I have played with several types of Dota Players, I have watched several professional Dota Players, and I have observed how and why these players win or lose most of the time. Some players will say that they have done everything they could but they still fail. Some players don’t practice that much but they are much useful than those who play almost everyday. Some players boast that he plays 20 games/day and he has level 50 Garena account, but after playing with him, you would think that he may just be playing 20 games of snakes and ladders per day. The amount of games you play per day can contribute to your improvement but it is not an assurance, specially if you quit after being the first blood and count it as 1 game. So, how can players be so effective?
- How many times have you said, “Sorry, i thought he was alone.”? You got killed by 5 enemies because you tried to kill a worm but it happened to be bait. Unless you can kill him in a second and you can escape safely, it would be fine. But, in reality, you are not playing in ‘whosyourdaddy’ mode. You have to conceptualize or you have to visualize things happening in your mind before it actually happen. Conceptualizing wont make players die often because of bait. They would look at the map and after realizing that there is only one opponent displaying himself, they would make an assumption that the other heroes might be hiding through the fog. This assumption makes him don’t want to touch that bait. If you want to play aggressively have wards so you’ll know when it’s bait and when it’s not.
- Have you ever made a blind arrow on a hero trying to run? To be able to do this, you have to visualize the movement of the enemy and the movement of your arrow. You also have to consider POTM’s animation first before releasing her arrow. A good conceptualization makes you successful with your arrows. Not only playing POTM needs this, there are a lot of heroes that can hit invisible enemies like lina, sf, beastmaster, qop, krob, etc. You don’t want a hero escaping from you with only 5hp, do you? So have a built in map hack inside your brain which is a good conceptualization.
- In playing the captain’s role, you need this trait a lot. A captain should imagine the how the game would end. He/she must be end-oriented in every game. Several questions are to be considered by him. Can the game be ended having the heroes you picked in 30mins? What if the opponents got fat? Can it be ended using multiple pushes? What are their counters? How would the team fights be? How would the ganking/ganging be? Good vision of the game is very important in being a highly effective player.
- This is actually the most important trait of an effective DotA Player. Having great predictions would make you have successful team fights and lesser deaths. Predicting opponent’s next move is very important in most competitions. May it be chess, basketball, or boxing, prediction wins games. Why? Because you know how you would counter a move before it is done. You have to think 2 steps ahead. “If he does that, Ill do this”. The following are some instances that consider anticipation. “If the enemy pushes, we’re going to stab them from behind and kill their earthshaker without giving him a chance to move.” “If they respond using their disables, I’m going to turn my BKB on.” “I would attack him first because he will use his dagger of escape to dodge my magic missile.” “I will reserve my coil in this gank because he has teleport scroll and may just tp out from my face.” These simple predictions make you have corresponding plans to counter it. Having plans is way more effective than not. You may have seen Hexor placed a torrent where a fighting-for-her-life mirana will surely leap after getting stunned. It is fun to watch players like him who understands the game and evades most damages/disables if possible. He who enters the fight when he knows he wont enter then dies in one second – every skill that can stop him like stuns are programmed in his head. Once those skills are done by the opponents and it’s in cool down time, he acts and does his role. Prediction is easy if you’re not day dreaming. You should be alert. Know what might be the dangers in doing your next move. There might be a ganker on the uphill waiting for you to show up. Dying is very crucial. Enemies will have extra gold from your death and from your absence on the lane.
- Benjamin Franklin said, “He that can have patience, can have what he will.” What does patience really mean? Patience is not waiting passively, it is laziness. Patience is the ability to keep going even the going is hard and slow. A patient man doesn’t give up. In the game of DotA, there are just several ways to win fights. I notice players ran out of morale after losing a clash. Losing your confidence is like removing your guard and waiting for the killer blow to be thrown on you. If you lost a clash, think why you did and try another one emitting that error. An example would be you lost a clash because your main carry, a Nevermore, was stunned to death in 3 secs. Next clash, try baiting the enemy with other heroes who have greater tanking ability and make your Shadow Fiend enter the battle after the enemy throw some of their skills. If you don’t have tanks, you may try to place observer wards on blind spots and initiate the fight first so you can make a hero or two die without having any use. Patience is so important in this game. Rush the fights without planning; you’ll be most likely to have your hero inside the tavern.
- Ganking needs a lot of patience. Players tend to say “Ok, I won’t gank there are observer wards.” Then after 25mins, your team is losing because of an over-farmed enemy Tinker. Ganking wins early game, thus giving you more advantage at mid and late game. So gold spent for sentry wards wouldn’t be wasted if you end up winning. After all, supports are picked to have map control and give advantage to your team’s carry heroes. Expensive items are not required for support heroes for they already have useful skills for ganks and team fights.
