[image courtesy of ESL]
Image courtesy of EMS.
Match Summary, Semi-Final 2
Alliance vs VG: The Insatiable Rollercoaster
Stakes were high in the opening game as both teams strived to take an early lead.
Alliance have a tendency to bide their time; saving for key items, getting into the perfect positions for a counter-gank, but VG’s constant aggression seemed to overwhelm Alliance. Much of Game One was defined by Alliance trying to defend their risky Shadow Fiend pick. Even their three defensive picks in the form of Chen, Bane, and Clockwork could not match up to VG’s seamless rotations. Fenrir’s Leshrac seemed to never miss a stun and Super’s Alchemist proved devastating with their double stun combo. At eleven minutes VG had accumulated a ~5k gold advantage and s4 had uncharacteristically died five times and had zero kills at 13 minutes. After an early Rosh initiated by VG, which resulted in a near team wipe of Alliance as they tried to contest, Alliance called an early gg at 15 minutes. The score was 1-12 in favour of VG.
A stomp by VG and ultimately a one-sided game.
Alliance vs VG: Puck's Playground
Alliance didn’t let their devastating loss in game one hold them back. With renewed composure and a change in strategy, they stormed into the second game. Quickly establishing an early advantage through securing first blood and with arguably better laning, Alliance were off to a strong lead.Although VG’s multiple smoke ganks grounded Alliance’s momentum, their supports were spread too thin between protecting Sylar’s Anti Mage and shutting down s4’s game breaking Puck. At six minutes, Alliance were winning all three lanes, with their three cores at the top of the net worth graph. Yet, at nine minutes in as VG pushed into bot lane, they secured three easy kills and a tower due to sloppy play by Alliance. VG continued to push and take down the second bot lane tower. Sylar was benefitting heavily from the tower gold and the space his team was creating for him. Things could be seen to be going in VG’s favour.
A few minutes later (14 min time mark), as soon as s4 purchased his blink dagger he headed to top lane with the rest of his team. In an absolute flawless play, s4 landed a dream coil and four man silence on VG. With Bulldog’s ultimate surging in, Alliance quickly killed three of VG and s4 cleaned up Sylar. This blew the game wide open. Loda picked up a midas on his Weaver and Alliance continued to gank VG in their jungle. S4 landed multiple three man silences and Bulldog was looking unstoppable with his shadowblade+orchid Nature’s Prophet. This all proved overwhelming for VG as Sylar’s Anti Mage failed to contribute significantly in the team-fights.
Highlight worthy game for s4.
Alliance vs VG: The End of An Age?
This is a game to watch and to remember. The battle started raging early in mid lane, with Alliance taking the initiative to secure first blood on Super’s slippery Storm Spirit. However, VG immediately responded with a rotation by Chen and Maiden, killing enchantress in return as she tried to scuttle away after the gank. VG were not amused with Alliance’s antics and went on to gank and kill s4 two times in mid. Super was specifically maxing Vortex with this intention. Most teams are aware that shutting down Alliance’s mid game presence has much to do with shutting down s4. VG’s extensive research into Alliance’s methods and strategies was paying off, but s4 still managed to find his farm and drag some unsuspecting VG heroes deep into the shadows.
Much of VG’s early lead failed to translate into a significant push. Sylar attempted to solo push lanes, but lacked damage without desolator. The game retracted to stalemate as both teams farmed up core items. Alliance benefited slightly more from this period as VG had more significant and item-hungry cores. After two Roshans going in the favour of VG the game still didn’t seem to be making much progress.
At the third Roshan fight Bulldog initiated with a perfect Elder Titan stomp, followed by a precise two hero shackle from EGM’s windranger. In a dramatic turn of events, Alliance convincingly won the fight, but overextended as they tried to break high ground in mid lane. Alliance continued to overextend and VG rapidly accumulated a significant lead in items and in XP. In the end, VG’s greater versatility of their heroes, and Alliances lack of sustained damage proved too much for Alliance. Alliance was unable to fight against the multiple force staffs, ghost scepters, and sheep sticks of VG; they lacked disable and unremitting lockdown.
Some of us may perceive this to be the end of an Age, with Gyro rapidly falling out of favour with the meta, and VG rising invincible in the East. Is this a new era?