LGD.cn vs DK - Match Analysis

Posted by Susann "meruna" Berger 2 years, 14 weeks ago
The G-League is already known for amazing games and interesting turnarounds. The tournament has brought Asian Dota closer to the Western scene and has shown why Asian teams were dominant during The International 2. This match analysis will have a close at the second game of LGD.cn versus DK, one of the last matches of Group A.


The last day of matches on Group A started out with the teams on it sharing a four-way-tie: all teams had won and lost one game each. After LGD.int defeated For.Love 2-1 on the first series of that day, it was settled through ratings that those two teams would advance into the playoffs. Joining them will be the winner of the second match, LGD.cn versus DK. After an exciting game one, which DK managed to win, LGD is one game away from being eliminated from the tournament.

The Draft

First Ban Phase
LGD bans
These two bans are respect bans towards BurNing, who is known for his insane farm ability. He showed this in game one, where he managed to farm a radiance by the 15-minute mark and pressured LGD hard from thereon with the Spirit Bear.
DK bans

Two strong and well-used heroes were then removed by DK. The first is Nyx, which has proven to be a very solid utility hero. They also banned one of Yao's signature heroes, the recently-nerfed but still very pick-able Magnus.
First Pick Phase
LGD picks LGD picked Batrider first. With this, they are giving very little of what their strategy is. This hero can be laned or jungled, and has a disable which goes through BKB.
DK picks
As LGD did, DK also picked
two flexible heroes. While Rubick can be played mid, it is likely that the hero will be played as a support by Dai, who showed an outstanding performance with this hero on the just concluded game one. With Beastmaster, DK also picks a hero with a disable which goes through magic immunity. Inner Beast is also a fantastic ability for late-game in combination with a hard-hitting carry.
LGD picks
LGD decides to pick up Anti-Mage, one of the fastest farmers in the game, as their carry and Shadow Demon as a support. SD is almost a mandatory pick (if not banned) after a big right-click carry is picked since the enemy can pick him and use Disruption to use that carry's farm against his own team. This strategy can and will also be used as well for the team - making illusions of a farmed teammate carry can be devastating for the opponents.
DK picks Speaking of illusions - DK picked PL. Ever since he got his new (and massive) agility gain, PL has become a very strong late-game hero. However, Shadow Demon can create his own army of Phantom Lancers with Disruption, which can also create illusions themselves.
Second Ban Phase
DK bans
DK are banning the big team fight heroes with AOE damage and AOE control. They want to have their PL to be able to move around freely on skirmishes.
LGD bans Since no team picked up KotL, he is now banned in the second phase. This hero can give PL the space he needs to farm and/or harass whoever is at the lane. Aside from that, a PL with BoT can split-push lanes easily with Recall as its fallback. They proceeded by banning Chen and NP, the big pushers on the game. LGD have no good anti-push abilities to defend their towers early on.
Second Pick Phase
LGD picks Despite DK's effort to ban the big AOE controllers, LGD manage to pick two AOE stunners with Leshrac and Sven. LGD could run an aggressive or defensive trilane, and also has the option to put Batrider at mid or at the offlane.
DK picks By picking Windrunner, DK secured themselves with one of the best offlane heroes. Earthshaker is a strong team fighter, with a skill that benefits from the illusions possibly made by AM and SD.

The Lanes

VisualisationLGD's Line-up (Radiant)DK's Line-up (Dire)
Yao - Top
Sylar - Bot
dd - Roam
DDC - Roam
xiao8 - Mid
Dai - Top
Super! - Mid
BurNIng - Top
rOtk - Bot
QQQ - Roam

The Game

Phase 1: Early Game

LGD's aim: Let Anti-Mage farm his Battlefury, and get a few early kills.
DK's aim: Have the PL farm on par with AM

Both teams start the game off very defensively and played it safe - the only big difference happens on the off-lanes. Sylar is denying Windrunner a lot of gold and experience and she has to stay back to not get killed by the ganking combination of Shadow Demon and Leshrac. Batrider, however, manages to farm by using his flame break on jungle creeps to pull them and stealing a few last hits with the damage. By 5:30 minutes, Batrider sits on 18/2 whereas Windrunner only has 5/3.
Since Phantom Lancer gets challenged more, he has fewer last hits than Anti-Mage. PL scores 53/20 CS at the ten minute mark, while Anti-Mage has 67/35.
By securing the first blood with a successful smoke gank at mid and giving Anti-Mage the space to farm, LGD jumped ahead by 1,500 gold after minute 8.

