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VG.J advance into the grand finals at SL i-League StarSeries S3

Dota 2 Daniela “Danielle.” Antofe


picture courtesy of StarLadder

The battle for a spot in the StarLadder i-League Season 3 Grand Final has just ended and VG.J gets a shot at the title.

A fierce battle for a spot in the Grand Final took place between OG and VG.J - two very strong teams that wanted to prove their strength and get a shot at the StarLadder i-League Season 3 title. You can find what happened in this incredible series below.

Game one

The game started well for VG.J who got the first blood by killing Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson's Centaur and then quickly after, Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka's Pudge. However, OG quickly responded with kills of their own. Sun ‘Agressif’ Zheng’s Slark died twice in a short space of time. Fan ‘rOtk’ Bai’s Underlord and Liu ‘Freeze’ Chang’s Invoker also died two times each in the first 12 minutes of the game. Overall, the end of the laning phase saw OG take a significant lead in kills and net worth, with their mid Alchemist and their Juggernaut being the highest net worth heroes at the 14-minute mark. Throughout the first part of the game, JerAx kept making very strong moves around the map, hooking enemies, finding kills and creating space for his team. As a result, the Alchemist quickly got out of control, having a 15K net worth at the 18-minute mark – more than VG.J’s mid and carry combined!

With a big lead in gold and an Aegis on their Alchemist, OG pressed their advantage and continued to take objectives. And even though VG.J managed to catch Anathan ‘ana’ Pham on his own and kill him twice, this small victory didn’t make much of a difference. By minute 28, OG had secured a second Roshan and had taken all of Radiant’s outer towers.

OG’s push into the enemy base came at the 34-minute mark. They only took a tier 3 tower and then decided to retreat. However, just several minutes later, after a pickoff on Invoker, they returned and took the top melee barracks and the mid tower. With a third Roshan secured, they pushed high ground again and forced out the “gg” in just a few more minutes.

Game two

For game two OG started the draft by securing a Slardar for s4 and then an Earth Spirit for JerAx, while VG.J began with an explosive combo: Magnus and Juggernaut. Rubick, Storm Spirit and Undying for VG.J, and Invoker, Sven and Oracle for OG completed the draft.

Just like in game one, VG.J had a great start by killing OG’s safe lane using an aggressive offlane trio. As a result, Johan 'N0tail' Sundstein switched lanes hoping that he could farm better. But VG.J’s supports simply went after him, continuing to ruin his farm and getting one more kill, this time on s4’s Slardar. A kill on Lin Sen ‘fy’ Xu’s Magnus and another one on rOtk’s Undying helped OG recover a little bit from their disastrous start, but overall VG.J’s early game was far better.

Around the 12 minute mark, a big fight broke out around the Roshan pit. OG lost three heroes in the clash and had to give up the Aegis as a result. Throughout the early-mid game, OG had to do more with less, being behind in net worth and having an under farmed Sven. But thanks to their amazing team play, they succeeded at making a great comeback. First by getting kills on Freeze’s Storm Spirit, slowing down his item progression, and then, around the 20-minute mark, by decisively winning a big team fight thanks to a series of perfectly timed armlet toggles by N0tail’s Sven.

After managing to trick their opponents, OG secured the second Roshan of the game and went on the offensive, trying to destroy enemy towers. But, as they prepared to siege VG.J’s mid lane tier one tower, a fight broke out which they lost after 3 of their heroes got caught in a beautiful RP.

Around the 35 minute mark, the two teams’ net worth was almost the same and everyone was waiting for the third Roshan of the game. OG secured the Aegis for Ana’s Invoker but lost the subsequent fight near the Rosh pit and had to retreat with their remaining heroes, leaving the Cheese behind.

The late game fights were spectacular, going back and forth, but ultimately VG.J got the upper hand. A Refresher on Magnus and the RPs he managed to get with it, combined with a Sheepstick on Storm Spirit and a Butterfly on Juggernaut proved to be too much to handle for Tal 'Fly' Aizik’s team, who had to admit defeat.

Game three

For the third game in a row, OG banned the Nyx Assassin while VG.J banned the Lone Druid. Overall, both teams picked pretty standard hero compositions. However, OG surprised everyone with a Gyrocopter pick while VG.J incorporated a Naga Siren into their draft.

Unlike the first two games, this one started better for OG as they secured the first blood for N0tail’s Gyrocopter. During the first part of the game, the two teams went head to head in net worth, trading farm and kills. Around the 15 minute mark, OG went for Roshan but didn’t manage to kill it fast enough to avoid a big fight around the pit. They got the Aegis but lost the subsequent fight badly, getting almost team wiped. 

During the next stage of the game, OG kept trying to be aggressive and put pressure on VG.J’s Naga Siren in order to keep it under control. But the Chinese team defended very well and punished every attempt made by the Europeans to invade their jungle and take away their farm.

25 minutes into the game OG went for a desperate move, trying to kill Roshan before their opponents could notice. But unfortunately they were caught, and in the prolonged fight that followed they lost most of their team and the Aegis on top of it.
With the advantage clearly on their side (10K in gold and around 13K in experience), VG.J pushed high ground at the 28-minute mark. However, their first attempt at breaking the enemy base failed, even though they had managed to kill the Gyrocopter and were fighting 5 vs 4. The game continued with the Chinese team winning fights, extending their lead but not destroying any important structures from OG’s base. This state of affairs didn’t last long however and less than 10 minutes after their first attempt at ending the game, VG.J returned to finish the job. This time there was no way to stop them.

And so, to many people’s surprise, OG missed the opportunity to participate in yet another LAN event Grand Finals while VG.J have the incredible chance of being crowned the StarLadder i-League Season 3 champions in front of their home crowd. The question is: can they do it?

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Daniela “Danielle.” Antofe
Young girl with bad habits. Stalk me on Twitter @DintziBelle

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