SEALson 2 — Thoughts and Player Review
For those of you who don’t know me, my in-game handle is brie and I’m a new player to SEAL. I’ve never done RD2L or any player-draft league so joining this league was a fresh and exciting experience for me. I first heard of SEAL from Cyni who I knew from AD2L. We then played in Echoleague S2 together and in the playoffs, we ran into bloodninja where we lost 1–2.
Getting Acquainted with SEALers
SEAL is a relatively small league where everyone knows everyone. It’s like moving to a small town where the neighbors keep their doors unlocked. Getting vouched is one thing, but actually meeting all of the players was pretty difficult until SEAL Club arrived.
Prior to SEAL club, it was actually pretty hard to play with SEAL members. I know smack would host in-houses, but most of those were 5k+ games, and being a 4k player myself, all I could do was spectate. I admit I probably could’ve done more like actually say something and introduce myself, but it was a bit intimidating when all the spectators knew each other very well.
When SEAL club arrived, I quickly made a name for myself by reaching #2 on the leaderboards in the 1st season. To be quiet honest, I think I got pretty lucky by consistently being drafted late because no one really knew me. That meant I was getting drafted around where 3k players were being drafted and thus, I could easily outperform expectations. I also think I strongly benefited from the meta, as one of my best heroes is earthshaker. In one particular SEAL club game, I played possibly the best game of my life on earthshaker against chance and derpy, two of my future teammates for SEALson 2.
Hot boy club
I think chance did a wonderful job assembling a team together. During draft day, he said he just wanted nice and friendly players, and that definitely made the season very enjoyable. Even though we didn’t make playoffs, I still had a great time and wouldn’t mind playing with anyone in the team again.
For a quick refresher on our team in SEALson 2, it was:
- Derpydots (2nd round)
- Chance (Captain)
- Osis (1st round)
- brie (3rd Round)
- Kisses/Dolly (4th/5th Round)
Before I talk about my other teammates, I want to start with a self-review. I don’t think I played well this season. I think I was very inconsistent and my communication could’ve been much better.
I think a large part of my inconsistency had to do with playing with Osis. This is by no means a flame of Osis at all, it’s just I have never played on a team where our best player is in the offlane. I believe in a league like SEAL, you have to enable your best player, and enabling your cores is the a supports primary responsibility.
In all of my previous teams, we have always left the offlane solo and have supports rotate between mid and safelane. We would also gank top, but the focus was clearly only having our mid and/or carry propel us through the game, with the offlaner as more of a spacemaker/enabler than a core.
Hence I was put in a position that was relatively unfamiliar with me. I need to enable my best player, but I’ve never done that in the offlane before. A lot of times, I was used as an offlane lane support, to make sure Osis would not get shutdown by a trilane. I have never done this before.
I think my biggest weakness was simpy just trying to do too much. In all of my previous teams, I would typically rotate between mid and safelane, and ensure that those lanes were winning before I would help the offlane. In hot boy club, I was trying to win all 3 lanes, which is quite frankly unrealistic for a player like me.
One way to solve this was to communicate better with my team, especially with Dolly or Kisses. Too often, we had a bad laning phase which made the game hard to win. I think there were times that I wasn’t on the same page as Kisses or Dolly, which is always a bad sign for a support duo. Why do I put all this communication on me, and not Chance (the captain) or Osis (our best player)? Because my focus isn’t on getting last hits, so I am more able to read the map and make some calls.
I was getting scared of saying the wrong things, which is actually something Osis really hates. There was no reason for me to be scared to say anything. I got too self conscious about it, and I really only noticed this bad habit after I watched Osis’s interview.
In short, I had my bright moments on this team, but I also had times where I think I disappeared. I was put in an unfamiliar role, but I want to emphasize that I learned a lot from this experience. I have no doubt in my mind that if I played with a strong offlaner like Osis again, I would be more patient and let plays come to me instead of forcing them.
Osis is probably one of the best players I have ever had the chance to play with. Part of what makes him so good is that he actually communicates. A lot. There are a lot of games in SEAL club where I would play with very good players, but they just don’t talk at all. For a game like dota, this is extremely frustrating, but playing with Osis was just amazing.
I don’t think much needs to be said about Osis, he is a pretty well known figure in this community. It was always amazing to see the things he could do after being tri-laned consistently. Being our best player, we typically picked him greedier roles. I would love to see how he would play on a 6k team, and see him not need to carry a game.
