What has 4 hooves and makes gameplay calls?

I have decided to split this post into sections. Normally that makes for easier reading. In this case, it doesn’t. I just do it anyway.


Introductory joke

What has 4 hooves and makes gameplay calls?

hyhy‘s voice.

Because it’s hoarse.

Geddit? Horse?

Hehehe-he-he. he…



TongFu vs Zenith, Gigabyte DotA Masters. Lower bracket semi-finals. That BO3 series was so long and tiring that Zenith had to postpone the lower bracket finals by 20 hours.

So tomorrow they’ll be up against Orange for up to a total of 4 games. Hooray.

But in the meantime, TongFu against Zenith. Again. I’ll provide a link to the VoDs once I find out where they are. In the meantime, here’s a summary of what happened. IN HAIKU FORM AGAIN!!!


Introductory Haiku

Game 1:
Furion, Panda, Morph
I don’t think Zenith has lost
With hy‘s Morphling

Game 2:
Nightstalker first pick?
Counterpicked, cannot teamfight
Turtle for an hour

Game 3:
Bear gets triple kill
Tidehunter does not even
Need to use Ravage

These games are worth watching. I hope. I haven’t actually seen how they are casted, the VoD’s not being out yet. But they feature some pretty good play. They also feature iceiceice going “waaaah… I played damn badly” after the games. But that’s not in the VoD, and you’re going to have to take my word for it.



hyhy: ice, back first
iceiceice: huh? (Brewmaster blinks into middle of enemy)

Loda (shooting arrow): Come on… be stupid… (arrow hits)
Loda: Oh yes. You see that?

iceiceice: Eh… I think they’re gonna tower dive me (gets first blooded 1 creep wave later)

hyhy: eh ice can you play Tide?
iceiceice: Huh? No.
hyhy: Very easy one. Come, this game you play Tide.
(discussion goes on for a few more minutes)
hyhy: Wait, actually let me play Tide. I’m a damn good Tide.
hyhy: I’m a daaaaammmnnnn good Tide.
hyhy: Loda Bear, you Morph.
iceiceice: Why not I Bear, Loda Morph?
iceiceice: Loda you can Morph right?
Loda: Yes…
xy: No lah. ice, you Morph… keep roles fixed.

And there we have xy, the grand arbitrator. The man who gets the final say in all disputes.

hyhy: BEASTMASTER! (Beastmaster dies)
hyhy: VENOMANCER! (Venomancer dies)
xy: ENCHANTRESS! (Stuns Enchantress, who sadly runs away)

iceiceice (after the game): Actually I can play Tide… I’m just being honest. I don’t fully know the hero well.


So anyway… about hy‘s voice…

Refer to the previous post about the differences between Zenith on LAN and Zenith on Skype. In theory.

Today, for most of the first 2 games, hyhy was commanding his team non-stop. Using his commanding voice. Which gets louder the more time-critical his decision is, and has to compete with all the in-game sounds being played in the area. So he’s talking, non-stop, at a rather accelerated pace, at a volume that is considerably louder than anyone’s normal speaking voice. For almost a good 2 hours (the 2nd game being something like 70 minutes).


When to push, when to rally, what lanes to push, when to push what lanes. He was in charge of the entire map. And when you see Game 2, with all the split pushing and pressuring being done, keep in mind that the whole of Zenith’s map movement was commanded by hyhy. Every bit of it.

And when he wasn’t commanding, he was giving status updates. Useful ones. “Don’t fight, I’m going home.” Or “Play safe, I got BoT in 200.”

Item choice, wards, smoke ganks, those he left up to his players (for the most part), though much time was spent discussing as well.

Loda: Should I go BKB straight?
hyhy: That one is your choice. (Loda gets Manta)

Loda: I have buyback
hyhy: No point saving buyout on Bear.
Loda: Well, I have 1.5k and I’m going AC… I guess I could buy the recipe first.

iceiceice: Should I go AC or Sceptre?
hyhy: AC. You need to tank. (iceiceice goes AC)

But all that can be done on Skype. Albeit not so enthusiastically, since hyhy doesn’t have to compete with the in-game sounds. I’d like to think all the auditory competition gives his voice a commanding touch and makes the team that much more responsive.

Really, there is a SENSE OF URGENCY that can be conveyed in LAN which is simply lacking when the team communicates over Skype. xy‘s “EH, HE’S OUT OF POSITION. GO GO GO!” provokes an instant response. People speak of latency, and LAN seems to cut down on it. I speak not of in-game lag, but of the swiftness of responding to commands (and the clarity and ease of communicating). On LAN, the team just feels… responsive.

I could speak a lot more about how the ability to communicate with your team is a sorely underestimated trait in DotA, but this blog isn’t titled “Ant tells you about DotA”; the title “Ant tells you about what he learns about DotA from team Zenith” is rather appropriate though.

What isn’t done on Skype is the level of management that hyhy gives his trilane and his supports. At every moment, his support players an extension of himself. Guided by his command, they move with him in perfect harmony. Which sounds damn poetic when I read it.

And then, when left on their own, xy and xFreedom form their own little unit, communicating within themselves, ready to be called on by any of the 3 lanes. Sadly, I sat far away from the “supporting unit”, and didn’t manage to pick up on any of their chatter, save for the obvious warcries. That’s why the quotes are slightly skewed towards quoting certain people.

After close to 2 hours of intense commanding (and after losing a game with pretty much an hour of turtling), a visibly exhausted hyhy, in a hoarse voice, said “Loda, can you command the next game? I don’t think I can command already.”




