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Dota 2: How to Come Out of the ‘2K MMR Trench’

Dota 2

Tired of 2K MMR? We’ll help you get out of it.

The 2K MMR trench is a quicksand. No matter how well you play, SEA pubs can drag you down due to multiple reasons: noob teammates, bad picks, lag, flamers, and on and on. Today I shall enlighten you with how you can successfully skip this phase! Mwahahaha!

By 2K here I mean MMR ranging from 1000 to 2200. First of all, I’d like to tell you that I have experience of escaping the 2K MMR hell from three different profiles and I also helped a friend of mine reach 3k, as per my memory. He plummeted back to 1.5k and that’s not my fault.

Now how you escape the trench depends on how many games you can win. Don’t think good practices, don’t think good behavior, don’t think no kill steal, don’t think trying new heroes – for escaping the hell, put these aside. These are Dota 2’s best practices but for when you’re playing the real Dota – not 2K MMR hell Dota.

Lookout for these

As I mentioned above, these things ruin a game:

  • Trash-talking noob teammates. You can’t really do much about them.
  • Bad picks. Sometimes your team picks really terrible heroes. You won’t have any stunner – this is the worst scenario. Other scenarios are you don’t have a support or physical tank. Try to avoid these, or disconnect if all are noob. It won’t be scored if you abandon before first blood. But you’ll get a 4-minute penalty on first abandon. Never abandon more than one match in succession.
  • Lag. If you’re on WiFi, the chance of lag increases. If lag is high, don’t even think of playing. By the way, the actual concern is packet loss. I have a friend from Kerala whose ping is mostly 200+ but he can play very smoothly because he gets 0% packet loss. See this article for possible lag troubleshooting. Don’t buy any crap products though, unless you’re unusually wealthy.

Make a new ID

This is optional, but recommended for a better MMR. There’s always a better calibration chance with a new ID. For example, my first ID’s MMR was 900 (I was new, and only played Crystal Maiden and died a ton because I didn’t know 90% of the items or other heroes’ abilities). My second ID I got 1.8k MMR by spamming support.

A few tips for a good calibration:

  • If you’re playing carry – try to get as many kills as possible in the 10 calibration matches. Calibration period is uncertainty period and if you get a good KDA ratio (K+A/D) then you will be placed much higher.
  • Last hitting and hero damage is important. Spam abilities to deliver damage to enemies, like Zeus or Lycan ultimate is very effective for calibrating higher: high damage, less deaths. However, this system used to be more pronounced sometime ago, right now don’t bet too much on this hero damage idea.
  • If you’re playing support – your healing, warding, placing buffs on allies and debuffs on enemies matters a lot. KDA ratio doesn’t matter too much. Assists matter. A good support player should aim for 20+ assists per game.
  • For any role, die as less as possible. There are many other factors. Read this article for more.

Pick heroes you can play like butter

This is the hell; this is not for experimenting. Have at least 5 heroes you can play smoothly; they have to be varied. Mine were (I’m a support player): A tanky initiator (Tidehunter), a durable disabler (Bane), a couple all-rounder supports (Lion and Dazzle – you can replace these with all-rounder carries), and a ranged spell-damage-based hero (Crystal Maiden).

For carry players, you should master a tanky initiator, a disabler, fast farmer, high damage-dealing hero, and stun-nuker.

If you practice a lot with these heroes: in unranked, in bot, watching tutorials, etc. you’ll play them really, really good in the ranked games. And if you’re a carry and good in it, let’s say you’re very good with Juggernaut, you can push your team to win.

2K MMR Ideal Heroes: These carries work really well in 2K MMR. Of course, there are exceptions and you need to guarantee a good farm.

  • Phantom Assassin: Not all 2K MMR scrubs know how to counter her. (But most know how to play her).
  • Legion Commander: Get those duels and **** them all.
  • Ursa: Ursa isn’t much good at higher levels but for 2K, you can get easy kills.
  • Sniper: I hate Sniper but he’s really good once he has a Shadow Blade and Desolator. You can roam and kill very swiftly.
  • Pudge: Unsurprisingly, good Pudge players still don’t face much counters in 2K SEA.
  • Huskar, Tinker, and Slark are part of the list as well. Depends on enemy draft.
  • Strategic heroes: If you can master any one of these, your enemies will have a hard time countering you: Phoenix, Invoker, Puck, Outworld Devourer, Medusa, or Meepo.

