We’re three days into the festivities at The International 2017, and we now approach the home stretch of the Group Stage, with Day 3’s matches all concluded. A few teams managed to lock down spots, while others will be looking to Day 4 for one last chance to propel themselves up the standings. Speaking of those standings, let’s take a look at them for both groups, along with the match tables through three days of competition.
Schedule and Standings
Day 3 ended with a few teams having some idea of where they will end up at the conclusion of the Group Stage, but for many more teams there are still questions to be answered heading into Day 4. We will once again be breaking up our information into sections to cover the teams, heroes, and stats that stood out on Day 3 in Seattle.
Evil Geniuses – EG didn’t manage to move up in the standings at the end of Day 3, but the team still managed to solidify its already strong position. The team went 4-2 on Day 3, setting itself up for an Upper Bracket slot in the Main Event.
EG’s day began with a split series against Team Secret in which both teams managed to lose early leads. In game 1, Secret was able to farm and push early, but EG secured enough time to get its cores and teamfight heroes online to turn the tides and take a win. In game 2 the roles were reversed, with EG pushing and establishing map control towards the mid game. Unfortunately, EG weren’t able to close out the game, giving Secret the time and space to work its way back into the game and eventually outpace EG to tie the series. EG had a much easier time against Infamous in its second series of the day, drafting lineups that ganked and fought early and often. These frequent rotations forced Infamous to play from behind, and EG never let the South American squad back into the game for a 2-0 series win. EG replicated this strategy of early pressure in its first match against LGD Gaming, pushing hard and fast enough to bring down LGD before its lineup reached full strength. In game 2, LGD turned the tables on EG, drafting a Phantom Assassin that absolutely dominated the match, racking up kill after kill and almost single handedly annihilating the EG lineup.
EG stands in a strong position entering the final day of the Group Stage with the North American team sitting just shy of securing its spot in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. The possibility of a catastrophic meltdown still technically exists for EG, but all the squad needs is one solid series to secure its spot and round out a successful Group Stage.
Opponents: Team Secret(1-1), Infamous(2-0), LGD Gaming(1-1)
Record(Day; Tournament): 4-2; 9-5
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Earthshaker(5); Mirana(7)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Silencer(4); Nyx Assassin & Silencer(6)
TNC Pro Team – TNC matched EG’s record on Day 4, going 4-2 and coming close to securing an Upper Bracket spot. The team’s 9-5 overall record also matches EG, and leaves both teams 1 win short of securing that Upper Bracket spot.
TNC’s first series of the day was against Invictus Gaming.Vitality in another series on Day 3 that was determined by hard farming and early aggression. In game 1, TNC rode an insanely farmed Sven to an overwhelming victory, while game two went to IG.V thanks to a tanky lineup that dominated early teamfights. TNC’s second series put it up against Group B leader Team Liquid, and TNC was able to hold its own against the European team. In game 1, TNC tried to utilize a Tinker pick to win the match in the late game. While the Tinker was able to find a large amount of farm, Liquid had the teamfight power to group up and push TNC back into a defensive position, eventually overcoming TNC’s base defense. TNC aimed for a much earlier window in game 2, drafting a highly mobile and powerful pushing lineup to take the fight to Liquid before the enemy could gather its strength. This shift in strategy salvaged a 1-1 tie for TNC and gave the squad a new level of confidence going into its final series of the day against Infamous. Infamous proved to be a hard foe to bring down, as game 1 saw both teams committing to heavy and frequent team fights. The ganking potential of TNC’s lineup gave it a slight edge in the end, as TNC was able to initiate the last couple of fights with pickoffs of high value targets on Infamous. Game 2 proved to be even more of a challenge, as the teams traded momentum back and forth in an 83 minute grudge match. TNC had its base broken and were going up against Mega Creeps when a series of strong fights brought the Infamous heroes down and forced the South American squad to burn through its buybacks, opening up a window for TNC to push down the Middle Lane and finish of a comeback win.
TNC was put through the ringer on Day 3, facing off against serious opposition from competitors from all different levels of the standings. TNC managed to hold its own against all of these opponents, and its efforts have been rewarded with a favorable position in the standings at the end of three days in Seattle.
Opponents: Invictus Gaming.Vitality(1-1), Team Liquid(1-1), Infamous(2-0)
Record(Day; Tournament): 4-2; 9-5
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Batrider(4); Batrider(6)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): 6 Heroes Tied(2); Earthshaker(6)
LGD.Forever Young – LGD.FY finds itself on this list for the third straight day, and not without good reason. The Chinese squad continued winning games, although its undefeated run did finally come to an end. The team ended Day 3 with a record of 13-1, which locks it into a position in the Upper Bracket and the number 1 overall seed in Group B.
By this point, I’ve described LGD.FY’s playstyle more than any other team at The International, so we’ll get straight to the point and say that LGD.FY had more of the same on Day 3 in terms of its strategy. The team drafted hard fighting cores that were either tanky, elusive and mobile, or both. LGD.FY proceeded to ram itself at its opponents, smashing anyone who stood in its way. Both Newbee and Digital Chaos failed to stop this fighting strategy, with DC managing to win a game not because it figured out how to counter LGD.FY, but mostly because the Chinese squad has already secured its top spot and proceeded to draft a, shall we say unconventional, lineup.
