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Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Where the Difference Lies?

League of Legends and Dota 2, both remain one of the most played Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games that are part of esports. For a novice, both these games might seem to be same because of their similar style, characters, and general appearance, however, some key fundamental gameplay differences make them different.

When looked at the fundamental level both League of Legends and Dota 2 are similar as you choose your character and the role before starting a game. But, after this, the gameplay differences and the core mechanics are very much independent from each other.

If we talk about the similarity between Dota 2 and LoL, then both these games are of MOBA genre and both have been spawned from the original Warcraft 3 mod: Dota (Defence of the Ancients).

Riot Games, the creator of LoL, opted to create a simple but visually appealing design with minimal gameplay mechanics that will be fit for beginners. This minimal gameplay mechanics developed over the years and changed into something more complex and dependent on the character known as Champion.

Valve who created Dota 2, made use of the original Dota mod which was developed by the codeveloper, IceFrog. The main idea behind Dota 2 was to keep the same core game fundamental ideas and values while giving a new experience which is why Valve rebuilt the game from the ground up based on their game engine.


Dota 2 vs LoL: What are the similarities?

Before discussing the Dota 2 vs LoL differences, let’s look at the similarities between the two games. Both these games start in the draft phase where five players go through what is known as the pick and ban phase. After each player picks their Champion (Hero for Dota 2), they are then loaded into the game. Similarities continue hereafter as well.

There exists a distinct similarity between the character design used in these games, even some of the characters have very similar abilities with their counterparts. Some of the known examples of the similarities are Drow Range/Ashe, Ursa/Warwick and Winter Wyvern/Anivia. However, their similar traits do not mean that there are like and there lies a difference in terms of actual gameplay and their roles within the game.

Similarities also exist between character skins and models. League of Legends gameplay will appear to be similar to Dota 2 if we go by the aesthetics. However, skins and models have no actual contribution to the overall gameplay.

There might be a long-lasting Dota 2 vs League of Legends debate, but most players agree that both games have their strong points. In each game, you start either at the bottom left-hand or top right corner of the map. Both these games have a Jungle area and allow three separate lanes-top, middle and bottom.

Every match starts with the laning phase and typically players decide whether they want to go top, middle, bottom or jungle lane. But there have been instances where competitive teams are known to change the number of players in each lane to get hold of the enemy team. Both teams remain in their lane and acquire experience points and gold which they can use to level up their Hero/Champion. Once they reach high enough level, teams can make a coordinated move to take down the enemy in their lane or they can sneak into the enemy team jungle and take down their Jungler.

The ultimate goal in both League of Legends and Dota 2 is to destroy your enemy team’s base. The final piece of the base that must be destroyed in Dota 2 is known as The Ancient, while in LoL it is known as The Nexus.

As the game continues, the lane phase will come to an end and then the teams must come together to push objectives like Towers. There are optional objectives like Baron in League of Legends gameplay and Roshan in Dota 2. These two objectives are also similar in their position in their respective games, both are located in the north half of the map. These particular objectives are so important because if played incorrectly they can change the outcome of the game. They can make a losing team come back in the game due to the statistical increases it offers.

Dota 2 vs LoL: Gameplay differences

We mentioned that the laning phase exists in both Dota 2 and LoL, but they are unique in each game. The makers of these games, Riot and Valve, opted for different gameplay styles, especially in the laning phase. An example of this difference is in Dota 2 you can navigate through the trees to escape your enemy while in League of Legends there is a small area of bushes that you can hide in.

In League of Legends gameplay, there are 148 playable champions while Dota 2 has 119 heroes. Each character has a unique set of abilities and each ability affects how the game unfolds over time. Another Dota 2 vs LoL variation comes in the form of skillshots, using an ability and manually aiming it at the enemy. League of Legends has many champions who have skillshots and can poke away your enemy team’s health bars from a distance. If you have champions like Ezreal, you can use map-wide skillshot to kill your enemies if they have low energy bars, provided you are aware of their movements.

In Dota 2, the skillshots amongst most of the Heroes are not as common. Certain roles and positions have abilities to harm the enemies but they are dependent on activation and then clicking on the enemy, without having to manually aim.

One key difference in Dota 2 is being able to “Deny” the enemy team from getting gold or experience points from towers and creeps. Players in Dota 2 can kill their own allied creeps in towers and by doing so they prevent them from getting any gold or experience point, however killing allied creeps reduces your gold and offers no experience.

Denying is a risk and reward situation where a player who denies can miss valuable experience points and gold that they would have received by killing the enemy creeps.

The deny mechanic existed in League of Legends gameplay earlier in the form of a Champion known as Gangplank. His “Raise Morale” ability required him to kill an ally minion to activate. If used correctly Gangplank could slow down the enemy player significantly preventing him from acquiring gold and experience points. However, this mechanic has now been removed as it is deemed unfair for only one Champion to have this skill set in the game.

In the League of Legends, each player has four abilities-three basic abilities and the ultimate that they can use once they reach level six.

In Dota 2, heroes can stay in their lane throughout the game because of the Courier. The Courier is an animal who acts as a mobile shop and delivers everything to your player in his lane. Once your hero reaches level V, the courier will change into a flying Courier exhibiting bonus movement in speed and unlocks more abilities as the game progresses.