Counter-picking

So you have a set of core heroes with tons of practice. Now is the time to counter pick. Never, ever, pick first or second unless it’s absolutely necessary. You’re the goddamn hope of the world, sir. Everybody else is a just crappy foul-mouthed horrendous noob meant to stay in 2k forever.

If you’re a support player then you can pick first – like Dazzle, Witch Doctor, or Omniknight don’t really need to think of counters.

Wait for enemy draft. Think these:

  • What hero will be good against at least two or more of my enemies? Like suppose there are physical carries in opponent team with good armor, you should pick someone like Storm Spirit, Tinker, Nature’s Prophet, etc. to deal intelligence-based magic damage and not pick Sven or Dragon Knight.
  • What hero (out of the core 5) would have problems with at least two or even one enemy? Like I never pick Bane if enemy has Phantom Lancer and Chaos Knight both – it’s called suicide.
  • Using one of my 5 heroes, is there even one enemy that I can freely kill from the early game if I roam? Like your chances of getting good KDA spike if your enemy team has Crystal Maiden – 2K MMR Crystal Maiden players are often noobs – and you pick Pudge.
  • What is your team going for? Let’s say someone from your team already picked Dazzle. You have healing, armor buff, and you can pick a hero who is low HP and low armor. Also keep in mind combos. You have a CM in team? Think of picking Sven. Sven-CM combo is murderous.

Last hits bro, do you do them?

I came across a lot of 2K players who start the game with so much last hit dedication. They would dominate their lane. Taking every enemy creep and stealing gold off his green leafy pockets. But just after 10 minutes – poof. If you’re playing Anti-Mage, Phantom Assassin, etc. it’s obvious that you’ll need to farm throughout.

Sometimes you have heroes that are so good with farming that you’d never skip on that – like Lycan or Nature’s Prophet.

But when you’re playing a normal carry or support hero – you have to remember to get as many last hits as possible. Get last hits while laning, pushing, neutral camp farming, even take last hits in teamfights. Every single creep you kill takes the game one step closer to your victory.

Ideally, by 10 minutes your last hitting should be anywhere around 80-150 with a swift carry. Also, denying is important. Some players are dumb enough to not understand that. You become a good player when you understand how important denying is.

Suppose in a lane the enemy isn’t denying. And you are. You’re stopping them from gaining as much experience as you are gaining. When you both enter mid-game, if you’ve farmed neutrals, denied, and took a bunch of last hits, you will be at least a couple levels above your enemy.

Playing in SEA: Peenoise, Scrub Noobs, and amazing communication

Playing SEA is terrifying sometimes. Begin with Sir Action Slacks’ video: My *actual* guide for Escaping MMR Hell. It’s not totally serious, but it has a lot of good points and makes for a good laugh. Hey, Dota players need to have fun too.

  • Force your team to communicate. Even if there’s one or two teammates who are communicative, your chances of winning go through the roof.
  • If you’re supporting, pick one guy who talks in English and stick to him. SUPPORT HIM WITH YOUR LIFE.
  • As for carries, you need to gank and participate in teamfights. So you need them to listen to you. If you call them noob, they would hate you and you would lose. Remember, trashy teammates make you lose and stay in 2k.
  • Be communicative yourself. If nobody else is talking, you talk in chat or over mic. Hell, even communicate with enemy team, it’s fun.
  • Don’t hesitate from saying normal stuff and doing some casual talking. Make the environment positive from the beginning. Don’t flame. If you behave like this, they won’t even mind if you kill steal sometimes.
  • SEA pub pinoys can be scrubs and total noobs. You can’t do anything about it. You should try to save them, because the more your enemies are fed, the stronger they become. But sadly, there’s no remedy for noob players.
  • Mute irritating players. You can also mute their individual chat.

Playing in India: Communicate, duh

I’ve found India players to be more communicative, tolerant, and easy to play with than SEA guys. Although the best servers to play professionally are EU West and US East, but a lot of people get high ping and IP loss there. As a rule of thumb, don’t pick a server with more than 120 ping. Packet loss more than 5% can kill your game. 10%+ means hell inside hell.

  • Talk, talk, and talk. Make a good repertoire with your teammates.
  • Know their names, tell your name, make strategies, help them, save them, say thank you, say sorry.
  • The worst kind of player is the one who only says >Push Now every five minutes. Don’t be that a-hole. Even if you want to push, say “guys let’s push top.”
  • Add energy to the game. Indian players are your brothers and sisters, so they’d understand. But, try to understand them first. Don’t make negative impressions. Always be cheerful and positive.
  • I can’t emphasize it enough: Communication is gold. It makes teamwork smooth. A communicative team has almost 50% more chance of winning even if the enemies have a better draft but they don’t communicate.
  • Always be the one to start the conversation. You have a better chance of getting commends too. It also makes you look like a leader. In Dota, all 3-4 carries look like alien creatures fighting their own battles without communication. You can lead all the rest if you talk.

