Today we are going to review the midgame for Lina, with a successful laning phase behind, played by Maybe from team LGD, against team OG and during their group stage of the International. Getting as much of advantage as Maybe did is not that easy, and you need to be very careful about using it. Both of the LGD sidelanes were rather equal, so their midlaner had a good chance to prove himself and carry the game for his team, using his good start as his main tool. So buckle up. The red haired sorceress is about to get out of control. By the end of the laning phase, Lina is extremely ahead of her midlane opponent, Skywrath Mage. Her networth is through the roof in comparison with him, and his tower was downed even before tenth minute into the game, driving the Lina’s team advantage up to four thousand gold. Maybe is currently at the top of both the networth, and experience gained tables. Lina is one of those heroes which can work extremely well when they seize the initiative, and can single-handedly change the outcome of the entire match in her team’s favour.
This hero can farm very quickly, and can start pressuring the entire enemy team with just a single item in her pocket, forcing them to scatter and hide all around the map. Her fragile shoulders will get a heavy burden of killing the enemy heroes, so Maybe will have to join as many teamfights as possible, as he is currently the strongest hero on the entire map. But he shouldn’t forget about his farming and pick-offs either. Let’s see how well this player can handle it all. A rune appears on the top, and Maybe rotates over there to pick it up. Unfortunately, it was already gone. One of the enemy heroes must have snatched it, and then used it to kill two of her teammates on toplane. Going there alone will be too dangerous, so Maybe returns to midlane and starts killing the creeps there. His team decides to defend the easy lane tower. It’s just silly to give their advantage away like that, so Maybe has to be there at all costs. None of the enemy heroes can stand against him at the moment. He buys a teleport scroll and brings it via a courier, and then teleports to toplane, arriving just in time for the teamfight to start.
Skywrath Mage gets unlucky in his attempts to evade the enemy team though the jungle, and gets caught by Lina, preventing him from getting away. The rest of the enemy heroes arrive, and LGD get slightly outnumbered. Lina’s first two spells are on cooldown at the moment, so she waits for them at a distance. Then, she lands a stun on top of the slowed Warlock, and kills him. Monkey King gets focused as well, and our player goes on a chase, but this time, he had to pay for that kill with his own blood. This fight did not end well for our team, resulting in them having lost four heroes, one by one. In the end, the opponents have shortened their lead to just a couple thousand gold. Maybe just can’t let them come back so easily. He respawns and goes to botlane, to farm some gold for his Eul’s Scepter. His gold lead is still quite high, and this item will make him that much more dangerous for any of the enemy players. LGD decide to give their toplane tower away, and team up on botlane instead.
The opponents don’t look like they are going to oppose them too much, so Maybe decides to teleport to midlane and push it as well. He doesn’t plan on staying there for too long though, since the opponents are all around the toplane right now. Our player is extremely good at reading his opponents, and knows how to avoid a certain death. That is why he decided not to go for the next wave of creeps. Instead, he goes for the jungle farm by the shrine. Lina deals with the jungle creeps just perfectly, and even stacks some of them in the process. When you have that much of the early advantage, it is important to keep it up and try to farm even more, just so you get stronger with every minute.
Once his teammates arrive, Maybe decides to go for a push on midlane again. Having two teammates by his sides makes him fear a lot less. However, rotating into his own jungle right now would be a bad idea. LGD read the enemy positions pretty well, and know everything about the ambush on the nearby highground. Instead, they use the smoke and go through the enemy jungle instead, which is a lot safer at the moment. Their first target was Warlock, and they immediately dispatch him. He didn’t have a single chance of survival. Wisp and Gyrocopter arrive as well, and so Vengeful Spirit goes down as well. The opponents retaliate, and kill two of Lina’s teammates.
They can see every opponent thanks to the ward on the shrine, so Maybe predicts the Weaver’s movements very effectively, and deals with him in an orderly manner. A Dominating streak for Lina. The opponents start chasing the Wraith King, but Lina is right there to protect him. Meanwhile, his ultimate has already gone off cooldown. It gets exchanged for a Golem, and this is where the fight ends. Without their ultimates on them, neither of the teams is brave enough to keep fighting.
Maybe finally purchases a Eul and he decides to demonstrate its use on midlane, against the Monkey King. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough mana to unleash his full combo, so he ends up in just harassing the target a little bit. His teammates live him a bounty rune on toplane, just so he can refill his bottle with it. That way, he can replenish his mana and finally put his new item to a much better use. Maybe drinks all of it, to have enough mana for his full combo. His target will be the Monkey King again, as he farms the toplane quite recklessly.
