The Meta of the Minor: Which heroes dominate the tournament?

posted by EskayDota,
With the finals upon us, let’s take a brief look at how the meta has shaped up over the last few days.

Support or feed

Taking a look at the most picked heroes of the week, we are greeted with some surprising statistics. With Tusk being picked 19 times out of the total 41 played games, not many would have predicted that supports would have been so prevalent in the meta. With Earth Spirit, Dazzle and Lich being the next most picked heroes respectively, the supports are the ones that seem to be dictating the drafts. Tusk, however, has been picked or banned in every single game so far.

In terms of cores, we have to delve a little deeper. Medusa, Tiny and Troll are the most picked, however these in demand heroes are sandwiched between supports. Beyond these cores, we return to a support Sven, Grimstroke and Rubick as the next set of most picked heroes.

So out of these heroes, which of them have found success? Lich has a solid winrate of 76%, whereas the rest of the remaining top 10 most picked heroes have a surprisingly close to (and mostly under) 50% winrate. Beyond that, success seems to spread to the teams that draft the unfamiliar heroes of the patch; will those heroes remain like that for long?

Troll shows off why he belongs in the meta

Power Pairings

Although Lich and Grimstroke are quite possibly the most desirable combination, certainly for the TI winners OG, it isn’t the most picked pairing. Dazzle with Earth Spirit has been picked 6 times out of the 41 games, the most picked pair of any hero combinations. However, once again, to not much success, winning only two of those six.

We’ve seen pairings such as Razor / Earth Spirit, Dazzle / Troll and Gyro / IO. However, once again, none of them have found success. All with win rates less than 40%, the meta is currently lending itself to the off-meta heroes. This doesn’t tell us who to pick in our pubs, and it might just suggest that teams haven’t yet quite figured it out or themselves.

One of the most in-meta drafts of the tournament

Chicken dinner

It’s safe to say that the meta is still in its formative stages. With Lich and Phantom Assassin taking the highest winrates at 76% and 75% respectively, it seems that teams are hesitant to follow any one suit. Oracle, Undying and Outworld Devourer all have been picked in 7 out of the 41 games, and won 5 each, making them some of the more successful heroes of the tournament.

Notably, however, IO has also been picked just 7 times, but has been banned in 85% of games, totalling at 35 bans. Despite this vicious hatred for the little ball of light, IO has only won two games all week. This appears to be seemingly disproportionate.

In order to divulge deeper into the causes for this, we can refer back to the most picked duos and trios, where Gyro / IO is the fourth most picked duo all week. Except, as mentioned prior, the pair only have a winrate of 40%. Strangely, nothing in these statistics particularly add up to consistent drafting.

The meta definitely shows a preference to strength offlaners

Where do we go from here?

EHOME are yet to lose a game this tournament, and have a trend of drafting 4 completely new heroes each game. They have played just 8 heroes more than once in 8 games. Heroes such as Tiny, Elder Titan, Beastmaster and Tusk all fare well in the books of EHOME. Perhaps this could be the patch where strength heroes strive - and mostly strength offlaners at that.

Realistically it seems as if the prevailing meta is still unclear. It could explain why performances have varied so drastically on an opponent to opponent basis. In a tournament that is so cut-throat, a holistic understanding of the meta is key. Perhaps the teams that have made their way to the lower bracket or upper bracket finals owe their success to said understanding. Only time will tell, and as spectators, we can only wait with baited breath to see how the meta develops in the upcoming major.

Teaser credit: Valve

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