All throughout October, the finest Dota 2 players in the world have gathered to compete for one of the biggest prize pools in esports history as teams are tested and rivalries renewed. You might say it’s a pretty big deal. But, surprisingly, there are still some PC gamers that have fallen off or never even tried Valve’s blockbuster MOBA. Shocking, right?
Admittedly, Dota 2 is infamously complex, even in the convoluted world of MOBAs. Even players who have put hundreds of hours into the game trying to learn its many systems and mechanics may still find themselves hopefully outmatched by opponents who have mastered the art of the carry. That’s why if you’re looking to get into Dota, or simply hoping to improve your skills, there’s a secret weapon that can help you even the odds.
That secret weapon is DotaPlus, an overlay app available on the Overwolf platform. This handy helper assists you in all manner of gameplay scenarios, helping you win the draft with vital player and hero counter stats within the game itself. The app suggests the most effective heroes to ban, the best heroes to pick based on counter and synergy potential, and can even detect hero spammers or smurfs on the enemy team.
To learn more about this fabulous tool, we sat down with its creator, Amit Tsur. Tsur explains the origin of the app came from his own experiences as a newbie player. He later applied the lessons he learned playing the game while working for Overwolf to develop gaming apps.
“I was a relatively new Dota player, and after countless draft phases before every single match, I’ve realised that all of the draft phase is conducted with zero knowledge about allies and enemies, in an ultra-competitive, million-dollar market game.”
“I searched for similar games to League of Legends and discovered this Dota game that was in open beta,” Tsur explains. “I convinced my friend, and we decided to give it a chance. And that’s 12 years ago now and most of my adult life gone! During that time I played thousands of matches with many friends, flew to multiple tournaments, and eventually found my future as an app developer for this game that I love so much.”
Tsur has been working on DotaPlus for almost seven years, fine-tuning it to give players the biggest tactical advantage possible.
“DotaPlus helps you pick the hero that’s most suitable for the match, according to ally/enemy picks and data,” the developer says. “It also allows you to ban effectively, sometimes preventing matches against smurfs and hero spammers. All of this gives you a real advantage right there at the draft stage before the game has even begun.”
As well as providing draft and opponent data, DotaPlus also has a robust suite of stats and analytics to peruse post-match.
“DotaPlus tracks your every match and yields a great deal of analytical data,” Tsur elaborates. “It shows you, for every different stat, how you fare when compared to min/avg/max of all other players. It also gives you a match score that’s comprised of said stats. The stats are hero, role, and rank sensitive, to be as relevant and helpful as possible.”
This added functionality has helped DotaPlus grow from a simple in-game assistant to a more robust all-inclusive tool.
“It’s moved from being a very one-dimensional and limited draft assistant into a full-fledged toolset. From pick/ban suggestions, through adding player notes to keep track of, to match history, and finally to full match analysis with rich stats and scores. It will, of course, keep growing and offer more.”
And keeping pace with an ever-evolving live service game has been no easy task. Through his own research and feedback from the Overwolf community, the app’s creator has vigilantly worked to keep the app in lockstep with game patches and new content.
“I have two things to listen to at every step of the way,” says Tsur. “The first is my own voice and interpretation of where the game is going and how to follow, and the second is the feedback I get from my users, which I always take seriously.”
“An example of one costly mistake I’ve made following a bad decision is redesigning the app into a ‘modern, tabular’ interface,” he continues. “It took a great deal of time and effort to pull off but was met with very negative responses across the board. It was scrapped almost immediately. It was very demoralising, but today I see it as a very important lesson.”
In closing, the crafty creator assures us that there are plenty more updates to come, teasing one new feature that will add even more value to DotaPlus.
“The next target is the real-time match performance phase, which is where the next big feature I’m currently developing fits into,” he enthuses. “It’s going to be huge. This is going to be coupled with a rebrand and a UI refresh.”