Alliance rout Na'Vi to claim SLTV VII Grand Final spot
Na'Vi have been looking hungry and downright dangerous in recent weeks, and it looked like it would be their show all through the Winner Bracket Finals of StarLadder Star Series VII, as they opened up the match with an impressive performance in Game 1. But the strong, solid execution and clutch plays of Alliance showed that the hibernation was well and truly over and the reigning kings of Dota were back to put on a show, even making it look easy by the end of this splendiferous series.
Matches will continue tomorrow, Saturday the 12th of October at 15:00 CEST with the match between RoX.KIS vs. Team Empire, as we will wave goodbye to the first team of this Star Series LAN Finals.
Alliance threw Na'Vi a curve ball in the first game of the series, picking themselves Zeus for the solo mid position as well as a Razor offensive trilane. However while Zeus harassment showed great potential early on, this beckoned Puppey on the Enchantress to move in for the gank, coming in between the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Towers on the enemy side of the river, claiming the first blood of the game before the 3 minute mark.
Alliance were quick to figure out what was going on however, and next time that Dendi on the Troll Warlord dove deep to bait s4's Zeus out of position, EGM on the Abaddon was there to turn the gank around, scoring the kill on the Enchantress. As Na'Vi kept on piling on the aggression on the different lanes, it all came down to the Abaddon and his ability to appear on lane in order to contest the ganks, and when he came up short, so did Alliance as a whole.
Na'Vi progressively got control of the game, with the big tipping point coming 16 minutes in as Alliance invaded the Radiant jungle looking to start a fight. While they got their wish, as the fight split up slightly neither Troll Warlord nor Lifestealer could be controlled at the same time as the Chakram of the Timbersaw caused them a huge amount of inconvenience, seeing Na'Vi take the fight 5-2, going up in kills 10-6.
Na'Vi got another big fight a few minutes later up at the Radiant top Tier 1 Tower, as again Chakram was able to turn Alliance around and split the fight up, allowing Na'Vi to pick up further kills, ending the fight 16-8.
The Razor was caught out at 21 minutes around his own bottom Tier 2, as Lifestealer and Troll were once again on the hunt. Even though AdmiralBulldog on the Nature's Prophet was able to drop a nice Sprout in order to keep them away from his carry player, there was no answer to Puppey coming up on the back end of play, throwing huge Impetus in order to help get Na'Vi another 3 kills, causing Alliance to call the 'GG'.
With Na'Vi going for an entirely oldschool Anti-Mage lineup for Game 2, it was once again on Alliance to show off a mix of oddities, drawing inspiration from various old AM counters, among them the Riki and Io as well as the Skywrath Mage support. With such a snowball lineup it was all the more fortunate for the Swedes that they managed to catch out the Rubick before the horn sounded, as they went deep into Na'Vi territory in order to ward and look for that first blood.
Respecting the power of the Riki and Io lane, Na'Vi started Funn1k's Batrider out in the jungle, freeing up the Alliance supports to make extensive use of the jungle pulling, causing both squads to play a very passive early game, until Loda on the Rikimaru started his rotations at just 8 minutes in, finding a second kill of the game on the Rubick.
It was Alliance who kept up the aggression, making it 4-0 in kills at 10 minutes in even as Loda was keeping precisely up with XBOCT's Anti-Mage in terms of creep kills, even as he had been involved in four kills. This caused Na'Vi to rotate the Anti-Mage to the bottom lane, with the rest of his team following as both squads clashed hard, with Na'Vi coming out on top 5-1, as the Ukrainians put themselves right back into the game.
Another huge clash came at 15 minutes around the mid lane, with Na'Vi finding a great initiation and picking up multiple kills, although eventually overstaying their welcome and having the fight slightly turned around on them by Loda on the back end of play, making it 10-8 for Na'Vi.
At 17 minutes Na'Vi's Batrider initiations were no longer proving to be enough, as the combination of burst damage coming out of Riki and Skywrath Mage just caused a ton of problems for them, with EGM on the Io capping off the fight by solo relocating inside the Na'Vi base in order to kill off the retreating Windrunner, putting the Swedes up 14-12.
While the Anti-Mage had had a great start, the continuous fighting against a number of counters and dying four times in the first 20 minutes, he had fallen badly behind the Rikimaru. As Loda finished up his Black King Bar, the very next fight saw Na'Vi giving up two of their lives before having to back off, unable to do anything about the magic immune blinking ball of blue death that he had become.
Moments after completing his Diffusal Blade the Rikimaru went deep into the Dire woods, looking for a pick-up on the Batrider, however with all of Na'Vi collapsing on him it became apparent that even as massive as he had gotten, he was still killable. This cause Loda to make use of the Double Damage rune he found around 28 minutes to snipe a quick Roshan, getting a second life and grouping up with his team to push down the final Tier 2 Tower, while Na'Vi had yet to take down a second Tier 1 Tower for themselves.
With Anti-Mage being caught out and with the power of Rikimaru to just jump in and destroy enemy heroes, Na'Vi were put on the back foot as Alliance started their siege of the base at around 31 minutes, still having to back off without the middle Tier 3 Tower that they wanted as their lineup just wasn't very well adept at pushing.
Alliance tried to force it once again at 33 minutes, being forced to expend the Aegis as Riki was dragged into the Na'Vi base by Funn1k's Flaming Lasso. Still as they re-engaged it was Na'Vi who got the better fight, chasing Alliance off after killing off the Io and Elder Titan. As the fight wound down it was 26-16 in favor of Alliance.
Moments later the two teams clashed close to the river, with Na'Vi getting the jump but a quick buyback and the combined power of Earth Splitter and the burst damage the Swedes had at their disposal, Alliance got the team wipe as well as the first two Barracks of the game. Backing off for a moment, as the two teams ran into each other again at 38 minutes Alliance could finally end the game, winning the fight and putting them up 35-18, causing Na'vi to call the 'GG'.
With Na'Vi again starting out with their Batrider in the jungle, Alliance pushed an early Tier 1 Tower in order to get Loda's Troll Warlord ahead early on, while Na'Vi committed their Enchantress creeps to help Dendi's Templar Assassin win the mid lane, doubling up the early game farm of the Puck along with a massive lead in terms of early denies.
Six minutes in Na'vi had rotated their supports in order to help secure the first blood on s4's Puck, but as he backed off he baited the Templar Assassin into diving in deep, only to have then Chen and Rubick turn up in order to secure the kill, helping make up for s4's rough start. Another rotation a few minutes later from Alliance scored them a second kill on the TA finally made up for the early level deficit that the Puck had suffered.
As Na'Vi kept on clashing at the mid lane great disengaging and re-engaging from EGM on the Rubick above all allowed Alliance to keep on growing their kill lead, putting them ahead 6-1 at 13 minutes, catching up and overtaking Na'Vi's early farm lead.
At 16 minutes in s4 payed back the help his team had afforded him in the early game, dropping a big Dream Coil in order to keep Na'Vi in place long enough for them to pick up a further 3 kills, with a repeat performance a few minutes later where Na'Vi's Tier 2 had formerly stood, before the Swedes rotating into the mid lane putting themselves up 5 Tower kills to 1 and 14 player kills to 2 at 19 minutes of play.
One more engagement at the bottom lane and Na'Vi dove straight into the oncoming horde of Swedish Vikings, only to be whittled away without truly getting any damage out, losing most of their lineup before calling the 'GG' at 20 minutes, with Alliance rocking it 20-2 in the end.