posted by Genghis.,
eu Fnatic have been looking unstoppable, but the Chinese Superpower, cn VG are giving birth to a legacy. The combination of Super, Fy, and Fenrir will strike fear into the hearts of many as we can only expect VG to continue with their overwhelming dominance.
n0tail tries a rOtK strat
Image courtesy of EMS.

Match Summary, Grand Finals

Fnatic vs VG: The Great Visage

From the onset both teams seemed to secure the sort of draft that they are accustomed to. Both Fnatic and VG primarily focused on banning heroes that are particularly difficult to cope with versus their own draft.

VG attempted to secure first blood on H4nni’s Invoker in mid, which they did, but suffered greatly from an immediate response from Fly and N0tail. The early gold and levels greatly benefited the two Fnatic players, who seem to excel in situations of high motivation and strong starts.

N0tail and Fly were the all-stars of this game. Rotating bot lane to take the aggression to VG, they continued to secure kills on Fy’s Alchemist and to halt the snowball nature of Clinkz and Storm Spirit. Trixi’s Natural Order proved invaluable across the early to mid-game skirmishes as VG heroes evaporated from the armour reduction.

All of VG’s cores had their main items delayed and Fnatic perused unconventional items on their cores to prevent a VG comeback, with linkens on Era and Skadi on Invoker. Fnatic were in total control of this game and h4nni’s twenty-four minute sheep stick proved devastating.

Contrary to VG’s “typical” self, according to 7ckngMad, “Every time VG go for a smoke they just don’t find anything”. Later, even with the requisite farm on VG’s core heroes, Fnatic proved to be too dominant for VG’s lacklustre response.

Eventually, Fnatic’s superior co-ordination, levels, and items broke VG’s base with a perfect “stomp” from Trixi.

Fnatic vs VG: The Brotherhood

Similar to Game 1, Fnatic moved to secure an early advantage. With an exceptional play on Fly’s Rubick, Fnatic were able to lift rOtk’s clockwork out of his defensive cogs and take him out.

VG focused their attention on mid lane, with constant ganks and rotations, but Fnatic matched each of VG’s advances. VG continued to pressure the mid lane and H4nni’s farm, but with some sloppy ganks and poor communication Fnatic gained a significant kill advantage from VG’s mistakes.

The lack of physical damage coming out of VG hurt them in the mid game as Era secured his BKB, but Fnatic didn’t do much to secure late game. They pooled their resources into early game items on the enchantress and the windranger, and safeguarded what was soon becoming a two core line up. However, where early game items could prove to be invaluable (on the Luna and Invoker), Fnatic was deficient; VG exploited Era’s HotD and H4nni’s midas by taking multiple towers during the game.

As the game began to transition into late game, Fnatic were still multiple towers behind and were beginning to rely too heavily on Era. After the first Roshan, Fnatic massively overextended, egged on by N0tail and Era, and gifted VG with a significant opportunity to catch up. What seemed to come out of nowhere, Fy quickly purchased a blink dagger on his Sand King and Fnatic didn’t have an answer to his blink initiation. Sand King combined with Dragon Knight and his BKB tore through Fnatic, isolating Era and bursting him down multiple times. What proved to be a fatal mistake on the part of Era by using his ultimate on a VG illusion, resulted in a near team wipe.

In the end, Fnatic’s singular magical damage didn’t prove enough to burst through the beefy Dragon Knight, and as he accumulated damage items at a faster rate than Era, VG took the fight to Fnatic’s base.

It was Fnatic’s game to lose.

Changes in fortune.

Fnatic vs VG: A Super Storm

Taking a page from Na’vi draft book, Fnatic picked up an Io accompanied by a Maiden and a Chaos Knight. Running a defensive trilane, Fnatic looked at first to have the better lanes. However, Fy’s Rubick demonstrated great finesse and discipline as he held Fnatic’s safe-lane aggression at bay. Yet, as Fnatic heroes gained levels and stockpiled charges on their magic sticks, their aggression finally resulted in some kills.

The Dire safe-lane looked to be going in Fnatic’s favour, but out of nowhere Super’s Storm Spirit zapped in with a double damage rune and cleaned up two of Fnatic’s heroes. Super continued to snowball on Storm Spirit as Fnatic proved unable to lock him down. H4nni’s mid alchemist was underwhelming and outclassed by the great versatility and animation-cancelling of Super. According to our very own TobiWan, the game was beginning to feel like, “Korean Dota, farm for 4 minutes in a lane than head to mid”.

During the early and most critical CK+IO ganks Super patiently waited for them to Relocate and then he counter initiated and instantly crushed the defenceless Io. This seemed to be the story of the Relocate ganks.

Fnatic’s cores managed to find considerable farm, but as a team they focused too singularly on the Storm and were unable to shut him down. Storm continued to snowball and a lack of control and direction from Fnatic proved to be their downfall.

On paper Fnatic looked superior, but better execution and co-ordination secured the victory for VG.

Super's unruly storm.

Fnatic vs VG: The Birth of a Legacy

Fnatic opted for an unconventional mid Clinkz in Game Four. This forced Era along with his dedicated supports into the off-lane and left an awfully lonely Trixi to solo VG’s Dark Seer. The off-lane didn’t go particularly well for Fnatic, as VG’s intuitive Nyx pick fended off aggression and enabled kills. Resonant of Game Three, Super’s Alchemist immediately rotated to top lane to maintain the pressure against Fnatic.

H4nni was unable to rotate early on due to his hero’s restrictions and item dependencies and VG were happy to abuse this. Whilst Fly was beginning to show signs of turning the tides of battle in Fnatic’s favour with kills on his Visage, VG were aware of exatly what they needed to achieve. As Era began his early rotations, VG responded in full, dedicating all their resources to crush Era as he tried to defend a tier 1 tower at bot lane.

After the fight at bot lane that netted VG three easy kills, VG began to wildly snowball. Super was in nearly every fight, providing an invaluable stun that often caught multiple enemies. Supported with Fy’s magical Maiden and Fenrir’s persistent Nyx, VG began to bulldoze their way through Fnatic’s defences.

VG’s team synergy was beautiful – all their heroes were collectively critical in their stunning success. ROtk provided the necessary Walls and Surges to scatter and re-direct team fights and Sylar was anything but an AFK carry, opting for an early BKB on his Weaver. However, Fnatic’s Clinkz and Night Stalker were ineffective during the constant team fights and seemed lost as they clambered to acquire farm. VG convincingly overcame Fnatic where it mattered most and the combination of Super, Fy, and Fenrir will be feared by many.

Food for thought
Will tonight's decisive victory usher in the return of aggressive picks that were becoming popularized at the end of 6.78? Is VG the next “E-HOME”? What will stop VG, at the moment they seem to have no articulate strategy or “easy combo”?

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.