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First blood goes to LGD.

The Earthshaker Issue
17 minutes in, Earthshaker is still at level 2. He roamed the map unsuccessfully, He is not able to find any winning engagements nor able to support Windrunner bottom. He also can't go to the jungle and pull to find some farm since this would disturb the creep equilibrium on the top lane and make it even harder for Phantom Lancer to keep up with Anti-Mage.

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Team fight in the middle lane, no echo slam yet

Phantom Lancer's item decision
Burning decided to not rush an early Radiance and go for Drums, followed by a Diffusal Blade which he instantly upgraded to level 2.
This item decision sets DK's further game plan - be aggressive and don't let it go too late. The illusions carrying diffusal blades are strong in team fights and when pushing towers, but they are weaker when they have to push lanes themselves.
RadianceDiffusal Blade level 2
+ 60 damage
+ 45 dps
+ 26 Agility (= +26 dmg, +26 attack speed, +3,7 armor)
+ 10 Intelligence (= +130 mana, +0.4 mana/s)
Burns 36 Mana and deals 36 dmg per hit
Cost: 5150 goldCost: 4150 gold
Pro: Split push and farm with illusions
Con: Hard to farm, Illusions don't get +60 dmg
Pro: Strong mana burn and a lot of dmg with illusions as their get +26 agi and +26 attackspeed
Con: Mid game item, doesn't improve farm

End of phase 1
No towers down, 2:4

Phase 2: The first big items

LGD's aim: Let AM flash farm with his BF and get him some kills.
DK's aim: Push and play aggressive, with Phantom Lancer joining in.

Big items
Anti-Mage got his Battlefury around 18:30, and Batrider bought his Blink Dagger just a few moments earlier. For the Dire, Phantom Lancer purchased his Diffusal Blade level 2 at around the 22 minutes mark, and Earthshaker, despite still being level five 17 minutes in, bought a blink dagger at 24:00.

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The push begins.

DK being aggressive
Using the Beastmaster hawk to scout, DK started to push the Radiant's towers. They knew that they have to make something happen since the Anti-Mage will start getting big soon. It's not as easy as it seems though, their problems shows during the team fight in the middle lane around 26 minutes in game time. Beastmaster got initiated on and had to use his Roar defensively. With no reliable disables left bar Rubick's Telekinesis, Anti-Mage can score kills even before Phantom Lancer can do any significant damage. The big problem: The Dire can't keep Anti-Mage in place. They need the roar to land as well as one additional stun like Shackleshot or Fissure to give PL enough time to burn AM's mana so he can't blink any more. This weakness of DK's line-up became even clearer in the next fight.

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Beastmaster has to roar Sven, Anti-Mage can move freely.

The Roshan
DK wanted to take advantage of LGD's ultimates being on cooldown, so they initiated a smoke gank. They used Phantom Lancer's illusions to scout out the Radiant jungle where Anti-Mage is farming neutrals. The illusions did find him, and since AM is out of mana and seems to be walking back to base, DK decided to go Roshan. What they don't know is that Anti-Mage just bought a BKB which will make all disables but Roar useless.
LGD realized what is going on and they counter-smoked. They almost made it in time, but as soon as Sven gets revealed, Beastmaster's boar attacked and slowed him. This proved to be enough of a stall to prevent LGD from arriving on time to prevent DK from taking Roshan. What they aren't able to prevent though, is having the rest of LGD get in position to engage on a team-fight right after DK claimed Roshan. Phantom Lancer picked up the Aegis, but the ensuing fight went sour for his team. Leshrac landed a Split Earth on three and Anti-Mage jumped in, activating his BKB. Beastmaster got focused down before he had the chance to stun Anti-Mage. DK gave an Ultra Kill to Anti-Mage, and they lost the Aegis as well as their gem.

