Most of us have wondered how to become better in Dota 2. Some people read guides, watch streams or get “coached” with the sole purpose of bettering themselves. While this could be useful in most cases, there is no better thing to do than just spam as many games as possible. This might seem like a pretty bold statement, but it is true. As in any aspect of life, practice makes perfect. Outside this general rule, let’s take a look at some other tips.
Pick the Right Hero
The first thing that you do once your game starts is to pick your hero. While this might seem like a pretty straightforward procedure, there is a lot of thought that goes into this. You should always communicate with your teammates, regardless of what position you are going to play in that specific game. By doing this, you can pick the proper support to go along with your carry or vice versa
Choosing a core might be a little bit more tricky. The most important thing to remember is always to pick a hero that is good for the current game. Many people spam certain heroes (mostly Meepo & Invoker), but unless you are extremely confident in yourself, I would not suggest doing that. If you want to play a particular hero, but they aren't a fit for the current match-up, pick something else. This will significantly increase your chances of winning.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to play heroes that you can’t, or you are not comfortable with. If you have no idea what carry to pick, for example, Juggernaut is that type of a core hero that can basically fit in nearly every match-up. Some other heroes such as Meepo or Ember Spirit are useful only in certain situations. Just remember the three golden rules: SEE, ADAPT, OVERCOME
Nearly the same rules apply for your stating items. You might think that it’s not a big deal but having the proper starting items could win you the lane. With the changes to the location of certain items, you should try to start with those that you won’t be able to purchase in the side-lane shop. For example, you should buy a Stout Shield from the base, because you can’t do that from the side-shop. Quelling Blade is the opposite – it’s much smarter NOT to buy it from the base because you can do that in the side-shop once you get the rune and several creeps.
Always buy enough HP regen. One of the most common mistakes done by new players is to go lane with very little or no regen at all. Having enough regen is probably the most important thing for the mid-lane. Mid laners often waste 500 or more gold to buy Healing Salves. If you do not have enough HP regen, you will be “bullied” out of the lane, or you’ll be forced to do the “walk of shame” back to your fountain.
Know Your Enemy
The vast majority of players rarely (or never) click on the enemy heroes in the lane and across the map. This is a critical aspect of the game that you have to learn to become better at the game. Knowing what’s the level or what items does the enemy have is a way of countering him or saving yourself. This is especially true if you play mid because mid heroes often have tons of nukes. So for example, if you lane versus a Shadow Fiend, as soon as he hits level 5, he will have way more significant kill potential because of his level 3 Shadow Razes. This means that you should play a little bit more cautious.
As for items, some heroes become incredibly strong as soon as they get their first “big” item. A clear example is getting an Orchid and/or Bloodstone on Storm Spirit. The hero will start to pick off kills quickly, and before you know it, he will snowball out of control.
So if you see that Storm has one Oblivion Staff, it’s just a matter of time before he finishes the Orchid. To counter that, you could buy a Manta Style if you are an Agility carry or a Glimmer Cape if you are a support. There are countless examples here, but you get the point. Always check your enemies!
Do NOT Tilt
This is by far the MOST important thing to know. I have personally lost countless games because of that. The scariest part is that most of the time you may not realize that you are tilted. In a team-based game such as Dota, your negativity also affects your team-mates, and the end result is not good for either side.
So, how to deal with it? The first step is to realize that you are being toxic. The toxicity could be in various shapes and forms. From first-picking Anti-Mage jungle to feeding couriers and staying AFK, the possibilities are endless. Whenever you find yourself in such a position, try thinking about your goal.
In most cases, if you play ranked games, your goal will be to increase your MMR. It could also be something different such as having a good W/L ratio for a particular hero. Just keep your eyes on the prize at all times.
If you realize your situation but still can’t deal with the tilt, the best decision would be to take a brief break from Dota.
Communicating in a team-based game is a vital part of success. We have all been in games where your carry is just minding his own business without a care in the world. Cooperating, planning, and executing team fights properly requires team play. To achieve that, you must know what your allies want to do. Otherwise, if you only predict their next move, this will undoubtedly lead to many missed opportunities.
Of course, it’s impossible to cover everything in one article. I have just tried to point out one of the most important aspects of the game. I have started “using” the mentioned tips here the hard way, that’s why the sooner you adapt them the better.
It will take time before you become a competent Dota 2 player. If you truly wish to succeed, you must NOT give up, regardless of the obstacles that you are going through. My advice would be to focus on a specific role in-game and improve on it.
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