TI 7 analysis by the numbers: What changes can we expect in the next patch?

Dota 2 Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar


The International 2017 ended with Team Liquid lifting the Aegis and taking home a prize of over $ 10 million. It was a great tournament, not just from the point of view of spectating, but looking at the diversity of the heroes that were contested by the teams. TI 7 saw 107 heroes picked, including both the group stages and the main event, which makes it the most diverse Dota 2 tournament of all time! If the picks and bans are considered, 109 heroes made it to the drafting screen, just a bit higher than TI 6 which had 105 heroes picked as well as contested. TI 6 also had Wings Gaming who could play with any heroes so this year is a big win for all the teams as well as Valve and IceFrog. When we dived into Dota 2 7.00, there was a long wait before the developers found a stable meta where not just a specific pool of heroes ruled the picking. 7.06 was heaven sent and let’s see what the teams made of it.

                                   Top four teams with the most picked heroes at TI 7 (Image source: Dota 2)


The two teams that made top two, Team Liquid and Newbee, have the highest heroes picked, 53 and 54 respectively. Liquid played a total of 35 games while Newbee played 27. Goes to show that if you have mastery over more than a few heroes, you can make a mark in a big tournament!

Most picked and most contested

Let’s get to the top picked heroes of the tournament. I’ve gone for 20 heroes here as TI 7 was a big event with 191 games being played over the two weeks. Five of the top 10 most picked heroes are position four heroes; which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as since the 7.04 meta, it has been more of a priority than before. Earthshaker was also played as a position three hero but more often than not, he was a roaming support. With a staggering win rate of 60.56% attached to the high pick rate, expect Shaker to get a nerf in the upcoming patch. The only other hero to have a substantially higher win rate was Nyx Assassin with 71.11%! That is not the only stat Nyx gets to boast about as he was the second most banned hero with 105 bans, losing out narrowly to Night Stalker who was banned 108 times through the 191 games. These two position four supports top the list of most contested heroes in the tournament:

Night Stalker – 83%
Nyx Assasin – 78%
Batrider – 78%

The numbers indicate the percent of games they were either picked or banned and I would be surprised to find a game that did not involve any of the three! One of the common thing that binds these heroes together is ‘vision’. Night Stalker and Batrider can provide flying vision and the two in combination at night serve as the perfect recipe for a pick off. Nyx Assassin uses the more traditional pub favored way of invisibility to know more about the enemy. There are other heroes to do that sort of dirty work as well, but Nyx’s stun and talents put him in a strong place in the current meta. Expect all three of these heroes to be hit by the nerf hammer.

The interesting thing the list displays is that there are just three safe lane carries and three mid laners (counting Necrophos as a mid laner) in the list. Cores wise, the meta is so open that there aren’t specific heroes that will help you win. It’s all a matter of what your opponents pick and how you try to out draft them, which makes Liquid and Kuroky’s achievement stand out even more! Lycan, Sven, Necro and Nature’s Prophet are all the highly picked cores that have 60% or more win rates (except Lycan, who’s just short of the mark) and might be put down a bit by IceFrog, though I see no necessity.

                                         Twenty top picks at TI 7 (Image source: Dotabuff)


The overlooked

                                                Unpicked heroes at TI 7 (Image source: Dotabuff)
            It’s hard to be in the six heroes totally neglected by teams when 107 others were picked, but hey, that’s how a Dota 2 heroes life is. Spectre is a hero for the long games and till the meta is as fast it is right now, don’t expect to see a lot of her (unless we have someone inspiring us with another Badman build). Lion and Bane were picked up for a few games here and there in the TI 7 qualifiers so it’s a bit of a surprise that no one went for these heroes. But then again, with position five heroes like Lich, Ancient Apparition and Shadow Shaman cementing a place in most drafts, these two weren’t really hot for consideration. What surprises me most is the complete omission of Tiny and Wraith King. Let’s face it, these two have never been highly picked heroes in any recent tournament. However, IceFrog has blessed them with regular buffs in the last few patches, especially for Tiny. It might come to a point where players all of a sudden realize that the hero is a very strong one and it becomes a highly contested pick, which was exactly what happened with Shadow Shaman. As for Techies, he isn't available in Captain's Mode so no surprise here.

Game durations

                                                          Distribution of game times at The International 2017

More than 40% of the games have been stacked up in the 30-40 minute time period and compared to the TI 7 main qualifiers, the average game times have been decreasing.

TI 7 main qualifiers: 49.45% games lasted more than 40 minutes (7.06d)
TI 7 group stages and main event: 39.27% games lasted more than 40 minutes (7.06e)

The migration to shorter games started with 7.06 and it has continued with every subsequent small patch. Even Monet couldn’t make it work on the Morphling against Newbee and Liquid because, by the time the hero comes online, it’s a bit too late! I am curious to see if the next patch will have anything to do with Shrine timings, Shrine heal and the experience difference in the lanes.

At the end of the day, I would say the balance of the 7.06e made The International 2017 an exciting event to watch. The next big patch will probably come after the Battle Pass ends, which is the 18th of September. The first tournament of the new season will be StarLadder, which is a minor tournament in the new minor-major system and starts on the 11th of October. That gives the teams more than enough time to prepare for the event.

What changes would you like to see in the new patch? Let us know in the comments!

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Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar
A Mechanical Engineer who is as interested in the mechanics of DotA 2 as every machine he studies. Pursuing his Master's at the Michigan Technological University.


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