Ti5 Day 3 Opinions – Like White on Rice

Ti5 Day 3 Opinions – Like White on Rice

Ti5 Day 3 Opinions – Like White on Rice

Comments 📅02 August 2015, 13:29

Like White on Rice

That pretty much explains champion and playstyle diversity in the TI5 group stage. The height of strategic discussion on the panel was “does Ember Spirit go Treads or Phase Boots?”

But this is perhaps the most balanced patch ever. The top 20 heroes are almost equally viable. I haven’t seen the stats, but by my estimate, more than 80% of the heroes either banned or picked, i.e. more than 16 out of 20 every game, will be in the top 20 most banned/picked heroes.

I have no idea why this is happening. But where most other TI’s have group stages which are extremely diverse in playstyle and picks, with a meta only emerging towards the late playoff stage, this one has had every team share almost exactly the same playstyle from the start.


What this means:

Adaptation on the fly, a staple of many top teams, is suddenly removed from the picture. For reasons unknown, none of the top teams are willing to pick outside the established meta. (When I say I don’t know the reason, I’m not insinuating they should pick outside the meta – I suspect they have many damn good reasons not to). This can explain why the group stage results have been utterly unpredictable. Previous tournaments have mostly been decided by who can innovate, adapt, and execute. This tournament is just about execution – and a lot of top teams thus lose their advantage.

Niche picks are extremely valuable. See: EG’s Treant and Enchantress pick. It’s puzzling that when everyone is running the same picks and playstyle, only EG (and CDEC, a little) has shown up with a niche counterpick. It’s possible that more will show up in the playoffs. I’m hopeful, but not expectant.


But… why?

The new items have tilted the balance. It has widened the choices available, so heroes in the “good” tier are all almost equally viable. On the other hand, it has left most heroes useless (to quote: “glimmer cape killed Elder Titan”). An unfortunate side effect of introducing more item choices is that it runs the risk of making many heroes useless. And with Dota’s infrequent patch cycle, there simply hasn’t been enough time to assess the situation and buff the heroes that have been left on the curb.

As a final note, it seems weird that while Valve demands stability from competitive Dota teams, it brings changes to the game in huge swaths, leaving the various teams to fend for themselves in an unstable world where at any moment, the entire meta will drastically shift. The teams that are playing in TI5 aren’t the same as when they were invited, because when they were invited, they were playing a completely different game.

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Ant believes that given enough time, he actually could make DotA. He used to play DotA competitively, back when everyone sucked. Nowadays, he's busy praying his programs don't break any of the multi-billion dollar software products he is employed to make.