Former Danish Bears roster leaves The Imperial for new org

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of The Imperial

European esports organization The Imperial has parted ways with its Dota 2 roster.

The Imperial announced the news on Twitter Friday, saying the roster was moving on to a new organization. In a Facebook post, CEO Oli Adams said the small org, which re-launched in May, wasn't able to provide a counter-offer that matched what was being offered by the new org.

"It's a really sad day for the organisation that we announce the departure of our Danish friends! However the opportunity they've been offered was something we could not compete with," Adams said.

"It is upsetting that organisations such as ourselves can't grow when bigger ones come knocking. We will be signing a new team in the coming weeks but not necessarily in DOTA!"

During their time with The Imperial, the team managed a fourth-place finish at DreamLeague Season 6, and managed to run the difficult gauntlet of the Boston Major EU open qualifiers to earn a seat at the regional qualifier. They were unable to make it to the Major itself, finishing 5th-10th at the Europe qualifier after going 4-5 in the round robin.

Before signing with The Imperial, the roster known as the Danish Bears narrowly missed qualification for several big events, but did manage to defeat Ad Finem 3-0 in the finals of Rumble Town after victories over RoX and Prodota Gaming.

Jon "Babyknight" Andersen, who plays position 2 for the roster, tweeted that the new organization for the roster will be announced shortly.

The Imperial initially signed a CS:GO roster in May, but released them in August.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

A guide to Slardar

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Slardar is currently one of the highest priority heroes in the competitive meta, both in terms of his pick rate and ban rate. He's one of the strongest roaming, hit-and-run initiators in the game with a kit full of crowd control and mobility, and paired with low cooldowns he also excels in extended and constant skirmishes.

While Slardar has largely been transitioned from his traditional role in the offlane into a position 4 support, we do still see offlane Slardar from the likes of Natus Vincere's GeneRaL, Team Empire's Ghostik and Digital Chaos' MoonMeander

Regardless of your region and regardless of whether you're an offlaner or support player, Slardar should be added to your stable of heroes. Here's a quick guide on the Slithereen Guard.

Related: 8 Quick Tips for Slardar

Playstyle

As one of the most mobile and stun-heavy heroes in the game, Slardar is one of the kings of initiation. With a Blink Dagger coupled with a Force Staff, or just smart usage of Guardian Sprint, you can peel from the fight just as quickly as you entered, only to re-initiate seconds later thanks to your low cooldowns.

Your ult, Corrosive Haze, functions a lot like Bounty Hunter's Track. In a lot of ways, how you play BH is how you should play Slardar. Dancing around the edge of fights, debuffing with your ult and striking at the best opportunities.

You also have the option of being a tanky front line fighter depending on how you itemize, and what your farm priority is. And this is whether you start in the offlane or transition from a support into a core. However, your bread-and-butter is how you control the tempo of the game with your map presence and how you control the tempo within those fights with your stuns, regardless of how much farm you get.

The impact of your kit is largely farm independent (other than a Blink Dagger) placing your timing window in the early and mid game, so fight early and often.

Skill Build

Whether you're position 4 or offlane, your skill build is usually static. Max Slithereen Crush first, Guardian Sprint second, getting your ultimate Corrosive Haze when you can and ignoring early levels in Bash of the Deep.

A value point in Bash early on may be useful if you can land free shots on the opposing hero, but since just about everything scales on the ability, it's generally not a great value pickup early on.

Speaking of bash, you will live and die by your Slithereen Crushes. Learn the casting animation, learn the Area-of-Effect range and learn how often you can use it. With a 2.25 stun time at max level and a fixed eight-second cooldown your potential stun uptime is absurd. On top of all that, it cannot be stated enough that both your bash abilities pierce spell immunity.

Guardian Sprint gives you one of the fastest movement speeds in the early game, allowing you to traverse the map faster than most heroes. Coupled with your two bash abilities, you're one of the scariest heroes when you're missing on the enemy's map. Chances are you're rotating for a gank or taking a fast Roshan thanks to your Corrosive Haze.

In 7.00, Roshan had the single largest buff to his base armor ever in Dota 2 history, going from 5 armor to 15 and making him that much harder to kill early on. And since Slardar has the single highest minus armor ability in the game with Corrosive Haze, he's crucial for taking fast Roshan kills.

Minus armor is also most effective against targets that already have low armor to begin with, meaning Corrosive Haze has a very strong early game window, before armor items are built. Corrosive Haze also gives vision of the target for the entire duration of the debuff.

Itemization

Your life in the early game with be a bit of a slog, since you're a melee core with no built-in regeneration, but if you can weather the storm and muster a Blink you're already halfway to victory.

