Category Archives: Draft analysis

Lane analysis : The International Wildcard (G4) : Quantic vs RattleSnake

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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.

Image

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.

 Image

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

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THE QOP LAST PICK :

 Image

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

ImageImageImage OFFENSIVE 

ImageMIDLANER

ImageSAFELANER

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.

Image

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.

ImageSTORM SAFELANE

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 :

ImagevsImageImageImageSAFELANE DIRE

 ImageImage vsImage 

MID

ImageImagevsImage 

SAFELANE RADIANT

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!

Image

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Draft analysis

Lane analysis : The International Wildcard (G4) : Quantic vs RattleSnake

Image

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.

Image

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.

 Image

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

Image

THE QOP LAST PICK :

 Image

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

ImageImageImage OFFENSIVE 

ImageMIDLANER

ImageSAFELANER

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.

Image

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.

ImageSTORM SAFELANE

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 :

ImagevsImageImageImageSAFELANE DIRE

 ImageImage vsImage 

MID

ImageImagevsImage 

SAFELANE RADIANT

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!

Image

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Draft analysis

Draft analysis : Starladder finals – Alliance vs iCCup final game

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Hello everyone ! 

To begin with, a quick update about team Quantic! We’ll start our TI bootcamp monday in Kiev, in the cyberarena. We are all looking forward to this practice, as we expect a lot from the upcoming weeks. You’ll have further updates once the training actually starts. 

As mentioned in my previous article, I will release three draft analysis in the upcoming days, and here is the first one. The aim is to help you, the readers, to understand how top teams think their picking and banning phase, how do they adapt to what their opponents do, etc… I will try to pick very crucial games, such as important LAN events, because that is usually where the drafts are the more solid. The one I picked for this first draft analysis is very interesting, you’ll understand better why during your reading.

“So we will be analyzing the third game of the Starladder season VI LAN finals, ALLIANCE vs ICCUP”

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Before we jump into the drafting, a little bit of context for this game, because as you may already know, the conditions for the game (being one game down/leading, being the favorite/underdog) do impact the teams when they decide their strategies. So this is the third game of the grand finals, the huge powerhouse Alliance was obviously favorite going into this series, and they are leading vs iCCup 2-0. They had one game advantage due to their unstoppable winning streak in the winner bracket. Nevertheless, the game that happened right before the one we analyze today was fairly close, iCCup pretty much surprised everyone (even including themselves maybe) by making big plays and pressuring Alliance more than any other team did previously in the tournament.

But enough talking, let’s begin with the draft analysis. Alliance has firstpick

The first four bans :

 Image

Here are the first two bans from the two teams. Nothing very special here, all being very standard. Alliance decides to first ban Treant protector, that is used a lot by iCCup. This hero became a top pick in the western scene, and is also used in the eastern one. It first appeared in the western TI qualifier. Their second ban is the batrider, nothing to add here, top pick : strong laning potential, insane initiation potential, and it is also one of resolut1on’s main heroes. 

iCCup banned Bulldog’s favorite hero, the lone druid. As well as the wisp, both are very well used by Alliance.

The first four picks :

 Image

Alliance grabs Nature’s prophet as their firstpick. It is one of their main heroes, as it fits perfectly with their playstyle, which is to apply map control and capitalize on their advantage by pushing and opening the map to farming. They unarguably have one of the best prophet player in the west currently, Admiral Bulldog. This firstpick shows nothing of their game plan, as this hero is strong in all stages of the game, and can lane basically everywhere. 

iCCup answer to that is very fast : Weaver and visage. This requires a little bit more explanation. Both prophet and lone druid causes problems to many teams, especially when they play versus Alliance, because they use those heroes to perfection in the laning phase, thanks to their offlaner player. Indeed, those two heroes are offlaners that can get xp no matter what, by pulling the creeps with treants or with the spirit bear, at the very least, they will deny lots of xp from the opponents support by wasting their time. So considering the fact that those heroes will give their team early game advantage because as offlaners they achieve more, one might think that the solution is to face the trilanes. But the other problem is that both NP & LD are insanely strong 1vs1, and win almost all the match ups. iCCup surely knows that, that is why they firstpick Weaver. They practiced a lot the match up weaver safelane versus Nature’s prophet offlane. That’s their answer to what I just described. They are confident that they can win this lane, and though deny Alliance’s early game confort. The downside of giving weaver this match up is that iCCup will then be forced to send an agressive trilane, and this is why they drafted the Visage. This hero is obviously very good 3vs3, and will secure them the ability to fight any trilane Alliance choses to set on their safelane. 

