Team Analysis: M5

Posted by George "L3vaThiaN-" Psimmitis at 25 October 2011 21:09

With so much talent and potential along with the support of thousands of fans around the world, they promise to leave an impact upon the history of modern, competitive DotA. Ladies and gents, I give you: the Russian Powerhouse MoscowFive!


RussiaMoscowFive - M5 THE TEAM
Statistical analysis based on 10 games of the ICS 9, 5 of them from the finals

*Picked heroes: Lightning Revenantx1 Faerie Dragonx1 Venomancerx3 Anti-Magex1 Holy Knightx3 Demon Witchx1 Priestess of the Moonx3 Vengeful Spiritx4 Sand Kingx1 Earthshakerx4 Oblivionx1 Batriderx3 Geomancerx1 Lichx2 Witch Doctorx1 Enigmax3 Spectrex2 Prophetx2 Sand Kingx1 Warlockx2 Shadow Fiendx1 Night Stalkerx3 Windrunnerx5 Crystal Maidenx5 Nerubian Weaverx5 Geomancerx1
*Most played heroes: Nerubian WeaverCrystal MaidenWindrunner - 5 out of 10 games. Vengeful SpiritEarthshaker - 4 out of 10 games.
*Last 10 games win/loss ratio: 70% win - 7/10 games won
The Replays
*[M5 vs Monkey] | ICS 9 Finals Replay [M5 vs Monkey] |2-1| M5 wins Replays - ICS 9 *[M5 vs GGnet] |1-1| M5 wins | Replays - ICS 9] *[M5 vs ESG] |1-0| M5 wins | Replays - ICS 9 *[M5 vs EMC] |1-0| M5 wins | Replays - ICS 9 *[M5 vs DTS] |2-1| M5 wins | Replays - ICS 9 Finals


The Roster
The Captain - RussiaVladimir 'PGG' Anosov
Most used heroes: ProphetEnigma Major characteristics:: Great map awareness, influential ganks. In the face of Moscow.Five's captain we see one of the most known Russian players of all time, pleasegogame. Mostly known for big victories in LAN tournaments, aside from his out-of-game and known-to-people habits, he usually takes the role of jungle farmer. He gave Moscow.Five exactly what they needed, a reliable and influential captain.
The Talent - RussiaSergey 'M5.G' Bragin
Most used heroes: Priestess of the MoonWindrunner Major characteristics:: Excellent solo abilities, majestic individual skill. The less known player to join Moscow.Five after DTS' disbandment was GodKillThemAll, a totally unknown player to the European scene, Russian pub-stomper. He proceeded to become the latest break-out star of Europe, showcasing exceptional performances either in the mid-solo role or at a side lane soloing against multiple enemies. He gave Moscow.Five the ability to be extremely aggressive and the advantage of using the split-push 1-4-0 strat due to his individual skill.
The Star - Ivan Russia"Vigoss" Shinkarev
Most used heroes: Faerie DragonWindrunner Major characteristics: Aggression that reaches the "extreme" levels, impossible to solo against. With the whole DotA world praising his name and praying he would return and after a failed pass from Lost.Europe, Vigoss had nothing to lose so he joined forces with others to form the new M5. He is the most known player in the world, and one of the most aggressive, if not the most aggressive while his movement on the map is just pure genious. He gave Moscow.Five the advantage of having a solo player who is able to outlane anyone and a heavy boost in ganking and large team battles.
The Doctor - Yaroslav Russia'NS' Kuznetsov
Most used heroes: Vengeful SpiritHoly Knight Major characteristics: Impressive warding and counter warding, excellent lane support and great survival instincts during battles. Being one of the most versatile and knowledgable players in the European scene, NS has always had a hard task trying to support the, most of the times, extremely offensive Russian and Ukrainian players that he's been teaming up with. Despite that fact, he managed to make himself thought of as the definitively best support player in Europe and one of the best in the world. He gave Moscow.Five the defensive power they needed in order to be able to execute their aggressive combos.
The All Arounder - Andrew Russia'Dread' Golubev
Most used heroes: Crystal MaidenEarthshaker Major characteristics: Inspirational ability to use almost every hero, great at saving allies. Last but certainly not least comes Dread, the missing piece of the puzzle for M5 and a foundational force of their power. With his ability to play every role that the team needs and his excellent anticipation at saving or denying allied heroes, he definitely is a force to be reckoned with.

