Analysis on MPGL Championship Game: Happyfeet vs Minerva

The Biggest Local Gaming in the Philippines, Mineski Pro Gamer League, is over. Happyfeet, which was the team most people expected to win, did end up the MPGL Champion. They are the most solid team who had the highest number of wins on international matches. They are so ahead in terms of experience. They are arguably the finest team in the Philippines at the moment. I'm admire this team for not copying any other play styles. Most of the time they would have same hero line ups and counters. They don't aim to be fancy. They aim to win. One thing that makes them very successful is their rock like desire to win. We all want to win but what makes successful people different from those who are not, is giving everything it takes to achieve our goals. Happyfeet doesn't have superstars. They only have the popular 'Julz'. But, I gotta tell you guys, he is not the reason of Happyfeet success. He is only a part of it. Let's get in to the game. This is not 'Happyfeet's Winning Formula' article.

Sentinel: Happyfeet
Scourge: Minerva

I'll start off with the hero ban and picks apparently. Minerva goes first.

1st Banning Phase

Minerva's First Ban: Shadow Fiend

Minerva knew that Happyfeet uses SF good with Julz on the team. Banning it would make the game easier for Minerva since they have new strategy that they have already use most games at the tournament. They might be using it in this game too.

Happyfeet's First ban: Pugna

A decent ban to avoid getting rushed

Minerva's Second Ban: Dragon Knight

With Happyfeet's love for Bottle-Crow, which I discussed in my Bottle-Crow Strategy Discussed article, Dragon Knight has a very high chance of getting all geared up and simply click heroes he wants to kill. Minerva doesn't want this thing to happen.

Happyfeet's Second Ban: Morphling

Difficult to kill early game and painful late game. nuf said

Minerva's Third Ban: Alchemist

Great tank. Minerva might be relying on nukes and there's no time to waste on Alchemist.

Happyfeet's Third Ban: Doom Bringer

Early game's big red evil pain in the a**. Supports will just be 2 clicks away from death early game.

Picking 1st phase

Minerva's First Pick: Earthshaker

At this point Minerva appeared to be planning to play defensively. I rarely pick Earthshaker because of his lower aggressiveness nature.

Happyfeet's First and Second Pick: Mirana and Venge

Shadow Fiend and Morphling getting banned, they would not want to lose POTM. She is one of Happyfeet's core heroes. Earthshaker does have good combo with Mirana, so letting the opponents have it will just lead them to have better line up. Venge was picked and I expected that. She is just what the team needs everytime. She got good disable, vision, armor reduction, increase damage, swap for initiation and for saving.

Minerva's Second and Third Pick: Gyrocopter and Windrunner

Gyrocopter's homing high-damage stun along with his other painful nukes is a useful hero, specially if it'll be used by smart players. Minerva used this hero on their wins against VTAG and 2011. They didn't change their hero line up and I find this risky for a Championship game. Windrunner, a versatile hero with high survival rate and ability to effectively handle lanes alone, is a wise pick.

Happyfeet's Third Pick: Crystal Maiden

2nd best support in the game. She has slow, hold, mana for the team and freezing field that is very helpful at times. They may also have picked CM because the opponent can pick CM on the 2nd pick phase which is a very complimentary gank mate of Earthshaker.

2nd Banning Phase

4th Ban of Minerva: Raijin

Raijin is one bad opponent of Gyrocopter. Gyrocopter has slow nukes that are easy to dodge by raijin. Good ban.

4th Ban of Happyfeet: Balanar

Balanar is simply good at killing low hp heroes and Happyfeet might be planning on picking tinker or QOP. Silence, void, heavy nukes by Gyro would be deadly. This is definitely a wise move by Happyfeet.

5th Ban of Minerva: Kunkka

They are banning tanks for Gryo and X mark is a dead mark on windrunner.

5th Ban of Happyfeet: Tinker

Most of the finest mid heroes are gone now, they can't afford to let tinker be the next pick of Minerva.

2nd Picking Phase

4th Pick of Minerva: Witch Doctor

They need another support for trilane and wd is the now the best choice.

