Na`Vi claim their fifth StarLadder championship through commanding performance
Na`Vi were in for a daunting task as they entered into the Grand Finals of StarLadder Star Series VII one game down, but from the very first game of this epic series it was clear that they were here to win, taking shockingly fast win in order to tie the series and then continued on with strong performances, rarely looking out of their comfort zone as they finally got their revenge against Alliance on LAN, bringing the championship back to Ukraine for a fifth time.
|Star Series VII Prize Distribution|
|3rd place||Team Empire||$3,000|
Na`Vi got off to a great start as Puppey on the Crystal Maiden rotated in with a lucky invisibility rune to help find a kill on the Troll Warlord during the first minute of play. This signaled a surprising vigor coming out of Na`Vi in the early portion of the game, as they used their supports to actively look for ganks, disrupting Alliance's laning even with what at first had looked like a very greedy lineup.
While Na`Vi had a lot of momentum going, things came to a head at 12 minutes in, as Na`Vi crashed into Alliance with full force in the mid lane, taking a 4-0 fight using Earth Splitter and Sanity's Eclipse into Freezing Field in order to demolish all opposition.
By 16 minutes in Na`Vi were going for a Roshan, with the enemy Nature's Prophet having been killed moments earlier, when suddenly but not unexpectedly Alliance called the 'GG', realizing that they were too far behind, with Na`Vi finishing the game 11-2 in kills.
Alliance sent their Earthshaker to the offlane in order to do the ancient pull, which was warded up by Na`Vi early on, but eventually giving it up, as they chose to rotate in towards the mid with the Ursa and Io in order to try and dive the retreating Elder Titan at 3 minutes of play, only to have EGM on the Earthshaker show up and throw a great Fissure, finding the first blood of the game on the Io.
The lack of creeps being allowed into the Radiant safelane caused XBOCT on the Ursa to move into the jungle after a while, trying to supplement his income as best he could. This allowed Loda on the Troll Warlord to get ahead of his counterpart.
At 13 minutes in a huge fight broke out around the mid lane and Roshan pit which went back and forth for minutes, as Na`Vi kept on re-engaging into Alliance in order to try and prevent them from picking off Roshan. In the end Na`Vi came out the worse for it, giving up 6 kills for claiming 2 and having to concede the Aegis to Loda, as Alliance lead 9-4 in total kills.
But Na`Vi weren't done fighting, as they engaged again minutes later, taking 3 kills at mid lane before trying to back off, only to give up three kills in return. Still, due to the power of Track, this fight helped them inch their way back, further aided a short while later by their use of Bounty Hunter to scout out kills for the Io and Ursa relocating ganktrain, helping them find a kill on the Elder Titan at 17 minutes in.
Things started tipping at around 21 minutes in, as XBOCT had his Black King Bar finished and used it to great effect, going on a rampage at middle lane as Na`Vi take the fight 5-2. Even though Alliance were still ahead in kills 16-13, both gold and experience swung 2,000 points into Na`Vi's favour, as they took control of the mid portion of the game.
At 26 minutes Na`Vi engaged up the hill into the Dire Ancients area, with Dendi on the Batrider blinking in at the same time as the Ursa and Io relocated on top of Alliance. Again XBOCT, now with a Force Staff for greater mobility, is just unstoppable, demolishing the opposition and even finding time to pick up an Aegis in between bouts of fighting, as Na`Vi come out on top with the total kills now reading 22-20.
Again Dendi providing the initiation at 30 minutes, jumping in to Flaming Lasso and drawing the fire so that when XBOCT followed it up the Alliance defensive line just broke, giving up four kills and only finding one in return, even as XBOCT dove deep into the Alliance base hunting for kills.
Alliance tried to take a fight on their terms a few minutes later on Na`Vi's side of the map, finding a decent initiation on the Doom only to have Na`Vi show up and turn the fight against them 3-1. By this point the game was all but over, as Na`Vi were ahead a massive 25,000 gold and experience.
At 35 minutes the Ukrainians finally took care of formalities as went up the high ground and finally claimed the first Barracks of the game along with further kills, eventually causing Alliance to call the 'GG'. Man of the match XBOCT ends the game on 16/2/7.
Na`Vi went for the aggressive trilane with Doom, Crystal Maiden and Io, which payed off straight off the bat as they managed to use a invisibility rune in order to pick off the Windrunner during the first minute of play.
Things started looking up for Alliance as s4 on the Elder Titan was able to use his Astral Spirit in order to force the Clinkz off the top lane, as AdmiralBulldog on the Nature's Prophet was already ahead in terms of last hits. As Loda on the Lifestealer also killed off the Io second later, and then Alliance managed to turn a deep dive by the Doom into a counter kill, Alliance looked to have the momentum and be a lot more proactive than they had been in previous games.
At 9 minutes in Alliance invaded the Na`Vi jungle, finding a kill on Troll Warlord, Doom and Io in quick succession, and taking out the Clinkz as they returned back to their own side, making it 8-2 in their favor.
At 12 minutes in Alliance was again deep inside the Dire jungle looking for kills, but this time Na`Vi were prepared for them, collapsing on them from two sides and finding 3 kills at the price of losing the Io, only to have Loda show up and help make it a 3-3 fight before backing off.
