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Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Resolution: Dota 2 is a better game than League of Legends

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,841 times Debate No: 34294
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Resolution: Dota 2 is a better game than League of Legends
League of Legends: a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, inspired by the popular Defense of the Ancients map for Warcraft III.

Dota 2: a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed by Valve Corporation and the stand-alone sequel to the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne.

MOBA: Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), also known as action real-time strategy (ARTS), is a sub-genre of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre, in which often two teams of players compete with each other in discrete games, with each player controlling a single character through an RTS-style interface

BOP is shared. Both sides must present a case.

I feel incredibly bad for forfeiting my debate for this prior, but I ran into some issue with family.

I will not be doing this again, please accept this debate.


I am an avid fan of video games and I also start my day by reading the front page of So I will find it interesting to have a back and forth debate about the two most watched games at the moment on live streaming and video upload websites.

I accept the challenge and I will try to do my best to find arguments in favor of the idea that League of Legends is the better game when compared to Dota 2.

Good luck to you sir and let's have a nice debate.
Debate Round No. 1


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I thank my opponent for accepting and hope we have a very good debate. To Voters: I apologize for the terminology in this debate, but if I were to define every term necessary, I would take up much of the space of my argument.


While there are many MOBA’s out there (Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, Dota 2, Bloodline Champions, Smite just to name a few.) the (arguably) first MOBA in its recognizable state was Aeon of Strife, however the most iconic of these games was a mod for the Warcraft 3 system. This game was so popular it inspired the majority of the most popular MOBA’s today. Because this genre is very broad in its scope, I will attempt to narrow my categories for evaluation, so we don’t argue in stasis. My argument revolves around Dota 2 being a better game in many aspects and any aspects that are to be contended (on the League of Legends) are either irrelevant or comparably unimportant.

  1. Accessibility and Depth

Truly both games have a certain measure of depth and accessibility but the conventional wisdom would be that Dota 2 has the greater amount of depth and League of Legends has more accessibility. I will be defending the former while attacking the latter. The reason Dota 2 has a greater amount of depth is because it simply has more to manage. For example, the denying is an additional mechanic that the player must worry about in lane. Another mechanic that helps make Dota 2 deeper, is the complex counter picking system, that is nowhere near as prevalent for pub games in League than with Dota. Counter picking is nearly impossible in regular games of League (not including ranked games) because one could simply pick the same hero (champion) which nullifies the counter pick. Further the teamfights are nearly required in League of Legends in the early game (and you are yelled at by teammates if you do not), it is completely optional, laning and team ganking is vital in both games, but in the early game for Dota it is optional to teamfight. Another aspect of depth that Dota 2 has over League is the simply addition of day and night. Vision is extremely limited in the nighttime and provides many threats such as ganks and notably Nightstalker (a hero who gets boosts from nighttime). Positioning is much more important in Dota 2 than League of Legends because of two reasons, many spells are single target (though not all by far) so getting people out of position is really easy. The next reason is due to Towers not being completely safe havens like in League. A talented ganker can easily kill a hero who is ‘tower-hugging’. The last aspect that gives Dota 2 the advantage in depth has two aspects that are fundamentally the same thing. Passive and Active abilities and items are integrated, while in League items are almost always passive and abilities are always active. The claim that League of Legends is more accessibility comes from many of the mechanics in League of Legends, make it ‘easier’. For example, unlike in Dota 2, you don’t lose gold upon dying. What follows is that (besides the lane travel time and possible experience from being out of lane) there is virtually no penalty for dying. But this is simply a mistake for what accessibility is. While League of Legends may be ‘easier’ it certainly isn’t more accessible. While League of Legends and Dota 2 both have tutorials, Dota 2 has one of the most inventive and useful bot systems developed(not only that they were the first ones to develop it). The bots in Dota 2 have many quirks and idiosyncrasies that easily place them above the rival games' available bots. That is to say, these bots are smart and put up a real fight. These bots come with multiple difficulty levels and as you increase the difficulty, the bots begin to emulate players in various ways; warding, ganking, roaming as a team, doing Roshan, baiting, harassing, etc. There have been stories that people who invite their friends to play Dota 2 are completely fooled by the bots and actually confuse them for real players. It is not difficult to believe such a story. Unlike their counterparts in League of Legends, the bots in Dota 2 are programed to emulate players and at higher difficulties, can present a legitimate challenge even to a seasoned gamer via tactics and precision. This allows for the difficulty curve to be lessened by quite a bit. Accessibility is not equal to difficulty.

