- You picked WD in the first stage. What’s so good about this hero?
- This hero is really good right now. I think it’s going to become a meta pick eventually. Maledict is absolutely unparalleled. However, we can play any “fifth” based on the situation at hand. We just felt like picking WD that game.
- Did you just prefer Slark as well, or did that pick have some underlying idea behind it?
- We believed that game was pretty good for Slark at the time. After the game, we realized that Slark was a subpar choice for the 17th pick. Game-wise, Slark should’ve laned against Void Spirit and Pango, but they three-laned against us. We didn’t read that - we didn’t even consider that. That’s why the game went badly for us.
- You took Slark on the 17th and banned Phantom Lancer during the next ban stage. Weren’t you worried that HR would pick it on the 18th?
- That would’ve been fine by us. This match-up isn’t one-sided. Slark can just run the enemy down with the Diffusal.
- Besides laning, what went wrong on the first map?
- Laning did go very wrong in that game. Our lastpick QoP died 1v1 on mid, so that’s one thing working against us already. Surely, even having the lastpick isn’t going to prevent that from happening all the time. Because of this, they had overfed Leshrac and Void Spirit because of their own 1v1 lanes. Our Mars was free farming, but that wasn’t enough to cut it that game. Void Spirit created tons of space for the MK to make a comeback after the lane phase. I wouldn’t say their triple was that strong - we were just uncomfortable playing this way.
- You ganked Leshrac on mid at the 24-minute mark. Did you not notice his BKB?
- We saw the BKB. We just wanted to force a fight and force his BKB out, but we continued the fight when he did use it instead of backing off. That was just a random, uncalled for play. It was the breaking point of that game. Sure, we had it tough even before that moment, but we still had a chance to bounce back in case of a good fight.
After that, the game was lost. We tried to contest Roshan, but there wasn’t a chance in the world they’d let us.
- You picked Undying on the “fifth”. Was that a preventative measure against a potential three-lane? Or were you planning to make it lane against Timbersaw/Treant?
- We planned to have Undying/DP lane against Timber. We knew that it would be a carry DP from the beginning. We wanted this lane to destroy Timber, but we weren’t sure DP would be strong enough on its own, so we paired it with a strong laning hero.
Also, they picked Troll on 17th pick, which we answered with Razor on the 18th. I think they made a mistake here. Perhaps they didn’t think we could’ve made the carry DP work.
- What things did you do right on this map and not on the first one? Was that a draft victory or execution victory?
- Goes without saying that our draft made this game way easier this time. We let Mars lane on top against three. Our Mars wasn’t in the game, but so was enemy Timber, and we were absolutely fine with this trade. fn was doing well on mid - we thought the lane would be worse because of the matchup. We weren’t afraid of their Troll at all and weren’t worried about him free farming because we had Razor.
- Was the fight on the 21-minute mark a breaking point of the map? Did it hinge on Razor’s well-timed BKB use?
- Mars had a great Arena there. DM blocked off enemy heroes in such a way that it made it impossible to threaten our Razor anyway. They had to quickly jump on Razor and burst him down before Razor could use Static Link on Troll. They couldn’t do it, so the game swung in our favor. We realized that all we needed to do was pressure the opponent and farm, farm, farm. HR couldn’t take fights, they had to scheme some pick-offs through Batrider, while all we had to do was farm. We had 2 BKBs on our cores with nearly full builds.
- Why Silencer on the easy lane in particular?
- Carry-Silencer is good versus Timber. It turned out they went with mid Timber against our last pick, so we picked MK which is good against Timber on mid.
- How would you rate HR’s last pick Nyx Assassin? Did the Silencer bait out a subpar pick from them? Or was it a valid choice?
- I think it’s overall a bad pick in the current meta. Right now everything hinges on lanes in Dota: if you win your lane, the game gets much easier. Nyx is useless on the lane. We’re always happy when our opponents pick it since it guarantees a good easy lane.
- You were piloting a pretty specialized draft: it wasn’t that great at pushing or taking Roshan, it excelled in team fights only. What was your plan coming into this game?
- We had a favorable top lane matchup we had to win, which we did. We had last pick MK on mid against their Timber - another good matchup. We were a bit behind on bot, but it didn’t make any difference. We played around our strong lanes - top and mid - and started snowballing. From 15 minute onward we wanted to just run the enemy down because their PL was too busy farming, their Timber was counter picked, plus I, too, had a strong hero against him. They couldn’t do anything. All they had was PL - which was tied up farming. They had no choice but to run away from us the entire game while waiting for their carry to farm up.
- You took a strange fight on the 27-minute mark. Epileptick1d had no resources after the Roshan and went back to base, but you pushed forward on their triangle as four. What was the logic behind that move?
- It was a miscommunication. We took Aegis and somebody called out that enemies are very weak. Egor asked us to stay back, but we ignored him and just ran at the enemy. We should’ve listened. We could’ve simply regrouped and done the same thing with collapsing on their triangle, but as five and with Silencer’s ultimate to boot. We’d take both their bot and top T2 towers that way. We could’ve pressured the enemy around the map while not losing any farm on our MK. All they had to do in this game was PL - Timber was a complete non-factor due to our picks. They had no damage: Weaver was a support with his Aghanims, Vengeful Spirit had no damage, Nyx - same thing. We didn’t have the answer to their carry even though MK wasn’t half bad, but we still had a number’s advantage: two cores beat one.
- One could’ve thought you had no chance of winning this game after the 40th minute. How was the team’s morale at that moment?
- The victory was nigh impossible after that fight on three. They started pressuring us around the map, PL bought 1 or 2 more items. It was tough, but we knew we still have a shot if we could get a Rapier for our MK. And we did, and we came back.
- Getting that jump on PL was crucial for the comeback. Was that mistake from the enemy, or an outplay from you?
- Back then we didn’t know how to engage the enemy. They had Vengeful and Weaver with Aghanim’s and we had no idea how to deal with them. I approached PL, silenced him, and baited out his Manta Style. 15 seconds later he was trying to take down our Barracks so I jumped on him and nearly secured the kill solo. At the same time, DM jumped on our enemies and zoned them out, so they couldn’t save their carry. It was definitely lucky to a degree, but we also made a split-second decision to make it work.
- You turned the game around and went down mid. But, looking at your Highground push, there’s only one question to be asked: what the hell was that?
- Yeah, that was quite an engagement! We had Aegis and Rapier on our MK. Our MK was nearly impossible to kill. So we calculated our risks and just jumped in. Mostly to strike fear in the hearts of our enemies!
- Did the river ward play an important role in the deciding Roshpit fight?
- Certainly! We had vision around Roshan and they didn’t - we definitely had an upper hand in this regard. PL wanted to jump on me, but Egor saw him on that ward and Hexed him.
- To sum it up: what were the key factors that came into play in this victory?
- I think we would’ve had a clean win if not for that fight after Roshan. It was hard to recover after it - they took the map from us and took down two of our lanes and we didn’t have anyone to push the waves out. Supports aren’t cut for that, Mars takes more than 2 nukes to kill the empowered creeps. Playing without two lanes is nigh impossible - we simply couldn’t leave the base. We managed to make a comeback due to that kill on PL. I had a game like that before - where I baited out PL’s Manta while playing as a Skymage and then secured a kill on the 50th minute.
- DM mentioned that he wanted to face HR to gauge their real strength in one of his recent interviews. How would you rate them?
- They’re playing well, but we knew that already. They play fast, their map movement is good. Playing against them was great.