Dota 2 Playing Like a Pro Guide



DOTA 2 Playing Like a Pro Guide by NinjaMovesPro

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1: FOCUS THE RIGHT SKILLS TO DEVELOP

Lesson 1: Learn the Best Mindset while Practicing and Playing
Lesson 2: Develop Your Mental and Physical Alertness
Lesson 3: Develop Your Confidence and Optimism
Lesson 4: Learn to Overcome Failure
Lesson 5: Learn Informative Things from My Failures
Lesson 6: Learn to Think Properly
Lesson 7: Learn to Exceed Your Team’s Expectations
Lesson 8: Watch and Analyze Animes (Optional)

CHAPTER 2: COPY THE PLAY STYLES OF PROS

Lesson 1: Analyze Your Differences
Lesson 2: Learn to Think like a Pro
Lesson 3: Follow the Habits of Highly Effective Gamers
Lesson 4: Learn the 10 Great Things From MYM|Maelk
Lesson 5: Do not Bottle-Crow [New!]

CHAPTER 3: PRACTICE AND BE SKILLED IN ANY ROLES

Lesson 1: Know your Role
Lesson 2: Learn to Farm Fast
Lesson 3: Learn to Play the Good Support
Lesson 4: Learn to Roam
Lesson 5: Learn the Ways to Gank
Lesson 6: Learn the Ways to Start a Clash
Lesson 7: Learn to Push Towers Successfully

CHAPTER 4: BE YOUR TEAM’S BEST CAPTAIN

Lesson 1: Learn to Become an Effective Drafter
Lesson 2: Be an Energetic Captain
Lesson 3: Treat Your Team Like Your Ship
Lesson 4: Build YOur Team with Confidence
Lesson 5: Learn to Develop Your Own DotA Team
Lesson 6: Learn to be Prepared for a DotA Tournament

CHAPTER 5: BALANCE YOUR LIFE

Lesson 1: Balance Your Games and Studies
Lesson 2: Get Enough Sleep
Lesson 3: Stay Fit
Lesson 4: Be Informative about the Reasons of DotA Addiction
Lesson 5: Be Warned by the Signs of DotA Addiction
Lesson 6: Learn to Overcome DotA Addiction

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

Good day, gamer! Welcome to my guide! I’m NinjaMovesPro.

I’ve made this guide mainly because of these four reasons:

1) The edges of professional players over ordinary players are not experience and hard-work alone but their mental attitude toward the game and that’s what I want to prove to everyone because I believe that the only way to improve one’s skills dramatically is to change his/her understanding to DotA and teach him/her to have a pro-like mindset.

2) I stick and recommend mid-leveled players to hang on with competitive games because pub level is very low on most places so I want to help you become effective in your each competitive adventures.

3) After observing a lot of Dota teams, I discovered that the two main ingredients to have one of the most successful teams in the world is to have a better team-play and better leader so I want to help new leaders to build their own DotA team and also make it successful!

4) DotA addiction can be very detrimental to one’s health and social life so I want to inform or remind everyone that DotA is just a game for fun so it should not come first or second on our priorities.

This guide aims to give or share you all the information I have and I can still find to inspire you to play better especially in the next level of public games and to help you become professional not just in DotA but also to your personal life. I’m not saying that I’ll transform you to a competitive player at once but I assure dramatic improvement after executing these simple lessons grouped into 5 chapters which I’ve specially prepared and carefully selected!

Try to read 1 lesson per day.

CHAPTER 1: FOCUS THE RIGHT SKILLS TO DEVELOP

“Have you ever wondered what the edges of top players are over you? It’s not experience and hard work alone. You can play for 10 years and not be as good as them if you’re not focusing on the right skills to develop.”

Summary

This chapter will change your understanding on DotA and will speed up the improvement in your games.

L1 – Learn the Best Mindset while Practicing and Playing

There are 2 factors that you should consider to build self confidence in your mindset to energize you from nonstop practice and plays:

1. Practice like you’re the worst player!

One of the factors that is important in having discipline is humility. Pride keeps on telling us: “Why bother practicing when, in fact, this is just a simple game?” After we lost a game, we can’t accept it because we’re too proud. We need to practice whatever field we’re into.

When we practice but we think we’re already the best, we won’t be more curious to discover better tactics. We will be limited to our old play style and I bet these play styles we have now still got a lot of rooms for improvement.

Practicing like you’re the worst player ever, makes you feel that you need to learn every little lessons you can learn from a replay or from your drills. This won’t make you sleepy because you are interested in what you’re doing.

After this kind of practice, I am certain that you learned a lot rather than having a prideful practice.

2. Perform like you’re the best!

In actual games, you should be confident. You cannot afford having fear and negative thoughts on your mind. From your previous practices, you have learned a lot and now you’re confident that you have tons of secret weapons.

Kobe Bryant, though he’s considered to be a superstar, trains a lot. People even call it ‘torturing himself’. Then, when he plays, you can see how confident he is and now people are considering him cocky.

While practicing, be very keen. Observe and analyze everything. Try to acquire as many strategies and skills as you can. When playing, be confident because you are now equipped with new things from your humble practice making you have advantages over your opponents.

L2 – Develop Your Mental and Physical Alertness

Being mentally and physically alert to DotA helps you play the game better. There are 5 quick things that you should be considering to play like those professionals:

1. Quick Calculations

This skill is very important in 3 things:

Mana cost
Estimating damage output
Estimating cool downs

Being quick in calculations give you a lot of advantage and safety. Knowing if your mana pool will be enough to execute your combo won’t get you in trouble and shout “F*ck! I ran out of Mana!” *, and then die. Be sure to be quick in calculations because one split unguarded moment can cause you to lose the battle. Damage output should also be considered to know how quick you can kill a hero or if it possible to kill certain heroes with your number. You shouldn’t just go into battle without having the clash play in your mind. Cool downs are also important specially if your opponents have deadly ultimate skills. Use the long cool down of opponent’s skills to your advantage. You can either initiate a clash or push if their skills aren’t available. Doing more calculations than your opponents will give you huge advantages.

2. Quick Hands

This skill is important in 3 things:

Animation Cancelling
Doing Combos and Micros
Clicking heroes that are hard to click

Animation cancelling is important in playing DotA. There are a lot of heroes that have spells that have prolonged animations. You should cancel them to not waste time. Animation cancelling is also important in harassing heroes. You can move either forward or backward instead of waiting for the attack animation to stop. In this way you can harass more or be evading more damage. Combos require timing and shouldn’t be interrupted by just having slow hands. Micro-ing is the term used to describe controlling more units which also requires quick hands. Heroes that are hard to click, like Venomancer, is also countered by having quick hands. You can search for the small icon of the hero in shorter period to be able to hit him thus not letting him escape just because he cannot be clicked.

3. Quick Plans

Planning is essential in DotA as it is in war fares. As soon as the drafting starts until the game ends, several plans should be made. The team who came out to have great plans quicker would surely win.

Plan 4 steps ahead:

1st step: What you’re going to do
2nd step: How your opponents will react
3rd step: What will be your response to their actions
4th step: Know who will have the advantage after

4. Quick Eyes

This skill is very important in 5 things:

Map awareness
Finding target
Distance from team mates
Number of opponents
Spells used

Map awareness is very important. You shouldn’t be prone to gank; you should know if your team mates need you, you should know where opponents are to kill or to be avoided, etc. Finding target in a clash is important. You shouldn’t just cast all your spells on a hero you see. Pro players expect the back up. Reserve your spells for better uses. Distance from team mates should be considered.

5. Quick Reaction

This skill is important in 5 things:

Dodging skills
Knowing escape Routes
Picking targets
Knowing when to fight and when not to fight
Countering attacks

DotA is a read and react game. You see the situation, and then you give your reaction. Winning or losing depends greatly on how many good or bad calls you’ve made and these are called your reactions. Knowing at once what are the best decisions in almost every situation and executing them perfectly will surely make you is skilled and fearsome player. You just have to watch carefully, analyze critically and practice seriously.

L3- Develop your Confidence and Optimism

Developing your confidence and optimism helps you dramatically improve your games. There are 5 simple lessons to do it:

1. Watch professional replays and imagine that you are one of the players

This is a trick that will make you improve quickly. Rather than having a “Wow, he’s so good!” mindset, think of it this way “I am this Shadow Fiend I am watching. This is my replay. I am currently farming and harassing at the same time. There might be gankers nearby, I should hide first.” etc.

The point is you have to feel that you are the one who played that hero you’re watching because this is the quickest way you could be playing like the real player. He may be Yaphets, Yamateh, 2009, or other great Shadow Fiend players but you should be the player in your imagination while watching the replay.

I’ve done this so many times and from my experience, after watching replays of good supports or gankers like 820, NS, and my favorite Vigoss, my decision making in that aspect of game (supporting) improved a lot. What happens is their experiences became my own experience. When they fail, I also failed so I know what to do next time. When they succeed, I also succeed so I knew what works. I don’t have to play against popular teams to experience playing against them because I already did with this technique.

2. Make it a hobby to watch your own replays

Don’t just say “Yeah! I won time to go!” or “Damn it! I lost”. You’re won or lost games should all be watched. If you’re aiming for perfection in your game you shouldn’t be lazy to check out what are the errors you’ve done that needs to be corrected. May it be a simple last hitting problem or a huge turning point problem that caused your whole team to lose, you should be aware of the things you’re not doing right for you to be able to correct them.

In team games, it is very critical to watch your replays. Almost every game there are failed executed combo. Sometimes you just won because the opposing team isn’t that experienced yet but you still have someone dying. Yes it’s not that easy to have a complete 5-0 sweep clash if you’re facing good teams but there might be ways to make it happen. There might be a need to tweak your strategy or lineup.

I was lazy to watch my replays before but when I did, I discovered 1000 gallons of mistakes I was making. It was only then I changed it. After having a hobby of watching most of my replays after playing, I was amazed with my own improvement. If I only opened my mind earlier and have already done own replay watching session, I could have improved 2 years earlier but I’m not regretting any of my experiences. I learned from all of them.

3. Have enough time to play desired hero to be mastered

Have you ever wondered why your game is not as good as your other games playing different hero? Improving your game also comes from improving on how to use a hero. That’s the reason why there are DotA-hero-guides spreading in the internet.

Playing a hero for 2 to 3 days will make you comfortable with the hero you want to master, you’ll experience different things that may happen in real games making you prepared for them, and you’ll know different strategies that will assure success in using that hero.

I played chen not only for 3 days but for 3 months. It’s because I was still a newbie that time (my 1st year of playing DotA) who was used to playing carry. I discovered that Chen is the most used hero by professional teams that time. I don’t want to demand this boring practice to any of my team mate so I switched my role to support and practiced Chen for months. Whenever they see Chen, he is like my twin already for I’m the first person to be in their minds. Good Chen players were always behind me laughing at how I micro my creeps. After 3 months of practice our team evolves from a noob team to a feared team in tournaments. Chen gave me a lot of Championship awards. You don’t need 3 months because I assume you already have more experience in competitive games than I had before.

4. Always play against better players

You’ll lose. So, what? If you’re not too big to handle criticisms, you’re to small to be praised. Playing against better players will make you realize your flaws and the things needed to be adjusted on your game. You’ll also be inspired to surpass his skills, if you are optimistic enough (which you need to be).

We always lost before. I even offer free games for good teams to play with us. I lost my money and I still lost the game but I’d still invite them to play with us again. The feeling is not so good when losing but what happened was we leveled up. We watched our replay against them. We discovered their strategies and we formulated our own better than them. The time came when nobody can beat us anymore here in our place even the team we paying for. It’s like a business. Investment and hard work first, then success will follow.

5. Close your eyes and do this

Close your eyes. Think of what you want to achieve (may it be DotA or not *this is effective*)… Then if you have already thought of what you want to be, imagine that you are that person right now. Make your imagination realistic with all the specific elements included in your background. Relax and imagine you are that successful person you want to be. Believe it’s happening now. After imagining your goals, open your eyes and believe that it really happened. It’s a part of your experiences because you are already that successful person you want to be right now.

This exercise I made you to do is important because I want you to develop your confidence and optimism. You’ll have more success if you’re going to believe in it because your mind will develop a positive aura that makes you do everything to achieve your goal.

L4 – Learn to Overcome Failure

You failed? That’s great! You’re one step away from improvement. Failing is normal; being afraid to fight is not. Not having the guts to fight means you already lost. No matter how strong your opponents are, fight. Feeling frustrated after losing a fight is alright but don’t dwell on it for a long time. We all want to win but in order to do that we should first learn the game. If you lost, it just means that you still have more room for improvement. Though other Pro players played this game for more than 5 years already, they still do commit mistakes. Don’t rush into winning at once. There are a lot to consider and to analyze in this game and the only way to make this possible is to be brave enough to take the risk of failing.

1. Great people failed too

Michael Jordan was cut of from high school varsity team but proved to be the best ever to play basketball. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he lacked imagination and had no original ideas, but look at how every Disney films are loved and patronized by people of all ages until now. Bill Gates failed in his businesses before getting into Microsoft and became a billionaire. Even the best people on every field failed. Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, when someone would ask me how to have the best team in the world, I’d give a prescription of failing 3 times a day. You may experience a lot of trash talks and stuff, but so what? They can’t hurt you without your consent. It’s up to you if you would accept those words. You just have to believe in yourself no matter what. Have your goal on your mind and use your experience in reaching it.

2. Analyze Every Failures

Don’t analyze how bitter the feeling of the failure was; analyze all the factors that lead to failing. Failing alone won’t make you improve. Don’t just fail and drink after because your failure would be useless. There are a lot to analyze why you lost. Lane controls, ganking, hero picks, team fights, map control. It is better to save your replays and watch it to see the errors clearly. Whenever I lose a game, I try to think of the best move I could have make instead of committing the certain error. I also watch enemy’s point of view to know their strategy, so that we won’t lose to same strategy again. If you don’t have any coach to give you DotA guides and strategies, you can rely on Mr. experience. He is the best coach you’ll ever have.

3. Have a Conclusion

After analyzing your failures, decide what adjustments you’re going to make. Stick to this plan. Do your adjustments in your next games. Don’t make the same errors and execute your new strategy. Chances are your games will improve. If ever you fail again, detect the errors and make the necessary adjustments again. After tons of failures and adjustments, I bet you are already one scary DotA beast. You will improve in anything not just in DotA if you always try new things and know if what works best.

4.Learn From Failures of Other Players

A lot of Professional DotA Replays are uploaded every day. Watch it very carefully and analyze every aspects of the game. Conclude on what should and not be done based from the replays you’ve watched. Don’t just watch to get yourself entertained like what most people do. A lot of people are complaining after watching a replay that it was boring because the team turtled or played safe. What they do not understand is that the teams are just being careful because in DotA, you can lost in one wrong move.

