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    Dota 2 – TI6 Group Stage Stats Recap

    The group stage is over and we are approaching the playoffs of the tournament. Slowly but surely teams will be eliminated, leaving a lot of fans disheartened, yet there is always a silver lining—the games themselves, no matter the outcome, are going to be amazing. Analyzing the current meta is no easy task, but it is definitely enjoyable—our game has never been this diverse.

    101 hero has been contested during the tournament, that is 91.8% of the hero pool available in the Captain’s Mode. Even after an impressive season of Majors, with steadily growing amount of viable heroes, this figure is astonishing.

    Group Stage Team Statistics

    A total of 56 series or 112 matches have been played. Of these, 19 series have been tied, and 37 were won 2:0.

    Three directly invited teams have finished in the upper bracket. Two out of four regional qualifier winners have also placed in the top4 of their respective groups, with two regional qualifier runner-ups and one wildcard team already in top12 of the TI6.

    Both NA teams are in the winner’s bracket—Digital Chaos and Evil Geniuses have shown some very dominant performance, placing second in their groups.

    Two out of six EU teams have ended up in the upper half. OG has finished first in Group A, with Alliance managing to claw their way into the fourth place of the same group.

    MVP Phoenix is the only SEA representative in the upper bracket. Interestingly, the team has not managed to win a single series during the group stage—it ended up with 6 tied series and a loss to a wildcard beast, EHOME.

    Finally, China is once again showing dominance. Three out of five teams from the region have managed to secure the better starting position for the main event. The only two teams not managing to get to top4 are Vici_Gaming Reborn and PSG.LGD. These are the teams which suffered from the Visa issues and it is frankly scary to think how well the region as a whole would perform, given all their teams played with their original, stable rosters.

    Hero Statistics

    Historically, the big tournaments such as The International consist of a large “core pool” of heroes which are highly contested. TI6 is an exception to this rule—only 11 heroes out of 101 have had a contest rate of over 50%. The distribution of picks and bans has been spread more evenly, compared to all other TI’s.

    Top “Core Pool” Picks

    The most contested hero— Elder Titan had a contest rate of only 83%. This figure is rather small, compared to 97%-100% contest rate of top heroes in previous TIs and Majors.

    The hero has been picked in a total of 32 games, winning 22 of them. He fits exceptionally well into the high impact support role with high damage and decent amount of utility. Moreover, he works extremely well against most other popular heroes, especially the agility cores such as Morphling, Mirana, Terrorblade and Drow Ranger.

    Oracle was another highly contested support. He was contested in 55% of the games, with a total of 37 picks. His win rate was at an impressive 56.76%.

    The hero offers unparalleled saves to his teammates as well as decent amount of damage. Much like Dazzle in previous TIs, the hero is generally picked to ensure the safety of a main damage dealer of the team, however, unlike Dazzle, Oracle is not as strongly countered by Axe and can be a lot more aggressive during the laning stage—low BAT as well as several nukes/sustain abilities make for an impressively versatile and very item-independent high-impact hero.

    Finally, Mirana was generally picked in the draft openings. The hero is extremely versatile, since she can be played in almost any position. Moreover, she has extremely high burst damage and offers great utility, both in the form of global invisibility and long disables. Mirana also comes online extremely fast, even if played as a position 4 support—with relatively low Net Worth, she can still dish out impressive amount of AoE damage. She was contested in 80% of the games and picked in 57, with a win rate of 56.14%.

    Top Situational Picks

    This list consists of heroes which have been picked in more than 10% of the games played. They are not the “silver bullets” to the enemy draft, but rather a good continuation of a lineup during the second phase of drafting.

    Ursa was picked equally on both Dire and Radiant, indicating that it wasn’t purely a Roshan pick, but rather a well-rounded addition to the draft. The hero has managed to win 8 out of 12 games he was picked in and tops the situational heroes chart.

    Ursa offers massive damage burst, high survivability and comes online extremely fast. In fact, the players often rushed Blink Dagger, frequently skipping the conventional lifesteal item for the sake of tempo control. This trend was prevalent in the EU/NA teams, whereas the Chinese Ursas tended to be more conservative.

