Game Three

Game ID: 455250893 (download) (Place replay in the “replays” folder found in “steam/steamapps/common/dota 2 beta/dota” and it should show up in the downloaded replays section under the “Watch” tab.)

Game Type: Captains Draft

Apparently it’s possible to get placed with and against stacks in solo ranked queue. I’m not complaining: I didn’t opt-out of stacked games when I solo queued before, and I wouldn’t now if that was still an option. But I also knew that I had that option, so I wasn’t surprised when I found out I had just been playing against a stack. Well, there were stacks in this game, and I was only surprised when my suspicions were confirmed at the end of the game.

Further, there is still no way for spectators to see the draft pool, live or in replays, so I’ll just list the bans and picks instead of trying to remember what the options were. I vaguely recall a lot of agility carries, and also a lot of heroes I didn’t want to play, but that’s about it.

Pick Phase

Dire Bans: Invoker, Meepo (No explanation was given.)

Radiant Bans: Bane, Death Prophet

Dire Picks: Slark, Vengeful Spirit, Rubick, Night Stalker, Tusk

Radiant Picks: Pugna, Lion, Huskar, Storm Spirit, Riki

game start

Starting Items and Lanes

Tangos x1, GG Branches x3, Ring of Protection x1

The Battle of Marathon, The Battle of Agincourt, The Siege of Vienna, most of the Winter War. All of these are now seen as historical accounts of the valour and skill of men who are outnumbered and outgunned, but still able to pull off incredible and decisive victories. Well, I’m going to set the record straight, because nobody bothers to consider the real reasons for those amazing victories: the other guys were a bunch of idiots who got outplayed and probably didn’t even type out a “gg” afterwards. In fact, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that after Marathon King Darius I un-friended all of his generals and refused to queue with them again, which is why the Persians didn’t attack Greece again until after he had died and his son decided to give it another shot. Lessons learned: 0.

Aside from the Tusk (that guy really wanted to play Tusk), that draft was the easiest win of my life. But then the stack happened and the lanes happened. Tusk mid instead of Night Stalker and a trilane bottom against a solo Riki. I bought my Ring of Protection hoping against hope that we’d end up trilane against trilane, because we were sure that they were just stupid and were going to do offlane Riki or something else, because their picks didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

However, giving a draft and early game advantage to random pubs is like giving a cake to a baby: they’ll probably just ignore it, and on the off chance that they actually do something with it they just make a huge mess.

First Blood

Night Stalker gets an invisibility rune bottom, and we’ve pretty much confirmed that our lanes are stupid so we’d better make the most of it. He still waits a long time before actually starting to attacking Riki, to the point where I’m out of position, far away from him and Vengeful Spirit, allowing Riki to Blink Strike to me and make a break for his tower. We still get the kill, but just barely.

The Battle

Seeing how we’ve left a Slark alone against 2 ranged heroes, the other team decides that they probably still can’t kill him if he has Pounce, so Lion heads for mid lane to peck away at Tusk. Now we have a safe lane carry who is getting nothing and a mid who is getting nothing, so Vengeful Spirit decides to TP top. I was considering going as well, but hoped to keep Riki down a bit longer. That was my mistake. A timely Decrepify to save Lion and some stubbornness from Vengeful Spirit leads to her and Slark dying. I arrive in time to cut off Lion’s retreat and put him out of my misery.

Right now I’m not thinking it’s really not that bad: Night Stalker has his lane won and is farming well enough, and we have 3 top now to protect Slark. Tusk was going to lose anyway and I’m willing to write him off if Night Stalker can get enough farm to fill that role come night time.

Vengeful Spirit tries for a really ambitious stun against Huskar, but Slark and I are in no position to follow up. Huskar and Pugna are determined to fight it out and both die, and even then all 3 of us are barely standing when the dust clears. A sign of things to come. Night Stalker solo kills Riki. Score is 5-2 in our favour.

