27th Dec, 2017By Softmints

A guide for getting the most out of Lane-Pushing Games as a whole is:

Below is a list of hand-curated links for anyone interested in lane-pushing game design, balance, and history:

Community Spirit:

  • How To Win Ranked Games: WhatTheMoose champions the importance of making plays, and showing consideration for off-meta picks and builds.
  • Escaping MMR Hell: The essentials of how to communicate and lead teams in the trench, told in SirActionSlacks' jokey style. Despite frequently offensive language; this guide is about being discerning, opening lines of communication, and getting results efficiently. Probably don't take the advice on flaming though.
  • The Psychology of Rage-Quitting: A concise and well-referenced article by Platinum detailing some of the psychological factors involved with rage-quitting.


  • Esports Yearbook: An academic, creative, and journalistic publication which collects articles relating to esports. It has been running since 2009.
  • Esports Research: A compilation of academic research in the field of esports.

Hero Design and Balance:

  • Sirlin.net: Some great insight into many facets of multiplayer game design and balance, by David Sirlin. The Multiplayer Game Balance series and Playing to Win book are must-reads.
  • Nome’s Wisdom: An old design blog by game designer Richard Liu during his days working on Heroes of Newerth. Offers interesting insight into the commercial hero creation process.
  • From Masher to Master: Chapter 1: Patrick Miller writes a very detailed examination of arcade fighter games, and how the various characters form different twists on a core skeleton of gameplay.
  • Champion Balance Framework: David Capurro and his team at Riot show how the balancing process can be motivated by data, and adjusted for multiple audiences.


  • Reddit AMA with Neichus: A pleasant Q&A session in which one of the developers behind DotA Allstars describes his experiences working on the map.
  • Interview with Tryndamere: Marc Merill, co-founder of Riot Games shares his experiences in game development.

Market Data:

  • We maintain a list of links to publicly available market information here.
  • The RGP Dota2 Matchmaking graphs are excellent.
  • Stratz has a live monitor of Dota2 Battle Pass engagement.
  • League of Graphs provides plenty of detail about match stats in League of Legends.


  • Chaq's Guide to Solo Mid: Denies are a Dota2 mechanic that often gets dismissed as absurd, because "why would you kill your own team"? This guide from 2013 offers context for why denies matter, and illustrates how a few legacy Warcraft III mechanics spawned the incredibly deep laning environment that characterises Dota2.
  • Strategy over Skill: Alliance Ascendant: Ver offers an exceptionally detailed breakdown of the importance of strategic resource allocation, as mastered by the Dota2 TI3 championship-winning team Alliance.
  • The Geography of the MOBA Map: A feature piece by Josh Calixto about map layouts in commercial mobas, and how various staple genre features evolved. I was interviewed as part of it.
  • Minimum Inventory, Maximum Diversity: My favourite article on the internet. By Christopher Carlson.


  • Why Dota Sucks: A provocatively titled series which aims to expose many of the weaknesses of the lane-pushing genre, written by game critic Michael Lowell. This is difficult and sometimes uncomfortable material, but is also well-researched and thorough. Anyone seriously looking to educate themselves about lane-pushing games should invest the time to read it properly.

If you have articles, posts, videos, or other content which might be suitable for this list, please get in touch!