DotA guides and strategies like this one are good to give you advice on how to improve your DotA games but nothing can ever beat experience. Fail, stand up and fight better. Don’t ever give up. Giving up means end of everyone’s career. If I gave up when I was still a noob, I’m sure there would be no itsme-gaming DotA website right now. I would just be another failure out there who didn’t have the courage to fight.

L5 – Learn Informative Things from My Failures

I’d like to share this to everyone because maybe some people may also learn from my lessons. After 5 years of playing this game, I knew the game well enough to determine the winning formulas for most DotA games. This was the product of both my passion for the game and hard work to build a good DotA team. Here are the Best Lessons I Learned to Improve my DotA Game.

1. Never rush things

This is the most important thing I’ve learned that made me have a better DotA game. I was used into rushing. Rushing to push, rushing to gank, rushing to kill, resulting to rushing to the tavern and wait for my respawn. I was so impatient before that I even get pissed if my team mates are still farming. I want action and I want to dominate the game as early as 10 minutes. My impatience caused a lot of defeats. I always end up under leveled and I never had the chance to farm luxury items.

2. Never skip basic items

I was used into playing lina in pub games where I always dominate by buying dagger before boots or other basic items. I would gank alone with my combo and go back to the fountain then gank again. It was pub game where my opponents would be troll, mortred, etc. When it comes to facing opponents with perfect team play, while Lina would be farming her dagger, the team may already be dominating and you are already feeding because of skipping the basics. Always remember to win at your lane.

3. Keeping my eyes on the mini-map

Looking at the mini map often made me quicker to respond. Once I see a red dot charging towards my team mates, I’ll sure be there to back them up and turn the gank into our advantage. Thus when, opponents are not seen on the mini map, I can decide to either search for them or to play safe because a gank may be coming. My reactions become quicker because of having the habit of keeping my eyes on the mini map.

4. Don’t hesitate to buy wards

Observer wards became my favorite item in this game because of its ability to give me a lot of ‘W’. Observer wards are saviors of my hero’s life. They also serve as an offensive tool for searching and trapping opponents. Before, I didn’t want to buy wards because I feel like I’ll be delayed in my items. I realized that my death costs more money than wards. If I bought wards, I’ll be safe and I won’t lose farming time.

5. Early Sentry/Dust/Gem

Don’t wait for anybody to buy this for you. Most invisible heroes have low hp and it is a waste if you don’t abuse their big disadvantage. Buy sentry/dust and kill them. Buy gem if you are confident enough that you won’t die. Not killing invisible heroes early game will make them farm deadly items to finish you off on the latter part of the game. You’ll lose and all your efforts will all be wasted if you don’t take the initiative to buy these items.

6. Trash Talk

It’s not the trash talking that you make to quarrel your opponents. This trash talk is useful if you are playing on lan. Trash talk serves two things. First, it gives confidence to your team mates. I tested this lot of times. My team mates played better when I trash talk. They become calmer and they can think better. 2nd thing, you can psych out your opponents when you trash talk. This will test their mental toughness. If they are affected by your trash talks, their game will greatly be affected.

7. Read Hero Guides

PlayDotA hero guides have good authors that give guides on their favorite heroes. They give detailed information on the do’s and don’ts, item and skill build, strategy early to late game etc. After reading, apply them in your game and apply your original creativity. It will make you play the hero better.

8. Watch Professional Replays

To improve more in playing certain heroes watch professional players play it. Use them as inspirations to your game in playing the certain hero.

9. Play Against Good Players

Never have the quest “search for the noob”. Always fight against players who inspire you. Don’t play against weaker players just to make you feel good. If you really want to improve, beat players who are on top of you.

L6 – Learn to Think Properly

There are times when we can’t understand why we go on a horrific losing streak. What we don’t know is our brain is too focused on having a win rather than thinking of ways how to win.

Don’t you wonder why when you’re sick or sleepy; your performance is not as good as how you really play? Not being able to think properly is the main reason for this. How to be able to think properly:

1. Get enough rest

When you’re sleepy, sleep (if you have nothing important to do). Then just play when you wake up. Forcing yourself to play when tired will result not having focus. You would also be emotional destroying your game totally.

2. Plan, plan and plan

Never stop planning. From early to late game you should be having plans. You should plan how you’d be stable on your lane, you should plan how to attack in ganking, you should plan how to fight in team clash, and more. That makes you have directions on your game.

3. Predict and counter

Predict the deadliest thing the opponents can do and have the best counter for it. Your opponents may not think of it but you’re ready whenever he does that. Moreover, you can easily counter them when they do weaker attacks on you, expecting them to be deadlier.

4. Know your strengths and weaknesses

Keep in mind where you, your team and your heroes are good and bad at. It is always important to know yourself and your team totally. You would know which strategies can fit or not. You can have better plays if you maximize your strengths and you can do something to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

5. Know your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses

Aside from yourself, you should also know your opponents totally. You would be able to have a plan on countering their strengths like picking heroes or farming items to counter them. Most importantly, you can play by their weaknesses. Nothing is much easier than taking advantage of the opponents’ weaknesses. It’s like playing other RPG games where the master usually has weak spots, most of the time it’s their belly, foot, and mouth. You know that to beat that Master you should find a way to hit their weak spots that are often hidden.

You have several things to think about when playing and laziness to think is not an option in this game. I regret playing when I cannot think properly because I know I can do better. Losing is not bad. You learn from your mistakes and from your opponents. The bad kind of losing is not doing everything you can to win. And the worst part is, not doing your very best because you were lazy to think.

L7 – Learn to Exceed Your Team’s Expectations

I know you might be pressured by this one but great players are always surprising. If your team mates expected what you’re going to do, your enemies would probably expect it too.

1. Defining

You first need to know on what are your team mates’ expectations that you should meet. If you’re a support, they probably expect that you place wards on rune spots and to help the team have map control. If you’re at solo lane, you’re expected to be stable on your lane and hopefully dominate it. If you’re in a trilane, you’re expected to know the combo. There are a lot of default things that you’re team mates are already expecting from you.

2. Planning

After knowing the expectations of your team mates from you, you now need to plan. You cannot rush into doing it at once. Plan… You need to plan the best possible way to meet these expectations. If you need to be stable at your lane you probably need to have proper balance of regeneration items, stats and damage. Dying a lot on your lane will be below their expectations.

3. Upgrading

Upgrade these expectations to the next level. If they are expecting you to be stable and survive your lane, upgrade to dominating your opponent in your lane totally. You now have an upgraded goal that you should meet. Meeting this goal is exceeding their expectations.

4. Believing

This won’t happen if you don’t believe that you can do it. Trust your ability to do it. Focus and give your best for that goal. Don’t hesitate, just do it.

L8 – Watch and Analyze Animes (Optional)

You may say it’s crazy but it’s true. Watching Anime stories with fight scenes may also inspire you a lot to be a better DotA Player. When I was on my early years in the game, I simply do the things that must be done. If I need to win, I farm heavy items to be able to kill them all and push. If I need to survive, I simply run back to the fountain. If I need to gank, go to other lanes then I use my skills at once to kill them. In short, there was no art, no prediction, no precision in my game back then. Most people today improved their games through experience and by watching how the pros do it. In my case, my first improvement in this game is after getting inspired by how Anime characters think during battles. These are some anime character’s traits that may also inspire you in playing better in DotA.

1. Precision

Anime characters taught me how to be precise in every move I’ll make in DotA. They would often have a plan on how to attack the weak points of the opponents. Though faced in difficult situations, they have the ability to have a clear mind to think of the best next move. They wait if they should wait. They attack if the time is right. They prepare more if they can’t go through. Watching Anime inspired me to do what I call ‘Ninja moves’ in DotA. It is the ability to fool your opponents because you already predicted what he’s going to do next. Anime characters would always study their opponents carefully and won’t ever be baited by the opponent’s made moves.

2. Doing impossible things

Weak anime protagonists often beat stronger opponents. This is my inspiration why I have this much confidence. I’d face anyone in tournaments. I know I can beat anyone though they may have more experience than me. Having confidence in you is the key to beat anyone. If you think you won’t win, then you won’t. Focus on beating them, not on your differences. Focus on your strengths and how to maximize them.

3. Quick improvement ability

The longer the series continues, the stronger they become. Protagonists would often start without any knowledge that they have powers to beat opponents who are already strong from the day the series started. But, in the end the protagonists would be incredibly strong to face the main opponent to beat them. I didn’t stop practicing until I reached my goal. Like in anime stories, we managed to defeat the teams we worshiped before.

4. Presence of Mind

The characters fight with a lot of concentration. I find it funny when they would shout the name of their skill before they actually do it. But, going deeper, they are showing how to be conscious of your actions. Most of the times, we die because we don’t know that we are farming too far. Most of the time we lose a clash because we don’t know that we are not yet capable of beating the opponent’s early heroes in clash. Presence of mind is so important to be able to know what you are doing and be conscious of advantage and disadvantages.

5. Invulnerable

No matter what happens, the protagonists won’t die, they would just be injured if they faced strong opponents but they won’t actually die. At the end of the series they will be the one to succeed. This is obvious in Anime stories but this had a large effect on me. It inspired me not to give up. For no matter how many times I’ve been down, it’s a fact that I’ll be the one on top if I would work hard for it.

6. Team Work

Characters which don’t have any magical skills yet, would defeat opponents with powerful skills when they are together. They would use team work to do this. In DotA, you can still win the game though even how the opponent’s are individually. The only thing you can fear in this game is perfect team work, for it requires a better-than-perfect team work to beat them.

7. Respect

Anime characters know how to respect opponents no matter how evil they were in the series. This leads to not doing trash talks against my opponents after defeating them. I’ve learned to treat this game professionally. I trash talk some times but it’s for the sake of psyching my opponents out. Making them grow arrogant and have a negative effect on their game. But, after winning the game, I would approach them like nothing happened.

CHAPTER 2: COPY THE PLAY STYLES OF PROS

“Sometimes, it’s also better to think about what you’re missing,
than thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Summary

This chapter will inspire you to perform better and will teach you how to have a pro-like mindset.

L1 – Analyze Your Differences

People would often rate a player based on how well they play. Players that play superb and are inspiring players would often be called ‘Pro’. If a player is called professional, he should be earning from that game but we love to exaggerate things so we call them Pro. Most people tend to call uninspiring players as noobs but I prefer calling them newbies because noob, for me, is a very hurtful word. We all started from being ignorant of the game so calling a person noob or dumb is way too heart-piercing. Are you wondering what are the qualities of Pros have that are not present to Newbies? What are the things done by newbies that make them uninspiring and prone to criticism?

Here are some things that separates Pros from Newbies:

Newbies: I’ll do what I feel like doing.
Pros: I’ll do what should be done.

Newbies: I will execute my plans no matter what.
Pros: I will wait for the perfect timing to execute my plans.

Newbies: I will pick these heroes because they are strong.
Pros: I will pick these heroes because they have perfect chemistry and they can counter the opponent’s hero lineup.

Newbies: I died. It’s time to blame my team mates!
Pros: I died. I’ll be more careful and alert next time.

Newbies: The opponents are so strong; I’ll quit and find weaker opponents.
Pros: The opponents are stronger than me, I should learn from them and try to beat them as soon as possible.

Newbies: Damn, gankers are behind me. I’ll click so fast towards the fountain, there might be miracles that I may live.
Pros: Gankers are now behind me, I should try to make them chase me at the forest and increase my chances to survive. I’ll try to buy items and not waste my gold from my death.

Newbies: The opponents are pushing! They appear so strong, I don’t know what to do but, CHARGE!!!!! oops, I died.
Pros: The opponents are pushing, I should find a good position to spam their creeps to death and wait for my team mates to set.

Newbies: That hero is one hit away from death, I’ll chase him though I don’t have mana. He might be a noob and press hold.
Pros: I won’t chase that dying hero for there is no possible way of killing him. I will just put myself in danger.

Newbies: The hero retreated when I was about to gank him; this is a pub game, grrrr!! Map hack!!!
Pros: There might be wards here or he’s just careful. I’ll buy sentry wards to destroy his wards so I can gank him easier.

Newbies: My opponents need me but there are still a lot of creeps to give me more gold. I’ll just tell them I don’t have a TP scroll.
Pros: My opponents are about to engage in a team fight, it’s time to buy a TP scroll.

Newbies: I won’t buy observer wards, it’s a waste of 200 gold.
Pros: It is better to spend 200 gold for observer wards than to waste more gold from dying.

Newbies: Grrr… I won’t waste my time waiting here for nothing; I should gank him even though a tower is next to him.
Pros: I’ll wait for better chances because I can’t afford to die from ganking impatiently.

Newbies: I was stunned, stunned and stunned to death darn! There’s no way I’ll survive this lane!
Pros: I know what are the things that the heroes of my opponents can do. If they are going to execute their combo, I have plans on how to survive and counter their attacks.

Newbies: I will steal more kills so I’ll be famous.
Pros: I’m playing support role it’s better to give the kills to our carry to give him more farm.
a
Newbies: It’s clash time! Oh, a Bristleback! Attack!!!!!
Pros: Their tank is baiting we should find a way to find their most dangerous hero before we kill this high hp but low attack damage hero.

Newbies: My opponents are all hitter but I’d still buy BKB because I saw vigoss bought BKB and own his opponents.
Pros: I will buy items that will increase my armor to limit the opponents damaging potential. BKB is such a waste of 3800 gold, buying HP items would be a better choice.

L2 – Learn to Think like a Pro

I started from being an ultra noob player and stayed the same for almost 2 years. It changed after I started watching Pro DotA players play. The first pro team I watched was our local ph team, Flow. I questioned a lot! Why chen? Why test of faith? How do the carries farm around 1400 in 5 minutes? What time did they start pushing? I was so curious on everything! It was after watching pro DotA player’s game when I, with my own team, started dominating in DotA scene. Then, I started watching international replays. MYM and Virtus.Pro made me realize that there are other strategies than Chen Sven QOP Lich Bristleback and other team flow heroes. I tried to dig into each player’s minds. I was so curious what they are thinking about before and during the game. I know the only way to improve my skills dramatically is to change my understanding of DotA and have a Pro-like mindset. I studied every game I watched analyzing how they think. Here I am to make you skip that hard work I’ve done and unleash the mindset they have that I discovered. Here are the things I discovered that the pro players ask in their minds.

A. Before the Game

1. Which team are we going to fight with?

This is a very basic question but I realized that pro players take advantage of knowing their opponents. They analyze opponent’s previous strategies and predict what would their heroes be in their encounter. Lately, Kuroky said in his interview: “Well, Puppey and I try to create new strategies to surprise our opponents for a match. Mostly we think about different styles, patches and heroes etc. For example, against LGD, I watched their last 20 replays to predict their picks and style, and I actually had a 100% accurate prediction on their bans, and 80% on their picks, and I guessed their lanes again 100% right.”

2. What strategy are we going to use?

Pro players can either rely on a strong strategy they have or counter pick their opponents. In most cases, it is a combination of having their own strategy and countering opponent’s pick but they are mostly different. They don’t want to be predictable.

