Post G-1 League, SGamer analysis of the four finals teams

Original: http://bbs.sgamer.com/thread-10982393-1-1.html

(Dotaland note: written by a fan on Sgamer forums, chosen by Sgamer editors as the post G-1 summary. Personally I think the writer didn’t give LGD enough credit, and was too easy on iG, but it’s decently written anyway. I translate, you readers make your own conclusions! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving weekend to those who celebrate, and happy Dreamhack to all!)

1. iG

Riding a wave of strong recent results, including a whole string of convincing victories in the group stages that left them top of their group, an easy 2-0 win over Orange in the next phase – no disrespect meant to Orange here – no one could deny that iG were the favorites in the eyes of all viewers. But yet, iG’s greatest strength turned out to be their greatest weakness too. They thought that no matter what, as long as they played well they would be able to overrun their opponents, and failed to realize that inherent problems within themselves had gradually been developing:

First of all are their team compositions, iG’s two matches against LGD as well as their last matchup with Orange fully displayed this issue. And really this is a problem that had already been seen in the online preliminaries. First off it was an iG strategy centered around Zhou-god’s Death Prophet plus two melee heroes, and the main reason behind the loss in this match was due to the fact that the melee heroes never developed well. Whenever Zhou was in trouble, the two melee heroes were unable to support him in either escaping or outputting damage, so their being present was no different from simply feeding. Next game it was against LGD’s carry-less lineup, and in the face of a strongly fed Night Stalker there was no corresponding damage output, leading to a quick defeat in the second game. And then versus Orange, with a non-carry lineup resulting in a relatively low damage lineup, added to problems in team execution, Orange successfully overcame iG’s early advantage to win.

The next issue is overconfidence. In the deciding game against Orange this was very apparent, after picks had been decided, execution was very well done at the start and they were able to quickly take both of Orange’s bottom lane towers. But then they thought that after they had acquired an advantage, they could sit back and play safely, resulting in a stagnant style of play that ultimately allowed Mushi — who was playing with sickness — to farm out key items and then rapidly turn the tide and finally leave iG to wallow in an unfamiliar losers’ position.

Conclusion: Chinese teams have always relied mainly on their technical and tactical superiority over foreign teams, but even from group stage matches such as against Orange it could be seen that the gap is small. Especially evidenced in Orange’s 4v5 teamfight win in the last match, it can be said that iG’s former advantages in laning are virtually nonexistent now, and so once the technical and tactical gap has been closed, it is completely normal to lose some.

Hopes: Even though iG this time placed last out in the offline finals, it cannot be denied that in terms of player caliber as well as overall team ability they are still top amongst Chinese teams, and they are showing very solid team understandings and teamwork in general. As long as they utilize training well, summarize experiences from losses, and get away from losses, and further develop those new heroes they’ve picked up in recent matches and hone their multi-core strategy, it won’t be hard for them to once against stand at the top of the world!

2. Orange

As the only non-Chinese team at G-1, Orange is lucky. Due to a lack of deep understanding of them, I won’t get detailed with them, and I’ll summarize this: Overall technical and tactical skills are on a lower level than Chinese teams, and any advantages gained in early laning and mid-game small teamfights is quickly worn away and lost later on to cause a loss. However, after making it to the offline finals, even though they still showed similar problems against DK, they had made noticeable improvements by the time they played iG. Their blue-collar players (aka support players) aren’t flashy, but get to work and do their roles well, their key players greatly increased their stability, even though their loss in the second game was due to missing small details.

Yet, in the third game in the match against iG, some excellent control and execution allowed the team ample time to build up and farm up, in particular the 4v5 teamfight win under a tower was pretty. In the end Mushi completed his key items, got a 3-kill in mid, and in the process led Orange to complete one of the bigger stories of this G-1 — defeating iG to allow Orange to take 3rd place overall.

3. DK

After the finals, DK’s BurNing has been under huge pressure. At first I, like the commentators and everyone else, also felt that key problems fell on B-god, but after reviewing other vods of the match, it could be said that I’ve gained a more complete understanding of everything. Before the finals this time, DK had already received widespread support and seen as the most likely to be the ones to knock iG off their horses in an inevitable joust. And DK’s performances since the group stages showed a very high level of ability, in spite of the fact that they had only played to a 1-1 draw with Orange and defeated LGD in a close 2-1. Yet, the fact remained that DK’s five players each have immense talents, and that in addition to their stable performances had garnered large amounts of confidence in DK from fans. Then why were they disposed of in the Finals by 2-0, here are my thoughts:

Teamwork: DK’s teamwork has been shown to be lacking since the group stages, and in the high-skill Finals match this was something that was even more apparent. In the first game, with an advantage from laning, the trouble came when LGD went to gank Rubick and ended up winning 4 kills for the price of 1, with the problem being DK’s players arriving at the scene one by one resulting in disjointed usage of skills that led to an inability to maximize damage potential. Perhaps people will think that this was simply due to teleport delay times, but if the players at the time had realized this earlier and teleported in an orderly fashion, LGD may not have been able to leave the fight with such an advantage. Later on at the last Roshan fight, Enigma’s Blink ult failed, which caused Sven to lack the needed environment for following up with his DPS, which resulted in everyone else having trouble following up at all… which directly led to the 1 for 2 teamfight loss there. And this was the ultimate reason DK lost mid lane completely in that game.

