My final project is based on a video game called Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2). As a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game has the highest prize pool in all kinds of the game championship. As of November 15, 2019, the total prize pool of Dota 2 International reaches $34,330,068, making it the most lucrative game in E-sport (Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker 2019).
The game is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each player controlling one of the 117 heroes (each hero has his/her unique style and ability) and each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. During the match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team’s heroes, and there are 160 different kinds of items/pick-ups one can choose to defeat the opposing team’s heroes in Player versus Player combat.
By visualizing different heroes and their win rates, as well as the win rates of different items, this project seeks to provide players with guidance in selecting heroes and items, and to increase their chance of winning the game.
- The Research Questions
I ask four questions in this project: 1) Which hero has the best chance of winning the game? 2) Which item helps the player the most to win the game? 3) For each hero, does the win rate vary between different skills of the player (Normal / High / Very High / Tournament)? 4) For each item, does the win rate vary between different skills (levels) of the player?
This final project means a lot to me. Before coming to the United States to pursue my Master’s study, I worked as a professor DOTA 2 player for four years.Therefore, I hope this project can benefit other professional DOTA 2 players like me and increase their competitiveness. Also, this project will be helpful for DOTA 2 beginners, who are not very skilled but willing to do better. Beginners will probably learn something from this project about how to choose heroes and items so that their likelihood of winning will be maximized.
- Data and Visualization
The data is obtained from a website called “DOTA Max.” The website collects data on every match that happened in the game. Variables include: the name of the hero (there are 117 heroes altogether); the win rate of each hero (0% – 100%); the name of the item (there are 160 items altogether); the win rate of each item (0% – 100%;); the skills of each player (Normal / High / Very High / Tournament) (DOTA MAX 2019)
I use Excel to extract the data from DOTA MAX. For every hero and item, I first collect the win rates of all players, and then divide the players into four subgroups according to their skills and collect the win rates of each subgroup players. I also provide information of each hero’s attribute (Agility/ Intelligence/ Strength), because this is a teamwork game, besides considering the win rate of the hero, finding a hero that fits the team’s demand is equally important.
I am using a bar chart for all these charts below. Because when I am using Tableau, I want to give the image of each hero, and the win rate is better for a bar chart to visualize. Also, I want this chart to be like a searching engine. To fix all the different player’s skills data in one dashboard and compare, I think a bar chart is the best choice.
Figure 1 Hero’s win rate
Figure 1 shows the win rate of each hero, and matches played during the second week of November. Because DOTA 2 is frequently updating, this data is more accurate for the recent version. The heroes are showing on the left side, separated by attributes. Click on each hero to show the win rate and matches played by this hero.
Figure 2 Hero’s win rate by different skills
Figure 2 is showing the hero’s win rate by different skills of each player. Because of the difficulties of each hero, or higher skills player have some method in allusion to some heroes, heroes’ win rate are different.
Figure 3 Item’s win rate
The data of Item’s win rate based on which item does the player keeps until the end of the game. The visualization here is a commendation for the player choosing items during the game. Figure 3 is showing each item’s win rate and how many times they choose this item.
Figure 4 Item’s win rate by different skills
Figure 4 shows the item’s win rate by different skills of each player. Click on one of the items to show that item’s win rate and matches played by different skills.
- Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker. 2019. “The International 2019 – Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker.” Retrieved November 23, 2019 (https://dota2.prizetrac.kr/international2019).
- DOTA MAX. 2019. “Heroes－ Dotamax – DOTA DOTA 2 Statistics Matches Live Dashboard.” Retrieved November 23, 2019 (http://www.dotamax.com/hero/rate/).
 The win rate of an item is calculated at the end of the match, and only counts the items that the player still kept in the package.