The history board
RussiaM5 General info, Achievements, Former Players
Ranking: #7 Rating: 1341 Winning percentage: 72% Statistics: 39-15 Name: Moscow5 AKA: DTS, Garaj Country: RussiaRussia Clan: Moscow5 Roster Russia Vladimir 'PGG' Anosov (C) Russia Andrew 'Dread' Golubev Russia Yaroslav 'NS' Kuznetsov Russia Sergey 'God' Bragin Russia Ivan 'vigoss' Shinkarev
Former major players Russia Dmitry 'LightOfHeaven' Kupriyanov Russia Sergey 'ARS-ART' / 'Smile' Revin Ukraine Daniil 'Dendi' Ishutin Ukraine Artur 'GO[blin]' Kostenko Ukraine Bogdan 'Axypa' Boychuk Ukraine Ivan 'Artstyle' Antonov WebSite Moscow5 - Official Page Team's Achievements 1st - Intel Challenge: Supercup #9 (2011) 1st - OSPL Spring (2011) 2nd - ROCCAT GosuCup #3 (2011) 2nd - ASUS Open Spring (2011) 2nd - Techlabs Cup (2011) 3rd - Pick League XIV - div1 (2011) 4th - Farm4Fame 3 Series (2011)


<div style="float:left><blockquote><center> Vigoss NS <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="" images.readmore.de="" img="" contentgfx="" 12182.jpg"="" href="http://images.readmore.de/img/contentgfx/12182.jpg">12182.jpg1315986626_god.jpg DTS_NS-200x150.jpgPGG.JPG
The general gameplay idea
M5 is one of the most aggressive teams on the globe. They like playing with tons of ganks, unstatic heroes with good mobility and enthusiasm in the team gameplay, being aggressive all over the map and sometimes ganking at almost unreachable places. They are also known for having some great escaping and juking skills that can be provided only by many years of playing experience, which they all certainly have. In most of their games, one can see M5 using at least one and many times two or even more initiators, heroes like Batrider and Earthshaker, that have the ability to begin a battle at any time if equipped with the proper items - in this case, Kelen's Dagger. They have been known for using 3 mid game semi-carries, like Priestess of the Moon or Shadow Fiendas main damage dealers, coupled with the raw ganking power of a Prophet and the team battle abilities of either a Faerie Dragon or a Oblivion, but as of late performances we can see that they are also able to play with a main hard-carry, as we've seen in ICS 9.5 and ICS 9.5 finals, where they would commonly pick either a Nerubian Weaver or a Spectre while at one case, they even used Geomancer. In the support section, they like to have at least one hero that is able to heal certain amounts of hp, like Holy Knight, Enchantress and even Warlock as of late, while their second assistant hero is usually a disabler who has initiating abilities, eg. Earthshaker,Vengeful Spirit. But even when they haven't drafted a hero with natural healing abilities they will get at least a couple of Urns of Shadows and one of them literally rushing Mekansm. They use these kinds of builds in order to get themselves the amount of defensive power required to be able to tower dive, kill enemy heroes and survive. There are a lot of people who call M5's gameplay "untactical" and generally not strategically determined - in other words: chaotic. But such an accusation is completely false, since in modern DotA everything has to be measured if one wants to achieve success, and M5 are allegedly pretty good at maths. What I mean is that the way they distribute their heroes on the map is uncanny, "exploiting" all the ways to get gold that the map may provide while at the same time pressuring their enemies unbelievably hard at either one on one lane combat based on individual skill, or their renowned 3-man ganks with the use of an incoming teleporting Prophet and a smoked assistant. With all of that being said, let's proceed to a double replay analysis on some of M5's recent replays.
Replay Analysis : ICS 9.5 Finals: M5 vs. DTS Game #2

