The world may be in quarantine, but the beautiful thing about esports is, the games don’t have to stop! Sure, there won’t be LAN events for a while, but online tournaments are our saviours. And realizing that, ESL quickly changed the cancelled ESL One LA LAN to a series of online leagues for every region. All the online leagues were played/are being played on the 7.25 patch and four regions already have a winner. While the combined EU-CIS league continues, Southeast Asia, China, North America and South America already have a winner (Fnatic, Royal Never Give Up, Evil Geniuses and beastcoast respectively). While one league continues, let’s take a detailed look at how the 218 games in the four completed leagues unfolded.
The list below shows the 15 most picked heroes in ESL One LA online leagues for the four regions being discussed. Phoenix’s buffs in the last few patches have all added up to make the hero a strong contender in professional games as the fire bird tops the charts for most picked hero. Looking at his popularity, patch 7.25c did bring a nerf to Fire Spirits, but all in all, the hero looks strong in a position 4 role.
The next two heroes on the charts are offlaners Mars and Centaur with very different success stories. While Centaur has enjoyed a win rate of over 60%, Mars is languishing at just above 44%. Centaur was nerfed in paych 7.25c, but Mars was left uncahnged. It seems the hero is strong, but only with the right combinations. Arena of Blood can be an extremely strong ultimate playing alongside heroes like Snapfire, who can take advantage of it, but with certain others, the hero just doesn’t do a lot.
Two other noteworthy mentions are Dragon Knight and Terrorblade. Dragon Knight has an insanely high win rate of nearly 70% and has been picked in more than 10% of the games. It shows he is definitely one of the strongest mid heroes this patch. There have been games where DK has been played in the safelane and offlane as well, so not only is a he a strong hero, but also a versatile one, which keeps the draft open and flexible. Coming to Terrorblade, the demon isn’t the most emotional of heroes, but surely he must be shedding a tear or two seeing his name in the list of most picked heroes because TB has been a non-factor for a long, long time. The last time the hero was any good was patch 7.19 (towards the end, it was just Morph, PL and TB who were picked as carries), the patch on which OG won their first TI, TI8! After that, TB was nerfed into oblivion and his rise back to popularity has been a slow one. After some substabtial buffs to his talents in patch 7.25, TB has now become one of the strongest carries of the current meta and he deserves his time in the limelight.
Most picked heroes based on region
Every region has its set of favorite heroes and that’s exactly what the table below shows. Tusk and Earth Spirit have been popular only in NA while Legion Commander and Lich can’t really be seen as popular picks anywhere other than China. The heroes that can be seen in nearly all the regions are Phoenix and Centaur. It will be interesting to see if Europe and CIS have a similar set of heroes or if they go for completely different ones.
Death Prophet and Timbersaw, who have been dominating pubs, aren’t seen to be the most picked in any of the regions as they were banned in most of the games. This is a fast meta where winning lanes makes a huge difference and those two heroes are lane dominators that can either go in the mid lane or offlane. What is a bit surprising though, is the fact that Lycan and Beastmaster, who have been hot picks in high ranked pubs, have not really been too popular in the ESL One LA online leagues. They fit the meta description of fast pushing heroes that end the game early, but it seems either the recent nerfs or the difference in coordination between high level pubs and pro games seems to be a deterrent to pick them.
Highest win rates
This only includes heroes that have 15 games or more to their name. Dragon Knight may have a high win rate, but it definitely isn’t the best out there. Winter Wyvern and Mirana, the two supports are on top of the list. Mirana was a top tier support at TI9, but was nerfed in patch 7.23. With a buff to Sacred Arrow, not only is she popular, but she is winning big! It’s good to see that Terrorblade’s comeback is not just in terms of games played, it is also pretty decent with the win rate.
Lowest win rates
This only includes heroes that have 15 games or more to their name. The two new heroes, Snapfire and Void Spirit, are being picked in a lot of games, but less than half of those games are being converted into wins. Of all the heroes with more than 15 games to their name, Snapfire has the lowest win rate, and she’s followed by Void Spirit. Seems like the latest set of nerfs from patch 7.25 seem to have hit them hard.
A total of 14 heroes were unpicked in all four regions, most of them position 1 or position 2 heroes. The ones that stand out are Chaos Knight, Clinkz, Drow and Luna. Chaos Knight, Clinkz and Luna have not been meta picks for a long, long time. They need a change or maybe even a very slight rework in a way that will make them more viable for the pro scene. As for Drow, she’s either overpowered or completely underwhelming and right now, it seems she is underwhelming. IceFrog needs to find a good balance for the hero.
This is an insanely fast meta, which is exactly what the game distribution based on time shows. Nearly 75% of the games ended before the 40 minute mar with 36% (more than a third of the games) ending before the half hour mark. Only about 5% of the games went over 50 minutes and hardly any over 60 minutes, which means weren’t too many games to to witness the tier 5 neutral items.
The Europe-CIS league is heating up, with a big double bracket playoff on the horizon. Team Secret, OG, Virtus Pro and Nigma will all be in action, trying to win the most competitive of all the regional leagues. The grand finals will be played on the 19th of April and VPEsports will have a detailed analysis of the games right after a winner is declared.