The Defense 3 Grand Finals Recap

posted by Sun_Tzu,
Salutations Highlanders! What once was begun now has been ended, as the finals of The Defense 3 were played out between ru Virtus.Pro and eu Fnatic.EU, the culmination of an epic rivalry sounding the ending note for the largest online Western Dota 2 competition which has been run to date. No word on the heat death of the universe, though.

[B]ru Virtus.Pro vs. eu Fnatic.EU
Commentators: au TobiWan & dk syndereN

[B]Path to the Grand Final

ru Virtus.Pro

WON - 2:1 us Team Dignitas (WB Final)
WON - 2:0 us Evil Geniuses (WB Round 2)
WON - 2:1 ru Team Empire (WB Round 1)

eu Fnatic.EU

WON - 2:0 us Team Dignitas (Cons Final)
WON - 2:0 us Team Liquid (LB Final)
WON - 2:0 se No Tidehunter (LB Round 2.5)
WON - 2:1 ua Na`Vi (LB Round 2)
WON - 2:0 se 4F+C (LB Round 1.5)
LOST - 1:2 us Evil Geniuses (WB Round 1)

Game 1

Fnatic decided to build their lineup around Phantom Lancer and mass invisibility lineup with Bounty Hunter and Templar Assassin. Not to be outdone, VP got both Weaver and Nyx Assassin, resulting in fully half the heroes being able to disappear from the map at will.

VP went straight into a Smoke of Deceit, trying to find a stray pick-off to get the ball rolling, but were unable to find anything, as Fnatic chilled out around their towers. Giving up, they settled into a offensive trilane of Weaver, Nyx and Lina against against Phantom Lancer and his Lion and Rubick supporting cast.

Early blood was traded up top, with both carries taking the kills, with VP getting the advantage of being first to claim their kill on Lion. At 5 minutes in, VP found another two support kills, and with Nature's Prophet teleporting in, they took the top Tier 1 Tower as well. As the top lane pushed down to Fnatic's Tier 2 tower, ru Ilya 'Airman' Pevcaev ended up being the first of the carries to give up his life, as fi Kalle 'Trixi' Saarinen rotated up to pick up some track kills as well.

As VP Teleported in Furion once more, Lion went down fo fourth time already, shutting dk Johan 'n0tail' Sundstein down completely, who ended up rotating into mid to try and get himself back into the game. However, VP were not willing to give him the room, rotating to gank Lion for the fifth time at 11 minutes, even while ua Sergey 'kSi' Kuzin donated his life in the aftermath.

Having established a slight kill lead, VP started to try and pressure towers, but kept on falling back, until they found a big engagement at bottom Tier 1, claiming four Fnatic heroes who teleported in as well as taking out both of the bottom lane towers. By 19 minutes VP claimed the final Tier 2, and started to siege up at top lane.

ru Sergey 'Ars-Art' Revin with Blink Dagger on Nyx kept on finding out of position heroes, putting Fnatic on the back foot and allowing VP to claim the Tier 3. Puck's Dream Coil gave VP the opening for a big teamfight up on the high ground, but Fnatic managed to only barely trade 3 for 3 with a few Tracks up, pushing VP back out of their base.

A while later at 25 minutes another big Dream Coil allowed VP to pick off both supports and take the first lane of Barracks. With the advantage mounting, they picked up an Aegis of Immortality on Airman, and proceeded to claim the Tier 3 at mid, without much reprisal as de Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbueckers failed to capitalize on his newly bought Black King Bar.

VP smoked up again at 31 minutes, walking up the mid lane and claiming the Melee Barracks and doing a fake-out before returning, finding the opening to claim the rest of the lane as well as a handful of Fnatic lives, before backing off. At 34 minutes VP went up for the game deciding push at bottom lane, claiming the Tier 3 as well as Nyx and Puck finding good initiations, causing Fnatic to call the 'GG'.

Game 2

Fnatic tried to bait VP into giving them the Wisp, but VP picked it up instead, in turn giving out Chaos Knight and Batrider to Fnatic. As a result, Fnatic went for the aggressive trilane around Chaos Knight, Lina and Visage, while sending Trixi down to their safelane on his Lone Druid. Against them VP found a Sven and Jakiro to combine with their Wisp.

While n0tail gave up the first blood up top with a slightly poor positioning, Fnatic claimed two counter-kills, as well as establishing the top lane farm dominance. However, a strange decision by Lina to ward and then stop in place inside the woods gave VP a free kill on the back end of Puck's rotation, with Visage falling as well in the follow-up, allowing VP to get a bit of their lane control back.

As both Lone Druid and Batrider were finding great farm, as well as Chaos Knight up top, VP got a bit desperate to help Airman's Sven get back into the game, going for a big push up top, but Fnatic simply dodged them and claimed Tier 1 Towers at mid and bot instead.

