SL i-League S3: A good attempt
After drawing the series with Ad Finem 1:1 earlier in the Starseries i-League, the second of the best of two series of the day put Natus Vincere.G2A up against Team Secret.
Natus Vincere.G2A Team Secret [1:0]
Picks for game 1
For game 1, Pajkatt decided to go with comfort picks for his team, chosing Juggernaut and Magnus for the carry and mid roles respectively. Completing the lineup were the support duo of Rubick and Ogre Magi with Weaver running the off lane. Team Secret decided to go with a very tanky lineup to surround their Luna.
After all four bounty runes went the way of their respective teams, it was Natus Vincere.G2A who got on the board first. A double damage rune picked up by GeneRaL allowed him to bring down the Mirana right after the two minute mark. Only two minutes later, Juggernaut managed to bring down the first tower in the top lane, extending the good start. The following laning stage progressed relatively passive with both teams prioritizing their farm.
Despite a couple of pick offs by Team Secret, Pajkatt and his team struck back with the first big teamfight. Our captain picked up a triple kill on his Juggernaut, while none of the Na`Vi members went down. The space created with that fight led to an uncontested Roshan. Still, both teams remained very cautious in their approach with very few engagements. That changed 27 minutes, in as Na`Vi managed to catch out the Luna and take down a tier three tower in the process. However, Dendi and company decided to play it safe and back off without taking barracks.
The tempo of the game remained very slow, even though both teams were able to clear out all outer towers, including shrines. However, none of the sides were able to commit for a full-on highground push. After a very passive 15 minutes, Dendi managed to get some action going, with a massive double Reverse Polarity, after picking up his Refresher Orb, taking down three. At minute 49, a double damage rune allowed Pajkatt to claim the first lane of barracks, including a second tier three tower. While those takedowns did mean a significant advantage, it came at the cost of four deaths, forcing both Juggernaut and Weaver to buy back in order to contain Secret's counterpush.
End screen for game 1 with player items and stats
58 minutes in, a stolen Sacred Arrow by Biver connecting on the Mirana opened up the Team Secret base, allowing Na`Vi to take down another lane of barracks. A chaotic fight ensued, but Dendi kept his cool. Laying down a pair of Reverse Polarities allowed Pajkatt to run wild, ending the game with a rampage on the Juggernaut.
Natus Vincere.G2A Team Secret [1:1]
Picks for game 2
Due to Dendi's success in game one, Team Secret decided to ban out Magnus for the second game. However, Natus Vincere got their hands on Rubick again while picking Ember Spirit for the mid lane. Secret also chose to select Juggernaut themselves this time around, which led to a Gyrocopter pick for Na`Vi in order to create a midgame advantage.
Before the first runes were picked up, Biver tried to go for an aggressive play which he unfortunately could not finish off, making him the first one to fall. However, the off lane, consisting of rmN- and GeneRaL, managed to get a quick takedown on the Juggernaut, equaling the score 2 minutes into the game. This early success forced Team Secret to commit heavily to the bottom lane. Utilizing several heroes to keep the Dark Seer down ment that Pajkatt had plenty of space to farm up on the other side of the map.
Even though Dendi had a hard time in the mid lane, an early rotation from GenRaL and rmN- brought down the Shadow Fiend seven minutes in. A couple of minutes later, Biver was able to show of his prowess on Rubick once more, narrowly escaping death while allowing Pajkatt to pick up a kill on Vengeful Spirit. After 15 minutes, Team Secret tried to benefit from their strong early game lineup, attempting to push highground. However, we were able to repel the aggression and get a key kill on Shadow Fiend shortly after.
The combination of a huge Call Down, spells of Dark Seer and a stolen Slithereen Crush by Rubick made for a decisive teamfight win for Natus Vincere, turning the momentum around. However, Slardar allowed Secret to bring down the first Roshan of the game, fueling another push attempt. Despite the fact they had Aegis, we were able to kill three Secret heroes while only losing one melee barrack in the bottom lane. At minute 31, another highground push from Secret was repelled by Na`Vi bursting down the Shadow Fiend.
Due to Dendi constantly splitpushing on his Ember, the game went into a passive phase with both sides carefuly chosing every step. While another Aegis allowed Team Secret to take down the rest of the bottom barracks, we managed to protect the ones in the mid lane from several push attempts. Despite some very coordinated defensive play, the continuous onslaught brought down another lane of barracks at minute 43. In the following fight, Dendi came up just short of bringing down the Shadow Fiend, which cost him his life. With the final lane of barracks going down, we were forced to tap out, equaling the series at one game a piece.
End screen for game 2 with player items and stats
Despite being together for only a couple of days, the new roster for Natus Vincere.G2A is showing some nice progress with a successful day at Starseries i-League Season 3, drawing two series against very respectable opponents.