Steak Gaming put in a tasty performance in their first official match
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syndereN and the rest of Steak Gaming put up a good fight against Vega Squadron in their first official series.
Troels ‘syndereN’ Nielsen is one of the most respected and loved figures in Dota 2. Whilst never winning The International, he has been a prominent face in the scene since its early days. He flawlessly made the transition from player to analytical caster and all-round personality. Today marked his return to professional Dota with his new team, Steak Gaming. They played in the Mars Dota 2 League against Vega Squadron, and right away, showed that they were a team to watch out for.
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Steak Gaming started their first official game on a strong note, with syndereN (on his signature Night Stalker) and Trent 'sLiCKz' Tucker (on the ever-popular Windranger) making very timeous early rotations, leading in to a gold and experience lead. Despite facing off against Doom, one of the most feared heroes of 6.85, Steak Gaming showed nothing but confidence in the early game. Vega also underestimated Steak Gaming and their team-fight execution, which proved to be nearly flawless every time. Every won fight allowed Steak to win the next fight more easily, and they took the first game 21-3 within 29 minutes.
In game two, Steak managed to pick up the hotly-contested Tusk. However, the trade-off was that Vega Squadron managed to draft a line-up that they were much more comfortable with: Andrey 'MAg-' Chipenko's Beastmaster, Vladimir 'no[o]on’e' Minenko's Ember Spirit, and Syoma 'CeMaTheSlayeR' Krivulya's Io. This time, Steak Gaming’s early rotations were a little too late, and did not come off as successfully. CeMa provided just enough sustain to force Steak Gaming to over-extend, allowing Vega Squadron to take the better trades in the early game. From their early lead, Vega controlled the tempo of the game and chose to slow it down into a farm game. Steak Gaming chose to try to farm BKBs on their cores and take a fight. Unfortunately for Steak Gaming, Vega Squadron executed the eventual fight well, pushed high-ground, and claimed their first lane of barracks. Soon after, Steak unsuccessfully attempted to take a barracks trade, with Vega Squadron claiming the bottom melee barracks without losing anything. Vega then barrelled down the top lane, won one final teamfight, and Steak Gaming GG’ed out.
Game three saw Steak return to what worked well for them in game one – syndereN Night Stalker and Undying for Ioannis 'Fogged' Loucas, looking to get up in Vega Squadron’s face early on. Steak Gaming claimed first blood, but at the cost of both bounty runes and the life of sLiCKz’s Lina. For Vega Squadron, Alexey 'Solo' Berezin on Spirit Breaker had a massive impact. Almost every charge in the early game seemed to result in a kill, be it on sLiCKz’s Lina or Adrian 'Era' Kryeziu’s Phantom Lancer. With their mid-laner and safe-lane carry dying often, Steak Gaming began to fall behind. With MAg-'s Dark Seer picking up an 11-minute Mekansm, Vega grouped up early, winning multiple fights on the back of good initiations from Spirit Breaker’s Charge and Sven’s Storm Hammer. At 20 minutes, Vega Squadron chose to initiate onto a seemingly out-of-position syndereN. However, a full-duration Death Ward from Elias 'Sealkid' Merta's Witch Doctor and Tombstone from Fogged wreaking havoc allowed Steak Gaming to get a five-man wipe.
Vega then crumbled a little, losing three successive fights and the entirety of their gold lead. Vega realized that they simply needed to back off and farm a BKB for Pavel '9pashaebashu' Khvastunov's Sven. Once this came out, they managed to wipe Steak Gaming with the surprise factor of the magic immunity, hitting Vacuum into Storm Hammer and a few strong hits with God’s Strength. This spelled the beginning of the end for Steak Gaming. The BKB charges allowed Vega to take fights more and more convincingly, as their Sven and Windranger were able to more reliably get damage onto the enemy heroes. Vega Squadron scaled better into the lategame, and were able to close out the game and the series.
Steak Gaming's roster is as follows:
So, Steak Gaming may have started with a lost series, but they showed that they are not going to be pushovers for any team. Taking a game off of one of the top teams in Europe will give them encouragement and confidence for their future games. They made Vega Squadron look shaky at times. Steak Gaming may prove to be a force to be reckoned with in 6.86. They have good individual skill and decision-making, which will set them up well for Open Qualifiers for the Shanghai Major. Right now they are still cooking. Soon they will be perfectly prepared, well-seasoned, and a treat for viewers!
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