All-Star Matches: The Best and the Worst
Who doesn't love a good All-Star match? It's an opportunity for fans to put all their favorite players together to trash talk each other, play heroes that would never happen in any serious match and watch them die in reckless and ridiculous ways. Over the years, we've seen some great All-Star show matches. We've also had a few that couldn't live up to the hype. In anticipation of the upcoming match at The International 5, let's take a look at some of the best and worst All-Star matches in Dota 2 history.
#7: Star Ladder Star Series Season X
It's a shame, because this game had the potential to be amazing. As usual with an All-Star match, strategic drafting was thrown out the window, this time in favor of just picking everyone's signature heroes, with the sole exception of Arteezy playing his distinctly non-signature Techies in an attempt to redeem himself after his performance at The International 2014. Unfortunately, aside from a failed suicide early game, we never got a chance to see how Arteezy's skills would stand up. CyborgMatt started going crazy with the console commands before the 9 minute mark, and with infinite money and WTF mode activated, things went downhill quickly, degenerating into little more than a 3 minute click-fest. And then suddenly Roshans....
#6: The International 2014
All-Star matches at the International are always especially hyped with all the media coverage and trash-talking surrounding the games. Last year's TI All-Star match was even more hyped due to the anticipation around a certain new hero; even the indoor fireworks couldn't drown out the roar of the crowd when Techies appeared. Despite the excitement though, the game was a bit of a letdown. Poor Arteezy never seemed to figure out how Techies worked - it's OK, he was probably only 13 years old last time he played Techies in DotA. That combined with typical try-hard play from Ferrari_430 and Puppey and the admittedly crazy hooks from BigDaddy's Pudge (stolen from Dendi), and the game became extremely one-sided.
#5: XMG Captain's Draft 2.0
All Random Deathmatch always adds a bit of chaos to All-Star games that could otherwise become too tryhard. There was plenty of tomfoolery going on throughout, but by midgame, it was still rather one-sided and less exciting than other All-Star matches. Once again, it was a lackluster game for Arteezy who kept randoming supports, which he promptly fed, ending with a lamentable 0-7 record. Meanwhile, Dendi helped his team to victory with Warlock and his signature Puck, taunting at the end with his Divine Rapier purchase.
#4: Dota 2 Asia Championships
As the casters suggested, this could be the All-Star game that TI4 should have had. Of course, Arteezy had an equally unfortunate game, quickly racking up 4 deaths early game and ending with a 6-12 record. At least he didn't have to play Techies - that role was taken by Jeyo, who used the hero to great effect. Dendi made some great plays on Slardar early game. Another highlight was Puppey's next level strat with support Morphling, but ultimately, it was Mushi's dominating Phantom Lancer that sealed the game for team rOtK.
#3: Red Bull Battle Grounds 2015
Despite not featuring some of the more widely-known players, the 2015 Red Bull Battle Grounds All-Stars match deserves attention as an impressive display of skill that was a blast to watch. The teams were captained by two amateur finalists from the Red Bull LAN San Jose, Bruce "Letz_r0Sh" Tran and Don "DonSnow" Do. DonSnow's team held a lead throughout most of the game, but the valiant Letz_r0sh team managed an epic comeback to narrowly take the game.
#2: The International 2013
There was so much to love about this game. First there was the pre-game Dendi vs. Puppey trash talking that set up the game's main rivalry. Then, urged on by the chanting of the crowd came the only Meepo pick of the tournament, played by IG's ChuaN. The highlight of the game was probably Dendi Pudge's first hook onto Puppey's Omninight, where Dendi paused the game and actually exited the booth to taunt his teammate. Even classic Ferrari_430 and Puppey tryharding couldn't ruin the fun, with Tobi joyously shouting out each team's movements across the open booths and players continuing to flame each other throughout the game. And for the record, final Dendi vs. Puppey score was 3-0.
#1: The Summit 2
The Summit 2's All-Star match gave the fans much more than they bargained for in an ARDM showmatch. The match started with the normal sort of pre-game shenanigans: captain Arteezy agreed to give up first blood to opposing captain iceiceice in exchange for getting Jacky "EternalEnVy" Mao on his team. Normal over-aggressive silliness ensued in the early game, but with a small amount of prize money up for grabs, both teams ended up taking the game more seriously than expected, giving fans an epic 75 minute match. Fear went 26 minutes on Batrider before his first death, but that couldn't compare to iceiceice's 50 minute run on the seemingly unbeatable Naga Siren. Astoundingly, after losing the Naga, iceiceice lucked into an Anti Mage as his last hero of the game, and the epic battle continued. If you don't know how it ended, you have to watch this one!
(Game starts at 36:30)
The International 2015
Looking forward to TI5's All-Star match, is this going to be one of the great games, or one of the flops? For the first time in International history, Dendi will miss the All-Star match, and in fact Puppey is the only representative player for the European teams. With a heavily Chinese lineup, we may well be looking at a very try-hard game, which could go either way in terms of its entertainment factor. It will be interesting to see if they shake up the format this year and give everyone a taste of some custom games from Dota 2 Reborn. What do you think?