The Picks
UkraineDTS.Chatrix RussiaMoscow.Five
Naga Siren dts.artstyle^ (Bottom) Enchantressdts.dubas (Bot) Vengeful Spirit dts|plet (Bot) Ancient Apparition dts|mcdeath (Mid) Venomancer dts.f (Top) Holy KnightMoscowFive.NS (Jungle) Anti-Mage M5.plzgogame (Top) Batrider M5.G (Mid) Faerie Dragon m5.vigoss^ (Bot) Crystal Maiden M5.Dread (Roaming)

The line-ups in this 2nd game are pretty even. Both drafts have their pros and cons but the differences are actually pretty balanced out. Despite the fact that it's a game for the finals of a LAN Tournament with a considerable amount of prize money involved, both teams mix heroes that are not commonly played together and there is also DTS' surprise pick in the face of Naga Siren

Analysis on the Picks The Ban/Pick phases are unavailable, unfortunately
Naga SirenEnchantressVengeful SpiritAncient ApparitionVenomancer
UkraineArtStyle's DTS decide to pick a rather offensive line-up, combining a lot of disabling abilities, pushing power by Aiustha and Slithice and good ganking potential with Shandelzare, Raigor and Kaldr. Offensively, this line-up is full of potential, having everything that one would need, but defensively there are some flaws. Naga Siren is not a carry able to take big amounts of damage due to her low health pool while the 4 heroes by her side are rather squishy too. On top of that, this line-up is going to have some problems if faced against a pushy line-up, like the one they have to face now. A split push strategy could easily hurt the Sentinel in this game since the only real anti-pushing power they possess is Ancient Apparition's ultimate and Venomancer. Enchantress can definitely provide help but the point is that a multi-push strategy will not allow any of the 3 mentioned heroes to miss the team battle, while Naga Siren is not capable of out-pushing any of the Scourge heroes on her own.
Holy KnightAnti-MageBatriderFaerie DragonCrystal Maiden
Russiapleasegogame's M5, on the other hand, pick a more balanced line-up, with HP and MP rechargers, a top notch hardcarry and two above average solo heroes. Some things that one can easily point out in M5 is that they have a healer in the face of Holy Knight, 2 great initiators: Batrider and Faerie Dragon, and great potential throughout all the stages of the game. This line-up, though, does have one "flaw": its team fight potential is not that great. The sentinel does not possess a lot of instant-damaging aoe nukes. This might not be a problem for pushes due to Batrider's Firefly but in team fights there is a problem since there is not enough instant AoE damage to fight a good line-up. So what M5 will try to do is to pick off one or two heroes in the early stages of the game in order to gain a big advantage in comparison to their enemies and finish this game at the start of the late game.
Early Game

Walking down the "played game" highway and following a couple of failed attempts by both teams to nail the first blood, we see Enchantress,Vengeful Spirit and Naga Siren managing to score the game's first kill onto Vigoss' Faerie Dragon. It was a relatively painless loss for M5, since Puck is not really expected to get any farm on his lane while on the other side, the hero that scored the kill was Enchantress and not Naga Siren, avoiding the creation of a big gap between the two hardcarries, who both had the same amount of farmed gold at the time. Onwards, the Scourge's bottom Tier 1 tower falls without any defense while there has also been a use of Glyph of Fortification by the Scourge, a bad move since the tower was definitely going to fall and there were no chances of creating a battle or denying. M5, being aware that the bottom lane is already a lost cause, decide to put their pressure upon the top Tier 1 tower and Venomancer. Their decision was correct, managing to drop the Sentinel's tower with Anti-Mage getting the last hit; this makes him hit 1.700 gold, a great 4-minute amount of earned gold, enabling him to almost complete his Vanguard so early in the game. Only a minute later, DTS move to mid and try to push down a second tower in less than 5 minutes in the game. Defensive support arrives for the Scourge with 4 heroes moving to mid, defending their tower succesfully and also winning a battle by 2-1 with EnchantressVengeful Spirit falling for the Sentinel, while M5's only casualty is a heavily focused Crystal Maiden. A notable fact is that Anti-Mage got both of the frags that Scourge managed to grab and now he's in the process of creating a big gap between himself and the enemy carry.

