In this post I'd like share how I think is the best way to approach the game of Dota mentally and would love to hear your thoughts about my post and what's your experience with the mental aspect of the game.
First of all, I'm creating this post mostly for myself to strengthen my beliefs about the mental side of the game, because I'm certainly still learning and get caught in negative thought patterns at times. Whenever I'm addressing the reader with "you" I'm actually speaking to myself mostly 😀
Please know that I do enjoy the game very much regardless of any of the points I'm about to mention. I think Dota has a great community and my general experience in game with you all is overwhelmingly positive.
That being said, here's my list of things we as a community could improve on in the emotional approach to the game.
The number one thing to keep in mind and that is the fundamental aspect for all future points, is that we all should have fun playing the game. That's what it's about. It doesn't matter if you're just starting out or having played the game for years or what your current mmr is, if you're a professional player or if you just wanna play the game very casually. If I have fun in the game, I feel like I already won. If I don't have fun, I already lost regardless if my or their ancient falls. It's a great feeling when you're done with your games and you are energized by the positives of your Dota games and you can transfer that to other parts of your life.
This brings me to my second point, which is I believe any mmr is fine. You shouldn't feel like you have less value cause you're not playing Dota at (x) skill level after (x) games. In Dota there tends to be this ladder system where everyone insults the ranks below them, mainly cause they get insulted by the ranks above them. So we kind of always get told by someone that we're really bad, regardless of what we achieved, even the second place finisher of TI gets their share of that, or OG in the off season games 😀 ) . To counter that, I feel like it's on each individual to stop this cycle and really not care about mmr / medal. I feel so much better if I'm not engaging in these kind of conversations. In the end of the day I just want to be better today than myself yesterday. That's all I'm looking for and that's what makes me happy.
So if we believe that any mmr is valid, then we should be able to skip anything like "teammates holding me back, etc." The only thing I'd like to say about that is more of a logical than an emotional approach.
So let's go with the comparison of having a deck of playing cards with the skill levels ace to king (with Ace being low cause I want 7 to be the middle :P). So a 7 means that the player is playing exactly at his skill level and the chance of winning is exactly 50%, because the other 9 players will be playing on average with skill level 7 (which will be always 7 for any given game cause any player naturally goes towards the mmr they're skill wise at. Now if you're playing at an 8 or higher, if you shuffle the cards and give yourself 4 cards and 5 cards to the opponent, you will be winning overall more games no matter what even if some games are lost because the cards of your opponent add up to a higher number because of chance in a given game.
But all this shouldn't even be your concern, cause even if you've had a bad streak cause of bad luck, you're still a better player than before that streak if you have been actively trying to learn.
- Now finally going to in-game thinking haha 🙂
If you're solo queuing the only constant in your games will be you, so you should only focus to see what you can do for the game and not at all on your teammates. Ask yourself, if you're being micromanaged in a game by another player on your team, do you feel like you're playing better and have more fun? And do you feel like you're playing better and have more fun when you're micromanaging another player? The answer to both question in my opinion is a resounding NO. So there is no gain in anything if you're micromanaging another player since they're also people trying to play the game as good as they can. If you see them doing something wrong (as we all do every game), accept that and adapt your game to improve the situation this way instead of telling a specific player how to play. Keep in mind they're also having most likely thousands of hours of Dota and created an own idea how to play and they're playing about as good as you overall skill level wise.
- Having said that brings me to the point on how to interact with our teammates in game since Dota is a cooperative game. I think we should strive to use communication only as a means to tell people what you can do for the game or what you need for the game including the reason why you need it without targeting a specific player even if you feel like it's obvious who is the target of your request. So instead of saying: "Can the Centaur build a halberd"?, you should say "There's a Medusa on the enemy team. Can someone build a halberd?" This explains why you want it and gives the player who plays the other hero a chance to step up himself to say he'll do it instead of being targeted directly, which makes it a nicer interaction overall. Also the only mistakes you should mention are your own (mainly for yourself to remember not to do them next time, but you also discourage other people from commenting on it, since you already mentioned it yourself).
I think I'll stop here to not make it a too overwhelming post, and I feel like I covered the general idea of how I want to approach games, with the fun part being the absolute foundation for it in my opinion.
Thanks so much for reading through all this if you're still with me 😀
Let me know what you guys think! I'd love to hear anything about how you're dealing with the mental part of the game in specific situations!