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Dota 2 Vs. League of Legends (The Ultimate Comparison)

Dota 2 Vs. League of Legends (The Ultimate Comparison)

When it comes to multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, two games reign supreme. These games are Valve’s Dota 2 and Riot’s League of Legends. Both have captivated millions of players from around the world. In this article, we’ll draw an ultimate comparison between these two games.

Dota 2 and League of Legends are similar in their MOBA gameplay, strategic depth, and extensive competitive Esports scene. However, both games differ when it comes to Hero/Champion design, game mechanics, map design, and economic systems.


If you’re wondering which game you should pick up play and learn then you’ve come to the right place. Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll be going over all the details that separate and unite these legendary games. Be warned though, getting good at MOBAs is not for the faint of heart.

Similarities Between Dota 2 and League of Legends

Dota 2 Vs. League of Legends

Both Dota 2 and League of Legends owe their origins to the same source, DOTA. This previous Dota version was a map mod for the popular Warcraft 3, and it was this game that gave birth to the MOBA genre of video games.

It was through inspiration from this early version of Defense of the Ancients that Riot Games developed and released, League of Legends. The game is often also referred to as LoL. The game came out on the 27th of October and received roaring success, but you probably already knew that.

Almost in response to the massive popularity of LoL, Valve Corporation on the 9th of July, 2013, released the much anticipated Dota 2. Although initially stumbling Dota 2 soon cemented itself as one of the most tactically, and mechanically dense MOBA on the market. And therein the rivalry between them began.

Now in the following few sections, let’s discuss some of the similarities that you can expect from Dota 2 and League of Legends. If you’re looking for the ultimate comparison between these two games then this is the best place to start.

1) Similar MOBA Gameplay

MOBA Design and Gameplay - Dota 2

MOBA stands for multiplayer online battle arena, and true to the name the gameplay of both Dota 2 and League of Legends feels like a duel between other players online. If you’re into PvP then it doesn’t get much better than a MOBA.

Both Dota 2 and League of Legends follow the same fundamental structure of the MOBA genre. You and other players from around the world will be divided into two teams consisting of five players each. Each team will be given an objective: destroy the enemy team’s base and associated towers you find before that.


You, your teammates, and the enemy team will try to achieve this objective by controlling powerful heroes or champions. Each of these units has distinct abilities, powers, and synergies. The effective use of all of these tools will be crucial for your success.

This is quintessential MOBA gameplay and is what you’ll find largely similar between Dota 2 and League of Legends.

2) Similar Strategic Depth

Strategic Gameplay - Ganking in League of Legends

Another point of similarity is the Strategic Depth that you can find whilst playing either Dota 2 or League of Legends. Both games require strategic thinking, decision-making, and effective communication with your teammates to achieve victory. Neither of these two games is easy to play in the least.

If you want to survive in the MOBA genre then you must learn to analyze the battlefield, develop tactics, and make quick adjustments to counter the opponents’ strategies. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself visiting your home base or fountain quite often throughout the match.

It is this depth of gameplay that exists in both Dota 2 and League of Legends that ensures near-endless possibilities.

This is also why many of you might get addicted to playing either of these games. Once you start the path of Dota 2 or League of Legends, few other games will feel as engaging.

3) Similar Competitive Esports Scene

Competitive Dota 2 and League of Legends Esports

The last similarity that we think is valuable to examine, between Dota 2 and League of Legends, is their thriving esports scenes. Both these games host incredibly produced tournaments and attract thousands of competitors from all around the world.

What’s truly impressive is the around-the-year “Season” of tournaments that both Dota 2 and League of Legends host. Each of these tournaments has massive audiences and offers substantial prize pools to those that attain top spots.


Even better, these tournaments earn team points to compete in the biggest tournament of the year for both games: The International for Dota 2 and the League of Legends World Championships. Both of these events are highly anticipated all year round. And are the true test of skill and dedication from professional players around the world.

Differences Between Dota 2 and League of Legends

If you’ve ever spoken to a Dota 2 or League of Legends player, you probably noticed that both of them hate when people confuse their games.

This is due to the rivalry between these two games, but it also stems from the deep-seated differences in the mechanics, structure, and gameplay of Dota 2 and League of Legends.

So let’s examine the differences between these two games in detail, shall we?

1) Differences in Hero/Champion Design

Heroes and Champions

One of the first key differences that you will notice between Dota 2 and League of Legends lies in the way they have designed their playable units. In Dota 2, playable units are called Heros, and you can find a variety of them that fulfill different roles. These roles include Safe Lane Carry, Off Lane Carry, Mid Laner, and Soft and Hard Supports.

In League of Legends, playable units are called Champions. These so-called Champions fulfill the following roles: Top, Jungle, Mid, Bot/ADC, and Support. Even though some aspects of these unit designs are similar, once you get into the game you experience their vast difference.


Dota 2 tends to have more complex and nuanced heroes. Often Dota 2 will have intricate and complex abilities or interactions. Prior knowledge is essential in Dota 2, and many new players aren’t able to realize the full potential of their heroes in even their first 100 matches.

League of Legends, on the other hand, emphasizes accessibility and approachability in its Champion design. Characters have fewer complex abilities and mostly exhibit simple skill shot abilities that can be quickly cast, and understood for effective gameplay.

This makes it easier for new players to grasp some of the fundamental mechanics in League of Legends sooner than they would in Dota 2.

2) Differences in Game Mechanics

Game mechanics Difference

Another facet that differentiates Dota 2 and League of Legends is their mechanics and gameplay nuances. We discussed some of the specific ones, related to heroes/champions in the last section. But in this section, we’ll talk about more subtle gameplay differences.

The first that a lot of you might notice is the existence of Dota 2’s creep denial mechanic. This is where you can prevent your mobs, towers, and items from being used by the enemy. You see every time the enemy kills one of your units they get gold and XP. But through denial, they don’t get anything.

In League of Legends, on the other hand, fast-paced combat and skill-shot-based abilities are more utilized. Common abilities will ask you to aim your target sight toward the enemy to cast the ability, and action will be quick and fluid to respond to your keystrokes.

3) Differences in Map Design

Dota 2 Map (Left) - League of Legends Map (Right)

The maps in Dota 2 and League of Legends also exhibit differences. Dota 2’s map is known for its larger size, multiple pathways, and dynamic terrain, which encourages diverse strategies and allows for more complex positioning.

League of Legends map, on the other hand, is more streamlined, with predefined lanes and jungle areas that foster quicker engagements and rotations. Although this means that combat is more streamlined. It eventually helps in creating a comforting flow to most games.


League of Legends also is exceptionally good at placing neutral mobs throughout the map. These become highly contested as farming locations during matches. In competitive play, you can often see professional players use the map in unique and interesting ways because of their inherent familiarity.

4)Differences in Economic Systems

In-game Store

The economic systems in Dota 2 and League of Legends diverge as well. Dota 2 features a gold-sharing system where you receive gold individually but can also share it with teammates, promoting team coordination and strategic itemization.

League of Legends, on the other hand, employs a personal gold system, where individual performance directly influences gold income, allowing you to build their itemization more independently. Additionally, the items that you purchase from the shop are often passive bonuses rather than active items.

Dota 2 and League of Legends are highly popular and unique multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games that offer thrilling gameplay experiences. While they share similarities, they also possess distinct features, choosing between them a matter of personal preference.