There have been personalities in Dota’s professional scene that have imprinted themselves into the fabric of its history. Teams and players have passed into legend; faces like Merlini, 820, hyhy, Maelk, and organizations like DTS, MYM, KingSurf, and Zenith. There was a team that struck fear into the Dota world in 2010; the infamous EHOME. Their reign of terror carried over into Dota 2, when the freshly reshuffled squad took a close second place finish at the first International in 2011 and a respectable 5-6th finish at the second International in 2012. Following a long dormancy after the squad’s roster was evacuated in late 2012, a new team formed in late 2014 to compete in the D2L Season 5 finals. A few roster swaps and complications with ACE later, EHOME found themselves once again in the list of teams competing in the this year’s International.
The road to their spot this year has not been easy. After a commanding first place finish in D2L, the team’s middling performance during the Dota 2 Asia Championships resulted in an early knockout from Cloud9 in the first round of the lower bracket. In the player shuffle that followed the tournament, Mushi and Ohaiyo returned to Malaysia to put together the team that became Fnatic. Their large shoes were soon filled by Big God teammates rOtK and LaNm - long time veterans of the Chinese scene and no strangers to success.
Despite the big acquisitions, the glory days that LaNm saw with EHOME in Dota 1 could not be reproduced in the present. With early exits in the Red Bull Battle Grounds qualifier and ECL Spring, narrowly missing advancement out of the group stages of i-League season 3, and a heart breaking five game series against LGD for a spot at The Summit 3’s main event, it appeared that the brand’s revival was a short lived celebration falling short of their legacy.
Enter Chen “Cty” Tianyu. He was at the helm of the reconstruction of Team DK, whose roster of young, up-and-coming players was a hollow reflection of the overworked squad who earned a direct invite to 2014’s International. After an elimination series against EHOME in mid April, DK loaned them Cty, which pushed inflame, who had been with the team since D2L in January, to inactivity. This roster move, dated after a transfer deadline set the by regulating body ACE, had already passed earlier that year. As a result, Cty could not participate with EHOME in ACE-regulated tournaments which restricted Cty’s participation with the team to the Mars Dota League and The International 5 regional qualifier.
The pieces were finally in place for EHOME’s return to relevance. A dominating performance in MDL’s Chinese qualifier secured them a top two finish and a place in its international LAN finals over The International 4 champions Newbee, and fellow TI5 qualifier invitee frontrunners HGT and CDEC. Their MDL future secured, they carried their momentum into the TI5 qualifiers and emerged a victorious first place in their group, putting them within spitting distance of Seattle. The only thing standing between them and the qualifier grand finals were CDEC, who had yet to drop a game during the group stages. Unfazed, EHOME’s determination for victory propelled them to a 2-0 sweep off of a masterful Storm Spirit performance from Cty and Yang’s fat Gyrocopter. When they met again in the grand finals, a EHOME’s 3-1 victory over an embattled CDEC squad punched their ticket to TI5.
GameplayConsistency is the name of the game for the budding EHOME squad. Though the months following DAC (February - May), they have managed an average game times of 37, 36, 38, 36 minutes respectively. This is off the back of a lineup whose core players favor strong mid game heroes that excel in both pick off and teamfight situations, as well as active supports with big teamfight ultimates. 6.84 has brought out these strengths, as many popular heroes such as Leshrac, Gyrocopter, Shadow Fiend, and Queen of Pain compliment their play style.
The core players of Yang, Cty, and rOtK have brought their own personal masteries to the team’s hero pool. Queen of Pain and Gyrocopter’s resurgence in 6.84 puts the favored tools of Cty and Yang in their respective hands. Be it flash farming or using their ultimates to utilize area control in team fights, the two picks have been a cornerstone of EHOME’s success, netting them over a 70% win rate as a result. rOtK’s classic Tidehunter and Clockwerk have produced similar results, using Ravage and Hookshot to initiate and utilizing Power Cogs and Anchor Smash to zone out the enemy. The old captain has shown that he still has what it takes to lead a team at the forefront the only way he knows: by example.
Next to the constant (and effective) Rubick picks, the real flair for EHOME comes from their supports. DDC’s Visage and LaNm’s Earthshaker are known and feared for good reason; their early rotations frees up the space required for their core players to come online. The motif of area control continues, splitting teamfights with Fissure, Familiar stuns, Ice Vortexes and well placed Telekineses - the veteran support pair know how to carve up their fight.
Let it be known that this EHOME squad are rumblers, through and through. No tedious late game shenanigans, no early GG push strategies. This team lives and dies by the mid game and fights around the area controlling ultimates that punish the resistance assembled to contest their movements. Be it Call Down, Echo Slam, Sonic Wave, Ravage, or Ice Blast, where their enemies are gathered, there is bound to be a spectacular dunk.
Since then, his time on Orenda and LV Gaming prior to EHOME has sharpened his play to a fine tip. His high impact play on Gyrocopter has defined EHOME’s successes in patch 6.84. Favoring other aggressive carries like Juggernaut, Lycan, and Ember Spirit, his ascent to the top of the Chinese scene has been a swift one.
It is impossible to talk about Cty without mentioning his trademark Queen Of Pain. Like a cat stalking its prey, his patient positioning has turned many team fights on their head with a well placed Sonic Wave. His Shadow Fiend play is also very strong, as illustrated in his win over TongFu.WZ in a 66 minute slugfest that ended with 19 kills to his credit.
rOtK’s area control brings both respect and infamy, notably from his Ravages on Tidehunter. Beyond his DAC blooper reel, Tide has been an effective pick for the team through rOtK’s situational itemization. His Hookshot and Power Cog play on Clockwerk has bisected many teamfights, turning his opponent’s favorables engagements into wild failures.
Earthshaker and LaNm go hand in hand. Teams foolish enough to let him get his hands on the mighty ape have found themselves high and dry from his masterfully placed Fissures and dizzied from devastating Echo Slams (or, Echo Slanms, if you will). When he’s not making magic on Earthshaker, he’s stealing it on Rubick. His movement and play making has been keeping the EHOME boat afloat, while the cores steer them towards victory.
DDC does not specialize in flashy play - a role better left to players like LaNm. Specializing in setup heroes like Ancient Apparition, Bane, and Visage, his control over trilane situations creates the space required for his carries to flourish. The blend of fresh talent and proven leaders in EHOME suits DDC perfectly to be the glue that holds the team together.
Editor: Julmust, tehh4ck3r
Editor: Julmust, tehh4ck3r