4th Pick of Happyfeet: Sven

A carry Sven for tanking and disable.

5th Pick of Minerva: Batrider
Earthshaker and Vol'jin doesn't give fair amount of disables. Batrider fills up that empty space.

5th Pick of Happyfeet: Queen of Pain

A high-damage nuker to complete the team's line up. Also, to avoid gyro's homing stun.

Final Line-up



Top: Mirana
Mid: QOP
Bot: Sven Venge CM


Top: Batrider ES WD
Mid: Gyro
Bot: Windrunner

This lane offers big disadvantage for Minerva. They sacrificed the bottom lane with a solo windrunner making Sven farm all the gold he wants. A farmed Sven gives more pain than a farmed Batrider. At mid lane, QOP vs Gyro gives happyfeet a safe mid lane. Homing missile will be easily avoided by QOP due to her blink. Overall, I can say that the laning is equal when it comes to early game. Both Mirana and Windrunner will have a hard life. No upper hand hero at mid lane. This game will be decided based on the heroes movement. If Minerva would allow Sven to continuously farm and finally got a DPS and BKB, this game would be over.

Enough with the analysis, let's get into the game.

The game started with ward placement, as usual. However, happyfeet used smoke of deceit to not let the opponents know where the wards are.

Mirana and Windrunner, both, are experiencing extreme harassment from the supports. It took 2 minutes and 30 seconds before Windrunner reached level 2. At that same moment, the level 1 Mirana was killed at the top lane. Mirana managed to leap out from the fissure but Batrider on firefly passed through the fissure and chased her to death. Batrider was level 3 at this time and he has boots when he got the first blood.

Mid lane was a close fight. QOP managed to survive Gyro's non-stop harassment with homing missile and normal attacks. She even had her bottle at 2:58. By the way, QOP isn't using her blink to escape the homing missile. She accepts it like a diploma. It's alright because lower level of homing missile doesn't really hurt and she just focused on creeping.

Bottom lane, Sven is like a baby overprotected by her 2 moms, venge and rylai. He got 18/6 CS at 3minute mark. This is quite scary for Minerva because they doesn't have a high DPS insurance for late game. Windrunner is expected not to have a lot of farm because of that difficult lane. Late game will rely on Batrider and Gyrocopter which are easily countered by BKB.

At 4:30, gyrocopter is farming with half HP, waiting for his flask to arrive which was used by Windrunner that caused delay. At the same time when she received her flask, a rylai is suddenly behind him and QOP blinked in to finish him. That's a perfect timing by rylai to gank that gave QOP the upper hand on that lane.

At 4:55, sven got his treads. Switching lanes wont benefit the scourge anymore. Rylai didn't left the mid lane. She waited for Gyrocopter to come back. When Gyrocopter finally arrived on the lane from the fountain, he was sent back to the tavern again by QOP and rylai. Another brilliant move by rylai noticing that there was no wards at the bottom lane.

At 5:54, the bottom tower was destroyed by the sentinel. Sven and Venge greedily chased Windrunner through the woods but WD, Gyrocopter and ES teleported and killed both of them. However, Sven managed to kill Windrunner. This move was definitely one of the errors made by Happyfeet. Sven might have felt gigity for Windrunner.

That death of Sven and Venge somehow helped Mirana. Mirana took advantage to recover since Vol'jin and ES teleported out from that lane. Vol'jin and ES quickly regenerate and marched back to the top lane. We all know how dangerous Julz is. Leave him for some time and you don't want to look at his inventory anymore.

QOP and Sven already have item advantages. 7:45, QOP has treads, 2 nulls and a bottle. Sven has treads, quarterstaff and a magic stick.

