Once in a while, there is Riki pick in a professional game, either as a support or carry. But when it fails pretty badly, the hero becomes invisible, not just in the game, but to teams as well. However, things are panning out differently in the 7.24 patch, as Fnatic today showed with a Riki pick that won them the deciding game against Evil Geniuses in the upper bracket finals of the Dota Summit 12. Evil Geniuses won the first game in 24 minutes and Fnatic returned the favor by winning game two in the same amount of time. In the final game, Fnatic fourth picked the Riki and EG, who had the last pick, ended the draft with a Faceless Void. But Fnatic played the game at a fast pace, not allowing Void to farm a lot and become the terror he can be late in the game. In a little over 34 minutes, they were able to close out the game and secure a spot in the grand finals.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Obviously, it was not just the Riki that won Fnatic the game. It was a team effort, one in which Death Prophet had a huge part to play as well, dealing more damage than the Riki. But the game is a testament to the fact that Riki as a hero is getting more viable in the professional scene. These are Riki’s stats in professional games in the last two patches:
Patch 7.23: Picked in 7 games, 3 wins (42.86% win rate)
Patch 7.24: Picked in 37 games, 20 wins (54.05% win rate)
Riki is definitely being picked more and is having a better success rate this patch. The way Riki itemized in this game was also interesting – he went for the Diffusal Blade first to fight early, but then went back for the Battlefury to ensure he could keep up with Void’s farm in case the game went late. The reason Riki makes a lot of sense this patch is that it is a relatively fast patch and the hero likes to fight early as opposed to farming.
Fnatic are definitely bringing some interesting picks to the Summit 12 with carry Riki and support Death Prophet (played in an earlier series). The SEA team looks confident, not having lost a series in the tournament yet. They will wait to see who joins them in the best of 5 grand finals tomorrow. Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses will await the winner of Team Liquid and OG Seed, who they will play against in the lower bracket finals. That game along with the grand finals will be played on the 13th of March. Will EG make it to the grand finals to challenge Fnatic to a rematch? We will find out tomorrow.