The event was a true milestone in the development Dota 2 and the changes of the meta-game are seen throughout its course. While in the first Group stages Anti-Mage dominated the picks and bans of the game, it is fair to state that the finals are the official end of an Anti-Mage era. In the three games Anti-Mage was picked, the team playing Anti-Mage actually lost the game. Teams have finally found a way to counter him with ease: gank all over, be aggressive and push all lanes to end off with hit-and-run tactics to take down towers and barracks. Don't get me wrong, teams will still be picking up the Anti-Mage, but his importance will drop and he will probably not be worth the ban or first pick any more.
The finals received a lot of buzz and the stream hit 32000 viewers at one point, a marvellous conclusion of an event that was very well received in the community. A second edition has already been announced by Tobi-Wan and Synderen themselves due to the huge success. It warms my heart to see dedicated people like them giving this much to the community. In some way, they've started to remind me to the commentators we have in Belgium for cycling: "de Wuyts en José" (those from the Dutch and Belgian community will certainly know what I'm talking about). Forming a perfect duo making games enjoyable to watch and something to look forward to. One is more community orientated and brings lots of entertainment and hard work to the table, while the other one brings the much needed inside information and knowledge about the game. I've watched some games being shoutcasted by Tobi-Wan alone as well and I must say, somehow the two have really found each other during the event and have formed some kind of symbiosis. While Tobi-Wan on his own is still great to watch, along with Synderen he really starts to shine.
Unfortunately not all was sunshine and flowers during these finals being plagued by a huge amount of delays and lag issues. The game is still in its beta phase, and the finals did make this very clear. People were trying to get an observer spot and watch the game through the IP which caused a lot of issues for the players. Fortunately, Valve was following the event very closely and fixed problems whenever needed.
After an entertaining two-hours preview by Tobi-Wan and Synderen, the finals finally got under way. In case you've missed the finals or if you're just interested; below is a recap of the finals with my own personal thoughts about it.
Sergey 'ARS-ART' Revin
Daniil 'Dendi' Ishutin
Dmitry 'LighTofHeaveN' Kupriyanov
Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov
Alexander 'XBOCT' Dasjkevitj
Martin 'AngeL' Olsen
Sylvester 'LINK' Hoelgaard
Brian 'MaNia' Strandby
Mikkel 'miGGel' Berg
Christoffer Borregaard 'Ryze' Winther
1.1 BANS AND PICKS: Quantic starts
- Ban 1: Chen
- Ban 2: Invoker
- Ban 3: CM
- Ban 4: Venomancer
Na’Vi = Dire:
- Ban 1: DS
- Ban 2: Rhasta
- Ban 3: VS
- Ban 4: Enigma
- Pick 1: Furion - miGGel
- Pick 2: Broodmother - Link
- Pick 3: Windrunner - Ryze
- Pick 4: Earthshaker - MaNia
- Pick 5: POTM - Angel
- Pick 1: AM - XBOCT
- Pick 2: Enchantress - PUPPEY
- Pick 3: Crixalis - LightofHeaven
- Pick 4: Leshrac - Dendi
- Pick 5: Warlock - Ars-Art
Quantic start off with a personal ban, taking away Chen from Puppey. Na'Vi as usual, start off with a DS ban simply because they don't like to play with or against him. Now it gets interesting, considering Quantic have the first pick. By banning Invoker, they make sure they either get Anti-Mage or Furion and that Dendi doesn't get his hands on one of the heroes he's very good with (but then again, with what hero is Dendi not good with). By banning Rhasta, Na'Vi are able to get either Anti-Mage or Furion and take away one of Quantic's most fearsome heroes. Quantic love playing Rhasta combined with Furion as they provide a lot of pressure in the lanes.
Quantic decide to go for Furion, a hero they seem to constantly prefer over Anti-Mage. Anti-Mage seems like a natural first pick for Na'Vi, and they quickly take Enchantress after so Puppey can play one of his key heroes and at the same time deny him for Quantic as they have been running a lot of strategies with Enchantress lately. Next pick for Quantic is Broodmother, an excellent hero for taking on the solo-lane and providing constant pressure on one lane. Broodmother is also a very good combo with Furion and is hard for Anti-Mage to play against. As a third pick, Quantic go for Windrunner, another hero with a lot of pushing power and the awesome shackle stun. Na'Vi counters Broodmother next by picking Crixalis.
In the next ban phase, Quantic ban CM, a hero Ars-Art is famous for and a hero that works very well with Anti-Mage. Na'Vi decide to ban VS which is actually weird as they love playing VS themselves and doesn't really fit into the Quantic line-up. This could suggest they aim for an Enigma and could be a bait to make Quantic ban Enigma. Quantic ban Venomancer next and Na'Vi decide to ban out Enigma for their last ban.
As a fourth pick, Quantic roll with Earthshaker who has a reliable stun that always comes in handy. Na'Vi pick Leshrac to counter the pushing power Quantic seems to be throwing at them. Quantic pick POTM next, a hero they seemed unbeatable with in previous games to round up their line-up. Na'Vi still need a support, and go with Warlock, a hero not seen a lot in this meta-game but who was used a lot in the past.
1.2 THE GAME
Na’Vi start off with 5 heroes going top defending the rune spot while Quantic Gaming start with Broodmother playing the bottom lane where he’ll face Crixalis. Furion plays the middle lane versus Leshrac and on top we have Shaker, Windrunner and POTM versus Warlock, AM and Enchantress. The first fight takes place at 1:14 when Enchantress with two Wildkins and double tornado’s gets picked off as Furion blinks in but XBOCT answers quickly killing Windrunner off with his Anti-Mage. Na’Vi have complete rune control early on and both sides are getting their farm up although Dendi is clearly outfarming Furion on the middle lane. At around 5 minutes we see Puppey trying to smoke gang but Prophet, played by miGGel, ports in at the right time, turning the fight into a two for one for Quantic Gaming: Anti-Mage and Enchantress die for Na’Vi and Shaker gets taken down for Quantic.