At 8:00, scourge's mid tower is at its last breaths but it can't be denied yet. Venge hid near that tower waiting for a chance to gank gyro and destroy the tower but Gyro felt it and flee. He went at the top neutrals maybe trying to wait for a chance to gank Mirana so Venge and QOP destroyed the Mid tower. Minerva's support could have rallied towards that tower and try to deny it. It was only two of them who pushed the tower. There's a good chance of denying it if the supports moved but they stayed on the top lane pulling. There are a lot of lanes that needed assistance. Batrider already have advantage on the top lane. It would be good to move a lot. Supporting is the most fun role for me because I tend to use my brain all through out the game. I'm not to discuss it here but you can learn from my team mate who's a very fun to watch support player here Ganking and Supporting Lessons You Can Learn From Jam.  In this case, Minerva may have done something to dominate other lanes too like their top lane.  Happyfeet's supports are just so good at moving around the map that caused them to dominate 2 lanes, Mid and Bottom.  In less than 9 minutes, Happyfeet got mid and bottom towers.

At 9:06, a clash happened at the bottom lane. This is what happened. Sven and Venge started pushing Scourge's Second tower. Sven activated his God's Strength and start hitting the tower. Here comes earthshaker and alleria. They spammed on Sven that caused him to bleed. Sven started running but QOP was suddenly behind ES and Alleria and killed them both in 2 seconds with Rylai's help. Batrider teleportand and caught QOP. He killed QOP but he also died. Witch doctor came to help but end up killed by the bleeding Sven. The clash was 4-1 in favor for Happyfeet. At the top lane a sneaky Gyrocopter killed Mirana.

Item and CS Update at 10mins

QOP: treads, 2 nulls, point booster, Bottle CS: 60/18
POTM: boots, 2 wraiths, Bottle CS: 21/0
Sven: Treads, Lothars, Magic Stick CS:60/11

Batrider: Treads, Planewalker's Cloak, stout shield, Basilius, and Magic Wand CS: 49/5
Gyrocopter: Stout Shield, boots, Magic Stick CS:12/2
Windrunner: Boots, Basilius CS: 11/2
ES: Ring of Regeneration, Sobi Mask, (no boots yet) CS: 4/2

In 10 minutes, you can already tell that Happyfeet is the controlling team. Minerva will have great difficulty in recovering, specially if Happyfeet will put constant pressure on them.

Now, the supports are aiming on pushing the top lane which happened to be having half HP. They caught Gyrocopter but didn't successfully kill him. However, they managed to get the tower because of the creep advantage. Another undefended tower lost for Minerva. This is going really hard on their side.

At 11:35, Sven quickly killed a farming earthshaker at mid lane using his GS lothars hit bolt and hit combo. Then he farmed on that lane. QOP is pressuring the bottom lane while Mirana Venge and Rylai are planning some attacks on Windrunner who was farming on the top lane. They successfully killed WR with a perfect trap ganking style. Scourge can hardly go out from their base. The game just suddenly turned into a nightmare for them. The Happyfeet's heroes are now a lot stronger than them. Happyfeet's supports are pretty much successful with their ganks to limit the opponent's carries. Great Teamplay by Happyfeet is very visible at this game. Minerva is a good team. I'm somehow a fan of vash who is quite fun to watch but Happyfeet's teamplay is so solid. At the beginning I was thinking that the game will be balanced at early game. Heroes are balanced at early game. Within 10 minutes, they managed to win the game. I know it's not over but if Happyfeet won't lose map control and would just pressure them up, the game is decided.

At 12:30, Venge Mirana and CM tried to gank batrider but they made a big error.  Venge stunned batrider but POTM may not be looking and didn't cast his arrow at once that made Batrider free to attack the supports with Vol'jin's perfect chain stun on venge and rylai.  This resulted the Scourge to win a 4-0 clash. Only sven survived at the sentinel.  That was a good move by Minerva.  They quickly reacted and took advantage of that error.  However, the game is still not easy for them to win.  They can't chase their levels and items that quick.  They would need to make 3 more of that kind of won clash.  The score is now 11/9.  In favor of Happyfeet.

At 13:54, batrider got killed because of being stuck because of the unlucky position where his firefly stopped. He was seen by sven because of an observer ward and was killed. Team mates came to help but Happyfeet supports are ready for their attacks.