Your path to a Blink is generally the same if you're a support or an offlaner, but the latter simply gets there faster. At that point the builds branch off depending on your role and farm priority — more utility if you're a support — while offlaners can favor offense-oriented items, though utility is still a solid option.

It's worth noting that, while Slardar has relatively cheap spells including one that doesn't cost mana and a passive, he also has one of the worst intelligence (INT) bases and growths for a strength (STR) hero. Some sort of mana item will be useful.

Keep in mind that you are not a late-game carry. If you build with the intention of going late against the likes of Spectre or Phantom Assassin, you will likely lose.

Starting and Early Game

For supports, stick with a Tango and Healing Salve and a fair combination of wards and a courier. Maintain wards throughout the early game, picking up Town Portal Scrolls and Smokes of Deceit wherever necessary.

As an offlaner, a good start is a Stout Shield and a Tango. From there you can either pick up a Healing Salve and bank the rest of your gold, or rush a Poor Man's Shield.

Slardar has one of the highest armor stats at Level 1, which synergizes well with the damage block from Stout and PMS. But only pick it up if you know you'll take a lot of right-click harass.

You can consider a Quelling Blade if you need help last hitting or need the active, but it's not mandatory. However, if you're really being pressured in the lane, you can build into a Iron Talon and stay in the game with some jungling.

For both roles, pick up a casual Magic Stick if you can get value from it, ignore it otherwise or even upgrade to a Magic Wand if you're getting a lot of charges. After that pick up Boots of Speed.

From here, you can either complete your Tranquil Boots, or simply save up for your eventual Blink. Na`Vi's GeneRaL prefers Power Treads for his core Slardar, but Tranquils are a much more versatile pickup and you'll want to lean more towards utility anyways.

Mid Game

For both roles, after securing your few early game items, you'll need to focus on your Blink Dagger. Once acquired, your game should open up and you should be looking for more picks on the map, building according to the enemy composition. The mid-game pickups will be fairly similar, though offlaners have more options should they choose a more offensive route.

  • Force Staff is almost always a good pickup and offers you another avenue for escape and initiation.
  • Medallion of Courage or Solar Crest are versatile picks and their minus armor debuff also stacks with your Corrosive Haze, making Roshan or the enemy carry melt that much faster.
  • Eul's Scepter gives a lot of benefits, the mana regen will keep you topped up since your spells are generally cheap. The extra movement speed will push you to the movement speed cap while Sprinting and will be useful when you're not. And finally the active makes chasing that much easier and adds even more CC to your kit.
  • Hand of Midas is sometimes picked up because of Slardar's poor ability to farm creeps, which is generally why you'd want to be farming heroes, however sometimes your hands are tied and a Midas is the most optimal choice.
  • Shadow Blade or Glimmer Cape introduce another avenue of initiation or escape. While Shadow Blade is clearly more geared towards offlaners and Glimmer Capes are better for supports, it's often been the case in pro play that the items have been interchangeable between the roles. Choose what works best.
  • Vladamir's Offering or Helm of the Dominator is a solid pickup if pushes are the name of the game and it's decent in teamfights as well. The active from HotD is less useful since there's no way the dominated creep will be able to keep up with you.
  • Black King Bar is always situational, sometimes you won't even need it, but against certain magic or CC-heavy lineups, it's what you'll want right after your Blink.
  • Lotus Orb is in an even more situational than a BKB, but good way to hard counter certain single-target heroes.

For offlaners, Armlet of Mordiggian has long been the standard pickup, however it now shares a spotlight with Echo Sabre. Armlet is a solid choice for STR cores that want to manfight, but sometimes that's not really what you want to do as a Slardar.

The passive from Sabre also means you'll often have two chances to bash instead of one, every five seconds, which you can abuse fairly well with your ability to dance around fights. Consider one after a Blink if you're greedy as it also provides solid stats.

It's not uncommon for both Armlet and Sabre to be paired to further boost Slardar's mid-game damage potential, but that's a bit too greedy for my blood. On that same now, it may be best to avoid a Desolator since you have more than enough minus armor from your ult. If you really want more minus armor, build a Medallion.

Late Game

Offlaners typically have more options in the late game, since they will have the farm to support big late game purchases, meanwhile supports will likely only have the option of picking up a variety of mid-game items into the late game. An exception is sometimes made for the Assault Cuirass, which is a solid choice for supports and offlaners alike. It's equal parts offense and defense thanks to its aura and should definitely be built if no one on the team is building one.

Boots of Travel is always a good pickup for the late game as it frees up a slot that would have been taken up by a TP and you'll always be travelling at max movement speed when Sprinting.

