The International 2017 has so far been a stellar example at how diverse the current patch is. What began last year has remained a trend until this year. Day 2 of last year’s International boasted 88 out of 110 heroes picked, but this year has seen 100 out of 112 heroes picked so far. Additionally, 105 heroes have been picked or banned already as well, tying the record set by TI6 who had this exact number after the entire event.
Chinese powerhouse LGD-GAMING and their sister team LGD.Forever Young started off strong, topping their respective groups on day 1. LFY has remained unbeaten even on day 2 and LGD is currently 2nd in group A, right behind Team Liquid. The biggest disappointment of the group stage so far are North-American fan favorite and South-East Asian all-star team Fnatic, who have only 1 win to their name respectively and are both at the bottom of their groups.
The most contested heroes so far have been the initiators and playmakers, such as Earthshaker, Night Stalker, Nyx Assassin and Faceless Void. The latter however fell out of favor quite a bit and was picked only 4 times on day 2.
The so far biggest meta upsets/surprises are Pugna (8 picks, 75% win rate), Sven (14 picks, 79% win rate), Kunkka (16 picks, 69% win rate) and Lycan (19 picks, 63% win rate). Previous meta staples have dropped off quite a bit, such as Earth Spirit (18 picks, 33% win rate), Clockwerk (17 picks, 23% win rate) and Queen of Pain (22 picks, 45% win rate).
The meta has become very push oriented and a lot of teams see split pushing as a more and more viable strategy. Team Liquid has picked Broodmother twice and Nature's Prophet has become a very situational pick as well.
These are the unpicked heroes so far, some of which--Huskar, Meepo, Lion, Clinkz, Warlock--have been banned. Especially the banned heroes are likely to be picked, but as we explained in a previous blog, the likes of Tiny could see some play as well. As the split push meta continues to develop, Spectre might just see the light of day as well.
Going into TI7, Team Empire had to replace carry player Chappie who couldn’t make it due to visa related issues. As a last-minute stand-in, former Empire captain and Planet Odd carry Resolut1on came to the rescue and he already delivered in his first game.
It may not be a million dollar Dream Coil, but a timely Chronosphere turned the tides quite quickly in this game. Mega creeps, huge team fights and split push, this game had it all.
Often regarded as a dark horse, TNC had a lot to prove in this opening match-up vs. EG. Dropping game 1 to the North-Americans, TNC pulled out some of their signature heroes to make life harder for EG in game 2. 54 kills in 36mins, this game will not disappoint you.
Team Secret had a shaky day 1 and with 3 ties, the European squad would face one of the stronger teams in their group. On the back off MidOne’s Invoker, Secret looked to secure victory against the South-East Asian powerhouse.
Going into this match, Digital Chaos only had a poor performance against Virtus.pro to show for. In game 1 however, the North-Americans proved that they are no push-overs and convincingly took the win. Game 2 however was a much more intense encounter, as Kiev Major champions OG are not to take lightly--ever.
An absolute bloodbath. 40 minutes, 91 kills. You shall not be bored.