The winner of OGA Dota PIT Season 3
shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone: Team Secret
once again managed to prove they are by far the strongest team in the region. What is surprising is the diversity of the heroes they were successful on and against. While the tournament itself was rather short, the overall tournament meta was quite varied.
Most popular heroes of the tournament
Three heroes were either picked or banned in more than 70% of all games. Phoenix
, Faceless Void
, and Io
were the most contested characters in the tournament.
The Io situation should be self-explanatory: the higher the level of play, the more of a priority his ban becomes. The hero was let through once and unsurprisingly won his game. Global map mobility coupled with the DPS and survivability amplification works wonders in well-coordinated games.
Phoenix and Void became the meta staples for a good reason: they are exceptionally good teamfight heroes with a very strong progression into the late game. Moreover, these two heroes combo incredibly well, so when one gets more popular, the other one typically follows. Faceless Void was especially successful in the tournament, with a win rate of almost 85% across 13 games.
Surprising new addition
The last patch was released over a month ago, but only now do we see how strong the impact of the changes to Bloodseeker
truly was. The hero became the fifth most contested hero of the tournament with an unassuming, yet respectable win rate of 54%.
There were previous attempts to make the hero work, but only now do we see this playstyle developed to a point in which Bloodseeker is a solid pick. He is surprisingly flexible, one of the strongest ganking heroes in the mid-game, and has a lot more teamfight presence than most people realize. Sure, he requires a lot of setup to connect his Blood Rite, but that’s why Dota is a team game.
Unexpectedly survivable, fast-farming, and reliable Bloodseeker might not be the “broken” hero of the current meta, but he is most likely going to be a staple going forward.
Most successful heroes of the tournament
There are heroes who are popular because they are very flexible, and then there are heroes who are popular because they are close to overpowered under the right circumstances. Three heroes combined both reliability and general power level, making them the most successful heroes of the tournament.
Faceless Void was already discussed previously, and he is joined by Clockwerk
, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone paying close attention to the professional scene. Drow Ranger
is the third in this list, with a massive win rate of 82% across 11 games.
What is surprising about Drow Ranger is not her appearance or her prowess: in a meta filled with carries who fully rely on base armor, she automatically becomes the strongest right-clicking core in the game. The surprising part is how long it took professional teams to finally figure out how to make the hero work.
For all her strengths, Drow Ranger has one massive weakness: regardless of how ahead she is in terms of net worth or how good her early game was, if the enemy gets on top of her she is either dead or ineffective. It is up to her team to create conditions under which she can simply stand and deal damage.
The only team that managed to consistently create such conditions was Team Secret, but both Natus Vincere
quite successfully tried to incorporate this theoretically powerful hero into their drafts.
, Vengeful Spirit
, and Void Spirit
were the most overvalued heroes of the tournament. They were picked very often, but all of them won less than 42% of their games. The situation is especially dire with Void Spirit: the hero was picked 17 times, winning only seven of his games.
It is hard to say that these heroes are bad: they are quite flexible, can fit multiple roles, and have a lot of tools that can be effective in a wide variety of situations. The biggest problem is that they were popular for so long that professional players have enough high-level experience to know more or less exactly what the opponent on one of those heroes is going to do.
In a sense, they are picked so often because of their familiarity but said familiarity is also the reason they can’t be as successful. Perhaps going forward we are going to see less emphasis on these heroes in future tournaments: being predictable doesn’t sound like a good starting plan for any team that wants to tackle the big bad boss — Team Secret.
Looking at the current meta, there are very few reasons to complain: it is diverse in both heroes and overall game plans. There is no single strongest hero, and even if there is an outlier, with the amount of first-phase bans it is easy to target them. That said, historically speaking, when one team started doing abnormally well, a patch would usually follow that would nerf the undisputed champion’s playstyle.
The problem is that Team Secret does not rely on a singular playstyle to achieve victory: like the current meta, they are multifaceted, highly adaptable, and unpredictable. It sounds impossible to nerf them with any sort of balance changes to the game, which is possibly the highest praise any team could receive.
Going forward, some extra digging into underpicked, underappreciated, and underdeveloped heroes will be necessary for all contenders to the throne.
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