posted by EskayDota,
As the first day of Red Bull's custom game mode tournament kicks off, we take a look at the event from inside the venue.

paiN vs Lithium

The first game of the tournament really set the standard of the pocket strats we could expect. From inside the venue, it’s quite apparent that teams didn’t really have time to play the game mode or prepare strategies before the tournament began. Everything until this point has just been theory crafting.

Starting out with a Night Stalker / Keeper of the Light combination from Vega Squadron (EU), we knew we would be in for an interesting competition. There was a focus on heroes that carry the same items, in order to be able to change out seamlessly according to situation. paiN Gaming* returned with a Terrorblade and Drow strategy, with their TB starting out by buying starting items for a Drow.

The Aghanims Weaver build from Maurice 'KheZu' Gutmann dominated the early game, followed by his switch to KoTL which proved to be a strong transition hero to bring Lithium into the mid game. A close series of skirmishes over duration of the game made a very back and forth spectacle, until the very closing moments.

Game 2 - w33's Invoker

In the second game, Omar 'w33haa' Aliwi’s Invoker was definitely a highlight. Sunstrikes were landed, leaving paiN’s superstar godlike before the 15 minute mark. There were a few shining moments for Lithium as they definitely looked like contenders at points. Mainly KheZu’s surprise 4 man black hole, although it wasn’t enough to stop the Brazilian side.

The game was secured by paiN with a sick black hole cancel from Otávio 'tavo' Gabriel on his Axe. Managing to blink behind a currently cast black hole and land a Beserker’s call was enough to take the fight, and paiN closed out the series 2-0.

Mineski vs Roons

More strategies were opened up in this series, as we saw the first expected “farm a radiance quickly then switch to Spectre” strategy pulled out of the bag. Mineski's Dazzle vs Rooons' Lich was an interesting mid lane. Lich being picked for his ability to be able to gain experience quickly through his third spell, then being able to switch to a strong mid game hero is a strategy most teams seem to want to be running.

The strategy that seemed to develop in this series was that of picking strong laners, with the aim of replacing them once the laning phase had concluded. There aren't many tournaments that offer a Lich vs Dazzle in the mid lane, but of course, this was one of them. Lich was utilised through the game in order to give supports just a bit more experience, where needed.

Mineski didn't necessarily seem pressured by Rooons much throughout the game. They didn't appear to struggle to take down their opponents.

Game 2 - Mineski's secrets

The SEA side seemed to hold their cards close to their chest. They didn't have an obvious strategy from the get go, and in a post-match interview Kim 'Febby' Yong-Min stated that they didn't want to let on about their philosophy to win these games.

One of the most interesting parts of this tournament is discovering the meta with each game, as they come. Rooons proposed an interesting draft, seeing the first Broodmother of the tournament. There were rumours in the venue that one of the members of Rooons had earlier been saying that Broodmother was an "instant win" for whichever team that picked it.

Andrew 'Jubei' Evelynn from Rooons

This was of course the game that teams, if they hadn't already discovered, became aware of the interactions that Broodmother provided. Each player was able to cast their own webs, and even once they had switched away from playing Broodmother, were still able to path freely among their webs, and were still provided with a movement speed bonus.

On top of this and picking a Medusa, Rooons looked to have a very slippery heavy carry. With 550 movement speed in webs, and the ability to move freely over cliffs, this Medusa was a tricky one to lock down. Alongside a very entertaining Brian 'BananaSlamJamma' Canavan playing Monkey King, this one certainly highlighted some of the cheesier possibilities within the game-mode. One disappointing moment of the series was the fact that Rooons picked both Medusa, Brood and Chaos Knight, which left people expecting the CK to build an Aghanims, to be able to have a Phantasm / Medusa combination which never materialised in the game.

Sheever and BananaSlamJamma in the post-match interview

The highlight of the game was JT-'s Morphling. Without switching from the hero in the game, JT dominated from the carry position. Slick plays and Ultra Kills left Rooons unable to claw themselves back into the game. The game was 3-3 early on, and within 10 minutes Mineski managed to find 18 kills, only allowing their North American counter parts to find one in return. Thiay 'JT-' Jun Wen was unkillable, and Mineski closed out the series comfortably.

paiN vs Mineski

paiN gaming looking stoic against Mineski

PaiN looked like they were coming out of this series swinging. Leading Mineski by 4k gold in 10 minutes in, it seemed like the Brazilians were to continue their good run. Mineski had stolen paiN's theorycrafted idea, as they started with a Mirana as a safelane hero. Shortly after, they switched the Mirana to a hero who benefits from the farm more. In the first game of the day, paiN ran this strategy with a Terrorblade, which is exactly what Mineski did against paiN in this game.

This game was a good show of the meta, and how it has developed so far in the first day of the tournament. The three substitute heroes for both teams fit in to their individual aims, and showed how the substitute heroes can be used effectively. Using lane winning heroes to get ahead in the early game, then swapping out for better mid game heroes was a popular trend. Mineski did this by laning Kam 'Moon' Boon Seng on Lina, then having him play Tinker, and paiN did this with an early Necro, who was mostly ignored for the rest of the game.

A happy Mushi

paiN took advantage of their flash farming heroes, allowing their supports to swap to Storm from time to time to be able to efficiently and quickly farm camps for experience and a small injection of gold. On the flip side of this efficiency, Mineski began using Mirana as a support after she had outlived her usefulness in the early game. Mirana was utilised as a dewarding hero, using Leap to escape nearby enemies and Moonlight Shadow for cover.

The game mode lends itself to so many intricacies; where else would you see a Storm Spirit with a blink dagger? It was a very close 40 minutes, but after a number of skirmishes, Mineski pushed their small lead after a very close early and mid game. Despite strong resistance from paiN, Mushi's side were able to close out the first game.

Game 2 - A pub nightmare

Game two didn't shy away from the cheesier strategies, with Mineski picking Broodmother, Huskar and Bloodseeker like some kind of nightmarish pub game. Once again the free pathing came into play for a number of heroes on Mineski, although JT- spent most of the game actually playing the spider. Building a very quick set of items that a Phantom Lancer benefits from, and then switching to a Phantom Lancer saw Mineski pretty comfortably take their fourth game of the day.

Mineski looked stronger throughout. JT-, despite being the least experienced player on the Mineski line-up, was a shining light throughout the day. He consistently made big plays, big space, and carried Mineski a number of times. Even if we learn very little from the fleeting meta of this tournament, we can at least take away that Mineski definitely have found themselves a very talented player.

Team Mineski through the livestream camera

  • EskayDota


    Sam Kennard
    • Contact:
    • Location:
      United Kingdom