Having a good support duo in a team composition is often overlooked as one of the less glamorous roles. In a team of five players, there often needs to be some self-sacrifice for the betterment of the team. And such is the life of a support player in DotA 2 where his/her utility often eclipses that of carry or mid players if the position played to its true potential; buying utility items, fending off enemy heroes, rotating at key points in the game and creating space for their carries to farm up so they can win the game. Due to this, support is often classified as one of the hardest roles to play in a game and one of the most game-defining at the same time because as a support you don’t have a certain script to follow, such as farming the whole game; in fact, you have to make smart decisions and shape the early to mid-game such that it is advantageous to your team in the long term.
In the Pro DOTA scene, there are many renown support players that have proved themselves over the course of years. Often, in top tier teams, support players are chosen to captain the teams which is another reason why support players need to have quick decision making skills and foresight.
Here are our top five support player picks in DOTA 2 currently:
Peter ‘ppd’ Dager
PPD wasn’t very well known as a professional player in the DotA 2 scene before joining Evil Geniuses. Once he signed up for the team he showed his full potential, both as a captain and a “Position 6 player” as he is jokingly referred to, winning many DOTA 2 LAN tournaments all over the world. He’s known for his clever drafting and commanding the team through tough stages of the game which makes EG a true late game monster. He usually plays position 5 and because of this is often seen with little to no farm at the end of his games. As for the cores and often greedy position 4 supports on his team, his sacrifices make them more versatile as a team than others.
Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov
Puppey has been in the Pro DotA scene for a while now. It was partially his support skills that lead Natus Vincere to win The International 2011, Valve’s first DotA 2 championship and subsequent finals in The International 2012 and 2013 respectively. His micro abilities and timing knowledge coupled with many years of competitive experience easily make him eligible for a spot on this list. Puppey is currently playing for Team Secret, and will be participating in the upcoming Shanghai Major.
Johan ‘pieliedie’ Åström
Once considered the best support player in the world by many and for a very good reason; his unique playstyle in Team Secret as a support duo with Puppey ensures that Secret has a healthy fanbase and some of the most watched games since its inception. With this player playing his signature Bounty Hunter in the opposite team, there is no easy way you’re going to get that bottle delivered to you in the mid-laner safely.
Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng
A long time DOTA 2 player, LaNm has proved himself ever since he stepped foot in the battleground of The International 2011. He has not only improved as a support player but his general game senses are much sharper than other players. This has led to his success on multiple Chinese powerhouses such as Team DK, TongFu and his current team, EHOME. His retirement announcement was short lived (and as many pointed out, potentially linked with getting out of his esports contract) as he couldn’t wait to get his hands back on the game he loved. LaNm is famous for his Sand King and Earthshaker plays.
Xu ‘fy’ Linsen
While he was always good at this game; Fy has recently shown tons of improvement. Known for Sand King and Rubick, fy-God, as he is referred to in China can pull off even the toughest of plays with such relative ease that one can easily mistake his reflexes for that of a seasoned pro-tier mid player. The epic support duo of fy and Fenrir is often credited for the massive success of Vici Gaming in various LAN tournaments.
Honorable Mention: Joakim ‘Akke’ Akterhall
A one-time International winner, Akke is definitely a dark horse in this meta. His micro abilities and decision making can often shift focus for an entire DotA 2 team and make them take actions they otherwise wouldn’t. The International 2013 finals, and the ‘rat DotA’ they are known for are good examples of this. A loved member in the DotA 2 community, Akke has his head in the game all the time and looks to be one of the most solid contenders for The International 2016 with a resurgent Alliance.
What do you think about our picks for the top 5 supports in DotA 2 in 2016? Let us know in the comments below.