Tug of war: Natus Vincere vs EG match re
WePlay League has shown us some great games. Even the vicissitudes with the servers that accompany games of teams from different continents can’t prevent good games. Direct evidence for that – yesterday’s Natus Vincere’s matches vs Evil Geniuses. This review will discuss the first game.
Let’s start as usually with the bans. Outworld Devourer and Naga Siren have a permanent visa in the ban list, nothing unusual here. Visage also sometimes visits there, especially when the captain want to have a bit more imba heroes in the pool. But Elder Titan is a newbie in there. Anyway, every stellar career of a hero, which gets picked in the first pick, sooner or later ends here – in the first ban stage.
Not so long ago it was the case for Wisp, but now he’s picked by Na`Vi. EG, without any hesitation, pick other top guys: Batrider (that was heavily nerfed in the latest patch) and Troll Warlord. Na`Vi reply with Lifestealer and Bounty Hunter. Fear, using the good way to ruin Lifestealer’s life, picks Bane. Later on, he bans Puppey’s favorite junglers, one by one. But when Natus Vincere’s captain picks a hero for himself (Earthshaker), Storm Spirit gets banned instantly. And indeed, Natus Vincere haven’t picked only the mid hero yet. But Dendi pulls an ace that he has used a few times in the past: Templar Assassin that has almost one the latest The International. Ending the draft stage, EG pick Razor for MSS (one of the youngest professional gamers, by the way) and Nyx Assassin for Fear himself.
Puppey easily predicts the opponent lanes and send his tri-lane to the bot. No need to fight the mad Troll on top, and the ancients can be pulled easily, allowing Mantis (XBOCT’s substitute for this game) get easy farm under the tower. But he is still not close to Jeyo’s absolute free farm on Na`Vi top lane. Also, the young Razor is noticeably ruining Dendi’s life on mid: stealing damage and denying Dendi’s farm.
And here comes the moment for the traditional lyrical digression. A while ago you could see that Na`Vi leave Dendi to play on his own. He is one of the best in the world, why would he even need help? But lately we can see significant changes for this subject. Kuroky and Puppey gank mid more often, killing the enemy mid player. Why do we remind this? Because mid lane was the first lane that blood was shed on.
After the first blood the situation is leveled. Dendi successfully uses the haste rune, killing Razor. Funn1k, even when standing on the easy lane, had troubles with getting experience. With the support he comes mid once again, but he can’t even use his track yet. EG, using teleports, turn the gank in their favor. First fight levels the teams’ power equally.
Slowly but surely, both sides acquire important items. Batrider gets his Blink Dagger, Templar Assassin gets BKB. Mantis buys an Armlet and Funn1k gets a Vladimir. EG focus on taking towers, while Na`Vi take first Roshan. Large-scale fights end with minor exchanges. Na`Vi take Fear’s gem, and then lose it again… Is this even Dota or tug of war?
Answering this rhetorical question, EG group and smoke up as five and attack Na`Vi. The unexpected fight on mid works great: Natus Vincere lose two heroes and the tier 2 tower. The counter-initiation from Na`Vi ends well, and the graphs also support them. It looks like all Natus Vincere’s 7000 gold advantage is in Dendi’s inventory: in 10 minutes after his BKB he gets a Blink Dagger and MKB. However, Na`Vi begin to lose fight after fight and even lose the tier 3 tower on the top lane.
The teams are fighting like devils, getting a little advantage but then inevitably equate their strength. Jeyo gets his Desolator, but Dnedi has already a 6-slot inventory (filling the last slot with a new BKB). But there aren’t draws in Dota, so it means that someone should win. But who?
Another fight in the jungle goes in favor of EG. ES and Io die. But it’s not enough to get on the high ground, even with the bare barracks on the top lane. Na`Vi recover and don’t waste their time on farm: fight on the mid almost gets Na`Vi a whole team wipe of EG. The born to win ones easily take Roshan. Another fight in the jungle, another exchange: Na`Vi lose their captain and cheese, and EG lose their main carry.
Na`Vi march the mid lane for the last time for this game. Lanes are falling one after another, EG finally manage to end Dendi’s unbelievable streak, but it’s too late to change anything. EG try to push for the last time, but in the end they are forced to GG.