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HotS – Map Awareness – Never Throw Games Again

  • 1
  • 31/10/2015

hots map
Map awareness is a key element in being a great HotS player: if you wanna boost your Heroes of the Storm performances, you need to always take a look at the map before making a call for a play or making a rotation. Our Heroes of the Storm boost team wrote this guide to help raising your awareness: be sure to use it in addition to our Heroes of the Storm tier list for the best results!

Map awareness in the laning phase

Always keeping an eye on the map during the laning phase can change the course of the game. In almost every game, I see some guy on my team pushing too hard when two or more enemies are missing in action (MIA). And usually this results in a gank and a free kill for the enemy. But as long as you have a decent map awareness, you will see ganks coming from a mile away and won’t push had when in danger.
On the other hand, you can use this additional informations to play aggressive plays while being safe. For example, if every enemy is in his lane and you hero has good wave clear, it’s the perfect occasion to push a lane and start tearing down those turrets. But always remember to watch out for ganks, and for enemies overextending: you can punish squishy or low mobility targets thanks to your superior map vision.
Lastly, remember that not everyone on the team is as good as you, and those less experienced players are under your responsability. If you see a Kael’thas pushing relentlessly (or mindlessly) when three enemies are missing, be sure to ping him back. If he is smart, he will understand his mistakes; if he is not, you tried your best. It doesn’t matter how high Kael’thas is placed on the Heroes of the Storm tier list, he still can’t outplay four enemies alone.

Map awareness around objectives

As our HotS boost team said in a previous guide. Bosses and neutral objectives in general are the primary source of throws for both team.
A typical scenario in the Cursed Hollow is that while you are trying to secure the tributes, a solo laner on your team is happily split pushing on the other side of the map, totally unaware of what’s going on. Well, instead of engaging on the enemies, getting killed and flaming the guy during the death timer, try to communicate with him (without calling him a blind murloc) spamming pings, and just poke down the enemies while making sure to don’t leave the tributes to the enemies. “Map awareness” doesn’t means only to watch out for missing enemies, but also for missing allies!
Always consider the cost-opportunity of every call: if your team is out of position, giving up an objective is the best choice, as the enemies won’t get a substantial lead off a single mistake. On the other hand, an objective and three kills are worth really a lot of experience. Simply walk away and try to push another lane.
Another use of map awareness for objective is taking advantage of what you are not seeing: that’s what we call negative vision. If you haven’t seen enemies in a pushing lane for some time , it’s logical to assume that one or more heroes are running to push it: you can try and set up an ambush taking advantage of the bushes. This is even easier when dancing around objectives: for example on the Dragon Shire if two enemies are defending the top temple and three are MIA, they are probably going to the south temple and are vulnerable to a coordinate engage.

Map Awareness for Camps

We can apply to camps the same concepts that we just said about bosses. If you don’t have vision of your enemies, but a nearby camp just spawned, it’s safe to assume that they are trying to rush it. It’s up to your judgement if it’s better to stay safe, to push a lane when they are busy or to counter their move by interrupting the attempt and jumping on them, taking advantage of your superior vision. It’s really crucial to take advantage of this informations to boost your win rate: doesn’t matter what you do, be always sure to react in time and to consider every piece of information you have: how many enemies are fighting the boss, how many allies are healthy and ready to fight, how much healthy are the enemies, how quickly they can burst a camp or your Valla (spoiler: too quickly).
Of course this same rules apply when you are making a call for a camp: if many enemies are missing, consider playing more safely until you understand what’s going on. Don’t go full “yolo” and attempt to sneak a camp when three enemies may be waiting for you in a bush.
My favourite trick is to quickly push a lane, then rotate with a few allies to an enemy camp, forcing your opponents in a lose-lose situation. Either way they lose a camp, or their structures take some damage. This is of course a very favourable scenario, but you can’t make it happen if you don’t have map control.
Map awareness is even more important for heroes with high mobility or global map pressure. One of the reasons why Falstad is so highly considered in the HotS tier list is his ability to punish players unaware of their map through immediate rotations.
hots map guide

Conclusion

We could go on forever making examples of how useful map awareness is. However we prefer facts to words, so just start keeping an eye on the map and see the results for yourself: you will be dieing less, you will make more ganks and capture more free objects while the enemies can’t react. Long story short, you will win more games. Rotations and map control are an huge part of this game: even if you get out picked because the enemy team secured the best heroes according to the HotS tier list, you can still win the game with better map awareness.Thank us later.

Lastly, our team reminds you that Artanis was finally released: keep an eye out for the Artanis guide on our blog to check out the best Artanis build. Our analysts are really focusing a lot on his performances to understand how he will be placed in the next HotS Tier List we release soon.

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