Another mini-battle occurs a minute after the fight in the middle and M5 win by 2-1 again. The Scourge's move from the Sentinel's Secret Shop is an excellent example of how M5 like to move around the map, following unusual pathways that allow them to avoid warding and show up at the most unexpected moments and places.


A really impressive and intriguing fact is that we are 6 minutes into the game and there are absolutely no wards planted by both teams. On top of that, there seems to be no intention of buying a pair of Observers by any of the two sides, at least for the time being. On an attempt to square it off, what we've seen in the early game is M5 leaving their long range solo defenseless to drop both his tower and the First Blood, in exchange for some space to Anti-Mage who has indeed gotten some extraordinary farm. Up to now, it appears to be working: Anti-Mage is totally outfarming Naga Siren in every possible aspect (Kills, Towers, Creeps) while the lost cause of Puck is slowly starting to turn around, since he was left alone to farm the bottom lane for almost 4 minutes while the others were fighting in mid and top. Every sign shows that M5's plan is working, they have already gotten Anti-Mage's core items and the rest of their heroes are pumped way more than the Sentinel's due to all the team fight gold, despite the fact that both teams have lost one tower.



The Carries as of 10:00

Anti-Mage Hero K/D/A: 3/0/2 Creep K/D/: 48/11 Neutrals: 2 Towers K/D:1/0

Naga Siren Hero K/D/A: 0/2/3 Creep K/D: 32/9 Neutrals: 1 Towers K/D: 0/0


The mid game M5 have managed to achieve their goal, they have taken an almost gamebreaking advantage on their enemy by being extremely aggressive with their ganks while they didn't really pay too much attention to their defense.

DTS.Chatrix decide to take the initiative once again; they push their enemy's mid tower and they manage to drop it, but RussiaDread managed to deny the full amount of gold towards his enemies. The battle that broke out was really intense and an extremely fun part of the game to watch. DTS managed to take down 3 enemy heroes while losing two, but PGG's timed deny on Vigoss' Faerie Dragon only gave them credit for two of them. Four minutes of numbness by both teams had to pass untill the Sentinel initiated again on the bottom lane, effectively grabbing a kill on foe Batrider without any casualties. This turn of events, though, is in favour of M5, since all of their heroes except for Magina need some "personal time" to regroup and finish off any early game items they intended to get, like Treads, Janggos or Magic Sticks.



