DotA gif of the week is a slap to my face for saying seven days ago that there is no way Lina can win against Naix. Turns out I didn’t have to search far because Game 2 of the Alienware 2013 group stages (I gif’ed Game 1 last week) has Dendi’s Lina vs 430’s Naix in the motherfucking mid lane. IN A PRO GAME!
I almost cried when I saw the lane match-up because you have the arguably two best mid players in the world duking it out and one of them is on Lina. Both 430 and Dendi rarely ever throw so I knew there wasn’t anything else to be expected on this lane but awesomeness.
430 is one of my favourite WC3 DotA position 2 players, going back to when he was still with CCM. He knows the mid lane well and his hero control is amazing, so you can always rely on him to make great plays even when the rest of the team was getting stomped. :) IG didn’t use Lina often in their games so I didn’t follow them as hard as I followed EHOME and LGD, but 430’s Storm was so awesome that it alone was enough for me to like the team.
And then you have Dondo! :) I’ve known about him for ages because I followed his old team DTS, but back then all my love went to Dread because he was the one who played Lina often. Now I’m following Na’Vi ‘cause they use Lina relatively often too, but even if she’s usually given to Puppey or Kuroky, Dendi’s friendliness and goofiness and humility and classiness – gahd where was all this personality this when he was in DTS??? - makes it impossible not to like the guy.
Note that Dendi actually got Fiery Soul as a second skill because that build is almost unique to him. You usually get Dragon Slave after LSA and max those two out before getting Fiery Soul (and a lot of people even prioritize stats at that), but Dendimon consistently gets this at level 2 or 3. According to Capitalist, if you get two more auto attacks from the Fiery Soul buffs then it’s worth picking it up than leveling your nukes.( Kuroky goes for the standard skill build and his Lina games are always amazing nonetheless, so I guess feel free to pick up what skill you prefer.)
Fire and ice, literally. :) When I saw Faith’s Jakiro coming in for a backstab I cringed, and when I saw 430 pop Rage I cried. Rage alone is enough to kill Lina, add another support in the mix and man, that’s just overkill. But then Dondo hit that flawless LSA and I realized he actually had the chance to kill Naix first, so I started screaming for him to right click till kingdom come.
And he did it! I think I jumped when Naix died haha. :) I’m not sure why 430 decided to run since at 88hp after that LSA he was more likely going to die anyway… maybe he thought Faith could take care of Dendi and they won’t have to trade kills? Then again 430 has always been careful about the deaths he gives up, which IMO is the right attitude for a midlaner since I doubt suicidal semi-carries win games.
Lina of course doesn’t escape death by auto attacks from Jakiro, but if it’s any consolation Puppey’s Visage did try to rotate to… er, provide support? Though me thinks he actually left Lina for dead already and headed to mid to defend the lane.
Ultimately NaVi lost this game pathetically – like 8-23 or something close to that (Hey five of those kills were Lina’s!) – but I’d like to think that you can’t automatically conclude that Lina can’t take the 2 position midlane role in a pro game just because Dendi himself couldn’t do it. I mean, I think NaVi got outpicked by IG to start with (entirely to IG’s credit) and then there’s the fact that XBOCT didn’t have his A-game on because he was on support instead of the carry position apparently because he was lagging and didn’t want to carry with lag. I’d love to see a Dendi solo-mid Lina again, with Kuroky’s support Wisp and XBOCT’s carry Alc.
Given that NaVi’s captain is Puppey though, I really wouldn’t count on it. :D