If you happened to build a Shadow Blade in the mid game, a natural progression is to build a Silver Edge. The extra stats alone make it a solid pickup, but you get an added option to apply a break debuff.

Heart of Tarrasque can be a solid pick up if nothing else seems particularly necessary. You gain a massive amount of health, the extra STR gives a bit more damage and the passive works well with Slardar's skirmishing playstyle. It's common pickup for Na`Vi's GeneRaL when he plays offlane Slardar.

Heaven's Halberd is a solid choice if there's a lot of right-click damage on the enemy team. The active also may force the enemy cores to build into a BKB, which you partially counter with your magic immunity piercing stuns.

And finally, if you're really insistent on making Slardar a right clicker, Moon Shard is probably your best bet as the huge boost to attack speed pairs well with your Bash of the Deep. Although, if you also need some added wave clear, Mjollnir also works.

Skill Tree

LVL 10 LVL 15 LVL 20 LVL 25
HP Regen +6 Attack Speed +25 Armor +7 Bash of the Deep +10% bash chance
Mana +175 HP +225 Damage +35 STR +20

Looking at several pro players across different regions, in both offlane and Position 4 games, there's a lot of variability for which talent branches are chosen and that's generally a sign of a balanced skill tree.

For the Level 10 skill branch, the 6 HP regeneration bonus is slightly more popular among pros, but compLexity Gaming's Zfreek and B)ears' YapzOr lean slightly towards the 175 bonus mana.

Your choice may be related to what items you plan on building, definitely pick the mana branch if you don't plan on building items that give mana, like Force Staff or even Echo Sabre. It's also worth noting that Slardar and Terrorblade are the only heroes with an HP regeneration bonus talent at Level 10.

It's another tossup for the Level 15 skill branch, with many pros switching between the two branches. The bonus 225 HP is probably the best all-round choice, while those trying to eke out as much DPS or BPS (bashes per second) can take the Attack Speed.

The Level 20 skill branch is probably where there's the most consensus among pros as they often choose the extra +7 Armor, which is a decent boost to your effective HP, especially since you're a beefier STR hero.

Furthermore, the 35 bonus damage branch is the lowest damage bonus out of all Level 20 talents and many hero's Level 15 damage bonus branch are better. Further still, one of Necrophos' Level 10 branches gives him 40 bonus damage... take the armor.

Finally, Slardar's Level 25 branch introduces another tossup with both choices being solid. The 20 bonus STR is likely your go-to as it gives you a lot of what you need, more health and a bit more damage. However, the 10 percent additional bash chance on your passive is a higher risk, but also potentially higher reward depending on how fights play out.

Laning

Whether you're running Slardar as an offlaner or as a support, you should have a pretty standard laning phase for a melee hero. You have fantastic Level 1 armor, however your HP regen is the standard 0.25 HP per second, so don't get careless.

You're in your element when you're on the offensive. Your stuns are incredibly disruptive during skirmishes and your Guardian Sprint ensures your target doesn't get a away if they choose to turn tail. You'll also be able to roam faster thanks to your Sprint, but be careful when it's used as the 15 percent damage amp debuff can hurt.

Once you get your Corrosive Haze, you should almost always keep the debuff on nearby enemy heroes. At a 25 mana cost, 25 second duration and five second cooldown, uptime should not be an issue. Sometimes the debuff alone is enough to make the enemy pull back in the lane.

Corrosive Haze is also one of the best tools in the game for taking Roshan, thanks to his buffed 15 base armor. Keep this in mind.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oraclea P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

Returning to Dota 2: A Brief Guide to 7.00's Map

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Dota 2 is a complex game that takes years of practice and trial and error to fully master. Experienced players have hours upon hours of play to rely upon, their efforts rewarded with a complete understanding of, among other things, how the map works.

Leave it to Valve to change that with the 7.00 update.

On top of a myriad of other changes, Valve has significantly changed the Dota 2 map, creating new jungles, pathways, camps and ward spots for players to memorize and navigate. The changes have taken some getting used to, and it makes the experience of learning to play Dota 2 not just daunting for newcomers, but for returning players as well.

While it will still take plenty of practice to learn the intricacies of the map, here are the big changes you need to be aware of if you're returning to Dota 2.

Roshan went on vacation and moved upstream

One of the biggest changes to the 7.00 map is the changing position of Roshan. Formerly located next to the bottom river rune spot, Roshan has migrated upstream to the top left of the river, with his pit being completely inside the river as opposed to jutting out of the wall in his previous location. In addition, the pit itself is smaller than it's earlier incarnation, making it more difficult to properly take and hold and making teams more susceptible to Slam.

