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Since 2013, Dota 2 players have been using Michael Yossef “Torte de Lini” Cohen-Palacios’ Hero Guides to optimize their gameplay. This project includes 165 guides — accessible through in-game tooltips — incorporating match data, pro feedback, and user discussions to help players make better choices. These optimized guides help both new and veteran players deepen their understanding of Valve’s MOBA.
In these 10 years, Torte de Lini has become one of the most influential figures in the game. Players have used his Dota 2 guides 3.4 billion times – an average of 2 million per day. According to his estimates, at least one player uses one of his guides in 90.7% of Dota 2 matches.
This is also a big step forward from 2021. His guides have 525 million subscriptions, with 40 million subscriptions added this year. He has also increased his reach in the community. Last year, he estimated that 86.3% of matches used his hero guides, representing a 5% growth over the past year.
The influence of Torte de Lini has had far-reaching consequences. Valve recommends its guides in their Dota 2 tutorial. Moreover, OpenAI Five followed Torte de Lini’s build guides for their Dota 2 bots. famous, OpenAI’s bots swept OG2019 World Champions.
In-guides and coaching have grown along with the esports industry. They are essential for increasing the quality of the game, especially in genres like MOBAs where there are different mechanics to understand. Without these (free) guides, the quality of the gameplay would suffer.
Torte de Lini responds to this need blog post: “When people ask me why I make guides, my first answer is simple: I was frustrated with the way my teammates were building their items and I channeled that feeling into doing something productive about it.”
Building a legacy
Reflecting on his 10 years in esports, Torte de Lini opened up and described the struggles he faced while building his legacy.
“The guides started as something to prove that I could contribute to the community. But the project became something that will stay in my life no matter what the future brings. My future had many ups and downs, but the guides remained a fixed point of definition of who I am and want to be,” said Torte de Lini.
He never quite fit in growing up as the son of a Swiss-Jewish-Egyptian refugee and an Ecuadorian-Spanish New Yorker in French Canada and the US. But Dota and esports became a community where he could belong and contribute. Through his career with various esports startups and personal growth, Torte de Lini has left a lasting impact on esports. In fact, the Dota 2 community erupted controversy when Torte de Lini a break in 2019.
“The guides came at the perfect time, a cross section of my past fears and ambition to change them in the future,” he added.
While Torte de Lini plans to continue supporting his Dota 2 Hero Guides, he has more up his sleeve. He is seeking funding for his next project. Torte de Lini wants to expand into new games – especially TCGs, RPGs and MOBAs – that need help onboarding new players into their ecosystems. He plans to build a competitive mobile game guide platform that brings his signature methodology of combining machine learning data with the knowledge of expert level players to communities beyond Dota 2.
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