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57 comments
Juju

    I think that the "ganker" status can be put on almost any hero, i like to play a hc style of Night Stalker, farming the safelane them rotating and ganking the enemies leaving the lane open for the safelane support to get his xp and needed itens.

    GOHS.Vietjesus

      pieliedie didnt get a single mvp because most of the viewers have the misguided thought that if a team wins games, its all about that carry, all about that carry, no trouble....

      Guru

        Yup, pieliedie pretty much won secret the major. It was kind of sad to see envy or w33 getting almost all of the MVPs when most of the work was done by pieliedie and puppey.

        Chromo Cat

          Can they do something where supports get stronger if the carry is nimwitted? The problem with playing support is not necessary being gold deprived, it's that you have to pray that the carries know wtf they are doing, which they often don't.

          EvenStar_LOOT.Farm_tradei...

            ppl dont give a **** about supports , at the end of the game who got the most kills ? w33 ? OK he is the MVP ...
            that is how ppl think :))

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            Hosanna

              Agree to everyone commented above. Youtube highlights also focus more in Carries and less in Supports, glorifies carries. So most of the viewers pay more attention to carries. Everyone wants to be that badass carry that win games and often forget how important supports are to make that happen.

              stressed italian player

                Support still the role that required the highest skill level to being done properly
                if u played only carry, u are playing a kind of world of warcfrat

                Cormaru

                  nice article

                  The Ancient One

                    Playing support is so much fun in 6.86 ^^

                    Yamcha-sama

                      Good. But you should have a competitive carry to actually win. I always encounter a noob carry whenwver i play support.

                      Peachrocks

                        The whole fact supports almost never got MVP in the Shanghai Major should only surprise those who don't play pub matches and/or look at stats from lower levels which do make up the majority. Supports are grossly underplayed and under appreciated. It doesn't help that the game reinforces this whole 'servant' culture on supports. I want to write an article on this fact because it's alarming it hasn't been changed.

                        This infuriates me to no end that this STILL isn't realized by many players strong and weak, why exactly support is under loved. A good example is why people jungle Legion Commander, Lifestealer or Ursa rather then play a hero like Enigma, Chen or Enchantress who is much better suited to that role then LC. It's simply to have a shot at being a carry rather then trusting some unknown to do it.

                        Another example is MMR experiments. Several players have tried playing lower rated accounts to get up from 2000 or whatever to 5000+, several cores succeeded but nobody on support has succeeded. The closest someone came to my knowledge was playing Chen exclusively and basically ending up with the most farm anyway in lower end games which isn't what most people have in mind when you think support.

                        True, some people shackle themselves by trying to play a support as you would competitively or at higher levels but knowing 'what type of support' you should be is rarely dependent on what your own team is running, it's dependent on the skill level or mentality of the carry players on that particular match. In other words, it's dependent on things you can't possibly know unless you know every single person on your team really well and it's this what makes support so hard to play in the minds of many.

                        I've seen games where a Spectre has won a lane alone against Viper and a Bane while their LC goes off to jungle and someone else supports the offlane while I've seen Juggernaut die constantly despite having a Dazzle basically sitting on him and having ganks from a jungle Enchantress. Granted the latter game is likely to lose no matter what the Dazzle player does, but just because someone picks a given hero is hardly any guide of what they intend or how competent they are with a hero and some people treat games like friggin libraries with how much they talk prior to the game so you can't even get a feel for how they play and what they expect.

                        At the end of the day playing support 'right' in a given match depends on a lot things you can't know at the time and most people simply don't trust randoms to carry for them and for good reason. The stats on this very web page should tell you what people think of supports. They might win games, but winning while Anti-Mage and Phantom Assassin take forever to actually do anything useful and you almost lose because they aren't contributing then say 'gg commend me' as if they did all the work isn't a lot of fun or particularly satisfying.

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                        .dusk

                          i always commend good support, but lot of support are dumb

                          Ayaneru   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                            Well said @peachrocks.

                            maca diskrecija

                              @peachrocks
                              What about vanskor, 7k, only supporting :)?

                              Fang

                                Whole comment thread is a massive support circlejerk. Supports are far from underrated. People make such a conscious effort to notice and praise supports due to their confirmation bias that supports are an 'under appreciated role' that they actually get way more credit than they deserve. Calm down guys, seriously.

                                Peachrocks

                                  @EE- Feeby

                                  Not familiar with this attempt. Obviously the player but not the climb. I did say to the best of my knowledge and it's not impossible, most people gave up out of sheer frustration which is the point here.

