Scrim Time! Judging new picks

(pictured above: epic rampage-deny kill-steal with a single gyro auto by yours truly)

Last week we ran a couple super fun, high octane scrims against the up-and-coming Echo League NA-B team, Majestic Space Bees, and their star mid player, Dihy. Echo League’s group stage starts this week, and it turns out MSB was assigned to the same group as us, so the below drafts are potentially a preview to our contest in week 4.

We experimented with a number of new picks and set to work evaluating the heroes as potential candidates for future drafts. It’s easy to look at it as it’s-good-we-won or it’s-bad-we-lost, and sometimes that is all the assessment needed (eg. offlane Winter Wyvern), but here are a few considerations that often come up in the chats after our matches:


  • Did the pick feel effective? I think whoever is playing the hero gets the best sense of how much impact the hero had, and whether the impact was dependent on the rest of our draft, for better or worse. Eg. We can first phase pick Pudge in any draft, because it seems to work for us no matter what else we’re doing.
  • Our playstyle. I think teams will naturally gravitate towards a playstyle no matter how versatile you want them to be. I may want us to be able to deathball with Undying if the situation calls for it, but it would take too much effort making calls and planning movements that aren’t natural for us to make. Instead we just don’t pick heroes like Undying.
  • Was the pick correct? There are plenty of times when we grab a hero when it isn’t optimal, such as too early in a draft, especially if it has trouble in lane, or with or against certain heroes having missed a particular interaction eg. Venomous Gale persisting through Doppelganger. Evaluating how well we picked the hero is important if we’re on the fence about using the hero, or even just about phase 1 vs phase 2/3.


Anyway let’s look at some drafts.



  • With no particular plan in mind, we liked Diaspora Windranger after that first ban phase. I think Tinker, Razor, and Tree are really problematic for the hero, and they’ve been removed. This pick up felt really good for us; D’s shackeshot game is on point, and we can play this hero in any role. 10/10 would open again.
  • Ancient Apparition is a hero we’ve played around with a bit before, I think it fits our playstyle really well. It’s greedy, fun, and can impact a fight or skirmish from anywhere.
  • I think Pinktops doesn’t feel good playing Drow Ranger, but sometimes teams are really asking to get Drowed, and in those situations I’m picking the hero anyway. It’s historically one of our highest winrate heroes, we are used to drafting her in all the right spots. Personally I’ve been picking Trax for years, it was the best weapon in the game against the hundreds of pub captains that slammed Omniknight in the first phase.
  • Doobs plays Void, who knew? We laughed about the pick, because he passed up an opportunity to play his Weaver with Drow Aura.
  • The Snow Medusa pick worked out super well for us. Snake sucks to lane against, she can facetank RP, and the hero very much suits our boy’s fight me playstyle.



  • Earth Spirit is not an experiment for us, just a great Diaspora hero that wrecks Crystal Maiden.
  • Gyrocopter support, however, was an experiment. I felt pretty useless early on, but I think it was because MSB was playing really defensively, which kills the value of Homing Missile. That’s not a horrible outcome for us, I suppose. We got very farmed later in the game, after which the pick felt amazing. I would say I don’t value Gyro as I would Veno or Clock, but still think it’s a strong phase 1 option for us.
  • I think Doobs offlane Juggernaut was a really nice decision for countering a kill-heavy trilane, but it didn’t suit our playstyle very well. I think we didn’t use Omnislash for like twenty minutes.
  • Snow Mid Venomancer is another new look for us, which felt great after a certain point, but not as good in the gank heavy laning phase. I think if the lad can adjust his aggression slider when the enemy mid starts crying for help (and he will), banana will be another 10 for us, and also a versatile disease we love in phase 1.
  • Clinkz is not a new hero for us, but I really like the way he fights in this composition and that he dominates a 1v1 against Earthshaker so we can roam.


The experiments continue as we get ready for our week 1 match on Thursday at 10 pm EDT against No Monkey King. If it’s not on it will definitely be cast in-client under the Echo League amateur tournament.

We have a decent idea of what we are likely to take in phase one, and should have a solid plan formed after we finish scouting. Captains have asked me whether they should plan say, three specific openers that they’ll use. I like to emphasize that how they form their plan is not that important, just that they write as much down as they can, and hopefully make it a bit neat. The goal in my mind is just to save time so that we can afford to mull over a difficult pick in phase two or three.

We experiment to help prevent next-leveling ourselves. Hope it works, wish us luck.


-gg worst captain ever


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