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VIS Pro: Winter Split 2 Semifinals Analysis

With the VIS Pro: Winter Split 2 having its semifinals conclude Thursday evening, many were excited to see who would become the victor in the finals. While Cloud9 won the second winter split, one of the biggest deciding factors when two high level teams collide is the heroes chosen in the draft. This edition of the VIS Pro is able to provide us some excellent insights into the meta and what characters are currently the best picks within it to use in our own games, and to predict which characters we might see in the finals. A quick note: all of these stats reflect games that had been shown on stream through the semi finals and does not include others. Let’s get started!

Heroes Banned

When we see the heroes most often banned, especially those banned right at the beginning of the draft in the new 2 ban format, we would expect to see the heroes teams fear most taken out of the running early.

Top Five First Ban Heroes

1. Lance
2. Lyra
3. Adagio
4. Glaive
5. Ringo

Top Five Banned Heroes Overall

1. Lance
2. Ringo
3. Lyra
4. Vox
5. Glaive

Within this top five we see a general trend: Lance, Lyra, Ringo and Glaive all show up as important heroes to consider. Adagio hitting the top five for first bans, to be replaced by Vox in the top five for heroes banned overall, is also interesting to note. Looking at these stats, are these heroes being banned the best choices that could be being made?

Unfortunately, many of the most popular bans are not justified when we look at the stats. Lance, the most popular on both ban lists, only has a 33% win rate in the VIS Pro Winter Split 2. Lyra, the close runner up? Only manages to sport a 30% herself! Another interesting note is Ringo, who is beaten out in wins in the Carry position by three other Carries!

Now, this doesn’t mean that some good bans haven’t been happening either. Vox holds the highest win rate (if you don’t include the anomaly of Ozo being played for and winning his only game) out of all heroes in this split and is followed immediately after by Glaive. Seeing Adagio among the first bans isn’t surprising either, with him being a great first pick that can build into either Captain or Carry that fits into many team compositions as well as having the 6th highest win rate.

The true mistake we are seeing in the bans comes from our favorite river troll: Phinn. The most chosen Captain this split also boasts the third highest win rate out of all characters, so it’s surprising to not see him within the top 5 bans overall. Another thing worthy to note is that heroes traditionally seen as Captains are banned more than Carries and Junglers combined overall during this split. It seems that getting the Captain you desire is a big deal for teams and often can decide who wins or loses games.

Heroes Chosen

Before we dig a bit deeper into the heroes chosen, let’s take a quick look at those not chosen. 24 out of the cast of 30 have been chosen during this split, but those left out include Rona, SAW, Skaarf, Joule, Flicker, and Catherine which does show there’s an impressive variety in characters being played. While Flicker is considered slightly less meta and his inclusion is less surprising, Catherine who is considered to be a more viable threat has been chosen less times than even Fortress or even utility Glaive. With the Captain role being so important in this current meta, this might very well explain why we’re seeing balance changes for her coming soon in Update 2.2.

Now on from those not chosen, let’s take a look at those that have made the cut.

Carry Picks

1. Ringo
2. Vox
3. Adagio
4. Gwen
5. Skye
6. Blackfeather
7. Baron
8. Kestrel
9. Samuel
10. Celeste

Jungle Picks

1. Samuel
2. Kestrel
3. Glaive
4. Koshka
5. Petal
6. Blackfeather
7. Krul
8. Taka
9. Skye
10. Alpha

Again, however, there are some unfortunate picks we see here when the numbers come into play. Samuel, while being the most popular Jungle pick as well as seeing a bit of use in Lane, is boasting the 14th lowest winrate overall, with a dismal 38%. Also disappointing is Blackfeather, while at the middle of the road on both lists, has a depressing 16% win rate.

For Carries, Vox, Adagio, and Gwen in the top five is a great sign, as the three of them have higher win rates than Ringo. While Ringo does have a 45% win rate of his own, it does not justify him being among the top picks and bans when there are others with far better results. It’s also worth noting that Skye just barely falls under Ringo as well, and is the perfect way to round out that top five.

For the side of less success, Celeste has not won any of the games she was chosen in, and Skaarf as well as SAW were not chosen as previously mentioned. Skaarf and Celeste taking many skill shots as well as being squishy and taking longer to build just don’t seem to groove well in the current meta, while SAWs lack of mobility and lower defense leaves him quite open as well. Baron has been getting a reasonable amount of picks, but it seems he either lives long to dominate and destroy enemy teams or is crushed too early on to leave an impact at all making him a much more risky choice. In general, slower building carries seem to not be able to keep up with this fast paced meta we see.

For Junglers, while not chosen as often, Koshka, Taka, and Alpha have a better win rate than all other junglers on the list outside of Glaive, with Kestrel finishing shortly after the three. It’s curious that these heroes are seen less when they find much more success than their counterparts. While we have seen Petal, Krul, Idris and even Reim, none of them have had much success. The variety in the Jungle is wide, with only the earlier mentioned Joule and Rona not being chosen so far. Recently in the TBCS we saw OMG United surprise with a dominant victory with Joule showing she can still have relevance as well. With the lone winning Ozo pick being seen to victory, the world has seen that even the most niche picks in the Jungle can work, and that the Jungle is the most unpredictable place on the Fold.

That wraps up this analysis for hero picks in the VIS Pro: Winter Split 2! Did we miss anything interesting? Start the discussion in the comments and be sure to tune in for our in depth breakdown of the finals as we’ll be going over the draft, key plays, and every detail to what brought Cloud9 the victory.

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