The Grand Finals will be a rematch of an earlier encounter, which turned out badly for HGT in the WB Final. If you missed what happened the last time the two teams met, we'll get you up to speed.
WB Finals Game 1 - Sylar's Morphling takes over HGT
LGD went with their classic draft – farm heavy Morphling, space creating Ember Spirit and ending up with a high nuke damage support duo. HGT knowing that they can‘t fight against the Morphling late game, took early to mid-game lane dominators such as Juggernaut + Io for the aggresive trilane and a mid Troll Warlord to stop the Ember.
Until the 7th minute mark the game was going HGT‘s way with the aggressive trilane getting 2 early kills. LGD only wanted to get levels for their heroes early, but Injuly's signature Clockwerk performed a superb counter gank, which ended up in 5 kills and a huge gold/experience swing.
HGT got crippled past their early game, as they decided to take on LGD near Roshan's pit, but lost all five of their heroes due to LGD's superior positional play, resulting in both a triple kill as well as an Aegis for Sylar's Morphling. After that battle LGD got their key items against physical dps and barged into HGT‘s Top and Mid Barracks.
Silly mistakes such as TP cooldowns and BKB activations at wrong times haunted the HGT team, and even though they won a fight late they were forced to call GG 39 minutes in, after their core heroes dropped with no buyback.
WB Finals Game 2 - Five Man Push Strategy
LGD switched up their lanes moving Sylar’s Lycan to mid and YAO’s Ember Spirit to safelane trilane, because of the HGT Queen of Pain pick. HGT decided not to change their strategy and go for the lane dominance into constant fighting again.
The first 15 minutes was straight up HGT overpowering LGD and ganking their weak lanes. The mobile rotation squad of kaka’s Rubick + prettyHaw’s Skywrath Mage made a huge impact in creating havoc for the pushing oriented LGD squad. Even though Air’s Queen of Pain managed to get a quick Orchid, LGD started to five man. The difference maker in this game were costly mistakes by the HGT lineup. QOP died with a mega kill streak to Lycan, which gave him a Necronomicon 3, that let them push even more.
HGT tried to comeback with a 5 man smoke gank bot, but miscommunication occured, which led to the demise of 4 heroes. LGD took 2 towers bottom with the addition of a free Roshan for Sylar’s Lycan.
From that point, the 5 man pushing lineup overpowered the mid Barracks, but the greed took over and LGD got teamwiped trying to take the Bottom Racks with a cost of QOP buyback from HGT side. On the last teamfight, both cores of HGT bought back and died again resulting in a 30th minute GG call. LGD moves on to the Grand Final where they will face off HGT again.
Grand Final Ahead - LGD Vs HGT Round 2
HGT managed to defeat VG again after their rematch in the lower bracket finals, just to get another shot against LGD as well. Only time will tell if they are capable of making more out of their second chance.The i-League Grand Finals (Best of 5) games will be played on January 10th.
Who will do better this time?
If HGT minimizes their mistakes during mid game that cost them dearly in the WB Finals, they have a great chance to take a game or two off LGD. The hero lane dominance is great when you don't lose the advantage you got 10 minutes later with one bad teamfight.
It's a risky strategy, but the HGT squad beat VG two times running this, so it will be an interesting Grand Final nonetheless. LGD has an edge, but they have to withstand HGT over possible five games, don't forget to respect both of these teams and their hardwork, which led to the victories against VG and iG.
This article was written by Rytis Gineika, joinDOTA's Writer. Separdas is a college student, who‘s always been near sports, learning sports coaching. Loving the competition is why he started playing Dota 2 since April 2012. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, talking a whole lot of nonsense, being salty and wondering why he can‘t improve his MMR.Location: Kaunas, LithuaniaFollow him on @R4zoR2K.