posted by Sun_Tzu,
In the previous matches of the "bubble race" playoffs today we saw Orange NeoEs successfully overcome Team DK in the first match of the day, only to be thwarted in the last leg of their journey by LGD.cn.
Orange vs DK
DK went for a 3-core hero lineup with the Lone Druid + Juggernaut combo and Dragon Knight, while Orange went for Gyrocopter, Nyx, Chen, placing them in an aggressive trilane, Clockwerk in mid and a safe lane Nature's Prophet.
Orange smoked up, took some neutrals for Chen and decided to look for a first blood. Having felt that something is off, DK teleported their supports to protect Lone Druid, rendering Orange's aggressive trilane useless. Having wasted a ton of time, Orange rotated their entire team to gank DK's Dragon Knight, getting first blood along with a second kill on Visage.
Orange, using their Clockwerk and Nature's Prophet, were able to single out a couple of heroes and get a tier 1 top tower, while Burning's Lone Druid brought a tower down in his lane. DK started to fall behind, constantly being pushed back and picked off, thus making them stick together as five, allowing Orange to pick up Roshan and push using Nature's Prophet.
The Malaysians started to claw away at DK's high ground at 20 minutes into the game, getting a few kills, but got repelled as the game transitioned into more split pushes. As DK tried to push their lanes back out of their base, Orange were there to get more kills on lone heroes.
25 minutes into the game Orange were leading in gold, experience and had a 14-2 kill advantage, but did not attempt anything over-aggressive, picking up a fresh Aegis of the Immortal and proceeding to pressure high ground. A big team fight broke out at DK's bottom barracks and Mushi on Gyrocopter just shredded DK with his Flak Cannon. DK's buybacks did nothing but provide more kills to Orange and DK were forced to call GG.
Game 1 End Screen
Neither team banned Lone Druid this game, instead opting to ban out Shadow Demon and Nyx on top of the usual Naix and Batrider bans. The draft phase finally had some heroes we had not seen so much of in this tournament. DK went for a defensive trilane using Undying and Crystal Maiden to ensure Alchemist's farm. Orange placed their trilane on the long lane, having Windrunner, Rubick and Lina contest DK's easy lane farm.
The blonde snow queen got off to a good start, scoring a first blood on her fiery archrival, Lina.
DK continued their aggression, using their AoE heavy trilane to get a few kills under the tower. Their aggression backfired a bit later, as Orange's Magnus rotation was able to even out the scores on the tower-diving Chinamen.
DK knew that they couldn't afford this game to slip out of their hands, constantly looking for kills and finally managing to successfully smoke gank 2 heroes under the enemy's tower, with Clockwerk proving to be a key hero once again. Amongst all the action around the map, everyone seemed to have forgotten about Mushi, who's Anti-Mage got the easiest farm of his life, standing at over 65 last hits at 10 minutes.
A big teamfight in Anti-Mage's lane seemed very hopeful for Orange, as their Magnus landed a big 3 man Reverse Polarity, but great communication turned the tables around quickly in DK's favor, as they managed to pick up 6 kills, killing Rubick twice and hindering Mushi's farm.
Great play by Super! on Clockwerk, who was able to find a Hookshot and kill off Magnus, which gave DK an easy transition into a free Roshan at 20 minutes into the game. At this point things started to look fairly grim for Orange, as DK were snowballing out of control, having acquired control of most of the map and leaving Orange without vision thanks to a gem pickup on Dark Seer.
After getting another Aegis on Alchemist, DK looked to push into the base, going in and out with Alchemist's Chemical Rage. Achemist looked like a raging bull, relentlessly hacking away at the tower, then barracks, then enemy heroes, making Orange finally give up, making the game go into round three.
Game 2 End Screen
Both of the teams were on the verge of going out of the tournament, so the time to play any pocket strats was now. This time, DK took Clockwerk and Magnus out of play, picking up Shadow Demon, Kunkka and Anti-Mage, Leshrac and Beastmaster. Orange drafted Lina, Gyrocopter, Nyx, Lone Druid and Windrunner.
The first blood went Orange's way, where kyxy was able to pull of an "AdmiralBulldog" style 1v1 early solo kill on Beastmaster, shortly followed by another kill while diving Beastmaster at his tower. Both teams continued a fast paced game, trading kills in mid and in the trilanes. DK took the initiative with smoke ganks, unlike a static Orange, and got a few kills. This might have shaken Orange up as they became more mobile, roaming together as 5, destroying all tier 1 towers and getting a 10-5 kill and a 7.5k gold lead.
With an Aegis in the bag, Orange pushed middle high ground using the Arlmet build on Spirit bear, taking down a tower and severely damaging the barracks before pulling out to regroup. A second middle push ensured the demise of the middle barracks with the entire DK team going down trying to defend them. The Malaysians tried to push another barracks at 25 minutes into the game, but the resistance DK put up made them decide to wait for the next Roshan.
