Artworks \ Deathmatch DOTA 2

Deathmatch DOTA 2

Process art

Start Game, Villa Manuela, UNEAC, Havana, Cuba [2015]


The work is an action in which the phenomenon of online games is intervened, which in the Cuban context have been readapted to function offline. Due to the precarious conditions of equipment, gamers built their network called SNET and generated infrastructures to overcome the barriers of disconnection from the Internet. This interest did not coincide with the government, which did not fully accept these practices, understanding digital games as products of the capitalist world. This led to the fact that the gaming community, although numerous, could not easily find spaces to organize their tournaments.  

In response to this situation, the artist took advantage of the institutional protection of art spaces to organize the first DOTA 2 community tournament in Havana, as a strategy to normalize this practice in the Cuban context. In collaboration with the community’s gamers, he set up a set of 10 computers connected by an offline network to a server that reproduced a pirated version of Steam. This interactive installation, created with the aesthetics of the popular LAN Party, reproduced in real time the tops of the tournament through three screens inside and outside the gallery. The event included the presentation of cosplay and a team of commentators who narrated live the incidents of the top. Actions were also conceived for the benefit of the community: an identity was designed to characterize it, a trophy was designed and produced to recognize the winning team and the first official page of the Cuban community was created on Facebook, which is still managed by the artist together with active members of the DOTA 2 community. 

As a result of the impact of the action, a short time later some members of the community organized the first big official tournament on the island. The artist has continued to donate the trophy for community events. 

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