Here’s a glimpse into the way a two-time TI-winning team approaches the game – from the mind of a TI winner himself.

While the entire Dota 2 world waits with bated breath for the imminent patch, we thought we’d look back at one of the most iconic series it brought us. We’re talking about none other than the insane best-of-five between OG and Tundra in the EU TI10 Qualifier Grand Finals. Of course, when it comes to breaking down the plays of the two-time TI winners, who better to ask than a TI winner himself? Along with Capitalist, Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling gives us a glimpse of how a world class team sees the game.

The Battle in Question – OG’s Last Shot at TI Attendance

It’s important to set the scene, even though you’d hardly be able to call yourself a Dota 2 fan if you had missed this series. The Grand Finals of the EU TI10 Qualifiers saw a struggling OG up against a rising Tundra. After a disappointing year, this match would be OG’s final chance to be part of The International 10.

The road back to TI would not be an easy one for Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and the boys though. They had gone through three carry players throughout the season, finally settling on the king – Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan. With only Team Secret and Alliance directly qualifying from EU, the EU Qualifiers were stacked beyond belief. Team Liquid, Tundra, Nigma and OG – these were all teams that could’ve easily made main stage.

Despite the odds, the OG magic was back and brighter than ever. After a hard fought win against Nigma, OG found themselves one match away from TI10. Their final foe? Tundra.

Chen Stacks HARD so OG can beat Team Nigma

In European Dota, there are few more landmark rivalries than the one shared by OG and Team Nigma. Headlining the grand finals of TI9, when the later stack was still Team Liquid, these two orgs are always a treat to watch when they go head to head.

Chen Stacks HARD so OG can beat Team Nigma

In the ensuing slugfest of a game, both teams traded blow for blow, each taking turns to grab wins. As the dust settled, it was OG that managed to clutch out the final game, and punch their ticket to TI10

3 Key Takeaways From Aui’s Analysis

In the video, Aui breaks down the complex game of Dota 2 into key aspects, taking examples from the OG vs Tundra replay. It would be impossible to put what Aui explains better than he does in the video, but here are some key takeaways that you can apply to your own games.

1) Getting Creative To Break Even Against Unfavorable Lane Matchups

In Game 1 of Tundra vs OG, the lanes on paper looked absolutely abysmal for OG. Up against an Abbadon Luna duo, S├ębastien “Ceb” Debs’ Tidehunter looked in for a rough one. In response, OG started the game off with both supports helping Tide out. Recognising that Tundra’s double melee lane could not pressure Sumail’s Naga Siren, this set Ceb off to a swimming start.

Aui_2000 breaks down Tundra vs OG Game 1
OG vs Tundra Game 1 Draft

For that reason, Aui suggests it’s important to think about how heroes interact with each other during the laning stage. If the situation looks hopeless for you, consider what the ideal would be. From there, you can start communicating with your team about what you need. Don’t be afraid to shake things up!

2) The Smallest Movements Make The Biggest Difference

As a support, how often have you seen your cores die and sigh to yourself? As much as it’s easy to point fingers, you might have a bigger part to play in that than you might think.

While Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen’s Razor was able to get a kill on Leon “Nine” Kirilin’s Lina, Aui points out how a simple move could’ve made all the difference. Crucially, instead of staying in the bot lane, Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu’s Nyx could’ve rotated to deny Topson the Water Rune. In doing so, Topson would’ve been out of resources and unable to continue the pressure.

Of course, it’s easy to see the difference watching the replay. However, as for how to apply this for yourself – the key would be not to go on autopilot. If you find yourself sitting around and not accomplishing much, get up and going, and try to see how your moves can impact the map!

3) Watch The Creepwaves!

Don’t underestimate the humble creepwave! Apart from helping push towers, they serve many different purposes as well.

Up against a Sand King defending his tower, most supports would simply give up trying to push alone – and rightfully so. However, N0tail cleverly pulls the wave to the large camp. This not only denies the wave from SK, but nets N0tail some free experience and gold as well. In short, the creeps may be mindless, but you are not – use them to your advantage to the fullest.

A lesser discussed aspect of creepwaves, as Aui points out, is the vision they provide. While Wards are usually used to scout out your opponents, the position of your creeps can do that too. Whether an enemy hero shows up to clear the wave or not will give you information. If it’s a Sand King, that would mean there’s no way he’s coming in for a potential gank. Learning to read the game state from your creepwaves is something that requires practice, but is immensely worthwhile.

Want More Aui_2000?

The nuggets mentioned are just a fraction of the wisdom that Aui imparted in the video, so be sure to watch the full thing!

Can’t get enough of Aui’s juicy analysis? Don’t worry – keep your eyes peeled for a Part 2 of this series coming later this week!

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Mike Tsang - Writer of the Month: April

Mike Tsang

Writer of the Month: April | Twitter: @permasneeze | Twitch: permasneeze

Mike is a digital content producer from Singapore who lives and breathes Dota 2. When he's not playing or watching the game, he can be found slurping ramen or sleeping next to his cat.