How to win: Supports vs Carries

Supports:

  • Remember one thing: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO KILL. Even for calibration or your hidden MMR, support players are ranked higher for assists than for kills.
  • Don’t die. Yes, dying is good if that saves a carry.
  • Remember, a carry’s job is to make your team win. You have to save him. If he gets last hit on that enemy creep instead of you, your victory chances increase. If you KS and get last hits (like many times Lich or Lion players take last hits when laning with Juggernaut or Ursa) you still won’t be able to win.
  • A simple scenario: a support gets a ton of kills and last hits and the carry doesn’t even have core items. You’ll lose. No matter how well you farm, you can’t carry with supports, they just don’t scale in late game.
  • I’m talking about good support players, not noobs who pick CM and WD for getting kills and make no support items, don’t buy wards or courier, etc.
  • Wards are life. Buy the hell out of them. Ward the choke points – where your team needs. You can Scan to see if there’s anyone in enemy jungle. No one? Place a couple wards on high grounds.
  • Dewarding is equally important. Also, upgrade the courier on the 3-minute mark. You can postpone buying boots or Magic Wand, but never postpone upgrading the courier.
  • The importance and techniques of warding, dewarding, self-control over KS, etc. will come to you with practice. As a support you need good map sense to win the game.
  • If you’re a support player, check my article How to Support like a Pro?

Carries:

  • The more you kill the better.
  • Last hit like there’s no tomorrow. Farm like crazy whenever you can.
  • ALWAYS help in teamfights. Keep at least two TP scrolls at all times (maybe not late game).
  • If you’re mid, the game depends on you. Gank top and bottom lanes, and if you don’t help teammates in their lanes, it’s GG. You’re done. Doesn’t matter how many kills you did on mid.
  • If you don’t help in teamfights, your farm is of ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE. I’ve seen players with awesome items, great farm, great stats, higher level than the average, but because they don’t help in teamfights we lose in the end.
  • Don’t die. If your kill is 20 and assists 10 but you died 15 times, your KDA ratio becomes 2. However, if you only killed 10 and assisted 4 while died just 2 times, your KDA ratio becomes 7. See? 7 is a much, much better KDA than 2. Always aim for 4+ KDA ratio.

Enhance your in-game experience

How well you play the game also depends on your in-game experience.

  • Don’t play if ping is too high. 120+ ping: avoid. 300+ ping: DON’T YOU EVEN DARE TO PLAY.
  • Preload map so that queue times are less. Do you know if you make a bot match first or watch a game before playing an actual game, your game loads pretty fast? You can preload the game using those techniques. I’ve heard you can add -loadmap (or -map dota) in Steam’s Dota 2 launch options (Steam > Library > Right click Dota 2 > Properties > Launch Options, separate multiple commands with a space). I don’t know which one works so add both. For me, none worked. I still make bot matches first. This will save you from rare abandons.
  • If you’ve picked your hero, enter the battlefield. So you’re done picking your hero? Press Alt+Enter. If all heroes enter game at the same time, there can be a lag of as much as 3 seconds. It can hamper fast warding, early Roshan attempt, or Techies setup, etc.

Remember the mantra

Dota 2, my friends, is not CS:GO. There’s one simple mantra to win the game: Don’t die, help your teammates, stay alive, communicate with your team, don’t die, push together or split push when needed, stay alive, support with pure dedication, and don’t die. In the end all that matters is whether you win the game or not. Winning will take your MMR higher. You can get rampages once you escape the 2K MMR hell.

A quick summary:

  • Don’t flame.
  • You can KS.
  • Last hit and deny, seriously.
  • Don’t even think of trying new heroes.
  • Bunk playing if ping is high.
  • Everyone else is a noob who doesn’t know anything else besides Sniper and PA.
  • Help in teamfights.
  • Communicate and stay positive, don’t make negative impressions even if your teammates are noobs. Still try to help them.
  • If you’re too good with a carry and sure to win on your own — sure, ignore your unreasonably crap-spilling teammates. Otherwise, try to lead them.
  • Don’t die.
  • WIN.

That was all that I had to write to help you get out of the 2K MMR Hell. Make sure to drop your suggestions below in the comments section. Keep in touch with Spiel Times for more gaming, technology and esports related information, news and stuff.

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