By Temirlan "KawaiiSocks" TattybekovSeptember 7, 2020
The Americas Division of OMEGA League might not have had the same exposure or the prize pool of the European Immortal Division, but it still had incredible games and, more importantly, its own identity. Different hero metas in different regions are to be expected, certainly, but the general playstyle of North and South America is also very distinct from EU, as reflected in their hero choices.
Most Contested Hero
Batrider was the most contested hero of the Americas. Given how North America plays the hero in both mid and offlane roles it is unsurprising: the added flexibility during the draft stage can come in very handy.
What is more important, Batrider is also a lot more successful in the Americas, compared to EU. For a hero so popular, having a 60%+ win rate is a good statistics. The biggest reason for his success in the NA/SA region is perhaps the generally different approach to the game there.
North and South American teams value pick-offs and efficient resource distribution more than EU, which is a lot more teamfight-centric, and that allows Batrider to more efficiently execute his game plan.
Other highly contested heroes in the region also reflect this divide and conquer philosophy: Nature’s Prophet, Beastmaster, and Clockwerk are all in the top ten. All of them are great for executing precision strikes on isolated opponents, with a good mix of damage, control, and reconnaissance.
Most Successful Heroes
Sven and Gyrocopter were uniquely successful heroes in the NA and SA region. This should be unsurprising, given how both heroes embody the idea of efficient flash-farming, while being tanky enough to not get punished for it by pick-off oriented drafts.
Another very unique hero in this region is Silencer. While he was considered too greedy and somewhat passive for a much more aggressively paced EU, in the Americas he felt at home. Silencer is one of the strongest follow-ups to a Beastmaster or Batider initiation, as he severely restricts the potential counter-play. North and South American teams fully utilized this classic combo.
Finally, there is Elder Titan. Once again, he is a very flexible hero, capable of being a great counter-initiator in both support and core positions. As discussed previously, clean, surgical initiations are what these teams rely on the most to build their team fights, and Elder Titan is possibly the strongest counter to a game plan like this.
Least Successful Hero
While reliable and innately efficient farmers such as Sven and Gyrocopter were very popular and successful, Anti-Mage finished the tournament without a single victory under his belt. This is a bit surprising as there are very few heroes who can match AM’s efficiency. However, this efficiency does require some time to come to fruition.
While the EU is probably the more aggressive region, with full team fights starting sooner and occurring more frequently, the Americas start playing around the map in groups of two or three sooner. There are more skirmishes and they start happening as soon as some hero gets his first item or level timing. Anti-Mage really doesn’t like this level and frequency of microaggressions.
Add to it the popularity of Clockwerk and Legion Commander, who can initiate and lockdown Anti-Mage, safely ignoring his Counter-Spell, and it becomes more understandable why this hero struggles in North America.
There were two heroes who feel like they were underutilized by the NA and SA teams; Dark Seer and Doom are staples in the EU, but they are not even in the top fifteen of the NA and SA popularity list. Dark Seer should be self-explanatory: the hero really doesn’t fit into the pick-off and gank meta and while the hero is undeniably strong, a “good” hero in a bad draft is far inferior to a “bad” hero that fits the game plan perfectly.
The low popularity of Doom, however, is very surprising. On paper, he provides similar initiation benefits, compared to Beastmaster and Batrider: he can Devour a Centaur for a two-second stun, follow up with an Infernal Blade stun of 1.75 seconds with Aghanim’s and still have his Doom to turn off an annoying hero in a teamfight.
Surely, there are many conditions and items Doom needs to be this impactful, but he is also among the most efficient farmers in the game. His late-game potential is high, he can come online pretty early and there are very few heroes who excel at pickoffs to the same degree as Doom. Overall, very surprising and perhaps next tournament we are going to see the Americas incorporate this hero into their arsenal.