There is no equivalent to Courier in League of Legends. Players are required to run back to their place if they need a new item from the shop. In both these games, the area where players spawn provides mana regeneration and rapid healing.

A major difference is that League of Legends only has one shop whereas Dota 2 has an initial spawn shop as well as the secret shops that are located in various parts of the map and provide different items other than the one available with the regular shop.

Dota 2 vs LoL: Game mechanic differences

The differences between League of Legends and Dota 2 extend to the game mechanics as well. For instance, in Dota 2 when the player makes a move, he must wait for the rotation animation of the Hero to play before actual movement takes place, while in LoL, a Champion can turn and move instantly as the player right clicks.

Both experience points and gold are important in Dota 2 and LoL. However, Dota 2 has two types of gold that a player earns-reliable and unreliable. All players passively earn 85 gold every minute and can earn an additional of 70 if they obtain an item called the philosopher’s stone. The gold earned passively is known as reliable gold. Any gold earned from the bounty by killing heroes, Roshan, couriers and the hand of Midas, is termed as unreliable.

When buying items in the shop, unreliable gold earnt is spent before using reliable gold, whereas purchasing a “buyback” will use reliable gold first before spending unreliable gold. A player’s income is decided by both reliable and unreliable gold.

In Dota 2, runes are situated around the map. Runes are special boosters that come as bounty runes, which give extra unreliable gold and power up runes that offer a hero a variety of products and effects for a short period. These can be stored inside of a bottle to be used later during team fights.

In both the games, the strategy is to scale however it works in different ways. Scaling in League of Legends gameplay is more gradual as the players level up getting stronger until a peak in natural Champion stats is reached. Some champions are known as “Early Game”, they peak in damage output during the earlier half of the match, whereas the others are known as “Late Games”, who start off as weak but become stronger as the game progresses into the latter half.

In Dota 2, the support Heroes make the play and start engagements, whereas in LoL they are predominantly used to support the ADC.

Just like League of Legends, in Dota 2 scaling works the same. Most heroes will have a peak in base stats before the items they buy can boost to them. However, a major Dota 2 vs League of Legends difference is, in the former players can change their roles as the game progresses which makes it easier for teams to change their strategy mid-game.

In LoL, players can use summoner spells such as Teleport that allows them to teleport to a friendly minion, turret or ward. This is slightly different than Dota 2, as players have to purchase an item called the Town Portal Scroll to teleport to friendly buildings.

In League of Legends, destroying any team’s Inhibitor (a building that stops the creation of super minions) enables super minions spawn for five minutes until the Inhibitor appears again. In this instance, Dota 2 is different as when the equivalent buildings known as Rax or the Barracks are destroyed they remain eliminated for the remainder of the game.

Dota 2 vs LoL: Non-gameplay differences

In League of Legends gameplay, players can choose two summoner spells before the match begins. This includes Flash (spell allowing players to teleport a few meters), Ignite (allowing players to burn an enemy champion for five seconds), Exhaust (applies slow and damage reduction), and many more.

Denying, as we mentioned earlier, in Dota 2 is the act of killing a player’s own creep to stop opposing team from getting gold and experience points. This prevents the opposing hero from getting stronger.

The summoner spells are dependent on different roles, for instance, the Jungler always uses smite that can only attack Jungle monsters or enemy minions. Summoner spells do not exist in Dota 2, as these choices are more dependent on the hero you pick.

In League of Legends, roles are predetermined but in Dota 2 it is entirely different and roles are pretty flexible. This is another major Dota 2 vs LoL difference. Most heroes can play more than one role, allowing teams to change strategies mid-game.

Another Dota 2 vs League of Legends difference is how the support heroes are used in these two games. In Dota 2, support heroes make the play and start the engagements, whereas in LOL they predominantly support the ADC.

In LoL there are five main roles: Marksman (ADC), Top, Jungler, Mid and Support. The main roles in Dota 2 are Carry, Disabler, Initiator, Jungler, Support, Durable, Nuker, Pusher and Escape.

In terms of abilities, every champion in LOL has four abilities-three unique basic abilities and one ultimate ability which is activated when the player reaches level VI. In Dota 2, the majority of heroes have three unique basic abilities and their ultimate. However, certain heroes can have a much larger number of capabilities that makes the overall game mechanics for those heroes sophisticated. For instance, the hero Invoker in Dota 2 has a staggering 14 abilities making it more complicated to play with him.

In Dota 2, players can respawn instantly using the feature called buyback for a fee.

The talents are another major difference between Dota 2 and LoL. In League of Legends, upon levelling up players are granted 1 point to enhance their champion’s abilities that can increase damage output, reduce the cooldown or add a bonus effect. On the other hand, in Dota 2, talents are traits unique to each hero and become available every five levels. These talents are different from regular abilities. From level 10, the talents provide a buff to heroes’ attributes and additional gold and experience points.

If you are interested in esports betting, then you must know the difference between the two games in order to win lucrative rewards when betting on them. In this guide, we tried to provide you detailed information about Dota 2 vs LoL. We hope this information will serve you best to further understand the games and improve your winning chances when betting on them.

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