You may be wondering what the question mark is all about. You might already be a master of the question mark. We shall now explore both the shallows and depths of the profound question mark “?”.
What does it mean?
This is for the sender to know and for the recipients to speculate upon. Therein lies the beauty of the question mark. Is the sender curious about something that happened? Is it an elite form of passive aggression? Many dismiss this simple character while others become internally fueled with endless rage.
Some passively inject “?” into the lives of others strictly to inquire for further clarification. Someone disconnected from a game of DOTA? They want to know why. Easy enough. But is that utilizing the question mark to its fullest potential? Absolutely f***ing not.
Top 4 Question Mark (QM) Uses
#4: The Trivial QM
You secured a last hit. The enemy screwed up the deny. You drop a “?”. They know they mis-timed it. You got gold. Message sent and received. Their gears start turning.
#3: The Gank QM
You rotated out of your lane and secured a kill on the enemy mid. You unleash a “?”. On the surface, it’s a curled line. But deep within the hearts and mind of that enemy mid, the simple “?” unravels into a series of thought-provoking taunts: “I rotated and got an easy kill on you. Your team didn’t call missing huh? How does that make you feel? Will they allow it to happen again? You should probably address this ASAP!” The enemy team has begun to unravel from within.
#2: The Outplayed QM
The Gank QM is brutal, but it wasn’t the gankee’s fault. His team screwed up and didn’t let him know about the rotation. You may have had some success planting a seed of dissent, but the likelihood of a team meltdown is minimal.
This is where The Outplayed QM comes into full force. We have all been in a position when you’re inevitably going to die. Perhaps you were out of position. Maybe you were a support trying to drop a ward and ran into the entire opposing team. It happens. But then, somehow, deep from within your 2k trench mind, you execute a sequence of events that you’re not likely ever be able to replicate.
You juke left and dodge the Mirana arrow. You cut through NP’s sprout with a quelling blade. You dodge right and watch the Pudge hook graze your stupid face. You weave in and out of the fog without thought or effort. Three final crisp turns, a TP, and you find yourself alone within the solitude of your fountain.
What the hell happened? How did an entire enemy team fail to deliver a crushing blow to a solo Crystal Maiden out well beyond her comfort zone? That is a question that the enemy team needs to answer for themselves. That’s when you drop the artful, beautiful, “?”.
#1- The Screwup QM
The Outplayed QM might invoke some level of rage but ultimately, the enemy team will just end up blaming each other. This is certainly helpful but no one single person will be held fully accountable. Nobody will develop self-doubt and full tilt like you so desire.
This is where The Screwup QM arrives. You’re in a great team fight. You guys kill 4 of 5. You take your 1500 gold and buy a kickass item. Suddenly you see their 5th player that escaped the battle. He pops Blade Mail. You don’t give a shit. You’re sniper. You snipe. Assassination goes flying, landing well before Blade Mail expires. You die. Enemy team buys back and pushes. You don’t have buy back because you foolishly spent your gold on an item which will forever sit in your stash as you watch your throne fall.
As the throne comes crumbling down, your screen fills with haunting “?”. They’re from the enemies. They’re from your team mates. Nobody is wondering what went wrong. They know exactly what went wrong. So do you. This is the moment when you wish to fade away to nothing and uninstall DOTA. But of course, you queue yet again.
The satisfaction gained from a well-timed “?” provides a level of bliss that’s difficult to achieve elsewhere. Don’t spam it. Hold on to it. Wait for the perfect moment. Drop that QM and revel in the beauty.