M5 have managed to set the pace and keep it high, but their enemy is not just keeping up with them. They have to face a team led by the game's most innovative captain; the enemy adapts to their gameplay, but with some well organised ganks and pushing they manage to give them a truly hard time up to now. The fact that the only Scourge hero who has finished another item than Power Treads is the one who got baby-sat and supported for the better part of this game is not random. M5 have to slowly start giving the rest of their line-up some space to get their core builds going, and that's what they do between 11:00 and 15:00.
Sixteen minutes in the game and the Sentinel's tier 1 bottom tower falls. Right now, the only tier 1 towers alive are the Scourge's top and the Sentinel's mid ones. This is a very important fact, since the Sentinel might have lost the 2/3s of their initial defensive mechanisms, but their most important tower that provides the biggest amount of their map control and tp spots is still alive. This is a bad decision by M5, who seem to not have any intentions of taking it down, thus leaving the Sentinel a really safe teleporting location near to Roshan, their jungle and their ancients' positioning. The two teams trade some farm between Anti-Mage and Naga Siren, until the 17th minute mark. The Scourge decide to push their enemy's mid tower, but the defense they have to face is pretty solid, resulting in a 3-1 win for the Sentinel in the battle that followed. The Sentinel's problem is that even though they manage to turn the game around, their hardcarry dies in every single battle. ArtStyle seems unable to keep it together with his Naga Siren, being Anti-Mage's and most of the Scourge's main target. His hero is too squishy and so, dying in every single battle, he has a really hard time getting the amount of gold needed for his transactions with the shops. What we see is M5 losing a lot of their map domination and lead in the team scores but also keeping their priorities and focusing the enemy carry. Summarising PGG's deathless Dominating streak and ArtStyle's kill-less negative Dominating streak (0/4), the gold difference is more than obvious between the two carries. This way, M5 make sure that they still have the upper hand towards the late game, even though their aggressiveness is not the key in this point of the game. On the contrary, they keep getting stomped in team battles. At 19:39 within the game, the Scourge finally manages to take a big advantage away from their enemy's arsenal: They manage to take down the mid tier 1 tower with RussiaNS' Holy Knight getting the last hit and finishing off his Mekansm too. That's a huge boost to M5's teamfight potential, since not only will they be fighting without the damage caused by another tower when it comes to mid lane, but they also have one of the game's most useful items team battle-wise. Using this Mekansm they are able to almost negate the damage caused by Venomancer's Poison Nova, and on top of that, they even have Holy Knight's Ultimate. 20 minutes into the game, Anti-Mage manages to finish his Battlefury too, an item that is going to be of significant importance on the Scourge's carry's effort to get as much farm as possible for the late game. With the cleave it provides and Magina's excellent attack animation and speed, he is going to have no problem wiping out a neutral camp or a creep wave in a matter of seconds.
Statistics as off 20:00
UkraineDTS.Chatrix RussiaMoscowFive

Kills: 9 Deaths: 10 Tower Kills: 2 Best Items: Naga Siren's thumb.jpg Ancient Apparition's thumb.jpg

Kills: 11 Deaths: 10(Faerie Dragon Denied) Tower Kills: 2 Best Items: Holy Knight's thumb.jpg Batrider's and Faerie Dragon's thumb.jpg

The game is slowly turning to its final part. As one can clearly see, the Scourge has established a fair advantage, both item-wise, map control-wise and level-wise. However, their aggressiveness that was the key in the early game turned out to be a double-edged sword, but with their experience they managed to bring the game where they wanted to, even if their methodology included some hard losses in battles for their part.
The End Game

21 minutes into the game, most of the Scourge team is gathered at the Sentinel's top tier 2 tower, where they manage to pick up kills on Venomancer and Vengeful Spirit, who were left unprotected. They then proceed to push mid, a strategically correct move since in the comparison between top's and mid's tier 2 towers, the mid one is of more importance to the enemies. Unluckily for them, PGG's Anti-Mage got carried away, blinked into the enemy base to kill off a fleeing Enchantress but he failed, getting killed and forcing the whole Scourge squad back. M5 then decide to wait for their carry to respawn and when it happens, they kill off roshan with Magina nailing both the gold and the Aegis of the Immortal. After slaying Roshan, the Scourge players decide to move in a way that, like mentioned earlier in the article, can cause huge problems to their enemies: They decide to split and push, having Anti-Mage at top and the rest of their squad at bottom. On the Sentinel side, they decide to place Venomancer at top and try to take on the rest of the Scourge squad on a 4 versus 4 battle. Like mentioned before, the Sentinel's squad needs their whole 5-man power to work out, so understandably they got stomped at bottom lane while Venomancer manages to flee the Anti-Mage's initiation upon him only with a small amount of health left in his pool. Following those two battles, the Scourge finish off their enemy's tier 2 towers and get a significant gold boost. The heroes that the Scourge had sent at bottom never really left, and with PGG joining the mix, they decide to push the bottom lane, a task that seems easy especially after slaying Ancient Apparition. However, the Sentinel has yet to say its final word.

