With OG winning the most stacked and well-balanced The International, we all thought that the tournament will be as diverse as the groups in terms of drafting. We all thought wrong as there are some heroes who stood out and will probably face the nerf hammer in the next patch. Let us look at some of the hero statistics provided by Dotabuff and Liquipedia.
First up is Elder Titan who was played for 75 games throughout the group stage and main event to finish with a 56% win rate. Played mostly as a position 5, Elder Titan’s Astral Spirit gives him additional damage and movement speed depending on the units it passed through, while the Natural Order reduces enemy base armor and magic resistance. Both are great tools in trading hits on the lane, giving his ally carry to secure safer space and farm. However, Elder Titan became a more viable pick in this TI because of his initiation, Echo Stomp that gives a channeled sleep, and an Ult that damages enemies based on their max HP. With these skills, Elder Titan requires few items to set up all his skills, making him the perfect pos 5 in teamfight-oriented drafts. A foreseeable nerf is the additional damage from his Astral as well as the reduction values on his passive.
The most played hero in the main event is Tiny over 23 games with a 57% win rate. Tiny was a great help to OG in the main event as they won 5 out of 6 games picking it for pos 4 for Jerax and on mid for Topson. With just boots and a bottle, Tiny can destroy early game with his Avalanche and Toss combos to his team for easier kills and increases his killing potential once he gets Blink. Another notable trait on Tiny is his Aghanims that grants him a 12-second cooldown AOE called Tree Volley that damages enemies based on Tiny’s attack damage. A possible nerf would be on his primary stats as he seems to be tanky in the early game. Another nerf could be a huge change regarding on his Tree Volley, the cooldown should be increased while the damage could be reduced as we have seen it wipe out heroes trapped inside its radius.
Photo posted by u/Forestsguy on Reddit
The next one is Alchemist, who was banned for 99 games, (the highest in the groups) and when it passes through the drafting, it had a 61% win rate over 33 games throughout the tournament. As usual, Alchemist’s strength lies in his farming, leave this man for a few minutes with stacks and the next thing you know he has six slots and on his way to destroy your racks. Of course pro teams can counter him easily, but from his talent tree, he can easily shift from farming or joining teamfights more, which allows him to recover no matter how bad his early game is. So the possible nerfs could focus on balancing his talents.
Tying him on the most banned is Enchantress who had a 58% win rate over 36 games throughout the tournament. We all have faced this and we know why she is also picked this TI- its because she is an unconventional offlane who can tank spells and zone out the enemy carry at level six because of her Impetus and literally becomes unkillable with her passive Untouchable. Combined with her heals and slowing her attackers, Enchantress’ skill set forces enemy teams to adjust their whole drafts. Unless an enemy team can burst her down, Enchantress deals massive late gate damage because of her tankiness. So a possible nerf could be on the heal duration of her Nature’s Attendants and the Untouchable slow.
Last but not the least is the hero that OG used to surprise fans- carry IO who was played 16 games throughout the tournament. With OG winning six games with this hero, including game 4 that sealed their back-to-back TI’s. With Helm of Dominator, IO gives itself his own creep to tether to and farm while the rest of his team makes space, the heals and movement speed from Tether and Overcharge helps him and his allies to sustain life during the laning phase. However, his true carry power lies on his Aghanims allows IO to passively spawn a spirit every second. Combined with the +75 Spirits Hero Damage talent, IO can easily contribute to fights with seemingly endless spirits. So a proper nerf would be on his Aghanims and Tether, as the previous nerfs on him only shut down his support potential.
Photo tweeted by OG (@OGesports)
All in all, most of the dominating heroes in TI 9 were only made from the contenders’ strategies and drafts and while we wait for the nerf hammer in the post-TI patch, the effects of these heroes is still observed in our pubs.
There are many more “OP” heroes used in TI, who do you think are they and what nerfs should they receive? Which heroes do you think needs a buff? Share your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for more!