At 14 minutes in Alliance were able to find not just another kill on the Doom, but also taking out the Na`Vi courier just as it was about to deliver the Vladimir's Offering. Still a few minutes later Na`Vi were able to find some advantage, as Alliance dove into them again at 17 minutes, giving up the Lifestealer and Nature's Prophet for the Doom and Crystal Maiden.
While Na`Vi were doing a bit better, things turned around again at 23 minutes, as Alliance were able to split them up and hunt them down, taking out 3 heroes for no cost and then heading in through the mid lane and claiming the Melee Barracks before Na`Vi were able to react, only to give up a further kill to the Nature's Prophet and seeing Alliance return to pick off the rest of the mid Barracks.
A few minutes later Alliance chased down a further 3 kills at the mid lane, opening it up for them to go pick up the Roshan kill and give Loda the Aegis, before backing off. As they regrouped at the bottom lane with Loda leading the way, Na`Vi managed to get the Orchid of Malevolence off on him and take out the Aegis, only to have him pop back up and go to town, drive Na`Vi back as Alliance took the fight 4-0, forcing out the 'GG' at 29 minutes, as Alliance lead the way 29-10 in kills.
For the final game of the series, Alliance went for the offensive trilane with Juggernaut, Io and Keeper of the Light, trying to deny the Na`Vi Spectre some farm. Meanwhile Na`Vi decided to play the Elder Titan as a support again along with the Crystal Maiden, making for strong harassment, keeping Alliance on their toes.
It took 6 minutes for the first blood to come out, as Puppey on the Crystal Maiden found a Double Damage rune and rotated in towards mid, helping to find the gank on the Storm Spirit, swinging the lane further in the favor of Dendi on the Batrider, who had already been coming out ahead. This meant that Na`Vi were winning both solo lanes fairly decisively, as the Timbersaw against Nature's Prophet match-up was also working out great for them.
It took until 10 minutes for another kill to come onto the board, as Loda hit level 6 and used his Omnislash in order to find a kill on the Elder Titan. This seemed to limber up both sides, as Na`Vi went for a gank up on the top lane, using Spectre Haunt to take out the Io, only to have Storm Spirit with a Double Damage rune turn things around, as the fight went 2-1 Alliance way.
Both sides were finding pick-off's over the next few minutes, keeping the kills even. This favored Alliance however as they had been slightly behind and were now able to even things out, with their ability to go between kills and farming at a moments notice, as well as finding a few tower kills while Na`Vi were staying squarely on their side of the river.
At 19 minutes in Alliance dove deep in to get a kill on the Spectre, only to have the entire Na`Vi squad show up and turn it around with the Freezing Field and the power of Elder Titan, as the fight went 5-2 in theit favour including as well as s4 buying back without finding any kills ont he back end, leaving Na`Vi ahead 12-9 in kills.
A fight broke out again at around 22 minutes at the Roshan pit where Na`Vi came out ahead, fiding 3 kills while the Nature's Prophet and Storm Spirit were splitpushing the top Tier 2 Towers, only to have Na`Vi rush in with Dust of Appearance and pick off the retreating Nature's Prophet, putting them up 18-10, far ahead on experience even as Alliance were doing slightly better in terms of net worth.
Alliance tried to sneak the Roshan again at 25 minutes, only to have Dendi on the Batrider come jumping in and snatch the Aegis from infront of them, losing his life in the process but coming back up, helping Na`Vi come out on top of yet another teamfight, 4-1, before they moved up to the lane, finding themselves their second Tier 2 Tower of the game.
At 29 minutes Na`Vi lineup up on the bottom lane, looking to push the final lane of Towers. Knowing they needed to do something, Alliance jumped in with the Juggernaut at the head. But the damage just wasn't there, as Na`Vi lived through it and took four more kills before pushing down Alliances last outer towers.
Alliance were quickly losing ground and fights just weren't going their way, which caused them to fall into a stalling and split pushing pattern, trying to keep Na`Vi reacting to them and giving the Nature's Prophet the space needed to push out the lanes. Still as they were doing so the Spectre was getting dangerously farmed, to the point where he was slowly becoming an unstoppable force.
At 35 minutes Na`Vi found an opening, picking off the Keeper of the Light trying to push out the mid lane as well as getting the kill on the Courier which was bringing out the Mekansm. This was followed up by an Aegis on XBOCT, who had also just finished off his Butterfly on top of the Sange & Yasha and Blade Mail, making for a very tanky frontline carry indeed.
Minutes later Na`Vi pushed up the high ground at mid, taking out the Tier 3 Tower before backing off. The big opening comes as Nature's Prophet is split pushing at bottom lane and gets found out by Na`Vi and killed off, being forced to buy back. Alliance engage into the fight but Na`Vi are too strong, taking a further 3 kills and allowing them to push in at mid lane, find a further kills on Storm Spirit before XBOCT's Aegis pops. Na`Vi finish cleaning up the mid Barracks before rotating to the bottom lane and in between teamwiping the Swedes yet again, they chip away at the Barracks where until finally even the world champions have to concede that they have been beaten at 40 minutes into the final game, final kill score 40-15.