Winners and Losers of TI4

Now that The International 2014 has started to wind down, I thought it would be a good idea to report on some of the winners and losers from TI4. Obviously Newbee came out with first place, but across this massive event there were a sleuth of heroes, items, people and more who gained and lost valuable real estate in the Dota 2 scene. I thought it take a quick moment to mention a few of them.

Winner: Skywrath Mage

Although being added to Captain’s Mode in April 2013, Dragonus spread his wings and flew into our faces at TI4. Skywrath has never been a top pick in the pro-scene, until now. My articles consider a 40% or more Pick/Ban rate a top pick, with about 15-20 heroes achieving this each month. So far this month Skywrath has had a 65% BP rate, which means he’s on set to be a top pick for the first time in competitive Dota 2. This is well up from the 12% PB rate from June, as Skywrath burst onto our screens and gained valuable real estate. This is now also spilling over to the pub scene, where Skywrath shot up in popularity going from being in around 9% of pub games, to 13%.

Faceless Void is in a similar situation. While he didn’t receive a pub surge, Void is also on track to be a top pick for the first time in competitive Dota 2. My complete data goes back to December 2012, while my partial data and memory goes back to TI1. Neither have found Faceless Void to be a top pro scene pick; interesting to see the hero pool change so drastically for TI4. Razor has been popular before – a top pick in September 2013 – but also received a TI surge, as can be seen below.

3 Heroes recent PB rate

Three heroes Pick-Ban % over the past few months


Loser: Jakiro

While it makes sense to me that a hero like Spirit Breaker or Huskar is mostly ignored for the competition, I find Jakiro’s situation the most interesting. Jakiro was given the time of day, being picked 9 times during the tournament. Unfortunately for him, he only won 1 of these 9 games. Drafted by a variety of teams, and generally strong in the ‘Deathball meta’, teams struggled to make Jakiro work. The only win comes from Newbee, while losses came across the board – including by Vici to Cloud 9 on the main stage.

Sand King also had an utterly brutal tournament, to the point where he should probably abdicate. The King went 6-17 resulting in a 26% win rate. For the record, Crystal Maiden wasn’t too surprising; she had a 2% PB rate in June.

Winner: EG

While EG placed third, they are a winner in my books. Overall China was a clear winner for the tournament, but EG was the only team that really stood up to the eastern dominance. They took home over a million dollars, and was the only western team to take a series off an eastern team at the main event. EG knocked Team DK to the losers bracket in a fast 2-0 series. EG and Cloud 9 also managed to win one game in the series that knocked them out of the event.

Newbee are also winners, but not just because they placed first. They managed to come back after a mediocre group stage performance, to start dominating in the bubble bracket and main event. I can only imagine how crazy some fans would be if NaVi followed the same underdog story. LGD gaming – the Chinese qualifying team – also managed a similar story, 10th in the group stages resulting in a 5/6th finish, beating the direct invite IG at the main event.

Winner: Hot_Bid

I’ve watched a number of Hot_Bid interviews before TI4, but this event really brought him into the mainstream. With him doing official interviews for Valve, he got some widespread exposure and some quality interviews. His interviews are available on the official Dota 2 YouTube, and include quality moments with people like Chuan, EnternalEnvy, Blitz, and Valve’s Erik Johnson.

Purge also improved his position, with well spoken and received work on the Noob Stream. Purge is increasing his nice niche of becoming a friendly face with a soothing voice that newer players can look to for guidance. If TI brought in players, then they are already familiar with Purge, which will bode very well for his Dota 2 content. The entire noob stream, and the other casters who worked on it, also got bumped up a notch.

Loser: Zyori

Valve didn’t care about Zyori for TI, which is very interesting judging they invited some people who are incredibly less known than Zyori. I wonder how he’s faring behind the scenes at BTS, especially since they are getting awfully chummy with Basskip and a few others of late. Zyori hasn’t had to best of runs, and still has to put up with what I would describe as an onslaught of idiots making sniffing jokes. Although the ‘snubbing’ makes him lose ground overall, he still did manage to put out some interesting content.

He had a video speaking to a bunch of VIPs as well as an interview Heyoka from LiquidDota. It wasn’t the highest production value, but it had some interesting insights. Available to view on their YouTube.

Winner: Valve + eSports

Obvious winners here. But the 10 million dollar tournament really makes a statement about the scene and increases the likelihood of mainstream media noticing it. Valve also managed to pocket around 30 million dollars from compendiums, which when you minus what it would have cost to stage the event, are still earning some nice profits. Which additionally comes in hand with more Dota 2 success that the tournament brings in.

Autographs are also likely to be a nice boost in revenue for all the personalities that were invited to the event. They got some direct Valve money for working the event, and able to get a bit more via fans.

And Then Some

While not an all inclusive list, I highlighted some key areas – feel free to discuss/think about who your biggest winners/losers are for the event. The English speaking community acted a tad Diretide 2013 for some parts of the tournament, and there was some drama around DK’s draft. There was also a rather long list of issues with the format and production of the event. Valve is a company that attempts to learn from their mistakes, so the chances are they can improve the factors that are within their control. Which hopefully means, TI 2015 will be even better.

Off-topic, but I’ve recently created a Twitter account focusing solely on Dota 2 tips and other helpful advice. If you are interested in tip based tweets (including relevant mechanics) feel free to follow @ZotaTips here.


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