Team Profiles: Arrow Gaming, Mousesports, Empire, Na'Vi US and...
With the Winner of the Wild Card match decided we can now finish the team profiles. Without further ado...
There is not a lot to tell about Arrow Gaming, as it is probably the newest team in the International. A Malaysian squad that have proved its worth beating MVP.Phoenix 3:1 in the qualifiers is a bit of a Dark Horse in this tournament.
- Picks and Bans - Arrow Gaming (click here for full table)
Being a new team it is expected to have a slightly different strategy during the drafting stage and statistics definitely show this. Not only are the usual priority picks and bans are several points below their usual place in terms of popularity, but the unconventional drafts are... well... even more unconventional.
While Brewmaster does not necessarily fall into the category of completely ignored heroes, he is certainly never a first priority for other teams. Interestingly, it is not the case that Arrow Gaming picks the hero very often, but they ban him in more than half of their games. When picked, he has a relative success and a 75% Win Rate in 8 matches.
Another very specific ban priorities for the team include Viper and Ancient Apparition
Bristleback was among the top picks a couple of months ago and the team is not quite over him. And for a good reason. Out of 11 games the hero was picked, he won 9. While it might be the case that some of these picks were during smaller tournaments, where the competition is not as fierce, it is still something for other teams to consider when drafting against Arrow.
- Recent Performance
Being a new team, it is yet to be invited to "Premium" league events. So far, the team has only participated in the "Professional" and "Amateur" ones, with relative success in the former and a surprising 40% Win Rate in the latter.
The fact that they have managed to win the Qualifiers speaks for itself, however - Arrow Gaming should not be underestimated.
Mousesports is a very interesting team. The current roster consists of players that have probably changed the highest amount of teams in their career. Some of them have actually played in the former Mouz squads, but not necessarily at the same time.
Featuring a roster of Dota / Dota 2 veterans, the team has managed to climb through arguably the most intense Qualifier bracket for the International 4.
- Picks and Bans - Mouz (click here for full table)
There isn't really much room for speculation or proper analysis for the team's draft stage as the sample size is relatively small with 17 games played in total.
Overall, the drafts of the team are pretty conventional for Europe. It features Batrider in the top priority spot, as well as great teamfight heroes like Tidehunter very close to it.
It also has a great emphasis on Enigma, where he is picked or banned in almost 50% of their games.
What makes the team interesting are occasional Troll Warlord picks, with a Win Rate of 50% in 6 games.
- Recent Performance
Apart from winning the TI4 qualifiers the team has not achieved a lot in the latest patch. They have played several games in ASUS RoG and ESL One, but the results were inconclusive.
Additionally, due to a very limited sample size, the difference between their performance on Dire and Radiant is enormous - 65.28% in favor of Dire in 17 matches. And even though this discrepancy is, as already stated, due to a limited sample size, it is still something for teams to consider when deciding on a Pick/Side at the event.
Team Na'Vi US
Previously known as North American Rejects the team has been recently picked up by Na'Vi, making it a second team from the same organisation in the International.
The team has proved it's worth in the American Qualifiers under the previous name, however their latest performance leaves a lot to desire for.
- Picks and Bans - Na'Vi US (click here for full table)
As it is the case with several other teams the sample size for 6.81b is very limited. The team has only played 12 matches in the patch and any speculations are subject to questioning.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of heroes that are very unique and definitely stand out even in this small sample size.
One of them is Disruptor, that has a higher priority for the team than Lycan and Batrider, taking a second place after Mirana.
The hero itself is undeniably strong, as any other hero in Dota, but his popularity has been falling off gradually ever since the International 2.
The second "unique" hero for the team is Jakiro, which appeared as a pick in 3 games, though winning only one of them.
- Recent Performance
It is a well known fact that the original Ukrainian Na'Vi squad tends to horribly under-perform before each and every International. To a great extent the same can be said about their North American counterpart - 16.66% Win Rate is something no one would expect from the Winners of the American qualifiers that went against matured teams like Team Liquid and veteran rosters like Sneaky Nyx Assassins.
It is really hard to predict anything from a relatively small sample size so we will give the team the benefit of the doubt and wish it the best of luck.
Team Empire has recently began to get quite a bit of fame after a series of exceptional performances in the StarLadder series, as well as other smaller tournaments. The direct invitation to the International 4 was expected and well deserved.
- Picks and Bans - Team Empire (click here for full table)
There are several heroes that really stand out for the tam in 6.81b - Lich, Dragon Knight, Visage and Skywrath Mage can all be considered rather unconventional in the current meta.
Recent buff that allowed Lich to defend the structures as well as a gimmicky Aghanim's Scepter upgrade did sound great on paper, however his performance in hands of Team Empire was rather underwhelming with only 2 out of 5 games won.
Other three heroes mentioned earlier, however, managed to win 60% of their respective games, but as with a lot of limited statistics available in 6.81b it should not be considered representative.
Overall, the general focus on teamfights that is a bit staple for the European team is very much present in the drafts of team Empire.
- Recent Performance
54.55% Win Rate across 22 "Premium" matches does not look that impressive, however team does consistently well against many other strong teams like Cloud 9 and Fnatic.
The most recent matches were over 10 days ago and given a successful bootcamp team can do really well in the main event. As with many teams coming from the CIS region, they will probably perform better under bigger pressure.
Team Liquid is one of the most mature teams in the professional North American Dota scene. Despite some drama earlier this year that resulted in substantial roster changes, it has proved itself extremely strong in several minor tournaments as well as the Qualifiers, taking the second place.
Overcoming MVP Phoenix in the Wild Card match and securing a spot in the actual tournament could not have been easy, especially considering a huge amount of pressure, and we are welcoming this team to the official part of TI4.
- Picks and Bans - Team Liquid (click here for full table)
There are close to no games played by the team played prior to the Wild Card part of the International, hence any kind of speculations would be extremely irrelevant.
However, looking at their Wild Card matches, they picked Skywrath Mage in 3 out of their 4 games. Skywrath is often picked as a counter to Panda because of his silence, but Liquid squeezed even more potential out of him in an aggressive trilane in Game 1 against CIS. It is obvious that Liquid came into their two matches prepared, with different strategies against both CIS and MVP. We're looking forward to see more of them in the group stages.
- Recent Performance
The only opponent the team had in 6.81b was mousesports and they have managed to win only one game from the Winners of the EU qualifiers.
However, as of now, the team has improved its record with a very satisfactory 4:0 run in the Wild Card series.