    This tempo control allowed teams to snowball and create space for other cores and supports. Very few heroes can deal with an early aggressive Ursa and some of the popular cores, such as Lifestealer are notoriously bad at dealing with him.

    Kunkka in a support position has quickly gained the attention of EU and NA players not long after its conception in the Chinese professional scene. Yet, it is the Chinese teams (mostly EHOME), who brought the hero to its current position of 21 games with 71.43% win rate.

    There are two main ways of playing the hero—the LaNm way, with an early Armlet of Mordiggian, maxed tidebringer and a transition into a core, and the adapted Western way, which focuses on the utility aspect of the hero more.

    Either way, the hero is a great ally for any midlaner, with almost free bottle refills, and a huge ganking threat in the early game. Moreover, underrated buff from Kunkka’s ultimate is a great counter to high burst heroes, such as Mirana and even Elder Titan.

    Finally, Razor is somewhat back in the meta. Razor is a lane dominator, who can go toe-to-toe with almost any enemy. This allows the team to free up supports and apply pressure around the map. In a patch where jungling (and pretty much everything else) is viable, this independence opens up a lot of possibilities and can frequently translate to a massive gold and map control advantage in the mid game.

    At the same time, the hero stays relevant for the majority of the game. His high move speed coupled with damage leaching ability makes him a great semi-carry and tank even in prolonged matches. A similar hero, Viper, is a much riskier pick in this regard, since he falls of a lot harder.

    Overrated Picks

    There are always these heroes in each tournament which are highly contested and popular, but whenever they get through the first ban phase they just seem lacklustre. Dazzle, Lifestealer and Alchemist have been quite unsuccessful, however they stayed as the priority picks for the majority of the group stage.

    Dazzle is often thought of as a poor man’s Oracle and it is partially true. His saving ability, Shallow Grave does not perform healing miracles, while lasting less, whereas the rest of his kit requires too much setup to be highly effective. Weave is rather easy to play around, while Poison Touch is widely regarded as one of the weakest abilities in game.

    With Oracle frequently banned, teams needed a hard save and Dazzle was an obvious choice. However, the hero is too weak during the laning stage and can’t apply any pressure around the map, frequently making him more of a liability, rather than an asset. Moreover, with drafts mostly being balanced with a good deal of magic and physical damage, the hero never had a chance to shine even in the late game, where armor was usually one of the most important stats.

    Lifestealer is a bit of a remnant of the past, much like Dazzle. The hero has had its peak in the previous patch iteration, but has been heavily nerfed since. More importantly, the meta has changed from high health cores, frequently focusing more on relatively low health agility heroes with lots of armor. This alone makes Lifestealer a suboptimal pick.

    The resurgence of the Force Staff was the final nail in the coffin of the hero’s perceived viability. Multiple natural Force Staff carriers on the same team is not uncommon and Lifestealer gets kited way too hard to be effective.

    Finally, Alchemist is suffering from the tempo of the games in the patch. The hero can get online faster than any other, if left unattended, but it is TI after all. Teams will abuse lane weakness of the hero and shut down him early, not letting him ever get to the state where he can be an almost-unkillable nuisance.

    Unlike many other popular cores (e.g. Juggernaut, Mirana) Alchemist does nothing without items and his whole gameplan revolves around getting to these items faster than anyone else can. Without them, he is sub-par melee hero with low HP pool, low damage and a gimmicky disable.

    Closing Thoughts

    This patch is an absolute masterpiece when it comes to hero versatility and viability. Even the seemingly overpowered heroes are not as dominant and even the most lacklustre ones are not as poor. Not only does this patch is a lot more entertaining to watch, compared to tournaments where there are the same heroes in every game, but it also emphasises the importance of the drafting stage, making it almost as tense as the games themselves.

    With that in mind, there is high chance even more heroes are going to appear during the main event. Granted, it is highly unlikely we will witness a competitive Bloodseeker match, but heroes like Centaur Warrunner and Visage have already been picked in high-profile games with a decent success rate. Leshrac and Lina can also be great situational picks in certain matchups.

    There is definitely a reason to get excited about the main stage of the tournament—given the quality of the games in the group stages, it is unimaginable what teams will be capable of with their backs against the wall of elimination.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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