mortal Teamwork have come away from this weekend’s Dreamhack with the Dota 2 Vengeance trophy after a three game marathon against Natus Vincere. Losing the first match, they managed to pull it back in the second to go on to win the third in an upset that’s unseated Na’Vi as the premier Dota 2 team in the world. This now sets the stage for them to meet again in the International this August, with a score to settle.
mTw came out of the gate looking a little shakey, going up against a Na’Vi team that hadn’t lost a single match during the entire tournament. Despite grabbing an early tower around the eight minute mark and trading kills for kills, Na’Vi started to pull away in the mid game with really powerful map control thanks to Nightstalker and Tinker.
7ckngMad’s Enigma was popping off some ridiculous Black Holes, regularly pulling in three Na’Vi players, turning teamfights in mTw’s favour despite Na’Vi’s map control, and it was all starting to turn around for the French team before they got a little too confident and rushed up mid with Enigma’s R on cooldown. This lead to a teamfight that mTw got almost wiped on, leaving them in a poor position to defend, especially now that both gold and xp were now firmly in Na’Vi’s favour.
With Scythe of Vyse in Tinker’s hands, and his rearm meaning he could almost permanently hex with it, mTw’s game fell apart, ending with them desperately trying to defend against a map that had turned against them. First game to Na’Vi.
The second game started with a fizzle, as the power went out less than two minutes in. This lead to a restart, and it’s tempting to say that such outside forces are what upset Na’Vi’s focus, but that would be stripping far too much responsibility from a truly brilliant mTw game. While they started the game strong, picking pushers like Enigma, Nature’s Prophet and Windrunner, and a surprise carry in Juggernaut, their early game dominated, netting them towers early on and leaving Na’Vi with a difficulty in keeping up.
But they managed it for a good portion of the game, denying towers to prevent the gold going too much in mTw’s favour and making sure they’re trading kills, with Invoker going down while they grabbed both Juggernaut and Venomancer at around 15 minutes. And that was indicative of most of the game, with small victories coming down on both sides, and never massive wipes.
Things started to lean in mTw’s favour though, as their early tower kills meant that they could easily grab map dominance and be a little more aggressive as the game headed into twenty minutes and more. It’s only now that they lost their last tier 1 tower, at around 25 minutes, leaving Na’Vi very much on the backfoot, which is somewhere they’re not used to, and clearly upset the flow of their game.
After a truly ridiculous escape by Juggernaut, spinning while channeling his TP and getting out with under 100 health, mTw mopped Na’Vi up after grabbing Roshan for the third time, and after a massive push that was all she wrote for the Ukranian team.
Which meant a third game, with everything to play for. Even more exciting, it didn’t seem to favour either team, with mTw breaking Na’Vi’s flow and putting them on the back foot, stripping them of their game lead and forcing them to put everything into it.
Grabbing Lone Druid, Enigma, Tinker, Venomancer and Nightstalker, mTw came out strong, matching up against Na’Vi’s Shadow Demon, Invoker, Leshrac, Windrunner and a surprise Anti-Mage. And that last pick seemed to be the death knell for Na’Vi, a high risk, high reward hero that just didn’t pay off for them as hard as they tried.
Right from the beginning mTw was damaging towers and heading straight for kills, playing incredibly smart and not threatening their dominance in any way. They even had Na’Vi pushing hard down mid, which gave Tinker a good few minutes of free farm, leaving him with Boots of Travel and Soul Ring before the ten minute mark slipped past.
With that much push Na’Vi were permanently on the backfoot, and even after Anti-Mage slipped into the woods to start farming the creeps there, they never managed to get his farm up enough to match the likes of Lone Druid and Nightstalker. With a series of really well placed Black Holes, mTw grabbed Roshan which left Na’Vi pushed onto the defence and avoiding team fights like the plague. They managed to pick off Nightstalker and Lone Druid on their own, but it just wasn’t enough.
You could see that there was something wrong with the team when Dendi’s Invoker, usually so fearless and powerful, started to back away from farm as soon as Enigma showed up, the kind of hesitation that you normally just don’t see in the team. And while there was some incredible play in stealing the second Aegis from mTw by blinking in and force staffing out, there really wasn’t much the team could do at this point.
mTw continued to push, using Black Hole and Venomancer’s Poison Nova to shut down the teamfights, knocking out both bottom and middle baracks before the 34 minute mark. And after that it was just smooth sailing to the Ancient, wiping it out and winning themselves the tournament.
Congratulations mTw. And well played Na’Vi.