The 2019-2020 DPC season has well and truly begun with the qualifiers for the first set of Major and Minor done and dusted. The teams that will be playing in MDL Chengdu (first Major of the season) and Summit 11 (first Minor of the season) have been decided and now we wait for November for the DPC LAN events to begin. Throughout both qualifiers, a total of 387 games were played (yes, that’s a lot of Dota!) in all the six regions combined. There were two small updates to the game after TI9, 7.22g and 7.22h which played a role in what heroes were picked. Let’s go through the qualifier games to see what the meta looks like and what heroes are currently making a splash.
Most picked heroes of the MDL Chengdu and Summit 11 qualifiers
A lot of the faces seen in the most picked list are from TI9; except Faceless Void of course, who doesn’t have a face (bad joke, right there). The two patches do not seem to have had a very big impact on the picks. Teams are still going with heroes like Ogre, Ember and Tiny even after they were nerfed. Five of the top six most picked heroes have a win rate of less than 50%, but those comfort picks seem ingrained in teams and they aren’t really ready to go off them. Gyrocopter works best with Io, but Io is not in the best of places right now, leaving Gyro out there alone to fend for himself. There is a good chance that by the time the Major does come, teams will realize this and we will see a shift from the Gyro and Rubick picks, which lead the other heroes by quite a bit when it comes to numbers.
The real warriors out there are Mirana, Kunkka and Faceless Void. Even after getting nerfed in the last couple of patches, they still have a high pick rate AND a high win rate. Both, Mirana and Kunkka, have win rates close to 60% while Void is sitting pretty at 68.69%. If we don’t see a new patch before the Major and Minor in November, expect to see these three in the most contested heroes. Kunkka is just the best lane winner when it comes to the mid lane and Mirana has found a new home as a position 4 support, where she can ensure kills in the lane and help win the lane. Void was the breakout carry of TI9, not so popular at the start but gaining popularity as the tournament advanced, so much so that he became one of the most banned heroes in the last days of the event. As we will see later, Void has formed some undefeatable partnerships with some heroes.
The newcomers in this list are the ones at the bottom; three of the last four to be precise. Undying, Keeper of the Light and Abaddon are post TI9 revelations, that didn’t have a big say in the outcome of tournament. Abaddon was played a bit in Shanghai, but it was mostly as a position 5 support. Now, he’s back to the offlane, the position he is most popular for. Keeper of the Light was not picked a single game at TI9, one of only three heroes (besides Clockwerk and Ursa) to not be picked throughout the event. Putting that disappointment behind, the old wizard has come back strong at the start of the new season, although his win rate suggests he could use a few more buffs. Abaddon’s win rate is the highest in these qualifiers (for any hero with more than 20 games) and the only hero that comes close to him is Void. That’s another hero to look out for in the upcoming tournaments.
Heroes with the highest win rate (20 games or more)
As we saw earlier, Abaddon and Void are dominating the current meta with insanely high win rates. And this isn’t just for a handful of games. Both heroes have more than 80 games under their belt (Void is almost into triple digits). A hero lot of the community will be happy to see in here is Invoker, who was underwhelming for a long time but seems to be making a comeback.
Most picked heroes based on region
Every region has their set of favoured heroes and what we saw above represents all six regions as a whole. Looking at every region separately gives us a bit of a different story. The heroes common in the top picks of all six regions are Gyrocopter (five out of six) and Rubick (all six), which is not a surprise as these two heroes did top the chart of most picked heroes by quite a bit.
North America: NA seems to be the only region favouring Crystal Maiden as well as Legion Commander. Guess they really believe in women empowerment, eh?!
South America: If you like to see Lina in action, SA qualifiers is where you will find her. SA also like their KotL, which not too many other regions seem to favor a lot.
CIS: An Ogre favouring region. Considering the fact the Solo, the Ogre Magi master, hails from CIS, that makes sense.
Europe: Leading Undying’s comeback is the EU region, the only one to have Undying in their most picked heroes. They are also the only ones to pick so much of Tiny, even though the stone giant has an abysmal win rate. Old habits die hard, I guess…
China: Like CIS, a region that really likes Ogre Magi. Ogre now being viable in two positions (position 3 and position 5) has made him a versatile pick. Also with the Ogre arcana on the way, need to make sure the Ogre game is strong! China is also the only region who seem to like their Centaur quite a bit this meta.
Southeast Asia: SEA like SA like KotL quite a bit. He has been played in all regions, but more so in these two. This is also the only region which believes Sand King is a really good hero right now.
Faceless Void – the best team mate anyone could ask for
If you look at the best hero partnerships in the qualifiers (at least 10 games), Faceless Void pops up in four out of the top five! He has a 100% win rate with Invoker and Crystal Maiden, which makes sense as they have really good combos with the Chronosphere. Invoker – Void has been a very old combo, one which the first iteration of OG and then Team Liquid used to play. As long as Invker doesn’t use Tornado and Defeaning Blast inside the Chrono, all other spells combo extremely well with Void’s ultimate. Imagine multiple heroes stacked together with the use of Cataclysm to annihilate everyone…the horror! CM, Jakiro and Mirana all combo well with Chronosphere and it shows in the win rate. It seems Faceless Void is becoming the hero of the meta in the professional scene.
Most contested heroes
A look at the most contested heroes gives us an idea of what teams fear facing the most and why certain heroes did not make it to the most picked list. Unsurprisingly, we see Kunkka, Void, Gyrocopter and Mirana as the first four names. Kunkka has been contested in nearly 92% of the games and most of those are bans. You can only imagine how strong teams think this hero is. And again, this is after a series of nerfs. The bans against Void and Mirana are also justified, seeing their high win rate. Gyrocopter may see fewer bans against his name after his performance in these qualifiers. Lina, Keeper of the Light, Tiny and Ember Spirit are four other heroes who have a less than 50% win rate but have been banned in more than 110 of the 387 games. Solves another mystery as to why we didn’t see these names pop up in the most picked list of every region. But again, seeing as their win rate is pretty low, especially Tiny and Ember because of their recent nerfs, this list may show a lot of new names come the time of the Minor and Major.
Two heroes that have we have not spoked of or seen before this list are Outworld Devourer and Night Stalker. These two heroes are the third and fourth most banned heroes respectively (not contested, just banned) after Kunkka and Void. These two received buffs in the patch after TI9 and knowing their potential, teams have been making sure they don’t have to face them. Would be fun to see more of them in the tournaments to come.
The games have definitely gotten shorter as compared to TI9. Majority of the games tend to fall in the 20-40 minute window (a bit more than 60% of the games). The International 2019 had more games going towards the 40-50 minute window instead of the 20-30 minute one. The mechanics and factors that affect game time haven’t changed a whole lot and neither have the heroes. The only thing that can have caused this change is the difference in the level of competition. TI9 had the best teams in the world go up against each other whereas in the qualifiers, there’s a possibility of there being quite a big gap between let’s say a team like Evil Geniuses and a team that came in through the open qualifiers. These match-ups often lead to quick games that end in 20-30 minutes, which can be seen in the trend. Looking at data from ESL One Hamburg, which will be taking place from the 25th of October to the 27th of October, we will be able to make a more solid comment about this.
A lot of top teams didn’t participate in these qualifiers, so in many ways, the season doesn’t seem to have fired up. Yes, the feeling of a lull after the 2018-2019 season end hasn’t quite lifted completely, but with ESL One Hamburg, the Summit 11 and MDL Chengdu on the horizon followed by the 7.23 patch, we are surely on the way to find ourselves in the midst of some amazing Dota 2 action.