Before we get started on how to play the game, there is something I’d like to clear up first, as it can easily confuse newer players. There are three lanes on the Dota 2 map. If you have been reading any other tutorials, you may have heard them be called a myriad of names.
Top, Mid, and Bot
These are the most common names for the lanes. Top is pretty self explanatory, and is the top lane; mid is the middle lane; and bot is the bottom lane. Thankfully mid is the only name used for the middle lane. The rest of the differences in names refer only to the top and bottom lanes.
Safe/Easy and Hard/Suicide
These names are a bit less common, and confusingly can mean different things to each team. If you take a look at the map above, you’ll see that if you were on the Radiant team(Green), and if you went top lane, the middle of the lane is across the river, and far closer to the Dire tower and jungle(I’ll explain this term better later. For now, the jungle is the forested area between top and mid on the Dire side, and mid and bot on the Radiant side.). Since the creep waves that travel along the lanes from either side of the map will meet in the middle of the lane(this can be changed, but I’ll explain this later), this means that any Radiant heroes trying to farm up(this refers killing creeps for gold and experience) or knock the Dire tower, will be much more likely to be killed or ganked(this refers to ambushing a hero or heroes with one or more heroes).
Short and Long
This usually refers to the distance from the ancient to the tier one tower(the tower nearest the middle of the lane). So short would refer to the top lane for Dire, and long, the bottom lane. And for Radiant, long would be bot, and short would be top. However, to add even more confusion into lane names, some people(such as the professional casters/commentators TobiWanKenobi and Purge) use the opposite definitions for these terms. Referring to distance from the tier one tower to the middle of the lane. So this would make top lane, long lane for Radiant, and short for Dire, and the opposite goes for bottom lane. This makes these terms fairly useless if playing with random players in your team, as the terms can mean the complete opposite of what you want them to mean, for some people.