LGD.FY’s perfect record may be ruined, but the team has already done its job in the Group Stage, and can rest easy knowing it has secured its place in the Main Event. LGD.FY still have one last series to play on Day 4, and while the team itself can’t improve its position, there is a chance to further affect the standings in Group B. LGD.FY’s opponent, OG, is still not secure in an Upper Bracket spot. LGD.FY could have an opportunity to send one of its strongest western opponents to a Lower Bracket start to the Main Event with a win on Day 4.
Opponents: Newbee(2-0), Digital Chaos(1-1)
Record(Day; Tournament): 3-1; 13-1
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Dragon Knight & Shadow Shaman(2); Earthshaker(5)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): 6 Heroes Tied(2); Nyx Assassin(6)
Invictus Gaming – IG managed to go 3-1 on Day 3 to pull itself up one spot in the standings for Group B in a tie for the final Upper Bracket spot. The team’s Day 3 performance give its some breathing room in the standings, along with a chance for a big improvement in its position if the Chinese squad can manage a similar results on Day 4.
IG’s day began with a series against Cloud 9 that tested both the resilience and patience of the team. In both games, IG found itself playing at a disadvantage as Cloud 9 built up leads in the early and mid game. Both times IG was able to halt the momentum of Cloud 9 with solid teamfight execution and smart pushing and lane pressure. IG’s second series of the day was slightly less successful, with the squad splitting 2 games with OG. Each of the matches was significantly one sided, with OG taking game 1 behind a well farmed fighting Alchemist pick and IG claiming game 2 behind a combination of Ember Spirit and Troll Warlord.
IG’s Day 3 performance was key to the team’s chances of remaining in the running for the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. While IG aren’t likely to drop very far if Day 4 goes poorly, don’t expect the Chinese squad to let up anytime soon. One more day of strong matches could secure IG a favorable position as the Group Stage comes to an end, and IG will be doing everything in its power to take advantage of that opportunity.
Opponents: Cloud 9(2-0), OG(1-1)
Record(Day; Tournament): 3-1; 7-5
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Puck(3); Nyx Assassin(5)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Io & Winter Wyvern(2); Silencer(4)
Digital Chaos – Digital Chaos also went 3-1 on Day 3, holding on to its spot in the standings and bringing its overall record to an even 6-6. DC managed to hand LGD.Forever Young the team’s only loss of the Group Stage, even if LGD.FY picked a somewhat silly lineup after having secured its Upper Bracket spot. DC’s performance keeps the team in the running for an Upper Bracket spot, with 4 games left to play on the final day of the Group Stage.
DG began the day with a series against Execration, and Digital Chaos came out swinging against the SEA squad. In both games, the team drafted lineups capable of farming hard and pushing to control the map. Execration simply didn’t have the right heroes to combat this teamfight focused opponent, and DC was able to get the day started with a 2-0 victory. DC’s second series was an interesting one, with the squad going up against undefeated Chinese powerhouse LGD.Forever Young. In game 1, LGD.FY did to DC what it has been doing to every other team so far, running at its opponents with tanky hard fighting heroes. This win secured LGD.FY secure an Upper Bracket spot, and so DC got a bit of a lucky break in game 2. LGD.FY drafted an unconventional lineup, including an Omniknight and a Pudge, that DC was able to overcome with a powerful team fighting roster.
DC’s record on Day 3 didn’t move the squad in terms of the standings, but it kept the team in a relatively good position moving into the final day of the Group Stage. DC has 4 games left to play, and just about any final result is possible depending on how the team performs on Day 4. The Group Stage’s final day may prove to be a stressful one, as DC will be making one last push to improve its position.
Opponents: Execration(2-0), LGD.Forever Young(1-1)
Record(Day; Tournament): 3-1; 6-6
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Silencer(4); Silencer(9)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Night Stalker(4); Nyx Assassin(7)
There were two teams that had particularly bad performances on Day 3, putting their chances of advancing to the Main Event lower than the squads are likely comfortable with. We will keep this section short to avoid harping too heavily on some less than stellar performances
Infamous – Infamous failed to earn a win on Day 3 of the Group Stage, with a record of 0-6 on the day. The poor record places the team in 8th place, just one spot above the cutoff for elimination.
Two of the series for Infamous on Day 3 have been covered in previous sections, and we’ll take a shortcut here and let you know that the team’s first series of the day against LGD Gaming was similar to the previously mentioned two. Infamous was unable to respond to repeated ganks and pushes from LGD, and the team took a disappointing 0-2 loss. While this series against LGD was very one sided, the other series against TNC and EG saw the team put up more resistance, for what that’s worth.
