The International 2019 team analysis: Europe

Team Secret, Team Liquid, OG, The Alliance, Ninjas In Pyjamas and Chaos Esports Club make up the European contingent of Dota 2 teams at The International 2019. Dota statistician Leamare looks at each team's data from the past few weeks to analyse playing styles and what we might see at TI9 in Shanghai

The International 2019 group stage starts on Wednesday, August 15th, and the full TI9 schedule, with start times has been confirmed by Valve.


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Chaos Esports Club

Roster: vtFaded, MATUMBAMAN, Khezu, MiLAN, misery
Matches recorded: 19, 74% winrate


Chaos are the most intriguing team of the tournament. The team changed its roster just before the qualifiers and didn't play much games. It was hard to prepare against the team during qualifiers: there were no publicly available data about their matches. And even now the team still has the lowest number of matches during the last three months. But their outstanding performance during qualifiers is more than enough for us to get a picture of the team's meta.

One interesting thing that is unusual to see is the draft order of Chaos. Usually MATUMBAMAN's hero gets picked the last (in 10 matches out of 19), but what's more interesting is tendency to pick safelane core during the second draft stage – vtFaded's heroes were picked four times during the first draft stage and 14 times during the second stage.

It's also worth to mention the most favorable heroes of Chaos: Dark Willow (6 out of 19 matches, 83.3% winrate), Morphling (5, 80%), Dazzle (5, 80%), Death Prophet (4, 100%). It's surprising that scary Morphling + Dark Willow that was shown in its full beauty during CIS qualifiers didn't get past valuable pairs threshold of the team. But there are still some other combos to mention: Juggernaut + Dazzle (3, 66.7%), Morphling + Omniknight (3, 66.7%) and Axe + Juggernaut (3, 66.7%).

This picture together shows the team's emphasis on stronger lanes and its snowbally nature. The theory seems to get along with the Death Prophet as popular pick from the team and the most popular ban against the team. And the most impactful heroes against the team (those heroes who have more than 1 matches and were relatively successful) are Doom, Enigma, Ancient Apparition and Dazzle - the heroes who seems to be decent at winning some time, delaying games and being able to actually hold off against deathball strategies.

Team Secret

Roster: Nisha, MidOne, zai, YapzOr, Puppey
Matches recorded: 57, 72% winrate


Puppey is the legendary player in Dota world. He has played the game at the highest level for at least nine years and is one of the two players to attend every single tournament in The International series. During the Pro Circuit season Team Secret has shown outstanding performance and is one of the most possible candidates to win the tournament, based on stats and various rankings.

The most loved heroes of Team Secret are Ember Spirit (12, 75%), Lion (12, 83.3%), Templar Assassin (11, 63.6%), Rubick (11, 72.7%) and Sven (10, 90%). Altho the team has a lot of matches and is pretty versatile. While those heroes remain the most popular, there are a lot of picks that don't attract as much attention, but are stull valuable enough, like Arc Warden, Earthshaker, Monkey King or Enigma.

The combos of the team are pretty straight forward: Lion + Templar Assassin (5, 80%), Sven + Lion (4, 100%), Templar Assassin + Rubick (4, 75%), Lion + Troll Warlord (4, 75%). It's interesting to note that the team has a lot of combos based around Lion or similar heroes. It seems like the main idea wraps around being able to control the fight let Nisha and MidOne do the rest with their flashy damage dealers. On the other hand, the most successful heroes against the team are the ones who tend to break team's positioning or mitigate the teamfight control effect: Sven (11, 63.6), Shadow Shaman (6, 66.7%), Storm Spirit (3, 66.7%), Mars (3, 66.7%).

Ninjas in Pyjamas

Roster: Ace, Fata, 33, Saksa, ppd
Matches recorded: 95, 59% winrate


NIP are an interesting team, to say the least. Every single player of it had a lot of great moments during lifetime, most of them were TI attendees in the past and Peter “PPD” Pandam was part of a team that won TI. Times have passed, but people still acknowledge Peter’s success by calling him a drafting genius.

A lot of NiP’s success is based on the team’s ability to adapt and play almost any lineup while also having great drafts a lot of the time. It’s interesting to note that NiP’s most picked heroes are mostly teamfight oriented: Sand King (26, 65.38%), Shadow Shaman (22, 72.73%), Abaddon (18, 66.67%), Rubick (14, 57.14%), Ember Spirit (13, 53.85%), Razor (13, 53.85%), Enigma (13, 76.92%). However, the team’s hero pool is way less spread out which can be seen on the graph above and in variability of the team’s picks.

