Na`Vi reign supreme once more at StarLadder 4

posted by Sun_Tzu,
Making it four for four, a recently out of shape ua Na`Vi proved the naysayers wrong by continuing their dominance of StarLadder by taking a decisive victory over ru Team Empire.

Grand Final
ua Na`Vi vs. ru Team Empire


Game 1

Taking a page from their DreamHack Winter 2012 playbook, Empire went for a Tinker offensive trilane. Meanwhile, Na`Vi picked up their now familiar Wisp and Lifestealer combination, spicing things up with a rarely seen Ancient Apparition support pick for ru Sergey 'Ars-Art' Revin.

While Na`Vi had fielded an interesting lineup with good synergy for global ganking throughout, they were unable to truly capitalize on it during the early game, as Empire’s Tinker and Undying pick-ups punished any careless gank attempts. Both teams realizing the situation they were in settled into a safer farm war.

At the cusp of the mid game, Empire felt they had the tankyness to power through and push the top lane, but were punished and pushed back by a very farmed Lifestealer from ua Alexander 'XBOCT' Dashkevich, with the ganking and chasing potential of Na`Vi keeping the fight going for a good few minutes. However, this win was also a curse for Na`Vi, as soon after they showed signs of overconfidence, which allowed Empire to swing the kill lead firmly back in their favour. Instrumental was ua Gleb 'Funn1k' Lipatnikov's Tinker build which mimicked that of my Chong Xin 'Ohaiyo' Khoo from GEST: The Challenge, with a Ghost Scepter and Scythe of Vyse which was an absolute pain for the high melee damage lineup of Na`Vi.

Empire took heed from their earlier attempt to push in, and slowly nibbled on the outer towers on the back off Lone Druid’s Spirit Bear, which eventually forced Na`Vi to initiate into them. While the clash was not a complete disaster for Na`Vi, the ghost scepters across the team did swing things further in Empire’s favour. As the siege continued, the outcome felt inevitable, and as their Barracks began to fall, Na`Vi conceded the ‘GG’.

Game 2

Another game, another offensive trilane from Empire, however giving up first blood lead to a complete out-classing by Na`Vi, which saw XBOCT’s Phantom Lancer pick up 5 kills by 6 minutes in. This set the tone for the early game, and it wasn’t until around 15 minutes in when Empire started to show signs of pushing back. They slowly managed to improve the trades they were making in teamfights, especially as Na`Vi dove too far and failed to systematically pick off their opponents.

Just as it looked as if we were about to have an interesting game, ru Dmitriy ‘LighTofHeaveN’ Kupriyanov on Lone Druid decided he wasn’t having any of that, conjured up a series of one-hit Entangles and pushed in Empire’s base. Game 2 goes to Na`Vi.

Game 3

The third game had both teams pick up fairly late game lineups, with Na`Vi giving XBOCT his Lifestealer and LighTofHeaveN his Lone Druid as well as Magnus for ua Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin. On the opposing side, Empire got their hands on Faceless Void for ru Vladislav ‘blowyourbrain’ Morozyuk as well as Dark Seer for Funn1k and Queen of Pain for ru Roman ‘Scandal’ Sadotenkov.

As the lineups suggested, both teams settled in to farm, getting up the Hand of Midas and stacking their woods in the process. Not much aggression was seen in the early game, and the superior ability of Na`Vi to farm as a team gave them the advantage. At shortly after 20 minutes, a deathball rolled down the top lane, taking out the first lane of Barracks and repositioning itself to do the same to the middle lane. A last ditch effort from Empire to stave off the inevitable saw Faceless Void go down, which prompted the ‘GG’ and crowned Na`Vi once more the victors of StarLadder.

Prize Distribution

1st - ua Na`Vi - $8,000
2nd - ru Team Empire - $4,000
3rd - eu Fnatic.EU - $2,000
4th - ru Virtus.Pro - $1,000