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DOTA 2 Meta: ESL One Los Angeles Tournament

Dota 2 ESL One LA Torunament

One of the most anticipated tournaments of the season, ESL One Los Angeles has just concluded and Virtus Pro beat OG in a 5 game best of 5 grand finals. Although the tournament was played in an online league format with no DPC points -unlike what was planned before- ESL One was exciting, entertaining, and competitive with a very fun meta played by the pros. It was a pleasure to watch the dominance of VP, especially for the fans from CIS, after months of mediocrity and several roster changes in the team.

So, let’s look at the top meta heroes of the tournament: the loved, the hated, and the ignored.

Top Picks: Phoenix and Grimstroke

DOTA 2 ESL One LA Tournament: Teams
Dota 2 ESL One LA Tournament

With a total of 99 picks, Phoenix was the most picked hero of the tournament. Mostly played in position 4 support, Phoenix shined in this meta although it was not popular for a long time. The laning stage is probably the weak spot of Phoenix, but the power it provides in mid-game team fights makes the hero a top tier pick. The slows, AOE stuns, nukes and heals Phoenix provide in a team fight is probably unmatched by any other position 4 in this meta. The most popular items bought were Spirit Vessel, Heaven’s Halberd, and Aghanim’s Scepter, which all provide more and more utility to the already packed hero.

Phoenix was followed by Grimstroke, in the most picks with a total of 98 picks. Similar to Phoenix, he is a strong early/mid-game hero with a slow, silence and a stun. The aggressive nature of the hero matched with the playstyle of many teams, including the winner VP. 

Top Bans: Death Prophet and Timbersaw

DOTA 2 ESL One LA Tournament: Schedule
Dota 2 ESL One LA Tournament

Although they couldn’t be picked as much, Death Prophet and Timbersaw were the two most contested heroes in the tournament, with a number of 190 and 200 bans. As we discussed before, the strong mid-game team fight heroes are the stars of this meta.

Death Prophet was getting buffed in the last couple of patches and slowly became the most contested hero in the pro scene. Mostly played in the mid lane, the hero requires specific counters to shut her down. The last buffs to Exorcism made her already strong team fights even stronger, making her almost impossible to fight against if she has her ult. Eul’s, Aghanim’s and BKB are her go-to items, which add more to her survivability.

Timbersaw is in a similar situation. If he has a strong start, the hero can survive any tough situation and dominates any lane he goes. The insane pressure he provides to the lane makes him a nuisance for the enemies, as it’s hard to dodge the hero all game. Ignoring Timbersaw and playing on the other side of the map until his power spike falls off is usually the best way to counter him. 

Favored by the teams, OG and VP

DOTA 2 ESL One LA Tournament: Standings

The grand-finalists of the ESL Tournament, OG and VP both brought different strategies and heroes while they were climbing to the finals. With the help of their standing 33, OG brought some very unorthodox strats, like Chen safe and mid. Beastmaster was another pick favored by them, mostly played by 33, again.

Some different heroes favored by VP were Axe, Bristleback, and Enigma. We can see these heroes rise in future metas, especially Bristle since he’s already becoming more popular. One hero that can’t be left unmentioned is VP. Zayac’s Techies, with his 3 wins out of 3 with the hero. After his insane performance, teams started instantly banning Zayac’s Techies, the most hated hero in Dota history.

Dota 2 ESL One LA Tournament

The Ignored

DOTA 2 ESL One LA Tournament: MB MVP

There were only 4 ignored heroes in the ESL Tournament: Clinkz, Tinker, Visage and Chaos Knight. Clinkz got some serious buffs after the tournament, and CK’s getting more popular in pubs of pro players. So we can probably see these two getting picked more.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Tinker in pro games, probably because pro players know how to counter him in his current state. He needs more buffs to be relevant again, which would actually really upset anyone but the Tinker players themselves.

The least popular hero in Dota 2 right now, Visage is not getting love from the pro players either. As he is already very hard to play by average players, it’s quite easy to shut him down with good coordination. He still has a very high win rate in high MMR pubs, as he is still very strong in the hands of good players, but most of the players may start to forget that Visage exists at all.

That’s all for this meta-discussion, keep in touch for our future updates, as we plan to release SenpAI.gg/dota2 in near future.

Stats Source: Dotabuff


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