The best play so far in this week's Dota 2 International tournament was a steal that was both skillful and reckless. As Malaysian player Tue "Ahfu" Soon Chuan snuck into a pack of opposing Russian players and grabbed the loot they were going for, the crowd watching at Seattle's Key Arena lost their minds.
Tue plays the support role for the Chinese squad LGD Forever Young, a team that's been one of the biggest surprises of The International 7. His use of the hero Earth Spirit has been a highlight of the Dota 2 event, especially in yesterday's match against Virtus.Pro, where his Aegis steal stole the show and cemented the team's win.
If you know Dota 2, you'll get what's so amazing about this clip. If not, we'll explain, but watch it first. Keep your eye on the giant beast, called Roshan, and the Russian players hacking away at him. They're killing Roshan to take his Aegis, a potentially game-altering item. Suddenly "Ahfu" blinks in and rolls away with it, leaving the stunned Russians with little to do but try to chase him down.
While the rest of Tue's team had mostly backed off of the Roshan engagement, the support player was waiting in the rafters for the most opportune time to swoop in with his hero Earth Spirit. Roshan, the massive dragon-monster, resides in a cave between each team's base. Though difficult to kill, slaying Roshan drops an Aegis of the Immortal, which brings the holder back to life shortly after dying. It's a key pick-up for a team that might be trying to push into the other's base or swing the game in their favour, but since it's dropped on Roshan's death, it can be picked up by anyone, regardless of who slayed the beast.
Earth Spirit is a highly mobile support hero, and Tue used his full range of options to snatch the Aegis right out from under VP. He blinks in and immediately drops a boulder, kicking it through VP to stun them. VP's Disruptor tries to drop a cage to hold him in place, but Tue grabs the Aegis, drops another stone boulder remnant, and rolls over it, zipping out of the pit and up the cliff to his team's side of the river. Though VP pursues far enough to bring him down, they only burn the Aegis and retreat, without a prize for an otherwise uncontested Roshan.
LGD Forever Young would go on to win the series 2-0, cementing itself as one of the strongest competitors in Seattle this week. Hot off a 14-2 group stage, the team has gone undefeated in the bracket and looks to take on Newbee tomorrow for a spot in the grand finals.
In the post-game interview, LGD Forever Young's Leong "DDC" Fat-meng shared what the team comms were like during that moment.
"Hey guys, mind if I try to steal the Aegis?"
With that steal, the million-dollar Dream Coil and six-million-dollar Echo Slam might have some new company in the lexicon of legendary Dota 2 plays.