Heroes of Shanghai
Leaving the drama aside, for now, today we’re looking at the most banned/picked Heroes of the tournament.
Out of 91 total matches, we got:
Earth Spirit being so high on the list comes as now surprise. This fellow was so overpowered when he first came out that he destroyed every pub he was in; even, after all, the nerfs, people don’t feel comfortable playing against him. Note he was also picked another 20 times, meaning he was drafted in 86 out of 91 matches.
After Invoker’s Defeaning Blast becoming a non-hard disable, he’s fallen from his instapick/instaban throne, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with. Outworld Devourer’s direct punching potential was given a lot of respect, and we could expect a small nerf on him after that series of buffs. The Enchantress/Chen combo is back too, taking advantage of the jungle, crashing lanes and pushing early on. Nature’s Prophet skyrocketed in popularity, perhaps for similar reasons, as his global presence allows him to take towers down fast and participate in fights at the same time. Lone Druid, being also a pub favorite after the remake, is the type of guy that can end the game in the blink of an eye by eating your base.
Other than that, I am very glad to see very some diverse drafting over here, compared to previous tournaments. Most picked being Invoker with 37 times, which is ~41% of the time is quite right, the moment we’re used to seeing 5-6 Heroes being picked over 50% of the time. And don’t forget, teams tend to react to each other’s drafting, such as banning a Hero the opponents are comfortable with, or just copying others’ strategies, etc.
All in all, what’s important isn’t the drafts themselves, these will most likely change with the next patch, anyway, but the direction the game is moving too; I’ve been feeling it’d become too inflexible, and that wasn’t the Dota I’ve come to hate. Seeing only 3 Heroes at ~40% pick rate (Invoker, Nature’s Prophet and Vengeful Spirit) is a huge improvement. The gameplay itself is also quite fun and active.
I don’t want to celebrate just yet, but I certainly hope future gameplay will look like this, and we won’t have to deal with another TI4 ever again.