The Boston Major: Team NP send EHOME home
image courtesy of PGL
The crowd favourite Canadians proved themselves once again, eliminating Chinese powerhouse EHOME from the Boston Major on day two of the event.
In game one, Team NP faltered as the Chinese powerhouse cleanly executed a textbook victory. NP drafted a fairly heavy physical damage lineup, but EHOME, as if psychic, countered first with a first pick Omniknight. Unphased by the pick, NP decided to pick up the Juggernaut as well as a Weaver: both great diffusal blade carriers. To complement their Omniknight further, EHOME picked up a Bane, and rounded it off with a Lycan for Sylar for some great pushing power.
The early game and laning stage was relatively quiet for both teams. First blood finally occured at four minutes via a great rotation by Yang Wei 'eLeVen' Batrider's onto Airf 'MSS' Anwar's BM, caught a little far out without a TP. Old11's Batrider proved crucial in the later stages, with his very early Blink Dagger, picking the item up at just under seven minutes in. After Old11’s rotation, NP looked to answer back, and the Canadian squad found Jia Jun 'Sylar' Liu's Lycan out of position via a smoke. NP transitioned to push the middle tier one, but EHOME quickly responded and took the Jacky 'EternalEnvy' Mao’s Juggernaut, along with the middle tier one. Once again, the game settled into relative passivity, with both teams farming.
The middle and later stages saw a bit more action, as EHOME made use of Old11’s Blink Dagger nicely. With pressure from the Batrider and his follow up, Sylar was free to push towers and farm while NP were forced to stay relatively cautious. EHOME found MSS at around 17 minutes, and took the tier two tower shortly after, NP still too weak to deal with the tanky frontline and great mobility of EHOME’s lineup. From there, NP found a number of initiations onto the Chinese squad, but there simply wasn’t enough damage to take down anyone from the EHOME side. EHOME methodically pushed down objectives and sealed game one in just under 30 minutes, leaving NP to reconsider their draft for game two.
NP looked much better in game two, going back to a more comfortable draft with their highly successful Warlock and Mirana combo, along with Luna for some heavy magical damage. EHOME decided to try and play the vision game for game two, picking up both a Night Stalker and Slark along with a repeat Omniknight.
Early game started much the same as game two. Both teams were relatively passive, farming up for their mid game aggression. NP decided to contest Zhiyong 'oldchicken' Wang's Slark heavily in the offlane with a dual lane, but pressure on Curtis 'Aui_2000' Ling's safelane at around seven minutes forced NP to rotate a number of heroes to alleviate his situation. At around ten minutes, NP smoked up and baited an Invis’ed Sylar top lane, finding the third kill of the game. NP transitioned to pressure the tier one top, and EHOME responded with a smoke to try and catch some of the NP squad. Unfortunately, NP scouted out the smoke with some great ward placement, and only lost Aui in their retreat. Envy was lost shortly after, getting caught out in the river. With levels on Night Stalker and Slark, the NP map started to look quite dark going into the middle stage.
As the game transitioned into its final stages, both teams maneuvered around each other, looking for a fight, EHOME very wary of the teamfight and AoE power of NP’s lineup. NP found their fight at 17 minutes, catching out the Slark again with great vision and ward placement. Despite EHOME’s advantage in night vision, time and time again, the Chinese squad’s smokes were scouted out by great hawk placement from MSS’s BM: the NP supports truly proving to be the MVP’s of the game with their constant warding. Much like EHOME did in game one, NP simply five manned with their strong team fight, and pushed down objectives methodically and cleanly. NP tied up the match with a great engagement on EHOME’s bottom highground at around the 30 minute mark.
Capitalizing off their success in game two, NP went with their Mirana and Warlock combo once again. EHOME followed a similar thread, going for some equally scary teamfight in the classic Luna and Shadow Demon combo augmented by a Dark Seer. However, NP slipped through Aui’s Naga Siren, adding more to their own teamfight potential. NP finished off with a Disruptor and Sand King, going for the full on Wombo Combo. EHOME responded with an Enchantress pick, making for some scary potential early aggression.
The name of the early game was EternalEnvy. All eyes were on him as he continually made play after play. Of course, it wouldn’t be EE if he didn’t miss a point blank arrow on a ranged creep right after sniping EHOME’s courier. Much of NP’s pressure was focused on Sylar’s Luna in the bottom lane, hoping to stifle his early game enough for Aui to get well ahead. EHOME responded, and sent heroes to the bottom part of the map, leaving Aui with free farm for almost 14 minutes: farm he used well, picking up his Radiance in just over sixteen minutes.
At 17 minutes, EHOME felt the first taste of NP’s wombo combo, as Old Chicken and Garder caught Aui in the jungle. Aui turned it around with a Song of the Siren and with the rest of NP squad behind him, Old Chicken and Garder evaporated in an instant. With NP’s cooldowns spent, EHOME decided to try and sneak a Roshan but again, the wombo combo proved too strong as a Fatal Bonds and Starstorm decimated the EHOME lineup, wiping them entirely and giving NP a free Roshan. With Aui so far ahead in farm, and NP continually finding favourable engagements, EHOME were hemmed in their base, unable to move past the onslaught of Naga illusions despite their own SD and Luna illusions. Team NP stayed patient and simply engaged with their big cooldowns and finally sealed EHOME’s ticket home at around 33 minutes with a huge initiation from Aui and Theeban 'Rose' Siva once again.