A lot of people avoid playing Dota alone as they do not want to deal with having 4 unknown players on their team. While sometimes solo-ranked can be frustrating, it can also be a very rewarding experience. Here are a few tips to improve your MMR and reach the high coveted very high skill bracket. These tips have likely been said many times before, so if you are an experienced dota player then you probably know most of this already.
During the picking phase…
If you want to play mid then you probably need to first pick t or someone else will. Mid is a very coveted role as it gives you a lot of influence over the map and runes. Heroes like Storm Spirit of Templar Assassin are popular mid heroes that have the power to snowball games very quickly.
Analyse the enemy team
Look at the enemy team, do they have any noticeable weaknesses? It is very common in public games that the teams have a glaring weakness such as being too greedy, having weak lanes or poor pushing power. If you can identify the weaknesses then you can choose a hero designed to exploit that weakness. If they have weak lanes then choose a strong laning combination. If they have strong magic damage then choose a hero that can build a quick Pipe (A pipe rushing Rubick is insanely awesome to counter a magic heavy team, but not many people do this). If you cannot see any weaknesses then…
Play strong heroes
If you cannot find any weaknesses in the enemy team and you are just wanting to increase your chances of winning then choose a strong hero. You can go here to find some strong picks for the current meta. Needless to say, playing stronger heroes increases your chance of winning.
Do not criticise your team’s picks
People play for fun, forcing them to play heroes they do not want to play will just make them play poorly. If the last pick on your team chooses something unsuitable, don’t complain, just play around it. Often when they choose like this then they are exceptionally good at that hero and play it a lot.
During the game
Do not rage at your team
A team that is demoralised and arguing have a much reduced chance to win. Do not flame your team for making mistakes as it will only make people play worse and when your team plays worse then your chance of gaining MMR will drop. Also, if you get placed into the low priority pool then you have to play several games there before you can go back to ranked.
Focus on yourself and your own mistakes
If you die then ask yourself “Why did I die?”. Do not put blame on your team but instead look at your own decision making and positioning. You cannot make your team improve, but you can improve your own gameplay. This goes along with the next point.
Make risky plays
If you are not sure if you can tower dive a low health enemy, go for it! If you are unsure whether you can kill the enemy 1v1 then go for it! By going for these opportunities you can improve faster. If you die then you learn not to try that again, or how to do it better next time. If you succeed then your chances of winning just improved.
Always be conscious of what might happen
Always try to predict what is going to happen. Some of this is easy, for example, if the enemy team has an Earthshaker then you can usually predict when he will blink and ultimate. Try to predict what the enemy heroes will do and you can start to position yourself in a better spot to deal with it.
To follow or not to follow
Sometimes one of your team-mates will initiate a team-fight in a bad location or unfavourable circumstances. At this time you have to ask yourself “Can we win this?”. If the answer is definitely “No!” then do not enter and feed gold yourself. If you have any doubts then it is best to follow your team and see what happens.
After the game
Look at your own gameplay and think what you could have done better. Do not focus on team-mates, just look at yourself. While you may have lost because your Faceless Void thought he was immortal and tried to 1v5, or your anti-mage blinked into the enemy team and got insta-hexed, maybe there is something you could have done to prevent this. A ward might have prevented it, or just a ping warning him to be cautious.
Hope this helps you gain some MMR (or stop you from losing more!)
If you have any more tips then please comment below. Good tips will be added above.