ESTC 2011 Grand Finals: Neolution vs Orange

Posted by George "L3vaThiaN-" Psimmitis at 09 October 2011 13:45

The journey has ended. Neolution are up against Orange.eSports in the finals of ESTC 2011, which has been a hell of a DotA tournament. Read inside to find out what happened in this replay analysis by our strategist L3vaThiaN-, analyzing the use of a Troll Warlord to counter Broodmother and Anti-Mage.=0>


Batrider Lycanthrope Lich
Nerubian Weaver Shadow Demon Oblivion
Obsidian Destroyer Lone Druid
Venomancer Enchantress
Anti-MageVengeful SpiritHoly Knight
InvokerBroodmotherShadow Shaman
Windrunner EarthshakerSand King Troll Warlord
The first Pick/Ban phase
The first Ban Phase

In the first ban phase, we see Batrider Lycanthrope Lich being removed by Neolution and Nerubian Weaver Shadow Demon Oblivion by Orange.eSports. It's a pretty standard ban phase. Neolution removes Lich for his laning capabilities and devastating ultimate and Batrider for his ability to shut down the enemy carry for several seconds, even if he is magic immune, as well as his excellent solo capabilities. Lycanthrope is removed as the carry they don't want to play against (pretty much a respect ban to Mushi, who has had excellent performances using Lycanthrope in this tournament). On the other side, we see Orange banning the push or anti-push that Oblivion brings with the mana-draining abilities of Nether Ward, Shadow Demon for his anti-carry abilities and Nerubian Weaver as the carry they don't want to play against, mainly because of his insane mobility.

The first Pick Phase

Starting off this first Pick Phase, one can clearly see an obvious drafting mistake by Neolution. They started the drafting phase by picking their 3 non-supportive heroes of the game, giving their enemies a very serious advantage; knowing what to expect from their farmed heroes. Orange knew before the beginning of the second ban phase that they would have to deal with Broodmother's pushing, Invoker's versatility and laning and Magina's carry potential.

With that in mind, Neolution kicks off this picking phase by drafting Anti-Mage. Magina is a hero that has been first pick material as of late and Neolution seem to feel like withdrawing him from the available heroes' pool. Orange respond with a support-oriented double pick consisting of Vengeful Spirit and Holy Knight. Orange don't want to reveal their strategy for this game from their first drafting round. They prefer to start off by picking their two most standard heroes in order to conceal their tactics. And they succeed, since the only thing that Neolution is sure about is that Orange will have neutral creep support from Chen. Neolution responds by picking Invoker and Broodmother.

Invoker can be a very good counter to pushes and an excellent hero for team fights. He also has great soloing potential, being one of the most powerful heroes in the game at the moment. Broodmother is a great solo laner with excellent pushing and hero killing abilities and is the best hero to use in split pushing strategies. Orange respond by picking Shadow Shaman, their solo hero. Rhasta is a great initiator and disabler, has very good pushing potential and is also a nice hero to place against Invoker in mid, since it's hard to kill him in 1 versus 1 situations. However, he's one of the most fragile heroes in the game and his signature skill disables him quite as much as it disables his enemy.

The second Pick/Ban phase

The second Ban Phase

For their first ban of the second phase, Neolution decide to remove Obsidian Destroyera carry hero that has been brought back to relevance in this tournament, where many teams used him to counter Anti-Mage, so this is a reasonable ban. Orange, knowing that Neolution lacks support heroes, decide to ban Venomancer. Next, Neolution removes Syllabear, a carry hero that fits Orange's pushy line-up. It's critical for Neolution to remove the most effective push/carry heroes, since Orange seem to need one to complete their strategy. It's almost as critical as Orange's need to ban support heroes, which they proceed to do, removing Enchantress. This ensures that the enemies' pushes will not be enhanced by the presence of neutral creeps.

The second Pick Phase

Neolution then starts the second pick phase by drafting Windrunner, an all-arounder that has been used to solo side-lanes as well as participate in double or triple lanes. Orange comes up with a Sand King pick, a pure counter to Broodmother, with great anti-pushing capabilities and a great initiator and crowd controller. Neolution then decide to couple their Alleria with an Earthshaker last pick, giving them a solid pair of supporters that posses really good mid and late game potential. These two also possess long-range stuns, restricting Sand King's ability to use his ultimate when visible.

And here's when the magic happens. Orange draft Troll Warlord for their star MuShI-. Troll Warlord is a carry hero that has been remade quite recently. After the rework, teams experimented with him, but he's still an extremely uncommon pick. With his two new added half-disabling nukes and buffs to his passive and ultimate, he has potential when drafted the right time. And this is the right time; Troll is able to counter Broodmother's push and is able to take her one-on-one. On top of that, he's a carry hero capable of dealing great loads of damage in a small amount of time using Black King Bar, though Ghost Scepter counters his attacks. Windrunner and Invoker can survive Troll Warlord's attacks using Windrunner and Ghost Walk respectively but Troll has another asset, an ally Rhasta, the hero who possess the longest combo of disables in the game. Orange is banking on Rhasta allowing Troll to unleash his full might.


