Lakers guard Jeremy Lin is known for his intense play on the court, and apparently that intensity carries over to his approach to the computer video game Defense of the Ancients, better known as Dota. Lin says he plays Dota 2 whenever he can in his spare time with his brothers and friends.
Much like basketball, Dota 2, a multiplayer online battle arena game, is played on a regulation court and requires extreme levels of communication and synergy with a five-man team to win each match.
"My favorite character? Depends," Lin said during the annual Lakers All-Access event Tuesday at Staples Center. "Am I trying to have fun? Or am I trying to win?"
Here are his answers to both questions and more about Dota 2:
And here's a clue that Lin isn't just hopping on the Dota bandwagon. He mentioned a character called "Leviathan," a name not used in Dota 2 but is in the original Dota, which came out in 2005.
Each game last 30-60 minutes and they're pretty much non-stop action, so Lin wasn't kidding when he said he has to carve out time to play.
Lin’s favorite role when trying to win is that of the Carry, or player who "attains the greatest offensive power as the game progresses and will eventually bear the responsibility for ultimate victory," according to one online definition
Developed and released as a free-to-play game in 2013 by the Valve Corporation, Dota 2 has risen to become one of the most played video games in the world with more than 10 million unique monthly users.
Perhaps one reason for its popularity is that the game is actually quite challenging. There are more than 100 characters in the game, each with a unique set of at least four abilities. It takes hundreds of playing hours and brain power to master the game and understand how each hero's strengths and weaknesses interacts with the others. But if anyone can do it, a Harvard graduate is probably up for the task.
Last year's Dota 2 world championships, called The International, set a world record with a total prize pool of nearly $11 million, funded mostly by fans.