The build up to this match was similar to the previous match Invictus Gaming vs LGD-Gaming. Two Chinese titans of Dota 2 duking it out for an appearance in the Grand Finals.
Game One: Medusa is Not Invincible
The draft in game one was fascinating. Nyx Assassin has a very high winrate (73%!) at TI7. After that Death Prophet, Venomancer and Batrider were all banned. I was happy to see a high priority put on Earth Sprit, I think he’s been one of the most versatile support picks at TI7. Bloodseeker was a little surprising but Blood Rite can be really good at clearing waves. Axe and Sniper have been rarely sighted at TI7 but Sniper was a nice lane counter to Medusa and Axe’s execute could be very valuable during teamfights. This game was very competitive for the first 15 minute, Newbee and LGD.Forever Young traded kills and towers. Ultimately Weaver wasn’t much of a core and Nightstalker’s effectiveness waned. This left Medusa to carry LFY basically alone. Medusa was actually able to do that for a long time, Mana Shield and Split Shot made a lot of fights painfully difficult for LFY. Ultimately Medusa could not carry the while game for his team.
Game Two: Vision is Quite Good
LGD.Forever Young definitely set themselves up for a good game with this draft. Newbee’s ban’s after the first round focused on melee cores they thought their opponents would think about. I suppose the intended effect was to force LFY into picking a melee core that Bristleback could have a good matchup into. LFY’s adaptation here (or maybe this was their plan the whole time) was to just pick two ranged cores instead and rely on the Dazzle they already picked to prevent them from being bursted in teamfights. LFY’s plan worked really well, Bristleback was mostly kept out of the game and Dazzle put in work. I think the first nail in the coffin was the Storm Spirit pick, no one could contain Storm Spirit. LFY knew that Newbee’s last pick could support Bristleback or keep Storm Spirit down but not both. Storm Spirit did really have a “free game” and it showed.
Game Three: No Carry Player is an Island
I will admit this game was not decided in the draft phase, the Omniknight pick also made it very difficult for LFY’s heroes to die. Combine those two with Dazzle and both teams seemed kinda even going out of the draft phase. Throughout the game another flaw in LFY’s draft became apparent, no one could reliably engage for LFY. Having this problem against a team with Earth Spirit is egregious; Earth Spirit is a Swiss army knife in the right hands. Both teams played very well and to LFY’s credit they were ahead for a short while before slowly ceding to Newbee. Newbee really earned their grand finals appearance and I’m very excited for tomorrow.
LGD.Forever Young (1) vs Newbee (2)
LFY will play again tomorrow in the Lower Bracket Final. First LFY should go over this loss in as much detail as time allows and try to fix their flaws. Their play in-game isn’t as much as an issue, they still looked good today. They need a better (or at least improved upon) plan for drafting to put their players in a better position to win. LFY need to harness the sprit of game two’s draft and learn from mistakes in game three. Other than that all they can do is wait. It’s possible tomorrow could be an LGD teamkill, which would make everything a bit odd. Ultimately it shouldn’t matter who they face tomorrow they should make one gameplan and move forward. Newbee should cherish tonight, they made it. For Faith and the Newbee organization it would be the second Aegis. Newbee looked fantastic today, they only need to stick to the plan that got them here in the first place.