Hello, this guide should have the information for you to be able to play from behind and come back into the game, hopefully resulting in you getting a win. I’m going to be taking some examples from game 3 of Team Secret vs Alliance at ESL Birmingham 202 Online, as even though Alliance loses, it shows the plays you should be making while behind and the potential to come back into the game. I’ll also have an example from a game where the guys I usually play with are in, showing you don’t have to be in the top 0.01% of MMR to make these plays and come back from a losing position.
If you want to watch my guide instead of reading it you can do so on my Youtube and I also stream on twitch sometimes, I usually do replay analysis and that sort of thing which you can find here
Sometimes you’ll go into a game straight into an impossible lane, where every time you walk into the lane you're zoned out or straight up just dying. This can mean you’ll end up being better off if you leave the lane to go to the jungle early on, instead of suffering in the lane, where you will end up just bolstering the opposing heroes farm everytime you die.
For example, one of the lads I regularly play with, Butch_Joe, recently played a game of Wraith King where he was laning against a Queen of Pain and a Spirit Breaker. This lane was too hard and wasn’t worth what he getting out of it compared to what the jungle offers, so he went to the jungle 3 minutes into the game, occasionally returning to the lane when the opponents were away. Since Wraith King can jungle relatively easily once he has a few levels and along with the occasional Healing Salve, Joe got his Radiance at 18 minutes in, which is still a decent timing for the item considering that he had to retreat to the jungle 3 minutes into the game. He left the lane for his KOTL, who could shove it out from under the tower with illuminate, delaying the enemy teams push. Now think if Joe hadn’t left the lane, he would have no farm, less XP, and the QoP would have been much bigger than she was.
So what do we learn from this? Well, if the lane isn’t simply worth the effort and you think you’ll end up feeding the offlaner, farm the jungle. Now in one of my previous guides I prefaced one of the sections saying that jungle creeps are worth significantly less than the lane creeps; this is still correct, but something is still worth more than nothing. If you’re getting nothing out of the lane, and amplifying the offlaners farm by feeding them, you’ll be doing worse than if you just go to the jungle and leave them to it.
Leaving the lane is also not a decision to be taken lightly, as I can see people reading this then deciding to ditch the lane at the first mild inconvenience. For example, if there’s a skywrath mage and it's annoying but you’re still getting farm against him and his lane partner, there's no need to ditch for the jungle.
When you're behind, it’s unlikely you can take on a big team fight, where both teams have all of their spells available. To be able to regain your footing in the game, you should look for pick offs and there’s multiple reasons to do so.
It’s unlikely you can take a big team fight on even footing, if the enemy team has one big item over you, that can be a massive disadvantage for you and your team. For example, if the enemy PA just got a BKB they could completely dominate the next fight, unable to be controlled by your heroes. You need to be resourceful, look for an easy kill, take a hero out of the game. Depending on who you catch and remove, you could end up freeing up a lot of space on the map, giving you the opportunity to take objectives, force good fights, and try to come back into the game. Potentially, you get enough gold for you or one of your teammates to get their next big item, that PA with the BKB might be less of a problem if you can disable her before she can use it, surprising her with a Blink Dagger into some stuns chained up to where she’ll die before she can even get BKB off.
There are some examples of this from Team Secret vs Alliance game 3 in the ESL Birmingham 2020 Online tournament where Alliance looked to pick off Nisha, and then proceeded to take a good fight. They try to hit and run, but then turned around when they realised Secret has over extended and used their key spells ineffectively, also Nisha being dead and being Secret’s biggest damage dealer they felt more comfortable turning and taking this fight. They turn it into a tier 1 push middle then return to their side of the map to farm. Later on, seeing Secret split up, Alliance go for a smoke gank onto Yapzor and once they get the kill and Secret scramble to rotate, Alliance back up knowing that they cannot win a full on team fight since Yapzor just bought back.
You’ve got to play smart, running into big fight after big fight might be the cause of why you and your team are so far behind. Play around the enemy teams cooldowns, if you force out rotations to the bottom lane after you tried to get a pick off or you showed pushing in the lane, you might be able to get a kill top if one of the opposition are showing up there. Playing like this can negate the advantage that the enemy has, as they’ll want to crush your team in one big fight and take an entire lane afterwards. Don’t play into their hands. If you just lost a fight but they’ve expended all of their big spells you can then look to return the favour once your team has respawned, as if they’re missing crucial spells like Echo Slam or Supernova which may be giving them a huge advantage when available, it's likely you can get a winning fight despite being behind.
Split pushing is a good technique to come back into the game. Split pushing allows you to farm and pressure objectives across the map, if done successfully you can force out rotations to the lane your pushing in, freeing up space elsewhere on the map. Split pushing can be a tricky thing to pull off well, as if you stick around for slightly too long you could end up dead, putting yourself and your team even further behind. Be especially careful doing this when none of the enemy team are showing on the map, they could be rotating to kill you at any point and you wouldn’t know until it's too late. The hero who should be splitpushing should have good mobility and wave clear, being able to quickly kill the waves then retreat just as fast before they potentially get caught out and killed.
If your carry is behind on farm, it's vital that you leave the safest farm on the map for them. If they have to keep showing on the map to get farm; then as a consequence proceed to get ganked and die they’ll never be able to recover and come back into the game.
I’ve talked about this before in my guide on how to accelerate your farm, but I'll give it a quick rundown here as well. How dangerous an area of the map is to farm changes throughout the game, once a tower falls a camp that would be safe may be somewhat dangerous to farm since the tower providing true sight and blocking enemy movements is no longer there to defend that area of the map. If you have no vision in your jungle and the opposition is not showing on the map, the jungle would be significantly more dangerous to farm than normal. Understanding this dynamic process is key so that you can farm both safely and efficiently, even more so when you are playing from behind. If you’re playing offlane or support, leaving the safe camps for your carry is important so they can continue to farm undisturbed; if you’re playing carry or mid it’s important you farm these areas of the map so it’s less likely you’ll get caught out.
You can see Nikobaby’s safe farming patterns in this game, moving towards the safe farm rather than the wave as multiple Secret heroes showed contesting the rune. He knows he’ll be in real danger if he goes to farm the nearby wave so he goes back into the jungle to farm the ancients. Later in the game, you can see he feels safe farming the bottom lane since multiple heroes on Secret are showing middle, pressuring his tier 1. Then look at his movements when the ward spotting the majority of Secret is dewarded and how he keeps to the deepest part of the jungle incase of being spotted and potentially killed by any of Secret’s heroes who may be lurking around.
Now to amplify your farm, it’s important to stack these camps. It’s unlikely that they’ll be taken by the enemy team as the safest camps usually end up being the ones deepest in your jungle, so you won’t be giving away potential farm. If your carry can only farm a few camps before being forced to farm in a dangerous area, stacking the camps can effectively double their farm whilst keeping them safe.
That’s about it, there’s your basic guide on how to play from behind and come back into the game. As per usual, any feedback would be appreciated and I hope you all find this useful.
Anyway, good luck in your future games and I hope you all find this guide helpful
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