  1. Graphics

While Art Style is subjective, graphical quality is not. Dota 2 has immensely better graphical quality with fewer requirements upon the PC. For example, an Integrated Chipset from Intel (as long as CPU is of decent quality) plays both Dota 2 and League of Legends with a small amount of lag upon the game. However, in League the graphical quality is nearly intolerable, the definition is poor and the cartoony style is hindered by indispensable details (often the colors merge in bad ways). However with a medium quality GPU such as Geforce GT 420 will improve the quality of both games. However it can support maximum settings with no lag, at least for Dota 2. However if you attempt to play League of Legends on maximum settings, you experience quite a bit of lag along with only a minor improvement in graphical quality. With a great GPU such as the AMD Radeon HD 7970. You get absolutely no lag on either system and Dota 2 still has better graphical quality. The art style debate is simply frivolous in this type of debate; my opponent cannot argue that because of his personal preference that one is better than the other, therefore I would recommend to voters to make it a non-issue. Another potential issue is that, the abilities of League of Legends seem to lack impact. For example, I wasn’t always aware of when my abilities actually worked, this isn’t a problem for Dota 2 due to the User Interface and the graphical effects of the abilities.

  1. Freedom

Truly this is best thing that sets apart Dota 2 and League of Legends. Dota 2 and League of Legends both are F2P games (with Dota 2 being in practically Open Beta). However the amount of content you get for your time is much more rewarding in Dota 2. The first aspect of freedom is obviously the champion pick. Heroes are unlimited and Dota 2 has 101 heroes, therefore the options for semi-new completely free player is 101 heroes. However, for League player (in the same context) the options are limited to 10. Surely this is limits the freedom of at least some players on League. This partially explains the stale metagame, even at competitive levels at times. Another limiting factor is because of the underpowering of heroes (they only level to 16 in League(compared to 25 in Dota 2) and they all scale roughly the same due to ability power stat) tri-laning and many other great innovations made by players are not useful. Even in high-levels it is rare to see a tri-lane (if you ever even see it) in League of Legends. Creep stacking, denying, and creep pulling is fundamentally impossible. All of these essential mechanics of Dota 2 reminds of me mistakes that Microsoft has made recently as well. All of this is innovation that nobody asked for, and takes away from the depth and freedom of the game. All of these limitations really show that Dota 2 has stuck to the motto if isn’t broke don’t fix it.



I believe that League of Legends is a better game than Dota2 for a very simple reason. The community of League of Legends is bigger and better than the one of Dota2. It is also going to get bigger and better at a proportional rate to Dota2 over time, which means that Dota2 will never catch up on League of Legends if the current state of affairs will not be severely unbalanced. The huge difference between the two communities can be seen in the information about the record of peak concurrent players for the respective game, 5 million for League of Legends and 330000 for Dota2. This is an order of magnitude larger for League of Legends [LoL_now,Dota2_now].

I would liken the similarity of the mechanics of League of Legends and Dota2 to that between the popular board game chess and the myriad of variants of it in existence[chess_variants]. You have five heroes, lanes with minions, towers, a final area to destroy, items, roleplaying game like progression of all the heroes as they kill opponent minions and heroes. The two games are occupying the exact same niche and only one can succeed in time, as opposed to games that are significantly different like chess and go[go], or chess and bridge[bridge].

In basketball or in soccer there is no basketball left and right and soccer up and down. Hoops and minisoccer don't register on the scale with Kobe Bryant and Messi. In the board game of chess there are heroes of long ago that made the game what it is now[chess_heroes]. The same cannot be said about any of the chess variants. League of Legends and Dota2 being variants of each other cannot be hugely popular at the same time and spawn heroes for fans to cheer for. Since the more popular game is League of Legends by far, so it is the better of the two games now regardless of game design, art style or personal preference of fans of any of the two games. League of Legends will grow faster to a bigger fanbase with many heroes of the professional leagues it has already created, and Dota2 cannot do anything about that by continuing to add content in the way it has up to now. It will just tag along being a little brother until it will fade into non-significance by spectator driven esport standards.

