Sgamer TI2 player evaluations: Carry position

Note that this is actually an ‘editor’s choice’ from Sgamer, using an original forum post made by a forum regular. Nonetheless, the actual forum post has had a lot of attention, and it is the post that Sgamer chose to put on their front page for rankings of CHINESE TI2 performances. This first installment is a lengthy evaluation of CHINESE carries at TI2, with other positions to come in the next few days.

(note: I neglected to add that this is focused on Chinese players, hence an overall lack of any foreign players making the list)


Before Seattle, the teams I thought most likely to win it all were LGD, DK, iG, and Zenith. And this post will focus more on the three Chinese teams.

Best 1 position:

Really, I don’t have too much to say about the 1 spot, all three carries on the big Chinese teams did very well, all showing that they’re significantly better than other carries from China. So it’s really not necessary to rank them between each other.

1. Sylar (signature hero at TI2: Morphling)

So the carry rankings are not by who did better or worse, nor is it by alphabetical/name order. I put Sylar in first because I think Sylar is handsome (that’s enough…). Sylar’s performances I’m sure everyone saw, scarily consistent and efficient. This is probably why Sylar is also known as Little Burning. Currently Sylar is easily ranked in the same tier as Zhou and Burning.

If we had to look at what separates Sylar from Burning and Zhou right now, it is Sylar’s Morphling. Sylar’s Morphling in mid is exceptionally powerful, it reminds me of back when Burning’s Weaver went up against Pugna and completely stomped. Sylar’s item choices were very flexible and intelligent, and changed depending on the context. He has the skills needed of a carry, and excellent solo abilities, which makes him a fearsome player.

So, really, he’s great in lane, efficient and consistent in farming, great game sense to avoid ganks, and isn’t afraid to step it up when needed. All this is just so similar to Burning… Sylar failed to capture the championship, but I want to say to him and LGD, you all have done great already, and you came so close. Of course there will be regrets, but you’re still young, add oil! Fans of LGD are very fortunate!

2. Burning (signature hero at TI2: Anti-mage)

Yep, you guys should have realized by now, Burning ranked second is because Burning is also very handsome. But not as handsome as Sylar. Don’t question my sense of aesthetic. Burning’s earlier performances this before coming to Seattle, in honesty, left me disappointed. Weaver and Lone Druid, heroes he is very good with, ended up not being the highlights that we expected, leaving us to wonder whether Burning had gotten old and past his time. But TI2 gave him the chance to redeem himself, and he did. The title of best carry in the universe is certainly high praise, but it’s difficult to choose between the three big carries.

Burning now perhaps lacks the ferocity in laning of last year. But consistency and efficiency in farming continues to be a strength of his that perhaps even Zhou and Sylar aren’t quite equal to.

His best game is, of course, that game where his Anti-mage got impossibly fat. 2009 in his commentary incessantly exulted Burning’s farm ability, the aggressiveness in his offense, his sense in dodging ganks, the speed at which he filled out his item builds, the skill with which he switched his power treads. This, damn it, is true use of power treads switching.

And really, in that game the biggest highlight was his last hitting. Maybe you’ll say, as a top Chinese carry, it should be expected that he never misses a last hit, what is there to say about this? But during his laning that game, it wasn’t just last hitting for himself, but also his denying. The Dark Seer on the other side put shells on creeps for 10 minutes; hoping to at least get some gold if he couldn’t get any experience. But when Burning finished his Battlefury, what was the Dark Seer’s creep score? 6. Yes, just 6. Everything had been denied by Burning… if I were training on my own with Anti-mage I could also get all the last hits, but wouldn’t dream of making all the denies, pretty much I could keep the creep line stable. So against Dark Seer to achieve what Burning did, forget about amateurs like us, it might be that even Sylar and Zhou couldn’t keep up.

As for retirement or not, really, I can support either. But I do hope Burning continues bringing us legendary performances. Xu Zhilei (Burning’s name), I hope you haven’t GGed yet!

3. Zhou (signature hero at TI2: Lone Druid, Broodmother… and I just won’t mention Luna!!)

You all should understand why Zhou is third here… (joke about not being as handsome?) In winning the championship this time, Zhou finally broke his forever runner up curse, and in doing so instantly became the magnet for immense praise here at Sgamer. But if you’re saying Zhou completely outclassed Burning and Sylar, then it’s going too far with praise. However, Zhou is definitely a top top top tier carry, this is no exaggeration. Sometimes it seems like he’s playing a 4 position, that’s because then he’s a decoy. Just like 2009 back then, often countered out of the game, and when the opponent gleefully looks up at their achievement, what they saw was an unimaginably farmed ZSMJ.