3. Do we have enough strategies?

In tournaments, pro players are always prepared with at least 3 strategies. The first one should be enough to pawn everyone, the second would be an alternative in cases the first strategy is countered or the opponents simply ban the key heroes of that line up. The 3rd one would be for finals. It would often be best of 3 or something making you needs another strategy. Having more teams in a tournament requires you to be equipped with more strategies.

B. Early Game

1. What are my Advantages/Disadvantages?

This is the first question pro players ask themselves in games. This is why they buy items like more branches if they are low hp, they buy more clarity for mana dependent hero, buy more flask if his hero is prone to harassment. This is also why they change play styles in different types of hero. If they are using early painful heroes, they tend to play aggressive and ensure that opponents won’t be farming more gold. When they are using heroes like spectre, their focus would be on how to get more creeps but they still mind supports when they initiate.

2. What are my opponent’s strengths and weaknesses?

The best DotA players in the world detect opponents’ strengths and weaknesses quickly that they control most of their games they play. May it be individual hero, team combo or player’s gaming nature, pro players are aware of them.

3. How to win my lane?

These pro players have great desire to win their lanes that’s why they would usually counter opponent’s hero from the hero picking phase. Once they’re on their lanes, they won’t allow opponents to have a free lane. They would usually disturb opponents with their goals which for now is also to win their lanes and to farm.

4. Should I stay or should I roam?

Choosing when to gank and when to stick to lane is very crucial for serious games. From my observations experienced players tend to dominate their own lanes first before roaming to dominate other lanes. Sometimes, when it is impossible to dominate a lane because of poor pick, they tend to roam early to make sure they win other lanes. Sometimes, players focus on one lane, making it impossible for the opponent’s hardcore carry to farm. Other questions that come up after this are these: Do other lanes need help? Do they have wards? Do we have the potential to destroy opponent’s trilane combo? Who should initiate? Who goes next? These are questions you should consider too to take your game to higher level.

C. Mid Game

1. Where are my opponents?

Pro players ask this question to be able to know where they should go. If they think that the opponents might be hiding nearby for ganks, they would either play passively or ask for assistance to take advantage of the opponents wanting to gank by killing them instead. They also want to know where are their opponents to be able to gank them at this stage. Pro players never want to give any gold to their opponents. They try to limit their free farm place as few as possible. They also ask this question to answer the following question: to push or not to push?

2. Push or Not?

Pro teams want to destroy opponent’s tower as fast as possible to gain gold and map advantage but they still ask this question to make sure they won’t get in trouble. If their opponents have early advantage, more likely they won’t push and fight 5v6. Yup: 5 enemy heroes + 1 enemy tower. If they happen to take down a key hero for the opponent, they would often decide to push.

3. What’s his next move?

In a fight, great players would often predict opponent’s next move and act according to their judgments. You saw how pro players dodge skills perfectly in their DotA videos. Their goal is not to make a DotA video. Their goal is to evade most of the opponent’s skills as much as possible to make them harder to be killed.

4. How should I react?

They think of situations right before it happens. They judge the heroes combo. What if they are caught, what would be their means of survival? What would they do if a team mate is disabled and focused fire at? What would they do if a shadow fiend with haste suddenly appears behind them? What would they do if they are silenced? Preparation is always better than impromptu.

5. Is it a bait?

They would always think whether to attack a lone hero or not. They know that they can be wiped out in no time if that hero happened to be bait. Sometimes, I saw them attack bait if they have a follow up plan to attack the entire team, like when they are having a hungry Earthshaker waiting for them to pile up.

6. Which hero should we take down first?

Plans before clash always have this question present. Who to kill first? They would normally go for the key heroes that are easy to take down. They never plan on taking down a Bristleback first. They may attack a high hp hero if he is offering a free hit or to deceive the opponents making them think that they are going for that hero but when they finally showed up, change targets will happen.

7. Where should I position?

I believe that success in DotA is all about positioning. Pro players would always want to be in places they should be. It’s like a chess game. Your key hero is your Queen. You shouldn’t trade that for any lower rank army. Your tanks are your pawns. They should serve the defense and they should make it easy for the team to attack. Supports are your bishops and horse. They should be able to attack as well as to trap opponents. Other carries are your rooks. They should be in perfect place to aid the key hero in getting kills or have the kill by themselves.

D. Late Game

1. Do we have the upper hand?

Late game is decided by early game. If your early game is not that good most probably you are in a level and item gap against your opponents. They ask this question to know if they can play offensive or should they play defensive game.

2. Can I pressure lanes?

There are heroes that have escape mechanisms that can pressure lanes making it harder for opponents to push but they still consider if they can survive if opponents start to attack. What if opponents have Kunkka? It would be one X-mark away to win the game, especially if that hero cannot buy back.

3. How can we end the game?

Ending the game is easy if you defeat your opponents badly in items and level. You can just go directly to their frozen throne after stepping on them. But, if the game is a close match, it’s not that easy. Sometimes pro players tend to push all lanes to avoid AOE nukes and to pressure the opponent. Sometimes, they hunt first. There are tons of different endings in a DotA game and mostly it is dramatic that’s why DotA is such a fun game.

L3 – Follow the Habits of Highly Effective Gamers

Successful DotA players have one thing in common; it is having good DotA habits.

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 every day. Some players boast that he plays 20 games per 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, especially if you quit after being the first blood and count it as 1 game. There are several DotA guides and tips on controlling your hero but what is more important is your attitude toward the game. So, how can players be so effective?

1. Conceptualize

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 won’t 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.

2. Anticipate Situations

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, I’ll 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 won’t 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.

3. Be Patient

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!”.

4. 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.

5. Be Unpredictable

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.

6. 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.

7. Learn From Errors

Learn from your or other player’s errors. Simply playing 100 games per day won’t 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.

L4 – Learn the 10 Great Things From MYM|Maelk

Jacob ‘Maelk’ Toft-Andersen is my very first inspiration in being a leader of a DotA team. I was so inspired on how his plans would always be successful. He would always be interviewed every tournaments because of his indispensable wit. Teams would often fear his team, MYM, because of his deadly strategies and his ability to counter every opponent’s plan. His games would often be superb carrying the team to victories. After watching his games, reading his posts, watching his interviews and hearing the comments of his team mates on him, I learned a lot of DotA guides and lessons on how to somehow be a ‘Maelk’ of our team.

1. Think of the easiest route to victory

Winning was so difficult for us back then. We were panicking and praying that our carry would get farmed up to carry us to victory. But, when I read Maelk’s comments on games, he pointed out that in every hero line up, there’s a hole. You should find out what’s that hole and beat the team using that hole. It is taking advantage of your opponents’ weaknesses. Maelk was so good in detecting and countering opposing team’s plans and strategies. I tried to study every hero line ups for quite some time and realized that we could really have won easily the games we played before if we played focusing on opposing team’s weaknesses. Hero picking contributes a big part of winning. Before the game is played, you’ll see how Maelk already beat the opposing team seeing the hero picks. Combined with the team’s great talent, he became a well known deadly strategist.

2. Play any roles

From being arguably the best Queen of Pain player before, he switched to playing support roles and still own. His Chen is the only type of Chen I can’t imitate. His level of aggressiveness is simply incredible that he can be safe in every ganks but would still contribute a lot. His versatility lead his team to having fun games and a lot of wins.

3. Inspire your team mates

One thing I observe on how the MYM became successful is Maelk’s great Charisma. The team appreciates him for having great wit and leadership skills. Maelk would show the team how to execute the game plays. He would show the level of play style for them to reach. Inspiring your team makes them want to play more with you and will have an urge to improve.

In an interview, MYM|Mania said: “Of course I think he(Maelk) is the best captain, else I wouldn’t play with him through all these years. His strength is his way to think outside the box in a lot of situations in the game, he’s good at taking the quick decisions that occurs through a game, and many times we win because of these tactical moves.”

4. Be a good listener

Maelk is a captain who is open for suggestions. He respects the opinions of his team mates. He weighs things up first before making decision. This is the difference between leading and managing. Leading is making your team mates want to do your plans while managing is forcing your team mates to do your plans. It became a lot of fun for all of us when I started switching from managing to leading. I believe that a team is stronger if they all desire a single goal.

5. Be active in DotA forums

Yes, DotA forums are not made for nothing. These are made for discussions towards improvement. Maelk would always read then you’d see him post comments to clarify and enlighten people’s minds. Seek help. It’s good to be independent but you will find useful things on forums because there would be experienced people who may already have solved problems or queries like what you have now. It is best to learn from others errors for you don’t have to undergo the same bitter experience to improve.

6. Analyze every game critically

It is from Maelk that I realize that there is more to farming, ganking, pushing and winning. There are tons of points to analyze and critically understand. Without him, I’d treat DotA like tetris and I wouldn’t be here blogging stuffs about DotA. Every answer from his interview was all new to me and I tried to treat DotA the same way he treated it. One great ability of a leader is being able to solve mysteries for the team. Your team mates may not understand why in the world you have lost. A good leader will find it out and clarify everything to his team mates. Maelk is definitely that kind of leader.

7. Be Original

He was the one who formulated MYM’s strategy. He analyzes every hero and concluded on what may be the best play style to win games. He is like a hero line up scientist. His strategies are from his own ideas. He was never afraid to try something new. Whenever he feels like a strategy would be successful, he goes for it. Examples are: pudge omniknight lane. This was even used in an important tournament. I remember him saying that he used this strategy because it would be great to try having a free radiance in early game. He also introduces Bradwarden in DotA scene. He also formulated the triple push strategy. Where they defeated an AOE focused team by pushing 3 lanes at the same time. This trapped the opponents at their base having hard time to defend. It is one of the best games I ever watched.

8. Have firm CONFIDENCE in yourself

Most people who hated him for being cocky didn’t realize that MYM’s strength relies greatly on Maelk’s confidence. His confidence made his team mates more at ease in the game. Leading a DotA team is a big responsibility. You should have the right amount of confidence because no one will trust you if you, yourself, is in doubt of your skills. Honestly, in the first DotA tournaments we participated at, I was so nervous. I feel like vomiting out of fear. I was the captain and I know top teams are included. I was so afraid to let my team mates down. They were nervous too. So, I was a useless leader because I should be the one making them calm. Good thing I became a follower of Maelk. I changed a lot and lead my team mates to being better players and win a lot of tournaments.

9. Make quick but good decisions

In games where plans have great chance of failing, you should know how to make quick adjustments to still have the game running on your side. This is one trait of Maelk that even his team mates can prove. His judgments are simply so perfect every time, making him decide the best things for the team to do. Teams with leaders like him are so lucky because there will be less confusion and they can act at once. In this game, time is just too precious to be wasted on thinking what to do next. Situations change quickly. Opportunities passes by in a blink of an eye.

10. Be a Doer not just a Dreamer

We were all dreaming of becoming a great DotA team but we never thought it would be possible. Dreaming is good but if you take no action it is a total waste of time. Pursue your dreams. If you want to reach the moon, go. If you fail, you’d still end up reaching the stars. Maelk didn’t directly say this but you’ll realize it after seeing his hard work in analyzing each and every heroes to formulate strategies. He worked hard practicing with his team mates that made MYM one of the most successful teams in DotA.

I might have been quite nostalgic about the history of MYM and myself but these 10 things I learned from Maelk had inspired me a lot to become a better player and leader. Right attitude is important in DotA and he can inspire you a lot too to have these winning traits. There may be a lot of other good teams right now you can learn from but I think there is no one who shares a lot of insights like Maelk.

L5 – Do not Bottle-crow

Dota in the Philippines is widely known for Bottle-Crow Strategy. It is having your crow go back and forth at the fountain with your Bottle for refill. It seems clever if you want to stay on your lane more and have more mana for harassing your opponent. But, why this strategy never succeed against Chinese?

Mr. Crow is busy

Crow is needed by the whole team. Other lanes may need a flask or a clarity or they may have farmed their basic items giving them more advantage in lane fights, and crow needs time to deliver these items. Against professional players, if they see slight advantage over you they are going to plan and execute an attack to destroy you totally. Not having important items like magic stick, urn, bracers, etc, while the opponents on your lane already have means your in a big disadvantage.

Waste of Gold

You may say that if the crow is busy, why not buy another crow for mid hero? The reason why I won’t do that is because another crow would cost you 400 gold. 2 Crows is not important in mid and late game, where team fights and ganks/gangs are constantly happening. You cannot use bottle crow in clash, it’s either you kill them or you die. After winning team fights, it is a good idea to push near towers because of advantage and not to farm and use bottle crow.

Lane disadvantage for supports

You may say that supports can buy crow for you since they don’t need to farm luxury items. Then, you will have your supports buy 2 chicks 1 observer wards early game. One support wont have any stat or regen items, but, wisely you’ll buy regen items instead of stats. So, he will only have around 400hp. Supports won’t be advised to last hit creeps a lot, they have to wait for 200 seconds to buy one crow and another 200 seconds to buy another crow. If the supports farm, the carry on the lane will be delayed, thus, making the opponent’s carry have advantage over them. After 400 seconds and the supports successfully boght the 2 crows, the opponents who happened to only have one crow, will have their core items and ready to finish you off at your lane in no time.

Rune > Refill

Good Players know when to use skills to push a mid lane for the opponent to have a busy life defending the lane while you go for runes. Having runes gives you more advantage at mid. If you have a regen, you can harass him until he make a trip to the fountain. If you have illusions you can bait him with one illusion and gank other lanes or simply use these illusions to have advantage at farming. If you have double damage rune, you can harass him or outfarmed him. Haste can help you kill him or gank other lanes for another team advantage. Instead of refilling, battle for the runes.

Farm over you, Leave you or Gank you

There is no need to fear laning with bottle-crow players. There are 3 choices in dealing with these type of players.

First counter is to farm over him. Farm… Don’t harass.. Farm.. He will feel like a jackass having bottle crow but he can’t use it because he has full hp. He will resort to spamming skills, which gives you a great advantage. You will be harder to get ganged up because you’re tower hugging because of his bad move.
Second counter to Bottle-Crow is Leave him. Gank other lanes after getting some levels and dominate other lanes. You can get even richer than him after successfully killing other heroes and getting towers. Spending 400 gold from crow is now a mega fail move for that team.
Third option is to gank him. One reason of chinese players why they don’t get ganged up easily at mid is because they love to move a lot. Having bottle crow makes you predictable. Gankers will know that you are somewhere beside your tower. Good gankers will make your bottle-crow strategy cry.

CHAPTER 3: PRACTICE AND BE SKILLED IN ANY ROLES

“The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.
However, most people want to play rather than practice.
The main reason for this is lack of discipline.”

Summary

In this chapter, you will learn about DotA roles, how to farm fast, to support your carries, to ward and deward, to gank or roam, to initiate team fights, and to push towers successfully to help you win battles.