The word, “mollusk” means soft, and mollusks are just that. They don’t have skeletons or exoskeletons. Some have shells made of calcium. Can you guess which animals might be mollusks? If you guessed slugs and snails, you’re right.
Memes aside, Derpy was probably one of the most positive players on the team even though it may have not seemed like it. Since I often tried to help secure Osis’s lane, that meant Derpy usually had a harder time in lane vs any strong offlane hero (Tide, LC, etc). I could definitely sometimes hear some frustration in his voice, but he never once broke down and straight up complained about it like El Jefe. I do think DerpyDots is good enough to carry our games. I don’t think I did a good enough job enabling DerpyDots to do that.
I don’t know what advice I can give Derpy to improve. He played an unfamiliar role to me, as a carry that didn’t have the space to carry. He does tend to be a quiet player, but I’m really just grasping for things here.
Kisses usually plays the 4 role, so like me, he was put into an unfamiliar role. While he does like to repeatedly say how much he enjoys playing 4, he never once complained about playing 5. I think he did get a bit frustrated by the structure of SEAL and having to constantly switch off with Dolly, but that’s not something I can really help with. I guess he’ll just have to join Smack in his crusade against the admins.
At the end of the day, I think Kisses suffered from the same flaws I had: trying to do too much. In his case, trying to have the impact as a 4 when playing the 5 role. I think a lot of my feedback to myself could apply to him in that he can be more patient, and let the plays come to him.
As a last pick, I don’t have any complaints for Dolly. He never tried to flame or make excuses, and was always willing to listen. I don’t think I can ask for more for a last pick, especially for someone that only has less than 1500 games. I know that sounds like a lot, but for many of us, that’s actually really small.
As long as Dolly continues to play, I don’t see why he can’t improve. He’ll just have to put in the same work the rest of us did; watch streams, replays, highlights, etc.
Chance is no doubt a skilled player. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. I think he is even better than me mechanically as he has beaten me a few times on 1v1 SF, which is my favorite and most played hero. It just so happens that it sometimes isn’t just good enough in this league vs players like AR.
Playing vs AR really exposed one our weaknesses. As Spence has said, AR likes to play mid where he really pushes the limits of the lane and just try to kill the other player, rather than farm. Chance often wanted us to just sack his lane, so he never really said anything as he was being dove.
I don’t know if it’s okay to sack midlane, and let a player like AR take over the game. Hindsight is obviously 20/20 here, but for Chance to improve, I would suggest he be more vocal about how his lane is going. This would also allow me and Kisses/Doll to organize a smoke gank (something which I didn’t do enough of). In addition, when we go into the mid-game, I think chance has a tendency to go the jungle instead of pushing the lanes. Obviously, jungling is much safer, but pushing the lanes helps with objectives, and I constantly felt like our lanes weren’t pushed in enough.
I don’t want to end Chance’s section on a negative note though. The things I mentioned are easily fixable, and I don’t want to take away from actually how good of a player he is. He is definitely better than I am, but just happens to play against the strongest players in the league. He wasn’t really set up for success to begin with, but against any lesser mid player, he was always the better one.
What could we have done better?
We obviously didn’t play to our best, seeing that we started out as favorites, but in the end couldn’t make the playoffs. Hindsight is 20/20, but here are a few ideas I wish I said earlier.
Here, we would dual-lane our offlane and our midlane, and leave DerpyDots to solo. This would leave us without a true carry, but could be mitigated if we had Chance play heroes like Sniper or Medusa. We talked about laning like this at one point, but we never really implemented it.
Opposing teams would often just trilane Osis and shut him down. Why not do the same to the other team’s best player? Again, this would leave Derpy in a 1v1 situation, we would not be able to pick him any hard carry, but on the flip side, this would theoretically open up Osis’s lane.
GO DERPY GO
In this situation, we would just try a more traditional 1–1–3 and just leave Osis to try and salvage his lane. This goes against my belief that we need to enable our best player, but we never really gave DerpyDots a true safelane in many of our games.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing in SEAL, and meeting all of the other players. To be quite honest, SEAL was the first time I’ve been challenged in a while, and it was quite refreshing. I learned a lot, but I didn’t quite get flamed like I was expecting to. While it was a bummer to not make playoffs, I think just playing with some good lads lead to a very positive experience, and at least in my mind, a successful season.