The Biggest Takeaways from the Mars Dota 2 League Macau Minor

With the conclusion of the Mars Dota 2 League Macau Minor, the first quarter of the Pro Circuit is now almost complete. And as most Dota 2 teams are busy preparing for either the Holidays or the Dota Summit 8 (some both) right now, we’re here to look back at the Mars Dota 2 League Macau Minor and all the things that the 3-day event taught us.

Liquid and Secret Are in a League of their Own

Whereas Team Liquid took no time rounding into midseason form, Team Secret had to go through a bit of an adjustment period, especially against international competition, for them to fully realise the potential of their current roster. But, once they did, it was evident that if there was one Dota 2 team in the world right now that could take a best-of-five series against Team Liquid, it was Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov and his boys.

Without either one of these two teams playing in the Mars Dota 2 League Macau Minor, however, there were no clear favourites to win the whole thing. Not even Virtus Proplaying with Ivan ‘Artstyle‘ Antonov as their stand-in, who many thought was the second best Dota 2 team in the world next to the reigning TI champions. This made for a relatively even playing field, paving the way for OG to win their first Pro Circuit Minor of the year. 

OG Are Not a Top Tier Team

At least, not yet anyway. This isn’t an effort to undermine their win at the Mars Dota 2 League Macau Minor in any way. Rather, this is to make it clear to anyone that while their first LAN title in a while was a great way to salvage an otherwise failed first four months for the 4-time Major winners, it still doesn’t put them near the top of the Dota 2 hierarchy.

A case can certainly be made for Top 5, especially if they go on to win the Dota Summit 8 Minor, but it’s going to take a lot more for OG to reclaim their spot at the top.

Morphling is OP

Of the heroes picked in at least 10 matches in the Mars Dota 2 League Macau Minor, only three had a win rate higher than 75%: Morphling, Shadow Shaman, and Nyx Assassin. Now, it’s not unusual for certain heroes to have absurdly high win percentages when picked often by a team on a winning streak, but what makes Morphling a special case is that it was picked by nearly every team in the tournament (only VGJ.Storm didn’t pick the hero) and the team that picked Morphling ended up winning 84.62% of their matches, with the hero getting an average KDA of 16.60.

So yes, Morphling is OP. There’s no other way to put it. His ultimate isn’t even the main reason for it. It’s the fact that he now can change attributes without any mana cost. This means he can now go from extremely tanky with high health to extremely tanky with high armor without much of a problem, and what used to be his hard counters, such as anything that depletes his mana, is now practically useless against him.

While we likely won’t see a patch soon, until at least after the Dota Summit 8 Minor, expect Morphling to suffer the brunt of it.

Natus Vincere Are Back-Ish

Last season, it was Virtus Pro who baffled everyone with dominant displays against top teams only to flunk out of tournaments much earlier than expected. They put it all together in the Kiev Major, where they battled OG — and ultimately lost 3-2 — down to the wire in the Grand Finals for the Mystic Staff. This time, it’s Natus Vincere’s turn to give the top Dota 2 teams a run for their money only to bow out of tournaments much earlier than expected.

Natus Vincere are still a long way from going back to their heydays when they reigned over the competitive scene from 2011 to 2013. They may not even reach that point again at all this season. However, with two Top 4 finishes in a Pro Circuit tournament and their first LAN title in more than a year in hand already, this is the most successful Natus Vincere have been in a long time.

This is more than enough for the Natus Vincere fans in all of us. Especially since it’ll be a while before we see Natus Vincere in a Pro Circuit LAN again this season.

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