The Dota 2 Play That Won $6 Million

 The Dota 2 Play That Won $US6 Million

The American pro Dota 2 team Evil Geniuses won the game's biggest eSports event ever this past weekend, taking home a cool $US6.6 million as a reward. What's really cool about their victory is how, specifically, they accomplished it. It all came down to one awesome and highly improbable play.

You can watch the pivotal moment, which has been spreading rapidly across YouTube, Twitter, and pretty much any other place that gamers like to hang out over the past two days, in the short clip below. If you don't know much about Dota 2, it will probably look very chaotic and confusing, but don't worry — stick around and I'll do my best to explain what went down.

OK. So, what did we just see? IGN has a great play-by-play breakdown of the so-called "$US6 million dollar echo slam" that you should check out if you want to know all of the specifics, but I'll give a condensed version.

There's a big and difficult-to-kill NPC monster on the Dota 2 map named Roshan who hangs out at a specific location that is aptly named "Roshan's Pit." Just like the dragon in League of Legends (Roshan is also a dragon), this is a beast that a five-person team tries to kill in-game in order to reap a significant experience and gold reward — making their heroes ever more powerful for the final push (or pushes) against the enemy team.

There's an important qualifier to killing the dragon, though. Since Roshan is so powerful, you normally need an entire team to gang up on the beast at once. This leaves a team at risk of being ambushed mid-fight. Because of this, a tactful team will normally wait until they can pick off one or more of their opponents — leaving the enemy team outgunned and therefore less able to successfully fight for a lucrative dragon kill.

The Chinese Dota 2 team CDEC, Evil Geniuses' opponents in this grand finals match, had managed to pick off one EG player and therefore decided it was a good time to go for Roshan. Here you can see them gathering around the pit to attack the dragon:

 The Dota 2 Play That Won $US6 Million

Even the commentators in the match thought that, at the very best, EG might have had a chance to hold CDEC off from landing a killing blow until their ally respawned and they could actually stand a fighting chance to defeat their opponents. Instead, the four-man EG army rushed valiantly in and destroyed CDEC, leaving only one player alive and taking the dragon for themselves:

 The Dota 2 Play That Won $US6 Million

How did they get from point A to point GG? There were a number of decisive factors at play in EG's triumphant move. But what it really came down to was a spectacular use of one specific hero's attack.

The big burly character named Earthshaker (seen above in the lead image) has a moved called "Echo Slam" that, as the name implies, slams the ground and deals loads of damage to any enemy caught within its immediate radius. What's more, the damage of Echo Slam amplifies with every additional enemy hero struck by it, meaning a team of five will each receive a lot more damage than they would if only one or two of them was struck.

 The Dota 2 Play That Won $US6 Million

EG's Earthshaker strode in and deployed Echo Slam at just the right moment, when the entire enemy team felt its impact. See how he blinks into the center of the fray and then immediately triggers the move:

 The Dota 2 Play That Won $US6 Million

Thanks to a bunch of other abilities cast around the same time window, the CDEC players are all left reeling from a ton of simultaneous damage, stun, and other assorted magical effects. Only one player managed to escape with his life.

EG was already ahead in the game, but what made this play particularly impressive is the fact that it's exceedingly difficult to nail an Echo Slam like this at high-level play. Normally, players of CDEC's calibre have masterful enough positioning and timing to avoid all being caught in its deadly path. After wiping out 4 players in one go, there wasn't any contest left.

The "$US6 million echo slam" began to take off once Dota 2 fans witnessed it over the weekend.

GG, Evil Geniuses. That one's definitely going on the fridge.


    As a Dota 2 player whose clocked up over 4000 hours in the game and still no where near being anywhere near even a level that could compete in a tournament, I was shocked that CDEC tried this risky manoeuvre after only getting rid of one of their players. One can argue they'd been playing all week + the pressure of the grand final etc... But against an ES and an AA.... I literally was screaming at my monitor when they went in. Honestly.. What did they think was going to happen? I was sitting there going - If I was EG, I would just blink, echo + have AA hit them with his ulti = GG. And that's exactly what happened. I wouldn't even say it was some brilliant move by EG.. it was more an epic fail by CDEC. A shame because the game before that one was such a close one (probably one of the best games I've seen in a TI).

    I actually was rooting for EG but I wanted to see an epic tie breaker to win it.

      CDEC needed to go for it. They needed some sort of edge as they were slowly losing ground to EG. Risky, and they were punished for it, but sometimes you need to take a risk to get the reward.

        I agree they were battling up hill but against the ES + AA combo (imo) it was never a good gamble to take. Plus I agree with the commentators.. letting EG get SS was such a big mistake.

      Yeha it was a really bad move, I was saying to a mate after they got through the upper bracket final they'll take it out, then that one mistake ruined their chances.

      Granted the game wasn't going well but that roshan attempt with everyone in the pit.... bad idea

    You forgot to mention the reason the echoslam was so successful was PPD's Ancient Apparition.

    For the uninitiated - at 0:09 in the main video, you see a blue guy (AA) wander up and throw down an Ice Vortex (the blue dot) into the rosh pit, where CDEC are fighting Roshan. This gives EG vision of the area, alerting them to the fact that CDEC are trying to take Rosh down. Additionally, this skill also amplifies magic damage to anyone nearby - including Earthshaker's echoslam.