However shortly after, Fnatic tried to do a bait up top with the trilane, but ended up giving away 3 kills for nothing as all of VP appeared on top of them. This as well as a kill on Lone Druid at bot gave VP a jumpstart back into the game, even though Sven ended up dying to Batrider after the Lone Druid kill.

After Fnatic took a Tier 2 in trade for a Tier 1, Trixi did a really questionable move, teleporting in to defend Tier 2 and just throwing his life away, opening it up for VP to force the Tier 2 down to denial range, and even as Fnatic picked up the denial, the map had suddenly opened up a lot more for Wisp and Sven to assert their presence more and more in the game.

An attempt by Fnatic to challenge VP's attempt at Roshan got turned on them badly, giving up four heroes for nothing, as they tried to disengage from a bad fight but were unable to with Sven and Puck hunting them down. At the end of the engagement, VP returned to Roshan and picked up a free Aegis of Immortality for Sven as well.

By 25 minutes all of Fnatic's outer towers were down again and VP took to the high ground, claiming Tier 3 and looking to do a lot of work with Sven's Black King Bar up and the Dark Seer's Wall of Replica, but got the fight turned around on them by two buybacks from Fnatic as well as big plays from Trixi with the Spirit Bear.

Another initiation from Sven and Wisp on Chaos Knight in mid turned sour for VP, giving up another four kills and a buyback on Dark Seer for claiming only the life of se Adrian 'Era' Kryeziu. In turn it was VP who had given Fnatic the way back into the game.

At 34 minutes VP went for another Roshan attempt, with Fnatic fluttering all around them. Both teams were weary of the situation. VP were the ones who found the opening, with a Sven stun into Wall and killing off il Tal 'Fly' Aizik and de Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbueckers right off the bat, as well as finding the follow-ups on Era and even on Trixi. Even the buyback from Lone Druid was not enough to dissuade VP from finishing off Roshan and getting the second Aegis on Sven.

At 39 minutes VP went in for the Barracks, picking off the naked Melee at top, but also giving up a few kills in the process, with ru Yaroslav 'NS' Kuznetsov on Wisp slipping away on almost no life by tethering to kSi's Dark Seer. Notably after the weak start, Airman had by now reached 9/4/15 stats and was second to only Trixi on farm.

At 45 minutes VP managed to find Era and Trixi out in mid, and even the counter-initation attempt by H4nn1 on Batrider did not help them stay alive. As Trixi was down without buyback, VP rushed in and took out the mid Barracks while the creeps pushed down the remainders of the top lane, and after one more desperate intiation attempt from H4nn1 not working out, Fnatic called the 'GG'.

Game 3

VP picked up a very greedy lineup with Gyrocopter, Lone Druid, Magnus, Batrider and Shadow Shaman, sending NS into the jungle with Bat. Sensing a weakness towards an early push, Fnatic picked up Lycan and Chen, as well as found a Puck for H4nn1.

Trixi tries to take his Dark Seer to the hard lane, but levels Ion Shell over Surge, and nearly gets picked off, having to use almost all his consumables just to get away alive, however he also managed to waste some of Airman's (on Gyro) and Ars-Art's (on Shadow Shaman) time by forcing them to pursue him. Fnatic smokes and does an early rotation up top, not finding the kill on Lone Druid but at least claiming the Tier 1 Tower.

Fly and H4nn1 initiate on ru Oleg 'Crazy' Kolesnichenko in mid, who uses Reverse Polarity defensively to stay alive just a bit longer, forcing H4nn1 to chase after him for the kill and allowing NS and Ars-Art to catch up and take the counter-kill. However, meanwhile Era and n0tail capitalize by claiming the Tier 2 at top as well as the life of kSi.

With Era trying to force a very daring Roshan, VP miss their initations with Call Down hitting nobody and Magnus only finding Rubick, and being rewarded with the sound of Era picking up his Aegis and Fnatic arriving to turn the fight around on them and going on the chase, claiming four kills and taking out the bottom lane towers, before rotating to mid and continuing their early pressure. By 15 minutes, all VP's outer towers are down.

At 17 minutes H4nn1 finds an opening with Dream Coil at bottom lane, claiming the lives of two supports. But with the short respawn times, Fnatic are unable to capitalize, pushing in mid and backing off at soon as they've baited out a Call Down, being conscious of Crazy who has now picked up his Blink Dagger on Magnus.

At 21 minutes Era goes for another uncontested Roshan, adding a Aegis on top of his Vladimir's Offering, Heart of Tarrasque and Hyperstone. With this as well as the Pipe of Insight on Trixi, finding a total of 6 kills for the lives of n0tail and Fly as VP tries to initiate on them twice over and gets countered by H4nn1 with big Dream Coil's.

