There’s a long lull period in between tournaments. A few PD2L matches were played, but they weren’t all that important… so we’ll just have to wait until the playoffs.
In the meantime, here’s what you can expect to see coming up!
First. A detailed breakdown at some of Zenith’s moves in competition games. I’ve got one of ice’s Axe against aL, but it’s kind of horrible and I’m not sure if I want to upload it. In the meantime, expect one of Loda‘s Pudge against iG soon (slightly less horrible – I’m new to this whole video editing thing okay)! Holler if you want that one posted. (and I’ve got one with hyhy‘s windrunner as well in a scrim…)
Next. Match highlights. Specifically, the 3 game series against Orange that they recently played. It’s in the works, and should be a good summary of what happened, for those too lazy to watch the full games.
Finally, an actual match summary. I’m planning to do an actual summary of the games against LGD (having the replays and all), but I haven’t started on it yet.
ACTUAL TOPIC FOLLOWS
Now, here’s where I actually address the topic.
In this lull period, where I have no important matches to talk about, I’ll just provide one DotA tip a day. Until I run out or an important match happens.
Of course, this being the Zenith blog, I have to make that content Zenith related. Thus the title. These are things that I often don’t bother doing, which all members of Zenith do every single time in competitions. Many other competitive players do these too, but A SURPRISING NUMBER OF COMPETITIVE DOTA2 PLAYERS DO NOT.
Some of these things I actually do, but 90% of the player base (which is a very lenient estimate) doesn’t. Those things, for the sake of relevance to this blog, I’ll just pretend I didn’t start doing until Zenith taught me.
Yes, this is a thinly veiled excuse to write material relevant to this blog, but I can’t pretend that I haven’t learnt A HELL LOT by sitting next to Zenith live during their games. And watching their replays.
Also, another thing. I mentioned that these are things all the Zenith players do. That’s for now. Somewhere down the line, I plan to write about things only some of the Zenith players are capable of, or which not all of the players bother displaying.
So anyway, thing #1.
Thing #1 – Saving spells
If you are from a League of Legends background, this concept is foreign to you. Here are some things that you probably never realized while playing DotA, and you’ll never ever realize if you play League of Legends.
1 – Mana Regen is horribly slow. This has been partially alleviated by the mass of Arcane Boots. Zenith players come from an era where everyone could burn their entire mana pool killing 2 people, and have no way to push. While this is now rarely the case, it’s still an important discipline, especially in lane.
2 – Your opponent’s backup can come really quickly. Often without you seeing, without you realizing, due to TPs and fog of war. As such, your 2v2 skirmish will very easily turn into a 5v5 team fight while your spells are still on cooldown.
That’s mostly it. There’s also the point about ultimate reliant teams being easily taken down 2v5 when their ultimates are down, but that’s really a very specific situation.
This has many implications.
1 – Don’t use unnecessary spells to kill a hero. Obviously, this is difficult. Most people will play it safe and just overkill, which is why my #2 learning point should be “when to overkill”. Saving a spell means that you won’t suddenly be caught off-guard with one opponent dead, but no spells left, and the enemy team bearing down on you. In the case of big ultimates, it usually makes the difference between taking one outer tower and pushing to take a rax.
Illustration time. In LGD vs Zenith, Game 2, of the GDM finals (first set), there was a battle where hyhy‘s Tidehunter had multiple opportunities to Ravage multiple enemies. However, he knew exactly the capabilities of his teammates, and knew that Ravage was not necessary to kill the targets they were killing, and wouldn’t be enough to kill the targets that they weren’t after. So he saved it.
2 – Stop wasting crucial mana on creeps. Learn to last hit. Sometimes you have to push quickly, that’s a given. However, you will almost NEVER see any of Zenith’s players surprisingly run out of mana when a kill opportunity comes along (prolonged fights are an exception). Save mana for ganks. Save mana for engagements. You never know when those might happen. If you want to spam mana to push out, either make sure you have enough for a teamfight, or make sure that no teamfight happens.
No illustration necessary. Learn to last hit. If you’re going to waste mana on creeps, make sure there’s no teamfight coming along. Really. Your average player will often run into a lane to gank, only to realize that his ally has no mana to help him. Don’t be that ally.