L1 – Know your Role

Like Basketball and other team sports, DotA Teams also have roles for each player. Each role is important in a team. Having 5 carries in one team means you’re sacrificing your early game. Not having a single carry is also not a good idea. Well-balanced roles in a team make it easier for them to win team games. DotA has 2 main categories of roles but there are several sub categories making DotA, still, the number 1 team game for me.

2 Main DotA Roles

1. Carry

Carry Heroes are the heroes who would get most shares of the gold and experience in the game. The reason for this would be their task in coming team battles. That task is to be killing machines. They are the ones who would inflict the highest amount of damage they could in team battles. This is the main reason why they are called ‘Carry’ (because they carry the team to victory).

2. Support

by the name itself, they support the Carry heroes. They provide safety for the Carry heroes, they make killing easy for Carry heroes and they disrupt the opponents to have more farm than their carry heroes.

Subcategories of Carry Heroes

1.1. Tanker

A tanker is a type of Carry hero in which his farming and leveling aims to be equipped with high HP and Armor. His role in a clash is to take all the dangerous skills to prevent his team mates from dying instantly. He can also serve as bait. Good teams won’t attack tanks at once in battles; instead they try to kill other heroes. This reason needs this tank to also improve inflicting damage. Radiance works perfectly for tanks so they won’t be easily ignored.

Examples of Tanker-Carry Heroes:

Bristle back
Centaur Warchief
Trent Protector
Skeleton King
Gorgon

1.2. Semi-carry

A Semi-carry hero is a type of carry which is useful early game. It would have good nukes or disable skill that helps a lot in dominating the game early. After doing great in early game, they don’t lose their power till late game. They can still stand up to carry the team having the necessary items.

Examples of Semi-carry heroes:

Shadow Fiend
Rogue Knight
Queen of Pain
Priestess of the Moon
Night Stalker

1.3. Hardcore Carry

these are the heroes who are definitely useless early game. They don’t have disables that are good enough to dominate early game. They rely much on normal attack. However, if they happened to got farmed up, they can kill anyone who stands in their ways beating even most of the semi-carry heroes. With their high DPS and attack damage (some includes bash), enemy heroes won’t last for 3 seconds getting focused by these heroes. This is the reason why they are ganked a lot early game and pro team end the game before their time comes.

Examples of Hardcore-Carry Heroes:

Spectre
Phantom Assassin
Faceless Void
Anti-Mage
Terrorblade

1.4. Ganker

Many are confused about this. Ganker heroes aren’t only for supports. Carry heroes also gank. In fact, these heroes are more effective gankers. They can kill alone.

Examples of Ganker-Carry heroes:

Demon Witch
Storm Spirit
Clockwerk
Tinker
Fairie Dragon

Subcategories of Support Heroes

2.1. Babysitters

these are the heroes who stay on their lane to protect a carry hero. They often have healing skills, mana regeneration skills, mana sucking skills for opponents, nukers to harass the opponents and other skills that will protect the carry hero.

Examples of Babysitters:

Warlock
Dazzle
Ezalor
Omniknight
Nortrom

2.2. Roamers

these are the type of support heroes that move a lot around the map to help carry heroes kill their enemies on their lane. They often have disabling skills to make killing easier and to assure that the gank won’t end up to a chasing round.

Examples of Roamers:

Vengeful Spirit
Crystal Maiden
Rogue Knight
Witch Doctor
Venomancer

2.3. Initiators

these are the heroes meant to surprise the opponents in team fights. They have good AOE spells that are viable in clashes. ‘Initiator’ is the term used to describe them because before they are often used as the starter of the fight. This term makes it confusing because AOE spells like ravage can also be used as back up skill. They can either choose to initiate or enter while the fight is going. If I’m going to give it a name it would be “Clashers”(rofl). These heroes may be supports or not but most of them are supports that’s why they lie under support category.

Examples of Initiators:

Enigma
Earthshaker
Leviathan
Magnus (example of non-support initiator)
Tauren Chieftain

2.4. Pushers

It’s quite easy to understand that their role is to push. They have skills that make them capable of clearing up enemy creeps fast or summon units that can tank and damage the opponent’s tower. Again, these heroes may or may not be supports.

Examples of Pusher Heroes:

Holy Knight
Prophet
Tormented Soul
Enigma
Shadow Shaman

Most heroes have 2 or more roles but it depends on how you’re going to play it. For example, Prophet (Furion) is a good Pusher but he can also be used as semi-carry and roamer. Most of DotA heroes are hybrid, what’s important is knowing the best role for them in given situations.

L2 – Learn to Farm Fast

People often want to know how to farm gold fast in DotA, which is a lot different from me. I am thirsty for blood when I’m playing that I tend to roam a lot. Roaming is fun for me, but then, I expect the carry heroes of our team to be equipped with their needed items as soon as possible so that we can take advantage and destroy towers easily. However, some players want to show off their mad farming skills by farming the whole game. This is not fun at all for me. I don’t find self-esteem in having 5 divine rapiers but having 0 kills. I better play 4 v 5 than have a Greedy Gold Farmer team mate. However, farming is also essential in winning games. Here are some guides in getting more gold in less time.

1. Don’t Die

Dying means you waste your farmed gold and you waste time at the tavern instead of dying. Learn how to play safe. ZSMJ, one of the legendary farmers, will stay away from creeps if he doesn’t see the gankers on the map. He knows how crucial it is if you’ll be killed in the game.

2. Do Last Hitting Drills

Drills will improve your timing when will you attack the creep that will guarantee sure gold. One drill is playing in single player mode and try to have 100 creep kills (kills + deny) in 10 minutes – doing this often will make you have high accuracy of getting a fast farm in real games. Another drill is playing single player against 5 AI’s. AI’s are programmed to have perfect last hit and deny. If you can farm against 5 AI’s effectively, it would be easy for you to farm against any human player. This is one drill our best farmer, iGk.DESO, is doing often.

3. Consider Your Hero’s Animation

you should measure the time the damage is done after you click the creep. Heroes like Krobelus and Lina have slower animation that you need to attack the creep earlier than usual. Kardel is different, where after clicking the enemy creep the damage is done in very less time. Melee heroes are easier because you only need to observe their hitting animation while Range heroes need to consider their distance and animation of the attack.

4. Look at the Mage

One easy way to last hit effectively is looking at the mage. Among all the creeps fighting, the mage usually have the highest damage. Mage will hit the enemy creep in constant rate so it will be easy for you to decide when to attack. After the mage attacks and you know it’ll be one blow before the creep die, it’s time for you to click it. This is effective but in some cases, it’s not like when you have 2 or more mages, or you have a catapult that does more damage than the mage. In this case you have to consider the rate of hp reduction of the creep.

5. Neutral Creeping for Extra Gold

Neutral Creeps gives you enough amount of gold that Enigma can farm a dagger in 8mins. Thus, on the average, neutral creeping can give you 268 gold in one minute. Neutral Creeping also gives you additional safety from gankers. If you have wards, it’ll be harder for you to be killed.

6. Dominate the Lane

If you dominate a lane, chances are you’ll get a good farming time because enemy won’t be there to harass you. Thus, if you happen to kill enemy heroes there also are additional gold to make you have your items quicker.

7. Don’t Waste Gold

Wasting gold, like buying TP and using them to teleport on a tower but it’s not that urgent to use it, slows down the rate of your farming. Example, when your creeps are far away from your tower. You can walk to your tower and when you reach your tower chances are the enemy creeps are just reaching your tower along with you. You saved 135 gold from impatient teleportation. TP is vital to the game but you should use it wisely, like backing up a team mate. You’ll need 3-4 creeps to farm 135 gold again. Thus you’ll be delayed in farming.

8. Use Your Skills Wisely

don’t rely on spamming spells to farm. Spamming spells helps you push not farm. Yes, you can kill the creeps by spamming spells. Spam spells when needed like if you have to choose over 2 or 3 creeps having their hp deteriorate at constant rate. There you can use your AOE spell. Spamming AOE spells makes you go back to the fountain back and forth because you won’t be ready if any clash happens if you don’t have mana.

9. Maximize the Map

Map optimization is important to have your luxury items. Burning (EH.Gigabyte.AAA), another pro farmer, farmed a lot by moving all over the map where there is creeps. This was when they were waiting for the opponents to come out and make some error. Search for the creeps; don’t make them come to you, because they won’t.

L3 – Learn to Play the Good Support

I. Definition

Mainly a support is a hero that takes care or, from the name itself, supports the whole team, most especially the carries. Supports are the ones that are in-charge for the overall team defense and map control.

II. Main tasks of supports

Now most people’s knowledge of a support hero’s job is only limited to providing the courier, roaming and warding when in truth a support needs to do more than that. Here is a list of what a support user must do for
His/her team:

Providing the courier +
Warding/Dewarding /
Roaming/Ganking
Babysitting
Team fight Setting/Initiation
Lane Harassment
Team Defense
and last but not the least and also the most important: Overall Map Control

III. Preferred skills for supports

When choosing a support one must take the following abilities or spells into consideration:

Single Target/Area Disables
Global/AOE Beneficial Aura
Healing Spells
Movement Reduction Spells
Burst Damage Nukes
Status Reduction Spells
Team fight Oriented Abilities

IV. Game play

A support user greatly relies on their own movements on partially on the items on their inventory. Supports usually go for items that add beef or STR type items for survivability, wards and town portal scrolls. A good support player should be able to survive a whole team fight and get the tide of the battle in favor for their team. Here is a sample item core build for a support player:

Power Treads (for strength)
Ring of Basilius
Urn of Shadows
Bracer

V. Warding

Warding and Dewarding are two of the most important skills that a support user should have. Knowing when and where to place wards gives a very great advantage in vision, pushing, farming and team fights.

Note that you can still use those competitive warding in DotA 2 because the warding in DotA 1 and in DotA 2 is 99% the same – the only main difference is the graphics. In DotA 2, some ward spots are slightly rigged on the terrain. But those are basically just for the rune wards only – 2 low spawn and 1 high spawn.

VI. Dewarding

Dewarding from the term itself, it is an act of locating and destroying enemy observer wards in the map. This is to reduce enemy vision to a minimum and it also helps in landing successful ganks and team set plays. There are two main ways to deward; one is through the use of Sentry Wards or by using the Gem of True sight. Now for this lesson I won’t be posting any pictures regarding on locations on where to put your Sentries, why? Plain logic: If you know where the ward spots are then you should know where your enemy’s wards are located. Knowing every ward spot in the game plus the proper observation if whether your ganks are predicted or not already gives you an edge on whether if the enemy is warding or not and where to hunt for enemy observers. Also, take note that Sentry Wards have limited natural vision on itself.

VII. Ganking/Roaming

Yet another vital skill that any support user should posses, proper knowledge on when and how to roam gives a very good advantage favoring your team. Plus partnered with warding and dewarding skills, total map control could be achieved without any hassles.

VIII. Some tips about Roaming and Ganking

– Go roam or do ganks at night, during this time most heroes and units visions are lessened making it easy for you to find blind spots behind heroes for surprise kills.
Ninja moves is a must, use the fog, this is your best friend when roaming, proper utilization and abuse of the fog-of-war in-game is an advantage both in attacking and backing out.
– Do it fast, a good gank should last for no more than 10 seconds to reduce the chance of enemy counterattacks
– Stun lock like a pro, mind the duration of your disables, plan your moves on who throws the stun first, who throws in next and when you would or they throw the stun.
– Hero block, after stunning, quickly run forward and block your enemy’s lane so that your ally could deal a good amount of DPS.
– Timing is everything, here’s a tip, wait for the next creep wave to get near to the enemy so that he would not have any vision or whatsoever from behind him, also take a look at your own creep wave to anticipate on where the enemy wave is currently located.
– Be careful when tower diving, don’t directly attack or right-click on your opponent when your diving for them inside the tower, try moving in advance to where he is running and then throw some spells or nukes, doing this reduces the chance of the tower and the creeps going agro on you thus reducing incoming damage that could possibly be taken from both the tower and the creeps.
– Bring potions, if you want to be a solid, hardcore, roamer/ganker having potions in your inventory ensures continuous ganks without having to go back to the fountain to often but also be mindful on how much you’re spend for pots for you might not be able to stack up for your core items which are badly needed during mid-game.
– Anticipation and mind games, try to think ahead of your enemy, try to guess where he would be going or what move will he be doing next.

IX. Babysitting

This is the act of protecting your lane mates to ensure a safe farm for them, Babysitting is best and mostly done for heroes that are totally fragile on the early game phase or don’t have any escape mechanism skill whatsoever like:

Sniper
Shadow Fiend
Spectre
Troll
Mortred
Medusa
Luna
Pugna
Gyrocopter

Now take note that babysitting is not limited to these types of heroes. Babysitter type supports are mostly the ones having healing and protection type spells like:

Chen
Dazzle
Omni Knight
Witch Doctor
Enchantress
Abaddon

Well of course supports of these types are not limited to those heroes only. Now as opposed to the offensive Trilane, babysitting is a lot more defensive in every aspects, babysitters don’t do too much harass but they do everything to their extent to protect their lane mate, either by slowing down enemy progress, disabling or in most cases healing.

X. Saving

Now most people think that a support should sacrifice himself just to save the carry, now this is not true in most cases. A support must always do everything within his ability in order to save a dying colleague without going into the need for sacrificing oneself. A support could do this by disabling or slowing down enemy movement, healing, path blocking and drawing enemy agro to oneself if necessary.

XI. Team fight Setting and Initiation

Distance is important when doing team fights, this is to ensure that your Support Hero would last throughout the whole clash without dying in order to deal the highest amount of damage output possible coming from you, the support user.

When to engage in team fights

Mostly you go in after your carries or tanks, then throw a spell (mostly stuns), back out a bit then go back and throw a spell or a burst nuke again if you have one. Always keep an eye on which your team is focusing on and on who hits your carries to know who to nuke or disable.

When to retreat

A Support (or your team) should back out when there is no mana left to throw a spell, carries/tanks are dead/low on HP and failed gank attempts.

All in all, a support player should be able to master or if not at least gain a fair amount of knowledge regarding hero synergies, clash initiations/settings, warding/dewarding, proper roaming, fog abuse, and overall map control in order to be totally effective in the game. One must not be totally dependent on what items they have in their inventory but must rely on their movements and decision making skills in order to become a good support player.

L4 – Learn to Roam

I have been playing support role since forever because I find this role the most fun role in the game. I love actions and I love getting into fights as early as possible. It was a good thing though because most players here want to play farmer and carry. Farming is important but I find it boring because you become insurance for the team. You simply stick to your lane and try to farm as much as you can at early game. I know you have to dominate your lane too but if your hero has disadvantages at early game against your opponent, you’ll have to play passively. I was known for being a great support for our team back then. But I have to admit, after watching one of my team mate play support role, I realized that someone became a lot better than me. I don’t play too often now but I still watch replays and I see a lot of boring support players. They would often act as slaves for the team. You will not even recognize them.

These are some things you can learn to be a better support player for your team.