At minute 7, Link takes down LightofHeaven’s Crixalis with level 4 spiderlings. Later on, Angel almost takes down the courier with POTM but Dendi micros it out safely. Meanwhile, Broodmother is taking control over his bottom lane and helps Shaker farm in the jungle with his spiderlings. An amazing getaway takes place at 10:30 by LightofHeaven when Furion and Shaker try to gank him, a fast teleport gets him to safety after a Fissure by Shaker followed by Furion porting in and Link trying to get the kill. The middle lane gets taken down soon after by Na’Vi while Quantic take down the bottom T2 tower. XBOCT is farming up his items on his toplane safely while a lot of action goes on all over the map.
Quantic notice this and decide to put Broodmother top at minute 14 so Anti-Mage’s lane gets more pressure. POTM and Shaker rotate to the bottom lane so Quantic can get Angel’s farm back up as XBOCT had full lane control. At minute 18 Na'Vi push top lane, Shaker gets picked off and the T2 tower goes down while Quantic bring down the T2 middle tower.
At 19:30, MaNia gets obliterated by a Warlock/Leshrac combo throwing down a Golem on top of him and Dendi finishes things off nicely with his Leshrac. Thirty seconds later we see POTM go toe to toe with Enchantress at the middle lane taking her down; and Warlock being picked off at the bottom lane. The lanes hold but it is Na'Vi with the most pressure at this stage. While Quantic try to take down the T1 at the bottom lane, Link gets picked off by Crixalis' Epicentre and XBOCT's Anti-Mage.
The game is very troubled with lags because of people trying to watch the game by IP so the crew decides to reload the game. Meanwhile the stream dings 30000 viewers. After a small delay, the game finally gets under way again. Both teams play a bit more safely after the pause, farming up their items. On the toplane, the T1 tower gets taken down pretty easily at minute 23:20 by Quantic. The game has now slowed down while still being haunted by lag issues. Quantic decide to push heavily on all lanes. An insane lag spike occurs at 26:30 in the middle of a big fight causing the game to shut down and leading to a very long intermezzo while Valve takes care of the problem.
Finally, the game gets back on track and looks fluently but is forced to be played again from minute 20. The game looks even though as XBOCT managed to get his Anti-Mage farmed up. This said, 22:30 comes with an impressive gank at top taking down XBOCT. Na’Vi decide to push the bottom lane as they saw Quantic push the top lane but a very good response by Quantic, teleporting and moving the fight to the bottom lane killing off Na’Vi and taking down the T2 bottom tower. They move straight to Roshan, forcing Na’Vi to fight again. While it seemed Na’Vi
Puppey finally finishes his Meka at minute 27 and Warlock is closing in on his Pipe. The game transitions to a big engage with smoke on the toplane by Na'Vi, but Quantic respond smart which forces Na’Vi to back off and only lose Crixalis doing so. Quantic now move the fight to the T2 toplane where Crixalis gets off a very strong ultimate and Anti-Mage starts to show off his strength. A very strong upheavel by Ars-Art’s warlock locks Quantic in place so LightofHeaven is able to storm in with his ultimate.
XBOCT takes down the T1 tower at bottom at minute 31 by himself, having farmed up a Vlads, Vanguard, Power Threads and Manta Style. Anti-Mage seems to be taking over and is farming up all over the map and even solo-kills Earthshaker. Dendi decided to go for an Aghanim's Scepter which makes him very squishy but able to have a huge amount of damage output. Furion finishes up his Scythe of Vyse. A key point fight at toplane is next, Quantic engage strong while Anti-Mage seemed to flip the advantage back over to Na'Vi's side but Furion and Broodmother were finally able to take down XBOCT, sheeping him at the right time.
Next up is a chaotic fight near Roshan where Quantic take down three heroes and decide to take another Roshan giving the Aegis to Angel. Quantic are leading the game 20-14 at this point with 5 towers down versus 3 towers. Anti-Mage keeps surviving the fights but Quantic do a good job at taking down his team-mates. Time to go all in and XBOCT decides to buy a Butterfly increasing his damage output. Unfortunately, we have another big lag spike at the 40 minute mark, causing a lot of frustrations with the players and even Dendi saying that he's having a screenshot game.
After resuming, Na’Vi push the bottom and take down the T2 tower while Quantic push the top forcing Na’Vi to fall back. The tension is now really building and XBOCT is starting to look really scary, leading the fights and doing massive damage to the towers. The fights are very messy, Quantic seemed to take the next fight by killing off Anti-Mage but Dendi comes up big, being sprouted and using Ghost Scepter to blink out to safety and manages to turn the fight around
At 46 minutes, Quantic decide to smoke gang Na’Vi’s jungle, taking down Warlock and pushing the top barracks creating a huge opening and taking a first step towards victory. Dendi lags again at a crucial moment making the game go into another pause. Quantic really want the barracks, they take down the T3 tower but Na’Vi are furious and are engaging hardcore leading to yet another messy team fight. Only XBOCT survives on Na'Vi's side once again, the barracks get taken down but XBOCT manages to hunt down Windrunner with an ultimate and goes keeps going aggressive trying to pick off the rest of Quantic but they recover immediately and simply rotate to mid lane putting pressure there. Playing it very smart, Quantic decides to back off and leave mid for what it is.