                                  @Fang

                                  You are just fueling the fire here. Not sure if troll or serious. There's obviously an issue. MVP votes almost never going to support tells you how people value support. Stats on how often support is played tells you how much people don't want to play it. The role is simply not desirable to most people, some will begrudgingly play it and a very small number willingly play it but it's nowhere near even 1 out of 5 let alone 2 out of 5 even out of those who begrudgingly do it.

                                  [FaO] JoJoBird

                                    @Peachrocks I think you've got a good point that it's harder to impact the game as a support in low MMR (I know all about my bracket :)), mostly because even a bad support will usually show up in a team fight, and mostly will hit his Q or R or whatever at roughly advantageous time and then usually die, giving a good core enough room to do stuff. On the other hand, a bad underfarmed core will feed (much worse on a core), and even when given all the space in a world and the best possible support execution (be it initiation or disable or heal or whatever), will not get much done in a bigger fight and enemies will tunnel vision the carry anyway. Besides, the game will go late anyway, where supports have arguably less impact than they had previuosly. That's why it's easier to rise in MMR as a core in my opinion as it is as a support. It could be confirmation bias as I mostly play support in games with friends (pos 4-5 is my favourite role) so I might be extra frustrated when I try that in solo queue.

                                    But just to give a ranked game example, I picked lina mid and marked it, then a guy 5th picks ember and says he wants mid, so I will go safe lane carry lina (definitely not something I'd like but at least it's not impossible in my tier), but hey, I'm not playing safelane carry line, because the IO in the lane insists he's a good carry Io with armlet (because he probably saw a pro player do it once for the laughs), so I end up solo supporting a safelane Io that game on Lina, while Bloodseeker refuses to leave the jungle. Go figure... In hindsight I should have just taken his farm as we were in full retard mode at that point anyway. :) But yeah, support is a role that thrives on cooperation and my tier MMR pubstompers are usually the heroes who can do a decent job by themselves through snowballing and just outplaying the enemy in lane through mechanic skill. I'm not hopeful that will ever change, but this article is certainly a step in teh right direction just to give people a general idea.

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                                    GΞΞ

                                      the only support that gets the MVP vote at Shanghai is only Fear with his Godlike Streak Mirana plays, where at that game he managed to solo double kill the Earth Spirit and Invoker in the Rosh Pit fight as a position 4 Mirana.

                                      Not saying that Fear is the best support here, but just pointing out an example of what a support HAS to do to stand chance winning the MVP vote from the game.

                                      ice

                                        Man, if you were in my bracket mmr, no one, i said no one will volunteer as a support unless they read cautions and consequences on playing all carry in one team. Leaving me to pick a all-around support.

                                        Peachrocks

                                          @ G

                                          Thanks for that. I did consider digging for it, but I didn't want to be sad at all the lack of support votes, but yeah, they basically have to be a carry to stand out.

                                          @ JojoBird

                                          I've sung this tune for a while now and Valve has done things to at least take tabs of what players want/do. What they do with that information is anyone's guess but there's been a few steps to help supports lately such as glimmer, aether lens, mango etc. These things need to continue (and then some) cus the numbers are still far lower then they need to be and many people don't play support or don't play Dota at all because of the lack of impact on support.

                                          It's a role that requires great coordination and more importantly other players taking advantage of the doors you open. If you don't get that, it's a frustrating experience for many and in some cases even if your carry does win you the game because of what the support/s did, it's not satisfying. Very few games are based on being the 'servant' after all.

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                                          UHO

                                            MVP votes were just a joke. You shouldn't mention it at all. One more detail to remind us how dumb our community is.

                                            Papa ZEN

                                              As a support player, I was amazed after voting for MVP in games and seeing how little(in certain matches) people had voted for either really great support play, roaming 4th and offlane. I would go back through the matches and yeah the carry and midlaner would be great in some matches....but the support play and especially the 4th in a few games were really underappreciated. feelsbadman :<

                                              Yoric

                                                There are a few additional things I think Valve can do to help this problem, things beyond the items Peachrocks mentioned above (glimmer, etc.). This Spring Cleaning update giving assists when you buff an ally / debuff an enemy before a kill is a step in the right direction. Something I would like to see is an end-of-game statistic that includes wards purchased / placed, courier purchased / upgraded-- things that reflect a support player's "true worth" (rather than net worth) and ability to help the team. When someone is 2-5-20 as solo support, buys wards, crow, ups crow, and ends the game with brown boots, Force Staff, and an Aether Lens, it's difficult for many players to understand the impact that the support has had because they can't see it. Most of those wards have expired. The courier belongs to everyone. Cores might remember one time the Force Staff saved them and be grateful, but more commonly (this is my perception-biased opinion) they take that save as their right as a core player.