Key Heroes
The SentinelThe Scourge
Anti-Mage Invoker Broodmother
The Sentinel's three non-support heroes are the key to winning. It's essential for those three to get their items running as soon as possible. They need to be able to handle the damage the Scourge is capable of dealing and to overcome it using Invoker's arsenal of spells and the pure damage per second provided by Anti-MageandBroodmother
Troll Warlord Shadow Shaman Holy Knight
The key heroes for the Scourge are their mid-solo, their hardcarry and their jungler. Troll Warlord of course is of the utmost importance to the Scourge's plan, since he has to counter Broodmother and out-carry/out-damage Anti-Mage. However, Shadow Shaman has to make sure that the Troll's target will be shut-down completely. Chen is responsible for keeping: a) the pace up in the early game and b) his allies alive during mid and late game team battles.

Role of the Key Heroes
The SentinelThe Scourge

*Broodmother:Needs to over-come the Scourge's anti-push and effectively destroy as many towers as possible, in order to be ready for the late game.
*Anti-Mage:Needs to farm-up as much as possible, avoid dying and snatch up every opportunity he has for a kill, in order to be ready for the late game.
*Invoker:Needs to dominate mid-lane completely, out-farming/denying/harassing his foe till he gets his core items and basic levels up for the early battles and pushes.
*Holy Knight:Needs to reach level 5 and get a good army of creeps as soon as possible, then start pushing the close-by lanes. In the mid game has to keep up his army and keep his allies alive with his ultimate and possible items (Mekansm/Pipe).
*Shadow Shaman:Needs to be able to protect himself until he gets his ultimate, at point where he must start pushing and ganking all over the map. In the mid game he has to have finished his core build of Arcane Boots, Kelen's Dagger and be able to initiate on his foes.
*Troll Warlord:Needs to effectively shut-down Broodmother till the middle of the game while getting better farm than the Anti-Mage in order to be able to carry his team to victory.

The Game
Early Game (00:00-10:00)
Very Early Game (00:00-04:59)Early to Mid Game (05:00-09:59)

*FIRST BLOOD!(01:20): Troll Warlord and Vengeful Spirit initiate on foe Broodmother with the use of a clever Sentry Ward and get first blood! A very important first blood for the Scourge, since not only Broodmother gets heavily pushed behind and is going to have a real struggle against this Troll now, but the Troll also gets a very early lead in his farming war with Anti-Mage.

*(02:54):Vengeful Spirit initially and then Troll Warlord comes up to initiate on Broodmother who dies again. Troll gets another kill on Brood, which completely shuts her down and further increases his lead over Anti-Mage.


MuShI-'s Troll Warlord kills foe Broodmother and creates a huge gap between himself and Neolution's carries

*(05:30):Vengeful Spirit and Holy Knight use Smoke of Deceit and camp the Sentinel's jungle, where they find Earthshaker and Invoker. They kill off the Earthshaker but Vengeful Spirit falls to Invoker after the help of Windrunner. Rhasta comes in using a Double Damage rune to finish-off the Invoker and proceeds to chase down Windrunner, killing her with the help of a roaming Sand King.

In the meantime, Troll Warlord has gotten the Sentinel's top Tier 1 tower and continues to dominate Broodmother.
*(08:58)Troll Warlord and Vengeful Spirit manage to kill off the Broodmother again at the Scourge's top Tier 2 tower. At the same time in mid, Rhasta's Wards finally manage to kill-off the Sentinel's Tier 1 tower, taking away Sentinel's map control since this tower is the only access they have to Roshan, as well as the two Ancient camps of the map.


Troll and co. kill Broodmother for the 3rd time effectively shutting her down for a long time while at the same time, the Sentinel's primary map control tower falls.

The Mid Game
Early Mid Game (10:00-14:59)Mid to Late game (15:00-19:59)
*(11:15):Earthshaker gets killed by a 4-man gank squadin Neolution's jungle and Invoker barely survives only thanks to Ghost Walk.
*(11:14):The Scourge destroy the Sentinel's bottom Tier 1 tower completely cutting off any connection of the Sentinel to Roshan and reducing their map control by a lot.
*(12:02):Troll Warlord stays just a bit too long, hitting the Sentinel's top Tier 2 tower and gets killed off by nice gank by WindrunnerInvokerandEarthshaker. This kill was critical to the Sentinel, not only to slow down the Troll, but to also have some farming time in the top lane for either Brood or Magina and buy their Tier 2 tower some time.
*(14:30):After starting raiding Roshan, Orange get initiated by Neolution, so they are forced to get out of the pit and fight. A crucial incoming Fissure trapped Troll Warlord in the pit but that was not enough for the Sentinel to win the battle, since InvokerandAnti-Magewere quickly picked off by the rest of the Scourge's heroes.
In the mean time, Broodmother kills off the Scourge's Top tier 1 tower and gives the Sentinel an infusion of gold.


