What’s DOTA 2?

DOTA 2 or DotA (as it was originally known) is the Defence of the Ancients 2, is a multiplayer online battle arena game where five players take on another five in a super complicated fight where deaths do not matter at all — but rather the Defence of your Ancient.

Since its inception in like forever ago, DOTA 2 has evolved to become a global e-sport, having an annual tournament sponsored by Valve with a prize money going up to millions of dollars. The game requires a deep understanding of its mechanics, some understanding of efficiency, and coordination therefore, requiring a very high skill cap to master. Of course, practicing to earn that money is quite tough with majority of the players being equivalent to buckets of salt. However, our players risen above the salt with the skills of Miracle.

How do we gauge a player’s skill cap? Valve implemented a system that calibrates what is known as Match-Making Rank, or MMR. Basically, the higher your MMR, the better you are. The global average is around 3-4k, but our Law Students have MMRs averaging around the high 5k range with Marcus Lim hitting 7k.

TLDR; our team was super good and emerged with a 2-0 win over Med.

Many DOTA 2 players are somewhat camera shy, see Admiral Bulldog. Here’s a picture of our PogChamps (See, twitch emoticons).


Team Law (from left to right): Eng Ser Kai, Cleon Fong, Mark Leong, Marcus Lim, and Feng Zheyi.

Team Law (from left to right): Eng Ser Kai, Cleon Fong, Mark Leong, Marcus Lim, and Feng Zheyi.

Also, special thanks to Feng Zheyi and Eng Ser Kai for their contribution to this article!

If you’re new to DOTA 2, the rest might be a bit hard to understand so you might want to get back to reading up for your next lecture. 

I think it’s only deserving to go through the games and talk about what I think about the games they’ve played for those of you who DO play DOTA 2.

Note: I am 4.6kmmr and my analysis may be a little flawed given that I have not really played since the latest 7.00 patch. If you have any thoughts you’d like to discuss with me, I would be more than happy to entertain some discussion once I get out of law school. BibleThump.


Game 1 Analysis 

Replay Match ID, 3015259147

Med – Radiant
Picks: Ember Spirit Bans: Shadow Demon
Vengeful Spirit Tinker
Legion Commander Silencer
Disruptor Meepo
Timbersaw Ogre Magi
Law – Dire
Picks: Pudge Bans: Slardar
Invoker Slark
Lone Druid Dark Seer
Tiny Axe
Ursa Faceless Void

Note: BanPicks were in that order and game was played in Captains Mode.



Marcus drafted for Law with a somewhat Strength Support lineup. Heroes on dire had a high health pool where a Lifestealer core could easily punish, however, Axe and Slardar were banned out negating the blink infest combo. Perhaps a better pick would have been Centaur Lifestealer for Medicine.

I would see Lifestealer as a better core to Vengeful/Legion because of his inherent magic immunity and easy destruction of Lone Druid’s bear.

The cores for Med were Ember Mid, Legion Safe and Timbersaw Off, with Vengeful and Disruptor rotating Mid and Safe. Their lineup was somewhat flexible on the surface with a possible jungling Legion to swap up for a carry Venge. However, a roaming Pudge coupled with how early Ursa gets online and a global sunstrike easily deterred this, so Legion just went safe.

I think it is important to note Med’s draft was rather greedy and unable to punish the Invoker. Firstly, a roaming Venge Disruptor really cannot catch/kill anyone out of position without levels on glimpse, magic missile, and wave. Secondly, the cores on Med had no slows or stuns till Timber or Legion had 6, and even then, Dueling would be risky because of Sunstrike being much easier to aim.

Law’s cores draft did seem a little cheeky with a cheese strategy. Tiny, Ursa and Pudge would tri-top killing timber the moment he came into lane leaving him at level 1 for a long time with the only option to Jungle the hardcamp at the offlane. However, Timber did not realize this strat and did not buy iron talon, leaving him unable to jungle at level 1. If you do not understand what I am talking about, the cheese strategy is Toss, Rot, Ursa swipes you down. Tiny saves his stun if Timber decides to Timberchain away and Pudge has hook as insurance.

That leaves the Offlane and Midlane to discuss. Well, I think that Lone Druid would do okay in the Offlane given that neither Venge nor Disruptor has any chase, so if the bear can pull each wave, Lone Druid will farm fine and get his levels. Midlane? The matchup for Invoker against Ember used to be favourable because Invoker can just go QW and remove his Flame Guard every time. Instead, our resident 7k player decided to go QE. Well, from what I know, given the new 7.00 patch, a lot of Invokers favour a QWE build with one level of QW each and then Exort because of the now 6 second cooldown of Invoke. I honestly think Invoker should be able to win his lane if not trade evenly. Furthermore, there’s a roaming Pudge and Tiny, and Ember will be especially wary of ganks before he hits 6.

From what I said, the score stood 1-11 at the 9-minute mark favouring Dire (Team Law). Showing the poor picks and greed of Radiant. It is nice to note Radiant had quite good Rosh fighting potential given that Ursa entered the pit first, but Dire was more suited in fighting openly with Pudge and Tiny able to maximize their potential with isolated targets.


Radiant’s teamfight was centered around their Legion Commander with Timbersaw flying by and Disruptor dropping his ultimate once everyone walks in to save the dueled target. Ember’s burst and elusiveness would then swoop in for the kill with a triple fire remnant and veil drop.