For a video game example of the same situation there is the venerable mmo game World of Warcraft. It launched with a mirriad of issues that continue to plagues mmo game launches to this day[wow_issues]. But in time it built a following that is moving the game forward as the number one mmo for a long time now despite a myriad of competitors coveting to build a game that would give them mmo market share that would put a dent in World of Warcraft, including Star wars the Old Republic[wow_variant]. In this case it was the first big game that went home with the cake and the others left with scraps. A situation very similar to the one between chess and it's variants.

I for one would not like to play a game where there are no heroes to cheer for when esports come to a TV set near me. That would be a very bad game. This is why League of Legends has got a big claim on the big cake, Dota2 will eat some scraps over time as the little brother, and we may or may not have a Blizzard All Stars to come and steal the show later. Because in a spectator sport or esport popularity makes the game and all else follows behind it.

Debate Round No. 2


The Main Issues:

I thank my opponent for his response. I would ask the voters to please look at the resolution today and ask yourselves whether my opponent’s argument is really relevant. My contention that the very simple reason he mentions is not relevant to whether Dota 2 is better game or not. Although my opponent is correct that League is (at the moment) the larger of the two, he completely fails to mention why this important to making a better game. Further, bigger doesn’t constitute better surely the advances of games with similar mechanics have led to significant decreases in fan bases. Many reviewers, for example, have concluded that Guild Wars 2 is a much better game than World of Warcraft. Subsequently, World of Warcraft is losing many of its fans ( While World of Warcraft has much better community (and larger) than Guild Wars 2, the fact remains many (if not all) reviewers and game journalists regard World of Warcraft to be inferior. If we take another way to measure community size than Dota 2 could be leading. According to reports from DFC Intelligence, in terms of hours played, Dota 2 surpassed League of Legends. The report of course doesn’t take into account concurrent players, nevertheless the impact of such a statement shakes my opponent argument that Dota 2 will never get any bigger than League(which seems to be unfounded anyway, and just a bare assertion). Now when we analyze the size of the community versus the quality of the community, it really is a no contest. While League may have a larger community, Dota 2’s is certainly better. This is for three major reasons. The first reason is that we still have many players that have been playing since DoTA 1. This is important because much of the metagame carries over into Dota 2. This also carries over to having who are going to switch once Dota comes out of beta(which worthy of mentioning, since League has been around for a while, while isn’t even out of beta yet). The second reason why Dota 2’s community is better has to do with Valve’s (the company that produced Dota 2) effort to make a quality experience for the community. While League has a similar system (the Tribunal) it is nowhere near as effective. Valve produced said results (

  • “Since the ban system has been implemented, there’s been a 35% drop in negative communication interactions.

  • Less than the 1% of the active player base (players who have played Dota 2 in the last month) are currently banned.

  • 60% of players who receive bans go on to modify their behavior and don’t receive further bans.

  • Total reports are down more than 30%, even after accounting for the reduction in the number permitted per week.”

This is an immense accomplishment in a genre known for its toxic community. The idea of purely communications bans has been a new concept invented by Valve that surely will be a part of every MOBA. On a side note, this gives a growth potential for Valve, since on this system, less people are permanent banned from playing and instead may not be able to communicate via in-game chat. This lessens the loss of overall players increasing the player base without hurting other people who play. The last reason why Dota 2’s community is better has to do with Celebrities. Not Celebrities in the traditional movie star sense but really popular gameplay commentaries and analysis that Valve has worked immensely hard to produce. You see, Valve has done their best to allow there game to be shown to nearly everyone and played by nearly everyone. Since the first International people have seen icons, most notably Dendi and Na’Vi, play pro games and really become famous among the Dota 2 universe. Another example might be the fame and ‘legend’ of ZSMJ who is known as the ultimate farmer (he gets gold really fast). Purge, Luminous, Pyrion Flax, SunsFAN, Reaves, and many, many, others are fundamental celebrities in Dota 2 world because they bring something to the community that makes it fundamentally better. Purge brings gameplay commentaries, advanced level anaylsis, and the famous “Welcome to Dota, You Suck” guide in which all most all new players read or glimpse at before diving into the extremely deep world of Dota 2. Whatever they have to offer, they share a singular advantage over League of Legends, and that’s star power. Even if my opponent is correct and Dota 2 is somehow worse because its community is smaller, why should we think this the end all, be all for game superiority. Surely from my arguments in round two we can conclude that Dota 2 is a much better game.