                                                While it is unlikely that these kinds of changes will influence the mentality of the entire community, anything that makes a support feel appreciated after 40 minutes of "We need wards" spam is a good thing.

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                                                The Position 5 Player

                                                  Icefrog doesn't care about support players.

                                                  Peachrocks

                                                    @Yoric

                                                    This is one thing that gets me about Valves mass promotion of comp play. It's nice to have the support for it but then you end up with a bunch of people playing cores who 'expect' others to be their servant and do things they feel is their 'right' as a core even though their skill doesn't measure up and the sort of play they want isn't right for a given game or worse simply doesn't work at a pub level.

                                                    Era
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                                                      Strygwyr

                                                        the thing is many ppl just dont know how to play support an whine about that they cant get out of that bracket with only playing support. u can be a passive support if u want to raise in mmr in that role. u need to smoke mid stack camps for ur carry dont single pull the small camp, outzone the offlaner all this stuff. if u do everything right ur carry bottom has free farm and ur mid won his lane because of u. the support has the most impact in the game up to 15 min u just need to use that instead of just sitting in the lane next to ur carry sucking his xp, ruining lane equlibrium while harrassing because u aggro creeps and deny a creep now and then which the carry can deny too.

                                                        i think its kinda similar to football. a striker always gets more credit than a defender. if a striker scores 3 goals in a game he is the mvp of the game but no1 gives a shit about the defender who prevented 4 goals and got 2 assists.

                                                        I do not like blacks

                                                          Nice article again, as expected from Dotabuff.

                                                          JuiceboxHero

                                                            I had to put the support role down for a bit. Support role has a certain charm to it (like getting a triple kill with your CM Ulti), but at the end of the day, it's jaded by all the harassment you endure from the rest of your team when they aren't doing well. You can't support stupid. You cannot give vision to the blind. You cannot heal the broken. You cannot support out of low MMR.

                                                            @ Strygwyr - "u need to smoke mid stack camps for ur carry dont single pull the small camp"
                                                            I actually had a team complain that I was stacking the ancients and other camps for them and begged me not to (even though we had a Medusa). Smoking in low MMR? What's that....

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                                                            Ajax
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                                                              ~Hyatt

                                                                I play a wide berth of support heroes. But just as you wouldn't want to be counter picked as a carry, you don't want to pick a support that has zero or negative synergy with the team (like picking a CM on a team with no casters).

                                                                I am currently at exactly 3600 mmr, and as we enter game lobby i start by asking if anyone is calling mid or safe lane carry. Often times no one says anything, which is baffling since you are playing a game with a bloody keyboard in front of you. They invariably lose a lot of gold, and try and 5th pick their heroes (without saying a word) which hampers any synergy (especially if their aren't a smart carry) because they feel they are so good they HAVE to pick last.

                                                                Also I would like to agree with the comments @Yoric, and add another suggestion that if people are going bind a key to "we need wards" tie it to a command that if the wards are currently out of stock it says so immediately so they tone down their passive aggressive behavior.

                                                                Yoric

                                                                  @Strygwyr

                                                                  So... you're saying the supports are to blame for the fact that everyone treats them poorly because they didn't play well enough in the early game to win. Interesting thought.

                                                                  Justin Trudeau

                                                                    "Enigma Enigma, Chen Chen and Bounty Hunter Bounty Hunter all fall into the category of non-greedy support/jungle heroes",... uuuuuuummmmm noo?

                                                                    Chromo Cat

                                                                      When someone is abusive to me as a support player, I assume it's because I am not present enough to support. So, from that point on, I follow the complainer all over the map, and I hide in the trees so as to avoid taking any last hits, but to still get xp.

                                                                      Peachrocks

                                                                        I generally don't catch abuse as a support. If I do get 'we need wards' when I'm getting counter warded like crazy due to no map control and/or someone on the other team gets a gem, I politely tell them this fact and they shut up. It still doesn't make it fun though when the above situation happens and your well placed wards wards can't do anything...

                                                                        Also smoke is really overrated. I hear a lot of people say 'use smoke' when responding to support complaints but it simply doesn't work sometimes. I almost always carry one so we can use it but good luck getting a few of the four randoms coordinated enough to use it and stop their afk farming for a moment to make a solid play. Many people play Dota like an rpg, grind levels, get new items and beat the final boss, they will do this even if their hero is out carried in the late game and they need to take action now.

