Recap: The madness of the final week. SAE Dota League Germany Week 9
Professional players and experts often praise the ability to peak at the right point in a tournament or competition and when it comes to the SAE Dota League Germany, the final week was that moment. With four teams in positions to win the season, and direct matchups between all of them still to play, the last week was pure madness that only the most focused and prepared team could come out on top of.
The standings couldn’t have told a better story. Going into the last days of play, PENTA Sports was ahead of the pack by a very slight margin due to the fact that they had only conceded a single game thus far. Right behind them was Meow111 with two losses as well as Chills Landschildkröten and Team Saphira with three each. Every single one of them had to face direct opponents in the nerve wrecking final games of the season.
The first epic deciding battle in the arena that is the SAE Dota League Germany was Meow111 against Chills Landschildkröten. CLk, formerly EraseME Gaming, were coming off a strong tie against Saphira from the previous week and were eager to make a last minute push to the very top after hovering around fourth place during most of the season. Meow111 on the other hand still had quite a few tasks ahead of them and CLk could either be the start of something great or a stop in the tracks for them.
Game number one featured a carry Wraith King from Chill, who really showed why the team might be named after him. In quite dominant fashion CLk played themselves into a hefty gold lead of 15k at 33 minutes, however Meow111 showed great resilience and continuously repelled the pushes. Even team wiping CLk close to the end of the game wasn’t quite enough to break the advantage and they had to see their throne crumble. Both teams sitting at three losses at this point in time made the second game even more important. Switching up their playstyle a little bit, Meow111 transferred their mid player Ryujin to the safe lane, where he played a relentlessly farming and killing Sven. With uncontested farm for the most part, as the off lane Nightstalker was unable to achieve any success, Sven took over the game in vintage style of the hero, farming enemy heroes almost as much as ancient creeps. With a 17-1-8 KDA in 33 minutes, the second game went the way of Meow111, who could feel better about the outcome of this series, as they remained ahead on the table and opened themselves up the path to ultimate success.
The squad that finished close second last season of the SAE Dota League Germany now had the chance to forge their own destiny. After having beaten Saphira already in previous weeks, the road to first place was clear. The only thing standing in their way was the giant that is PENTA Sports. A 2-0 victory would edge Meow111 past their opponents in the league as it would put both squads on three losses with the direct matchup deciding the ranking. Meow111 could smell the scent of opportunity as they took on the task and started their most important series of the season.
In the first game Meow111 showed their will to take home the title this season as they confidently drafted and executed on all of their lanes. Getting very early kills on both support heroes, the aggressive trilane was a giant problem for PENTA. With a lot of pressure applied, their supports were unable to rotate and help out the other lanes, who themselves struggled and fell far behind. A masterful execution from all of the players from Meow111, who continually build on their advantage and team wiped PENTA twice in quick succession around the 22 minute mark. Not finding any remedy in this game, the players of PENTA had to feel the pressure of such a powerful opponent with the will to take them down and take first place in the league. Ending the game in only 28 minutes with 37 to 16 kills, Meow111 was one step closer to the spot they had been chasing all season long.
Meow111 seemed well prepared and ready as they picked Meepo as the fourth pick during the draft of the second game. Together with their successful Silencer mid, this was supposed to bring the trophy home for them. PENTA responded with an aggressive Ursa carry and Lina mid, not willing to back down or hesitate from a fight. With dominant laning heroes like Lich and Bane, PENTA got the slight advantage in the early game as they pulled quite far ahead in the kill department. It seemed like Meow111 was not phased by this though, as they knew exactly what timings to hit and when to pounce on their opponent. From an even net worth between the teams and a severe deficit in kills, Meow111 came out of nowhere to take a racks and finish the game in a single push. The Meepo of Ascendancy proved too much for PENTA and stabbed them right in the heart with his pointy little shovel. A very painful and frustrating way to go down, as they were certainly doing their absolute best, that simply wasn’t enough to stop the draft of Meow111.
After falling 0-2, PENTA had to recover quickly, as they faced Team Saphira in the final match of the league. Both sides were sitting at a 17-3 record and had the chance to make second place with a win. Not only a big difference in prize money, but also a morally important result for these ambitious squads. Whoever would lose would see themselves in a quite disappointing fourth place after leading the league for most of the season. While PENTA had to suffer a devastating loss against Meow111, Saphira had been struggling against multiple teams in recent matches. Under these circumstances only the mentally stronger team would be able to perform well and end the season on good terms.
In the first game Saphira went for their comfortable and successful heroes, giving Mambos his signature Slark. PENTA opted to go for a roaming Bounty Hunter and stable lanes with an Abbadon carry. Early on, the match was very even with both sides playing rather passively, maybe feeling the pressure and the weight of the situation. With overall survivable heroes and a farmed Abbadon, PENTA was able to not give up any unnecessary kills all the while getting the most out of every pickoff with Bounty Hunter’s Track. After a series of very one sided fights, the gold lead exploded and their advantage become too big for Saphira to handle. Conceding only a single kill in the last 10 minutes of the game, PENTA brought the first game home in 32 minutes and put themselves in a great mental state for the second game.
Leaving the tough loss behind them, PENTA had recovered and found their spirit again. Meanwhile Saphira had to face the reality that they most likely finish the season outside the podium and were quite far away from defending their title. The second game made the emotions very apparent. Struggling in most lanes and almost never getting a favorable engagement or pickoff, they continually fell behind, without ever being in the advantage during the entirety of the game. Only the previously so successful Nature’s Prophet could fight back with ambitious split pushing, but it was not enough to ever give them a fighting chance in the series. PENTA takes the last series of the season with 2-0 and ends the league in second place.
With direct wins over PENTA Sports and Team Saphira, as well as a draw against third place Chills Landschildkröten, Meow111 had proven that they are the best team in the SAE Dota League Germany Season 2. Their last series against Crash and Burn almost felt like a victory lap at this point. They had shown to be incredibly disciplined and always focused and the final formality before receiving their trophy and check was going to be no different. Taking it home in a calm and collected manner, they finished their final series 2-0 and could finally relax and rejoice. They had done it – Meow111 won the SAE Dota League Germany.
As the dust settles and the realization hits all the teams, that this season is coming to a close, the players and fans should be proud of what they have achieved. A league as exciting as we have never seen before, with competitive matches all throughout. In the end it was Kuschelecke, who finished second to last and have to play relegation to stay in the first division, who took a game off PENTA and enabled Meow111 to overtake them on the very last days.
The SAE Dota League Germany is sure to be back with more action when the third season starts. Be sure to stay tuned on social media and the website for information and details in the coming weeks.