The International Preview: EuropeBy KawaiiSocks on

Europe was really stacked this year. Five directly invited teams through the DPC rankings is a big achievement for the region that was already quite impressive. Over the last season we’ve witnessed not only dominant performance from the usual suspects, but also incredible levels of growth from the teams relatively new to the scene.

The International Preview: Southeast AsiaBy KawaiiSocks on

Southeast Asia is probably the fastest developing region in Dota. Several years ago most victories by the teams from the region were considered an upset and any placement higher than top12—a success. Coming into TI9, SEA finally looks like a major contender and perhaps this is going to be the year the region claims its first Aegis of Champions.

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The International Preview: ChinaBy KawaiiSocks on

Three teams from China have received a direct invite to the home tournament and are preparing for the biggest esports event of the year. After somewhat disappointing results last year, with a single team in top8, the teams from the region have picked up their slack and looked a lot more active throughout the year during the DPC season.

The International Preview: NA and CISBy KawaiiSocks on

With the International 2019 rapidly approaching, it is time to have a quick look over the participating teams. Today we are going to concentrate on the sole representatives of the North American and CIS regions.

What Can We Learn from the EPICENTER?By KawaiiSocks on

The EPICENTER Major was immediately followed up by a small balance patch that will change the meta slightly, however none of the changes were too drastic. We will closely monitor new developments during the qualifiers for the International, but for now will concentrate on what lessons we can learn from the EPICENTER.

Is Slark Worth Giving a Chance?By KawaiiSocks on

Every time Slark was viable in the professional scene, he was absolutely rampant in pubs. This generally happens to pub-stomping, snowball-oriented heroes and it is probably a nightmare to balance them, but for the first time in a while the pattern has been broken. Slark might not be the most popular hero in the professional scene, but he is situationally excellent and maybe it is time to give the hero a chance in pubs, despite his average win rate.

Is it Time to Revisit Axe and Visage?By KawaiiSocks on

Meta is always cyclical. New patch introduces something above the general power curve, teams and players start looking for answers and soon, these answers start demanding adjustments from players looking to win.

Understanding Meta's Top Position Five SupportsBy KawaiiSocks on

Position five heroes are the backbone of any team. They are often a sacrificial role with lowest gold and experience priority, but their impact is not limited to the first 15 minutes of the game.

What Can We Learn from StarLadder ImbaTV Minor?By KawaiiSocks on

The last minor of the season is over. The last four DPC slots are going to be heavily contested at the Epicenter Major and it seems we are in for yet another treat: the meta is highly varied and hasn’t settled after the latest balance patch.

Let's Talk About Armor (Again)By KawaiiSocks on

Dota mechanics is always an interesting topic to discuss. Fundamental understanding of the game doesn’t directly translate to skill in game, but it helps players make more informed decisions and sometimes find a way out of a seemingly impossible situation. It can also be quite fun.

What We Can Learn from ESL BirminghamBy KawaiiSocks on

ESL Birmingham gave us a quick glimpse of things to come in the upcoming DPC tournament. With fair format, prolonged group stage and lower stakes, we have seen a lot of new and interesting strategies and hero picks. Today we would like to have a look at what might stay and what might go, given the recent 7.22c patch.

Aghanim's Tier List—SupportsBy KawaiiSocks on

The final part of our Tier list will concentrate on support heroes. Unlike core heroes, supports generally have a lot less gold, hence the opportunity cost for purchasing an Aghanim’s is much higher. In most cases, their Aghanim’s will come from either third or fourth Roshan or as a gift from Alchemist.

Aghanim's Tier List—Utility CoresBy KawaiiSocks on

Second part of our Aghanim’s Scepter Tier list. Today we will be concentrating on utility cores, your typical offlane heroes, whose primary goal is generally not to dish out massive amounts of damage, but rather create conditions for winning fights, providing auras, crowd control and an annoying target for the enemy to waste their spells on.

Aghanim's Tier List — DPS CoresBy KawaiiSocks on

This time around, when making the Aghanim’s Tier List, we decided to separate the whole Dota roster into several parts, concentrating on DPS cores in the first blog of the series. Aghanim’s can’t be analyzed in a vacuum, since third or fourth Roshan aside, it has a price tag, hence an opportunity cost. And the opportunity costs for farming cores, utility cores and supports are very different.

Dota 7.22—Hero ChangesBy KawaiiSocks on

Second part of our patch analysis is going to concentrate on hero changes in the new patch, without touching the Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades. Despite many Scepter Upgrades being game-changers and huge power spikes, they do not impact the game until they are built or until after third Roshan.

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