1. Have a Gank Strategy Plan

Killing a hero is not easy if it is controlled by a good player. Planning your ganks that would surprise your opponents will leave them unguarded and will be easier for you to kill them. Ganks that are monotonous may be successful at the first time but good opponents will easily learn your strategy and will build higher fences against it. Ganks should be planned and smoothly executed. There must be a perfect timing on when to engage, who’s the first one to cast spells and who to aim.

2. Unique Ward Placement

Supports are the masterminds of observer wards. Placing observer wards in important areas like rune spots is very important. Mid heroes will have great advantage dominating the rune. Defensively, wards are important to counter opponent’s gank threats. But in most cases, opponents will predict where you placed your wards and either destroy them or find another place to hide. Having your wards in unique spots is a wise decision. It will be hard for opponents to deward and will make your opponents waste their time waiting.

3. Learn to Wait

In ganking, you cannot be impatient. You should always wait for the perfect timing to engage. Waiting for the perfect timing gives more chances of killing your target and make it safer for you.

4. Never get tired of trying

You will be quite successful in most of your attempts if you will combine prediction and luck. Luck, unfortunately, is included in the game but good gankers would always bet their effort and time. Try to gank more instead of sticking to lane. Don’t wait for your opponents to be strong and farm items that will kill you in 3 hits. Make it hard for them by being a big pest on their lanes.

5. Create Advantages for Carry

Supports are needed to dominate early game. They have skills that can disable, nuke, give vision, slow, or heal. They do not need to farm a lot to be big help. The only problem is heroes with such good skills do not have much potential in late game. That’s why carry heroes are still needed. Supports should be around to help team mates get kills, helping them dominate their lanes, give them vision for better defense and help them survive.

6. Be a Ninja

How does a Ninja fight? If you’re a ninja fan like me, you’re aware that Ninjas attack from unseen areas. You’d feel their swords inside your chest before you even know where they are. Gankers should be like a Ninja because of 2 important reasons. 1st is simply the low health of support heroes. Good opponents would not hesitate getting you out first. 2nd reason is to make the gank more successful. If you are seen before you engage in your gank, the initial reaction of your opponents would be to retreat. You’ll then waste the chance of killing that hero.

7. Always be ready for clash

Supports are very important in early clashes. They have the skills that are deadly for these low level opponents. Stun and nukes are essential to kill most of your opponents. Jam would use his clarity and flask if he has low hp and mana to be ready for team fights. He doesn’t loiter around when he has short mana or hp. Jam would run through the fountain quickly and regenerate if there are no other chance to have his mana and hp back. Then run again to lanes where he is much needed. He can cast magic missiles; terror and swap anytime because he didn’t waste time loitering instead of regenerating.

8. Destroy your opponent’s wards early

If you realized that the opponents have wards where they would hide to gank, immediately bought sentry wards to remove the defensive advantage of your opponents. Destroying your opponent’s wards is very important if you want to gank. Good opponents would always have their eyes on the map and would know if you are planning to gank them. You should never skip buying sentry wards in ganking.

9. Always back your team mates up when they are in trouble

Map awareness and always having tp scroll with you makes it easier for you to back your team mates up. You can either walk if you sense that team mates in other lanes would be in trouble or you can buy tp scroll and teleport as soon as you see the opponents charging through your team mate. There are big chances that you or your team mate would be the one to kill the opponents who tried to kill him. If not, at least you saved your team mate from losing his gold and letting the opponents have extra gold.

10. Psych out your opponents

In every game, once you mentally defeat your opponent, he’s done. Try to psych out your opponents and make him feel that he should fear you. Like what done here. We all know that this cannot kill in this case, but is trying to psych out the by trying to show that he can. Though didn’t continue killing , he left something to that wouldn’t make him reach his potential, fear.

Supporting is not boring. It is up to the player whether it would be boring or not. Give supporting an art and be a fun to watch player whatever your role is.

L5 – Learn the Ganking Styles

Ganking is one of the most important tools in winning DotA Games. Thus, there are different ganking styles that will make you sneaky and unpredictable. It is important that you have proper coordination with your team mates if you are going for ganks. Pro players are too careful that they don’t often die from getting ganged up. Observer wards are too cheap and placing them in ganking areas is the best counter for Ganks. So, a variety of ganking style is recommended for being unpredictable.

1. Backstabbing

The most basic ganking style is backstabbing. It’s when you hide in fogs and appear behind enemies while they are farming. This is done well if you have perfect timing of using skills and I recommend having a gank mate because sole gankers cannot assure kills. Having disables like stun and slow makes it easier to kill heroes. This is the reason why gankers usually have this kind of skills. Beware because this type of ganking is easily countered by observer wards. Study your prey. Know if they have wards basing from the prey’s actions. If they usually stay farming and then retreat totally when you got near them, most likely they have wards.

2. Trapping

Trapping is a kind of ganking where as you stay on the opponents retreating area and stun/slow them to death. An example is ganking mid lane. One ganker would appear behind the prey to disable him. A good player won’t retreat directly to the tower because the ganker can have more normal attacks on him and end up having a cheap death. Thus, the ganker will retreat going the other way – in this case, upwards, where the 2 heroes can’t attack him. Now, here comes another ganker to finish him off. Another good use of trapping is when you gank heroes with escape mechanisms, like leap of Mirana, waveform of Morphling, Blink of Akasha, Orb of Puck, Sucuchi of Nerubian Weaver, etc. Good prediction will make it easy for you to gank these heroes by trapping.

3. Go and Teleport

This is done by making the allied heroes on the lane use their disables to make the opponents stay near while you are teleporting to gank. An example for mid lane would be having a Storm Spirit use his electric vortex on his opponent while you are teleporting at his tower. You can use your disables after teleporting to aid the Storm Spirit kill the prey. Be sure to do this with good timing. Disabling the opponent hero too early would make the ganker waste gold for tp because the prey would be gone when he arrived. There are limited heroes at mid which you can use this ganking style. The heroes with perfect disables, like Puck, Raijin, Rexxar, Bane Elemental, Viper, are the one suited with the Go and Teleport at mid lane. When it comes to the trilane, this can be executed easier. Most heroes at trilane have disables thus making it easier to have the opponents stay near the tower when the ganker arrived from teleporting.

4. Charge!!!

This ganking style is named charge because this is a ganking style where you run towards your opponent infront of him. This can be executed at night time the vision of the opponent is smaller thus making it possible to gank him by charging. This requires quickness of both your hero and your hands. Good players with fast reactions will retreat after seeing one hero charging towards him. Appear from fog then disable him at once to make fleeing from you not possible.

5. Teleport and Go

Furion, spectre and wisp are the only heroes that can do this. Teleport from opponent’s blind spot then gang him up. In spectre’s case you, there is no need for blind spot for he teleports directly beside his prey. Spectre is not a ganker but can be used to gank sometimes, particularly if he already is farmed up.

6. Swap and Bam

Vengeful Spirit reaching level 6 can have a special style of ganking with his swap. You can walk in front of your opponent where it is fog then swap-stun him to set a kill for your allied hero.

7. Invisibility

Invisibility has great advantage in ganking. You can be sneaky without having to consider the fog of war. Getting into good position, you can whack the opponents by surprise. May it be invisibility from rune, invisibility skills (wind walk, moonlight shadow), or lothars edge, you can gank opponents easily if they don’t have true sight vision.

8. Blink and Go

Blink is like invisibility too where you can appear beside opponents in an instant though blink still needs to consider fog of war. Heroes with disable can use blink to stun/slow a prey so allied heroes can charge towards the prey for dinner.

9. Bait

Bait is one of my favorite ganking style where you can wipe out 3 heroes in no time. One hero, a carry would be better, will be creeping while the gankers will wait hidden in fogs. When 2 or 3 opponents come to gank the bait, they will be stuck in one place because they are going for the kill. Now, you’re going to execute your plan and kill the gankers. I, sometimes, call this ganking the gankers.

L6 – Learn the Ways to Start a Clash

Clash is one of the most critical part in DotA games. A lost clash means a tower lost. Sometimes a lost clash means a game lost. Observing GGnet.Puppey’s picks, it is clear that he is going mostly for early game 5v5 clash and push. Ganking is less in his picks. The reason here is that players have evolved now. They aren’t that easy to gank anymore unlike in the past years when MYM would usually go for massive ganks. There are also a lot of surviving mechanisms in today’s version. Going for a gank-oriented line up isn’t that secure anymore.

There are a lot of ways clash are started but I observed from best DotA teams before and now that there are 5 best way you can start a clash that would most likely make you win the clash.

1. Ganking a hero and rushing to push towers

Average teams would most likely go for this strategy because of its safety. Once you gank and killed a lone hero and you rush towards their tower, you are initiating a handicap match. If they go impatient and fight 4v5 against your team, you would have a very high chance of winning the clash.

2. Ganking a smaller group to start a fight

It’s difficult to gank a lone hero, especially if they have good supports. However, you can start a fight by ganking group of heroes that are outnumbered. For example you see 3 heroes at the bottom lane. Your team can all go for killing them right before the opponent come to team up with them. If you successfully killed those 3 heroes or 2 of them, it’s difficult for them to win the clash once the backups arrive.

3. Using Roshan

One way to start 5v5 matches is using roshan. Just stay at Roshan’s lair to make them come. Once they are seen by your wards, you can initiate the fight by picking the best hero to kill first. This is possible because of your vision advantage over them. If you sense that they won’t come, just kill Roshan and get the aegis which is another advantage in team fights.

4. Dewarding and Hiding

One of the best way to start clashes is being unseen. This is mostly effective on their neutral creeps camp. Most of them would be going to farm a lane or go for neutrals, either way you can start the clash by having the advantage of making the move first.

5. Making them impatient

Once they are going to push, you have the choice whether to charge towards them or to wait until they make a mistake. Rushing towards them will make them have the advantage of picking the target and they’ll have the chance to wipe you out. If you choose to wait behind the tower, you have the tower as your team mate making the battle 6 against 5. If they’re impatient enough they would march to the higher ground making them so vulnerable. This is the reason of most turning points in the game.

6. Baiting

You can effectively start a clash by baiting. Most of the Best DotA teams are using this kind of initiator. They bait for simple reasons. One is vision. Next is protecting the key heroes from being damaged. When baiting, the opponent shouldn’t know and they should focus fire on the bait landing some of their disables, then you come to save him killing their key heroes first(preferably disablers). Bait should have high tanking ability or escape mechanisms. If the opponents won’t hit your bait, make him push a tower then they will hit him.

You can’t escape from having clashes that’s why I share some of my knowledge from my experience and from watching how professional teams do it. Choose wisely what to use because the type of clash initiator will depend on the situation and your lineup.

L7 – Learn to Push Towers Successfully

In every single game of DotA, no matter how you do it pushing is one vital and the most important thing to do in order to win. Taking down towers in order to get to the main building is one thing that a team or a player needs to master in order to dominate the opponent. Now here are a few tidbits to help you by when it comes to pushing.

1. Avoid long sieges

Make a push as swift and powerful as possible. Laying a long siege on an enemy base or tower may result in your allies going low on HP and MP and may cause some of their skills and ultimate to be wasted resulting in unnecessary cool downs.

2. Pressure the opponent

But not to the extent that you’re going to be reaching a point that everyone in your team is going to be low on HP and MP as stated from above. This scene is commonly seen as a part of the current Meta of the game. It is an act of doing a 2 lane push wherein 4 members lay siege on one lane while another hero, which is the “one-man-mass-pusher” tries to push another. This is executed by doing a series of “push-and-back-out” tactics in order to break up the members of the opposing team and to outnumber a lane for a clash.

3. Check the Respawn Timer

Especially after a team fight or a successful gank, know when you’re opponents are going to respawn in order to know when to back out and avoid going into unnecessary team fights where your team would be placed in a state of utter disadvantage.

4. Ward Beforehand

Warding before a push gives a good vision advantage for those fogged areas behind towers, this is to know if there is or are any incoming opponents that are going to defend and would help you decide on when to back out or to continue the push. (Warding will be discussed in Lesson 15).

5. Creep Block

Have your tank or any AOE/High DPS Carry block or destroy the incoming enemy creep wave in order to have a higher damage output from your own creeps.

6. Outnumbering the enemy isn’t always an advantage

Always bear in mind what an enemy can do and not how many enemies are left, when pushing and seeing any incoming enemy defender, even if the situation makes you think that you are at the advantage since they are outnumbered, always think to yourself: Will they be able to defend this mass push? Are their spells enough to wipe out our own creep wave? Are our MPs, Spells and Physical Damage enough to take them out swiftly? You must bear these thoughts in mind most especially if you are going against heroes with some sick AOE Spells that could easily deal with massive creep waves.

7. Avoid the greed

Going beyond the tower just to kill that incoming enemy defender sometimes gives a dreadful result that gives a huge disadvantage for your team and could lead to a counter push. As much as possible limit your greed for gold and focus on the enemy tower first before going in for the kill.

8. Know when to back out

what’s a good way to do after a push? RUN Getting exhausted after doing a siege gives a good advantage for your opponent and could lead your team to a wipeout if you just stay near them after pushing. This is helpful during the early and mid-game phase where most of your teammates MP are easily drawn out from spamming up skills to counter enemy defense or to wiping out creep waves.

CHAPTER 4: BE YOUR TEAM’S BEST CAPTAIN

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” – Sun Tzu

Summary

This chapter will teach you on how to become a very good leader and will also guide you on creating your own DotA team.

L1 – Learn to Become an Effective Drafter

Having a better leader ranked 2nd to the most important essentials in winning DotA games. Leaders are responsible for their team’s motivation and strategies. Hero drafting greatly lies on the hands of a DotA Team Captain. Team mates may suggest but leaders should have the larger vision on how the game would flow. They should be able to pick heroes that will give the team great advantage over the opponents.

How can we do this? How can we be trusted leaders when it comes to Captain’s mode DotA games? How can we be a Hero Drafting King to lead our team in having the easiest route to victory?

I’d like to start with this simple quote from Einstein, “Imagination is more important than Knowledge.”

We all know that Earthshaker has Fissure, enchant, aftershock, echo slam, but it’s our imagination that made us decide to buy Kelen’s Dagger of Escape. We imagined that in a clash, a surprise attack from Earthshaker have great chances on wiping out the entire opposing team.

This applies greatly in hero picking. You need to have a good imagination. Some good captains played DotA for centuries just to be a good drafter. But, what if you don’t? We play DotA for fun. We are not having BS DotA as our course so we don’t really have that much time to experience all the Heroes Line up and decide what works best. The shortcut to being a good Drafter is your imagination.

A. The things you need to imagine

1. Potentials of Heroes

You need to imagine the things heroes can do to give trouble to a team. You need to conceptualize what they are capable of. Pugna, for example, can push undefended towers quickly because of his Blast. Alchemist, when farmed up, can turn into a very painful and hard to kill beast. You need to know what heroes are capable of because this is where you’ll have to imagine the next number – Hero Counters.

