GosuAwards 2010: Carry of the Year
The GosuGamers 2010 Carry of the Year Award
The 2010 Carry of the Year Award is an award that honours the young men who dedicate themselves to the high-pressure role of turning winning advantages into concrete victories. These are the finishers of DotA; the players that, when all the chips are down, must convert the positive play of their teammates into results.
Every observer ward a support buys, a carry must convert to gold and experience. Every inch of space a ganker creates, a carry must turn into a power differential between himself and the opposition carry. A carry hero is a "win condition" that a team invests in, and a top carry player is a player that gives the highest rate of return on the investments of his teammates.
These players most often sit at the focal point of their team's trilanes, though sometimes they can be seen playing solo in their team's safest lanes. The tell-tale traits of a strong carry player are his ability to farm consistently when under pressure, recover swiftly from major set-backs, and effectively punish his opponents for every advantage they give him.
The five players nominated here represent what GosuGamers considers to be the most efficient, reliable, and dangerous end-game specialists for the year 2010.
Burning - Burning began his tenure at EHOME in January of 2010, playing primarily side-lane carry heroes such as Medusa and Drow. He distinguished himself with his incredibly stable performances, along with his unusual versatility for a carry player. His ability to handle a wide spectrum of heroes gave EHOME an invaluable edge over their rivals, and it became a very common sight by the second half of the year to see him play solo heroes such as Shadow Fiend, Wind Runner, and Bat Rider.
There exists a "Burning mark" in DotA, which is to hit 200 creep kills by the 28 minute mark. It takes a true carry virtuoso to set a competitive mark such as this one, and Burning, with his nigh-unstoppable ability to farm, and supernatural ability to never make mistakes, is surely one of the strongest contenders for GosuGamer's Carry of the Year Award.
Zhou - The fearless leader of Nirvana.cn, and grizzled veteran from the team's cD days, there simply could not exist a Nirvana.cn without Zhou as its figurehead and spiritual leader. He is a unique player that effortlessly combines the confidence and stability of the very best natural carries with the precise micro and intelligence of the best utility players.
Of the typical carry heroes, such as Medusa and Drow, Zhou has shown himself the equal of any other player on this list; what really sets the Nv.cn carry apart is his ability to handle high skill-cap heroes like Pugna, Visage, and Morphling with unmatched prowess. And while his rival Burning is a master of ranged heroes, Zhou is a master of melee heroes such as Brood Mother, Syllabear, and Alchemist as well.
ZSMJ - Indisputably the modern face of the term "hard carry," ZSMJ has been pushing the boundaries of what this role can achieve since 2009. Truly the most virtuosic of the carry players on this list, he is unmatched in his handling of the purest carry heroes in DotA. ZSMJ's Drow Ranger, Medusa, and Phantom Lancer dominated the first half of 2010 like no other, and his expert handling of micro-intensive heroes like Storm Spirit, Puck, and Anti-Mage should not be forgotten either.
As flawed as he is brilliant, ZSMJ is the player on this list most capable of setting a farming record, going on a killing rampage, or pulling off an epic divine rapier turn-around, while simultaneously being the player on this list most likely to make a mistake in a team-fight, or lose his lane. Although he failed to reproduce the stability of his 2009 and early-2010 performances in the latter stages of the year, ZSMJ is surely still the most iconic carry in world DotA -- love him or hate him.
LightofHeaven - LightofHeaven is a living legend of DotA. He is DotA's indigo child -- arguably the first "unstoppable" carry to appear on the world stage -- he controls his hero like he was born to play the game, and as if mystically endowed with the ability to control the map and foresee future outcomes. He took a break from the carry role for a period of time, but eventually gravitated back toward it in 2010.
Mostly seen in the side solo lane, Light is as often tasked with enduring the opponent's trilane as he is tasked with farming up. He is a unique player in this category in that he does not as often play in the safe lane or handle pure carry heroes as the other nominees. Nonethless, his carry-oriented performances with Priestess of the Moon, Beast Master, Wind Runner, and his legendary auto-win NecroLighT, in addition to his memorable performances with traditional carries such as Drow and Morphling, easily secure his nomination for this award.
YamateH - Another living legend on our list. "Y-God" is a cosmic anomaly: a player that has been the best at what he does since time immemorial. Name an iconic hero for any modern carry and it's likely Yamateh was known for that hero years before.
What truly sets Yamateh apart from the other carries on the international scene is his movement on the map. He is truly the epitome of an "action" carry player -- someone who can be all over the map and still magically out-farm his opponents. He has used this unique skill to play all sorts of roaming gankers and aggressive solos to their fullest potential. And while 2010 was not a great year for Yamateh or the teams he's played on, his contributions to Nv.my's accomplishments this year are impossible to ignore.
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(co-edited by heikki and Tjernobylbarnet)
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