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Phantom Lancer's illusions scout out Anti-Mage

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Ultra Kill!

End of phase 2
All tier 1 towers gone, 10:9

Phase 3: Anti-Mage's dominance

LDG's aim: Push and win
DK's aim: Turtle until who knows when

It is 5 AM
Now it is Anti-Mage's time to shine. He is 6,000 gold and four levels ahead of Phantom Lancer and has a Battlefury, Manta and BKB; his next item will be a Butterfly. The evasion helped against the horde of PL illusions and since there is no Hex or MKB on the Dire side yet, they can't counter it.
By 35:40, all of DK's outer towers have fallen to LGD's split push. The Dire had no vision outside their own base, the lanes are constantly pressured and it was hard for Phantom Lancer to find safe farm. Around the 40-minute mark, LGD attempted their first push into the enemy base. By using Manta and Disruption illusions, they damage the buildings slowly but steadily.
Batrider uses the opportunity to jump in and lasso the Beastmaster. They can't kill him in time, so he gets his Roar off - on an illusion. A long shackle by Windrunner gave the Dire another chance and Earthshakers blinked in, echoing four heroes. Since the Radiant's stunners, Sven and Leshrac both drop low, Anti-Mage can't kill DK. The supports of both sides have bought Ghost Sceptres and Force Staffs to keep themselves alive.

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LGD are pushing with AM's illusions

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Look at the HP bar - Everyone is getting away.

Man up
Anti-Mage completed his inventory with a HoT. LGD went mid again in an attempt to take down barracks. This time, the fight went a lot better for DK. Anti-Mage activated his BKB and jumped with Batrider. Rubick, however, manages to steal Lasso and disables AM long enough to have his BKB run out. LGD tried to retreat, but Leshrac got caught out. His and Sven's stun missed the targets, making another four man Echo Slam possible. The supports get picked off or managed to escape with little HP, leaving Anti-Mage and Phantom-Lancer to a one-on-one battle. Both heroes have a Butterfly at this point, but Phantom Lancer wins the battle by the skin of his teeth, burning all of Anti-Mage's mana so he couldn't blink out. He goes down shortly after to the Shadow Demon. Though he died, PL proved that he can take the fully-farmed Anti-Mage head-on. After another attempt of pushing the base by LGD, DK decides to quickly go for Roshan.

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Man fight between AM and PL

The Roshan II
This seems very familiar. LGD again is a second too late to prevent Rosh from falling and Phantom Lancer picked up the Aegis again. Unlike in the fight which just happened a few moments ago, Anti-Mage used his BKB a lot later and Batrider manages to lasso Phantom Lancer instantly, focusing him down. Earthshaker has to use his blink dagger to pull the Storm Hammer cast on him away from his team. With the item on cool down, he can't jump into the grouped up enemy heroes and get a big echo slam off. LGD proceeds to kill DK and take bottom rax.

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Earthshaker has to blink away to avoid the Storm Hammer; Batrider is about to lasso PL.

End of phase 3
DK down two sets of barracks, LGD still have two tier 2 towers, 16-16

Phase 4: Comeback?

LGD's aim: Get top barracks and win.
DK's aim: Don't lose.

By now, the Dire have managed to farm the necessary items to counter LGD. By using Windrunner's Hex and Phantom Lancer's MKB, they plan to focus down Anti-Mage. With PL's Boots of Travel they are able to push back the constantly pressured lanes.
Two unfortunate fights
When LGD started to push top to destroy the last remaining set of barracks, DK finally got the fight they have been waiting for. Anti-Mage gets roared and Sven has to use his Storm Hammer on the Phantom Lancer illusions, not knowing if the real one is with them. A fantastic shackle latches Anti-Mage and Sven together, followed by another 4 man Echo Slam. This gives Phantom Lancer enough time to take on AM and the MKB helps him with it. Anti-Mage managed to get away, but DK killed off the remaining heroes of LGD.
Since their base is pressured by all three lanes, DK can't push yet. After a few minutes, they finally decided to go mid; Windrunner caught Sven by using her Forcestaff and Hex. LGD counter-initiated with a Storm Hammer on two and AM jumped in. He quickly gets blocked off by Fissure and has to run after the supports because his Blink is still on cooldown. Like in the other fights, the DK supports used Ghost Scepters to keep themselves alive. Anti-Mage got roared and Sven got shackled, while Phantom Lancer is taking on the supports. By using all of their remaining spells on AM, he finally goes down, but buys back immediately and teleports back into the fight. LGD had to back off and give the next Roshan to DK.

