Team 8 arm 0 farm — Season Review
Clarity League Divisions — Season 2, Division 1
Roster: Madsen © (1), Omegasaw (2), Nsphere (3), Rapdis (4), Eisi (5)
Going into this season, my plan for the draft was to try and apply the same formula as I did last season — get two people I’ve played with already and enjoy being on a team with, and then grab two I haven’t played with before but suspect would be nice to play with. This tends to make for very comfy teams (if you’ve been around for a while and have at least a vague idea of what most people are like).
I won’t pretend that this wasn’t a backup plan to get rime and figure it out from there, but I let go of that idea pretty fast for a couple of reasons — chiefly that I personally don’t tend to have a great experience on teams with extremely high MMR players, as I sort of clam up and become less vocal and involved — but also that I’d rather have 4 teammates I feel I’d enjoy playing with, which is hard to guarantee when you splash most of your budget on one player.
This could come to be a limiting approach if I’d played fewer seasons in the past, but considering I’ve now been on a team with about 125 unique players (Jesus fucking Christ) it’s one that I don’t suspect will run into many barriers — at least not in Clarity.
The end of this season was a fairly disappointing one; 3rd place is an alright finish, but I think we could’ve fairly easily clawed our way up to second (at which point I’m not entirely confident we could’ve bested the Frank team). Our failure to do so was a result of a couple of different factors; I don’t really think we played great Dota for much of the season and didn’t really manage to find that pocket of comfort that good teams manage to, where we get to a very consistent and unified idea of how to play and draft and what works for us. Instead, we largely took it series by series and just did our best to push through mistakes, and it did work for a while, often in lieu of unfavorable drafts and badly played lanes, and usually because our lategame calls were good. I’d highlight game 3 of our series against Dan’s team as an example, which I feel we won due to some great calls, like having Rapdis on Bara sneak into the enemy half of the map to farm tier 5 neutrals ahead of time, or the call for me to take Force Boots and eventually the Aghs and Refresher from Rosh.
The patch wasn’t great for us in my opinion; the few sort of go-to’s we’d developed for drafts ceased to exist and it got pretty rough, to the point where we didn’t get to that late game scenario where we tended to do well. This resulted in a pretty ugly elimination, but it is what it is.
5 | eisi
Eisi was my last pick in this draft and a fairly lucky one at that; the 5 pool wasn’t great, so ignoring the role in my draft could’ve turned out rough. Instead I got an Io spammer — which was pretty great for where I was at in the patch.
As a lane duo, I feel both Eisi and myself could’ve done more to communicate our intent and actually sort of…play the lane, rather than just exist in it. He’s a fairly quiet player, and my brain isn’t big enough to say smart things while clicking creeps, so a fair few times we weren’t exactly on the same page and instead autopiloted the lane for as long as we could before getting kicked out. The examples of this lack of communication backfiring are plenty, from smaller (not calling a Salve usage resulting in it getting cancelled and leaving us in a rough spot regen wise) to larger (completely misplaying a super winnable lane as PA+Tree by mistiming aggression). To Eisi’s credit, I don’t feel like any issues we actually went on to talk about or discuss were ever repeated, which is why it’s fairly evident to me that he’s not a bad player, just that we weren’t on the same wavelength.
I will say he’s a pretty nutty Io, and I really enjoyed how playing the hero would make him more confident and vocal: he’d outline how he wants to play the next couple of minutes, pull off clutch saves, spot openings for Relos to either join fights or fix waves and farm. This confident Eisi was a real treat to play with.
4 | Rapdis
I was keen on playing with Rapdis preseason as he seemed to be sort of the perfect Madsen draft pick; super PMA, big viber, dropped a load of MMR and thus was likely to fly under the radar while potentially outperforming current MMR, open to playing a lot of shit, fairly vocal.
This impression turned out to be largely on point, and I think overall Rapdis is a pretty great teammate. Super chill, great presence.
