Natus Vincere vs Virtus.Pro match review
There are games everyone is eagerly waiting for. There are games that “divide the whole world in two” ©. But there are also games where the outcome seems to be obvious right from the start. We’re not going to go into details of this phenomenon, but we must note that these are the games that bring the most surprising results. An excellent illustration to this was the first game of yesterday’s matchup between Natus Vincere and Virtus.Pro in Dota 2 Champions League.
The ban phase in games that feature Na’Vi is sometimes catastrophically boring. Any sober-minded captain with high probability will do everything in his powers to keep Puppey out of his element: the jungle. Virtus.Pro took out Chen and Enchantress in the very first ban phase. An interesting fact – Radiant side banned 5 supports, including 3 jungling heroes. Na’Vi, at the same time, methodically removed heroes that they felt uncomfortable playing against literally one by one from the 5th to the 1st position. The first pick of the Born to Conquer ones was a hero for Dendi – Invoker. Needless to say, it is his calling card and one of his signature heroes. VP responded with Furion and Ancient Apparition picks. We all know quite well what Furion can bring to the table, but the Apparition pick was a bit surprising due to the hero’s particular nature. We see him appear more and more in the hero pool, but you can hardly consider him a universal support. Apparition pick is always a part of some bigger picture: for lane (paired with a disable to complement Cold Feet), for 5v5 fights (with massive AoE) and so on.
The subsequent picks of Virtus.Pro confirmed my assumption. One by one we saw Shadow Demon, Puck and Naga enter the scene. Na’Vi responded with Rubick, Lifestealer and Clockwerk. The last hero to join the party was KotL that would be played by Puppey. Laning was trivial, trilanes went to their respective easy lanes. But Shadow Demon, played by JotM, clearly didn’t feel good about sitting still. Thanks to his skillful movements around the map VP took 3 kills in a row in different parts of the map. Your supports are still stuck on creep pulling? Then we’re coming to you!
12 minutes in, Natus Vincere get their first kill of the game. They accumulate their required levels and it’s time to make something happen for them. Aggressive wards in the enemy jungle allow Na’Vi to not only control the majority of the map, but also to block several spawns, thus, leaving their foes with fewer farm spots. And Naga is a hero which, especially having an early radiance, feels very comfortable farming lanes as well as the jungle with its illusions.
By the 26th minute the score becomes dead even at 7:7. XBOCT and Dendi try to pull a fast one on Roshan, but VP were also glad to join the party. As a result – Dendi takes the Aegis, while Lifestealer finds himself a heroic death. On one hand, this is XBOCT’s first death of the game, on the other hand, he has no kills to his name anyways. “0 0 4” is the score of our James Bond (4) at that time.
At some point, the game, as well as the graphs, start moving in favor of the Radiant team. VP kill Roshan and put XBOCT down during one of their smoke gangs. But they can’t kill Dendi down on bottom lane. So, I guess, this is what the all-saving power of love from your support player is.
Minute 56 of game time. The score is 20:20. Na’Vi clearly have no desire to take a 5v5 fight against such an AoE, while VP seem to have a hard time imposing such fight on Na’Vi. Dota starts slowly resembling its Chinese version. Even supports start becoming six-slotted. And carry heroes have already farmed 3 consecutive buybacks. Minute 62, we finally see a skirmish develop in the mid-lane. Even Naga with Heart crumbles under pressure from XBOCT. But, for some reason, Na’Vi don’t react in time to buybacks and lose their carry near the enemy high-ground.
The last Roshan of the game surrenders to Born to Conquer ones. Shadow Demon dies, but barracks hold nonetheless. Kuroky masterfully steals Song of the Siren, Dendi’s combo rips straight through Virtus.Pro, buybacks come out from both sides one after the other. But, when the dust settles, 4 Na’Vi heroes find themselves in the tavern. 71 minutes for just one deciding fight – XBOCT calls “gg” on all chat.