Throwdown Breakdown (Spoilers for this week's stream!)
FlipdUp here. I hope you all had a blast watching this past Throwdown Thursday just like I did. I can't wait for next week when we get to see the Devs play DefCon 5 again! While we wait for the game I have been taking notes and watching games in past broadcasts as that's all I can really do until the Alpha comes out. I decided I would share my notes and some things I saw/learned in this past stream. I kinda wanted to see if anyone had anything to say about the match and maybe discuss a bit about what we saw. Anyway without saying much more here is what I saw. (Only for Game 1. Game 2 would take too much work to type all out in a presentable manner tonight.)
(Forgive any errors or inconsistencies you see. I wanted to make sure I got this out tonight cause I got a busy weekend.)
Blue Team: Thorgrim (Zin Ramu), Spartacus (JustCallMeBau), Alona (EarlGrey), and Black Knight (Berserker Mike)
Red Team: Spartacus (Guttermagic), Alona (Sajam), Anne Bonny (GodSpeed), and Spartacus (Rip)
Here is a breakdown of what everyone bought at the start of each round. Keep in mind other purchases may have taken place as the round was underway, but I wasn't able to see any of that stuff.
You can read the brief summaries I have with everyone's item builds. The story I get from the team comps and their item builds are Red Team wants to kill (and get buffs with buildable destruction) and create scoring opportunities from there, while Blue Team wants to stay alive and deal with a slower paced push.
I also added the gold comparison at the end of each round. Basically what we can see here is that Blue Team needed less gold for their plan to work.
Round by Round
Here is a little bit about what I saw in each round in addition to the information I have above.
Red team rushes the Red Buff with Anne Bonny on Relic watch. Blue Team approaches a little more patiently. Thorgrim stays back and builds defenses.
Blue team mostly keeps a good formation. Notably Thorgrim and Black Knight up front with Alona in the back for heals. Spartacus moving around as needed and keeping a buildable destruction focus. When Blue team makes it to the Red team base they are always taking down buildables to make the next score attempt easier.
These are my key takeaways for this round: Buildable focus, stay together, and keep formation/positioning.
Result - Blue Team Territory Win
Blue Team Thorgrim builds another wall and accompanying thumper fortifying the Blue base. Red team rushes red buff to help secure kills again. One thing I noticed is Bau (Spartacus) using his catapult to try to keep the Red team off of the red buff. I found this interesting.
GodSpeed's solo relic pushes aren't very effective and get stuffed quickly. There doesn't seem to be much of a formation to the way Red team moves the relic. It just seems to be "move forward" and hope it works. While on the subject of GodSpeed I also see how he causes a fumble on a stair slide from an incoming Thorgrim. This shows how knowledgeable he is of the stair slide entry point and that the buff stairs should be a good location to be aware of when on defense. (Also Anne Bonny can survive being knocked off the edge like an up-B move in Smash. This was kinda cool.)
As far as positioning goes, Gutter (Red Spartacus 1) went on a solo mission to take out buildables on the Blue team side. Blue team used this opportunity to push on the Red team. Ideally you would want to push as 4v3 as the team with 3 is at a disadvantage. Blue team however wasn't ready for Gutter to come back with his damage and they ended up getting beat up pretty bad. Blue team still focused on buildables with every push into Red base.
One last thing I want to bring up is knowing what abilities help you score. I noticed Berserker Mike (Black Knight) used his Unforgiven ability which gives armor and causes knockback with a short explosion. He activated this before picking up the relic and almost cleared the way for a Relic score. Something to keep in mind when trying to think about what each hero can do to either score or enable a score.
Solo push isn't as effective as moving with team and know how your kit can help you score.
Result - Red Territory Win
Red team rushes red buff (they want to KILL) and blue team stays back.
You don't want to get caught behind that T block outside of the enemy relay. A few of the Blue team got caught here and destroyed by the damage on the Red team. When caught behind enemy lines with this block to your back there isn't any room to escape so be aware of this potential trap. This actually led to the giant push by Red team with 3 Blue team members down and the eventual Relic score by the Blue team.
Don't get trapped behind the T-block and take advantage of your power plays.
Result - Red Team Relic Score
More subtle rush for red buff this time from Red team.
Not much new stuff out of this round. I just want to show again how knowing how you can help your team score is very important. The final play leading to the score was a tanky Thorgrim with less than 50% health going in with an Alona with her Ultimate up. Assessing the situation before going in they see the only things in their way were some balistas aka nothing Alona couldn't really dance her way around. Thorgrim goes in, soaks up some damage/draws focus taking advantage of the fact that he has a giant Alona heal on deck, Alona heals up, and she dances her way into the relay for the score.
