As a diehard Alliance fan, today I’m going to yap about the Alliance vs Secret series at Starladder i-League Playoffs.
And yes, I was still going to do this even if our beloved and/or hated rats had lost.
And without delay, I would now like to begin my totally unbiased speculation.
Game 1: Team Secret struggled quite a bit in the beginning against Alliance’s strong early game. S4 managed to top the net worth with his infamous Puck, much thanks to the help of his zombie friend, Loda’s Slardar, who had a relatively quick Blink Dagger. Also, Admiral’s Lone Druid was not to be underestimated at top. And of course, Undying is still a hero that can’t be ignored early on despite all the nerfs he’s received.
However, Secret managed to very effectively freeze the game for a sufficient amount of time for Ember Spirit and Gyrocopter to come online. Alliance couldn’t find the much-needed pickoffs with their lineup. Even when the bear’s Radiance was ready, there simply wasn’t enough damage on the Radiant side, and Team Secret dominated the fights with ease. Puppey’s Shallow Graves were always there on time to ensure that no casualties hindered his team’s road to victory, while his 3 cores dealt huge amounts of damage.
I feel safe laner Slardar was a bad choice, especially paired a middle-lane hero that has poor carry potential. Secret realized they simply needed to avoid fighting for 10-15 minutes for an easy win. Other than that, perhaps Alliance hesitated a bit too much; their ganks could’ve certainly backfired, but it would’ve been better to take that risk in comparison to not using your lineup’s true strengths. One Roshan fight later, Secret had the upper hand until the end.
Game 2: Secret saw an opportunity for a last pick Broodmother on this one, while Alliance went with the Queen of Pain against the Batrider for mid. While the latter worked out pretty well, Misery had a very rough time on top; he got ganked constantly, and what seemed like a favourable matchup for him turned into a nightmare full of sentries and dusts. Bulldog was pressured on his own hard lane as well, but he still managed a fairly decent radiance timing on his bear. Despite Alliance having seemingly the upper hand due to their better laning stage, a couple of fights for Secret enabled their Gyrocopter to get out control once more. Most would’ve thought it would be an easy one for Secret from that point on, but Alliance actually managed to win the next 4 fights, and take the game.
So, what happened on this one? Well, despite Alliance having once again won the lanes, they very much underestimated the power of Gyrocopter paired with an Oracle. Gyro is a hero that can dish out huge amounts of damage even without too many items; and of course, it gets even worse once he gets his farm up. Oracle made sure his carry wouldn’t simply be bursted down until he shpots the mostly very squishy opponent lineup. Outmaneuvering that machine gun was the way to go, and Alliance pulled it off. The first fight that Lone Druid had his Radiance lasted quite long for it to deal sufficient damage, while evading an actual direct clash. In the next fight around the Roshan pit, Batrider chose to drag the Vengeful Spirit on a cliff, only for her to swap the Gyro to that position. Puppey helped his teammate down with a snowball, but their positioning was bad already; and Terrorblade wouldn’t wait around for them.
The last 2 fights weren’t much different; Envy was baited to waste his newly purchased BKB and even got triple centaur stunned by Akke afterwards. By the time the final fight commenced, Alliance was already stronger.
Game 3: w33 showed us that thundergods don’t fear bats that much, and stood against s4 really well. A few attempts later however and after a lucky DD rune, the Batrider got himself a double kill on the Zeus and Chen, giving him the resources he needed to control the map very effectively. A bit later, with Envy topping the CS chart by far, Secret felt confident taking down a few towers, but it wasn’t nearly enough, since Alliance were simply strong enough to not lose a single fight in the game, which lead them to a seemingly easy win.
This one was a lot simpler, I believe; it showed the power of Silencer paired with a good initiator such as Batrider. Alliance could drag and kill any hero they wanted every time they had their cooldowns, and Oracle couldn’t save his teammates this time around. This combo enabled the Swedes to wi
n every single clash and eventually the game without too much effort.