As the year draws to a close we take a look back at what are the Dota 2 memes that spawned through 2018 and which of the older ones are still extremely used by the community.
***Lakad Matatag, Normalin Normalin***
“Lakad Matatag, Normalin Normalin” is without a doubt the meme of 2018. The phrase was produced back in February by Marlon “Lon” Marcelo and Aldrin “Kuya D” Pangan, two Filipino casters who were commentating the Fnatic versus Team Secret series from ESL One Katowice group stages. The third game of that match-up, and more precisely the final 40 seconds of it can be easily placed in a top 3 most exciting game endings of 2018. “Lakad Matatag, Normalin Normalin” was shouted when EternaLEnVy on Razor, walked outside his base with the Black King Bar activated trying to steal damage with the Static Link and do as much right click damage as possible to defend the barracks.
Those final moments of the game and the two Filipino casters delivered, in fact, more than one meme. “Easiest money of my life”, “the next lebel play” and “echo Slamma Jamma”, which is a reference to the Basketball Slam Dunk shot, are all from there, and Valve included them in the TI8 compendium as reward for those who reached level 1200.
“Lakad Matatag, Normalin Normalin” became extremely popular and one of the most used chat wheel sounds by the professional players and even Gabe Newell himself used it in the opening ceremony of The International 2018
***UNiVeRsE Uber Taxi***
“Uberlord” is a meme that started to be rolled out ever since Underlord was added to the game and obviously, it’s about the hero ability to mass teleport his allies anywhere on the map. In the same Fnatic versus Team Secret game three, UNiVeRsE on Underlord, won the series for Fnatic by teleporting himself, Ember Spirit and Clockwerk in the Team Secret base to take down the Throne through backdoor protection and his brilliant play gave birth to the UNiVeRsE Uber Taxi meme.
“Pizza party” meme is probably the one with the most chances to stay with us forever. It all started back on January 12, when Fnatic qualified for the ESL One Katowice with Khoo “Ohaiyo” Chong. After the grand finals were over, Ohaiyo was taken to a so-called “pizza party” to celebrate the victory but, instead of having a nice meal with his teammates, Ohaiyo was told that he would be replaced by UNiVeRsE, who at the time of the qualifiers grand finals was already in Malaysia staying at Envy’s rental place.
Ohaiyo’s kick was one of the top dramas of the year and “pizza party” became a meme used for when a player had an underwhelming performance in a certain game, the implication being that he might get kicked.
***Lil was the problem***
Professional career wise, 2018 was a pretty bad year for Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk. It all started after Virtus.pro returned home from ESL One Genting at the end of January, with just a 5th-6th finish and decided to make a player swap with Natus Vincere. Lil was traded for RodjER and at the very next tournament after that roster change, which was ESL One Katowice, a 1M Dollars Major, VP claimed the trophy and another MVP prize. It was less than a month after the swap and the community was fast in delivering the “Lil was the problem” meme. Unfortunately for him, Lil didn’t escape from this for a long time as the meme stuck for when he was removed from Na’Vi as well, in the post TI8 shuffle.
There is not too much to read behind this one. Back in March 2018, after OG kicked Resolut1on from their roster, the team coach, Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs stood in for the team while they were looking for a mid-laner. 2018 was extremely rough for OG who struggled for the entire competitive season and just a few weeks before the TI8 open qualifiers they also lost s4 and Fly. Their unbelievable TI8 story, from open qualifiers to lifting the Aegis of Champions, is beyond well known by now, so we won’t rehash it here. At some point, when it became clear that he would stay as an active player, 7ckngMad changed his nickname to Seb. It was OD Pixel’s frantic shout during theTI8 grand finals that marked the legendary moment when Seb turned the tide of the game with an incredible Axe Call. Following the big victory in Vancouver, the Dota 2 fans started to spam Seb, CEB or Себ, which is the Cyrillic typing for Seb, to express their excitement for his achievement.
