Dota 2: StarLadder ImbaTV Kiev Minor – Day 5 Recap

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Dota 2: StarLadder ImbaTV Kiev Minor – Day 5 Recap

The last Minor of this years DPC season is now a wrap. We said goodbye to Team Sirius and Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas shut them both down to take out first place at the StarLadder ImbaTV Kiev Minor.

Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Team Sirius

Our lower bracket final saw China’s Team Sirius battle it out against Ninjas in Pyjamas for a chance to face Alliance in the grand finals.

Sirius has played well throughout this tournament, but they seemed to fall apart in this series against NiP.

Game one started out cautiously in the laning phase. First blood wasn’t drawn until six minutes in by ASD. Sirius claimed the first two kills of the game, but NiP snatched up 3 of the 4 10-minute bounty runes. Giving them a slight gold advantage as the game moved into its mid phase.

By 21-minutes NiP were looking like the dominant team, executing strong control of the map and tilting Sirius all the way back to their base. They took game one at 38-minutes with a 10-kill lead over Sirius.

Game two didn’t look much better for the Chinese team. They secured themselves some early kills and a net worth lead at the start of the laning phase. But Sirius had trouble breaking through NiP’s early defence. At 16-minutes, the advantage was again swinging toward the Ninjas. Ace had 11k net worth on Sven, and there was just no shutting him down anymore.

Sirius tried to fight their way back from defeat. They pushed for the Rosh as the game neared 30-minutes, forcing a buyback from 33. But this was a drop in the pond when it came to the lead that NiP had over them by this point.

They did their best to hold out, but Sylar was just getting munched by Ace by this stage.

Their attempt to pick off Ace resulted in a total team wipe. Ninja’s in Pyjamas marched straight up mid and straight for the throne. GG was called at 38 minutes. NiP took the series 2-0, sending Sirius home.

Alliance vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

Our grand final series was an EU showdown between Alliance and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Game one started out beautifully for Alliance. They had 4 kills and a 1k gold lead within the first 4 minutes of the game. By the time the game had passed 10-minutes, Micke had a 2k net worth lead on his Troll Warlord. Alliance were confident this game was theirs.

And it was. They dominated over the course of the 44-minute game. Ending it 41-13, a 28-kill lead over Ninjas in Pyjamas. Both Qojqva and Micke had 12 a piece at the final kill count. But Micke delivered a standout performance on Troll; his KDA was 12/0/22 at the end of game one.

As our game two got underway however, things seemed to be shaping up quite differently. This time it was NiP who came in strong and established a clear lead for themselves in the early game. Even though Alliance got the first two kills on the board, NiP were planning on bringing the early aggression themselves. At 16-minutes in, FATA- scored himself a triple kill on Mirana and NiP pushed bottom lane. They took out the TI tower and continued the push, dealing a decent amount of structure damage to the T2 as well.

Part of Alliance’s early advantage had come from Qojqva’s great laning phase with Medusa. But as Ace came online with his Sven, this advantage disappeared.

This game was playing a lot like game one in reverse, with NiP doing the stomping this time around. Game two ended 36-13, with Ninjas in Pyjamas taking game two. Bringing the series to 1-1.

NiP break the tie in game three

Alliance came into game three strong. They were averaging about one kill a minute, with the score 8-3 at eight minutes in.

But this aggressive early play style was not destined to payoff for them.

They had a dynamic idea in their draft with the Monkey King pick on Boxi and the Clockwerk on Taiga, using cogs and Wukong’s command to try and secure themselves some big team fights. But they never managed to find the fight they were looking for.

33’s Batrider was a force to be reckoned with throughout the whole game. Finding pick-off after pick-off with his lasso, witling down Alliance’s confidence, kill by kill. He helped NiP control the game, providing plenty of vision to counter Boxi’s maneuverability on Monkey King.

It was another quick and clean stomp for NiP. They took their second win of the series at 34-minutes.

Alliance force the series to game five

Team Alliance seated on the main stage at Kiev ready to compete

Everything was riding on this game four. Either NiP would be taking home top place at the Minor, or Alliance was going to force this series out.

Both teams threw everything they had at each other of the course of this 63-minute game. At more than one point, it felt like either team could take the win.

NiP delivered some excellent plays, utilizing 33’s Lone Druid pick to secure building objectives early. But Alliance had built themselves a killing machine in Micke’s Juggernaut. He took the net worth lead at 18-minutes, overtaking both Ace’s Anti-Mage and 33’s Lone Druid.

From here, the name of the game was spin-to-win. Alliance worked together to allow Micke to hit towers and retreat, slowly picking away at NiP’s defenses. At 30-minutes in, the kills were even, the base damage was even, and game four was on the edge of a knife.

Alliance hit their stride again at around the 40-minute mark. They thwarted NiP’s high ground push and rolled into the Rosh pit. Securing the Aghanim’s sceptre for Insania’s Grimstroke, as well as the aegis and cheese.

While NiP did their best to hold out, Alliance wanted this win. After a gruelling hour, they brought the series to 2-2 and the grand finals were going to a game five.

Last pick Meepo secures the win

The win condition for game five was the last pick Meepo by NiP. There was a lot of pressure on Ace to be the deciding factor for his team, and he delivered admirably.

Qojova’s Templar Assasin in mid was no match for Ace’s Meepo in the laning phase. Alliance found some success with pick offs in top and bottom lane to help keep the gold even.

NiP knew that the key to victory was to play their advantages fast whenever they had an opening. Alliance did their best to make some plays of their own. But no matter how many team fights they initiated; they couldn’t burn through Ace.

Ninjas in Pyjamas took the top lane of rax by 24-minutes. Then they pulled back and secured themselves an aegis for Meepo and pushed back into the mid high ground. There was nothing that Alliance could do to hold out.

The GG’s came out at 31-minutes and Ninjas in Pyjamas came out on top. They took out the series 3-2 to win the Kiev Minor.

We can expect to see NiP competing again soon. Their win qualifies them for the EPICENTER Major. The final Major of this year’s DPC season.

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Images via StarLadder on Flickr

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Eliana Bollati
Eliana is a freelance editor & journalist from Australia with a passion for esports and video games. An avid player of video games for the better part of three decades, she began following professional esports circuits during the 2010s. She brings both a player and longtime fan perspective into her commentary on the professional scenes.