The start and current state of my solo MMR

And everything in between…

I look back at the time I calibrated for solo MMR for the first time(1.6K LUL) and the second time with the season MMR of TI battle pass(2.2K LUL). I realize that as soon as I approached the last few games of the calibration I started to panic. This was especially evident during my last calibration games of TI season MMR. I was aiming for a lot higher than my current MMR(1.6K at the time). I won my first 6 calibration games and suddenly I was playing “not to lose” rather than “to win”- which sound like the same thing. Let me tell you- that is not the case. You may think that the 2 negatives make a positive. However, the approach to the game is quite different in both cases. I am reminded of the OG at TI6 when I think of this. And I am in fact using their coach- 7uckngMad’s words here. In the aftermath of OG’s upset at the hands of TnC in TI6, he wrote a beautiful blog post giving some insight into the team’s defeat. If you are interested, please check that out. The TL:DR version is- when you play to win you are fearless and when you play not to lose you are scared to play the game freely.

I realized that this is happening with me and then for some time I started playing normal games again. It was like I had found my joy in the game again. Even when I lost, I did not feel frustrated. I started playing new heroes- which even after my 2.5K hours of play at the time were untouched or were never played seriously (Invoker, Earth Spirit, Timbersaw, Naga, Shadow Demon, Kunkka, Elder Titan, Pudge). These heroes are not easy to pull of without some practice. And as I found out I still suck at Invoker after 50 games on the hero. To my surprise, I found a lot of success with Pudge. My ES plays are still neither here nor there. So still, a lot of mountains to scale. As I said before- unlimited possibilities.

The second major flaw I noticed in my play is my tendency to tilt HARD . The most recent one is the hardest tilt I have had. I dropped from 2.8K to 2.2K in 2 days WutFace. Which I noticed- happens quite a lot when I am playing a comfort hero. I tend to blame my teammates more which in turn leads to masking of my own mistake. I go into the next game feeling I did nothing wrong. But, the tilt has already begun- and down the rabbit hole we go. I play my worst heroes, I keep on playing till I win a game which takes a lot of games as common sense and all the thought process has just gone out the window.

The combination of these 2 factors makes sure I never get out of this so called “Trench” or “MMR hell” as people like to call it. But do I deserve to be in this bracket? Am I good enough to get the final 200 MMR and breach the third thousand? The answer to both of these questions is YES- which again is contradictory. While a lot people who feel this way will say they are good enough to breach 3K- or whatever K they belong to- they won’t admit that they deserve to be here. Purge made an excellent video series explaining this exact phenomenon and so has TZJinzo. People who made it this far be like- just get to the friggin point already ResidentSleeper. The reason behind these answers quite simple actually. There is some aspect of game you and me are lacking in – and it is one/combination of these: mechanical skill, map reading,  drafting, emotional stability(tendency to tilt)- basic skills of Dota.

Finding out the weakness is the key to advancing in the ladder. For me, it is the emotional stability and it is the hardest one to improve upon in my opinion. Once you tilt, your brain just stops responding. You start missing calls on Axe when everyone is relying on you to initiate and it all started when that Invoker tornadoes a perfect 5 man call KreyGasm you had 15 mins ago. I’m sure 90% of time the Invoker player did not intend that and 99% of time the team goes crazy, everyone is “tang ina bobo”ing or “cyka blayt”ing and noone is apologizing. Unless you have someone on your team who will calm everyone down, the game has gone to shit. So I have to learn to keep it cool when shit goes south.

On this day I stand at 2386 MMR. In an effort to improve myself I intend to start writing accounts of my matches on this blog. Only a retard would do that though. Kappa guys please do read. I am just starting on this and it can only be more helpful for me and maybe you as I hope we can learn together. Any kind of feedback is appreciated. Hope to see you again.

A year and a half and 4.5k hours later

Still a work in progress…

I have been playing Dota for about a year and a half year now and during that time I have amassed nearly 4.5k hours of it. It has been a journey and it has changed my life- for better or worse. I have always been fascinated by RTS games like Age of Empires and Rise of Nations since my childhood. I’d spent many hours playing all the campaigns over and over again. But, for all the time spent on the single player aspect of the games I never got to experience the multiplayer side of these games till I was in college(11th-12th standard). And once it pulled me in there was nothing quite like it. I played the Warcraft 3 mod- DotA: All Stars for the first time at the cafes I used to frequent. At the time, it did not appeal to me because of the toxicity and time it took to find game on Garena Biblethump.

Fast forward 5 years, I’m done with my engineering degree and in the few days before I started on my job I am re-introduced to this mod in the form of Dota 2. It just felt like something had connected and I had found my long lost game. Even though I enjoyed the LAN parties of AoE2, RON, CS, FIFA etc. in my hostel during my college years- there was always something missing. And in Dota 2 I found the perfect blend of all the elements I enjoyed from these very different games. The strategy and planning from AoE, the action of CS, the plays from FIFA and it added its own unique rewarding elements as well. It has a whopping 113 heroes- each having their own gimmicks and specialties. These take many arduous hours of practice to learn- some more than the others. This learning curve is brutal and many don’t find the reward worth it. That- In my opinion- is only true till you play the game. And once you do, it is unreal how many possibilities are there in this game.

During my early days in the game, I strictly stayed away from the ranked queuing as I was not too eager to experience the toxicity and rage of my Dota 1 days again. So I played quite a lot of unranked games at first- close to 1.5k hours I think. Now, it was time to test myself for the MMR(Match Making Rank) I dreaded so much to find out. And as it turns out I was right in fearing it as I calibrated at 1.6K for my solo MMR(6 wins – 4 losses). In case you are not aware, that is REALLY bad. So, the verdict was out- after playing close to 1500 hours the matchmaking rank had told me that I was really shitty at the game I was playing. Still, I kept on playing, queuing ranked games exclusively till i got frustrated at how my MMR would swing around the same mark. At one point I dropped all the way to 1K- that was a NotLikeThis moment. I started to turn things around- I started watching some pro plays on YouTube, started following pro teams and valve events. I learned quite a lot and I still am learning a lot about the game. I managed to peak at about 2.8K MMR about 8-9 months after calibrating at 1.6K MMR. That was 2 weeks ago and now i’m at 2.4K- another NotLikeThis moment. So now, I have started to analyze more aspects of myself in the game. I found a couple of interesting things in the analysis. For more on this keep tuned in…