***4 times Midas, 4 times Happiness***
“4 times Midas, 4 times Happiness” meme was created by the Chinese community after the 7.20 patch was implemented to the game. It’s a reference to the Ogre Magi Multicast rework which now affects offensive items as well. Especially in pub games, Ogre Magi was often seen being played as a core with a rushed Hand of Midas for the chance of having a 4x Multicast proc on the item.
Lu “Somnus/Maybe” Yao’s apparition at the EPICENTER XL Major was punished by the Chinese Dota 2 fans. The player forgot his shaver home and didn’t bother to buy one in Russia. So, by the end of the tournament, which he and his team PSG.LGD won, Maybe grew a decent beard. The Chinese fans dubbed Maybe as “Yeren” which is a legendary creature believed to live in the mountains, the story being similar to what the western world knows as Big Foot.
One of the more talented fans even made a caricature of Maybe and titled it “Changping is where he was born,” Changping being a Chinese military campaign which took place ages ago.
***Peter “Leave Vlave to me” Dager***
Peter “Leave Vlave/NA/China to me” Dager is something you would often see on the Dota 2 subreddit page. It originates from the fact that most of the times Peter “PPD” Dager posts on Twitter his concerns on a certain topic, Valve has a reaction. Ahead of the Kuala Lumpur Major PPD decided to take on twitter to ask for help from Valve when it was clear that NiP’s offlaner was not going to receive the Malaysian visa. The next day Valve confirmed that PPD’s team won’t receive any kind of penalty for playing with a stand in at the Major. A few weeks later Peter pointed out in a Tweet Longer post that one of the South American qualifiers winners for the Chongqing Major, Team 123, is in fact an NA squad with just one SA player. The next day Valve made an official blog post announcing Team 123’s disqualification.
— Peter Dager (@Peterpandam) August 11, 2016
Peter "leave Valve to me" Dager (c)
Вот не пройдет на мажор, будет чем заняться:)
— Yana LadyFrika (@ladyfrika) November 28, 2018
***More than 2, but less than 4***
It’s been a while since Valve themselves produced a meme. It’s almost three years since Gabe Newell’s post where he fired James “2GD” Harding from hosting the Shanghai Major. “James is an ass” is going to probably never be forgotten by the fans. This year, during the TI8, Valve launched Gabe Newell’s very own Dota 2 Announcer Pack and no, the 2GD meme is not in it. Instead, Lord Gaben went with another self-ironical line to let the fans know that he’s aware of and very up to date with most of the community complaints and reasons of unhappiness.
In the Gabe Newell Mega Kill pack, Valve’s owner struggles to understand the concept of number three, making it impossible for him to say “triple kill” which of course, can be interpreted as a direct reference to the fact that Half-Life 3 has never been announced. “You’ve killed more than two people, and less than four” line from the announcer pack was simplified by the community to “more than 2 but less than 4” and it’s used as a reply to various threads.
“Mercedes VP” is a meme used every time Virtus.pro is competing in a Dota 2 ESL One event. The CIS team holds the record of winning four ESL One titles, and four Mercedes Benz cars which are the MVP Prize for these tournaments. At the last ESL One event, which took place in Hamburg this October, VP lost in the lower bracket finals to Team Secret, which would become the Champions and also lost the MVP prize. The latest Mercedes prize went to Team Secret mid-laner Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng.
Also found as FiftEE / FiftEE, this meme is a few years old. It was originally used to describe EternaLEnVy’s ability to always make at least one hugely impactful play. Envy is vastly known for taking high risk/high reward decisions, like the Underlord mass teleport to the Secret base from February this year. He is also known for having a high chance of making a ridiculously bad play that can cost his team the game, so 50/50 is now used for making high risk plays regardless of the reward.
Despite being a year with a plethora of events that gave birth to strong memes, 2018 was the year when some of the old ones resurfaced. For instance, the “Fy-God” one is over four years old and, of course, it is related to his exquisite performance during TI8.
We hope that this 2018 year in review memes refreshed your memory with actually everything that happened in the Dota 2 scene this year. Have a nice New Year’s Eve and let us know in the comments section below which is your 2018 favorite meme!