Just two days into the Group Stage of The International 10 (TI10), Tinker has emerged as one of the most powerful niche picks in the tournament thanks in large part to some eye-catching performances from PSG.LGD’s Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang and OG’s Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen.
Tinker has appeared six times in the 80 games that have been played in the TI10 Group Stage thus far, with the hero getting picked by the following four teams: Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD, back-to-back defending champions OG, Undying from North America, and SG Esports from South America.
PSG.LGD made good use of Tinker in getting two wins, OG and Undying each got a win with it, while SG both have a win and a loss with the hero. Given how effective Tinker has been in the right hands, the hero has been banned nine times thus far — all against teams known for picking it when given the chance.
After getting a massive rework in the 7.30 update back in August, Tinker is no longer a farm-intensive hero that dominates the map with his relentless wave clear from his old basic ability March of the Machines.
Instead, the hero has evolved to become a teamfight monster that gains free global presence at level six and can quickly nuke down almost any other hero with his dreaded Laser-Heat-Seeking Missile combo.
NothingToSay, who many consider to be the best midlaner in the world right now due to his excellent laning and impeccable rotations, has been the most prolific Tinker player in TI10.
In the two games that PSG.LGD was able to pick Tinker for him, NothingToSay has been nothing short of dominant. PSG.LGD’s star midlaner set the pace for his team and had 10 kills and six assists against just two deaths in a 25-9, 31-minute stomp of Southeast Asia’s Fnatic.
In a hard-fought 28-24, 41-minute victory over European powerhouse Team Secret, NothingToSay notched 11 kills and 11 assists against three deaths. In what ended up being the game-winning push, PSG.LGD’s midlaner nuked down three Secret heroes in the blink of an eye to get a quick Triple Kill and crack Secret’s base wide open.
Topson not a slouch either
Despite not being known as a Tinker player, OG midlaner Topson has also excelled with the hero when his team surprised Southeast Asia’s T1 with it in game one of their group stage matchup.
Tinker actually fits OG’s signature run-and-gun style quite well, with Topson repeatedly flanking and nuking down hapless Fnatic heroes as the rest of the team charge in to divert attention away from their midlaner. Topson finished his Tinker game against Fnatic with 10 kills and four assists against just one death in just 29 minutes of action.
With how effective Tinker has been in the capable hands of NothingToSay and Topson, expect more teams to either start picking the hero for themselves or just ban it when matched up against the likes of PSG.LGD or OG as the TI10 continues.
TI10’s Group Stage features the 18 participating teams split into two groups of nine teams each. The teams will be looking to finish in the Top 4 of their groups in order to secure an upper bracket berth in the Main Event. Meanwhile, the fifth to sixth-placed teams will have to start the Main Event from the lower bracket while the bottom team of each group will be eliminated early.
TI10 is this year’s iteration of Dota 2’s annual world championship tournament. The event features 18 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world battling from 7 to 17 October in Bucharest, Romania for the right to claim the lion’s share of a massive US$40 million prize pool as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions.
For everything you need to know about TI10, check here.
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