After four days of competition in Seattle, the Group Stage of The International 2017 has concluded, and the Main Event looms on the horizon. Two teams have been left by the wayside after the trials and adversities of the Group Stage, and those sixteen teams that remains must now regroup and reestablish their focus for a chance at the Aegis of Champions. Day 4 decided the fates and final positions of just about every team in the field, so let’s take a look at how the final day of the Group Stage went down.
Schedule and Standings
Day 4 began with most teams having a general idea of what range they would or could fall into depending on its performance. Most teams managed to do just enough to hold on to its previous position, with a few squads slipping one or two places by the end of the day.
Cloud 9 – Cloud 9 came into Day 4 with many doubts and questions, and just a few previous chances left to save its run at The International 2017. The team began the day in 8th place in Group B, just a single win ahead of HellRaisers for the final spot in the Main Event. Cloud 9 decided to take its fate into its own hands, going on a tear on the final day that saw the team win four straight games and improve it final record to 6-10.
Cloud 9’s push to save its TI7 dreams was tested early on Day 4 with a matchup against fellow North American team Digital Chaos. The two game series was a knock down, drag out slugfest for both teams, with each game being evenly matched deep into the late game. In both games, Cloud 9 was able to find the patience, execution, and decision making that had seemed to elude it in the previous days. In game 1, Cloud 9 used an Arc Warden pick to avoid DC’s powerful teamfight lineup and split push its way into a favorable position. From that point, Cloud 9 needed just one well executed fight to deliver the final blow to DC’s already weakened base to win the game. Game 2 saw a similar story unfold, with DC drafting a powerful initiating and teamfight oriented lineup. Cloud 9 has forced to defend its base repeatedly, holding out against attack after attack until DC finally lost its momentum and advantage and revealed an opening for Cloud 9 to counterattack. Cloud 9’s win had secured its place in the Main Event, but the team had one final series to play against HR itself to end the group stage. With its spot secure, Cloud 9 aggressively went after HR in both games. In game 1 the team selected a trio of Storm Spirit, Drow Ranger, and Puck to gank and fight HR as quickly as possible. The team’s mobility and damage proved too much for HR, who had drafted a lineup with cores that needed more time to farm and come up to full strength. In game 2 Cloud 9 opted to repeat the strategy of early pushing and teamfighting, this time picking a Death Prophet to go along with a Brewmaster and a Weaver pick. These cores proved either too tanky or too elusive for HR to control, and Cloud 9 was able to control the map early and force HR to play defensively. Despite an attempt to extend the game by split pushing, Cloud 9 was able to push in and end the game to wrap up its Group Stage run with a 4-0 record on Day 4.
Cloud 9 needed a strong performance in order to survive on Day 4, and that’s exactly what they provided. Though the team is now still subject to the dreaded Lower Bracket, its wins on the final day of the Group Stage are sure to have given the squad renewed confidence going forward. Cloud 9 will begin its run through the Main Event on Monday with a best of 1 matchup against Team Empire in the Lower Bracket opening round.
Opponents: Digital Chaos(2-0), HellRaisers(2-0)
Record(Day; Tournament): 4-0; 6-10
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Dazzle(3); 3 Heroes Tied(5)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Night Stalker(3); Nyx Assassin & Night Stalker(6)
Cloud 9 was able to pull itself together to make a solid run on the final day of the Group Stage. Unfortunately, there were some teams in the field that weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the fourth day of competition. Two poor performances from teams left one eliminated from the tournament, and another resigned to a date in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event.
Digital Chaos – Digital Chaos came into the final day of the Group Stage with a huge chance to improve its position in Group B with 4 matches left to play. The team began the day with a 6-6 record and a shot at making a run for a spot in the Upper Bracket. DC’s dreams of a push for the Upper Bracket were quickly shot down, with the team failing to secure a single win on the final day of competition.
DC’s day began with a series against Cloud 9, as we highlighted in the previous section. In both games, DC had momentum and a threatening lineup with strong teamfight power that simply failed to find the right opportunity to take control and end the game. Unfortunately for the North American squad, this problem continued to plague it in the team’s second series of Day 4 against Newbee. DC built leads against Newbee in both games, but again couldn’t gain enough momentum to fully shut down its opponent. In each game, Newbee was able to take advantage of mistakes and overcommitments on the part of DC to turn the tide of the game and punish it heavily.
DC’s loses on Day 4 were rough, particularly because the team was in a relatively good position to win each of them. However, the loss of those games did not knock the team out of the Main Event, even if it did keep it out of an Upper Bracket position. The North American squad will have one last chance to keep its run alive in Seattle, as the team faces off against Invictus Gaming.Vitality in a best of 1 match in the Lower Bracket on Monday.
Opponents: Cloud 9(0-2), Newbee(0-2)
Record(Day; Tournament): 0-4; 6-10
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): 4 Heroes Tied(2); Silencer(11)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Lich(4); Nyx Assassin(10)
HellRaisers – For the third straight day, HellRaisers finds itself on the list of letdown teams, with the squad going winless again on Day 4. The team’s 0-4 record on the day put it in last place in Group B and eliminated it from contention in the Main Event.
The team’s day began with a do or die matchup against Invictus Gaming, with HellRaisers desperately needing wins to keep its chances at the Main Event afloat. IG quickly sunk those hopes, attacking HR early with two drafts designed to push and dominate early teamfights. In both games, HR found itself quickly lacking the power to overcome IG as the Chinese team won fights and established map control. The loss against IG removed any chance of avoiding elimination, but HR still had one series left to play against Cloud 9, which we detailed in Cloud 9’s section above. HR put up an effort, but in the end wasn’t able to take a win against Cloud 9.