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DK's turn to push
With the Aegis on Phantom Lancer, DK finally dared to cross the river again. They tried to push the tier two tower in mid, but LGD is willing to defend. Storm Hammer initiates, but Sven gets shackled quickly after casting it. Batrider jumped in and cast his lasso on Earthshaker. They are focusing on him, but can't bring him down before Batrider's ulti ends, giving him another Echo Slam right in the middle of them. With no disables left for the Phantom Lancer and another great shackle by Windrunner, they killed the Anti-Mage. He bought back immediately.
Now it's DK's turn to push with illusions. They have to keep on teleporting back to their own base though, since the bottom lane is constantly pushing in. After PL's Aegis ran out, he decided to buy a Crystalys; Anti-Mage bought an Abyssal Blade.

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DK dared to cross the river.

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Another Shackle!

After a lot of back-and-forth split pushing, Phantom Lancer managed to sneak into the Roshan pit and kill him while LGD is trying to push top. They have to back off - a cheese on Windrunner, another one on Rubick and the Aegis on Beastmaster is too much to fight against. DK knows about their current strength and went for a final push in mid. Now, the one thing Phantom Lancer feared all game happened - he got disrupted. Within seconds, he died to his own illusions and Sven. Anti-Mage went down due to Roar and Hex. Both carries bought back. DK's plan was to have PL teleport back into the fight with his Boots of Travel when he goes down, but they overlooked that fact that PL's BoT is on cooldown when they initiated. This 5v4 situation gave LGD enough time to pick off the supports and start the split push again.

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Phantom Lancer's illusions are turning against him.

The end
Another few minutes of pushing back and forth passed by and a fight happened in the top lane. DK triedto engage with Roar again, but Beastmaster failed to cast it successfully twice The first time he lost vision and the second time, AM used his Manta Style to avoid the Roar. LGD jumped in and killed Beastmaster before he gets another chance. Although he bought back immediately, he can't make it back to the fight in time. Phantom Lancer teleported in and uses his own Abyssal Blade on Anti-Mage - but the stun duration wasn't enough and the latter got away. Now, LGD turned it around once more and killed off Phantom Lancer. With no buy back for two minutes, the game is over for DK and they have to call the gg.

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Beast Master is trying to cast Roar


The gold graph tells the story of this game. A slow and defensive early game, LGD taking over, DK coming back and LGD winning it in the end. An interesting thing to point out are the small boxes below the graph, showing the kills which happened. Both teams played it very safe after each engagement, letting enough time pass to get their big spells off cooldown before taking another fights.

DK's mistakes
Now, why did DK lose this game? First of all, they didn't have the best draft against a BKB carry. Before they got an extra disable - Windrunner's hex - the had big issues of keeping Anti-Mage in place. Only with a perfect initiation (Roar on the BKB'd Anti-Mage, followed up by a Shackle) can they have had a chance of bringing him down.The second issue was Phantom Lancer going for the Diffusal Blade. DK tried to execute a plan which relied on this item, but they failed. Anti-Mage had time to become really big and was able to split push heavily. It is hard to say whether it would have really been better or easier if he went for Radiance since it would have been a completely different game with a different aggression. The third mistake was Earthshaker. Although he got some big Echo Slams and useful fissures off, he couldn't do anything in the early game. If DK had picked another support, they would have been able to play more agressively in the early game and possibly killed or denied the Batrider. Batrider's early Blink Dagger and BKB was one of the reasons LGD was able to win the fights in the mid game. It took Windrunner a long time to catch up with him, after being offlane as well.

The importance of this match
LGD defeated DK and took the match to a third game which they won as well. DK was eliminated from the G-League group stage while LGD proceeds to fight for their piece of the $42,500 prize pool.

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