Just before 6 minutes in how bad things will get is made clear: Lion and Vengeful Spirit start fighting each other southeast of our top tower, and there’s nothing we can do. Lion is level 2, but still has boots, Huskar is level 5 and has Power Treads and a couple of Gauntlets of Strength, while Slark is level 5 and has nothing but plain boots and a Poor Man’s Shield. Huskar kills Vengeful Spirit, Slark kills Lion, then Storm Spirit shows up with a Haste rune and cleans the rest of us up. Tuskar? Makes a token motion toward top lane, but deciding not to bother. Night Stalker? Farming away without a TP scroll and no points in silence. The score is now 6-5 in our favour.

We won our early battles, but the cost was too great. We’re at the point where trying to be aggressive will cost us too much in attrition to be worthwhile, thanks the heavy Pugna nukes and Huskar just being Huskar, and God help us when Storm Spirit shows up for a gank or Riki decides to just be invisible. Storm Spirit kills Night Stalker bottom while Tusk looks on, suddenly the cowardly drunk that just sits in the corner and mutters to himself. Another fight breaks out top and everyone dies. Night Stalker shows up late, but since he has no silence he can’t go after Lion and Pugna without being chain disabled. Vengeful Spirit and Slark go after Huskar again, but he’s too strong now and kills them both from the grave.

We’re going on 10 minutes and the only kill Tusk has participated in is the time he dies mid to Lion and Storm Spirit. Well, he also goes top and pretty much gets solo killed by their support Pugna, so that’s 0-2-0 at 10 minutes in a 26 kill game. Not saying, just saying.

And that’s about it. No silence (Night Stalker goes 4-0-4-0 because he figures he’s the carry now, even though he still gets an Urn after I’ve already finished mine.), poorly coordinated disables, no farm on our core heroes, and everyone throwing themselves at Huskar and Pugna, who are able to use Decrepify, Berserker’s Blood, and Pugna nukes to always do more damage than they’re worth, so that Riki and Storm Spirit have every chance to clean up.

The War

Historians may never settle the debate about when Dire truly lost the war. Even though they never had a chance to recapture the glory of their early victories, they still had minor triumphs along the way.

That they managed to fail with such grandeur whenever a tactical decision had to be made only further contrasted the strategic advantages they should have had. The word “outplayed” is most commonly used to describe the bulk of the fighting, and most signs of life the Dire displayed were believed by many to be perfunctory, reflexive manoeuvres, and not them striving for any sort of final victory. Others say the token defence was the result of political pressure, with no single Dire state wanting to be seen as not doing their part, because anything less risked a report to a shadowy and remorseless governing body.

Even before 15 minutes had passed the writing was on the wall, and the rest of the game taking as long as it did was probably down to Radiant wanting everyone to appreciate the ease with which they were winning. When Radiant acquired a Diffusal Blade on their Riki was ready to surrender.

Afterwards Rubick tried to claim compensation in the World Court, claiming that he wouldn’t have had a negative score if not for fountain farming. Upon examination of events it was determined that no such fountain farming occurred, and if it did then it was too little and too late to make a difference. One judge commented that, “They should be glad it wasn’t a lot worse, considering the circumstances.” Rubick still issued an official appeal, citing, “A team full of feeder-noob assfucks,” it was not upheld. Their delegation was dragged screaming from the courtroom, one of them shouting, “Dark Pact doesn’t remove Burning Spears! He dies anyway!”

game end

Radiant Victory

Ranked solo queue record: 2-1

Best Pick

Doesn’t really matter what you pick if everyone decides to play with trackballs.

Worst Pick

Tusk. The pool was bad, but come on.


With several clutch Decrepify jukes in the early game and plenty of 3+ hero nukes to swing fights, Pugna takes home the trophy.


Tusk was a bad pick, but he also managed to do nothing when it counted. Maybe that was down to how bad his lane was, but that’s still the way of things.

Personal Rating

It was a bad game, and those can also make it hard to judge how well I played. There were a few times when I should have made different decisions, like TPing to the top lane earlier to help Slark and Vengeful Spirit, but most of the time in a game like that a support is forced into situations where they’re going to do something wrong no matter what decisions they make. I did keep a positive record and good positioning until things got really bad, but by then it was just having to follow the team into terrible fights because that’s what they decided to do. I could have played better, and definitely could have stolen better spells (only got Finger of Death once), but I don’t feel that bad about it.


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