- Farming needs a lot of patience too. It doesn’t mean that you die often, you won’t get fat. Take a look at the legendary player ZSMJ, whose sacred relic was destroyed by the opposing team but didn’t get affected. Instead he farmed another one. And it was a quick one. People known him for being a farming machine and one of the things that makes him one is his patience. If opposing heroes are missing, he would play passively and wait for a safe environment before he gets back to farming. He doesn’t die often because of “I want to prove that I can farm fast!”.
Never Lose Calmness
- “The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” -James Allen
- This game is a battle of minds. Concentration is very important in this game because in your mind should be predictions of enemies’ plans, your plans of attacks, your plans of escape, and your next move after one move. If you start to panic, the main focus of your mind would be to run when being chased; to throw skills all at once without plans when in a battle; to attack when being pushed. Your mind being one sided is very easy for opponents to predict. Thus your move becomes close to useless. I have watched players who are being chased and run straight through the fountain making him easier for the opponents to chase. Most calm players know that they can use fogs, trees, or they can run to their nearest team mate, or disable the stunner that can catch him, or even kill the one chasing him. Survival needs tranquility. Panicking makes you do what a 5 year old kid would do if a ganker is chasing you. Being calm thus makes you think and predict that opponents may be approaching to gank you. Prevention, really, is better than cure. Prevent being ganked is better than surviving a gank. It is alright to display on the map if back ups are ready to kill your gankers or you have reliable skills/items that will make you survive.
- Professional teams entering tournaments always have a surprise hero picks or strategies to beat their strongest opponents. Other teams will watch your games before you even face them thus they are prepared for whatever they’ve seen. If you’re going to do the same thing, they have their counter picks or strategies that focus on your game plan’s weaknesses. Almost all things in DotA have counters and good players will utilize these counters to beat their opponents. I watched a local team played very good games. They end the games they played in 30 minutes or less. Their main hero was Axe. Then the finals had come. The game started. -cm was typed. Tic tac tic tac. Turn of their opponent to ban… First ban… Axe… After the game, the team I watched and admired a lot lost. I happened to be that this team didn’t have a surprise plan. They were predictable. They really do plan to use Axe until finals.
- Team fights and ganks are often studied by good players right after they are picked. So, doing same old ganking and battle styles gives you low chance of winning because these players already experienced them and know how to counter them. Example, you are playing scourge. You have a tri-lane at the bottom and so as the sentinel. The sentinel predicted those scourges will gank mid, so they placed an observer ward where you are going to pass. Then here you come “let’s gang mid”. You pass through their ward. Now, the sentinel’s supports move through the fog behind you. The mid hero bluffs you that he will farm the neutral creeps but before you can make a move, they cornered and killed you both. This is a basic counter for ganking. Some uses TP save. The main point is don’t think that the enemies are not learning, especially those good players. You should have several alternatives and choose the best move in given situations.
Have Power Over Your Emotions
- Michael Jordan, a great basketball player as well as a trash talker, once said “I know the game so well that I can psych out people making it easier to beat them.” Once your emotions take over, your focus will be greatly affected. Getting angry at an enemy would lead you to be aggressive in a wrong way. You may tend to gank that enemy without considering that he has backups. You may tend to focus him on a clash first even if his hero is Bristleback with 100K hp. Getting upset with a team mate may have you not save him on some circumstances. When you’re having a hard lane and your upset with yourself because you cannot farm, you may tend to rush farming and end up 0-10 in 5mins. This is a mind game not a heart game. You should use your mind to try to win not your heart to whine when losing. Yes, it may not be your fault when you lose but this is a multiple player game. Losing is bitter for those who swallow it. You can choose your response in any situation. There are several people who can’t control their emotions. When they lose, it’s like an automatic switch for their anger. They have the program –if lose turn anger.exe on– in their system. Anger comes from selfishness. Not getting what one wants is it’s root. You can choose not to be angry or upset in any situation. It’s called being proactive.
Learn From Errors
- Learn from your or other player’s errors. Simply playing 100 games per day wont get you better if you are not critical with your errors and you don’t work to avoid doing those again. In losing games there are errors you need to find out. Some errors are obvious, some needs more analysis but generally, these errors are present. After you find out what are the errors that cause a game, a gank, or a team fight to end up a ‘lose’. You need to learn how to avoid it and do the right things. “Gems cannot be polished without friction.” It is natural to make a lot of errors if you want to be a better player. After several errors made and corrected, a Gosu will be born. Experience is your teacher, not your worst nightmare. Like a teacher, you should know exactly what it is trying to convey to you. Not a nightmare that you don’t want to go through it again. Losing is like going to class. Some doesn’t want to come but those who sacrificed and come to class every day, learned a lot. After several classes, here comes graduation. Graduation, in this case, is your award of being a Highly Effective DotA Player.