Infamous’ 0-6 is extremely harmful to the team’s chances of surviving to the Main Event, but the fact that the team came close to winning some of those games is an encouraging footnote in what has been a novel of tough losses and disappointing results. For now, Infamous stand a single game ahead of Fnatic for the 8th and final non-elimination spot in Group A. At this stage, all Infamous needs to do to survive to the Main Event is to avoid a worst-case scenario in Day 4.
Opponents: LGD Gaming(0-2), Evil Geniuses(0-2), TNC Pro Team(0-2)
Record(Day; Tournament): 0-6; 3-11
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): 6 Heroes Tied(2); 5 Heroes Tied(4)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Silencer & Viper(6); Nature’s Prophet(7)
HellRaisers – HellRaisers finds itself on the “Letdown” section yet again after a poor performance on Day 3. The team failed to win a game in its four matches, ending the day with an 0-4 record and a 1-11 overall record. These losses put HellRaisers in last place in Group B, meaning the squad is in a must win situation coming into Day 4.
HR didn’t receive any favors from the schedule on Day 3, having to play against both Newbee and Virtus.Pro in its two series. Despite having mixes of heavy farm and ganking power, HR never managed to establish enough control in any of its matches to strike a killing blow. HR was either outright bullied out of the game or saw its momentum fade in the face of farmed opponents and strong teamfight execution.
It’s do or die time for HellRaisers at the end of Day 3. The team has to outperform at least Cloud 9 on Day 4 in order to avoid being eliminated from TI altogether. HR’s performance so far doesn’t instill a particularly high level of confidence in the team’s chances going forward, but HR doesn’t need to blow anyone away on the final day; all its needs to do is do slightly better than the worst performing team and it has a chance to advance to the Main Event.
Opponents: Virtus.Pro(0-2), Newbee(0-2)
Record(Day; Tournament): 0-4; 1-11
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Sand King(3); Clockwerk(5)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): 6 Heroes Tied(2); Drow Ranger & Nyx Assassin(5)
High Jumps: Invictus Gaming(Group B, 5th → T-4th)
Free Falls: OG(Group B, T-2nd → T-4th)
Shortest Match of the Day: 20m:13s Evil Geniuses(W) vs Infamous
Longest Match of the Day: 128m:08s Invictus Gaming.Vitality(W) vs Team Empire
Due to some confusion on my part, the hero stats from Day 2 were not correct. The site I was using was using a different time zone for recording match start and end times, so some games from late in Day 1 were counted as having occurred on the same day as Day 2. This has been accounted for today and should hopefully be accurate.
In the Meta
Nyx Assassin – (13 Picks, 22 Bans) Nyx Assassin continued to serve as one of the most popular heroes in the meta at TI with a combined pick/ban rate of 87.50% and a win rate of 76.92%. Nyx is more than likely going to remain a popular subject of both picks and bans throughout the rest of the tournament.
Puck – (20 Picks, 16 Bans) Puck was involved in just about every game on Day 3, boasting a pick/ban rate of 90%, as well as a win rate of 50%. Considering many team’s penchant for strong and early fighters during Day 3, Puck may see an increase in its usage rate going forward.
Night Stalker – (9 Picks, 21 Bans) Night Stalker held a pick/ban rate of 75% on Day 3, which really should surprise no one at this point. Despite the usage rate staying relatively high, Night Stalker’s win rate is once again looking a bit low, with the hero winning just 33% of its matches on Day 3.
Batrider – (14 Picks, 15 Bans) Batrider remained on the list as well with a pick/ban rate of 72.50% and a win rate of 71.43% on Day 3. By this point, Batrider is pretty much ingrained in the meta, as just about every team finds a way to work him into lineups.
Sand King – (20 Picks, 5 Bans) Sand King found himself picked or banned in 62.50% of matches on Day 3. Unfortunately, the win rate for SK dropped, with the hero winning only 30% of his matches. The rough results might steer some teams away from taking further chances with him, especially with the do or die Day 4 coming up.
Sven – (11 Picks, 12 Bans) Sven continues to prove himself a popular hero in Day 3, with the Rogue Knight pulling in a 57.50% pick/ban rate and a win rate of 54.55%. Sven found himself in positions where he could find large amounts of farm and favorable teamfighting opportunities, and those positions will continue to be available for him as TI moves on.
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Sand King & Puck(20); Earthshaker(45)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Nyx Assassin(22); Night Stalker(69)
Efficiency Hero(Day; Tournament): Necrophos(83.33% Win Rate, 6 Games); Nyx Assassin(78.12% Win Rate, 32 Games)
Efficiency Zero(Day; Tournament): Pugna(0% Win Rate, 5 Games); Clockwerk(25% Win Rate, 24 Games)
Unpicked Heroes: Abaddon, Bane, Lion, Meepo, Spectre, Tiny, Wraith King
Unbanned Heroes: Abaddon, Bane, Crystal Maiden, Doom, Jakiro, Phoenix, Pudge, Riki, Skywrath Mage, Slardar, Spectre, Spirit Breaker, Tiny, Underlord, Undying, Vengeful Spirit, Windranger, Wraith King
Unpicked & Unbanned Heroes: Abaddon, Bane, Spectre, Tiny, Wraith King