The Defense in numbers

Posted by Bruno "shostakovich" Tomaz 3 years, 13 weeks ago
The Defense in numbers

The first groupstage of The Defense is over, and we have all the numbers for it. From all the played matches. 52 matches. Feels good man.

The Heroes
Top Tier Heroes
The top tier heroes were:

The Power 3
These three heroes are always in the list of top tier heroes, and this time is no different. The Power 3 have at least 0.90 Metagame Relevance ((Hero Picks + Hero Bans)/Total Games Played), which means they rarely missed any game. Night Stalker and Anti Mage continues to wreak havoc in games, earning 62.5% (10-6) and 53.85% (7-6) winrates respectively. This is however not the case with Nature's Prophet. Over 14 matches, he won only five, getting only a 35.71% winrate. So, what's going on here? With the farm potential and map control that Nature's Prophet gives, why is he churning out such numbers? ArtStyle said on a recent interview that a well played Nature's Prophet is guaranteed to have 100% map control, and yet this isn't getting converted into wins. Are the teams not playing him accordingly? While some might argue that, it's important to remember that even Na'Vi, arguably the best team around, lost one game while having Nature's Prophet. But don't let the number overrun you: Nature's Prophet is still one of the strongest or even the strongest hero around.

Broodmother is still following the Power 3 closely, being banned or firstpicked 38 times, with a 64.29% winrate (9-5). Being a very resourceful hero, strong in the lane, a heavy pusher and with decent potential in the late game, Broodmother justifies a 0.96 metagame relevance, rarely missing any games.

Lich completes the list of top tier heroes, being banned or first-picked 38 times, with a 54.84% winrate (17-14). Lich is a classic first-pick because you can benefit from having him in your squad without giving away too much information.

Most loved heroes
Besides Lich, who was picked 31 times, the most picked heroes were

She was picked 44 times, with a 52.27% winrate (23-21). We don't need to explain why she's the most loved, right? She is the very definition of a utility hero and can handle even the hardest lane notwithstanding the devastating potential of a well-landed Shackleshot.

Another hero who doesn't need much explanation for his presence, Tidehunter was picked 36 times, with a 55.56% winrate (20-16). He continues to be the teams' favorite choice to set up team-fights.

Being the support of the tournament in The Clash #2, Venomancer continues to dominate the other supports. Being picked 29 times, he managed a 62.07% winrate (18-11). His versatility is the answer to all the love he receives: you can play him as a hard support, you can place him in the hard lane, you can even place in at the mid lane. Also, he can hold a big range of items, and everyone wants this.

Shadow Shaman
Being picked 26 times and with 50% winrate (13-13), Shadow Shaman was in the middle lane all the time. If well played, he can easily convert a gank into a successful push, making him a scary hero to play against. When that's not the case, the BKBs and the late-game will diminish his power and put teams in disadvantage.

Most effective heroes
Most of the heroes we mentioned until now were pretty effective during The Defense first groupstage. Both Venomancer and Night Stalker got more than 60% winrate, and Nature's Prophet is the only one until now with a bad winrate. Some other heroes deserve attention:

Faceless Void
With Anti Mage being banned all the time, Faceless Void had space to shine. With a 63.64% winrate (7-4), teams loved to pull combos with Chronosphere, and such combinations can demolish the enemy in an instant.

Sand King
With a 58.33% winrate (7-5), Sand King is decidedly an effective hero for teams to pick. He's a decent solution against Broodmother's laning strength; with a Blink Dagger, he has one of the longest range initiation around. Sandstorm helps him keeping alive in the midst of chaos, and Epicenter lands a huge damage in the battlefield. One single mistake means death for Sand King, so every good Sand King player is almost a Maestro. Sand King has everything teams needs to dominate the games.

Other heroes were pretty effective, but very situational. Drow Ranger got 100% winrate (4-0), Chen got 71.43% (5-2), Clockwork got 66.67% (4-2).

Least effective heroes
Of the heroes already mentioned, Nature's Prophet could really get into this list. The other effective heroes were:

Viper: (0-6 0%)
Once a beast during The International, Viper is no longer successful. He's still a powerful hero, but is ultimately being beaten every time he gets into the game. The bigger hero pool and his inability of dealing with pushes can be a good explanation for his failures.

Ancient Apparition: (2-9, 18.18%)
What's going on? One of the strongest heroes around being on the list of the least effective? One single number can make us realize how strong and effective Ancient Apparition can be: from our numbers (taking The International, ESWC, The Clash #2, The Defense and other tournaments), Na'Vi played AA 11 times, winning all these matches. There is reason to believe that this number is somehow connected with Nature's Prophet performance, as both heroes are usually paired together.

Weaver: (3-9, 25.00%)
No one doubts that Weaver is a very strong carry hero, but his numbers are nor favoring him. He has a lot of survivability wit Shukuchi and Time Lapse, but once stunned and disabled, he'll die. Most teams also build him in a way that makes him lose the farm race against other heroes: him needing more than 40 minutes to have most of his items, while heroes like Faceless Void and Anti Mage only need less than 40 minutes. His traditional item build (Treads into Vanguard/Hood into Radiance) answers a lot for this. Maybe it's time for teams to experiment some crazier item build, like some chinese teams do, with item builds like Treads -> Hood -> Linken's Sphere -> Scythe of Vyse. As a Radiance holder, I have the feeling he is not working.

Earthshaker: (6-13, 31.58%)
Earthshaker's life is a tragedy. As a support hero, he wants to leave the experience and farm for the carriers. But he desperately needs levels. That leaves him in very difficult situations, where he doesn't have items to impact the game or is simply three or four levels behind everyone.

Other numbers
Some other tidbits that might be interesting:

Radiant outscored Dire 31-21 this time.

Very successful in the past tournaments, Crystal Maiden got only a 9-14 record. Vengeful Spirit got a better winrate than her.

Team Dignitas victory against Praeter Cunctas produced a very strange number: 1.89 team cohesiveness. Question: How is that possible? Answer: Pudge getting a lot of solo kills. Too much solo kills.

Rikimaru is the carry with the best average match time, with 34:11, with an average GPM of 359.

Lifestealer has 507 average GPM, 606 when he's winning. His average game time is just a little higher: 34:33.

SK-Gaming and GDT produced another strange number: GDT had 4.41 team cohesiveness. This means that all GDT heroes were together all the time, which makes sense giving their strategy around Necrolyte.

Winning average times for the classic carries:
Weaver: 43:34
Dragon Knight: 37:24
Antimage: 39:06
Faceless Void: 39:10
Broodmother: 46:21

Click here to see The Defense first groupstage general info

Click here to see The Defense first groupstage ban/pick order info
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