The StarLadder ImbaTV is the second Minor of the 2018-2019 Pro Circuit. The qualifications for the event have just finished, and we finally know all eight teams that will play in the tournament. It’s been a little over two weeks since the new patch, so let’s take a quick look at the current Pro Meta.
In total, there were 99 heroes picked. This is a slight increase compared to Chongqing Major, and it’s mainly due to the new patch. Some of the top picks are also similar to the Major, whereas others are not.
The Rogue Knight got picked 41 times, which makes him the top pick in the qualifiers. The Sven meta has been around since the previous patch, and all teams have been pretty much “spamming” him most of the time. Despite being a primary position 4 nowadays, there were some games where he was picked as a traditional carry. The hero itself is very tanky even without many items, which is one of the main reasons for being so popular. His win-rating is sitting at approximately 54%.
The interesting part is that Sven is also one of the most banned heroes. He was either picked or banned in 79 games, which just shows how strong he is in the current meta.
Naix has seen a lot of ups and downs in the last couple of years. Currently, he is the top meta carry. The buffs added to the hero in terms of his movement speed and armor have had a considerable impact in-game. Most people go for the SnY build, which increases his speed even more and allows him to chase you easily.
Another big plus for Naix is that he is a natural counter to most high HP based heroes and since the overall meta in the last couple of events has a somewhat tanky vibe to it, Lifestealer fits just perfectly. He was picked exactly 40 times and has a nearly 58% win rating. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some slight nerfs coming soon.
Ever since the introduction of Grim to Dota, he has been one of the top picks in pub and pro games alike. Grimstroke is usually played as a position five where he shines the most. The hero provides good laning capabilities due to his high damage output. There are also a lot of combos that can be pulled off using Grim. Pretty much every stunner that goes for a Blink Dagger can do wonders.
The hero has been picked 36 times in total. Nearly every team picked him at some point; however, the most consistent one was Team Odd, which also happen to win the South American qualifiers. Despite being one of the top picks, Grim’s win rating is only around 42%, which is lower compared to the rest.
The most banned hero in the qualifiers for the StarLadder Minor was Magnus. He is a hero that has been played in nearly all possible position. From one of the top mid picks two years ago to that infamous Echo Sabre build, the hero has always had the spotlight. Nowadays, he is mainly played as a position 4 support that can transform into a core in the later stages of the game.
Of course, Magnus is always paired with heroes that benefit from his Empower. This is a very simple and yet ultra-effective combo. Another big plus is his item build. Compared to other supports, Magnus needs just a Blink Dagger and he is pretty much ready to go. The constant fear of the enemy being RP’ed is also something worth mentioning.
This all adds up and the final result is 56 bans, 13 more than the second most banned hero.
One of the most consistent heroes in the last couple of metas has to be Tiny. The hero went through some significant changes a few patches ago when he received a rework on some of his spells. Similar to Magnus, we’ve seen him being played in every possible position. Nowadays he is either a position 4 or an offlaner, even though Puppey likes to play him as a 5 too.
It seems as though the nerfs in 7.21 were not enough for the pro teams to give up on Tiny. He received 43 bans across all games which got him the second spot in our list. It’s worth mentioning though that in the games where he got picked, he only had a 39% win rating.
The OSfrog hero is back. OD has been one of the most annoying heroes to play against. Similar to Tiny, we have seen a lot of reworks on ODs’ spells throughout the years. The hero slowly went from being one of the strongest Astral spamming mid-lanes to the safe lane where he was paired with Omniknight a few years ago.
Like with everything OP, the nerf hammer did its part, and OD was nowhere to be seen for a couple of patches. In 7.20 his Arcane Orb got reworked and allowed him to farm faster. His Essence aura was also swapped with Equilibrium, which gave him a slow. All this made Outworld Devourer one of the top core picks, especially in the Chongqing Major.
In these qualifiers, OD was banned 37 times, a testament to the pro players’ fear of his power.
Patch 7.21 brought some necessary changes to the game. The most notable one is the somewhat “slower” game pace. This allows heroes such as Lifestealer to become one of the top carries because he needs a little bit more time compared to other carries.
The StarLadder ImbaTV Minor will begin on the 7th of March. There will be a $300,000 prize, but probably the most important prize is that slot for the DreamLeague Major. Sadly, it’s only reserved for the winners. Expect more information regarding the format of the actual event soon.
All of the statistics courtesy of DotaBuff.
Image via: Dota2.Starladder.com