Following Ancient Apparition's buyback, ArtStyle proves once again why he is considered the most innovative captain in the DotA world: Using his Song of the Siren to sleep 5 enemy heroes, he gives the advantage to his teammates to position themselves and their spells in total perfection, a beautifully orchestrated battle by the Sentinel side that is a must watch.
The battle created 3 casualties for the Sentinel in the faces of Ancient ApparitionVengeful Spirit and Naga Siren, while for the Scourge Holy Knight lost his life and Magina his Aegis of the Immortal. Even though the casualties are 3 to 1, the Sentinel manage to keep their enemies out of their base, for the time being. The Scourge decides to slow down the pace and give some space to their heroes that have items to be completed yet, like Batrider's Heart of Tarrasque, an item that is going to allow him to tank all the damage output that the Sentinel squad may provide.


At the 31st minute mark, Enchantress and Vengeful Spirit get picked up by Magina and Batrider and the Sentinel once again decides to push the mid lane's basic structures of their enemies.

The Sentinel's anti-push is on its way to get in work once again, but the Scourge are not going to fall for the same trick twice. The minute that ArtStyle tries to move into the battle, Holy Knight and his 2 dominated Centaur Kahns disable him to the bone, getting him killed before he has enough time to use his ultimate.
With Naga is getting focused, the Sentinel now relies on the huge amounts of damage that Ice Blast and Poison Nova deal, technically enhanced by some Ice Vortexes that Ancient Apparition plants. All of this output, coupled up with Enchantress' Impetus is enough to force the Scourge out of their base, once again. 34 minutes into the game, the Scourge moves towards the Roshan pit while the Sentinel anticipate it and move to Roshan too, under the effect of Smoke of Deceit. They find Magina and Maiden in the pit, with Anti-Mage being forced to blink away and Crystal Maiden not being so lucky and getting killed off in a matter of seconds. With Roshan being left at 25% of his health points, the Sentinel decide to raid him and Naga Siren picks up the aegis. A very important move to notice in this battle is how PGG uses his illusions to burn all of the mana pool that Vengeful Spirit possesses, leaving their enemies with one disable less for the forthcoming battle...
This battle is one of the best examples of how one move by an experienced player can win a whole game: RussiaPGG's Anti-Mage who got left in the pit to fight with all of his enemies, gets ensared and heavily reigned down on. But NS' mastermind saved him, literally in the last available second, having used his Holy Persuation. With all of this action, most of the Sentinel's skills are on cooldown...
And the cavalry arrives! Faerie Dragon and Batrider join the mix to kill off and chase down whatever is left from the Sentinel side. When ArtStyle's Naga Siren gets killed off twice, M5 proceed to raid their enemies' base where after a final, not really important, battle they destroy everything they find in their path, securing mega creeps and the GG call by the Sentinel, this way finishing a generally enjoyable game.


What we've seen in this game is M5 using their common over-aggressive strategy with a fair amount of success in the very early stages of the game. However, when mid-game started approaching, the Sentinel's multi-disabling squad gave them a hard time and it was time for them to prove their versatility within the game: They had to settle for new priorities within the space that a DotA game provides. They managed to overcome every obstacle, physical or not, by re-organising their play, splitting up for small amounts of time, then regrouping only to split up again. Their tactics managed to take away their enemy's focus for a small amount of time, but when their enemies came up with another answer to their strategy, in the name of massive defensive power, they used a strategy that's called "thief-war" at the place where I come from: They started picking off enemy heroes, one by one or two by two at a time, slowly building up their advantage until they had enough raw force to overcome the exceptional AoE damage provided by the Sentinel's arsenal of skills and then out-damage and kill them off.
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Team rankings