Replicant again.

Harry was next.

He opened the box, and the Replicant appeared, and started to form, in the shape of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

“Purge,” Harry said, but his wand shot forth a blast of red light, disintegrating the Replicant instantly.

The rest of the class gasped, and Bruno looked worried.

For an instant, before the Replicant exploded in a blue puff of smoke, Harry could have sworn he saw his own face.


Fogwards Great Hall

“The moment has come,” said Professor Finol, smiling around at the sea of upturned faces. “The
International Dota 2 Tournament is about to start. I would like to say a few words of explanation before we bring in the bottle —”

“The what?” Harry muttered.

“It’s what decides which outstanding Dota player gets invited from each house to the International,” answered Hermione.

“I thought the International was a team based competition?” asked Ron. “And why is it called the International when it’s only our school? And shouldn’t the headmaster, IceFrog, be making this announcement?”

“Maybe whoever organized or wrote the rules to this particular International was pigeonholed by their previous thinking and now cannot move the plot forward in any other way,” said Hermione. “And then they decided to explain away this inconsistency by breaking the fourth wall and having one of their characters directly address it.”

“What?” Harry said.

“Be quiet!” Hermione leaned forward to watch.

“We have worked tirelessly over the last few months on the arrangements for this year’s International Dota Tournament,” Professor Finol continued. “The bottle, then, if you please, Mr. Flax.”

Pyrion Flax, who had been lurking unnoticed in a far corner of the Hall, now approached Finol carrying a large bottle filled with bluish liquid. A murmur of excited interest rose from the watching students.

“The instructions for the tasks the players from each house will face this year have already been examined,” said Finol as Flax placed down the sphere, which hovered on the table before him.

“There will be three challenges, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test each house’s Dota player in many different ways: their prowess with spells, their courage, their powers of deduction, and of course, their ability to cope with danger.”

At this last word, the Hall was filled with a silence so absolute that nobody seemed to be

“Can you stop that?” Finol said to 2GD, who casually dropped his wand, allowing sound back into the hall.

“As you know, four Dota players compete in the tournament,” Finol went on calmly, “one from each of our houses. They will be marked on how well they perform each of the challenges and the champion with the highest total after task three will win. The representatives of each house will be chosen by an impartial selector: the Bottle of Fire!!”

Finol now took out his wand and tapped three times. The bottle’s stopper uncorked, and it levitated slowly into the air.

“That looks like a normal bottle, there’s no fire,” Harry said to Ron.

Almost as if Professor Finol heard him, he declared “The bottle’s flames are figurative, in the hearts and minds of every Dota player at this school.”

“Anybody wishing to submit themselves as a representative must write their name and house clearly upon a slip of parchment and drop it into the bottle,” said Finol. “Aspiring players have twenty-four hours in which to put their names forward. On Diretide, the bottle will–”

Professor Bailey interrupted Finol by whispering in his ear. Finol frowned.

“Oh, this year there might not be Diretide?” he whispered back quietly.

Several students in the front row had heard the news, and quickly began setting fire to the desks and chairs around them in an effort to efficiently destroy the school.

It took nearly an hour to regain order, and Finol finally continued.

“To ensure that no noobs enter the competition, I will be drawing a Solo MMR restriction around the Bottle of Fire. Nobody under 7,000 MMR will be able to cross this line.”

“Does he mean real MMR or Reddit MMR?” Ron asked.

“Finally, I wish to impress upon any of you wishing to compete that this tournament is not to be entered into lightly. Once a player has been selected by the Bottle of Fire, he or she is obliged to see the tournament through to the end. The placing of your name in the Bottle constitutes a binding Dota contract that cannot be disassembled.”

“An MMR Line!” Shane said, his eyes glinting, as they all made their way across the Hall to the doors into the entrance hall. “Well, that should be fooled by buying a boosted account, shouldn’t it?”

“But I don’t think anyone under 7,000 MMR will stand a chance,” said Hermione. “They’d just feed…”

“Speak for yourself,” said Ron shortly. “You’ll try and get in, won’t you, Harry?”




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