2. Hero Counters

Now that you have imagined how those heroes will give you trouble, you should start thinking of what counters you’re going to have. You may think of countering Pugna with a Jakiro to defend towers. You may try slardar to reduce Alchemist’s armor late game. You may try anything you think would counter certain heroes. Some may be effective, some will fail. What’s important is you fail forward because you learned from that error and you’re ready to have new plans. I can’t teach you how to be an instant Professional DotA Captain, but I’ll surely give you the vision how to skip experiencing tons of lost DotA games just to improve.

3. Laning

Laning is very essential. You also need to use your imagination to determine how you’re going to win your lanes. In most cases, you need to know how to dominate a lane but sometimes you just need to know how you’re going to survive. May it be solo lanes or trilanes, you need to imagine the abilities of your opponent’s heroes and take advantage of their weaknesses.

4. How to Kill Early Game

Why are supports essential in the team? Yes, it’s map control and early game dominance. Supports are important because they would give the team more kills early game. They have painful skills at lower levels like disables and nukes. Now, you need to imagine how you’re going to kill. You should not just pick 2 supports without thinking how good their combo is.

Here’s an example of a good pair of supports:

Crystal Maiden + Sven – The slow of CM gives Sven more hits on the opponent. Storm bolt and frostbite adds more.

Here’s an example of a bad pair of supports:

ES + Chen – In ganks, Fissure can block Chen’s creeps at times making the prey flee safely. There are other heroes that have better chemistry with Earthshaker or Chen. I’m not telling though that they shouldn’t be picked. I saw Chen and Earthshaker picked at the same time by pro players. They didn’t rely on ganks. They focused on team fights and were successful.

You need to conceptualize how you’re going to kill your preys at early level. If you visualize that it’ll be harder to kill with your planned line up, think of a new one. Never just pick randomly. Good opponents would take advantage of your weakness at drafting and they’re going to use that against you.

5. The Team Fights

Imagine what you’re going to do at team fights. Are your heroes capable of wiping out the entire team? or after 3 kills, all your killing mechanisms are gone? That’s why there are combination of nukers and hitters in the team. Nukers alone won’t kill all the opponents. Hitters alone would consume more time to kill everyone. But, the most important part, know how your opponents will fight. What are the things they are capable of at team fights? At drafting itself, you need to be prepared for the strategies they’re going to execute with their heroes.

Now that you learned the most important key in Drafting, which is imagination, let us learn what should happen in drafting phases.

B. Drafting Phases

A – 1st Banning Phase
B – 1st Picking Phase
C – 2nd Banning Phase
D – 2nd Picking Phase

1. 1st Banning Phase

What happens most here is you ban heroes you don’t want to see in the game. There are several reasons for banning.

Those heroes will disrupt your plans.
Those heroes are difficult to counter.
Bluffing to use certain heroes.
The opposing team is comfortable in using that heroes.

2. 1st Picking Phase

This is where both of the teams will pick 3 heroes in 1-2-2-1 order. I suggest picking good supports 1st because of 2 reasons.

Limited good support heroes
Goal to counter opponent’s carry heroes. If you pick your carry heroes at once, opponents will grab that opportunity to counter your carry heroes. They’re going to pick heroes that focuses on the disadvantages of your carries.

I’d like to point out the advantage of having the last 1 pick. This last 1 pick is a treasure. You can pick any carry hero here without any fear. After you pick the certain hero, the next phase is the 2nd ban phase. You can simply ban the heroes that counter that hero you picked.

In this phase you can have a glimpse on how the opposing team would play. You can decide now what kind of play you’re going to execute against their plan. In my case, I pick my supports and I pick a carry hero that is difficult to counter or is a counter to my opponents.

If you have a plan on using a combo that you have thought before, you should never give your opponent a hint that you’re going to execute that combo. Remember to always deceive your enemies. Banning and picking heroes that won’t reveal that plan is good at this phase.

3. 2nd Banning Phase

Most people take this for granted but this is my favorite phase in drafting. This is where you are to ban 2 heroes after the 1st picking phase. Now, what happens here is I look at my opponent’s 3 heroes. I will determine what are the missing pieces that will make their line up a solid one, then I’ll ban the heroes that will fill the holes. If the opponents picked 3 carry heroes at the first phase, I take that advantage to ban strong supports that will make the game easier for them. They’ll be left no choice but to pick the weaker support heroes left.

I also use this phase to eliminate the heroes that will counter my picked heroes. Like, when I picked Tinker in the 1st Picking Phase, I’d ban Night Stalker or Puck in the 2nd Banning Phase.

You can also ban heroes like what you did on 1st banning phase.

4. 2nd Picking Phase

This is the phase where you are to pick your last 2 heroes in 1-1-1-1 pattern. In this phase you should choose what your first pick is. In case you are the last one to pick, you have the advantage of giving a surprise pick for the opponent. In case you are not the last drafter, you should be prepared on what the opponent may pick. Your line up should now be complete. You should decide what solo heroes you’re going to have and what would be the heroes for trilane. The heroes you’re going to pick now should complement the 1st 3 heroes picked. Their skills should have a smooth flow for team fights. For example you have picked ES venge WR at your first picking phase. You shouldn’t pick another melee hero because your trilane has an Earthshaker. It’ll be a hard life having 2 melee heroes at your trilane. You may pick a melee hero for mid lane but not for trilane because you’ll be having a passive trilane which is prone to harassment. 2 melee heroes in a trilane also mean an easy farming lane for the ranged opponent carry hero.

C. Summary

1. Kinds of Hero Drafting

Hero Countering Based
Complimenting a hero played good by a team mate with a good combo
Creating a combo for the team to execute
All of the above

Note: No. 4 is the best. Combining all of these kinds will surely guarantee a solid Hero Line up for your team.

2. Reasons for Banning

Plans not to be disrupted
Can’t play that hero well
Hard to counter heroes
Opponents love it
Bluffing

3. Things to be visualized before or while drafting

Potentials of Heroes
Hero Counters
Laning
Killing Early
Team Fights

4. Things to remember at Drafting Phases

1st Banning Phase: Reasons for banning
1st Picking Phase: Pick flexible heroes first. Be ready to counter.
2nd Banning Phase: Ban heroes that will strengthen the opponent’s line up. Ban heroes that will counter your previous heroes picked.
2nd Picking Phase: Compliment heroes with the previous picks. Continue with your counters.

Professional DotA Replays are everywhere. There are a lot of websites giving you these but copying their play styles won’t give you any chance of beating them. To understand the game thoroughly and to have original game styles are the factors that will make you have a successful team.

L2 – Be an Energetic Captain

Blaming, whining and complaining are some the things players usually do when losing a DotA game. This negative energy makes the team doesn’t want to fully fight anymore. Once they lost their passion and trust to win the game, it became more difficult to win the game.

I have played a lot of games where we lost early game but end up having a turning point. This is the result of our determination to wait for their one wrong move that will result to their downfall. This is because I take the initiative to dispel all my team mate’s negative thoughts by explaining to them the reason why I still believe that we can win. These are the guidelines in radiating positive energy for your team:

1. Don’t find faults, find remedies

You have to understand that your team mates are humans. They would really commit errors. Don’t shout at them pointing out how bad their move was. Instead, be the technician of that action. An example was when my team mate who was our key to winning a clash was ganged and killed. Because of that death, the enemies are ready to push our mid lane. I told them to give the tower while I destroyed the opponent’s TOP tower and barracks.

2. Compliment their good actions

A simple “gj” (good job) means a lot for a player. They know that their good deeds are appreciated inspiring them to do more good things in the game. The main reason for this is that you’re giving them confidence and we all know that confidence is a very important factor in any sport.

3. Say “G” before fighting

WTF? Yes, say “g” before fighting. This makes them feel that you are confident that you can win the fight. This is one magical technique in boosting your team’s power. This is like the battle cry of prehistoric wars. These battle cries aren’t made for nothing. Not only that it is a confidence booster but it also informs the whole team that everyone will now be fighting. Thus, they won’t hesitate joining the war because of this.

4. Don’t show any fear

Scared captain? What more do you expect from your team? Being a captain, you are the one they should be looking up to. You’re the role model. Once you accept that you’re scared at the other team, you are not trusting yourself as well as your team mates.

5. Always play your A game

Once your team mates see how well you’re doing in the game, they will be inspired to do well too. Also think of the best ways to make the game easier for the team. Pick good heroes, roam if needed to help other lanes, dominate your lane, farm your items quickly, etc.

Radiating positive energy to your team is more important that training for months without motivating them.

L3 – Treat Your Team Like Your Own Ship

A Ship Captain has his ship; A DotA Captain has his team.

As DotA Captains, you should know the right way of leading your team to victory as a ship Captain would do with his ship.

What can you really learn from a ship Captain? These are the things they would say in every situations.

1. The ship is broken? Let’s fix it as soon as possible.

Since the team is your ship, you can learn to care more about your team. If fights among your team mates occur, take the initiative to fix it. If there are weaknesses on your team, work hard to turn them into strengths. You should find a way to always have a healthy team and aim to have the best team.

2. I am nothing without my ship.

Captains know this from the bottom of their hearts. Their pride comes from the ship first before them. Even how young and unpopular their ships are, Captains are proud of them. This is the same thing with DotA Captains. Good leaders are proud of his team no matter how low others look at them. They also don’t aim to be popular by himself; he aims for the pride of his team. A good team corresponds to good leadership of a captain.

3. We will go south by 15 miles, west by 20 miles and make a turn around the island.

Great Captains, having the most knowledge on water, direct the best path for their ships. They clearly tell their plans to provide smooth journey for the ship. A Great DotA Captain should also be clear with his plans and be transparent to his team, no secrets or laziness to explain. DotA Captains are the ones responsible for the strategy of the team and he shouldn’t be a lazy type Captain at this point. Smooth flow of strategy comes firstly from the clarity of the plan to the whole team then execution and practice are next.

4. Pirates? Prepare for Battle!

Ship Captains would do everything to defend their ships, may it be from natural calamities or external opponents like pirates. Great DotA Captains wouldn’t let anyone beat his team without fighting and defending. They may win or lose but the Captain won’t be hiding like a chicken in a cage. He would be all around the ship giving instructions based on his professional knowledge and strategic wit. He would be there to fight.

5. Abandon ship? Go, but I will stay…

Great Ship Captains, who fought so hard for their ships then end up losing and people are evacuating from them, preferred to be with their ships and die. Some will think this is foolish but looking deeper, you cannot blame them. They loved their ships so much and they cannot afford looking at it sink from a lifeboat. This is a sign of his high respect for the ship he commanded.

A Great DotA Captain won’t leave his team no matter what happens. He will be with his team through thick and thin. He will do anything to make his team the best team ever and won’t abandon them to have an easy life through joining other teams.

L4 – Build Your Team with Confidence

A Great leader doesn’t aim to be popular; he aims to make his team mates better to have a better team. He understands that he cannot win championships alone. To make his team mates improve their DotA games, he needs to make them build their confidence first.

Leading a DotA team is fun but it’s not easy. It is different from being just a captain. Leaders need to consider having good conceptualization, sufficient knowledge on the game as well as on team mates and they need to be mentally tough. Here are some tips on how to help your team mates build confidence:

1. Power Talk

Before the start of the game, start by giving them a phrase they can run into their minds that gives them confidence. For example, “We are a complete team, we have good carries, supports and we got good team chemistry” or “We practiced for enough time already, we should just execute it again today.” Those phrases will be stuck on their minds before playing rather than negative thoughts that would make them nervous.

2. State their Advantages

Once the game starts, tell them what are their advantages against the opponents. On their lanes, for example, tell them that they have stronger combo than the opponents (if it’s true) or you can tell them that they can easily survive opponent’s attacks but they should have enough mana. Tell other things if these things aren’t related but ever lie to your team mates. They would lose their trust on you and your words won’t have any effect on them anymore if you do.

3. Compliment their good actions

Praise them when they do well. You can say a simple “good job” or you can tweak it to make it more personal. For example: “That was a perfect timing.” Complimenting isn’t bad if it’s true. Most players though they appear to be confident enough already still need affirmations.

4. Thank them

Be humble to thank them if they saved you. Thanking them doesn’t make them feel like robots made for destruction. Once they saved you and you said “good job”, it’s like saying “it’s your role, you’ve done it well robot.” Know when to praise and know when to show gratitude.

5. Reward their efforts

When they come to gank your lane, do your best not to waste their ganks. When they are trying to dominate their lanes and you see they’re about to lose, teleport and help to make sure they win. Don’t let them feel that they’re efforts are useless because they would be lazy or afraid to do those things again.

6. Find the remedy for their faults

They would normally commit mistakes because they are only human, just like you. Once they made errors, think of the best way to minimize the disadvantage for the team and don’t whine on them. Once, our main carry had a crucial death being ganked, I know they can destroy middle lane though we defend 4v5 so I told them to give the middle lane. I, then, destroyed their top lane. This is one of the best strategy to defend a push. You have to make them choose to push or defend other lanes. When one of them teleport top, I’d teleport back to our base and we would fight 4v4 with them.

7. Make them have fun

One way to remove their anxieties is to let them enjoy. I often talk to the heroes on my monitor commenting on my opponents’ moves and making it funny. They would see me so relax and they would be too. I’ve tried this so many times and it’s really effective. Once your team mates are relaxed, their minds will be clear enough to think properly.

8. Use the “try” magic

The word ‘try’ is useful when your team mates aren’t that experienced enough. These words lessen the pressure on your team mate. They wouldn’t be so afraid of failing. You can use it mostly in ganking where perfect timing is really important. Once they start doing it often, they would be used into it and you don’t need to type the word try. It would now be “G”.

There are other things you can think of in giving your team mates confidence. These are just the most common techniques in this aspect. Just always remember that your team mates, no matter how poor their performance was, also wanted to win. Never put them down because of wrong moves. Just help them learn from their errors because you are his leader.

L5 – Learn to Develop Your Own DotA Team

I started my own DotA team when I heard about a tournament in one computer shop near our University. The team I made was composed of friends from high school. I was only an average player being taught by my DotA Teacher, Mark Bernardo. He exposed me to his DotA friends who happened to be the best team back then, the insane. I observed how good their team play was. Individually, they may experience defeat but when it’s time to play as a team, it’s quite impossible to defeat them. How did they develop that kind of team? I asked myself. I didn’t stop studying how to have a solid team. I had a notebook of strategies I’ve formulated myself. I didn’t want to be copy cat because I know if I’m going to copy their strategy, there would be no chance to defeat them. We had joined several tournaments to improve our team. I asked Mark if we could get a chance to fight against his team and I’m willing to pay for their PC rental. We had fail a lot of times. We would have talks after every defeat we experience. One thing I love about my team is that they never lost their trust in me. Though we always fail, they always follow my plans and never complain. It was after a year, when we reached the top. We managed to defeat the team we admired a lot, the insane. Thus, we end up winning every game. Now, I already retired from this game and I just play when I have time, I want to share some things I have learned in developing your own DotA Team. This is a DotA lesson on creating and improving your own team in DotA Allstars.

