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Fly Talks About the Hardest Laners in Dota 2

Hazel Wyatt

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While Dota 2 is essentially a team game, there are some aspects where you cannot help but stand out to certain players. This includes laning, with many players excelling at outperforming their opponents in the early stages. During the 'Fly and the Other Guy' podcast, Shopify Rebellion's captain Tal "Fly" Aizik discussed the top five hardest Dota 2 laners he has faced. Fly included former teammate Daryl "iceiceice" Koh on his list, as well as offlane duos. Considering Fly’s extensive experience as a support player, the number one spot on the veteran's list, a midlaner, was a surprising one.

Fly says SumaiL is the hardest Dota 2 laner
Fly had his former Evil Geniuses teammate iceiceice at number five on the list of the hardest laners in Dota 2. The only word he used to describe iceiceice in the laning stage was "annoying."

“So, for number five, I have my good buddy iceiceice. And I will give a special shoutout to DJ because that lane, in particular, was very annoying. And this is basically what classifies iceiciece. He is annoying. He is an annoying person to lane against. I definitely think the way he played, especially years ago, was probably stronger because people didn't know Dota as much. His goal in the lane - he would come to the lane and he would always choose to annoy you over having a good game for himself if he has the choice.”

Denying an allied creep rather than last-hitting it, blocking neutral camps with summons, and pulling waves for a longer period than other offlaners were some of the plays that iceiceice constantly did which made him frustrating to lane against, Fly said.

The fourth player on Fly's list was the up-and-coming offlane-turned-carry player Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf. In his opinion, ATF is a very lethal player because of the patience with which he plays the lanes.

“On number four, I have ATF. His trait is that he is very patient. He doesn’t care if you are hitting him or you are trying to harass him, he seems very calm. He doesn’t let that get to him. He plays for his timing. He last hits really well. He’s very very mechanically skilled in terms of how to maneuver the lane around.”

In many matchups, Fly discussed how ATF can opt for unconventional item builds such as four Bracers just to gain an edge and control the lane.

The offlane duo of Tundra Esports' The International 11 (TI11) winners, Neta "33" Shapira and Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, were third on Fly’s list.

“So, my third person is gonna be a combo and it’s gonna be 33 and Saksa. So, the characteristic of these guys is that they are the game-plan team. So, okay, they have a plan, they always have some idea of how they are gonna play the game.”

33 knows what he wants to accomplish with his heroes and Saksa makes the process easier by punishing enemy mistakes aggressively. Fly said that while they are both skilled players individually, they are among the best offlane duos and were the best at TI11.

TI10 champions Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov and Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov were second on Fly's list as he opted for another offlane duo. One of the few lanes that he and Artour "Arteezy" Babaev had trouble playing was against Collapse and Mira.

“Number two on my list is going to be another duo, another pair. These guys are Collapse and Mira, however, I specifically noted TI10, the one they won. We scrimmed against them a good amount of times and the way I described them is that they had the killer instinct. So, they were the most punishing offlane duo by far.”

In Fly's Dota 2 career, Syed "SumaiL" Hassan from Nigma Galaxy has been the toughest laner he's faced. Despite not having directly competed against SumaiL much in a lane, Fly still placed him on his top list because of a ranked game experience four years ago.

“So my number one - the hardest person to lane against is SumaiL. I remember a pub a few years ago where I was forced to go mid and I was against SumaiL and I got absolutely massacred. I have never felt that before. The amount of pressure I felt, it was horrible. This was around TI8. I classify him as the king, the king of the midlane. I am serious, this guy is absolutely insane at laning.”

Fly could not single out a particular aspect of SumaiL's play, saying that he was impeccable for having killer instincts, planning, patience, etc. Even when Fly played against him in the sidelane when SumaiL was a carry, he said the skills were excellent.

Out of all these players, Fly will not have to face any of them in the upcoming North American (NA) Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Winter Tour with them playing in either Europe or Southeast Asia. In January 2023, Fly will make his Shopify Rebellion debut in the NA DPC Winter Tour.

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