Previously at Broken Myth, we broke down the VIS Pro: Winter Split 2 through the semi finals. In that article, we examined the strengths and weaknesses of heroes in the current meta. When two skilled teams collide, victory is determined by strategy, and the best way to achieve victory is with a solid draft. Today we’ll analyze the drafts utilized in the finals as along with key points that led to the VIS Pro: Winter Split 2 results.
The Draft Begins: Game 1
The initial Ringo and Vox bans are not surprising. Vox especially has been a potent pick in Update 2.1 as we have previously discussed, but so is Adagio which was left for the flexible first pick. The next two bans also make sense, taking out Lyra to avoid a double healing composition, and Koshka, a hero with a solid win rate through the split.
However, the Koshka ban was the first major mistake during the drafting phase. While Lance was a lackluster first pick pick, as Captain choices are crucial in the 2.1 meta, and Lance’s success rates are fairly low, however, combining with a Crystal Power Glaive, it creates a crowd control very few teams would want to face. From here we saw an Ardan over a potential Phinn. While Gauntlet can restrict Glaive’s Afterburn, Phinn can ignore that crowd control thanks to his Unstoppable perk for the entirety of the game and had boasted a higher winrate this split. Taka, being relatively squishy and vulnerable to Hammer’s crowd control was another questionable choice. Hammers Velocity acquiring Kestrel was a masterstroke, allowing for easier Active Camo setups.
In short, Hammers Velocity won the draft as exhibited throughout the game. However, Hammers allowed Cloud9 to secure three kills from poor positioning and overextending, just before the three minute mark without a single kill to their name in return. Despite solidly locking down Gabevizzle’s Ardan to secure a kill, Hammers managed to keep falling out of position and into Cloud9’s traps until they finally managed a turnaround, taking down a turret. At the 9:45 mark, Hammers locked down Taka not once but TWICE during a teamfight, and acquiring an ace, as Ardan had no means to escape or stall with the stun barrage.
Locking down Ardan allowed for Hammers to pressure Cloud9, isolating them whenever a Gauntlet did not manage to sabotage their positioning. Hammers was able to use this strategy to acquire an Ace, the Kraken, and all of Cloud9’s turret before the 16 minute mark. While Hammer’s Velocity’s last fight was slightly sloppy, they still managed to pull off a final Ace and finish the game.
The Draft Begins: Game 2
The typical bans continue, with no surprise seeing Glaive taken out of the equation by Cloud9 after the first game. Drafting the Phinn over Ardan strongly suggests Cloud9 wants to establish crowd control composition. Hammers Velocity pick surprised the casters tremendously: Celeste. By picking Kestrel, Hammers were most likely to abuse their range in teamfights, offering strong poke damage in the lane. Cloud9 responded with Taka as a way to burst the enemy jungler and carry, and the fact Taka synergizes with Phinn. Hammers Velocity did have a solid draft, but the game went on to show Cloud9’s superior strategy.
While Hammers Velocity secured First Blood, Cloud9 was able to keep putting on pressure. iLoveJoseph’s Taka being able to focus down and bursting Celeste before she could make proper impacts in the early game secured the first turret, a Crystal Miner, heavy vision placement, another turret, and finally a Kraken. What remained was the single Vain Turret of Hammers Velocity. Celeste, a hero that takes longer to strongly build wasn’t given a chance for the game to get late and was suppressed so she could make a low impact turning this creative solid pick from Hammer’s Velocity into a liability as it only took one more solid team fight for Cloud9 to take the game.
The Draft Begins: Game 3
Hammers Velocity chooses yet again to put the high priority on Lance, but the bans are starting to feel a bit more solid on both sides knowing what power picks the other might want. However, it finally left the Vox open as a possible pick, so we got to see Adagio in the support role. After the pressure Taka was able to put on the last fight, the Alpha pick was a great choice to lay on extra pressure, especially as the chance of a Reim counter or something similar was likely out of the question. Neither of the drafts stood out to look like they had a major weakness. Much of the game would come down to if Alpha could get pass the range and pokes to get her damage in proper.
And that she did. Cloud9 showed some intense early game aggression, securing their first turret just before the 5 minute mark and grabbing a Crystal Miner just one minute later. They were able to keep pressing the advantage, camping hard in the enemy Jungle as the Crystal Miner was quickly taken out of the equation, allowing them to take most of the enemy farm. After an uncontested Kraken, Hammer’s Velocity was stuck trying to turtle with only two Crystal Turrets left to their names. They were unable to hold out, a solid Ace finished out the game for Cloud9 with iLoveJoseph coming out with a 6/0/6 record showing how undoubtably Hammers Velocity was unable to keep her locked down as they needed for the win.
The Draft Begins: Game 4
Hammers Velocity really locked themselves into not taking the series in this draft. A refusal to try anything but Lance despite his lack of success the two games prior and going once again for a Celeste after Cloud9 proved they could take her down easier before (with the Phinn that helped do so the first time to boot) gave Cloud9 the full advantage coming out of the draft and going into the game. At seven minutes, an Ace was already in the hands of Cloud9 with a 5-0 kill record in their favor and a turret and Gold Miner following close after. This game can be described as nothing but a landslide. Hammers Velocity being unable to secure even a single kill against the enemy team as Cloud9 took them on time and time again to finish things off with a Kraken push.
We hope this provided strong insights to help you improve your own play. We once again congratulate Cloud9 on taking the VIS Pro: Winter Split 2. What things can we expect from the meta with a new hero, balance changes, and more? Keep tuned to Broken Myth where we’ll be breaking down the recent Run The Gauntlet event to try and find insights into the future of the competitive meta this coming season!
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