Kyle: «9pasha is actually the most important core»
While The Chongqing Major playoffs stage Kyle Freedman found the time to spoke with StarLadder. He made the analysis of the first upper bracket matchups and shared his recipe on how to beat VP.
Let’s talk about the first matches of the playoffs and start with Secret vs Liquid. What can you say about that match?
The stand-in factor definitely affects Liquid and Shadow was also very ill during the match, so they were not exactly themselves at their peak strength. And I think with Secret, once they already have strategies that they’re comfortable executing as well as comfortable heroes, they get spooky. They are very draft & timing focused.
What do you mean when you said something about suitable strategies and draft?
That happened all the time back in the qualifiers where the teams were first picking Rubick. In Magnus meta, before all the nerfs of PA. And when you take Rubik against Magnus and for the later pick you have carry like Troll, which is so good against PA, because you just can sit on him, he has the chance to miss and can’t do anything until BKB. It's just a good 1vs1 counter pick. In addition, Phantom Assassin has never been able to threaten all tanking heroes like Tiny, Sven, Troll, Morph. He just can’t kill any of those heroes. And in some point, Rubick steals Reverse Polarity then you lose.
So I think, especially when they pick Underlord and Pugna against Rubick, it was over. My brother said once: “The moment the enemy goes Underlord you could pick Rubick and that is GG”. Because you will always steal the fire and with those 40% more damage it’s just crazy because it is max HP damage. And when you will amplify that, you just start to do absurd numbers.
It is a strategy and that what Puppey likes to do: he gives you what you want and he plans on beating that. Sometimes it backfires, you know. He gives the same thing twice and he loses both games and his fans get really mad. That’s just Puppey playstyle, he doesn’t care.
Second series, Fnatic vs EHOME.
That was a weird game. Fnatic plays with carry Sven, it’s not good. J.Srorm did that too and guess what? They lost. It’s an excellent 3/4/5 though.
I think EHOME is a lot better than people think. I saw them playing on Minor and they were getting better during the tournament. I think EHOME is the second best team in China. Maybe 3rd, it's them and Vici, I’m not sure which is better.
And the first one is PSG.LGD?
Yes, for sure.
And talking about the 3rd series, I think VP and EG very similar when it comes to talent. But I think Solo is playing better than Fly, he gave more game impact and he is more involved in playmaking and shot calling. He is the one casting smokes and he is always more aggressive. That’s why I love VP and that’s why they beat EG.
On the first map and especially on the second one, EG had about 10 minutes when they were strong as hell and they didn’t use it. They didn’t put in pressure. And VP is just swarming all the time, one moment they push the bottom and then one guy goes jungle, another pushing top. And in one moment when you try to threaten them and chase them, this guy from the top may TP’ing, and the guy from the jungle may wrap around from behind. And suddenly they are five and you chase them to the high ground and you lose. This is something they do super well – every player is important.
Sometimes we saw like Ramzes666 farming woods, but he made space. If the enemy is on the bottom, he will be on the top. Also, he will do hard farming. If he is not active in the game like with Terrorblade on the second map, he just goes Yasha, Butterfly to farm as fast as possible. And the team knows it and it’s the place to split and to be annoying and its very fluid. EG doesn’t have such connection, there are no links between the thoughts of the players. So the flowchart that you are using to make decisions as a team is confusing. Nobody knows what the proper choice is and they don’t make as I called it “game in calls”, like VP do to turn fights. There has to be an understanding as a whole of, when are we strong? What are we trying to do right now? Who should be playing most aggressive on map? When do we want to strike, etc. DotA is HARD.
Can you compare this VP game against EG and what did they show in the Group Stage?
It’s similar to LGD, and that’s what I was going to say about LGD series. They are so much better then Vici Gaming. And everything they do is beautiful to watch. I’m so excited to cast LGD vs VP match.
About both these teams and the group stage, it looks like they are just bored. They are so bored because they have to play these games against teams worse than them. In the game vs Vici when 3 people died, two others were just blinking trying to finish the OD, and they died too. And they don’t care, whatever. If they made mistakes it’s because they have fun, like guys diving the tower for no reason and they laugh about it.
They can just afford to do mistakes.
Yes, because they always have a draft that will hit a point when they will be in a stronger position. If they play it right, they should win.