                                                                        Sooo yeah... Try carrying around a smoke at all times in pubs, sometimes it'll work sure but other times you will be frustrated in the futility of a wasted item slot no matter how many times you signal 'gather for smoke here'.

                                                                        Xyfy

                                                                          Puppey and Pieliedie never get the same respect of carry players

                                                                          MissBug

                                                                            sometimes i feel "enough" to be a support player. but when i pick carry, its stressed me out since my other teammates can't be a good support as i am. and that's why.. i still stuck in my support role although its really tiring for me, but with it, i feel so confident in game. Nice game is not because the carry, Its about there is someone that can support your team well.

                                                                            Peachrocks

                                                                              @ MissBug

                                                                              I just try do what the team needs. However that's almost always playing support and buying all wards, all detection, all courier, upgrade, smoke while everyone else gets to buy actual items that have impact and have fun. I don't mind doing it occasionally but geez....

                                                                              See the whole thing about many of those clips from Pieliedie and Puppey that I thought was interesting is how they do an excellent job of setting it up, but without the carry to finish the job, it would be near meaningless and that's what many players experience in pubs. They are obviously not as talented as Puppey or Pieliedie but I'm sure anyone who's played support knows what it's like to set up an excellent 3 man stun or a 5 second arrow as Mirana and your carry stands there and doesn't do anything. It really drains my will to play the game.

                                                                              MissBug

                                                                                @peachrocks

                                                                                Also agree with you. we cant play Dota just 5 carry... or 5 support tough >.<
                                                                                Still also need support n carry to work as team.

                                                                                Nero Scarlet

                                                                                  I think most of the MVP votes came from people who didn't watch the whole game...the people who only look at the KDA. In the end, only the number of times you kill or die are important.

                                                                                  J0s3e

                                                                                    5 support games are actually fun

                                                                                    Peachrocks

                                                                                      @ Legend and Bug

                                                                                      Supports can somewhat carry especially with a coordinated team. CM or AA with a Scepter can be nasty. Add an octarine core to that and you've got a menace on your hands.

                                                                                      Any hero scales with items, just carries traditionally scale better. Most carries like Jugg, PA and AM however have no capacity to be supports. Some can get by like Sven but you are usually much better off playing something else. I honestly wish for 4 man dota with a variety of changes aimed at making warding a job for everyone, mostly in making wards free (not even taking up an item slot) due to the 'fifth' player simulated as buying them. I'd list the full preliminary idea but it's too long to list :D.

                                                                                      Naked

                                                                                        So, who is most commonly taking the decision of where the team goes? The support? the carry? the mid? or I... the captain? Just don't try to answer with captain, cause there aren't really captains in pub games. So, what role should be the most fittest to take the decision of where the team goes or needs? Is it the support, the mid, or the carry? Sometimes, when I'm support I just find out that the core is like over-impressed with his kills and thinks he can kill everyone, but he can't. So he goes and die foolishly. Sometimes the support is trying to say or tell where to go, but they are not really having the vision and timing on what's really going on (I think more like baby-sitters support). If you dotabuff can do an article about these team interactions! That'd be great. Thank you, great article!

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                                                                                        Capt. QUASWEXORT 💪👳👌

                                                                                          Well-written article!
                                                                                          Anyway, it's nice to see that supports are given spotlights too.

                                                                                          When I play, my role is support. Even though I picked any core heroes, I still play as support.
                                                                                          Providing wards, courier, and other stuffs ; for the sake of core's strong item build.
                                                                                          Furthermore, empowering the moods of any hopeless in their team, is also one of a good support can do. The so-called "moral support" :))

                                                                                          Get Going

                                                                                            This is so true i always end up the only support in every match,but i love to play it its challenging.Btw, plz report this support no fly courier til 10 mins game ty is one of the moat heard from ur mid guy who u altually gave tangoes and ward to :( 2K mmr ;;;;;;;;((((((((

                                                                                            Egoist

                                                                                              Newb picks carry doesnt mean they good at carrying, just because they are easier compare to a sup, what they do is very direct, wait and jump in, get kill, thats it, a good sup is usually requiring higher skill, than simple minded carry

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                                                                                              hikaru

                                                                                                Proud to be a support player, it taught me to be a better carry when I have to play carry.
                                                                                                But it is true that most people look down on supports and treat them like servants for wards, smoke and whatnot. I feel sad when encountering with these heartless A-hole. It really demotivates a support player when the cores treat them poorly.

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