Hello everyone! I hope you are getting ready for the start of all DotA tournaments, online & offline. This year is going to be different from the last one: the competition will be more intense, the players more focused and hungry for victories/achievements and the organizations will most likely act more professionally. You surely don’t get to see what’s happening backstage but, I can tell you that already teams are assembling and practicing. That is for sure the first it happens that early after The International.
But anyway, let’s jump into the game itself! As suggested by many of you, today I will kind of continue my last article, as I am going to grab a high level game and analyze more precisely the lanes set-up. Obviously, I will have to explain its impact on the game as well. Feel free to cross that write with the previous one, and maybe to assign each team the laning style they went for (or the one they are the closest to!)
The game I chose has a particular meaning, because it was the last game my team played at this year’s International. We are going to analyze the lane setup of the WildCard game 4 between Quantic Gaming and Rattlesnakes.
The draft is just over, the two captains decided their final 5-man line-up, and here is the result :
Quantic : VISAGE / CHEN / TINKER / QOP / NATURE’S PROPHET
RattleSnakes : CK / AA / KOTL / WEAVER / STORM
THE QOP LAST PICK :
Right now, if you are Quantic Gaming, what are your thoughts?
– The opponent grabbed an early Chaos Knight, well know for offensive triple lanes. The combination with AA CK and KOTL is really scary, as they can burst down any hero.
– Additionally, the storm pick up, usually used a mid laner, would benefit a lot from their aggressive trilane. Indeed, one big, if not the biggest, advantage of going offensive is to prevent the opponent’s supports to rotate in early game (whether it is to the midlane or to their offlane).
– Last but not least, the weaver is a powerfull safelaner, one of the best match up to have against nature’s prophet
The threat is clear, RS might have a laning advantage… Quantic’s line-up clearly lacks disables so far, it basically has no stun against a weaver / storm line-up.
A very key pick for Quantic at this stage is the BEASTMASTER. Indeed, it synergizes perfectly well with visage, tinker, chen and prophet (huge map control & push potential), and it will also give the line-up a more than reliable stun.
But, as I described earlier, if RattleSnakes do go for an offensive trilane, the BM pick would offer them another easy lane, as a pooled Storm Spirit does great against almost every melee hero. The decision is though, and the outcome will be a Qop pick. So regardless of the 5-5 situation, the Qop pick can be explained by two things : (all based on the offensive trilane assumption) : Qop will give storm a very hard time, and she is one of the best hero to rotate on its safelane. Level 7 or so, Qop will easily get 2-3 kill on the 3vs3 lane, and then completely change the early game. (in addition to the rune control, blink vs no blink).
RattleSnake’s game understanding and reaction :
Far aside from the laning mindgame, one information will be crucial in RS’s decision making : They are running a Storm + Weaver line-up against a 0-disable line-up. Enough said, they understand that if Storm gets a good start, he will snowball insanely hard. So first decision here is to put Storm safelane, in combination with AA’s ultimate and KOTL’s wave, he will be able to pick-up any hero without even commiting.
The other smart move will be the following: In the first minutes of the game, nothing can stop SS from snowballing. What could then possibly be the first difficulty? The answer is QOP having a great start and getting orchids fast to shut down storm.
The answer : Set a dual lane mid with CK & AA. CK doesn’t need much space this game, he will be used as a disabler / bait, so it’s okay for him to go midlane (this lane is always harder and more exposed than the safelane). Additionally, this dual lane mid will give RS the rune control, and will apply pressure on Quantic’s safelane (ck might rotate if he gets a good rune). And that might not look key, but it actually is. Weaver is going offlane against visage and tinker. Don’t get me wrong, those two should be able to force Weaver back, but they will have to commit a lot for it, to chase weaver off the lane, which is very dangerous to do if CK ‘might rotate’.
At last, the kotl + storm combo should do just fine against nature’s prophet. Depending on the plays they can or can’t really force him back, but at the end of the day it does not matter, as they can just abuse pulls and farm lane + neutrals (infinite mana).
Taking a look at the final lane setup :
It is clear that, not only RS has the upper hand, but they also secure themselves a flawless midgame, as Quantic is very clearly outpicked in this game. (Nothing to deal with weaver and storm split pushing and ganking).
In addition to that, CK’s start will turn out to be great, and he will get a fast BKB, making him invulnerable to any form of aggression as well.
That game will be lost by Quantic after 5-10mins, as RS will not give them a chance to fight, or to take any initiative. In that case, RS played surely better, but the laning phase was really key, and decided the game pretty much from the start.
Possible solutions for Quantic :
Because there are always solutions in DotA, that’s the reason why we play this game ! Even when you get outpicked and outlaned :
– Chen & Visage rotating to the midlane in order to give Qop the upper hand
– ( The one I really defend ) : Chen & Visage rotating very early to Prophet’s lane. Basically Visage should give Tinker a small advantage for his 1vs1, and rotate very early (min1 or 2) with a smoke and with chen to gank Storm & Kotl. Both are very weak in early game. This will allow NP to snowball bottom, and Chen/Visage to sit in the enemy’s jungle, and control it. Later on, they can strike mid & bottom as much as they want, and destroy RS’s lanes. As AA & KOTL are very weak at ganking, nobody except CK can force Quantic’s support out of RS’s jungle. And the CK missing is very obvious to run away from. If you ask yourself why didn’t we go for such an option, just make sure you realize there are lots of different options, and pro players have different game visions, and in the end it has to be the captain making the call. But anyway, on the D-Day, if you play bad, no matter the decision making, you lose!
Well… That will be it for today!
Remember, that’s nothing but the opinion of a professional player. I hope you had a nice read, see you next week!
PS: you can follow me on twitter, @7ckngMadDOTA. I announce the next articles, the team’s update, and I might ask for topic suggestions! Cheers.