Hey all, I just saw this video in the media section and just had to do a mini-analysis of it. It's a 1v1 SF showmatch between two players who are known to have very good SF's, Yaphets (PIS), and Yamateh. [youtube]GkUo7y5QK8A[/youtube] I want to call your attention to 6:00 in the video where FB occured. Both players are level 5 with level 3 shadowraze. A slight miscalculation by yamateh cost him a death, and ultimately, the game. If we are to examine this scene in detail, there is really more to this scene than meets the eye, and it just shows why dota is such a dynamic strategy game. Was yamateh wrong to engage at that time? IMO...no, he had the right idea. If he had played it a bit better PIS would have been the dead instead. Lots of people would probably not be able to see the amount of strategy and skill involved in this, and that is why I decided to write up this analysis. Now, why did yamateh decide to engage? - He had creep advantage - He had a magic wand with charges - MOST IMPORTANTLY, he knows that PIS can only fire 1 more raze by looking at his mana, and that he can fire 3 after the MP recovery from wand. This is your typical situation where mindgames and precise calculation comes into play. Also take into account that PIS was at full HP at the time, whereas Yamateh was at half HP. The setup is perfect... One raze from PIS will bring him down to low enough HP to commit PIS to keep fighting (keep in mind wand is available for use as well). While this is going on, PIS would have to tank 2 razes to the face, and possibly a third one after it finishes CD. This is more than enough to bring PIS's full HP down to nothing, as it is quite clear in the video. Now, what did Yamateh do wrong? The time of engagement was good. PIS was willing to fight at that spot with 2 creeps hitting him. Again, PIS has full HP and feels much more safe, but in reality, he is actually in quite a lot of danger by choosing to engage. Ideally, Yamateh would like to have engaged 1-2 seconds later so his C raze would be finished CD, but PIS would probably not commit at that time. Anyway, 2 razes from yamateh goes off and it should be clear at this point that he is not going to win a battle trading hits with PIS, even with wand. So, what yamateh should have done in this case was to stall time for his C raze to cooldown, at the same time committing PIS to fight. The best choice for yamateh to make in this case would be to do the following: - Save the wand for the absolute latest moment. He had used it quite prematurely in the battle, and could have delayed it for another 1-2 hits. - Start retreating out of the attack range of PIS, and use wand before the finishing blow lands. But wait, how does retreating help yamateh in this case? Simple, the moment PIS realizes that he cannot attack yamateh, he will give up chase and retreat. He is not going to chase into tower with his HP especially if he has no mana to cast the finishing raze anyway. This process stalls time for the C raze to come off cooldown. If you look at the game timer, it was about 1-2 seconds away from being done. Knowing that PIS will retreat if he retreats, Yamateh should proceed to immediately turn around and give chase again. Optimally, he would like to be able to read PIS's movements and keep him within the range of the C raze. I have dubbed this technique a long time ago as response hacking. Notice that the battle is being fought right on top of the ramp. If PIS decides to retreat, he cannot retarget Yamateh because he would have no vision of him. This is what makes this strategy work, as you don't have to worry about a turnaround from PIS. After the CD for the C raze is finished, yamateh can get the easy kill, and would probably go on to win the showmatch. Also, notice how I didn't mention PIS's decision making at all in this case. This is simply because after he commits to the attack and tanks the first 2 razes from Yamateh, he cannot run away otherwise he will eat a C raze to the face and die. You can see that PIS retreated for a brief moment and realized that it was going to be a mistake. That is why he kept fighting. This scene is so beautiful in so many ways, as it really showcases mindgames, and the idea of forcing your opponent to commit to a losing battle. If yamateh had managed to successfully pulled that off, holy shit... it would have been an amazing sight... definitely would have been one of the most pimpest plays ever in dota. It's not often that I dub a scene amazing and worth watching, so please take a look . It's a great learning experience, and it just goes to show you that even at the highest level, mindgames and strategy play a huge role in the outcome of a battle, and mistakes do happen. Well played by both players nonetheless.