Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Competitive Roundup (Part 8)


There are so many tournaments going on at the same time that it can get overwhelming trying to keep up with them. In this series of blog posts, I will share matches which I have found notable and worth watching in the past week or two.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers


Tournament:  Starladder 7
Teams: Power Rangers versus Alliance
Caster: ZyoriTV

I'm alive, and I'm back, and trying to ease into things! Just one game this week.

I guess I should explain here that I don't really watch matches for the suspense or excitement of wondering which team wins - I like matches that demonstrate a particularly unique play-style or strategy, or showcases a dominating performance by a particular hero that we can all aspire to. That's why all my matches have big spoilers in the description =P

Power Rangers are an unknown team and for them to beat Alliance (and Na'vi) in the same tournament is quite notable. It wasn't a free "giveaway" win either, they displayed genuinely good personal skill and teamwork in the match. Great solo offlane play by the Power Rangers' Bounty Hunter going up against an Alchemist, Abaddon and Chen - in particular, his use of a single sentry ward to deward both the Dire lane sentries. This game really shows how intelligent play and luck can allow a solo Bounty Hunter to dominate a weak tri-lane - Abaddon doesn't bring much kill potential to the lane, but he is a very solid pick / ban nowadays and was picked up by Alliance very early in the draft. You have to watch the game to see just how much the 3 Alliance heroes were on the back foot against the Bounty Hunter, he actually overtakes the Alchemist in creep score at one point during the laning phase.

This game also showcases just how strong the Wisp + Chaos Knight combination is. It's run mid as a duo lane simply due to its sheer kill potential (tether stun + chaos bolt + reality rift + spirits) and then later runs rampant all over the map, having great synergy with the Bounty Hunter being able to locate gank targets. You could argue that Alliance slipped up by allowing such powerful heroes through, but they got strong heroes in return (Batrider, Alchemist, Chen, Timbersaw). Timbersaw in particular has been seeing a resurgence after some buffs - the sheer AOE burst damage he can output even from a level and item disadvantage is astounding, and he's really difficult to kill with his Reactive Armor and Timber Chain - I think we can definitely expect to see more of him in the future.