1. Be Open Minded

The key to improvement understands. Seek first to understand the factors what made a strategy effective or ineffective. You should also learn to accept facts. Accept that you and your team mates can make several errors in the game. Don’t whine on them and show immaturity. Instead, praise the things they’ve done well. Discuss generally the errors made in every game. You should use your mind and learn from the game, not your heart to feel frustrated for weeks. It is alright to lose games. Better strategy and execution really would win. It’s not that you’re dumb. They can tell you you’re dumb but you are not. It’s just that you need more experience and you have to know the game better.

2. Know Each Player’s Potential

After several games played together, you as a leader should know what the things your players do best are. Study their game and decide which role you can ask them to have. You only have 4 team mates; it’s not that difficult to detect what they do best. You’d see if a player who already know how to farm, let him improve so in that field. Players who are sneaky can play gankers or setters. Players who are already a team player can play support role who can be the savior of the team. Experiment on the effectiveness of the team after giving their roles, playing games against different level of teams. Again if you fail, decide what adjustments are needed to be done. Maybe the player just needs more practice. Don’t change his role at once or remove him from the team.

3. Lead, don’t Manage

If you want your team to stick together until the end, lead. Don’t manage them, they are not things. Leading is different from managing. Leading is making your team want to follow you, managing is forcing your team to follow you. You can lead by telling them what your plan is and how will it be effective. Example: “I’m planning to try pushing early so that we can have more gold.” They would want that. Who doesn’t want more gold, right? They would obey you whenever you say push because they want it too. In managing, you are the only one who knows what your plan is and you just tell them to obey you. Once you fail with your plan, they’d lost their trust to your command. Leading inspires them to contribute more ways on how to attain the goal. It’s way better than simply following commands. The ability to play as a team depends on the leader. One of the best ways is to lead by example. If you play carry, show them how to play carry effectively. Whatever the outcome of the game would be, always play at your best. Do not show any sign of lost hope for they would do the same.

4. Never be afraid to try Something New

I remember one time; we were all used into having 3 farmers and 2 supports. Then, I was curious as to what if we would only have 1 main farmer and 4 heroes would be moving around the map to kill opponents making our carry farm more gold than usual. Then my team mates agreed and didn’t mind if we will lose. After the game, we did lost, but they found it exciting. We practiced that kind of strategy for about a week. Then, it came to be our solid strategy that can knock off any team. We usually use it as surprise tactics in tournaments. I shared this because I want you all to try different things and never regret doing it. Experiments often start with failures. From those failures, look at how great our technology now – same thing with DotA. Don’t simply go with the flow. There are a lot of heroes and a lot of strategies to counter every play styles.

5. Watch Professional Replays

Learn from other team’s error. You cannot make all the errors in the world. In watching replays watch their play style and acquire the skills needed for the improvement of your team. Hero picks are not to be copied totally. You should start with having your own formulated play style. It is essential for leaders to plan original play style for the team because most players today are already watching Professional Replays. Plan strategies that would push your team’s full potential. I usually watch professional replays and I, honestly, imitate some strategies made by a team but not all of them. I usually make it a hybrid my own. Doing so, you’ll be unpredictable to other teams.

6. Be Flexible

You have to be flexible to make the necessary adjustments from games lost. To improve is to change. Thus, changing is not easy for majority of people. If changing is necessary to have an effective team, then change. I was trained to be a carry hero player but when I realized how bored my team mates are in supporting, I switched to being our main support in our team. I make some adjustments to make the team more effective. I find it obvious most of the time what are the things that won’t work or fit in the game plan, then I tell my team mates what game plan adjustments I’m going to make so that they would know what to do.

7. Be Patient

This is somewhat implied in the other statements I made. But I just want to emphasize this more. Be patient. Never lose hope. Never think that you cannot beat the best team in the world. May it be Ehome or LGD, you can be better if you work for what you desire. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” -Michael Jordan.

8. Watch Your Games

The best way to improve your team is watching your games. You have the ability to clearly see the errors made or how the opponent managed to defeat your strategy. If you totally understand the things that lead to your defeat, you won’t do that same thing again. Eliminating errors made by your team is another way of saying that your team is really improving.

L6 – Learn to be Prepared for a DotA Tournament

DotA Tournaments are thrilling because the game itself is quite balanced specially now that Ice Frog has made several modifications. This is a battle of decision making and skills. These 2 important things as well as the following are the things you should improve to win most of your DotA games and tournaments.

1. Learn your effective play style

In DotA Tournament games, you don’t have time to be thinking of what play style you should have. There’s no time for trial and error. You should know in your practices what works and what suits your team. If you go out there and play differently from your practice games, the only chance of winning is luck. You have to trust your practices and yourself. Yes, you are facing a stronger opponent but don’t be intimidated. Stick to your developed game style and just perform with your A-game.

2. Lead if you are the leader; Trust if you are a member

Leaders have the greatest role in tournaments. They are the one who would decide what will be the team’s strategy and they are the one who would generate plans in most situations. Members can suggest but leaders should be the one to decide whether to accept or reject given suggestions. The main reason for this is to have a united attack. If members would decide what to do on their own, the team would fall against an opposing team who are fighting as a team. In team games/sports, winning is decided by two things: better leader and better trust from members.

3. Prepare enough strategy

In most tournaments, your games can be watched by your next opponents. Having only 1 strategy means you’re already countered as soon as you played your first game. Your opponents can wait for you in your favorite ganking areas, your opponents can simply ban your bread and butter heroes, and worst your opponents can even use your strategy against you. If you’re joining a DotA Tournament, it is a must to be unpredictable. This adds to their fear against you. How can they defend if they don’t know how you will attack?

4. Be ready to counter as many DotA strategies as possible

Once you have a clue what your opponent’s game plan will be, you should be wise enough to be prepared for that plan a week before and execute your counters. Practice against better teams because it is through them that you’re going to know what strategies will surprise and beat you. Then formulate plans to win against those strategies and know which will work. When tournament day comes, you’re more confident because you learned a lot and you are ready to face a lot of strategies other teams may be planning.

5. Be comfortable in serious games

I had a problem back then. When I’m playing games with money on the line, my game suddenly change from great to worse than noob. I learned to be comfortable when one time, I was asked to play a game against an unknown team. We defeated that team and after the game I found out that it was also a bet game, only this time I was unaware. Then, I realized that if I treat serious games not too seriously, my game is way better. It was the beginning of me winning bet games. I don’t know with you because factors may be different with you. You might be more comfortable when you are serious but the idea here is find out how you’ll become comfortable playing.

6. ★ Have Fun! ★

You may win or lose the tournament but if you had fun, you never lost at all. So, Good luck and Have Fun!

CHAPTER 5: BALANCE YOUR LIFE

“The only thing that can beat all DotA strategies is having fun. If you have fun, nothing can beat you. What you should spend time thinking about is how to be successful in your real life, not your DotA life. Just like any sports, DotA shouldn’t be treated as a priority. Play it for fun and play it moderately.”

Summary

This chapter will warn you that too much DotA causes fatal effects to your health & social life, and will inform or remind you that DotA shouldn’t be treated as a priority but your personal life.

L1 – Balance Your Games and Studies

The more you excel in DotA, the more you flunk at school – not true.

Improving in DotA is not all about playing 10 or more games per day. Players improve by how well they learn after winning or losing a game (most of the time in losing). Players who are hard headed and don’t believe that they lost because what they are doing is wrong, will never be a better player.

The best way to balance studies and DotA is having strategies for both. These strategies are the things you’re going to think of on how you’re going to improve quickly.

1. Pay attention at school

Most players are spending all night playing DotA and still daydream about DotA when it’s school time. You have to focus on what you’re doing at the moment. If you are in the classroom, listen, take notes, do your seat works. Forget anything else unrelated to your studies.

2. Play moderately

Do not exhaust yourself too much to avoid getting dizzy at school in the morning or worst getting absent/late. Also, you have to reserve energy to study for announced/unannounced quizzes.

3. Pay attention at your game

When it’s playtime, play wisely. Use your limited time to the fullest. 2 or 3 games every afternoon are enough to be a great player after 1 or 2 months. You have to focus on your strengths and weaknesses. Develop your strengths and convert your weaknesses to strengths.

4. Observe the factors that affect your studies

If you find it hard to study after playing, you should study first before playing. In my case, I find it hard to study after losing therefore I used DotA as a reward after studying.

5. Know when not to play

Be the master of your own body. If you have a report on the following day or an examination, chances are, you need more time for that. You have to sacrifice playing which is not and shouldn’t be your priority.

6. Don’t mind the insults

If you are insulted for being a weak player, don’t be offended causing you to play more hours trying to prove to them that you are a great player. Be offended if you’re scolded by your teacher for not doing a simple homework because of playing all night.

7. Cutting-class is a drug

You try it once, you’ll get addicted. Never cut-class if you want to graduate on time.

8. Know when to quit

Know when DotA cannot be included in your schedule anymore. For example, in my case, I have to do advance reading and projects. I gave up playing competitive DotA and just play whenever I’m free (twice or thrice a week).

L2 – Get Enough Sleep

It is not a good idea to stay up all night playing DotA, surfing the net, etc. An average man needs to have at least 7.5 hours of sleep. If you have been sleeping less than 6 hours every night or you have not been sleeping for nights, you would want to sleep right after reading this list.

1. Obesity

Lack of sleep does make you gain more weight. According to research, human body burns 60-65% calories while sleeping. Lack of sleep causes us to have more appetite but also causes our metabolism to slow down. Slow metabolism causes our body to slow down the conversion of calories into energy, thus resulting to weight gain. Michael Breus (the Director of the Sleepdan Beauty Sleep Issues in Health Arrowhead, Glendale, Ariz) explained the relationship of Weight Gain and Sleep through 2 hormones – Ghrelin and Leptin. “Ghrelin is a hormone that serves to inform you when the time to eat. And if lack of sleep, you’ll have a lot of ghrelin (as leptin is a hormone that tells you to stop eating). And when you lack sleep, leptin in your body just a little,” he explained. “If the hormone ghrelin in the body more than leptin, it would be related to weight. You’ll eat more, but that the metabolism will slow when you lack sleep,” -Breus.

2. Diabetes

Yes, sleep deprivation causes Diabetes. The main reason here is our body would have more insulin resistance due to lack of sleep. Our body needs insulin to maintain low glucose content in our body. Sleeping for only 7.5 hours or less makes our body slow or even non-responsive. So, after eating our meals/snacks, our sugar level increases but there are not enough insulin to lower it down. Worse, we tend to eat more because lack of sleep makes us hungry as I’ve stated on the first effect. (based from scientists’ research)

3. Heart Disease

Sleeping less than 7.5 hours every night provides 33% higher rate of cardiovascular diseases. Lack of sleep raises Cortisol levels that cause inflammation resulting to plaques to be dislocated. Once these dislocated plaques ruptures, they can block blood vessels in the heart or brain leading to stroke or heart attack. Sleeping less than 7.5 hours every night provides 33% higher rate of cardiovascular diseases.

4. Stress

People who lacks sleep produces more cortisol or stress hormones. Thus, lack of sleep affects the way you think resulting small problems to be more stressful and you tend to panic a lot which is really deadly. Stress is, indeed, one of the top killers on earth and should really be avoided.

5. Mental Disorder

Study shows that the activity of the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional reaction called Amygdala is 60% higher than the people having enough sleep. “It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” said Matthew Walker of the University of California Berkeley, who led the study.

L3 – Stay Fit (DotA vs Basketball)

In the Philippines, and probably in your country too, the most played games are DotA Allstars and Basketball. Have you ever been torn between these 2 games? I have. These are my 2 favorite games in general and I want to compare them accordingly. I focused more in DotA maybe because I have more friends who are into this game. But, did I make the right decision? Let’s discuss…

1. Level of Fun

Starting with DotA, how can this game not be fun? You are able to feel like a real warrior while playing this game. The strategic nature of this game really adds to the fun specially if you are a person who loves using your mind. The visual and sound effects also contribute to the level of fun of this game. Other than these facts, it is playing as a team with your friends that make this game really addicting.

Basketball is quite similar with DotA in terms of the level of fun. Basketball is also a strategic game, you can feel like a hero every time you win the game for the team and you have the chance to execute team work. Both Basketball and DotA also requires skills. In basketball, the skills you should practice and acquire are shooting, dribbling, passing, etc. In DotA, there are farming, ganking, supporting, mastering heroes’ skills etc. Being a more skilled player allows you to have more fun since you can win most games. Not being skilled also makes you more into the game because you have a goal, to become skilled.

In terms of the level of fun, DotA beats Basketball a bit, so I’m giving a score of 60-40 in favor of DotA.

2. Game’s Balance

DotA allows anyone to be the best player no matter what height or athletic ability you possess. In basketball, you need to develop some physical advantages to be more effective. Tall players have more advantage in rebounding, he just have to develop more awareness. Short players should increase their vertical leap to beat these players but it still requires perfect timing and prediction. Basketball is a physical game. Stronger players can back down weak ones easily. Another physical advantage is arm length. Players with long arms are harder to defend and they are better defenders because they can reach farther.

In terms of Balance, DotA beats basketball 80-20.

3. Health

Do we still need to discuss this? Playing Basketball can be considered an exercise while playing DotA can make you fat and forces you to inhale people’s illnesses if you’d play at the computer shop where breaths are shared. Some players in computer shop would smoke after 2-3 games making it unhealthier. At home you’re safer but still, sitting for a long time on your computer chair is unhealthy. The only advantage of DotA in terms of health is being injury-free.

In terms of health, Basketball beats DotA 90-10.

4. Availability

You can play DotA as long as there is a computer with internet. Whether you don’t have a group of 5 or 10, you can play it anytime. You cannot play basketball alone. You need a group, a ball, and a court. However, you can go to public courts to play with other players but mostly they are full. You would need to set a schedule with other players to play this game.

In terms of availability DotA beats basketball 70-30.

5. Fame

If you’re a great DotA player, you are appreciated by people who play the game as well. However, if you let your parents or girlfriend comes to see you play in the tournament, what will happen is that they wouldn’t understand most things in the game. They’ll get bored all throughout the game. After the game, you’d just tell them whether you won or lose and that’s when they cheer. That’s why, mostly, you won’t see family members supporting DotA players nor girlfriends (that don’t know the game). Whether you became godlike or you amazingly dodged everything, they would hardly know it.

In basketball, family members and girlfriends don’t need to know the entire rules to enjoy watching and supporting you. So the fame extends not only to other Basketball players but to other people who are merely fans. As long as you or your team scores, these fans would be in the game too. When you do something heroic they’ll knew it.

In terms of Fame Basketball beats DotA 75-25.

6. Opposite Sex Attraction

Playing Basketball is more attracting to females based from a little survey i made and a bit of common sense.

