Written by Kary
ONE Esports World Pro Invitational concluded a few weeks back with the Chinese powerhouse Vici Gaming overpowering Evil Geniuses in a clean 3:0 grand finals sweep. VG walked with a major chunk of $200,000 in prize money whilst EG ended up taking $100,000 out of the total $500,000 prize-pool.
We’ll take a closer look at the top five contested heroes in the tournament and try to deduce as to what made them “preferable
” picks over others regardless of their statistics. Will these top contested heroes, provided there’s no further changes in patch, be preferred at upcoming events such as WePlay! Bukovel Minor
or DreamLeague Leipzig Major
Well, let’s take a look!
Stats at the event
: Doom tops the most contested list! And why not? The recent patch update has made Doom a fiery option for contention. Either pick it or be smart enough to ban it lest you feel like burning in hell! It has been contested 98% throughout the event with a 55% win-rate, which is considered to be a good stat.
: Note – I’ll be talking about select spell changes that I feel is the reason for the said heroes being highly contested.
- Increased base attack damage: There’s been a slight increase in base attack damage for Doom although not to a great extent. However, base attack damage being buffed up by 3 basis points (from 27-43 to 30-46) does help the hero in being a little bit more aggressive.
- Devour: Greed is good, especially when the gold bonus is literally doubled when maxed out. Another significant change to this spell is that the creep devour level limit has been increased to 4 on level 1 as opposed to 3. Now imagine, finding a wolf camp and devouring an Alpha Wolf and getting those sweet passive abilities such as Critical Strike and Pack Leader’s Aura at level 1?
- Scorched Earth: Movement speed bonus, damage and duration of the spell has been increased by a notch that makes Doom a predator on the hunt. Combine this with the increased base attack damage, and you’ve the King of Hell standing in front of you!
To keep it simple, Doom has got a big buff to his Devour ability that gives him more gold as compared to before. The changes also make his 1 vs. 1 match-up abilities powerful. Icing on the cake, teams have displayed that he can be played in the position 4 role as well, so even if they first pick Doom, it provides them with draft ambiguity.
Moving forward, I do believe Doom is unlikely to fall out of favour and might see more game time.
Stats at the event
: The guardian of the forest is one of the heroes who’s been tinkered with the most ever since the Outlander’s update shipped in. His abilities were severely reworked and buffed up, and thus it made him share the top position with Doom in the most contested list albeit with a lower win-rate. Treant has a win-rate of only 45% despite being contested 98%.
- Nature’s Guise: An innate passive ability has been added to the arsenal of Treant Protector that grants “Tree Walking”; the ability to walk through trees, unobstructed, all the while gaining movement speed, heal and health regen amplification on himself. Need I say more?
- Living Armour: Global cast range, bonus armour, healing (buildings as well as allies) and increased spell duration makes Treant into a great ally. Not only can he heal you, he can also make you more durable by providing armour.
- Nature’s Grasp: Spell description is self-explanatory, “Creates vines towards the target location. Vines slow down and deal damage to enemies that walk through.” It is just another tool to make ends meet on this hero.
Honestly speaking, I think Treant is overrated. The reason why he’s being picked this heavily is because the hero in pubs looks completely busted. There was a similar trend before TI (pardon me, as I’m unable to recollect which TI; if I were to guess, then pre TI7 or TI8), where Treant looked completely busted in pubs but not even a single team picked him up at TI. However, there is a vast difference between pubs and CM.
Another reason why Treant is most contested although its win-rate is below average is due to the mobility factor. As the game progresses, Treant not only dishes out a lot of healing and durability, but is also one of the most agile heroes in the game. He can swiftly seethe through the trees – and thanks to Nature’s Guise and Level 10 invisibility talent, tangle the enemy team through his Overgrowth ability as well as provide vision due to level 25 talent.
Moving forward, I have my doubts on Treant being a go-to pick as I see it simply falling out of favour. I believe there may be other suitable options in place.
Stats at the event
: Viper is another hero with a 94% contention rate and a 54% win-rate at this event. What makes this hero a popular pick? For that, we’ve to take a look at how the patch has changed the Netherdrake.
- Poison Attack: This ability has been reworked to a great extent. New Poison Attack has a perpetual increased cast range that deals damage per second per stack, causes movement speed slow and magic resistance reduction per stack, with a low mana cost of 20 and a 0 second cooldown.
- Nethertoxin: “Releases a Nethertoxin at the targeted area. Units in that area take an increasing damage over time based on how long they remain in it, have lower resistance and their passives do not work.” – Self-explanatory.
If anyone has observed carefully, Alliance has been first-picking Viper a lot since the hero is pretty unbeatable in the mid lane. You first-pick it and it is quite impossible for the enemy mid-lane to counter you, at least for now, but maybe someone will find a suitable counter to it in the future. I believe teams are just going to start picking Viper themselves or banning it.
Stats at the event
: Vengeful Spirit has been contested 84% of the time and has a win-rate of 55% which are good stats for any support hero.
- Vengeance Aura: The reworked ability increases the attack range of ranged allies as well as the primary attributes of allied heroes nearby. Upon death, a strong illusion of Venge is spawned that lasts until respawning and is immune to abilities that normally kill illusions instantly.
In my opinion, Venge is a strong support hero in general. It has become even better at support than the previous patch because of the changes to her Vengeance Aura that increases the attack range of allied ranged heroes. Despite not having strong lane presence, one can make up for this deficit in many other ways by utilizing her appropriately.
Stats at the event
: Tiny has been contested 78% of the time and has a low win-rate of 47%.
I’ll try to summarize in short on this hero without going into his skill changes post 7.23 patch. Overall, Tiny is still a strong hero but it definitely has somewhat hard counters. From my perspective, Tiny will mostly have a low win-rate when picked in the first phase as the hero will be forced out of his preferred position and played in sort of less optimal roles, for example, position 4.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the hero isn’t good at position 4 (had a look at Crit’s position 4 Tiny as yet?). It still has strong roaming, and strong burst and initiation abilities, but I believe its other strengths are far greater.
Besides the top five contested heroes, there are few others that have higher stats although with a considerably lower pick/ban rate, for example – Drow Ranger, Razor, Disruptor and Magnus.
Heroes mentioned above have an excellent win-rate exceeding beyond 60%. However, they are not being highly contested. Despite being strong heroes, Drow Ranger and Razor, aren’t being picked in the first phase. It might be because teams are yet to figure out the ins and outs of picking them in the first phase or perhaps fearing that they might encounter problems in drafts.
Heroes that are highly contested will always be the ones that are drafted in the first phase, and heroes having higher win-rates will always be those that are picked during the later stage of the drafts since they can be picked in ideal situations.
With that said, I believe that Treant Protector is most likely to fall out of favour in upcoming tournaments such as WePlay! Bukovel Minor and DreamLeague Leipzig Major, whilst Doom might have the tiniest possibility of not being picked that often as they are not considerably suited as cores.
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Stats taken from Dotabuff.
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