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In part three of our newly minted Iconic Duos series, we keep looking at famous players and their iconic heroes. This time we will be focusing on players who have been in the scene for a long time.

Admiral Bulldog & Nature's Prophet



Whenever his name is mentioned, you automatically think of this hero. And whenever this hero's name is mentioned, you immediately break into a cold sweat, remembering how many times you have watched a thousand small trees destroy your base while you were helpless to act.

And then you think of Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg.



There simply is no other player who is as well known for their Nature's Prophet. Bulldog has a dizzying 234 professional games on the hero, while the next closest is Chong Xin 'Ohaiyo' Khoo at only 127—a difference of 107 games. His winrate of 65.81% is far greater than any other player at or above 100 games, and taken overall, his stats with the hero are consistently phenomenal.

Furthermore, his notoriety with Furion is such that many forget Bulldog's original claim to fame was in fact Lone Druid. He started his career as a Syllabear spammer and worked his way into the professional scene because of his skill with the two bears; however, his Nature's Prophet has since eclipsed his Lone Druid, as he only has 151 games played with LD compared to the aformentioned 234 on Prophet. (It's also worth nothing that Admiral Bulldog also has the most games played on Lone Druid as well; Max 'Qojqva' Broecker holds the second most at 113).

The crown jewel of Admiral Bulldog's career is, of course, his lauded finish at The International 2013 where, thanks in large part to his Nature's Prophet, Alliance were able to split push and outmaneuver Natus Vincere, eventually claiming the Aegis of Champions.




Arise & Magnus



There are a few names that can justifiably be associated with Magnus, but none as intimately as Ionut 'ArisE' Turtoi. There are dozens of combos videos online of him pulling off absurd Skewers and landing utterly godlike Reverse Polaritys, and that is for a good reason: the man is a monster with the Magnataur.

It is a little strange then that his stats are not as glowing as his reputation. He only has a 54.84% winrate in 93 professional games on the hero, and is ranked third in games played under Gustav 's4' Magnusson and Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin who have 129 and 100 respectively. S4 in particular has a 71.32% winrate on the hero; for reason of numbers, there will be many who argue that S4, affectionately termed the Son of Magnus (because of his surname: Magnusson), is the truer Magnus icon.

However, for those who know of his exploits, and for those who have seen Arise at his best, there is no debate. He uses the hero like no other—displaying total command of all of his skills and utilizing them with astonishing foresight. His tenacity combined with his almost inhuman ability to pull of seemingly impossible plays is unrivaled. And, most of all, there is no one that can match the sheer style Arise brought to Magnus.




NoTail & IO



Johan 'BigDaddyN0tail' Sundstein has been in the Dota scene for a very long time. He is a fan favourite because of his spunky attitude, and by virtue of this has also played a plethora of heroes. Across 1779 professional games he has played 107 unique heroes, third only to Kuroky (with 116) and Fear (with 109). He is noteworthy on many heroes, such as his Chen, but he is most well known for his IO.

He really cemented his legacy on Guardian Wisp having played the hero a lot near the end of his tenure with Fnatic and while playing for Team Secret. While he now only occasionally plays the hero with his The International 2018 championship team OG, he is still revered with IO for his many clutch saves and his high hero IQ.

He has played the hero 138 times professionally, which is second only to Jerry 'EGM' Lundkvist who has 141 games. However, that is the sole statistic in which NoTail is second best. He has an insane 73.91% winrate with IO, by far the highest of any player with more than 100 games, and also has a ridiculous +10.53 elo shift.



Also, and somewhat comically if you consider that Wisp is a support hero, among the top five players, NoTail has the highest average kills with the hero at 3.28. This just speaks to why BigDaddyNoTail is so beloved not only in the community, but specifically with IO: he has an engaging and combative playstyle that is fantastic to watch. No matter what situation he is in or what hero he is playing, he is always pushing to make another play.


Which hero-player duo would you like to see in the next edition?




Photo Credit - Valve

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