With Team Liquid and BeastCoast out of the tournament, the Dota 2 WePlay AniMajor has now entered the playoffs stage.
Even the group stage of a tier-1 Dota 2 tournament such as this is the site of hard-wrought skilful battles. There have been numerous noteworthy plays so far, and the following are some of the best.
5. ‘Abed’ Azel Yusop dodges Reverse Polarity: Evil Geniuses vs Nigma, June 6-A, Game 1 of 2 (Dota 2 match ID 6030086704)
In a decidedly one-sided game, Abed’s Ember Spirit dodged Igor ‘iLTW’ Filatov’s hail-mary Reverse Polarity with a brilliantly timed Sleight of Fist, closing the game in style. Not particularly game-changing for a play, but this was the boiling point where EG decided to call GG.
4. Twin teleportations disrupted by Tiny: Liquid vs BeastCoast, June 4-B, Game 2 of 2 (Dota 2 match ID 6026106253)
20 minutes into a toe-to-toe game, Bristleback (Michael ‘miCKe’ Vu) and Templar Assassin (Syed ‘SumaiL’ Hassan) were taking the enemy tier-2. BeastCoast were attempting a high ground push on the other side of the map. In Dota 2 logistics, trading a tier-2 for a tier-3 push like this is always difficult because the attacking team teleports back to defend their base.
In this particular game of Dota 2, such machinations were not meant to be. A sudden Avalanche from Elvis ‘Scofield’ De la Cruz‘s invisible Tiny canceled both Bristleback and Templar’s teleportation, cutting off their core reinforcements.
3. Magnus drawn out by Winter’s Curse on creep: TNC Predator vs PSG.LGD, June 6-A, Game 1 of 2 (Dota 2 match ID 6029399411)
PSG.LGD’s offlane Dragon Knight (Zhang ‘Faith_bian’ Ruida) and mid Death Prophet (Cheng ‘NothingToSay’ Xin Jiang) punished an overextension from the opponent Magnus (Jun ‘Bok’ Kanehara) with a pincer attack. Seeing as Dragon Knight used his only stun early on, Bok started teleporting away immediately.
However, Zhao ‘XinQ’ Zixing came in with a clutch Winter’s Curse. The special thing about the play is that XinQ could only get in range to curse a stray enemy creep, which was close enough to Bok to affect him. It is such rare applications of the Dota 2 mechanics in critical situations like this that keeps the game fun.
2. 3-man Reverse Polarity turns into a teamwipe on Magnus’ side: Liquid vs BeastCoast, June 4-B, Game 1 of 2 (Dota 2 match ID 6026013605)
After a teamwipe on Team Liquid’s side, they attempted to smoke near the Roshan pit in search of a pickoff. On account of being one of the strongest BKB-piercing disables in Dota 2, a three-man RP is nothing to scoff at. When Max ‘qojqva’ Broecker managed to land just that, it was all they needed to tip the scale of net worth. Yet it only resulted in another teamwipe on their side.
The catalyst of this second whitewash was a barrage of globs from Snapfire’s (Steven ‘StingeR’ Vargas) Mortimer’s Kiss, and an impeccable three-man Chronosphere from Hector Antonio ‘K1’ Rodriguez that caught the top net worth Templar Assassin (Syed ‘SumaiL’ Hassan) off guard. The constant Pulse Nova damage from the ally Leshrac (Adrian ‘Wisper’ Cespedes) himself caught in the stasis of the Chrono, was all that BeastCoast needed to put themselves in the lead.
1. Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev’s Sunder saves the day: TNC Predator vs Evil Geniuses, June 4-A, Game 2 of 2 (Dota 2 match ID 6026091566)
At the end of a prolonged and decisive battle at the 40-minute mark, only Arteezy’s metamorphosed Terroblade and Abed’s Black Dragon were left standing. This was also a fight on the opponent’s triangle, which is not a particularly favorable place to take fights in a deadlock game of Dota 2.
Surely enough, Abed found himself swarmed by Kim ‘Gabbi’ Villafuerte’s Spectre, ‘Armel’ Paul Tabios’ Puck, and Bok’s Nightstalker. Arteezy came in with a critical defensive Sunder to restore Abed to mint condition, while regaining his own HP with Satanic lifesteal. This completely turned the fight around, and potentially won them the game. A slick clutch play like this from the very first series of the group stage had set the bar high in Dota 2 AniMajor.