Assess the situation before diving in for the score and know what you can use to help score (in this case Alona's ultimate and Thorgrim's tankiness.)
Result - Blue Team Relic Score
Gutter solos the Red Buff with a little help from Anne while Blue team immediately goes to clear buildables.
Anne solo pushes still aren't working. Not much assessment is going on before trying to run in to hit the combo to score. Anne could throw it over the walls, but doesn't account for how fast the blue team can get in her face to stop this from happening. It's also hard for Red team to take care of the buildables the blue team has been building up. They can't stay in there as long as the big, tanky Blue team can and must retreat sooner.
One of the cool things I noticed was Zin holding the ball midfield to slow the pace of the round while they sent Bau in to clear some buildables. After he did the necessary damage he used the Red team steps to slide on out of there (real smooth-like). Just shows what kind of map control you can possibly have while you hold the relic.
Finally to score the final point, Blue team shows a perfect example of knowing how your abilities can help you score. Black Knight uses both his Unforgiven knock back AND his ultimate to clear the way for Spartacus to score deliver the relic right into the relay
Control the pace of the match, assess the situation, and know how your abilities can help you score.
Result - Blue Team Relic Score
Blue team took this game by playing better as a team. They hardly every broke formation when necessary. They almost always had someone playing safety/back in case anyone went for a fast break and had a really good front line. Red team just didn't cut it this first game. They did have amazing damage and some good kills on the scoreboard but it wasn't enough. I DO however think they really could've taken the second game if they used their ball movement a lot better like they did in the later rounds, but I don't really wanna type out everything for that game.
Anyways, let me know what you guys think! Did I miss anything? Do you disagree anywhere? What do you think Red team should have done different? Were there any flaws you saw in the Blue Team's game plan?
I mean... what else are we supposed to do until the Alpha comes out?
@Kalology The "gold doesn't mean wins" theory can easily be seen in the Devs vs. Defcon 5 match from TwitchCon. The Dev's net worth was EASILY double ours. I've told my boys that we really shouldn't have won that game - we got the first two scores which helped, but our last score was 80-90% luck. In any case, Gold definitely helps.
But I agree - I noticed many times where the Red Team "dropped" kills. There was one match where the red team Sparticus caught the blue team alona in a combo that nearly ended her life, but instead of chasing the kill, he left the Alona to attack the relic which was already being handled by the rest of the red team. The Alona ran back to base to heal up for a sec, then came right back in to the fight.
The blue team, on the other hand, almost always ran as a pack of four. With a double tank comp + heals, I thought it was interesting that they went with the Spartacus. There are a number of reasons that I think they went with the Sparty instead of one of the ranged dps - 1) When you dealt with one of them, you dealt with all four - they were almost always all grouped up. 2) Alona heals were always more beneficial that way. 3) Protection - see #1. If someone attacked one of you, the rest of you could collapse quickly. 4) This made their push very hard to deal with.
I think there are some kinks in the armor, but I don't want to give away any of the Defcon 5 strats ;).
Wow, great play-by-play Flipdup - love the analysis and graphs.
That match was sooo much fun to play in. It couldn't have been any closer. We knew we couldn't win team fights, the pros have such better execution, so we used a two tank composition to help survive-ability and facilitate working as a group.
Kalology, yeah I think Rawlins in the mix could have hurt us, he's a bit of tank shredder. (Hopefully MaxkNJeeves doesn't read this :-)
The solo play was definitely evident with the red team, unfortunately. The kills were being racked up but good teamwork prevailed, end of story.
Definitely makes me excited to see what Defcon 5 will come up with to contest it.
Really cool to see graphs being made, and my "gold doesn't mean wins" theory definitely checks out here.
I don't wanna theorize too much, but if I had to beat the double tank comp, I'm probably bringing two ranged characters.
So is this really all done by hand? Or do you have access to the some kind of metrics that amazon collected? How did you create these graphs?
I think the stats most people are interested in is kill death ratio and most amount of goals. But its good to see high level analyst because strategy is what really makes winning possible.
Both of the territory wins were so close. The second territory win had the ball going over at the last second. Split second decisions count.
I definitely agree that in the third round red team wanted to kill. Gutter Magic in particular seems to love brawling.
I really want to have my own freelook camera to review the game so that I can better formulate an opinion on how the battle went.
@freezingwreck I just looked at the "net worth" at the beginning of each round when they shopped. And yeah K/D ratios were too much work to add lol. I personally would like to see a stat showing how long the relic was on one side of the map or relic possession time to show who had control.