NoTidehunter crowned new StarLadder champion

General Linus “Tjernobylbarnet” Staaf

NoTidehunter conquers the fifth season of StarLadder. It is the first season where Natus Vincere was not part of the final four.

The Swedes in NoTidehunter, after dominating the season, only losing map during the entire round robin, now rounds the whole event off by taking the gold. Fnatic manages to extend the final series to a fifth game but in the end it is NoTidehunter that comes out on top. They prove that they are a powerhouse to count on, both online as well as offline.

StarLadder Star Series - season 5
1st - $8000 - Sweden NoTidehunter
2nd - $4000 - Europe Fnatic
3rd - $2000 - Russia
4th - $1000 - Russia Team Empire

NoTidehunter vs Fnatic


Game 1

Game 1 was won by NoTidehunter by default because of Winner Bracket advantage.

Game 2

N0tail is seen once again playing mid lane puck whereas H4nn1 handles the support Shaker. Teams like to have fun picking the Treant recently and this time NoTidehunter is the team to do it and Loda the player to play it. He is normally their carry player but with Bulldog sent to the safe lane with his favourite hero, the carry role is filled already. NoTide contests the trilane top and gets the better start despite N0tail having a good time mid. NoTidehunter were forcing more and more, eventually destroying the tier 3 tower top, but an amazing Echo Slam by H4nn1 and a great follow up by Era wipes the entire Nth squad. Fnatic proceeds to take down Roshan afterwards.

H4nn1's well placed Echo Slam, Eclipse to follow

About ten minutes later a similiar fight happens over at Fnatic's top barracks. With the help of several buybacks, Fnatic manages to defend since Bulldog gets focused and kill. Without him Nth can't stand their ground. Notidehunter tries the same thing once again and the same thing happens once again. The game is basically pouring out of Nth's hands and Fnatic is making a comeback with a couple of well executed fights in their own base. Fnatic goes on the offensive after that and wins the clashes outside their base now too with the experience and gold they got from Nth's unsuccessful pushes. The heroes of NoTidehunter keeps dropping like flies and Fnatic claims game 1.

Game 3

Fnatic gets their dual roam combination of Lina + Bane as was seen in their previous match vs VP. But it is time for the old school carry. It is time for the Spectre. Fnatic doesn't manage to get their roaming going, s4 stands his ground mid avoiding ganks and winning the lane. Meanwhile Loda goes for the Radiance rush. NoTidehunter once again with the early advantage, but after a few skirmishes with a bit of luck aswell as fine timing by N0tail and Trixi, Fnatic regains some ground. However, a rather ill placed Fiends Grip by H4nn1 forces Fnatic to take an awkward fight resulting in Loda getting a few kills.

The game is still alive though, Gyro with Black King Bar counters the Dispersion and Radiance from Spectre and a few clumsy moves from Nth (such as Loda getting stuck in Trees during a fight) causes Fnatic to get a couple of kills. However, it appears more and more appearant that this still is NoTidehunter's game to lose. Some poor play by N0tail, over-aggressive teleports by Trixi and great hooks by Bulldog allows NoTidehunter to take down mid barracks followed by killing both Era and Trixi again. Fnatic tries to defend one more time but fails to do so and NoTidehunter takes the lead 2-1.

Game 4

Fnatic goes for the sort of reliable one-man-army known as the Phantom Lancer. NoTidehunter has a history of responding to this hero, usually by heroes capable of pushing before Lancer gets out of hand. This time they go with the Shadow Shaman and Lycanthrope. Despite the early picks by Nth, Fnatic gets pushes done quicker and kills more heroes. The stable laning phase is just what Fnatic needs to be able to ensure that coming fights will go their way since NoTidehunters line-up are having a hard time in a head-on team fight. Nth's hope is to try to trade towers and split push and avoid bigger fights.

The game mostly dictates what is every game with Phantom Lancer, after a while it just becomes impossible to face him straight up. Especially for a line-up such as NoTidehunter's who lack proper damage output and synergy in team fights. Fnatic played well throughout the whole game, controlling the map with Beastmaster and Gem while finding farm for both Phantom Lancer and Lone Druid. NoTidehunter keeps trying to split push, even after losing barracks, but they get punished for it and eventually their throne falls. The final is now tied at 2-2.

Game 5

N0tail is back to playing Puck and Bulldog back to playing the Druid. NoTidehunter is the team to get the better rotations this game, Loda getting a big chunk of farm top. Fnatic tries early to shut down s4 but he manages to survive and with teleport support from Loda turns the fight around. After that s4 gets into his signature play of creating scenarios and kills all over the map and Fnatic are struggling with keeping him locked down. NoTidehunter are playing a very focused pressure-heavy game and Fnatic are having troubles dealing with it, eventually they lose the mid-melee barracks at minute 25.

The game continues in the same manner, seemingly lost already for Fnatic. NoTidehunter doesn't give them any chance to get back into the game, keeps the up the aggression, picking of Era a few times, really crippling his farm. NoTidehunter forces into the base and Fnatic admits defeat. The champion is crowned.

All the Star Series games were broadcasted live by TobiWan and Sheever. The Russian stream was provided by StarLadderTV with v1lat and CaspeRRR and mtrx4u.

Check link for brackets, VODs and full standings
Linus “Tjernobylbarnet” Staaf
<p>Linus Staaf - former operations manager at GosuGamers.&nbsp;Started following eSports in 2009, responsible for the GGnet database 2009-2015. Film and music enthusiast and a firm believer that longer songs are better. Always finish&nbsp;what I sta - follow @Tjernobylbarnet</p>