Okay, I’m going to try (and fail) to not get absurdly sentimental here, but I wanted to start this off with the fact that this was a wonderful experience. As I mentioned in my last blog, I had heard terrible things about RD2L teams and the players within them. When Truck drafted me, I expected him to be my life boat of sanity and wholesomeness and then I’d just try to not bother my other teammates too much with my Archon power plays. I came into the season with two hopes:
1) That I would improve some of my skills in DotA
2) I would hopefully meet cool people and make some friends in the PST-SUN community.
I’m happy to say that I think I succeeded on both counts and that my team was a huge part of my success this season. My next team will have a lot to live up to — after all, how could any other team contain both a brilliant captain and a supreme leader?
Truck (Fearless captain, wholesome strafe master)
For those of you who don’t know, I met Truck in one of the LD2L servers. Someone CASUALLY mentioned that a divine(?!) player was going to be queueing with us. I obviously protested, panicked, and went on for a good minute about how it was all going to go to shit. I couldn’t believe that any divine player could come into our stacks and not sigh, spam ping, or critique most of our play. So we played the game through. I can’t really remember how I did, but I did notice that Truck wasn’t flaming us or our medals. He didn’t sound arrogant in the slightest and I was concerned that he was some like some Civ version of Gandhi — except instead of going to nuke mode he somehow ventured into like… far-beyond-even-normal-Canadian-niceness territory.
For those of you that haven’t had the luck to be picked by Truckwaffle I hope you understand that the above is his greatest strength (though he has many). As Treebeard mentioned in his review, Truck’s unwavering positive attitude, faith in his teammates, and general candor kept spirits high and brought out the best in everyone. Additionally, the threat of his hero pool ate plenty of bans and that’s amazing. Thank you for drafting me and making my first season a memorable one.
Treebeard (The shadowblade + blink scourge)
As soon as the draft was finalized I ran to ButteryGreg and Clare to get the low-down on my new (potentially toxic) teammates. I wanted to know who Treebeard was — aside from a division admin that was VERY upset to have been drafted by Truck. They were both very candid that Tree was a good player… that unabashedly called everyone else trash. I thought I was ready for that level of disdain. After all, I knew I was trash. I realized I might not be prepared when he posted a video with the helpful introduction of: “this is required viewing because its all support stuff A. you’re probably bad at and B. I don’t want to have to waste time berating you for ingame.”
As with many of my RD2L assumptions, I was wrong about Tree. Even though he called us trash, yelled about smokes, wards, rotations, wards, ganks, and wards… he genuinely tried to help me get better. He took time to live spectate my games and point out (in pain staking detail) the myriad aspects of DotA I was trash at. He pointed out the few times I did things right and didn’t expect more from me than I could give based on my badge/knowledge of DotA. He also carried the shit out of our team during the early to mid-game with crazy amounts of farm and laser accurate blink LC duels to any support that dared venture within half the map of him. After multiple games I was exceedingly happy that Truck picked Tree for two simple reasons: 1) Schadenfreude 2) Not having to be the support that feeds duel damage. If I’m mysteriously out sick next season when my team plays against him, you’ll know why.
All of that said, Tree is a great addition to any roster that wants a reliable player that will win his lane 1v1 or 1v2 90% of the time. He’s also a cool guy and nice person (aside from the trash comments, that is). Draft him — but only if you draft Ultragunner. They’re package deal.
KBX (Nimbus Lord 5000)
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to talk to KBX that much outside of our games. I was busy focusing on my Shadow Word casts but whenever I looked mid, he was always one step closer to a key aghs on Zeus or another item that helped secure our hectic teamfights. While he had plenty of room to complain about the lack of ganks, wards, and map presence of his supports, he took it in stride and came out of mid ready to fight. He had an east coast schedule and if I hadn’t known from our team chat, I would have never guessed. He was a reliable wonderful mid that showed up — even when a series took FOUR AND A HALF HOURS.
I wish I could comment more on what he did in game, but I don’t know enough about mid to comment. I can only comment on his personality and clutch nimbus plays — I’d totally play with him again in another season.
Ben (Racc9, he who skills Edict)
For those of you that didn’t witness the starting horn rune fight where Ben famously skilled edict at level one… I can speak to my experience as I watched a better Dota player do something I knew was patently wrong. I sighed in real life and simply stared. I didn’t want to say anything because maybe he had some esoteric knowledge that I wasn’t privy to. As soon as Treebeard started frothing at the mouth about edict, I was vindicated. What stands out to me the most about that game is how Ben played the lane until level 2. He salvaged the skill and did more damage than I thought was possible. This was a common theme for Ben — he would take an atypical skill or item build and pull off some clutch plays.
Aside from that, Ben was a wonderful teammate. While I would have liked to have more chances to scrim and practice with him, he has a hectic life outside of DotA. Regardless, he showed up every Sunday full of positivity, draft ideas, and the willingness to pick up wards that I forgot because I was panicking about laning against [Insert High MMR Laner(s) Here]. I highly recommend him as a teammate!
Sharingan (Satanic Io, never forget)
The only portion of the draft I saw was when Sharingan was picked. There was a decent but of arguing about picking him based on his name. I will say that I think picking Sharingan was the best player draft decision that Truck made. The fact that Sharigan made it to 5th round is criminal. From his wonderful ability to get farm around the map to his pre-game scouting, Sharingan was the support I wanted to be. He even invited me to stacks outside of game days. He provided feedback after the matches and embodied the archetype of a versatile DotA player. Tree was spot on with his analysis of Sharingan’s playstyle. I think he’s a wonderful pick up for any team that wants the best of both worlds — someone with a real hero pool and a team player that scouts so you don’t have to. 😉
All in all, I can’t be happier with my team. I’m so proud we made it as far as we did and humbled to have gotten the chance to play and learn from such wonderful and talented players.