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Dota 2: The Boston Major comes to a thrilling conclusion

Boston Major grand finals.jpg

From start to finish, Valve’s $3 (R41,070,300) million tournament, the Boston Major, produced shocking results, with favorites falling and an unbelievable underdog story. The aforementioned underdogs are of course Ad Finem, a team from Greece in their first Valve sponsored tournament; who I talked about in our Day 2 coverage, calling them the dark horse of the Boston Majors.

Throughout the tournament, the relatively unknown Greek team stole the hearts of the crowd as well as the casters with their tenacity, never-say-die attitude and crowd-pleasing antics, for example a somersault from one of their players on the main stage during day 3. Ad Finem crushed DC, the TI2016 finalists, with a 2-0 in the semi-finals.

OG looked incredibly strong going into the grand finals as well and made quick work of EG in the semi-finals with solid drafts and perfect execution. If OG wins the Boston Major, they would become the first team to win three Majors. The stakes couldn’t get any higher as both teams gave it their all in the Boston Major grand finals, bringing the tournament to a thrilling conclusion.

Game One

OG drew first blood on Ad Finem’s offlane after a relatively slow start to the game, but Ad Finem pull slightly ahead in the early game with some scrappy play that they have become known for throughout the tournament. Big plays from their Shadow Demon coupled with some insanely quick reactions from their Puck put Ad Finem slightly ahead at the 10-minute mark with a score of 6-5 as fights break out across the map.

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A sneaky courier snipe, tower deny, an early Roshan kill and overall brilliant movement and teamwork put Ad Finem even further ahead during the midgame as OG looked uncertain in their actions. At the 20-minute mark, OG closes the gap as the score is now 9-8 in favour of Ad Finem, while OG gain small experience lead. The game remains relatively even until 24 minutes in, when OG won a team fight in the mid lane after picking up some core items, with Luna’s ultimate doing a massive amount of work. OG regains their composure and takes the fight to Ad Finem, picking off hero after hero.

After a crucial engagement at the Roshan pit, OG is 19-9 ahead at the 30-minute mark with a massive gold and experience lead as well. OG forces Ad Finem to go on the defensive in the late game, shutting down any attempts from the Greek side to take important objectives or get a pick-off on one of OG’s carries.

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Although Ad Finem does an excellent job of cutting creep waves and not giving OG a chance to push high ground for over 10 minutes, OG’s lead becomes insurmountable in the late as they finally take a barracks at 40 minutes into the game and forces the GG soon thereafter with a score of 32-9.

Game Two

In the second game, both OG and Ad Finem went back to some of their comfort heroes in the drafts, for example Ad Finem’s Nyx Assassin and Nyx Assassin as well as OG’s Bat Rider and Dazzle. However, the draft is definitely in OG’s favour the second game of the grand finals. The game starts off slowly as it looks like both teams settle in to their respective lanes, until OG manages to draw first blood on Ad Finem’s Bounty Hunter support.

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A risky decision by Ad Finem pays off as they TP their safelane to participate in a gank, evening up the score 1-1 during the early game until OG wins a massive fight, wiping the Greek side and thereby taking a commanding early game lead. At the 10-minute mark, OG is 9-3 ahead and has a 2500 gold as well as experience lead. Moving into the midgame, OG pushes their advantage, taking objective after objective including all of Ad Finem’s outer towers and Roshan, as the Greek side is pushed back into their base and forced to defend.

At the 20-minute mark, OG is 16-4 ahead in kills and has a massive gold and experience lead, not giving Ad Finem a single opening to gain some track gold and launch a comeback. Ad Finem does manage to defend a high ground push from OG, but don’t get any kills that they so desperately need as they item progression have slowed down to a crawl. OG continues to play an extremely solid game, giving Ad Finem nothing and keeping the lanes pushed in.

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OG finally manages to break high ground and take a lane of barracks, not giving away a single kill even after multiple buybacks from their opponents. Ad Finem is forced to GG out as OG is now only one win away from becoming the Boston Major champions.

Game Three

Game three again starts with OG picking up the First Blood and scores two more kills shortly afterwards, putting Ad Finem at an early disadvantage. Although Ad Finem had a bad start to the game, they start to pull it back with some great rotations, keeping OG on their toes. At the 10-minute mark, the score is 9-9 as Ad Finem wins an intense fight at top lane.

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A scrappy fight breaks out in the bottom lane where Ad Finem loses multiple heroes and a tower, while OG walks away with minimal losses. After the aforementioned fight, the game starts to slow down as both teams farm for some core items. OG moves to the Roshan pit just before the 20-minute mark and Ad Finem tries to contests but fail to beat OG in a team fight, resulting in a massive loss for the Greek team.

