For two years now, we’ve managed to put out over 350 blog posts, equating to about 1 blogpost ever other day. While we’re proud of the work we’ve done, we wanted to take it a step further. We consistently do meta analysis, but rarely have we been able to do deeper analysis of specific teams and their distinct play styles. It is a very time consuming effort, which would put our regular scheduling on halt. This is where Plus blog posts come in, so that us writers can deliver deeper analysis, perhaps even with the help of guest writers, analysts and coaches such as scant. We will still deliver the same content you’re used to seeing from us, for free, but those articles are for free because of the Dotabuff Plus users that help keeping the lights on around here. For those users, Plus blog posts are a way of us appreciating their support, while being able to cover topics we’ve never been able to until now. Without further ado, enjoy the first of hopefully many deeper analysis pieces!
For the longest time, the competitive and the pub scene in Dota 2 have had a very symbiotic relationship. The pub environment allows pros to try out new things, practice heroes outside of their comfort zones and just generally hone their skills, while the pro scene allows pub players to pick up on ideas, the so called "meta". Which heroes work the best right now, are there certain ways of approaching the game that are generally agreed upon as the best? Especially high level pubs often emulate what pros do, to a degree. There is only so much pub players can pick up from pro play, without studying replays. Watching Dota 2 can be quite the learning experience, but it is a time consuming process that many don't divulge into, often leading players to only pick up obvious patterns, such as picks and lanes.
We dug a little deeper, studying replays from three teams attending the ESL One Hamburg Major: Team Liquid, the reigning TI champion, Virtus.pro, the CIS powerhouse, and Team Secret, who recently dominated all the European qualifiers they participated in. Today we focus on three aspects of the teams' overall approach to the game that lets them stand out.
The most significant thing to take out of Kuroky’s approach is his commitment to prioritising objective-based Dota. While one would be hard-pressed to find a professional team that doesn’t acknowledge the importance of objectives, almost every team at one time or another loses important games because they got distracted during the draft and failed to assemble a plan for breaching high ground. This aspect of Kuro’s approach goes back further than TI. In fact it’s been there for more or less his entire drafting career.