A note on my arguments for Round two

As of yet my opponent has dropped my arguments from Round two. However, he could be waiting until Round three to respond since he laid out he primary case in the second round. However, if he fails to respond to them please count this as a drop and award the argument points to me.

A Comment on Sources

While I don’t think Sources are completely relevant in this debate, it is important to note most of opponent sources are unnecessary. For example, there is no reason to link to the Wikipedia article on GO, as it has little relevance on this debate.



I will try to counter the arguments posted in disfavor of League of Legends in this debate.

Having no knowledge of the fan heroes of League of Legends is not an indicator of their absence. Go and chess are very popular games. I know many chess players since I am a fan of chess and I actively play on the internet. On the other hand there are many popular go players in history which are familiar names for players of go. But I have a very fuzzy picture of the most famous of them. I know that Go Seigen is the Garry Kasparov of go. But all the other players that I read about briefly I cannot remember. In chess I can name from memory all the players that were the best of their time starting from Gioachino Greco, Andres Danican Philidor, Le Bourdanaise, MacDonald, Staunton and Morphy that were in their prime even before the creation of an official title of world chess champion beginning with Steinitz. That is in no way a detraction of the best players in the history of go, and by analogy there must be many heroes of League of Legends that are not known to avid players of Dota2 and original Dota.

The DFC Intelligence report that League of Legends would have a smaller player base than Dota2 has apparently been retracted[DFC_report_retraction]. Which leaves no doubt for now in the previous known data that League of Legends has an order of magnitude more active players than Dota2.

The analogy between WoW-GW2 and LoL-Dota2 is I believe in favor of the argument that League of Legends is the better game. in that there is a comparison between a games with no monetary entrance as are GW2 and Dota2 and ones that have them like WoW and League of Legends. League of Legends has restricted access to the roster of heroes as opposed to Dota2 with no tumbling of popularity by that reason alone[LoL_restricted_features]. This is in the same way that WoW has a monthly fee as opposed to GW2. Having players join many more games in progress despite the restrictions is an indicator of the better game that is League of Legends because of the existing community.

Freedom is similar to the restrictive features argument above since you can buy League of Legends and have all the freedom you want, you can play for free and be restricted or you can go to Dota2 and be free and unrestricted. People have been going in droves to League of Legends despite the so called freedom of Dota2.

The two games have similar graphic requirements which makes that a nonissue. Also League of Legends being in a subjective way a worse looking game is no indicator of community success. According to Wikipedia sales numbers the first two popular handheld game consoles had a similar order of magnitude difference in sales. One of them was the Nintendo Gameboy with 100 million sales and shades of green screen, while the other was the Sega Game Gear with a colored and bigger screen.

The argument of accessibility and depth is flawed because it is constructed around complexity. The complexity of the two games is similar even though there are some details that differ. What is important is that a player overcomes the initial learning curve required to start playing the game regularly when arguing in favor of one of the games. League of Legends has the community that drives the game forward by having the existing players want to teach their friends about the game. For the player coming to the game to meet and play with friends the finer details separating LoL and Dota2. They just want to understand what the fuss is about their friends newly found online time waster.