DK were not able to contest Orange's next push, and had to call the GG as they all fell yet again defending another set of barracks.
The game ended on the 30th minute with Orange taking revenge on DK for their last night's defeat.
Game 3 End Screen
Orange remain in the run for the title and proceed to the Semi-finals, where they face LGD.cn
LGD.cn vs Orange
LGD decided to spice things up and picked up Spectre and Night Stalker, while Orange's surprise pick was Invoker. Interestingly enough, Invoker wasn't placed mid. Instead, Orange placed Gyrocopter supported by Shadow Demon on the mid lane, while Invoker was put on the easy lane with Nyx. The Quas-Wex Invoker was able to harass the Dark Seer out of his lane and assume total control of the lane, going toe-to-toe with DK's free farming Spectre.
As soon as the first night time hit, rotation from his supports allowed xiao8's Night Stalker to dive into his enemies, getting his team the first blood. Initiation from xiao8 followed up with Spectre's haunt allowed LGD to pick up a few free kills. Orange finally managed to put them on the map at the 14th minute, unleashing the wrath of all of their 5 heroes on an out of position Night Stalker.
Teams decided to trade tier 1 towers, but Orange ended up pushing just a bit faster and went on to damage the top tier 2 tower to half health and managed to have a successful engagement as LGD made some crucial mistakes, which led to a few of their heroes falling in battle, which allowed Gyrocopter to slowly catch up to Spectre in farm. More mistakes from LGD allowed Orange to win a 3-0 teamfight and pick up the last tier 1 tower, followed by a transition into Roshan on the 24th minute.
Using the Aegis, Orange pushed out LGD's tier 2 towers. LGD tried to avoid big engagements, as they hadn't worked out in their favour so far, while Spectre farmed away all around the map. The action had nearly completely stopped until Orange decided to go for Roshan on the 35th minute. LGD wiped the entire Orange team without losing a single man, with Spectre's Radiance build working very well, while Gyro paid for going Satanic before getting some real damage.
LGD suddenly leapt ahead in total gold and xp difference. 40 minutes into the game, Orange were no longer able to kill off a single hero in a teamfight and LGD destroyed 2 sets of barracks. LGD now set their sight on the last set of barracks with Sylar's Spectre leading the charge. Spectre was able to pick up an ultra kill, and went on to win the first game of the series.
LGD win on the 46th minute with a 32-12 score going their way.
Game 1 End Screen
With their backs against the wall, Orange decided to try what had been shown to work earlier during the tournament, picking up a Phantom Lancer for Mushi along with Keeper of the Light and Nyx Assassin for a very safe lane, going up against the Magnus of Yao on the offlane. For their own safelane LGD got their hands on Luna for Sylar after several of the more common hard carries that LGD played were banned out, pairing it up with Jakiro, which meant that Ohaiyo on the Clockwerk should have had a decent time on the offlane, up until ddc on the Shadow Demon rotated up top to get the first blood, before returning to mid in order to help xiao8's Kunkka zone out Ky.xY's Gyrocopter.
While Ohaiyo was having a really difficult game and LGD looked good as they opened up a 8-0 kill lead by 16 minutes, it didn't really translate into a large overall gold or experience lead as Mushi was farming away unimpeded and untouched, leading the way in farm. The major concern for Orange was that after a fairly good start for Ky.xY, a few deaths took a lot of wind out of his propeller, while both Luna and Kunkka were finding good farm.
The superior supporting cast came into play after Yao managed to find his Blink Dagger under a stack of jungle creeps. As Ohaiyo tried to jump in at mid lane following this, LGD teleported to their Tier 1 Tower which was still standing and turned the aggression around on Orange in a big fashion, scoring their first kill of the game on Mushi.
While LGD were playing safe, farming up and taking towers, this also gave Ky.xY the time to use Gyrocopter's flash farming capabilities in order to get back into the game while Mushi split pushed and the Keeper of the Light and Clocker helped protect the base. While LGD had a commanding lead, Orange had still managed to find a path back into contention.
The crucial issue for Orange was that they had no control over Roshan, which allowed LGD to pick up a free Aegis for Sylar at 39 minutes and siege up the mid lane, where they had previously taken down the Tier 3 Tower. While Orange were unable to mount a defense at mid, they fought back as Orange rotated to the bottom lane. Although they claimed some kills on the chase, Sylar got away with his Aegis still up as well as Orange having had to buy back both the Gyrocopter and the ever more farmed Clockwerk, while Sylar was eclipsing every other hero on the map in terms of farm.
