In Dota 2, the five players on each team must fill specific roles in order to push their team to victory. There are five roles in Dota 2: Carry, Support, Mid, Jungle, and Offlaner. Specific Heroes are designed for specific roles, although this is often blurred in practice. In Team Roles Part 1 we covered the roles of Carry and Support. There are three more roles to cover: Mid, Jungle and Offlaner.
Firstly, the role of Mid. Mid has a crucial role to play in contributing to their team’s victory (as do all roles). A team’s Mid player, as the name suggests, starts the game in the Mid lane, which is typically a solo lane in pub games. A Mid’s only opponent in lane is the enemy Mid. A team’s Mid has many tasks to work on throughout the course of a game, but perhaps the most important one is that of ganking. A “gank” in Dota 2 is where a player leaves his or her lane during the laning phase and attempts to set up a kill in another lane. Generally in pub games the Mid is expected to gank the other lanes, and due to the layout of the map the Mid is perfectly situated to do so efficiently. This is because of runes. Runes spawn every two minutes and are situated in between the Mid and Top lanes as well as in between the Mid and Bottom lanes. This means that hypothetically a Mid would grab a rune on the way to either Top or Bottom lane, and make use of the rune’s powerful effects to set up a successful gank.
The Jungle player can also gank, and is perfectly situated to do so, at least in the lane he or she is closest to. This is the “safe lane” for each team, as the jungle is located next to the safe lane (Top for Dire, Bottom for Radiant). Unless the jungle is warded, the Jungle player, being situated right next to the lane, can quickly setup a gank in coordination with his or her teammates. The Jungle player also has to farm gold and experience, which is achieved in the jungle by killing neutral creeps.
Finally, the Offlaner. The Offlaner has a tough job, as he or she is matched up against two opposing players in their lane. The Offlaner’s role is to hold their lane, accruing experience at a higher rate because experience gain is shared amongst nearby allied players. They farm as much as they can while staying safe and not dying, thus feeding the opposing Carry gold and experience from their death. Offlaner Heroes often have an escape mechanism, as well as benefiting strongly from having a level / experience advantage.