When times are tough and fate is not in your favor, games tend to be more of a chore than a form of entertainment. Most MOBA games have surrender or concede options for teams to vote on unanimously giving the enemy victory without destroying the main objectives.
Usually, surrender and concede votes start from one player that either feels like the game is unwinnable, or on tilt from being beaten by the enemy team. This raises the question that out of all the present MOBA games, why has concede never been an option in Dota 2?
During the era of the original Defense of the Ancients, surrendering was never a function in the Warcraft 3 game engine. Players have the option to quit the game they’re currently playing with no inherent consequences.
However, when you’re playing with other players, especially online, abandoning your teammates is a taboo in the original Dota. It leaves a salty taste on the remaining players, who were usually highly competitive at the time. The unofficial platform for Warcraft 3’s online platform, Garena, also did not have a feature to deal with such player problems.
Going back to the fact that Dota was heralded as highly competitive during the earlier years, this has made dedicated players driven to find ways to win, even at a disadvantage. Because both the Sentinel and Scourge teams wished to win, they are both pushed to exploit each other’s weak points and use their cunning tactics to try to turn the tables around.
At the end of the day, some have to be the winners, and some others end up becoming the losers, because the environment of the original Defense of the Ancients had called for such a competitive scene.
With a ruthless anti-leaver punishment system and no concede option, players are left with the relatively better option that is to keep playing the game and look for win opportunities. It is not a straightforward answer to instant victory, but the prospect of taking back the win has to be worked for.
Fortunately, Dota 2 allows for freeform playstyles when it comes to winning games. The diversity allows for even lagging teams to catch up and eventually overpass their competition. All it needs is for players to have a level head and think of the current game status, the team compositions, who has the advantage, who is likely to slip up when pressured, and everything that will disrupt the momentum of the enemy team.
Just like the times of old, the desire to win gives players their needed second wind to try and make things right for their team. The game isn’t over until the Ancient from either team drops. As long as that does not happen, there is always a possibility for a comeback.
Knowledge is half the battle, and understanding is the other half of it. For most carry heroes, one or two items may be the turning point for shifting towards domination. At the midst of the battle, players may forget when will they shine, and end up overstepping their boundaries in the laning phase, putting them at even more risk of losing.
Let’s take Phantom Assassin for example. Because her Coup de Grace proc chance is unfavorable to her, she should be taking less engages during the laning phase until her Desolator comes online. Once she gets items that complement her burst damage, it becomes more plausible to take her enemies by surprise with superb dagger-blink combos. Essentially, this means that she is terrible on going toe-to-toe in the early stages, but her powerspike lies in getting the complementary items.
Inversely, someone like Huskar thrives in the early game, but doesn’t dominate as much when the late game strikes. His base kit and numbers incentivize constant lane poking, making him a threat to melee mid laners without access to safe farming. Come later in the game where his adversaries already have the appropriate defenses to deal with him, that flaming spear feels ticklish by then.
To quote Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
If the philosopher were to play Dota 2 today, he too would understand his own power spikes, as well as what his enemies are currently packing. With all of the necessary information at one’s mind, one can definitely figure out how to strike the enemy without suffering too many losses for your own. This leads to net positive plays that accumulate to an eventual victory.
The next time you tilt and think of abandoning your teammates, consider thinking if you and your team have done everything in your powers to try and win back the tempo from the enemy.