Things are not looking good for Na’Vi when the clock points at minute 50, Quantic go for Roshan once again but Na’Vi realise they need it to make this close game theirs. They succeed and claim Roshan. Dendi is really showing an impressive Leshrac out of the view of Tobi-Wan’s camera, doing an insane amount of damage while using his Ghost Scepter and blinking to safety. With an Aegis, Na’Vi feel confident and smokes up. XBOCT finishes a heart and Na’Vi tries to go for the middle barracks.
A crucial fight is what happens next, Quantic pushed top while Na'Vi went mid causing Na'Vi to lose one T4 tower. To make the slightest chance, Na’Vi need to push the toplane. Quantic decide to gank Anti-Mage with everything they’ve got while Na’Vi are losing their base in the midst of chaos. Na’Vi look a lot stronger but Quantic are playing a very smart game putting pressure on all lanes and forcing Na'Vi into team fights so they can't defend their base that is being pushed by the bigger creeps. XBOCT plays very aggressive and tries everything he can but Quantic Gaming take down the throne and win the first game using hit and run tactics by pressuring all the lanes and forcing team fights that Na'Vi didn't really want.
1.3 FINAL THOUGHTS
A very well played Game 1 by Quantic Gaming, forcing fights out of Na’Vi’s base while getting the other lane’s pushed. Every team fight seemed like a win-win situation as every second Na’Vi was not in their base, they could not defend the base that was being pushed by the bigger creeps. The lost barracks at the top lane were too much in the end to hold off and Quantic gaming really outsmarted Na'Vi in this one. Dendi's Leshrac was impressive to say the least.
2.1 BANS AND PICKS: Na’Vi starts
- Ban 1: Chen
- Ban 2: Invoker
- Ban 3: Broodmother
- Ban 4: Pudge
Na’Vi = Dire:
- Ban 1: DS
- Ban 2: Furion
- Ban 3: Crixalis
- Ban 4: Venomancer
- Pick 1: Windrunner - MaNia
- Pick 2: Rhasta - Link
- Pick 3: POTM - Angel
- Pick 4: Enchantress - Ryze
- Pick 5: Tidehunter - miGGel
- Pick 1: AM - XBOCT
- Pick 2: Enigma - LightofHeaven
- Pick 3: Vengeful Spirit - Ars-Art
- Pick 4: Tiny - Dendi
- Pick 5: Storm Spirit - Puppey
Na'Vi start off with their usual first ban DS and Quantic takes way PUPPEY's Chen. Being pushed by Furion the last game, Na'Vi feel they should take away Furion from Quantic. The last ban for Quantic is Invoker.
Anti-Mage is left in the pool once again and Na'Vi decide to pick him up while Quantic get a hold of one of they favourite heroes they like to put on the midlane: Rhasta. Windrunner is an obvious 2nd pick-up by Quantic. The next two picks by Na'Vi are Enigma and Vengeful-Spirit, nothing out of the ordinary yet. Quantic finish the first picking phase with POTM, one of their key heroes.
Broodmother and Pudge are being banned by Quantic while Na'Vi decide to ban Crixalis and Venomancer. With the Broodmother ban, Quantic make sure one lane doesn't get pressured while they go aggressive on other lanes and by banning Pudge they take away a hero Dendi loves to play at mid and is a fair match-up on the middle lane. Since Quantic still needs some kind of engage, Na'Vi decide to take Crixalis out of the game. They end the 2nd banning phase with removing Venomancer.
Quantic pick up Enchantress next while Na'Vi go for Tiny. Quantic have been playing Tiny recently and the combination with Enchantress is a powerful one so picking him could have been a small counter to that and they needed some engage anyway. Quantic used to run this strategy with DS though, making Tiny able to get in close with lots of ease. Last hero for Quantic is Tidehunter, pretty much an obvious choice since they needed the aoe stun and tanky engager. Na'Vi surprise by picking up Storm as their support hero. Using a chaos Storm as a support is very risky, especially in a final but Na'Vi are known for trying to be innovative although this is not entirely the first time a chaos Storm has been played.
2.2 THE GAME: Na’Vi starts
Storm seemed to be playing the middle lane together with Tiny but goes straight into the jungle playing some sort of jungle Storm. Ars-Art goes bottom lane along with XBOCT where they pressure POTM straight from the bat but Link leaps away to safety. We see Puppey double pulling the easy creep spot twice, taking them out with Remnants afterwards doing something very unusual. XBOCT gets an insane amount of free farm at the start while POTM is being totally denied by the constant Ars-Art pressure.
Meanwhile the first blood occurs around the 2nd minute mark where Enigma gets taken down on his solo top lane. Tide, Windrunner and Enchantress push the toplane very fast but Enigma is able to hold on somehow with his converts. On the middle lane we see Angel dominating versus Dendi’s Tiny.
LightofHeaven dies again at the toplane at the 4 minute mark and the first T1 tower gets taken down by Quantic at 4:30. Meanwhile Anti-Mage is completely dominating the bottom lane and gets the kill on POTM after a successful gank by Ars-Art. POTM is still on level 1, being the lowest on the map while even jungle Storm is level 4 at this time and Anti-Mage is 6. Anti-Mage pulls off a 37/12 of cs/denies at 6 minutes which is pretty impressive. XBOCT buys a hand of Midas at minute 6 doing something very risky but worth it playing versus an Enchantress. Quantic seem to be in control with the top lane gone and Dendi dieing by the hand of Angel on the mid lane. Puppey does seem to be pulling off his chaos jungle support Storm.
