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Did Dota Just Get Harder?

Did Dota Just Get Harder

Is it just us, or did Dota just get harder? Specifically talking about the new 2019 ranked season. Perhaps, to some, nothing has changed, but to others, their ranked calibration has left them a lot lower than they were last season.

Here’s a look into the issue to try and make sense of the new calibration. Maybe, along the way, we’ll find out why Dota feels harder all of a sudden?

New Season, New Calibration

As discussed in a previous article, the new season is now live. This means that all ranked players needed to re-calibrate their MMR for support and/or core roles. In previous calibrations we feel like the change in ranks from one season to the next was pretty consistent.

Did Dota Just Get Harder

Image courtesy of Dota 2

For example, we went from Archon I to Archon IV after calibration. Seems fair. And yes, feel free to let us have it in the comments for our embarrassingly low rank. Although you might want to reserve your abuse until you see where we’ve ended up this season…

In this most recent calibration, we went from Archon IV to Crusader II. CRUSADER II! What madness is this?! To be fair, all of those games were played as either support or hard support, so perhaps there’s a chance to catch up during core calibration.

With that said, Crusader II feels like a real kick in the teeth. Reddit user Anakronistick said it best with his brutally accurate summation. That, right there, is some truth.

Did Dota Just Get Harder or Is It Us?

I am always prepared to accept that it could just be down to terrible individual performance. But, as we’ve shown in the Reddit post linked earlier, it’s not just us this time (THIS time). With the drop in MMR to Crusader II, you’d expect the games to be easier, and that we’d rocket back up the ranks in no time. However, so far that hasn’t been the case.

Recently, Skywrath Mage has been right at the top of our most played for a position 4 support. He has fantastic harass in the early game and transitions really well into mid/late with just a couple of items. Plus, we’ve got a really cool looking skin for him…

Did Dota Just Get Harder
Image courtesy of Valve

This pattern of blocking the enemy safe lane pull camp, heavy magic harass/kills, good map presence and rotations usually sets up for a great mid-game. Then, the exquisite Rod of Atos into Mystic Flare combo becomes a dominant force in creating space, getting pick-offs generally and ruining team fights for the enemy.

However, since (and indeed during) the new calibration we found this whole process a lot more challenging. Players who previously would stand there and just die to Mystic Flare were more often than not evading it with Force Staff or Manta Style. I understand that this is a basic strategy, and perhaps a bad example of ‘game is hard’, but it’s what sprung to mind.

Plus, this increase in skill paired with a drop in rank is systematic of the issue we’ve found in the new calibration. Players, despite being in a lower rank, seem to just be better in general.

One explanation is the wave of hefty bans imposed by Valve for players with low behavior scores. Maybe, by draining the swamp, there is a lot of empty space at the bottom of the MMR rankings. This means players have slipped down a rank or two overall to account for the curve. But who knows for sure what goes on in the inner workings of Valve’s headquarters?.

Final Thoughts: Did Dota Just Get Harder?

Well, our dreams of one day playing in the International will just have to go on hold for a while, I guess. With Valve’s matchmaking update comes a drop in rank for us to the embarrassingly low level of Crusader II. I’m not even sure we can show our face in public anymore.

It can’t just be us though…right? There must be others out there who have fallen on the wrong side of this most recent calibration and dropped a few ranks. If so, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below if you are one of those unfortunates who now find themselves a whole rank or more further down the ladder.

Also, if you can explain any of this madness to us then the comments are exactly where we need you!


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