[Dota2] ROOT wins THOR Qualifiers -- SWEDEN HERE WE COME!

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Postby Deezl » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:15 pm

Attention: ROOT.Dota2 is qualified for Sweden, but Sweden is pretty far, and we can't bus it there on the cheap. We really want to support our team, and we have already budgeted $2,000+ to send the guys to the event. Unfortunately, the early estimates for flights from NY and Argentina along with hotels are looking to total about $7,000 minimum, so we are starting a fundraiser TODAY to help raise the money. Anything at all that you can spare, even $1, to see your favorite ROOT players compete for $15,000 in prizes is hugely appreciated. We'll also be donating proceeds from streaming and coaching to help out, and we have confirmation that there will be swag involved. ROOT.Dota2 has already put our team on the map -- we want to help them out as much as we can and show them that their hard work pays off! For details, see ROOTKoReYa-'s stream at http://www.twitch.tv/koreyah. We'll keep you posted with an official announcement soon!

(also, if you run a travel agency and can get us a sick deal, we would love to hear from you!)

"I was focusing so hard. I even turned down my music. I never turn down my music."

ROOT defeated Absolute Legends in the Best of 3 Final of the 3rd THOR Qualifier. They won the series 2 games to 1 in a convincing fashion. Each game was rather one-sided, with ROOT taking the 1st and 3rd games. On the back of strong picks, solid team fighting, and some excellent individual play, ROOT was able to best the more experienced Absolute Legends side.

The first game was defined in large part by Brock Li's perfect Rubick play. He was able to steal almost every Tidehunter Ravage due to his superior positioning. Absolute Legends' Vigoss dominated play in game 2 with an aggressive Queen of Pain, and ROOT could not recover from a significant early game deficit. Unfazed, ROOT made similar picks in Game 3, notably picking up Gyrocopter again. The team fight of Batrider, Jakiro, and Gyrocopter was too much for the AL side to handle. ROOT crushed AL in fight after fight despite being down a lot in farm, and quickly sealed the 3rd game.

We're also excited to announce a new player manager: Jesse "Pandepic" Gill. Jesse was a top Soldier of Fortune 2 player and played League of Legends competitively. He transitioned from a player to a manager for the oGaming Starcraft 2 team, andwas a player for Flow Gaming in starcraft 2 as well. He also ran a big tournament in Starcraft 2 called the Learn with Destiny series, then he was recruited by Flow as their DotA2 manager. Jesse's been all over the growing eSports scene and is doing an amazing job already. We sat down with him and superstar vegetable Brock Li to get their thoughts on the team's breakout win!

First of all, Luke: How do you feel winning your first tournament two days after the official team announcement?

Brock Li: The feeling is absolutely unreal. I've never won anything this serious before, and to do so on a new team is simply ineffable. It feels much stronger than any personal achievement in my life simply because I share the emotion of my four teammates which amplifies it beyond what I thought was possible to perceive. Even better is that we played each game with a stand-in and 2/3 games were on EU server.

And Jesse, as this is your first series as manager, how do you feel about the team?

Pandepic: I feel very proud of the team and the fact that they managed to win against a great team like Absolute Legends, and I feel that it shows that in the near future ROOT is going to show everyone some amazing games.

What were your expectations coming in to this game? Did you guys feel like the favorite or feel like the underdog?

Pandepic: I think that we were very well prepared for the games despite the fact that to an outside observer we might have seemed like the underdog. All the players were very confident that they were ready and believed that they could win, though they also respected that aL would be a hard team to win against.

Brock Li: This may sound arrogant, but I was very confident coming into the game. Clearly we were the underdog but we prepared very heavily for this game and were confident we could exploit aL's extreme aggression. In game two you saw just how effective they can be--they are an incredible team. But our strength as a squad is our ability to react and dissect the game strategically in order to exploit the strengths of our enemies.

You guys rolled AL game one on NA server by taking a massive kill lead right out of the gate. At what point were you 100% sure you were going to take the game, and how did that initial big win affect your mindset?

Pandepic: When I saw the team get 2 kills at roshan and also get aegis without losing anything I was confident that they had won the game.

Brock Li: There was never a point prior to taking their base towers that I felt we had the game won. We've already made huge comebacks ourselves as a squad, and a mark of great teams such as aL is their ability to comeback from huge deficits. I think that if we were to relax and consider the game won at any point then we would defeat ourselves. You can sort of feel the confidence and momentum building, but I find that it's a mistake to become arrogant.