Debate Round No. 3


My opponents case and my counter argument:

My opponent has not addressed the essence of the arguments against his position. My opponent says I have no knowledge of the fan heroes so therefore League has. However, he fails to mention that they completely lack in ‘fan heroes’ the way Dota 2 does. Furthermore, he fails to mention any of these supposed fan heroes that exist. Why should we think that these exist if we get no examples whatsoever? The answer: We shouldn’t. It is worth mentioning that I am a big fan of competitive scene of League and Dota 2. I play on a mid-high level ranked games (level 70 League Summoner, Level 27 Steam level) for both games, so I find it rather insulting that my opponent criticize my knowledge of League of Legends given my investment into the game just because I prefer something else. His whole point (analogy) is still invalid. He claims that just because one community has fan heroes and the other one doesn’t, doesn’t mean that one game is better than the other. BUT, that was never my point. Remember the argument I was refuting was the community argument by saying Dota 2 has a better community. So the analogy simply doesn’t follow and that part of the argument for a better community flows through.

Another problem is that the link my opponent supplies never said that DFC intelligence made a retraction. This is dishonest labeling at best. While it does say that riot says that DFC says they are in the process of pulling their report. This seems to be hearsay at best. And this PC Gamer article ( is much more reliable source that has a reference directly from DFC saying:

“We contacted DFC’s David Cole for more info. He pointed out that their findings were based on hours played rather than concurrent users,”

Therefore I would advise caution on my opponent to simply dismiss the DFC report.

Further, he tries to turn the WoW and Guild Wars 2 argument against me, saying that Guild Wars 2 is similar and that still games like League and World of Warcraft succeed. However this is absolutely beside the point! My opponent seems to think that size is the ultimate measure of playability and ‘goodness’. This is completely mistaken, that is the point of Guild wars analogy. I was showing that being a better game has to do with actual features not completely community or size. My opponent simply ignores the argument and says it favors him. This is amplified by the fact that my opponent has never justified his assertion that more players not only equals a better community but also a better game. He also hasn’t addressed my counterarguments, as of yet, regarding Valves heroic efforts to reduce toxic players via communication bans. As this is the only real argument my opponent has made for us, we can conclude that my opponent has meet his burden of proof. Because of this, I do not think a Vote for Con can be justified.

My Argument:

Unfortunately, my opponent has consistent dismissed my case without providing true arguments against it. This is troubling because since my opponent hasn’t really addressed my arguments, I must consider them dropped. I will address his shallow refutations, however. The first thing my opponent addresses is Freedom. My opponent basically just links it to his case by saying it doesn’t matter whether we have freedom (or unrestricted freedom) as long as they have a better community. Further he completely disregards all of the people who are F2P from League of Legends like they are meaningless. He simply disregards their feelings about what might be a better game or might be more advantageous to them. This is a very bad mistake considering many players are purely F2P players (I am one of those players). My opponent ignores my argument about freedom in specific features that are not ‘buyable’ (creep stacking purchasable?) and therefore drops the point completely (with regards to features that introduce more freedom into the game). When it comes to Graphics, my opponent has again ignored my argument. I showed different graphics cards and different graphical performance and payoff. In fact, I even said, contrary to my opponents objection about subjective way of looking worse, art style maybe subjective but graphical quality is not. For example, The Elder Scrolls: Morrrowind has objectively worse graphics than Skyrim (despite its superiorityJ). This is not subjective, this is simply the way graphical quality and benchmarking works. Unless we are going to see an appeal to Cubism here, I think my opponent has fundamentally ignored the argument. My argument about Accessibility had almost nothing to do with complexity. I was showing threw Dota 2’s introduction system, we have an overall better method of introducing players to the game. It is almost as if my opponent is simply taking the talking points of League of Legends versus Dota 2 and rephrasing them. When it comes to Depth, my opponent says that League and Dota 2 have similar mechanics so therefore they are on a similar complexity scale. However, I gave several reasons to think the opposite and as of yet my opponent hasn’t responded to them. This inflated by the fact that his argument only works for people who do not play at a serious level, because people who do will be legitimately be concerned about Depth. Further this builds upon my point about the stale metagame in League of Legends.


I would like to thank my opponent as well as the voters for watching (participating in for my opponent) this debate. I have successfully argued that Dota 2 is a better game then League of legends and therefore I urge a Pro vote today.



