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    Dota 2 – TI6 Groupstage Day 2 – Rise of Kunkka, Fall of Secret

    Day 2 has had just as many nail biters and action packed thrillers as day 1, with several new picks and strategies. The pool of picked heroes has increased to a total of 96 heroes picked, and Alliance was even bold enough to pull out a level 1 Roshan attempt.

    LGD could not continue their impressive run from day 1 and went 0-4 today. While the Chinese did lack the necessary punch to achieve victory, their opponents were also strong and nothing but impressive. TnC yet again proved that they were no pushovers, displaying strong performances with their Shadow Demon and Kunkka combinations.

    EHOME has had a marvellous run, placing first in their group at the end of the day and securing an upper bracket spot, closely followed by Digital Chaos, whose performances and results were nothing but impressive. At the other end of the spectrum, Secret has been unable to clinch a single victory, allowing Fnatic to score their first two points.

    Hero Trends

    The most contested heroes remain largely the same, with Batrider staying at the top of the list. Oracle has snuck into the top 10 as the 4th most picked hero. Oracle has proven to be a strong support pick that can not only counter popular heroes like Batrider or Beastmaster, but that also allows aggressive heroes such as Timbersaw, Slark or Huskar to overextend.

    Speaking of Huskar, his dominating performances and results during day 1 earned the hero quite a bit of respect, thus only fielding a 1-3 record for day 2.

    The most noteworthy pick of the day certainly has been Kunkka. Established by EHOME’s LaNm, who has a special way of playing the hero which includes an Armlet purchase, a variety of teams and players have adopted the hero pick and found their own styles and approaches. After 16 games, the hero is at a 75% winrate. EHOME however have a clean 5-0 record with the hero, whereas Secret is 2-5 with Kunkka.

    Another notable pick of the day has been Keeper of the Light. The support hero has seen some success on day 1 with a 4-2 record. He’s been picked 11 more times today, though has only been successful in 4 of those games. His ability to provide sieging power with Aghanim’s Scepter, while also allowing teammates to relocate without teleport scrolls is greatly valued, but a lot of the heroes weaknesses have been very apparent today, especially his squishy nature.

    Top 5 Games

    OG vs. Wings Game 1

    A support Naga Siren is nothing out of the ordinary, but a support Morphling certainly raises a lot of eyebrows. Wings second picked a Morphling, only to run him as a support. The idea to maximize his stun is certainly nothing new, though so far it has only really been utilized in the offlane. Together with an Aghanim’s Scepter, this “Supporphling” led to an intense match-up.

    Alliance vs. Na’Vi Game 2

    El Classico is a match-up that the entire Dota world is hyped over. No matter when, no matter what line-up, these two teams will draw attention. Alliance certainly pulled an ace out of their sleeve to commemorate this nostalgic match-up and sneaked a level 1 Roshan–as Radiant and only with two heroes.

    EHOME vs. Secret Game 2
    As much as we enjoy action packed thrillers that are decided only in the 90th minute of a heated game, there is some value in appreciating a team’s and player’s ability to absolutely crush an opponent, not leaving a trace of doubt. This game certainly is a game like that.

    TnC vs. LGD-Gaming Game 1

    If you are interested in crazy, back and forth thrillers, TnC and LGD have got you covered. A 68 minute long intense game, 3 pooled Aghanim’s Scepters and an attempted base race–you better bring your popcorn.

    Secret vs. Digital Chaos Game 2

    Leading up to this game, Secret had lost 5 games that day, whereas Digital Chaos had a 4-1 record, after just beating Newbee 2-0 and displaying their strength in a dominating game 1 vs Secret. Secret started off great, but Digital Chaos never gave up and kept the game close.

    Matches to look out for

    Alliance vs. Escape Gaming | 1st Set

    There is a mathematical chance that Escape Gaming can still place top 4 despite their current 1-9. All math aside though, only victory matters and the team surrounding captain syndereN will face Alliance, a team that has been able to progress during the tournament. That said, syndereN is also Alliance’s former coach who has helped them in their Manila Major run–will his knowledge of the team give Escape an edge?

    OG vs. Na’Vi | 2nd Set

    Na’Vi has a horrible track record against OG, losing their last 5 encounters. The most recent encounter entailed a crushing defeat at ESL One Frankfurt 2016, where OG felt confident enough to let Miracle- play support and the team still defeated the Ukrainians with ease. Na’Vi needs to break the curse to keep their upper bracket dream alive, though is that possible against an in-form OG?

    Team Liquid vs. Digital Chaos | 3rd Set

    Digital Chaos is currently 2nd in group B, something only few would’ve deemed likely before the event. Their performances seem to promise for more to come. Liquid on the other hand has not been able to display the dominating aura and presence that allowed them to place so high in previous events. Being tied with Newbee and only a point ahead of MVP and VGR, Liquid cannot afford to drop the ball if they wish to secure an upper bracket spot.

    Newbee vs. MVP.Phoenix | 4th Set

    Both teams are contenders for an upper bracket spot, but both teams have also shown that they are struggling to stabilize. There is not a lot of history between the two teams, certainly not with these specific rosters. It will be interesting to see though, how MVP’s chaotic and aggressive style will be able to shake up Newbee’s usually disciplined and coordinated movements.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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