Charlie “Charlie” Arat’s Lycan is wreaking havoc in what can easily be considered the toughest group in the CIS and Europe division of OGA Dota PIT.
Ninjas in Pyjamas got seeded in Group B along with Team Secret, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro and Team Spirit. Undoubtedly, Team Secret are the main favourites not only in Group B but for the entire tournament. They are fresh champions of WePlay! Pushka League and have already secured their first victory at Dota PIT taking down Virtus.pro. However, NiP played two series already and are currently at the top of the group with just two more match-ups on their schedule.
On the opening day, they managed a reverse sweep over Team Liquid after losing game one to a Keeper of the Light- Bristtleback duo. NiP prolonged the first game to a late stage, but the longer it went, the more their carry Necrophos and mid Ember Spirit faded facing Liquid’s tankiness. To avoid the same scenario from happening in the next game, NiP saved the last pick for Lycan and carefully aligned a mobile and pushing oriented line-up to complement Lycan’s fast paced playstyle. They forced the decisive game three in under 30 minutes, conceding only six kills to Liquid. Despite the crushing defeat, Liquid chose not to ban or pick the Lycan in the first phase of the draft and NiP didn’t hesitate to first pick it when their turn came. They once again made sure all their heroes were geared towards the 5 men pushing Dota style, so they chose a mid Pugna, an offlane Beastmaster, plus Jakiro and Weaver in the support roles. Liquid were once again caught on the wrong foot, having an offlane Tidehunter who proved to be too slow and unable to defend their buildings, despite having a Treant Protector on his side.
On the second day of group stage matches, NiP were pitted against Virtus.pro, a team that usually embraces the fast playstyle. Acknowledging Charlie’s Lycan from day one, they banned the hero in game one while NiP banned VP’s signature Techies and went with the same game plan of taking objectives as fast as possible, this time around with Death Prophet setting the pace and with a safe lane Alchemist that snowballed out of control. Much like Liquid on day one, VP were reliant on a big team fight cooldown, coming from an offlane Enigma, while NiP were constantly harassing. VP had the first pick in the second match, but they decided to let Lycan go through the first wave of bans and picks. They were more worried about Mars, Bounty Hunter, Phoenix and Pangolier and were executed fast by Charlie’s Lycan.
NiP’s last two series in the group stage are against Team Secret and Team Spirit and a victory over one of these two teams could possibly send them straight into the upper bracket. In the meantime, VP are at the bottom of the group with an 0-4 overall score.