Unfortunately, Dendi seems to be lagging again and the game gets paused again for 5 minutes. When he finally re-enters the game, Quantic engage Dendi immediately, killing him off and taking down the middle tower. Now with the top tower and middle tower down, Quantic quickly rotate to the bottom lane where they take down XBOCT’s Anti-Mage and thus clearing the path for another T1 tower.
Meanwhile Storm and Tiny engage the middle lane and kill off Windrunner with a far ultimate by Storm. The duo picks up a haste and go gang POTM on the toplane where Link desperately tried to find some farm. Meanwhile, another strong engage on XBOCT at the bottom lane by Rhasta, Enchantress and Tidehunter where they take down the T2 tower afterwards.
Next we see LightofHeaven, Dendi and Puppey engage the toplane killing of Tidehunter while Storm uses a far ultimate straight after to kill off another Quantic hero who was falling back. Tiny and Enigma finish it off and take down the first T1 top tower for Na’Vi. While Quantic is clearly winning the tower battles, Na’Vi is starting to catch up with kills.
An insanely defensive sentry ward at 13:30 put an invisible Angel totally off guard and gets him taken down.
Quantic keep pushing mid and take down the Vengeful Spirit and the T2 tower at mid. They’re not stopping and look for the T3 as well. Storm, Tiny and Enigma look to jump in but Na'Vi take down Storm first, immediately Rhasta puts down his wards so they can take down the T3 tower at minute 19. Quantic keep pushing as they want the barracks as well. Enigma is looking for a Black Hole and Dendi wants to jump in with Tiny, when Tiny finally decides to jump in Enigma quickly follows up with his Black Hole but Tidehunter got his Ravage up just before Enigma's ultimate and immediately cancels Enigma's Black Hole.
Quantic hold their ground and manage to take down the barracks at the 20 minute mark. The gold graphic takes a huge drop and Quantic really took the advantage after this fight. 1 minute later, they go for the bottom T3, Quantic really smell victory at this point. Another chaotic fight occurs where XBOCT takes down Rhasta in the rear, but the wards were already dropped down and so falls the T3 tower. As the fight goes on, Anti-Mage gets taken down himself but instantly rebuys so Na’Vi manages to save their melee barracks though taking another huge hit.
Na’Vi want mid themselves and start pushing the lane, Rhasta played by Angel blinks in and kills of Storm Spirit at the tower saving Quantic's T1 mid tower. Quantic have a huge momentum going now and are pushing the bot lane again as they look to finish the melee barracks. Quantic look for the fight, smoke and charge in while Rhasta drops down his wards. Na'Vi counter right away and Storm jumps in followed by a big Black Hole by LightofHeaven. XBOCT's Anti-Mage tries to do as much damage as he can but Quantic hold on and have a huge damage output themselves now. Dendi falls along with the bottom barracks.
The insane black hole by LightofHeaven was not enough for Na’Vi and at this point it is starting to look really bad for Na’Vi. They try to recover and seem to really want that mid tower down but POTM uses a perfect ultimate so Tidehunter can run in invisible and engage Na'Vi's team. Quantic defend their mid T1 tower once again.
Na’Vi is getting crushed in game 2, and like wounded animals; Storm, Tiny and Vengeful Spirit try to save the building and put up a last fight.
Minute 30 comes with a Na'Vi smoke gank at top but Quantic completely demolish Na'Vi again. The game is over, good game is called and Na'Vi is back to the drawing board, trying to find back the real Na'Vi.
2.3 FINAL THOUGHTS:
Na'Vi fails again with Anti-Mage while having a very strong farm early on. Quantic's pushing power was too much in the end and Na'Vi has a lot of thinking to do going in Game 3 trying to finally come up with something really Na'Vi-ish. The Warlock pick and Chaos Storm pick clearly didn't have much of an impact on the game and Na'Vi will probably go for something safe next game. Quantic on the other hand is completely playing the game they like and showing a very cohesive unit and an amazing team-effort.
3.1 BANS AND PICKS: Na’Vi starts
- Ban 1: Chen
- Ban 2: Broodmother
- Ban 3: Crixalis
- Ban 4: Leshrac
- Ban 1: DS
- Ban 2: AM
- Ban 3: Tidehunter
- Ban 4: Rhasta
- Pick 1: Furion - miGGel
- Pick 2: Windrunner- Angel
- Pick 3: POTM - Link
- Pick 4: Vengeful Spirit - Ryze
- Pick 5: Earthshaker - MaNia
- Pick 1: Invoker - Dendi
- Pick 2: Enchantress - PUPPEY
- Pick 3: CM - Ars-Art
- Pick 4: Enigma - LightofHeaven
- Pick 5: NS - XBOCT
Na'Vi can start again and no surprise comes with another DS ban, same thing on Quantic's side as they ban Chen. Next ban goes back to Na'Vi and this time they decide to ban Anti-Mage. After losing two games with him they want to go something else but don't want to give it to Quantic either. Quantic ban Broodmother next.
Dendi can finally play his beloved Invoker and Na'Vi get what they wanted. Quantic get Furion and Windrunner which is actually also what they wanted from the start. Na'Vi follow up with CM and Enchantress going key heroes for Ars-Art and PUPPEY as they know what is at stake. Quantic end the first drafting phase with POTM, getting another one of their key heroes.
Quantic ban Crixalis and Leshrac, while I do agree on the Crixalis ban, I really didn't see Na'Vi go Leshrac this game as Dendi, Ars-Art and Puppey already got their heroes and I can't remember the last time I saw LightofHeaven play a Leshrac. Na'Vi ban a lot more consistent, banning out Tidehunter and Rhasta denying Quantic heroes they love to pick.