HellRaisers final day caps off what has been a somewhat disappointing Group Stage for the team. I don’t know if many people were expecting this team to make a major splash in the standings, but the team’s 1-15 record still seems below what this team is capable of. The team was at least able to secure one win, avoiding the somewhat embarrassing scenario of an 0-16 Group Stage run.
Opponents: Invictus Gaming(0-2), Cloud 9(0-2)
Record(Day; Tournament): 0-4; 1-15
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Lina(2); Clockwerk(6)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Lich(3); Nyx Assassin(7)
High Jumps: Cloud 9(Group B, 8th → 6th)
Free Falls: 6 Teams(1 Spot ↓)
Shortest Match of the Day: 150m:12s Evil Geniuses(W) vs Fnatic
Longest Match of the Day: 72m:19s Cloud 9(W) vs Digital Chaos
In the Meta
Puck – (12 Picks, 8 Bans) Puck was called into action pretty frequently on the final day of the Group Stage, being picked or banned in 83.33% of the matches on the day. Puck’s win rate rewarded those teams that picked up the hero, netting 8 wins in 12 games for an impressive 75% win rate.
Nyx Assassin – (7 Picks, 14 Bans) Nyx Assassin continued his run on this list with an 87.5% pick/ban rate on Day 4. Of the 7 matches in which Nyx Assassin was picked, he won 6 of them for an 85.71% win rate.
Batrider – (10 Picks, 14 Bans) Do or die time on Day 4 meant that very few teams were willing to ignore Batrider one way or the other. The hero was either picked or banned in every single match on Day, an incredible 100% pick/ban rate for the first time at TI7. Batrider posted a slightly lower win rate of just 40% on Day 4, but the mixed results can’t take away from the fact that this hero has to factor into a team’s strategy either as a hero to grab or one to quickly deny from the enemy.
Night Stalker – (8 Picks, 12 Bans) Night Stalker joined Puck on Day 4 with a pick/bane rate of 83.33%, being picked or banned in all but 4 matches on the final day. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to produce the same results as puck, winning just 25% of his 8 matches on the day. The low win rate for Day 4 isn’t likely to detract from the hero’s usage in the Main Event, as Night Stalker is one of the darlings of the current meta.
Lich – (1 Pick, 17 Bans) Lich has risen to a prominent position in the meta within the last few days, and that trend continued on the final day of the Group Stage. Lich had a pick/ban rate of 75% on Day 4, though that number is almost entirely thanks to the hero being banned at a significantly higher rate. Lich was picked in just a single game on Day 4, a game which the hero lost for a 0% win rate on the day. The hero has proven to be a menace in many games so far at TI7, so expect to see Lich continue to be banned in the future, though perhaps not as many as he was on Day 4.
Sven – (7 Picks, 10 Bans) Sven had picked or banned in 70.83% of the matches on Day 4, and the hero had a bit of a rough time trying to find wins. Out of 7 games played on Day 3, Sven won just 3 of them for a win rate of 42.86%. Sven’s status as one of the best farming and highest damage melee heroes will keep him relevant within the meta heading into the Main Event.
Sand King – (10 Picks, 3 Bans) Sand King makes its over the cutoff line by just a game or two, having a pick/ban rate of 54.17% on Day 4. Many teams were willing to take their chances against the hero on Day 4, as Sand King received just 3 bans across the course of 24 matches. This decision ended up being a coin flip for most teams, as Sand King won exactly 50% of its matches on the final day of the Group Stage.
Lycan – (8 Picks, 8 Bans) Lycan made a significant number of appearances on Day 4 with a pick/ban rate of 66.67%. The wolfman posted a 50% win rate on the day, and provided teams with a strong farmer as well as a highly mobile source of physical damage that is likely to remain highly valued in the Main Event.
Io – (4 Picks, 10 Bans) Io makes its first appearance on this list, having been picked or banned in 58.33% of the games on Day 4. Though Io was only picked in 4 matches, it managed to help secure wins in 3 of them for a 75% win rate. The mobility and utility of an Io is always a threat that teams need to consider, so Io is very likely to continue seeing bans in the Main Event, and if it manages to slip through the cracks and stay available, just about every team has some sort of Io strategy tucked away in its repertoire.
Most Picked Hero(Day; Tournament): Puck(12); Earthshaker(53)
Most Banned Hero(Day; Tournament): Lich(17); Night Stalker(81)
Efficiency Hero(Day; Tournament): Dazzle(87.50% Win Rate, 8 Games); Nyx Assassin(79.49% Win Rate, 39 Games)
Efficiency Zero(Day; Tournament): Clockwerk(14.29% Win Rate, 7 Games); Clockwerk(22.58% Win Rate, 31 Games)
Unpicked Heroes: Bane, Lion, Meepo, Spectre, Tiny, Wraith King
Unbanned Heroes: Abaddon, Bane, Crystal Maiden, Doom, Phoenix, Pudge, Skywrath Mage, Slardar, Spectre, Spirit Breaker, Tiny, Underlord, Undying, Vengeful Spirit, Windranger, Wraith King
Unpicked & Unbanned Heroes: Bane, Spectre, Tiny, Wraith King