As for the last ten minutes of the second game, the miscommunication between B-god and two of their players, plus mis-positioning by three players in mid, these were all amongst the things that displayed DK’s problems with teamwork.

B-god: DK’s team is undoubtedly centered on B-god. Even though B-god is a very high caliber player, in this match, it can only be said that he performed okay. In various scenarios where he would usually demonstrate his value to the team, he fell short — such as going out of sync with his team after building Armlet in the first game, poor decision making of when to fight and when to farm, and inappropriate timing for entering teamfights resulting in a loss of DPS. In the second game when stumbling across enemy Luna in his own jungle, he did not decisively ult to grab the kill. And then it was not having a teleport scroll at key times; these were all things that B-god should take responsibility for, things that he should look to do better on. Even though his last-gasp steal of the Aegis was a good idea, if there had not been the problems earlier on, the last-gasp scenario then would have never happened.

Conclusion: DK’s core issue is obviously the issue of teamwork. Players not being in sync with each other, uncoordinated leadership, lack of cohesion, poor positioning, these are all the biggest taboos for teams in Dota, yet they have all manifested in the veteran team of DK! The overall drop of team performance has also in some ways limited individual player performances, so their loss in the end should not be that surprising. On the other hand they are still running with a new roster after recent changes, so a lack of teamwork and understanding can be expected as well. B-god as the team’s core lacked any outstanding plays, to the point that it could be said he was distinctly average. This can be attributed to a lack of battlefield awareness or even a drop in ability, yet the real reason is something we may not find. Lastly it is the issue of mentality, perhaps some of the team and individual problems could be due to increased pressure and expectations brought about by the LAN environment, where live fans and friends (and in Burning’s case, girlfriend) were present, so it could be useful to focus on improving tolerance for pressure in these environments for future matches!

Hopes: Teamwork and understanding is the biggest of the big issues! Only if the team can come together cohesively can the team’s overall ability be truly displayed. If B-god can successfully become a part of this team, I believe that issues such as being out of sync, bad TPs, and bad supporting can all be problems of the past! And lastly I hope all the fans and Dota lovers out there can, for the good of China’s Dota scene, give an extra bit of support for what is one of our own teams, full of our own star players, and keep a bit of the accusations and flaming back. Our Dota scene will certainly get better and better!

4. LGD

As the most low-key Chinese team in this G-1 League, it can be said that LGD has laid low, taking losses to ultimately win. Group stages, elimination stages, they repeated lost to iG and DK, leading to a face-off against iG first in the finals phase; these all piled the pressure on LGD. Yet it was just this massive pressure on LGD that finally forced them into a complete unit, a impregnable unit. First against iG, Luna’s aura showed that they were full of vitality, yet it was LGD’s own players that first gave up first blood, then second blood… causing LGD to go into pressure mode. Their captain’s timely adjustments then led the team back, step by step, from the edge of the cliff of defeat. So the match between iG and LGD became the most widely discussed and praised amongst our foreign commentators, in the first game every teamfight, gank, LGD’s execution was superhuman. Yet iG’s trademark resilience became the thing that helped this drastically changed LGD the most: when pushing the tier 2 tower at top, it was xiao8’s decisive initiate on the defiant Death Prophet before she was able to activate her ult that sealed the fates of iG and LGD in this competition.

Overall conclusions: Lack of lategame power. At the beginning of the first game versus iG, LGD’s performances were certainly exemplary, yet it was as if the entire team wore masks of madness — after every wildly successful gank there would be a period of quiet. So iG would utilize these periods to push towers, and in fact gained an economic advantage from this. In the second game this was also fairly apparent. Even though in the widespread fighting LGD took an advantage, they didn’t push this advantage more later in the game and left room for their opponents to operate. Versus DK, if the first game Enigma’s Blink ult succeeded, in the second game if that fateful ten minutes of DK fail never occurred, if two supports had retreated back to defend the high ground and Magnus never got three people in his ult… then LGD’s winning results may not have been as certain.

Player and team ability: LGD’s overall ability is probably third out of the top Chinese teams, and in reality, the performances of LGD players in this competition was above their ability level, hence superhuman for them. Xiao8’s rise after role change, Yao’s Magnus landing multiple huge crowd controls accurately, lively and dynamic support plays, and steady play from Sylar the carry. But whether all of this can continue is key to whether LGD can continue posting good results. Also, LGD’s overall depth feels to be lacking, all their activities are as an entire team, resulting in their entire team needing regen after each fight, which means they lack the ability to make things happen after each fight.

Hopes: LGD won this competition fair and square by way of excellent individual and team performances, but they still have some problems such as a lack of creativity and flexibility in individual ability and team tactics. The hope is that these things are addressed in training in the future.

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