With these changes, Roshan is much more difficult for the Radiant to push into and the Dire to access, as his location is now in a more neutral than his pre-7.00 hovel. Dire does gain some slight advantages elsewhere in the map though, as the absence of Roshan means that their safe lane tower and jungle will likely remain up for a longer period.

Shrines - A Valuable new tool

Shrines are a new building type in Dota 2, with both teams having five inside their base and one near each of the Radiant and Dire's Secret Shops and new Ancient Camp locations. They look like this:

Rather than just being decoration, Shrines have a unique ability on a five minute cooldown that can heal allies around it. When an allied hero right clicks it, a wide AOE healing spell is cast that regenerates HP and MP every second for five seconds, with the total healing value increasing with each minute. It's a dependable tool that your team can use to recover before or after a fight, but it is also vulnerable to enemy attacks once a Tier 3 tower dies.

Runes

Runes have now been divided into two different categories to make way for their location changes: Powerup Runes, such as Haste and Double Damage, and Bounty Runes.

Powerup Runes are much the same as before, spawning in one of the two river locations, though the Runes will only spawn at one river location at a time. For returning Dota players, not much changes in terms of these Runes.

Bounty Runes, on the other hand, have received a number of sizable changes. No longer spawning in the river, one Bounty Rune spawns in each of the four jungles once every two minutes. They also only restore two bottle charges now, compared to the three charges prior to 7.00.

Ancients and Neutrals

Alongside a new jungle comes new camps for players to harm. For both the Dire and Radiant, there is one new Ancient in their primary jungle alongside a medium camp for their secondary jungle.

Beyond that, the biggest change made to neutrals is their spawn timer, as they now spawn every odd minute after the initial 0:30 spawn time. Jungle control is more important now than ever before, as teams need to pressure the enemy jungle to secure an early game advantage and ruin the other team's farm.

Beyond that, minor adjustments have been made to the location of every creep camp, with the entire jungle terrain being adjusted accordingly.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

8 Quick Tips for Slardar

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Slardar is currently one of the most versatile heroes in Dota 2, able to flourish in the offlane and as a position 4 support. He has also been used in mid-game oriented compositions in the safelane. It's more important than ever to know the minor details about the heroes, so here's some quick tips on Slardar to help you crush your opponents.

Related: A guide to Slardar

  1. Keep Corrosive Haze on cooldown during fights. It's a huge damage amp for physical damage, such as your right-click and Slithereen Crush. It's easy to forget about it since it has a five second cooldown. It lasts 25 seconds and only costs 25 mana, so uptime should not be an issue.
  2. Armor counters minus armor debuffs, so keep that in mind when drafting against Dragon Knight, Sven, Timbersaw and Lich, who have or grant a lot of armor.
  3. When chasing a target to lineup a Slithereen Crush, keep in mind the ability's animation time. If you don't lead your target enough, they will simply run out of the ability's small Area-of-Effect. Learn to cancel the animation if you know it won't land.
  4. Diffusal Blade's Purge active can no longer be self-casted. So, feel free to be a jerk and insta-lock Slardar when facing Riki or Broodmother or any other invis hero that builds a Diffusal, since Corrosive Haze reveals invis heroes.
  5. Be wary of heroes with low cooldown dispells, such as Oracle, Abaddon, Legion Commander and Slark. They can dispell Corrosive Haze, your bashes and offensive dispells can cancel your Guardian Sprint.
  6. With a Blink Dagger and Echo Saber, and when jumping on a single target, it may be best to open with your two auto-attacks to fish for a stun with your passive, then chain it with a Slithereen Crush afterwards.
  7. You have one of the highest armor stats at Level 1, as well as the second highest agility gain for a strength hero. However, you also have one of the worst intelligence bases and growths. Keep this in mind when building items.
  8. Avoid using Guardian Sprint in the middle of a hairy teamfights, due to the damage amplification debuff. Use it to get there faster, when you need to escape or the fight's already won and you need to chase stragglers.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

$250,000 Masters Manila tournament announced

themasters.gg 3d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

ESL and the Mineski-Events Team have announced a $250,000 Dota 2 tournament for the end of May. The eight-team tournament, dubbed The Masters - Manila, will run from May 26-28 and take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Only Evil Geniuses' attendance at the tournament has been confirmed.

Click here for the full article via themasters.gg

Kiev Major Dates and Tickets

blog.dota2.com 4d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

The Kiev Major will take place on April 27-30 at the National Palace of Arts Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Open Qualifiers will be held on March 6-9, which will lead into the Regional Qualifiers on March 10-13.

Click here for the full article via blog.dota2.com

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