On the other hand (lmao haha), he started the season off as an injured gamer who played more or less with one hand; he did fine, though when he got better he couldn’t continue to use the injury excuse for missed spells which I’m sure was a negative for morale. Jokes aside, Rapdis’ performance was a bit hit or miss this season (sorta like his Nyx stuns lmao ok I'm done that was the last one); without looking at the offlane I can’t say for sure what happened exactly, but based on comms the lane was very hectic and lots of, uh, random shit would happen. Rapdis in general is a fairly aggressive 4, sometimes leading to massive impact in teamfights, other times leading to what I’d describe as…overreactions (we don’t talk about the ES tp incident). In general this leads me to the conclusion that Rapdis is a very intuition-driven player, which I feel is innately somewhat high risk, high reward.
I’ll note that Rapdis was the drafter, but was in essence just the button clicker, and was slotted into that role because no one else really wanted to do it. We’d had some dreadful drafts during the season, but Rapdis isn’t really to blame for that; he just clicked the buttons we’d agree to click.
I predict him to have an absolutely disgusting popoff season soonish, since I think he might’ve still been a biiiit washed (but that might also be purely because we didn’t scrim or anything).
3 | Nsphere
If you told me 3–4 years ago that the person I’d go on to share the most teams with would be this baboon I’d have laughed you out of the room; if you told me I’d value him extremely highly and consider him a great teammate I’d block you because the joke wouldn’t be funny anymore.
And yet somehow that’s the case; this was my 4th team with Nsphere, and it’s the 4th time I look back on it favorably.
Nsphere as a player is just pretty damn good. He clicks buttons okay and can probably play just about anything (even if he might whine about it), but he’s got such a fundamentally sound understanding of the game, in a way that very few of the (120+) people I’ve played with do. You really get the impression that all of it is second nature to him; he reads the map extremely well, can analyze a given situation really easily and is able to come up with a very specific gameplan extremely quickly — and, maybe most importantly, verbalize all of this very concisely, since there’s many players that have this effortless understanding of the game, but not many are able to put it into words. I’d argue Nsphere’s contributions are the reason we won most of the games we did.
Now, on the flip side, he’s still an ape, and he’s generally fairly disinterested. In the same vein as his shotcalling won us a bunch of games, I’d argue that his lack of more active involvement in drafting and general prep work was what held us back from doing better than we did. In particular, him not ever really knowing what he’d want to play was a part of why our draft ‘strategy’ ended up being “figure out everything else then let Nsphere have whatever”.
All I know is, I’m probably gonna end up playing on another team or two with him, and I’m probably gonna enjoy it, but I’d be very excited to see him really…care, I guess.
2 | Omegasaw
Omega is the other person I’d drafted as someone I’d played with before and had positive experiences with (as part of the 2+2 formula), and he felt like a fairly safe pick due to that. He’s generally a very stable mid, in particular in a mechanical sense; it’s very rare to see Omega having an extremely rough game individually unless he’s having to deal with a very significantly higher MMR player, or the rest of the team is having a bad time.
I suppose it’s worth noting about the latter than Omega does generally fall into the category of slightly greedier mid players, and he’s less likely to sacrifice farm to TP to a sidelane unless it’s a guaranteed thing. Admittedly, this might also be in part due to me as a carry player staying in lane longer than I probably should a lot of the time, which means opposing offlanes have a larger window to go for some dive. Maybe there’s also an element of me playing farmier heroes on this team compared to previous ones with Omega, and the things that made us work as a core duo didn’t really apply as well.
One thing that isn’t particularly new for Omega and myself as teammates is generally viewing certain things about the game differently, which has happened in the past; it doesn’t help that we’re both somewhat stubborn, so we end up talking in circles about random bullshit that probably doesn’t matter much. He’s nonetheless someone I enjoy playing with and consider a good friend, though I do think him and me are similar in that we’re probably at our best when we have a bigboy captain who just gives us something to play and let’s us worry about buttonclicking first and everything else second (see: my experience with Waloo, Omega’s with Shift).
1 | Madsen
pros: gained >1k mmr during the season going from 5.5k mmr to 6.5k mmr
cons: still played like 5.4k mmr carry
gl chris ur the last cuddlebuddy left, hope u dont get shitstomped by rime