How playing DOTA can teach and prepare you for the real life


Thousands of hours of raging, abusing, winning and losing- these are the things that DOTA is usually associated with. Everyone has a love/hate relationship with this game, probably the only relationship most of us have been in (insert sad react). But the hours spent in the game have also given me something else; important lessons for life. I know, it’s kinda surprising, but as gamers we can owe a lot of who we are to the games we have played. The philosophical aspects of a game are sure to make us scratch our head and ponder over a lot of things, our morality, the we look at life and its problems and also in some cases, our understanding of right and wrong. But here I will talk specifically about what I took from Dota, the game we all hate in the same way we love it.

Consistency and patience.

Noobs: that’s what we are when we start the game. We know the game is demanding and unforgiving. With the number of unique heroes and a ton of items, the game can be VERY overwhelming at first. But if you don’t give up, and continue through it, you will eventually get better and know the weakness and strength of every hero and the use of every item. But much like real life, it takes a lot of time to get good at. Consistency and patience are the key to succeed, in DOTA and IRL.

Comeback is real.

We have all played and seen games where it looks like loos is inevitable, but just due to an error in one team fight from our opponent, or just one key item, or just because of our perseverance, the tide of the game turns. But that is only possible if we don’t quit too early. They say that a lot of time a person is just one step away from his goal when he quits. Playing DOTA and witnessing and being part of all those comebacks made me realise that this is actually true. Even if everything looks bleak, do not lose hope. Finish what you started. Worst case scenario, you fail. But you predicted that anyway. Best case scenario, you achieve your goal, you destroy that ancient. But the game in which you comeback is much more satisfying and intense and fun than the game which is ez and the one which you knew you were gonna win. The tough ones, these are the game which have our heart pumping, the comebacks are what everyone remembers and go batshit insane for. The comebacks restore your confidence in yourself and make you feel that no matter what, you can always get yourself out of a hairy situation, but only if you don’t give up. Remember no one is invincible. Every problem has a solution, like every hero has a weakness.

Never get too cocky.

The flip side to comeback, that is if it’s not you who’s coming  but the other one (pun intended). We have all been in a match where we are winning but one of us or maybe the whole team gets too cocky and starts making mistakes just because we feel the match is in our hands. This leads to throwing the game away. This is true for real life too. Confidence is good, but overconfidence can lead to bad decisions and ultimately a loss.


DOTA is all about teamwork. You may be able to carry the whole team on your own, but team work definitely reduces a lot of burden and winning becomes easier. Same goes for real life. You might be able to achieve your goal alone, but asking for help is not a bad thing. You’ll just get there faster with the same or in some cases a lesser amount of hardwork. After all, everyone needs a support.

It’s all about destroying the ancient.

Ultimately, DOTA isn’t about how much kills you get or how much gold you’ve farmed. It’s about who destroys the ancient first. The kills, the teamfights and the farming are all done to achieve that one goal. Just like real life. True that every individual has a different goal but our decisions and choices are supposed to help us achieve that goal and help others achieve theirs.


– Rudraaksh Bhatyal

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