Mum I Need Tangoes! vs Yellow Solo Mid Reborn
AEF Season 3 Division 2
Link to series on Dotabuff:
AEF Season 3 has begun in peculiar fashion with the opening match in Division 1, between ‘Unlucky’ and ‘N9’ being rescheduled due to other commitments. Nevertheless, there was still captivating Dota to be played, casted and viewed by the Australian Dota community with the opening best of three match in Division 2 between ‘Yellow Solo Mid Reborn’ and ‘Mum I Need Tangoes! (MINT)’.
MINT was heading into this series as clear favorites based on AEF season 2 results and the relatively unchanged rosters from both themselves and Yellow Solo Mid Reborn. However, MINT’s position 5 support Stormborn was unable to partake in game one due to an inability to get into the game and so they would play with their stand-in Blueray. Yellow Solo Mid Reborn would look to this as a major advantage, as they have been playing together on and off since 2013, surely an edge over a group of players likely not entirely gelled in a competitive sense.
Game one was seemingly up to MINT to simply execute what their draft demanded of their players to win early, with a gold and experience advantage, without giving away a lead. A heightened level of control on the side of MINT saw an early game lead transition into midgame dominance at nearly all skirmishes, while Yellow Solo Mid Reborn managed to maintain a marginal disadvantage in gold and experience to scrape varying pickoffs and trades in and around these fights. They were behind on gold, but not in the ground just yet, and unfortunately for MINT, this game was the story of two halves. Mirana was dominating the game, but not too far behind her were the Weaver, Zeus and more importantly Monkey King on Yellow Solo Mid Reborn, with MINT’s Faceless Void jumping between net worth advantage and disadvantage depending on the outcome of a fight. The turning point of the dominance was a series of whiffed Chronospheres and Echo slams opening fights for Zeus, Weaver and Monkey King to run wild on MINT, losing more heroes per fight consistently from the 44th minute mark onwards. A misplay by MINT’s Batrider near Yellow Solo Mid Reborn’s tier 3 mid allowed for an easy pick-off and the trading of a gem to the Weaver, this allowed Yellow Solo Mid Reborn to push the envelope and pressure the barracks of MINT. At this point Monkey King has become the proverbial wrecking ball in the game and outside of a good Ancient Apparition ultimate, he was nigh un-killable. Despite losing the Weaver and Monkey King late into the game, Yellow Solo Mid Reborn would make no mistake capitalizing on their newfound lead taking five of the six MINT barracks by 60 minutes, with the final Barracks to fall a minute later through an unchecked siege cart, putting the final nail in the coffin for MINT and a GG shortly after.
Game two saw MINT’s position five 5 support return to the series to add some stability to their lineup and hopefully claw back from a heartbreaking loss in game one. The MINT draft was not too dissimilar from their game 1 draft, again centering around Faceless Void’s Chronosphere, in contrast Yellow Solo Mid Reborn opted for a much greedier draft that looked to capitalize on an early game lead given by the Lich’s dominance in a tri-lane. The game was seemingly decided in the laning stage, with a solo safe-lane Morphling only barely getting by against a Nature’s Prophet that would kill him twice within ten minutes, but at the expense of her own creep score, not being able to successfully farm on top of the lane dominance that was won – allowing Morphling to stay relatively active in the lane until rotations could occur. The mid-lane saw an advantage go the way of Yellow Solo Mid Reborn’s Death Prophet, despite a death during a support rotation. However, whilst this was happening across the map, Monkey King was reigning supreme at top lane. Monkey King’s support duo were critical in shutting down the defensive tri-lane of MINT in the early stages of the game, forcing them to rotate to get away from Lich’s sacrifice experience disadvantage. This allowed Monkey King to either zone out or kill MINT’s Faceless Void at will. Morphling had a lot of attention paid to him in the early to mid-game, not all this attention would come through with kills, and Grimace on the Monkey King remained unchecked by MINT. Capitalizing on an early lead, Monkey King would wreak havoc on the game stemming from multiple solo kills on the Faceless Void. The highlight of the match came soon after with the pickup of a Sange and Yasha on Monkey King at minute thirteen, he would receive the item off the courier near the Dire’s top Bounty Rune with Jingu Mastery Charges still active, he spots the Witch Doctor a small distance away and proceeds to one-shot him with Boundless Strike, an emphatic exclamation point on what MINT had allowed Monkey King to achieve with his space at the top lane. From here followed complete dominance by Yellow Solo Mid Reborn, a few kills here or there by MINT weren’t enough to claw themselves back into the game and would eventually GG out of the game at the thirty-minute mark after a futile attempt at defending their base against this rampaging Monkey King.
This series seemed to highlight the disparity of either team’s ability to play from behind. Yellow Solo Mid Reborn could effectively trade and farm while behind and due to a war of attrition in the mid game of game one they were able to claw their disadvantage back alongside some team fight misplays by MINT. In contrast game two saw MINT lack in kill trades and pickoffs – meaning the Monkey King could run rampant on MINT seemingly all game. Grimace playing the Monkey King would have to take out the Most Valuable Player for this series, he made some exceptional team fight plays in game one and game two just completely put MINT to the sword. Honorable mention to Nevdi for some fantastic plays on his Kunkka in game two allowing space for both the Monkey King and the Death Prophet.
In other news, Monday also saw the first match of Division 3 AEF take place in another best of three series. Nah Bro would take the series in convincing fashion 2 to 0 showing off a skilled Earth Spirit in game 1 and a Pudge in game 2 play an interesting game.