Dota 2: Which Will Be the Hottest Heroes at ESL One Stockholm 2022?

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Dota 2: Which Will Be the Hottest Heroes at ESL One Stockholm 2022?

We take a look at which heroes we might see frequent the picks/bans list at the upcoming Stockholm Major.

The first major of 2022 is just around the corner. ESL One Stockholm 2022 will begin on May 12 and it will feature the best 14 teams in the world. We didn’t expect to get a new update before this event, but Valve decided to surprise us. Consequently, the company released patch 7.31c a couple of days ago.

Even though the new update did not feature any drastic changes, many top-tier heroes received various nerfs. We are yet to see whether the new things will affect their popularity, but there are a few names that we expect to see a lot more often once the event begins.

Most of the heroes listed below have proven themselves in the last two patches and they will continue to be among the preferred options. 

Templar Assassin

Everyone who follows the professional Dota 2 scene knows that Templar Assassin's been one of the hottest mid laners for two metas in a row. The hero was the go-to option last year, and even 7.31 did not change that. 

Despite the small changes, Templar Assassin continued to dominate her games thanks to her incredibly fast farming capabilities. Even though they are not that affected by the 7.31c patch, there are a few notable changes. The first one is with her Refraction, which now provides 85 bonus damage on level four instead of 100.

The second change that will definitely impact the hero is Desolator’s nerf. Instead of providing 25 stacks from Soul Stealer, this number is set to 20. Since Desolator plays a crucial role for Templar Assassin, it will also affect her. 

It seems like these small nerfs have an effect on the hero’s win rating because it dropped significantly. Despite that, we expect to see TA in action because it continues to be one of the best mid laners in the current meta.

Shadow Fiend

Another mid laner that is notorious for his dominance is Shadow Fiend. He is usually a meta hero, which means professional players rarely pick him if he is not the hero to pick. However, the recent changes to TA, Huskar, Ember, and DP mean that Shadow Fiend should become a lot more popular.

Unlike any of the heroes mentioned above, Shadow Fiend was unaffected by the new patch. The hero is similar to TA (if not better) when it comes to his farming speed. His Shadowrazes can easily clear the entire jungle in a couple of seconds. This gives Shadow Fiend a massive advantage against other mid laners.

Despite his advantages, Shadow Fiend remains one of the most squishy heroes in Dota 2. The fact that almost every gank results in a kill means that one of the supporters has to keep an eye on him all the time. Needless to say, this has a negative effect on the team as a whole because the other lanes will receive more pressure.


Tinker is one of the heroes that dominated the meta a couple of months ago. He was the mid laner to go for and almost every team used him at least a couple of times during the big tournaments.

However, a series of nerfs almost removed the hero from the professional play. Even though patch 7.31c did not introduce many buffs, Tinker will probably become more popular. The hero got one extra base strength, which will make him tankier for the early-game skirmishes.

In addition to the extra STR, Tinker’s Laser also costs less mana (150 on level four, instead of 170). This may not seem that impressive on paper, but it will affect the hero’s overall success. After all, he will be able to cast it more often, which means more damage.\

Troll Warlord

After featuring a couple of mid laners, it is time to look at other positions in the game. The hero that we think will be popular in the upcoming major is usually in the carry role, and his name is Troll Warlord.

Troll is one of the strongest late-game heroes in Dota 2 and definitely the best when it comes down to a 1v1 scenario. His insane right-click damage capabilities and the fact that he has tons of attack speed make him a dangerous opponent.

Although Troll Warlord is not most pro team’s go-to hero, some professionals pick him when they need a tanky damage-dealing frontline. Patch 7.31c buffed the hero because his Berserker’s Rage melee form now has 1.4 attack time instead of 1.45.

Troll’s ultimate ability Battle Trance also received a small buff because the annoying big where the hero did not have n LoS on his target in the Fog of War has been fixed. Although the buffs might not seem much, they should make Troll more popular.

Winter Wyvern

Once one of the most popular supports in Dota 2, Winter Wyvern is an occasional pick from pro teams in some regions, such as South America. It seems like things could change in the future because WW received two big buffs. 

The first change is to Artic Burn, an ability whose duration is up from 8s to 10s. This means the hero can do even more damage early on and pressure the enemy’s offlaner.

The second change is to Splinter Blast. Even though the ability does not do more damage, its range is up from 650 to 800. Hence, Winter Wyvern will be able to hit more opponents and deal more damage.


The last hero is usually picked in the mid lane, but a couple of teams tried to use Zeus in the support role. Regardless of where you put him, Zeus is one of the best damage dealers in Dota 2. By the looks of it, the latest patch will make him even more popular because he received three big buffs.

Patch 7.31c gave Heavenly Jump 500 distance (it was 450), so Zeus should become slightly harder to kill. 

Arc Lightning (his main damage ability) now deals 10 more damage on each level. As a result, Zeus will be able to harras more and secure even more last hits during the laning stage.

Lastly, the new patch decreased Lightning Bolt’s cast point from 0.4s to 0.3s. This means the hero will be able to cast this ability much easier.

Dota 2: Which Will Be the Hottest Heroes at ESL One Stockholm 2022?
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.