At this stage, Alliance is not sure what iCCup plans to do, so they decide to go for a very safe Puck pick. One of s4’s main heroes, very good against weaver ( nuke damage + silence ), and they keep on showing nothing of their strategy to their opponents. 

The second ban phase : 

 Image

Alliance is still not sure about iCCup’s plans. They then ban the heroes their enemies used a lot during the tournament. Naga Siren and Obsidian Destroyer. The first one doesnt really  make sense, it isn’t specially good against puck or prophet, but as I said, it is used very well by iCCup ( who defeated Virtus Pro the day before with it ). OD might be a problem for Alliance’s puck in the middle lane, understandable ban. 

On iCCup’s side, everything is way more clearer. They stick to their game plan, and decide to ban enchantress and chen. Again, they are surely top picks for Alliance, but above all, they are the best way to shut down any agressive trilane, especially when they are used by [A]kke (the strongest chen/ench player versus offensive trilanes in the world if you ask me, even when he played for CLG). By doing that, Resolut1on’s secures his team a dominating trilane, BUT, more importantly, he revealed to Alliance iCCup’s laning strategy. 

The second picking phase : 

 ImageiCCup’s answer at this point is not really an answer. They go for a naix. They stick to their game plan, and start revealing their offensive trilane. Instant pick up by Alliance, the Keeper of the Light.Now that s4 have the confirmation that iCCup wants to go agressive (not thanks to the naix, but thanks to the bans), he picks up one of the strongest heroes against this kind of aggression. He is trying to prevent his opponent from pressuring them early on, or bait them into thinking they can.

And the reaction from Alliance is simultaneously VERY smart & VERY risky. They draft the Phantom Lancer. Many reasons for that : First of all he synergizes very well with the kotl. Secondly, it gives them a huge split push potential with nature’s prophet and kotl ( Akke recalling loda everywhere on the map ), and secures them one of the strongest late game line-up in the current metagame. But something more important explains this ingenious move by s4 : he sees that iCCup picked up two of their core heroes, NAIX and WEAVER. Both have close to 0 AOE potential, and consequently can’t deal at all with phantom lancer. And since his enemies look like they want to commit to an agressive trilane, he understands that their ‘fire’ potential will be delayed. (even when an aggressive trilane is succesful, they always achieve less gold & xp then on a safelane). This will secure Loda’s pl time to farm, no matter what happens. 

iCCup choses to get a DK, as they know understand they need AOE potential. Although it might be too late already. 

Last picks & bans :

 Image

The disruptor ban from Alliance is again very standard, iCCup used it succesfully just before that series. Alliance is now very confident in their draft, they know the game will be quite easy if they manage to stay even during the laning phase. The lancer pick was the huge draft changer. iCCup stick to their game plan, and ban the Bane Elemental, a very scary to play against in a 3vs3 match up.

The thing is that, iCCup now fears that phantom lancer carry potential. They understand they dont have much to deal with it in the middle-late game stage. This explains why they all-in the laning phase with the lich pick. Lich is actually awful in the 5vs5 clashes against Alliance’s line up. Indeed, puck can easily escape chain frost bounces, lancer obviously does not care, same goes for prophet and the treants. Whereas kotl should stay very far from his allies anyway ( long range spells ). But the lich should allow iCCup to dominate the lanes, as this is what they need right now, the more time Alliance wins, the more dangerous the game gets for resolut1on and his team mates. 

Alliance’s last pick is Rubick, they needed a support that can give them fight potential early on, to win time for Loda to farm. This last pick is a default one, EGM is great on Rubick, there is nothing additional to explain about that pick up. Alliance knows exactly what iCCup plans to do.

The completed draft :

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Here is the link to the game, in case you missed it or do not remember it well!

http://www.gosugamers.net/dota2/tournaments/1152-starladder-starseries-season-6/316-offline-playoffs/1154-playoffs/matches/21281-alliance-vs-iccup

[SPOILERS]Alliance will finally decide, maybe due to the Lich pick, to dodge the 3vs3 situation, and go aggressive, at the very least they will force iCCup to rotate, and waste their time early on. Due to skill mistakes, Alliance will completely crush the early clashes, and win the game pretty convincingly. The draft was still very smart & even from both captains, as I just descrbed. 

Here is my little insight, that you can discuss if it pleases you : iCCup shouldn’t rotate their two supports, but only visage or lich on the top lane![SPOILERS]

Anyways, thanks a lot for reading this, I hope you enjoyed. Do not hesitate to give me your feedbacks and remarks, positive or negative, it really helps me a lot. Once again, remember that this blog is nothing but the opinion of a competitive player! You can follow me on twitter, @7ckngMadDOTA, as well as the Quantic team @QuanticDOTA. Cheers!

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Filed under Draft analysis