Supports and Carries

What made Dota 2 loved by millions is that the game play continues to revolve despite being boxed in a uniform AI mechanic and a restricted hero pool and item selection. I’ve been playing the game for almost eight years now (7 in Dota 1 and 1 in Dota 2) and have seen the game evolve from a “kill all then push” fiasco to a mental warfare that requires precise tactics and vehement executions.

As Dota 2 emerges to be a legitimate competitive sport, pro teams serve as a beacon of light for hopefuls wanting to reach the grandest stage of them all. But the disparity between supports and carries is so huge for the majority that most players find themselves frustrated and rage-quitting, forever cursing Dota 2 as a “shitty game.”

Combining all these thoughts in a melting pot, I’ve come to ask myself, “Is Dota 2

The machine runs with perfectly-placed cogs, each with its own purpose.

Like many eSport titles, players have their roles each game. There are many sub-hierarchies and nomenclatures, but you’re basically either a support or a carry. Simply put, supports work on the sidelines and take one of the team as carries build their items and level to carry the game to victory. In Utopia, there is synergy between the two, and no role overshadows the other. But when you play in a pub game wherein your team mates are hungry for the limelight, the synergy is broken. Everyone picks the hardest-hitting hero, goes to his lane and farms his items, and comes out in the hopes of wiping the enemy team and their base. When it goes well, the hero with the most kills and items is the hero. When it goes sour, well, the one who has the most deaths has thrown the game.

The long-standing feud between carries and supports.

There is this one thread in Dota Cinema that I read a while ago. The gist is that the topic starter was so tired with his team making fun of his poor standing when the game ends, which is inevitable because he plays support. To add more flame, his team mates are his friends and it seems that he’s abandoning them because he’s so tired of being mocked despite taking the bullet most of the time.

I can very much relate to the man because I’m a support player in my team as well. We had a similar lineup: 4 carries and a lone support. Our games were atrocious and we berated each other hard, up to the point of animosity. Still, we kept on playing and eventually, we started to adjust to our own roles. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. Perhaps it was subconscious: I was always adamant when I talk to them not everyone can play carry and Dota 2 is not a kill contest. We watched replays together too, and everybody just got on to the same page. We have yet to try our skills in a tournament setting, but I’m positive that we’ll do fine, if not better than our expectations.

Story time over. Back to the man. If he wants to keep the team and not suffer as a support, I believe having a sit-down talk with his team members is his best bet. This is to lay out the objectives he has for the team. If his friends are only playing for fun but he wants something more, it’s obviously not gonna work. Spamming rage on chat won’t do any good if the other end does not take you seriously. If there’s no compromise, it’s best to find another team, but keep the friendship intact. Yes, Dota 2 isn’t merely a video game. Still, ending friendships because of it is unacceptable.

What is Dota 2 for you?

I’ve always known Dota 2 as a team game, if it’s not evident in this blog post. Many won’t have the same opinion as me, as they might think that Dota 2 is played for the kills; played for the exciting clashes; or played for cosmetics to be featured in their steam profiles. One thing holds true however: if you are not in sync with your team mates, then you’ll find yourself badmouthing everyone, which obviously happens in pub most of the time.

If you want to go pro, then by all means, do it. But make sure that you can justify your decision and will clock in the hours to get in the stead of the world’s top players. You can’t just want to be a pro player; it takes years of training — alone and with a team — before you can even get recognized. And honestly, the eSports industry, in its juvenility, is a hard avenue to traverse. Time will only tell whether your efforts will pay off or you’ll realize that Dota 2, or being a pro gamer for that matter, is not a career for you.

If you only play for fun, then that’s swell. That is the purpose of video games anyway. They are mediums of sources and entertainment. But don’t expect that your team mates will make the game-breaking plays you so often see in whatever tournament you’re watching. They’re most probably playing for fun as well, and there’s simply no way that they will follow your orders.

Play hard and keep safe! I’m out!

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