The weird Dota 2 item choices that are seeing BetBoom shine at the Bali Major
Don’t try this at home—seriously.
Image via Valve
After a dismal finish at the Dota 2 Berlin Major in May which saw the departure of star player Resolut1on, BetBoom is on the brink of securing an upper bracket spot at the Bali Major in an impressive bounce-back—and they’re proving their versatility through both their hero picks and builds.
BetBoom is currently sitting at 8-4 in the Bali Major group stage and, with one more 2-0 win in the round-robin, will see themselves begin the playoffs with an extra life in the upper bracket. The Russian squad has taken a map in each of their series bar one against ladder-leaders Quest Esports.
But it’s the way BetBoom is going about securing victories with a number of unique hero picks and item builds, whereby the team is adjusting to their opponents as the game is going on—even to the point where supports are buying items normally reserved for carries.
BetBoom’s gpk revealed all in a July 1 interview with Escorenews following their 2-0 over 9Pandas, detailing how picking heroes—particularly in the mid lane—is all about finding the balance between strength in the meta and what is most comfortable for the player.
In their first game against 9Pandas, gpk took his Templar Assassin into the mid lane against Kiyotaka’s Sniper. On paper, it’s a tougher matchup for the TA—but as gpk explained, it was all part of the plan.
“We were ready for the Sniper,” said gpk. “They had Anti-Mage, Beastmaster and Sniper, they all scale well. We couldn’t realize our early advantage and that made the game harder.”
Related: Dota 2 Bali Major live updates: Full schedule, scores, and standings
The common Templar Assassin build calls for a Desolator for huge burst damage and armor reduction, but gpk instead built for attack range with the Hurricane Pike first, then went back for burst damage via Silver Edge.
While Nightfall dominated with the Morphling, gpk’s build proved to be a tankier version of the classic TA that relies a little more on Refraction to avoid damage. When gpk followed up with Linken’s Sphere, he became incredibly tough to bring down.
“I like to play this way,” he said when asked about the odd build, citing that players can’t be too greedy in modern Dota and must be prepared to sacrifice a little early-game strength for a more consistent midgame.
A Hurricane Pike and Linken’s Sphere on a TA is one thing, but BetBoom saved the best for the second 9Pandas game—the never-before-seen Skull Basher Keeper of the Light build.
KotL had only been picked seven times in Bali up until this game according to Dotabuff—a far cry from his 81 picks in Berlin. No one had been able to find a win with the support hero in Indonesia yet.
Most commonly, support Keeper of the Light would push out Tranquil Boots and then pick up a Force Staff or Spirit Vessel for healing and enhanced mobility. A Solar Crest or Scythe of Vice would finish the build should the game go late enough.
But BetBoom’s Save had another idea entirely, purchasing a Skull Basher on the Keeper.
And it worked to perfection.
MieRo picked the perfect moment to catch BetBoom with a huge Black Hole just as the teamfight began around Roshan—but the stun effect from Save’s Basher triggered, canceling the Enigma ultimate and turning the tide of the battle.
BetBoom would turn the game around, taking the win in just over 45 minutes. Gpk confirmed the call was made by Save to purchase the Basher, which has a halved effect on ranged heroes and is something very few players have done before.
“Vitalya [Save-] just bought it,” said gpk. “He has a lot of experience against Enigma, that’s why he decided to do it. Thanks to Save for the win.” But gpk was quick to reiterate such a decision should be left to the pros. “Please, guys, do not try to repeat that in pubs,” he laughed.
The Bali Major group stage continues today, and while BetBoom hasn’t confirmed a spot in the playoffs upper bracket just yet, it’s moves like this that should see them go far in Indonesia.