Our Dota 2 New Year's Resolutions for 2017
New year, new patch and new opportunities await in Dota 2. With such a massive overhaul of the game coming after the Boston Major to cap off 2016, 2017 is looking unpredictable and exciting already. Many will be making their resolutions to improve their health, relationships or bank balance but we're looking to up our clairvoyance—and maybe the
Over the last few years of following pro-Dota games, I've picked up some helpful habits to get a deeper understanding of the scene. We don't always follow even our own best advice, but this year I'll be aiming to up my game in a few simple ways. I still try to learn with every opportunity, and if you're reading this, you probably do, too. Whether you want to be the best analyst you can (like me) or you just want bragging rights in your fantasy league, here are a few resolutions I'm recommending for the new year.
Watch B-League Teams and Players More
I remember when Wings were considered irrelevant by all but the most dedicated of Chinese specialists (credit to Blaze for originally convincing me of this team's significant potential a little over a year ago). There are dozens of examples, especially in the last two years, of new players or teams catching Dota's elite by surprise.
The fact is,
Ad Finem was bubbling beneath the surface for at least a year before breaking out at the Boston Major, and I only watched them play about two dozen games in that time. From early signs of greatness as London Conspiracy eliminating EG at MLG Pro League Season
Keep Tabs on China
Although often considered
Aside from time zone, language and cultural differences meaning fewer interviews, streams, and points of access with Chinese players, China also has more active teams than any other region, making following anything but the pinnacle a nightmare.
If past trends continue, the West will take home this year's
It's about time I remember to watch at least a handful of Chinese games a week. Or at least every month.
Watch More Games from Every Player Perspective
Using the in-game perspective of players will really help you understand how the team communicates, who calls shots, and which players are most vital to creating opportunities. Last year I did just that, watching many of OG's games from every player's perspective, resulting in a much better sense of which players were most critical at different stages of the game.
That information became useful later on. For example, because I had taken the time to watch player perspectives, I was confident that Miracle would fail to live up to his own potential without Crit at his side. If Fly makes a handful of weak positioning errors in an early game, it often indicated that the team as a whole would struggle in the
This is also vital for measuring a team's potential because broadcasts rarely focus on support players, but a support duo's maximum efficiency is usually a ceiling for a professional team. A stand-out core player may be exciting to watch, but he can only win one lane. Good supports can win all three. But if you don't look at supports on your own time, you'll never see the vast majority of what they do, and therefore won't be prepared for their team's success or lack therein.
I've found watching every player on a team minimally improves my own game, but more importantly helps me understand teams in a much more intimate way. By the time Kiev rolls around, watching at least a handful of games from every player's perspective from every team, and comparing their styles will help you better understand what makes them tick.