In just two days, over 42 hours of Dota were played, 88 out of 110 heroes picked, and we’re only half way through the first week. Mirana and Batrider surfaced as the top most contested heroes so far, while Elder Titan and Shadow Demon have been the most banned. The wildcard stages provided some tense and bittersweet moments, as Complexity and XCTN were eliminated, with EHOME and Escape Gaming advancing to the first round.
Then, the first day of the group stages kicked off. Wings gaming stumbled out of the gate, and the upper half of both groups rounded out with the usual suspects. EG evaded their day one woes. Team Secret went 3-0, before losing against MVP in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament.
Here are the top ten most contested picks of the tournament. Mirana has come a long way from being a better version of Windranger (or a worse one, depending on the patch), a support pairing for Shadow Demon, or that Puppey, 5-role that camps the mid lane with Sacred Arrows. Her Aghanim’s upgrade, combined with Blink Dagger, opens up a role as an initiator with high potential for magical burst damage, like a Puck without the silence. It also has opportunities for moments like this, where s4 nailed a quadruple Starstorm that blew up Naga Siren.
Huskar is another hero worth mentioning. Even though he wasn’t picked as often, it’s the way he wins that seems to put an asterisk on every game. While his losses can be attributed to team composition or play, his wins appear to be completely dominant, and solely due to the hero himself. It can feel cheap and broken, like there is something wrong with the hero, rather than the way teams are playing against him. He’s currently at a 55.6% win rate, but he has been a force in the hands of Team Secret, who won 3 consecutive games with him. Against VG.Reborn, NoNo on his Storm Spirit completely abandoned his mid lane, farmed in Secret’s jungle, and had to suicide at level 6 to make it back to his own side of the map.
Huskar is an ideal example for the “win lane, win game” rule. His power spikes with just an armlet pickup, while his hero counters requires levels and farm, whether that’s pure damage spells or even an item like Silver Edge, which LGD.Maybe’s QoP used against Escape’s Huskar. Huskar has more trouble in games where his lane isn’t completely won, where he can’t snowball his team from minute ten. That requires a decent lane opponent, and a focus on dampening his farm. Wings and Evil Geniuses have used Viper, with supports like Dazzle and Oracle babysitting. Na’Vi, in their win against TNC, matched Dendi’s Razor against the Huskar.
Top 5 Games
MVP Vs Secret, Game 2
Capitalist saying “What in the world is going on?” is what you need to know about this game. MVP.March may no longer be with the team, but Dubu has been channeling March’s relentless Spirit Breaker, creating 100% chance of Greater Bash from 17%. MVP played some of the most entertaining matches so far, as they seem to have all five heroes on attack-move towards the enemy base. And for some reason, sometimes the opponent does the same, as in this extended team-fighting stretch during the early game.
MVP vs DC, Game 1
This was a comeback engineered by one person, Resolution. MVP appeared to have the game sealed, with the Aegis, and a wealthy Slark and Lifestealer. Even with IO, they were outmaneuvered by Resolution’s Morphling, who took out two lanes of barracks on his own. Game 2 was also an excellent encore, with the first PA pick of the Seattle LAN.
Execration vs CoL, Game 2
Even though this was a wildcard match played by two eliminated teams, it was a brief highlight on what XCTN could be. Abed, 15 years old and an emerging star, had a dominating performance on Meepo, a hero that XCTN picked in the first phase, just out of sheer confidence in their player. At this point, XCTN had taken a game off EHOME and played great in their losing effort in game 3.
OG vs Alliance, Game 2
In the first two days of TI5, sixteen heroes were picked only once. Thirteen out of sixteen of those heroes lost their games. Loda on Pugna was one of them. By fifteen minutes, Alliance had taken out five of OG’s towers and sniped the courier, with Pugna, which was carrying N0tail’s Sacred Relic. OG organized a comeback with some strategic maneuvering, Shadow Blade pickoffs with Tiny, a [gem steal from the fountain[(https://www.livecap.tv/t/dota2ti/u2snVP4j9WD), all until N0tail’s, 707cs Naga, sealed the game.
LGD vs OG, Game 1
At 30 minutes, OG had a 20-4 kill lead, after cleaning up four of LGD’s heroes in their own base, and a mid lane of raxes, and the game was barely half over. LGD had uncharacteristic mistakes throughout their first day–misclicking BKB, Maybe completely whiffing Scream of Pain between two heroes–especially for a roster with some of the best players at the tournament. But in this game, they showed that regardless of mistakes they make in the early and mid game, they can be impeccable in the late game.