Fnatic claim the mid Barracks and rotate to bottom lane, where Magnus finds that big Reverse Polarity VP has been looking for, but ther damage isn't there to bring down Era and H4nn1, who again turn the fight around and chase VP off, forcing out the 'GG' at 27 minutes.

Game 4

Fnatic went for a ultra mobility lineup with both Puck and Storm Spirit, Lifestealer with Infest and Chen to send anyone wounded back home. Meanwhile VP got a strong pushing lineup with Dragon Knight, Nature's Prophet, Leshrac and Warlock.

VP rotated a full four heroes top to claim the Tier 1 Tower, but as Era and n0tail managed to get the counter Tower at bottom, as well as pushing the Tier 2 into denial range for Leshrac and Furion to finish off. With the a smaller commitment and greater reward in terms of map control as well as Trixi finding a Courier kill at 6 minutes and following it up with two picks and the tower in mid, Fnatic was looking like an entirely different beast.

With Trixi and Era on the prowl, nowhere on the map was safe from here on after, as they found kills on key heroes all over. This also allowed Fnatic to keep expanding their tower lead. Starting to get desperate for an opening, Crazy tried to go on n0tail at 17 minutes in mid, with the Warlock Infernal falling down on top of it as well, but the only dead body that was carted away was that of Batrider.

It started looking as if VP would end the game without a single kill, after having given up another handful when trying to contest a Roshan at 19 minutes, but as Trixi teleported back to defend against kSi's split-puish, VP got their first on the board at 20 minutes, 14-1.

Not that this mattered much. Soon enough, VP was back to being unable to kill of anyone on Fnatic, even chasing n0tail's Chen from outside of their own Tier accross the map to near the Radiant top Tier 2, only to trade the life of Nature's Prophet for a single Chen creep. As Fnatic picked up an Aegis for Trixi at 30 minutes, with 21-1 kills it was finally time for high ground.

Trixi and Era jumped in and got Leshrac, with H4nn1 following it up with a Dream Coil, allowing them to get the space to kill Tier 3, even as kSi would force Puck back to defend their own bottom Barracks, Fnatic would the opening to claim the mid lane.

As VP finally got their ultimates off and claimed a huge two support kills at 34 minutes, they seemed happy that they had done what they came to do, and tapped themselves out of the game. Final score 30-3.

Game 5

Final game, $10,000 on the line, let's play safe. Keeper of the Light and Phantom Lancer go the way of Fnatic, while Airman takes to the skies with Gyrocopter. At the tail end of the draft, n0tail found himself a curveball, giving Trixi his Broodmother. This game was primed for a long, split-pushing slugfest.

With kSi abandoning the offlane, Fnatic was able to get dual pulls going up top, as well as giving Era all the room to farm. At the same time Trixi had a pack of Sentry Wards with him, and was able to clear off the early VP Sentries, forcing a second pack to be bought and used, before VP was able to find the first blood on him. However as he spawned back up, the lane was pushed to his tower, allowing him to get the experience, even though both his towers would be gone by 6 minutes in.

Ars-Art picked up a super early Gem of True Sight on Vengeful Spirit, which not only helped VP find a kill on Broodmother, but also one on Phantom Lancer. However, as VP went for more, H4nn1 came in and dropped his Dream Coil, turning things around and allowing them to claim the Gem for Puck. However, not long after in mid, Fnatic counter-initiated after n0tail lost his life to Batrider and Vengeful, and on the tail end of the engagement H4nn1 went down, handing the Gem back to VP.

While the two hard carries were neck and neck at the cusp of the mid game, VP's big advantage came out of the supporting cast, specifically Batrider who had dominated mid lane, and Furion who had found his farm in the jungle

At 18 minutes, while Fnatic were busy hunting the VP supports, Airman was able to find himself an Aegis, while kSi sniped off the Dire Courier. By 22 minutes, VP finds the opening to take out Tier 3 Tower in mid, and by 24 minutes VP return to finish off the Barracks.

The scouting coming out of NS and kSi as well as Crazy being there to follow up all over the map keeps on finding kills, which allows the Bottom Melee Barracks to be taken out as well as 27 minutes (with the Range going down not long later). As Era tries to push out the bottom lane, he is found out of position and his teleportation interrupted by a Flamebreak, ending in the death of Era, putting Fnatic even more on the back foot.

At 29 minutes, Gyrocopter claims another Aegis of Immortality, and set up to siege the top lane. As they fake in and out, the final big fight takes place at 31 minutes, and even a big Dream Coil from H4nn1 makes no difference, as Fnatic loses their final lane of Barracks, and call out the 'GG'.

ru Virtus.Pro defeats eu Fnatic.EU 3-2

Final Results

Virtus.ProFnatic.EUTeam DignitasTeam Liquid

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