LGD could only be denied for so long, as they swung back in at 44 minutes, taking out the bottom Barracks after having killed off the Gyrocopter yet again as well as finishing off the Ranged Barracks from mid before backing off in order to setup up for presurring the top lane. It took until 48 minutes in for LGD to find their big Reverse Polarity initiation which allowed them to crush Orange, forcing out the 'GG'.
LGD.cn send Orange out of the competition 2-0.
Game 2 End Screen
The Alliance vs LGD.cn
LGD seemed to be busy trying to keep heroes out of the hands of the Alliance, as they picked up a Juggernaut for Zhang 'xiao8' Ning on the offensive trilane backed by a Rubick and Bane combination, while Jonathan 'Loda' Berg got his hands on the Lifestealer together with the Keeper of the Light and Shadow Shaman for a very even top lane match, with a slight advantage going to the Alliance. The advantage in mid was not all that slight however, as Gustav 's4' Magnusson was denied his Magnus by Yao 'Yao' Zhengzheng, instead picking up the Storm Spirit and winning the deny war by a mile, however giving up the first blood as s4 was playing slightly forward, with Yao hitting his Reverse Polarity.
As soon as s4 respawned he went down to bottom lane, helping to set up a gank on the Broodmother of Lio 'Sylar' Jiajun, who would die another time shortly after as well, allowing Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg on the Lone Druid to win the lane and lead the game in terms of farm. While LGD did go tit for tat with the early aggression, they were innately losing all lanes but mid, as they focused hard on finding kills on s4 to prevent the Storm Spirit from snowballing too hard.
As the game headed into the mid game, the Alliance had established all control over the pace, with Loda rising up to take second position on net worth and Bulldog still holding the top position. LGD simply lacked the damage, further hurt by Sylar going Black King Bar first on his Broodmother. All hope for LGD to take teamfights rested on Yao's ability to find big Reverse Polarities consistently and not to get caught out, something which s4 and Loda would look to make as hard as possible with the Naixbomb.
At 31 minutes the Alliance were looking to take the Roshan in order to set up their big push. Knowing that they had to prevent it, LGD smoked up and went to contest. However, walking under a Dire Sentry Ward, they instead were greeted by an angry Swedish mob, who took them out 5-1 losing only the Shadow Shaman of Jerry 'EGM' Lundkvist after he had already done his job and dropped his wards. With the Aegis taken, the Alliance pushed in mid and as the Barracks fell LGD called the 'GG'.
Game 1 End Screen
For the possibly deciding game of the series, the Alliance got their hands on the Phantom Assassin for Loda and the Wisp for EGM for their safelane, which was challenged by the xiao8 Sven backed up by Keeper of the Light and Earthshaker. Meanwhile Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall took up Enchantress, going into the offensive jungle in order to mess with Sylar on the Gyrocopter, and help with AdmiralBulldog on the Lone Druid absolutely dominating his lane. This left s4 on Batrider up against the Magnus of Yao on the middle lane.
While LGD tried to play aggressive, desperate to keep Loda and EGM down, they ended up giving up first blood in a 3v2 as xiao8 stayed slightly too long under the tower and ended up being punished for it. As they realized that they were losing the trilane, Leong 'DDC' Fatmeng on Earthshaker rotated out to help Sylar, who also gave up his life. Eventually, as they realized they were doing nothing to even disrupt the farm of Loda, xiao8 rotated out as well, leaving Xie 'DD' Bin on the Keeper of the Light alone on the bottom lane, as everything felt to be going the way of the Swedes.
While LGD eventually managed to get a few kills on the board, they did so by directing all of their attention to just killing one hero at a time, while losing their own carries time and again to the Alliance to far smaller commitments. While LGD was being entirely shut down, all three cores of the Alliance dominated the farm charts, doubling up what little net worth Sylar and xiao8 had been able to accumulate.
Desperate for something to go their way, LGD tried to smoke up and gank Loda on the bottom lane, however EGM saw it coming from a mile away, standing far back with his Relocate and Tether prepared, and as they were revealed he zoomed in, whisking Loda away to the top lane and safety, as LGD backed off with their heads hung in shame. A moment later at 20 minutes in, LGD tried to contest the Alliance in the Roshan pit, losing 4-0 and the Alliance picking up an Aegis for Loda, as the Swedes prepared to finish off their perfect G-1 run.
One last attempt by LGD to pick a fight outside of their base 24 minutes in ended poorly as the Alliance picked up a few more kills, making it 19-6 as LGD called the 'GG'.
The Alliance defeat LGD.cn in the finals 2-0, making it 7-0 for the Swedes on Chinese soil!
Game 2 End Screen
1st - The Alliance - $40,000
2nd - LGD.cn - $13,000
3rd - Orange NeoEs - $4,800
4th - Team DK - $3,200
5th - Team Liquid - $1,600
6th - Invictus Gaming - $1,600
The playoffs will follow a "bubble race" system.