Image via ESL
2016 is almost over, and we here at The Meta are celebrating by paying tribute to the teams, players and vague concepts that made it worthwhile. Our MVP awards will be ongoing throughout the holiday season, so check in now and then to see who and what we decided to shower with praise.
OG’s performance at Valve events has been a roller coaster this year, with a disappointing 9th-12th finish at TI6, but Tal “Fly” Aizik’s determination as a player, captain, and self-disciplined son of a martial arts master shined through both in the spring’s Manila Major and the fall’s Boston Major. At the helm since OG’s days as Monkey(Business), Fly remains a master in the craft of draft. During the Boston Major with the team’s recent roster, he demonstrated outstanding knowledge of the meta, dominating other teams through not just gameplay but knowledge of player dynamics.
This power through drafting was strongest against underdog favorites Ad Finem in the Grand Finals series. The charismatic Greek team’s weak points were in their aggressive and responsive drafting style, which created opportunities for Fly to patiently counter-counter-draft into a more fleshed-out team. Fly’s picks flawlessly brought out each of his teammates’ play styles, while tightly controlling Ad Finem’s hyper-confrontational and unconventional strategies.
The meta and players of Dota 2 are in a constant dance, and it takes a strong, thoughtful, and practiced captain to understand how the meta affects all ten players fighting on the field. Through dedication to the art of the game, trust in his teammates, and respect for his opponents, Fly proved he was a force to be reckoned with in this unpredictable, competitive year.