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Dota 2: My Quest for Improvement

May 10, 2016
Halycon450 on DeviantArt

For me, there’s a frustrating disconnect when it comes to sports. I understand the rules of tennis and some of the finer points, like putting spin on the ball. But when it comes to actually executing the motion, I find that the ball goes soaring out of bounds or into the net.

I often feel the same way about Dota. I understand the game; I have watched hundreds of pro matches and replays. I understand some of the finer points like item and skill builds. But when it comes to actually pulling off the perfect wombo combo I find myself as uncoordinated as a… walrus climbing a mountain. I suspect many readers can empathize, even if they don’t want to admit it. Dota has a punishing learning curve and it’s difficult to improve unless one has many hours to devote to grinding out games.

That last part there is the problem for a lot of ‘adults’ such as myself. I work 40 hours a week in a job that sometimes requires overnight travel. If I’m not outside doing geology stuff, I’m staring at a computer screen all day. By the time I get home in the evenings and eat I’m usually not in the mood for much gaming. But I desperately want to improve as a player, if only to make watching pro matches that much more enjoyable. And maybe a to make it a little less embarrassing to reveal my MMR to people.

Here it is. I’m making a commitment to improve, right here, right now. I love writing about Dota2 and keeping up with the pro scene, and I can write better articles with better analysis if I become a better player, right?

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I’ll admit I’m guilty of the “damn the manual, full steam ahead” mindset sometimes. The first time I ever played Dota I picked Razor because I thought his voice lines were hilarious. That was a disaster… luckily it was a bot match.

So here is the plan: I’m going to devote 4-5 hours each week (probably on weekends if I’m honest) to improving at Dota. I’m going back to basics: practicing last hitting, mana management, itemization, skill builds. That seems like a manageable amount of time with my schedule, and hopefully enough time to see some improvement.

I’m going to pick a few heroes and start over, practicing mechanics in the hopes that strengthening the foundation improves my gameplay on a whole.

Resources for Improving at Dota 2

Purge. I’ll probably read through Purge’s guide again and check out some of his newer uploads.

The Art of Support. This is a nicely put together guide (an eBook was available at some point) that focuses on supports, as the name implies, but does a good job explaining team compositions.

Merlini’s Twitch / VODS. He’s a very high level player but usually explains what he’s doing and why as he plays, which is great insight into the decision-making process.

LearnDota2 and True Dota2. /r/Dota2’s less meme-y counterparts.

I might even play the new Tutorial in Reborn, just to see what it’s all about. I don’t remember the old tutorial being particularly helpful, but we’ll see.

I’ll probably troll the internet for various other guides, so if you have written a useful guide and would like to show it off, send me an email at kara@esportsedition.com

May 4, 2016
May 2, 2016
Apr 30, 2016
Apr 29, 2016
Kara Jacobacci
Kara has been following professional DotA2 since the TI4 qualifiers. When not watching matches on Twitch, she can be found working (or attempting to find work) as a geologist and enjoying nature.
What do you think?

ayy lmao









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