This strategy is vulnerable against heroes who can turn teamfights around: Chen (7, 85.71%), Batrider (8, 75%), Centaur Warrunner (10, 70%), Earthshaker (9, 66.67%). It’s also worth to mention Nyx Assassin (9, 55.56%) and Enigma (1, 100%), who can achieve the same goal, but weren’t picked as much against NiP, as well as heroes like Lone Druid (8, 62.5%), Troll Warlord (11, 54.55%) and Leshrac (11, 54.55%) who are naturally hard to fight against as well as good at dodging fights completely.

Team Liquid

Roster: Miracle-, w33, MinD_ControL, gh, KuroKy
Matches recorded: 75, 57% winrate


Ever since Team Liquid suddenly made a roster change right before the season ended, the move seemed controersial. However, EPICENTER Major proved it to be a right decision. Moving Miracle to the first position and replacing MATUMBAMAN with w33 has opened a lot of new possibilities for the team and for Miracle- specifically, changing playstyle and hero pool of the team for the better.

The team’s overall playstyle remained the same: early domination leading to map control and creating space. It can be seen in most popular picks list: Sand King (17, 58.82%), Earthshaker (16, 50%), Nature’s Prophet (14, 57.14%), Morphling (13, 53.85%), Nyx Assassin (11, 63.64%). There are also some notable heroes who didn’t appear as much but were successful or became stable picks of the team just recently: Arc Warden (4, 75%), Beastmaster (6, 100%), Chen (10, 90%), Shadow Shaman (10, 80%), Axe (4, 100%). There are also some newer heroes added to the pool with w33 addition, the most notable being Windranger (8, 62.5%) and Visage (1, 100%).

The best heroes heroes against Team Liquid seem to be good at punishing split push and dealing with summons: Medusa (6, 100%), Brewmaster (8, 75%), Sven (7, 71.43%), Sand King (8, 62.5%), Monkey King (10, 60%).


Roster: miCKe, qojqva, Boxi, Taiga, iNSaNiA
Matches recorded: 84, 54% winrate


While the current Alliance roster seems to be a bit too fresh, a lot of viewers pointed out that this team is not only exciting to watch, but is also great in terms of performance. And, what may be even more important at TI – unique.

The team has a lot of interesting picks that were either made meta by them or rare to see at all these days: Position 5 Grimstroke (16, 50%), Position 4 Dark Willow (9, 77.78%), Lone Druid (9, 66.67%). Even the most picked heroes of the team turn out to be underappreciated by other teams: Storm Spirit (21, 57.14%), Juggernaut (18, 50%). Adding even more to that, it seems like the team favors playing around these heroes since their most picked pairs are usually based around Juggernaut and a bit less Troll and Storm Spirit.

The most effective heroes against the team, as you might expect, are the ones who work well against this trio. The most notable mentions are Sven (10, 70%), Shadow Shaman (11, 72.73%), Omniknight (4, 100%), Warlock (10, 60%) and Lifestealer (7, 57.14%).


Roster: ana, Topson, Ceb, JerAx, N0tail
Matches recorded: 50, 52% winrate


OG, the champions of The International 2018, weren’t in a good shape for the most part of the season. However, after all the vacations and lost time, the team made a comeback and suddenly appeared in top-12 of the Pro Circuit ranked, getting a direct invite to The International 2019. While the team still looks unstable, it’s also what people said about the team even before TI8. And, considering the team’s unnique approach to the game, it’s not a good idea to underestimate what the team can do.

In a way OG’s playstyle is a mix of different approaches to the game. While enemies tend to ban Magnus against the team, it’s hard to note anything exceptionally strong against them. It’s hard to note a pettern in OG’s picks as well.

One thing that you’ll probably notice by just looking at the most picked heroes of OG is that it’s different. You still can notice Ember Spirit (10, 50%) and Batrider (11, 63.64%), but there are also a bunch of heroes that you didn’t see all that much from other teams: Troll Warlord (16, 62.5%), Pangolier (12, 58.3%), Nature’s Prophet (12, 33.3%), Abaddon (10, 70%), Earth Spirit (9, 66.7%), Magnus (8, 75%).

This list by itself looks like it’s made of different strategies and ideas and it is the big idea behind OG – finding new ways to play and adapting to circumstances. It already proved to be a working strategy, but we are yet to see will it be as successful as before.

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