Skatemasters vs Generations of Miracles
AEF Season 3 Division 1
Link to series on dotabuff: https://www.dotabuff.com/esports/series/561354-skate-vs-gm
The first series of week 2 AEF season 3 would see two successful Division 1 teams in Week 1 collide for a heated matchup. Team solidification would be the biggest inquest into the favorite of this series, and how those that would not normally form a solid five could play within themselves and others to come out on top.
Game one’s draft highlighted an immediate advantage for SK8, a Brood pick lacking a strong lane counter. The mid player lordboonz (In game: Phuc Nguyen) took control of the spider against a Tidehunter. Relatively un-phased by outside interference early because of pre-game skirmishing going to the advantage of SK8, the Tide would rack up fifty last hits by the four-minute mark, but would not shut down the Broodmother.
The action in the early to mid-game was primarily focused on the bottom lane. A core matchup of Pugna against Huskar with support rotations saw trades that seemed constant and favored over maintaining a favourable creep score to either hero, with Pugna’s burst only falling short because of quick thinking by the Oracle from the Huskar side of the matchup. An advantage was given to the side of GOM when Tidehunter, the lead net worth hero in the match would rotate from mid to utilize Ravage on cooldown and force favourable trades to GOM at the bottom lane, scraping their way back toward evening the trades in the early to mid-game.
Meanwhile, the story of the game was unfolding at the mid lane and the jungle camps surrounding it. Broodmother had taken full control of this area and was building upon a marginal net worth lead. Brood would amass a net worth lead that grew exponentially due to the space created by the skirmishes at bottom lane, allowing for a near double net worth advantage over the next highest hero at the 20th minute mark.
The mid-game would unfold very simply, can GOM control the brood enough to take advantage of SK8’s relatively under farmed other two cores in the Pugna and OD. Brood would provide a ray of light for GOM with an over extension in the mid lane chasing kills solo, with the rotation of all 5 of GOM’s players they were able to bring Brood down through and Aegis, and push the advantage to a fight taken by SK8 without their highest net worth hero in the Brood and lose all bar one hero in the fight sequence. From here GOM were well back into the game and the massive net worth advantage of the Brood was a mountain that they could indeed climb. GOM pushed for picks at this stage of the game, and as a result would catch out and take down 4 heroes on the side of SK8 without the loss of any, including the bounty of the ever important Broodmother. From this GOM would quickly move to take mid-Tier 3 and the melee barracks, before attempting to disengage at the cost of two heroes.
Split push and farm was the theme of the next few minutes of the game, with both Pugna and Mirana forcing the issue for their respective teams – both of whom were caught out and punished by the defending teams.
The culmination of the last 15 minutes of play saw a foreseeably even fight loom at Radiant’s bottom tier 3 tower. However, for the first time Brood was not initiated on, and was able to blow up several of GOM’s heroes, providing a comprehensive team-fight win for SK8 and a complete team wipe. From here the pushing power of Broodmother and Pugna was showcased, and the previous GOM net worth lead swung back in favour of SK8 to the extremity of 8 thousand gold. There was no stopping the pushing power, and despite the best efforts from the side of GOM, including a very close Mirana leaping aegis steal attempt, they were rolled over quickly to end the match. A seemingly resounding victory considering the final eight minutes of the match, this really was a game in waiting for SK8 to play around the Brood rather than relying solely upon it. Once they did so they could take the game and hold a 1-0 advantage heading into game 2.
Game two saw a marginally different draft on both teams with quite similar themes to decide the game on the side of SK8. SK8’s mid-lane was given Terrorblade as the farm essential hero to once again attempt to carry the game. However, this time GOM would respond with a heavy early game lineup involving strong rotational heroes in Kunkka, Earthshaker and Ancient Apparition. These heroes would look to punish the greedy lineup that SK8 had drafted.