Happyfeet decided to push mid tower because of Batrider's death. The supports, having good position, caught windrunner and was killed by the 3 of them- POTM, CM and venge. They try to avenge her and Gyro started the clash nuking but unfortunately, there was an invisible Red Sven behind them and QOP is on her way. The clash ended a 5-0 sweep. The happyfeet then pushed the 2nd tower.

Happyfeet didn't stop pressuring Minerva making them stuck on their base.

18:00, Sven now has BKB. They clashed 4v5 at the bottom while Mirana with Double Damage pushed the top 3rd tower unnoticed. They made the 4-1 push. Happyfeet having the upper hand chose to split the push. They will force a clash on one side so the other side will be able to push freely. If in case the opponents fought 4v4, it'll be a sure win because of several advantages of the Happyfeet. This is a good call by the Happyfeet.

22:00, Windrunner, Gyro and WD planned to gank Sven and Venge who was left farming at the bottom. They managed to kill sven but their top Barracks was pushed by Rylai and Mirana who now has a Linken's Sphere.

Scores Update(25 minutes):

Sven: 9/3/2
QOP: 8/3/4
POTM: 5/3/3
CM: 2/3/11
Venge: 0/3/7

Batrider: 6/4/3
Gyrocopter: 4/4/2
WD: 2/4/7
WR: 1/6/4
ES: 0/6/3

At 27:34, Sven rushed inside 5 opponents with only venge and rylai behind him and they're far from him. He couldn't hit anything and when his BKB is about to stop, he retreated but it was too late. QOP and POTM went to help but it was too late. Minerva won a 5-1 clash. Only Earthshaker died from Minerva.

29:00: The score is 26/22 in favor of happyfeet. 7 Towers taken down by Happyfeet and top lane barracks while Minerva has only 1 tower destroyed.

It was 33:00 when Happyfeet decided to push all mid but the Happyfeet committed another error that caused them to lose the clash.

At 35:00 the game is tied at 28.

Minerva is good at defending and team fights. Gyrocopter is the reason for this. He inflicts too much pain with his nukes. Batrider uses flaming lasso on sven to prevent him from hitting. This is a good strategy that now have a great opportunity to win the fight. The only problem is, they have a long way to go. They only destroyed 1 tower. This is a lot of time for Happyfeet to get more items and to pressure them more.

36 minutes item update:

POTM: Maelstrom, Manta, Linken's, Treads, Magic Wand
QOP: Aghanims, Refresher, Treads, Orb
Sven: Lothars, Treads, BKB, Sange

Bat: Dagger, Pipe, Treads, Basilius, Stick
Gyro: BKB, Planewalker's, stout, phase, Magic Wand
ES: Dagger,Boots,Magic Wand
Windrunner: Meka, Force Staff, Phase Boots, Basilius

Happyfeet now has luxury items while Minerva just farmed their Core items. Minerva's great team fight abilities made them reach this far but winning is still difficult. If their early game weren't that damaged, I'm sure they could have won the tournament but these great Happyfeet supports and semi-carries really hurt their early to mid game making them less powerful at late.

Happyfeet realized how strong they are in team fights so they split pushed. They are putting a lot of pressure on Minerva. POTM holds mid lane. QOP holds bottom lane. Supports are switching lanes-Bottom and Mid. Top lane has mega creeps. Sven is taking advantage farming neutrals. POTM successfully destroyed Mid's 3rd tower. Venge was caught by Batrider and that started a clash. It was a close clash but the mega creeps on top destroyed the Frozen Throne.

It was one epic game because of the skills showed by both teams. Happyfeet is so good at dominating early game and getting heavily farmed up. Good supports is the main reason for this. Minerva has a great ability of making a big comeback. I didn't expect that they could make the game last longer after that disaster early game. Vash is a player who is not item dependent but contributes the most in team fights. Generally, Minerva did have a great chance to win that game but early game is king. It can change everything. Happyfeet's team play is more omniscient. They are good at almost all aspects of the game. That's the reason why they are the Mineski Pro Gaming League Champions. Congratulations, Happyfeet!
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