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Hellraisers to Win
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This is a top-of-the-table blockbuster clash that pits two evenly matched teams going hell for leather as competition at the Dota Pro Circuit Eastern EU Division 1 intensifies. Puckchamps are currently placed second in the eight-team pool, with a scoreline of 5-1, while Hellraisers are breathing down their neck at third, having won each of their four games so far.
It is fair to say both these sides are also in a fantastic position to top the pool, which comes with a financial reward of US$ 30,000 apart from 300 crucial circuit points, along with a place in the Major Playoff. While these two sides have been in great form, let us extrapolate their form over a larger sample size to understand a few trends and patterns.
In their last 72 maps, Hellraisers have won 43 and lost 29, amounting to a win percentage of 59.72. During this period, they have averaged 25.06 kills, 23.72 deaths, 57.04 assists and 39 denies. Puckchamps are marginally behind in terms of the overall numbers. They’ve won 33 and lost 27 of their last 60 maps, which translates to a win percentage of 55. In this period, they have averaged 23.23 kills, 23.15 deaths.
Now, this points to them conceding advantage the moment they try and get on top of the opposition – this is a grey area opposition teams will look to target. Good teams don’t allow their opponents a doorway just when they seize an advantage – it’s a bit like they concede a goal the moment they score one. Additionally, they average 49.78 assists and 34 denies. Even if the betting stakes may be even-stevens, a look at the numbers tell you Puckchamps are the underdogs going into Thursday’s contest.
Is it any surprise that the Puckchamps have to keep Gilgir and Malady quiet if they are to stand up and compete in this contest, irrespective of which side they plan on. They’ve been two of their prolific stars who have a fantastic record in the mid lane, with staggering assists of 12.88 and 13.98 respectively across a combined 116 maps. And while it still needs someone to have a terrific offensive game to build on this, their contributions have so far been invaluable.
Both Hellraisers and Puckchamps deploy contrasting approaches to a map in Dota2. Puckchamps are slower and methodical through the lines while Hellraisers generally move quicker in search of kills. While such a strategy can backfire at times, leading them down a tricky path that could need them to go on the defence all of a sudden, they’ve held fort extremely well so far.
Here is proof of their speeds: Puckchamps take 38.41 minutes on an average per map in victories; Hellraisers are more than three minutes faster at 35.11. What will concern Puckchamps is they nearly average as many kills as deaths per map, which can be untenable if they want to seriously make a pitch for a top-two finish in the pool.
As a contest it will eventually boil down to how teams dominate in their preferred style. Puckchamps may want to be a tad cautious, stave off kills and keep Hellraisers in the game for longer, and allowing them to swoop in on kills because of that.
In Astral and Dukakis, they have seasoned campaigners with a combined experience of 379 maps. In comparison, Young G and Malik have just 67 and 15 maps under their belt respectively. All said, the three of them have highly impressive assists – they average over 11.
Young G will also need to play a key role in attack as he averages their best kill rate – 7.31. Much of the contest will be decided by how this inexperienced pack rises to the occasion at key moments.
Monaco Gambit to Win(moneyline)
Thursday’s second clash is a bit of a mismatch when it comes to the odds, which are clearly stacked against Monaco Gambit. It means they’re the less-fancied side due to several factors, which therefore translates to you being able to earn a bigger sum should they be able to upset Natus Vincere’s might.
In terms of the standings, both sides have some work to do if they are to finish in the top-two. And for that, a win-now is paramount for they don’t want to leave it too late. Natus Vincere have two wins and three losses, Monaco Gambit has lost four out of their five. It is already slipping away, so they need to buck up.
Only one of them, will, however, have the chance to remain in contention. There is still a third-place to aim for even if the top-two may be out of bounds. Finishing third will give them entry to the Major Wildcard, while the bottom two teams will face relegation. It is a prospect they would not want to imagine just yet.
On the face of it, what strikes you instantly is their relative inexperience as compared to some of the other big teams in the field. Monaco Gambit has an experience of just nine maps, out of which they have lost six. Natus Vincere are slightly more experienced – even if that may not present the entire picture. They have won 12 of their 24 maps.
Monaco’s kill to death ratio is nearly 1, which means they average nearly the same kills and deaths, pointing to them often having to play catch-up. This is something Natus Vincere will only be too happy to pounce on. Natus Vincere, meanwhile, average 25.58 kills and 23.38 deaths – which points to a slight advantage even if that can be minimized should Monaco find their bearings in the defense and keep Natus Vincere honest and up on their toes all the time.
Monaco’s problem also stems from their inability to string through assists, which can at times translate into swift movements across the field, effecting in kills. They average just 46.44 assists, which is way lesser than Natus Vincere, who touch 60 on that count.
Natus Vincere, unlike a few other teams in the pack, take their time and aren’t gung-ho in trying to effect kills and force their way up the lanes. They are slow, they are calculative, they are methodical – and there is a pattern to their play that is predictable in the sense, they aren’t likely to surprise the opponents too much. This is possibly a strategy that Monaco can try to counter if they are to surprise their opponents and cause quite a stir.
On paper, this can be a bit of a mismatch, but if Monaco can gather their strength and fight tooth and nail, it can become a contest that could liven up the remainder of the group stages.
|DPC EU Division Information|
|Teams||Hellraisers vs Puckchamps, Natus Vincere vs Monaco Gambit|
|Time||Thursday, January 13 at 9.00 AM EST onwards|
|How to watch||Beyond The Summit Twitch channel|
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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