In terms of sex appeal, Basketball beats DotA 90-10.

However, if you’re a woman who’s playing DotA, sex appeal now would be changed. DotA now beats basketball and the percentage will depend on the level of your beaty and body (rawr).

It’s now all up to your preferences to choose. If you’re after the fun, thrill, balance and availability, DotA is the best for you. If you want to have a cardio exercise while having fun, concern with fame and sex appeal, pick Basketball… It’s not right to generalize what beats what. It all depends on your preferences. This is just to give you a guide on what to choose based from your desires.

Concluding my question if did I make the right decision focusing on DotA? Yes. My preferences before were fun, balance, and availability. I go to gym and occasionally play basketball for health care and fitness.

L4 – Be Informative about the Reasons of DotA Addiction

Everyday, there are hundreds of new addicted DotA players and I have no idea when this growth will stop. Many players are also retiring but new players are exponentially more than the retired players. From kids to professionals, they can all be addicted to this game. This game is one brilliant creation by Ice Frog that causes tons of tournaments giving cash prizes. Some people are called “Professional Players” because they are already paid for playing for a certain team sponsored by companies or industries. Why is DotA so Addicting?

1. A Time Killer: Boredom is the most common problem of most people today. DotA can consume a lot of time without you even noticing it. You’ll just say “Wtf, I’m late!” after the game.

2. Non-exhausting Game: Unlike Basketball or other physical sports, you can play DotA ’til you can still manage to sit, look at the monitor, use mouse and keyboard, and think. Yes, using your mind is also tiring but it’ll take an average of 3 games before you’d want to take a rest.

3. Fame Source: Most players want to be the best in this game to gain fame which I find natural but technically nonsense. I have to admit that thirst for fame drove me to practice and improve my game. After getting the fame I wanted, I asked myself “Now what?”. For players who don’t plan on having DotA as their profession, Fame isn’t that important.

4. Team Work Game: When we were kids we already love having team battles. That’s why a lot of team sports came up and multi-player computer games have been invented. Playing with team mates is more addicting than playing alone.

5. Tranquilizing: DotA makes you forget your problems and make you think of simpler problem – how to win.

6. Non-violent war: We love wars. That’s why there are shows like Wrestling, UFC, Action Films, etc. DotA is a chance to engage in wars safely. We can fight all day long and just stand up from our computer without even having a scratch.

7. Topic Provider: DotA is a great topic provider. That’s why you talk about it while hanging out with your DotA buddies. That’s why there are forums and blogs like this. We love chatting and DotA is a great topic to talk about.

8. Sweet Sound Effects: “Rampage!!!” – How sweet that sound is? This sound effect is unconsciously a source of self-affirmation. Everyone loves to be praised and accepted. DotA can be a source of this.

9. Easy to Play: Survey shows that DotA is played by more people than other strategy games like Starcraft. One of the reason is its simplicity. You only have to control one hero – great news for people who are not into doing micros.

10. Total Freedom: In DotA, you have all the freedom to do anything you wish. You can gank, farm, lane top, lane mid, lane bot, buy items you wish, you can even annoy your team mates if you wish. It is like an alternative for a person who doesn’t that much freedom in their real lives.

11. Mind Exercise: Intelligent people love exercising their minds. This is the reason why crossword puzzles, Rubic’s cube, and other mind games are created. DotA also have this feature needing analysis, prediction and decision making.

12. Physically safe: People care about their safety. In my case, I don’t jump that much in Basketball because I hate landing on another player’s foot and causing my ankles to be sprained. I don’t want to try Rugby, Boxing, UFC and other dangerous sports because I care about my safety. DotA, on the other hand, doesn’t offer dangerous injury. Eye problems may occur though but it’s still avoidable. Just give your time proper rest and use low radiation monitors.

13. Game Variations: Every game is different. You buy different items, you lane against different opponents, you have different combos, you pick different heroes, you plan different attacks, etc. Variation is important to stay addicted on something. Nobody would want to do same things over and over again.

14. Source of Money: Money is becoming the goal of every humans. Poker won’t be popular if you can’t gain money from it. DotA have been used for betting games and tournaments; obviously, money is involved.

15. Ability to feel like having supernatural skills: We all love to have supernatural skills. In DotA, we have it. Just pick the heroes that possess the skill you want. You want to teleport? You want to be invisible? Do you want to cast lightning on a person? It’s all in DotA Allstars.

16. Tool for anger discharge: DotA can be the place where you release your anger. You can pick a killer hero, make it monster-like, and then kill everyone you see.

17. Varieties of Skills to improve at: You can improve at farming, ganking, supporting, killing, teamwork, using different heroes, combos, etc. These are the things that will cause you to be practicing and improving. More skills learned mean more addiction. More skills to be learned also mean more addiction.

18. Character’s Appearance: DotA Characters’ appearances are made with great imagination. DotA Fan arts spread in the internet showing their appreciation in the Heroes’ appearances. Cool arts and animations add to the addicting potion of this game.

19. Constant Map Improvement: Just when you learned enough strategies for you to be called a DotA genius, here comes another new map with new items and heroes. Now, your learned strategies need upgrade. You need to study, try and analyze new stuffs again making you more into the game.

20. Professional Gamers as Inspiration: Watching pro DotA gamers execute strategies perfectly make you want to be like them. You will be training more after getting inspired by these Pro DotA players and teams.

21. Peer Pressure: Right when you don’t feel like playing, here comes a DotA Buddy saying: “It’s weekend let’s play!” or while you’re at home, you got a “Buzz!!” followed by the word “game”. How can you ever forget playing if these peer temptations are all around you?

22. Game illusion: While playing DotA, the map becomes your world and your hero becomes you. Feeling a different world which is more fun and breath-taking is way better than your old room with old stuffs. When the game’s world is experienced, your mind would be constantly searching for that more pleasurable world making you really addicted.

23. It’s haunting: This game haunts you. While you’re in your classroom, you kept on thinking why you lost or how great your game was. You would then be thinking of playing DotA as soon as you arrive at the computer shop or at home. You would also think of what hero you would play or what play style you’re going to have.

24. Winning Feels Good: Yup, feeling good is really addicting.

25. Losing makes you thirsty to win: On the other hand, losing is still addicting because you become more urge to have that wonderful feeling of winning.

26. No height or other physical disadvantage: In basketball you cannot have a team composed of 5 short players. In Rugby, you should be muscular. In DotA, you can be as thin and short as you want and still own everyone.

27. A balanced game: Since banning was introduced in DotA Allstars, I considered it to be a balanced game. Having a balanced game, you wouldn’t think of quitting while whining “unfair!”.

28. A vast number of strategies: More strategies means more trial and errors. More trial and errors means more games. “More games” means more game illusions. More game illusions means more chance to be trapped in the world of DotA.

29. Merely being a Strategy Game is addicting: Strategy games are so fun because it offers unpredictability.

30. No age limit: Yup, no age limit is a cause of DotA Addiction. Many players should be practicing their professions in real life but they are still stuck in DotA world.

31. Opportunity to become a Hero: It is so pleasurable to be feel like a hero. It is like hitting a buzzer beater in a basketball game or saving a kid from getting hit by a car. The appreciation is simply awesome. Self-esteem boosts quickly and exponentially with this.

L5 – Be Warned by the Signs of DotA Addiction

1. Whenever you lose a DotA game, you want to grab your weak team mate and punch him in the face.

2. Your left thumb is always on the alt button whatever you’re doing at your computer. Maybe you want to check your facebook friend’s hp bar.

3. When you get amazed at anything you call it ‘imba’. ‘He scored 99 at his math test, imba!’. You also call things that annoy you, ‘imba. ‘That guy is imba, he is damn fat’.

4. You relate people’s appearances with DotA characters. You call guys with sharp teeth, Gondar. You call black friends, Nevermore. You call ugly fat guys, pudge.

5. Winning a DotA game makes you feel like a celebrity. You stand up feeling that everyone is looking at you. You tend to snob weaker players and treat them as your fans.

6. You start getting fat because of lacking exercise but you ignore it. You think that as long as you win, you’d be a handsome celebrity.

7. You play DotA from the moment you wake up until the last hour you are awake. Then, you continue playing in your dream.

8. Playing DotA is having several code names like, “mom, I’m doing my research I’ll be home at 2am.”, “yeah, dad I’m changing the tires of my car.”, “hello sweetheart, where am I? (thinking…) Damn, damn, the battery is low… (turn cell phone off and resume game)”

9. You become so thrifty on anything except on DotA. You would endure not buying food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then spend everything you earn playing DotA.

10. DotA became a third party on your relationship. Your girlfriend is starting to let you choose between her and DotA. The worse thing is, you choose DotA.

11. You say the word ‘aw/wtf’ in really life. Girlfriend: “my mom is sick.” You: “aw, sorry to hear that..”

12. You have a facebook photo album full of DotA screen shots though people don’t really care about it.

13. You judge the totality of the person based on how good he plays. Ugly but good player would say, “How the hell that noob guy got a hot girlfriend?! I’m going to tell his gf that he’s noob so she can change her mind.”

14. You are enumerating DotA character names while doing other things like watching tv, walking to school, cooking, eating, pooping, dating.

15. Sexy fan arts of lady DotA characters make you aroused. Worse, you search for more sexy pics of DotA character. Worst! You search for their nude pics.

16. You find it difficult to sleep after losing a DotA game. Your body rotates like 30 times while thinking before you sleep. You even hammer your pillow and repeat a phrase several times, like “I did my best!”. And sometimes, you’d do the most pathetic thing ever you can do with your life, you cry.

17. When you go to a party with your friends to hang out, the topic you’re going to discuss are the following: DotA games played, DotA new plan, DotA character’s strengths and weaknesses, and how ‘imbalance’ is the food you’re eating.

18. You try teaming up with good players because you get so afraid to lose a DotA game. You feel like losing a DotA game would turn you into a vapor and dissolve out from this planet.

19. You remember the exact time you bought all your items but forget the time your home will be locked.

20. You try to play better whenever a girl is near, thinking that they would approach and ask you to be her boyfriend after.

21. The years you are addicted to DotA would be the years you are in a different world, forgetting your real life. You wake up suddenly, “Wtf, I’m 30 and I’m still at high school?!”

22. You depend on DotA games whether you’d be having money for your meal or not.

23. It’s your birthday and your birthday wish is to play DotA and won’t be disturbed by anyone.

24. You start to have a hot-temper, like you want to cast lightning bolt on your teacher.

25. This is the ultimate test. Check your yahoo messenger, if 90% on the list are DotA buddies, congratulations! You are within the portals of DotA Realm.

I made this guide to warn people. I am giving a lot of DotA Strategies but I don’t want you to give up your priorities. DotA should never come first or second. There are a lot of things to focus on. If you are making enough money from DotA to run a big family – no problem. What you should spend time thinking about is how to be successful in your real life, not your DotA life. Treat this game, not your studies, as past time. Play for fun. The only thing that can beat all the strategies I told you is having fun. If you have fun, nothing can beat you. Win or lose, you still won because you didn’t waste your time being slamming your keyboard out of stress. This is the main purpose of games – to have fun.

L6 – Learn to Overcome DotA Addiction

The computer is a device essential to stereotypical life in today’s world. Addiction must be treated like an eating disorder: very carefully.

The following is a steps list detailing how to avoid becoming addicted, and how to un-addict yourself if you are already addicted when you finally decided that DotA cannot be included anymore in your schedule.

1. Accept responsibility.

The problem lies within the individual, not within DotA. No attempt at beating ‘addiction’ can succeed until the individual accepts its existence. The problem is not the existence of DotA, the content of it, but the person who chooses to play it.

Be vigilant. DotA is meant to be interesting. It is not naturally addictive, but It is made for It’s replay value.

2. Identify the impact.

How many hours a day do you spend playing DotA? Do you normally go out on the weekend? When was the last time you read a book? Identifying the negative impacts of the addiction will help you focus on positive improvements and getting back the things that you really are missing.

3. Avoid blame.

Blaming others for problems that you alone must face does not solve the problems. The ‘gaming industry’ or manufacturers are not the cause of this problem, and blaming them does not make the problem better. The vast, extreme majority of ‘gamers’ are healthy individuals, accepting responsibility is the first step.

4. Stay positive.

While it is important to identify the negative aspects of the problem, it is also important to focus on the goal and progress that you have made.

Be positive whenever possible. While negative reinforcement is sometimes necessary, positive reinforcement will always go further in the end.

5. Set Limits.

If you decide that you have 1 hour per day to spend playing DotA, stick to that. Since DotA requires many hours of gameplay to have fun, you likely should consider a different game or different genre of games.

6. Active parental monitoring.

If you are the parent, and thus you are in control. If your children do not listen to you, removal of the DotA console or setting of administrative control on the computer may allow you to better handle the problem.

Be an active parent. Children with gaming problems often do not spend enough time interacting with their parents in parent/child activity. Go out to a pizza place or well lit restaraunt. Sign up for a family softball league. Go swimming. There are many, many activities that are enjoyable where computer or DotA games are not even available. Sometimes, distraction is the best way to start.

7. Request that your parents put you on a strict time limit for playing DotA.

There are freeware programs available for download that can help with this. Playing hide-and-go-seek with your parents (hiding your game) is an effective way to minimize gaming overall.

8. Find something else to do.

You know the statement “my anti-drug…” This statement is better phrased “my anti-addiction…” or “my anti-bad habit…” The best way to do this is to develop a variety of other things to do, with others.

Do things that you would do before you were addicted to DotA. Such as playing soccer, baseball, golf…etc

“Quiting to DotA is the beginning of life, not the end. It is a time to make the inner journey and come face to face with your flaws, failures, prejudices, and all the factors that generate thoughts of unhappiness. It is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allow serenity to prevail.”

CONCLUSION

I guess that these would be all for this guide. I hope that you’ve found all the information I’ve shared helpful and that it could bring big changes both in your games and personal life.

The guide was co-written by my 2 fellow Filipinos who are iGk.Jakku and Salawayun.

Please leave a comment. I love it when people comment on my guide, good or bad, I appreciate it. Thanks and keep connected. See you around!

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4 Responses to “Dota 2 Playing Like a Pro Guide”

  1. Bro, how can i play againts pro player or be on page 1?

  2. Awesome! Ty so much! I feel soooooo good…

    THANKS A LOT!

  3. Wow man ! Thanks a lot.
    I’ll be better than Dendi because of this !

    Thanks a lot.

    Keep doing it man ! It’s good to help people

    Wish everyone can see this ”Guide”

  4. Man I have no idea why many people have not read this guide of yours! Its the single most amazing and comprehensive dota guide I have ever came accross.

    I cannot wait to implement some of the things you have written here.

    Amazing stuff and thank you!

    I left my email, I know its asking alot but if you could send me something like ‘tip of the week’ or something every week, I cannot say how much I’d appreciate it.

    Keep up the good work and good luck in your gaming life!

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