Why OG Could Win TI7

by Mark Ryan
on July 10, 2017

Winners of 4 out of 5 Valve Major tournaments, OG is the most dominant team in Dota 2 history. They may lose smaller tournaments, but when it counts, they show up (except at TI6).

Beginning their story as underdogs at the Frankfurt Major 2015, they managed to win it all and haven’t looked back. Since that victory, they have won every Valve Major, except the Shanghai Major where Team Secret won. The biggest Dota tournament outside of The International, Valve Majors are owned by OG. They now look to take the biggest prize pool in esports history and claim their title as the most dominant team in Dota history.

Bet365 Odds For OG To Win It All Are +500

According to bet365, only Evil Geniuses and Virtus Pro are more likely to win TI7. This is thanks to OG’s play at recent tournaments like EPICENTER 2017 and the Manila Masters where they placed a disappointing 5th-8th place.

I don’t think their performance at smaller events should discount their utter dominance at major Valve events like every Major tournament. At the Kiev Major, they beat Virtus Pro 3-2 in an intense finals, and beat Evil Geniuses in the semi-finals 2-0. They beat both teams ranked above them at the most recent Major, but are less likely to win it all at TI7? It doesn’t make sense to me.

The Best Captain In The Game

Fly is the undisputed best captain in the game today. Since the Frankfurt Major in 2015, Fly has been on a streak like the game has never seen in terms of drafting, wins and team recruitment. OG has been Fly and N0tail’s team since the start, and despite their roster changes, the two core components in Fly and N0tail have stayed the same.

After they lost Miracle, Moonmeander and Cr1t, everyone counted OG out. How could this team compete when they lost Miracle and the others?! OG won two majors with this roster, and now they were gone. The pundits never knew that the true reason OG won those two majors was because of Fly and N0tail, who remained to shock the world again.

OG’s player recruitment is out of this world. First they convinced s4, a TI champion and mid laner, to join OG as off lane. They then got Jerax, a world-class support player, to leave Team Liquid and join their team. And then found ana, an unknown, 17 year old talent from Australia, to replace Miracle in the mid lane!

Thanks to the leadership of Fly, this new team lost no footing, as they would go on to win two more Major tournaments, and dismiss any doubts anyone had about OG and their veteran leaders in Fly and N0tail.

The Carry Like No Other

N0tail is the team’s carry and plays a rare role. During the Miracle days, the team style was similar to 4 protect 1 where 4 players sacrifice their farm and role in order to create 1 monster. N0tail is ok with sacrificing his farm and role as a carry more than other carries. This leads to more farm for the rest of his team, which can either strengthen their mid player or spread the wealth among the rest of the team.

Having a carry that is willing to sacrifice his own farm is rare to find. Carry players are typically greedy and flashy, which is why they play that position. N0tail seems to understand that it is a team game and in order for the team to win, sacrifices must be made. These sacrifices seem to be working out for them considering their major victories.

Having a strong team may be the difference between team fight victories. Having 1 team fight victory in a close game could be the difference between a win and a loss. Having your support or off lane have 1 more item than the enemy team could be the difference in a team fight. And that is how the sacrifice of N0tail leads to more victories.

OG Creates The Meta

OG is notorious for their usage of illusions. Dota stands for defense of the ancients, and the only winning condition is that you must kill the enemy ancient before they kill yours. OG utilized illusion-based heroes in the past to push against the enemy base with less risk than you would have pushing with your real heroes.

The strategy isn’t as simple as picking illusion-based heroes and sending them to the enemy base, though. You have to micro them, which means controlling multiple units at once. N0tail is one of the best at this. Terrorblade, Naga Siren and Meepo are all micro intensive heroes, but these are the heroes N0tail is famous for.

OG has used illusions to win games, period. This caused Valve to react to their dominance and reduce the effectiveness of illusions. Weakening them and giving gold when they die are some solutions Valve has come up with, but that didn’t stop OG from winning more Majors.

The current meta does not seem to favor illusion-based gaming anymore. Typically, illusion strategies require more farm because the illusions get stronger based on their items. This requires longer farming times, and games in the current meta end earlier than other metas. Don’t count out OG though; Fly’s unique and unconventional drafting style has won tournaments in the past, and don’t be surprised if OG invents another meta again.

Top 5 Ever Is On Their Team

S4 is a TI winner, and maker of one of the greatest plays in Dota history. He dream coiled multiple Navi heroes, canceling their TPs while his team destroyed their base. These plays would lead to Alliance’s first and only TI victory.

S4 is one of the best players to have ever played the game, and after years of playing carry or mid, he has transitioned to off lane to play with OG. This is a huge addition for OG. They add a player of S4’s caliber to their team without losing youth and talent in the most important positions. S4 has been through it all, seeing more tournaments than only a handful of players in Dota history. He is perhaps the most accomplished player in Dota history, thanks to OG’s major victories and Alliance’s TI victory.

OG’s Play Style Is Suited For High Stakes Games

OG play style is relatively conservative. They don’t dive towers, they take smart team fights and they wait for the enemy to make a mistake. Some teams like Evil Geniuses have players who love to make high risk high reward type of plays. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. OG prefers to wait for the enemy to be out of position, and then they jump to force a fight.

In a high stakes tournament like a Major or TI, this play style is ideal. Considering the stakes of the game, everyone is more invested and more on edge during these games. Every play is important more so than in other games, so a conservative play style reduces risk of making game-losing mistakes. By having patience, OG waits for the enemy team to make a small mistake, which usually happens, and then they pounce. By having more patience than the enemy team, OG is able to turn small mistakes into game winning situations, rather than having that done to them.

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