    Moving forward to 0:10, you see another blue dot fly in from the bottom left-hand corner, which leads to a sort of forcefield-looking thing in the rosh pit, followed by another blue dot flying in and exploding. This is AA's ultimate ability - Ice Blast. It's a skillshot - the first dot that flies in is the 'targeter', so you choose where it lands. The field is the area of effect, and the exploding bit is the actual shot. In addition to dealing initial damage and some damage over time (amplified by the ice vortex that was already there), it applies a debuff to anyone caught in it - if your HP drops below a certain % during the duration, you have a chance of instantly dying.

    This is when Universe's Earthshaker comes in with his huge aftershock. It deals a huge amount of damage to CDEC's pretty fragile lineup - not enough to kill them outright though. However, it drops them low enough that they shatter from AA's ulti - this is why PPD gets a double kill and Universe gets the other 2 kills. Without PPD, Universe would have gotten a nice dunk, but the outcome of the fight might've been completely different.

    To be honest, although this was a massive play, the real deciding factor of this series was PPD's drafting, and Aui's techies. I cannot believe that Techies, often seen as a worthless joke hero, was the first choice pick/ban at a TI, simply because Aui played him so effectively. This gave EG an enormous drafting advantage, which PPD used ruthlessly. The only slip-up was giving CDEC Brood in game 2, which cost them the game - other than that, the drafting was genius-level.

      I've logged 1000 hours of Dota 2, and still needed this comment to make me appreciate what went down. Thanks.

      if your HP drops below a certain % during the duration, you have a chance of instantly dying.

      It is 100% shatter if it hits below the % threshold.

      Which is why it's been name the $6mil echo blast (by some).

        I like the '6 million dollar dunk' better

          6 million dollar disaster? Commentator's "It's a disaster!" was more enjoyable than the play lol.

    While the echo slam/ ice vortex in the pit was really awesome, it's nowhere near the reason why EG beat CDEC.

    The reasons they lost were:
    -CDEC kept first banning Techies. In the earlier stages of the tournament, EG pulled some surprise Techies picks which wrecked other teams. It caused CDEC to be way too scared of the hero, and forcing them into a draft in which PPD (the captain) wanted them too, e.g. CDEC playing Leshrac, even though they aren't good with the hero, just so EG wouldn't get it.

    -They couldn't control Sumail in the mid lane. Because of the Techies mind games, CDEC always played with a draft they weren't confident with, which allowed EG to pick Sumails Storm Spirit/Ember spirit. You don't give Sumail, EGs mid laner, Storm spirit and think you'll have an easy game. That kid playing that hero is usually GG, no matter how much he is behind.

    -CDEC banning Shadow Fiend, the clockwerk who had no impact and picking Dragon Knight. Why on earth CDEC chose to ban Shadow Fiend (a hero which Sumail is 'ok' with) and did not ban Storm Spirit (a hero which Sumail is godly with) baffles even a crappy player like me. The dragon knight did nothing all game, and just got destroyed by Storm/Sumail, and the clockwerk for CDEC had absolutely no positive impact on the game.

    So yeah. That echo slam in the rosh pit was satisfying but it wasn't why they won. They won because they were out drafted and outplayed. It's not like the first international where Dendi playing puck gave Na'vi the advantage with his dream coil to secure the win, or the international where Alliance cancelled TPs to prevent the opposition from protecting their base, but it was still entertaining.

      I think the Clockwork pick was simply to deny it to EG, since Universe had such a huge impact with the hero in the earlier games. The DK pick wasn't as bad as it seems - no matter who they had in mid, they were going to get crunched by Storm, so having a more defensive mid pick (in theory) made sense. DK should have been able to sit back, get some CS with dragon breath, and be tanky enough to survive Storm diving him under the tower - this wasn't the case, obviously, but it works in theory.

      The SF ban made sense considering they had naga on their team - sleep into requiem can wipe your whole team. Yes, Sumail on Storm is awful for CDEC - but Storm had less synergy with the EG lineup than SF would have. At that level the individual skills is less of a factor than team synergy, even for someone as freakishly good as Sumail.

    I don't see why there needs to be a breakdown of this play, they're pretty straightforward combos that new players can execute (if used in the right circumstances), no fancy tricks or skills needed.

    The only comments to be made are about how pivotal the play was:
    - CDEC went for the objective (Roshan) without sufficient vision of the area (this is general unprofessional play)
    - CDEC made the assumption that with Storm Spirit down (a large contributor to EG's team damage output), they could fight Roshan without any resistance
    - EG jumped on the opportunity and banked on the hope that the big AoE spells from 2 of their players would be suffficient against the full team of 5 of their opponents
    - The net result of the player is that nearly the whole CDEC team was decimated (leading to extra gold and exp to EG) as well as the additional gold and exp from EG killing Roshan. The additional boost to EG's lead was what sealed them the game and won them the tournament

    Last edited 12/08/15 12:48 pm

    All I got was the commentators......


    Needs to be on loop!

    [quote]Just like the dragon in League of Legends (Roshan is also a dragon[/quote]

    Teehee, considering LOL is based on Dota.... you'd think that it'd be worded, "League of Legends has a dragon like this"

    As a hardcore gamer with 0 hours playing Dota 2, I have no idea what I'm reading.

      The internet went batshit crazy because some arsehole American dentist killed a dragon.

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