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The League of Legends and Dota 2 deviation

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

In a recent episode of “Talk to Thorin,” LS talks about how Western League of Legends pros do not understand the roles of the their other teammates to a high degree, particularly compared to their Korean counterparts. That leads to situations where they don’t understand how their play/lane/movements can have an effect on the rest of the map. It’s an interesting discussion and I found it fascinating as this problem hasn’t popped up in Dota 2 for a long time.

In Dota 2, everyone has a specialized role. The difference is that the idea that you have one role and stick with it for most of your career died a long time ago. I don’t know about the practice habits of the Dota 2 players. Maybe they all do the same thing as their League of Legends counterparts in that they focus only on playing their role in solo queue. But in the actual competition, the Dota 2 players are much more susceptible to changing the role they play in the team. It’s become semi-common practice among the top teams/players of Dota 2 to change roles throughout their careers. KuroKy has played every role but off lane throughout his career. The cores players of Team Liquid have shifted between mid, carry and off lane multiple times. Miracle himself has also played support. EternaLEnVy went from support to carry to mid. Zai and Fly played both support and off lane. Moo went from off lane to carry, back to off lane.

The roles in Dota 2 are much more malleable than League of Legends pro play. I’ve thought about why this could be: It’s not like Dota 2 players have a much better practice regime (at least that I’ve heard of). I think it’s likely the mechanics of the game itself. The TP scrolls, runes, jungle stacking, creep stacking, lane swaps, the various configurations of lanes (you can run 1-3-1, 2-1-2, 1-1-1-2, 0-1-1-3, etc.) make Dota 2 such a game that you must play globally early on, and every player is forced to understand how their lane can affect the entire map.

That’s just a thought. I’m curious to know what experts think from either side.


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