Teamfights are perhaps the most fun, complex, and engaging aspect of Dota 2. They require cooperation, skill and communication, and are intensely satisfying to win. Winning or losing a teamfight can have a massive impact on the outcome of the game, so as a dedicated teammate you would do well to try to contribute as much as possible to a win. A 1v1 fight can be complicated by itself, so a 5v5 all-out brawl is the equivalent of a doctorate thesis in Dota 2. There are countless game mechanics and interactions that can play a part, however it is possible to analyse some fundamental principles and relate them to your individual experience.
Firstly we’ll cover the flow of a teamfight. Teamfights begin with an initiation, which is generally handled by “initiator” Heroes. These Heroes tend to have specific properties and specific skillsets which make them well-suited for the high pressure task of initiating a teamfight. In terms of skills, initiators tend to have area of effect nukes or disables which engage several members of the enemy team at once. This forces the enemy team to commit to a fight on the initiator’s terms, and is generally more effective than single target skills. A perfect example of this is Tidehunter with his skill “Ravage”. Ravage stuns and damages all enemy Heroes in a radius around Tidehunter, and is one of the most iconic and effective initiation skills in Dota 2. In terms of properties, mobility and/or survivability are relevant to initiation, and allow the initiator to survive charging headlong into the enemy team. Using Tidehunter as an example again, Tidehunter’s passive skill “Kraken Shell” reduces the amount of physical damage he takes and removes disables upon reaching a certain threshold. Tidehunter is the ultimate archetype initiator, with all the appropriate tools required for effective initiation.
After the initiation has occurred, the main teamfight begins in earnest. A well organised team will pick a target to focus on, ideally killing that Hero quickly and removing his or her ability to contribute to their team for the rest of the teamfight. Generally the initiator will have a large say in who to target, as he or she goes in first. Picking the appropriate target is a complex decision, and can make the difference between losing and winning a teamfight. Many factors can influence this decision including squishiness, a Hero’s ability to contribute to a teamfight, and their role.
After the major portion of the teamfight has ended, it’s time to clean up and chase Heroes down. The team that won the teamfight has the pleasure of chasing down their hapless opponents who managed to survive. Excessive chasing, however, can also be detrimental, as it is tempting to go a bit too far for that seemingly easy kill. This can end up costing your team more than the kill is worth.