As Na'Vi pick up Enigma, Quantic counter straight away with the Vengeful Spirit. While everyone saw the Earthshaker coming, Na'Vi surprised with picking NS for XBOCT, an awesome pick making a lot of sense and hidden until the very last moment.
This is the first time in the finals we see Na'Vi pick Na'Vi heroes, ready to play aggressive and playing how they like it the most.
3.2 LANING PHASE
Na’Vi really need to win this game, they put Invoker top and have Enchantress jungling. Na’Vi unfortunately gets caught totally off guard from the bat and gets a first blood against at 1:30, seeing Enchantress die by the hands of Ryze and MaNia ganking top. It seems like MaNia and Ryze will play a ganking roaming duo while their Windrunner farms the middle lane. POTM takes the top lane and Furion farms the bottom lane. Meanwhile LightofHeaven is farming with Enigma at the bottom lane and NS along with CM are on the middle lane.
Na’Vi want revenge and go for a bottom gank but Furion gets away at the last second, even surviving a sunstrike of Dendi’s invoker. Shaker and VS come to help the bottom lane and try to take down CM but she barely survives and Shaker gets taken down himself. Na’Vi seem to be back to their old selves and looking a lot more confident and aggressive.
Quantic decide to push the bottom tower at minute 5 with Furion, Shaker and VS while Angel's Windrunner gets picked off by CM and NS in the middle lane. Na'Vi's bottom T1 tower does die in the push without anyone dieing. Meanwhile Invoker is shutting down Link's POTM completely just like last game. Dendi seems to be opting for a Sunstrike build and passing on Ghost Walk.
Quantic rotates to top and now wants another T1 tower down. VS, POTM and Shaker together with a Furion teleporting in manage to take down Invoker who did not skill Ghost Walk at minute 7 at top but Quantic needed 4 heroes to do so while LightofHeaven’s Enigma is getting very rich on gold. Quantic continue the push but were not able to take down the tower while NS teleports at the bottom lane where Furion just ported back to defend Enigma’s pushing. He gets taken down quite easily and NS/Enigma take down the bottom lane and thus the first T1 tower for Na'Vi. After Furion respawns he teleports straight to the middle lane and takes it down himself, taking the second T1 tower for Quantic.
The action now moves to the toplane again, with the full team of Quantic at the toplane desperately trying to take down the T1 tower. In the meantime NS and Enigma take down the T2 tower at bottom even dive Quantic's base near the T3 tower taking Furion down and forcing 2 teleports leaving top fully exposed. Invoker, Enchantress and CM realise this and immediately start engaging top and take down VS and his companion. Na’Vi senses the advantage and pushes top but Quantic quickly rotates towards top trying to stop the push.
Having full control of the game, Na'Vi felt overconfident for a minute and were starting to show some small mistakes once again. XBOCT plays a very aggressive NS but Quantic seem to be holding on. With Na’Vi's meka up they feel they can make something happen now, showed by XBOCT's very aggressive play. At one point Na'Vi even finds themselves between T2 and T3 tower but they quickly rotate back out not losing any hero while miGGel is putting pressure on the other lanes.
Quantic go for a smoke gank at 14:30 but Na’Vi sees it coming and falls back. Na’Vi smoke themselves now soon after and go towards Quantic’s jungle looking for the opening. They find Ryze and kill him off easily. Na’Vi get back to their old selves at this point while Quantic seemed to be holding on.
The game is becoming really action packed and now Quantic tries to gank Invoker top but Na’Vi was ready for it: Furion drops, NS drops a chaotic fights goes on while CM and VS drop as well. Invoker starts spamming spells while Enigma helps out at the right time to take down POTM. The fight keeps going on with Windrunner almost taking down Invoker. Furion comes porting in, barely missing the sprout but Windrunner is able to finish him off. Quantic have the advantage now and keep on pushing to find CM and kill her off once again. Na’Vi seemed to be taking the fight but Quantic recovered and took back what they lost near the end.
Dendi decides to go Blink on Invoker combined with Force Staff for an aggressive playstyle but this also leaves him very vulnerable. CM and Invoker smoke up and enter Quantic’s jungle from the bottom. Unfortunately for them, the smoke runs out before they encounter anyone. Meanwhile Quantic rotate top and pushes the T2 tower.
XBOCT's NS goes aggressive now, CM gets down her Frost Nova, Enchantress does her heal while
This is a very action packed game, Na’Vi go middle now, taking down ES and VS and go on the hunt for POTM as well. Afterwards, they take down the T2 middle tower and now decide it is time to kill off Roshan and give the Aegis to NS.
Na’Vi seemed to be losing control at one time and Quantic seemed to be able to flip the game back into their advantage but it was all Na’Vi pulling the strings now.
In the next fight, Invoker gets picked off at toplane. NS and CM try to kill POTM but teleports safely out. Meanwhile Quantic take down a top tower at minute 25. It seems like Quantic was back to playing the trade-off game and go for hit and run tactics combined with taking down towers while Na’Vi was controlling the map and ganking all over.
At minute 26, Na’Vi go for a confident gank on Link’s POTM but they can’t push any further as Furion’s Ultimate is successful at stopping the push. The action now moves to the top lane where Na’Vi takes down the T2 tower while Link farms the bottom lane finishing up his Yasha and getting closer to his Manta.
We finally get some time to catch our breath and both teams decide to farm up some gold and push different lanes for a couple of minutes. Quantic try to force a fight on top lane though, while Invoker is pushing the bottom lane but Quantic decide to fall back. At this point Enigma buys a Boots of Travel to counter Furion, giving Enigma the option to teleport back to base to defend or port offensive on Invoker's creeps. Things are going slow for a moment, Na’Vi seems to be waiting for night time before engaging but Quantic can't wait and take initiative; they smoke up top trying to find Enigma in his jungle but fail to get off a proper gank.