With Aegis in hand and 21-13 ahead, OG is in an extremely strong position in game three. OG try to force the issue with their first attempt at high ground, but Ad Finem’s defense proves too strong as they not only push OG back but get three much needed kills and shortly afterwards manages to kill both of OG’s carries, making the score 23-18 still in favour of OG.

Both teams continue to trade blows and at 30 minutes into the game, the score is 26-21 in favour of OG as Ad Finem closes the gap in terms of both gold and experience. With an incredible team fight close to OG’s tier two tower, Ad Finem’s Rubick steals the Juggernaut’s ultimate and slashes down some OG heroes in one of the best plays of the tournament.

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Ad Finem, with momentum on their side, wins another fight at the Roshan pit, claims the Aegis and evens up the score to 30-30 before the timer hits 40 minutes. Shortly afterwards, Ad Finem crushes OG in a team fight mid and proceed to take down top barracks, their first of the grand finals. Ad Finem overextends trying to force a fight in the bottom lane and gets punished as OG takes a team fight, only losing one of their supports in the process. The teams continue to trade blows and OG claims a ranged barracks.

At 50 minutes into the game, the score is dead even at 39-39.  A massive blunder from OG, where they didn’t have any TPs, resulted in Ad Finem cleaning up the top barracks and a tower middle before getting away with minimal losses. One hour in, game three of the grand finals could go either way, as one more mistake from either team could cost them the game.

With 65 minutes on the clock and the scores even at 44 apiece, Ad Finem’s carry decides to purchase a Divine Rapier and barely escapes with his life a couple of times, including a frantic fight at the Roshan pit. Ad Finem’s Luna picks up the Aegis, allowing them to take all OG’s remaining barracks down, but the Luna does end up losing the Devine Rapier in the process.

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OG pushes with the Rapier but Ad Finem’s spectacular defence puts the Rapier back into the hands of their Luna. Despite Ad Finem having Mega Creeps and a Rapier, OG still manages to push their lanes out and even goes on the offensive. Just before the 80-minute mark, the Luna purchases a backup Rapier before one of the craziest fights in Dota 2 occurs, with OG defending their base and killing Luna for her Rapier with only 320hp left on their Ancient.  

Ad Finem finally manages to break OG just before the game timer ticks to 80 minutes, winning game three, with a kill score of 59-55 in favour of OG. It was without a doubt one of the best games of Dota 2 and a must-watch.  

Game Four

Both teams formulate strong drafts in game four, with no clear “draft win”. For the fourth game in a row, OG draws first blood, gaining a small early game advantage. Although a lot of fights break out in the early game, they only result in a couple of kills, both going the way of OG. At the 10-minute mark, OG is only slightly ahead with a score of 4-3 and the teams are tied in terms of gold and experience.

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However, Ad Finem’s Templar Assassin does clear a four-stack ancient camp, giving his team a slight gold advantage. After a frantic fight in the OG jungle, Ad Finem comes out with a small advantage and takes Roshan down straight afterwards. Although the score is 8-7 in favour of OG, Ad Finem has the Aegis and pushes the issue, taking down both the mid towers in the process.

20 minutes into the game, Ad Finem has almost a 2000 gold and experience advantage. OG turns it all around in the mid game by grouping up and shutting Ad Finem’s objective attempts down. Nearly 25 minutes into the game, OG is suddenly 18-8 ahead with two consecutive team fight wins and pushes their advantage, destroying Ad Finem’s mid lane of barracks.

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OG continued to push their advantage, winning multiple team fights during the midgame to secure a massive advantage and another lane of barracks. At 37 minutes into the game, the score is 33-12 in favour of OG as they take down the last lane of barracks and force the GG from Ad Finem. With the GG called, OG wins the Boston Major.      

Even though Ad Finem didn’t manage to win, their second-place finish is without a doubt one of the greatest stories ever in Dota 2. Before the tournament, Ad Finem only won roughly $30,000 in prize money since the team formed over a year ago, and now walk away with $500,000 (R6,899,000) second place prize.

OG wins $1 million (R13,798,000) in prize money and become the first team to win three Major tournaments. The side proved to everyone who doubted them that they are still one of the best teams in the world, even after making massive roster changes since TI2016.

What do you think about the Boston Major grand finals and did you expect OG to win or Ad Finem to get that far? Let us know in the comment section below.

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