Thoughts on Zenith..
I'm a Zenith fanboy. Pretty disappointed with their performance in TI2. I'm sure they are capable of winning it. They seemed to have choked in this tournament, constantly getting outpicked and outplayed. I agree that they might have performed well in the past because of slight latency advantages. I do not claim they are the best, but I have watched many of their games, and it's obvious that they have the potential to win TI2. I'm not being bias towards Zenith, and you shouldn't be towards/against too. Latency aside, it's fairly obvious that Zenith is a very good team (a whole different level from thrashy teams such as Mouz/aL). In my humble opinion, latency reasons/excuses often overshadows the skill and performances they exhibit. It's like suddenly, ALL their merits are written off just because they had latency advantage. Regardless, the point is they choked not because they were not skillful enough, nor that didn't have any latency advantage.
Any follower of Zenith would recognise that their picks were far from their usual style. It took them until the M5 preliminaries game when they finally decide to give Hyhy his Morph, and against aL for ice to use his TA. Prior to TI2, Zenith's 'core/signature' heroes (ie. they did very well with them) were ice's QE Invoker/TA/Brew/TS, Hyhy's Morph, xy-'s SK/Rubick, Loda's Lone Druid/DS/Brew/Beast. Looking at the preliminaries, you could see the deviating from what they usually do well with, and instead they go for their unconventional picks such as Storm, OD, Kotl, DK and Weaver.
Indeed, unconventional picks are part of Zenith's game. They pride themselves to be very versatile. Sadly, this is also their weakness. They are like jack of all trades, but master of none. They were overconfident and complacent. I see this versatility as merely a gimmick. Judging from Zenith's previous playstyles, giving Hyhy his #1 role Morphling pretty much autowin.
Hyhy's Morph: 7/1/3 against M5, 9/0/8 against aL, 11/0/2 and 7/0/5 against coL, 0/4/4 against DK.
Well at least they did remember Morph later on. But I have absolutely no idea why they would play Morph as #2 role in the offensive trilane against DK. They had a pretty successful formula going on with Morphling, but they decided to change it up again. Also note they they were unsuccessful with LD (0-2), and LD in general was doing badly in TI2. It's sad that they decided to 'go versatile' again at a very important game, especially since they were not exactly in good form.
2. Personal performance
Hyhy really underperformed in TI2. He played poorly in most games except his Morphling ones. His decision making was also poor. There was a moment against LGD game 2 where his TA decided to go 1v5 at top with Lycan's Ulti ending, and his teammates not in good position to catch up. Ended up in a triple kill for CK for just 1 Prophet. Overall, he was really subpar. The decision to let ice to the draft was right. Hyhy was not playing in a good state.
Loda was almost non-existent. He was always able to farm well with his carries, but he never quite carried the team. His LD/OD were quite fat, but he couldn't do anything. The fault does not lie totally on him, because there's only that much you can do when your teammates are doing so badly.
ice played decently. Games were hardly lossed because of him. They only times he could be blamed for would be in day 1. After that, he was either superb (AM against CLG, Invoker against coL) or just nothing spectacular.
xy- and xfreedom were the better players for Zenith, although it's disappointing not to see xy- owning with support SK like he constantly did prior to TI2. The fault lies in the drafts. As supports, you can't do much if your team is constantly outpicked.
Well, I believe Zenith's gonna disband. Heard that Hyhy's gonna retire, and I doubt Loda can stay in Singapore for long. It's always sad to see teams come and go. They had alot of promise, but didn't deliver in the end. Regardless, I enjoyed supporting them. Congrats iG on winning. They played very well, and were truely the 'versatile' team. Navi also wowed everyone with their performance. They were shitty in preliminaries, but hit top form at the right time. They managed to find a counter to the feared Naga combos, until their counter was countered. Kudos to iG for figuring that Enigma + push was Navi's way of countering. It was also puzzling to see Navi go for Jugg 3rd pick in game 4, as Enigma was already banned. I think FV would be a much better choice. It was even more puzzling to see LD too. Almost felt like seeing Zenith vs DK again. Failed trilane into fat LD trying to hold game for as long as possible.
May the best team win next year! Cheers!