While being a strong mechanical player will certainly increase your chances of winning, it is not the only, or even the largest, factor. Rotations, or your movements across the map, probably have the largest effect on the outcome of a match. In the words of Ostrich Eggs, rotations are to “maximize your potential to fuck them up.” However, rotations are a somewhat abstract concept, so it can be difficult to learn for a new players. I find the easiest way to explain them is to go from the ground up, recursively adding new concepts, so here we go:
- The most basic kind of rotations is just matching numbers. If you’re just in even fights across the map, you’re in an okay position. This relies on predictions of where opponents will go and when they start moving. One of the main ways to do this is tracking respawns and having someone go wherever the respawning player is. The main flaw with rotations this general and simple is that you can frequently get caught in fights where you’re at a disadvantage. In such a situation, assuming equivalent mechanical skill, you’ll lose.
- The next step up is to have a sort of priority list of who rotates into what. For example, the Tempest is the first to rotate into team fights, while the Druid is the first to rotate into 1v1s. This takes a little bit more advanced predictions, since you aren’t just predicting where one individual player will go, but where the opposing team is going to focus their pressure. Contrary to the 1st step, this method will guarantee that you have good comps for your fights, but doesn’t optimize them.
- After that, you’ll have to factor in your knowledge of matchups. Maybe at the previous level you had a Druid watching your home node, but now you notice that a Dragonhunter is pushing your home node. In that instance, maybe you send the Scrapper to guard the node instead. The Druid wouldn’t lose that 1v1, but the Scrapper can actually kill the Dragonhunter fairly easily, so it’s a more optimal matchup. Team fighting matchups get more complicated than the 1v1s, so the inner workings get a little bit more based on intuition. However, this puts you on the opposite side of step one, where you have matched numbers, but advantages in those fights.
- The next thing you should factor in is how long it takes for you to lose disadvantaged fights so you can use that time to win other fights. With PuGs, it’s less consistent, but you can still have a general idea of how long certain matchups will take to end. If you run into the same people frequently, you can get an even better idea. If you play in a team, you should have more trust in your teammates, allowing you to do this the best. Then you try to outnumber your opponents in a way that you’ll kill them before your allies die.