In terms of how this affected our mindset, it reaffirmed what we already knew--with our preparation and conformity to our gameplan, we knew that we could beat that team.

The casters said something about not liking the gyro pick games two and three -- but it's already a ROOT staple pick on stream and in practice. Thoughts on Gyrocopter? Why pick him?

Brock Li: Gyrocopter is an extremely strong pick in my opinion. He is one of the strongest lategame carries and he has extreme comeback potential in the ability to farm absolutely massive ancient stacks. Furthermore, for playing against such aggressive teams, having his ultimate laid down as the fight starts guarantees that they will come into it and fight, which gives us a big advantage in the teamfight. Another reason we like him is because we sort of baited the ck pick in the last game--we know that with Jakiro+Gyro AoE we can easily mow down the ck illusions. CK really is an unstoppable carry if you cannot burst down the illusions fast, and Gyro is simply too great at that.

Pandepic: I feel that Gyrocopter is a very good pick against certain heroes such as Chaos Knight, Templar Assassin and Phantom Lancer, and I think that despite him being rarely picked, it's always wise to know when a hero like that can be pulled out to surprise an opponent and counter their team, in game 3 it was strong against both of the enemy carries.

Ok, so game one, there were issues of cross-server lag, and game two was a reversal of the first as ROOT was on the bad end of the beat stick on EU, which seemed to confirm that theory. Game 3, however, you played down -ddx, who is acknowledged to be the glue that holds the team together, and you played on the EU server. You closed out the game dominantly and won every teamfight but one. I don't think there's any question that ROOT played better than AL today. Thoughts?

Brock Li: It is irrelevant to me that aL blamed the server for the first game--and it gave me a lot of confidence that we would win the series. The fact of the matter is that we had abused their aggressive playstyle, and by blaming it on server they were missing the entire point in to why the lost the game. In game 2 we were unable to handle the wisp threat and we were thoroughly outplayed. Knowing that we were going into game 3 without -ddx because of his 2,000+ms ping, we knew we had to really play tight and give up nothing. Even though we were lacking our full lineup, what is most important against a team like aL is that you stick to your strategy. And being able to find a stand-in who allows Fun to stay on support ensures that he and I can control the game and keep the aL movements in check. It helps to have such capable and experience stand-ins such as Brax and Bulba--shoutouts to you guys, thanks so much for playing with us on zero prior notice!

Pandepic: I think that ROOT had an advantage from the draft in game 3 and on top of that they played a safe solid style, and when you play a safe solid style against an extremely aggressive team you get a lot of chances to punish their mistakes, and so ROOT simply allowed them to make the first mistakes and tried to play conservatively outside of punishing mistakes. I also feel that this is a good option for playing on an unfavourable server because a safe solid style lessens the impact of ping as much as you really can.

Even though you were up a few kills, you guys had a huge farm, level, and tower disadvantage going into the midgame in game three. KoReYa then managed to out-CS all of AL after winning consecutive teamfights. How do you cope with getting outfarmed and outlaned really hard in the first ten minutes?

Brock Li: I think one of the main reasons they were able to take advantage into the mid game is because we have to respect their play style so much. It is absolutely necessary that we stay in position to handle any dive at any point, because it is at that point that we lose control of the game. The second we let them explode with aggression unpunished is the second that we lose the game. This is another reason Gyro worked well for us this game--he can also catch up using ancient stacks.

Pandepic: I think the best way to deal with a hard earlygame are smoke ganking as 4 while your carry farms, or pushing as 5, or taking roshan after counter warding as 5, and ROOT used all of these things to build a midgame advantage.

Thanks guys for sitting down with me, and thanks to Luke especially for sharing your insight and excitement. Last question. SWEDEN LET'S GO?

Brock Li: I want to go to Sweden soooo bad!!! And I've heard pretty nice things about Swedish women... ;)

Pandepic: LOL

The THOR Open Tournament will take place on the weekend of December 8th in Kistamässan, Sweden, with a prize pool of nearly $20,000 USD. Big shout out to ROOT, Rush Order Tees and Twitch TV for sponsoring us even though our Dota2 squad was struggling with our lineup and supporting us and making this win possible.
Editor in Chief, ROOT Gaming. For corrections and concerns or if you'd like to volunteer, please email deezl@root-gaming.com.
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