Winter Minors W4: Bedazzled

Had a rough series against the stand-up guys on North America’s Hope (no DB link, couldn’t secure ticket). Now, we were outclassed by these players, and of course it’s easy to defend a draft by just saying “we were outplayed”. But I think that hero picks can feel more or less effective even in an all-out stomp, and that we can still identify a draft’s strengths and weaknesses. So let’s try.

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  • The game 1 draft very much turned into a case of Split Push vs Deathball – if executed correctly there is absolutely no way our team can fight into theirs; just as tall an order for them to catch us ratting their towers. The man-up heroes Terrorblade, Medusa really enforced this dynamic.
  • The Mirana and Weaver picks felt effective and gave us a lot of control over the map, helping us dictate where the enemy team had to run or port.
  • The Drow Ranger and Io picks did not feel effective, but we could see how they might, providing additional rat potential through aura and tether+overcharge, as well as Relocate for both saves and quick tower kills.
  • Omniknight really feels like the odd man out in this draft. His team fight potential is wasted against their team, and all he really provides to split pushing is Repel, and possibly some wave clear with Purification. I think instead we could have really used something to stall pushes / clear waves, something like KotL, Winter Wyvern, Enigma.

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  • Game 2 draft interestingly kicked off with block picks against our Visage; Vengeful Spirit, Drow Ranger, Dazzle all help boost familiars to that next level. From there we basically traded counter-picks until they stamped their rat lineup with Arc Warden. This draft was Split Push vs De-push and Catch.
  • I think Axe pick felt most effective in this draft, really helped us get on top of their heroes as well as finish them through Shallow Grave. Timbersaw was a nice counter but he had a lot of heroes he needed to engage as well.
  • The Bloodseeker pick didn’t seem effective but I felt like the hero had the potential to do a lot and that I just wasn’t casting smartly.
  • Neither support pick felt great – Winter Wyvern in theory works well for the de-push, dream ults and physical damage saves, but I think we would have been better off going on the offensive with another gap closer like Sand King or Chaos Knight. As well, WW is not a particularly strong hero right now so maybe we pick up the Axe right away or even Spacecow.
  • Ancient Apparition again felt like it was relying too much on other heroes to initiate, and we would have been able to take protect towers better by actually engaging them with the mentioned SK, CK, or maybe a Clockwerk.

As captain I think that if execution is our bottleneck for win production, it does make sense to focus on our mechanics, movements, calls. But never ignore the draft. There’s always optimization to make, not just in hero picks but in the process itself – and, even if for some reason I think it’s the best fucking draft ever, we still lost. Trying out an adjustment or new idea can only change the result for the same or better.

So we don’t give up hope and we don’t next level ourselves by say, banning and block-picking every hero they beat us with.

-gg worst captain ever

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