Both teams are running around the map now pinging all over trying to get a gank off but there’s not an opening anywhere. Na’Vi are controlling Quantic’s jungle and are heading for Roshan, getting a new Aegis. Enigma picks up the Invis next and enters Quantic’s jungle to clear the way while the Invoker picks up the Aegis. Quantic decides to not take the fight and pass on Roshan but start to push top. Quantic realize Na’Vi control their jungle so they decide to go Na’Vi’s jungle to get some farm.
Na’Vi finally feel the time is right and go to push the bottom lane at minute 36. Invoker puts on the pressure with his Spirits using their huge range to damage the towers. Na’Vi are looking for an opening, they keep up the pressure, they want the barracks. Quantic are trying to hold on but Na’Vi keep going for it, they feel it's close. Windrunner desperately tries to push the top lane but Enigma holds it off quite easily and can port to where ever the action is with his Boots of Travel. The T3 tower finally drops bit by bit and they use the same tactic on the barracks. Na'Vi are building up the tension, you can sense the explosion of anger building up in XBOCT and Dendi.
Windrunner decides to help out at the bottom lane so Enigma can safely push back out again on the top lane. Meanwhile, Furion leaves the base to push the middle lane. This is when LightofHeaven teleports bottom forcing Furion back to base. We have a Mexican stand-off going on now at the bottom lane. The tension reaches its maximum and Na'Vi explodes; Invoker goes in, drives them back and increases the pressure on the barracks. Na’Vi takes them down and all of a sudden decide to go hardcore on Quantic and the whole team dives in heavily. This is Na'Vi as we know them: they kill VS, they kill Furion and NS retreats to safety being very low life. Na’Vi actually fakes their retreat and goes back in hard, another wave of anger: they kill off Shaker next and this dance between Na'Vi and Quantic keeps going on. Na’Vi rotates to the mid lane next and they want the mid T3 tower down now. They force another big fight, this time at the middle lane. Quantic recovers this time and takes down Enchantress, Invoker, Enigma and CM to save the middle lane.
We’re now at the 42 minute mark, Quantic wants a counter barrack at the middle lane and they push forward now, taking down the T2 tower. The push goes on for the T3 tower at mid forcing the buyback of Invoker. XBOCT's NS looks angry and comes in from the back while Quantic retreats picking off MaNia's Earthshaker. Link has to go all-in and buys MKB while Na’Vi pushes on for the mid tower. Another explosion of aggression: Invoker and NS go in, MaNia unleashes everything he has so Quantic is able to take down NS. Invoker and Enigma survive and take down the T3 tower at the middle but they have to retreat and let the middle barracks survive. Time for the next fight that comes with another crucial swap by Ryze, countering a marvelous back hole by LightofHeaven's Enigma.
Na'Vi catches their breath now and buys up all their gold to go for the win, not keeping any buyout money. Dendi decides to go for a Refresher Orb trying to display his set of skills. Quantic on the other hand plays it safe and keeps their buyback money.
Quantic starts to push mid now as they want to take down Roshan but Furion is forced to use a teleport scroll to defend the base as bottom lane is being pushed by Na’Vi forces Quantic back and making them able to try to kill Roshan themselves while Quantic hangs around at mid not giving up on Roshan. Quantic wants the opening, POTM lets an arrow fly hoping for a hit while NS engages; XBOCT and Dendi go aggressive again pulling off a very long fight where no one died the first 30 seconds. When Shaker finally drops, it gives Na'Vi an easy Roshan and forces Quantic to fall back.
Na’Vi smells victory and start pushing the midlane now at minute 50. Another stand-off goes on, slowly Na’Vi tries to get in but Quantic tries to hold on. The tension builds up again, but this time a double siege creep pushes the bottom lane attacking the T4 tower. Invoker and NS take charge but Na'Vi lose NS and CM. The barracks do go down but Link and VS succeed in killing the Invoker. Meanwhile the first T4 goes down being pushed from the bottom while VS and Windrunner push the middle lane.
LightofHeaven hangs around the bottom lane keeping up the pressure making sure Quantic can't push out. Quantic is in trouble now and need to do something. They want the middle barracks now but Furion, POTM, Windrunner and VS have to retreat as NS and Invoker get back into the game. Dendi lets off a triple tornado while NS dives but Dendi dies while CM gets off a BKB ultimate. LightofHeaven lets off Black hole and Puppey gets a triple kill laying Shaker, VS and POTM to rest.
Na’Vi goes straight in through the middle and go for the top tower and barracks. Nightitme runs out at this point and Furion, Shaker and Windrunner see an opening to bring down Nightstalker. The smart LightofHeaven meanwhile was pushing the bottom and entered the base taking down the last T4 tower exposing the throne. Dendi wants to join the fight now as well and finds MaNia at the middle lane, kills him off but dies when trying to take down Furion.
Na’Vi is close to victory but the game keeps going on and Quantic doesn't give up, we’re now hitting the 56 minute mark. Na'Vi catches their breath and gear up for the final blow. Enigma picks up a Linken’s which combined with his BKB finally counters VS so he will be able to pull off his ultimate.
In a last effort, Quantic pushes the middle as they need to do something while Furion defends the bottom lane. The game ends with Quantic falling back to their jungle. Na'Vi is on the hunt chasing them but not finding anyone to pick off. Furion pushes the top lane but Na'Vi continues on their path and enters Quantic's base through the bottom lane. This is it, Furion ports in to defend and make a last stand: VS drops, Windrunner drops, Shaker drops, POTM drops; we have one last game that will decide who will take the first place in the first The Defense cup!
