Teamwork Guide

Don't be a dick. I'm not even trying to usher in a kinder, gentler generation of DotA players. Not being a dick is actually sound advice. If you just read that sentence and still think being a dick is a good idea, try this experiment:

Go to work. Or school. Go about your business until you encounter a situation where you need someone's help. Once that happens, pick a random person. Call that person a motherfucker. Insinuate that he or she is a homosexual black Jew. Tell that person that he or she should commit suicide and/or die in a fire. Be creative. Do this as loudly as you can. Once you've run out of ways to yell at the person, ask for a favor. Record the results.

After doing the above, repeat the process until you encounter a situation where you need someone's help. Once that happens, pick a random person. Politely ask if he or she can assist you. Return the favor if necessary. Record the results.

The best part about not being a dick? Every once in a while, you might even make a new friend! Even if it's just a DotA buddy, you might be able to jump into public games with people you've actually played with before! Crazy, I know.

If you're playing DotA 2, buy a Goddamn mic. I honestly do not understand how about 80% of the people I play DotA 2 with do not have microphones. You can buy one for, like, five dollars. I'm not even kidding. I don't care if you can type as fast or faster than I can (about 120 WPM error-free...that's actually kind of depressing): you can convey information more quaickly by speaking than you can by typing, especially if the information is complex.
There is no such thing as too much communication. The key word is communication, here. Chatter is not communication. Nobody cares how drunk or high you are: in fact, if you're talking about how drunk or high you are, you're probably a huge pussy with a low tolerance for weed and alcohol, or else you wouldn't be bragging about it. Nobody cares that your mom is a total bitch who beats you daily. If your teammates want to shoot the breeze with you, that's fine. If you're talking about things that no one else on your team understands - or cares about - shut up.

What is communication? Telling your team a hero just left your lane. Letting your team know Enigma has his Blink Dagger at 8 minutes in. Letting your Bounty Hunter know that three different heroes are carrying Dust. Letting your lane partner know that if the two of you tower dive, you'll get a kill and be able to get away safely. Information wins you games.
Just because you see something doesn't mean your teammates do.This kind of ties in with the above. Everyone sees the game a little bit differently. More importantly, everyone plays a little bit differently. Sure, you like to be aggressive and gank, but that doesn't mean your teammate does. Maybe you know that Nightstalker just left mid with an Invisibility Rune in his Bottle. That doesn't mean your teammates do. You might think ignoring Tidehunter and gunning down Anti-Mage is more important, but maybe your teammates think stopping Tidehunter from using Ravage is more important. This is especially critical if you decide to retreat from a fight that doesn't seem to be going well. The worst case scenario is that you're conveying information your teammate(s) already know(s). At best, you may have just made a huge play that swings the game's momentum in your favor.
Even most shitty plans are better than no plan. The only thing worse than having no plan at all is something along the lines of obvious suicide. Even if you "know" what the correct play for your team is, if your team doesn't follow it, what have you accomplished? Team cohesion is incredibly important: five is better than four, three, two or one. Even if the plan is shitty and you'll probably lose, five players just doing their own thing is basically a guaranteed loss.

Example 1: I played a game with a Leshrac who decided he was the carry. He refused to support, rushed Bloodstone and Aghanim's and stole kills with Lightning Storm. I was Slardar and the closest thing to a carry we had. I switched to a more supporting role and tried to let Leshrac get all the kills. We still lost, but it was actually a very close game. Had I done my own thing, the game probably would have ended much sooner.

Example 2: I played a game with someone who I had played with multiple times. He announced at the start of the game that he was going to rush a Rapier as Keeper of the Light. We gave him mid, picked all stunners, and ganked our balls off. We won the game within 25 minutes. Now granted, it was a player I was familiar with, but the cohesive - if risky - plan paid off in spades.
No matter how clever you are, team flame wars are almost always a bad idea. So your teammate is a dick and is saying all those things that makes you wish you could punch someone through the Internet. Maybe you've managed to twist his or her insults into something that's actually kind of funny (to you, at least). So what? At best, you might get a few laughs. At worst, you may have just alienated the rest of your team. Yeah, it sucks playing with an asshole. Thankfully, if you want, you don't have to play with that person again. Even if you're the kind of person who finds verbal warfare to be entertaining - instead of frustrating - it takes your mind away from the game and you're much more inclined to make a mistake; a mistake that results in you dying probably isn't going to make your teammate think any better of you. Yeah, I know: it's always your team's fault. Regardless, it doesn't do any more to help you win the game to pass the buck. Why make things harder than they need to be?
Treat hero kills as though they belong to the carry as often as possible.To put it a different way, if you're the carry, treat every hero kill like it's yours. The general gameplan for any team is to get their carry farmed enough to where the team can be carried to victory. Makes sense, right?

Granted, this is not always possible, but it's a very effective line of thinking. If there's any way you, as the carry, can kill a hero, do it! Likewise, if there's any way you can pass a kill to your carry, make it happen. The quicker your carry farms, the quicker you win.

Of course, if you're say, Nightstalker and you get fed early, then you've probably become the carry. In that case, again, adhere to the mindset that every kill is yours.

I've left an example of this in the spoiler. Since I was in the game, I'll also walk you through my mindset as the fight progressed.

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