Action early was centered around the mid-lane as Terrorblade and Mirana locked horns alongside Earthshaker and Kunkka, their respective supports. The two supports were rarely exposure to one another however, often creating a two on one situation, only GOM would take a kill on the core Terrorblade and seemingly provide an advantage to the Mirana mid. However, it was not to be, as was the theme in game one, game two also saw Boonz take his toll on the farm mid-lane, crushing the Mirana in creep score by 30 at the 5-minute mark. This was enhanced by a fantastic rotation by Rin on the Earth Spirit, who could find success finally on the Mirana with a pin-point rolling boulder followed up by body-blocks allowing for the Metamorphosis Terrorblade to clean up Mirana’s remaining health.
From here the GOM supports were likened to the side lanes, where they were to find much more success in the early game. GOM dominated the early game rotations, while SK8 held the top two creep scores in the match early, the kills went entirely the way of GOM. At 8 to 1 at ten minutes, the theme of the early game for SK8 was surely ‘Space Created’ for the Terrorblade. As while his team were constantly picked off, Boonz was solidifying a net worth lead for the second game in a row, with SK8 hoping to ride the coattails of his ability once again.
GOM’s support movements were excellent in the early game, they took advantage of a strong early game draft and executed their game plan very successfully to expose the weak laning heroes on the side of SK8. In particular wtHung on the Kunkka was on fire in the early game with some fantastic X-Torrent Combo’s. However, this would be halted by the presence of the Terrorblade entering his first non-mid-lane skirmish. This saw SK8 take out their second, third and fourth kill of the game in a matter of seconds and whilst they were seemingly at a disadvantage in the match, their superior mid-game lineup alongside the fantastic farm on the Terrorblade would indicate that a miniature comeback was on the table.
As was the theme of the game previous, a farmed mid-lane carry is a scary prospect for any team to handle, let alone a Terrorblade. Suddenly Boonz holds a 35 percent net worth lead over the next closest hero, the Mirana on GOM, and despite the constant kills going the way of GOM, the overall net worth had been maintained at an even level due to the success of the Terrorblade’s farming speed. With the addition of Terrorblade, team fight ultimates are now no longer being capitalized upon by GOM and kills became more difficult to come by. Three team fight ultimates in Ghost Ship, Call down and Ice Blast were all used on a mid-lane skirmish with no pay off due to the presence of the Terrorblade. However, GOM were still proving to have superior support movements and with the Earthshaker’s and Gyrocopter’s involvement they could still prove that pickoffs are quite easy to come by, if the Terrorblade isn’t present.
A scattered initiation at Dire’s Tier 2 tower at top-lane by SK8 saw Ancient Apparition’s ultimate help significantly in taking down the dominating Terrorblade, who end the Gyrocopters killing spree before falling. Possible hope in the eyes of GOM to save a game that, like the once previous, was quickly getting out of hand. For the second time during the series that would not be the case. After coming out of a series of seesawing skirmishes marginally on top of the net worth, SK8 would dominate a fight around GOM’s top Shrine. A two-man Earth Spirit stun followed up by a silence on the same two heroes was trailed by a blinking Terrorblade decimating the lineup of GOM. GOM had no answer, they defended with futility but nothing could stop the rolling push of the Terrorblade and Pugna. SK8 would take out the enemy base and win the series 2-0 with a resounding victory in the second game.
This series really was SK8’s to win, as they showed so comprehensively. Game one was much more difficult than game two for them but it was mostly a result of white-line fever by their cores chasing kills and throwing away amassed gold leads. In both games once they solidFified their strengths and superior team fight coordination they would resoundingly put GOM to the sword in both games. GOM played well, particularly their support duo’s in the early game of both matches, however it was matched equally with the plays of SK8’s supports. Rin played exceptionally well on Earth Spirit in game two and showed people that you don’t have to be Jerax to play this hero well. MVP for this series must go to Boonz, simply the nucleus of SK8’s strategy in both games, he executed his roll extremely well and won his lane on both occasions. Despite some questionable play on his Broodmother in game one, he was able to reel it in and display a clinical end to game one as well as a fantastic game two to lead SK8 to victory.