Currently, the world of eSports is dominated mainly by two MOBAs: Dota 2 and League of Legends. Both Dota 2 and League of Legend are very popular and are in the top 5 most played games worldwide.
The nature of both games is similar, two teams made up of 5 players each, intending to destroy the enemy base. Although the final objective is the same in both games, each one has unique mechanics and different graphics.
However, the most frequent question we see within the gamer community is Which Is Better?
To answer this question, we must evaluate in more detail several aspects of each game, such as map, gameplay, characters, patches, professional tournaments, among others.
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation.
Dota 2 has a widespread and active competitive scene, with teams from across the world playing professionally in various leagues and tournaments. Premium tournaments featuring the game often have prize pools totaling millions of U.S. dollars, the highest of any eSport.
Dota 2 Pros
- Characters – For many people, this is the determining factor between both games. In Dota 2, there are 119 heroes available, and we can use all of them from the first moment.
- Playability – This is a very relative point since for many players the game mechanics of Dota 2 is more complex than the League of Legends because more elements must be taken into account during the development of the game, such as being able to deny the creeps and thus make the enemy hero gain less experience and gold. While this is attractive to some players, it is not so attractive to others.
- Professional circuit – Without a doubt, Dota 2 is unrivaled on the professional scene. The professional circuit of Dota 2 is the one that generates and distributes more income in all eSports. Year after year, the main event, The International, breaks records in the amount of money they give out in prizes.
In 2019, about 34 million dollars were distributed, and this year due to the COVID-19 had to be suspended. However, the compendium has already raised more than $34.5 million and is not over yet, so this year they will break the record again.
Dota 2 Cons
- Map – Although the Dota 2 map is essentially similar to the LOL map, with 3 main lanes, a river, and jungles on both sides, the Dota 2 map is much larger. This represents a disadvantage for many players as they must be aware of more elements on the map than in LOL.
- Matching in lower ranks – Unfortunately, in lower-ranked games, from herald to legend, there are many boosters (higher level players raising low ranked accounts) and flamers, which make winning the game very difficult and even many players claim to have quit the game because of this problem.
League of Legends (LoL)
League of Legends (abbreviated LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and macOS. The game follows a freemium model and is supported by microtransactions, and was inspired by the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod, Defense of the Ancients.
The 2019 League of Legends World Championship had over 100 million unique viewers, peaking at a concurrent viewership of 44 million, with a minimum prize pool of US$2.5 million.
League of Legends (LoL) Pros
- Game – In LOL there are certain positions, and each player uses his role. There are ideal champions for each role. Because of this, it is easier to understand and master each role. Also, in League of Legends, we can get bonuses for the whole team by killing Nashor and the dragons.
- Updates – Riot updates constantly the game, changing attributes on champions to keep the game evolving, and this makes the current patch more effective for some champions than others. Besides, they frequently add new champions to the game.
- Popularity – Although LOL professional tournaments don't give out that much money in prizes, they do have a bigger audience. For example, the 2019 worlds had a rating of over 100 million viewers, with the final having its highest rating of almost 45 million viewers at the same time on television networks worldwide.
League of Legends (LoL) Cons
- Characters – In LOL, there are currently 150 champions available. However, only a few are available when we start playing, and to use all of them you must play a long time to get riot points to buy the champions.
- Toxic community – When you start playing, the chances of getting toxic players is very high. Even though you are starting to play and understand the game, at the first mistake your teammates will surely start blaming you if they lose.
How to Choose
What is the difference?
Although, in essence, both games are aimed at destroying the enemy base, there are several factors in which they differ, which are:
Heroes/Champions – In Dota 2, we can play with all the heroes from the beginning. However, when we start to play LOL, we can only play with some free champions, and to be able to play with the other champions, we must acquire them with points that we earn playing. Therefore, we must play plenty of time to get all the champions.
Map – Dota 2 map is much bigger than the League of Legends map, so in Dota 2, you must be more attentive to the minimap during the game.
Bonuses – In League of Legends, we can get bonuses for all team members when killing Nashor and the dragons. Often these bonuses can be decisive in a team fights to win the game.
Playability – For many players, LOL requires a higher level of mechanics to throw many skills, unlike Dota 2 where many skills can be thrown by clicking on the enemy. Although, in Dota 2 many heroes require an elevated level of mechanics, like Meepo, Visage, Arc Warden, among others.
Tournaments – The professional competitive circuit of LOL is more varied throughout the season, being The World the main event. Also, it is the eSports game with the highest rating worldwide. However, Dota 2 tournaments are the ones that give more money in prizes, and therefore we can see that the top 10 professional eSport players with more profit are all from Dota 2.
Which MOBA is Right For You?
Both Dota 2 and League of Legends are spectacular games. Both games have impressive graphics and designs.
If you like complex MOBAs, which require more knowledge and understanding, Dota 2 is the one for you.
But if you prefer a more direct game, we recommend League of Legends.
By evaluating all the factors of each game, Dota 2 is a more complete game.
The fact that you can use all the heroes since you start playing is a fundamental point. Therefore, you can learn to play the hero you want from the beginning. If you manage to develop skills that allow you to reach the high-rank Divine-Immortal, you may have the chance to become a professional player. And in Dota 2, you will find tournaments with better prizes.