If you were seeing double with Virtus.Pro throughout this weekend’s Dota Summit, for once, we aren’t telling you you’re right.
The CIS team opted for a unique strategy at the event: almost every single game they played, they picked entirely unique heroes. By the end of the tournament, 81 out of 85 possible picks were chosen.
The Russian hub for the tournament created the “Virtus.Pro Challenge” chart, crossing out every hero that was chosen by the team, revealing which ones weren’t picked:
These were the heroes picked before the final match.
This also means that 72.3% of the 112 pickable heroes in Captain’s Mode were chosen.
So, instead of talking about what heroes WERE picked, it’s actually easier to talk about which ones WEREN’T picked:
- Arc Warden
- Ember Spirit
- Phantom Lancer
- Shadow Fiend
- Storm Spirit
- Templar Assassin
- Winter Wyvern
- Wraith King
Worth noting is that Team Secret, in their Grand Finals match against Virtus.Pro, opted to simply ban viable heroes that were still in the unpicked pool. That means Io, Slark and Riki saw plenty of bans in VP’s final hours.
In the end, and at their 17th and final game, the team swapped out of the playful approach and got serious, re-picking Sven, Death Prophet, Lich and Dark Seer. Of course, though, that meant one more unique pick: the heavy carry hero Anti-Mage.
Fans saw this as a throwback to the now-disbanded Wings Gaming, winners of The International 6, which had a massive hero pool of 40 heroes picked. They took the final game of the tournament with an odd Axe mid lineup, and eventually, the Anti-Mage overwhelmed their opponents. Runner-ups Digital Chaos, three of whom now play under Planet Odd, had a larger pool of 43.
This may leave teams and fans a little worried about the upcoming TI7 meta. After all, how do you ban a team’s main strategy when they actually have 16?