My opponent's claim to have successfully argued that League of Legends is a worse game in such a subjective matter is quite interesting. I remember fondly of moments when I was watching replays of Starcraft Brood War competitive games on the internet with the strategy of reaver drop played every other protoss game[reaver_drop_miss_you]. There are many people out there that would love to have the old Starcraft brought back in the new Starcraft 2 engine just so that the old strategies would be carried over and the new champions could be compared with the champions of old times. Imagine talking to random people that play MOBA's and having a 10 to 1 dominance of the ones playing League of Legends. How would that go for the people in the minority? Fans of Starcraft 1 that might have issues with the corporate lead upgrade of one game to another just dropped off the map. That will not happen to League of Legends fans in large gatherings of gamers for as long as it will continue to have such a dominance in player numbers and as long as it's developer has a continued stream of revenue as opposed to Starcraft 1 and Blizzard.

I urge my oponnent to read carefully the updated version of the article that he himself pointed to on the internet and find out that it actually supports my claim that League of Legends being an order of magnitude more popular is not contested by DFC Interactive. Especially the following quotes: 'We contacted DFC"s David Cole for more info.[...]"LOL does have a lot more users and we may have underestimated LOL. Thing is we have never seen anything like it so have been pretty conservative.[...]"'; ' The press release announcing DFC"s report has since been removed.'.

The wiki has a front page area reserved for competitive outfits in League of Legends[16_pro_teams_wiki_front_page]. My opponent would have those composed of people that are not already famous or currently getting fame in the hearts and minds of League of Legends amateur players. The same way as me claiming go has no fan heroes because I'm biased towards chess. Considering League of Legends is bigger than it's variant Dota2 and chess and go are of similar sizes when it comes to popularity across the globe I find that very hard to believe. The bigger community always spawns the bigger fan clubs.

League of Legends is a game that caught an open niche and has grown that niche to incredible heights. And now the developers have mountains of money to hire experienced game developers and turn a very good game into an even better one step by step. I currently play the Neverwinter mmo but what I would like to play is World of Warcraft, a good game already turned better by mountains of money. If and when they turn free to play I would highly consider switching because WoW's bigger game and larger community makes the WoW experienced better.

When it comes to minor features like denies or creep stacking or any other minor details like that there is nothing like 10 friends illuminating the finer details of why League of Legends is such a good game as opposed to the single one saying Dota2 is such a good game, when you are a complete noob at both games. That includes counter picking,team fighting being optional, the day and night cycle, the difference between active and passive abilities, gold dropping and others not mentioned.

I believe toxic player bans are irrelevant and both games stand on equal ground.

The Elder Scrolls Morrowind is a game that built a huge franchise and it may or may not be superior to fans of Elder Scrolls by Bethesda. But I was talking about game consoles that were in the same generation. The two consoles competed in the same space at the same time. So my argument that graphics quality is irrelevant for fans of League of Legends when compared to Dota2 isn't touched by the Morrowind Skyrim comparison. League of Legends was built as functional and fast as possible because money were scarce and is trumping Valve's overall experience in getting out better looking games with more polished features. And the community seized the game because it was the first on the block as opposed to original DOTA where you had to have Warcraft 3 to have access to it. So Riot are making the worse looking, less polished game with mostly the same system requirements and have on their hands the better game of the two because of the community. If the developers don't drop the ball and make mistakes they will have the most popular MOBA in the industry for a long time to come.

Cubism is an art movement. And cubes may or may not be relevant to this debate. If they are I can build a bunch of them in a graphical design software and render them for inclusion on the side area of a second online debate with the same topic.

Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Fanboy 4 years ago
That was my intended picture
Posted by Fanboy 4 years ago
Posted by Fanboy 4 years ago
Except that it isn't :D
Posted by Fanboy 4 years ago
I am sorry, I should have clarified, Con must prove League is better than Dota.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
How is BOP shared... it's your job to prove DOTA is better than LoL.
Posted by StevenDixon 4 years ago
Smite is the best Moba.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 4saken 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: No one is able to prove that their respective game is better. However Con uses more sources and my eyes hurt reading Pro's posts.