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2 Cents of Salt: Just Learn to Play Support, D*mmit

I don't know how you guys feel about it, but there's just not enough support players in existence, period.

I get it - carrying is fun in almost every game; you feel oh-so-cool with your insane KDAs, lane domination, sick sniping skills, yadda yadda yadda.

What's not fun is when your team composition is severely imbalanced - be it 5 cores starving for farm in Dota, a single Mercy trying her best to keep 5 lackluster DPSes alive in Overwatch, or 2 ADCs contesting for CS at bottom lane and subsequently rage-quitting in League.

How it feels like being solo support

Here's an idea: How about you learn to play support? You don't even have to play it all the time - only when the situation calls for it. It really won't kill you, I swear.

Too many of y'all are bloodthirsty beings craving for the kill. Again, there's nothing wrong with wanting to unleash your inner aggression and assert dominance in-game, but support roles are equally important - and sometimes even fun to play - and I'll tell you why:

1. You are the mastermind behind the chaos

In Dota, there is a common assumption that support roles are for noobs or people new to the game. Try queuing solo ranked and you'll see a litany of virtual dick-measuring (a.k.a. MMR flexing) to gain their desired role (usually mid or carry). While it's undeniable that these roles carry a measure of importance, you really don't want an ill-equipped support on your lane leeching your exp and exerting no dominance at all.

Good supports make all the difference - you set up vision, start fights, and keep your carry alive. Tired of hearing your mid screaming for help / vision / tps? Yeah, the opponent's support made that happen. Getting frustrated by the lack of vision to get shit done? Yeah, either the opponent's support is doing a great job poking a stick into your eyes (a.k.a. dewarding) OR your shitty support has just strung up your entire supply of wards along the river like Christmas lights for no apparent reason at all.

You think our enemies gonna HOHOHO come sailing down the river in a boat is it?

Sure, usually the carries are the ones getting the kills, but supports usually are the ones making that happen - either by creating the perfect set of circumstances for it, or keeping the carry alive so they can finish the opponent off (and perhaps avenge your untimely death).

Being the star in the spotlight may be fun, but being the puppet master with your hands up your carries' asses has its own perks too.

2. You dictate the life and death of your allies

Ah, the power of being a healer. You are the keeper of the gates of death, the one who decides who passes and who gets turned back to the world of the living for a second chance.

Those who have not played Mercy in Overwatch (be it forced or willing) have not felt the immense gratification that comes from denying assholes the privilege of a prolonged lifespan.

That shitty DPS who spams 'I need healing' incessantly but refuses to conveniently enter your line of sight? Yeah, when he finally comes to you, let's just damage boost him 'til he dies instead. Still got your res? Tell him it's on cooldown (it's not) and then dance on his corpse.

Come I clap for you

How about that annoying keyboard warrior who keeps charging in like a raging bull on steroids, yet blames his teammates when he dies for the 5th time? If you're playing Lucio, just turn off your healing boost, switch to speed, and AMP IT UP the fuck away from him.

Remember: if you're the sole support and they're still treating you like shit, you can also switch to a SIXTH DPS and make them cry even harder.

You think DPSes have all the power? THINK AGAIN.

3. Being a mum is the most rewarding job

...or so they say.

In most cases, the support is like the surrogate mother of the carry. Nurturing a helpless baby until it becomes a lethal - I mean, legal - adult brings immense satisfaction, be it IRL or in game.

Look, someone has to do the noble job of breastfeeding that hapless Anti-Mage until he becomes the fully-grown, roided-out hero and tower demolisher that he is. I mean your mum literally wiped your ass, fed you, and sheltered you for 18 years - and you probably grew up to be a mediocre human being anyway - but no one says THAT job is for noobs, right?

If you mum can tahan you for 18 years, you can tahan them for 45 minutes

Listen, it might hurt when you throw your body, spend all your heals on your carry, then die and receive nothing but a '?' from the opponent. But when that carry lives to farm another day and ends up fountain camping the opponent? All of it pays off. It's like your mum wiping tears as she watches you go on stage to collect your degree on graduation day.

*wipes tears*

4. Learning multiple roles makes you a better player overall

"Just cause I don't play support, doesn't mean I don't know how."

No, actually you really don't.

Okay, salt and sarcasm aside, learning how to play (and not just read about playing) support is a good thing for everyone. And no, I'm not asking you to suddenly abandon your usual role and become a full-time support, but learning other roles will always benefit you in terms of knowledge.

By understanding and actually experiencing how the support role functions, you'll be a better tank, carry, DPS, ADC, or whatever other roles you have in your main game. By placing yourself in the support's shoes, you'll understand things you never knew you needed to know before, be it their limitations, positioning, animations, cooldown timings, and more.

This could be us, but we went 2 mid and rage quit instead | Image credit: InvenGlobal

You'll learn how to better synergise and cooperate with your teammates, and good chemistry is always a better thing for your team.

So what's the takeaway from this entire rant?

Let me break it down for you in simple terms:

  1. Stop whining 'need support'

  2. Pick a support

  3. Learn to play it

Simply put, it's a matter of supply and demand - when demand exceeds supply, you either increase the supply or decrease the demand. And since the current meta of most games demands a support and is non-negotiable, the only way left is to LEARN. HOW. TO. PLAY. SUPPORT.



2 Cents of Salt is a weekly column on whatever topic is irking the author at present. All views, thoughts, and salt belong solely to the author. Wanna have a verbal throwdown? Just send us a message and we'll throw you and the author in the boxing ring to dish it out.


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