The Thorin Mess

While there are kernels of truth in Thorin's discussion of Secret and EG, so many gaps are filled in by entirely thumbsucked ideas, superficial analysis, and sometimes even plainly inaccurate factual claims. Clearly he understands many of the relevant background concepts well, but his application of those concepts to the current context betrays only his own arrogance.

Here are some key problems:

1. The claim that Fear was better on carry than he has been on support is hysterical. Fear was good, but replaceable, as a carry. His more important role being to anchor the team and provide leadership and experience to support ppd. Since he changed to support he has regularly been the star of the team, and has been the best player in his position in most of the tournaments EG have attended.

2. The claim that Aui was a better support misunderstands how the metagame has progressed. Aui invented an entirely new style of 4 play which most teams imitated shortly after. He was, naturally, the best at that style. Currently there isn't a player in the world who plays that way, because it does not work in the recent metas we've had. The game as it now exists does not play to Aui's strengths on support at all. When supports carry the game it is by scaling AS SUPPORTS and making big SUPPORT plays, not by scaling INTO CARRIES. That just doesn't happen now.

3. Which of them is the better carry? It's impossible to say, though the team, as well as both of the players appear to believe it is Aui. What's clear is that Fear has been the better choice for support for this lineup, so the carry question doesn't even have to be settled. That Aui has seemed underwhelming recently needn't reflect his individual play.

As Thorin correctly points out, problems at the level of identity can supersede individual performance issues. It is difficult to point at individuals without an internal view into a team's workings, when a team is dealing with what appears to be an identity-related issue.

More than that, EG have suffered in a meta which offers an insanely diverse array of fast-paced proactive strategies, because they have always been a reactive team and have had too many different things to prepare for and react to. They've also played far fewer officials than most teams, similar to Secret, having both been directly invited to every LAN and not having to participate in qualifiers as a result. These are likely some of the more serious problems.

4. It is a factual error to claim Secret did not participate in another LAN after winning the Major and before changing their roster. Suiting a preferred narrative does not make it any more true. Do your research.

5. It is also not the case that Secret's roster change was abrupt or sudden - what was a surprise was their winning the Shanghai Major when they so easily could have last placed that one in the state they presented prior to the beginning of it. They were headed to roster changes for months before the Major, and that they made those changes only indicates that their leaders were willing to look at the bigger picture rather than having their concerns allayed by their short-term results.

6. There are good reasons to speak about Secret and EG together, given their having filled similar roles in coming to dominate top events consistently. They were at the top of the scene and they've both fallen out of the Manila Major together.

But to group them based on being teams that changed roster after successes is misleading. Again, in Secret's case the change had been a long time coming. Secondly, in EG's case, the team did not get worse after the change. Yes, they won less tournaments (not none, they did win the Summit 4 with the new roster) but that is owing to the improvement of other teams, not their having regressed much. EG spent a long time adjusting to fitting both Arteezy and Sumail into the same system, that's true, but it is wildly exaggerated to suggest they never had any awe-inspiring victories or performances since TI5. It is also exaggerated to suggest they had a huge number of those before TI5.

EG are not last in the Manila Major because they replaced Aui after TI5. If you want to point to a roster-related cause, it's the recent changes, which they were forced into making, reacting to Secret's changes. So the comparison between EG and Secret which implies they are both where they are now due to making changes after big successes is just nonsense.

7. While it's true lots of role-swaps do not succeed, there are MANY examples in Dota's history of very successful transitions. Part of the reason for this is that the players/teams understand the potential risks of this sort of thing, and think about how to make the adjustment work before trying it. Examples include:
Kuroky, Misery, MMY, Chuan, Burning, 820, Notail, Lanm, DJ, Zai, Resolut1on, ZSMJ, Universe, and yes, Fear and Aui themselves.

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