The Dota 2 esports landscape is constantly changing with regular game updates and balance changes. Every year, the TI meta differs significantly from the regular season as teams come up with new ideas and various combinations to prepare for the biggest Dota 2 event.
The International 2019 has been no different as we have seen the top Dota 2 teams still trying to figure out the best play style in the current meta. Teams either picked or banned all 117 heroes displaying the diversity and the viability of each hero in the current meta.
However, there are a few heroes who stand for their popularity amongst professional teams. Teams have their own play style and we saw the meta evolve as The International moved into the final days.
Shadow Demon: The Best Scaling Support With a Defensive Ability
Shadow Demon possibly defines the state of the current meta, in which the first pick can significantly alter the course of the game. The current meta depends heavily on which team can find the early initiation on the enemy heroes. Shadow Demon is one of the few heroes in the support role which can save your teammate from a chronosphere or any major ability.
The positioning of a Shadow Demon is vital in the grand scheme of things. If he gets caught out of position, it can mean a huge disadvantage for the team.
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What Are Tiny’s Overpowered Abilities and Will they Be Nerfed in the New Update?
Tiny received the most substantial spike in picks at TI9, partly because of his new Aghanim ability. Tree toss allows Tiny to output an insane amount of damage in a short time. It comes with its limitations as Tiny can only target a particular area. In most situations, the opponent can walk away from this damage.
Tiny throws random trees within range towards the targeted aoe. Deals Tiny’s attack damage plus a bonus to enemies in that area with each tree thrown.
Teams were quick to adapt to the new meta at The International 2019 as they paired Tiny with Void and could win games off good Chronosphere and Tree Volley combinations.
Throughout the tournament, teams picked Tiny 62 times through The International with a 53% win-rate. However, the hero’s true potential was in the late game when Tiny players could change the outcome of the game with a single Tree Volley. Tiny had a 75% win-rate on games with a length of over 60 minutes.
We expect the new update to nerf the Tree Volley significantly.
Wraith King: Infamous Gaming’s signature hero
South American team Infamous used Wraith King to its maximum potential. Hector Antonio “K1” Rodriguez picked Wraith King whenever they got the opportunity and used it to just farm more money. The team’s synergy had a lot to do with their success on Wraith King, with Chris Luck providing the space and distraction necessary for Wraith King to get the items. Infamous’ success at The International 2019 definitely propelled the popularity of Wraith King.
Wraith King’s ultimate is Reincarnation, which gives him another life. It provides a massive advantage to the team playing Wraith King, especially in the late game when the ultimate has a very low Cooldown. Wraith King allows teams to make mistakes and not lose many objectives.
Elder Titan: Restoring balance with the Natural Order
Elder Titan’s Natural order removes all base Armor at maximum level. It also significantly reduces the base Magic Resistance of a hero. The Natural order is a percentage-based ability and hence scales well into the late game. A late-game Elder Titan can often become a semi-carry because of his skills and the extra damage he gains during the team-fight.
Elder Titan is an excellent zoning hero in the laning phase. The Astral Spirit grants Elder Titan extra movement speed and damage based on the number of heroes/creeps it passes through. The Aghanim’s Upgrade, although rarely seen on Elder Titan, can be a valuable addition to his stomp and it can single-handedly change the outcome of team fights.
Ogre Magi: Tanky, In-Your-Face Support
Ogre Magi may be a support hero, but his strength gain makes him one of the most difficult heroes to kill. The Stout shield enhances Ogre Magi’s early game laning presence by blocking a significant amount of damage.
Ogre Magi is a hero that can quickly scale into the late game once he gets his Hand of Midas. As a support hero, it is difficult to buy a Hand of Midas. Ogre Magi players also skill Bloodlust early, allowing their cores to farm quickly in the jungle and gain a significant advantage for the team.
Teams picked Ogre Magi 62 times with a win-rate of 44%. The win-rate is the lowest amongst the top five picked heroes. Ogre Magi had a high pick-rate at TI9; however, its win-rate was lower than many other heroes. Ogre Magi does not seem primed for a nerf in the upcoming update.
Gyrocopter: A situational core who can dominate with enough support
Gyrocopter is the only core in the Top five picked heroes list at The International 2019. The Mechanical ranged hero’s new Aghanim’s Upgrade allows Gyrocopter to get a significant damage boost. The hero had a consistent, and high win-rate of 65% through the Main Event.
However, Gyrocopter is a weak hero in the early stages of the game. In fact, without adequate support, Gyrocopter did not have the same impact. He needs constant help from his supports, which takes away resources from other heroes in the game.
A Gyrocopter pick is very lineup-specific, and it does not work in every scenario. The Aghanim Scepter is an excellent upgrade for the hero as it adds a Side Gunner that at random attacks enemy units within a 600 radius every 1.1 seconds. However, it is just another tool for Gyrocopter to farm more and get more items.
Which of These Heroes Need a Nerf?
This article lists the top five picked heroes at The International 2019. But there are always multiple reasons a particular hero is successful. Tiny gained popularity because of his synergy with Faceless Void and the high damage output in a short time. Teams always have a reason or a specific strategy when they pick Gyrocopter or Ogre.
We have not mentioned IO in this list, but it was one of the biggest X-factors at the tournament. Pioneered by OG, teams picked IO in almost all positions at The International 2019. The versatility of the hero was a bonus to teams. The Dota 2 meta is always changing and post TI we expect some significant changes to many of these heroes.