3.3 FINAL THOUGHTS
We finally saw the Na'Vi as we know it, playing their own game and not focusing on their opponent. Apparently Dendi became very mad after the first two games and the team seemed rejuvenated playing their first aggressive game throughout the finals.
4.1 BANS AND PICKS: Quantic starts
- Ban 1: Invoker
- Ban 2: Chen
- Ban 3: VS
- Ban 4: NS
Na’Vi = Radiant:
- Ban 1: DS
- Ban 2: Rhasta
- Ban 3: CM
- Ban 4: Venomancer
- Pick 1: Furion - Ryze
- Pick 2: Anti-Mage - Link
- Pick 3: Enigma - Angel
- Pick 4: Leshrac - miGGel
- Pick 5: Crixalis - MaNia
- Pick 1: Enchantress - PUPPEY
- Pick 2: Windrunner - Dendi
- Pick 3: Broodmother - LightofHeaven
- Pick 4: Jakiro - Ars-Art
- Pick 5: Rikimaru - XBOCT
Na'Vi feel confident now and after banning the usual DS, they decide to take away Rhasta and leave Anti-Mage in the pool. On the other hand, Quantic learned their lesson and decide to remove Invoker from the game, along with the personal ban for Puppey's Chen.
Quantic first pick Furion, clearly taunting Na'Vi to pick Anti-Mage up for a third time. Na'Vi don't take the bait and decide to pick Enchantress for Puppey and Windrunner as the second pick. Quantic now pick Anti-Mage for themselves and end things up with Enigma. Na'Vi end the first picking phase with taking Broodmother for LightofHeaven, a very strong hero able to put a lot of pressure on her solo lane.
Next bans for Quantic are VS and NS, still being haunted by XBOCT's aggressive play and to safeguard Enigma's Black Hole. Na'Vi ban out CM and Venomancer as Quantic still need to pick up a support hero and they are the better two still remaining in the pool.
Na'Vi pick up Jakiro now as a support for themselves, revealing a pushing strategy so Quantic decids to counter this by picking up Leshrac, a hero also very good at holding off Broodmother. The hard carry for Na'Vi is Rikimaru, probably one of the most viable heroes that can stand toe to toe with Anti-Mage. Quantic end the last picking phase with picking up Crixalis for MaNia, also good at countering Broodmother.
4.2 THE GAME: Quantic starts
This is it, the final game that will decide who wins it all. Dendi takes his Windrunner at a solo middle lane where he meets Prophet and Anti-Mage. Broodmother takes the toplane versus Leshrac and Crixalis where already a sentry ward has been put down, revealing Broodmother in his web, delaying him going on to a pushing and farming spree. At bottom lane Riki farms versus an Enigma while Jakiro and Enchantress back him up.
The first blood goes for Na’Vi at 1:50 where they take down Enigma, immediately putting pressure on the bottom lane. Angel's Enigma teleports back in after respawning but again, Na’Vi are able to take him down twice in a row.
Next up is XBOCT going rambo on Angel and killing him off near Quantic’s T3 tower. Link’s farm is struggling again this game because of Dendi completely owning the middle lane. Na’Vi push the middle lane next and take down the T1 as well as the T2 tower. A crazy fight at minute eight with an insane shackle by Dendi twisting the fight in Na’Vi’s favour: first stopping Enigma’s black hole and also stopping any retreating heroes. Meanwhile LightofHEaven takes his T1 tower at the top lane and gets his farm back up. Just as game 3, Na'Vi take control and dictate the pace of the game.
At 10 minutes, Dendi’s Windrunner runs around with a Meka, Bottle and Phaseboots. After some small lag issues, Na’Vi pushes top and now take down the last tower T2 tower. Na'Vi take down six towers in an impressive 10 minutes while Rikimaru is getting his free farm at the middle lane. At minute 12, Dendi shows off some of his Windrunner skills by killing off Leshrac with a double damage rune at the midlane. Dendi wants to stomp Quantic and is now pressuring the middle T3 tower.
An amazing action at minute 14, XBOCT's Rikimaru baits Link's Anti-Mage into attacking him and at the right time coming out of nowhere, Dendi's Windrunner pulls off an amazing shackle which holds Anti-Mage in place so Dendi and XBOCT can easily take down the Anti-Mage. Meanwhile in Quantic's jungle, Enigma gets taken down by Jakiro and Enchantress. Quantic is in real trouble now and Na’Vi wants to go in at the toplane. During this battle, Na'Vi is able to drop Crixalis but their Enchantress gets taken out as well by Anti-Mage’s ultimate.
Another pause is needed, this time it’s Angel with lag issues and the game needs another remake.
Na’Vi seemed to have dropped their guard after the pause, feeling too confident and Quantic succeed in taking down Rikimaru and Enchantress at the bottom lane. Dendi remains sharp and responds at the toplane, taking down the Enigma. MaNia manages to pick up his Blink Dagger at minute 20, the game is clearly not over yet and Quantic can still turn the tide.
Na’Vi take down Roshan at minute 21:30 and they give the Aegis to Rikimaru. Na’Vi feel confident now having done this and they want to push the bottom lane next. Quantic counter with a well placed epicenter by MaNia who blinks in and completely surprises Na'Vi, Angel quickly follows up with a Black Hole: Enchantress and Jakiro die. The fight now rotates to top, we see both teams dancing and Na’Vi almost take down Quantic but no one dies in the 2nd part of the fight, leaving things all open again. Quantic are slowly gaining more and more control.