Lina lifts him up into the Eul again, and then times her spells well enough to leave the Monkey with just a single hit worth of health. He tries to hide in the jungle there, but Maybe won’t let him get away so easily. He finds his target hiding among the trees, and secures a kill on him, taking out the strongest of the enemy heroes. That was a well-executed move, and it will definitely count towards his team’s victory. This is where Lina really shines, in terms of total domination. With enough farming on her, she can take out any hero all by herself, and thus increase her networth lead even further. Maybe uses a Shrine. He is all out of resources after that kill he’s just made. Lion finds the Vengeful Spirit using the invisibility to hide, and starts dealing with her.
Maybe storms in for the kill, but she gets helped by her teammates, and so he is forced to retreat, as to avoid getting focused. She manages to dodge the two ultimates aimed her way, while her teammates are dealing with the two enemy heroes. The rest of the enemy core heroes try to chase Maybe down, but he hides behind the tower, where it’s safe for him to stay. His teammates arrive, and now they can turn around and punish one of the opponents for being so rude. LGD catch the Monkey King, and deal with him, brutally. That’s four kills for the Radiant, with no losses on their side.
Their gold advantage has now reached six thousand. Meanwhile, Maybe is all out of resources, so he goes back to base and heals up. And after he did, he went to botlane to push the lane out. Wraith King only needs a little bit of gold for his Blademail, and Lina leaves the rest of the lane farm to him while she herself moves into the jungle. Maybe finds a haste rune on the bottom. That’s a very useful rune for Lina. Her weakest side is her squishiness. When focused, this hero can go down very quickly. But with the haste rune on her, she can always assume a good spot, and engage her opponents from a safe range. LGD gather up and use the smoke again, to look for a new victim for their gank. They spot it on the ward, but they don’t rush to cross the river yet, and wait for a good moment to strike. Finally, Skywrath Mage comes out into the lane, and they launch their attack. Wraith King jumps on him with a stun, but he gets swapped by the Vengeful Spirit, saving his life.
Monkey King sets down his arena in the middle of the lane, and Maybe decides to walk around it. Soon enough, he finds Weaver, and he and his team immediately wipe him off the map, leaving only three enemies left to deal with. Next up, his teammates kill the Skywrath Mage as well. Only two enemies remaining, which is why Maybe gets so confident about towerdiving Warlock in the open. A well-timed stun, and a triple kill for Gyrocopter. Next up, he and Lina stay on the lane and push the tower, as there is pretty much nothing their opponents can put up against them right now. After the tower gets demolished, their gold advantage rises up to ten thousand.
From now on, finishing the match is pretty much a matter of time. Maybe gets on the hunt, using his newly bought Shadow Blade to go unnoticed. He feels that the enemy is near, but still doesn’t find that Vengeful Spirit and moves past her. LGD have tried to bait the opponents with their Wraith King as he pushed the top tower by himself, and it worked. Maybe finally stumbles upon the Vengeful Spirit hiding the jungler, and wipes her off the map in a single blink of an eye. All of the enemy plans go to waste, and the bait has worked extremely well. Lina doesn’t move too far away from her offlaner, and scouts the area ahead using her Shadow Blade. Together with the Wraith King, they try to spot the Monkey King hiding on top of the trees, but they fail to guess the right one.
But it’s not all that bad. The time wasn’t wasted, since the dire team is only approaching the tower. It’s only three of them on top lane, but Io and Gyrocopter can arrive any moment using the Relocate, reinforcing their teammates if needed. Wraith King goes all out against that tower and isn’t afraid of getting attacked, while Maybe is staying safer and is trying to flank the tower from the side. A kill happens on botlane, and now that the opponents have their numbers crumbled, Wraith King initiates a fight underneath the enemy tower. Lina moves behind the tower, and thus a full-blown teamfight starts.
The enemies are trying to focus Maybe down, but he launches himself into the air with his Eul and breaks their focus. They then get rather desperate and try to take at least someone with them. It’s two of them left, and thus they launch another attack on Lina, but they fail to finish her off. They both die a fiery death, leaving Lina with just a little bit of health left. Teamwipe by LGD, and now the advantage reaches 17 thousand gold. At this point, the midgame is pretty much over. LGD will soon siege the enemy highground and will finish the match 29 minutes in. Maybe has played around his early advantage extremely well, and has spent his entire midgame at the top of the networth table. His fiery performance has prevented the opponents from coming back, and has allowed him team to keep gaining more and more gold in lead. What should you remember? Buy the Eul’s Scepter of Divinity as your first item and use it to score solo kills.
After a decent laning phase, Lina becomes a huge threat to all the enemy heroes, and will be able to kill most of them with a single ability combo. To leave the opponents with no chances of survival, build the Eul Scepter as your first item. With it, landing your spells against your targets will become extremely easy. Furthermore, this item will grant you with some extra mana regeneration, which is very helpful for Lina’s farming. Take part in every teamfight you can. A good laning phase for midlane Lina turns her into the single strongest battle unit of her team, and thus she can’t afford to miss out on any of the teamfights. Your presence in them should pay off with kills, and will prevent your opponents from turning the match around. Follow the Maybe’s example, and be the true playmaker for your team. .
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