Dota 2: ESL One LA Online Meta Analysis

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Dota 2: ESL One LA Online Meta Analysis

Let’s take a look at some of the hottest heroes during this event.

As you know, the original idea behind this event was to be a part of the DPC. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic, Valve decided to postpone the entire DPC, which led ESL to change their tournament and make it online.

As a result, we got to see the absolute best teams in the world competing in the span of two weeks. In the end, it was the CIS powerhouse Virtus.Pro that delivered their knock-out punch after a deadly Bo5 series against the two-times TI winners OG.

Having said that, the aim of our article today is going to be on the meta. Valve released a new patch (7.26) just a few days ago, so it’s interesting to see what affect it had on this event, even though only the last few days were played on it.

So, let's check out some of the most popular heroes at ESL One LA.


This hero was picked a total of 95 times and has around 46% win rating, which is just mind-blowing. However, we can’t say we’re that surprised, considering the state of the hero in the last couple of months.

Grimstroke has everything that you can want from support. He does a lot of damage, has a silence, a stun, and a game-breaking ultimate. In fact, it’s the ultimate that’s capable of making a real difference during team fights, especially when you combine it with other spells.

There are various hero combos that work very well with Grimstroke, such as Riki for example. The pesky stealth assassin and Grimstroke have reigned supreme in many games, ripping through the enemy like a knife through butter.


The second hero on this list has 90 picks and a 56% win rating, which is a clear sign of how strong it is. Phoenix is one of those heroes that’s “on and off” from the meta, depending on his conditions. Now, thanks to his incredible team-fight potential, this hero is regularly picked. In fact, the team that utilized him the most was none other than the champions – Virtus.Pro. He played a vital role in their success, especially in the Group Stage.

Needless to say, this is one of the heroes that we expect to receive a lot of nerfs in the upcoming update. As you know, Valve released the first part of patch 7.26, however, they are yet to release the hero and item changes.


With 83 picks and a 47% win rate, it’s safe to say that Mars is the most popular offlane right now. That doesn’t really come as a surprise because the hero has been extremely popular ever since it was released.

Mars is one of the few offlaners that’s capable of dealing with insane amounts of damage, especially early on. What’s more, his ultimate works wonders with some heroes, such as Phoenix for example.

To make matters worse, Mars is very tanky, even when he doesn’t have that many items. As a result, he can initiate very easily and prevent enemies from engaging first. Don’t forget that a good Arena of Blood can completely lock down certain enemy heroes from their team. Needless to say, this can be absolutely game-breaking.


Pango has 79 picks and a 58% win rating, which makes him one of the most successful heroes in this event. Once again, this doesn’t come as a surprise because the hero has always been extremely popular.

Perhaps the best part about this hero is the fact that he can be played in nearly every position, apart from carry. So, teams can experiment a lot with him because their enemies won’t know what to expect.

Apart from being annoying in the early game, Pangolier can deal devastating damage later on. Of course, let’s also not forget about his ultimate, which is a huge nightmare to deal with.

Ember Spirit

The last hero on our list is none other than Ember Spirt. It’s safe to say that this is one of the heroes that went through the most changes in the last couple of years. Those of you who’ve played Dota 2 for a while probably remember the golden “rapier” days where EternalEnVy dominated the scene.

Then, once the glass-cannon builds started to fall off, Ember Spirit became a magic damage beast. He was so broken that Valve had to release several small nerfing patches just to make him somewhat balanced.

Now, a few years later, Ember Spirit still continues to be a primary magic damage dealer. However, there are many hybrid builds that allow him to scale very well in the late game.

So, it’s not really a surprise that the hero had the chance to shine in 77 games. Nonetheless, he has just a 45% win rate, which is a little bit disappointing.

As we’ve said above, we are yet to see all of the item and hero changes in patch 7.26. It’s very likely that all of the heroes on this list will be nerfed. Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts. That's the easiest way to learn more about everything related to Dota 2.


Dota 2: ESL One LA Online Meta Analysis
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.