Broodmother gets picked off at the 26th minute, killed by the vision provided by the Gem of True Sight on MaNia. Na’Vi try to push in the bottom lane now but Quantic surprise again with Enigma blinking in and getting his Black Hole off: Rikimaru and Jakrio die. This is the 2nd time in a row Na’Vi gets surprised by a newly bought dagger. Quantic moves to the midlane and instantly take down the T2 tower.
Quantic want the Aegis and go for Roshan next but Na’Vi spots it and Dendi gets off some great shackles once again. Anti-Mage, Leshrac, Furion and Enigma all get killed and Na’Vi get the Aegis for Rikimaru. A quick rotate to the middle lane drops the T3 tower and Na’Vi keep going, trying to take down the barracks as well. Dendi is pulling off one amazing shackles after another while another chaotic fight goes on, no one dies but Na'Vi is able to take down the middle barrack. Na’Vi do not want to back down though and they stay around, looking for an opening to get back in. Blackhole and Epicenter are on cooldown so this is the time to jump but Quantic leave no opening so Na'Vi fall back into Quantic's jungle where they smoke up and wait for Quantic's mistake. They spot Anti-Mage and almost take him down but Link pulls off a last minute blink while being saved by MaNia who takes one for the team and sacrifices himself for the greater good.
Both teams find some time to get their farm up now and get ready for another big collision. Na’Vi decide to push top and they succeed in taking down the T3 tower. Na’Vi want the barracks as well, but they don’t go as aggressive as they have before, the remembrance of the big Black Holes and Epicentres is still fresh. Quantic are looking for an opening with Enigma and Crixalis who want to jump in, they find none but Na’Vi keep harassing the melee barracks. This stalemate dancing goes on for a couple of minutes while the middle lane is being pushed by other creeps as well. Quantic have to jump, they take down Riki and Broodmother with an awesome Enigma ultimate followed up by MaNia’s epicenter. Rikimaru quickly respawns in the battle because of his Aegis, and Na’Vi succeed in bringing down the barracks.
Na’Vi slowly regain control and both teams try to get their farm up again. Na’Vi push the bottom lane now at minute 42, they want to finish. MaNia tries to trick Quantic by standing in a very dangerous position but gets spot and killed off. Na’Vi keep going and take down the T3 tower. A huge fight to end it all, Quantic give it all they’ve got but XBOCT’s Rikimaru is just too strong and Na’Vi takes the game.
4.3 FINAL THOUGHTS:
A fine ending for a great tournament. Na'Vi are the well deserved winner and Quantic made it an awesome finals, having a big chance to win it all and almost seemed to be pulling off what most thought was impossible. The first two games were all Quantic, but the last two games Na'Vi completely took over. They did seem a bit overconfident after the resume in the last game and seemed to be slipping in some errors here and there, but Na'Vi never really seemed to be on their way losing game 4. My MVP of the finals is Dendi, as the convention goes MVP players are picked from winning teams. Na'Vi played great as a whole, but Dendi made the least mistakes and pulled of some amazing stunts to win the game. Puppey gets my co-MVP if there is such a thing, besides a solid performance in his last two games, his insane micro converting a creep to block Furion in game 4 was probably one of the best moments in this Final. Quantic's Ryze played an outstanding performance as well and would have taken the honours if it was not for Na'Vi winning the tournament.
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RETIRED: casual gamer & focusing on my studies
Master in Medicine at the University of Ghent
Ex-Dota 2 Lead Editor for It's GoSu after serving SK Gaming from 2007 till 2012 with a 1-2 year break and a period as the Dota 2 Lead Editor
Named Best Belgian Player NOLF #1
1st csports.net ranking NOLF
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2003(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2004(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2005(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2006(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2007(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2008(Team-Belgium)
2nd OC Clanbase 2003 INF (Quick Thrill)
1st INF Clanbase Ladder 2003 (Virtual Fighting Squad)
3rd INF Clanbase Ladder 2003 (Quick Thrill)
3rd OC Clanbase 2003 INF (Quick Thrill)
3rd OC Clanbase 2003 INF (Virtual Fighting Squad)
1st SC Clanbase 2004 INF (Arrow)
3rd OC Clanbase 2004 DEM (Arrow)
3rd EC Clanbase 2004 INF (Pureplay) WITHOUT ME
1st EC Clanbase 2004 INF (Team sK) WITHOUT ME
3rd OC Clanbase 2005 INF (Instant Glory)
3rd HC Clanbase 2005 INF (Quick Thrill)
3rd NC Clanbase 2005 INF (Team Belgium)
1st OC Clanbase 2005 INF (Quick Thrill)
1st OC Clanbase 2005 INF (pureaim)
3rd OC Clanbase 2005 CTF (noobs United)
3rd HC Clanbase 2006 CTF (noobs United)
2nd OC Clanbase 2007 CTF (noobs United)
LOADS of Latenight Cup Achievement
1st Benelux cs 5on5 February 2007 (Dfiance Gaming)
8th-5th LanLife 2007 (Dfiance Gaming)
1st GamerLAN Summer 2005 (Arrow)
8th-5th Fom 7.0 2005
8th-5th GunkCon 2005 (Pillars.MIX)
8th-5th Fom 8.0 2006 (several clans)
8th-5th several times, no top spots yet!
1st Plug2Play 2006 (Cyberlegends)
Bootcamp vs CNO & 24gaming (endeavor.mix)
1st Clanbase CSS Benelux Ladder (Killing for Pleasure)
1st Digibattles Minicup v22 (Killing for Pleasure)
OC Premier League Attendant (Killing for Pleasure)
MYM Pride Nations #2 Attendant
DOTA Team Belgium 2008
DOTA Team Belgium 2009
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