Following up on the second part of this guide where we talked about how to gain map control, in this article we will explain how to use your faction to your advantage. The faction simply refers to the side of the map that you spawn on, Radiant or Dire.
The important thing to understand is that both sides are not equal. They have some pretty crucial differences that change the way you're supposed to play.
Let's take a comprehensive look at what they are.
Radiant vs Dire win-rate
It has long been known that there is a disparity in the win-rate between the two factions. Radiant has an average of 6% win-rate advantage over Dire. It even increases to almost 10% at the extreme limit. This means that you're more likely to win a game when placed on the Radiant side than when you're on the Dire side. Why is that?
The answer is fairly simple: the Roshan pit. Because of the placement of the Roshan pit, the team that has better access to it will naturally have a higher win-rate.
And currently, that side is Radiant. But it wasn't always like this. If you've been playing this game since 2016 or before, you will remember that the Rosh pit was on the other side of the map. At the time, it was generally agreed upon that Dire had the Roshan advantage, because it was much closer to their side of the map, and easier to access.
In patch 7.00, also known as the New Journey update, it was moved all the way to the top part of the map, where it currently remains. Since then, Radiant has better access to the pit, and therefore has a higher win-rate in public matchmaking.
If you remember, in the previous part of this guide, we talked about how you should move from the safe lane to the other side of the map after the laning stage. This playstyle benefits Radiant, since their secondary jungle falls on the top part of the map. This is where it is recommended for Radiant to play on, which is why their access to the Roshan pit is also better.
Some say that the Radiant advantage is because of the camera perspective. The Radiant Ancient is on the bottom left corner of the map and the left-to-right perspective is much better than the top-down right-to-left perspective that Dire has.
However, there is no hard evidence of this, and it’s still something that's debated over to this day. Regardless, know that this difference in win-rate is mostly due to gameplay, and it is something that you can overcome when you're on the 'losing' side.
Overcoming the Dire disadvantage
Generally, in half of your games, you're going to be placed on the Radiant side, and in the other half on the Dire side. There's no getting around this. What you can do is learn how to overcome the Dire disadvantage.
While Radiant has better access to the Roshan pit, Dire has better access to Radiant's primary jungle. As we explained in part 2 of the guide, your team needs to transition to the off lane, push out the enemy safe lane duo and take their tier 1 tower.
After that, you need to infiltrate the enemy jungle, remove their vision and plant your own. This is easier for Dire to do than it is for Radiant. In fact, Dire also has more unique and hard-to-find ward spots that they can place in this area than Radiant when they try to infiltrate your jungle.
You can use this opportunity to force their heroes out of the jungle, take their tier-2 tower and then capture their outpost. This gives you a strategic advantage that you can use as leverage to win team-fights in the mid lane. Around this time, the enemy heroes will be forced either into their base or their secondary jungle.
This is the final challenge. Using the advantage in gold and experience, you should fight the enemy team and take over their secondary jungle. Taking their mid tier-2 tower will open up access points to this area which is generally hard to enter without vision.
The final step is to then plant your wards in this area and remove any vision they might have, then proceed to take Roshan. If you don't do these steps quickly and efficiently, the enemy heroes could get to a point where they're strong enough to take Roshan while you are still pushing their tier-2 bot tower.
Sometimes, they may even have a good solo-Roshing hero like Ursa or Troll Warlord, so no matter how fast and well-coordinated you are, they may claim the Aegis regardless.
But that doesn't mean the game is over. Try to avoid team-fights and continue to farm on your heroes to gain a gold and experience advantage.
Wait for the Aegis to timeout and then start playing aggressively again. Remember, this Radiant-Dire win-rate disparity only exists because players in the lower skill brackets don't know what to do past the laning phase. You can get ahead of the curve and equalize the difference. Follow these steps and you'll be able to turn a 'dire' situation into a winning game in no time!
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