S A D B O Y S . A U was nothing short of phenomenal throughout the entirety of the Oceanic Esports League’s fifth group stage week. Up against Benny Brian and Team Poyo, the LoseYourself-led squad walked away with two sweeping victories
S A D B O Y S . A U was nothing short of phenomenal throughout the entirety of the Oceanic Esports League’s fifth group stage week. Up against Benny Brian and Team Poyo, the LoseYourself-led squad walked away with two sweeping victories, further cementing their spot in the playoffs as one of the league’s big four. Though the sight was rather rare, their recent success was far from a fluke nor was it simply momentum-driven. A huge change came in for the boys this week and it was in the form of Buzzkin’s return to their starting lineup.
The experienced Dota 2 professional originally played as mid for SB until he took a two-week hiatus after the second week of the tournament. In his absence, LoseYourself manned the middle lane, while Hypeman, yet another seasoned player, filled in the position one. Upon his return, Buzzkin replaced MGC as position four, and SB turned into an entirely new squad, just like that.
Buzzkin’s style of semi-support can be described as unconventional given the standards of the current meta. We often see Snapfire, Lich, Grimstroke, and Rubick as the go-to supports as they provide significant impact in lanes and in fights, without needing much farm. But Buzzkin’s picks this week were far from the usual. He played both games against Benny Brian as Storm Spirit, then another two games as Weaver against Team Poyo, two heroes that would be rather played as cores due to their dependence on core items.
To be fair, none of these picks were exactly groundbreaking. Support Storm Spirit was first picked by Team Poyo against Sweaty Soldiers three weeks ago, and support Weaver has been relatively viable since its Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade allows Time Lapse to be cast on allies. Playing around farm-dependent supports, however, especially with the changes in earning gold, is still an entirely different thing. While it surely pays off to technically have four cores, it’s what a team does before the pay off comes that matters.
In SB’s case, they usually give 6ixerMaris-, their offlaner, heroes whose impact is hardly affected by item timing, such as Mars, Doom, and Timbersaw. These heroes only need to cast their spells or zone out particular heroes during team fights. Then, when outside of brawls, their main duty is to create space for their cores so they could farm other lanes safely.
Most of their games this week saw Buzzkin having more, if not fairly equal, net worth compared to 6ixerMaris-. This is made possible by proper allocation of resources as they leave Buzzkin in the jungle to farm all the items he needs. His most notable item timings this week were a 21-minute Bloodstone for his Storm Spirit and a 25-minute Spirit Vessel plus Aghanim’s Scepter on his Weaver.
SB is running a playstyle that is somewhat similar to the 6.8x meta when a four position support would have more farm than their cores, and offlaners only need to execute their ultimates effectively. Kinda like The International 2016 fourth-placers, Fnatic Dota, but replace DJ’s Enchantress with Buzzkin’s Storm Spirit and Ohaiyo’s Batrider with 6ixerMaris-’s Mars.
SB looks to determine if Buzzkin’s rediscovery of the semi-support position will continue to work wonders as they enter the second-to-last week of the Oceanic Esports League with three two-game series against Burger Flippers on Tuesday, Adió Chula on Thursday, and Sweaty Soldiers on Friday.
For more information about the latest ANZ online Dota 2 league and the complete schedule of matches, check out the official Oceanic Esports League website and give their Facebook and Twitter pages a follow.