Preview: Techlabs 2013 in Moscow
Team Natus Vincere is going to Moscow. This event alone is interesting enough to follow the action, but the fact that we will see our new roster playing its first official match makes it even more exciting, so you better not miss it.
On March 23rd the upcoming Techlabs stop will gather best four teams from all over CIS in "Mega-Khimki" center. Natus Vincere will be joined by Empire, Virtus.pro and ICCUP. What do these teams have in common? First, all of them have recently changed their rosters. So, let's take a closer look at them.
It's important to note that many things depend on the draw. According to the schedule, it seems like we'll have Double Elimination with best-of-one. No doubt, some top team will get lucky and face ICCUP in the first round. It means that the second semi-final will be much more interesting. Considering the fact that the current ICCUP roster hasn't played many official tournaments, we will now try to determine which team from top-3 will get the most out of the match versus this team. We will factor in their latest matches against each other for that purpose.
So, the table above shows us that the most uncomfortable opponent for Natus Vincere is Virtus.pro while the most desirable is Empire. The thing is that this statistics can't be 100% objective because the mentioned matches happened before the roster changes. The question is who became stronger and who is now weaker. In this context, Virtus.pro seems to be in the least favorable position as the team lost a player today. Empire looks a little bit more interesting as the team has already practiced with Ivan Shinkarev. The best on paper is Natus Vincere who have 18 wins and 2 losses to date.
Virtus.pro's situation gets even more complicated and the reason why is that the team has lost a player whos role was more significant than simply a support player. If that was the case, they could use our recently departed Sergey Revin, but the one who left was Santa - his line is much more difficult to play. At the moment, there are no suitable players for this role. It means VP will have to reconsider their in-game strategy and put someone else, but one does not simply switch from "mid" to difficult line.
In case of Empire you may worry about that Vigoss has played only 7 official matches during January. Even though his total number of games in Empire is approaching a dozen, the question whether he was able to gain back his shape is still open. On the other hand, it's Vigoss after all.
From the emotional point of view, Natus Vincere is in the most profitable situation. After accidentally missing the fifth season of Starladder, the players need to prove that they are the best team in CIS at the very least. We would like to point out, that it's a step forward for the new members of the team, so their moral boost which they got from joining Natus Vincere should be taking its effect during a couple of months.
Empire should also be at the top of their moral conditions because they seek revenge to beat Natus Vincere. Otherwise, they wouldn't be making those videos with propaganda, and Techlabs is likely to be their only real chance in the upcoming months. It looks like the most gloomy team should be Virtus.pro as their players are most probably experiencing some kind of confusion because of recent changes in the face of an important event.
Let's get to the most interesting and controversial part - the picks. We will look at the most recent 10 matches against tough opponents:
According to these matches, we can observe that unlike Empire and Virtus.pro team Natus Vincere doesn't use Gyro and NYX at all, giving ХВОСТ some unconventional heroes like Juggernaut, Sven, and Naga Siren. We can also note that Na`Vi likes very much to pick Magnus, Rubick, and KOTL. Empire's standard is KOTL, DS, and Puck, while VP chooses Rubick, PL, and 2HD. The most "unexpected" hero of Natus Vincere may be considered Storm Spirit, while Empire prefers Silencer, and Virtus.pro - Razor.
As a whole, it seems like all three teams have a default base while the key intersections occur with Rubick and KOTL. It's safe to say that these two heroes will be most fought for. The right for the first pick will determine the outcome. Also, note that Natus Vincere is the only team to bet on Magnus. Empire doesn't seem to use their favorite Wisp + CK bond.
It's hard to say what is going to happen on March 23rd at Techlabs, but you can be sure that the games are going to be spectacular. Navi-Gaming.com will send its reporters to the event, so you'll be able to follow the action with video and photo coverage right here, stay tuned!
Xeozor 21 March 2013, 15:31 3169 0