Friday, April 6, 2012

Things I Learned From 4 Years of DotA

Just some ideas that have helped me tremendously in becoming a better player. Hope some of you guys can take something away from this.

Never make decisions based on emotion. It happens a lot more often than most people are aware of and these are usually the choices that set you back.

Don’t be greedy. Good opponents will punish you for it. Some players insist on neglecting cheap stat items in favor of rushing a big item. This alone can cost you the game.

Think when you buy items. Don’t get an item just because “it’s good on this hero”. You should be able to explain what the item does to help your or your team’s current position in the game.
Most heroes have "cookie cutter" builds but at times it may be optimal to deviate from these builds. It is important to be able to recognize these situations.

If you have any doubts of whether the outcome of an engagement will be beneficial for you, don’t engage.

Dota is a lot more than getting kills and pushing towers. Simply saying “lets gank” and “lets push” is usually a sure way to lose games.

If your team has an advantage, you don’t always need to take raxes. I’ve seen many teams mount a huge advantage only to give the game to their opponents by trying to rush the base.

People often don’t realize that taking slowly taking space and choking your enemy off from resources is an effective way of winning the game.

Making mistakes is fine as long as you LEARN from them.

Being patient and calm will go a long way.

Doing what YOU want to do will lose games. So many people make statements like “I’m going to do this in this game” and try to force it to happen even when the game doesn’t call for it. Do what the GAME tells you to do.

Impose your will on the game and make the enemies respond to you. Don’t play passively and only take action after the enemy does. Always have a plan.

Always be doing something that helps to give your team an advantage. This is better than doing something to not give your opponent an advantage.

Positioning is one of the most important concepts to understand if you want to succeed.

Always play with a mindset of winning. If you know your opponents are stronger, don’t set your goal on “being able to take 10 kills from them.” Play to win and you will improve much faster.

Take every chance you can get to play stronger opponents. They can teach you things that you would never get to experience against lower level players.

You are not always right. Be able to accept criticism and analyze it objectively. Many dota player have trouble with this. Sometimes its actually you who is the bad one, not your teammates.

Figure out points where you could have done better in a lost game rather than blaming your teammates for the loss. If you always blame your teammates and think you are doing everything right, you will never get better.


  1. >Dota is a lot more than getting kills and pushing towers. Simply saying “lets gank” and “lets push” is usually a sure way to lose games.

    I'm a frequent victim of this mistake, what's the correct way of leading a team through a game?

    1. This is a pretty big question and can go quite in-depth.

      Typically, you always have to be evaluating the state of the game. Look for where you have an advantage and focus on capitalizing on it.
      There's a right time for everything (ganking, pushing, farming, roshing, taking map control, etc) and its important to recognize those times. This usually comes with experience.

    2. Thanks for the answer, I'll keep it in mind. It'd be pretty awesome if you wrote a blog entry with some more in-depth tips about it.