In League of Legends if the early game is messed up and the enemy heroes are fed up, every additional kill costs less for them. Also killed heroes does not lose gold. This allows them to buy equipment and bring back the game if they play well in late game.

In Dota 2 killed heroes lose money and enemy heroes never get less gold for killing them. Consequently team which played badly in their early game can never get their items unless they go into jungle, where they will be hunted down, one-by-one. That is how I see things as a beginner but advanced players may have working tactics to bring back a game.

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    Not dying might be a good start ;)
    – Lyrion
    Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 9:59
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    True, but in single draft we often get new heroes, and it takes time to get a feel about how we should play them.
    – nosferat
    Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 10:56
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    Using a courier can somewhat counter the loss of money as you can shop without actually having to be at a specific shop. It's harder to avoid though if you're saving up for a 3k+ gold item.
    – boiledham
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 15:41

3 Answers 3


Contrary to popular belief, comebacks in Dota2 are much more common than in LoL. Teams with a 10% gold lead 12 minutes into the game (generally about when the laning phase ends):

The main reason for this is that more expensive items in LoL are MORE cost-efficient than cheaper items, while more expensive items in Dota2 (while often having powerful effects) are less cost-efficient. So by buying these cheaper items, you can finish them sooner and have an advantage over your opponents who are building (and have hopefully not yet completed) higher tier items.

As a team who has lost the early game, you need to recognize this and attempt to get back into the game by purchasing mid-tier items of this sort. Some good examples are Bracers, Drums, Urn, and Mekanism. Carry items in this vein are Diffusal Blade and Maelstrom. For example, two Bracers cost 1050 gold and give 12 STR, 6 AGI, 6 INT, and 6 Damage. An Ogre Club costs 1000 gold and only gives 10 STR (with the advantage that it builds into excellent lategame items like BKB).

While you won't have the item-effiency (per slot) if the game goes on for a while, your goal as a team is to make that disadvantage irrelevant by forcing fights. You will have a period of time where you have equal or greater item effectiveness than your opponents who are presumably saving for more expensive items, and that is your chance to bring the game back into your team's control.

At the beginning of every game you should take a look at the hero lineups and figure out who has the superior lategame team. If you have the advantage in lategame and aren't incredibly far behind, it's usually advisable to simply farm and defend towers at all costs to prolong the midgame. However, if you are incredibly far behind or have equal or worse lategame (usually the case), then you should focus on ganking- better equipped heroes will farm faster than you.

Your best option is usually smoke-ganking as a team. You can catch an opponent or two out of position, kill them, and take an easy tower, Roshan, or teamfight with your newfound hero advantage. Just a couple of these occurances can often completely turn the tide of the game as you force opponents to take teamfights that they aren't properly prepared for. After winning these fights, you can place offensive wards, counter your opponents' warding attempts, and continue to lock your opponents into their base and assert map control.

Good luck!

  • I think that I'd be a little careful extrapolating results from a single professional tournament to an entire game. My guess is that LoL and DotA are pretty much the same in terms of comebacks in non pro games. And the exact numbers could certainly change based on fairly subtle changes in metas.
    – KAI
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 0:21
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    You're welcome to run an analysis again, but the sample sizes are easily sufficient for such a confidence interval to disprove the Null Hypothesis. My concern would be extrapolating from professional to public play.
    – Decency
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 0:32
  • That's a long explanation just to say that he should gank enemy teams. The problem is, that's not applicable to any game and any situation as a magical recipe for success, even less in uncoordinated pub games with random lineups. If the enemy already has the upper hand it's quite probable they will just get counterganked or simply outleveled enough for a gank not to be efficient (also, hero-dependant). Your items may be as cost efficient as you want, but two people with two bracers are not going to give you the upper hand in killing a fed enemy with a Vanguard and a Skadi. Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 9:48
  • We are talking mid to late game here, where gankers have to be overleveled or they have little effectivity. Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 9:51
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    You can make whatever assumptions you'd like- there were none in the OP. This tactic works at all levels of play if executed well, and is thus the strategically correct answer.
    – Decency
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 13:23

Stick together, go in groups of 3 people and avoid getting ganked. Ward, ward, ward, ward. Full vision of the map gives advantage over the enemy, and counterward wars are worth fighting.

Other than that, just play solid and strategize. Either stop their farm with a ganking style, outpush, farm better or play your team's advantage. Only engage in teamfights if you know you can win.

In any case, there are team lineups that are just plain better than others, or decisive players can snowball and kill you just by themselves. In the end it's about having fun in the process of being steamrolled, and playing to counter instead of to win is a way.

  • This is quite general advice on how to avoid losing. The question was how to come back from losing.
    – deadly
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 10:44
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    And what's the difference? Do you think there's a magical get out of jail card to come back from losing? Playing better is the only way. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 10:47
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    Ok, here it goes the magical recipe: buy wards. If you have map awareness and you are still losing, then you have to play more solid. If you have map awareness, you are playing solid and you are losing, there is no way out and it's your opponent's game to lose. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 10:49

This game is a LOT less forgiving compared to LoL. If your early game goes south, expect to lose unless you can capitalize on a mistake or two made by the enemy team and manage to drop a lane of towers and recover. I've made comebacks before, but in order to do so, you need to start playing very defensively and prevent any more of your towers from going down. At that point, it's up to your carries to get farm and just wait for the enemy team to get caught in a bad spot, get wiped during a rosh, etc.

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