Are OG out-drafting themselves?
Looking at OG's drafts at the Manila Masters and Epicenter Season 2, it seems the Kiev Major champions are still stuck in a previous patch.
It often happens that the best team in any sport, or the best player in a particular team, has all eyes fixed on them. They can do a thousand things right and yet, the single error will generate a thousand headlines. This is currently the case for OG, the team that has been amongst the best for the better part of last two years.
After winning the Kiev Major in dramatic fashion, trailing 22-5 to Virtus.Pro in the final game only to make an amazing comeback, many in the Dota 2 community expected the Green Dream to thrash everyone in their path at the Manila Masters and Epicenter Season 2, but nothing of the sort occurred. OG dropped to the lower bracket in Manila after losing 2-1 to Newbee and were sent packing by Faceless, when the SEA giants finally got the better of OG. Epicenter proved to be even worse as OG ended up with a 3-6 record and failed to make it to the main event.
What could possibly be the reason for a team to collapse in a month? The English panel at Epicenter did mention OG’s extended three week vacation after the Kiev Major, but could that be the only reason? A major difference, I believe, is the change from the 7.05 patch to the 7.06 patch. Prior to 7.06, the meta was a slow one with most games extending beyond the 40 minute mark. However, it’s been a totally different ball game after changes in 7.06 that have made it a fast paced meta; and OG simply haven’t adapted to it. Let us take a look at OG’s draft in the last 17 games from the perspective of each player, which happen to be played either in the Manila Major (first eight games) or Epicenter (last nine games).
OG drafts in the Manila Major and Epicenter Season 2 (green indicates victory, red indicates loss)
Comparing these drafts with the heroes with the highest win rates from the Manila Masters and Epicenter Season 2 (heroes with a minimum of 10 games):
Nyx Assasin - 72.73% (11 games)
Warlock - 70% (10 games)
Crystal Maiden - 66.67% (12 games)
Ember Spirit - 63.64% (11 games)
Phoenix - 60% (10 games)
Puck - 60% (10 games)
Bristleback - 58.33% (12 games)
Epicenter Season 2:
Sven - 81.82% (11 games)
Bristleback - 75% (16 games)
Faceless Void - 75% (12 games)
Dragon Knight - 75% (12 games)
Crystal Maiden - 70.83% (24 games)
Earth Spirit - 69.23 (13 games)
Invoker - 63.64% (11 games)
Earth Shaker - 58.82% (17 games)
Treant Protector - 58.82% (17 games)
The first thing that is noticable is that OG haven't picked Bristleback. At all! That is probably the hero more players to probably break their monitors than any other. It was a huge success in both the tourneys (12 out of 16 games won at Epicenter) and can be played in either poistion one, two or three. It baffles me as to why he wasn't picked in any of the OG games. Knowing N0tail, Ana and s4, all of them could handle repeatedly pressing the Quill Spray button until the team wins (exaggeration ofcourse).
Sven is another hero who has made a daunting comeback (thanks to the one minute neutral spawns), so much so that he had to be nerfed immediately, but was totally ignored by OG. I wouldn't say he should be picked in any situation, but in the right one, the Rogue Knight can inflict some serious damage!
Some of the other heroes that are missing from the OG drafts (which we see most other teams pick) are Lina, Queen of Pain, Death Prophet, Clockwerk and Nyx Assasin. Clock and Nyx have been deployed, but as offlaners and not as the position four heroes they are being currently used as. Yapzor showed just what a Clockwerk or Nyx in a roaming role can accomplish!
OG are the ones who have won four Majors and I would be totally out of line to suggest they don't know what they are doing. But the drafts do show that they are a bit stuck up with the previous patch. While teams are picking team fight based lineups that focus of grouping up as five and finishing games early, the Green Dream is still reeling on cores like Naga Siren and Terror Blade that take a while to come online (both heroes were combinedly picked in only 13 games over both tournaments!).
OG's last pit stop before TI 7 (they are definitely going to be invited, duh) will be in China for MDL 2017, which starts on the 5th of July. Assuming we get a new patch after the TI 7 open and regional qualifiers, the tourney will most likely be played on the same patch on which TI 7 will be played. Will OG show up there with all guns blazing? Only time will tell!
Do you believe OG will come back to mount a challenge for TI 7?
Thank you for voting!
Thank you for voting!