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OG’s Confidence Booster
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Sometimes when you’re down on your luck, and nothing seems to get you out of your slump, you have to realize that it’s not always your skill that’s the problem. Sometimes you’ve lost confidence in yourself and your abilities, and it’s times like those you need a confidence booster. It might just be as simple as borrowing a lower ranked friends account or creating a new one yourself, just to get back into the mentality of winning. I’m not saying that OG accepted the invite to the DreamLeague playoffs because they expected “lesser” teams to participate or that the other teams in the tournament are bad, but during the tournament we saw the team transform and in the grand finals they delivered their first utterly dominating performance in perhaps months. For the first time in ages, we saw an OG that grew stronger as the tournament progressed and this win might have been just what the team needed.
For Na`Vi, the future is shrouded in mystery. The team had a bit of a resurgence at the end of 6.86 and did what most people expected of them this weekend, but no more. Their wins against Virtus Pro and No Diggity, the two teams who were not able to qualify for the Manila Major, were 2-1’s and in those games, Na`Vi looked really shaky at moments. While they did manage to snatch a game from OG in the winner’s bracket finals and make it back to the grand finals, the team of Ukrainians and Russians proceeded to lose 3-0 in the grand finals. Na`Vi has some rethinking to do and maybe need to catch up on the meta before Manila.
The beginning of Game 1 in a best-of-5 couldn't have been better for OG as they netted a kill on GeneRaL's level 1 Dark Seer, thus making his life extremely complicated and eventually forcing him to farm the Dire's jungle camp. Na`Vi showed that they weren't going to take OG’s start laying down, and started rotating aggressively to gank Miracle's TA. This aggression paid off, at first, as they managed to net two kills in short succession, but when NaVi tried the same trick a third time OG came prepared and countered with their entire team, resulting in a 3-0 teamfight victory for them. If there was one defining moment of Game 1, it was this rotation. In this fight and the rest of the game, OG showed off great coordination, and despite Na`Vi’s efforts to make things happen on the map through smokes and rotation, OG always seemed to end up on top. After a great initiation from Na`Vi in the 25th minute, they were still unable to net a single kill and wisely GG'd out.
The Grand Finals
In Game 2, Na`Vi had quite a lot to think about after their hapless Game 1 performance. It had been a disaster for the team where the only real brightspots were the rotations against mid in the early game, but even in the end even that was turned against them. The crafted solution for Na`Vi was to turn to a less farm intensive carry for Ditya Ra, this time commanding the Lifestealer instead of morphling as in Game 1. Though we saw this adjustment from Na`Vi, we didn't see much of a difference from the previous game. OG, once again, drew first blood on GeneRaL which caused Na`Vi to focus on rotations towards the midlane. OG got a read of these rotations and turned them into counter-ganks, sapping Na`Vi’s midgame strength. So in the midgame OG once again dominated the CIS squad in teamfights. The only real difference in Game 2 from Game 1was that the fights weren't quite as one-sided. Na`Vi usually claimed a kill or two, but unfortunately they were bad trades since these kills came on non-core heroes or, when they did, it cost them 2 cores in return. All these non-favorable skirmishes added up and while Na`Vi were a little closer to grabbing a game than before, the team found themselves down 2-0.
So what do you do in this position if you're Na`Vi? You throw a complete curveball, of course. In Game 3, we saw a draft very different from that of the previous games. Axe was picked for GeneRaL, and he and SoNNeikO headed off to the offlane, while with their last pick NaVi went for a Terrorblade, a hero not seen for ages in the competitive scene. Game 3 started off great for Na`Vi as they went up 2-0, but thanks to some great rotations from Cr1t on the jungle Doom, the overly aggressive offlane of Na`Vi was quickly put down. After this, it almost felt like OG was playing with Na`Vi. They simply had their way with them, much like a cat playing with it's prey before ending it's life. Playing with your prey in Dota can be very dangerous though, and we almost saw Na`Vi clawing their way back into the game. But much thanks to the incredible farm on Miracle’s Timbersaw (who ended the game with 25 kills, 15 more than his closest competitor) OG cut the opposing team out and were crowned the champions of DreamLeague season 5.