The Scourge have just killed off their enemies' initiators and proceed to kill Roshan.

*(15:09):Roshan finally falls and Troll Warlord picks up the Aegis of the Immortal.
*(17:00):Troll Warlord loses the Aegis but is able to survive with the support provided by Sand King

At this point in the game, Orange made a huge mistake, giving up a lot of space and time to Neolution, and the Thais took full advantage with Anti-MageandBroodmother in the sidelanes while Invoker and the supports countered Orange's badly-organized offensive moves.


Since there was a lack of action in this part of the game, let's take a look at some key heroes.

The Late Game
Just after mid game(20:00-29:59)Pure Late Game (30:00-39:59)
*(20:38): Invoker gets killed by a nice gank from Orange. This kill opened up the mid lane for them, but their push was halted by Earthshaker.
*(21:51): The Sentinel's mid Tier 2 tower goes down.
*(22:40): A roaming squad of the Scourge finds Windrunner and kills her off near the Sentinel's secret shop, so they proceed to push top lane.
*(23:05) Sentinel Tier 2 top tower falls.
*(26:05) Orange gets Roshan and Troll picks up the Aegis of the Immortal. It's very interesting to check out how Neolution spreads out through the map to take advantage of every possible gold resource. They are doing a tremendously good job at that, creating space for everyone to get equipped up with items, since their supports will have key roles in their mid and late game.

*(28:00): Double initiation, by Neolution at top with Broodmother trying to get Rhasta but failing, and by Orange in mid using Chen's creep to Ensnare the Windrunner and finally kill her with Troll Warlord's raw damage.
*(28:30): Broodmother had just teleported into mid when she is initiated upon by Rhasta and killed by Troll without even having a chance to react.
*(29:06): Troll loses the Aegis after a very nice Fissure. On his way out, Troll gets disabled but his allies come in right at the same moment to help him, with Sand King and his ultimate and Shadow Shaman engaging Magina. Troll and Sand King go down; only Rhasta survives.

A great Fissure locks Troll in place.

*(31:38): Anti-Mage gets swapped into 3 foes and gets instantly killed off. Orange then start moving towards the mid lane, but Magina's buyback takes their opportunity away.
*(33:48): Magina denies the mid Tier 3 tower. Vengeful swaps Earthshaker but he's fast enough to Blink out and Rhasta summons his Wards, but a good Meteor pushes the Scourge out of the Sentinel's base.
*(37:30): Orange take a very important Roshan, which as the third of the game has a Cheese. Troll takes the Aegis and Rhasta gets the Cheese.
*(38:12): The Scourge initiate in mid when Sand King and Broodmother are fighting in the top lane. Vengeful Spirit for the Scourge and Earthshaker for the Sentinel are the casualties with Rhasta's wards and Chen's creeps stomping on the Sentinel's Barracks. They finally managed to kill off the melee Barracks but the Troll has to lose the Aegis in the process.


The ten heroes of the game as of 40:00 minutes in.

End Game (40:00-End)
The Final MomentsConclusion
*(40:17):A big battle breaks out in the top river, leaving InvokerandEarthshaker dead.
*(40:53):The Scourge initiate on and kill Sentinel's bottom Tier 3 tower, without creeps' support yet. They damaged the barracks to half of their HP but were eventually forced to go back due to incoming Teleports.
*(42:20): Huge battle breaks out at the bottom lane with both teams fully involved. The outcome is 4-2 in favor of the Scourge, who then proceed to destroy their enemies' bottom Barracks.
*(45:28):All the heroes gather mid for the final battle of the tournament. Anti-Mage gets swapped by Vengeful Spirit right into 4 people and gets killed off immediately. The Orange team then proceed to utterly destroy their enemies, getting five kills with no losses.
*(46:15):None of the Sentinel can afford to buyback and the game comes to an end, with a GG-call by Neolution.


The battle in the bottom lane that forced the Sentinel to keep on playing without any Barracks in 2 out of 3 of their lanes.

It has been a fairly long game, with very interesting strategies and especially picks. We saw 3 Roshans, lots of team fights and ganks, clever strategies and teamwork at its finest. In the end, it was the Orange.eSports side who were able to win. While Orange gave their enemies too much space in the mid game, their overall performance was superb and they were deservedly crowned Champions of ESTC 2011.




Team rankings