Zhou is very all-around, in the three big carries, Zhou played the biggest variety of heroes in Seattle. From the traditional Chinese heroes Lone Druid and Morphling, to his excellent Broodmother pressure, even his carry Leshrac. Luna I don’t really want to recognize… I still believe that Luna is bad… a perfect win rate is a pretty thing, the first time that perfect rate is broken is when you fall the hardest… a system with Luna is a system where you play from behind, when instead you could’ve stomped from the beginning.

Zhou is very strong in the face of pressure. In the hard lane solo with his Lone Druid, who can manage it? … In pubs I can manage… but in competitive matches, every strategy is going to pressure, in this situation, could Sylar manage, could Burning do it? I think apart from Zhou, no one else could do it.

Of course, the biggest point about Zhou is his aggressiveness in participating in early fights. Against DK, his mid Morphling was seen at top and bottom lanes ganking all over the place. Ignoring for now whether that is always the best choice, I think anyone that watched that match was at the least moved by the action. That game was lost when they put three weak heroes in the hard lane, causing YYF’s Chaos Knight to have no growth, lacking a BKB he can do little. But that game, Zhou did amazingly. As an aside, back when PIS was still playing, Zhou was the only one who formed an understanding in game with PIS. PIS tended towards farming, Zhou tended towards killing. PIS and Zhou’s team NV was really strong back then.

Lastly I want to talk about Zhou’s Lone Druid. Watching iG’s matches, whenever Zhou got Lone Druid, I felt that the match was more than halfway won already. This year, Zhou’s Lone Druid has been exceptionally strong. In reality, Zhou’s Lone Druid in early to mid game, compared to Sylar or Burning, isn’t anything special. Usually Lone Druid’s build is to AFK farm until Radiance, and then push towers down for more big items, and then after the big items push the high ground (as for Zhou’s Maelstrom Lone Druid, I really didn’t like it, was that all just for an homage to 2009?) Zhou’s Lone Druid, in my opinion, is strongest in late game.

Zhou on Lone Druid is never afraid to delay until late game, perhaps many people who aren’t Zhou fans don’t remember his 12 item Lone Druid, Sylla and the Spirit Bear both with Skull Bashers, that was truly a sight to behold. Many people, many commentators believe that as the game goes into late game, Lond Druid gradually loses his power. But Zhou’s Lone Druid, definitely not so.

4. Hao (signature hero at TI2: Anti-mage)

You say Hao is handsome? Stop messing around, Hao is what we call pretty. Miss Hao, oh Miss Hao, when will you become a bit more consistent. Still remember your promise that if you didn’t win, you’d cut your hand off? What pride. Remember when you came back to the pro scene, you said as long as you get Spectre, you would win? And then Sgamer’s comments were full of doubt and jeering, but then you really took Spectre, and then you really won. What force.

Miss Hao’s feeding has become something of a connoisseur’s topic. What is Miss Hao’s rhythm? Doesn’t buy items when he’s got gold, buys back when ganked. “I just don’t like waiting to respawn,” Hao says.

Team XFY’s former players I all quite like. But Team XFY’s former players generally are all this kind of inconsistent/unpredictable type. Miss Hao has the ability of the three big carries, but always loses his way to glory because of impulsiveness.

What I want to say to Hao is the same as that I want to say to TongFu, a team based on nerves and emotions, perhaps no one wants to face because they’re so unpredictable. But at the same time, this unpredictability makes it that much harder to ever win a championship. Between LGD, DK, and iG, iG is known as the most flexible, and everyone says they’re fierce, not emotional, because they know how to play steadily.

If TongFu has no internal issues, then I hope the team continues to improve. To this day I am frustrated at TongFu for their GG in a winning match, but I still wish you stability, and a rise to success.

Coming next… Sgamer evaluations of 2, 3, 4, and 5 positions at TI2

3 thoughts on “Sgamer TI2 player evaluations: Carry position

  1. Can’t tell if the tone of voice, but it really does seem like they’re mocking poor Hao lol. Imo, very nice analysis…but I feel like Burning’s carry was on a slightly higher level simply because his team did not play as well as iG and LGD (hard to do 4 protect 1 when your 4 is constantly getting wiped). Zhou seemed like the most far off from the traditional hard farm carry and I still feel like he was completely underwhelming in the last few games of the tournament…Looking forward to seeing the other evaluations, especially who they considered best mid (imo Dendi or Ferrari are the only real contenders).

  2. Pingback: Sgamer TI2 player evaluations: #2 position « Dota 2 CN — Dotaland!

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