What, you think I’m going to talk about game 3 here and end my post?

There are 4 players in Zenith who have each been commanders of their own team to win international competitions. Then there’s xFreedom, who appeared on the scene after I retired, and whose competitive history I SWEAR I’LL FIND OUT SOON. Even he too voices his own independent thought. There are 5 individual voices in Zenith, each voicing their own opinion, and all being highly skilled players, often have differing opinions. YET SOMEHOW THE TEAM WORKS (hehe teamworks). Respect. More on this when I’m not talking about hyhy. But today is about hyhy.

I’ve been under 3 of these players, and each has a very different style of commanding the team. For obvious reasons, I have never been on the same team with Loda (the #1 obvious reason being that I’m Singaporean). Here are more quotes of commands they have given me in LAN competitions.

hyhy: When the Doom comes in, straightaway just Maledict him and I’ll whack him down.

Detailed, straightforward, but gives great direction.

iceiceice: Chase him chase him!

iceiceice: Wait wait wait I think got 3 in this forest.

iceiceice: Nono don’t come I’m just wasting his time.

General, but informative enough.

xy (at a LAN competition): I’m going to shout YAMATEH and fly in at him. Then you 4 kill ChuaN.

I don’t know, but that’s just damn funny.



Yah, so like a true warrior, hyhy never stopped commanding.

For the first two games though, he was never with the team, playing Morphling and Tinker. He had to take the extra effort to keep track of them, to coordinate their movements around the map with his.

For the third game, hyhy was Tidehunter. He left iceiceice to farm and do his own thing. That seems to work well. The rest of the team, he led in engages, with his Tidehunter as the forefront.

And so, a convincing victory. hyhy never stopped commanding. He commanded engages, he gave map control commands, and we’re all damn thankful that the 3rd game didn’t last for over an hour, or he’d have lost his voice. And possibly be dead. And being dead makes him a very unhelpful teammate.

What would Zenith do if their commander has lost his voice?

No guys, this is not a hint. Do not lace his food with hot peppers. Also, any great fans out there, if you see hyhy on the street, buy him a healthy supply of lozenges.


Final quote

I really like these quote things, don’t I?

Taken from after the first Zenith-TongFu series in early June, when 4 players played on LAN, with hyhy over Skype.

Loda: We really need hyhy here.
iceiceice: Ya. Without hyhy‘s commanding, it’s like… a bit wrong.
xFreedom: Ya lorh. Our coordination like… not there.


Q and A

Here’s the last part, where I post the answers to some of the questions I received in my email! Many other replies I gave, I have deemed not mundane enough (yes, sadly, the most entertaining answers of mine are usually too politically incorrect to put up), or not appropriate enough, to post here.

Remember, ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL, you can e-mail me at: ant@teamzenith.net

So let’s get the ball rolling.


Q: How does xFreedom set up the hotkeys for his Chen and Ench?

A: I got the answer off Steam messenger.
zEn|†h` xFreedom: 1 – hero
zEn|†h` xFreedom: 2 – single unit
zEn|†h` xFreedom: 3 – single unit
zEn|†h` xFreedom: 4 – all other units
MIRANA: what if you have 3 units
MIRANA: or if you get Helm of dominator and have 7
zEn|†h` xFreedom: spread out 5 to 7
MIRANA: are u an sc2 player or you only use 4 groups max
MIRANA: wow, sc2 player
zEn|†h` xFreedom: used to
zEn|†h` xFreedom: i need an account

Yes, my nick on Steam, for one game, was MIRANA. GUESS WHAT HERO I PLAYED.

And being an LoL player, I don’t even know what control groups are. No seriously, the other day I was playing Lone Druid and felt like I had too many (or rather… TWO MANY) units to control.


Q: Any plans on playing Axe more? I think he’s a really underrated hero and can really chop everything.

A: Only when iceiceice feels like it. Completely dependent on his mood. That’s however, just my opinion. I can’t speak for the team on this. I don’t think the team can speak for themselves on this either.


Q: How to get a Singaporean GF as hot as Loda‘s GF?

A: I replied to this question. Yes, I reply to every single question. While no question is too dumb to ask, there are many that I am too dumb to answer. THIS IS ONE OF THEM.


Q: What do the players think of their chances against the Chinese in the near future?

A: They’re confident, but they aren’t disregarding any teams. It’s quite impressive the amount of work they put into analyzing each team. I guess it’s wise since, other than Na’vi, it’s really impossible to tell how teams will perform at TI2. Major LAN events have a tendency to foil the expectations of the online community.

The Chinese have a tendency to TIME AND TIME AGAIN, play like crap online, then all of a sudden enter a LAN event and steamroll over everyone. Once in a while, they play like crap online, then play like crap on LAN, but that’s rare.

That was my answer. It’s a lot more politically correct than some answers the players might give, but their actions speak of how much they respect their opponents. They actually work to treat each individual team differently.


Final Note

I do not have an account on JoinDotA. That keeps me from replying to everything which I want to reply. It leads me away from temptation…

That being said, there are 2 points that really should be made clear.

One. I do not troll, I do not make things up. Occasionally I might misplace a word, or replace one with another of the same meaning (my English is not so horrible that I might misinterpret entire sentences). The worst I do is credit someone with someone else’s quote. That being said, the conscientious reader should always make the distinction between Team Zenith’s players’ opinions, events that happened, and my opinion.

Two. Every single time I see a post about xy‘s lack of skill or experience, I die a little inside. Out of laughter. From pity. At said poster’s sad lack of information.



– Ant



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