Dire’s teamfight was a bit more chaotic, with Pudge saving whoever overextended or whoever was dueled. Lone Druid, interestingly went for the Radiance build instead of the Ranged Lone Druid. I guess Dire intended for a greater teamfight with Radiance preventing Legion from hitting all of her attacks, negating her somewhat. Ursa’s job would be to just delete Vengeful I suppose with his Aghs build the Aura damage from Venge should help Legion I guess. Tiny could drop his combo on whoever was low or, seeing that he was supporting and possibly underlevelled, Tiny would just toss whoever was low to Ursa to finish off or Avalanche to prevent chain spells. Invoker? Just Forge it up, Alacrity the bear, and drop the meatball deafening blast if anyone gets dueled, save he himself. Invoker skipped the Euls interestingly, and stuck with Windlace instead. If I’m not wrong, with no mana regen, I guess it would require a higher level of skillcap to manage your mana pool and not just Invoke on a whim.

The game ended at 38 minutes with some throws by Dire (Team Law), with a 30k gold difference and 20k experience gap – Team Med was virtually outskilled and outdrafted.


Game 2 Analysis:

Replay Match ID, 3015352977

Law – Radiant
Picks: Ember Spirit Bans: Underlord
Dark Seer Slardar
Crystal Maiden Shadow Fiend
Doom Ogre Magi
Tinker Riki
Med – Dire
Picks: Vengeful Spirit Bans: Shadow Demon
Axe Dazzle
Invoker Disruptor
Lifestealer Meepo
Nyx Luna



Radiant’s draft seemed a bit iffy if not greedy to be honest. 4 potential cores running in their lanes just takes too long to get online especially with supports getting GPM/XPM boosts in this patch. Feelsbadman Guntothehead? Not really, Ember went position 4 with an early orb of venom showing his roaming potential? But back to the drafting, I think Crystal Maiden was a pretty decent pick given that other Ogre and Riki were banned. Her global mana regen is like a gift from the gods when playing Doom and Dark Seer, both with low pools and spammable spells. What she did not fair well against was a potential Nyx in the lane. Nyx’s Spike Carapace means that a decent player familiar with Nyx can time the active spell to the cast animation of Maiden. But I guess she does decently well against Axe.

With Tinker Mid, a strong Midlaner in his own right, a roaming Ember an Offlane Seer and a supporting Maiden, it just leaves Doom to the safelane. What is so great about a safelane Doom? He’s naturally tanky and can get an insane GPM, potentially outfarming Luna/Lifestealer and keeping on par with Tinker. The cons? Doom is rekt by Lifestealer, Nyx and Venge. If Med saw this, they might have altered their lanes to go for an aggressive tri offlane. But I guess the ingenuity of the support Ember pick paid off because Med assumed Doom would jungle, leaving Ember in the Safelane. Well Played!

Dire’s draft was a little problematic in my opinion. For both matches, they banned out Meepo which meant that they could not really deal with those 5k, 6k smurf accounts who use Meepo to end the game in 20 minutes Feelsbadman. Next, they picked Axe and banned out Dazzle. Generally, picking Axe already discourages a Dazzle pick and besides, the only low armour hero on their draft is Lifestealer, why would Law pick Dazzle? It seemed like Med shot themselves in the foot on that one. However, their draft seemed pretty balanced on this occasion. They had decent Rosh potential with Venge wave and Lifestealer, they also had decent high ground and teamfight with the Axe blink, Call, and Lifestealer Infest. I guess the only downside of Med’s draft is that it was once again very greedy. Nyx is terrible at farming especially as a position 4. Vengeful can remain poor but will only be useful for one spell before she gets blown up unless she gets a Forcestaff with would require some levels to get that GPM up. Invoker going QE would need a lot of time and gold before he can come online, giving Tinker even more time to get his core items (Aghs Build). Axe needs about 3k gold before he can fight and Lifestealer needs some form of Lockdown or the opposing heroes can easily kite him.

It is also nice to note the Doom pick was probably for Nyx who intended to counter Tinker. We all know how annoying a burrowed Nyx with Ultimate can be.

Team Law did not have any Rosh potential from their picks which was a terrible downside but Med on the other hand could have taken it with ease with Lifestealer and Venge walking in and Invoker using Forge to scout.


I guess with Med’s greedy drafting, Law could go along with it affording an Ember support. The team fight should be in Law’s favour most of the time because of the gold advantage Tinker and Doom can mass up, Seer farms equally fast and can disrupt Dire camps with an ion shell killing the creeps save for one (really annoying imo).

KD stood 7-3 at 12 minutes in Law’s Favour. I guess that’s understandable as neither side wants to fight till they get their core items up. But that leaves Ember poor and unable to get anything.

One thing I am not fond of was the Venge pick by Med. It seems that Med likes to pick Venge and play it as a core. With 7.00, Dragon Lance, Talents, Helm modded, I think she is extremely viable as a core against physically weak heroes like Law’s draft. I mean, if Venge swaps out maybe, an Axe or Invoker, the backline is probably going to rush up allowing for a probable 3/4 man Vacuum Wall combo. I think Nyx is a great pick for teamfights though, with Spiked Carapace instantly stunning virtually anyone on Law because of their AOE/pseudo AOE spells. But Law had a simple solution to this, like I mentioned before — Doom the Nyx.

Law’s Tinker pick is pretty apt I suppose. For teamfights, he’s pretty bad given Axe’s ability to blink call an out of position Tinker. But when he’s cucked, it gives space for Doom and Dark Seer to get really big (which was what happened), allowing for Maiden to cower behind them dropping her devastating Ultimate. Generally I would think the teamfight seems balanced with both teams having pros and cons to work around.

As the game drew to its definitive moments, one stark factor proved the difference between the two sides – the Invoker’s inability to control teamfights and dish out the pain. Such was evidenced by numerous mistimed spells, and a recurring inability to chain “combo-wombos” under pressure. As a result, the second and final game of the series ended with a score of 41-27 to Law’s favour at 39 minutes.

Gegeweepee Law! Kappa.



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