4-protect-1 sees Cloud9 reach Grand Finals

posted by GrandDesign,
Tonight we were lucky to enjoy an amazing 5 game series between world Cloud 9 and ru VP. After 2 fast and exceptionally excecuted games for VP, C9 managed to make an amazing comeback and advance to the Grand Finals of the Dreamleague Season 2 on the back of ro Bone7's and de FATA's performance.

Game 1 was a big victory for VP not only because they performed almost flawlessly but also for the massive boost in their morale that would help them march to the Grand Finals. They decided to draft a pushing line-up built around Sedoy's Nature's Prophet and Bzz's Jakiro while C9 picked heroes that needed time and space to be effective such as EE's Faceless Void .

The Russians managed to get many kills here and there, intimidate their opponents and push them behind their Tier 2 very early on. By 10 minutes VP were knocking down the front door of C9's base and at 18 minutes they had taken 2 racks and their lead was up to 10k gold and experience. C9 couldn't turn it around and called the gg. Overall, VP had the pressure on them because they had a draft which needed perfect excecution but managed to step up and bend C9's resistance who were trapped by their own picks.

Game 2 followed the same steps as VP and drafted Lycan and Jakiro and seemed confident enough to push a lot early on and win the game early. C9 picked Void for a second time and Batrider who started in the jungle and allowed afree farm on Lycan.

They made many mistakes, mostly in their positioning and they tried to dive G's Zeus under his Tier 1. The kills kept piling up but C9 seemed momentarily able to response. Nevertheless, after getting a few kills for themselves they died a few times while Lycan was marching down his easy lane taking tower after tower. At 15 minutes VP were sieging C9's base who didn't have the items to be able to fight against VP's pushing power.

C9 surprised us in Game 3 even with their back against the ropes. They appeared not affected by the pressure with a draft that was much more familiar to them. Envy performed well on Terrorblade and Fata had an outstanding game on Centaur. On the other side, VP decided to draft a fighting line-up with Sand King on Yol and Bzz on Pa. The laning phase started passively wheN VP decided to jump on Bone7's LC who was backed by Aui's Omniknight. A few mistakes led to a 2-1 exchange in favor of C9. The skirmishes continued and C9 came on top with EE having the space and the protection to farm freely lanes and some big ancient stacks. VP bounced back winning a couple of big fights but they threw it all away in the rosh pit where they lost a few heroes and the aegis. Methodically, C9 kept on pressuring end secured a few great kills on Sedoy's Elder Titan and PA who bought back and a few minutes later died again while fighting. Finally, C9 brought down the racks on the bottom lane and continued sieging the Tier 4 and the throne. After giving a couple of kills trying to defend the Bears surrendered to C9's superior performance.

After a very tiring game, not only for the players but also for the viewers due to extensive lag, C9 managed to secure a victory of the upmost importance. EE picked Anti-mage for himself and, after finishing his battlefury 17 minutes in, he farmed everywhere on the map and avoided the ganks. FATA had another great game on Puck and Aui performed amazingly on one of his trademark heroes: Enigma.

VP drafted another fighting line-up with G on TA and Bzz on Slark. Yol didn't perform well on support Zeus and ended up feeding many times to Bone7's Nyx. Meanwhile, Jotm tried but didn't make a big impact on his Skywrath Mage. C9 won a few early engagements and slowly pushed tower after tower. VP had a few moments of clarity with G and Bzz winning a few fights. After 2 massive fights in both bot and top lane - even with Ta having an aegis, and a few buybacks C9 breached the base from all 3 sides and eventually brought down the racks. After Slark died for a last time VP yielded to C9.

The fifth and final game started with C9 picking up Terrorblade for EE facing G's Death prophet and Batrider for Bone7 who went offlane against Sedoy's Legion Commander. Aui took his ET top lane to babysit FATA's Centaur. Pieliedie was responsible for helping TB.

Meanwhile, VP decided to follow something similar to their first 2 games and push after picking DP for G and Luna for Bzz. What costed them was the valuable ban of Jakiro. C9 responded very well to VP's obvious strategy by creating chaos to VP's lines from the start of the game and made room for EE to free farm. He even managed to sneak into the roshpit for a solo kill using the sunder trick with his illusion. 25 minutes in Envy had manta style and Skadi and was ready to take action. Joining his teammates he pushed down the radiant's offlane and won a massive teamfight which led to numerous buybacks. VP tried to fight back but they were unable to cope with C9 brute force as well as Bone7's amazing plays, which resulted in an ultra kill. After losing Bzz's Luna for a second time they threw in the towel.

An incredible comeback

Overall, C9 managed to adopt much better than VP to their opponents' strategic plans and drafts. The Jakiro ban from EE seemed to be the golden key to C9's victory. The last 3 games were textbook C9 plays. Exceptionally well orchestrated chaos by the 4 members of the squad gave the opportunity for EE to become an unstoppable force and bend the defenses of VP. The first 2 games though proved that they are a few ways to "unlock" C9's way of thinking. On the other hand, VP showed everyone that they are in good shape and can take victories against any team. Nevertheless they didn't seem persistent enough to secure a place in the Grand Finals.

This article was written by gr Dimitris Kolovos, joinDOTA's writer.Dimitris has been a Dota enthousiast since the WC3 days. He's studying lingustics and loves Tolkien's works, Blind Guardian and Sports in generalLocation: Thessaloniki, GRFollow him on @DimitriosKolovo.