If you are going to beat VP, you have to shut down No[o]ne. Ramzes666 will always have a good game, he will recover. I think the problem people have is that they don’t recognize who they actually need to deal with, and its 9pasha. Pasha is actually the most important core. He is always the one who buys time for VP. Everyone is focused on shutting down Ramzes666 and there is no point. Worst case, you force him to go jungle at 4th minute and it is going to be same net worth by 15th.
But if you work on Pasha and make sure that No[o]ne in disadvantage matchup, I think that is the way to beat VP. If it comes to Ramzes666 - just trade, he is better than you on the lane. And it doesn’t make sense to give Pasha free game. I see this over and over: Pasha has free farm Beast Master and then just kills everyone, kills the Towers, goes Roshan whenever he wants.
And I think there is a reason why. I think it is because he is quiet, not so loud on social media. Just a chill guy. Same with Chalice from LGD. You have to think about this offlaners.
You can’t really affect cores, their mentality is too strong, they will always be able to win a game when they are in position to do so. And you have to prevent a guy, who helps them get there.
When I played against OpTiC, back then when I was in CompLexity – we crashed Zai. That was the strategy – to crash Zai and win the game. The way how that team was functioned is similar to VP. Carry Pajkatt, who love to play hyper carries, and their mid player is very stable and likes to play lane dominating or trade matchups like Dragon Knight. And if someone likes to play Dragon Knight, he will be equally good with 2 deaths, 7 deaths or zero deaths, doesn’t matter. Shit on the offlaner – that’s how you can beat VP.
Seems like this strategy may be applied to every team.
The biggest difference between elite-tier teams like the best 4 in the world and really good teams is the offlaner. I think that the core differences are not so noticeable. Yes, Miracle and SumaiL may shine like no one else when they are on top, but as far as those guys win games I feel that the biggest difference is how the offlaner moves the map. For example, I’ve seen how Chalice plays Dark Seer in completely different ways. And that is a very complex hero, you need to think very hard about which items will you buy, how active you want to be. Are you trying to rush Crimson Guard asap or you want to go HoD, or Vladmir+Medallion, 3rd item Blink, Glimmer Cape – there are so many items in Dota and they all are open to you.
I think offlane is the most important in this patch and a lot of people like to talk about how offlane is boring or broken, but you know, the carry and two supports will be like 4th level after 8 minutes, the offlaner will be level 9 with Vlad’s – that’s some shit! That’s the guy who can make some influence on the map.
It’s like Volleyball. Ramzes666 was lifted by Solo so he can spike the ball, get the score, win the game. But Pasha is the one who sets the ball.
And what about some new things coming out. Is there were any new sets, tactics or picks you did not expect?
Not really. I was at Fogged’s house before the Minor and we talked about things like that. He bet on Elder Titan and I agreed. We thought there will be Tusk, Lich, Earth Spirit, Elder Titan and obviously, they are the best four supports right now. What we didn’t expect is that triple-lane set up to come back, when heroes stand 3v3.
This patch is all about damage reduction and damage amplification. Heroes like Beast Master, Magnus, Pugna ramp exponentially. For example, you took Beast Master, he got Vlad’s, then Medallion and while increasing his survive ability and power, it ramps up the damage he does. So he farms faster, he pushes towers faster and in addition, his whole team is now better at fighting and at Roshan. And you may compare this with heroes who don’t have such steroids.
For example LGD vs Vici. I said all LGD needs is one fight and the game will turn, while they lose like 2 or 3 team fights. Everyone thinks that Vici is going to win. But then LGD wipes them once and went on Throne, GG. Because they have Luna, Beast Master. If you don’t think about tower damage, about Roshan damage, then you have to win a lot of fights to win. For LGD, it was enough to destroy your base.
Talking about successful strategies, is there a huge difference between Bo1 and Bo3? Do some pocket strats?
Everyone is asking about that, but it’s up to the teams. Some teams have secrets strats that they believe in and some teams just believe they are better.
I think Bo3 has just lesser pressure, otherwise, I think it’s about the same. I think in 90% cases the better team wins Bo1.
And what are your predictions to the next matchups?
LGD vs VP was the best matchup, so far. And even before that match, it was clear that the winner will become a favorite of the upper bracket final and the tournament as a whole.