The TI 7 open qualifiers dream is fulfilled: Planet Dog are going to Seattle
A team of rejects, who were kicked from their previous teams days ahead of The International 2017 qualifiers, grouped under the Planet Dog tag and went on a mission to prove everyone wrong and they did just that.
From winning the second batch of European open qualifiers to claiming a spot in the regional playoffs and then reaching the grand finals, Planet Dog are most surely one beautiful story of determination and an inspiration source for all the lower tier players and teams.
Planet Dog vs Mousesports was set from the very beginning to be an interesting match-up of the regional qualifiers as the Dog players are old acquaintance of Giorgos ‘SsaSpartan‘ Giannakopoulos and co. Planet Dog’s midlaner Grigorios ‘Keyser‘ Kallianiotis was part of the initial Greek roster roster of XtremeXPC.Int, turned London Conspiracy in 2015, turned Golden Boys after the TI 5 qualifiers. At the beginning of 2016 the Greeks made some changes to their roster, lost Keyser in the process and went on becoming Ad Finem and now Mousesports. During the few organizations swaps in 2015, SSaSpartan, Omar ‘Madara‘ Dabasasand and Dimitris ‘ThuG‘ Plivouris played with Milan ‘MiLAN‘ Kozomara at No Logic Gaming and mYinsanity before deciding to regroup as a full Greek roster at Ad Finem.
So with so much common history together, The International 7 qualifiers grand finals between Mouz and Planet Dog came down to mind games. Planet Dog allowed Mouz to draft their comfort heroes in all four games they played, while the Greeks allowed Milan and co to run a support Night Stalker in all 4 games.
While Mousesports geared up for team fights and relied on big ultimates overlap to win the first game of the series, Planet Dog went with a ganking oriented lineup and strong laning presence. They sent both Night Stalker and Dark Seer in the offlane, where they played extremely aggressive, efficiently shutting down Madara’s Void. The game broke out, in fact, with a surprising TP rotation from Planet Dog’s Puck, only 30 seconds after the starting horn, which meant the first blood and the promise of an action packed grand final. Planet Dog had a very dominant laning stage, transitioned nicely into the mid game with a Roshan kill secured at the 18 minute mark and grabbed a quick 30 minutes victory.
The second act of the series started with a hilarious lane switching game as Mouz tried to dodge the Lifestealer vs Terrorblade matchup, but the Dogs were prepared to rotate their heroes accordingly. Two waves of creeps were nearly lost in the attempt of placing Terrorblade in the same lane with Madara’s Lifestealer and when they finally managed to settle bottom lane with three heroes, Dog realized they can’t win against the Mousesports trilane. Realizing that they are in fact losing the lane and that the TB can’t farm, Planet Dog rotated their carry once more and sent him top lane, where he had a little bit of space, but not too long as the ganks forced him to jungle. Unfortunately he wasn’t safe there either as Verros ‘Maybe Next Time‘ Apostolos on the Treant Protector was always lurking around, scouting and setting up multiple kills on him.
Despite such a rough game, Uroš ‘Swiftending‘ Galić managed to miraculously recover and even topped the net worth chart at the 25 minutes into the game, but unfortunately all his efforts were in vain as Mouz’ push power was impossible to stop by that time and Planet Dog lost the game shortly after the 35 minute mark.
Trying to match Planet’s Dog appetite for early aggression, Mouz went with a pushing draft, Chen buffed by Lycan’s aura. Their tactic worked perfectly in the early game as the first tier one tower went down only five minutes into the game, however the Dogs had an extremely mobile line-up that allowed them to be in the right place at the right time once their Batrider and Ember Spirit felt ready to fight. A Roshan kill secured at the 20 minute mark, a won teamfight in front of the pit as soon as the Aegis was placed on the Ember Spirit, was all that Planet Dog needed to take the full control of the game and the grand finals lead once again.
One game away from qualifying to TI7 , Planet Dog decided to take the Lycan for themselves as well as Thug’s Queen of Pain. The laning stage went all in favor of Planet Dog courtesy of early rotations from Night Stalker and really aggressive plays from Neta ‘33‘ Shapira on Tidehunter, who not only continuously harassed the Mouz carry Venomancer, but he also put his team in a huge advantage at the 22 minute mark when he shamelessly walked into the Roshan pit and stole the Aegis without having a Blink Dagger or a Mekansm. Ten minutes later Mouz tapped out and Planet Dog became probably the ultimate underdog going to The International 2017.
The five players from Planet Dog are living proof that determination and refusal to bow in the face of dire circumstances, doubled by hard work and talent, are the recipe to succeed in the cutthroat scene of professional esports.
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